cuchulain

The Atheist Evangalist

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28 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

I don't think its possible to respect something you dislike or hate. 

It is possible. I respect a lot of people that I don't like. I respect the military, but I don't like it.

"no one should tolerate terror" This is like saying that no one should tolerate hurricanes. There are things beyond our control which have negative impacts on our lives. Unless you think you can magically make terror disappear, your only real choice is to either learn how to tolerate it or let it destroy you. Part of that involves learning ways to mitigate the damage it does to you. Part of that is learning how to mitigate the damage you cause when you react to it.

Edited by mererdog

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7 minutes ago, mererdog said:

It is possible. I respect a lot of people that I don't like. I respect the military, but I don't like it.

"no one should tolerate terror" This is like saying that no one should tolerate hurricanes. There are things beyond our control which have negative impacts on our lives. Unless you think you can magically make terror disappear, your only real choice is to either learn how to tolerate it or let it destroy you. Part of that involves learning way to mitigate the damage it can do to you. Part of it is learning how to mitigate the damage you cause when you react to it.

If you can respect people you hate, your a better man than me !   If someone worships a rock, I accept their right, but I don't respect what they're doing because I think its nuts.  Likewise, people here accept that I believe a 2000 year old book about a 'mean' God, but I  certainly don't expect them to respect something they personally despise.  Tolerating my choice is sufficient.

A hurricane is natural phenomenon that must be tolerated because you can't kill a hurricane, but you can kill a terrorist.  That's a sure-fire way to mitigate the damages  :).  If your neighbor wants to sacrifice your dog to their gods, do you really think 'your only real choice is to either learn how to tolerate it or let it destroy you.'

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  There are many who feel a need to speak what they see as the truth.  While some attempt this to be helpful, others do not.  I won't point any fingers,  or hurl accusations.  

   All that I, or any of us can do is act Hopefully, and reach out to those who need us to.  This would include those who wish to hear about our beliefs, and those who need help in their struggles with real life.

Edited by scottedward

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11 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

If you can respect people you hate, your a better man than me !

I can't think of a single person I hate. As for killing a terrorist, that is not the same as killing terror. You can kill every terrorist who has ever lived and there will still be terror and there will still be new terrorists. The same is true for any kind of crime. To live in this world that is full of crime requires that you tolerate crime to at least some degree. Otherwise you would (at the very least)  spend your every waking moment loudly complaining, and that really does no one any good.

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55 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

If you can respect people you hate, your a better man than me!\

imo

I believe that some only choose to hate someone or a people because they've been told they're supposed to.  In this case, not having respect (which often has to be earned, anyway) is what they use as a cause (or personal justification) for their hate.  It has to be done, because hatred can be suggested or inspired by another person, but it can't be engineered.  It's only superficial.

Edited by scottedward

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I think Respect and hate are two very different things. I got into a taxi the other night . The driver started to talk about Ramadan and how wonderful Islam is and would not stop talking even when I got to my destination.  I do not respect his preaching to me . I never asked for it or wanted it but he was driving and you kinda do not want to get into a dispute with someone who has your journey and safety in his hands. I do not respect the man for this but then again I do not hate him. 

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Pascal's wager never worked for me.  Firstly, the what if I am right argument swings so many ways when there are so many religions.  True, you can pick one like on the roulette wheel and hope that you pick right.  But If there is an all powerful all knowing and all loving God out there who wants us all to follow his path, there are clearly many better ways to go about that.  And if I as a mere mortal can figure out better ways, well...a being that claims omnipotence should be able to one up me at the least.  Beyond that, like I said, how do you pick the right faith?  The only reliable form of picking I have come across and so have chosen is logic, and logic leaves every single faith I have put up against it lying in the dust.  But that is ME, of course.  I wouldn't presume to pick for someone else.  An atheistic evangelist probably would try to do that, by showing that all faiths are false, or not falsifiable, or some such.  That is their decision and path, in my opinion, and they are entitled to try to turn others away from what they view as the wrong path, just as Christian and Muslim and whatever other evangelists try to turn people away from what THEY see as the wrong path.  That's the choice that any evangelist makes, that they have a line on the truth and would prefer for whatever reason to share that truth.

