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Australia is Officially screwed.





Battle_Off
Ok people, this is it, Game Over for Australia.

Mr Kevin Rudd is a religious nut. He regularly attends a catholic church.

When asked by a radio station to prove the presence of god,
Mr Rudd replied

Quote:
There must be a higher power in the universe as there is too much order in the cosmos


Basically, he is saying that because things work, god must exist.

This means that Australia's PM has the scientific knowledge of a Grade 7 child!

So I think we can categorically say that Australia is officially screwed!
ocalhoun
What are you afraid he's going to do? Make a mandatory state religion?
And politicians don't really need a great deal of scientific knowledge; they can have advisors for that.
badai
What with you and God. Believing in God is faith. It doesn't make him a moron. Even Einstein was afraid if his theories will contradict his religious believe. Surprisingly (for you), he never screwed up science.
Battle_Off
both points accepted, but he has tried, and John Howard has too, to make religion a mandatory subject at schools
Bikerman
Battle_Off wrote:
both points accepted, but he has tried, and John Howard has too, to make religion a mandatory subject at schools

Well, religious education is mandatory here in the UK, and I actually have no problem with that, as an atheist. In fact I wish the syllabus was laid down in the National Curriculum (at the moment it is left to each 'authority' to set its own syllabus) since then a proper scheme for examining various religions could be properly considered.
I have no problem with religious education in schools - it is the ideal opportunity to inform children about the plethora of religions out there (many of them will only know about their parent's religion) and an opportunity for them to come into contact with people who either believe in different Gods or no Gods at all. This is fine and dandy as far as I am concerned.
fx-trading-education
Bikerman wrote:
Battle_Off wrote:
both points accepted, but he has tried, and John Howard has too, to make religion a mandatory subject at schools

Well, religious education is mandatory here in the UK, and I actually have no problem with that, as an atheist. In fact I wish the syllabus was laid down in the National Curriculum (at the moment it is left to each 'authority' to set its own syllabus) since then a proper scheme for examining various religions could be properly considered.
I have no problem with religious education in schools - it is the ideal opportunity to inform children about the plethora of religions out there (many of them will only know about their parent's religion) and an opportunity for them to come into contact with people who either believe in different Gods or no Gods at all. This is fine and dandy as far as I am concerned.


Yes I think it is a big difference if it is religious education in general that will maybe more open the mind or an education about a single religion that will rather close the mind.
liljp617
Relax. Certainly if the US can handle it, Australia can =/

badai wrote:
What with you and God. Believing in God is faith. It doesn't make him a moron. Even Einstein was afraid if his theories will contradict his religious believe. Surprisingly (for you), he never screwed up science.


What religious beliefs would those be?
Battle_Off
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.
fx-trading-education
A bit on a non-related matter but still linked to the title about how Australia is screwed.
What are your feelings about the fact that the Australian dollar is falling like a stone.
Something like 2 months ago 1 AUD was approx equal to 100 yens and now it is between 60 and 70.
Bikerman
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.

Well, Bush and Blair apparently behaved in a similar manner. Not very reassuring I know Sad
liljp617
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.


I don't think your military is quite as tempting to throw around as the US military. The US came out of it alive with Bush (not really, but kind of), I'm sure you will too Smile
Battle_Off
Bikerman wrote:
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.

Well, Bush and Blair apparently behaved in a similar manner. Not very reassuring I know Sad

Quote:
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.


I don't think your military is quite as tempting to throw around as the US military. The US came out of it alive with Bush (not really, but kind of), I'm sure you will too Smile


You guys crack me up
Battle_Off
fx-trading-education wrote:
A bit on a non-related matter but still linked to the title about how Australia is screwed.
What are your feelings about the fact that the Australian dollar is falling like a stone.
Something like 2 months ago 1 AUD was approx equal to 100 yens and now it is between 60 and 70.


yea, i know, that is worrying too,

and i reckon it is all Americas fault.

Cause we export a lot of stuff, (uranium, oil, etc) and we import a bit too, and when Americas market crashed, everything when bad,
liljp617
Battle_Off wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.

Well, Bush and Blair apparently behaved in a similar manner. Not very reassuring I know Sad

Quote:
Battle_Off wrote:
The main point that I seem to have failed to get across, is that he makes his political decisions, taking in the will of god, what if his god, is evil and tells him to start a war,

I know that is a bit extreme, but think about it.


I don't think your military is quite as tempting to throw around as the US military. The US came out of it alive with Bush (not really, but kind of), I'm sure you will too Smile


You guys crack me up


What? We've dealt with the exact same thing. If you don't get the replies you want to hear, why bother posting?
PoorChoice
Why do you call him a nut? His arguments for believing in god seems to be similar to every other sane Christian. Has he said that Jesus rode dinosaurs or that all non-Christians will burn in hell?
In USA he would probably be denounced as a godless hippie.
ThePolemistis
Battle_Off wrote:
This means that Australia's PM has the scientific knowledge of a Grade 7 child!

