Debate and Discussion

The Atheists Are Brainwashing Your Children!
JekHazit at 12:25AM, Aug. 24, 2008
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I dont hate religion, I just hate having a religion. I believe that religion is a way to make death seem alittle nicer. The fact that there is another life after yours ends. I Dont believe in it. I wish it were true, cause its better than just turning to nothing, but it could be fake. Especially how the gods know us all, have control like our admin. It could be many people, or just one. Either way, they have the power. Its nice to feel like their is a greater power, so that the US presidents everyone hates can be controled to.
I dont have much else to say, but by now, I usually get strong christians angry.
Also, I saw a van covered in I <3 Jesus stickers. All different. And his liscence plate was ILUVJSUS.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
worstcase at 10:02AM, Aug. 24, 2008
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It seems like there are a lot of atheists and agnostics here. I tried to read through all the posts and eventually gave up because it got so confusing trying to comprehend it all at once. I guess i am just tired. Well i'll just go ahead and say that I believe in God. And Jesus, and everything supernatural. I have doubts all the time, every day especially at night. But then i just crack open the ol' bible and I feel a little better about whats going on. I guess you could say i am a christian because it makes me feel safe, and that i grew up with it and etc. Thats probably true. I feel weak without it. I need it. I can't really explain why but its just something that i can look forward to when i kick the bucket. Oh! And i believe in evolution, and carbon dating and dinosaurs and all that too. I know a lot of christians who get really angry when others talk about the big bang and scientifically proved events and things and so on. I believe that God could have created the world with the big bang, and then on to evolution and so on. Of course i don't think i can prove anything i just said. Err… yeah this is a terrible paragraph. I don't even want to fix it. If you want a good example of what i am failing to convey here go read What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM
bravo1102 at 7:47AM, Aug. 26, 2008
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Shakespeare as usual said it best

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Hamlet Act I scene v

One note Ozone, you leave some holes in you arguments that are leading to the misunderstandings. You also seem to be leaving life open to social and ethical relativism. (danger, danger Will Robinson ;) ) You also seem to have this dislike or distrust of reason. :) Everything is not knowable though through reason it can be induced (deduced) and oft times it's right. It's the best thing going so far. There are absolutes where something will happen 99.999999999999% of the time and that's good enough for me because no matter how many times I see it happen, the horrifically unlikely will not occur and:

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Faith and the supernatural/paranormal are pretty extraordinary (that includes deities) so they require extraordinary evidence that is not a circular argment. (We believe in God because the Bible tells us so. Why? God wrote/inspired the Bible. How do you know? God tells us in the Bible.) What kind of evidence is that?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

Don't try to debate me or I'll start explaining transubstatiation and the Trinity and we'll see how many angels I can get dancing on the head of that pin! lol!



last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
domja at 11:33AM, Aug. 26, 2008
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Ok answer time yet again. Arteestx I've wrote this twice for you already so let's try one more time. Religion does not make someone above doing evil, nor does lack of religion make someone above doing good. I have no idea why you keep pointing this out to me when I have said this from the beginning. Plus shouldn't members of said religion be judged on their actions and not their words. Anyone can say they are part of a religion. If I call myself a muslim and then go completely against the muslim religion, am I a muslim?
Arteestx allowing people to die is part of life and freewill. They had the knowledge beforehand that this could be fatal, but took the chance to do it otherwise. Plus miracles are things that rarely ever happen, otherwise they would just be how the world worked.
You can't use something influenced by religious people as an example for atheism. It's influenced by the religious people who are in turn influenced by their religion. So unless you have proof that the constitution was written solely by atheists, consider it a mute point.
I'm gonna pull my “nuh-uh” card on you Ronson, and I'll tell you why. You say that the burden of proof lies on me to prove god exists. But all you are going on is scientific theories, and I stress the word theories. There is no concrete evidence that evolution is what happened, because if there was religion would be debunked and we wouldn't be having this discussion. So my theory is just as valid as yours. Also you used a blanket statement saying that we only have feelings as proof. Sort of a bold statement seeing as I'm sure you haven't talked to every religious person in the world to ascertain how they know God exists. Example, if I where lame since birth and was completely healed by a religious person praying over me, is that not proof? Granted it's a very personal kind of example, but that's the way religion works. It's a personal journey one makes to discover what is true for him.
Ronson, in an earlier post you said you were betting your life on the fact that there is no God. To me that seems like a terrible bet. If I am wrong and there is no God, I lose nothing because I am just gone. If you are wrong and there is a God, then you lose everything for eternity. So to me even if believing in God wasn't the most logical thing to do, it is the best bet to make. I either win everything or it doesn't matter because I'm gone. While you either lose everything , or it doesn't matter because you are gone. So according to my calculations I'm the only one with the chance to win out of the two of us in this game of life.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Ronson at 9:19PM, Aug. 26, 2008
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domja
I'm gonna pull my “nuh-uh” card on you Ronson, and I'll tell you why. You say that the burden of proof lies on me to prove god exists. But all you are going on is scientific theories, and I stress the word theories.

