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SykoRevan
03-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Now, in case you don't know, Atheists such as myself are pretty much discriminated against more than anyone these days. Surveys have stated that less than 3% of parents would want their child marrying an Atheist, George H.W. Bush (our current president's father) once stated that he didn't know whether Atheists should be considered American citizens, we are stereotyped as being immoral and evil and I've even heard some complete idiots (my own parents included) who have compared my people to terrorists. There are even those who believe that Atheists DO believe in God, but are simply in denial (that's where the "There are no Atheists in foxholes" saying comes from.) I am curious as to what all my fellow forumites think of Atheists. More so, I am curious to hear the opinions of those of you who do believe in God, or even dislike Atheists. However, even though I condone anything basically because I simply wish to hear the truth and don't care how harsh it is, nothing will stop a moderator from stopping things from going out of control. So for those of you who might dislike or look down on my people, I hope you can clearly state your opinion and still stay in the boundaries of the Forum's rules.

Ambrose
03-11-2007, 08:00 PM
I treat atheists like I treat anyone else.

If you're a jerk about it, I'll be annoyed with you.
If you're not, I won't.

That simple. It's the same way for Christians. In fact, I get even MORE annoyed with fellow Christians who are just jerks about it than with atheists.

On the topic of marrying an atheist, probably won't happen. It wouldn't work, given that I'd like to raise my kids Catholic and your typical atheist would have a problem with that. But the best looking girls hereabouts are Catholic anyways ;)

TK-8252
03-11-2007, 08:50 PM
compared my people to terrorists.

I'm an atheist, but I find this particular part of what you said to be odd. Atheists aren't really linked in any way... they are not bound by any belief. So it's kind of weird to refer to them as "my people" as a religious person would refer to other members of their faith. Atheism isn't a belief... it is a lack thereof.

SykoRevan
03-11-2007, 09:07 PM
I'm an atheist, but I find this particular part of what you said to be odd. Atheists aren't really linked in any way... they are not bound by any belief. So it's kind of weird to refer to them as "my people" as a religious person would refer to other members of their faith. Atheism isn't a belief... it is a lack thereof.

Like I said, it was stupid people who said it. To them, Atheists and terrorists are alike in that they do not worship the God that people like my parents worship (my parents are Christian.) It does not matter what the Atheist or terrorist believes in, all that matters to people who compare them is what they DON'T believe in, which is their God.

HerbieZ
03-11-2007, 09:28 PM
I think the problem with the world today is that people are not satisfied unless every single person is catagorized into groups. So if we don't follow god or any other religion, we are athiests. This leads to some picture of a stereotypical group of "Lost souls" or "Satan worshippers" or whatever. I don't believe in god and follow no religion because quite simply, i don't need to. This is'nt to say that i think followers of any religion are stupid. Faith in a religion is a beautiful thing. I have seen people praying, looking for answers and finding them and it is beautiful. But who do i turn to in times of need and when i need to look for answers? I have people on this plain of existence, right here in the now. Friends and family. You always have someone even if it is someone you just met. My gods are my parents, my bible is the family album, my church is my house. I could'nt ask for anything more.

Nancy Allen``
03-11-2007, 10:04 PM
Pretty much what Ambrose said. Some believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion and that gives Atheism a bad name. But Atheism itself and people not believing in religion themselves, go to it, one of my best friends is an Atheist, their belief or lack of same is not something I begrudge.

Jae Onasi
03-11-2007, 10:46 PM
I have two close friends who happen to be atheist. I have a couple pagan friends, lots of Baptist friends, a number of Catholic friends, some Jewish friends, a Mormon, a New-Ager, and someone who kind of claims Buddhism, though her religion changes from time to time and I haven't kept up with her recently to find out what's new in her life. As you can imagine we have some very interesting discussions. :)

I see no reason to dislike someone for their religious persuasion or lack thereof, even if we have some differences of opinions on some issues where religion may come into play.

Achilles
03-11-2007, 11:38 PM
Pretty much what Ambrose said. Some believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion and that gives Atheism a bad name. But Atheism itself and people not believing in religion themselves, go to it, one of my best friends is an Atheist, their belief or lack of same is not something I begrudge. I don't know how close I am to encapsulating the sentiment of your post, but I think the following might be applicable:

6) Atheists are arrogant.

When scientists don’t know something — like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed — they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn’t arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.
http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/10-myths-and-10-truths-about-atheism1/


If I missed the point, let me know and I'll try again.

Nancy Allen``
03-11-2007, 11:45 PM
Arrogance comes from the person, not the nonbelief as Atheists like to deem it. I double checked that site before writing that up, thanks, and as I said it is those who give it a bad name, those who are arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standered, ect and it shows outside of their nonbelief, that is the problem with Atheism, with Christianity, with Judism, Islam, Buddism, Hinduism, uh, Jedism (is there a specific name for the Jedi beliefs?), all of that. When you do it right, if I may draw a corrilation, you get people like Kavar, Zez Kai El, Lonna Vash. Do it wrong and you get the types of Vrook, Atris, Bastila argurably.

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 12:09 AM
Er...atheists?

I treat them as I wold treat any "religious" group, except subdividing them into seperate 'religions', to fit the different "sects" of Atheism (communism, capitalism, scientific materialism, anarchism, liberal democrats, etc., basically people who believe there is no God, and then coming up with different doctrines based on the nonexistence of God). They may be right. They may be wrong. We don't know. Give them tolerance, let them express their views.

Why I consider them a religion? Well, they believe in something [either: 1) God does not exist....or 2) You need proof to believe in God.] Belief is, to me, what makes a religion what it is.

But, I think it is likely that Atheism will soon take over the world. There is no need for God, and we will finally be waking up to that realization. Soon, the shackles of religion will be broken, and all religions will die. This is my view, and it is based on the fact that they approach the issue in a logical manner, and they got the aid of Science.

Why I don't believe in Atheism then, if I acknowledge it is dry, logical, and soon take over the world? Because it's a belief. Religion relies on belief and so does Atheism, the belief that proof is needed to establish the existence of God, and since there is no proof, there must be no God. What sort of "revolution" has actually occured? You changed one belief for another, but you still have a belief. And I, for some reason, dislike beliefs...But this is just me. You want to know what I feel about it, here it is.

Slightly OT: I disagree with Atheists claiming that their religion is the 'absence of belief', since you do have to believe in certain stuff in order to accept it. To me, the only philosophy out there that does not believe in anything at all is Pyrrhonian Skepticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism#Philosophical_skepticism), of which I am wondering of self-identifying with them or not. These people, include Sextus Empricius, argue that it is impossible to prove anything, and that therefore, one should suspend judgement about the world, rather than go on a limb and make a belief without any proof or basis whatsoever, and be likely wrong. I am not even able to prove that I am typing right now and that this is real, and that, in the end, it all relies on "faith" that I am typing, which isn't really persuasive. The skeptic allows for one to act upon the "apperances", what apperas to be true, but that does not mean that the "apperances" are true, we may never know. Because of this "apperances" thing, I can easily be a skeptic and then also manitan my religion as well, due to the fact that it appears to me (not to others, of course) that my religion is right.

The problem is that the Skeptic is usually seen with disregard, stupid, lacking common sense, and utterly crazy. I really do worry about this discrimination very much so.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 12:16 AM
Arrogance comes from the person, not the nonbelief as Atheists like to deem it. I double checked that site before writing that up, thanks, and as I said it is those who give it a bad name, those who are arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standered, ect and it shows outside of their nonbelief, that is the problem with Atheism, with Christianity, with Judism, Islam, Buddism, Hinduism, uh, Jedism (is there a specific name for the Jedi beliefs?), all of that. When you do it right, if I may draw a corrilation, you get people like Kavar, Zez Kai El, Lonna Vash. Do it wrong and you get the types of Vrook, Atris, Bastila argurably. Since you yourself pointed out that this is dependent upon the individual and that it's present in other groups, is it fair to assign that character flaw to Atheists?

Seems that if everyone is guilty of it, being an Atheist would simply mean that we're human too. Is there a reason why this would give Atheism a bad name, but not Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc?

Nancy Allen``
03-12-2007, 02:19 AM
Hmm, no, no reason why it wouldn't apply to religion. What I'm saying is those who believe they have the right and duty to persecute religion that bring the nonbelief of Atheism down. The same would apply for Christians persecuting other religions and Atheism, if you swap Christianity with Judism, Islam, ect.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 02:29 AM
Ok, so then it's not so much that "Atheists give themselves a bad name" as it is "people who persecute others for their beliefs or non-beliefs give themselves a bad name"? If so, then we're still talking about people and not necessarily atheists.

Also, I'm still having a difficult time distinguishing between the "persecution of religion" that you keep referencing and the intellectual honesty that Sam Harris mentions in my earlier quote. To me "persecution of religion" conjures up images of theists being herded into internment camps or burned at the stake, etc. I think I repeat myself when I say it seems that atheists just want to have a rational discussion with theists. Why is that so threatening?

tk102
03-12-2007, 03:08 AM
To me, it's not threatening any more than the local Mormons knocking at my door wanting to have a discussion (that they consider rational). Truth is, I didn't really want them knocking at my door, even though they feel they are doing me and society at large a service by trying to win me over.

I first really started thinking about atheism when I read "The New Atheism" in Wired magazine. The slant there was that there are certain proponents of atheism that phrase their points of view confrontationally and endorse ridicule of religion. Richard Dawkins was featured prominently here. With titles under his belt such as "Viruses of the Mind", "The Root of All Evil?", and "The God Delusion", it seems pretty clear he thinks theists need some form of mental healing. But maybe they'd rather not answer the door to his uninvited knocking.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 03:31 AM
Well, I can't speak for Richard Dawkins, but based on my readings and his lectures, I guess his point would be:

If you're saying that theists aren't harming anyone by being theists and should be left alone, you're wrong. American theism is influencing our ability to prepare our children for the future by introducing pseudo-science such as Intelligent Design and working to vilify legitimate science such as evolutionary theory. By far the largest voting group is Evangelical, therefore they are determining which elected officials make it into public office and which agenda items are put on the front burner. The list goes on and on.

You might say, "well these are the extremists. I'm much more moderate". Sam Harris would argue that moderate theists are a bigger danger than the extremists because their support of relativism shields the extremists and vilifies non-theists when they try to have a rational dialog.

And that's just the U.S. and Christians. Islam is arguably the fastest growing religion in the world and they are the ones churning out terrorists by the dozen. Muslims with college educations go to their deaths "knowing" that their actions will a) kill Allah's enemies and b) ensure their place in paradise. We might say, "well that's ridiculous", but then again we're Muslim-atheists.

Many Americans might think of Islamic terrorism as a Middle East problem, but then again many of us don't take the time to learn more about the growing Islamist threat in Europe and Africa. And true to Gore Vidal's statement that USA should stand for "United States of Amnesia", we often forget that the terrorists have shown they can strike us here as well (which should concern people considering that Bush's 2008 budget proposal only calls for $61 billion for homeland security).

I'm sure that American's would love to point out to the Muslim extremist that their religion is illogical, but who's going to do that for us?

HerbieZ
03-12-2007, 10:04 AM
To be honest though religion is a major thing in America. When i was in school and college, no one was considered athiest, we just did not pray to anyone or worship anything. Religion was never part of the discussion because no one was interested in it. That carried through to my life and everyone elses and nearly everyone i know does not follow any religion. Maybe in their homes yes maybe they do pray, it's just not such a hot topic as it is in other places. Roddenberry was athiest. If anyone wants to compare me to anyone, pick him. He shared the exact same views i do today.

PazaakPrincess
03-12-2007, 11:41 AM
Hmm, I find SykoRevan's experience very interesting. I classify myself as an atheist, although I would not say I live by any "doctrine" as SilentScope indicated besides the basic values of following the law of the country I live in and pretty much trying to treat others as I would like to be treated.

I don't feel I've ever been discriminated against for declaring myself an atheist, although I am from New York City which is usually a far more tolerant place to live then other places in America.

The only time I've ever encountered downright hatred vented in my general direction is in Atheist chatrooms or message boards. Which I have to say I rarely frequent these days as I find that people who dominate these places often want to tell you how to be an atheist or dictate why you are atheist which to me defeats the whole purpose of being one and I find it a much more personal and individual choice.

I do not believe in God or life after death or heaven and hell. It has nothing to do with "proof" in either direction it is simply what I believe to be true and makes the most sense to me.

I was raised by Protestants, Catholics and Jews so perhaps having had this wide range of religious ideology around me in my formative years helped me to question everything and hence arrive at what I find a totally natural conclusion for my life and circumstances.

It does disturb me, the growing power of religion in America to influence the government and invade personal choice. Although we have seperation of church and state there has always been a quiet influence (indicated by exactly how many presidents site a religious leader as a close personal friend or advisor) but it really has been under Bush that there has been a growing force to re-take the state as it were as shown by re-introduction of prayer in school, courses on evolutionism (however they would like to label it) and a myriad of other small but significant instances over the past 5-6 years.

I do not wish to tell anyone that they cannot practice their religion or have a voice in government for their followers, however, the Constitution was put in place to protect us all not give one group power over others and I see its power diminish daily because of the increasing return to religion. This scares me more then anything, and at the moment I am very glad to live in the UK.

Now how is that for irony? the country we fled because of religious persecution is now far more tolerant then we are.

JoeDoe 2.0
03-12-2007, 11:50 AM
Im an athiest too, I respect all peoples believes, but I draw the line when they try to convert me, just let me be. I too was discriminated for being an atheist, my other friends would not talk to me, people were telling me that I will go to hell for not believing in God. I told them that I believe in what I want, and that because I respect their beliefs they too should respect mine.

Darth InSidious
03-12-2007, 01:30 PM
People. What other answer is there?

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 01:54 PM
I do not believe in God or life after death or heaven and hell. It has nothing to do with "proof" in either direction it is simply what I believe to be true and makes the most sense to me.

This is what I meant by belief, and doctrine, PazzakPrincess. Belief. It is simply what you believe to be true. Just wanted to clarify that.

Well, I can't speak for Richard Dawkins, but based on my readings and his lectures, I guess his point would be:

If you're saying that theists aren't harming anyone by being theists and should be left alone, you're wrong. American theism is influencing our ability to prepare our children for the future by introducing pseudo-science such as Intelligent Design and working to vilify legitimate science such as evolutionary theory. By far the largest voting group is Evangelical, therefore they are determining which elected officials make it into public office and which agenda items are put on the front burner. The list goes on and on.

You are saying that people who believe in religion is wrong because they promote some different belief THAN what you believe in. So? Isn't that the same cry as all other groups: The world would be a better place if everyone believed in what I believe?

Does this mean that we must give up our belief to sastify yours? Well, you might say, "Well, my religion is correct/sensible/will help out society!" ...But so do they.

You might say, "Well, they might make mistakes...", well, that's where the moderates come in. They are the ones who maintain dual religions...the belief of Science and their religion of their choice.

You might say, "well these are the extremists. I'm much more moderate". Sam Harris would argue that moderate theists are a bigger danger than the extremists because their support of relativism shields the extremists and vilifies non-theists when they try to have a rational dialog.

Well, that's because, rationality has no place in a discussion about religion. You say that religion is not rational, and I agree. It's all about faith here. You can't prove that God exist or not exist. It's all based on belief.

You can't have a rational dialog on religion because it's all based on belief and feeling. Attempts to do it will become an utter failure. And when I mean rational dialog, I also mean the question of "Does God Exists?" You can't prove God exists, nor can you prove God does not exist. So, why give preference to one idea or another? Wouldn't the truly rational person say "You know what? I don't know about if God exists or not, so I should suspend judgement on everything."

And...are extremists wrong? They're extreme, so you go away from them, but you have no proof that they are in fact wrong. Other than, of course, you feel them to be wrong.

And that's just the U.S. and Christians. Islam is arguably the fastest growing religion in the world and they are the ones churning out terrorists by the dozen. Muslims with college educations go to their deaths "knowing" that their actions will a) kill Allah's enemies and b) ensure their place in paradise. We might say, "well that's ridiculous", but then again we're Muslim-atheists.

1) Prove they are ridiclious. Can you? No. You just feel they are ridiclous, which is quite absurd.

2) Well, um...I'm a Muslim.

Islam is the fastest growing religion, so the larger the religion is, the more sects will form that will basically be extermists. These radical sects are to be condemend, and I, as well as possibly most Muslims condemen them. We believe they are not really Muslims (they would kill innocents, they would not want to talk, they are just being crazy).

But note, we believe. Just like you believe.

You're saying WE moderates give cover to them? How come? We say that Osama bin Laden going to Hell. That's cover? Some of us say that the terrorists are crazy loons who will be smashed to itty-bits pieces? That's cover? Some of us even join the US Military, killing off the terrorist elements? That's cover? We hate them just as much as you do, even more so...since they are a sect within Islam, and a sect that is giving us a bad name, and a sect we would like to have wiped off the face of the Earth because we see them as hypocrites (those who say that they believe in one thing, and then do something else) and heatens.

Many Americans might think of Islamic terrorism as a Middle East problem, but then again many of us don't take the time to learn more about the growing Islamist threat in Europe and Africa. And true to Gore Vidal's statement that USA should stand for "United States of Amnesia", we often forget that the terrorists have shown they can strike us here as well (which should concern people considering that Bush's 2008 budget proposal only calls for $61 billion for homeland security).

...

What about the growing threat of China? Or the growing threat of Russia? Or the growing threat of left-wing terrorism (ELF, ALF)? Or the growing threat of right-wing terrorists (Milita Movement)? Or the growing threat of...nationalism, this love for America that is going to get people to go and die, and in some cases KILL for their country?

Hey, we're ALWAYS going to have growing threats that threaten to destroy America. But you beg the question: Why do we want to protect America? Because you feel that America needs to be protected. A belief, no? The same crazy belief that motivates moderates, extermists, everyone.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 02:39 PM
People. What other answer is there? What question are you referencing? Without some context, I'm having difficulty making heads or tails of this.

Pavlos
03-12-2007, 03:21 PM
I gave up on calling myself an atheist about a year ago. As far as my precious scientific method is concerned: there is not proof either way. I cannot prove my belief and thus by parading around that I am correct I become just as bad as the religious fundamentalists I would like to disprove. It is not so much that I don’t believe in a god more that… I don’t see the necessity for one. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’ll burn in Hell for this – I don’t know. Plus, there are so many sects, so many different beliefs that to pick one and say “oh yeah, this one is right… umm because I believe it” makes no sense to me.

Apologies for my wishy-washy “agnostic atheist” views.

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 03:56 PM
It is not so much that I don’t believe in a god more that… I don’t see the necessity for one. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’ll burn in Hell for this – I don’t know.

Alternativly, since God is a rational being, he may send all Atheists to Heaven, since they refuse to acknowledge his existence without proof, and God loves logic.

You don't know. ;)

Darth InSidious
03-12-2007, 04:16 PM
What question are you referencing? Without some context, I'm having difficulty making heads or tails of this.

My mis-reading on the topic title - if you add in the implied 'What are your', it should make more sense :)

TK-8252
03-12-2007, 04:54 PM
there is not proof either way.

There is no proof that there isn't a flying spaghetti monster either. Doesn't mean it might exist.

I cannot prove my belief and thus by parading around that I am correct I become just as bad as the religious fundamentalists I would like to disprove.

Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 05:10 PM
Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.

Well if you ask for proof...

Prove to me therefore that the burden of proof is on me. If you come up with a reason why I must have such a burden of proof, well, let me question it over and over and over. I want to evaulate that proof, and make sure it's valid, valid, and valid. Any flaw, and I'll tear it to pieces.

The bruden of proof is on you to prove to me that the burden of proof is on me. If you cannot supply such a proof...:)

Samuel Dravis
03-12-2007, 05:37 PM
It's a waste of time to believe in something with no detectable benefits. If he's content right now, then you have to show him it's in his interests to be informed - after all, you're the one concerned about his belief/nonbelief. To be worth bothering about, there must be benefits, so: "You've got the burden of proof" = "Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 05:42 PM
It's a waste of time to believe in something with no detectable benefits. If he's content right now, then you have to show him it's in his interests to be informed - after all, you're the one concerned about his belief/nonbelief. To be worth bothering about, there must be benefits, so: "You've got the burden of proof" = "Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."

True, I concur, but that wasn't the main point of my previous post. It was actually concering "proof".

If you ask me to supply proof, well, can't I just ask you to supply proof as well, causing an endless cycle? I'm pointing out that proof is not as important as people claim it to be. A person say: You got no proof, but then I can reply back: I got proof, but you have no proof that I have no proof. Treating the "burden of proof" as an objection to religion to prove it wrong, I can ask the atheist to prove that he needs to provide a burden of proof.

It's all about the irrational feelings and emotions a person have that decides if one have a belief/non-belief. Not about proof.

Strange...I think you gave me a good reason to believe in religion:
"Show me what the additional benefit of believing this is, because what I've got right now seems to work pretty swell already."

Nancy Allen``
03-12-2007, 05:46 PM
Hm, what evidence is there of there being a cure for cancer, or that it's somehow to be found by blasting rockets into space? It's the same thing, I'm sure there's scientific reasoning for such exercises but billions are spent on something that requires a good deal of faith and we know little about as well.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 06:01 PM
Hm, what evidence is there of there being a cure for cancer, or that it's somehow to be found by blasting rockets into space? It's the same thing, I'm sure there's scientific reasoning for such exercises but billions are spent on something that requires a good deal of faith and we know little about as well. I don't think it's a matter of faith. I think it's a matter of "hey, what happens when we try this experiment in zero-g's and outside of Earth's atmosphere?". It's not blind faith that going there will yield a cure, but rather another series of hypothesis to run through the wringer.

If it helps to provide context, think of silly putty. It started out as a scientific experiment to find a super-plastic for military applications. They happened upon that formula while trying for something else and accidentally invented a pretty cool toy for kids. The horrific scientific experiments conducted on Jews during the Holocaust resulted in some beneficial advances for modern medicine (I'm not advocating that the Holocaust was a good thing). Penicillin was accidentally discovered when someone failed to follow the procedure of an experiment. Some of the most important discoveries in science came about as the result of accidents and "what if" experiments.

Experience tells us that trying new things will sometimes yield beneficial results. Therefore, science in space is completely in alignment with scientific doctrine, not faith as you propose.

Pavlos
03-12-2007, 06:05 PM
Atheism isn't a belief. By definition, it is a lack of belief. And the burden of proof is on the one with the belief.

I believe there to be no God. That doesn't necessarily make me right so I can't tell others they are wrong. That's what I was driving at, I just happen to have a round-about way of getting there.

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

Edit: Nor am I suggesting that Christian (or any other faith's) doctrine therefore must be correct.

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 06:15 PM
Experience tells us that trying new things will sometimes yield beneficial results. Therefore, science in space is completely in alignment with scientific doctrine, not faith as you propose.

But you have faith in scientific doctrine. And you have faith that observations and experiments are accurate. You have fait that you are interperting your experience correctly and that the results are benefical.

What if people don't have such faith?

Samuel Dravis
03-12-2007, 06:17 PM
True, I concur, but that wasn't the main point of my previous post. It was actually concering "proof".

If you ask me to supply proof, well, can't I just ask you to supply proof as well, causing an endless cycle? I'm pointing out that proof is not as important as people claim it to be. A person say: You got no proof, but then I can reply back: I got proof, but you have no proof that I have no proof. Treating the "burden of proof" as an objection to religion to prove it wrong, I can ask the atheist to prove that he needs to provide a burden of proof.I'm sorry if I'm not getting it, but unless I can see that there's a benefit on my end, then there's very little reason for me to believe it. If you can't provide a reason then you're unlikely to make me change my view. I can give you a reason: you don't have to worship/pray/etc much if you're atheist. Saves a lot of time, and time is pretty valuable.

Strange...I think you gave me a good reason to believe in religion:I suspect that will only be true until you determine the benefit, or lack thereof, of those religious beliefs.

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 06:33 PM
I'm sorry if I'm not getting it, but unless I can see that there's a benefit on my end, then there's very little reason for me to believe it. If you can't provide a reason then you're unlikely to make me change my view. I can give you a reason: you don't have to worship/pray/etc much if you're atheist. Saves a lot of time, and time is pretty valuable.

Er...maybe I'm not communicating my Idea correctly.

Okay, here's an attempt: A person says, "I believe there is no God." "I believe there is God." "The burden of proof is on you to prove that there is God."

It is this emphasis on proof that the Atheist wants to aruge with. In this example, you see the person says: "You got no proof, so it looks to me that you are irrational."

So, all I want to do is to go and counter his proof about "burden of God", by asking him "Well...I want to ask for proof".

Obivosuly, it sounds strange for the Atheist to offer proof for his belief that I must give proof that God exist. But he makes an assumption, that is, that I must prove that God exists. Assumption is, in some sense, a belief, and we should question everything, right?

I am not refuting what you say, all I'm trying to refute is the guy saying, "Give me proof". Well, of course, I can't give you proof, it's my belief. BUT, give me proof that I should give you proof. I shouldn't accept anything without proof, no? So, why should I give proof of God unless you prove to me that I should give you proof of God? Proof becomes meanginless when we ask each other for 'proof'. You can't prove ideas.

...Or you know, maybe I should just give up trying to explain it. :D

I suspect that will only be true until you determine the benefit, or lack thereof, of those religious beliefs.

...Remember the placebo effect we talked about before? It is surely God/"placebo effect" that helps to let me pass tests and get good grades, and overall help me gain materialist success in this world, which means there is benieft right here. It also gives me an ethical framework, which I am okay with. It works for me, so why change? :)

Samuel Dravis
03-12-2007, 07:36 PM
Er...maybe I'm not communicating my Idea correctly.

Okay, here's an attempt: A person says, "I believe there is no God." "I believe there is God." "The burden of proof is on you to prove that there is God."

It is this emphasis on proof that the Atheist wants to aruge with. In this example, you see the person says: "You got no proof, so it looks to me that you are irrational."

So, all I want to do is to go and counter his proof about "burden of God", by asking him "Well...I want to ask for proof".I'd think that both are out on a limb. They're both presenting arguments for which there is no way to verify. I'd personally reject both of them as they're stated.

...Remember the placebo effect we talked about before? It is surely God/"placebo effect" that helps to let me pass tests and get good grades, and overall help me gain materialist success in this world, which means there is benieft right here. It also gives me an ethical framework, which I am okay with. It works for me, so why change? :)I didn't think the placebo effect really works that well if you know you're doing it to yourself...

Why change? Think of your reasons for believing it, and think of the benefits that religion gives you. Are these benefits exclusive to religion? An example that you've brought up a lot is the fear of death. Does the explanation religion gives even make sense in the physical universe as we know it? I submit that there is no reason to suppose these benefits true, as I have never seen any reason to suppose anyone has ever gone to a heaven, hell, purgatory, or any other plane of existence. The most I've seen is that people die, and they don't get up again. That's it.

So what, exactly, is the benefit of believing in something for which there is no reason to believe? You say, believe because if you do then you'll get these benefits (placebo effect). Well, I can already feel good about myself. I can already do well on tests. I can already make ethical judgements. I can already succeed in what I want to do. So, to me, there's precious little benefit to religion, and the few benefits there are are not exclusive. If I can already get all these things without religion's requirements, then why would I believe it?

SilentScope001
03-12-2007, 07:43 PM
Why change? Think of your reasons for believing it, and think of the benefits that religion gives you. Are these benefits exclusive to religion? An example that you've brought up a lot is the fear of death. Does the explanation religion gives even make sense in the physical universe as we know it? I submit that there is no reason to suppose these benefits true, as I have never seen any reason to suppose anyone has ever gone to a heaven, hell, purgatory, or any other plane of existence. The most I've seen is that people die, and they don't get up again. That's it.

It's more of the meaning of life that religion provides, that is, serve God. Yes, you don't need this sort of meaning, you can find it other ways. I just prefer this way better, because it seems that the other ways seem a bit vain. Supporting myself, supporting my country...I see no reason to actually do such a thing. Others can, but to me, I cannot embrace anything really.

It's about values in the end. You do not need religion, but I do.

If I can already get all these things without religion's requirements, then why would I believe it?

Ah, but each human is unique.

Just because you can handle life without religion does not mean I can handle life without religion. ;)

Ambrose
03-12-2007, 11:39 PM
Let's remember that this topic is on whether or not you treat atheists differently from everyone else. I think we already have several "prove it one way or the other" threads already, and if not, it's high time we created one :D

SykoRevan
03-13-2007, 12:14 AM
Just to clarify, this thread isn't only about whether you treat Atheists differently, but mainly your opinions, past experiences, and thoughts on Atheism. Just thought I'd make that clear. Also, let's try to remain on topic, please. I see less about people's views on Atheists and I see more people going off-topic and debating whether it is right or not. So please try to stay on-topic.

Nancy Allen``
03-13-2007, 12:46 AM
Past experiance ay? Well past experiance has given me my views on how some, not all I stress, some Atheists are, so to some extent that puts them in a negative light and especially when they go on about having no tolerance for religion I think 'oh here we go.'

To be fair those I've seen go on like this have shown it in discussion outside of religion as well and make me think they just enjoy hurting people, especially when they say it's their moral right and duty to be like that, but it does put a negative spin on what they, supposedly, support.

Ambrose
03-13-2007, 12:58 AM
Past experiance ay? Well past experiance has given me my views on how some, not all I stress, some Atheists are, so to some extent that puts them in a negative light and especially when they go on about having no tolerance for religion I think 'oh here we go.'

To be fair those I've seen go on like this have shown it in discussion outside of religion as well and make me think they just enjoy hurting people, especially when they say it's their moral right and duty to be like that, but it does put a negative spin on what they, supposedly, support.

Indeed.

In my experiences, the people I've known who call themselves "atheists" do it just so they can argue with theists. It's annoying really. Almost (but not quite) as annoying as people who call themselves "Christians" just so they can try to convert people and act morally superior.

The difference is, I know plenty of awesome Christians who don't wear their religion like a badge. Most of them are my friends.

On the flip side, probably 75% of atheists I know take their belief and bring it up at every opportunity. Furthermore, this same 75% act as if the fact that they don't believe in a god somehow makes them on a higher plane on the rest of us, and seem to work on the assumption that their understanding of science exceeds mine.

That's not to say I don't know atheists who are great people. That's the other 25%. But from what I've seen, they're the small few. It may be an unfair generalization, but I'm sticking to it because that's the impression I've gotten.

Other observations... the vast majority of atheists I know are (to use labels) emo, nerds, or computer/mmorpg addicts. Not that all of them are (the ones I call my friends aren't), that's just an interesting factoid I've noticed. No offense to any emos, nerds, or computer/mmorpg addicts out there. Just seems to me that most religious people live an all-in-all healthier lifestyle. Again, that's not always the case.

