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"IF"

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  • Newton Joseph
    I don t think we can distroy religion. But I think it can be weakened. If it were possible that atheist groups with unlimited resources in regards to money,we
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 4, 2005
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      I don't think we can distroy religion. But I think it can be weakened.
      If it were possible that atheist groups with unlimited resources in
      regards to money,we could have hour long twice daily atheist programs
      on prime time TV. If Freethought publications were given wider
      distrabution and if we had atheist columns in major newspapers. "IF"
      magizines and newspapers were not cowed by the threat of boycot from
      fanatical christian groups. If had atheist lobbyists in
      Whashington, "if".
    • Mr. Pessimistic
      Lotta IF s! Many freethinkers of the late 19th Century thought that religion would die down, but it in fact increased. I am reading Susan Jacoby s book
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 16, 2005
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        Lotta IF's!

        Many freethinkers of the late 19th Century thought that religion would
        die down, but it in fact increased.

        I am reading Susan Jacoby's book "Freethinkers" now and she attributes
        this increase in religious belief to the advent of mass media, radio
        and such, that made it possible for those of faith to reach out to a
        bigger audience and thus unite, if not increase, their ranks.

        This has all culminated in the recent puch by religious groups in the
        70's infiltrating schools boards and political offices at the hand of
        Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition (a curse on them).

        I do not think religion is going anywhere NEAR the wayside. It may
        eventually, but not for a very long time. The questions we should ask
        is how do we promote atheism and freethought...and how do we EDUCATE
        the otherwise sheepish members of our society?

        Mr. P.

        --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Newton Joseph"
        <drnjoseph@s...> wrote:
        > I don't think we can distroy religion. But I think it can be
        weakened.
        > If it were possible that atheist groups with unlimited resources in
        > regards to money,we could have hour long twice daily atheist programs
        > on prime time TV. If Freethought publications were given wider
        > distrabution and if we had atheist columns in major newspapers. "IF"
        > magizines and newspapers were not cowed by the threat of boycot from
        > fanatical christian groups. If had atheist lobbyists in
        > Whashington, "if".
      • Bruce Allen
        Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 23, 2005
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          Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
          <"The questions we should ask is how do we promote atheism and
          freethought...and how do we EDUCATE the otherwise sheepish members of
          our society?">

          Instead of promoting 'atheism' or 'freethought', perhaps we ought to
          use the tactics that the religious use and seem to understand better.
          That is to constantly point out the flaws in their thinking or
          reasoning by asking them to explain it in terms that everyone can
          understand, even those without a religious background.

          We don't need to present them with other possibilities. We want to get
          them to question for themselves what they accept as truth. We can do
          this by asking them to continue to explain until they realize they
          can't because they don't understand. When they come down to its just
          faith" or some such, ask them to explain what faith is and how it
          works, or how is it different than simply refusing to question, or
          even to explain why refusing to question is preferable to seeking
          knowledge. They will have to stop you from questioning, but if you
          stop when they know you are still questioning, they will begin to
          question themselves. Never try to get them to change their beliefs,
          but only to know that you are curious.

          The Socratic method of teaching is extremely effective no matter what
          the subject. Get the student to answer questions without giving them
          any new information. Instead of giving them an answer which they may
          immediatly object to, simply leave them questioning their own
          statements or declarations (beliefs). People really don't like
          unanswered questions and they will try to find answers. When they
          realize they can't get the answers they start looking elsewhere.
          Giving them the proper questions is the key.

          We should avoid using the standard language of belief or faith, let
          them discover for themselves what these things are and how they
          compare when dealing with the world in which they live.

          Religions are cultural. That is, every religion is unique to its
          locale. Simply asking a religious person to explain why people of one
          area believe one way and they believe another is enough to begin them
          questioning themselves IF you don't get them started defending their
          own beliefs. People must cling to their knowledge of the world (world
          view) otherwise everything they know might be wrong and that would
          cause extreme anxiety.

          They can be inspired to question themselves, a bit at a time, but they
          can not be 'forced' to look at their entire belief structure.

          Just my morning ramblings . . . . .
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