Could it happen here?

by BurnTheShips 65 Replies latest jw friends

  • scotsman
    scotsman

    Hillary

    For example, last night I tuned into a US TV evangelist show and caught a snow-haired preacher summing up all he knew about evolution in two sentences and calling those who believe in evolution as 'stupid infidels'. Such talk would not even reach the screens in the UK, not through banning, but with a knowledge that their would not be an audeince for such tripe.

    It may not reach the terrestrial channels but the majority here have gone cable/satellite and we now have the entertaining delight's of TV evangelism in the UK. Benny Hinn is my favourite, so shameless!

    The secular turn of Western Europe could be just a short interlude before a return to what appears to be the religious default mode. I hope not but I'm not foolish enough to think the state we find ourselves in is guaranteed to continue.

  • BurnTheShips
    BurnTheShips
    Hi Burn. That's not the case. I'm an atheist, but I will not rule out the possibility there is a God. I merely have no specific belief in one myself.

    Wouldn't that be more of a nontheist position? Or perhaps agnostic?

    Burn

  • funkyderek
    funkyderek

    BurnTheShips:

    All atheists affirm that no God or gods exist.

    No they don't. Most atheists merely deny that there is any reason to believe in gods, and that given the complete lack of evidence for the existence of gods it is highly unlikely that any exist.

    They reject theism. That idea ties every atheist together, if they do not hold this idea, they are not atheist

    True by definition. An atheist is someone who is not a theist. That's not a common belief, it's a common lack of belief. Calling it a belief is like calling "non-Mexican" a nationality. (Non-Mexicans are not from Mexico. That fact ties every non-Mexican together, if they do not come from a country other than Mexico, they are not non-Mexican.)

    I repeat, atheism ties all atheists together. All atheists are atheist.

    Pointless truism. (All non-Mexicans are non-Mexicans.)

    All theists affirm that a God or gods exist. They reject atheism. That idea ties every theist together, if they do not hold this idea, they are not theists.

    This makes sense and actually passes the "Mexican test." (All Mexicans come from Mexico. They reject non-Mexicanism. That fact ties every Mexican together, if they are not from Mexico, they are not Mexicans.)

    Sheesh, you just don't get it do you?

    I'm not sure I do either. Some totalitarian regimes have banned religion. You seem to be worried that anyone who rejects religion will try to form a totalitarian regime on that basis. Obviously that's not it, you're not that stupid. Alternatively, you may be confusing the desires of individual people with acts of government, and somehow trying to equate somebody preferring to see religion go the way of alchemy, with governments burning churches. Again, I'd prefer to think you were smarter than that, but I'm struggling to see your point.

  • serotonin_wraith
    serotonin_wraith

    As I said, people's thoughts cannot be forced to change. Preventing religious actions is not the same as getting inside someone's mind and forcing them to stop believing something. It can't be done. No amount of forcing could get you to stop believing the Earth is round. Mind trickery could work perhaps, but not forcing.

    Atheism is NOT the same as anti-theism, which is the most you could claim about Cuba's policies.

    There are theists who feel religion is dangerous too. Some can't wait to see most religions bite the dust. The JWs, extremist Muslims, etc. It's possible to be a theist and want organized religion outlawed.

    Then there are atheists who don't believe in a god, but who will defend religions because they feel they are useful to society. Anti-theism does not follow from atheism.

    And I still don't know of one thing all theists believe. There's no belief that ties every theist together. Nothing . But that would be nonsense.

    A god perhaps? Duh...

    Ah, you go on to say that.

    As the poster above, I don't reject the idea of a god. I just see no good reason to believe. It's like the loch ness monster. I don't believe in that, but if I had a good reason to believe in it, I would. I don't reject the idea outright or say 'there definitely is no loch ness monster!'

    So again, there's nothing that all atheists believe. The thing that ties all non believers in the loch ness monster together is the term 'non believers in the loch ness monster'. The description says nothing about what non believers in the loch ness monster actually believe, or what their attitude to believers is. I'm sure many non believers find it useful for tourism.