I respect other faiths.  Sometimes I fail at that, but I try to respect other faiths.  It is almost always when someone comes along and says I am going to hell for not believing exactly like they do that the respect goes away.  But that isn't about their belief, rather about their arrogance.  My hope lies in the future of humanity, and so I am a humanist at least in so far as that goes.  I believe that we as people can take our brightest minds, our most useful thinkers, and come up with something better.  Pick anything, and it can be made better if people as individuals and as a whole try hard enough.  Might not happen in my lifetime, but things get better little by little as long as we have the hope to seek out something just a little bit better.  Little bits add up, over time, to big bits.  

So back to respect?  I respect any belief that doesn't try to drag me down into hell for all eternity because I disagree that God is really three beings but also one being at the same time and if I eat pork I am doomed.  You know what I'm saying?  Any faith, any religion, has the capacity of bringing about positivity through its followers, if they make the choice to take that positivity in the world they live in and try to make things better.  West Borough baptists?  Nope, I don't respect them.  They go places and all they ever do that I have seen is nay say.  Lot's of Christians like to nay say, and Muslims, and Pagans, and whatever else, because Nay is something that is easy to say, easy to do and leads to very little failure on a personal level, as well as very little personal responsibility.  Lot's of preachers out there get by with messages of hate and anger and fear...I think it's because it draws a crowd to see someone pointing out other people's faults.  Not certain about that, but it seems to be my experience so far.  

So to the topic of this thread:  Why does an atheist get judged differently than any other religion, and I mean ANY...Satanists get a better rap than atheists, even when they are evangelizing.  I think they should get the same treatment.  I have seen billboards by Christians that were entirely negative, from a secular point of view.  But put something up from an atheist about positive Christmas not requiring God, and it gets slammed in the news.  

I guess my overall message boils down to accepting the message for what it is instead of the stigma attached to it.  If the message is go out and have a good Christmas and be happy with your family, why criticize that?  Sure, it might say you don't have to have God to do that, but guess what?  You DON'T.  You can celebrate Christmas as an atheist, or a pagan, or anything else, and focus on positivity with friends and family, WITHOUT GOD being involved at all.  I have done it often.  That's just the one example I can think of off hand, but there are so many things in this world that we can do in the name of humanity instead of God, or in the name of God even, so long as it's being done and leading to a better future or now.  I volunteer my time in my community frequently, though not daily.  I pick up trash, it's simple.  I get a trash bag, and walk down the road and pick up for a while till I am tired, then I throw the trash away where it belongs instead of on the road.  That's the simplest thing I do.  I have volunteered at churches in the area that like to set up a day of the month for free meals to those in need.  I don't agree with them religiously, but it doesn't hurt me to enter the building and help my community, you know?  I don't catch on fire.  I have helped with clothing drives, and various other projects in the area.  Sometimes I help with other people, who are invariably religious.  They don't mind that I am not.  At least not at first.  Sometimes they get frustrated and kick me out when I won't convert.  That's a loss to the community, but I can find other places that are accepting.  Ah...I have caught myself ranting.  

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8 hours ago, mererdog said:

I can't think of a single person I hate.

 

7 hours ago, scottedward said:

imo

I believe that some only choose to hate someone or a people because they've been told they're supposed to.   It's only superficial.

Like I said, your both better men than me.... Or your extreme pacifist?  Imagine a terrorist decapitating your mother with a dull knife and then tell me your incapable of hate or that its just superficial..  Hate is an emotional response to evil, and hate usually generates a response. 

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10 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

Like I said, your both better men than me.... Or your extreme pacifist?  Imagine a terrorist decapitating your mother with a dull knife and then tell me your incapable of hate or that its just superficial..  Hate is an emotional response to evil, and hate usually generates a response. 