I point nuh-uh back atcha. ;)

It isn't any particular scientific theory that I'm staking my claim to, it's the assertion you made that I have to prove there is not God. In rational debate and scientific inquiry, I need not do any such thing. The burden is on the believer to prove their theories … In other words, in a rational debate, the believer in God must prove that God exists.

Examples: Astronomical studies have proven some anomalies in the way objects interact with eachother in the universe. Some theories have been put forward that there is a lot of “dark matter” out there, and by including dark matter into the equations, the math works. (Or something like that … it's been a while. Nonetheless, accept this premise for now as it's only an example of the scientific method).

In this case, the scientific method has proven mathematical anomalies. The scientific theory proposed is that dark matter exists. It is now the responsibility of the scientists that accept the theory to prove it … they must prove the existence of dark matter.

No scientist is going to take on the task of proving that there isn't any such thing as dark matter, though they may come up with alternate theories that could acheive that result.

This is why the proof of God argument falls squarely on the shoulders of those who theorize his existence. Most religious folks do not, though. Instead, they have faith that God exists. Which is fine, but it removes any rational debate on the topic and is therefore limited to personal feelings on the subject.


There is no concrete evidence that evolution is what happened, because if there was religion would be debunked and we wouldn't be having this discussion. So my theory is just as valid as yours.

An inaccurate statement. Evolution is, first of all, accepted by many religions. So the issue isn't black and white.

Second of all, the proof of evolution does not debunk religion, as religion often deals with a mixture of rules for behavior and an invisible, intangible, all seeing, omnipotent being. Since there has never been any proof presented that such a being exists, we are talking about religion in a very irrational and unscientific way.

Evolution, on the other hand, has been studied for decades and fine tuned, when evidence that contradicts the theory arises, the theory is altered to accept the new evidence. When something is proven to be true, it is added.

But you are correct that definitive proof of Evolution Theory is probably not going to happen. It takes too long to occur and would be impossible to conclusively prove in a lab. The preponderance of evidence certainly supports it, and the people trained in science seem to accept it … but us average folks will at best only have a vague sense of how it all works.

Also you used a blanket statement saying that we only have feelings as proof. Sort of a bold statement seeing as I'm sure you haven't talked to every religious person in the world to ascertain how they know God exists. Example, if I where lame since birth and was completely healed by a religious person praying over me, is that not proof? Granted it's a very personal kind of example, but that's the way religion works. It's a personal journey one makes to discover what is true for him.

No, it isn't proof. There is almost certainly a medical explanation for the healing that deals with the brain and things that may or may not be understood yet. But it isn't automatically a miracle because you or I don't understand it.

If you showed a laptop computer to Thomas Jefferson, he might well think it's a miracle. But you and I know … now … that it is just a scientific development and works in ways that are completely backed up by rational experimentation.

Every example of what you and others are calling proof of “miracles” are only proof of improbable events and nothing more.

Ronson, in an earlier post you said you were betting your life on the fact that there is no God. To me that seems like a terrible bet. If I am wrong and there is no God, I lose nothing because I am just gone. If you are wrong and there is a God, then you lose everything for eternity. So to me even if believing in God wasn't the most logical thing to do, it is the best bet to make. I either win everything or it doesn't matter because I'm gone. While you either lose everything , or it doesn't matter because you are gone. So according to my calculations I'm the only one with the chance to win out of the two of us in this game of life.

Ah, Pascal's wager. Yeah, that's bad logic.

It presumes that I have the ability to change my beliefs. That is, that I can stop believing in a rational world and start believing in one mythology or another. Or it presumes that I can PRETEND to believe in a certain mythology and will be able to con God or gods into thinking I was with them when in my heart I never was.

I don't know about you, but my beliefs aren't something I can change on a dime. I need rational reasons to believe something I didn't previously. So the only choice I have left is to pretend I believe something I don't.

But that won't work with most religions. Omnipotent Gods supposedly know my very thoughts and beliefs. It is not enough to just go through the motions and follow the rules, I have to actually believe all the hocus pocus.

