Talk:Militant atheism

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So now we're using bumperstickers as sources? Maestro 00:37, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

Having read one of Dawkin's books, I can say that most of the book actually is an argument against both the existence of supernatural phenomena and against the utility of religion. Factcheck, please. --John 13:07, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Contents

I think the legal challenges to theism in the west should be mentioned in the article

I think the legal challenges to theism in the west should be mentioned in the article. Conservative 22:05, 10 September 2007 (EDT)

You mean things like banning or trying to ban public sponsorship of nativity scenes, Christmas celebrations, the Ten Commandments, "In God we trust", etc.? Good idea. Philip J. Rayment 23:00, 10 September 2007 (EDT)

untrue

Militant atheism is, by and large, a movement which became popular in the United States in the late 1980s

Where do we get this from? What about the Bolshevics and Maoists? Ungtss 21:33, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
This is actually not true purely on the basis that Karl Marx was one of the earliest promoters of Militant atheism, doing so openly in the Communist Manifesto and reminding us that the church acts as a power structure directly opposed (by its very nature) to communal living. JStein 9:45, 6 May 2008 (PDT)

Insulting

Comparing Sam Harris and the like to the Authoritarian anti-Religious communist regimes is nothing short of insulting, especially when we consider that Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins all make huge disclaimers in their books declaring they have no wish to force someone to believe what they don't want to believe. Hitchens rightly points out in his book 'God is not Great' that when religion is repressed, it goes underground and simply becomes more radical. Graham 16:39, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