So I think we can categorically say that Australia is officially screwed!


I can't name a single present leader in the world who has the scientific knowledge beyond that of a Grade 7 child. Maybe thats why the world is so "officially" screwed already?
Bikerman
Ahh....how I wish that were true. Unfortunately (much though I would like to say otherwise) I cannot, in all conscience agree. Margaret Thatcher has a pretty good science education. She studied Chemistry at Oxford and took a degree in Natural Science. Now, of course, she is long gone (and I will be happy to stamp on her grave when she is finally planted), but, do I wish that all politicians were like Maggie...not likely. Smile

Having said that, I agree with the general thesis - scientifically illiterate 'leaders' is a very very bad thing.
ThePolemistis
Bikerman wrote:
Ahh....how I wish that were true. Unfortunately (much though I would like to say otherwise) I cannot, in all conscience agree. Margaret Thatcher has a pretty good science education. She studied Chemistry at Oxford and took a degree in Natural Science. Now, of course, she is long gone (and I will be happy to stamp on her grave when she is finally planted), but, do I wish that all politicians were like Maggie...not likely. Smile

Having said that, I agree with the general thesis - scientifically illiterate 'leaders' is a very very bad thing.


Sorry, yes I agree. Not all leaders lack the "scientific knowledge".

If I can correct my statement: despite accumulating scientific knowledge (or in whatever discipline from their "privileged schools" they attended), they have unfortuantely unable to apply the lessons they have learnt and hence still act like little children when governing world affairs.

Margaret Thatcher led Britain to a recession. Tony Blair (who also went to oxfrd) probably became the most hated face of British politics of the recent age with his lies (my fav is stated below). And over the pond, the man who went to Yale to study history is still struggling over the English language.
And the nicest guys from British PMs, John Major, didn't even goto university.

btw: my fav Tony Blair lie is: "Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war. "

PS: what was so bad about maggie T?
Arnie
Apparently, she specialized in crystallography. Mad
Battle_Off
I have to say, it is probably for our own good that politicians are stupid, otherwise they would think for themselves.

Most of the time, whatever the majority of the public say, goes.
Bikerman
ThePolemistis wrote:
PS: what was so bad about maggie T?

Well, I come from a Lancashire mining town so 'Thatcher' is about the worst 'swear word' you can possibly utter in my home town. What was bad about Thatcher is that she implemented an untested form of monetarism with no regard for the social consequences. Society was torn in half during the Thatcher years. We had over 3 million unemployed, riots in most major cities and 2 major recessions.
Those on the 'right' side (self-employed, private sector service industries, management etc) did very well indeed during these years., Those on the wrong side (miners, public sector workers, manufacturing industry workers etc) did very badly.
Some of what she did was needed (she took on unions who had become too powerful, for example), but (in my opinion) she went way too far and began to believe her own propaganda (the 'iron' lady - the saviour of the nation etc).
Whether you love or loathe maggie will largely depend on where you live and what job you (or your parents) did. Personally I loathe her.
ThePolemistis
Bikerman wrote:
ThePolemistis wrote:
PS: what was so bad about maggie T?

Well, I come from a Lancashire mining town so 'Thatcher' is about the worst 'swear word' you can possibly utter in my home town. What was bad about Thatcher is that she implemented an untested form of monetarism with no regard for the social consequences. Society was torn in half during the Thatcher years. We had over 3 million unemployed, riots in most major cities and 2 major recessions.
Those on the 'right' side (self-employed, private sector service industries, management etc) did very well indeed during these years., Those on the wrong side (miners, public sector workers, manufacturing industry workers etc) did very badly.
Some of what she did was needed (she took on unions who had become too powerful, for example), but (in my opinion) she went way too far and began to believe her own propaganda (the 'iron' lady - the saviour of the nation etc).
Whether you love or loathe maggie will largely depend on where you live and what job you (or your parents) did. Personally I loathe her.


Well, whilst I am against total privatisation in key areas such as health care, I must say that privatisation in Britain in industries such as aerospace, railway etc was good. It modernised it and made it efficient.
Some of Thatchers policys led to a boom in the British economy. Lessening the powers of trade unions is not good in my opinion morally, but it allowed a flexible workforce and thus better to cope with economical situations at that time, unlike their european counterparts (france and germany). Yes Britain did see a recession in 1992, but it saw a boom after that and avoided recessions in 1998 as well as 2001: this can may arguebly be as a consequence of tory policy in which they laid the foundations.
Albeit, I believe Labour under Gordon Brown as chancellor was very good. The idea of divorcing interest rates and the govt/politics was a good idea, by making them set by bank of england (similar to what the Japanese established). The recession that Britain may possibly face now, i would not blame on labour policy, but rather perhpas be too close/reliant economically on America.
deanhills
Battle_Off wrote:
Basically, he is saying that because things work, god must exist.

This means that Australia's PM has the scientific knowledge of a Grade 7 child!

