17 votes

Why atheists are not as rational as some like to think

53 comments

  1. [10]
    Akir
    (edited )
    Link
    It's hidden on mobile, but the article is written by someone paid by the John Templeton Foundation which gives academic grants specifically to further their fundamentalist, creationist christian...

    It's hidden on mobile, but the article is written by someone paid by the John Templeton Foundation which gives academic grants specifically to further their fundamentalist, creationist christian point of view.

    This is a repost an article I have read before, so I will reiterate what I said before. This is an opinion piece that creates a strawman to criticise atheism in order to give justification for religious people to retain their feelings of superiority. It doesn't help anyone except those who are more interested in increasing how polarized our society is.

    Edit: sorry for the false accusations, @Algernon_Asimov

    47 votes
    1. [9]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      It is? I can't find a prior posting of this link.

      This is a repost

      It is? I can't find a prior posting of this link.

      8 votes
      1. [8]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        It's possible the previous submission was deleted. With not being able to look through Akir's comment history yet (since we're still restricted to one page of history) there is no way to verify...

        It's possible the previous submission was deleted. With not being able to look through Akir's comment history yet (since we're still restricted to one page of history) there is no way to verify that though.

        1. [5]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I believe I would have seen if this article had been posted before: I've been watching this ~humanities group closely since it was created (I feel responsible for it), and I've had this article...

          I believe I would have seen if this article had been posted before: I've been watching this ~humanities group closely since it was created (I feel responsible for it), and I've had this article saved for a while, waiting to post it. If someone else had beaten me to it, I'd've noticed.

          1 vote
          1. [4]
            cfabbro
            Link Parent
            It may not have been posted to humanities. If @akir could link to the previous discussion that would certainly help set the matter to rest though.

            It may not have been posted to humanities. If @akir could link to the previous discussion that would certainly help set the matter to rest though.

            1. [3]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Then it's not a repost! ipso facto, ergo, post hoctor, pseudo cum loudly, QED :)

              Then it's not a repost! ipso facto, ergo, post hoctor, pseudo cum loudly, QED :)

              3 votes
              1. Akir
                Link Parent
                My bad, I was thinking about a Reddit thread. This is truely an original submission to this website. Thanks to @fabbro for paging me to catch it. Edit: why did I not notice that you responded to...

                My bad, I was thinking about a Reddit thread. This is truely an original submission to this website.

                Thanks to @fabbro for paging me to catch it.

                Edit: why did I not notice that you responded to my comment earlier? I swear I am not intentionally trying to stab you in the back.

                6 votes
              2. cfabbro
                Link Parent
                While the site is this small and everyone is subscribed to every group by default, rendering crossposting pretty pointless (and annoying), it pretty much is still a repost even in that case. But...

                While the site is this small and everyone is subscribed to every group by default, rendering crossposting pretty pointless (and annoying), it pretty much is still a repost even in that case. But now we're just splitting hairs. ;)

        2. [2]
          Diff
          Link Parent
          I believe it's paged if you specifically select "Comments" or "Submissions" instead of "Overview" at the top. Nevermind that's only your own profile.

          I believe it's paged if you specifically select "Comments" or "Submissions" instead of "Overview" at the top.

          Nevermind that's only your own profile.

          1. cfabbro
            Link Parent
            Yeah pagination only works when viewing your own History right now and whether or not it will be included in public profile views is still being debated AFAIK:...

            Yeah pagination only works when viewing your own History right now and whether or not it will be included in public profile views is still being debated AFAIK:
            https://tildes.net/~tildes.official/4cc/your_own_user_page_now_has_paginated_topics_and_comments_views_lets_talk_about_user_history

            2 votes
  2. [21]
    thisonemakesyouthink
    Link
    Like others have already said this is a bought opinion piece, but either way I think it is irrational to try and blanket a group like this. I'm sure there are atheists more rational than theists...

