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Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:12 PM

As far as I know, none of us here live in China.

If I am mistaken, I hope someone will correct me. Most of the subscribers to this group live in the United States of America. None of us has any influence on China's politics or culture, I believe.

China is a nation of many ethnic groups. Historically, it has not had a national religion, but its people have followed many different religions during its thousands of years of existence. Currently, it is governed by people who reject religious belief. Unfortunately, its government discourages religious worship by its citizens.

China, however, does not represent atheists anywhere else on the planet. As far as I know, nobody who is a subscriber to this forum is an advocate for Chinese policies regarding religion. So, China's policies are irrelevant to the beliefs of Religion Group subscribers, who have nothing, really, to do with China at all.

Atheism is not a religious belief. Individual atheists have a wide range of social, political, and ethical positions. There is no central leadership whatsoever for atheism. Atheism is a philosophical viewpoint. Other than disbelief in the existence of deities and other supernatural entities of that sort, there is little that atheists have in common.

It is a mistake to attempt to tie American atheists to the Chinese political system. Trying to do so is a strawman argument. It is a logical error. It is simply not true.

Thank you for your attention, and for reading this post.

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Arrow 135 replies Author Time Post
Reply As far as I know, none of us here live in China. (Original post)
MineralMan Dec 2018 OP
LongtimeAZDem Dec 2018 #1
MineralMan Dec 2018 #3
LongtimeAZDem Dec 2018 #5
MineralMan Dec 2018 #6
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #2
MineralMan Dec 2018 #4
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #7
MineralMan Dec 2018 #10
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #11
MineralMan Dec 2018 #14
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #29
MineralMan Dec 2018 #30
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #42
MineralMan Dec 2018 #43
sfwriter Dec 2018 #105
Mariana Dec 2018 #32
MineralMan Dec 2018 #37
Mariana Dec 2018 #31
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #44
MineralMan Dec 2018 #46
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #48
Nitram Dec 2018 #55
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #56
MineralMan Dec 2018 #59
qazplm135 Dec 2018 #62
MineralMan Dec 2018 #63
Mariana Dec 2018 #69
MineralMan Dec 2018 #110
Mariana Dec 2018 #116
MineralMan Dec 2018 #117
MineralMan Dec 2018 #57
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #16
MineralMan Dec 2018 #17
Mariana Dec 2018 #33
MineralMan Dec 2018 #40
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #113
MineralMan Dec 2018 #115
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2018 #77
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #93
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #108
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #119
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #121
MineralMan Dec 2018 #122
dvduval Dec 2018 #8
MineralMan Dec 2018 #9
dvduval Dec 2018 #12
MineralMan Dec 2018 #15
MineralMan Dec 2018 #18
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #21
MineralMan Dec 2018 #24
dvduval Dec 2018 #34
MineralMan Dec 2018 #38
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #20
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #51
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #19
dvduval Dec 2018 #36
MineralMan Dec 2018 #50
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #58
dvduval Dec 2018 #13
edhopper Dec 2018 #22
MineralMan Dec 2018 #25
Nitram Dec 2018 #71
edhopper Dec 2018 #75
Nitram Dec 2018 #76
edhopper Dec 2018 #78
Lordquinton Dec 2018 #89
Cartoonist Dec 2018 #23
MineralMan Dec 2018 #27
dvduval Dec 2018 #39
MineralMan Dec 2018 #41
dvduval Dec 2018 #49
PatrickforO Dec 2018 #26
MineralMan Dec 2018 #28
Mariana Dec 2018 #35
violetpastille Dec 2018 #60
MineralMan Dec 2018 #61
violetpastille Dec 2018 #104
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #109
violetpastille Dec 2018 #114
Mariana Dec 2018 #65
violetpastille Dec 2018 #70
Mariana Dec 2018 #83
violetpastille Dec 2018 #85
The Genealogist Dec 2018 #52
violetpastille Dec 2018 #53
c-rational Dec 2018 #81
PatrickforO Dec 2018 #82
violetpastille Dec 2018 #86
PatrickforO Dec 2018 #92
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #45
MineralMan Dec 2018 #47
edhopper Dec 2018 #72
MineralMan Dec 2018 #73
violetpastille Dec 2018 #54
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #95
violetpastille Dec 2018 #101
AlexSFCA Dec 2018 #64
MineralMan Dec 2018 #66
AlexSFCA Dec 2018 #67
MineralMan Dec 2018 #68
Nitram Dec 2018 #74
edhopper Dec 2018 #79
AlexSFCA Dec 2018 #84
Nitram Dec 2018 #99
AlexSFCA Dec 2018 #102
violetpastille Dec 2018 #107
Nitram Dec 2018 #111
violetpastille Dec 2018 #80
sfwriter Dec 2018 #106
JNelson6563 Dec 2018 #87
Pope George Ringo II Dec 2018 #88
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2018 #90
Pope George Ringo II Dec 2018 #94
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #91
NeoGreen Dec 2018 #96
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #97
NeoGreen Dec 2018 #98
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #118
Nitram Dec 2018 #100
AlexSFCA Dec 2018 #103
Nitram Dec 2018 #112
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #120
Nitram Dec 2018 #123
MineralMan Dec 2018 #124
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #133
MineralMan Dec 2018 #125
Nitram Dec 2018 #129
MineralMan Dec 2018 #130
Nitram Dec 2018 #131
MineralMan Dec 2018 #132
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #135
MineralMan Dec 2018 #127
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #134
Corvo Bianco Dec 2018 #126
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #128

