Author Topic: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.  (Read 70228 times)

almcclur

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #350 on: January 04, 2018, 03:07:37 PM »
So many thoughts. We are a military family with 3 kids and homeschool 2 of them. We've moved 8 times since my oldest started school--3 times in his high school years.

I just wanted to say that this whole post was lovely.

Thank you so much for that. I wrote this giant tome and then started to feel a little embarrassed bc I hadn't noticed the conversation shift to religion!

wenchsenior

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #351 on: January 04, 2018, 03:49:34 PM »
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Definitely.  As a Brit, the thing I have found most shocking in this thread have been the people saying they have to keep their atheism quiet to avoid damaging their careers.  That is so utterly alien to the culture here and is the kind of thing I would expect of a theocracy like Iran rather than a democratic Western country.  Seriously scary.  Unless of course the people saying it were ministers of religion.

I was talking to a Canadian who had moved to the U.S. recently for work.  I asked what he found similar / different between the two countries.  And his very first comment was, "WHAT IS UP WITH YOU PEOPLE AND JESUS?!!!?   I had no idea your culture was so 'saturated' in Christianity. " Needless to say, he found it extremely weird.

I also agree that Whitetrashcash's experience with obnoxious loud atheism or 'scientism' (speaking as someone with two degrees in science and a scientist spouse, scientism is not something I've ever heard of, nor does it resemble actual science) is probably a small proportion of the actual atheists he/she knows.  I know tons of atheists and agnostics.  It rarely comes up in conversation (why would it?) unless the topic of conversation is a political issue that is being pushed from an anti-evidence, faith based position.  Admittedly, that will get a fair number of the atheists, agnostics, and secularists in a given group riled up. 

It's possible that the recent election and the radical divisions in politics along faith based lines has increased some of these discussions. 

zoltani

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #352 on: January 04, 2018, 03:59:08 PM »
Perhaps they mean materialism rather than scientism.

shenlong55

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #353 on: January 04, 2018, 06:08:25 PM »
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

I'll break my rule and post on this, but I'm atheist and 99.9% of people I know don't know that. I would wager you know many more atheists than you know.

Atheism is a lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a lack of knowing.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  People who label themselves as one verse the other aren't more virtuous etc, more of a confusion of the terms to try and vilify one over the other in the cultural dialogue.

That's all I will post on the matter.  Feel free to PM if you really want to hear more from me, but I don't really have much invested in and don't have much more to say.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but my understanding is that...

Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.

If that is the case, then I do believe that they are actually mutually exclusive.

Villanelle

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #354 on: January 04, 2018, 09:21:39 PM »
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Definitely.  As a Brit, the thing I have found most shocking in this thread have been the people saying they have to keep their atheism quiet to avoid damaging their careers.  That is so utterly alien to the culture here and is the kind of thing I would expect of a theocracy like Iran rather than a democratic Western country.  Seriously scary.  Unless of course the people saying it were ministers of religion.

I think it also matters a great deal which part of the US you are talking about.  In more liberal areas, you are going to see far, far less of this kind of thing than in the red States. 

barbaz

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #355 on: January 05, 2018, 01:13:40 AM »
Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.

wenchsenior

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #356 on: January 05, 2018, 08:32:54 AM »
Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.

I consider myself an atheist specifically because 'belief' plays no role in the question for me.  There is no compelling evidence for the existence of god/s; therefore, I assume there are no gods and proceed on my way.  I don't have any personal investment in the question at all, except that I think that relying on supernatural beliefs to set social and political agendas is in most cases far from optimal.

If compelling evidence came to light, I would revise my opinion accordingly.  However, one might call me agnostic as well because I approach the whole question as a scientist.  That is, is the existence of god/s ever a falsifiable hypothesis?  It doesn't seem very falsifiable to me, at least currently.  So even if very compelling evidence WERE to come to light, and I WERE to rethink my position, and we WERE able to rule out other plausible explanations for said evidence, I could never be 100% certain of the existence of god/s because I must always allow for the possibility of further evidence coming to light at some point in the future that might falsify or modify my working hypothesis.  In that case, I would consider the existence of god/s to be provisionally true as supported by current evidence and until such time as further tests to falsify the hypothesis could be devised.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #357 on: January 05, 2018, 08:49:43 AM »
Maybe I'm mistaken, but my understanding is that...

Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.

Literally and slightly more accurately...

atheist - does not have a belief in god (note this is not the same as having a belief that there is no god).
agnostic - maintains ignorance about the existence of god, literally doesn't know (and thus remains open to all possibilities).

Agnostics typically become atheists over time, as their lack of knowledge is replaced by life experience.  You can only lack knowledge for so long, when there is so much evidence there for you to find.  Once they have reviewed that evidence, most people either adopt a belief or discard a belief.

But that's the relevant distinction.  Atheists and theists do not believe one way or believe the other, they either believe or don't believe. 

Do you believe there is an all knowing and all powerful father figure who created the universe and everything in it as your personal playground?  If you don't believe that, or some variation of it, then you are an atheist.  Atheists can still become theists, if presented with new evidence, and that's actually not wholly uncommon either.  The brain works in mysterious ways.

I am an atheist about Zeus.  I don't believe in him.  And Vishnu, and the Flying Spaghetti monster.  Everyone is an atheist, about the vast majority of possible gods that humans have proposed, because you can't simultaneously believe in all of them.  So you don't believe, and are therefore an atheist.  Lots of people, though, stop one step short on that logical journey and refuse to discard their belief in the last god on their list even though they easily discarded their belief in all of the others.

robartsd

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #358 on: January 05, 2018, 08:54:09 AM »
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

PhilB

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #359 on: January 05, 2018, 09:48:39 AM »
I am an atheist about Zeus.  I don't believe in him.  And Vishnu, and the Flying Spaghetti monster.  Everyone is an atheist, about the vast majority of possible gods that humans have proposed, because you can't simultaneously believe in all of them.  So you don't believe, and are therefore an atheist.  Lots of people, though, stop one step short on that logical journey and refuse to discard their belief in the last god on their list even though they easily discarded their belief in all of the others.
Hmm.  That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god which is the rather more accepted definition.
I think it's rather more useful to look at the whole thing in historical context.  For early man there were so many questions where the only available answer to 'Why?' was 'Because of the gods.'  As we learnt more about the world, and particularly following the widespread use of the scientific method as a way of evaluating theories, the gods had less and less of a place in explaining how the world worked to more and more people and for those people the existence of gods ceased to be something that was self evident.  Some continue to believe as a matter of faith and are deemed theists.  Some see no reason to believe and are called atheists.  It would be lovely is we could all just accept that and get along with each other, but that rather requires the atheists not to call the theists idiots and the theists to accept that 'because my holy book says so' is not an acceptable basis for public policy.

brooklynguy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #360 on: January 05, 2018, 11:07:57 AM »
That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god which is the rather more accepted definition.

As @FIRE Artist alluded to above, we have a specific label for a person who does not believe in God (or gods) only due to the prevalence of that specific affirmative belief.  But in a universe of infinite conceivable unfalsifiable claims, there are an infinite number of (unlabeled) nonbeliefs that we all can (and do) hold, including the nonbelief in the existence of an undetectable teapot orbiting the sun.

ysette9

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #361 on: January 05, 2018, 11:17:18 AM »

I think it's rather more useful to look at the whole thing in historical context.  For early man there were so many questions where the only available answer to 'Why?' was 'Because of the gods.'  As we learnt more about the world, and particularly following the widespread use of the scientific method as a way of evaluating theories, the gods had less and less of a place in explaining how the world worked to more and more people and for those people the existence of gods ceased to be something that was self evident.  Some continue to believe as a matter of faith and are deemed theists.  Some see no reason to believe and are called atheists.  It would be lovely is we could all just accept that and get along with each other, but that rather requires the atheists not to call the theists idiots and the theists to accept that 'because my holy book says so' is not an acceptable basis for public policy.
I like this perspective, perhaps because it is how I view it in my own mind. The world used to be a much more mysterious place than it is today. That isn’t to say we have all the answers (what causes autism? Why are half of pregnancy losses unexplained?) but we don’t need gods’ whims to explain crop yields or eclipses or illness or why the sun goes across the sky each day. It is like the raison d’être for deities has shrunk to a more mystical, personal, self-actualisation kind of realm instead of providing stories for the creation of the world. If that brings a sense of comfort to people then that is fine by me. Personally I have no hole and i don’t find anything missing so trying to shove a deity into my life would be uncomfortable at best.