Nancy Allen``
03-13-2007, 01:15 AM
What I don't understand is why they can't just accept that people believe in religion. Just because I don't believe in, say, Greek mythology doesn't mean I go about telling people the idiocy of doing so, nor do I have a right to.

Ambrose
03-13-2007, 01:18 AM
What I don't understand is why they can't just accept that people believe in religion. Just because I don't believe in, say, Greek mythology doesn't mean I go about telling people the idiocy of doing so, nor do I have a right to.

Many of the annoying ones (see my previous post at the bottom of the last page for definition of "annoying one") constantly state that they are crusading against religion because they feel that it's the root of all evil, war, and poverty.

In this way, they themselves make up some sort of pseudo-cult intent on somehow ideologically wiping religion off of the face of the earth.

Achilles
03-13-2007, 01:37 AM
What I don't understand is why they can't just accept that people believe in religion. Just because I don't believe in, say, Greek mythology doesn't mean I go about telling people the idiocy of doing so, nor do I have a right to.Nancy, at this point I'm probably going to have to respectfully disengage from our dialog. You and I have been corresponding, both here and in the Senate, for about a week. If my arguments have still not been clearly communicated to you, then I doubt that I have the ability to do so. I repeatedly asked you which parts of my arguments have been unclear but you have exercised your option not to respond. This makes an exchange of ideas (in good faith) next to impossible.

Many of the annoying ones (see my previous post at the bottom of the last page for definition of "annoying one") constantly state that they are crusading against religion because they feel that it's the root of all evil, war, and poverty.

In this way, they themselves make up some sort of pseudo-cult intent on somehow ideologically wiping religion off of the face of the earth. I would submit that your prooffered cross-section of atheists is incomplete. You've already stated that your conclusions are likely to be an unfair generalization, and true to your word, you continue to wield your opinion as fact. This also hinders an exchange of ideas based on good faith.

I feel that I've posed a fairly rigorous case for how religion is damaging and I would be more than happy to continue that dialog if you would like. My preference though would be that we keep the attacks leveled at either the arguments or the evidence.

Thanks.

Ambrose
03-13-2007, 01:40 AM
I would submit that your prooffered cross-section of atheists is incomplete. You've already stated that your conclusions are likely to be an unfair generalization, and true to your word, you continue to wield your opinion as fact. This also hinders an exchange of ideas based on good faith.

I feel that I've posed a fairly rigorous case for how religion is damaging and I would be more than happy to continue that dialog if you would like. My preference though would be that we keep the attacks leveled at either the arguments or the evidence.

It was my impression that this thread was all about feelings, experiences, and impressions about atheists. I'm stating mine. Most of those are opinions. Sorry if that's so offensive.

Achilles
03-13-2007, 01:51 AM
I understand that's your opinion and you are welcome to it. In the spirit of being an "annoying atheist" I am challenging it :xp:

You, of course, have the right not to engage in that dialog. It would be a shame though to turn down the opportunity to have an exchange of ideas, IMO.

Nancy Allen``
03-13-2007, 01:55 AM
I apologise if I hadn't understood or even replied to some of what you said, but there are parts, such as this belief that Bush is trying to bring the end of the world, that I cannot understand.

As for Atheists and people who follow religion pushing their ideas onto others, I'm tired so I'd better not write my feelings about them in case I let slip some verbal diarage that breaks forum rules, but my feelings towards them are about the same as the feelings I have towards vampire cultists.

SithRevan
03-13-2007, 02:18 AM
I have tried to kinda aviod this thread but I think I do have something valid to say. I personally believe, very much so, in christianity and that there is a god and a heaven. Now I don't personally like the decision of somebody not believing in god for reasons that I would care not to discuss but I also think we all make our own paths in life. So if that is what you truely believe I will not stop you nor encourage you.

PazaakPrincess
03-13-2007, 09:33 AM
All I can say as a self professed atheist is that I've never tried to tell anyone that what I believe is right over what someone else believes and I usually never argue the question of "proof" because it is pointless in my opinion. I know what I believe and I can tell you why, if you wish to know, but I won't try to change what you believe or tell you that it is wrong.

So hopefully I do not qualify as an "annoying atheist". My experience with many Christians has been the opposite but I refrain from complaining on this point as I am sure you can say that about anyone on either side of any debate whether they are religious or not.

Pavlos
03-13-2007, 02:03 PM
All I can say as a self professed atheist is that I've never tried to tell anyone that what I believe is right over what someone else believes and I usually never argue the question of "proof" because it is pointless in my opinion. I know what I believe and I can tell you why, if you wish to know, but I won't try to change what you believe or tell you that it is wrong.

I pretty much share your outlook on things, there.

Jae Onasi
04-12-2007, 02:22 PM
The atheist/theist debate has been split off and now has its own thread The Theism/Atheism Discussion (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?p=2282800#post2282800).

Please discuss views on Atheists as people and their experiences as Atheists here, and discuss Atheism as a world-view in the new discussion thread. Thanks!

Totenkopf
04-20-2007, 02:49 AM
I would have to say that as far as viewing atheists as people/individuals, I couldn't really give a fig's fart what your persuasion is on the issue of god/no god. Ambrose pretty much summed it up in his first post. I may not agree with you philosophically, but that doesn't mean I'll dislike you. It's a big world and there's lots of things to talk about beside religion and philosophy. As DI pointed out, you're people too. ;)

Bimmerman
04-20-2007, 05:08 AM
I'm an atheist, and I could care less what others either think of me and my beliefs where religion is concerned(my family's pretty religious and don't get why I'm not). As for other people, I could also care less whether they are religious or not; I'm an atheist because it is what makes sense for me. If other people have different views, kudos. If they don't try to convert me I won't try to explain why I think they're full of it.

My 02 cents

lord ignarn
05-11-2007, 05:52 PM
It´s all about respect, of course you can take an atheist and make him say lots of things against any religion. But, that guy would be stupid in any case. The best thing we can do it´s having our own criteria.

If you want to see like this: it´s all a personal choice. If you don´t make the choice, at least respect the other.

DarkDwarf
05-14-2007, 12:49 AM
I used to be an atheist, however, I decided it wasn't for me, and switched to agnosticism...

i_shot_the_jedi
06-05-2007, 07:00 PM
I have no quarrel with Atheists as I have no quarrel with Christians, and I will happily discuss faith with them at any time.

I have thought for a number of years on the subject of God and I learned the hard way that deconstructing reality to find the missing parts is not always a good idea. I decided that it was no longer my place to question this "God" with my limited human wisdom and intelligence and a single world beneath my feet on which to base all my theories on.

I live by my own brand of semi-agnostic Judaism and my father's philosophy of simply living life as a good man, and I am always open minded; accepting or rejecting theological theories as they come. To close ones mind to different concepts; blindly believing that yours is the one true faith or belief system and that all others are false is to chain yourself to a single possibility amongst the myriad variety of possible truths.

As John Lennon said; "I believe in me, Yoko and me... and that's reality."

True_Avery
06-05-2007, 11:02 PM
I try and be as neural and open minded about religion as possible. There are subjects I debate, but I only attempt to debate them if I feel I have a fairly good understanding of who I am debating against, why they believe what they do, and what the core of what that belief truly is.

I try to also not label myself as far as religion goes. At times I believe there is something there, at times I see it as silly. Pretty much undecided on all of it as I can't and could no ever truly make up my mind on something as strange and interesting as religion.

I do, however, tend to greatly dislike religious supremacy and hate speech. Some would say that disliking that throws me off of my stance of being neutral, but I disagree and say that true ignorance and hate for someone on their personal beliefs is just that. Ignorance. If you say your religion is better or more supreme over another, then you quite possibly do not understand your own religion and thus have no right to take a religious stance in a debate in my personal opinon. I dislike them for what they say and do, not for what beliefs they have. Everybody has the right to an opinon and belief and to some extents, actions.

Atheism? Just another belief system. It is simply another religion to me, wether atheists would like to think it or not. It takes just as much spiritualism, if not a bit more, to believe there is nothing there opposed to believing there is something.

Dagobahn Eagle
06-16-2007, 09:58 PM
I treat them as I wold treat any "religious" group, except subdividing them into seperate 'religions', to fit the different "sects" of Atheism (communism, capitalism, scientific materialism, anarchism, liberal democrats, etc., basically people who believe there is no God, and then coming up with different doctrines based on the nonexistence of God).None of the examples you list are the result of atheism. The only thing I can come up with is secular humanism.

Atheism? Just another belief system. It is simply another religion to me, wether atheists would like to think it or not. It takes just as much spiritualism, if not a bit more, to believe there is nothing there opposed to believing there is something.No, because spiritualism specifically refers to entities. I know what you mean, but you're getting your terms wrong.

Totenkopf
06-16-2007, 10:21 PM
No, because spiritualism specifically refers to entities. I know what you mean, but you're getting your terms wrong.

She might have been better off saying belief, since we've no idea where any of the matter and energy that constitutes this universe came from in the first place.

JediKnight707
06-17-2007, 04:58 AM
What do I think of Athiests?

Hmmm. One of my best friends is an athiest. I think, to be more exact, he's a pagan. I didn't know this until a few months ago. We were chat-chiting, and he asked me what my beliefs were. Long story short, he likes Satan. I'm still not sure if he was kidding or not. But, regardless, my thoughts about him have changed. He's still my best friend, and nothing will change that, but there's just an uneasiness I feel when I'm around him. To say that I think of Athiests the same way as I do other people would be a lie. I've got nothing against Athiests, don't misinterpret my words when I say that. I merely think of them differently. Not a good or bad different. Just different.

Hallucination
06-18-2007, 05:47 PM
I think you forgot the definition of 'atheist'. ;)
atheist
–noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
I think Satan would count as a supreme being.

As for atheists, I hate them all and I beat any of them I see. Of course, I happen to be one... >_>

Seriously, there are annoying atheists who don't know what they're talking about, while there are those who do. Just like Christians. And Hindus. And Jews. And Muslims. It's not like we're from space, we happen to be human and vary depending on ourselves.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-18-2007, 04:13 PM
Hmmm. One of my best friends is an athiest. I think, to be more exact, he's a pagan. I didn't know this until a few months ago. We were chat-chiting, and he asked me what my beliefs were. Long story short, he likes Satan.An atheist is by definition someone who does not believe in gods, angels, Satan, etc. Atheist≠Pagan≠Satanist.

Nancy Allen``
07-18-2007, 07:52 PM
This is how I feel it should be. You, what are your beliefs?

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR BELIEFS ARE!!!

Achilles
07-18-2007, 07:56 PM
Unfortunately, that philosophy will tend to fail in a democracy. Viewpoints determine policy, therefore it's irresponsible not to keep abreast opinion.

Nancy Allen``
07-18-2007, 08:20 PM
I call it egotism, people want to have their viewpoints brought to the fore, even harang others into adopting the same beliefs.

Achilles
07-18-2007, 09:19 PM
Being aware of other view points is egotism? You'll have to clarify that one for me.

Last time I checked, egotism is the practice of putting oneself before all others. Being egocentric (which may have been the term you were looking for) is the practice of thinking that one's viewpoint should be the only one.

Considering that organized religions tend to profess to be concerned about "the next life" while trying to dictate a moral code for everyone to adhere to in this one, I would recommend that you proceed carefully, lest you apply that label to the wrong ideology.

Nancy Allen``
07-18-2007, 09:27 PM
By that I mean saying that your way is the only way that matters, your beliefs are the only beliefs that matter. Whether it be Christianity, Judasim, Islam, Greek Mythology (is that the proper term for it?), Atheism, whatever, it doesn't matter. To condemn others for their beliefs or to say that you cannot hold such beliefs is to rupture the fabric of society.

Achilles
07-18-2007, 09:33 PM
So like when Christians say that atheists are going to burn in hell or that homosexuals are destroying this country? Or when Muslims condemn all "infidels" to death for following the wrong god?

Or were you specifically referring to the part where most atheists try to assert their right to live in a country where imaginary friends don't dictate foreign and/or domestic policy?

As you can see, we can't live in a society where beliefs don't matter, hence my earlier point.

Nancy Allen``
07-18-2007, 09:47 PM
So like when Christians say that atheists are going to burn in hell or that homosexuals are destroying this country? Or when Muslims condemn all "infidels" to death for following the wrong god?

Yes, exactly. By doing that you're playing chicken with other people's lives, hoping that whoever hears the message of hatred blinks and follows through with killing homosexuals, committing acts of terror for their God. Atheists are no less immune to this and fall under the same bylines that apply to those who follow religion. Condemning religion the same as Christians or Muslims condemn others makes them as bad as who they criticise.

Achilles
07-18-2007, 11:17 PM
Really? There is an atheistic "holy" text (or other practice) that not only permits but advocates the death and/or discrimination of others? I was not aware of this.

I think there is a distinction that you are missing in your rebuke. Atheists don't "condemn" religion for the sake of persecuting followers. Most atheists seek to point out the flaws in theism because, as Chris Hitchens points out, "it poisons everything". If theists were happy enough to "check their devotion at the door" and use their minds rather than their holy text while in the public domain, I don't think there would be a problem. However this rarely, if ever, happens. Hence all the killing and condemnation and fire and brimstone, etc.

Nancy Allen``
07-18-2007, 11:27 PM
I don't know of any Atheist text that advocates death and discrimination either, but it does happen, and Atheists are held to the same laws and civil responsibilies as people who follow religion are.

Just on that note, I may have said this before, when people read passages in their religious texts they may be confusing accounts of what happened (judgement being cast on Ninevah for example) with the way things are meant to be, taking texts that preach destroying those who do not follow their religion as gospal of how to act. That, or it's simply used as an excuse by someone with an axe to grind.

Achilles
07-18-2007, 11:51 PM
I don't know of any Atheist text that advocates death and discrimination either, but it does happen, Examples please.

Just on that note, I may have said this before, when people read passages in their religious texts they may be confusing accounts of what happened (judgement being cast on Ninevah for example) with the way things are meant to be, taking texts that preach destroying those who do not follow their religion as gospal of how to act. That, or it's simply used as an excuse by someone with an axe to grind.Who gets to decide which interpretations are correct and which are incorrect? What happens when the instructions are specific? I believe I posed these questions to you before.

Nancy Allen``
07-19-2007, 12:16 AM
Examples please.

Saying that religion is a delusion and those who believe it are deluded, treating those who believe in it with contempt. A look through the Senate will yield some examples and I can bring up other sources if you like.

Who gets to decide which interpretations are correct and which are incorrect? What happens when the instructions are specific? I believe I posed these questions to you before.

That's a topic that's debated time and time again, whether using what Jesus had set into motion for example does away with what had taken place before or if many of the old rules still apply. People do honestly feel that those who do this, those who do not do that, shall surely be put to death is to be taken litrially, and not in the etheral astrial sense (what happens when you die). I think however these people are the minority, certainly in the case of saying to go out and kill those who, shall we say, defile their religion. Those who do think this way (an example would be a priest who broke into a witch's home, burnt her belongings in a Salem trials style bonfire and told the police who showed up the woman should be burning in there as well) are shown to be extremist, and rightfully so.

Achilles
07-19-2007, 01:10 AM
Saying that religion is a delusion and those who believe it are deluded, treating those who believe in it with contempt. A look through the Senate will yield some examples and I can bring up other sources if you like. Contempt is neither death nor it is discrimination. Since you mention the Senate, perhaps you would like to try some examples from that specific body (good luck, as the quickest way to talk yourself out of public office is to deny the existence of jesus christ). The fact that you seem to think any kind of anti-religious sentiment exists in the Senate indicates to me that you might be grasping at straws.

That's a topic that's debated time and time again, whether using what Jesus had set into motion for example does away with what had taken place before or if many of the old rules still apply. People do honestly feel that those who do this, those who do not do that, shall surely be put to death is to be taken litrially, and not in the etheral astrial sense (what happens when you die). I think however these people are the minority, certainly in the case of saying to go out and kill those who, shall we say, defile their religion. Those who do think this way (an example would be a priest who broke into a witch's home, burnt her belongings in a Salem trials style bonfire and told the police who showed up the woman should be burning in there as well) are shown to be extremist, and rightfully so. I don't understand what this has to do with my questions.

Totenkopf
07-19-2007, 01:20 AM
Contempt is neither death nor it is discrimination. Since you mention the Senate, perhaps you would like to try some examples from that specific body (good luck, as the quickest way to talk yourself out of public office is to deny the existence of jesus christ). The fact that you seem to think any kind of anti-religious sentiment exists in the Senate indicates to me that you might be grasping at straws.

Two things, Achilles. It would very likely depend on where you're running for office. I'm reasonably sure that belief in Christianity isn't requisite if you run in, say, NH or San Fransico to name a few examples. Also, if you think there's NOT a strain of anti-religious sentiment in the Senate, you've not read very closely what people have written w/regard to that subject. That isn't the same as saying those people want to unleash pogroms against the believers, just that they do regard it contemptuously and aren't the least bit reticent about saying so. :rolleyes:

Achilles
07-19-2007, 01:35 AM
Two things, Achilles. It would very likely depend on where you're running for office. I'm reasonably sure that belief in Christianity isn't requisite if you run in, say, NH or San Fransico to name a few examples. This sounds very much like supposition. I'd be happy to take a look at any examples that you would like provide of senate or house of representative candidates that ran on an "atheist platform" and were elected into office.

Also, if you think there's NOT a strain of anti-religious sentiment in the Senate, you've not read very closely what people have written w/regard to that subject. That isn't the same as saying those people want to unleash pogroms against the believers, just that they do regard it contemptuously and aren't the least bit reticent about saying so. :rolleyes: It is entirely possible that I've been misinformed. Since you appear to have at least one specific example in mind, perhaps you would be willing to share it (them?).

In the mean time, I'll ponder why it is that Senate opens with prayers and scoffed at our first Muslim representative being sworn in on Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Koran.

Totenkopf
07-19-2007, 01:50 AM
On the second part, I was under the impression that Nancy was talking about the Senate in the LF (not the US Senate, as you seemed to have misunderstood--though she can feel free to correct me here), which is what I was talking about. On the first part, you are also being equally presumptuous. One needn't bring up the subject. Besides, what exactly is an "atheist platform", as I thought you contended elsewhere that there was no real such thing as atheist values. So, what could such a platform really be based on other than defining itself as "anti-theist"? Besides, isn't Keith Ellison a Muslim, but he got elected anyway. But to throw it back in your court, please provide all the concrete examples of atheists running for public office that didn't win b/c of some religious bias on the part of the electorate, specifically as regards the "divinity" of Jesus (ie demonstrate that they were SPECIFICALLY rejected B/C they were atheists). Don't forget to check which members of the US Congress (both houses) currently/past consider themselves atheists or are known to be other than Christian. Frankly, you're the one engaging in presumption and therefore the burden is upon you to provide all the examples. Thanks.

Achilles
07-19-2007, 04:25 AM
On the second part, I was under the impression that Nancy was talking about the Senate in the LF (not the US Senate, as you seemed to have misunderstood--though she can feel free to correct me here), which is what I was talking about. Ah, fair enough. Since I was discussing "foreign and domestic policy" and she mentioned "senate" I just assumed that we were on the same track. To your point, we may not have been.

On the first part, you are also being equally presumptuous. One needn't bring up the subject. Actually, Nancy did, however based on the above we may have crossed wires. Regardless of any miscommunication, I did not bring it up apropos of nothing. If my interpretation is correct, then Nancy raised the point and you may feel free to address your question to her. If my interpretation is incorrect, then we will quickly discover this and move on. In the latter case, the claim is her's and will need to be defended as the burden of proof is on her (despite your diatribe below).

Besides, what exactly is an "atheist platform", as I thought you contended elsewhere that there was no real such thing as atheist values. This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Irony) should help you. I recommend bookmarking this link so that you can quickly reference it again in the future.

IIRC, I explained this in the aforementioned "elsewhere" as well.

So, what could such a platform really be based on other than defining itself as "anti-theist"? Dunno, you tell me.

Besides, isn't Keith Ellison a Muslim, but he got elected anyway. Your point?

But to throw it back in your court, please provide all the concrete examples of atheists running for public office that didn't win b/c of some religious bias on the part of the electorate, specifically as regards the "divinity" of Jesus (ie demonstrate that they were SPECIFICALLY rejected B/C they were atheists). Don't forget to check which members of the US Congress (both houses) currently/past consider themselves atheists or are known to be other than Christian. And how would you presume I do that? Cross-reference the atheist registry? Nice try. Good to know that your debate tactics haven't changed.

Frankly, you're the one engaging in presumption and therefore the burden is upon you to provide all the examples. Thanks. I'm always happy to do so when I'm the one making the claim. Take care.

Totenkopf
07-19-2007, 05:02 AM
Up to your usual tricks as well, I see ;) Do wonders never cease....

Please, if you're going to make your claims, at least be able to back them up with something other than paranoid suspicions. I tried to give you that opportunity, but it's no sweat off my back that you don't wish to rise to the challenge. ;)


Your reference to the original "platform" was somewhat inconclusive as a lot of those ideas sounded much like secular progressive ideas that didn't of necessity exclude people of faith from embracing them w/re to public policy. I figured perhaps you had something more definitive in mind vis-a-vis atheist values. Besides, as a muslim, the whole "divinity of Jesus" thing should have gotten in the way of his (Ellison's) being elected.

Btw, I only referenced Nancy in regard to use of the word Senate, and not the subject of how atheistic views apparently seem to "forbid" atheists from serving in Congress (or any elected office, really). My point was in reference to your first reply to me about Jesus and elected officials. I'll chalk up you being tired as the reason for missing that. ;)

Pleasure doin' business w/ya......

Jae Onasi
07-19-2007, 07:52 AM
Perhaps in the future to prevent confusion we should specify which Senate we're referring to--US Senate (or just the default 'Senate') vs. JK's Senate--I knew that Nancy was talking about the JK Senate in one of the earlier posts, but I can see where that would easily be confusing and could be applied to either body.

Aww, it's nice to see you boys getting along as usual. :xp:

Nancy Allen``
07-19-2007, 10:07 AM
Contempt is neither death nor it is discrimination.

It's a step in the right direction. And just on that, this, the way we're talking now, it's fine far as I'm concerned. Making unhelpful comments such as "McReligion: Billions and billions served crap" I'm sure you'll agree isn't fine.


I don't understand what this has to do with my questions.

This was in reply to you asking who decides what scripture people of any given religion should follow. Some experts, the minority as far as I know (and I would hope they are) believe in bringing death to those who sin, as some passages say happens. They believe it is not any spiritual death they suffer for sin, rather they are to be physically put to death, the act of stoning which was common in those times or burning them at the stake like they did to witches. However others, the majority of Christians at least, support the notion of Jesus dying for our sins and through him we are absolved of our misdeeds including the Original Sin. Which is right is a point of contention from religion to religion, within the same religion and even from church to church.

On the second part, I was under the impression that Nancy was talking about the Senate in the LF (not the US Senate, as you seemed to have misunderstood--though she can feel free to correct me here), which is what I was talking about.

Yeah, that'a exactly what I was referring to, the Senate debate forums where discussion has gotten a little out of hand.

In the latter case, the claim is her's and will need to be defended as the burden of proof is on her (despite your diatribe below).

Don't ask me, I always switched off whenever they compared Bush to some great evil, before it got to religion in politics. Though I do know a little, enough for me I think to say the following and get back to what the topic is about. I may not lay claim to religion poisoning the world, but I know right and I know wrong and I have the good grace to know which is which. Allowing people to be entitled to believe and follow religion is right. Condemning people for their beliefs, as Bush does for Islam or Islamic countries do for beliefs that arn't their own, or some do for any and all religion, is wrong.

Achilles
07-19-2007, 01:50 PM
Up to your usual tricks as well, I see ;) Do wonders never cease.... Since your argument has already been reduced to repeating yourself and/or repeating what I say back to me (ala "I know you are but what am I"), I feel that any further attempt to sort out your line of reasoning would be a poor use of my time. It's been fun.

It's a step in the right direction. You'll have to explain that one to me, please.

And just on that, this, the way we're talking now, it's fine far as I'm concerned. Making unhelpful comments such as "McReligion: Billions and billions served crap" I'm sure you'll agree isn't fine. Isn't fine as far as an open dialog, correct. I won't comment on the validity of the sentiment.

Again, is this taken directly from some kind of atheistic "holy" reference or is this some comment made by a lone individual that you are now using to characterize *all* atheist and/or a hypothetical situation that you present for argument's sake?

This was in reply to you asking who decides what scripture people of any given religion should follow. Some experts, the minority as far as I know (and I would hope they are) believe in bringing death to those who sin, as some passages say happens. They believe it is not any spiritual death they suffer for sin, rather they are to be physically put to death, the act of stoning which was common in those times or burning them at the stake like they did to witches. However others, the majority of Christians at least, support the notion of Jesus dying for our sins and through him we are absolved of our misdeeds including the Original Sin. Which is right is a point of contention from religion to religion, within the same religion and even from church to church. This still does not address the question though. You refer to extremeists as "experts" and then "hope" that they are a minority. Are these "experts" the ones that get to determine which interpretations are correct and which are incorrect? If they are, then why is it that you hope they are in the minority? Could it be that your religion *really* advocates a set of behaviors that you do not agree with?

In the interest of avoiding a gish gallop, I'll simply repeat my original question: Who gets to decide which interpretations are correct?

Yeah, that'a exactly what I was referring to, the Senate debate forums where discussion has gotten a little out of hand. Thank you for clarifying. My original point still stands: individual contempt is not the same thing as systematic condemnation and intolerance (not to mention policies supporting death). You seem to think that complaining about atheists not pulling punches re: theism is about on par with religions that openly discriminate and/or kill people.

tk102
07-19-2007, 05:14 PM
@Totenkopf, Achilles: The Snarky-o-meter has reached a "derail warning" point so I need to ask you two to cool down a bit. You're flame baiting each other and it is detracting from the debate.

Apparently I was a little too subtle earlier. :) --Jae

Achilles
07-19-2007, 06:08 PM
Apparently I was a little too subtle earlier. :) --Jae Probably. Was this: Aww, it's nice to see you boys getting along as usual. :xp:...supposed to be a moderator warning? It seemed more like one of your "humor mode way on" messages. My apologies for not picking up on that.

It wasn't a formal warning since you guys hadn't gone over that line at that point, but I felt the heat creeping up and thought I'd point it out, and yes it was meant in a humor vein. :) --Jae

Nancy Allen``
07-19-2007, 08:45 PM
You'll have to explain that one to me, please.

The hatred and intolerance some have for religion is something you do not want to see take hold, because that's where problems start and they end in death squads. Christianity's persecution and killing of witches for example, or Islam being so militant in some countries that those who think otherwise are killed, the Atheist movement must never reach that level of intolerance nor should any belief.

Again, is this taken directly from some kind of atheistic "holy" reference or is this some comment made by a lone individual that you are now using to characterize *all* atheist and/or a hypothetical situation that you present for argument's sake?

All Atheists who would make unhelpful comments like that to be sure. Think insulting anti Atheist comments, it's the same thing. What applies to Atheists applies to those who follow religion and vice versa.

This still does not address the question though. You refer to extremeists as "experts" and then "hope" that they are a minority. Are these "experts" the ones that get to determine which interpretations are correct and which are incorrect? If they are, then why is it that you hope they are in the minority? Could it be that your religion *really* advocates a set of behaviors that you do not agree with?

Experts in name maybe, but as far as being, for example Christians, they preach very unChristian like behavior. If Jesus was meant to sweep away the old and bring in the new there is no need to be hunting down and killing homosexuals. Some argue this, saying that we still should. Some would get to determine how things are meant to be in a church or community, and undoubtably they would clash with other experts on their views. Any expert however would know that first and foremost they must abide by the law, which states that murder is illegal even if they are homosexual. Does religion advocate a set of behaviors I do not agree with? I think most people would not agree with some of the things that took place in Old Testement. However that I believe is an account of things that had transpired before and the way things were, rather than how things are meant to be now. If there was no New Testement then certainly those ways would still apply from a religious point of view.

Who gets to decide which interpretation is correct? This is going to be a bad answer, but I think the answer is God, through Jesus, setting about what is written in the New Testement, decided that we no longer have to act this way. Those who act on old ways, who persecute by the old ways are seen as bigots. Remember that priest who was persecuting that witch? I'll try and find a video of it somewhere. Of course this is only going by what I know of Christianity, other religions are probably much diffirent.

Thank you for clarifying. My original point still stands: individual contempt is not the same thing as systematic condemnation and intolerance (not to mention policies supporting death). You seem to think that complaining about atheists not pulling punches re: theism is about on par with religions that openly discriminate and/or kill people.

As you sow shall too you reap. I remember a discussion where no punches were pulled over whether or not we should be naming names of the dead in Iraq, parading them around on TV, ect. A comment was made to one who supported the idea about whether anti war people would get their yukks seeing dead American soldiers. They were absolutely outraged at having similar comments they made to others thrown back in their face. So if not pulling our punches in any discussion is going to have that type of effect then maybe we should. As for it being on par with religion that openly discriminates and kills, as I said that is exactly the reason why Atheists don't want to become more and more intolerant, more and more emboldended by their actions, because they may find one day that they justify murder. Same for anything else, and a lesson that religion has learnt far too late and some never will.

Achilles
07-19-2007, 11:12 PM
The hatred and intolerance some have for religion is something you do not want to see take hold, because that's where problems start and they end in death squads. I suppose anything is possible, however without a doctrine to organize behind, I consider this to be a largely hypothetical concern. It's not like atheist has a bible or a koran which tells them to kill people that don't agree with them. Also, atheists tend to be free-thinkers and dislike anything that resembles "organization".

Christianity's persecution and killing of witches for example, or Islam being so militant in some countries that those who think otherwise are killed, the Atheist movement must never reach that level of intolerance nor should any belief. But christians and muslims already have. Kinda kills your point don't you think?

All Atheists who would make unhelpful comments like that to be sure. Think insulting anti Atheist comments, it's the same thing. What applies to Atheists applies to those who follow religion and vice versa. So in other words, it's hypothetical. You could have just said so :D

Experts in name maybe, but as far as being, for example Christians, they preach very unChristian like behavior. Well now I'm really confused because "experts" was your term. So the experts aren't experts? Help please.

The questions still remains: if they are experts then on who's authority have you determined that what they preach is "unchristian-like"? Seems to me that if they are experts, they would be in a better position to determine which behaviors are christian and which are not? Unless of course you're finally willing to admit that the entire things is arbitrary.

If Jesus was meant to sweep away the old and bring in the new there is no need to be hunting down and killing homosexuals. But he's not. He says so himself in the bible (Matthew 5:17). Paul is pretty clear about homosexuality still being a big no-no (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and arguably 2 Timothy). Seems the bible would not support your view of christianity.