The only "comparison" between those people and those regimes is that they are both "militantly atheistic". Surely on that point, they are comparable, even if not on other points. And I'm not so convinced that you are correct anyway. Despite disclaimers, I think that Dawkins, if not the others, would like to "force" his thinking on others, when he makes claims like teaching religion to children is a form of child abuse. Child abuse is something that society "forces" people to not do. Philip J. Rayment 09:51, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
I think Dawkins by and large views the teaching of one certain religion to children as child abuse. He does endorse a general religious education - how else can we understand certain works of art, for example? As for the militant bit, that sort of implies that atheist be implemented via force. None of the aforementioned atheists mentioned make that claim. Graham 10:12, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
I tried to distinguish ... suggestions welcome ... Ungtss 10:25, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Looking much better Ungtss. Thanks. Graham 10:27, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Ungtss' changes, but I think you were making too much of the word "militant". It is concerned with fighting, but not necessarily physical fighting. An on-line dictionary site gives an example of "Militant in fighting for better wages".
I'd agree that Dawkins is talking mainly about one particular religion, but that doesn't in any way negate my point. I can't imaging him agreeing to "a general religious education", unless that is referring to teaching about religion, rather than teaching religion. But if so, that's hardly what we are talking about.
In summary, then, in claiming that teaching (any) religion to children is child abuse, he is tacitly supporting the idea of forcing beliefs onto others, despite your assertions to the contrary.
Philip J. Rayment 10:57, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Well Philip, my argument initially was that comparing the likes of Dawkins to Stalin was just insulting. Dawkins never supported removing religion from public life, like Stalin did. Neither has he ever mentioned his support for measures such as removing religion from peoples lives. What he does oppose, is the systematic indoctrination of children to one particular faith, which he compares to a communist parent labeling his child a communist. Teaching religious education to children is not child abuse. Forcing a child to believe in something he or she does not have the capacity to understand or believe is child abuse. There is a difference. Why not just let children be children and allow them to make their own minds up on matters of faith when their brains are developed enough to make independant decisions? I was raised a Catholic, but prefer to call myself a Christian. I still go to Mass, on occassion, and if I ever have children that child will be brought up an atheist (Despite me being a Christian) in that, he or she will be independant of all religious doctrines until they can reach a decision to choose one of them. In other words, atheism is simply the lack of belief; you cannot force a lack of belief. In fact, its just providing options. Graham 11:19, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
interesting ... I guess I'd use the word agnostic to describe your approach ... Ungtss 11:41, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
My response to your (Graham's) argument was that Dawkins was not being compared to Stalin, except insofar as they were both militant atheists. Any further comparison was in your mind. You have not shown that to be untrue.
By referring to teaching religion to children as child abuse, Dawkins effectively is supporting the removal of religion from people's lives. Only unlike Stalin, he's not in a position of authority to do so.
Parents have a responsibility to teach their children things. Here are three possible things that you can teach your children:
  1. That God exists and that we are answerable to Him.
  2. That God doesn't exist and we are therefore not answerable to Him.
  3. That the existence of God isn't important, and that you are therefore free to decide the matter for yourselves later in life.
Which would Dawkins advocate? My guess would be either No. 2 or No. 3, and you seem to be suggesting No. 3. HOWEVER, to paraphrase you, No. 3 is "systematic indoctrination of children to one particular point of view", just as much as No. 1 is. So you haven't avoided "systematic indoctrination" of them at all. All you've done is replace it with a different systematic indoctrination.
Besides, there is an unstated assumption in your argument. Presumably children's minds are sufficiently developed to learn maths, English, geography, etc. etc. So why can't they learn about God? Because, in the minds of Dawkins (and you, it would seem), God is not true. That is, you are effectively trying to impose on others this belief, under the guise of "let them decide for themselves later".
There is a second unstated assumption in your argument. That is, that by teaching children that God is true, this is somehow "forcing" them to believe. It's not. For one thing, they still get plenty of anti-God messages through much of the rest of society, such as the government schools systems and media. For another, any decisions they make as children to believe can always be reversed later.
In summary, calling it child abuse and proposing the idea that they should learn about it when they are older is simply an atheistic tactic to impose an atheistic agenda on society. Only without the formal government backing that Stalin had available.
And calling Atheism a "lack of belief" is another atheistic tactic. Atheism is a belief that there is no God. It is, pure and simple, an unsubstantiated belief that is contrary to observation and logic. And it being the basis for a worldview without God, it is effectively a religion. So bringing your children up as atheists is to indoctrinate them in a religious view, just as surely as bringing them up with a Christian worldview.
Philip J. Rayment 11:51, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
I simply said I would give my child the right to choose. As does Dawkins. Dawkins is actually a very gentle man; He opposed the war in Iraq as well as many other violent world movements. He is a firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword - what is wrong with him expressing his opinion that religion is wrong, and teaching that to children is wrong? What my child would learn is that there are a great many faiths in the world, each of them as important as the next but each of them potentially as dangerous as the next. My child will have the right to choose his faith. Can the same be said of yours?
I can understand where you are coming from, but lets just say that you are generally apolitical. Does this mean that when raising your child you are teaching him to be apolitical also? Of course not. I'm sure even an apolitical parent would allow his child to explore different political doctrines, when he/she comes of age. The same cannot be said about religion, unfortunately.
As for teaching children maths, reading etc. - this does not require independant thought. In fact, it forms the basis for a child being able to question things and think rationally about things. Without these tools the child is unable to understand relatively basic abstract positions. I'm not sure your analogy was particularly relevant. Graham 12:39, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Is it fair to say you're not planning to so much "raise your child atheist" as "raise your child to believe whatever he or she wants?" One question: would there be bounds to what you would teach was "okay?" What if he decided to become an Al Qaeda radical Islamist? Would that be okay? What if he decided to become an animist, worshipping rocks and trees in the forest as living spirits? Would that be okay? If so, why? If not, what distinguishes which religions are "okay" from those that are "not okay?" Ungtss 12:47, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm no moral relativist. My child would know what is right and what is wrong. He would also know about the grey areas. I would teach him that sometimes whats illegal isn't always bad, such as homosexuality (illegal in my country until 1993) and Cannabis. Most importantly, I would teach my child to think for himself. If he feels so strongly about something like that, I would support him. If he was going to blow up a building to prove some great point to Allah, I would report him to the security services and disown him as a son. Graham 12:53, 25 September 2007 (EDT) <--Bet you didn't see that coming
I'm not setting any traps:)! I'm just curious about how your approach would work in practice. For instance, if he asked, "Why is it wrong to steal?" what would you say? Or if he asked "Why is it okay to be a Jew and okay to be a homosexual when Leviticus says homosexuality is wrong?" What would you say? I don't have an agenda here -- I just don't understand how your system would work in the "hard cases" ... What if he asked why it was "wrong" to blow up buildings? Ungtss 13:21, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
The hard questions eh... How does a religious person answer them differently? How does a religious person react to a child asking how its wrong to blow a building up?

I would sit down and explain to my child why it would be wrong to blow a building up. I would tell him, that since he wants to live, he needs to respect other peoples right to live. If everyone thought it was okay to respect their right to live, but not others, we would be shooting everyone on the streets. I would tell him that the best way round it is to treat other people how he would treat himself, ironically a fundamental basic of Christianity. There is a secular rationale behind this however, as if we all treat each other with respect, then we in turn will be granted respect. I would teach my son basically to live his life in a way that would guarantee self-interest. Not killing people is an example of that. Giving to others is also an example to that. Most importantly I would teach my child to learn for himself. People think over the abstractions of moral absolutism too much. How do we know to be good? Good has evolved throughout time - the ancient Spartans thought it was a good thing to have sex with their young sons. That is of course despicable in our eyes. Morals need to evolve, and need to be based on what is best for everyone. Graham 13:29, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Interesting ... I think I agree for the most part. I think I'd explain all the different points of view (we do good because it's the best thing for us, we do good to go to heaven, we do good not to go to jail, we do good to feel good about ourselves, we do good for the good of humanity) and explain how for 99% of things no matter what religion you go to it's the same answer for a different reason, so it doesn't really matter what reason you pick ... I think if my kid wanted to go be Al Qaeda I'd point out that their actions don't comport with the teachings of their holy book ... of course I don't think "morals" evolve at all really ... our views about morals evolve ... but if "right" is to have any meaning at all it has to be grounded in something deeper than social consensus ... like "reason" or "divine instruction" or both ... Ungtss 14:00, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

The hard questions eh... How does a religious person answer them differently? How does a religious person react to a child asking how its wrong to blow a building up?