Response to MineralMan (Original post)


Response to LongtimeAZDem (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:16 PM

3. I never call anyone a troll. Usually it just turns out

to be someone who doesn't think clearly and draws illogical conclusions on a frequent basis.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)


Response to LongtimeAZDem (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:18 PM

6. No need for apologies.

You just gave me an opportunity to clarify.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:16 PM

2. yet several folks on this forum

have looked to China as a positive example of the lack of religion.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:17 PM

4. I do not recall any instances of that.

Do you, perhaps, have links to some of those posts? I will go read them right away.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:29 PM

7. No I don't routinely link or save posts of other posters

just so a random poster will believe I'm not straight up lying.

Believe me or not, don't care. I've seen it multiple times in the short time I've been here.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:35 PM

10. I see. Just as I thought.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:41 PM

11. just as you thought what?

That I'm lying? Have some testicles and say it outright.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:43 PM

14. That you have no evidence of what you stated.

That's what.

What do testicles have to do with it? I have a couple of those, but they do not affect my posts. I type with my fingers, and think with my brain.

What an odd thing to say...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:50 PM

29. so there are two options

1. I'm not a blatant liar, of which there is zero evidence in my posting history. Thus it's pretty safe and reasonable to assume, ok, that happened.

2. Or I am.

The ridiculousness of expecting me to have queued up posts from weeks or months ago to satisfy your need for absolute direct evidence is pretty high.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:54 PM

30. No. There's a third option.

3. I don't care one bit about this.

That one is true. You made a claim, but cannot back it up with evidence. So, never mind. This is the Religion Group, and it's full of claims from people who have no evidence to back up their claims about deities and the like. It's standard fare here.

Now your testicles thing...that was really funny. Very clever, too, in its own way, I suppose.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:30 PM

42. you're ridiculous

noted to ignore you in the future.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #42)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:32 PM

43. I see. Well, thanks for letting me know your opinion of me.

As Joe Pesci said:

You think I'm funny?
Funny how?
Do I make you laugh?
Do I amuse you?

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 02:25 AM

105. I'm an atheist and I haven't seen a post like that.

 

It would jump out at me.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:15 PM

32. It is a sexist thing to say. nt.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:22 PM

37. The testicles thing? I agree.

I thought it was a very odd thing to say, too. While I have those, my brain is in my head, which is where my thoughts come from. My testicles have a different function, which has nothing whatever to do with posting on DU.

People put that odd concept into words in a number of ways: Grow a pair! is one of them you see pretty often. It is terribly sexist to assume that those organs have anything to do with courage or forthrightness. Yet some people seem confused about that. Generally, it seems to be men who say such things. Perhaps they think their intelligence is stored somewhere in them.

I find it rather amusing, though. Talk about misplaced ideas about how humans function! But, odd ideas are pretty common here in this group. Ideas that really don't make much sense.

I never hear anyone tell a woman she needs a pair of ovaries, somehow. I know many courageous, assertive women. None of them have testicles, as far as I know.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:14 PM

31. Testicles? Really?

We don't often see such blatant sexism as you've expressed here. It's nice to know where you stand.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:33 PM

44. oh please

this is why the left can't gain traction, because every common euphemism becomes a test of one's purity.

I have no interest in that. Call it testicles, balls, ovaries, huevos, whatever you want to call it. it all means the same thing, you know and everyone knows it, but it's a chance to tsk tsk people can't seem to avoid jumping on.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:37 PM

46. So, you're not part of the left half of the political spectrum?

Is that it? Not a Democrat? Now I think I understand.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:38 PM

48. not remotely what I said

again you're ridiculous.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #48)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:15 PM

55. "Why the left can't gain traction" The left is doing quite well, thank you. Where are you on the

right/left spectrum?

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Response to Nitram (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:21 PM

56. No, democrats are doing fairly well

the left struggles with gaining traction with folks who would benefit from their economic policies but are turned off by claims of sexism because someone said the word testicles.