So I think we can categorically say that Australia is officially screwed!


I would have thought that Australia is a little bit more than its PM? I have met quite a number of Ozzies and they do not fit in with this posting. Perhaps one should then be more careful then when the next PM is elected to ensure that his scientific knowledge is up to scratch?
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
Having said that, I agree with the general thesis - scientifically illiterate 'leaders' is a very very bad thing.


Why? Why do you need to have a strong education in science to make good political decisions? I think that an education in economics and social sciences (which I assume isn't the same type of science that you were talking about) would be more important. And when it does come to science, I'm sure that they have plenty of advisers.
Bikerman
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Having said that, I agree with the general thesis - scientifically illiterate 'leaders' is a very very bad thing.


Why? Why do you need to have a strong education in science to make good political decisions? I think that an education in economics and social sciences (which I assume isn't the same type of science that you were talking about) would be more important. And when it does come to science, I'm sure that they have plenty of advisers.

Science is more than specific knowledge - it is a method of evaluation, analysis and problem solving. The scientific method is crucial to rational problem solving.
I want political leaders who rely on evidence to drive rational decision making, not leaders who consult their horoscopes or some crank 'lifestyle guide'.
Where people are scientifically ignorant you will often find that they cannot rationally assess situations and come to solutions based on logic and evidence.
LimpFish
he's an illiterate 7th-grade kid because he attends a church regularly and think that the cosmos is too orderly to be random? dude get your views straight. this does not at all equal being scientifically ignorant.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Having said that, I agree with the general thesis - scientifically illiterate 'leaders' is a very very bad thing.


Why? Why do you need to have a strong education in science to make good political decisions? I think that an education in economics and social sciences (which I assume isn't the same type of science that you were talking about) would be more important. And when it does come to science, I'm sure that they have plenty of advisers.

Science is more than specific knowledge - it is a method of evaluation, analysis and problem solving. The scientific method is crucial to rational problem solving.
I want political leaders who rely on evidence to drive rational decision making, not leaders who consult their horoscopes or some crank 'lifestyle guide'.
Where people are scientifically ignorant you will often find that they cannot rationally assess situations and come to solutions based on logic and evidence.


Ahh... Ok. Point taken and accepted. I thought you meant that you wanted a leader who could give you details on relativity and tell you abiogenesis is. That's not important in a leader. But I agree that rational problem solving is important.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Ahh... Ok. Point taken and accepted. I thought you meant that you wanted a leader who could give you details on relativity and tell you abiogenesis is. That's not important in a leader. But I agree that rational problem solving is important.


Agreed, Chris's point about rational problem solving is excellent and well put, as per usual.

In the background I have also been wondering about political speeches that are written to please the audiences that politicians are focussed on. Sometimes speech writers and advisers advise politicians of what they should be saying. The advice could even have come as part of a jest to the PM, and "oops!" it just slipped out. Perhaps the PM could have equally been horrified by what he had said, and been sorted out by some of his inner circle advisors. Bottomline, sometimes presentations are not as rational as we would hope them to be, and perhaps we should just accept them for what they are and hope that the Australian Government follows rational problem solving when they are in charge governing Australia.
gandalfthegrey
Quote:
There must be a higher power in the universe as there is too much order in the cosmos


What makes you so sure that there isn't? To me you militant atheists and agnostics are just as dangerous as fundamentalists Christians.

For you to take someone's comments like that out of context only shows us your lack of intelligence. Australia will only be officially screwed if someone like you runs for office there.
LimpFish
gandalfthegrey wrote:
Quote:
There must be a higher power in the universe as there is too much order in the cosmos


What makes you so sure that there isn't? To me you militant atheists and agnostics are just as dangerous as fundamentalists Christians.

For you to take someone's comments like that out of context only shows us your lack of intelligence. Australia will only be officially screwed if someone like you runs for office there.


Word. Well put. Totally agree.
Bikerman
Really?
Agnostics and atheists are dangerous are they? Those who don't believe in God, or don't think it is possible to prove it one way or the other, are dangerous? Why is that? Are they likely to go on a rampage to enforce their lack of belief?
Perhaps you fear an Agnostic crusade? Rampaging Agnostics demanding that the notion of God cannot be proved one way or the other....scary.....

You are, frankly, ridiculous.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Really?
Agnostics and atheists are dangerous are they? Those who don't believe in God, or don't think it is possible to prove it one way or the other, are dangerous? Why is that? Are they likely to go on a rampage to enforce their lack of belief?

The kind of person who started this thread... possibly.
Just as there are religious fanatics, there are also some atheists who for some reason want everyone to believe exactly as they do. (The kind of people who want 'under God' out of the US pledge of allegiance, for example.)
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Really?
Agnostics and atheists are dangerous are they? Those who don't believe in God, or don't think it is possible to prove it one way or the other, are dangerous? Why is that? Are they likely to go on a rampage to enforce their lack of belief?