IMO
Excuse me, Dan. 
Hate is generated as an emotional response when a person or thing causes you pain or discomfort.  It is the mind's way of protecting oneself.  I will not imagine my mother's decapitation with a dull knife, because I'm not nuts.  Nor am I searching for a reason to hate.  Terrorists are unique because their lives suck, regardless.  They tend to hate everybody and everything.  Islamic extremism gives their hate the focus they need to keep from butchering the neighborhood.   

Hate is a hopeless emotion.  It has this tag because it only leads to suffering. 
I tend to focus on that of The Hopeful.

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13 hours ago, Dan56 said:

Imagine a terrorist decapitating your mother with a dull knife

 Hate is a cultivated response, not an automatic one. In order to hate, you have to dwell in the negative. To live uncomforted by forgiveness. That is just not how I live. I see how hate can motivate a degree of positive change from time to time, but for the most part it just turns people into monsters who can't stop hating even when the source of their hate is long dead. Why be part of the problem? Did Jesus command that you are to hate your enemy? Or do you only listen to Jesus when he asks for easy stuff?

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15 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

Like I said, your both better men than me.... Or your extreme pacifist?  Imagine a terrorist decapitating your mother with a dull knife and then tell me your incapable of hate or that its just superficial..  Hate is an emotional response to evil, and hate usually generates a response. 

Hate is an emotional REACTION, not response.  There is a large difference between response and reaction, my friend.

Beyond such, I tend to attempt to deal in reality.  Sometimes I fail.  I do not see a purpose in imagining my mother being decapitated by a terrorist with a dull knife at present, and so I do not imagine such being the case.  Imagination can be a dangerous weapon when used in such a manner.  For instance, I could imagine all sorts of things, such as Christian revolutionaries decapitating my mother with a dull knife.  I could imagine that you convert from Christianity into Satanism, or any number of other irrational things.  The imagination is not useful in this context as it has no basis in reality.

Edited by cuchulain

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50 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

Hate is an emotional REACTION, not response.  There is a large difference between response and reaction, my friend.

Beyond such, I tend to attempt to deal in reality.  Sometimes I fail.  I do not see a purpose in imagining my mother being decapitated by a terrorist with a dull knife at present, and so I do not imagine such being the case.  Imagination can be a dangerous weapon when used in such a manner.  For instance, I could imagine all sorts of things, such as Christian revolutionaries decapitating my mother with a dull knife.  I could imagine that you convert from Christianity into Satanism, or any number of other irrational things.  The imagination is not useful in this context as it has no basis in reality.

I agree, and even suggesting the decapitation without rhyme or reason behind it--with little to no context-- greatly weakens Dan's point.  Call us pacifists or don't, it doesn't matter.  Ignoring ones desire to be vengeful takes far more strength than it might take to use the dull blade.  I choose to be Hopeful.

Edited by scottedward

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6 hours ago, scottedward said:

IMO
Excuse me, Dan. 
Hate is generated as an emotional response when a person or thing causes you pain or discomfort.  It is the mind's way of protecting oneself.  I will not imagine my mother's decapitation with a dull knife, because I'm not nuts.  Nor am I searching for a reason to hate.  Terrorists are unique because their lives suck, regardless.  They tend to hate everybody and everything.  Islamic extremism gives their hate the focus they need to keep from butchering the neighborhood.   

Hate is a hopeless emotion.  It has this tag because it only leads to suffering. 
I tend to focus on that of The Hopeful.

You don't need to imagine your own mother losing her head, but can't you have compassion and sympathize with innocent people who suffer such a fate? You don't need to search for a reason to hate, these murders are actually happening.  Its difficult for me to fathom how your understanding goes to the 'unique terrorist' because their lives suck! For me, the abuse excuse doesn't work, they are butchering neighborhoods. The only hopeless emotion is pretending it doesn't happen, and refusing to acknowledge that hate is a natural reaction towards those causing all the suffering.