I'm not on the right, that's for sure, and no one would think so reading any of my posts.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #56)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:25 PM

59. That wasn't why it was said that what you said was sexist.

What was sexist was your implication that courage requires testicles. When you told me that I needed some testicles to tell you the truth, you implied that I didn't have any, so I couldn't have the courage to say what I thought. Here are your exact words:

"Have some testicles and say it outright."

In fact, testicles have nothing to do with that, or women would never be able to speak their minds. Obviously, women do speak their minds, so implying that testicles are related to courage is a sexist remark, and just plain untrue.

See how easy that is to figure out? Words mean stuff.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #59)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:41 PM

62. it's a euphemism

all the rest is silly outrage over nothing.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #62)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:45 PM

63. It's a sexist euphemism when used that way.

That's obvious. It's clear to everyone here. Here's how you used it:

"Have some testicles and say it outright."

It's not actually a euphemism, either. It is the proper name for the gonads of the mammalian male. "Balls" is a euphemism. "Huevos" is a euphemism, since it means "eggs" in Spanish. Both of those are euphemisms for testicles. Testicles or testes are the proper names.

However, if you replaced testicles with "balls" or "heuvos" in the sentence above, the sentence would still be sexist, since it implies that courage requires a person to have those male gonads. See, only men have testicles, so the implication is that only men can have courage. If you think about it hard enough, I'm sure you'll understand.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #63)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:00 PM

69. Honestly, at this point, I'm surprised I wasn't called hysterical.

Most posters on this Democratic site would apologize when called out for making a sexist remark, rather than digging in and defending it.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #69)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 10:45 AM

110. Yes. It's difficult for me to understand why some people

cannot understand that they are using sexist language, even when it is explained clearly to them. It's like someone defending the use of the n-word because they've used it for years. Makes no sense at all.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #110)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 02:37 PM

116. I'm pretty sure the poster understands he used sexist language. nt.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #116)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 02:41 PM

117. Yes. So I believe, as well.

All evidence points in that direction.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:22 PM

57. A good question. I asked him that, too.

His answer was that I am ridiculous. I suspect you won't get an answer either.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:15 PM

16. I haven't seen it either

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:19 PM

17. Yeah. I'd need to see a link, I think.

But, apparently, I need to get some testicles, according to the poster. I have a couple, but maybe they're worn out, since I'm 73 years old.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:17 PM

33. I never had any testicles to begin with

so what does that say about about me?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:27 PM

40. That's what I assumed from your name.

I can't see how it matters, frankly. We're not showing or comparing our gonads here in the Religion Forum. It is our brains and our thought processes we share here, and I don't think our gonads are involved with our participation.

In reality, I have no idea of the gender of most people who post here. I can't see that it matters very much, really, in most cases.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 12:53 PM

113. Oddly enough we all do have gonads.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #113)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:48 PM

115. Indeed we do.

If we did not, we would not exist, since there would be no reproduction. That's what the gonads are for.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:01 PM

77. I also don't recall here looking to China as a positive example of the lack of religion.

You really could consider linking something to substantiate your claim.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:33 PM

93. And many have pointed to other nations as examples

of progressive secularism.

But often these examples of progressive secular countries can pass some very Islamophobic legislation. So there are limits to tolerance.


My point, often repeated, is that neither theism nor atheism leads inevitably to intolerance.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #93)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 05:42 AM

108. Which theocracy was not intolerant?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #108)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 06:46 PM

119. Which society is not intolerant?

We both know the answer.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #119)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 03:09 AM

121. There are many tolerant societies.

Basically most of the modern democracies. They all guarantee human rights. None are perfect, but they cannot honestly be classified as “intolerant”.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #121)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 10:50 AM

122. Yes. For example, in law, the United States is a very tolerant society.

In the deeds of many of its citizens, including some with strong Christian religious beliefs, however we are extremely intolerant. Tolerance is a behavioral issue of individual people. Examples of intolerant people, even in tolerant societies are everywhere. Within a society, groups of people living in that society can display varying levels of tolerance and intolerance.

One needs only look at the news to see this.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:31 PM

8. Is China's political system bad?

Am I understanding that athiesm should not be associated with China because the Chinese political system is bad? I would say that their system would not work here, but there are many happy Chinese people who have more freedom now than in the past. Conversely our system would not work there.