The kind of person who started this thread... possibly.
Just as there are religious fanatics, there are also some atheists who for some reason want everyone to believe exactly as they do. (The kind of people who want 'under God' out of the US pledge of allegiance, for example.)

Err...makes absolutely no sense. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God(s). How can you tell if an atheist wishes people to believe what they do? How do you KNOW what they believe? I am an atheist. Does that tell you ANYTHING about what I believe? Does the fact that I am an atheist tell you anything about my politics? my stance on human rights? my views on ethical/moral issues? my choice of football team? anything at all, except that I don't happen to believe in God(s)?

On the issue of the pledge - I don't particularly think 'under God' is a useful addition to the pledge of allegiance, but that is largely because I don't particularly think the pledge itself has much to do with being American. It has nothing to do with the founding principles of the US and nothing to do with the constitution. It was invented by a Baptist Minister at the end of the 19th Century. Bellamy (for 'twas he that wrote it) originally wanted to include the words 'fraternity and equality' but they were judged far too controversial - that should tell you something. The original pledge did not contain the words 'under God' - it reads
Quote:
I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The words 'under God' were added in the 1950s at the insistence of the Catholic 'Knights of St Columbus'. If you don't see any irony there then I suggest you are not looking hard enough.

Do you seriously think that atheists cannot be 'good Americans'? I know that George Bush does think so (and has publicly said so, in explicit terms) but I thought you had a bit more going on upstairs. If you do think atheists can be good Americans then why force them to lie every-time they are asked to recite the pledge of allegiance? It makes no sense to make a good citizen lie on religious grounds to me...

This idea that there are hordes of rabid atheists out there telling people what to believe really is quite ridiculous. Richard Dawkins is often cited as an example of such a person. The interesting thing is that if you actually read Dawkins and listen to what he says, then his message is totally unthreatening. He simply invites people to think seriously and critically about their beliefs. He doesn't even say that God does not exist - merely that he finds it very unlikely. He doesn't tell people what they should and should not believe (unlike many religious people) - he merely invites them to use critical thinking when making their choices. He doesn't advocate banning religion or discrimination against the religious (unlike many religious people). One wonders why people find him (and, by extension, other atheists) so threatening?
Arnie
Quote:
Err...makes absolutely no sense. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God(s). How can you tell if an atheist wishes people to believe what they do? How do you KNOW what they believe? I am an atheist. Does that tell you ANYTHING about what I believe? Does the fact that I am an atheist tell you anything about my politics? my stance on human rights? my views on ethical/moral issues? my choice of football team? anything at all, except that I don't happen to believe in God(s)?
Now hold on a minute... he clearly stated that there are some fanatic atheists, not that being an atheist automatically implies you're a fanatic. Before doing a full-frontal attack on someone's post you should read it a second and third time...
Bikerman
Arnie wrote:
Quote:
Err...makes absolutely no sense. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God(s). How can you tell if an atheist wishes people to believe what they do? How do you KNOW what they believe? I am an atheist. Does that tell you ANYTHING about what I believe? Does the fact that I am an atheist tell you anything about my politics? my stance on human rights? my views on ethical/moral issues? my choice of football team? anything at all, except that I don't happen to believe in God(s)?
Now hold on a minute... he clearly stated that there are some fanatic atheists, not that being an atheist automatically implies you're a fanatic. Before doing a full-frontal attack on someone's post you should read it a second and third time...
I read it several times and I stand by the posting. To take an extreme case, there are some atheists who are child molesters, just as there are Christian (or substitute the religion of your choice) child molesters. Is their atheism (or religion) relevant? Not normally.

There are all sorts of fanatics who may or may not be atheists. Atheism itself cannot be a reason for fanaticism since it is simply a lack of belief in God(s). It can be coupled with all sorts of other 'beliefs' of course. One might, for example, positively believe that theists are evil or dangerous - that is not atheism, that is a belief system all of its own (I would call it 'anti-theism').
Would you think it reasonable to claim that theists are 'fanatical non-believers in Zeus and Apollo'? Does the statement even make sense?

With regard to this specific point - there were two assertions.
1) There are a number of fanatical atheists out there
2) This is exemplified by those who wish to remove the words 'under God' from the pledge of allegiance.

I think I have comprehensively dealt with the second point (though you are welcome to correct any errors I made).

That leaves point number 1. Well, to be honest I'm a bit tired of this assertion that there are fanatical atheists out there. I've seen it asserted by all sorts of media commentators, religious apologists and others who should know better. Give me some examples please, otherwise it is just anecdote. I can give you any number of fanatical religious believers, so how about you give me just a few 'fanatical atheists', and explain exactly why you consider them fanatics? The one I hear all the time is Richard Dawkins, which is why I deal with him directly in my last posting. If you have other examples then let's hear them.
LimpFish
Recently in Sweden there was a man who was suggested to be the headmaster, principal, or whatever the word is, of a big university in Sweden. However, it was questioned by teachers at the university however he was suitable for the job, considering that he was a believer (christian). The very fact that he was openly a believing christian got these people on an attack against him as a person. To me that is "dangerous" when atheists try to in a way degrade people with other beliefs than themselves basing that solely on their beliefs. What happened to every human being's equality?
Arnie
@Bikermans previous post
you = ??
Shouldn't be me, since I am simply pointing out the difference between the existential and universal quantifiers. I'm not very happy with the logic you're using.