On the other hand, I think Sol has a great point. How are the Greek gods any less legitimate than the Abrahamic storyline? How can you learn about the evolution of religion (Greek to Roman to Christianity, adopting and adapting ideas from the old to the new) and also believe that the most current iteration is The Truth? How about when religious leaders get together and decide that something new is right and make a course correction (plural marriage for the Mormons, divorce for Catholics, etc.). How does that square with an all-knowing being when it is obviously a manmade social structure very reasonably adapting to changing social pressures?

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #362 on: January 05, 2018, 11:32:13 AM »
That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god

It's totally cool with me if you find the argument unconvincing.  This is the nature of religious freedom, everyone gets to decide for themselves.

I was just trying to highlight that "atheism" is not necessarily an affirmative belief in the absence of something specific, it is just an absence of belief in the affirmative existence of something specific.  In that context, we are all atheists about gods we don't believe in. 

Some of us just continue to take that one last step across the finish line, while some people fear that last step without realizing how far they have already come.

And while I'm always happy to offer my opinions on this topic, they are only opinions.  I don't go door to door.  I don't invite strangers to listen to sermons on Sundays, or moralize about the divine truth, our condemn you for eternity if you disagree with me.  I only ask that we each let others believe (or not believe) as they wish, without government interference or support.

Religious homeschooling arguably violates that position.  I don't support lying to children or forcing them to adopt your personal religious beliefs.  Moral and ethical guidance are great, but I don't think you need to make them dependent on a belief in the supernatural.  Sadly, my belief in religious freedom (for adults to teach kids that magic is real) usually outweighs my belief in religious freedom (for kids to decide for themselves). 

ROF Expat

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #363 on: January 05, 2018, 11:35:58 AM »
Quote
Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

This idea gets a lot of play in pop psych magazines and life coaching brochures but, has it ever been tested in a repeatable, scientific way with a large N sample size? Most of the evidence seems to be ex-post-facto anecdotes from already elite athletes coupled with a few small-N (N<=30) psych studies that have not been replicated. Given that social psychology is currently being staggered by a full blown replication crisis, I'm curious if any of the studies on visualisation have been validated.

I am not in a position to judge the quality of the scientific literature, but visualization has a long history among athletes.  I think the Soviets have been doing it since the 1960s or 1970s.  Personally, I believe very firmly that it works.  It may only be a placebo effect, but the placebo effect is real, too. 

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #364 on: January 05, 2018, 01:09:00 PM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.

lemonlyman

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #365 on: January 05, 2018, 01:43:21 PM »
Separate topic for definitions of atheism and Christianity?

I don't think debates about religion change anyone's mind who isn't already on the fence. Doesn't seem like that's anyone here so debates are a bit boring. When Christopher Hitchens passed away, debates got EXTRA boring. Merits of homeschooling is interesting to anyone clicking on the topic though.

marcela

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #366 on: January 05, 2018, 01:51:31 PM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #367 on: January 05, 2018, 02:30:36 PM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

Vishnu isn't insulting to people because it is an old myth instead of a new one.  FSM antagonize people because it highlights the absurdity of their situation.  I get that.

But Mormonism was a new myth less than 200 years ago, and people are fine with it now.  The jews made fun of the Christians when they were new, too.  We all make fun of the moonies and the branch davidians.  Every myth had to start somewhere.  The only dfference with the FSM is that the motivation behind the myth was to highlight hypocrisy instead of amass wealth and power over followers (see:  moonies and branch davidians).

Shane

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #368 on: January 06, 2018, 04:13:41 AM »
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."

PhilB

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #369 on: January 06, 2018, 04:34:09 AM »
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."
The problem with that definition is that both your 'atheists' and 'anti-theists' will almost always 'believe' the same things regarding the actual existence of deities and the lack of validity of the many competing religions.  Where they differ is in to what extent they think religious belief is harmless or harmful to society.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #370 on: January 06, 2018, 06:52:17 AM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

gaja

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #371 on: January 06, 2018, 07:05:39 AM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #372 on: January 06, 2018, 08:45:18 AM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?

Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.

me1

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #373 on: January 06, 2018, 10:23:41 AM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #374 on: January 06, 2018, 10:35:04 AM »
The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people.

Technically, the purpose of the FSM was to highlight the hypocrisy in the State of Kansas mandating Christian religious teaching in public schools, while forbidding the teaching of other religions.  It was literally a protest movement against religious discrimination BY Christians.  I find it hilarious that you now find it discriminatory against Christians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

jeninco

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #375 on: January 06, 2018, 10:50:37 AM »
Slightly curious -- how would both sides view the non-belief in monotheism?

Just because someone doesn't believe in a single god doesn't mean they might not believe in an entire fleet of 'em, just not a "head man" type of situation. I'm not sure there's nearly as much distance between polytheism (or pantheism) and atheism as between monotheism and atheism.

Also, Sol, I'm really enjoying your defense (without generally getting offensive) of ... let's call it the "non-monotheistic" persuasions. The "book club" description is particularly lovely -- thanks!

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #376 on: January 06, 2018, 10:59:33 AM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 11:01:20 AM by WhiteTrashCash »

me1

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #377 on: January 06, 2018, 11:28:44 AM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 11:33:17 AM by me1 »

gaja

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #378 on: January 06, 2018, 11:43:48 AM »
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?

Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.

For me, there is a big difference between using humour to highlight the bad sides of something, and insulting someone. FSM and Monty Python are clearly within the first category, together with Terry Pratchett. He shines a light on all types of religion in many of his books, but I think the reader would have to be in a very specific mindset to get insulted.

Sometimes humour is just meant to be funny, sometimes it is meant as way to get someone to see things from a different angle. The Inuit insulting song contests* often ends in laughter, on both sides. Several other Arctic people have similar traditions, with the purpose to give a safe outlet to negative feelings, in societies where you spend long winters in very close quarters. Monthy Python is good old British humour at its best, and John Cleese has expressively said in interviews that the purpose of the film is to get people to think about what they believe in, rather than believe something because they are told to.

A different example of how humour is used in a way that avoids confrontation, is the Loldiers of Odin: http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/loldiers-of-odin-finland-1.3410837

*https://books.google.no/books?id=cngl1Ho6uFwC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=insulting+game+inuit&source=bl&ots=7r6QE3WLmL&sig=HWtdkWbZhfICK5SrH6MzxS3yzpc&hl=no&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjetf-U98PYAhXIB5oKHQmNCe8Q6AEITjAI#v=onepage&q=insulting%20game%20inuit&f=false
Touristified example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWAHf5HOL7M
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 12:05:55 PM by gaja »

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #379 on: January 06, 2018, 11:52:43 AM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

jeninco

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #380 on: January 06, 2018, 12:08:09 PM »
<snip>

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

Um, both were effective. Because (to use a different analogy) having folks out there who burn down ski lodges in protected wilderness makes the Sierra Club look like a totally middle-of-the-road and reasonable organization to negotiate with. Or to go back to your question, I'd bet that the existence of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam made the government much more keen to negotiate with MLK and affiliated Christian groups.

Plus, not all gays are outgoing, friendly, "jump on the couch" type, just like not all heterosexual people are. It's not the responsibility of the minority group to be cute and cuddly so that you can accept them as citizens with equal rights. If anything, "they" have the same responsibility as all of us: to be decent human beings.

If it were my job to be adorable so that I could somehow "deserve" equal rights, things would go extremely badly. I don't think it's fair to require any other "minority" to do that either.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #381 on: January 06, 2018, 12:12:11 PM »
<snip>

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

Um, both were effective. Because (to use a different analogy) having folks out there who burn down ski lodges in protected wilderness makes the Sierra Club look like a totally middle-of-the-road and reasonable organization to negotiate with. Or to go back to your question, I'd bet that the existence of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam made the government much more keen to negotiate with MLK and affiliated Christian groups.

Plus, not all gays are outgoing, friendly, "jump on the couch" type, just like not all heterosexual people are. It's not the responsibility of the minority group to be cute and cuddly so that you can accept them as citizens with equal rights. If anything, "they" have the same responsibility as all of us: to be decent human beings.