Some argue this, saying that we still should. Some would get to determine how things are meant to be in a church or community, and undoubtably they would clash with other experts on their views. Any expert however would know that first and foremost they must abide by the law, which states that murder is illegal even if they are homosexual. Does religion advocate a set of behaviors I do not agree with? I think most people would not agree with some of the things that took place in Old Testement. However that I believe is an account of things that had transpired before and the way things were, rather than how things are meant to be now. If there was no New Testement then certainly those ways would still apply from a religious point of view. You say that experts should first abide the law. If the law is the word of man, but god's law is supreme, then shouldn't man's law be consistent with god's law? If god's law says "kill homosexuals" then shouldn't man's law echo this? The fact that god seems to give a commandment not to murder (literal translation of the commandment) while also telling us to stone to death non-believers, adulterers, disobedient children, rape victims, etc seems to create quite the conundrum.

You seems to want to draw the line at old testament/new testament (even though jesus explicited states that he is not here to change the old laws, but we'll conveniently ignore that for the sake of argument). Does this mean that Jewish people are completely within their rights to kill homosexuals? Their version of god's word still says it's ok. Or should they have to bow to a christian doctrine that they don't accept?

Who gets to decide which interpretation is correct? This is going to be a bad answer, but I think the answer is God, through Jesus, setting about what is written in the New Testement, decided that we no longer have to act this way. But the new testament doesn't do what you say it does. Not only that but the new testament is just as contradictory as the old testament. Also, how does this explain the practice of revelation (which catholics, mormons, and evangelicals are especially reliant upon)?

Those who act on old ways, who persecute by the old ways are seen as bigots. Remember that priest who was persecuting that witch? I'll try and find a video of it somewhere. Of course this is only going by what I know of Christianity, other religions are probably much diffirent. No, they are all pretty consistent in the things that matter.

As you sow shall too you reap. I remember a discussion where no punches were pulled over whether or not we should be naming names of the dead in Iraq, parading them around on TV, ect. A comment was made to one who supported the idea about whether anti war people would get their yukks seeing dead American soldiers. They were absolutely outraged at having similar comments they made to others thrown back in their face. So if not pulling our punches in any discussion is going to have that type of effect then maybe we should. As for it being on par with religion that openly discriminates and kills, as I said that is exactly the reason why Atheists don't want to become more and more intolerant, more and more emboldended by their actions, because they may find one day that they justify murder. Same for anything else, and a lesson that religion has learnt far too late and some never will. This is largely a red herring. Let me try to clarify my earlier question:

How is it that refusing to cow to theism seems to be just as offensive to you as theistic persecution (ie death, torture, imprisonment, etc) of non-believers (atheistic or otherwise)?

Totenkopf
07-21-2007, 06:37 PM
The fact that god seems to give a commandment not to murder (literal translation of the commandment) while also telling us to stone to death non-believers, adulterers, disobedient children, rape victims, etc seems to create quite the conundrum.

Technically only true if one equates murder to killing. All murder is killing (figures of speech aside), but not all killing is murder.

How is it that refusing to cow to theism seems to be just as offensive to you as theistic persecution (ie death, torture, imprisonment, etc) of non-believers (atheistic or otherwise)?

Depends on what form this "refusing to cow" takes. Most things start off small. Talk is cheap, no matter how offensive. At some point talk becomes translated into action and hell breaks loose. No doubt the reason there are laws regarding incitement. Keep in mind that many religions/ideologies start off small before they "graduate" to the level of being able to pull off mass persecutions.

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 11:36 AM
But christians and muslims already have. Kinda kills your point don't you think?

And you don't want your group, your movement, to join them in killing for what they believe in do you? So you take measures to prevent them from reaching the point where they justily killing.

So in other words, it's hypothetical. You could have just said so :D

Not hypothetical, more a case of you not liking people talking down you and your beliefs so it's something that shouldn't be done.

Well now I'm really confused because "experts" was your term. So the experts aren't experts? Help please.

Think a military expert who believes we would have the same level of success in Iraq that we did in Desert Storm and one who believes that no way will we be that successful again.

The questions still remains: if they are experts then on who's authority have you determined that what they preach is "unchristian-like"? Seems to me that if they are experts, they would be in a better position to determine which behaviors are christian and which are not? Unless of course you're finally willing to admit that the entire things is arbitrary.

Look at the Ten Commandments. One of them says 'Though Shalt Not Kill', a commandment that carries over to Jesus' time when much of the old ways were deemed obsolete (such as sacrifices being made to God). Some would like to ignore this to kill those who are offensive to their religion.

But he's not. He says so himself in the bible (Matthew 5:17). Paul is pretty clear about homosexuality still being a big no-no (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and arguably 2 Timothy). Seems the bible would not support your view of christianity.

Note that he does not call upon the killing of homosexuals.

You say that experts should first abide the law. If the law is the word of man, but god's law is supreme, then shouldn't man's law be consistent with god's law?

Actually no, as he commands to obey the law unless the law instructs you to sin. While you may find protest to passing of laws that permit homosexuality you very rarely see a call to arms over the matter. I had a friend of mine put this up, it's a classic example of religion going too far.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adHBr4xv0AY

The fact that god seems to give a commandment not to murder (literal translation of the commandment) while also telling us to stone to death non-believers, adulterers, disobedient children, rape victims, etc seems to create quite the conundrum.

I'm not sure if you interpret 'be put to death' as execution (as opposed to being cast off into hell when they die) or if it's a speficif quote, you'll need to elaborate on this.

You seems to want to draw the line at old testament/new testament (even though jesus explicited states that he is not here to change the old laws, but we'll conveniently ignore that for the sake of argument). Does this mean that Jewish people are completely within their rights to kill homosexuals? Their version of god's word still says it's ok. Or should they have to bow to a christian doctrine that they don't accept?

Because it's preached that before Jesus is the old and Jesus is the new, and the Bible and I'm sure the Qu'ran does as well instructs that whatever the book says you are to obey the law. The Hebrew Tanakh would most likely say the same thing.

But the new testament doesn't do what you say it does. Not only that but the new testament is just as contradictory as the old testament. Also, how does this explain the practice of revelation (which catholics, mormons, and evangelicals are especially reliant upon)?

To answer this question I'd hark back to the claim of Bush trying to bring about Revelations, trying to mess up the world so much that he forces Jesus to return. That's one interpretation of how we'd see things turn out, we would destroy ourselves and those who believe be saved.

How is it that refusing to cow to theism seems to be just as offensive to you as theistic persecution (ie death, torture, imprisonment, etc) of non-believers (atheistic or otherwise)?

Totenkopf answered this for me but I'll reiterate. Let's say for example you disagree with Bush. You're upset with Iraq, with the 2000 elections, with his religious views. You start talking about wanting to do something about it and it festers away at you, eats away at you, and throughout time you begin twisting things around in your head to justify taking action. Now that scenario wouldn't happen, I'd hope not anyway, but if speaking out against religion and condemning it plants the seeds for a violent Atheist uprising then maybe a better idea is to be able to accept that it does exist and people believe in it.

Jae Onasi
07-22-2007, 11:54 AM
To answer this question I'd hark back to the claim of Bush trying to bring about Revelations, trying to mess up the world so much that he forces Jesus to return.


Please quote me where Bush actually says he's forcing Jesus to return in those words, and the date he said this. I'd be most interested in seeing these comments for myself.

If he has not specifically said this, then please don't continue saying that he has. That's disingenuous at best, along with being rumor-mongering.

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 12:11 PM
It was a theory Achilles raised some time ago, I'll find the actual discussion.

You painted me the picture of religious evil before. Now put it in a frame. From what I understand reading what you've told me in previous threads George Bush, a Christian, wants to force Jesus returning which would destroy the world. To do this he intends to throw the world into such chaos that Jesus, if he does exist (and if Atheists don't believe in God why do they buy this story?), will have to return and bring about the events in Revelations to restore order. And Bush has appointed a number of fellow Christians to follow this plan. Does that sound close to this fear of this fundamentalism you're talking about?

I'd say you've almost accurately captured a small part of the argument. The important (and scary) part would be the percentage of the american population that supports/shares this view. Pinning the whole thing on Bush is a little unfair: He did have be elected after all. Instead focus on the fundamentalist movement and I'd say you'd be a lot closer.

PS: One does not have to believe something themselves to be terrified of others that do. If all the fundamentalists lived on an island out in the middle of the ocean and wanted to blow themselves up, that would be one thing. If they lived on the island, but had nukes and believed that they had to take us out first before blowing themselves up, that would be another thing, wouldn't you say?

Out of all the indications I've been given that Bush is actually trying to do this I just cannot see how. I mean if he is a Christian then he'd know that it's impossible and if he isn't then he wouldn't believe in it anyway.

Jae Onasi
07-22-2007, 12:13 PM
This isn't answering my request for Bush's actual quote. I want to see where he himself said this, please.

Totenkopf
07-22-2007, 12:32 PM
This isn't answering my request for Bush's actual quote. I want to see where he himself said this, please.


I always got the sense that this was one of the more egregious examples of Bush bashing done by his ideological opponents, rather than any particular statement made by the man himself. Sort of wonder if this isn't supposed to be some counterbalancing accusation to the Amadinejhad and the 12th Imam claims. However, if anyone can produce a verbatim quote from Bush himself that states he seeks to bring on the Apocalypse, please do so.

Achilles
07-22-2007, 04:14 PM
And you don't want your group, your movement, to join them in killing for what they believe in do you? Huh? As others have pointed out a "group" of atheists is like a "group" of right-handed people. Unlike organized religion, atheism is a natural state. Therefore trying to identify it as a "group" is a losing exercise.

That aside, I'm not sure which "your movement" you are referring to. To the best of my knowledge, I'm not part of any movement, so you'll have to clarify what that means.

The "join them in killing" part is rather interesting, because that would insinuate that "they" (atheist, I'm assuming) are already killing. Is there a theological cleansing that I'm not aware of? Do we have bands of atheist death squads patrolling the streets looking for theists to kill? Have you heard reports in the news where maybe isolated groups of atheists have done this anywhere? Or is this another of your hypothetical exercises that have no foundation in reality and are born of a complete lack of understanding about what atheism actually is or what most atheists actually believe?

So you take measures to prevent them from reaching the point where they justily killing. Such countermeasures aren't necessary. Most atheists tend toward humanist ethics, which tend to promote human life as valuable unto itself. This means that most atheists would seek to avoid killing others because they do not wish to live in a world in which they themselves would be randomly killed. Regardless though, if some lone atheist were able to rally a small band of atheists and somehow convince them that they should begin killing theists, I imagine they would be quickly ignored by other atheists.

See, unlike theists, atheists do not have a fictional book written by bronze age or dark age authors that tells them to kill others in certain circumstances. In the instances in which they have grown up thinking that this book is true and that its edicts are perfect, they have abandoned such thoughts in exchange for less subjective set of ethics. In other words, there is no seed for such things in atheism, so such a thing is largely impossible. Of course, anything is possible, however your time is probably better spent worrying about things that are significantly more probable, such as theistically-inspired mass murder.

Not hypothetical, more a case of you not liking people talking down you and your beliefs so it's something that shouldn't be done. You failed to support your point before and it seems that you've failed to support it here as well. Please provide an example of any atheist "holy" text which advocates such behavior, admit that you are using individual experiences to unjustly paint all atheists a certain way or admit that it is hypothetical.

The thrust of your argument thus far has been to show that atheists are somehow exclusive to this or otherwise "more guilty" of it than theists. You either have to support this point or acknowledge that all people are guilty of doing it.

Think a military expert who believes we would have the same level of success in Iraq that we did in Desert Storm and one who believes that no way will we be that successful again. I'm not sure what this has to do with your point.

I asked who gets to determine which interpretations of the bible are the correct ones. You responded that "the experts" do, but then said that you worry because "the experts" would promote an interpretation that you don't feel comfortable with.

So I'm not sure how military experts in Iraq are applicable to my follow up questions.

Look at the Ten Commandments. One of them says 'Though Shalt Not Kill', a commandment that carries over to Jesus' time when much of the old ways were deemed obsolete (such as sacrifices being made to God). Some would like to ignore this to kill those who are offensive to their religion. My understanding is that "thou shall not murder" is widely consider to be the literal translation, but that's completely beside the point.

Again, your response does not answer my question. If the bible is open to interpretation (a point which you seem will to concede), then who gets to determine which interpretation is correct and on whose authority? You dance around this at length, but you've yet to answer it.

I will address your red herring though, because I feel it raises an interesting point. You claim that the bible clearly tells us not to kill and that should be our marching orders. However in the very same book we are told that we should stone to death disobedient children, those that try to convert us to another religion, women who do not call for help "loud enough" while being raped, and the list goes on. See, you want to point to one specific part of the bible as evidence for its message of love and tolerance, but you ignore all the contradicting parts which have a very different message. Both messages are very clear and they are in direct violation of each other.

Note that he does not call upon the killing of homosexuals. Paul or Jesus? Jesus tells us that the "old rules" still apply and the old rules do.

You ignore my point though, which is that Jesus' new covenant does not invalidate the old one. Please address that as it seems to be central to your point.

Actually no, as he commands to obey the law unless the law instructs you to sin.

Me: You say that experts should first abide the law. If the law is the word of man, but god's law is supreme, then shouldn't man's law be consistent with god's law?

You: Actually no, as he commands to obey the law unless the law instructs you to sin.

So your answer is "no, man's laws should not be consistent with god's laws". And your rationale to support this stance is that god provided a loop-hole which states that you should not obey laws that instruct you to sin.

Am I missing something?

While you may find protest to passing of laws that permit homosexuality you very rarely see a call to arms over the matter. I had a friend of mine put this up, it's a classic example of religion going too far.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adHBr4xv0AY I'm confused. That link took me to a clip of a television show, in which actors were repeating lines written by people that make up hypothetical situations for a living.

Contrived situations = classic examples? Surely you could have referenced a documentary about the salem witch trials or news footage covering an abortion clinic bombing, etc.

Also, I'm not sure what a "call to arms" has to do with my point.

I'm not sure if you interpret 'be put to death' as execution (as opposed to being cast off into hell when they die) or if it's a speficif quote, you'll need to elaborate on this.

Non-believers:

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

Adultery:

And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (not specifically stoning, but since the bible doesn't specify, I imagine that it's still an option)

Disobedient children:

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them. Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Rape victims:

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

Because it's preached that before Jesus is the old and Jesus is the new, I've already pointed out that jesus himself states that this is not the case.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

and the Bible and I'm sure the Qu'ran does as well instructs that whatever the book says you are to obey the law. The Hebrew Tanakh would most likely say the same thing. Man's law or god's law and which has precedence? That's the whole point.

To answer this question I'd hark back to the claim of Bush trying to bring about Revelations, trying to mess up the world so much that he forces Jesus to return. That's one interpretation of how we'd see things turn out, we would destroy ourselves and those who believe be saved. This response does not address my question.

Who gets to determine which interpretation is correct? If we are to take jesus at face value (ignoring contradictions), then how does one explain/validate revelation? Please answer this without introducing any strawmen or red herring arguments.

Totenkopf answered this for me but I'll reiterate. Let's say for example you disagree with Bush. You're upset with Iraq, with the 2000 elections, with his religious views. You start talking about wanting to do something about it and it festers away at you, eats away at you, and throughout time you begin twisting things around in your head to justify taking action. Now that scenario wouldn't happen, I'd hope not anyway, but if speaking out against religion and condemning it plants the seeds for a violent Atheist uprising then maybe a better idea is to be able to accept that it does exist and people believe in it. I'm not even sure where to begin with this one.

So in your mind, some atheists that view theism with disdain (regardless of whether or not it deserves it) are just as terrible for voicing that disdain as theists that kill non-believers because they might be guilty of thinking a thought that they will be unable to exercise their free will against in order to prevent it from escalating into a psychotic need to kill? I just want to make sure that I'm understanding this correctly.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-22-2007, 05:18 PM
Totenkopf answered this for me but I'll reiterate. Let's say for example you disagree with Bush. You're upset with Iraq, with the 2000 elections, with his religious views. You start talking about wanting to do something about it and it festers away at you, eats away at you, and throughout time you begin twisting things around in your head to justify taking action. Now that scenario wouldn't happen, I'd hope not anyway, but if speaking out against religion and condemning it plants the seeds for a violent Atheist uprising then maybe a better idea is to be able to accept that it does exist and people believe in it.But doesn't that go for all viewpoints? Shouldn't you as a consequence of this go totally apolitical, as your viewpoints on, say, global warming, could technically lead to a violent SUV drivers' uprising against emission regulations?

The hatred and intolerance some have for religion is something you do not want to see take hold, because that's where problems start and they end in death squads.Slippery slope fallacy. Oh, and just that Abrahamic faiths have a tendency to start killing each others, doesn't mean everyone else are liable to do so, too.

Web Rider
07-22-2007, 06:09 PM
Please quote me where Bush actually says he's forcing Jesus to return in those words, and the date he said this. I'd be most interested in seeing these comments for myself.

If he has not specifically said this, then please don't continue saying that he has. That's disingenuous at best, along with being rumor-mongering.


Nobody said Bush actually said that. NancyA pointed out that Achilles claimed that was Bush's intent. Achilles conjectured that because of Bush's religiousness, the cronies he's appointed, the actions he's taken as president, along with the base of people who supported him, including as well what other's had shown him regarding Bush, that a Bush was trying to force Jesus's return in order to fix things.

SilentScope001
07-22-2007, 06:36 PM
Many people are intolerant. Let admit it. Some atheists are intolerant of theists. Some theists are intolerant of atheists. Does that mean atheists form death squads? No.

BUT, that does mean that the intolerant atheists will start doing whatever it takes to harm the theists. After all you are right, so I have to go and prove to the whole world you are right.

I'll tell you where intolerance leads to. It leads to flame wars. It leads to negative campagining. It leads to endless screaming and debating. It leads to, well, nothing. Nothing gets accomplished when all you do is debate endlessly. Atheists have it. Theists have it. Intolerance does not lead to death, but it leads to a fate worse than death...perpetual warfare with your enemies.

People have better things to do than to go and engage in flame wars about anything. To make a irreverant comparison of the whole war, it is like Star Wars vs. Star Trek fans. You won't have Star Trek fans starting genocide of Star Wars fans, and hey, Star Trek is likely to be much better than Star Wars, but that doesn't mean that the intolerance of the Star Trek fans is justified, especially if the Star Trek fans focus on proving point by point that Star Trek is the best thing ever, and ignore the "less important stuff", like say, eating.

You can have a reasonable discussion, as long as you realize the other side believes in something very vaild, and you treat either their viewpoints or, failing that, the humans they are arguing against as vaild. If you don't, then you might as well say nothing, because if you say something, it is likely to be negative.

Achilles
07-22-2007, 07:14 PM
Nobody said Bush actually said that. NancyA pointed out that Achilles claimed that was Bush's intent. Achilles conjectured that because of Bush's religiousness, the cronies he's appointed, the actions he's taken as president, along with the base of people who supported him, including as well what other's had shown him regarding Bush, that a Bush was trying to force Jesus's return in order to fix things. This is mostly correct. I would add that it is not only my claim nor can I be credited with being the first one to put all the pieces together. Additionally, I don't believe I ever stated that Bush was the sole figure, only that it was he, along with his administration, that was paving the way for his constituency's imaginative vision.

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 08:31 PM
This isn't answering my request for Bush's actual quote. I want to see where he himself said this, please.

The evidence I've been presented of Bush wanting to do this, I'll need to search for it, I can't see in any way shows that he wishes or intends to destroy the world, so the answer would be that as far as I'm concerned there is no such quote.

The "join them in killing" part is rather interesting, because that would insinuate that "they" (atheist, I'm assuming) are already killing. Is there a theological cleansing that I'm not aware of? Do we have bands of atheist death squads patrolling the streets looking for theists to kill? Have you heard reports in the news where maybe isolated groups of atheists have done this anywhere? Or is this another of your hypothetical exercises that have no foundation in reality and are born of a complete lack of understanding about what atheism actually is or what most atheists actually believe?

By that I mean you harp on about religion killing, it's brought up even when others don't want to discuss it. Well what if Atheists were to grow so intolerant of theists they seek to kill them? Then how will Atheism look? As bad as religion I would wager, as intolerant and hypocritical as they make religion out to be.

See, unlike theists, atheists do not have a fictional book written by bronze age or dark age authors that tells them to kill others in certain circumstances.

Converse Accident, it's your say so that it's fiction and therefore taking your belief as gospal.

Of course, anything is possible, however your time is probably better spent worrying about things that are significantly more probable, such as theistically-inspired mass murder.

Another fallacy, poisoning the well. Throw in Special Pleading as Atheism is dressed up to make it look like the way it labels religion doesn't apply to them.

You failed to support your point before and it seems that you've failed to support it here as well. Please provide an example of any atheist "holy" text which advocates such behavior, admit that you are using individual experiences to unjustly paint all atheists a certain way or admit that it is hypothetical.

Begging the question. The thing is Atheists don't have such standereds and therefore can make up in their own mind that murder of theists is legitimate.

The thrust of your argument thus far has been to show that atheists are somehow exclusive to this or otherwise "more guilty" of it than theists. You either have to support this point or acknowledge that all people are guilty of doing it.

Of course they are all guilty of it.

So I'm not sure how military experts in Iraq are applicable to my follow up questions.

Both are experts, both present diffirent poijts of view but only one is correct. Same for religion, diffirent experts and so called experts will have diffirent beliefs on what is right. For example that we should go back to the bad old days of persecution of other religions and non believers, which to me suggests they're not experts at all, they don't know what they're talking about.

Again, your response does not answer my question. If the bible is open to interpretation (a point which you seem will to concede), then who gets to determine which interpretation is correct and on whose authority? You dance around this at length, but you've yet to answer it.

Beyond what I've told you I cannot give more of an answer than I already have. Go back and have a look at my previous posts.

You claim that the bible clearly tells us not to kill and that should be our marching orders. However in the very same book we are told that we should stone to death disobedient children, those that try to convert us to another religion, women who do not call for help "loud enough" while being raped, and the list goes on. See, you want to point to one specific part of the bible as evidence for its message of love and tolerance, but you ignore all the contradicting parts which have a very different message.

It certainly is barbaric. There are two things I can point to, one is it was the way things were back in those time, something I'm happy to see we have moved on from, and two putting someone to death for a crime they committed was not considered murder, hence the change to 'Though Shalt not Murder'. To premptively answer something up ahead Jesus showed that we did not have to do this anymore, as through him those who do wrong would be held accountable.

Paul or Jesus? Jesus tells us that the "old rules" still apply and the old rules do.

They do. That doesn't mean the same punishments apply however.

So your answer is "no, man's laws should not be consistent with god's laws". And your rationale to support this stance is that god provided a loop-hole which states that you should not obey laws that instruct you to sin.

Am I missing something?

Quite possibly. The law is what you are to follow regardless of whatever holy book says. I believe Nick Schultz put it well when he said 'I trust smiting doesn't constitute an assault'. Now assault is against the law even though these Christians believed they were doing the work of the Lord, and that is something too many people miss, the command to obey the law.

I'm confused. That link took me to a clip of a television show, in which actors were repeating lines written by people that make up hypothetical situations for a living.

Contrived situations = classic examples? Surely you could have referenced a documentary about the salem witch trials or news footage covering an abortion clinic bombing, etc.

I could have, but I thought an accurate portrayal of something that is real rather than going the whole hog and showing women being burned at the stake was a better way to go, as for one the sense of normalecy would be something that people would better identify with and for another were I to show actual witch burnings people might think 'okay that's wrong but this is okay' whereas by showing the assault and destruction of a woman's posessions as being wrong I'm showing that even that is going too far, to say nothing of witch burning and abortion clinic bombings that are far more so.

Also, I'm not sure what a "call to arms" has to do with my point.

The law states that we cannot round up homosexuals and kill them. Therefore a call to arms to do just that would be illegal, and since the law takes presidence over religion it's the law that applies.

I've already pointed out that jesus himself states that this is not the case.

'He who is without sin cast the first stone'. Look it up, I'm sure it'll answer this point and maybe a lot of others.

Man's law or god's law and which has precedence? That's the whole point.

Man's law. The religious texts say as much.

This response does not address my question.

Who gets to determine which interpretation is correct? If we are to take jesus at face value (ignoring contradictions), then how does one explain/validate revelation? Please answer this without introducing any strawmen or red herring arguments.

Actually these are your red herring and strawman arguements, but again one interpretation is of the acts of Revelations being our doing, or a large part of it being our doing. For example armageddon, the end of the world, metaphorically speaking we would be the ones breaking the seals by (war? totalarism? sin?) and causing the floods and the earthquakes and at the last minute God would step in and bring about the events of Revelations.

So in your mind, some atheists that view theism with disdain (regardless of whether or not it deserves it) are just as terrible for voicing that disdain as theists that kill non-believers because they might be guilty of thinking a thought that they will be unable to exercise their free will against in order to prevent it from escalating into a psychotic need to kill? I just want to make sure that I'm understanding this correctly.

How do theists bomb abortion clinics despite their religion saying they are to obey the law? How are terrorists permitted to wage Jihad despite their religion forbidding killing and suicide? They get it into their heads that those parts don't apply to them, and to be fair the people who commit these acts are less religious and more those with an axe to grind. They just use religion as an excuse.

But doesn't that go for all viewpoints? Shouldn't you as a consequence of this go totally apolitical, as your viewpoints on, say, global warming, could technically lead to a violent SUV drivers' uprising against emission regulations?

Ever hear of Earth First? The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement? Yes it does apply for all viewpoints, as right now there could be those seeking a way to kill the human race to protect the enviroment (hides away Tom Clancy novels and plot to kill reality TV fans).

Slippery slope fallacy. Oh, and just that Abrahamic faiths have a tendency to start killing each others, doesn't mean everyone else are liable to do so, too.

Explain how so.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-22-2007, 09:08 PM
Begging the question. The thing is Atheists don't have such standards and therefore can make up in their own mind that murder of theists is legitimate.Everyone can 'make up their own mind that killing is legitimate'. You, me, everyone. The thing is, however, that there are so many reasons not to murder that the threat of eternal damnation is obsolete (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_atheism#Atheism_and_morality).

The law states that we cannot round up homosexuals and kill them. Therefore a call to arms to do just that would be illegal, and since the law takes precedence over religion it's the law that applies.But the law also says that we can't round up Christians and kill them, so even if we atheists were to decide you needed killing, what are you so worried about?

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 09:17 PM
That Atheists would stoop to the level theists have and feel that laws don't apply to them. Now do you want that? Are you prepared for that?

John Galt
07-22-2007, 09:23 PM
That Atheists would stoop to the level theists have and feel that laws don't apply to them. Now do you want that? Are you prepared for that?

But which group of Atheists? It's been said that organizing Atheists is like herding cats. Atheism is not a philosophy, nor is it a world-view in and of itself. Atheism is simply saying "no" to the supernatural. There are a lot more atheists in the US than one would suspect, especially among intellectuals, and none of them, to my knowledge, have advocated killing ANYONE on the basis of religion or lack thereof.

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 09:30 PM
And that's something we want to never happen. Now I've seen Atheists who take a more extreme outlook on theists, they also believe that they do not have to abide by what other people abide by. What if they go further? And to prempt the arguement the same applies to people against abortion, who's to say some religious nut job won't ignore what is written to act on some stupid plan to smite sinners?

Dagobahn Eagle
07-22-2007, 09:40 PM
You make it sound like abortion clinic bombings and murdering abortion doctors isn't already happening.

But as was said, there's no reason to think anti-theism in the West will grow violent, more than there's a reason to think environmentalism, socialism, conservationism or any other peaceful ideology will.

Nancy Allen``
07-22-2007, 09:47 PM
Ah but there is violence over all those things. You have some nut job go out and kill for Atheism and how is that going to look? As bad as religion.

John Galt
07-22-2007, 09:51 PM
You make it sound like abortion clinic bombings and murdering abortion doctors isn't already happening.

But as was said, there's no reason to think anti-theism in the West will grow violent, more than there's a reason to think environmentalism, socialism, conservationism or any other peaceful ideology will.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-terrorism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_terrorism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

Totenkopf
07-22-2007, 10:13 PM
Unlike organized religion, atheism is a natural state.

Perhaps you should define your terms here. Seems atheism is as learned a response to the question of who are we and how did we get here as is theism. Religion/spirituality seems no less a natural state vis-a-vis this existential question than is atheism.

Achilles
07-22-2007, 10:54 PM
By that I mean you harp on about religion killing, it's brought up even when others don't want to discuss it. Then I would have to wonder what said individuals are doing posting in a religion-related thread. Am I supposed to feel guilty because someone voluntarily joined a conversation and then heard something they didn't want to hear? Free speech is free speech last time I checked. I don't question your right to say or believe whatever it is that you wish to say or believe, but so long as we are in a discussion forum, I will question what it is that you say and/or what it is that you believe. Feel free to reciprocate if you so choose. I don't mind.

Well what if Atheists were to grow so intolerant of theists they seek to kill them? Then we'd be on the first step to catching up with our theistic brothers and sisters. I'm not sure I take your point. What if all the left-handed people decided to raise up and begin killing all the right-handed oppressors that make it so hard for them to buy a good mouse?

Your hypothetical situation does make for an interesting sociological exercise, however I just don't see what such concerns are founded on. Atheistic fear of theism is pretty well founded considering that theists claim devotion to a book in which their god tell the faithful to kill non-believers and have a track record of following such orders out to their fullest. Is there any atheistic "holy" book that you've found that parrots such a sentiment?

Then how will Atheism look? As bad as religion I would wager, as intolerant and hypocritical as they make religion out to be. One more reason why it's highly unlikely that such a thing would ever occur.

Converse Accident, it's your say so that it's fiction and therefore taking your belief as gospal. Strawman. The "fictional" is not the anchor of my previous argument. You can certainly feel free to change it to non-fictional if it makes you feel better, however you have no evidence to show that such a claim is true.

Another fallacy, poisoning the well. Throw in Special Pleading as Atheism is dressed up to make it look like the way it labels religion doesn't apply to them. Kudos for your effort. Unfortunately, there appears to be a little confusion on how these fallacies work.

Poisoning the well does not apply because I am not making any attempt (in this argument) to persuade others that what religion might say later is false. The topic is theocide. You want to make an argument that atheistic protests should be censored because it might lead to theocide. My counter-argument is that while this is possible, it's certainly more likely that theists will (have/are now) engag(e) (ed/ing) in such actions against non-believers, because they have already shown a willingness to do so and adopt a doctrine which promotes such action.

