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Mayor says giving atheists equal treatment is like favoring the Nazis or the KKK

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
A Michigan mayor compared atheists to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to defend his decision to exclude secular groups from setting up a “reason station” alongside a “prayer station” on public property, reported the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan mayor says giving atheists equal treatment is like favoring the Nazis or the KKK
I am not anti Christian but you can't allow one group to set up like this and not allow another. That town doesn't just belong to just Christians and its not just Christians paying the taxes that support that town. Its not fair and it is discrimination. I have a feeling he would be screaming discrimination if it were Christians not be allowed to set up a prayer station.

I think he is a idiot for comparing atheists to Nazis or KKK. He is the one being a Nazi here.

Thoughts?
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
"Reason station" is stupidly named because it implies a belief in God is without reason and atheism is based on reason, but otherwise I agree, you can't discriminate and not allow it. I would leave it named as such. If one wishes to look stupid by setting up a station so named by all means, do so.
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
Makes a lot more sense to disallow ALL religious groups from having booths at City Hall than it does to have controversy over picking and choosing which ones will be allowed. Like, maybe if they tried to separate state business from church interests, this problem wouldn't exist?

It's a political institution, and it's not as though any religious group promoting their values has any real right to be there in the first place. If people visiting City Hall really need religious support, they're welcome to visit a church, mosque, temple, "reason station" or whatever helps them before or after their visit... there's no reason that any such booths need to be on premise.

And before anybody can appeal to the tradition of having such a booth, I'll go ahead and point out that "appeal to tradition" is literally the name of a logical fallacy.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
It would probably be better in the long run to not allow any religious groups to set up on public property. You could end up with everything from The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to Satanists wanting to have a station.

However I don't think this man is representing a religion just an opposing opinion and the mayor doesn't like his opinion.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
"I'm the first mayor to embrace the idea of diversity, in terms of appointments I've made. I'm the first mayor to appoint an African American to be top department head," Fouts said. "My executive assistant is an Arab American ... I've done everything I can to reach out and embrace diversity."
"I've got a black friend! And I know an Arab too!"

This guy sounds like a prick. The name, to me, implies not that God-fearing people are without actual reason, but that the reason for everything according to the Christians is . . . well, God. Atheists obviously do not think so and believe in reasoning to explain things in the world. I guess you can believe it's dumb but I'm pretty sure that's why some Atheists use the word. Either way, is there really an appeal to having a 'prayer station' at city hall?

What the hell do you need a station for to pray? Isn't that almost as redundant as having a 'breathing room'?
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I think that definition just met mine, that is atheists use reason thus implying Christians don't.

Not nearly the same thing. While you don't need a station to pray, a prayer station is a place where like minded people CAN pray together. Not that I agree with it, it doesn't need to be on government property, but it's nothing like a "breathing station".
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
Are some atheists just as zealous, evangelical, militant and annoying as some Christians? You betcha. But comparing them to Nazis or the KKK is going way overboard. I don't see why they can't be allowed to have a voice just like Christians do (or any other religious group).

Having said that, I find that I agree with SenatorB on this one. Why not disallow all religious groups from having a booth at City Hall? A separation of church and state would not be unreasonable on government grounds. Sure, people would be up in arms about that I suppose, but it's not like they couldn't set up booths elsewhere if they really wanted to.
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
I think that definition just met mine, that is atheists use reason thus implying Christians don't.
But... but they dont... at least as far as their religion is concerned, they operate entirely on faith alone (not that religious people might not use reason in other aspects of their life, of course). Religious people didn't sit down by themselves and think "well it stands to reason, based on observable evidence and our best understanding of the universe, that there must be an all powerful being who impregnated an ancient woman so their son could be killed so I can have my sins absolved and I won't be tortured forever." Everything a christian believes about their religion was taught to them, and they believe it completely on faith and faith alone... just because your parents, pastor, or a 20 century old book tells you something doesn't make it reasonable to believe, but believing it does make you faithful to that source.

Atheists on the other hand have established their beliefs based on reason. When religious beliefs were described to them, they didn't believe them blindly but instead subjected them to logic. They believe that you don't believe something unless there's a reason to believe it. There are innumerably many observable and testable things that are reasonable to be believed, logic and human understanding support them very well--it is highly unreasonable to also believe in a particularly small and specific set of things that, despite all of humanity's best efforts, cannot be and have never been observed.