  • BurnTheShips
    BurnTheShips
    I would say that the clergy are sealing their own fate given all the freaking rah-rah that so many of them have given GWB in spite of his administration having an underlying spirit of secrecy, thuggery, and arrogance - not exactly the most Christian of virtues. They shall inherit the wind.

    This fundamentalism is the backlash (and result due to modern communications) against modernism.

  • 5go
    5go
    I personally think that the anti-Islamic backlash will be the spark that touches off something big, to be sure.

    I would think so seeing as I am seeing some solders and their wives converting to Islam.

    Islam is doing more to turn people away from religion than gladiators. People watch such fanaticism and realise that all religions at some level damage people's minds and ability to be rational.

    BTW gladiators thrived under the Christians the fad wained later on after the roman empire fell apart. A lot of people a comparing beliefs and past history and seeing Islam isn't that bad compared with Christianity's past. Which is why there are more successful now than christians at converting people. Which is still a reason why it is the fastest growing major religion in the world. Even though a certain group can't admit it.

    According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Christian Database as of 2007 estimated the six fastest growing religions of the world to be Islam (1.84%), the Bahá'í Faith (1.7%), Sikhism (1.62%), Jainism (1.57%), Hinduism (1.52%), and Christianity (1.32%). High birth rates were cited as the reason for the growth
  • hillary_step
    hillary_step

    Burn,

    That is a bit of a misdirection. I have not talked about the banning or repression of any of these things, but of the banning of external (and also internal in many cases) spiritual expression of the religious type as what happened in Soviet Russia. They did not ban art, or poetry, or any of the things you describe. Instead they used these in the service of the state. There were Soviet artists, musicians, etc. Please don't muddy the waters, you know very well what I am talking about. They were removing what was spiritual in the religious sense and also directly working to extirpate any theistic belief in the populace.

    You are wrong about my point being a misdirection. On the contrary, it is my posts that have remained focused on your original points, and myself who has had to realign your points which seem to be all over the place.

    I have, among others, repeatedly attempted to help you understand that destroying the edifices of religion cannot destroy the ideology that created them and that exists beyond the visible. In fact where religion is concerned, such outward show of persecution only serves to strengthen the resolve of the religious. Cults and high control religions actually rely on this fact for growth.

    So, let me ask you again plainly, for you seem to shy away from answering this question which lies at the very essence of your thread : Does the banning of a religion equate to the destruction of its ideology?

    If your answer is 'yes', then you need to provide some sort of basis for explaining why. If you agree with me that 'no' is the answer, then the point of your thread is moot.

    Please don't muddy the waters, you know very well what I am talking about. They were removing what was spiritual in the religious sense and also directly working to extirpate any theistic belief in the populace.

    Burn, the waters are not being muddied by anyone but yourself, as your irrelevant comments regarding the indegenous peoples of the Aztec nations evidence. Spirtuality is not the exclusive domain of religions. The Communist manifestos and its philosophers in the late C19th all paid heed to this fact.

    The USSR was NOT removing what was spiritual from religion, as this is not possible. Ideologies cannot be destroyed by force, unless genocide is used. Please note that this has been my committed, unwavering and consistent point throughout this thread. You however, seem to be floating with the winds of the hour. ;)

    HS

  • BurnTheShips
    BurnTheShips
    No they don't. Most atheists merely deny that there is any reason to believe in gods, and that given the complete lack of evidence for the existence of gods it is highly unlikely that any exist.

    I still think a better term should be used to describe that idea than "atheist". Atheism to me is a belief in nonexistence. It is an assertion on an object (god). There are other terms that are not confusing that could be (and are) used to describe what you state above. Like agnosticism, or nontheism.

    True by definition. An atheist is someone who is not a theist. That's not a common belief, it's a common lack of belief. Calling it a belief is like calling "non-Mexican" a nationality. (Non-Mexicans are not from Mexico. That fact ties every non-Mexican together, if they do not come from a country other than Mexico, they are not non-Mexican.)

    All non-Jews are gentiles. Non-jewishness is a thing, with a name. It is a set.