Dismissing the universal statement (which wasn't made) is very easy, but in order to dismiss the statement that there is at least one fanatical atheist, you need to define "fanatical" in a very clear way. But instead you are making the statement:
Quote:
I can give you any number of fanatical religious believers
without giving any such definition.

!!?!?!?
Bikerman
Arnie wrote:
@Bikermans previous post
you = ??
Shouldn't be me, since I am simply pointing out the difference between the existential and universal quantifiers. I'm not very happy with the logic you're using.

Dismissing the universal statement (which wasn't made) is very easy, but in order to dismiss the statement that there is at least one fanatical atheist, you need to define "fanatical" in a very clear way. But instead you are making the statement:
Quote:
I can give you any number of fanatical religious believers
without giving any such definition.

!!?!?!?

Well, I could give several definitions but it was not ME that made the assertion that there are fanatical atheists (thus introducing the qualifier in the first place). Note also that the original use of the term 'militant atheist' (rather than fanatic) by gandalf was directed personally at posters in this thread (at me specifically, I suspect), not at some abstract person 'out there'.

If you want my definition of a fanatic, then I'll go along with the wiki summary
Quote:
Fanaticism is an emotion of being filled with excessive, uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause
If you think my logic is faulty then say why, otherwise you are just blowing smoke.

Let me put it in clear, unambiguous terms.
I don't know of ANY fanatical atheists. I have never met one, and never spoken to or otherwise communicated with one (to the best of my knowledge).

I have met many fanatics of various persuasions - some of whom were certainly atheists - but their fanaticism was not atheism. In my younger times I was a member of the Socialist Worker's Party and many of my fellow members were atheists. The 'fanaticism' of the SWP (and I am prepared to admit that many, perhaps including myself, WERE fanatics) was not based on atheism - it was based on Marxism - a positive belief in the doctrines of Marx, not a lack of belief in God(s).

I repeat - how can you be a 'fanatical' unbeliever in God(s)? It makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
Bikerman
LimpFish wrote:
Recently in Sweden there was a man who was suggested to be the headmaster, principal, or whatever the word is, of a big university in Sweden. However, it was questioned by teachers at the university however he was suitable for the job, considering that he was a believer (christian). The very fact that he was openly a believing christian got these people on an attack against him as a person. To me that is "dangerous" when atheists try to in a way degrade people with other beliefs than themselves basing that solely on their beliefs. What happened to every human being's equality?

Provide the links to the story, otherwise it is second or third hand anecdote worthy of no further consideration. Did the person get the job or not? Where was the criticism and what exactly was it about. When you say 'Christian' then what exactly does that mean? Fundamentalist/creationist? Jehovahs Witness? Some bonkers cult? It matters when dealing with children and young adults!

No university would discriminate on religious grounds in making the appointment- it is unethical and ILLEGAL! If a creationist or other religious fundamentalist applied for a post at a university, then I would certainly expect some rigorous examination of their views in both the interview process and any public reporting of it, but even then it would be ILLEGAL to discriminate purely on the grounds of religious belief, unless there was an over-riding legal or public safety concern. I would also expect public criticism of any such an appointment by people in the department and by potential students/parents - that is free speech. I would certainly not want a creationist (to take an example) teaching biology to my kids, and I would consider it my right to know of, and object to, any such proposal. Are you suggesting that people should be gagged? If you are, then I strongly disagree. The right to religious faith is protected under law. Let me remind you that Sweden is a member of the EEC and is, as such, a signatory to the Convention on Human Rights. Article 9 of the convention states (and I quote)
Quote:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Now, I doubt whether ANY university in the EEC would dare contravene article 9 and I believe you are simply adding to propaganda designed to attack atheists.

I note that nobody has yet been able or willing to provide a SINGLE example of a 'fanatical atheist'.
ocalhoun
(Is that a Mod I see double posting? Tsk Tsk)
Bikerman wrote:

I note that nobody has yet been able or willing to provide a SINGLE example of a 'fanatical atheist'.

Perhaps 'fanatical' is too strong a word, I just mean the type that will try to convince anyone who will listen that there is no God, etc... (sometimes very insistently, with frequent mentions of how stupid one must be to believe any kind of religion)

Personally, I have no idea what motivation an atheist would have to convince others who don't want to hear it, but that doesn't seem to stop them.

(I don't know if you have, but I've met quite a few people like that.)
Bikerman
Have I double posted? Please point out where and I'll correct it.

