The English and God

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Re: The English and God

Postby The Driver » 19 Oct 2011, 09:53

It's noticeable how in the main, those with religious or spiritual beliefs - on this board at least - are more tolerant and respectful of those who don't have them.
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Re: The English and God

Postby the hanging monkey » 19 Oct 2011, 10:13

The Driver wrote:It's noticeable how in the main, those with religious or spiritual beliefs - on this board at least - are more tolerant and respectful of those who don't have them.


On this board it's arguable.

In the real world it's not really, is it? The Catholic Church, for example, deserving of respect? They are a blight on humanity.

This is just the latest outrage carried out by that shameful organisation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15335899
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Re: The English and God

Postby The Dríver » 19 Oct 2011, 10:35

But that's the point that was made earlier - tarring with the same brush.

Do you think that all Christians condone that sort of thing? Of course they don't. Do you think that all Catholics condone it? Of course they don't. Do you think most of them respect what's fine on there? No. is anyone going to think that that is what being a Christian is about? No.

Aside from which, my point was about respecting individuals and their beliefs, not religious denominations.
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Re: The English and God

Postby Qube » 19 Oct 2011, 10:40

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:But you don't see a strong UK streak of religious anger here? I could certainly be wrong, as i don't even know for sure who lives where, but it seems to be the case. But even if you extend it beyond BCB you've got Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins making a kind of cottage industry of religious anger (I've no idea where Sam Harris is from) . So my question to you is...why? Weren't you the one who said on the other thread that the UK is a lot less involved in religion overall? If so, what is the impetus for the likes of Richard Dawkins?


Harris is American, as is Dan Dennett (the 4th "horseman...") but I don't really think that means anything, they're just authors.

I think the UK is probably more religious than it makes out, similar to your claim that the US is perhaps less religious than it makes out.

The main difference between the UK and the US is that Christianity is our official religion, we are a Christian nation. There is compulsory "worship" in schools and while not every school has daily communal worship (particularly secondary schools it seems), when I was growing up my school had daily prayer together. This to me was a horrific experience. It could be a reason that many people simply get bored of religion? But then how many people are unfairly indoctrinated at such a young age? Children should be children. We have bishops in the house of lords for no other reason than they're bishops, no other faiths are selected on this level, and yet these people get to vote on all the laws, religion has a much bigger "official" grip on this country than it does in the US, though I think the influence of religion in the US is greater (despite the separation of church and state).

Also worth pointing out, I don't see a lot of the talk against religion as disrespectful. As I posted elsewhere, one has to realise that when criticising religion, all people are doing is delivering rational critique, ridicule and satire in the same manner that everybody else does when it comes to every other topic available to us, and hope that people have the requisite mental capacity to deal with that as they would in those other topics (this to me, is nothing but a mark of respect). People who scream about intolerance and lack of respect must recognise hypocrisy whenever they use these tools elsewhere.

Before 9/11 happened everyone walked on eggshells when it came to religion, it was given too much undeserved respect and I think what happened that day is partly down to a worldview that saw religious criticism as taboo.

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Re: The English and God

Postby the hanging monkey » 19 Oct 2011, 10:42

The Dríver wrote:But that's the point that was made earlier - tarring with the same brush.

Do you think that all Christians condone that sort of thing? Of course they don't. Do you think that all Catholics condone it? Of course they don't. Do you think most of them respect what's fine on there? No. is anyone going to think that that is what being a Christian is about? No.

Aside from which, my point was about respecting individuals and their beliefs, not religious denominations.


Of course I don't think all Christians condone that, but where did the church's power to behave in that way come from? Someone must have supported them. Do you not think atheists, or indeed anyone else, are justifiably angry over this?

And I have no problem with respecting theists, although not all theists I might add. The trouble is that many theists see a criticism of their beliefs, which are fair game IMO, as a personal attack. Why should beliefs be respected? We're back to special pleading again.

Feel free to attack atheism, and I'll defend it, but I'm not insulted by it.
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Re: The English and God

Postby Qube » 19 Oct 2011, 10:43

The Dríver wrote:But that's the point that was made earlier - tarring with the same brush.

Do you think that all Christians condone that sort of thing? Of course they don't. Do you think that all Catholics condone it? Of course they don't. Do you think most of them respect what's fine on there? No. is anyone going to think that that is what being a Christian is about? No.

Aside from which, my point was about respecting individuals and their beliefs, not religious denominations.