Similarly, special pleading would only apply if I were to make the claim that atheist-driven theocide was somehow "different" than theist-driven theocide. Which I have not.

Begging the question. The thing is Atheists don't have such standereds and therefore can make up in their own mind that murder of theists is legitimate. Again, kudos for trying. Begging the question fallacy is when circular reasoning is used (the conclusion is true because the premise is based upon the conclusion being true). Since I am not making a claim (rather I am asking you to support yours), I can't be guilty of using that fallacy here.

Since you are admitting that "atheists don't have such standards" (a reference, I am assuming, to a 'holy' text), then we've been able to determine via process of elimination that you are either generalizing or hypothesizing.

Of course they are all guilty of it.Ok, then we can all stop trying to make this out to be about atheists.

EDIT: oh, I see you added more to your response. I'll address it later.

TK-8252
07-22-2007, 11:27 PM
Perhaps you should define your terms here. Seems atheism is as learned a response to the question of who are we and how did we get here as is theism. Religion/spirituality seems no less a natural state vis-a-vis this existential question than is atheism.

You don't see cows worshipping crosses do you?

Until a person is introduced to the concept of god/religion, said person is essentially an atheist. Meaning that they lack a belief in theism.

Your misconception is that atheism is some kind of belief. It's a lack thereof.

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 12:31 AM
This is mostly correct. I would add that it is not only my claim nor can I be credited with being the first one to put all the pieces together. Additionally, I don't believe I ever stated that Bush was the sole figure, only that it was he, along with his administration, that was paving the way for his constituency's imaginative vision.

I know, I heard it long before I even came to Lucas-Forums. I was doing my best to sum it up in context with the discussion and the question. Apologies if I did so incorrectly at any point.

But which group of Atheists? It's been said that organizing Atheists is like herding cats. Atheism is not a philosophy, nor is it a world-view in and of itself. Atheism is simply saying "no" to the supernatural. There are a lot more atheists in the US than one would suspect, especially among intellectuals, and none of them, to my knowledge, have advocated killing ANYONE on the basis of religion or lack thereof.

That's not entirely correct, again, because as you state, there are many kinds of atheists. There are atheists who say "no" to everything that cannot be outright explained by science. Which is a narrow view in and of itself since science has yet to explain everything. While I would argue that the majority of atheists say "no" to the classical definition of an omnipotent/omnipresent singular god, and to dogmatic religions. That's not to say that many don't take part in dogmatic viewpoints themselves, but that's their problem to deal with.

To address the argument of which stance a person takes before they're indoctrinated to one view or the other, or before they truly form their own, I would put forth that they are agnostic. They don't outright say "there is no god" because that's impossible, since that would require them to acknowledge the existence of the argument that there IS a god. And they don't outright say "there is a god" because of course, somebody would have had to present the idea to them, even just as basic as "something more than us out there somewhere."

They're defacto neutral. They can't say "yes" without either formulating the idea themselves or having it given to them. And they can't say "no" without doing the same.

You don't see cows worshipping crosses do you?

Until a person is introduced to the concept of god/religion, said person is essentially an atheist. Meaning that they lack a belief in theism.

Your misconception is that atheism is some kind of belief. It's a lack thereof.

Atheism is not a lack of belief, since they, like theists do not have all the facts, yet believe a certain POV is the truth. They do however, lack the dogmatic core belief system that unites the millions of theists around the world.

Not to sound annoying, but, proof plz sounds accurate. We don't know what cows worship if indeed cows posses the ability to worship things, or if they posses the ability to think on such an abstract level. Cows religious symbols may be crop circles, or perhaps patterns of grass movement caused by the wind. Or cows may simply be dumb animals.

And I still put forth that a person can formulate their own ideas about higher powers, and that until they do, or are given some, they are essentially neutral. If they were naturally atheist, they would be saying "no" and thus already formulated an opinion/belief on the subject.

Which would make one question if a "default" state is even possible and anything more than just the varied opinions of debaters.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-23-2007, 12:53 AM
Here's my view: Can you believe in something you've never been introduced to and don't even know about? Nope. This goes for gods, too. And the term to describe people who do not believe in gods is 'atheist'. Babies have no concept of God, and as such cannot believe in him or find themselves agnostic. They are atheists, until they're introduced to mythology.

Atheism is the default state. Just like a baby is born apolitical as it has no knowledge of politics.

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 12:58 AM
Atheism is the default state. Just like a baby is born apolitical as it has no knowledge of politics.

A lack of knowledge does not atheism make. Atheists say: "from all I know, the answer is "NO"." But since people who don't know ANYTHING about it, who are a blank slate, are unable to say yes, or no, because if they did, it would imply that they know something about it.

Children lack a knowledge of politics, and therefore do not make decisions regarding it. Children lack a knowledge of higher powers, and therefore do not make decisions regarding it.

there is a fine difference between "lack of belief" and "disbelief".

TK-8252
07-23-2007, 02:10 AM
Atheism is not a lack of belief [...]

Let's break down the structure of the word, shall we?

The "theism" part refers to believing in the supernatural, no matter if it's one god, a million gods, or believing that my cat controls the universe.

"A" means that there is a lack of something (in this case, theism). The word "amoral" for example, means a lack of morality. Atheism means that there is a lack in the belief of the supernatural. It's as simple as that.

[...] since they, like theists do not have all the facts, yet believe a certain POV is the truth.

Do you believe that there is a piece of cheese orbiting the sun? You can't disprove that there isn't, but wouldn't believing there is, just because you don't have the facts about it, be silly? You don't believe there is cheese around the sun, just as I don't believe there is a god. It's not the other way around (I believe there is no cheese around the sun / I believe there is no god).

there is a fine difference between "lack of belief" and "disbelief".

Depending on your definition of disbelief, not really. Some definitions of disbelief say "the refusal to believe in something," others say "the state of not believing." The second definition could easily translate to a lack of belief. The first definition implies that one is aware of a belief but actively refuses to believe it. Either way, atheism is not a belief in any way, shape, or form.

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 02:30 AM
Let's break down the structure of the word, shall we?

The "theism" part refers to believing in the supernatural, no matter if it's one god, a million gods, or believing that my cat controls the universe.

"A" means that there is a lack of something (in this case, theism). The word "amoral" for example, means a lack of morality. Atheism means that there is a lack in the belief of the supernatural. It's as simple as that.

no, according to the dictionary, which, to my knowledge is still the best source for the definition of words, "theism" only applies to a god, THE God or gods. Not ghosts, centaurs, vampires, and all other things supernatural.

To be more specific, the Dictionary says that "theism" is most correctly used when talking about"a belief in THE God, without rejection of revelation". hence differentiating it from "deism", the belief in a higher power without religious boundaries. So A-"theism" is a disbelief in a god, THE God, gods, and the religious dogmas that surround them. Or, at the very least, just a god, THE God, or gods.

Additionally, there are a wide varieties of "atheism", ranging from strong to weak atheism, based on how hardcore the believer is in the non-existance of God.

Do you believe that there is a piece of cheese orbiting the sun? You can't disprove that there isn't, but wouldn't believing there is, just because you don't have the facts about it, be silly? You don't believe there is cheese around the sun, just as I don't believe there is a god. It's not the other way around (I believe there is no cheese around the sun / I believe there is no god).

Do I believe it? No, but I don't deny the possibility. I know full well that everything I think is right, could indeed be wrong.

Depending on your definition of disbelief, not really. Some definitions of disbelief say "the refusal to believe in something," others say "the state of not believing." The second definition could easily translate to a lack of belief. The first definition implies that one is aware of a belief but actively refuses to believe it. Either way, atheism is not a belief in any way, shape, or form.

Again, I reference the dictionary, in which none of the definitions apply to a "lack of belief". They only apply to a refusal to believe in a certain thing that is professed as "true". And once again, according to the dictionary, "atheism" is: "the doctrine of belief that there is no god(following theism above, this includes THE God and multiple gods)"

TK-8252
07-23-2007, 02:48 AM
no, according to the dictionary, which, to my knowledge is still the best source for the definition of words, "theism" only applies to a god, THE God or gods. Not ghosts, centaurs, vampires, and all other things supernatural.

You're right. I poorly worded my post when I used "supernatural" to refer to god or gods. I can't think of a single word that would include god or gods, and supernatural is too broad. But that's what I meant to say - god or gods.

To be more specific, the Dictionary says that "theism" is most correctly used when talking about"a belief in THE God, without rejection of revelation".

Well, the god would imply that there is one god, as in monotheism. I use the word "theism" to include both monotheism and polytheism.

Do I believe it? No, but I don't deny the possibility. I know full well that everything I think is right, could indeed be wrong.

That's probably what most atheists have on the stance of theism. Atheists don't deny the possibility... just as you don't deny the possibility of the cheese.

Again, I reference the dictionary, in which none of the definitions apply to a "lack of belief". They only apply to a refusal to believe in a certain thing that is professed as "true".

Depends on what dictionary you're citing. Dictionary.com had a number of different definitions of disbelief, one being "the state of not believing."

Jae Onasi
07-23-2007, 02:57 AM
That Atheists would stoop to the level theists have and feel that laws don't apply to them. Now do you want that? Are you prepared for that?
Would? Try have. The atheists Stalin and Mao decided to be laws unto themselves, just like any other 'theistic killer', and massacred millions, many of them Christian in the case of Soviet Russia. In fact, they killed more people in under 50 years than all the religious wars combined throughout the centuries. Christians are still getting beaten today in China for something as simple as telling another person about Christ, and Christians have to hide to worship if they can't get a state sponsorship for their church. I'd call that atheist terrorism, and we're lucky we don't have that experience here in the US.

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 03:00 AM
You're right. I poorly worded my post when I used "supernatural" to refer to god or gods. I can't think of a single word that would include god or gods, and supernatural is too broad. But that's what I meant to say - god or gods.

fair enough.

Well, the god would imply that there is one god, as in monotheism. I use the word "theism" to include both monotheism and polytheism.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of a monotheistic religion that isn't using the Judeo-Christian-Islamic singular God. But to be safe, I included a non-Judeo-Christian-Islamic, capital "G" god to be safe. It's also how it was written in the dictionary. And I'm aware that you used "theism" to apply to both, I was just attempting to be more specific.


That's probably what most atheists have on the stance of theism. Atheists don't deny the possibility... just as you don't deny the possibility of the cheese.

Right, they may not deny the possibility they are incorrect, but similarly they may still believe they are right. As many people of many beliefs likely do as well.

EDIT: denominations is incorrect word.

Depends on what dictionary you're citing. Dictionary.com had a number of different definitions of disbelief, one being "the state of not believing."

This is where I took a little opinion, it says, as you rightly point out "a state of not believing." I ignored this one because I felt it was too vague. What IS a "state of not believing"? Don't, in order to not believe in something, you have to know about it? Either by being given the idea or coming up with it yourself, to "not believe", you must consciously think "I don't believe in that." If you don't know that Belgium exists, never heard of it, absolutely completely ignorant to it's existance, can you honestly profess that you "don't believe" in it until you've been confronted with evidence of it's possible existance?

In short, in order to "not believe" in something, don't you first have to have some kind of inkling of that hypothetical "something" to not believe in it? You can be ignorant of it's existance, but you can't truly "not believe" in something that you've never even heard of or thought of.

SilentScope001
07-23-2007, 03:00 AM
Am I the only person who cares about the original topic: "Your view on Atheists"?

Let be honest. This thread taught me that most Theists hate Atheists and most Atheists hate Theists. The only thing we CAN agree on is "We won't kill each other. For now."

Totenkopf
07-23-2007, 06:18 AM
@TK--the only real natural state is one of wondering (at some point) where we come from. Atheism is an expressed belief (like it or not) that we don't come from any single God or gods, based on a lack of sufficient physical evidence to reach said conclusion. It's not the same as amoral or apolitical, despite the prefix.

@SS--that may be somewhat extreme. I don't believe that all theists and atheists hate one another, though their belief systems are mutually exclusive. There's a lot more in life going on than just the question of God/gods.

Jae Onasi
07-23-2007, 10:18 AM
Let be honest. This thread taught me that most Theists hate Atheists and most Atheists hate Theists. The only thing we CAN agree on is "We won't kill each other. For now."

I can dislike the idea of atheism as a (non) belief system, but that doesn't mean I hate the people who are atheists--there's a huge difference. I have several dear friends who are atheist or agnostic, and even if our discussions of God get very boisterous when we're together, we're still friends at the end of the night.

Prime
07-23-2007, 12:31 PM
I can dislike the idea of atheism as a (non) belief system, but that doesn't mean I hate the people who are atheists--there's a huge difference. That, in the end, is what this guy puts forward. Basically, you can respect someone's right to have a belief, but you don't have to respect the belief itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAC_cGVnUg

NOTE: This clip is quite anti-religion, so for those sensitive to such things, please be mindful of that if you decide to view it. :)

SilentScope001
07-23-2007, 01:25 PM
I can dislike the idea of atheism as a (non) belief system, but that doesn't mean I hate the people who are atheists--there's a huge difference. I have several dear friends who are atheist or agnostic, and even if our discussions of God get very boisterous when we're together, we're still friends at the end of the night.

Oh, er. That may be true, but you are attacking an intergral part of the person (their religion or belief), you know. Claiming I like you, but I dislike a key part of what you are as a person, seems likey that the first statement is not that true, at least to me.

It is probraly a bit too extreme a viewpoint however. Never mind then.

Totenkopf
07-23-2007, 02:34 PM
That, in the end, is what this guy puts forward. Basically, you can respect someone's right to have a belief, but you don't have to respect the belief itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAC_cGVnUg

NOTE: This clip is quite anti-religion, so for those sensitive to such things, please be mindful of that if you decide to view it. :)

Actually, I think he goes a little beyond that. I don't believe respect comes into the picture at all. Other than that, I thought it was funny, if somewhat morbidly so. He seems more hung up on his right to make fun of people than anything else (don't criticize me for mocking you....you're crazy, don't ya know muhahahaha :p ).

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 02:51 PM
Oh, er. That may be true, but you are attacking an intergral part of the person (their religion or belief), you know. Claiming I like you, but I dislike a key part of what you are as a person, seems likey that the first statement is not that true, at least to me.

It is probraly a bit too extreme a viewpoint however. Never mind then.

Attacking and disliking really aren't the same. I can dislike your dog, but that doesn't mean I'll kick it when it's in range. But alot of that has to do with how sensitive a person is, if they're rather sure in their belief, they're not gonna care if you don't like it. And if the person who dislikes it is pretty sure in their belief, they're not gonna care that they don't get a rise out of the other person.

Achilles
07-23-2007, 08:01 PM
@ Nancy re: the rest of post #97:

Your argument that the bible tells followers to adhere to the law of the land does little to address any of the points that I have raised.

First, the bible emphatically states that "the next life" is the one that matters and in order to remain in god's good graces you must adhere to his edicts. If you have found a contradictory verse that states otherwise, then we can certainly add it to the mountain of biblical contradictions. However, such a verse does not address the points I have raised and makes for an exceedingly weak argument on your part. Until you actually address these points, I don't see how we can proceed with our dialog.

Moving on...

I know, I heard it long before I even came to Lucas-Forums. I was doing my best to sum it up in context with the discussion and the question. Apologies if I did so incorrectly at any point. No offense was taken. My arguments are frequently misconstrued and I only wanted to clear the record before a strawman could be constructed and burned in effigy.

There are atheists who say "no" to everything that cannot be outright explained by science. I cannot speak for all atheists, but I can say that is a misrepresentation of some atheists. I think it would be more accurate to say, "There are some atheists who say 'no verifiable answer has been provided' to everything that cannot be outright explained by science".

Science-minded atheists don't denounce the existence of god, they simply denounce the claims of those the choose to believe because there is no evidience to support such claims.

It might seem like splitting hairs, but I consider it to be a pretty significant difference.

Which is a narrow view in and of itself since science has yet to explain everything. I'm not sure I follow. Is this to say that scientists should accept any hypothesis that they are exposed until they can offer another explanation which is (dis)proveable?

While I would argue that the majority of atheists say "no" to the classical definition of an omnipotent/omnipresent singular god, and to dogmatic religions. That's not to say that many don't take part in dogmatic viewpoints themselves, but that's their problem to deal with. True science renounces dogma. People that claim to be scientists but adopt dogmatic views would appear to be hypocritical.

To address the argument of which stance a person takes before they're indoctrinated to one view or the other, or before they truly form their own, I would put forth that they are agnostic. In order to be agnostic, they would first have to have knowledge of theism. This presents a difficult problem for your argument.

They don't outright say "there is no god" because that's impossible, since that would require them to acknowledge the existence of the argument that there IS a god. And they don't outright say "there is a god" because of course, somebody would have had to present the idea to them, even just as basic as "something more than us out there somewhere." Correct. I think everyone involved is pretty close to saying the same thing, but in slightly different ways.

They're defacto neutral. They can't say "yes" without either formulating the idea themselves or having it given to them. And they can't say "no" without doing the same. In order to be neutral, atheism would have to be accepted as anti-theism, with theism at the other end of the spectrum and agnosticism at the fulcrum. This representation would appear to misrepresent atheism, which is a lack of theism, not an antithesis to theism.

If we have a scale starting at 0 and going to 100, atheism would be 0 and theism would be anything other than 0 (I'll present my case for why negative numbers support this argument/model, but only if someone asks :D)

Atheism is not a lack of belief, since they, like theists do not have all the facts, yet believe a certain POV is the truth. They do however, lack the dogmatic core belief system that unites the millions of theists around the world. Again, I'm not sure I follow here. Atheists do not have to have all the facts to acknowledge that they don't have all the facts. ("True") Atheism makes no positive claim about the existence of god or the non-existence of god. Atheism makes the claim that no one can know because there is insufficient evidence. That POV is true and the only rational one to adopt...until some evidence, one way or the other, can be provided.

And I still put forth that a person can formulate their own ideas about higher powers, and that until they do, or are given some, they are essentially neutral. If they were naturally atheist, they would be saying "no" and thus already formulated an opinion/belief on the subject. This argument would appear to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is, which I hopefully helped to clarify earlier. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

Which would make one question if a "default" state is even possible and anything more than just the varied opinions of debaters. I don't think such a question is unanswerable, let alone difficult to answer. We have no problem considering rocks to be amoral. It's no different to acknowledge that humans are atheistic until enculturated into the religion of their parents/providers.

Additionally, there are a wide varieties of "atheism", ranging from strong to weak atheism, based on how hardcore the believer is in the non-existance of God. I've seen this argument before and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. To me you're either theistic or atheistic. I would tend to think of the concept of "degrees of atheism" as an attempt to describe the various "flavors" of atheists that one might encounter. I think Dawkins has a 1-7 scale where a 7 would be someone who emphatically beliefs that god definitely does not exist. I would simply categorize such a person as a nutjob with an agenda against religion and probably couldn't correctly explain what it is to be an atheist if his or her life on the line. Similarly, a 4 or a 5 are either hedging their bets or consider the "truthiness" of atheism to be a little too big and scary. Of course, those are my 2 cents, but hey...

Would? Try have. The atheists Stalin and Mao decided to be laws unto themselves, just like any other 'theistic killer', and massacred millions, many of them Christian in the case of Soviet Russia. As I have pointed out before, Stalin and Mao were dictators first and atheists second. If atheism were the key ingredient, then their policies and practices would look radically different than all the other multitudes of theist dictators. In other words, the "killer" in both of these examples was "malevolent dictatorship" not "atheism".

In fact, they killed more people in under 50 years than all the religious wars combined throughout the centuries. Source please?

Christians are still getting beaten today in China for something as simple as telling another person about Christ, and Christians have to hide to worship if they can't get a state sponsorship for their church. I'd call that atheist terrorism, and we're lucky we don't have that experience here in the US. That's called "religious persecution" and it happens in religious regimes as well, Jae. This whole interlude is a strawman.

Thanks to everyone for reading.

Web Rider
07-23-2007, 08:34 PM
I cannot speak for all atheists, but I can say that is a misrepresentation of some atheists. I think it would be more accurate to say, "There are some atheists who say 'no verifiable answer has been provided' to everything that cannot be outright explained by science".

I never said it was all atheists. So we're still saying the same thing.

Science-minded atheists don't denounce the existence of god, they simply denounce the claims of those the choose to believe because there is no evidence to support such claims.

you're generalizing here, science-minded atheists hold a wide variety of viewpoints, some outright say "god doesn't exist." some are more agnostic in their views.

It might seem like splitting hairs, but I consider it to be a pretty significant difference.

your simply producing another flavor of atheist.

I'm not sure I follow. Is this to say that scientists should accept any hypothesis that they are exposed until they can offer another explanation which is (dis)proveable?

yes, all hypothesis should be accepted as a possibility until proven otherwise. And should always be retained as a "well, in case I'm wrong."

True science renounces dogma. People that claim to be scientists but adopt dogmatic views would appear to be hypocritical.

thats what I said....

In order to be agnostic, they would first have to have knowledge of theism. This presents a difficult problem for your argument.

yes, I realize that agnosticims falls into the same holes of needing the knowledge of something to not-not believe in.

In order to be neutral, atheism would have to be accepted as anti-theism, with theism at the other end of the spectrum and agnosticism at the fulcrum. This representation would appear to misrepresent atheism, which is a lack of theism, not an antithesis to theism.

that's a matter of opinion and perspective. Can there be an "anti-theism", I don't really think so. So how you set it up is all up to how you want to use it.

If we have a scale starting at 0 and going to 100, atheism would be 0 and theism would be anything other than 0 (I'll present my case for why negative numbers support this argument/model, but only if someone asks :D)

ok, what's the anti-theism?

Again, I'm not sure I follow here. Atheists do not have to have all the facts to acknowledge that they don't have all the facts. ("True") Atheism makes no positive claim about the existence of god or the non-existence of god. Atheism makes the claim that no one can know because there is insufficient evidence. That POV is true and the only rational one to adopt...until some evidence, one way or the other, can be provided.

that's not atheism. You can't be atheist by simply saying: your claims of god are wrong and we don't know if there is a god. That's bordering on a weird cross between agnosticisms and atheism. Remember, Atheism is a resounding "NO", Agnosticism is a big "MAYBE", Deism is a "YES" and Theism is a dogmatic "YES".

This argument would appear to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is, which I hopefully helped to clarify earlier. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

Personally I think your definition of atheism only muddied the waters.

I don't think such a question is unanswerable, let alone difficult to answer. We have no problem considering rocks to be amoral. It's no different to acknowledge that humans are atheistic until enculturated into the religion of their parents/providers.

rocks can't be devoid of morals because they lack the ability to have morals in the first place. People devoid of knowledge of the possibility of a "god" cannot be unbelievers. Furthermore, they can still invent the idea themselves. Somebody had to come up with it right? Was that person atheistic until their own concept was introduced to them? I don't think so.

I've seen this argument before and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. To me you're either theistic or atheistic. I would tend to think of the concept of "degrees of atheism" as an attempt to describe the various "flavors" of atheists that one might encounter. I think Dawkins has a 1-7 scale where a 7 would be someone who emphatically beliefs that god definitely does not exist. I would simply categorize such a person as a nutjob with an agenda against religion and probably couldn't correctly explain what it is to be an atheist if his or her life on the line. Similarly, a 4 or a 5 are either hedging their bets or consider the "truthiness" of atheism to be a little too big and scary. Of course, those are my 2 cents, but hey...

The world can't be black and white, it just doesn't work that way. And those "nutjobs" that say "there is no God!" make up the definite majority of athiests. So unless you're redefining atheism to fit your argument, and thus cutting out the centeral "disbelief" in god, the B+W view doesn't work.

Nancy Allen``
07-23-2007, 11:17 PM
Then I would have to wonder what said individuals are doing posting in a religion-related thread.

That would depend on whether you mean theists who don't want to be offended or Atheists who use every chance they get to attack religion.

Am I supposed to feel guilty because someone voluntarily joined a conversation and then heard something they didn't want to hear?

What say you? How do you feel about the idea of people saying that Atheists want to restrict freedom of speech to ban discussion of religion, that they want to make following such beliefs illegal? What you should do is be able to handle the consequences of what you say, good or bad. If you don't like others getting up in arms over what you say then...

Then we'd be on the first step to catching up with our theistic brothers and sisters.

But as Jae rigfully pointed out that has already happened, so condemning religion because it creates violence is a moot point with blood on your hands.

Your hypothetical situation does make for an interesting sociological exercise, however I just don't see what such concerns are founded on. Atheistic fear of theism is pretty well founded considering that theists claim devotion to a book in which their god tell the faithful to kill non-believers and have a track record of following such orders out to their fullest. Is there any atheistic "holy" book that you've found that parrots such a sentiment?

Some Atheists, not all I stress, some, believe they are a law onto themselves, as evidenced by their unwillingness to abide by the same bindings as everyone else. For example those who attack religion, not just debate it but seek to draw out negative reactions, deny any wrongdoing or claim they are entitled to act this way even when they're not.

Strawman. The "fictional" is not the anchor of my previous argument. You can certainly feel free to change it to non-fictional if it makes you feel better, however you have no evidence to show that such a claim is true.

Non sequiter, you cannot prove that it isn't.

Poisoning the well does not apply because I am not making any attempt (in this argument) to persuade others that what religion might say later is false.

You lay claim that theists are mass murderers, which is actually a moot point considering. I'd say it applies.

You want to make an argument that atheistic protests should be censored because it might lead to theocide.

The same could be said for Atheists wanting to ban religion out of fear that they would be killed for being nonbelievers.

Since you are admitting that "atheists don't have such standards" (a reference, I am assuming, to a 'holy' text), then we've been able to determine via process of elimination that you are either generalizing or hypothesizing.

I an generalizing, because just as there are bad Christians, Jews and Muslims there are bad Atheists, and just as you hold religion accountable for wrongdoings so must Atheism be held accountable for the wrong it has done.

Would? Try have.

Ah yes. I remember that. It would seem that Atheists have a lot to answer for seeing that they like to drag up the atrocities religion has caused. Thank you Jae, you've just made my day.

Let be honest. This thread taught me that most Theists hate Atheists and most Atheists hate Theists. The only thing we CAN agree on is "We won't kill each other. For now."

I would like to think that people are not that bad. Yet in my experiance when people take a harder line on something than normal that is usually the first step to them slipping into doing something...unfortunate.

Your argument that the bible tells followers to adhere to the law of the land does little to address any of the points that I have raised.

You seem to be under the impression that people who follow religion should be killing those who do not follow them, making sacrifices to their god. Quite simply that's not how they work.

That's called "religious persecution" and it happens in religious regimes as well, Jae. This whole interlude is a strawman.

As a strawman is a type of red herring I would say bringing up the banning of religion in the Soviet Union and China is a most relevent point to bring up. Unless of course it isn't as you claim and is actually an aspect of Atheism that you find uncomfortable.

Achilles
07-23-2007, 11:23 PM
I never said it was all atheists. So we're still saying the same thing. I never said that you said all atheists :)

I took your statement and changed the 'no' to something that's a little more accurate. You are free to see it as "the same thing" however I will continue to contend that they are not.

you're generalizing here, science-minded atheists hold a wide variety of viewpoints, some outright say "god doesn't exist." some are more agnostic in their views. I don't think I'm generalizing any more than you are (in fact, I would argue much less so). I imagine that the aforementioned "science-minded atheists" hold a wide variety of viewpoints on a great many things. However I don't think what it means to be an atheist is one of them.

If you are somehow confusing what I said (in quotes above) with "a scientist", well then we are talking about two different animals altogether.

your simply producing another flavor of atheist. Not at all, however if you want to try to support your argument, I'll be more than willing to listen to what you have to say.

yes, all hypothesis should be accepted as a possibility until proven otherwise. And should always be retained as a "well, in case I'm wrong." There's a big difference between "all hypothesis should be accepted" and "all hypothesis should be accepted as a possibility". My question to you regarded the former and not the latter.

No hypothesis should be accepted until there is evidence to support it. Conversely, no hypothesis should be ruled out until it can be disproven. In regards to theism, the god hypothesis should not be accepted because there is absolutely no evidence to support it. Meanwhile the idea cannot be completely ruled out because science cannot disprove the existence of a supernatural being that fills that role.

that's a matter of opinion and perspective. Can there be an "anti-theism", I don't really think so. So how you set it up is all up to how you want to use it. As I am trying to make heads or tails of your argument you'll have to tell me.

Your argument seems to be that atheism = an emphatic "no!" to the question of god. If theism is "yes" and atheism is "no", then your argument seems to be that atheism is synonymous with anti-theism. My point is that this representation is fundamentally incorrect. Atheism is to be without theism which is neither a "yes" nor a "no". If I am missing something, please feel free to let me know.

ok, what's the anti-theism? "Anti-theism" is "no" to the question of god.

If we have a scale that runs from -100 to 100, then 0 is atheism and anything other than 0 is theism. Any positive number is a positive acceptance of theism (I believe in god) and any negative number is a negative acceptance of theism (I renounce god or I hate god, etc). For theism to exist, then some positive statement regarding the existence of a deity must be made, regardless of whether you like him/her/it or not. Atheism is completely neutral, as it is without theism.

that's not atheism. LOL! Considering that I'm an athiest, I'm not sure what position you are in to tell me what is or what is not atheism.

You can't be atheist by simply saying: your claims of god are wrong and we don't know if there is a god. That's bordering on a weird cross between agnosticisms and atheism. Not at all. An agnostic partially accepts the idea of a god without any evidence. They also accept that their might not be a god. Atheism is something else, specifically the acknowledgement that no positive argument can be made either way at this point in time, therefore there is no reason to accept theism.

Remember, Atheism is a resounding "NO", Agnosticism is a big "MAYBE", Deism is a "YES" and Theism is a dogmatic "YES". I understand that that's how you've opted to define those labels, but your definition isn't necessarily the correct one.

Personally I think your definition of atheism only muddied the waters. Considering that it's a completely objective definition, I think the problem might be yours :)

This might also be a good indication that you don't understand atheism as well as you think (no shame in that either).

rocks can't be devoid of morals because they lack the ability to have morals in the first place. Precisely. Hence why we consider them to be amoral (without morals) as opposed to immoral (insufficently moral or morally deficient). This is also why someone that says "no" to theism isn't an atheist (without theism) because they are making a positive statement about the nature of theism (in this case a denouncement).

People devoid of knowledge of the possibility of a "god" cannot be unbelievers. Furthermore, they can still invent the idea themselves. Somebody had to come up with it right? Was that person atheistic until their own concept was introduced to them? I don't think so. Please expand on this.

The world can't be black and white, it just doesn't work that way. I don't recall making any comments regarding "the world". The distinction between theism and atheism can absolutely be black and white, which is the point I was making.

And those "nutjobs" that say "there is no God!" make up the definite majority of athiests. Please support this claim with a source or admit that you're hypothesizing.

