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Discussion (43)¬

  1. Maggs says:

    Hmm, I think I’ve lost my sense of humour. I find it really scary that so many folks dearly held religious beliefs mean that most of the world’s population believes in magic. I also find it really scary to think that if no one believed in magic, would civilization break down completely… Is a deeply held self respect and caring about others, combined with an ability to tell right from wrong, enough?

  2. tie says:

    “Is a deeply held self respect and caring about others, combined with an ability to tell right from wrong, enough?”

    yes it is,

    Sweden is proof of that Maggs. Number one democracy in the world 6 years running, and 80% agnostic atheist population.

    reality and facts come to the rescue once again.

  3. MartinDH says:

    “A complete and utter lack of respect for your dearly held religious beliefs”…hmmm, true dat…plus a modicum of contempt.

  4. Bodach says:

    Care enough for others to share with them why “magic” interferes with experiencing fully in the wonder that is reality.

  5. John Cowan says:

    Lack of respect (and contempt) for people’s beliefs easily slips over into lack of respect (and contempt) for the people themselves, though. In the 17th-century English play “The Atheist’s Tragedy”, the atheist is a cynical and ruthless Machiavellianism, someone who will swear an oath and then renege on it without an atom of conscience. The subtitle of the play is “The Honest Man’s Revenge”, so as you can imagine, the atheist gets it in the neck at last.

  6. jerry w says:

    For me, A complete and utter lack of respect for your dearly held
    religious beliefs is just the starting point, then I get serious.

  7. arensb says:

    “Maybe they weren’t doing it properly.” Har!

  8. dyl says:

    off subject, I was explaining to a friend how his non-practicing-christian status seemed to me like a person claiming to believe a superstition and then ignoring the event of that superstition. (i.e. walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat etc.)

  9. TallPaul says:

    tie: I think you’ll find that Sweden is 80% *atheist*, not 80% agnostic (although the actual figures seems to vary depending on who you believe and how the question was asked).

  10. Mike says:

    Not all religious people are theocrats or evangelical.

    If a person’s religious/spiritual beliefs do not include an impetus to compel those around them to agree with them, if they’re just a matter of private thought/faith, it’s hypocritical for atheists to treat them with contempt.

    It becomes atheist evangelism; starting with the zealous belief that everyone should or must share one’s philosophical worldview and all other perspectives are deluded or actively evil, and from there attempting to convert the world. At its extremes it becomes xenophobic religious bigotry, with all the ugliness and evil that involves.

    There’s a lot more potential nuance and subtlety to religious thought than blind superstition, but that’s a whole different argument. You don’t have to agree with someone’s specific beliefs to respect them as a person.

    In matters of private faith, it falls into the same category as respecting your neighbor’s belief that his wife is beautiful and his children are geniuses. You may not agree, but it’s none of your business.

  11. Oddtwang says:

    Mike: True enough, but THEY’RE not the ones we object to…

  12. Uncle Roger says:

    “plus a modicum of contempt.” Bingo!

    Mike — consider this: http://www.stupidwish.net/religion.html

  13. M says:

    Unfortunately Sweden is a [lot of percents] other woo… I hardly know anyone who believes in god, or practice a religion. But almost all I know still believe in an afterlife, and ghosts, and mediums, and ‘there must be something’ or are taking homepathic “medicines”, or… Yeah, not many believers in the abrahamic god here compared to USA for example… still not exactly ‘a paradise’ for rational people and skeptics…

  14. Necessary Evil says:

    Mike, Am I allowed to say that if there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance? If there was to be a contest between a religious evangelist, who starts with the zealous belief that everyone should or must share his philosophical worldview and that all other perspectives are deluded or actively evil and from there attempts to convert the world, and an atheist who took exactly the same line with his beliefs, all other things being equal, whom would you support if you had to choose?

    I would support the atheist because his argument would likely be more rational.

  15. grouchy-one says:

    Necessary Evil – “Am I allowed to say that if there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance? ”
    No, you’re not allowed to say that! It’s a logical paradox and that is intolerable.

  16. mishahu says:

    Hey! Barmaid is using the same circular logic that she usually reasons against. Excellent that it’s good enough to convince J&M.

  17. Ironwolf says:

    Barmaid is a bit snarkier than usual. I love it!

  18. Hobbes says:

    John, “In the 17th-century English play “The Atheist’s Tragedy”, the atheist is a cynical and ruthless Machiavellianism, someone who will swear an oath and then renege on it without an atom of conscience. ”

    Actually that describes many fundamentalists today.

  19. [...] berører en pointe, som Jesus&Mo også kommer ind på i dagens stribe. Jeg synes at det er umagen værd at sætte Nafeesas kommentar overfor The Barmaids [...]

  20. Submoron says:

    Yes, religions automatically assume that they have to be treated with reverence!
    I’ve just read the plot of The Atheist’s Tragedy. It just shows what the Jacobean period thought that an atheist would be like. Of course, admitting to atheism at that time would be tantamount to suicide; the Scots actually had the death penalty for it at one time. That, I suppose, is why we would be assumed to be hypocrites.
    When’s Jonathan Miller’s History of Unbelief going to be available on DVD? The Atheist Tapes are jolly good, but let’s have the whole thing please!

  21. Stonyground says:

    The problem that I have with this notion that atheists are dishonest, selfish, have miserable and pointless lives etc. is that proof to the contrary is everywhere. There are millions of us here in the UK and in no way are we less trustworthy, generous, law abiding or happy than those who have imaginary freinds.