I certainly know several atheists who try to persuade theists that their position is wrong - I would count myself as one. I see no problem with that, as long as the debate is conducted logically, with recourse to sound argument and in civil tones, rather than just name-calling or other insults.
By the same token, there are many religious people who see it as their duty to convert people like me. I also see no problem with that (providing the same conditions of rationality and civility are observed).
That is not what I would call fanaticism (in either case).
I would even go so far as to accept the term originally used - militant - in a few cases (if we define militant as 'strident' or 'combative'). My objection was specifically to the word 'fanatic', since I don't think it can apply and I have seen it used in many recent publications in the media.
In all the cases I have seen (and that includes the wish to remove 'under God' from the pledge of allegiance) atheists are arguing a rational case, rather than a fanatical position. It should be remembered that in that specific instance there are many religious people who also consider the words 'under God' should not be in the pledge (particularly Buddhists and other faiths without a monotheistic deity, but also including many protestants who know their history and know where the words originated).

The frequent recourse of the media to this ad-hominem attack on atheists (characterising them as fanatics but never actually naming who they mean and what particular action they find 'fanatical') needs to be challenged, and I intend to do so every-time I see it raised.
Arnie
@Bikerman:
There are two ways to approach the statement that you originally agitated against:
1) the informal/loose interpretation (pragmatics i.e. "you know what I mean");
2) the strict interpretation (requiring strict care in semantics, i.e. definitions and formulation of sentences).
In your reactions you took the second, which is probably the only ground on which you can reasonably attack the statement, because in an informal interpretation the following could be considered the meaning of the statement:
Quote:
There are all sorts of fanatics who may or may not be atheists. Atheism itself cannot be a reason for fanaticism since it is simply a lack of belief in God(s). It can be coupled with all sorts of other 'beliefs' of course. One might, for example, positively believe that theists are evil or dangerous - that is not atheism, that is a belief system all of its own (I would call it 'anti-theism').
Then all of a sudden without any definition of fanaticism being specified you still make a statement of your own using the word. Which is not allowed in the strict interpretation that you yourself enforced by (among others) the quote above.

The fact that you give your definition afterwards does no good.
Bikerman
Arnie wrote:
The fact that you give your definition afterwards does no good.

OK...I can see what you are getting at, but using the same exacting standards you need to examine your own posting.
Quote:
Now hold on a minute... he clearly stated that there are some fanatic atheists, not that being an atheist automatically implies you're a fanatic. Before doing a full-frontal attack on someone's post you should read it a second and third time...

Now, he actually did NOT clearly state that there are some fanatic atheists...read back. The 'fanaticism' is, at best, implied rather than stated. I dealt with the implication (accepting the previous statement that there are some religious fanatics). I do agree that I should have defined the term though.
LimpFish
Bikerman wrote:
LimpFish wrote:
Recently in Sweden there was a man who was suggested to be the headmaster, principal, or whatever the word is, of a big university in Sweden. However, it was questioned by teachers at the university however he was suitable for the job, considering that he was a believer (christian). The very fact that he was openly a believing christian got these people on an attack against him as a person. To me that is "dangerous" when atheists try to in a way degrade people with other beliefs than themselves basing that solely on their beliefs. What happened to every human being's equality?

Provide the links to the story, otherwise it is second or third hand anecdote worthy of no further consideration. Did the person get the job or not? Where was the criticism and what exactly was it about. When you say 'Christian' then what exactly does that mean? Fundamentalist/creationist? Jehovahs Witness? Some bonkers cult? It matters when dealing with children and young adults!

No university would discriminate on religious grounds in making the appointment- it is unethical and ILLEGAL! If a creationist or other religious fundamentalist applied for a post at a university, then I would certainly expect some rigorous examination of their views in both the interview process and any public reporting of it, but even then it would be ILLEGAL to discriminate purely on the grounds of religious belief, unless there was an over-riding legal or public safety concern. I would also expect public criticism of any such an appointment by people in the department and by potential students/parents - that is free speech. I would certainly not want a creationist (to take an example) teaching biology to my kids, and I would consider it my right to know of, and object to, any such proposal. Are you suggesting that people should be gagged? If you are, then I strongly disagree. The right to religious faith is protected under law. Let me remind you that Sweden is a member of the EEC and is, as such, a signatory to the Convention on Human Rights. Article 9 of the convention states (and I quote)
Quote:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Now, I doubt whether ANY university in the EEC would dare contravene article 9 and I believe you are simply adding to propaganda designed to attack atheists.

I note that nobody has yet been able or willing to provide a SINGLE example of a 'fanatical atheist'.


I only found swedish links for the story, and I suppose they'll do you no good, but here is one:
http://sydsvenskan.se/lund/article381663/Inga-atgarder-mot-kristofobi-pa-Lunds-universitet.html

He was an evangelical christian, no "bonker cult"-member or jehovas witness. Those questions and theories only further show on your degrading view on people with religious beliefs. The criticism was aimed at the nominee's personal beliefs (Per Eriksson) and that he wouldnt be suitable of the job because of them. A lot of the teachers (obviously atheists) aside from going out in media with their opinions, even sent a letter of objection to the nomination committee. Luckily, the politicians in charge knew better and still gave him the job.