But they do sometimes view religion as something that can be used as a tool to bring about political unrest. And I agree with this premise, but the facts of each case must be considered.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:35 PM

9. I have no direct experience with the Chinese political system.

There are happy people in every place, as well as very, very unhappy people. I've not been to China, so I can't speak about the general mood of the people there. Have you been there?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:42 PM

12. I speak Chinese

I am fluent in Chinese, so I have many friends in China, as well as in the US. Understanding the thinking behind what we call propaganda is worthy of study. They were once gripped by a civil war followed by the greatest famine in human history. They recoognize that the politics of division can be very harmful, so often the messages are gear d toward promoting cooperation. It has its drawbacks too but certainly China is not a country of people who are all being oppressed. If anything, they are quite free now, and many of the current limitations are more economic in nature.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 12:45 PM

15. OK. I work closely with a man who fled China after

the Tienanmen incident. He's now a naturalized US citizen. He would argue with you, I'm sure. I will not. This post is not about that, you see.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:20 PM

18. So, you're a supporter of the Chinese political system?

Please tell me more, so I'll understand why you support it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:38 PM

21. I'm more apathetic towards it

Expecting another country with another culture to be like us isn't very realistic. It's really more of an example of American exceptionalism.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:20 PM

24. My question was to the other participant in the thread,

but thanks for your input, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:19 PM

34. There are good parts and bad parts

I don't think you can make it black and white that their system is good or bad just like you can't do the same for America's political system. We faced one of the greatest challenges we have faced in our lifetimes. I think it could be said that China has climbed out of a massive depression that started in the 70s and has steadily gotten better. It could be said that they have done an excellent job in climbing out and that their people are benefiting as a result. And of course a country is made up by its people, and the Chinese education system is pretty amazing in terms of the students they are turning out.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:24 PM

38. Nor did I state that is was good or bad.

It is what it is. That was not the point of my post in the first place. You may have missed what I was getting at. That happens a lot around here.

See, I'm not the one who regularly brings up China in this group. I'm responding to one who does that by creating a new post.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:37 PM

20. I've been to four cities in China

The only oppression I saw was there was no real freedom of expression, at least for the press. The Chinese newspapers printed in English always had nothing in them that was negative about the Chinese government and quite a bit that has highly critical of the West.

China has over 4 times the population of the US with roughly the same geographic area. They don't have the benefit of geographical isolation and many of their close neighbors are hostile towards them. Their history is very much different than the US. The idea that they can be expected to behave the same as here is ridiculous. If the US were subject to the same destabilizing forces, I'm quite sure we would be far worse than China. Look at the freedoms that went out the window after 9/11.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:47 PM

51. I work with colleagues in China.

My take on how they view their situation is that they are really happy that China is prosperous, really proud of their vibrant modern cities, that they have personal freedom within the boundaries of propriety established by the regime, and they are worried that it could all go away. Their parents all lived through the cultural revolution. Nobody wants that ever again.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 01:27 PM

19. You have to understand some here are desperately searching for false equivalences

Atheism never commands anyone to do anything. There's no doctrine with atheism. There's no instruction manual (other than the dictionary) which tells you what you're expected to know. There's no dogma with atheism. There's nobody who is telling you how you're expected to act. There's no theology with atheism. There's nobody who spends all their time trying to figure out what atheism really means. Atheism was never and will never be comparable to religion in terms of a motivating force.

So when someone points their finger at a group of atheists and says 'gee look they aren't any better than religionists' it's really more of a proof of ignorance than anything.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:22 PM

36. Really?

I have definitely met some very opinionated atheists. it is not the ideology that's doing something, rather the people who follow that ideology. I think it could be said that people who call themselves atheists are not all the same.

I think there are plenty of people who spend time considering the meaning of atheism.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:41 PM

50. "I think it could be said that people who call themselves atheists are not all the same."

Just as I said in the opening post of this thread.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:23 PM

58. Atheology isn't a thing

Just because an atheist has an opinion that doesn’t constitute a discipline that concerns itself with the nonexistent tenets of atheism.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)


Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:04 PM

22. It is always interesting to see people here, who are progressives

use the right wing tactic of saying atheism=communism.

The largely atheistic countries of Northern Europe would show us atheism also equals the exact type of Social Democratic Government that progressives want.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:24 PM

25. I think it's really more whataboutism than anything else.

Instead of vainly attempting to defend the indefensible, it's a deflection to try to avoid answering the problem of horrible things done by some religion. Very weak, logically, and also very transparent.

But, when you have no argument, deflection is the only recourse. Except that silence is a much better alternative in most cases.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:54 PM

71. I don't know any progressives who equate atheism and communism. All communists are atheists, but

atheists are all over the place politically. So communists are a subset of atheists.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #71)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:57 PM

75. The poster of the other China thread

appears to equate the two.

He describes numerous oppressions by China's government and links it to their atheism.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1218302165

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Response to edhopper (Reply #75)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:58 PM

76. He must be an evangelical or something like that. They tend to simplify things a great deal.

And take any opportunity to cast aspersions on atheists.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #76)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:03 PM

78. We have not been able to discern what he believes

except there is some sort of "Creator" and religion is a good thing.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:07 PM

89. That's what I was gonna say, atheism / communism

it's 100% a distraction meant to derail, cause now we're stuck not talking about the actual subject at all.