Ask a Born Again Christian if you can get into heaven if you go to church every day and obey every one of the Ten Commandments, but you do not believe in Jesus Christ. If you don't know the answer to that, it's a definite “no”.

So then I'd have to find a religion that have no rules against faking belief in their God or gods. You know any? Because I'm thinking that's pretty unlikely.

So the only way your wager works is if you already believe that you have picked out the “correct” religion and that you are actually following the rules to it exactly as needed. Good luck with that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
arteestx at 9:41PM, Aug. 26, 2008
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domja
Ok answer time yet again. Arteestx I've wrote this twice for you already so let's try one more time. Religion does not make someone above doing evil, nor does lack of religion make someone above doing good. I have no idea why you keep pointing this out to me when I have said this from the beginning.
I understand you said this. But you also said, and I'll requote you again…

…Plus to me atheism would mean that I should make the most of this world for myself. So if I liked torturing or killing then people should be ok with that right? Granted that was an extreme example, but my main concern should just be about my joy.

…and that's the part I'm responding to. I thought you were trying to say that religion offers a moral basis for behavior that atheism lacks, but perhaps I misunderstood. What was your intended point of this?


domja
Plus miracles are things that rarely ever happen, otherwise they would just be how the world worked.
To me, rare occurrences ARE how the world works. The way I see it, a one in a billion chance (which I hope you would acknowledge is an extremely rare occurrence) happens six times a day (there are roughly six billion people in the world, after all). The world is full of randomness, of unlikelihoods that don't often occur but occur nevertheless.


domja
You can't use something influenced by religious people as an example for atheism. It's influenced by the religious people who are in turn influenced by their religion. So unless you have proof that the constitution was written solely by atheists, consider it a mute point.
The Constitution was not written by all religious people, so it's completely valid. The fact that you consider it *moot* is irrelevant.


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 9:57PM, Aug. 26, 2008
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bravo1102
One note Ozone, you leave some holes in you arguments that are leading to the misunderstandings. You also seem to be leaving life open to social and ethical relativism. (danger, danger Will Robinson ;) )
Indeed, Shakespeare said it best.

And pretty much everything is relative and always changing -if you're talking about human societies and looking at things from a long view (as you're prone to do). If you take the short view though then life is full of absolutes. :)
In order to understand other cultures, other cultures from different times, or even other species, you need to look at things relatively.

This is why I don't choose the label “atheist” for myself or even “agnostic”. I don't leave the way open for silly mythical beliefs, I just find those labels as limiting as any of the religious ones. However, if it pleases people here to define me in a way they can feel comfortable and understand, then “atheist” is the right term.

-I was baptised a Catholic and I believe that all religion is a social phenomena: the mythical, mystical aspect has no basis in reality, but the social and traditional aspect is very, very real. I associate with that Catholic movement from a cultural point of view, but would never follow it. So on a census, I'd put “Catholic”.

From the perspective of an individual lifetime, all beliefs are of equal value:
they help us understand the reality in which we find ourselves for the space that we are able to be aware. Then we die and have no more need of them, whatever they were.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
bravo1102 at 11:50AM, Aug. 27, 2008
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I only use relativism for comparison, like in literary studies. Comparing cultures to one another is fine, but there are absolutes in human behavior, even over the long haul. The more they have changed tha more they have stayed the same.

Someone
From the perspective of an individual lifetime, all beliefs are of equal value:
they help us understand the reality in which we find ourselves for the space that we are able to be aware. Then we die and have no more need of them, whatever they were.

Okay then for my lifetime I can believe in mass murder, personal aggrandizement, and killing all who disagree with me. Oh wait, that would mean I was a Medieval Pope. :)

All beliefs are not and cannot be of equal value. Any that harm another person are inherently selfish and not good for society. (that includes organized violence) Saying that reduces Gandhi and Hitler (to use extreme examples) to being of equal worth as role models. Everything becomes indiscerable shades of grey, not even dark grey versus light grey, but everything is mouse grey from mass murder to altrusim.

I know that's not what you were saying, but you did leave the hole for the misunderstanding. :)

All beliefs are of equal value to a person in so far as how they perceive and interact with their enviornment. When those beliefs are proven wrong or become worthless and unnecessary they should be adjusted, changed or discarded. It can only be assumed that after death they will no longer be necessary. I wouldn't know, I've never been dead and I have no convincing evidence as to what exists or doesn't after death.

For all I know the afterlife could be reading and replying to this thread for all eternity. :)

Maybe you become Dark Matter and help hold the universe together.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 8:10PM, Aug. 27, 2008
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Absolutes, as you speak of them are more like reasonably constant factors based on similar conditions and principals: going against the community in some way will always be bad for whatever reason (murder, adultery, theft etc can all harm the community). Incest is bad biologically. And so on.