    Like others have already said this is a bought opinion piece, but either way I think it is irrational to try and blanket a group like this. I'm sure there are atheists more rational than theists and theists more rational than atheists. Personally, I am an atheist because I believe there just is no evidence that can't be reasonably explained with science proving the existence of a creator or deity. It doesn't matter though, because it's a pointless debate and I'm not going to attempt to disprove a negative anyways.

    21 votes
    1. [19]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        eladnarra
        Link Parent
        I think this is why I eventually fell away from online atheist communities. I grew up without religion, so I was able to recognize that being an atheist (at least in my case) didn't come from...

        I think this is why I eventually fell away from online atheist communities. I grew up without religion, so I was able to recognize that being an atheist (at least in my case) didn't come from being more rational or more intelligent, which is something I saw quite a few people arguing. Hell, if I'd grown up in a religious family I'd probably be religious.

        7 votes
        1. a_wild_swarm_appears
          Link Parent
          I hate "extreme atheists" as much as extreme religious people. I've got an uncle who is militant with his atheism that he sounds as bad as those religious some times. Just get on with your life...

          I hate "extreme atheists" as much as extreme religious people. I've got an uncle who is militant with his atheism that he sounds as bad as those religious some times. Just get on with your life dude. Your venom towards religion doesn't do anyone any good.

          5 votes
      2. [15]
        Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        I don't know if I agree that a person without a cultural imprint is an atheist. After all, the idea of religion had to spring from someone originally, and their cultural imprint wouldn't have been...

        I don't know if I agree that a person without a cultural imprint is an atheist. After all, the idea of religion had to spring from someone originally, and their cultural imprint wouldn't have been religious.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          @Rez's point is that, if someone doesn't teach you about religion, you're more likely to remain religion-free (atheist) than to become religious. Remember that we live in a vastly different...

          @Rez's point is that, if someone doesn't teach you about religion, you're more likely to remain religion-free (atheist) than to become religious.

          Remember that we live in a vastly different culture than the inventors of the earliest religions: we have science to explain the natural phenomena that they resorted to supernatural explanations for (spirits in the trees and the air and the water, and so on). In this context, someone who is raised without religion is very unlikely to invent a religion to explain things which are already explained. They'll probably remain religion-free (atheist).

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            Thrabalen
            Link Parent
            Yet wouldn't you agree that, in a sense, that scientific background is itself a cultural imprint? After all, there are still indigenous peoples in the word that have no concept of what we consider...

            Yet wouldn't you agree that, in a sense, that scientific background is itself a cultural imprint? After all, there are still indigenous peoples in the word that have no concept of what we consider modern science.

            2 votes
            1. JamesTeaKirk
              Link Parent
              They may not have a concept of what science is. But science and it's conclusions still apply to those humans and their world, just as much as it does to us; Because science is simply an honest...

              They may not have a concept of what science is. But science and it's conclusions still apply to those humans and their world, just as much as it does to us; Because science is simply an honest observation of the world through consistent measurement. I would say in that respect, science supercedes culture.

              5 votes
            2. [2]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              I suppose you make a good point: the default position for humans seems to be animism. We tend to anthropomorphise nature and inanimate objects, and imagine self-directing spirits in everything...

              I suppose you make a good point: the default position for humans seems to be animism. We tend to anthropomorphise nature and inanimate objects, and imagine self-directing spirits in everything around us.

              However, I would counter that animism is atheistic. A tree-spirit is not the same as a deity. Just because indigenous peoples imagine spirits everywhere, that doesn't mean they believe in a god or gods.

              1 vote
              1. unknown user
                Link Parent
                A very interesting read w.r.t. this is Karin Armstrong's A Short History of Myth. Its position is that more recent deities evolved from animist spirits, and the genealogy of the abrahamitic god...