If it were my job to be adorable so that I could somehow "deserve" equal rights, things would go extremely badly. I don't think it's fair to require any other "minority" to do that either.

Well, you are, of course, free to have your opinions and feelings, as all people are. I'm just pointing things out and I think my observations are quite reasonable. Then again, I'm quite a student of history and I've interacted with a lot of different kinds of people over a long period of time, so my conclusions may be different from the assumptions that other people have.

All I can say is that experience can be quite instructive (though often the lessons can be really painful). Godspeed to you.

GoConfidently

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #382 on: January 06, 2018, 12:19:14 PM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

It would do you some good to revisit the Civil Rights movement. The aims of the actions of CR leaders were dependent on violence, and they used and invited that. You paint a picture of one single non-violent tactic that worked over time. That’s simply not the case, and it’s intellectually dishonest to pretend that the success of the CR movement wasn’t the culmination of many tactics by many different people with different viewpoints. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” MLK Jr.

gaja

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #383 on: January 06, 2018, 12:20:59 PM »
Satire has been proved to be very effective to get changes. One of the best known examples, is "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

Lance Burkhart

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #384 on: January 06, 2018, 01:50:42 PM »
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."

The system of philosophy taught in public school biology textbooks is called "naturalism."  While not a religion, naturalism is the philosophy behind modern astrophysics also so it makes claims about the origin of the universe, the formations of galaxies and planets, and the origins of life including human life just like a religion does.  Naturalism just says that all of these origins were of natural causes (not supernatural).  Charles Hodge (or maybe his father) said that naturalism is just old-fashioned atheism.  Christians can obviously not affirm naturalism.  Christian parents have several options if they want to leave their kids in public school but not affirm naturalism.  They can tell their kids to reply to test questions or verbal questions seeking naturalistic responses with, "Scientists believe..." or not reply at all.  We cannot affirm falsehoods.  This means your kids will get a lower score on the test.  REcently, the California legislature has required that children affirm novel sexual identities in history textbooks that contradict the categories affirmed by most religions.  These textbooks haven't hit most classrooms yet, but I've had the unpleasant task of explaining to my public school children that their government teaches various lies they cannot affirm or repeat.  They're growing up faster than I want, but historically kids grew up much faster so I guess it's ok.

The government could, of course, teach the mechanics of natural selection and genetics without teaching naturalistic human origins.  Similarly, all lower division physics and quantum mechanics could be taught without making naturalistic claims.  So I think the government could stop teaching atheism if it wanted to and every kid could learn at least as much STEM as I've learned. 




« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 01:52:27 PM by Lance Burkhart »

mm1970

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #385 on: January 06, 2018, 01:55:18 PM »
Quote
which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals

The important thing here is *some*.  Fact of the matter is, everyone is different.  And the "in your face" atheists will be productive in some areas and not other.  And the quietly atheist, same way.

I just got into an, ahem, discussion yesterday with vegans which was much the same as the Christian atheist discussion, where in the end I was called stupid (because I suggested that you might want to actually keep a critical mind and check actual references, or read rebuttals to books, because many authors cherry pick data or misrepresent it!)

Which is eerily similar.  In the end, I had to say "I have no skin in this game, it doesn't matter to me WHAT you do."  Which is the same as this discussion.  I'm an atheist.  Leave me alone, keep your religion away from my choices in life.  I'm also an omnivore (who owns 20+ vegan cookbooks and eats a lot of vegan meals, so try not to be an asshole, mmmkay?)

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #386 on: January 06, 2018, 02:30:01 PM »
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."