Depends what religion you go to. A Christian or a Jew might say "The Lord said 'Thou shalt not kill.'" A Buddhist would say it is not "lovingkindness," and off the "eightfold path" ... etc ... a secularist would say "because it's bad for society" ... Ungtss 14:03, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
"I simply said I would give my child the right to choose. As does Dawkins.": And I said that "teaching children that God is true, [is not] somehow "forcing" them to believe". In other words, any child of mine would be choosing for themselves also. That particular point is not where we disagree.
"...what is wrong with [Dawkins] expressing his opinion that religion is wrong, and teaching that to children is wrong?: The problem is the self-contradiction. He is expressing a view that teaching a particular view (which he labels as "religious") to children is wrong, yet you cannot help but teach them a particular view. His (and your) particular view is that they can decide their religion for themselves later, but despite claiming that teaching a particular view is wrong, he is teaching a particular view!
"What my child would learn is that there are a great many faiths in the world, each of them as important as the next but each of them potentially as dangerous as the next.": The implication being that none is any better than any other, and as they can't all be true (and some are shocking), then they are all equally bad. So you are not teaching them neutrality, but instead effectively teaching them that all are wrong. You're not being neutral; you are imparting a viewpoint, just as much as I as a Christian would do.
"My child will have the right to choose his faith. Can the same be said of yours?": Already answered above. But I would give him accurate information on which to base his decision, i.e. that God is real. You seem to prefer to keep that from him.
"Does this mean that when raising your child you are teaching him to be apolitical also? Of course not.": I wouldn't be so sure. If I was apolitical (I'm not really), I'd very likely raise my children to be apolitical. But you're comparing chalk and cheese. Political parties are human institutions that are themselves imperfect, and there is no inherently "right" nor "wrong" political party. But Christianity is following the true Creator God. It is "right", and all others are "wrong". Teaching my children anything different would be dereliction of my duty.
Now I'm sure that you disagree on that point. But that is the crux of the matter. Your view, with Dawkins, only makes sense if the bit I've put in green is wrong. If the bit I've put in green is in fact correct, then you and Dawkins are wrong. So this is not an argument about the proper approach to raising children, but an argument about whether or not the Bible (and therefore Christianity) is true or not. Agreed?
"As for teaching children maths, reading etc. - this does not require independant thought. In fact, it forms the basis for a child being able to question things and think rationally about things.": I'm sure many would dispute that those things do not require independent thought. But the crux of the matter is that you are still treating Christianity as an optional extra, rather than the truth.
"I would teach him that sometimes whats illegal isn't always bad, such as homosexuality": So despite your earlier protestations about letting them make up their own minds, you would in fact "force" them to believe this? Despite it being something about which there is widespread disagreement? This again points out that we both agree that children should be taught the truth as true, and the disagreement is not about our approach to teaching them, but about what is true.
"How does a religious person answer them differently? How does a religious person react to a child asking how its wrong to blow a building up?". First, the question is unreasonable, because it is treating all "religious persons" as equal, as having the same approach. And of course treating atheistic worldviews as somehow qualitatively different to theistic worldviews.
But if you are asking how a Christian would answer them differently, I would teach them that "right" and "wrong" has a basis in what God says, not in what we subjectively think to be "right" and "wrong". See my following comments.
"I would tell him, that since he wants to live, he needs to respect other peoples right to live.": Why? Evolution (the atheistic origins myth) teaches us that if he wants to live, he has to out-compete others for scarce resources. In other words, respecting others' right to live may endanger his own right to live.
"There is a secular rationale behind this however, as if we all treat each other with respect, then we in turn will be granted respect.": Two points in response. First, the way you've worded that, it is a truism. That is, of we all treat each other with respect, then of course we in turn will be granted respect. But if you word it the way that I think you mean it, that "if we treat all others with respect, then we in turn will be granted respect", then I would ask "why"? How does that follow? What makes that true? I'm sure any number of people could quote examples where they have treated others with respect, but not been respected in return. In other words, the latter does not follow from the former.
"I would teach my son basically to live his life in a way that would guarantee self-interest. Not killing people is an example of that.": See my previous comments about what evolution teaches. Your conclusion does not follow from your premises.
"Morals need to evolve, ...": So when you teach your son that blowing up buildings is "wrong", and he replies, "sorry, but my morals have evolved beyond that", what do you say?
"...and need to be based on what is best for everyone.": Why?
You are basically taking Christian morality, and denying the basis of it, trying instead to substitute a secular basis. The problem is that secularism has no basis for morality, other than a subjective "what seems best at the time".
Philip J. Rayment 23:22, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Czechoslovakia section

