This does seem to be the new axis upon which YouTube spins: Heartwarming: Christian and Atheist YouTubers Used to Hate Each Other But Now Agree the White Race is Under Attack.
Most people think Christians and Atheists get along like cats and dogs! But these two YouTubers are smashing stereotypes by showing you can get along with someone who has different views on religion, so long as you both think America is for Europeans only.
Oh, wait — there’s another axis, atheists joining hands with Christians to hate trans people. That one has led to many a schism recently.
But…it’s a satire site! Hasn’t anyone told them that satire is dead?
As an atheist myself, I have more in common with Christians who understand the message of the Bible than atheists who understand nothing outside their tiny world view.
I mean, sure, the message of the Bible can be contradictory. Maybe I meant to say Christians who see the humanity in the Bible.
‘message of the bible’
Ok, the genocide, the misogyny, the slavery, the yelling at fig trees. the etc? Is there any particular humanity message you refer to, you ‘take me seriously cos I am an atheist’ you?
What a stupid fucking name.
Ray Ceeya says
“But…it’s a satire site! Hasn’t anyone told them that satire is dead?”
Killed by Poe’s Law 2020CE.
William George says
I literally wouldn’t have known it was satire since we’re living in a Savannah Nix history.
Rob Grigjanis says
Here’s one, you blinkered ideologue you. Matthew 25:34-40
There are Christians who take that seriously, and there are atheists who couldn’t give a shit about their brothers and sisters.
I care far less about what a person believes than I do about how they treat other people.
Thank you, Rob Grigjanis @ 7 and a_ray_in_dilbert_space @ 8! I’ve never thought a person’s religion or lack thereof is particularly important. How you treat your fellow man is the name of the game!
I don’t remember calling myself a blinkered ideologue but ok. I’ll concede that the bible stop clocked it’s way into that one. But wow, you really would have to have blinkers on to think that the bible has a ‘good’ message for the vast majority of itself.
Tabby Lavalamp says
I gave up on my militant atheism years ago. The Deep Rifts were a large part of it, but I remember being in a conversation about “I don’t mind religious as long as people don’t try to force it down my throat” and realizing I was the one who brought up my atheism first. Now I’d rather stand with a progressive Christian or Muslim than pretty much anyone in organized atheism.
I think this is one of those ideological debates carried out mostly by white people, specifically Christian and apostate Christian, who I’m going to guess have little experience with those of other races and religions. As with every other “national conversation”, no matter where it starts, it always ends with “How does this affect white people?” (see e.g. BLM) Other races are, what?, NPCs maybe? They lack agency in these debates.
I am a middle aged non-believer, white, raised Catholic by serious liberal Catholic parents. But if I took the people I interact with on a daily basis, very many are “highly skilled immigrants” (tech workers) representing the world’s major non-Christian religions such as Islam, Hinduism, or Sikhism. Basically, they grew up practicing a religion, and it provides a framework for life events like marriages and funerals, as well as festivals and disciplines like fasting, all of which establish a cultural identity. They keep doing what their parents taught them because that’s what you do in a stable society.
I suspect that this fulfills a human need and that my choice to stop practicing a religion leaves me a little adrift. But so be it. It is really difficult for me to mouth statements as truth that I do not actually believe. My working theory is that this just comes a lot easier to many people, not that they really believe what they ostensibly claim. (Anyway, I give up. Maybe they really believe. I’m not a mind reader.)
Obviously I am white and I am never going to lose some affinities there: white people who went to Catholic school during the generation I did. White science fiction fans I knew in college way back. I don’t necessarily like them, but we get each other’s jokes. That’s affinity. I actually have a much higher respect for immigrants, because they seem to be the ones who have latched onto the “Land of Opportunity” myth in which you work hard and/or innovate, provide value to society and are rewarded for this. (Not always, but sometimes.) Sorry, I cannot stop being white, but maybe I can be a self-hating white person. WTF is supposed to be so great about white skin and European ancestry? I just don’t get it.
The normal people around me are largely immigrants. They just do stuff like work, take care of their family, and carry out their customs with being overly concerned with what anyone else is doing.