                A very interesting read w.r.t. this is Karin Armstrong's A Short History of Myth. Its position is that more recent deities evolved from animist spirits, and the genealogy of the abrahamitic god follows from post-animist panteons. So the idea of god itself has been subject to evolution. This is one of my favourite books on this topic.

                2 votes
        2. [9]
          papasquat
          Link Parent
          Just because it came from someone doesn't mean it's not cultural. Language came from someone too, and it is certainly cultural. Humans, by default, can't speak a language.

          Just because it came from someone doesn't mean it's not cultural. Language came from someone too, and it is certainly cultural. Humans, by default, can't speak a language.

          3 votes
          1. [7]
            Thrabalen
            Link Parent
            I didn't say it wasn't cultural, I said we weren't atheist by default. If that were true, someone outside of humanity would have needed to teach us religion. Which, oddly, is an argument that...

            I didn't say it wasn't cultural, I said we weren't atheist by default. If that were true, someone outside of humanity would have needed to teach us religion. Which, oddly, is an argument that supports religion.

            2 votes
            1. [6]
              papasquat
              Link Parent
              You could say that for everything if that's your standard. No one outside of humanity taught us how to build airplanes, or do the floss, or speak Spanish either. That doesn't mean we know how to...

              You could say that for everything if that's your standard. No one outside of humanity taught us how to build airplanes, or do the floss, or speak Spanish either. That doesn't mean we know how to do those things by default.

              4 votes
              1. [5]
                Thrabalen
                Link Parent
                I also never said being religious was a default. Rather, we don't have a default when it comes to spirituality. It is true that we are more likely to not have religious leanings if we are not...

                I also never said being religious was a default. Rather, we don't have a default when it comes to spirituality. It is true that we are more likely to not have religious leanings if we are not taught it, but some people who are not taught religion still feel as if there's a greater power, even if they don't know what that power is.

                4 votes
                1. [4]
                  papasquat
                  Link Parent
                  I'm sure you're right, I personally haven't seen any research on the issue. I think at a certain point, the entire concept of "religion" tends to get very fuzzy at the edges. Just based on pure...

                  some people who are not taught religion still feel as if there's a greater power, even if they don't know what that power is.

                  I'm sure you're right, I personally haven't seen any research on the issue. I think at a certain point, the entire concept of "religion" tends to get very fuzzy at the edges. Just based on pure conjecture, I think you're correct that a human with zero socialization would develop their own theories on why natural phenomena occur. They'd also maybe ascribe conscious thought to those phenomena, because that's his only real frame of reference for the mechanism of why complex things happen. Does that count as a belief in God though? Or just an incorrect theory based on a lack of scientific knowledge?
                  I hesitantly think that maybe chimpanzees and dolphins and maybe even elephants and dogs think similarly. When a lightning bolt hits the ground, does a chimp instinctively think that some entity caused that to happen? If so, does that count as spirituality/religion?

                  I think it's much less likely that a person grows up thinking that there's a single omnipotent being controlling everything, or even multiple extremely powerful beings; things that we typically associate as "Gods". Like I said, I'm making all of this up based on thinking about it though. I haven't seen any research on the topic.

                  4 votes
                  1. [3]
                    Akir
                    Link Parent
                    I think that people in general are spiritual. And by spiritual, I refer to the fundamental basis of all religion; the belief in the supernatural. Spirituality is simply the application of the...

                    I think that people in general are spiritual. And by spiritual, I refer to the fundamental basis of all religion; the belief in the supernatural. Spirituality is simply the application of the human psyche attempting to make sense of the chaos around them. When it comes to formalizing into a religion, we have the tendancy to make our gods in our own image. Even gods that are omnipotent and omniscient are given human-like traits; the Christian god has human-like emotions, generally appears to prefer humans to all of his other creations, and even has a human son.

                    1 vote
                    1. [2]
                      Archimedes
                      Link Parent
                      You seem to be conflating the human tendency to anthropomorphize everything with "the belief in the supernatural". Just because I talk to my car and treat it as if it has some level of sentience...

                      by spiritual, I refer to the fundamental basis of all religion; the belief in the supernatural. Spirituality is simply the application of the human psyche attempting to make sense of the chaos around them.