You have to separate the individual from the belief. Criticising Christianity is not the same as criticising all Christians, there are nice religious people and there are nasty religious people (and same goes for non-religious). Not all racist people are completely horrible, but I can say without hesitation that racism is an awful thing.

I respect the right to believe, but I also respect the right to criticise those beliefs and can do so in a way that is not personal.

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Re: The English and God

Postby never/ever » 19 Oct 2011, 10:51

Is there such a thing as a list of crimes perpetuated by atheists? For that matter, am I responsible for the crimes perpetuated by my ancestors in the 16th and 17th century? Or the crimes perpetuated by the government of my country?
It's a stupid discussion.
I find solace these days in faith as I am grieving...this discussion is worth having but some of the vile things thrown up by anti-religious people make me sick.
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Re: The English and God

Postby The Driver » 19 Oct 2011, 10:54

the hanging monkey wrote:And I have no problem with respecting theists, although not all theists I might add. The trouble is that many theists see a criticism of their beliefs, which are fair game IMO, as a personal attack.

That may be because that's often the way in which they are presented.

the hanging monkey wrote:Why should beliefs be respected? We're back to special pleading again.

I don't see how. It's just a way of getting along and avoiding conflict. As long as someone's personal belief isn't criminal or immoral (or both), why should it be an issue?

the hanging monkey wrote:Feel free to attack atheism, and I'll defend it, but I'm not insulted by it.

I don't feel the need to attack it at all, mate. Each to their own.
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Re: The English and God

Postby Jeemo » 19 Oct 2011, 10:56

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Belle Lettre wrote:What about the Scottish? or the Welsh? or the Irish?


Inconsequential. None of those people have any thoughts worth considering.


How very christian of you.
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Re: The English and God

Postby Footy » 19 Oct 2011, 11:01

Jeemo wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Belle Lettre wrote:What about the Scottish? or the Welsh? or the Irish?


Inconsequential. None of those people have any thoughts worth considering.


How very christian of you.


I think he's Jewish.
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Re: The English and God

Postby The Prof » 19 Oct 2011, 11:09

never/ever wrote:...some of the vile things thrown up by anti-religious people make me sick.


On here? Are you sure about that?

I mean, MickMonkey is an argumentative fucker at the best of times and Duncan was pissed

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Re: The English and God

Postby dang65 » 19 Oct 2011, 11:11

never/ever wrote:piledrive the point home that there is no God.

I took this picture the other day, of a car I was stuck behind for a couple of miles.

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Nerd atheists! They're everywhere.

I heard Frank Skinner (a Catholic) talking recently about atheism in stand-up comedy and how it's got to the point where all comedians have to include a section slagging off religion in their act, even if the rest of the show has nothing to do with religion at all. It's getting out of hand. It's all very well if you want to spend an afternoon arguing with Jehova's Witnesses who come knocking at your door, but why keep churning it all out on the Web day after day?

Seems like there are three types of people in this situation:

1. People who are religious/have faith.
2. People who don't have faith, but have no problem with people who do and don't really care about the arguments either way.
3. People who don't have faith and seem to think that they need to campaign relentlessly to stamp out all trace of religion, whatever the creed may be.

I suspect that the Type 2s are in the majority in this country - indeed it almost defines us traditionally, that we let other people believe whatever they want as long as they don't start trying to boss us around - but the Type 3s are starting to make more and more noise, to the point where they are now far more prominent than the Type 1s have been for at least a century now. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are more Type 3s. If there are then I would suggest that it signals a major shift in the national character, which is a much more important issue to me than any God-bothering activity, because what will their next target be?
Last edited by dang65 on 19 Oct 2011, 11:15, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The English and God

Postby Corporate whore » 19 Oct 2011, 11:13

the hanging monkey wrote:Dawkins disagrees with religion and he's angry? Bollocks, he's too fucking polite if anything.


Dawkins also spends a lot of time arguing with religious nutcases in the US, and I think it has lowered his tollerence for anything illogical. THis is unfortunate, because he is an excellent thinker and writer, but he lets his frustrations show.


In general hte UK has been a tollerent, somewhat agnostic country for some time now. WHat you are seeing in recent years is a reaction to the rise of fundementalism accross all communities, including the import of nut-job ideas from the states.
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Re: The English and God

Postby never/ever » 19 Oct 2011, 11:16

The Prof wrote:
never/ever wrote:...some of the vile things thrown up by anti-religious people make me sick.