    Mike, I do up to a point want to convert people to my worldview because I think the world would be a better place as a consequence. However, I believe in only evangalising in self defence, that is writing to letter columns, blogs etc. to counter arguments from the other side, especially when they get their facts wrong, which they tend to do rather a lot.

  22. JohnnieCanuck says:

    which they tend to do rather a lot.

    Gotta love that tradition of understatement in Jolly Old’. I’m still waiting for that first verified fact claim made in support of religious evangelism.

  23. “In matters of private faith, it falls into the same category as respecting your neighbor’s belief that his wife is beautiful and his children are geniuses. You may not agree, but it’s none of your business.”

    So a neighbor is always a man?

    Assumed male strikes again.

  24. Mr Gronk says:

    Tautological barmaid is tautological.

    Still funny.

  25. Steelman says:

    “So a neighbor is always a man?”

    H.L. Mencken made that assumption, before Mike butchered him in the comments section…;-)

  26. Aykavil says:

    A prequel to October 16th, 2007…

  27. kiyaroru says:

    Ophelia

    The assumed male neighbor is an assumed male only when wrong about his wife and children.

  28. Specops17 says:

    “So a neighbor is always a man?

    Assumed male strikes again.”

    I don’t get it. Are you bent outta shape because of “neighbor’s belief…his wife…”? For reals? Wow!

    Butterfliesandwheels.com Interesting.

  29. Stonyground says:

    JohnnieCanuck
    I am mainly referring to more general stuff about history and Science as well as the actual tenets of their own religion that there is a general ignorance about among the godly people who write to their local rag. It is quite fun to quote the Bible at them when it is obvious from their statements that they don’t have a clue what is actually in it.

  30. B says:

    Can somebody tell me why I must have respect for people that outsource their conscience and shun responsibility for their own actions?

  31. mishahu :”Hey! Barmaid is using the same circular logic that she usually reasons against. Excellent that it’s good enough to convince J&M.”

    There’s no circular logic. She’s not trying to prove anything (as J and M are usually doing with circular logic). She’s explaining that Atheists are SHOWING that because they FEEL that. One might certainly contest the accuracy of the statement, but it’s not a syllogism, or a logical argument, but an expository one.

    grouchy-one: “No, you’re not allowed to say that! It’s a logical paradox and that is intolerable.”

    There’s no logical paradox here. That’s an argument too many apologists make, and too many skeptics/non-apologists/non-christians have fallen for. There is no paradox; this is the embodiment of the “equal protection” doctrine. Tolerance + equal protection == “Tolerate everything but intolerance”; no paradox inheres, it’s just that it’s sometimes thorny to puzzle out the boundary cases between them.

  32. DonR says:

    This one is not up to Author’s usual standard. It had potential through frame 1-3, then Barmaid became a busty, blonde version of J&M.

  33. Paper Hand says:

    Considering we never actually *see* the Barmaid, it’s interesting that you assume she’s busty and blonde … :-)

  34. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Pub regular: “Why are you acting all pissed off at me?”
    Barmaid: “I’m not acting, Don. I am pissed off at you. You assume things about people based only on appearance.”

    She could as easily be a flaming redhead, couldn’t she?

  35. Stonyground says:

    On the subject of the assumed male, I used to pack my car with karate types to go to competitions. On one occasion I remarked that just as I wanted to pull out onto a main road, the world and his wife decide to drive past. From the back seat our resident feminist came straight back with “The world and her husband!”. This girl also was heard to remark at the end of the song Summer the first time by Bobby Goldsborough “If he thinks that’s all it takes to make him a man he’s got another think coming as well”.

    My image of the barmaid is not very tall, quite busty, slightly plump and with a big bottom. Pretty much like Mrs. Stonyground in fact.

  36. JMo says:

    The really cool thing is; much like our personal beliefs in this deity/no deity, is that barmaid can be whatever we decide she is. In fact I think she is three feet tall with a flat head, etc. but thats just me.

  37. Beggars Belief says:

    Mike: it’s not the people I disrespect, it’s their religious beliefs. I respect them as human beings, with the right to think and do what they want (as long as it doesn’t harm anyone). However, they believe in bollocks and I have no respect for their choice to believe it. In exactly the same way I have no respect for Tories.

  38. jerry w says:

    JMo,
    Three feet tall, yes. Flat head, yes.
    As for the “etc.,” part: “And her father owns the bar. ”
    That would be the compete description as I remember it.

  39. DonR says:

    @Paper Hand & JonnieCanuck

    The busty and blonde was personal preference, it had nothing to do with the point I was making. Interesting that you both should focus on it so.

  40. “From the back seat our resident feminist came straight back with “The world and her husband!”. This girl also was heard to remark at the end of the song Summer the first time by Bobby Goldsborough “If he thinks that’s all it takes to make him a man he’s got another think coming as well”.”

    Blah blah blah.

    Have any of you entrenched members of the boys’ club considered the possibility that the barmaid is also a feminist? Have you considered the possibility that dear author is a feminist? You all certainly seem awfully confident that they’re not – that I’m the oddity around here and you’re all Normal.

    Well, fuck it; if it’s a boys’ club you can have it to yourselves.

  41. Tom says:

    Sorry, Mrs. Supreme Censor :)

  42. fenchurch says:

    Barmaid, as a result of her location, employment, intelligence, and culture, is overweight, pasty-looking, and probably could use some cosmetic dentistry.

    The men projecting their fantasies on her are doing her a disservice. You all love her for her mind, but can’t reconcile a beautiful mind with an average face/body type.

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