                      You seem to be conflating the human tendency to anthropomorphize everything with "the belief in the supernatural". Just because I talk to my car and treat it as if it has some level of sentience doesn't mean I'm "spiritual" or believe in the supernatural.

                      1 vote
                      1. cfabbro
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        Isn't anthropomophizing natural phenomena and by doing so ascribing external motive to their behavior basically the same as spirituality though? So if anthropomophizing is a human tendency then...

                        Isn't anthropomophizing natural phenomena and by doing so ascribing external motive to their behavior basically the same as spirituality though? So if anthropomophizing is a human tendency then therefor so is spirituality.

                        1 vote
          2. unknown user
            Link Parent
            Two years old twin speak The current idea in linguistics is that humans have an innate mechanism that enables speech. I don't have a good grasp of Chomskian theories yet, but IMO this means that...

            Two years old twin speak

            The current idea in linguistics is that humans have an innate mechanism that enables speech. I don't have a good grasp of Chomskian theories yet, but IMO this means that speech was not started by one individual and and a person would construct a language themselves if never exposed to any.

            1 vote
      3. thisonemakesyouthink
        Link Parent
        Absolutely true. With no indoctrination, you most likely will be an atheist by default, and it's like they say, "think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are more...

        Absolutely true. With no indoctrination, you most likely will be an atheist by default, and it's like they say, "think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are more stupid than that". Atheist is just default mode, it has no barring on intelligence or anything.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Kenny
      Link Parent
      I'm a strong Christian and I completely agree with your comment. I'm a Christian because of personal experience. Online, I feel like it's a pointless debate as well.

      I'm a strong Christian and I completely agree with your comment. I'm a Christian because of personal experience. Online, I feel like it's a pointless debate as well.

      6 votes
      1. thisonemakesyouthink
        Link Parent
        Exactly, I don't care if you're religious and I'm not going to convert you, I just expect the same in return. There's no point trying to get in people's face and "turn them".

        Exactly, I don't care if you're religious and I'm not going to convert you, I just expect the same in return. There's no point trying to get in people's face and "turn them".

        6 votes
  3. [6]
    Rocket_Man
    Link
    I don't have access to the "new scientist" article about atheists not being anymore rational so it's hard to check. But I've seen similar studies and I imagine the tests were short term and tested...

    I don't have access to the "new scientist" article about atheists not being anymore rational so it's hard to check. But I've seen similar studies and I imagine the tests were short term and tested a lot of common logical mistake people make. In that case it wouldn't be surprising to not see any differences because in the end we're all human and susceptible to the same quirks of the human condition.

    Although when it comes to religion, I think there is a sub-group of atheists who when given a topic, resources, and time will arrive at a more rational position than others. Although these people are just better at critical thinking and this isn't necessarily related to them being atheists beside the fact they applied that critical thinking to their religious beliefs. It'd be nice to see a study that focuses on that type of longer term information processing. But even selecting out that group to test could be challenging.

    10 votes
    1. Vadsamoht
      Link Parent
      Your comment made me wonder - has there been any study done on whether religious people are (statistically) more likely to accept certain fallacies like appeals to authority or post-hoc reasoning...

      Your comment made me wonder - has there been any study done on whether religious people are (statistically) more likely to accept certain fallacies like appeals to authority or post-hoc reasoning than non-religious people? It seems like a pretty basic question so I wouldn't be surprised if someone's looked into that somewhere.

      6 votes
    2. [4]
      tomf
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Here's a massive screencap of the New Scientist article https://i.imgur.com/xypWTFJ.jpg larger: https://i.imgtc.com/gy8uNLQ.png

      Here's a massive screencap of the New Scientist article

      https://i.imgur.com/xypWTFJ.jpg

      larger: https://i.imgtc.com/gy8uNLQ.png

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        Is that what imgur is like now? It's horrendous. It has shrunk and compressed the image so much that the text is no longer legable.