@1 What message of the Bible? “Worship God…or else?” That seems to be the most consistent message of the Bible. Most other “messages,” including the relevant moral ones, depends on what verses the reader cherry-picks.
Uh, OK, but isn’t this the nominal expectation? That Christians take their sacred text seriously while there is no particular reason to expect atheists to find the same text compelling?
It is more interesting to observe that there are Christians who are extremely, aggressively selfish and use their religion as a way to deflect from their behavior. There are atheists who would literally give you the shirt off their back just because they are decent, humane people. (Or do you agree with this?)
Given that the Bible is filled with conflicting assertions, maybe it is more interesting to look at what it does not contain. I was thinking about vigilantes “protecting businesses” during protests, and (though I could be missing something). I think the idea of taking up arms to protect property is very conspicuously missing from the gospels (possibly even the Old Testament, though arms are taken up for other reasons such as genocide and occupying “promised” territory). The one instance I can think of offhand when anyone takes up a weapon is when Jesus admonishes his “companion” for taking up a sword to protect him (Matthew 26:52). I conclude from this that peace is a central message of the gospel, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and every other atrocity notwithstanding.
Anyway, I was raised as a pacifist, and it is less interesting to me whether the Bible is the basis of my ethics than whether these ethics are internally consistent. I think they are reasonably so, and I maintain them. But I am still puzzled when I try to understand Christian gun culture, because there is no biblical support (at least New Testament) for placing property above human life. There is no biblical support for plumbing either, but the difference is that few people claim to unclog drains in the name of Jesus but very many people claim to arm themselves for Jesus.
Rob Grigjanis says
PaulBC @14: indianajones asked a question. I answered it. I’m not remotely interested in yet another tiresome “discussion” about the inconsistencies of believers, or the Bible. People believe weird shit. Go figure.
Rob Grigjanis@15 Fine, but your opening volley was pretty extensive for a trivial point. Yes, some Christians subscribe to what are traditionally called “Christian ethics.” Some atheists do not.
consciousness razor says
Earlier in Matthew (not long after the infamous fig tree incident, also a matter of property or death), there’s a parable in 21:33-45. God is the proverbial absent landlord who leases it to peasant farmers. The bad guy peasants don’t want to give the fruits of their own labor to the landlord’s servants who are sent to retrieve it, so they fight back. Then God retaliates, and he’s considered the rightful owner because he’s bigger and badder than they are, so that’s good. The end.
In the Old Testament, the protagonists literally fight a genocidal campaign, purportedly with God’s help, in order to gain more territory for themselves. That’s kind of a big one too.
consciousness razor says
Sorry, I submitted that before I made the point clear at the end. You said genocide/occupation constitutes “other reasons,” but I don’t see a meaningful difference. They think it’s theirs, and they protect it violently. That’s exactly what we’re talking about.
There are atheists who take The End of Faith and The Moral Landscape very seriously and could quote each verse by verse and “think” exactly as the master would on every issue. Some may even fork over the money for full content of the master’s podcasts.
I myself think the world according to “horseman” Dennett is a pretty interesting place to be though I draw the line at his memetics and overly enthusiastic Darwinism. I’ve since moved on to Owen Flanagan and recently have become more acquainted with Jurgen Habermas. Each runs circles around Harris. Sans biblical command morality what is there that can be construed as truly discoverable and not purely intersubjective in a secular approach?
John Morales says
Might makes right.
as practiced christianity is a hot mess. If the majority of christians were like Martin Luther King, Daniel Berrigan or Cornell West, I might still consider them good but most are not even close.
You’re right, people do believe some weird shit. Things like seeing humanity in the Bible when the Bible has lines like:
Ephesians 6:5-8 “Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ”.
There are Christians who take that seriously. Not that long ago millions of Christians took it seriously enough to form the CSA and start the deadliest war the US ever fought (in terms of US soldiers and civilians killed).
Rob Grigjanis says
Alverant @23: Makes you wonder why British missionaries in the early 19th century thought it necessary to come up with the Slave Bible. They cut out about three quarters of it; the bits which might make black slaves think maybe they shouldn’t be slaves (I’m guessing one of the things they left out was Psalm 137). The most likely reason for the redaction is that plantation owners didn’t want missionaries coming in and giving their slaves ideas. Chopping out the ‘bad’ bits was the only way they’d let them in. It’s always about the money.
