I understand there are people who politically you want to fight to keep out of politics or affecting public policy in a way that affects you.
I agree with that.
But, I’m not one of them. Your neighbor isn’t one of them.
There’s also a good chance that most of the people new atheists are arguing with aren’t doing this either.
I’m not denying anybody free speech. I’m exercising my own by saying this:
The closest thing you could say might be that I’m, more or less, a secular humanist. I’m not atheist. Secular. I’m more-or-less humanist but that’s not strictly true either. It’s broader than that and doesn’t depend quite so much on our reasoning capabilities but also our emotive and social capabilities.
So, civility. Neighborly: See: Mr Rogers.
Am I saying you’re doing it wrong? Yes. Am I denying you the right to be angry about big politicians and expressing your anger in my direction on the ‘net? No.
But if you’re going into battle, know thy enemy, lest you attack your own from within and destroy your own kind through infighting…. if I must use a war metaphor.
I’m not at war. I watch to see who is striving to get into political power. I *also know* that the checks and balances system is VERY VERY powerful and frankly, it works.
But I’m not an enemy because I find Dawkins + company generally the opposite of inspirational and instead see war-mongers stirring up hatred against fellow man based upon pitting beliefs against beliefs.
I’m just not the warring type.. at least, not group war because primarily,
I’m an individualist.
I read something from Hitchens the other day. He had written a tale of religious history.
All I thought is: What planet did he arrive from? It’s not that an argument couldn’t be made that he could _possibly_ be seen as perhaps partially not even wrong. I mean, it could, he did it, he said it and people believe its true.
But it was the _strangest_ tale I ever read. Planet Zygon somewhere.
None taken. I was speaking in general of a movement, not speaking of you in particular. I also poked fun at Hitchens as seeming to come from another planet, not db
I don’t know your intentions personally. That’s why we’re talking. I bring up what I think, you bring up what you think, and somewhere between the two of us we hopefully get a better understanding of each other’s point of view.
Food for thought: If my criticism of Hitchen’s description of religious history is viewed as a personal attack on you, this is what I mean by new atheist heroes.
it seems you are defending your hero by taking his stead. “If you attack him, you attack me”
But I could be mistaken, so I bring up my prejudice exposed here so you can correct me.
Well, I will be counting on you to fight for me then. I have battles I fight but this isn’t my battle.
So I’ll be counting on you to represent me in battle. No sarcasm intended here. I mean it.
Just know: I’m not your enemy because I don’t want to join you in battle against whoever you’re battling with.
You want to be a part of a movement to change society, I’m fine with that.
But remember the old slogan, “He who is not for us, is against us?”
Well, I’m not for new atheism. I’m for free thought. I’m for human secularism. I’m against extremism. Period. Extremism.
So, our values overlap surprisingly much.
I’m not “for new atheism”. But I’m not against atheism or ANYthing people want to believe/not believe.
But just because I’m not cheering for your heroes doesn’t make me an enemy.
But I sure feel like one sometimes. Of course, I invite trouble by criticizing in the first place, so I got what I asked for I suppose smile emoticon
I’m not saying let it go.
I’m saying shift the battlefront to where it’s effective.
What’s fighting me accomplishing?
My views are more similar to Sagan than to Dawkins/Hitchens/Maher/Harris that’s all.
Fighting me because I criticize the heroes is called in-fighting.
I’m saying that because I’m not going to bat for new atheism doesn’t mean I’m on the opposing team.
That’s your belief. I won’t sway you from it.
I see humans as far more complicated than that, especially humans in political power and positions of responsibility.
I’ve seen few “true believers” in my life, once you prick beneath the public rhetoric. But I can’t sway you. Go forward with your beliefs, Michael.
I’m also a hypocrite, Michael. Also, I hold mutually contradictory opinions at any given time about many subjects, not this mere singular topic.
Did I paint with too broad of a brush?
Yes, I did.
Why did I do it?
To see who responds and have a discussion to try to ascertain if I was seen as “friend” or “enemy” and by whom and why.
I also stand by my OP as well as the contradictory statements I just made.
Yes. Even going back in history to Constantine and Justinian you can see it in the Eastern Roman Empire. You see a VERY strong example of in the fall of Constantinople.
In the iconoclasm of the french revolution and in the late 19th + 20th century political movements you see the same thing. Some idea that someone usurps for political gain. Territory, control, whatever they want.
Doesn’t have to be religion. Doesn’t matter what it is. Nationalism falls under the same category. So does Xenophobia. It’s why I criticize overuse of Memes so much, especially when they’re inaccurate (which most are): it’s sloganeering for a ’cause’… and causes that get into positions to affect public policy have to be watched carefully because there’s SOMEBODY riding the wave of opinion to the top and once they’re there… well… yeah.
It’s why I hate politics. Can’t get rid of it though.