        Is that what imgur is like now? It's horrendous. It has shrunk and compressed the image so much that the text is no longer legable.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          tomf
          Link Parent
          let's try imgtc -- https://i.imgtc.com/gy8uNLQ.png The copy of the magazine I have has that compression for each page. This is as good as I can find.

          let's try imgtc -- https://i.imgtc.com/gy8uNLQ.png

          The copy of the magazine I have has that compression for each page. This is as good as I can find.

          5 votes
          1. Akir
            Link Parent
            Thank you. That is much more legible. It was also a very interesting read.

            Thank you. That is much more legible. It was also a very interesting read.

            1 vote
  4. [2]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I'm not completely sure what the motivation is for this article. But if it's trying to discredit atheism then there's some kind of logical fallicy going on here. Since I don't know a name for it,...

    I'm not completely sure what the motivation is for this article. But if it's trying to discredit atheism then there's some kind of logical fallicy going on here. Since I don't know a name for it, I'll describe it by analogy.

    "Good" people who help old ladies cross the street aren't always perfect.

    As if one would negate the other.

    6 votes
  5. [14]
    nic
    Link
    Hi Algernon, can you explain what interested you about this post?

    Hi Algernon, can you explain what interested you about this post?

    10 votes
    1. [13]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure why you're asking this, so here's a brief but scattershot response addressing what I think are the most likely motives behind your request: I strongly disagree with the proposition...

      I'm not sure why you're asking this, so here's a brief but scattershot response addressing what I think are the most likely motives behind your request:

      • I strongly disagree with the proposition that people should be expected to provide submission statements to support their posts here. I believe a submission should stand on its own merits.

      • I post some articles because I believe other people may be interested in them, not because I am personally interested in them.

      • I do not necessarily agree with every opinion expressed in articles and opinion pieces I post.

      If you would like me to expand on any of these points, please feel free to ask. If you still want me to justify my posting of this opinion piece after reading these points, let me know, and I'll explain why I posted it.

      10 votes
      1. [5]
        nic
        Link Parent
        I read the article twice, and could find absolutely no redeeming qualities in it at all. It ends with the completely unsubstantiated statement "the scientific evidence does not tend to support the...

        I read the article twice, and could find absolutely no redeeming qualities in it at all.

        It ends with the completely unsubstantiated statement "the scientific evidence does not tend to support the view that atheism is about rational thought and theism is about existential fulfilments" yet provides no evidence for this assertion.

        The underlying article it links to makes an interesting point that religion is correlated with lack of social safety nets, and that "strong athiests" feel religion is "morally harmful and to be opposed" because "feeling under threat increases commitment to in-group ideologies."

        But that doesn't demonstrate irrationality.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Thank you for analysing the article. Might I suggest that, next time you read an article you don't like, you jump straight to this sort of analysis, rather than trying to analyse the submitter's...

          Thank you for analysing the article. Might I suggest that, next time you read an article you don't like, you jump straight to this sort of analysis, rather than trying to analyse the submitter's motives for posting it? Focus on the message, rather than the messenger.

          As for it having no redeeming qualities, I believe that it is an extremely relevant post for the "theology" strand here in ~humanities. What sort of productive discussion could we have about theology if we don't also include the voices of religious apologist? Not all articles posted here will be to your liking.

          With that out of the way...

          This opinion piece talks about people who turn away from the religion of their parents, and how that process of deconverting can sometimes happen for irrational reasons, such as not seeing a consistent demonstration of religious values in action, rather than through a logical analysis of the religion itself. These children are rejecting religion based on the inconsistent actions of religious people, rather than because the religion itself is inconsistent. They're judging the messengers, rather than the message.