However they saw no need at all to act on the open attack on Per Erikssons very person. It is important to note here that the teachers did not at all question the competence of Per Eriksson, but only the very fact that he was a believer and a member of an evangelical church. If Per Eriksson would have been a muslim, or a homosexual, or disabled, or whatever, and questioned because of that, I'm certain it would have been filed a case to the swedish Court of Discimination which has happened many times.

I am well aware of our laws and that it is illegal to discriminate on grounds of religious beliefs. And even if he eventually got the job, the attacks made on him by atheists, purely based on the fact that he has religious beliefs, absolutely in my book qualifies as determining that atheists can be bothboth fanatical and dangerous. Personally, I'd consider atheists more dangerous than christian believers. Christian believers in general have a deep respect for individuals and life. Whereas for atheists, we are just some evolutioned organism, no need for ethics or morals there.
Bikerman
Quote:
I only found swedish links for the story, and I suppose they'll do you no good, but here is one:

No - I don't read Swedish and I don't know enough about Swedish media to judge whether the paper is worth reading. The fact remains that Per Eriksson is in post as Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Uppsala University. If you think atheists have been 'fanatically' opposing his appointment then please provide some evidence. You say the objectors were 'obviously atheists'. What is your evidence?
Quote:
Those questions and theories only further show on your degrading view on people with religious beliefs.
Nonsense. I have never 'degraded' anyone for their religious beliefs. I have, and will continue to, challenge people's beliefs - totally different thing.
Quote:
If Per Eriksson would have been a muslim, or a homosexual, or disabled, or whatever...
Well, there is plenty of evidence of discrimination against muslims in both the popular media and institutionally. If you want specific examples in Sweden then try
http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2007/02/sweden-discrimination-against-muslim.html
http://www.arabia.pl/english/content/view/22/16/

As for comparing religion to disability or sexuality - do you seriously contend that people can choose to be disabled, or of a particular race or sexuality? If not then the comparison is both bogus and offensive.

If Per Eriksson truly believes he has been discriminated against then he can use Article 9 to take a court case. The fact is that he hasn't, and therefore can't. What we are talking about is people objecting to his appointment (whether atheists or not - it is not clear). THAT IS THEIR RIGHT under freedom of speech and expression. What you are suggesting is that those who object to a particular faith system should be gagged (providing that faith system is Christianity - I guess you don't feel the same about other religions). I don't know if the objections were valid or not - clearly the authorities thought not - but unless you propose that people should be forbidden from expressing views about religion then I really don't know what your problem is. Had Eriksson been damaged in some way then I might have some sympathy. In the recent US elections we have seen atheism used as a 'smear' in the most public manner possible - google 'Elizabeth Dole' for more information - but I'm not suggesting that Dole should be gagged.
Quote:
Personally, I'd consider atheists more dangerous than christian believers. Christian believers in general have a deep respect for individuals and life. Whereas for atheists, we are just some evolutioned organism, no need for ethics or morals there.
Which just goes to show that
a) You don't read history
b) You haven't a clue what the word 'atheist' means
c) You are bigot
LimpFish
haha it is so funny how you question if "swedish media" and that paper is worth reading, but you quote two obviously arabic/muslim website as credible sources?

Obviously I dont consider being disabled a choice, and i thought the argumentation technique of pretending to not understand what the opponent means even though it is obvious was usually something people stopped using after the age of 7, but obviously I was wrong.

My point was and still is that a lot of atheists consider believers to be less intelligent and that their very belief might make them incompetent. And yes I do think that is dangerous. And no, obviously that is not the same thing as thinking people should not be gagged. Objecting is obviously allowed, and should be, but when the objection is based only on the fact that the person is a believer, that's when I'm getting scared.

I'll end with a quote that explains why you and I never get anywhere in our discussions. Not at all meant to be offensive or demeaning, but an explanation of what I think is going on with the world today.

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
(2 Cor 4:4)
Bikerman
LimpFish wrote:
haha it is so funny how you question if "swedish media" and that paper is worth reading, but you quote two obviously arabic/muslim website as credible sources?
Well, I never cite sources before I check the content. The content of the first link is taken from the Swedish paper 'The Local' - the original article can be read HERE
The content of the second link is drawn from many factual sources (UN, OECD etc) and seems to me to be entirely fair and balanced.
If you have a problem with that then please say what you think is inaccurate or badly reported.
If your objection is simply that the material appears on Arabic websites then that is a pretty good example of the bigotry I referred to.