So unless you're redefining atheism to fit your argument, and thus cutting out the centeral "disbelief" in god, the B+W view doesn't work. No sir, I believe my explanation of atheism doesn't fit your pre-conceived notion of what it is, therefore you're opting to deny it before you truly understand it. Wouldn't be the first time that happened to one of my arguments :D

Take care!

Jae Onasi
07-24-2007, 12:20 AM
As I have pointed out before, Stalin and Mao were dictators first and atheists second. If atheism were the key ingredient, then their policies and practices would look radically different than all the other multitudes of theist dictators. In other words, the "killer" in both of these examples was "malevolent dictatorship" not "atheism".
They were atheists long before they became dictators, if you want to be technical. Their atheist philosophy allowed them to justify their rationale at being, and their behaviors as, dictators. You can't accuse Christians and Muslims of murder during the Crusades and blame it on religion, and yet sweep the atrocities of Stalin and Mao under the rug because you don't happen to like the fact that atheism played a huge part in these men's philosophies and actions. Atheism is an underpinning of marxism/communism; Marx stated it was a stage to communism. If these men had not believed that the classless society was the ultimate good and that they, in the absence of a higher moral authority, were the sole determiners of what that version of 'good classless society' looked like, 60 million people would not have died at their hands. Without God as their moral authority, they became their own gods and determined the moral authority not only for themselves but billions others, with utterly disastrous results. Without God they devalued and sacrificed life on their own alter of self, and had absolutely nothing stopping them from exterminating people simply because they didn't like them or their ideas. This is what happens when atheism is taken to its worst extreme.


Source please?

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Total

There are about 11 or 12 million deaths directly related to religious wars (I was thinking of Christianity here) prior to 1900. Compare that to Mao's 40 million and Stalin's 20 million (which does not include WWII).


That's called "religious persecution" and it happens in religious regimes as well I thought atheists weren't religious.

This whole interlude is a strawman.

a. I had replied to Nancy
b. It's OK to go off on a tangent, as long as it's related to the topic.

Web Rider
07-24-2007, 12:23 AM
I never said that you said all atheists :)

you did, however, twist what I said to imply that that I did.

I don't think I'm generalizing any more than you are (in fact, I would argue much less so). I imagine that the aforementioned "science-minded atheists" hold a wide variety of viewpoints on a great many things. However I don't think what it means to be an atheist is one of them.

what you think, and what I think, are no more correct than each other, since they're all our opinions. A little generalization is always necessary though I suppose.

If you are somehow confusing what I said (in quotes above) with "a scientist", well then we are talking about two different animals altogether.

Not at all, however if you want to try to support your argument, I'll be more than willing to listen to what you have to say.

you are saying "science minded atheists do this". I am saying "atheists do that". You simply pulled out a particular flavor of atheist to support your argument.

There's a big difference between "all hypothesis should be accepted" and "all hypothesis should be accepted as a possibility". My question to you regarded the former and not the latter.

No hypothesis should be accepted until there is evidence to support it. Conversely, no hypothesis should be ruled out until it can be disproven. In regards to theism, the god hypothesis should not be accepted because there is absolutely no evidence to support it. Meanwhile the idea cannot be completely ruled out because science cannot disprove the existence of a supernatural being that fills that role.

that's nice, however my original statement regarding a hypothesis about chunks of cheese orbiting the sun, said that I accept it as a "possibility". I never professed to say they should ALL be accepted. Dont try to say I did.

For one who claims so much science stuff, you seem to forget that once a hypothesis has evidence and has been tested, it becomes a theory. Before that, any hypothesis is entirely valid, until proven wrong, of course. On the rest, we agree.

And an atheist can hardly be considered a "scientific" one if they're dismissing the hypothesis of God. From their partial facts they have forumlated the belief that it is wrong. It's STILL a belief.

As I am trying to make heads or tails of your argument you'll have to tell me.

Your argument seems to be that atheism = an emphatic "no!" to the question of god. If theism is "yes" and atheism is "no", then your argument seems to be that atheism is synonymous with anti-theism. My point is that this representation is fundamentally incorrect. Atheism is to be without theism which is neither a "yes" nor a "no". If I am missing something, please feel free to let me know.

"Anti-theism" is "no" to the question of god.

Due to using the dictionary as my source, I profess that atheism is "no" to god. While anti-theism is "no" to god+religion. Just as deism is "yes" to god and "no" to religion, while theism is "yes" to god and "yes" to religion. Your definitions have only a singular answer, while mine are two-fold, hence why we are likly getting different answers. But again, these definitions are no more correct than each other because they're all OUR personal definitions.

If we have a scale that runs from -100 to 100, then 0 is atheism and anything other than 0 is theism. Any positive number is a positive acceptance of theism (I believe in god) and any negative number is a negative acceptance of theism (I renounce god or I hate god, etc). For theism to exist, then some positive statement regarding the existence of a deity must be made, regardless of whether you like him/her/it or not. Atheism is completely neutral, as it is without theism.

again, considering what I said above, theism="yes" to god and religion, anti-theisim is "no" to god and religion.

LOL! Considering that I'm an athiest, I'm not sure what position you are in to tell me what is or what is not atheism.

well, if we MUST play it that way, then to that i say: LOL! Considering that I'm an athiest, I'm not sure what position you are in to tell me what is or what is not atheism.

Now....what was I saying about different atheists having different viewpoints? Oh, right, different atheists have different viewpoints.

Not at all. An agnostic partially accepts the idea of a god without any evidence. They also accept that their might not be a god. Atheism is something else, specifically the acknowledgement that no positive argument can be made either way at this point in time, therefore there is no reason to accept theism.

another difference in opinion. From all I've observed and thus forumlated my opinion from, agnostics say "maybe". They say: there's not enough evidence to say yes, and there's not enough evidence to say "no".

I understand that that's how you've opted to define those labels, but your definition isn't necessarily the correct one.

Considering that it's a completely objective definition, I think the problem might be yours :)

This might also be a good indication that you don't understand atheism as well as you think (no shame in that either).

This statement also applies to you. Your knowledge is not the end-all be-all of atheism. Nor is mine.

Precisely. Hence why we consider them to be amoral (without morals) as opposed to immoral (insufficently moral or morally deficient). This is also why someone that says "no" to theism isn't an atheist (without theism) because they are making a positive statement about the nature of theism (in this case a denouncement).

then let me be more specific. Rocks lack the capacity for morals, not in the same manner as a person who has never had morals lacks it, but the physical ability is not there to have morals. Thus, a comparason between rocks and people seems null because people always have the capacity for some morals. Rocks never do. They are not "without morals" in the same sense a person is without morals. It's like saying solid metal is empty of water and a pool of water is empty, they're not empty in the same context. Metal lacks the ability to hold water, while a pool is merely devoid of water. See what I'm getting at?

Please expand on this.

see above ^

I don't recall making any comments regarding "the world". The distinction between theism and atheism can absolutely be black and white, which is the point I was making.

Context helps, use "the world" in context, the proverbial "world" of theism and atheism.

Please support this claim with a source or admit that you're hypothesizing.

I am, as are you.

No sir, I believe my explanation of atheism doesn't fit your pre-conceived notion of what it is, therefore you're opting to deny it before you truly understand it. Wouldn't be the first time that happened to one of my arguments :D

Take care!

I could say the same of you.

Achilles
07-24-2007, 12:24 AM
*posting as separate message due to length*

That would depend on whether you mean theists who don't want to be offended or Atheists who use every chance they get to attack religion. Considering the topic was theists, I would imagine that it has to be the former. If someone doesn't want their beliefs put up for public criticism, then the simplest way to avoid the situation is avoid voicing them publicly. In this country we have many freedoms, one of which is the freedom to talk about our beliefs. Atheists are free to express their beliefs just as theists are free to express theirs.

So in regards to my "harping on religion killing when no one else wants to hear it", my response would be "well, quit reading the religion thread, silly" :)

What say you? How do you feel about the idea of people saying that Atheists want to restrict freedom of speech to ban discussion of religion, that they want to make following such beliefs illegal? Mostly, I'm fine with it because I know such claims are completely fabricated.

First, atheists don't organize very well.
Second, atheists that did manage to organize would then have to gain sufficient power to force such an agenda.
Third, I know that 2 wouldn't happen because 1 is true, therefore I wouldn't need to worry about 2 until 1 became false.

Basically, you can say whatever you want. It's not going to make it any less made-up.

What you should do is be able to handle the consequences of what you say, good or bad. If you don't like others getting up in arms over what you say then... What is this in regards to? Have I posted something about theism that is false? If so, you've yet to point it out and/or provide any kind of argument/evidence that contradicts me.

But as Jae rigfully pointed out that has already happened, so condemning religion because it creates violence is a moot point with blood on your hands. Jae didn't rightly point out anything, as I have exposed that strawman many times before. If Jae's point had any validity Iran would be a paradise and Norway's leadership would be facing an international court for crimes against humanity.

Some Atheists, not all I stress, some, believe they are a law onto themselves, as evidenced by their unwillingness to abide by the same bindings as everyone else. For example those who attack religion, not just debate it but seek to draw out negative reactions, deny any wrongdoing or claim they are entitled to act this way even when they're not. Huh? "Unwillingness to abide the same bindings as everyone else"? As in they drive on the wrong side of the road and wear their underwear over their clothing?

Let's see:

"For example those who attack religion, not just debate it but seek to draw out negative reactions". Do christians do this to others (i.e. atheists are going to hell or islam is evil, etc)? Yes or no?

Bonus question: Do atheists ever kill or call for the death of the pious while doing this? Yes or no? If the answer is yes, please provide examples.

"deny any wrongdoing or claim they are entitled to act this way even when they're not." Have christians ever used the excuse "I was doing god's will" when trying to deny any wrong-doing or claim that their actions were justified? Yes or no?

If your answer to any of the above questions is "yes", then the actions you've described are not limited to atheists and your argument is completely defunct.

Non sequiter, you cannot prove that it isn't. Please quit introducing incorrect usage of logical fallacies in an attempt to dodge the question and address my point:

"Unlike theists, atheists do not have a <snip> book written by bronze age or dark age authors that tells them to kill others in certain circumstances."

If you can provide evidence to the contrary, I'll happily concede the point.

NOTE: I've snipped the word "fictional" since it seemed to become a focal point for you. As you can see, it did not drastically alter my argument, as I pointed out in our last exchange.

You lay claim that theists are mass murderers, which is actually a moot point considering. I'd say it applies. It doesn't apply because I'm not doing any of the things that are necessary for that fallacy to apply.

I lay claim that theism has a history of mass murder because it's true. On September 22, 2001 ten theists flew two planes into the world trade center and killed several thousand americans. There is just one example of how religion takes lives.

The same could be said for Atheists wanting to ban religion out of fear that they would be killed for being nonbelievers. Yes and if that ever happens you'll have a point.

I an generalizing, because just as there are bad Christians, Jews and Muslims there are bad Atheists, and just as you hold religion accountable for wrongdoings so must Atheism be held accountable for the wrong it has done. So some bad atheists = all atheists are bad? That's what generalizing accomplishes.

I hold religion accountable for wrong-doings. Big difference between "religion" and "all religious people". I don't think you should be made to suffer for Inquisition, however I do think you should be aware of what your system of belief is capable of producing and I don't think that system of belief is worthy of anyone's attention.

Lastly, atheism is not a group or a system of beliefs on par with religion. Your claim that atheism must be held accountable is akin to saying "the logical symbol '+' must be held accountable...". Atheism does not have a centralized system of beliefs. Atheism does not have a unifying text which gives commandments regarding the behavior of followers. Atheists do not meet regularly to discuss how their actions might better reflect the will of their unseen master. Your comparison of atheists to theists in this regard is really quite inappropriate and completely a product of your imagination.

Ah yes. I remember that. It would seem that Atheists have a lot to answer for seeing that they like to drag up the atrocities religion has caused. Thank you Jae, you've just made my day. Please see post #123 where I once again show that this argument is a strawman.

You seem to be under the impression that people who follow religion should be killing those who do not follow them, making sacrifices to their god. Quite simply that's not how they work. The "sacrifices" addition was introduced by you. Other than that, you've summarized my point. However that is how they work and you've ignored every reference that I've provided that supports my claim. Should I take from this that you choose deny these parts of the bible? If so, on what basis did you make such a choice?

As a strawman is a type of red herring I could be mistaken but I'm pretty sure that a logical fallacy can be a strawman or a red herring, but not both (nor is any other combination possible). Continuing...

I would say bringing up the banning of religion in the Soviet Union and China is a most relevent point to bring up. Unless of course it isn't as you claim and is actually an aspect of Atheism that you find uncomfortable. It isn't relevant because this is a characteristic of a dictatorship, not of atheism. If such a claim were true, then all atheistic regimes would have to follow such guidelines. Fortunately, we have several examples of largely atheistic governments where such oppression is not present, however most (if not all) dictatorships show signs of religious suppression of some kind. Such an objective observation would suggest that the causal relationship lies between dictatorship and religious suppression, rather than between atheistic government and religious suppression.

I have repeated extended open invitations for those that would like to provide an example of a repressive, atheistic government that wasn't a dictatorship or a theocracy, but no examples have been forthcoming.

Nancy Allen``
07-24-2007, 01:15 AM
Atheists are free to express their beliefs just as theists are free to express theirs.

Except that some don't want to allow thesits freedom of speech.

Mostly, I'm fine with it because I know such claims are completely fabricated.

It could happen. And it very well might, Atheist dominated countries could well elect a leader who would see fit to ban religion. We are already seeing a leaning fpr Christianity and against Islam in America.

What is this in regards to? Have I posted something about theism that is false? If so, you've yet to point it out and/or provide any kind of argument/evidence that contradicts me.

Part of this has to do with the truth hurting. You don't like the fact Atheism led to the persecution seen in Russia and China anymore that theists like people harping on about there being no god. Part of it also has to do with being able to handle how people react to what you say, such as the outrage over the suggestion anti war protestors would get their yukks from seeing dead soldiers on TV I mentioned.

Jae didn't rightly point out anything, as I have exposed that strawman many times before. If Jae's point had any validity Iran would be a paradise and Norway's leadership would be facing an international court for crimes against humanity.

It is most valid. You cannot go running off about the crimes religion had committed when Atheism has proven to be just as bad, if not worse.

Huh? "Unwillingness to abide the same bindings as everyone else"? As in they drive on the wrong side of the road and wear their underwear over their clothing?

Look up similar threads in the Senate Chambers, I can provide specific examples if you like.

"For example those who attack religion, not just debate it but seek to draw out negative reactions". Do christians do this to others (i.e. atheists are going to hell or islam is evil, etc)? Yes or no?

Loaded question. I'll indulge however. Some do, yes. They would be the more extremist ones and I think proportionate to Atheists who are the same.

Bonus question: Do atheists ever kill or call for the death of the pious while doing this? Yes or no? If the answer is yes, please provide examples.

Yes. Russia and China are two examples, I know you hate it that religion was persecuted but you have to face up to the fact it happened.

"deny any wrongdoing or claim they are entitled to act this way even when they're not." Have christians ever used the excuse "I was doing god's will" when trying to deny any wrong-doing or claim that their actions were justified? Yes or no?

Another loaded question, but yes, which makes Atheists just as bad as theists when they act this way, in fact worse because they don't have some holy text they can use as a reasoning (excuse).

"If your answer to any of the above questions is "yes", then the actions you've described are not limited to atheists and your argument is completely defunct.

That doesn't let Atheism off the hook. Just as much criticism is on them when they act like the Christians they attack for doing wrong. To claim otherwise is hypocritical.

Please quit introducing incorrect usage of logical fallacies in an attempt to dodge the question and address my point.

I will when you do, fair enough?

"Unlike theists, atheists do not have a <snip> book written by bronze age or dark age authors that tells them to kill others in certain circumstances."

What you're forgetting is that these were very diffirent times and, again, people who follow the word of their god also have to abide by the law.

It doesn't apply because I'm not doing any of the things that are necessary for that fallacy to apply.

There was no need for you to bring the topic up so it is poisoning the well, or ad hominem, your choice, as well as non sequiter and guilt by association.

I lay claim that theism has a history of mass murder because it's true. On September 22, 2001 ten theists flew two planes into the world trade center and killed several thousand americans. There is just one example of how religion takes lives.

Combined among them Stalin and Mao have killed 60 million people, for bull**** crimes including following religion. That's just one example of how Atheism takes lives. Also, let's face it religion's just an excuse for these people, it's more a case that Al Qaeda had an axe to grind with the entire world.

So some bad atheists = all atheists are bad? That's what generalizing accomplishes.

No, some bad atheists = some bad Christians, Jews, Muslims, enviromentalists, anti war protestors, ect, ect.

I hold religion accountable for wrong-doings. Big difference between "religion" and "all religious people". I don't think you should be made to suffer for Inquisition, however I do think you should be aware of what your system of belief is capable of producing and I don't think that system of belief is worthy of anyone's attention.

Like a pair of Atheists being responsible for more deaths than religion ever was?

Please see post #123 where I once again show that this argument is a strawman.

Which suggests to me that you're doing exactly what you accuse others of, introducing incorrect usage of logical fallacies in an attempt to dodge the question.

The "sacrifices" addition was introduced by you. Other than that, you've summarized my point. However that is how they work and you've ignored every reference that I've provided that supports my claim. Should I take from this that you choose deny these parts of the bible? If so, on what basis did you make such a choice?

The basis that most people who follow religion know that this is not how to act, that the law applies to them. Otherwise we'd be well and truely ****ed as Christians, Jews, Islamists, ect try and genocide everyone.

I could be mistaken but I'm pretty sure that a logical fallacy can be a strawman or a red herring, but not both (nor is any other combination possible).

A strawman is a type of red herring. Source. (http://www.tektonics.org/guest/fallacies.html#100)

It isn't relevant because this is a characteristic of a dictatorship, not of atheism.

Yet the fact they were Atheist meant that theists were executed because Stalin and Mao were against religion.

I have repeated extended open invitations for those that would like to provide an example of a repressive, atheistic government that wasn't a dictatorship or a theocracy, but no examples have been forthcoming.

Maybe because this type of arguement constructed to easily argue against is the type of strawman people avoid. "Oh oh I know Stalin and Mao were Atheist but their wrongs don't count because they didn't rule using this specific government".

Achilles
07-24-2007, 01:31 AM
They were atheists long before they became dictators, if you want to be technical. We can be technical :)

Their being atheists first has nothing to do with my point, because their regimes would not have begun until they took power. Before they were atheists, they were children. Would you like to use this as support for the argument that all children are responsible for war?

Their atheist philosophy allowed them to justify their rationale at being, and their behaviors as, dictators. Did theist dictators also use their atheist philosophy to justify their rationale for being dictators? Or is it safe to say there is a psychological profile for dictators that is completely independent of theological tendencies? If you're going to prove a causal relationship, then circumstance will not suffice as evidence.

You can't accuse Christians and Muslims of murder during the Crusades and blame it on religion, and yet sweep the atrocities of Stalin and Mao under the rug because you don't happen to like the fact that atheism played a huge part in these men's philosophies and actions. I've made no effort to do any such thing. I've simply sought to point out that you are assuming a causal relationship where none exists. What stalin and mao did was terrible. But to say that that they did it because they were atheists requires more evidence than you've been able to provide (and directly contradicts the evidence I have provided).

Atheism is an underpinning of marxism/communism; Marx stated it was a stage to communism. If these men had not believed that the classless society was the ultimate good and that they, in the absence of a higher moral authority, were the sole determiners of what that version of 'good classless society' looked like, 60 million people would not have died at their hands. That is a very bold claim that is going to be very difficult for you to support. Please tell me how you intend to prove that if Mao and Stalin hadn't believed in a classless society, that those people wouldn't have died.

Keep in mind that several communes (http://www.ic.org/) do still exist and have managed (somehow) not to wipe themselves out. Seems your case against communism is not air-tight.

Without God as their moral authority, they became their own gods and determined the moral authority not only for themselves but billions others, with utterly disastrous results. Why haven't we seen such disastrous results within buddhism, taoism, hinduism, or in the ancient polytheistic religions? I would extend my question to include islam and judaism as well but they are both monotheisms that follow the god of abraham. Again, if the christian god is the authority and a lack of him = stalin/mao, we should have hundreds of examples to choose from, yet we don't.

Without God they devalued and sacrificed life on their own alter of self, and had absolutely nothing stopping them from exterminating people simply because they didn't like them or their ideas. This is what happens when atheism is taken to its worst extreme. Jae, I don't believe in god. Do I devalue life? Have I sacrificed others on the alter to myself? These are quasi-rhetorical questions because I suppose you have no way of knowing for sure. But since I'm an atheist, do you automatically assume that I have or would? How about your atheist and agnostic friends? Could it be that atheism has nothing to do with it?


http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Total Your source only provides comprehensive stats for the 20th century. Your claim was that these two men killed more people "than in all the religious wars combined throughout the centuries". Please provide a source to support that claim or amend your claim. Otherwise, this sounds largely speculative.

Taken directly from your source (emphasis mine):
This is an incomplete listing of some very bad things that happened before the 20th Century. I've scoured the history books and collected most of the major atrocities that anyone has bothered to enumerate.

However, just because an event is missing from these pages doesn't mean that it wasn't very bloody. There are undoubtedly many other events that were never recorded and have now faded into the oblivion of forgotten history. This makes it difficult to prove whether brutality is waxing or waning in the long term. Maybe the 20th Century really was more barbaric than previous centuries (as some people say), but you'll need more complete statistics to prove it.


There are about 11 or 12 million deaths directly related to religious wars (I was thinking of Christianity here) prior to 1900. Compare that to Mao's 40 million and Stalin's 20 million (which does not include WWII). See above.

I thought atheists weren't religious. I'm not sure I follow your point. Does one have to be religious to practice religious persecution? If Nancy's darkest fears became true and atheists started killing theists, wouldn't that be religious persecution?


a. I had replied to Nancy Doesn't make it any less of a strawman. Her comment was that atheists might disregard the law. You interjected that they already did and then ran down a list of atrocities committed by two dictators.

b. It's OK to go off on a tangent, as long as it's related to the topic. Sure is, but when you introduce a tangent as a response to an argument, and the response doesn't necessarily apply and is only being introduced in an effort to artificially bolster a point, that's called a strawman.

I'm ok with a discussion about Stalin and Mao, but I really think it should be split of into another thread, where we can all talk about atrocities committed by dictators.

This is my last response for the night. I'll catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Samuel Dravis
07-24-2007, 01:15 PM
And an atheist can hardly be considered a "scientific" one if they're dismissing the hypothesis of God. From their partial facts they have forumlated the belief that it is wrong. It's STILL a belief.If they were using all of the facts available, wouldn't that be doing the best they could do? A theist would say, "god has xyz attributes, he does this x type of thing." Upon not observing any of those actions attributed to this god, the hypothesis would still be valid, yes - but its usefulness is somewhat lacking. The evidence would not support the hypothesis, anyway.

As with the cheese orbiting, it, strictly speaking, could be true. However, Few people would bother watching out for large chunks of cheese while piloting a space ship over there. Any hypothesis, theory or law could be fundamentally unsound, just as any hypothesis could be viable. However, given current evidence (and lack of positive evidence to support it), there is no reason to believe that there is, in fact, cheese orbiting. I'd even go so far as to say that as far as I can tell, there isn't any cheese orbiting. There is no cheese! :p

(the last statement obviously including the unspoken qualification "based on information available to me", simply because I am human and thus not omniscent - this information should be obvious)

Due to using the dictionary as my source, I profess that atheism is "no" to god. While anti-theism is "no" to god+religion. Just as deism is "yes" to god and "no" to religion, while theism is "yes" to god and "yes" to religion. Your definitions have only a singular answer, while mine are two-fold, hence why we are likly getting different answers. But again, these definitions are no more correct than each other because they're all OUR personal definitions.Part of the problem people have with this is that atheism is applied to a fairly large group of people with quite different beliefs. These include the 'weak' atheists and the 'strong' atheists. Strong atheists are, as you say all atheists are - people who deny the existence of god(s) outright. "I know there is no god" would be something you'd hear from them.

Weak atheists can also say the same thing, of course, but it is simply meant in a different manner. They include that "according to my best info" unspoken in their sentence, similar to "There is no cheese!" ;) Weak atheists are similar to agnostics, but think that the existence/nonexistence of a god(s) can be known to some degree (obviously they find evidence for that existence lacking).

Many might mix and match based on what god is being spoken of. If clearly one god is supposed to do some action, and that action does not occur, than that is 'hard' evidence that either the god does not exist or he is not as described. In the first case, "There is no god" supports observed fact better than "there is a god", and in the latter, the hypothesized entity is unknown, in which case it becomes difficult to define "god" in order to say the sentence "there is a god."

Theist: There is a personal god
Deist: There is a god
W. Atheist: There is no reason to suppose there is a god, therefore I do not believe (I think Achilles fits here)
S. Atheist: There is no god or There is evidence against x god

Web Rider
07-24-2007, 01:38 PM
If they were using all of the facts available, wouldn't that be doing the best they could do? A theist would say, "god has xyz attributes, he does this x type of thing." Upon not observing any of those actions attributed to this god, the hypothesis would still be valid, yes - but its usefulness is somewhat lacking. The evidence would not support the hypothesis, anyway.

As with the cheese orbiting, it, strictly speaking, could be true. However, Few people would bother watching out for large chunks of cheese while piloting a space ship over there. Any hypothesis, theory or law could be fundamentally unsound, just as any hypothesis could be viable. However, given current evidence (and lack of positive evidence to support it), there is no reason to believe that there is, in fact, cheese orbiting. I'd even go so far as to say that as far as I can tell, there isn't any cheese orbiting. There is no cheese! :p

(the last statement obviously including the unspoken qualification "based on information available to me", simply because I am human and thus not omniscent - this information should be obvious)

Part of the problem people have with this is that atheism is applied to a fairly large group of people with quite different beliefs. These include the 'weak' atheists and the 'strong' atheists. Strong atheists are, as you say all atheists are - people who deny the existence of god(s) outright. "I know there is no god" would be something you'd hear from them.

I was trying to say not all atheists are "strong" ones, but that an athiest's(strong or weak) "there is no god" was stronger than Achilles' "there probly isnt a god and the god argument is wrong." but otherwise I generally agree.

Weak atheists can also say the same thing, of course, but it is simply meant in a different manner. They include that "according to my best info" unspoken in their sentence, similar to "There is no cheese!" ;) Weak atheists are similar to agnostics, but think that the existence/nonexistence of a god(s) can be known to some degree (obviously they find evidence for that existence lacking).

Many might mix and match based on what god is being spoken of. If clearly one god is supposed to do some action, and that action does not occur, than that is 'hard' evidence that either the god does not exist or he is not as described. In the first case, "There is no god" supports observed fact better than "there is a god", and in the latter, the hypothesized entity is unknown, in which case it becomes difficult to define "god" in order to say the sentence "there is a god."

Theist: There is a personal god
Deist: There is a god
W. Atheist: There is no reason to suppose there is a god, therefore I do not believe (I think Achilles fits here)
S. Atheist: There is no god or There is evidence against x god

you've presented the gray area of belief much better than I could. So, thank you for that. I was having a hard time trying to overcome Achilles black and white views on theism. If you don't mind, I'm going to make sure I bookmark this post for future refrence.

ET Warrior
07-24-2007, 02:42 PM
Their atheist philosophy allowed them to justify their rationale at being, and their behaviors as, dictators.That's an irrational assumption, since there have also been plenty of very religious dictators throughout history.

I am reminded of a quote, "No matter what, you will always have good people doing good things, and bad people doing bad things. But to have good people do bad things, that takes religion".

Regardless of their religious affiliation, Stalin and Mao would have been mass murderers because they were bad people. Maybe their targets would have been different, but they still would have done the same things. Atheism was not the call to arms that allowed them to justify murder, it was their psychotic lack of morals that did it.

It is most valid. You cannot go running off about the crimes religion had committed when Atheism has proven to be just as bad, if not worse.But atheism does not call upon people to commit crimes, and people do not commit crimes in the name of atheism. If someone who happens to be an atheist commits genocide that is not to blame on their atheism. Likely they would be just as murderous were they to believe in some deity.

You will not have a person who is good and moralistic change their ideals in the name of atheism, but this is a common theme with religion, as evidenced by The Crusades, the Inquisition, etc.

Prime
07-24-2007, 04:15 PM
Christians are still getting beaten today in China for something as simple as telling another person about Christ, and Christians have to hide to worship if they can't get a state sponsorship for their church. I'd call that atheist terrorism, and we're lucky we don't have that experience here in the US.How can that be atheist terrorism? If that was the case, all the other official religions in China would also be getting the same treatment. And for that matter, China would likely not have official state religions. As has been pointed out, that's religious persecution, not atheist terrorism.

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Total

There are about 11 or 12 million deaths directly related to religious wars (I was thinking of Christianity here) prior to 1900. Compare that to Mao's 40 million and Stalin's 20 million (which does not include WWII).The two issues I see are that the pre-1900 list is incomplete, and you have not shown why the millions killed by these dictators were a direct result of atheism. From my schooling much had to do with any threat to their power, and weren't solely on religious grounds.

I would say bringing up the banning of religion in the Soviet Union and China is a most relevent point to bring up.Religion is not banned in China. There are five recognized religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholic Christianity, and Protestant Christianity.

Without God as their moral authority, they became their own gods and determined the moral authority not only for themselves but billions others, with utterly disastrous results. Without God they devalued and sacrificed life on their own alter of self, and had absolutely nothing stopping them from exterminating people simply because they didn't like them or their ideas. This is what happens when atheism is taken to its worst extreme.But there have been theistic regimes that have committed similar atrocities, and claimed that their god gave the the right to do so. It is by no means a monopoly held by atheists. And by God to you mean the Christian God?

But atheism does not call upon people to commit crimes, and people do not commit crimes in the name of atheism. If someone who happens to be an atheist commits genocide that is not to blame on their atheism. Likely they would be just as murderous were they to believe in some deity.Ultimately, atheism does not have a set of rules for how one should live their life, and perhaps more importantly, how everyone else should live theirs.

SilentScope001
07-24-2007, 05:24 PM
Atheistic Terrorism.

The Nihlistic Movement:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilist_movement

The Nihilist movement was an 1860s Russian cultural movement which questioned the validity of traditional values and institutions. It is derived from the Latin word "nihil", which means "nothing". After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, Nihilists were known throughout Europe as proponents of the use of violence as a tool for political change.