So the Southerners picked out a few verses while ignoring tons of others. That’s the sort of thing horrible people do. It’s worth noting that some of the most fervent abolitionists were also Christians.
@14 PaulBC: “It is more interesting to observe that there are Christians who are extremely, aggressively selfish and use their religion as a way to deflect from their behavior..”
For whom? For white you? All those immigrants you admire so much? The entire world?
It has been known for years that humans excel at justifying their behaviour in all kinds of way, including the behaviour you describe. It escapes me why it would be more interesting if christians do this. What I find interesting is those christians (socialists, liberals etc.) who criticize their own behaviour due to their particular religion/ideology. They are the exceptions.
@16: “your opening volley was pretty extensive for a trivial poin”
Lovely irony, given the triviality I just quoted and criticized.
@ Rob Grigjanis
There is a standing opinion from a category of individuals, which I include myself in more recently, who call themselves “anti-theists”, which goes like this, “Why are you praising religion for something that literally every single creed, whether supernatural or otherwise, when it actually promotes cooperation, instead of strife, always contains, and is always identical. There is no ‘message’ here, other than, ‘If you are not a total asshole, be nice to other people.’, and almost every single social construct says this, without necessarily needing gods, or sacred texts.” The anti-theists go a step farther than this and point out that the other “commonality” with religions, or any other cult like group, is that there always a threshold of exclusion. In other words, “These things only really apply to the chosen people.”, or, “Do all these nice things, unless you are confronted with an apostate.”, etc.
Basically, despite the “supposed” positive messages in the Bible, which some people spin to suggest they apply to everyone, and equally, the reality is that this “standard” or universal niceness and well wishing is modern, as in “this century”. Before the recent decision to just flat out ignore, “all the contradictory parts”, and only focus on the nice bits, no one who followed it thought that such ideas, even taken from it, applied to everyone, and outside of the really supper liberal modern versions, some categories of people are still classed as, “Not really deserving of such charity.”
Rob Grigjanis says
Kagehi @26: So anti-theists aren’t exclusionary? That’s great, though the ‘anti’ could give one pause.
Frederic Bourgault-Christie says
It’s telling that I’m not sure if you mean it or not when you say satire is dead, so deep are the layers of irony, but here, yeah, satire is dead. They’re being humorous, but they’re describing something that literally happens. Logicked had to defend continuing to make anti-apologetic content because his fans thought it would break up the anti-“SJW” coalition. The only joke is the sarcastic tone.
@Rob – Anti-theist in the sense of, “against religion in general, not just gods”. Lets not put false words in my mouth and claim it somehow can be used to defend your already existing flawed defense. All it suggests of you is that you are good at making erroneous defenses of generally bad ideas. The guy that seems to have coined the phrase “anti-theist” is one of the nicest people on the internet, in his videos, and goes out of his way to not just let religious people attempt to make a case, but is willing to even, for the sake of the argument, say, “Lets just set aside X and assume its true. Now that we are not arguing about the basic premise of your god even ‘existing’ or some other existential complication, what precisely is your argument for your faith being the right one?” This.. invariably, 90% of the time, either leads to the arguer going in circles, without offering anything tangible, or them reverting back to trying to argue that their faith must be true, because the thing he already ceded, for purposes of the discussion, is “real”. Which, again, was already allowed, as a, “known factor, which doesn’t need to be argued”.
It probably doesn’t help much that this guy has been everything from a Mormon to an ex-pagan, and probably, in the process of figuring out that it was all nonsense, has read, studied, and learned, more about almost “every” religion than most of the people trying to argue with him. He even has discussion panels with ex-Muslims, who have studied the history of “their” faith, and found it wanting, and spend a fun bit of time describing its absurdities, misunderstandings about the world, and exactly what the real, non-translated, versions say, compared to the alternatives, and just how much worse those often are when it comes to history, science, humanity, or just general comprehension of how the world really works.
So, no, anti-theist is no more “exclusionary” than being anti-fascist, and for the same reason – neither theism, nor fascism, are healthy ideologies.