It's not a value judgement, it's just improper labeling.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:16 PM

23. My experience

I have been fortunate to have dated some ladies from China. Their complete lack of Christian contamination is so refreshing that I now only seek out Asian women.

But I would take issue with you on something M-man. While it is true that we have little influence on TPTB in China, we all want to see a better world. Being informed is always a good thing. Thus informed, we can make personal choices as to how we act towards China, even if it's small potatoes. Surely our boycott of South Africa had some effect on ending apartheid.

I support the BDS movement against Israel for example, though it doesn't seem to have much of an effect.

As for oppression of Christians in China, I have no problem with that, for reasons stated in my opening paragraph. Allowing people to believe something is different than preventing the kind of political interference we have here in the USA. You yourself were angered over Pompeo's rapturizing. China is trying to quash bugs like him. I wish them Godspeed.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:32 PM

27. As an atheist and a human rights advocate,

I want everyone to be able to make their own personal decisions, and that includes religious decisions. I think such decisions are personal, however, and have nothing to do with anyone else. So, I reject all proselytizing, encroachment of specific religious beliefs on governance, and prejudice based on religious beliefs.

Those things bother me a great deal, but personal beliefs bother me not at all, as long as they remain personal and aren't used as cudgels or forced upon others.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:27 PM

39. They can

Chinese people are allowed to believe whatever they want so long as they don't organize into groups that bring about social unrest. Worth noting again that 50 years ago can I have the greatest famine in human history, and many Chinese people view the idea that social unrest it's something that could bring this type of thing again so they support the notion of anything that would start to cause people not to cooperate with each other.

And as I make points like this, it's not about which government is better or if China is good or bad, but rather that I understand where they're coming from, and so often people don't want to know the details but rather just pass judgment. And I'm not saying that that is what you were doing here.

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Response to dvduval (Reply #39)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:30 PM

41. Again, this thread isn't really about China.

It's about the use of China to put forward a whataboutism logical error. I have no desire to visit China. I don't speak the language, and there are many places that speak languages I do know I have yet to visit.

China is responsible for China. I am not.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #41)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:41 PM

49. Their preconceived notion

It seems like this thread is about people's preconceived notion of China and then using that as a basis for their argument. And it is further part of an attempt to define atheism. There certainly is more of an Alan Watts style of atheism, for lack of a better example, that is more prevalent in the east, and has its roots in Chinese philosophy.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:31 PM

26. Interesting post.

I can remember the old Soviet Union, too - sort of an institutionalized atheism. It didn't work there, either. A government simply cannot force its citizens to believe one way or another.

As to American atheists, more power to them, but it's a heck of a lot of work to be an atheist. I'm not. In fact, I have become convinced over my six decades of life that there is nowhere, no one or nothing that is not God.

So I guess I'm definitely on the opposite end of the ol' atheist continuum.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 02:35 PM

28. It's no effort at all to be an atheist.

I don't care what people believe. I also don't care to be bludgeoned with others' beliefs. Believe what you want, but don't bother me with it in any way. I'm not interested.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:22 PM

35. "...it's a heck of a lot of work to be an atheist."

Are you speaking from experience?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:32 PM

60. I will speak to mine.

I've read "Letter to a Christian Nation" "God is Not Great" and "The God Delusion" and other books that present rational arguments against faith that are now lost to the mists of memory.

I would not say it was a heck of a lot of work to read the books. I would like to reread "Letter to a Christian Nation" soon.

It's vital to argue against your arguments.

Still my faith has been irrepressible.

It would take a heck of a lot of work on someone's part to destroy it.

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #60)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:36 PM

61. So, you're firm in your belief.

That's fine. That does not mean that it is difficult to be an atheist, though. That has never been difficult for me. I simply stopped being able to believe in deities and all that sort of thing. It was no longer possible for me, so I am an atheist. That was all there was to it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #61)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:54 AM

104. It's probably hardware.

Last edited Sat Dec 29, 2018, 05:00 AM - Edit history (1)

What's easy for you is difficult for me and vice versa.

I can't write legibly with my right hand. For instance. But my left hand is AWESOME.

(Kinda surprised at the Pro-Communist comments in this thread though. Not gonna lie.
this is DEMOCRATIC Underground, right?)

The Chinese Communist Party probably doesn't really care if you light sacrifices to the Kitchen God. But if you say a thing about the Communist Party your whole family disappears.
Don't be surprised if your Chinese friends say, "We love it now! So many things to buy!"




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Response to violetpastille (Reply #104)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 05:52 AM

109. People are openly critical of the CCP.

But there are indeed limits.