3 hours ago, mererdog said:

 Hate is a cultivated response, not an automatic one. In order to hate, you have to dwell in the negative. To live uncomforted by forgiveness. That is just not how I live. I see how hate can motivate a degree of positive change from time to time, but for the most part it just turns people into monsters who can't stop hating even when the source of their hate is long dead. Why be part of the problem? Did Jesus command that you are to hate your enemy? Or do you only listen to Jesus when he asks for easy stuff?

When I witness innocent people being decapitated, burned alive, thrown off buildings, etc, my response is not cultivated, its automatic.  Loving your enemy is not voluntarily subjecting yourself to their abuse, and praying for your enemies is not wishing them good fortune and success. Just as God  chastens and scourges those he loves (Hebrews 12:6), and just as a parent disciplines a child they love, loving your enemies entails  correcting and addressing the harm they're causing. Doing nothing is not love, its saying; "I don't care".

1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Hate is an emotional REACTION, not response.  There is a large difference between response and reaction, my friend.

Beyond such, I tend to attempt to deal in reality.  Sometimes I fail.  I do not see a purpose in imagining my mother being decapitated by a terrorist with a dull knife at present, and so I do not imagine such being the case.  Imagination can be a dangerous weapon when used in such a manner.  For instance, I could imagine all sorts of things, such as Christian revolutionaries decapitating my mother with a dull knife.  I could imagine that you convert from Christianity into Satanism, or any number of other irrational things.  The imagination is not useful in this context as it has no basis in reality.

My intent wasn't for anyone to actually imagine their mother being killed, it was to demonstrate that those who claim that hate is negative and is never warranted, are themselves capable of hate... But I was wrong... Its a little sad to me that you can't get angry unless you or your family is a direct victim of violence. What does it take to get your dander up? Imo, pacifism perpetuates  and emboldens violence. Refusing to imagine that nothing bad could ever happen to you wasn't my point, my point was that hate is a natural response to decapitations in general, which are in fact, based in reality.    

Edited by Dan56

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31 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

You don't need to imagine your own mother losing her head, but can't you have compassion and sympathize with innocent people who suffer such a fate? You don't need to search for a reason to hate, these murders are actually happening.  Its difficult for me to fathom how your understanding goes to the 'unique terrorist' because their lives suck! For me, the abuse excuse doesn't work, they are butchering neighborhoods. The only hopeless emotion is pretending it doesn't happen, and refusing to acknowledge that hate is a natural reaction towards those causing all the suffering.

When I witness innocent people being decapitated, burned alive, thrown off buildings, etc, my response is not cultivated, its automatic.  Loving your enemy is not voluntarily subjecting yourself to their abuse, and praying for your enemies is not wishing them good fortune and success. Just as God  chastens and scourges those he loves (Hebrews 12:6), and just as a parent disciplines a child they love, loving your enemies entails  correcting and addressing the harm they're causing. Doing nothing is not love, its saying; "I don't care".

My intent wasn't for anyone to actually imagine their mother being killed, it was to demonstrate that those who claim that hate is negative and is never warranted, are themselves capable of hate... But I was wrong... Its a little sad to me that you can't get angry unless you or your family is a direct victim of violence. What does it take to get your dander up? Imo, pacifism perpetuates  and emboldens violence. Refusing to imagine that nothing bad could ever happen to you wasn't my point, my point was that hate is a natural response to decapitations that are based in reality.    

Sir, it is possible to feel sympathy for the victims without perpetuating the problem with hate toward the transgressors, and I never suggested that we 'do nothing'.  I'll thank you very much for not putting words into my mouth.  I never suggested that we 'love our enemies'.  All I've said was that we not hate them.   hopeless?  Really?  I don't appreciate that you've used my own words to hammer your point home, and I also  never suggested that we pretend it doesn't happen. 

Chill out, Dan. 