__________________________________________

All beliefs are equal regardless of proof from the perspective of an individual lifetime. Whether that involves what I would consider atrocity or anything else :)

Alternative interpretation doesn't matter in that respect.

When you consider HOW that individual fits into an interacts with their environment, and that includes their social and cultural environment, then the differences show (then they aren't equal). In many early dark age cultures a person with an atheist outlook would be at a disadvantage, not because of the validity or otherwise of his/her beliefs or those around him/her, but simply because their outlook would mark them out as an outsider and they would not be able to properly fit in. Likely they would not end happily.

-People have to understand that “religion” then was a little different to now… I don't want to go into a long explanation, but suffice to say that rather than being just a small aspect of a person's life, it governed all aspects from banking, to farming, to trading, manufacture, law etc.

—-

Arguments on the validity of belief (as regards world religions and not personal philosophy) are anachronistic really; an exercise in sophism for whoever indulges in it. That's why I find it amusing. The airy fairy stuff isn't provable or disprovable, because that's its apparent nature, but it's actually an irrelevance (even afterlife). What really matters are the concrete things like the social structures themselves, which are just as real and useful (or not) as any other. If followers of a belief have a practice that is at odds with their current wider community standard, that's not a fault of their “crazy faith”, that's a fault of the clash of cultures and changing standards of their wider community.
—-

We're all part of the universe regardless, so whatever we do preforms some function for it. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Croi Dhubh at 11:55PM, Aug. 27, 2008
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I think where people keep getting it wrong is equating religion with belief in God.

A religion is there to give people with like minded ideas on how to live life a place to go and speak about those ideas. Religions will tell a person what to wear, how to dress, the foods they can eat or not eat, and what to do in their life as a whole.

A belief in God is a belief in God. It's simply faith. Faith and belief don't tell you what to do, how to act, nor how to generally live your life. I can believe in God and be Christian without being part of a religion.

I'm not a religious person. I believe in God and take what the Bible says as the undeniable, infallible word of God. My church is not a place of religion. I am not told how I must act, what I must eat, how I must pray, which garments are okay to wear, nor what kind of people are welcome as everyone is welcome.

When attending sermons I am given an explanation as to what was written and why. I am given the history behind the books and reminded what God does for me just because it's just what He does. I'm not guilt ridden into reasons why I'm a bad person or anything like that. I'm not told I must give money. The collection plate is on the wall and is never passed around.

No, I'm not part of a religion. Spiritually I am technically Jewish, Earthly stated I am Christian, but I am not part of a religion as defined.

I really don't know how to make it any simpler for people, and yet there are too many people who still won't see the difference. I mean this directed at no person here on DD in particular.
Liberate Tutemae Ex Inferis
Moderatio est Figmentum: Educatio est Omnium Efficacissima Forma Rebellionis

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
bravo1102 at 4:55PM, Aug. 28, 2008
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Yup, that's about it. We're saying similar things, but in subltely different ways. Of course my view is superior but then I have but studied at the feet of the great masters: Carl Sagan and Groucho Marx.

Does religion give one person a better chance at survival than one without? We're not sure yet and to say so one or the other ignores the long history of freethinking and dissent. Not believing goes back as long as believing, but there is safety in acknowledging what everyone else seems to believe no matter how weird it is.

I'll accept Pascal's wager as it can't hurt. More importantly though as oz suggested maybe God won't punish me in the next world, but Holy Mother Church sure as hell will in this one. That's the reason to accept the wager, sometimes enlightened self interest is the highest form of logic.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Croi Dhubh at 9:09PM, Aug. 28, 2008
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Well, it's justice in this life and mercy in the next. God is just, but people shouldn't be expecting that because someone was “an asshole all their life” they go to Hell nor should they assume that a person who is “a great person all their life” they go to Heaven.

God gives mercy. Trust me…when I get to that stage I don't want God dishing out the justice. I'm looking forward to that mercy!
Liberate Tutemae Ex Inferis
Moderatio est Figmentum: Educatio est Omnium Efficacissima Forma Rebellionis

http://weblog.xanga.com/CroiDhubh - Home to the “Chuck E. Cheese Terror” stories
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:54AM
domja at 3:44PM, Sept. 1, 2008
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Ah Ronson from your last response you have proved that arguing with you, though enjoyable, is pointless. You are completely closeminded when it comes to the possibility of God. I gave you an example of proof and you simply stated that there had to be a scientific explanation. I could show you God and you would just try and explain it away with science that hasn't been proven yet. Your faith is in science, even though it is imperfect and constantly changes. My faith is in something that defies your science. You use an example of a laptop to explain away miracles, but I wasn't referring to someone showing some magical device or giving someone some magical pill. They are simply praying over said person. This has pretty much been done since the beginning of man. So I imagine there must be some merit there.