It is highly unlikely that even if you cross the line “your whole family disappears”. The end of the Cultural Revolution was the end of that era. These days it is “soft” totalitarianism. People, as I and others have noted, have considerable *individual* freedom. Nobody I met had any reluctance, for example, to speak to me about life in China.

I don’t see one comment in this thread that is “pro communist”, unless you consider correcting false statements about China “pro communist”.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #109)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:40 PM

114. Soft Totalitarianism

None for me thanks.

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #60)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:52 PM

65. Thank you for your answer.

So, you have no experience being an atheist? That is what I was asking about, since the poster claimed, "...it's a heck of a lot of work to be an atheist."

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Response to Mariana (Reply #65)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:43 PM

70. No but



I have walked in atheist moccasins. "There is no creator. There is no master plan. There is no great meaning to life except what I invest in it."
It's rational. It's logical.
I've tried to get in on that myself.

While atheism doesn't fit and those moccasins keep coming off...

I can't walk a single step in the shoes that would make me say "That stuff in the Old Testament is not metaphor. It all happened just that way. There is an actual place called Heaven where we go after this crummy world, if we're a certain kind.
The other kind goes to Hell. And the Devil tortures them for eternity."

Yeah. If those were the only choices I'm gonna go stand with the atheists. Every time.

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #70)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:51 PM

83. If you believed those were the only choices, you'd still be a theist.

By definition. You would be a believer in one or more gods.

There used to be a poster here, who sadly has passed away. He came to the conclusion that the god of the Bible exists, but is an evil tyrant. To his credit, he stayed true to his conscience. Rather than suck up and try to score a cushy afterlife for himself, he refused to worship that god, and instead aligned himself with the opposition.

He was not an atheist. Atheists just don't believe any gods exist. I may talk about the character traits of this one or that one, or discuss what the stories say they did, but it is in the same sense that someone talks about any fictitious character. It doesn't mean I think they're real.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #83)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 07:07 PM

85. You're right.

I would align myself with the opposition.

To that poster's credit indeed...wow!

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:51 PM

52. I personally find it effortless

Not always that way for me, to be sure. Not fun or easy being a teenager who found religion absurd and rejected it. But as an adult, it is just who i am.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:58 PM

53. Me too.

Psst. The Religion group is not where we talk about our beliefs.

There is a "Seeker on Unique Paths" group. It's a unique path..because no one seems to be using it.

When I post something about belief I think that's where I'll go...

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; Otherwise, someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying with that sweet moon language
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear.” - Hafiz

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:25 PM

81. Sounds like philosophy of non-duality, aka Advaita.

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Response to c-rational (Reply #81)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:34 PM

82. Wow. I didn't realize my little contribution would cause such a stir.

To each their own. To answer you, it isn't an Advaita path, but one of Hermetic alchemy. Sort of ancient. Not for everyone. And, yes, ultimately after achieving balance you achieve unity.

(But somebody on here said psst, this religion group isn't where we talk about our beliefs.)

That's no problem either. I meant no offense to anyone on here and was not aware that the religion thread was not a place to state beliefs. I withdraw any opinion.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #82)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 07:11 PM

86. That was me.

You can talk about anything you want anywhere you want (!) but I think that the Religion group in general is a


This OP is a clapback to another OP which is a clapback to another and ...

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #86)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:24 PM

92. Oh. Yeah, I hear that. I do not discuss my beliefs at all, pretty much.

Cause people do get all worked up. Thx for the reply, though.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:36 PM

45. I've been to China. Fascinating country

with an incredible history and culture.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 03:38 PM

47. I'm sure that's true. It's one of the oldest continuous

civilizations on the planet.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:55 PM

72. They even survived

Noah's Flood

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Response to edhopper (Reply #72)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:56 PM

73. LOL!

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:05 PM

54. When did you go last? And where did you go?

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #54)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 09:22 PM

95. Two years ago and I was mostly in Nanjing.

Why?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #95)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:19 AM

101. Just inquisitive.

I've never been to the northern part of China.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:48 PM

64. dont underestimate China

it’s easy to criticize and outright dismiss China as a communist country. However, I think it’s more of a pragmatism than communism. If you looks at the facts such as declining poverty rates, improving education, life expectancy, growing economy, etc. - you would say that the country must be doing something right. Then you have folls who blame China for lack of environmental regulations, blame it for pollution, etc. How convinient that most manufacturing from the developed world was moved to China and so it is unfair to apply same rules to them, they are manufacturing stuff for the entire world. Also, worth noting, Chinese people and culture are non-violent, their citizens don’t own weapons or kill kids in schools. Despite communism, chinese traditions are strong. This is different from Soviet Union, where everything pre-communism was destroyed and replaced. And thanks god chinese are largerly non-religous, because only religion can make good people do bad stuff. Although I consider communism as a religion, chinese communism is worlds different from soviet union style cause China has market economy and they are free to travel abroad.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #64)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:53 PM

66. Where did I do that? This thread is not actually about China.

It is about using China as an example of why atheism is bad. I made no judgment about China. It does discourage religious worship, but that's its business, not mine.