On here? Are you sure about that?

I mean, MickMonkey is an argumentative fucker at the best of times and Duncan was pissed



I don't know whereabouts and I have no particular need to reread three different threads on the subject- I have no business with Hanging's issue with Davey but some comments, mostly by Duncan (drunk- yeah, great excuse!) I found offensive. No problems though, I'm a big boy and don't flounce because of one debate but I felt it at least necessary to pipe up.
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Re: The English and God

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 19 Oct 2011, 11:17

Jeemo wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Belle Lettre wrote:What about the Scottish? or the Welsh? or the Irish?


Inconsequential. None of those people have any thoughts worth considering.


How very christian of you.


Throw in the Finnish as well. Bunch of ruddy bastards!
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Re: The English and God

Postby Corporate whore » 19 Oct 2011, 11:18

dang65 wrote:Seems like there are three types of people in this situation:

1. People who are religious/have faith.
2. People who don't have faith, but have no problem with people who do and don't really care about the arguments either way.
3. People who don't have faith and seem to think that they need to campaign relentlessly to stamp out all trace of religion, whatever the creed may be.

I suspect that the Type 2s are in the majority in this country - indeed it almost defines us traditionally, that we let other people believe whatever they want as long as they don't start trying to boss us around - but the Type 3s are starting to make more and more noise, to the point where they are now far more prominent than the Type 1s have been for at least a century now. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are more Type 3s. If there are then I would suggest that it signals a major shift in the national character, which is a much more important issue to me than any God-bothering activity, because what will their next target be?


I generally agree, but would suspect that the rise in 'type 3' is a direct reaction to the rise of the influence of religion in US politices, and the way it is starting to creep into the UK.
Unlike the US, saying you are a christian will get you very few additional votes (and saying you are an Athiest won't lose you many either), but the rise of faith schools etc is worrying.
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Re: The English and God

Postby the hanging monkey » 19 Oct 2011, 11:26

The Driver wrote:That may be because that's often the way in which they are presented.


A fair point. But you have to conceed many religious people don't like their beliefs questioned at all. And you have to remember, that's all we're doing here, nobody is being killed.

The Driver wrote:As long as someone's personal belief isn't criminal or immoral (or both), why should it be an issue?


It isn't so long as beliefs remain personal. That doesn't make those beliefs true though. Qube has aleady pointed out the dangers of uncritical acceptance of doctrine, be they religious, political, economic or whatever.

And beliefs have a horrible tendency of not remaining personal. Just look at the shining moral beacon that is The Catholic Church. I could name others.

The Driver wrote:I don't feel the need to attack it at all, mate. Each to their own.


Fair enough. I feel the same, until the religious demand special treatment. Even in our relatively godless country we have faith schools, unelected religious members of parliament and a state sponsored religion off the top of my head.
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Re: The English and God

Postby the hanging monkey » 19 Oct 2011, 11:28

dang65 wrote:2. People who don't have faith, but have no problem with people who do and don't really care about the arguments either way.
3. People who don't have faith and seem to think that they need to campaign relentlessly to stamp out all trace of religion, whatever the creed may be.


There is a considerable distance between 2 and 3, you know.
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Re: The English and God

Postby The Prof » 19 Oct 2011, 11:29

2a) People who don't have faith and like to poke the religious with a poking stick.

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Re: The English and God

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 19 Oct 2011, 11:31

Qube wrote:Also worth pointing out, I don't see a lot of the talk against religion as disrespectful. As I posted elsewhere, one has to realise that when criticising religion, all people are doing is delivering rational critique, ridicule and satire in the same manner that everybody else does when it comes to every other topic available to us, and hope that people have the requisite mental capacity to deal with that as they would in those other topics (this to me, is nothing but a mark of respect). People who scream about intolerance and lack of respect must recognise hypocrisy whenever they use these tools elsewhere.

Before 9/11 happened everyone walked on eggshells when it came to religion, it was given too much undeserved respect and I think what happened that day is partly down to a worldview that saw religious criticism as taboo.


I like satire and good old fashioned debate as much as anyone. And I think religion can stand the scrutiny. I'm generally fine with it. But that said, I think mockery of religious people disguised as satire is little more than assholery. Similarly the presumption that anybody owes you and explanation of their faith goes beyond scrutiny. For the most part, I don't think meaningful scrutiny or satire can be delivered by people who have no genuine feel for the thing they intend to scrutinize or satire. Certainly that is often the case here.
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