          I will say that some of these deconverted atheists are among the most irrational atheists I've encountered in my time on the internet. They will simply reject everything to do with religion, even the facts or the good things, based on their own irrational hatred of a religion that they left. These ex-religious atheists (as opposed to once-and-always atheists such as me) are often motivated by a hatred of the religion they deconverted from. That hatred underlies their whole response to religion. For example, if you try to explain to them that a historical event or person mentioned in a religious text is supported by non-religious historical evidence, they'll irrationally reject that evidence because they're rejecting everything about their former religion, even the mere existence of a real event or person.

          There are also atheists who believe in reincarnation or an immortal soul that continues to exist in an afterlife - even though there is no rational support for such a belief.

          There is something to be said for the idea that atheism does not always come from, or equate to, rationality.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            nic
            Link Parent
            Well I was wrong, the article clearly merits discussion. I think you are incorrect, to state that this particular article can stand on it's own. I've seen your comments enough to know there was...

            Well I was wrong, the article clearly merits discussion.

            I think you are incorrect, to state that this particular article can stand on it's own. I've seen your comments enough to know there was something thought provoking behind your submission, but while your analysis is compelling, the article itself is a hodge podge.

            The New Scientist article that was linked to is replicated here:

            http://www.thoughtnaction.co.in/religion-is-irrational-but-so-is-atheism/

            It suggests a lack of a social welfare/safety net is what causes strong religious adherence, and that strong social welfare programs create less of a need for religious adherence. Lack of religious adherence results in children abandoning religion as the religion is merely paid lip service.

            If you take it a step further, the article says feeling under threat increases commitment to in-group ideologies, making the children strong proponents of atheism. This makes sense from an intuitive sense, in that when children abandon the teachings of a parent due to perceived hypocrisy, the tendency is to go to the other extreme. This is is also completely consistent with the central theme of the link above, that the lack of a safety net (will Dad support me if I deny his religion?) will create a strong adherence to the in group belief system (making the children even stronger atheists).

            Maybe I did take this to personally. I'm an ex-religious atheist, and I consider myself mostly rational. Since moving to America, I've seen the harm of what increased commitment to in-group ideologies can do. Conservative Americans are feeling threatened economically, socially and religiously, and they are doubling down on protectionism, racism and extremism. I think it is perfectly rational to take a strong stance against that, as the American love of guns, god an country is not only irrational, but harmful.

            Living in Australia, I dont think you realize how bad it is over here. Most religious folks in other similar western democracies are quite pleasant and rational to talk to, or at the very least are not actively trying to thrust their views onto an entire country.

            I think it's worth pointing out, the atheists you interact with are probably 16-21 years old living in America, and haven't had the luxury of educating themselves with Sanders, Ehrman or Fredriksen.

            5 votes
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Again, you're imputing motives to me that may not have existed. I may have thought to myself, "Here's an interesting opinion piece on atheism by a religious apologist that would suit the theology...

              I've seen your comments enough to know there was something thought provoking behind your submission,

              Again, you're imputing motives to me that may not have existed. I may have thought to myself, "Here's an interesting opinion piece on atheism by a religious apologist that would suit the theology stream of ~humanities. As an atheist myself, I need to make sure I don't just post pro-atheism or anti-religion articles when posting to that group, so this works on that level of maintaining impartiality, too. I sure hope someone there finds this piece interesting! And, if someone starts discussing it, I'll probably jump in." It may have been as simple as that.

              Don't confuse my practice in commenting with my practice in submitting topics. My comments are my personal opinions; my submissions are my impersonal contributions to Tildes.

              I think it's worth pointing out, the atheists you interact with are probably 16-21 years old living in America, and haven't had the luxury of educating themselves with Sanders, Ehrman or Fredriksen.

              I had sort of guessed this, but it's irrelevant. Regardless of who these people are and how they got to where they are, they still exist. There are irrational atheists.