This thread is about whataboutism and diversion. It is a response to another thread about China in the Religion Group.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #66)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:55 PM

67. it implies that china's atheism is somehow bad

and we shouldn’t compare

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #67)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 04:58 PM

68. No. My post does not imply that at all.

Not in any way.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 05:57 PM

74. I thought you were just pointing out that some people who are against atheism equate it with the

Chinese government as a kind of put down.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #74)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:04 PM

79. Some do

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Response to Nitram (Reply #74)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 07:00 PM

84. and I was trying to point out that chinese atheists

are not different from american atheists when it comes to superstitious beliefs. If you have chinese friends you’ll find their views near identical in this particular area. China is not a democracy, their governemnt has national interest in restricting religion. However, with human development comes appreciation of freedom so decades from now China may very well become the world’s largest democracy.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #84)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 11:52 PM

99. "China may very well become the world's largest democracy." A very naive view.

The Chinese government is creating the most sophisticated citizen-monitoring and behavior-control system in the world. They have imprisoned a million Muslims in "re-education" prisons. The Government controls the internet and all other media. Anyone suspected of criticizing the government is imprisoned. A so-called "anti-corruption' campaign is being used as an excuse to eliminate opposition and consolidate power. I don't think you can get to democracy from here. The Tianmen Square democracy movement was the last best chance for democracy, and it was snuffed out like a candle, all the organizers thrown into prison. That was 30 years ago, and the Chinese government will never allow such movement to get started again.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #99)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:36 AM

102. Even Soviet Union eventually fell apart

And it was much worse than China back in those days, no internet of any kind, no one can leave the country or enter the country from outside unless diplomats or olympic athletes. Chinese people at least have freedom of movement in comparison and many have access to the rest of the world. The government tries to pull every trick in the book to keep it as is but the very same governemnt wants to compete with the rest of the world and enjoys market economy. I’d give it 30 years before we start seeing major changes in China and it is not only possible but likey, IMO. It doesn’t mean that democracy will change the country for the better, could be worse - e.g. a civil war with millions of casualties.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #102)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 03:15 AM

107. Alex

Where do you live in San Francisco? It's been ages since I've lived there. I used to live on Woodward St.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #102)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 10:48 AM

111. Does "freedom of movement" mean you can move and live where you choose? Go abroad?

Not In China. You need government permission in advance for most life changes. You are looking at China through rose-colored glasses.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #64)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 06:04 PM

80. I hope you are able to visit China.

And see it for yourself.

And I hope you have a wonderful experience.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #64)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 02:49 AM

106. I think I agree. There is more than one China.

 

I taught a group of Chinese students in 2016. One was the daughter of high party officials, one was working for Walmart in China as legal liaison, one was studying our judicial system on a sabbatical from a teaching post, and one was studying the rise of Christianity on China's major cities by researching mission groups in the US. Overall, they all wanted Trump to win. A real shocker for me, but conversations showed they knew nothing about him. They saw religion on a spectrum from irrelevant to fascinating. None of them voiced hostility. They had quite a spread of wealth between them and there was a definite pecking order. They had a broad sense of hope and optimism that reminded me of early 1960s America. They all believed that China's moment was approaching and various groups I would ask about one-on-one, Uyghurs, Tibetans and Taiwanese were all viewed as misinformed, uneducated, and likely to fall in line as soon as China brought prosperity to them. Every moment of unrest was viewed through the lens of maintaining social cohesion, dealing with tradition, and keeping people safe. Of course, there were events they had never heard of, and I didn't share my news experience during Tiananmen Square, though I did name drop the event.

They definitely see themselves at the center of the world economy and made a distinction between "Russian" communism and Chinese, which apparently had no conflict with making a buck abroad. They also had the best haircuts in my experience, all very stylish. This is a far cry from 1989, when hair care was frighteningly bad. One woman had her hair done when she went back over holiday because nobody in America was up to her standard, a statement I frankly found shocking.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 07:12 PM

87. This atheist believes in freedom of and from religion.

If someone wants to practice religion I'm good with it. If they do not, I'm also good with it.