Arteestx I never said the constitution was written by all religious people. I said that it was influenced by them, so that the constitution is in turn influenced by religion. So how can you use something that is influenced by religion for atheism? That makes no sense. And yes I caught the moot/mute thing about 30 mins after I posted just was to busy to fix it.
No I was saying that religion does offer a moral basis that atheism does lack, but I was not saying that this automatically precludes anyone from doing either good or evil. If by atheism standards we are all just animals, then our only goal should be to survive and procreate, nothing else. That is what animals do, so what in an atheist eyes makes us above this? Are atheists really suggesting that we are the only species to evolve into something that desires more than this?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Kiah at 8:53PM, Sept. 1, 2008
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You make some interesting points but it's helpful not to think of all people of a particular faith, even one you used to or currently follow, as being a certain way.

That said, some of the things you said about Catholicism apply to religion as a whole. What's sad is that spirituality is very important to most human beings, very few “atheists” truly believe that there is NOTHING spiritual about anything. Those that do, seem to be reacting rather than thinking and being aware of what they're doing; they see something they don't like and so they rebel against it. I say this because I used to do the same thing, myself.

What's really, truly, bad about religion is the dogma. The core beliefs of most religions start out with good intentions and a positive hope for humanity but, over time, are twisted by power structures, corruption, and dogma which results in a diluted belief system that rarely reflects the basic tenets it was founded on. What people like myself realize is that institutions like the Catholic Church and Islam are places that foster negativity and a lack of awareness. The religion itself generally isn't bad and it's not belief that we detest, it's the idea that you should hate or discredit people who do not believe as you do, and it is the idea that by simply going to Church or praying toward Mecca, you are somehow a good person, which simply isn't true. I have nothing bad to say about religious individuals who are open and honest toward their fellow human beings and who work toward helping others or at least seek not to harm anyone else. From experience, however, most people don't seem to follow the positive aspects of their religion. That would be hard work.

Belief in a being higher than oneself and an afterlife where one is rewarded purely on faith, only promotes the idea that we do not need to think, here and now about how we can make the world a better place. Add to that the fact that most religious individuals do not have a sense of humor about their belief system and you have a dangerous combination. Wars, murder, poverty, and strife are directly caused by the belief in religious dogma every single day around the world and it is only getting worse as nations (my own included) realize they can capitalize on this by tying it into nationalist pride.

Honestly, I could rant about this for hours. There's a reason I do a comic that pokes fun at religion, but you know. I guess I'd just like to point out that it's not the belief many atheists think is bad, it's the lack of awareness and the adherence to dogma :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Ronson at 4:45AM, Sept. 2, 2008
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domja
Ah Ronson from your last response you have proved that arguing with you, though enjoyable, is pointless. You are completely closeminded when it comes to the possibility of God. I gave you an example of proof and you simply stated that there had to be a scientific explanation.

No. You did not supply proof. There is a definition of Proof that you failed to fill. Proof is a scientific term, and you cannot point to any proof of God. No one has, and no one can.

That isn't me being close minded. That's me requiring evidence, not just the occasional odd - but completely possible - occurance.


I could show you God and you would just try and explain it away with science that hasn't been proven yet.

Try me. So far you have not even done that.

Your faith is in science, even though it is imperfect and constantly changes.

My faith is in the concept that there is a rational explanation for all things and that there is no need supernatural or paranormal explanations, since they all suffer from lack of proof and tortured exposition.

My faith is in something that defies your science.

Not so far it hasn't. It's just the way you feel about things…without proof. It's a fairly smug wink to the world which says “I know how things REALLY work, not the people who actually study them.”

You use an example of a laptop to explain away miracles, but I wasn't referring to someone showing some magical device or giving someone some magical pill. They are simply praying over said person. This has pretty much been done since the beginning of man. So I imagine there must be some merit there.

Imagine away. Just so long as you don't use it as proof. That's been my argument with all the examples given so far as proof of “miracles”. They isn't any, or at least the preponderance of evidence indicates the to at least not require them to be miracles. But so long as you're just imagining something, I fully support your right to imagine anything you like.