The system of philosophy taught in public school biology textbooks is called "naturalism."  While not a religion, naturalism is the philosophy behind modern astrophysics also so it makes claims about the origin of the universe, the formations of galaxies and planets, and the origins of life including human life just like a religion does.  Naturalism just says that all of these origins were of natural causes (not supernatural).  Charles Hodge (or maybe his father) said that naturalism is just old-fashioned atheism.  Christians can obviously not affirm naturalism.  Christian parents have several options if they want to leave their kids in public school but not affirm naturalism.  They can tell their kids to reply to test questions or verbal questions seeking naturalistic responses with, "Scientists believe..." or not reply at all.  We cannot affirm falsehoods.  This means your kids will get a lower score on the test.  REcently, the California legislature has required that children affirm novel sexual identities in history textbooks that contradict the categories affirmed by most religions.  These textbooks haven't hit most classrooms yet, but I've had the unpleasant task of explaining to my public school children that their government teaches various lies they cannot affirm or repeat.  They're growing up faster than I want, but historically kids grew up much faster so I guess it's ok.

The government could, of course, teach the mechanics of natural selection and genetics without teaching naturalistic human origins.  Similarly, all lower division physics and quantum mechanics could be taught without making naturalistic claims.  So I think the government could stop teaching atheism if it wanted to and every kid could learn at least as much STEM as I've learned.

You need to read my journal.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #387 on: January 06, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

It would do you some good to revisit the Civil Rights movement. The aims of the actions of CR leaders were dependent on violence, and they used and invited that. You paint a picture of one single non-violent tactic that worked over time. That’s simply not the case, and it’s intellectually dishonest to pretend that the success of the CR movement wasn’t the culmination of many tactics by many different people with different viewpoints. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” MLK Jr.

You are free to have your opinion, of course, but the nonviolent wing of the civil rights movement is the wing that actually accomplished their goals, not the violent wing.

When white Americans turned on the news and saw fire hoses being used on children who were peacefully marching, it horrified them and spurred them into action on behalf of black Americans. That's historical fact. MLK recognized that he needed the support of white Americans to accomplish the movement's goals, simply because there are FAR more white Americans than black Americans. That's why he and other peaceful CR leaders appealed to shared humanity and used peaceful civil disobedience to achieve their goals. It unified people and led to change.

I don't think it was a coincidence that MLK's successful CR movement was based in Christianity.

Malcolm X was a very good writer and speaker, but he ultimately didn't accomplish much. Nor did Eldridge Cleaver or the other activists who spoke in favor of violence and black separatism.

Peace and unity lead to change. Violence and separatism do not.

jeninco

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #388 on: January 06, 2018, 02:49:05 PM »
<snip>

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

Um, both were effective. Because (to use a different analogy) having folks out there who burn down ski lodges in protected wilderness makes the Sierra Club look like a totally middle-of-the-road and reasonable organization to negotiate with. Or to go back to your question, I'd bet that the existence of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam made the government much more keen to negotiate with MLK and affiliated Christian groups.

Plus, not all gays are outgoing, friendly, "jump on the couch" type, just like not all heterosexual people are. It's not the responsibility of the minority group to be cute and cuddly so that you can accept them as citizens with equal rights. If anything, "they" have the same responsibility as all of us: to be decent human beings.

If it were my job to be adorable so that I could somehow "deserve" equal rights, things would go extremely badly. I don't think it's fair to require any other "minority" to do that either.

Well, you are, of course, free to have your opinions and feelings, as all people are. I'm just pointing things out and I think my observations are quite reasonable. Then again, I'm quite a student of history and I've interacted with a lot of different kinds of people over a long period of time, so my conclusions may be different from the assumptions that other people have.

All I can say is that experience can be quite instructive (though often the lessons can be really painful). Godspeed to you.

1. Wow, that is a truly impressive paragraph of demeaning mansplaining. It's particularly undermining that you're calling my points based on "opinions and feelings", while implying that yours are based on, you know, facts and reason.
2. I've skimmed your journal. I'm probably close to twice your age, and I've lived in major east coast cities and smaller towns sort of in flyover-land. Never on Hillbilly mountain, although I have relatives who are from near there. I've gone to school and worked with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. I don't think you have me beat in "experience."
3. It is still no one's job to be cute and harmless-appearing to make you more comfortable with a religious, sexual, gender, race, or any other kind of minority. Your ability to relate to other people as human beings is entirely on you.  Most people are not being gay, or atheists, or female, or colored at you, they are trying to live their lives, same as you.

This really needs to move to a different thread.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #389 on: January 06, 2018, 02:51:03 PM »
... mansplaining ...