The Nihilists were outraged by the disparity between Russian semi-feudal society and life in countries such as England and France. The movement owes its name to the 1862 novel Fathers and Sons by the Russian author Ivan Turgenev. Although the term had been used before, its widespread usage began with that book. The main character of the novel, Bazarov, is a Nihilist who wants to use his knowledge to educate the people. This "go to the people — be the people" campaign reached its height in the 1870s, during which underground groups such as Circle of Tchaikovsky, People's Reprisal and Land and Liberty were formed. This became known as the Narodnik movement. The Russian State attempted to suppress them. In actions described by the Nihilists as propaganda of the deed many government officials were assassinated. In 1881 Alexander II was murdered on the very day he had approved a proposal to call a representative assembly to consider new reforms.

Beginning with the reign of Peter the Great (1682–1725), there was considerable interest amongst the Russian elite in the technological, artistic, and intellectual achievements of Western Europe:

During the 1820s and 1830s Russian thought was influenced powerfully by several waves of German Romantic idealism and then the philosophy of Hegel, both of which raised to Russian consciousness the concept of distinct national identity and of “inevitable” historical progress… (Wasiolek, 3)

After the Crimean War (1853–56) however the Nihilists opposed the German-influenced liberals of the 1830–40s generation, decrying previous reforms as ineffective. Both of these reformers were opposed by the conservative Slavophiles, who sought to uphold established traditions and cultural institutions.

Nihilist political philosophy saw established religions, political institutions, and morality as opposed to Freedom. Unlike Anarchism the Nihilists did not see the State as automatically bad. The right sort of rulers would make the right sort of changes to society. The Nihilists were not advocating belief in nothing, they believed in liberating human beings from creeds and practices that are justified by an appeal to objective values. Although this critique is often accompanied by an endorsement of the findings of modern science, appeals to truth are also rejected.

See. Actual terrorism. They carried out bombings against people they hate. They KILLED a head of state. And they don't believe in God (after all, it is a part of traditional morality and must be smashed). Now can we stop accusing religion of causing violence? Anyone can be violent no matter what, and can justify any action they do. And every group can have a paramilitary side ready to do harm against anyone who disagree. So does that mean we must condemn all groups?

Achilles
07-24-2007, 05:29 PM
you did, however, twist what I said to imply that that I did. I acknowledge that you feel that this happened. My effort was to show that I was not presuming to speak for all atheists. It was not to imply that you were making such presumption.

what you think, and what I think, are no more correct than each other, since they're all our opinions. A little generalization is always necessary though I suppose. I would tend to disagree, however I can see that we're probably not going to be able to work through that so I'll leave well enough alone.

you are saying "science minded atheists do this". I am saying "atheists do that". You simply pulled out a particular flavor of atheist to support your argument. You are probably correct. I think I tend to stereotype atheists as rational people and this is an error on my part. This exchange has helped me to remember that not all people that categorize themselves as atheists are rational about their belief. Additionally, I think it has helped me to better understand Dawkin's strong/weak atheism model.

that's nice, however my original statement regarding a hypothesis about chunks of cheese orbiting the sun, said that I accept it as a "possibility". I'm not sure I saw that post, therefore I don't know what you're referring to.

I never professed to say they should ALL be accepted. Dont try to say I did.*shrugs* (emphasis mine)
yes, all hypothesis should be accepted as a possibility until proven otherwise. And should always be retained as a "well, in case I'm wrong."

For one who claims so much science stuff, you seem to forget that once a hypothesis has evidence and has been tested, it becomes a theory. Before that, any hypothesis is entirely valid, until proven wrong, of course. On the rest, we agree. Your point was that the hypothesis should be accepted, which is not a practice of science.

And an atheist can hardly be considered a "scientific" one if they're dismissing the hypothesis of God. From their partial facts they have forumlated the belief that it is wrong. It's STILL a belief. I think you may have missed the gist of my point. There is no reason to accept a hypothesis if there is no evidence to support it. It is foolish to presume that there will never be any evidence but it is not foolish to acknowledge that no evidence currently exists.

For example, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that will accept the hypothesis that the droppings of invisible pink unicorns are the source of gravity. Obviously we can't rule it out, but neither do we accept this as true without asking for some kind of proof.

Due to using the dictionary as my source, I profess that atheism is "no" to god. While anti-theism is "no" to god+religion. Just as deism is "yes" to god and "no" to religion, while theism is "yes" to god and "yes" to religion. Your definitions have only a singular answer, while mine are two-fold, hence why we are likly getting different answers. But again, these definitions are no more correct than each other because they're all OUR personal definitions. Yes, I acknowledge that you and I have accepted differing definitions of what "atheist" means. I prefer to keep my definition as it does not require me to have information that I could not possibly have, while I'm sure you will prefer to keep yours for reasons which are your own.

again, considering what I said above, theism="yes" to god and religion, anti-theisim is "no" to god and religion. Then by your own definition, atheism and anti-theism are the same. I disagree, but I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point and move on.

well, if we MUST play it that way, then to that i say: LOL! Considering that I'm an athiest, I'm not sure what position you are in to tell me what is or what is not atheism. We should sit down and compare libraries some time :)

Please forgive me the appeal to authority. I couldn't resist :D

another difference in opinion. From all I've observed and thus forumlated my opinion from, agnostics say "maybe". They say: there's not enough evidence to say yes, and there's not enough evidence to say "no". I'd say that's pretty accurate.

I understand that that's how you've opted to define those labels, but your definition isn't necessarily the correct one. I would say from a clinical standpoint, it's the only one. However I acknowledge that others may choose to accept definitions that aren't as rigorous.

then let me be more specific. Rocks lack the capacity for morals, not in the same manner as a person who has never had morals lacks it, but the physical ability is not there to have morals. Thus, a comparason between rocks and people seems null because people always have the capacity for some morals. Rocks never do. They are not "without morals" in the same sense a person is without morals. Sure they are. All humans (and arguably some animals) go through a process by which they aquire morals. They do not come out of the womb with morals, therefore a baby is amoral just the same as a rock is. In both cases the example is completely without morals.

The difference is that the human has the capacity to aquire morals at some point during development, while a rock cannot. In the same way, humans are also all atheistic until they are enculturated into a theistic tradition. I used an extreme example to highlight my point, but it's still valid.

It's like saying solid metal is empty of water and a pool of water is empty, they're not empty in the same context. Metal lacks the ability to hold water, while a pool is merely devoid of water. See what I'm getting at? Actually, I'm afraid I don't. Don't worry about clarifying though, because I'm sure that you missed my original point.

Context helps, use "the world" in context, the proverbial "world" of theism and atheism. You didn't specify, therefore I could only use the term in the context in which you presented it. This additional information does not change my point, nor does it change my rebuttal. The only thing that has changed is my acknowledgement of your right to have a irrational definition of atheism.

I am, as are you. Actually, I am not. I have offered up extensive support for my argument. You have not offered any sound arguments to show my arguments to be logically flawed or inherently incorrect. You have successfully lobbied for acceptance of your definition though, which is not the same thing.

I could say the same of you. Indeed you could. Thanks again for your response. Take care.

Except that some don't want to allow thesits freedom of speech. Then I would suggest these individuals attend a few civics lesson. Until atheists organize and have some sort of centralized doctrine, I'm afraid that your generalizations aren't going to impress me very much.

It could happen. And it very well might, Atheist dominated countries could well elect a leader who would see fit to ban religion. We are already seeing a leaning fpr Christianity and against Islam in America. *shrugs*
In an infinite universe, anything is possible. I meteor might fall from the sky and destroy my office building any moment. I guess I tend to view my time as too valuable to waste hand-wringing over what's possible and instead focus on things that are probable. If you see atheism as a big threat, then it seems that no amount of rational discussion is going to sway you from that course, no matter how improbable such a thing might be.

Part of this has to do with the truth hurting. You don't like the fact Atheism led to the persecution seen in Russia and China anymore that theists like people harping on about there being no god. Part of it also has to do with being able to handle how people react to what you say, such as the outrage over the suggestion anti war protestors would get their yukks from seeing dead soldiers on TV I mentioned. You're ignoring the point. You're assuming a causal relationship where no evidence for one exists. If a causal relationship did exist and could be shown, then your point would be absolutely valid.

It is most valid. You cannot go running off about the crimes religion had committed when Atheism has proven to be just as bad, if not worse. Repeating it isn't going to make it true.

Look up similar threads in the Senate Chambers, I can provide specific examples if you like. You're free to do whatever you would like. You can copy and paste the whole forum if you wish, however you'll only be providing examples of individual actions (assuming that said actions actually do what you insinuate they are doing).

Loaded question. I'll indulge however. Some do, yes. They would be the more extremist ones and I think proportionate to Atheists who are the same. The "yes" will suffice. Your supposition is noted.

Yes. Russia and China are two examples, I know you hate it that religion was persecuted but you have to face up to the fact it happened. Your examples are contested, however I'll acknowledge that you answered "yes" and provided two weak examples. I'm well aware that religious persecution has happened just as I am aware that a majority of it is initiated by religious people.

Another loaded question, but yes, which makes Atheists just as bad as theists when they act this way, in fact worse because they don't have some holy text they can use as a reasoning (excuse). Your response is noted.

That doesn't let Atheism off the hook. Just as much criticism is on them when they act like the Christians they attack for doing wrong. To claim otherwise is hypocritical.You are moving the goal post.

The point, which you appear to have missed, is that you're clinging to the idea that this is an "atheist" endeavor. By your own admission, it is not. This reminds me of story from the bible where jesus challenges a group of people claiming to have spiritual superiority. I believe the applicable line is, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone".

I will when you do, fair enough? I see you've been taking notes from others.

What you're forgetting is that these were very diffirent times and, again, people who follow the word of their god also have to abide by the law. Completely beside the point. Same bible. Nothing from god saying, 'remove those sections'. You are ignoring the facts.

There was no need for you to bring the topic up so it is poisoning the well, or ad hominem, your choice, as well as non sequiter and guilt by association. Let me know when you've figured out which fallacy you think I'm guilty of. In the mean time, I'll just assume that you're not going to address my point.

Combined among them Stalin and Mao have killed 60 million people, for bull**** crimes including following religion. That's just one example of how Atheism takes lives.Strawman (please look it up before you try to tell me I'm wrong). Since you're not refuting my arguement or offering a counter-argument, I'll assume you're conceding the point.

Also, let's face it religion's just an excuse for these people, it's more a case that Al Qaeda had an axe to grind with the entire world. And what is that axe, Nancy? Unbelievers in their holy land? Yes, it would certainly seem that religion is just an excuse.

No, some bad atheists = some bad Christians, Jews, Muslims, enviromentalists, anti war protestors, ect, ect. But I'm confused. You just admitted that you were generalizing. Now you're presenting an argument for why generalizing is bad. Please help me understand.

Like a pair of Atheists being responsible for more deaths than religion ever was? Please support your argument with a source.

Which suggests to me that you're doing exactly what you accuse others of, introducing incorrect usage of logical fallacies in an attempt to dodge the question. Then I can only assume that you're confused about what a strawman arguement is.

The basis that most people who follow religion know that this is not how to act, that the law applies to them. Otherwise we'd be well and truely ****ed as Christians, Jews, Islamists, ect try and genocide everyone. Oh, so it's majority rule? If a majority of christians opted to declare war against non-believers, then that would determine "the correct interpretation" until a different majority could be formed? This would seem to suggest that there is no objective "truth" in the bible, which I believe has been my point all along.

A strawman is a type of red herring. Source. (http://www.tektonics.org/guest/fallacies.html#100)Fair enough. I don't recall having seen it presented that way before. Thank you for the link.

Yet the fact they were Atheist meant that theists were executed because Stalin and Mao were against religion. How is that any different than if Stalin and Mao were Muslim? Or Protestant? Muslim dictators that execute christians and/or muslims of an opposing denomination are still guilty of executing on the basis of religion.

Here's a logic exercise that I hope will help prove my point:

All facist are oppresive.
Some facist are athiests.
Therefore, all atheists are oppresive.

or more obviously:

All pets have names.
Some pets are named "fluffy".
Therefore, all pets are named "fluffy".

Maybe because this type of arguement constructed to easily argue against is the type of strawman people avoid. "Oh oh I know Stalin and Mao were Atheist but their wrongs don't count because they didn't rule using this specific government". Speaking of strawmen...

The invitation was open to any example the meets the criteria. If the argument presented were true, then there should be a plethora of available examples, yet none have been presented. If you can think of one, please let me know.

Theist: There is a personal god
Deist: There is a god
W. Atheist: There is no reason to suppose there is a god, therefore I do not believe (I think Achilles fits here)
S. Atheist: There is no god or There is evidence against x god
Regarding Deism and Theism: The distinction between a personal god and a non-personal one seems very much like a distraction to me. In both cases the believer believes in a supernatural cause (namely "gods" or "a god"). I guess I have a hard time understanding why polytheism and monotheism are considered types of theism, yet deism is somehow different. The deist still believes in a god even though the nature of the god is different from the personal god of the monotheist. It seems that this logic, if valid, should extend to the belief in a benevolent personal god as opposed to a malevolent personal god, the myriad of polytheistic gods, etc. See my point?

Regarding W. Atheism and S. Atheism: Again the distinction seems like a false construct. A = without. Theism = belief in a god or gods. Atheism is being without a belief in a god or gods (this seems to be distinctly different than atheism as a belief that there is no god). It is a neutral state.

To make a postive statement about the non-existence of a god or gods is to leave that neutral state. To say that you know there is no god requires that you support such a claim with evidence. Since such a being would have to exist outside our ability to measure him/her/it, then by definition, such evidence could not be possible (since it's existence would then make it part of the natural universe and he/she/it would stripped of his/her/its supernatural status).

Since the claim that no god exists cannot be supported, then it logically incorrect to make such a statement. Similarly, to make the claim that god does exist without being able to provide supporting evidence is also logically incorrect.

From this starting point, "strong" atheism puts the claimant in an indefensible position since one cannot prove that something does not exist (ala your earlier commentary regarding the space-cheese :)

I am very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on this.

ET Warrior
07-24-2007, 05:57 PM
See. Actual terrorism. They carried out bombings against people they hate. They KILLED a head of state. And they don't believe in God
Again, you miss the distinction. Atheists who commit violence do not imply that atheism in any way promotes or causes violence.

For example, a man who kills another and happens to be left handed does not correlate to an assumption that he killed because he was left handed. He quite likely had a completely unrelated motive, in the same way that an atheist who kills another very likely did not kill simply because he was an atheist.

However, many religious texts DIRECTLY COMMAND their followers to commit acts of violence. Further, many people who would normally not commit such acts of violence may be convinced that they must in order to maintain favor with their deity of choice.

SilentScope001
07-24-2007, 06:08 PM
For example, a man who kills another and happens to be left handed does not correlate to an assumption that he killed because he was left handed. He quite likely had a completely unrelated motive, in the same way that an atheist who kills another very likely did not kill simply because he was an atheist.

However, many religious texts DIRECTLY COMMAND their followers to commit acts of violence. Further, many people who would normally not commit such acts of violence may be convinced that they must in order to maintain favor with their deity of choice.

Could that be said for all sorts of religions?

The Palestian-Israeli war may have everything to do with territory. Palestinan insurgents/terrorists/whatever want territory. God tells them to kill those who are taking away their territory, and guess what, territory is taken away! To them, God is saying that it is okay to fight in self-defense, BUT the real reason they are fighting is for land, not for God. Sucidie bombings is just one military tactic, one that is hated by many people and considered illegit, but is a tactic that is used anyway.

Same thing with Crusades. The Muslims took away Land that rightfully belonged to Chrisitans, God told them that it is okay to fight in self-defense, and so they did, but they fought mainly for the Land, not because they hate Muslims.

Or what about power? If a conservative religious organization like the KKK calls for the destruction of Jews, are they really wanting to kill off the Jews, or are they interested in taking over the power that they believe that Jews already held? Or if the KKK wants to "keep Blacks in their case", are they interested in keeping their power over the blacks, and the killing of blacks and all that cross-burning is just one way to ensure that?

The reason that "God", in all these cirmustances, backs their cause for seizing land or Power, is because that organization believes that "God" is on their side. If say, the terrorists decide to give up, then they'll believe that God is on their side and backs their goal of surrendering.

God has been demoted from his holy place to a properganda poster, a symbol like the American flag, and it is done so that it can be used to rally people to back some more underhanded goals.

Religion is a tool used by people to accomplish their main goals. People are not tools for religions.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-24-2007, 06:36 PM
Then where are the Tibetan suicide bombers? The Tibetans are occupied and oppressed just like the Chechen, Kurdish and Palestinian people. I don't see them blowing themselves up, running planes into buildings, or assassinating Chinese political leaders. Why is it the World Trade Center lies in ruins, and not the Jin Mao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Mao_Building) building?

Of course terrorists and other murderers have reasons to do what they do. But it is religion that fuels their actions. It's akin to how a person may want to rob a bank, but only does so when you give him a gun. Terrorism is far more common amongst people of violent religion than amongst the rest of us. The terrorists themselves state that they do what they do for religious motivation - as opposed to, say, blond terrorists whose hair color has nothing to do with their actions.

A report entitled An Inclusive World, from scientists from all over the world, found the following:
A global research report An Inclusive World prepared by an international team of researchers from all continents has analysed causes of present day terrorism. It has reached the conclusions that terrorism all over the world functions like an economic market. There is demand for terrorists placed by greed or grievances. Supply is driven by relative deprivation resulting in triple deficits - developmental deficit, democratic deficit and dignity deficit. Acts of terror take place at the point of intersection between supply and demand. Those placing the demand use religion and other denominators as vehicles to establish links with those on the supply side. This pattern can be observed in all situations ranging from Colombia to Colombo and the Philippines to the Palestine.Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism#Causes).

SilentScope001
07-24-2007, 07:23 PM
Then where are the Tibetan suicide bombers? The Tibetans are occupied and oppressed just like the Chechen, Kurdish and Palestinian people. I don't see them blowing themselves up, running planes into buildings, or assassinating Chinese political leaders. Why is it the World Trade Center lies in ruins, and not the Jin Mao building?

A quick search revealed the reason:

They didn't get the firepower to do so.

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jcws.2006.8.3.102?cookieSet=1&journalCode=jcws

This article analyzes the Chushi Gangdrug Tibetan resistance as narrated primarily by Tibetan veterans. The article recounts the origins of the Tibetan resistance forces, their relationship with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, their eventual laying down of arms in 1974, and their legacy in the present-day exile community. Analyses of the Tibetan resistance and the guerrilla war must take account of cultural as well as political and historical factors. The war, pitting a voluntary Tibetan guerrilla movement against the Chinese Communist army, had implications well beyond Tibet and China. India, Nepal, and the United States all became involved. In addition to presenting the perspectives of the soldiers alongside those of the relevant states, the article situates its discussion within the latest anthropological literature on international relations and the Cold War.

It costs money for the actual PDF, so all we got is this itty bitty abstract.

Oh, and this is some properganda from the insurgency group's website linking them to Tibetan Buddhism as well (as its defenders). Worth a read:

http://www.chushigangdruk.org/history/history12.html

I'm sure you can argue that they did not do the same acts as the other groups you have named, but it may have been for praticality sake. They fought against China, and they have done insurgent actions. There are more ways to fight a war than by resorting to lavish explosions.

Of course terrorists and other murderers have reasons to do what they do. But it is religion that fuels their actions. It's akin to how a person may want to rob a bank, but only does so when you give him a gun. Terrorism is far more common amongst people of violent religion than amongst the rest of us. The terrorists themselves state that they do what they do for religious motivation - as opposed to, say, blond terrorists whose hair color has nothing to do with their actions.

Religion is a tool to justify to themselves why they want to do whatever it is they are doing. Nancy Allen''' provided an interpertion that doing violence is against religion and if you do, you're getting a one-way ticket to Hell. I somewhat agree with that statement.

Other religious people do not. They offer a different interepertion of the same exact religion. It is not the religion that says that you must kill, it is an interpertion of that religion, an interpretion that many people do not actually believe.

What interpretion must a religious recruit believe in? Then that shows the beliefs of the religious recruit, which are not affected by religion at all, but what that person PERSONALLY believe. And when you realize that said interpertion is used to justify whatever goals the founders of said interpertion...well, it seems that you can blame the interpertion of religion that cause violence, but you really are blaming the founders of that intepretion, who want to gain power, take land, or something else.

Achilles
07-24-2007, 07:37 PM
Again, you miss the distinction. Atheists who commit violence do not imply that atheism in any way promotes or causes violence.

For example, a man who kills another and happens to be left handed does not correlate to an assumption that he killed because he was left handed. He quite likely had a completely unrelated motive, in the same way that an atheist who kills another very likely did not kill simply because he was an atheist.

However, many religious texts DIRECTLY COMMAND their followers to commit acts of violence. Further, many people who would normally not commit such acts of violence may be convinced that they must in order to maintain favor with their deity of choice.
QFE

Nancy Allen``
07-24-2007, 07:56 PM
I have one question before I continue this thread. A facist such as Bin Laden is religious, and condemns other religions, therefore religion is to blame for his crimes. A facist like Stalin and Mao is Atheist and condemns religion, but that doesn't make Atheism to blame for their crimes?

I will address something that was raised actually, there are a number of reasons why Middle Eastern Muslim terrorists want us dead. Two main ones would be jealousy of how successful we (we as in the civillized world) are and outrage over our forces closing in on their activities. They want Israelis dead because they had gone over to the enemy, they want Muslims dead because they are not militant enough. And religion is the perfect excuse in their eyes to justify murder.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-24-2007, 08:49 PM
A quick search revealed the reason: They didn't get the firepower to do so.Firepower? You don't need resources to carry out resources. Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma courthouse with fertilizer and racing fuel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_mcveigh#Bombing). To commit arson all you need is a Molotov cocktail and something that burns. Anyone who wants to can become terrorists. Heck, 9/11 was carried out by a bunch of people with box-cutters. You're telling me there aren't box-cutters in Tibet? Heck, strike that, all you need is something hand-held with a button on it and the statement that there's a bomb on the plane. Worked on September the 11th.

Oh, and insurgency and terrorism are two different things. Guerrilla warfare against an occupying army is not terrorism.

Religion is a tool to justify to themselves why they want to do whatever it is they are doing. Nancy Allen''' provided an interpetion that doing violence is against religion and if you do, you're getting a one-way ticket to Hell. I somewhat agree with that statement.You do. However, a lot of people don't, and a lot of those have children that are being trained by an Arabic Mickey Mouse to blow themselves up at the nearest marketplace.

It's no surprise that if one really believes in a god, and really believes that the god wants you to kill, there's a risk he'll do it. After all, what's a life time of jail or execution to a place in Paradise with 72 virgins?

Oh, and what about Aztecs sacrificing their own children atop huge pyramids? Was that motivated by other things than religion, too? Would they have torn out the hearts of innocents even if they did not believe in Quetzalcoatl? Somehow I doubt it. Same goes for abortion clinic bombers and others who, when caught, they always give religious reasons for what they do.

I have one question before I continue this thread. A facist such as Bin Laden is religious, and condemns other religions, therefore religion is to blame for his crimes. A facist like Stalin and Mao is Atheist and condemns religion, but that doesn't make Atheism to blame for their crimes?If it was merely that ibn Ladin was religious, I wouldn't consider his adherence to mythology the reason why he carried out 9/11. However, when he himself identifies himself as a fundamentalist and says he's doing what he's doing for God, and every second word that comes out of his ass is 'Allah' - of course we state that religion is to blame for what he did.

If a neo-nazi blows up a Jewish synagogue, we blame his Nazism, which told him to blow up the building. Yet if a Muslim fundamentalist blows up a synagogue, we blame everything but his fundamentalism, even though to him, it was what told him to bomb the structure.

Funny thing.

Achilles
07-24-2007, 09:03 PM
I have one question before I continue this thread. A facist such as Bin Laden is religious, and condemns other religions, therefore religion is to blame for his crimes. Yes and no. Ultimately, bin Laden (and his ilk) have to bear the personal responsibility for "pulling the trigger". However, the system that they operate within is also accountable since it promotes such behavior.

If a company makes a car that explodes on impact, you don't sue the individuals that make that car, you sue the car company. Why? Because the company manufactured a defective product and it is reasonable to expect that a car company not manufacture cars which kill their buyers. Similarly, company policies that de-emphasized product safety or even promoted the manufacture of unsafe products would be a sign that the company is to blame for any deaths that came about as a result of the use of their product. Sure, the employees could have chosen not to work there and those that did help to make the car are partially responsible, but it wouldn't be uncommon to hear individuals say "I didn't really think about what I was doing. I was just doing what my bosses told me to do".

So in the case of bin Laden, you have an individual willing to kill operating within a system that promotes killing. However, in this...

A facist like Stalin and Mao is Atheist and condemns religion, but that doesn't make Atheism to blame for their crimes?...scenario, you have individuals acting, but not complicit system (atheism has no dogma which calls for the killing of non-believers, sinners, etc).

Using the earlier car manufacturer analogy, suppose an investigation discovered that the car company itself did everything in their power to ensure the safety of their vehichles, however one crazy guy was able to sabbotage all the vehicles in his plant without anyone finding out.

If you can identify a central, unifying, dogmatic ideology within atheism that calls for the systematic murder of everyone that disagrees with that philosophy, then we can compare apples to apples and find that atheists are some sick bastards. Unfortunately, no such ideology exists within atheism, however such ideology is explicit within all three of the world's major monotheisms.

I will address something that was raised actually, there are a number of reasons why Middle Eastern Muslim terrorists want us dead. Two main ones would be jealousy of how successful we (we as in the civillized world) are Close. I would tend to agree that the underlying theme is jealousy, but not at how "successful" we are, rather that so much of the world seeks to emulate our "fallen" ways.

Islam calls for piety and westerns are anything but pious. That we are considered "the gold standard" by many cultures must be infuriating.

and outrage over our forces closing in on their activities. Close again. Closer to the truth would be "our forces closing in on their holy lands". Imagine if a muslim walked into your church next sunday and started throwing a big LA-style gangsta party on the altar during the middle of mass. That's how some of them feel about our military presence in the middle east. Since their religion promotes jihad, martyrdom, and the killing of infidels, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that they are lining up to suicide-bomb our troops. The sooner that light comes on for us, the better off we'll be.

And religion is the perfect excuse in their eyes to justify murder. QFE/T

Nancy Allen``
07-24-2007, 09:51 PM
Religion is no excuse. People can cry about religion calling on them to kill all they want, it's all a load of crap.

Achilles
07-24-2007, 09:57 PM
I responded to your question in good faith and I would appreciate it a great deal if you could reciprocate by taking the time to formulate a coherent response to what I've posted.

I can't speak for DE, but I imagine he might feel the same

Nancy Allen``
07-24-2007, 10:46 PM
Fine. Just because someone does wrong because of their beliefs, or non belief, doesn't mean it's to blame. In point of fact people who do this are quite rare. Majority rule? Perhaps, but even in Middle Eastern Muslim countries they have moved on from the bad old days that the people who commit acts of terror want. Ask those who follow religion if we should follow the ways of stoning those to death back in biblical times and the answer would be a resounding no. Those who think anything like this not only take their religion too seriously but in the case of Christianity at least they forget about Jesus interceding at the execution (he who is without sin cast the first stone). Hand wringing over a possible mass Christian crusade or Muslim Jihad is a waste of time, the responsibility begins and ends with the perpretrators of those who commit these acts. Is it errornous to blame Atheism for Stalin and Mao? If so then it would be equally as errornous to blame religion for Bin Laden. It would be safe to say after all that if Bin Laden didn't use Islam as an excuse he would use something else, the same as Stalin or Mao would have been equally as murderous without Atheism. If individual actions are not the fault of Atheism then you cannot blame religion for the acts of individuals either. To claim that those who spiritual superiority of religion is wrong would suggest that Atheists who claim moral superiority is equally as wrong. Besides, times have changed. We do not chop off the hands of those who shoplift, though maybe we should, does religion condemn us for not doing so? Even if they did the law would state that it is illegal to do so, and people who follow religion have to abide by the law according to their holy texts. Saying that Stalin or Mao were Atheist is offensive, a strawman, ect must mean that bringing up religious wrongdoing must equally be as offensive, a strawman. You cannot have it both ways. Why do Muslims attack the entire world? They use religion as an excuse but their real reasoning is a lot more simplified, hatred at our success, hatred that we treat women better than goats, hatred that there is action taken against them. Regardless, like it or not religious fanaticism has not killed as many people as Stalin and Mao. Here's the evidence.

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Total

Are people who follow religion supposed to be killing each other? Should they be trying to wipe out those who do not believe? No they shouldn't, as they are to abide by the law. Saying that Stalin and Mao do not count as Atheists doing wrong because of their style of government is to avoid facing up to the fact they killed those who followed religion because they were so against it. Would it be better to say that Bin Laden's portrayal or Islam puts it in a negative light? Is that his intent in the first place, to portray Islam as evil and therefore cause strife over it? But again it's no excuse for their actions.

Achilles
07-25-2007, 12:10 AM
Fine. Just because someone does wrong because of their beliefs, or non belief, doesn't mean it's to blame. Please present an argument that supports this. The examples I provided in the last few posts should make excellent jumping-off points.

In point of fact people who do this are quite rare. Source please?

Majority rule? Perhaps You sound unsure. I've heard several claims that religion is the only source of objective morality, yet it would seem that there's nothing objective about it. If religion has such fickle masters, then how can you be sure that your interpretation is the correct one?

but even in Middle Eastern Muslim countries they have moved on from the bad old days that the people who commit acts of terror want. Sidebar: You know each time "the west" makes some fopah against islam, there are calls for death and protests in the street. Yet any time we hear about an act of terror against innocent civilians in the west - nothing. What do you think that says about muslim support for terrorism?

Ask those who follow religion if we should follow the ways of stoning those to death back in biblical times and the answer would be a resounding no. Those who think anything like this not only take their religion too seriously but in the case of Christianity at least they forget about Jesus interceding at the execution (he who is without sin cast the first stone). Why would I even consider "those who think anything like this" if you are confident that the answer would be a resounding "no"? It seems you think there might be a few people that might not share your sentiment? Besides the bible advocates death by stoning, so doing so would only put one in accordance with Christianity, not against it. By the way, the practice of stoning is still rampant in the middle east, so you might want to reconsider your first point as the evidence does not support it.

Hand wringing over a possible mass Christian crusade or Muslim Jihad is a waste of time, the responsibility begins and ends with the perpretrators of those who commit these acts. Like religious leaders?

Is it errornous to blame Atheism for Stalin and Mao?Yes, for reasons that I have already provided.

If so then it would be equally as errornous to blame religion for Bin Laden. No it is not, for reasons that I have already provided.