There have been blind scientific experiments with prayer, but the results are somewhat inconclusive. Some say prayer makes the subject less likely to survive, some say more … so there's no proof it works.


I was not saying that this automatically precludes anyone from doing either good or evil. If by atheism standards we are all just animals, then our only goal should be to survive and procreate, nothing else. That is what animals do, so what in an atheist eyes makes us above this? Are atheists really suggesting that we are the only species to evolve into something that desires more than this?

No, simple observation of the world should explain that. We - as a species - are searching for knowledge all the time. Atheists who fully embrace their part in the human race usually just want to contribute their small part to it. Either in encouraging rational thought, or pursuing the answers to the big important questions. It is, after all, our nature to do so.

Yes, most atheists believe that we evolved with the rest of all the species of the Earth. But I don't know any that don't value the evolution in our brains that makes us able to analyze, imagine and build. We just don't need imaginary father figures watching us from above.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Sea_Cow at 10:44AM, Sept. 2, 2008
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Mmm-kay, so, religious preference. I'm not going to lie here and try to be all cool and rebellious by saying I'm an atheist and insulting the church. I'm a Methodist, I believe in God, but I try to respect people's decisions. If you don't believe in God, go right ahead. I draw the line on atheists who insult religion for no good reason. They can't try to put us down just because we believe in something. In more ways than one, they're becoming radical, just like the people they accuse us of being.

Ronson is right, I'll admit. You can't prove that God exists. You either believe or you don't, which separates religious people from atheists. If there was proof, then what would the point be?
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
Ronson at 7:10PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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Sea_Cow
Ronson is right, I'll admit. You can't prove that God exists. You either believe or you don't, which separates religious people from atheists. If there was proof, then what would the point be?

What is the point without proof?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Flup at 7:01AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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And with science we can build buttresses of proof.
Cook's Assistant (Fantasy, transgender)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:30PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:26AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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Sea_Cow
I draw the line on atheists who insult religion for no good reason. They can't try to put us down just because we believe in something. In more ways than one, they're becoming radical, just like the people they accuse us of being.

I live in the USA - where, increasingly, the government and the culture are being dominated by a specific form of radical fundamentalist protestantism. In the past, more reasonable religious folks stood up and moderated the influence of such folks, but that doesnt seem to happen so much anymore. And Atheists - who are routinely referred to as bad people nowadays - in fact, I've heard several speeches from major political figures recently that implied we weren't really citizens at all find themselves feeling a little lost.

I don't think we're becoming radical at all - I think we're becoming politicized.

I am happy to be respectful of other people's beliefs, I do not not insult religion for “no good reason.” But I will stand up and be counted when reason is offended, when good people are attacked, and when madness reigns.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Hawk at 9:43AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
I am happy to be respectful of other people's beliefs, I do not not insult religion for “no good reason.” But I will stand up and be counted when reason is offended, when good people are attacked, and when madness reigns.

I think that's sort of what Sea_Cow is talking about right there. It's becoming more the case that non-religious people assume that religious people are offending reason, attacking good people, and reigning with madness. They'll fall back to the extreme examples throughout history and project them onto any people with religious beliefs. And I'll be danged if that doesn't happen regularly right on this forum, where religion is commonly equated with ignorance. Religious people are just as victimized by stereotype and prejudice as any nationality or ethnic group, be they Christian, Bhuddist, or Muslim…. boy, especially the Muslims.

You're right that “policital” is a better description than “radical” for what athiests are becoming. But don't mistake that for “politically correct”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
StaceyMontgomery at 10:26AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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Hawk
It's becoming more the case that non-religious people assume that religious people are offending reason, attacking good people, and reigning with madness. They'll fall back to the extreme examples throughout history and project them onto any people with religious beliefs. And I'll be danged if that doesn't happen regularly right on this forum, where religion is commonly equated with ignorance.

hmm - you didnt mention that right here on this forum, atheism is regularly equated with ignorance and evil. Do you remember when believing in Evolution was compared with mass murder and totalitarianism, right here on this forum? And how often have people said that atheists must lack any moral compass? I have long since lost count.

It is true that “They'll fall back to the extreme examples throughout history and project them onto any people with religious beliefs” but it also true that I have been told several times in this forum that atheists caused the holocaust and are responsible for all of Stalin's crimes - but somehow you did not mention that.