The definition of "mansplaining" is not a male saying something you don't like.

jeninco

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #390 on: January 06, 2018, 03:02:02 PM »
... mansplaining ...

The definition of "mansplaining" is not a male saying something you don't like.

"To explain something condescendingly or patronizingly without regard that the explainee knows more then the explainer, typically from a man to a woman."  (Summarized and condensed from the Wikipedia definition.)

I lived in a major east coast city in the 70s, and went to an ethnically diverse city public school system. I also read history. You?

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #391 on: January 06, 2018, 03:05:55 PM »
I'm quite a student of history and I've interacted with a lot of different kinds of people over a long period of time, so my conclusions may be different from the assumptions that other people have.

She's right, WTC, this part was pretty damn condescending.  And doesn't sound "wise" at all.

You undermine your own argument when you talk like a douche.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 03:08:28 PM by sol »

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #392 on: January 06, 2018, 03:08:53 PM »
I'm quite a student of history and I've interacted with a lot of different kinds of people over a long period of time, so my conclusions may be different from the assumptions that other people have.

She's right, WTC, this part was pretty damn condescending.  And doesn't sound "wise" at all.

Ok, I admit that one comment was too much, so I'll take that back. Everything else I said is 100% correct.

Gin1984

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #393 on: January 06, 2018, 03:20:40 PM »
Slightly curious -- how would both sides view the non-belief in monotheism?

Just because someone doesn't believe in a single god doesn't mean they might not believe in an entire fleet of 'em, just not a "head man" type of situation. I'm not sure there's nearly as much distance between polytheism (or pantheism) and atheism as between monotheism and atheism.

Also, Sol, I'm really enjoying your defense (without generally getting offensive) of ... let's call it the "non-monotheistic" persuasions. The "book club" description is particularly lovely -- thanks!
Those would be pagans and the monotheistic groups tried to destroy them, often by killing the people involved.  So as a pagan, I have found atheists to be more accepting.  They may think I believe in a fairy tale but then again most people think my Gods are.  I don't have to worry about atheists firing me, or trying to run me out of town or lower my grade or a whole host of other things I can't think of at the moment.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 03:24:57 PM by Gin1984 »

PhilB

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #394 on: January 06, 2018, 03:26:42 PM »
their government teaches various lies they cannot affirm or repeat.
A classic example of what drives a lot of people to be anti-theists rather than just atheists.  It translates as "I don't care that your explanation is the one that best fits observed facts and allows us to make useful predictions.  It disagrees with a literal interpretation of what some random person wrote in my holy book x centuries ago so it is therefore a lie." 

gaja

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #395 on: January 06, 2018, 03:32:21 PM »
Slightly curious -- how would both sides view the non-belief in monotheism?

Just because someone doesn't believe in a single god doesn't mean they might not believe in an entire fleet of 'em, just not a "head man" type of situation. I'm not sure there's nearly as much distance between polytheism (or pantheism) and atheism as between monotheism and atheism.

Also, Sol, I'm really enjoying your defense (without generally getting offensive) of ... let's call it the "non-monotheistic" persuasions. The "book club" description is particularly lovely -- thanks!
Those would be pagans and the monotheistic groups tried to destroy them, often by killing the people involved.  So as a pagan, I have found atheists to be more accepting.  They may think I believe in a fairy tale but then again most people think my Gods are.  I don't have to worry about atheists firing me, or trying to run me out of town or lower my grade or a whole host of other things I can't think of at the moment.
The fun thing with polytheists is that they rarely will argue about which god/belief system is correct. It is one of the reasons christening the North took a long time; the vikings had a lot of gods already, had started out with one set (vanir) and incorporated a second set (æsir). If someone wanted a new father god and a guy on a cross - sure. Just tell us where on the World Three we should add the white christ.

MrsPete

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #396 on: January 06, 2018, 05:40:21 PM »
Some of us are very aware of what Christianity is actually about and think that the less religious our society becomes the better it will be for everyone. We have good reason to believe this.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies
Perhaps you do actually know the tenets of Christianity, but the majority of Americans today do not. 

I do not agree, nor does an internet article prove, that the world would be better off without religion.