It would be safe to say after all that if Bin Laden didn't use Islam as an excuse he would use something else, bin Laden's jihad is religiously motivated. Your point falls apart after that.

the same as Stalin or Mao would have been equally as murderous without Atheism. Which is likely true considering that there is no atheist doctrine promoting murderous behavior. In fact there is no atheist doctrine, period.

If individual actions are not the fault of Atheism then you cannot blame religion for the acts of individuals either. Yes you can for reasons I've already provided.

To claim that those who spiritual superiority of religion is wrong would suggest that Atheists who claim moral superiority is equally as wrong. Please clarify.

Besides, times have changed. We do not chop off the hands of those who shoplift, though maybe we should, does religion condemn us for not doing so?
http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/10/amputation-ltr.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1428159.stm
http://www.sudan.net/news/press/postedr/93.shtml
http://www.saudinf.com/main/y5501.htm

Depends on your religion, I guess. Those that subscribe to religions that promote such behavior seem to be doing it.

Even if they did the law would state that it is illegal to do so, and people who follow religion have to abide by the law according to their holy texts. Huh?

Saying that Stalin or Mao were Atheist is offensive, a strawman, ect must mean that bringing up religious wrongdoing must equally be as offensive, a strawman. That would depend on the context.

Why do Muslims attack the entire world? They use religion as an excuse but their real reasoning is a lot more simplified, hatred at our success, hatred that we treat women better than goats, hatred that there is action taken against them. Mostly incorrect for reasons that I have already addressed.

Regardless, like it or not religious fanaticism has not killed as many people as Stalin and Mao. Here's the evidence.

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Total That source has already been discredited twice by two different people. Please provide another.

Are people who follow religion supposed to be killing each other? Conditionally, yes, per their holy texts.

Should they be trying to wipe out those who do not believe? Yes, per their holy texts.

No they shouldn't, as they are to abide by the law. Yes, they should in accordance with god's law.

Saying that Stalin and Mao do not count as Atheists doing wrong because of their style of government is to avoid facing up to the fact they killed those who followed religion because they were so against it. Mao and Stalin both killed theists because they were marxist communists and marxist communism denounces religion. Therefore just as islam, judaism, and christianity have blood on their hands for their violent edicts, so does marxist communism for its doctrine of violent revolution. Atheism, in this scenerio, is a red herring. If marx promoted islam, it's mostly likely that the same thing would have happened.

Would it be better to say that Bin Laden's portrayal or Islam puts it in a negative light? Have you read the quran?

http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2006/06/which-is-more-violent-bible-or-quran.html

Yes, my source is biased, but his point is sound.

Is that his intent in the first place, to portray Islam as evil and therefore cause strife over it? But again it's no excuse for their actions. Good question. Perhaps we can ask him if/when we capture him.

Nancy Allen``
07-25-2007, 12:42 AM
The bottom line is that people who follow religion also must abide by the law. If they do not then not only do they break it they disobey their religion.

Prime
07-25-2007, 12:46 AM
See. Actual terrorism. They carried out bombings against people they hate. They KILLED a head of state. And they don't believe in God (after all, it is a part of traditional morality and must be smashed). Now can we stop accusing religion of causing violence? Anyone can be violent no matter what, and can justify any action they do. And every group can have a paramilitary side ready to do harm against anyone who disagree. But as has been said repeatedly, they were not driven by their belief that there is no god. "The Nihilists were not advocating belief in nothing, they believed in liberating human beings from creeds and practices that are justified by an appeal to objective values." That included all sorts of different aspects of life at the time, and religion is one subset of that.

And I'm not implying that religion is causing violence, only that it is often inciting people to violence, because it often has direct commands to do so (or interpreted as such). For example, the following could easily be viewed as calls to violence:

(Koran 5: 33-34) "The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet and alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.

(Koran 22: 19-22) "These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning."

(Deuteronomy 17) If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

(Deuteronomy 13) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

(Mark 7) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

(Luke 19) But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Atheism does not incite violence, because it has no commands at all.

Again, you miss the distinction. Atheists who commit violence do not imply that atheism in any way promotes or causes violence.It certainly can't promote, since there is nothing to promote from. :)

However, many religious texts DIRECTLY COMMAND their followers to commit acts of violence. Further, many people who would normally not commit such acts of violence may be convinced that they must in order to maintain favor with their deity of choice.Or favor with their family, peers, church, or community.

God has been demoted from his holy place to a properganda poster, a symbol like the American flag, and it is done so that it can be used to rally people to back some more underhanded goals.But how does a religious person tell the difference what is underhanded and what isn't? Are they supposed to make their own moral judgments?

Religion is a tool used by people to accomplish their main goals. People are not tools for religions.I think it is both. It can indeed be a tool with which one can accomplish goals, such as use it to sucker money, obtain followers or power, keep a group in check, etc. But I think people can also be tools for religions if they are used as instruments for religious goals.

Other religious people do not. They offer a different interepertion of the same exact religion. It is not the religion that says that you must kill, it is an interpertion of that religion, an interpretion that many people do not actually believe.But whose interpretation is right and whose is wrong? How does a follower rectify the differences? Is it up to the individual to make their own judgments? Should they listen to their religion's officials? Are they expected to make a moral judgment outside the rules of the religion?

Religion is no excuse. People can cry about religion calling on them to kill all they want, it's all a load of crap.But what is a load of crap? Those passages that imply violence against others (for example some of the above), people who interpret them that way, people being told by the authorities to interpret them that way, or people not using their own moral judgment? Many on the religious side claim that religion defines morals. How do you reconcile then?

Ask those who follow religion if we should follow the ways of stoning those to death back in biblical times and the answer would be a resounding no. Stoning is still commonly practiced as a legal sentence in many parts of the world such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates , sometimes as a part of Sharia religious law.

Actually, is that not a case of religion directly inciting people to violence?

Those who think anything like this not only take their religion too seriouslyI find this to be an interesting statement. How seriously should people take religion? I thought people used it to govern every aspect of their lives. Is that not "taking it seriously?" At what point does it become taking it too seriously?

Is it errornous to blame Atheism for Stalin and Mao? If so then it would be equally as errornous to blame religion for Bin Laden.Why? Why does one not being true prevent the other from being true?

The point is, Bin Ladin follows a religion that directly instructs him to commit violence against others. Stalin and Mao as athiests do not have such instructions, because atheism is not a system.

We do not chop off the hands of those who shoplift, Many parts of the world do indeed do such things for religious reasons.

though maybe we should, does religion condemn us for not doing so? Or a more general question, what is more important to the religious, to follow the law or religion?

Even if they did the law would state that it is illegal to do so, and people who follow religion have to abide by the law according to their holy texts.What happens when religion and law are the same?

Besides, times have changed.But presumably religious teachings have not, or have they?

Saying that Stalin or Mao were Atheist is offensive, a strawman, ect must mean that bringing up religious wrongdoing must equally be as offensive, a strawman. You cannot have it both ways.What logic are you using here? It has been pointed out repeatedly why the argument was a strawman. I don't believe you have done the same, or have I missed it?

And I don't think anyone said calling Stalin and Mao atheists was offensive...

Why do Muslims attack the entire world? They use religion as an excuse but their real reasoning is a lot more simplified, hatred at our success, hatred that we treat women better than goats, hatred that there is action taken against them.I often see this stated, but what is this argument based on? Our "success" at what? And why would they care how we treat our women if they don't have some belief system that tells them that everyone should treat their women the same as they do?

Regardless, like it or not religious fanaticism has not killed as many people as Stalin and Mao. Here's the evidence.

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#TotalWe have already been through why these numbers don't prove anything.

Are people who follow religion supposed to be killing each other? Should they be trying to wipe out those who do not believe? No they shouldn't, as they are to abide by the law.But in many places the law is based on or are religious teachings, which often include include directives about getting rid of other religions.

What you seem to be implying here is that secular law is needed to keep religion in check to some degree and out of the decision making process for certain aspects of society. Which is of course what many Western countries already do. :)

Saying that Stalin and Mao do not count as Atheists doing wrong It is worth repeating one last time, no one is denying that they were atheists or that they did terrible, terrible things.

because of their style of government is to avoid facing up to the fact they killed those who followed religion because they were so against it.but they didn't only kill religious people. They killed people from many different types of organizations, such as political, who were a threat to their rule. Stalin actually reopened the churches during WWII. I doubt he would do this if his driving force was to snuff out belief in God.

The bottom line is that people who follow religion also must abide by the law. If they do not then not only do they break it they disobey their religion.How does a religious person rectify those cases where the secular law conflicts with religious doctrine? In such cases, isn't it impossible not to commit a sin? Or are you saying that this never happens?

SilentScope001
07-25-2007, 02:47 AM
Oh, and insurgency and terrorism are two different things. Guerrilla warfare against an occupying army is not terrorism.

I thought the arugment was over religion or lack of causes violence. I won't even get into the terrorism minefield, but it does not matter if one is doing gurellia warfare or terrorism, you are still committing violence, and violence is supposed to be something Atheists hate, right?

You do. However, a lot of people don't, and a lot of those have children that are being trained by an Arabic Mickey Mouse to blow themselves up at the nearest marketplace.

The Arabic Mickey Mouse wanted to matyr for land (Palestine). If you happen to not care about land, the Mickey Mouse's repeated shrills seem meaningless.

It's no surprise that if one really believes in a god, and really believes that the god wants you to kill, there's a risk he'll do it. After all, what's a life time of jail or execution to a place in Paradise with 72 virgins?

Well, that Hadiath (saying of the Prophet) is currently considered "false" by many religious authorities. Meaning it is likely created by someone long after Mohammed bit the dust and therefore Mohammed never actually said that.

But who to kill? Wouldn't Muslim soilders in the US Army believe that the way to go to Heaven is to risk their lives killing Osama bin Laden and Taliban forces? After all, you are dying by killing a Non-Beliver (or a Hypocrite) and you are saving countless innocent lives. Problem lies in the fact that it is still up to the individual to decide what is right and wrong.

Oh, and what about Aztecs sacrificing their own children atop huge pyramids? Was that motivated by other things than religion, too? Would they have torn out the hearts of innocents even if they did not believe in Quetzalcoatl? Somehow I doubt it. Same goes for abortion clinic bombers and others who, when caught, they always give religious reasons for what they do.

Oh great. Well, I'm not an follower of the Aztec religion, and not even Aztecs living today engage in such pratices I'd assume (Aztec people do live in Mexico still, you know). You know, why not ask the persons who believes in the Aztec religion today and tell him that sacrificing is totally wrong, and he'll probraly answer your question more than I can. I'm staying away from that, because I don't know.

But, for the "abortion bombing", there has been secular arguments against abortion. Sancity of life and all. So you got your ideology. The person is angry at the ideology losing, and he made the desicion that he must help that ideology out by bombing abortion clinics. He just assumed God is on his side, and used that also as justification.

But as has been said repeatedly, they were not driven by their belief that there is no god. "The Nihilists were not advocating belief in nothing, they believed in liberating human beings from creeds and practices that are justified by an appeal to objective values." That included all sorts of different aspects of life at the time, and religion is one subset of that.

And I'm not implying that religion is causing violence, only that it is often inciting people to violence, because it often has direct commands to do so (or interpreted as such). For example, the following could easily be viewed as calls to violence:

Not a biblical person, but I am a Muslim, so I'll offer my interpretion of the verses:

(Koran 5: 33-34) "The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet and alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.

The point being that if you are making war on Allah and His Messenger, you know, violent, physical warfare, where the other side is killing you, then you are allowed to retailate. A somewhat easy law to understand, and a law that many nations respect.

At the time, Mohammed at war with the Quarish, and, well, the Quarish really was a threat to Mohammed. They launched two attacks at his city-state, in an attempt to take him over, and hence this hostile rhetoric.

However, the justification of "self-defense" can be used for many different ways and can be used to justify everything and anything. But it is a broad justification that can be used by any group.

(Koran 22: 19-22) "These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning."

Those who disbelieve in this religion and who do evil deeds will go to Hell. I'm blantant, that's what the verse says. In many holy books, you see that those who disbelieve in the other religions meet terrible dooms, and you know this quite well. It's standard boilerplate attempting to persaude people to do good or else they get punished, nothing more.

So what? If you use that as an excuse to go and attack your foes now, because you just hate them and want to do chaos and take their property, you stand a chance at being called a disbeliever and being sent to Hell.

Neither quotes incite people to do violence, if you have the right interpertion.

Atheism does not incite violence, because it has no commands at all.

Atheism does have a command. One command: An Atheist must not believe in God, either because he thinks said God does not exist or that there is no evidence that God exist.

You cannot have an Atheist that believes in theistic evolution. :)

Though, since atheism is so broad, what about the many different sects and factions within it? Marxism? Materialism? Capitalism? Even that Nihlist faction? Once you go into the factions and dwell into its liteature, I'm sure you can find passages that you can "construe" as inciting violence but the actual followers of said faction do not see it because they see the passages in a different light.

But whose interpretation is right and whose is wrong? How does a follower rectify the differences? Is it up to the individual to make their own judgments? Should they listen to their religion's officials? Are they expected to make a moral judgment outside the rules of the religion?

The indivudal must make their own judgements. They are not making a moral judgment outside the rules of religion, since they are choosing the very laws of religion they are following, because they are choosing the interpertions and the lens that they view the Holy Books. If you rely on religious experts, then the experts might feud and come up with different views, and again it is up to you to choose what is right and what is wrong.

Those who would truly believe in God would surely truly believe in the right interpertion, no? It's just one more hoop...You'll find out if your interpertion is the correct one...later on when it's too late to change it.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-25-2007, 04:08 AM
I thought the argument was over religion or lack of causes violence. I won't even get into the terrorism minefield, but it does not matter if one is doing gurellia warfare or terrorism, you are still committing violence, and violence is supposed to be something Atheists hate, right?Again, atheism is just the lack of belief in a god, simple as that. So that atheists are 'supposed to' hate violence is a misnomer. Oh, and if atheism did inherently cause people to fight invading Communist armies, I'd consider it a good thing, not a negative, wouldn't you? Weren't the American Minutemen considered heroes? Again, fighting an invading army in self-defense and blowing yourself up in a café are two very different things. Abrahamic faith (as opposed to Hinduism) advocates both, atheism advocates none, nor does it speak against either.

Also, fighting an invading army is a rather automatic and natural - most invaded people do it. I don't think Tibetan mythologies are what caused the Tibetan people to do so, which was really what the whole Tibetan detour was about. If anyone had said, 'we'd lay down our arms to the infidel People's Army, but our Lord Shiva the Destroyer demands blood be spilt for Him, and so it shall be!', then it'd have been a different matter.

To clarify my stance, though, it's not that religion causes violence, it's that inherently violent religions, as opposed to Hindusim, cause violence.

But, for the "abortion bombing", there has been secular arguments against abortion. But where are the atheistic abortion clinic bombers?

Well, that Hadiath (saying of the Prophet) is currently considered "false" by many religious authorities. Meaning it is likely created by someone long after Mohammed bit the dust and therefore Mohammed never actually said that.Big deal. Lots of passages in both the Bible and Q'uran were written approximately a century after the events they described. Shouldn't most of both books be considered 'false', then?

Nancy Allen``
07-25-2007, 09:33 AM
But how does a religious person tell the difference what is underhanded and what isn't? Are they supposed to make their own moral judgments?

To some extent yeah. A basic concept of right and wrong would make them see that things such as terrorist acts are wrong, which is something that is taken advantage of in disadvantaged countries as education on what is right and wrong is not something that is taken for granted the way it is in our more civillized world.

But whose interpretation is right and whose is wrong? How does a follower rectify the differences? Is it up to the individual to make their own judgments? Should they listen to their religion's officials? Are they expected to make a moral judgment outside the rules of the religion?

Again a large part of it would fall on the individual. They can seek advice, even seek advice outside of their religious circle, but ultimatly it falls down to them to decide what is right and what is wrong for them. What is generally considered right and wrong is a big help, which again a lack of such education would be something people take advantage of.

But what is a load of crap? Those passages that imply violence against others (for example some of the above), people who interpret them that way, people being told by the authorities to interpret them that way, or people not using their own moral judgment?

The latter three. I think there is a diffirence between being told about violence that occured being told to use violence, something that people misinterpret, thinking that because violence was used in this case it means they are entitled to use violence. Also regardless of what religion states the law applies, including the famous 'Though Shalt Not Kill', it says as much in religious text, so acts of violence, abortion clinic bombings for example, is against their religion.

Stoning is still commonly practiced as a legal sentence in many parts of the world such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates , sometimes as a part of Sharia religious law.

Fair enough. I would counter that this is something that we in the civillized world condemn and rightfully so, not only that but it goes against their religion, not to kill.

Actually, is that not a case of religion directly inciting people to violence?

I would say that is an example of the bad old days of religion, something that people like Bin Laden want.

I find this to be an interesting statement. How seriously should people take religion? I thought people used it to govern every aspect of their lives. Is that not "taking it seriously?" At what point does it become taking it too seriously?

That video I put up, where Christians break into the home of a woman who declares herself a witch, burns her posessions and say she should be burning as well, is a good place to start on how far is too far. I would say that people should take every measure to follow religion to the letter in their own lives, in the lives of willing believers, but once they break the law not only do they fall under the prosecution of the justice system they go against their religion, as their religion states that they are to obey the law.

Why? Why does one not being true prevent the other from being true?

The point is, Bin Ladin follows a religion that directly instructs him to commit violence against others. Stalin and Mao as athiests do not have such instructions, because atheism is not a system.

Because if Stalin and Mao weren't Atheist the theists who otherwise were persecuted under their regimes would be alive. If Bin Laden wasn't intolerant of any religion except his own then a lot of Christians, Jews, Atheists ect would still be alive.

Many parts of the world do indeed do such things for religious reasons.

Again, my take is these are the bad old days that hardline Islamists still hold on to.

Or a more general question, what is more important to the religious, to follow the law or religion?

You follow your religion to the fullest extent you can under law, which should be easy if your religion forbids breaking the law. Also a bit of respect for others might not go astray, telling people they'll go to hell for not praying five times a day is probably not the best way to portray your beliefs.

What happens when religion and law are the same?

I think we see that when the majority rule such as government do things such as still carry out capital punishment for minor crimes when the rest of the world had moved on two thousand years ago, or wage war on the basis of religion. Now certainly religion is guilty of it, but argueably so is Atheism.

But presumably religious teachings have not, or have they?

The trouble is the law makes no distiction on what religious teachings say, and religion states that you are to obay the law.

What logic are you using here? It has been pointed out repeatedly why the argument was a strawman. I don't believe you have done the same, or have I missed it?

That if it's fine to bring up religious wrongdoing then it must be fine to bring up Atheist wrongdoing as well. If it's not okay to say that Atheists killed people then wouldn't it make it wrong to say religion did as well?

I often see this stated, but what is this argument based on? Our "success" at what? And why would they care how we treat our women if they don't have some belief system that tells them that everyone should treat their women the same as they do?

What do places such as Afghanistan have that would have compared to the twin towers? Do we have Afghanisburger chains all around the world? What about Britain, America, Japan ect being the world leaders in entertainment? Jealousy. You see the same thing in places like France, people in America are not becoming Frenchifiles, yet America is infiltrating everything in their culture, which they find particularly galling. Now I feel for them, I do, they should be entitled to their identity, but launching terrorist attacks because of it is beyond the pale.

But in many places the law is based on or are religious teachings, which often include include directives about getting rid of other religions.

Can you give specific examples?

What you seem to be implying here is that secular law is needed to keep religion in check to some degree and out of the decision making process for certain aspects of society. Which is of course what many Western countries already do. :)

Exactly, and for a large part law is used to keep religion in check. For example making killing against the law, meaning you cannot kill those who don't follow your religion.

How does a religious person rectify those cases where the secular law conflicts with religious doctrine? In such cases, isn't it impossible not to commit a sin? Or are you saying that this never happens?

It's a balancing act. Specifically knowing how far in your faith is too far. If your interpretation of it gets in the way of your humanity then there's something wrong with your interpretation.

Prime
07-25-2007, 02:55 PM
Not a biblical person, but I am a Muslim, so I'll offer my interpretion of the verses:

The point being that if you are making war on Allah and His Messenger, you know, violent, physical warfare, where the other side is killing you, then you are allowed to retailate. A somewhat easy law to understand, and a law that many nations respect.Thank you for the insight. But how does someone bring physical warfare upon a deity? And striving for corruption implies corrupting followers into not being followers, does it not? I don't see how corruption would imply physically attacking them...

Neither quotes incite people to do violence, if you have the right interpertion.Ah, but that is crux of it! Who determines what is the right interpretation? Who has the moral authority to say that their interpretation is right and another is wrong?

But really, that isn't the point. The point is that religion can incite people to violence. We know that there are official interpretations (not sure if that is the right term, but basically interpretations from some authority) that command violence in cases of certain nonviolent sins, such as adultery, stealing, etc.

Atheism does have a command. One command: An Atheist must not believe in God, either because he thinks said God does not exist or that there is no evidence that God exist.Atheism is a definition. It is not a belief system (i.e. a set of rules to follow). You either are an Atheist or you are not. Atheism doesn't demand that you must be one, or that everyone else be one, or that you apply any rules to make decisions. It does not demand that you take any action of any sort. Unlike religion there is nothing about Atheism that can be taken, rightly or wrongly, as a call to violence.

You cannot have an Atheist that believes in theistic evolution. :)By definition, no. :)

Though, since atheism is so broad, what about the many different sects and factions within it? Marxism? Materialism? Capitalism? Even that Nihlist faction? You have it backwards. These ideologies are not within or are sects of (i.e. subsets of) Atheism. Atheism is potentially one aspect of those ideologies. If you look these terms in the dictionary, nihilism is the only one that even mentions religion at all.

And atheism is not broad. Actually, it couldn't be more specific. You don't believe that there is a deity. The end.

Once you go into the factions and dwell into its liteature, I'm sure you can find passages that you can "construe" as inciting violence but the actual followers of said faction do not see it because they see the passages in a different light.Those ideologies may have literature about such things, but that is not an aspect of atheism. The literature belongs to the ideologies, not to atheism. Again, atheism is only a label on a single belief, that there isn't a deity. Any literature beyond that is outside atheism.

Those who would truly believe in God would surely truly believe in the right interpertion, no? It's just one more hoop...You'll find out if your interpertion is the correct one...later on when it's too late to change it.So it is just a crapshoot guess? :confused: Is there only one right answer?

Again a large part of it would fall on the individual. They can seek advice, even seek advice outside of their religious circle, but ultimatly it falls down to them to decide what is right and what is wrong for them. What do you mean, "for them?" Doesn't religion claim that the rules it provides are the only right ones for everyone?

Also regardless of what religion states the law applies, including the famous 'Though Shalt Not Kill', it says as much in religious text, so acts of violence, abortion clinic bombings for example, is against their religion.When you say "religion", perhaps you can be more specific about what religion you actually mean. My impression is that you use it to mean Christian beliefs in NA, not all religions as a group. Otherwise, this statement, for example, is false.

I would counter that this is something that we in the civillized world condemn and rightfully so, not only that but it goes against their religion, not to kill.I assume that you include the US as a part of the civilized world, yet it uses execution as a form of punishment, and many Christians support it because they believe is based upon a belief in the sanctity of life. Genesis 9:6 says, "Whoever sheds man's blood by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God, He made man." And my understanding is that the Catholic church traditionally supports it, and still does in certain cases.

I would say that is an example of the bad old days of religion, something that people like Bin Laden want. But the "bad old days" are the current days, and is still an example of religion inciting people to violence.

Because if Stalin and Mao weren't Atheist the theists who otherwise were persecuted under their regimes would be alive. No, not necessarily. If these same people violated any of the other rules of those ideologies, they would have been killed for those reasons instead.

Again, my take is these are the bad old days that hardline Islamists still hold on to.Yet they do, so their religions incite them to violence. Some Christians believe that corporal punishment is justified based on various Bible passages. Therefore that religion can incite them to violence.

Outdated or not, the point is that it does happen today.

Also a bit of respect for others might not go astray, telling people they'll go to hell for not praying five times a day is probably not the best way to portray your beliefs.How about they are going to hell for having sex before marriage, or being gay? Are Christians being disrespectful for the same reasons?

I think we see that when the majority rule such as government do things such as still carry out capital punishment for minor crimes when the rest of the world had moved on two thousand years ago"Minor" crimes? At what point does capital punishment become acceptable based on religious doctrine?

wage war on the basis of religion. Now certainly religion is guilty of it, but argueably so is Atheism.OK, so you concede the point. Religion is used as a reason for violence and can incite violence from its followers. As for atheism, I agree that ideologies that include it have/can, but not atheism itself as I have tried to explain several times.

That if it's fine to bring up religious wrongdoing then it must be fine to bring up Atheist wrongdoing as well. If it's not okay to say that Atheists killed people then wouldn't it make it wrong to say religion did as well?It is ok to say atheists have killed people, but not because they are atheists. The point is the cause. There is nothing about atheism that commands anyone or can be misconstrued to command anyone to do wrong. It is a personal belief that there is no god. That is where it ends. On the other hand, as you have admitted religion can have rules demanding wrongdoing as we would see it. Otherwise, people wouldn't be demanding the death of someone who drew a picture of their deity.

What do places such as Afghanistan have that would have compared to the twin towers? Do we have Afghanisburger chains all around the world? What about Britain, America, Japan ect being the world leaders in entertainment? Jealousy.So they are mad that we have fast food and Tom Cruise? What are you basing this statement on?

Can you give specific examples?I can, but do you not agree that Christian, Muslim, and many other faiths seek to convert the rest of the world to their faiths?

Exactly, and for a large part law is used to keep religion in check. So you are agreeing that the law is required in order to keep religions potentially from inciting violence?

Achilles
07-25-2007, 06:21 PM
To some extent yeah. A basic concept of right and wrong would make them see that things such as terrorist acts are wrong, which is something that is taken advantage of in disadvantaged countries as education on what is right and wrong is not something that is taken for granted the way it is in our more civillized world. Hence the contradiction. You cannot say that these people are not following their religion when their religion tells them to do exactly what it is they are doing. It may very well go against one part of their religious text, but it is also very well supported by another.

If it is up to us to decide which action is "true" (or "right and wrong" to use your terms) then why do we need religion for in the first place? If religion is not our moral compass, then what purpose does it serve?

Nancy Allen``
07-25-2007, 08:46 PM
What do you mean, "for them?" Doesn't religion claim that the rules it provides are the only right ones for everyone?

It also states that people are to follow the law. What I mean is that people might be completely turned off by what they see in religion, or how they see religion portrayed.

When you say "religion", perhaps you can be more specific about what religion you actually mean. My impression is that you use it to mean Christian beliefs in NA, not all religions as a group. Otherwise, this statement, for example, is false.

I cannot speak for all religions but as far as I know the expectation to obey the law is there. Regardless of what religion you follow however it doesn't give you the right to break the law.

I assume that you include the US as a part of the civilized world, yet it uses execution as a form of punishment, and many Christians support it because they believe is based upon a belief in the sanctity of life. Genesis 9:6 says, "Whoever sheds man's blood by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God, He made man." And my understanding is that the Catholic church traditionally supports it, and still does in certain cases.

Have you watched The Green Mile? Thankfully the chair is only still in two states I believe, and on the subject of the death penalty, on the one hand it's meant to act as a strong deterrent, but on the other hand bringing religion into it for the church to support it they fall foul of the commandment not to kill.

But the "bad old days" are the current days, and is still an example of religion inciting people to violence.

By that I mean these people are still holding onto things that the rest of the world had moved on from two thousand years ago. The countries who still do this are largely those who would like to bring about a modern day crusade or Jihad, to kill in the name of their lord.

No, not necessarily. If these same people violated any of the other rules of those ideologies, they would have been killed for those reasons instead.

What about those whose only crime was religion?

Outdated or not, the point is that it does happen today.

It shouldn't though, as over the last two thousand years we have matured to see how vile such an act is. Especially given the minority of the crimes people are stoned to death for.

How about they are going to hell for having sex before marriage, or being gay? Are Christians being disrespectful for the same reasons?

In my opinion yes. I have a book that discusses this, 20 Hot Potatos Christians are Afraid to Touch. It says that nothing can seperate them from God, yeah I know given the way people act about those sin it sounds rich. It also says when discussing gays that those who want to learn about God won't because they feel that Christians would despise them, and their feelings are justified. The way people who follow religion act sometimes scares off people who might otherwise become devout followers. There's also a clear distinction between homosexuality itself (temptation) and homosexual activity (yielding to temptation), the latter being considered wrong. But apparently we are not entitled to vent our moral outrage. It's been said before that we cannot stop people from being stupid, rather we guide them as best we can to make informed choices not to.

"Minor" crimes? At what point does capital punishment become acceptable based on religious doctrine?

There's been passages posted before explaining when someone is to be put to death. I certainly don't consider it acceptable and I doubt most theists would say that such acts are acceptable today as well. So what would warrent such an act? Today it's murderers and pedophiles, though I wonder if maybe we are killing those who are not considered too dangerous to live? Those who would not be a threat behind bars.

So they are mad that we have fast food and Tom Cruise? What are you basing this statement on?

Statements from those in the military, social political and ethnic commentators and those who live in other countries. I can provide direct quotes if you like, I'll provide one from Commander Richard Marcinko, who was a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, commanded SEAL Team Two and created and commanded SEAL Team Six and Red Cell. Now I don't have the actual source on me so I'll transcript as best I can.

The French have a deep seated resentment for Americans. And why is that? It has to do with their inate feelings of insuperiority. From everything from the Arc De Triumph to the Lavoue to le crosscants the French will tell you, in writing, that the best of everything is French. But while they may have snappy uniforms the fact is they are a second rate power. When was the last time you went down to the Rusty Nail (or your local watering hole) and drank De'portia beer? Yet everything from la Big Mac to la Budweiser to le Levi jeans have been infiltrating their culture, and the French find this particularly...galling. So they react to Americans with resentment. Have you ever been to a French restraunt where the waiters refuse to speak english? Or claim that they do not accept American Express? They had tried to prove their superiority on the world stage as well, often with disasterous results.

They had tried to prove it by having their special forces sink the Rainbow Warrior. They were caught in the act too, making them the object of international embaressment.

They had tried to prove it by violating treaties on nuclear weapons testing, making them the object of international scorn.

And they tried to prove it by using spies who were caught trying to sell industrial secrets.

I can, but do you not agree that Christian, Muslim, and many other faiths seek to convert the rest of the world to their faiths?

Of course. But there's a world of diffirence between trying to convert others and the 'join us or die' mentality.

So you are agreeing that the law is required in order to keep religions potentially from inciting violence?

Of course. Not just religion, anybody. The law is to control everyone regardless of what their beliefs are. If there was no law it'd be mob rule for all, Atheists would be killing theists, as well as those who upset them in some way, same for theists, same for those who couldn't give a damn about religion.