Bigotry and prejudice are terrible things, and we all have to fight them where we find them - even in our own hearts. That goes for everyone - right?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Hawk at 11:02AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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Yeah, you're right that things are only flipping around… Long ago it was the religious people oppressing those that supported evolution and the heliocentric theory. Thank goodness it results in less torcher these days. I just wish there was some way the two sides of the fight could just live and let live. It would be nice if people just believed what they wanted and simply let other people believe differently. Unfortunately, with frequency of the topic of religion on this board it feels like Drunk Duckers don't want it that way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Sea_Cow at 11:36PM, Sept. 5, 2008
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Sea_Cow
I draw the line on atheists who insult religion for no good reason. They can't try to put us down just because we believe in something. In more ways than one, they're becoming radical, just like the people they accuse us of being.

I live in the USA - where, increasingly, the government and the culture are being dominated by a specific form of radical fundamentalist protestantism. In the past, more reasonable religious folks stood up and moderated the influence of such folks, but that doesnt seem to happen so much anymore.

I like to think of myself as a reasonable religious folk. I hate the fundamentalists more than those atheists I mentioned. George Bush is bad people(yes, I also live in the U.S.) But lately, atheism is becoming too commercialized, like it's the “cool” thing to do. "Hey, Billy, come to your local Fred Meyer's and get the latest atheism so you can be cool and not believe in God like all your friends!" I mean, if you're atheist, go ahead and be atheist, but have a little dignity.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:36AM, Sept. 6, 2008
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Sea_Cow
I like to think of myself as a reasonable religious folk. I hate the fundamentalists more than those atheists I mentioned. George Bush is bad people(yes, I also live in the U.S.) But lately, atheism is becoming too commercialized, like it's the “cool” thing to do. "Hey, Billy, come to your local Fred Meyer's and get the latest atheism so you can be cool and not believe in God like all your friends!" I mean, if you're atheist, go ahead and be atheist, but have a little dignity.

How strange - you seem to imagine that atheism is popular and sweeping the country - but oddly, all the polls show that atheists are among the least popular people in the nation. But that will not surprise you, as you just said that you actually hate us! There must be many people like you.

You might find that all that hate is not good for you - why not try just disagreeing with other people without hating them? I am told that it is the religious thing to do.

As for your delightful advice about my dignity, I promise that I will give it all the consideration it deserves.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Sea_Cow at 10:35AM, Sept. 6, 2008
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Sea_Cow
I like to think of myself as a reasonable religious folk. I hate the fundamentalists more than those atheists I mentioned. George Bush is bad people(yes, I also live in the U.S.) But lately, atheism is becoming too commercialized, like it's the “cool” thing to do. "Hey, Billy, come to your local Fred Meyer's and get the latest atheism so you can be cool and not believe in God like all your friends!" I mean, if you're atheist, go ahead and be atheist, but have a little dignity.

How strange - you seem to imagine that atheism is popular and sweeping the country - but oddly, all the polls show that atheists are among the least popular people in the nation. But that will not surprise you, as you just said that you actually hate us! There must be many people like you.

You might find that all that hate is not good for you - why not try just disagreeing with other people without hating them? I am told that it is the religious thing to do.

As for your delightful advice about my dignity, I promise that I will give it all the consideration it deserves.


No, you have dignity. I guess I was wrong. What I was reffering to there was teenage rebellion, which you can't really prevent. Almost all adult atheists are normal people who don't make a big show of it or condemn all religious people, like you and Ronson and such. Atheism is almost like a religion, in a way. There are the reasonable atheists, like mostly all the atheists here on DD. Then there's the “fundamentalist” ones. Just a while ago, the reverend from my church was walking from somewhere or another, and some kids hit him with their bicycles. That's the kind of person I don't like. I don't know if they were atheist, but I don't see any other reason why they would single out a reverend. He was a very peaceful man who had never hurt a soul in his life. But that's the kind of thing I meant. Teenagers being radically atheist and acting like it's a big, cool thing to commit acts of violence against the church.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
Chameloncholic at 6:28AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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Sea_Cow
I don't see any other reason why they would single out a reverend.

What are the chances they were just (and let's throw this crazy idea out into the open here) a bunch of young dicks of no particular denomination.