    I'm not sure I do either. Some totalitarian regimes have banned religion. You seem to be worried that anyone who rejects religion will try to form a totalitarian regime on that basis. Obviously that's not it, you're not that stupid. Alternatively, you may be confusing the desires of individual people with acts of government, and somehow trying to equate somebody preferring to see religion go the way of alchemy, with governments burning churches. Again, I'd prefer to think you were smarter than that, but I'm struggling to see your point.

    I am not saying that anyone that rejects religion will try to form a totalitarian regime, just like saying that anyone who accepts a religion will do the same. I am not confusing the desires of individual people with acts of government. The point of this thread is this, if enough people hold a desire, they can act in concert to effect it, even violently. A lot of rhetoric I hear from the atheist side sounds violent, strident, and militant to my ears. This is a fair discussion. A lot of theists sound violent also, I hardly need to mention examples. It so happens that there are brutal repressive theocracies. There are brutal repressive "atheocracies" also. It is a valid point of discussion. Some comments here are that there are too many believers in the US or other western nations for this to happen, or that there is no point in discussing the subject since the pendulum seems to be swinging too far in the opposite direction under the influence of certain fundamentalist groups, especially in the US.

    Could it happen here?

    Sounds paranoid? Maybe. But it has happened, so it is possible. Could it happen here? That is what I wanted to discuss. I used Soviet Russia as an example, which launched into what spirituality and atheism properly are.

    Burn

  • hamilcarr
    hamilcarr

    Let's face the reality of American communism in the 21st century:

    Opinion / Religion, faith and communism

    “The divisions of Christianity are no longer Protestant verses Catholic but conservative verses liberal.” – Belief.net

    When I worked at SEIU (the Service Employees union) with the various groups that use the union’s call center in the weeks before the elections, I met and was uplifted by many Catholics — a nun in particular — Jews and Protestants, all working with groups endorsing women’s right to choose, gay and lesbian rights, and the class struggle. I also witnessed Communists, Young Communist Leaguers especially, working shoulder to shoulder with them.

    We need to build up more alliances with all people of all religions.

    When I worked at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quaker headquarters for the Friends in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware area), I got to work with other “historic peace churches”: the Brethren, Shakers, Mennonites and other denominations, even those who were not called “historic peace churches” but who felt that this Iraq war is wrong.

    I personally felt led to bring into the Communist Party three friends who are active in their faiths, one a Quaker, another who is the pastor of the United Church of Christ, and the third a Jehovah’s Witness — all thee had expressed an interest in the party. We all need to confront the myth that communism is anti-religion. Communism is not anti-religion — it is anti-opulence.
    God doesn’t need gold and silver, the poor do.

    When I speak with religious folks who are conservative and who claim to be “right to life,” I ask myself and them: “How does one reconcile ‘right to life” with U.S. involvement in senseless slaughter? How can one profess to be ‘for life’ yet sanction this war?”

    I came to the Communist Party because of my deep Quaker faith. I have become convinced (a Quaker expression) of the “rightness” of Marxism.

    I am guided by John Woolman (1720-1772), Quaker and abolitionist, Mount Holly Friends Meeting, Mt. Holly, N.J., who said, “I shall set my face against all policies and practices that may cause the bread of the needy to fail.”

    And I think of Anna White and Leila S. Taylor, of the North Family of Shakers, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., who wrote in 1902, “The Rights of Labor should never be infringed by Monopoly or Capital, for all should work for each and each should work for all.”

    Finally, I’d like to quote the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated in El Salvador: “The church cannot but act when it hears the cries of the oppressed.”


    Michael Reale is a network administrator for the Communist Party USA. He can be reached at [email protected]

    Source: http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/6178/1/242

    Could it happen here? No!

  • Eyes Open
    Eyes Open
    Hi Burn. That's not the case. I'm an atheist, but I will not rule out the possibility there is a God. I merely have no specific belief in one myself.

    Wouldn't that be more of a nontheist position? Or perhaps agnostic?

    Burn

    I define myself as a weak atheist.

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