I will never understand why anyone ever feels differently on this. Why can't everyone mind their own business?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 07:28 PM

88. China has been cracking down on Maoists, and I'd assume Maoism is more compatible than religion

https://www.ft.com/content/34263a9c-7fda-11e1-92d3-00144feab49a

Frankly, I've always assumed that any Chinese negativity toward certain religions had a lot to do with the role of missionaries as agents of Occidental paternalism during China's more prostrate eras. If I were still self-conscious about the recent return to Great Power status of an ancient civilization, that sort of foreign nonsense would probably make me just as happy as the opium trade.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #88)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:13 PM

90. The Chinese political model also prioritizes social organization over most other concerns.

The government must always be perceived as truthful and correct. Such a system cannot tolerate competition in the marketplace of ideas, and so the government must either exert control over, or alterantively stamp out, unofficial schools of thought.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #90)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:45 PM

94. Oh, definitely true

But I also have to think that for a resurgent power reclaiming ancient glories, a reminder of the white man telling them how to live (and die) has to go over like a lead balloon.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 08:14 PM

91. I understand the example of Chinese atheists is an issue.

Are you suggesting that we should only be concerned with US issues?

I do see many posts in this group regarding sex abuse by priests in many other countries, so why the double standard?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #91)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 10:07 PM

96. It would appear that you are about the only one with this "understanding"...

Last edited Fri Dec 28, 2018, 11:03 PM - Edit history (1)

...and the only reason we discuss the crimes of priests in other countries is because of the systemic coverup of these crimes by the catholic church across the globe. If it wasn't for the church, we wouldn't have to discuss this coverup of crimes against children.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #96)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 10:19 PM

97. As I said, a double standard.

Most abuse happens in families. So if we eliminated families......

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #97)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 10:58 PM

98. No text...

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #98)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 06:46 PM

118. No text, no response.

Perhaps you and the Major should start a gif group.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #96)

Fri Dec 28, 2018, 11:58 PM

100. The church is not the only organization that covers up such crimes. Look at all the companies and

corporations who have ignored and covered up a culture of sexual harassment and worse towards female employees. the Boy Scouts covered up abuse. Even Congress has been complicit in allowing a culture of sexual abuse to thrive.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #100)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 01:50 AM

103. Boy Scouts is a relevant example

although not nearly as ubiquitous as RCC with its much longer spread and history. But I would never compare sexual abuse against children with that of adults. The first one is akin murder and deserves capital punishment.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #103)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 10:52 AM

112. Yes, children are more vulnerable, and a traumatic event can influence them negatively for

the rest of their lives. That said, I have equal empathy for young adults who suffer abuse that can have equally negative effects on their career and mental health for the rest of their lives. We, as a society, need to address abuse whenever and wherever it occurs.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #100)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 06:52 PM

120. I wrote a post on the tendency of institutions to engage in cover ups of abusive behavior.

And I was incorrectly accused of engaging in whataboutism for pointing out the obvious.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #120)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 02:35 PM

123. Pointing out that abuse takes place in institutions other than the church does not in any way

lessen the responsibility of the church in thousands of cases of abuse and their cover up. It is a societal problem, and it may be related to a feeling of entitlement among many men.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #123)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 04:49 PM

124. Bingo! And that is what gets missed all too often.

That something bad occurs in more than one place does not excuse it in any of them. Pointing out other instances does not remove the guilt in the one being discussed.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #123)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 05:04 PM

133. I agree.

It is individuals who abuse others. And generally, abusers are male.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #120)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 04:52 PM

125. Which is exactly what you did.

You offered the other examples to minimize its occurrence in the Church. That's no excuse. Here, we're talking about the Church, not other organizations, when we're talking about child sexual abuse. And not just the Catholic Church, either. I've posted multiple examples of similar sexual abuse in Protestant churches.

The RCC's offenses, however, are far more numerous and the concealment by the organization far more effective. Then there's the contradiction between doctrine and action.

You can't excuse one organization by pointing out others. Nope.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #125)


Response to Nitram (Reply #129)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 11:05 AM

130. My post was a reply to guillaumeb, not you.

Sorry for the confusion. Unless you are also guillaumeb, nothing in that reply is directed at you.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #130)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 11:31 AM

131. My sincere apologies, MM. I wondered why your two posts seemed contradictory.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #131)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 11:43 AM

132. No worries. I've done that, myself.

I try to remember to look at who a poster was replying to before writing a reply, but I sometimes forget to look up at the right top corner of the post.

Not a problem at all.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #125)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 10:27 PM

135. Misframing on your part.

I never minimized abuse in the RCC. But I did talk about the fact that institutional behavior supports covering up abuse by members of an institution.

And the RCC is far larger that the Boy Scouts, or local school districts.

I understand the zeal of some to insist that religion is the main problem, but that position and insistence is illogical.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #91)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 06:29 PM

127. Diversion and whataboutism is never appropriate.

Please stop.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #127)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 05:05 PM

134. Ironic response.

And related to the well known double standard.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2018, 05:12 PM

126. I'm turning chi-anese I think I'm turning chi-anese

Really think so.

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Response to Corvo Bianco (Reply #126)

Mon Dec 31, 2018, 07:22 AM

128. Indeed.

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