Edited by scottedward

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Dan, you are right that loving your enemy can involve things like correcting them. Loving your enemy cannot, however, involve hating them. The goal of a hate-filled heart is to destroy the subject of the hatred. Nothing else. Hate doesn't try to save the lost sheep. It doesn't even know how to spell "grace". But it feels so good when you're all wrapped up in it, so who cares if it's bad for you, eh?

Edited by mererdog

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5 hours ago, Dan56 said:

but can't you have compassion and sympathize with innocent people who suffer such a fate?

I never said I hadn't. 

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Hate begets hate.  I do not hate those who commit such crimes, and that does NOT mean I invite them to commit such against me.  In fact, the point that I do not hate them might make them open their minds in an attempt to understand us.  It might not, but not hating them certainly doesn't cause harm.  I can certainly empathize with people who have suffered.  It does not matter what they have suffered, I can empathize.  I have heard repeatedly that I cannot possibly understand what someone is going through because I am not going through that particular piece of tragedy.  I do not buy it.  I may not feel the same depth of emotion that they do, but I can certainly rationally and emotionally process what they are suffering.  When I hate, the violence continues.  What does hate lead to that is positive, Dan?  Seriously, you are advocating HATE.  That is something I cannot get behind.

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10 hours ago, scottedward said:

Sir, it is possible to feel sympathy for the victims without perpetuating the problem with hate toward the transgressors, and I never suggested that we 'do nothing'.  I'll thank you very much for not putting words into my mouth.  I never suggested that we 'love our enemies'.  All I've said was that we not hate them.   hopeless?  Really?  I don't appreciate that you've used my own words to hammer your point home, and I also  never suggested that we pretend it doesn't happen. 

Chill out, Dan. 

I never put those words in your mouth,   my comments regarding "love our enemies" was my answer to mererdog, who brought the bible reference up,  and my "do nothing"  remark was also a separate answer to his post, not yours.  No offense intended, if you don't think hate or anger are viable emotions, then by all means, don't hate anyone.  I just think that they are necessary emotions and a natural part of the human psyche. 

5 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Hate begets hate.  I do not hate those who commit such crimes, and that does NOT mean I invite them to commit such against me.  In fact, the point that I do not hate them might make them open their minds in an attempt to understand us.  It might not, but not hating them certainly doesn't cause harm.  I can certainly empathize with people who have suffered.  It does not matter what they have suffered, I can empathize.  I have heard repeatedly that I cannot possibly understand what someone is going through because I am not going through that particular piece of tragedy.  I do not buy it.  I may not feel the same depth of emotion that they do, but I can certainly rationally and emotionally process what they are suffering.  When I hate, the violence continues.  What does hate lead to that is positive, Dan?  Seriously, you are advocating HATE.  That is something I cannot get behind.

Do you really think that not hating Islamic terrorist will open their minds and cause them to try and understand us?  They aren't killing us because we don't hate them, they're killing us because they hate us.. I seriously doubt that brown nosing them will instigate a favorable response. Hate leads to action, and action is often necessary for self-preservation. 

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Read John 4 lately Dan? It kinda looks like the Bible is calling you a liar...

Edited by mererdog

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6 hours ago, Dan56 said:

I never put those words in your mouth,   my comments regarding "love our enemies" was my answer to mererdog, who brought the bible reference up,  and my "do nothing"  remark was also a separate answer to his post, not yours.  No offense intended, if you don't think hate or anger are viable emotions, then by all means, don't hate anyone.  I just think that they are necessary emotions and a natural part of the human psyche.

This is nothing new for me.  Honestly.  My suggested way of approaching things has been criticized a time or two before.  Twice before it had to be pointed out that I've never implied we do nothing, or that we confront the person with a knife and attempt to 'hug it out'.  All I've ever said is that hate is a hopeless emotion, and it will only lead to additional suffering.  We can take the steps to protect ourselves without hatred acting as our emotional 5-Hour-Energy.  It takes strength to do what might be necessary, but neither your deity or mine will give us said strength if it leads to additional suffering.  We can hurt others without help, and we can cause them great pain or sorrow, but it will not be because our creator wished for it. 

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