              3 votes
        2. Archimedes
          Link Parent
          I agree. To me, it sounds like the author is basically just saying "humans, even atheists, are not perfectly rational creatures" and there is little substantive content beyond that rather bland...

          I agree. To me, it sounds like the author is basically just saying "humans, even atheists, are not perfectly rational creatures" and there is little substantive content beyond that rather bland aphorism.

          6 votes
      2. [7]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        Why would you post an article you don't agree with? Posting something to a public forum is usually implied to be an endorsement.

        Why would you post an article you don't agree with? Posting something to a public forum is usually implied to be an endorsement.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          To prompt discussion. To provide content that interests other people. To keep Tildes active and growing. To curate and develop this group that I requested. To support a future ~humanities.theology...

          Why would you post an article you don't agree with?

          To prompt discussion. To provide content that interests other people. To keep Tildes active and growing. To curate and develop this group that I requested. To support a future ~humanities.theology sub-group. Lots of reasons!

          14 votes
          1. [4]
            Velrei
            Link Parent
            I've always thought that was a cop-out; if you share something transparently bad you're taking time away from people reading something good. Even on the subject of atheists (or atheist groups)...

            I've always thought that was a cop-out; if you share something transparently bad you're taking time away from people reading something good.

            Even on the subject of atheists (or atheist groups) being irrational there are plenty of articles written by people not on the payroll of religious fundamentalists with an axe to grind.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Who said this opinion piece was transparently bad? Certainly not me! Even though I disagree with the opinions expressed in this piece, I accept that they represent the thoughts of a significant...

              if you share something transparently bad

              Who said this opinion piece was transparently bad? Certainly not me! Even though I disagree with the opinions expressed in this piece, I accept that they represent the thoughts of a significant religious population. In that sense, this piece is good, in that it expresses those thoughts.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                Velrei
                Link Parent
                With that justification, I think you could post literally any piece of trash, including outright links from white supremacist groups, under the the idea that they're good pieces because they show...

                With that justification, I think you could post literally any piece of trash, including outright links from white supremacist groups, under the the idea that they're good pieces because they show the thoughts of a significant population.

                Isn't it more worthwhile to actually post articles that discuss the group in question and their views instead of just parroting what they say in the hopes that it creates a discussion?

                In any case, the discussion here is pretty much unrelated to what the thoughts of that religious population is anyway. I know this is a small community, but clearly posting an article slandering a minority group (again, plenty of articles that accurately bash atheist groups) isn't fostering the discussion you'd hope.

                If this is supposed to support a future theology discussion group, it's only going to make an atheist like myself more smug and assume I have nothing to learn from such a group.

                1 vote
                1. Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  Yes? And...? I don't see anything in the rules which says "post only things you agree with or things you approve of". I know. People keep discussing the fact that I posted this article they don't...

                  I think you could post literally any piece of trash, including outright links from white supremacist groups, under the the idea that they're good pieces because they show the thoughts of a significant population.

                  Yes? And...? I don't see anything in the rules which says "post only things you agree with or things you approve of".

                  In any case, the discussion here is pretty much unrelated to what the thoughts of that religious population is anyway.

                  I know. People keep discussing the fact that I posted this article they don't like, rather than discussing the content of the article. It's frustrating, but I can't control how people choose to respond to what I post.

                  If this is supposed to support a future theology discussion group, it's only going to make an atheist like myself more smug and assume I have nothing to learn from such a group.

                  I assume things will be different when I'm not the only one posting theology-related articles here. I post these articles that I can tag with "theology" so, when Deimos asks for group suggestions in the future, I can suggest a ~humanities.theology group. Eventually, this site will be big enough that other people will fill that group with content but, for now, you seem to be stuck with what I can find (unless other people starting posting theology-related articles).

                  3 votes
        2. Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          Not always. Frequently, it's just an invitation to discussion.

          Not always. Frequently, it's just an invitation to discussion.

          9 votes