It's no more stupid to label atheists' beliefs as "reason" than it is to label Christians' beliefs as "faithful". It's literally what they are, and they're polar opposites... gotta call a spade a spade, y'know? So, uh, sorry if not being part of the reason camp bothers you, but unfortunately you can't have the best of both worlds here (though there's nothing stopping you from making conscious a choice about whether your beliefs are rooted in reason or faith).
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
But... but they dont... at least as far as their religion is concerned, they operate entirely on faith alone (not that religious people might not use reason in other aspects of their life, of course). Religious people didn't sit down by themselves and think "well it stands to reason, based on observable evidence and our best understanding of the universe, that there must be an all powerful being who impregnated an ancient woman so their son could be killed so I can have my sins absolved and I won't be tortured forever." Everything a christian believes about their religion was taught to them, and they believe it completely on faith and faith alone... just because your parents, pastor, or a 20 century old book tells you something doesn't make it reasonable to believe, but believing it does make you faithful to that source.

Atheists on the other hand have established their beliefs based on reason. When religious beliefs were described to them, they didn't believe them blindly but instead subjected them to logic. They believe that you don't believe something unless there's a reason to believe it. There are innumerably many observable and testable things that are reasonable to be believed, logic and human understanding support them very well--it is highly unreasonable to also believe in a particularly small and specific set of things that, despite all of humanity's best efforts, cannot be and have never been observed.

It's no more stupid to label atheists' beliefs as "reason" than it is to label Christians' beliefs as "faithful". It's literally what they are, and they're polar opposites... gotta call a spade a spade, y'know? So, uh, sorry if not being part of the reason camp bothers you, but unfortunately you can't have the best of both worlds here (though there's nothing stopping you from making conscious a choice about whether your beliefs are rooted in reason or faith).
This is exactly what I was talking about. So it isn't REASONABLE then to say "after Jesus was crucified every single one of his followers HAD to be scared they were next, and their belief that he was the Messiah and came back from the dead was even stronger than before and not ONE single one of them recanted their claim. Not ONE said 'ok, we were lying, please don't kill me' every single one of them was willing to die defending their claims" thus it's REASONABLE to believe their claims. I'm not saying you have to believe them or it's unreasonable not to believe them, it's reasonable to doubt them to be sure, but to say it ISN'T reasonable it's not looking at it objectively.

Sorry, you obviously don't know much about the history of Christianity or religion in general and instead are looking at it from a "my side is reasonable and yours isn't" perspective. Which proves my point about the naming of the station to begin with.

And just so that my position is clear I never said atheists AREN'T unreasonable, their beliefs, or lack thereof, can be supported 100% by reason. It's just extremely short sighted to think one side has a monopoly on reason. It's also incorrect to think faith and reason are mutually exclusive.

By the way, don't ever tell me what Christians or more specifically what I base my faith on. You have no idea what I base my faith on and you have no idea what spiritual journey I've gone on. That kind of presumptuousness is based on nothing but ignorance.
 
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SenatorB

J.S.P.S
This is exactly what I was talking about. So it isn't REASONABLE then to say "after Jesus was crucified every single one of his followers HAD to be scared they were next, and their belief that he was the Messiah and came back from the dead was even stronger than before and not ONE single one of them recanted their claim. Not ONE said 'ok, we were lying, please don't kill me' every single one of them was willing to die defending their claims" thus it's REASONABLE to believe their claims.
Correct, it is not reasonable. First off, lots of people were crucified back then, and people from all walks of life had every right to be legitimately afraid of that consequence despite their continued actions endangering them... not that anybody, from Jesus' followers to the next "messiah" half a block down's fear of crucifixion really makes anything more or less reasonable. Don't forget that history is written by the victors; just because we have 19-20 century old records from the religion that ended up winning out saying "we've always been right" doesn't mean that there weren't dissenters and deserters at the time who's voices have been lost in the thousands of years of history since then. There is a far greater incentive for the followers of Jesus to assert their correctness over time than there is for those who did not believe to ensure their opinions retained a historic value.