You don't know if they were atheists but you equate them with atheists anyway? Riiiiight
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Bimbo_Zombie at 5:52PM, Sept. 15, 2008
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I am a member of what people call a ‘religion’. Yes, I'm a Christian. Yes, I know what an opinion is and actually have one of my own. Coincidently it fits rather nice with this ‘religion’. Yes, my IQ soars above 3. The ‘religion’ I am part of is really nothing like Catholicism.
In fact, my religion isn't a religion at all, more like a very weird relationship. As soon as people start thinking of it as a ‘religion’ and “a bunch of illogical rules that I can't follow! Baawwwwwww!” that's when it seems to hard. A religion isn't just ‘dumb rules’. Some religions can have reasonably good morals (note: some)
I also sense a level of hypocrisy in some atheists. They complain that religions try to convert them, then complain more that someones religion is ‘illogical’ and give them biased reasons to give up religion.
I also find it really funny that some atheists complain that ‘all religion is bad’. When asked for some reasons, the only ones they give are examples from Christianity. Note: there are actually other religions besides Christianity. Why don't atheists complain about those?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:11PM, Sept. 15, 2008
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Bimbo_Zombie
I also sense a level of hypocrisy in some atheists. They complain that religions try to convert them, then complain more that someones religion is ‘illogical’ and give them biased reasons to give up religion.
I also find it really funny that some atheists complain that ‘all religion is bad’. When asked for some reasons, the only ones they give are examples from Christianity. Note: there are actually other religions besides Christianity. Why don't atheists complain about those?

I'm an atheist - one of those loud, politically active ones that you apparently do not like. But I dont ask anyone to give up their religion, and I've honestly never heard an atheist ask anyone to give up their religion. We've just tried to limit the growing the power of religious people in the secular world, because we don't like to be ruled by other people's religions. What do I care what your religion says about the science of speciation or who I can marry? Not a lot, actually. When religious people everywhere say that they don't care what science is taught in the schools and who can marry who, I promise to drop the issue totally.

As for Atheists giving Christianity as their example - I'm guessing you are talking about Atheists from majority Christian countries. Logically, people mostly talk about the religions they have the most experience with. By the same token, I note that most of the religious people I know are Christians. But there are other religions, why don't they join those? (See, it doesnt make much sense when we turn it around, does it?)

But you will perhaps forgive me my jaded opinions. I am so old that I can remember when Christians thought torture was a terrible crime, and fought it wherever it reared its horrible head. Can you imagine?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:18PM, Sept. 15, 2008
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forgive the extra post, but I noticed this today, and it may be relevant:

from Wikipedia:
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists)

wikipedia
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. As a result, there has only been one openly Atheist member of Congress in history; Pete Stark. According to motherjones.com, 52 percent of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that “does not at all agree with my vision of American society”, putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent). When participants were asked whether they agreed with the statement, “I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group,” atheists again led minorities, with 48 percent disapproval, followed by Muslims (34 percent) and African-Americans (27 percent). Joe Foley, co-chairman for Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists, commented on the results, “I know atheists aren't studied that much as a sociological group, but I guess atheists are one of the last groups remaining that it's still socially acceptable to hate.” Nevertheless, Atheists are legally protected from discrimination in the United States. They have been among the strongest advocates of the legal separation of church and state.
Many additional rights and exemptions from legal requirements are granted based on religious grounds. For example, Pennsylvania homeschooling laws, where the State's legal requirements can be waived based on religious (but not secular) beliefs.

I would argue that Atheists have a very good reason to speak up for Atheism and for the rights of Atheists. It has nothing to do with getting other people to give up their religion.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Scheiden at 4:41PM, Sept. 16, 2008
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Hi guys. Roman catholic/ atheist speaking. (Well, actually I think I'm more of an existentialist)

As a child I've always felt uncomfortable with my religion but I decided to stick with it. Why? Because in a country full of sadness and despair you have no choice but to have faith on at least one thing. I'm not particularly religious. I don't go to church all the time and only goes there when it's a ‘very’ special occasion… like Christmas, my grandmother's birthday. But I believe in God.

But why do I say that I'm part atheist though? Well it's like this. I believe that humans have a need for someone or something to stand above them. Like our need to have a leader to guide our way. Humans, though they need leaders from time to time, cannot bear to ‘worship’ someone just like them so they created Gods. Beings that are beautiful, strong, intelligent and in all ways perfect. That's how gods were created. They created Gods to have something to believe in, to have faith in, to force themselves to believe that someone out there is looking out for them. I've read the bible and it was just like a great bed-time story book. Full of fantasies. No offense though.

Still, despite all these things I'm rambling on how Gods are just fragments of the imagination. I accept this because I know I need something to believe in. That there 'must' be someone out there that is of a higher existence. I have a need to believe in this ‘imaginary’ being and have faith in it. Because when all things goes awry and hopeless, I know that the only thing that I could do is kneel down and pray.

Also, Atheists are pretty cool. As I've said earlier on me, being an existentialist. I think that it's quite refreshing to see people actually using their intellect instead of believing what others told them to believe in. I'd pick sense over essence any day.



*Yes I know I'm in a huge contradiction here lol.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:24PM

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