The reason I asked about the Swedish paper you cited is, I think, entirely obvious. Here in the UK we have several 'newspapers' which I would not describe as credible - the Sun, the News of the World and so on. I have no doubt that the same applies in Sweden. Since I cannot read Swedish I do not know if the paper concerned is a credible source or not.
LimpFish wrote:
Obviously I dont consider being disabled a choice, and i thought the argumentation technique of pretending to not understand what the opponent means even though it is obvious was usually something people stopped using after the age of 7, but obviously I was wrong.
It was not at all obvious what you meant - the comparisons you made were bogus.
Quote:
My point was and still is that a lot of atheists consider believers to be less intelligent and that their very belief might make them incompetent. And yes I do think that is dangerous. And no, obviously that is not the same thing as thinking people should not be gagged. Objecting is obviously allowed, and should be, but when the objection is based only on the fact that the person is a believer, that's when I'm getting scared.
Well, let's deal with the 'intelligence' point first. It is well established that there is a correlation between IQ and religiosity. Anecdotally we know that the rate of 'belief' amongst academics and scientists is much lower than in the national populations concerned. We also have hard evidence in the form of published studies.
For example, the 2008 study by Helmuth Nyborg, published in the scientific journal 'Intelligence' showed that, on average,
Quote:
Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions.
The author notes that
Quote:
I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical


Now, on the substantive issue - I still haven't seen any evidence of what the objections to this appointment were, who made them and what their religious position was. Until I do I obviously cannot comment on it.
LimpFish wrote:
I'll end with a quote that explains why you and I never get anywhere in our discussions. Not at all meant to be offensive or demeaning, but an explanation of what I think is going on with the world today.
"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
(2 Cor 4:4)
Well, the 'age' referred to in Paul's letter is 1st century Corinth (Greece), which is interesting.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical



While people with intelligence, when exposed to the bad sort of atheists are driven away from religion, out of a desire not to be classified as 'people with low intelligence'.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical



While people with intelligence, when exposed to the bad sort of atheists are driven away from religion, out of a desire not to be classified as 'people with low intelligence'.

No, I doubt that is true. Search these boards for example. You know that there are several atheists (including myself) who regularly debate theists. See if you can find an example of me (or others) demeaning people of faith simply because of their religion. I'm pretty sure I haven't done so and I don't see others doing so either. Maybe there just aren't any 'bad sort of atheists' here, but I think this is a pretty representative group...

Check the media - do you see stories of 'dumb religious folk' regularly? I don't. I DO see documentaries about religious extremist (the most recent that springs to mind would be the one on Channel 4 - Baby Bible Bashers, which would certainly cause me to question the intelligence of such folk, but I dispute the fact that the religious are routinely portrayed as less intelligent than the non-religious.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical



While people with intelligence, when exposed to the bad sort of atheists are driven away from religion, out of a desire not to be classified as 'people with low intelligence'.

No, I doubt that is true. Search these boards for example. You know that there are several atheists (including myself) who regularly debate theists. See if you can find an example of me (or others) demeaning people of faith simply because of their religion. I'm pretty sure I haven't done so and I don't see others doing so either. Maybe there just aren't any 'bad sort of atheists' here, but I think this is a pretty representative group...


True, it doesn't happen often here. And, perhaps these bad sort of atheists are rare. Also, doing that here would be flaming, which could also reduce how often it happens here.

But, to convince me that they don't exist at all is as impossible as convincing me that cows don't exist. I've seen/experienced both of them in the first person.
LimpFish
well, bikerman, I do not have as much free time as you seem to have, so I cannot translate you the swedish articles that i have. and that I learned your language and you dont know mine, isnt really my fault.

btw, we have a swedish world for what is up with people like you. it is hybris, look it up if you will.
Bikerman
Well, nobody suggested that you should translate - I just asked for something I could read in English. I have never disparaged your linguistic abilities - it would be 'hubris' for me to do so.
gandalfthegrey
So I guess you are saying that Rudd is a Dud?

I couldn't resist. lmao! Laughing
ParsaAkbari
Battle_Off wrote:
Ok people, this is it, Game Over for Australia.

Mr Kevin Rudd is a religious nut. He regularly attends a catholic church.

When asked by a radio station to prove the presence of god,
Mr Rudd replied

Quote:
There must be a higher power in the universe as there is too much order in the cosmos


Basically, he is saying that because things work, god must exist.

This means that Australia's PM has the scientific knowledge of a Grade 7 child!

So I think we can categorically say that Australia is officially screwed!


I agree, things work because they HAVE to work, for example a element that has too many electrons, doesnt work does it? So it releases electrons DUH?

Its logic, i am not saying god doesnt exist no, i am saying that if god created the universe god would have done it in a logical and completley systematic way.

e.g. create a huge ball of energy and let it run from there.

Which accsepts science and religion.

I hate morons which cannot see the link, no narrow minded.
Arnie
Haha, an element releases electrons because it has to. Who needs anymore?

No narrow minded.
daefommicc
dude wats wrong in expressing... its logically immature to start topics like dese coz personal opinions DO NOT matter in a demokrasee. its his personal opinion. y shud aussies care if he prays to god as a past time???
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