1 Corinthians 15:6 holds that 500 people witnessed Jesus after his resurrection... This sounds impressive (though only a little, as even 500 people isn't all that many when considering that such an outlandish claim would require a very high burden of proof, and the fact that they viewed something from the sort of distance required for 500 people to all see something) until you take into account that this was written 20 years after the fact by someone who benefits greatly from an impressive sounding story (it shouldn't even be necessary to ask "but what reason would he have to lie?" and it's worth noticing that only the apostles are on record as being close enough to touch him [Luke 24:37-43]). Paul tells us there were 500 people, where are ANY of their stories backing up his claims? Do, of course, correct me if I'm missing some key biblical lines here--do, however, take into consideration that even within the different sects of Christianity there are wildly contradictory beliefs, so please do try to find something that they all agree on if you'd like to bring it up.

I'm not saying you have to believe them or it's unreasonable not to believe them, it's reasonable to doubt them to be sure, but to say it ISN'T reasonable it's not looking at it objectively.
Since you have admitted that it's not "unreasonable not to believe them" (catch that double negative?) and that "it's reasonable to doubt them to be sure" than it is your own assertion that there is no certainty in the matter, since certainty is the antonym of doubt. Steadfast and certain belief in something that is reasonable to doubt and about which there is no certainty is not reasonable, though it is faithful. As far as viewing the matter objectively, it is absolutely not objective to take the bible as the final word on the matter without weighing it against the far more logical alternatives.

Sorry, you obviously don't know much about the history of Christianity or religion in general and instead are looking at it from a "my side is reasonable and yours isn't" perspective. Which proves my point about the naming of the station to begin with.
I actually know quite a bit about the history of Christianity and religion in general. I've explained in detail why a non-believer's perspective is reasonable (something you actually agree with several times in your post) and I've given many examples of how any given faith is unreasonable. But y'know, thanks for the dismissive assumption, and for ignoring and steamrolling past all the points I've made.....

And just so that my position is clear I never said atheists AREN'T unreasonable, their beliefs, or lack thereof, can be supported 100% by reason. It's just extremely short sighted to think one side has a monopoly on reason. It's also incorrect to think faith and reason are mutually exclusive.
So we're on the same page that atheists' beliefs are reasonable. Great.

Now find me a definition from any non-religious source of the word "faith" that doesn't explicitly mention a lack of proof. Block yourself off some time for that search, it might take a while. Belief without proof is not generally considered to be "reason". It's less that one side has a monopoly on reason, as that the other side isn't using any.

By the way, don't ever tell me what Christians or more specifically what I base my faith on. You have no idea what I base my faith on and you have no idea what spiritual journey I've gone on. That kind of presumptuousness is based on nothing but ignorance.
Sorry to give you the impression that I was telling you what you personally believe, I assure you I only use the word "you" in the universal sense. Frankly, I don't really care and it's not really relevant what you personally base your faith on or what sort of spiritual journey you've gone on... unless it's somehow based on objective, observable, testable evidence, the moral of the story is that it is, as you said in your own words, faith. Just because you have reasons for believing something does not mean you are utilizing reason... My buddy went on a spiritual journey into the woods and after tripping hard and petting a wild animal he now believes in The Divinity of the Seven Raccoons, but since nobody but him can see or test for the healing miracles of The Great Procyonidae, one must logically consider him devoutly faithful but entirely without reason.

As far as telling you what Christians base their faith (there's that word again) on, it's uh, a pretty well documented subject? Hardly presumptuous or ignorant having taken classes and done research on the subject, one might be more accurate to call my assertions in this regard well-versed. That being said, it's not even about you, or specifically Christians or the bible (though the fact that it's a very popular religion which many people know a lot about does make for lots of convenient examples to use), it's that religion in general demands belief despite a lack of evidence whereas atheism promotes belief as a result of overwhelming evidence.

---

Now don't take it the wrong way, I'm not saying one doesn't have every right to their beliefs. Though a Christian believes in the word of the Bible, a Muslim believes in the word of the Quran, and my friend believes in word of The Great Tree Story, each individual is entitled to their beliefs... if it comforts you, or provides you some positive benefit without negatively impacting others, I can't help but support that. But don't delude yourself, or attempt to spread that delusion to others--unless you're a non-believer, you're faith is based on, well, faith. As I mentioned earlier: if that's upsetting to you, I'm truly sorry for your consternation, though again, it's not out of your control to change to a system of belief that's based instead on reason.
 
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