Dear User:AK, hello and welcome to Conservapedia! I temporarily reverted your addition of the Czechoslovakia section because this article will soon be a featured on the main page in a couple days. In order to readd your section, I am going to need you to provide the references which buttress the statements in your paragraph as well as the original quotes from those references. This is how the rest of the article is formatted. When you provide those here in a draft form, we can readd your section to the article. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. With regards, AnupamTalk 19:03, 29 November 2011 (EST)

Dear user:Anupam, as it seems that this article is locked for editing, I do not have any means to add my content on Czechoslovakia. For your convenience, the draft is available here: User:AK/Militant_atheism. All the best; --AK 20:00, 3 February 2012 (EST)
Dear User:AK, thanks for your improvements! I looked at the draft! However, upon looking at the references you used, the language of those references is Czechoslovak language. It looks to me like you translated the original text in English and added them in the quotes section of reference. You do not need to do that and can use the original Czechoslovak language in the quotes section of the references. Also, could you add a citation to each sentence of your draft? Yes, the same reference may be used multiple times in your draft to ensure that each sentence is verifiable. I say this because the rest of the militant atheism article follows this convention. I look forward to see your updated revision. Thanks for working to ameliorate the article! With regards, AnupamTalk 21:59, 4 February 2012 (EST)
Dear user:Anupam, I tried to update my draft section per your advice, now it contains both original text in Slovak and English translation, in first reference however English is only as a hidden text due to extensive length. Please feel free to remove whatever language version you like. The original idea was that the hyperlinks could provide, except one hard-copy book, original text to whomever interested. Also the citations were regarded as for being from the same source until new information from other source has been introduced into text. I changed it as well so that now each sentence is specifically associated with source, even though it has leaded to series of sentences attributed to the very same source. I hope this helps. --AK 20:09, 10 February 2012 (EST)
Dear User:AK, thanks for your reply. You stated "The original idea was that the hyperlinks could provide, except one hard-copy book, original text to whomever interested." That's great and that's how the rest of the citations in the article are formatted. If you format the references so that only the original quote is there (no translations), then you can insert your section into the article. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this message and make the appropriate changes. With regards, AnupamTalk 18:12, 13 February 2012 (EST)
Dear user:Anupam, I must admit I'm getting a bit confused as contrary to my understanding of your statement I cannot find in the article any original language to be used, even the Russian references have just hyperlinks to given web sites and no quotes present in reference area. Please clearly clarify your intention:
  • web source: hyperlink is enough or original text should be reproduced in quote parameter of reference template without any translation into English
  • hard-copy book: this clearly cannot have any hyperlink hence the original or translated text can be provided in the quote parameter of reference, you would like to have it Slovak, correct? Thanks.--AK 11:16, 16 February 2012 (EST)
That is correct User:AK. If your reference is in Slovak, please add the original text in the quote section of the reference in Slovak. That is okay if the reference is a hard copy book - since there is no hyperlink, you will not need to use a hyperlink in the reference. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 18:43, 16 February 2012 (EST)
Dear User:AK, even for web sources, the original text should be reproduced in the quote parameter of the reference template without any translation into English. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 19:58, 17 February 2012 (EST)
Dear User:Anupam, a factual note: when you checked the grammar of the section devoted to Czechoslovakia, you did fixes that caused twisted meaning of the sentence related to coercing people into monasteries. The original sentence outlined that the inhabitants of generally all monasteries on the territory of former Czechoslovakia were displaced into few of these monasteries, ones selected to become so called concentrating monasteries (e.g. the famous one was named "Podolínec"). Your fixes make false impression as if majority of coerced people were from outside of monasteries and then as if all these monasteries would be turned into prisons. Maybe not that important, but for the matter of factual accuracy I have dared to make this note. All the best.--AK 17:39, 7 March 2012 (EST)
Thanks for your comment. I apologise for the mistake. Feel free to reword the sentence so it conveys the proper message. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 00:05, 9 March 2012 (EST)

Copyvio

This article uses text from Wikipedia. Text on Wikipedia is under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. Is this page compatible with those terms, which requires that all anyone can take the page in question, transform it, and redistribute it under the same licence? Hipocrite 17:11, 4 May 2012 (EDT)

Militant Christianity

By the definition of militant atheism given her (e.g. trying to eliminate or discourage Christianity), militant Christianity (like on this site...) attempts to discourage Atheism. Do you deny this?

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