Fine, let's call it Satanmas or Secularmas then.  If it's a secular holiday, then no one should have a problem with the name change.  But lo and behold, at least a quarter of the country gripes every year about keeping the "Christ in Christmas".

What percentage of the populace would take offense if Ramadan took the place of Memorial Day or anything like that because it wouldn't be 100% secular.

I pledge allegiance...under Buddha...

Doesn't our money say In Muhammad We Trust?

Happy New Year (the 2018th year of our Lord, of course)!
I wouldn't mind at all if we started using a new name for the commercialized gift-centric holiday that has become synonymous with Christmas.
I haven't heard a single person this year complaining about Christ in Christmas.  Not one.  This rather weak conversation is the only time I've discussed it this year.
People in many jobs /schools already can "take off" minority religion holidays, and we've already lost Good Friday to Martin Luther King Day. 
As for the pledge and money, yes, those are true, but I don't think people think about them often. 

When people complian about religious references in the public space I wish they would remember that explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.
Which is why we have freedom OF religion ... not freedom FROM religion.  That is, we have our choice of religions (or no religion) not freedom from other people expressing their opinions.

Your argument fundamentally misunderstands (or perhaps intentionally misrepresents) what atheism is.  It is not a religion, any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby.  It is the absence of belief in counterfactual narratives.  It does not presuppose or require a complete understanding of a factual narrative, only that you willing abandon the obviously wrong ones.
I've never understood why atheists want to share their thoughts on non-belief.  I like to talk about things that interest me:  books, movies, recipes, even sales at the grocery store ... but I have no desire to talk about sushi, music, or cross fit because I am not interested in them.  I couldn't care less whether other people love them and want to talk about them, but I avoid topics that aren't "me". 

For example, prayer is a lie. It doesn't work.
Why would a non-believer expect prayer to work? 
Prayer isn't like a vending machine or a wishing well.  You don't insert prayer /sit back and wait for a blessing.  Sometimes the answer to prayer is no -- or wait. 

I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line.
No, actual religious people (of any religion) are a minority in America today. 
People who participate in Christianity in a minor way (i.e., celebrate Christmas and Easter but don't think much about God in between) and are not offended in any way by a public prayer, etc. are the real majority. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:42:57 PM by MrsPete »

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #397 on: January 06, 2018, 05:59:29 PM »
Quote
For example, prayer is a lie. It doesn't work.
Why would a non-believer expect prayer to work? 
Prayer isn't like a vending machine or a wishing well.  You don't insert prayer /sit back and wait for a blessing.

When I was a boy, I asked my mentor (a Catholic priest) what the point of praying was since I never got any of the things I wanted from it like material goods and money. He told me that I didn't understand what prayer was for. He said that God is not a genie who grants wishes and God isn't an insurance salesman either. He told me that when I prayed I should ask for the strength to endure difficulty, the knowledge to understand God's will, and the serenity to accept that my desires and my outcomes may not necessarily line up. Most of all, he said that I should pray for these things for others and ask God to help my family, friends, neighbors, and even enemies find peace.

me1

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #398 on: January 06, 2018, 06:26:16 PM »
No, actual religious people (of any religion) are a minority in America today. 
People who participate in Christianity in a minor way (i.e., celebrate Christmas and Easter but don't think much about God in between) and are not offended in any way by a public prayer, etc. are the real majority.

This is a very easy statistic to look up and you are wrong.  I don't think you get to decide whose level or type of religiosity measures up to your standards.
http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #399 on: January 06, 2018, 06:30:56 PM »
No, actual religious people (of any religion) are a minority in America today. 

This is a very easy statistic to look up and you are wrong.  I don't think you get to decide whose level or type of religiosity measures up to your standards.

It's the reason why evangelicals exist.  Christianity is such a clear majority religion in every aspect of American life that they've lost their ability to maintain group identity by commiserating in their shared feelings persecution.  It's a little TOO shared.  Solution:  claim you're not a real Christian unless you rededicate yourself to this new minority of the majority, reforming your in-group and excluding most of the people who were previously party of your majority.  Like magic, you get to feel like a persecuted minority again! 

And you didn't even have to change anything, you only had to be judgy about people who already share your beliefs in addition to all of the people who don't!  It's so easy!