If it is up to us to decide which action is "true" (or "right and wrong" to use your terms) then why do we need religion for in the first place? If religion is not our moral compass, then what purpose does it serve?

For a large part it still is used as a moral compass, except that people look at things such as the command not to kill rather than the command to kill because of x. Also I think this is relevent. Yes yes, another thing from Star Wars, deal with it. Carth said this about the Promised Land.

"Sounds like a myth to me. Something to give the people here a false hope to cling to so they don't go mad with despair."

Perhaps so, but if religion is a myth unless you are harming others isn't it better than going mad with despair?

Samuel Dravis
07-26-2007, 02:47 AM
Regarding Deism and Theism: The distinction between a personal god and a non-personal one seems very much like a distraction to me. In both cases the believer believes in a supernatural cause (namely "gods" or "a god"). I guess I have a hard time understanding why polytheism and monotheism are considered types of theism, yet deism is somehow different. The deist still believes in a god even though the nature of the god is different from the personal god of the monotheist. It seems that this logic, if valid, should extend to the belief in a benevolent personal god as opposed to a malevolent personal god, the myriad of polytheistic gods, etc. See my point?Yes, I agree. Still, we're just dealing with labels. Their particular relation to other labels doesn't necessarily need to make sense. :p Some dictionaries define theism in a broader way: "a belief in god(s)." In this case deism would simply be a subcategory of theism, along with the rest: maltheism, eutheism, polytheism, monotheism, etc.

Regarding W. Atheism and S. Atheism: Again the distinction seems like a false construct. A = without. Theism = belief in a god or gods. Atheism is being without a belief in a god or gods (this seems to be distinctly different than atheism as a belief that there is no god). It is a neutral state.

To make a postive statement about the non-existence of a god or gods is to leave that neutral state. To say that you know there is no god requires that you support such a claim with evidence. Since such a being would have to exist outside our ability to measure him/her/it, then by definition, such evidence could not be possible (since it's existence would then make it part of the natural universe and he/she/it would stripped of his/her/its supernatural status).

Since the claim that no god exists cannot be supported, then it logically incorrect to make such a statement. Similarly, to make the claim that god does exist without being able to provide supporting evidence is also logically incorrect.

From this starting point, "strong" atheism puts the claimant in an indefensible position since one cannot prove that something does not exist (ala your earlier commentary regarding the space-cheese :)

I am very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on this.I do agree with your conclusion. It's unfortunate that the term atheism covers the whole of non-believers because - as you say - it would make more sense if it only covered those who lacked belief. Obviously it causes confusion when someone professes to be an atheist and people take that as if you mean "strong" atheist. I suppose it's not much different than "theistic" can mean anything from a believing in a benevolent god(s) in the sky to the personification(s) of pure evil. Since so many people believe the first, or at least have lots of experience with the "benevolent god" idea, the first impression of someone saying "I'm a theist" conjures the image of that benevolent guy instead of whatever else it could be. This makes it disturbingly simple for atheists, being on the other side of a nice god, to be thought of as non-believers and non-good - after all, if you're not on the good guy's side there's not too many options left. That's unfortunate, because the atheist is probably just as nice as the guy next door (and particularly so if the guy next door happens to be an atheist :p).

I suppose this ambiguity in the definition of atheist is fairly understandable, though, because (if I remember correctly) "atheist" was originally used as a pejorative, similar to "infidel." Only later did people start taking on the label of their own volition, and as such were stuck with the broad meaning of "any nonbeliever (and particularly one that denounces god)." Thus the introduction of "weak" and "strong" to denote what specific sort of atheist is being talked about.

I find the distinction between weak atheists and strong atheists to be virtually equivalent in magnitude to the distinction between the weak atheists and theists. I think I remember that Dawkins said he was a weak atheist, and for good reason - were he a strong atheist the 'arguments' he'd have used would have been ripped apart by everyone.

"There are no gods!"
Err, could you show how you got that conclusion, good sir?
"THERE ARE NO GODS!"
That's not really helping. Could you expl-
"THERE ARE NO GODS!!!11!" :D

It would be strangely entertaining if theists jumped on that.

Anyway, I don't mean to say that there isn't some overlap between the two versions of atheist. In particular, logical arguments against specific gods and their claimed attributes are perfectly fine for both weak and strong atheists to make. The only thing that can't be done in weak atheism is to categorically deny those hypothetical god's existences.

SilentScope001
07-26-2007, 03:08 AM
Um, I'm going to bow out of this discussion due to lack of time. So this will be my last post here, I hope.
===
Again, atheism is just the lack of belief in a god, simple as that. So that atheists are 'supposed to' hate violence is a misnomer. Oh, and if atheism did inherently cause people to fight invading Communist armies, I'd consider it a good thing, not a negative, wouldn't you? Weren't the American Minutemen considered heroes?

No. I don't care if a cause is inherently right or wrong, the fact remains that it causes people to die. (History is written by the victors, and had the American Minutemen not won, we would have called them terrorists.)

Violence also begets violence, so more people die. Inherently, so what if someone is killing someone for a good or a bad reason? They're dead. And someone is likely to come and kill you back for revenge.

I dislike the fact that some people believe that some violence is fine, while other violence is just totally wrong and should be condemned. Violence is violence, and it rarely ends well.

Again, fighting an invading army in self-defense and blowing yourself up in a café are two very different things. Abrahamic faith (as opposed to Hinduism) advocates both, atheism advocates none, nor does it speak against either.

The Abrhamic faith has never advocated blowing yourself up. Last time I checked, explosives were not commonplace in the territory known as Palestine/Israel and in Saudi Arabia. In fact, all they have advocated in fighting in self-defense. I know Islam bans sucidice, and that some Blue Codes also makes sucidice a capital offense, so if they banned the killing of yourself, which is what a Bomber does, well?

The major religions advocate self-defense.

Also, fighting an invading army is a rather automatic and natural - most invaded people do it. I don't think Tibetan mythologies are what caused the Tibetan people to do so, which was really what the whole Tibetan detour was about. If anyone had said, 'we'd lay down our arms to the infidel People's Army, but our Lord Shiva the Destroyer demands blood be spilt for Him, and so it shall be!', then it'd have been a different matter.

Has ANYONE ever said anything similar to the "We'd lay down our arms" quote? That just sounds like a bad properganda move. Showing any sign of weakness to the enemy is just plain stupid.

Especically when you realize each person believes God is on their side. If they want to surrender and stop fighting, then God must also be for surrendering and for stopping fighting, since God is on their side. It happens a lot. Many insurgent groups say that they would love peace, if the enemy side give into their demands, of course. And once those demands are met, then God will obivosuly give blessing for peace, according to their interpertion.

To clarify my stance, though, it's not that religion causes violence, it's that inherently violent religions, as opposed to Hindusim, cause violence.

And I disagree. The Judeo-Christian religions are not inherently violent, it is the people's interpertions that cause them to go and do violence. If anyone is inherently violent, it is the human race itself.

Since this isn't exactly going anywhere, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

But where are the atheistic abortion clinic bombers?

The only atheistic pro-lifer I personally know of is Samuel Dravis from this forum. There can be many more atheistic pro-lifers, but the reason none has engage in violence is because it hasn't reached a huge movement yet to attract a fanatic who is predisposed of violence to actually do violence. And just because it hasn't happened yet does not mean it will never happen.

Big deal. Lots of passages in both the Bible and Q'uran were written approximately a century after the events they described. Shouldn't most of both books be considered 'false', then?

Again, I don't speak for the Bible, but I'd assume they believe that they found all the revelant parts and recorded them down.

For the Qu'ran, well, tradition dictated that all of it WAS written down during Mohammed's time as a Prophet. When he said something that was supposed to be a verse from the Qu'ran, it was written down on a leaf or anything and stored for safekeeping and given about to everyone. All those written down verses were compiled into the book known as the Qu'ran.

(Mohammed however, according to a Haditah, said that all Haditahs were not to be written down, rather orally passed. He didn't want people mistaking what Mohammed says and does with what Allah says in the Qu'ran. The Haditah was finally written down hunderds of years later. The actual Qu'ran was written though during his time period, must be stressed.)

The problem actually became that there were TOO MANY different verisons of the Qu'rans out there. Starting with the first caliph, Abu Bakr, an offical verison of the Qu'ran began to be created...and after the third caliph, Uthman, took over, he finally presided over that offical Qu'ran finally being created and then declared true. (Abu Bakr and Uthman were friends of the Prophet, so they would know what Mohammed said and make sure that the verses were right.) Uthman presided over standarizing how the Qu'ran was assembled, but the Qu'ran was already written down during Mohammed's time.

So, yes, you can trust it. I trust it. (There are some Islamic sects that do not trust the Qu'ran, claiming Uthman modified the Qu'ran.)
===
Thank you for the insight. But how does someone bring physical warfare upon a deity? And striving for corruption implies corrupting followers into not being followers, does it not? I don't see how corruption would imply physically attacking them...

"Conversion by the sword" is effective, for all ideologies, for all nations, for anyone. If the Quarish marched into Medina and manage to defeat Mohammed's forces, then few people, if any, would believe in Islam. People who would attempt to preach the religion would likely be killed off, and many would easily defect to the other side. In other words, yeah, it is easy to spread corruption by harming the followers.

It's impossible to wage warfare against a diety, much less win it. But it is possible to wage war on the followers of said diety.

Ah, but that is crux of it! Who determines what is the right interpretation? Who has the moral authority to say that their interpretation is right and another is wrong?

God. He made his religon, he should know how to read it correctly. Assuming he exist. :)

Schims and disagreements happen because we are human. Besides, nobody has any true moral authority in a god-less world to decide what is right and wrong anyway for most cases (for a few cases, it might be self-evident, but the world is mostly grey). It's not really that suprising.

But really, that isn't the point. The point is that religion can incite people to violence. We know that there are official interpretations (not sure if that is the right term, but basically interpretations from some authority) that command violence in cases of certain nonviolent sins, such as adultery, stealing, etc.

There are no offical interpertions in religion however, thanks to sects. The Shias are a bit unified, and compose of about 10% of all Muslims. Even they have preists who disagree with each other. The Sunni "sect" isn't really a sect as much as it is the majority of Muslims who idenitfy themselves as "Not Shia". There are so many priests in the Sunnis, as well as sects within there, and they all disagree on religious stuff.

There are interpertions from some authority that might incite violence. However, for every authority who would incite violence, there is likely to be another interpertion who would believe that violence is totally wrong. Don't forget location and ideological bias as well. Imams who are assimilated into Europe would be more likely to support peace than a Imam in the rural parts of Pakistan and have ties to the Taliban.

Overall, religion is not a unified force. It is fractured, disunited, and prone to in-fighting due to the different interpertions, some for war and others for peace. It is essentially a tool used by other parties. If you want to say an interpertion incites violence and is wrong, then that would be good. But you can't blame a whole religion for inciting violence due to one interpertion.

Atheism is a definition. It is not a belief system (i.e. a set of rules to follow). You either are an Atheist or you are not. Atheism doesn't demand that you must be one, or that everyone else be one, or that you apply any rules to make decisions. It does not demand that you take any action of any sort. Unlike religion there is nothing about Atheism that can be taken, rightly or wrongly, as a call to violence.

Alright, alright.

You have it backwards. These ideologies are not within or are sects of (i.e. subsets of) Atheism. Atheism is potentially one aspect of those ideologies. If you look these terms in the dictionary, nihilism is the only one that even mentions religion at all.

And atheism is not broad. Actually, it couldn't be more specific. You don't believe that there is a deity. The end.

But you just said it was a definition. Because it was a definition, and that atheism has no "guiding prinicples" or anything for that matter, it is far too broad. Many people don't believe there is a deity. But what do those people who don't believe in dieties also believe in? That's what these other groups are.

I sometimes feel that these groups are done as trying to say, "Alright, there is no God, now what do we do now with such knowledge?" Hence why I use the term sect. An Marxist who believes that religion is opium of the masses would say that people must abandon the opium and fight the power, for instance.

Those ideologies may have literature about such things, but that is not an aspect of atheism. The literature belongs to the ideologies, not to atheism. Again, atheism is only a label on a single belief, that there isn't a deity. Any literature beyond that is outside atheism.

It seems that this is all done to dissocate atheists from any ideology that they dislike. While this is a noteworthy goal, which I surely agree with, I also claim that religion does have the problems. Liteature written by one ideology or sect in my religion does not apply to all people who follow that religion, only the adherents of that small sect or ideology.

So it is just a crapshoot guess? Is there only one right answer?

It really isn't that bad of a guess, since if you really are a good follower of God, you should be able to see the right from the wrong and join up with the correct interpertion. Beliving in God isn't supposed to be easy.

But, actually, there is the possiblity of more than one interpertion being correct, or even that all religions in the world are correct (aside from atheism, which many people say may not be a religion, of course). However, it is something I do not personally agree with. And the former leads to problems that is worse than the "crapshoot guess" you believe: Would a pro-life sucidice bomber and a non-violent pro-life priest be able to stand each other in Heaven, for instance?

Prime
07-26-2007, 11:57 AM
By that I mean these people are still holding onto things that the rest of the world had moved on from two thousand years ago. The countries who still do this are largely those who would like to bring about a modern day crusade or Jihad, to kill in the name of their lord.OK. But the claim was that religion is not responsible for inciting anyone to violence. I think we have shown that is has/does.

I know you say you are bowing out SilentScope001, but I'll respond in case you decide to come back. :)

People who would attempt to preach the religion would likely be killed off, and many would easily defect to the other side. In other words, yeah, it is easy to spread corruption by harming the followers.Sure, but that isn't the only way of course. Are you saying that this passage only applies to violent corruption?

God. He made his religon, he should know how to read it correctly. Assuming he exist.Unfortunately you can't ask Him direct questions and get direct answers. :)

Overall, religion is not a unified force. It is fractured, disunited, and prone to in-fighting due to the different interpertions, some for war and others for peace. It is essentially a tool used by other parties. If you want to say an interpertion incites violence and is wrong, then that would be good. But you can't blame a whole religion for inciting violence due to one interpertion.Ah, a good point, and I concede that. The original thing I was arguing against was the claim that religion does not incite violence. I think we have shown that it can. But what you bring up here is an important distinction.

But you just said it was a definition. Because it was a definition, and that atheism has no "guiding prinicples" or anything for that matter, it is far too broad. Many people don't believe there is a deity. But what do those people who don't believe in dieties also believe in? That's what these other groups are.What I mean is that the definition is very specific in the sense that there is one check to apply. But yes, those who would fall into that group is very broad.

It seems that this is all done to dissocate atheists from any ideology that they dislike. But lets call a spade a spade. The claim was that atheism also incites people to violence, but the examples that were given where not a result of them being atheists. Plus, unlike religion that has doctrine that can be interpreted to incite violence, atheism has no doctrine. Similarly to your sect comment, lets at least point the finger at the right group.

if you really are a good follower of God, you should be able to see the right from the wrong and join up with the correct interpertion. Beliving in God isn't supposed to be easy.But not just the correct interpretation, but the correct religion. How does someone choose the right one? After all, eternal salvation is at stake.

ET Warrior
07-26-2007, 02:00 PM
But you just said it was a definition. Because it was a definition, [...]it is far too broad. By that logic we also must begin breaking down people who are left handed into sects as well. Just saying that someone is left handed is not very specific, it tells you very little about them, as you're only getting an idea of which hand they use predominantly.

In a similar vein, you aren't really learning much about a person by learning that they're an atheist. Really you can only assert that they don't believe in a deity, and any other attempted insights into their persona will be speculative at best.

Prime
07-26-2007, 02:06 PM
In a similar vein, you aren't really learning much about a person by learning that they're an atheist. Really you can only assert that they don't believe in a deity, and any other attempted insights into their persona will be speculative at best.ET, that is way better put and with less words than I could have done. :D

Nancy Allen``
07-26-2007, 08:04 PM
OK. But the claim was that religion is not responsible for inciting anyone to violence. I think we have shown that is has/does.

Star Wars can incite you to violence. Read Sacrifice and see if you don't want to kill someone.

ET Warrior
07-26-2007, 08:56 PM
Star Wars can incite you to violence. Read Sacrifice and see if you don't want to kill someone.I highly doubt a piece of Star Wars fiction would bring about the desire to commit murder, but even if it did it's still not the same, and I'm not really sure what your point is.

People who utilize religion as their moral compass will find direct commands that call upon them to commit acts of violence against others. Were there Star Wars texts that called upon true fans to murder non-fans then there would be a correlation.

Nancy Allen``
07-26-2007, 10:09 PM
The point is you can point at anything and say that it incites violence. Backmasking records for example, or something that makes violence seem okay. Sure, religion in some people's minds may preach violence, but on the other hand nothing can come through squeaky clean when looked at through the magnifying glass some people use. Nothing. I wonder how well Atheists might come up when so examined, picked over and questioned.

Prime
07-26-2007, 10:29 PM
The point is you can point at anything and say that it incites violence.And our point is that you can't. Not everything is used by people as a, as ET puts it, moral compass. Not everything is put forward by a group of people as a set of universal truths and a set of rules that everyone must follow. And not everything has within those rules commands that can be construed as a call to violence in response to certain behaviors.

Backmasking records for example, or something that makes violence seem okay. We are not saying that religions are the only thing that can do it, but one of the things.

Sure, religion in some people's minds may preach violence That is exactly our point. Nothing more.

but on the other hand nothing can come through squeaky clean when looked at through the magnifying glass some people use. Nothing. Of course some things can. Most things can, actually. Star Wars, for example.

I wonder how well Atheists might come up when so examined, picked over and questioned.Isn't that in part what this whole thread has been about?? :confused:

Dagobahn Eagle
07-26-2007, 10:34 PM
Star Wars can incite you to violence. Read Sacrifice and see if you don't want to kill someone.Not only is SW fiction and without direct orders to kill, but I doubt you can find someone who has killed because of it. That's the differences.

Nancy Allen``
07-26-2007, 10:42 PM
But if religion is fiction as some claim then the same could be said about religious texts.

Okay, a better example. Doom influencing people to kill, Grand Theft Auto, these have been said to cause people to commit violent acts, in fact that was exactly the defence someone used, 'Grand Theft Auto made me do it'. Of course these people have the mental capacity of children and I would dare say that those who commit violence based on their religion fare much better, not to mention not only interpret violent acts as how to act but ignore the parts about not being violent and unlawful.

John Galt
07-27-2007, 02:05 AM
But if religion is fiction as some claim then the same could be said about religious texts.

Okay, a better example. Doom influencing people to kill, Grand Theft Auto, these have been said to cause people to commit violent acts, in fact that was exactly the defence someone used, 'Grand Theft Auto made me do it'. Of course these people have the mental capacity of children and I would dare say that those who commit violence based on their religion fare much better, not to mention not only interpret violent acts as how to act but ignore the parts about not being violent and unlawful.

But Grand Theft Auto never specifically told people who play it to go outside and kill anyone. Several religious texts clearly advocate the killing of people by believers for various 'sins,' like disobedience to parents, practicing 'sorcery' (which was most likely a form of Alchemy, a forerunner of modern chemistry), or engaging in homosexuality. There are a few others in the bible in particular that are just as absurd.

ET Warrior
07-27-2007, 03:01 AM
But if religion is fiction as some claim then the same could be said about religious texts.But nowhere does Star Wars tell it's viewers that not only is this a piece of truth, it is a work of divine truth that is the word of god and all who disobey will burn in hellfire for eternity.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 09:13 AM
To which I say people who read this should also read the parts about not killing, obaying the law, ect. The law is supreme, no amount of religious verbs you can dish out allows the breaking of it.

Prime
07-27-2007, 11:42 AM
To which I say people who read this should also read the parts about not killing, obaying the law, ect. The law is supreme, no amount of religious verbs you can dish out allows the breaking of it.In most religions, the law is not supreme. Their religion is. But you are saying that people should obey some religious commands but not others?

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 07:13 PM
Certainly not the ones about killing. Just about everywhere you look the command is not to kill, and I would think it's a very simple one.

Achilles
07-27-2007, 08:19 PM
But the commandement to kill is equally pervasive. You don't seem to deny this.

You choose to place the greater emphasis on the verses that tell you not to kill, and I think that's a very fine thing. However this does not mean that "those other verses" don't exist, or that people aren't telling the truth when they say their killings are justified within the scope of their religious beliefs.

This puts the validity of religion in the center of the argument. While it may seem easier to dance around this, that isn't going to make it go away.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 08:30 PM
Since Jesus, when has there been the command to kill? When had Christisans killed? If there is nowhere then it would be safe to say that killing is no longer a part of the dogma.

Achilles
07-27-2007, 08:48 PM
Nancy, I've already pointed out that the Matthew 5:17 has jesus saying that he is not hear to break the old covenant. Even if you did quote scripture contradicting Mt 5:17, it would only show that there is yet another contradiction.

Were christians involved in many holy wars prior to christianity? Did they persecute many non-christians before christ? Because if they didn't then I can only assume that ALL christianity-related killing occured AFTER jesus allegedly walked the earth.

Since it clearly is not "nowhere", then it would seem that it is at least perceived to be part of the dogma.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 08:52 PM
He also said one of the rules is not to kill. Can you prove otherwise?

Achilles
07-27-2007, 08:57 PM
That doesn't address the point, Nancy.

Even if he did say that, which I'm sure he did, that only means that we have another contradition. That is all that means.

If you are making the claim that jesus' message was only one of peace and love, then you will need to defend that point. In the mean time, I will be more than happy to prevent evidence to the contrary.

If you are accepting that one of jesus' messages was peace and love, but are willing to admit that he had other messages that contradict this, then the argument that the bible is a decent and worthwhile moral compass is defunct.

Unfortunately, you have to make a choice because you cannot have it both ways.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 08:59 PM
Answer the question. Can you prove otherwise?

Achilles
07-27-2007, 09:05 PM
That's a fallacy, Nancy (appeal to ignorance). I can't answer it because it's not a legitimate argument.

Not to mention that you rudely ignored several of my questions before posing yours...

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 09:09 PM
You answer my questions, I'll answer yours. Now answer the question.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-27-2007, 09:18 PM
He did answer it, Nancy: 'Even if he did say that, which I'm sure he did, that only means that we have another contradition. That is all that means.' Seems pretty clear to me.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 09:24 PM
Where in Jesus' time or since then has killing been shown as a positive?

Achilles
07-27-2007, 10:16 PM
Nancy, you've rudely ignored my questions and are now rudely insisting that I answer yours. If you cannot continue a dialog in good faith, then you cannot expect me to reciprocate.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 10:27 PM
What question haven't I answered? Come on, show us.

Achilles
07-27-2007, 10:30 PM
In this thread? Post #176.

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 10:36 PM
Were christians involved in many holy wars prior to christianity? Yes. Did they persecute many non-christians before christ? Yes. Now answer the question, was killing considered just during and after Jesus' time? If you don't answer the question in your next post then I will have to assume that the answer is not it's not.

Achilles
07-27-2007, 11:05 PM
Were christians involved in many holy wars prior to christianity? Yes. So there were christians before there was christianity? Hmmm, that's interesting. And all the christian holy wars happened before jesus? Just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly.

Did they persecute many non-christians before christ? Yes. So christians (people that believed in jesus before anyone knew about him) were in a position powerful enough to persecute those that didn't believe (can't blame them considering there wasn't a jesus yet) and were doing so before jesus came? That seems a little difficult for me to believe.

Now answer the question, was killing considered just during and after Jesus' time? If you don't answer the question in your next post then I will have to assume that the answer is not it's not. Yes, all of the killing that was done in jesus's name (after his alleged life and death, not before like your version) was justified to those that were doing the killing.

Thanks to paul, most of the early christians believed that Revelations would come about in their lifetimes, so all of the "house divided" and "love me more than your parents" and "cast non-believers into the fire" stuff was happening way back then.

Also remember that the concept of hell didn't exist in judaism (wonder if they stole it from the greeks and romans :)). It was a brand new invention in christianity that was used specifically to ensure compliance. So much for a message of peace, eh?

Nancy Allen``
07-27-2007, 11:16 PM
So there were christians before there was christianity?

By that people who you would say are Christian god followers, as opposed to followers of Jesus Christ.

And all the christian holy wars happened before jesus? Just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly.

As far as the bible goes yes. If you need to ask that come back in a few months after putting in the research.

So christians (people that believed in jesus before anyone knew about him) were in a position powerful enough to persecute those that didn't believe (can't blame them considering there wasn't a jesus yet) and were doing so before jesus came? That seems a little difficult for me to believe.

Those who believed in the Christian concept of god.

Yes, all of the killing that was done in jesus's name (after his alleged life and death, not before like your version) was justified to those that were doing the killing.

Show us where it says that they killed during or after Jesus' time.

Achilles
07-27-2007, 11:50 PM
By that people who you would say are Christian god followers, as opposed to followers of Jesus Christ. There were no christians before christianity. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all have the same god (aka the god of abraham). Judaism first, christianity was second, islam was third. Before islam and christianity there was only judaism (polytheistic "pagan" religions notwithstanding for obvious reasons).

So to answer your question, the abrahamic god followers before christianity were jews.

As far as the bible goes yes. If you need to ask that come back in a few months after putting in the research. How were there christians before christianity? Better yet, please name just one holy war involving christians before the beginning of the christian era (approximately 6 BC).

Those who believed in the Christian concept of god. You mean jews. So the jewish, who have never believed that jesus was the messiah, were persecuting others (including themselves) for not believing in jesus? I'm afraid that I'm not the one that needs to be conducting research.

Show us where it says that they killed during or after Jesus' time. This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_persecution_by_Christians) should get you started.

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 12:13 AM
There were no christians before christianity. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all have the same god (aka the god of abraham).

Which was who I was referring to.

How were there christians before christianity? Better yet, please name just one holy war involving christians before the beginning of the christian era (approximately 6 BC).

The wars between those who grew into Christianity, in other words Jews.

This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_persecution_by_Christians) should get you started.

It's funny that you broght this up as the first part talks about religious toleration, something I find lacking. However I'll point out a few sections here.

'Jesus commanded to love one's neighbour as one's self and love God more than anyone, and called this the summary of the Mosaic Law. He further taught his followers to love their enemies.'

I think it's unnecessary to read into this the way others haves, make it out to be something like forcing people to Christianity. I take it at face value.

'According to the Christian Gospels, Jesus commanded people to withstand evil with good. Most Christians consider persecution to be an evil act.'

'According to the Christian Gospels, Jesus forbade to hate (cf. Luke 14:26, Revelation 2:6). Persecution implies hate.'

Maybe something to think about for those who want to stir and stir and push and push. Unless that is you would like to keep discussing Stalin's murder of theists.

'In the canonical Gospels, the Acts and the Letters, there is no description of any case of religiously condoned physical violence by Christians against non-Christians which could be used as a precedent for Christian persecution of other groups, apart from Jesus overturning the tables at Herod's Temple, (John 2:13-17, Matthew 25:31–46).'

Thank you for the link, you've just disproven your claims.

Now in reply to the evil committed in the name of religion, Allronix said something that I'll bring up here. The cardinal sin for anything is to take it too seriously. That goes for religion and that goes for Atheism as well. It is something that I am learning and something that I don't think some will ever learn.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 12:48 AM
Which was who I was referring to. I'm sure you'll be able to remember the term next time.

The wars between those who grew into Christianity, in other words Jews. I'm afraid that doesn't answer the question.

Are you now saying there were no holy wars involving christians before christianity? You've spend the last several posts insisting that there were, so I'm afraid that I'm more than a little confused.

Also, are you now claiming that the jews were warring against themselves? I'm not aware of this, but my knowledge of judaic history is limited.

You appear to have accidentally skipped a section your response. Allow me to repeat it:

So the jewish, who have never believed that jesus was the messiah, were persecuting others (including themselves) for not believing in jesus?

I'm very interested in your thoughts on this.

It's funny that you broght this up as the first part talks about religious toleration, something I find lacking. However I'll point out a few sections here. I'll be happy to complete the sections from which you've quoted.

'Jesus commanded to love one's neighbour as one's self and love God more than anyone, and called this the summary of the Mosaic Law. He further taught his followers to love their enemies.'
"Representing persecution as an act of love is considered irreconcilable to these teachings by many. However, some have interpreted "neighbour" to only include Christians. Others believe that anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is doomed to spend eternity in Hell; therefore, doing anything possible to save them from that fate (by forcing them to convert to Christianity by any means necessary) is an act of love."

This is consistent with accounts of non-christians being tortured until they converted to christianity.

I think it's unnecessary to read into this the way others haves, make it out to be something like forcing people to Christianity. I take it at face value. In other words, you've selected to cherry-pick the parts that make you feel warm and fuzzy and ignore the rest.

'According to the Christian Gospels, Jesus commanded people to withstand evil with good. Most Christians consider persecution to be an evil act.'

'According to the Christian Gospels, Jesus forbade to hate (cf. Luke 14:26, Revelation 2:6). Persecution implies hate.'

Maybe something to think about for those who want to stir and stir and push and push. Unless that is you would like to keep discussing Stalin's murder of theists. Keep reading.

'In the canonical Gospels, the Acts and the Letters, there is no description of any case of religiously condoned physical violence by Christians against non-Christians which could be used as a precedent for Christian persecution of other groups, apart from Jesus overturning the tables at Herod's Temple, (John 2:13-17, Matthew 25:31–46).'

Thank you for the link, you've just disproven your claims. Nancy, you've done a fine job of selecting a few lines from that page that, for the most part, appear to support your points. However you've failed to address anything beyond the groundwork the authors provided. Approximately 60% of that page lists detailed accounts of religious persecution carried out by christians, yet the few cherry-picked lines you provided are supposed to somehow support your point beyond all argument?

I'm not sure I get it. Do you have any response re: the historical accounts on the rest of that page?

Now in reply to the evil committed in the name of religion, Allronix said something that I'll bring up here. The cardinal sin for anything is to take it too seriously. That goes for religion and that goes for Atheism as well. It is something that I am learning and something that I don't think some will ever learn. How does one take commandments from one's maker, who holds eternal salvation or damnation in his hand, "too seriously"?

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 01:01 AM
Are you now saying there were no holy wars involving christians before christianity?

How could there be?

So the jewish, who have never believed that jesus was the messiah, were persecuting others (including themselves) for not believing in jesus?

So the jewish, who have never believed that jesus was the messiah, were persecuting others (including themselves) for not believing in jesus?

Close, the warring factions (who were Jews to use a catch all term) fought over their belief of God, before Jesus.

"Representing persecution as an act of love is considered irreconcilable to these teachings by many. However, some have interpreted "neighbour" to only include Christians. Others believe that anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is doomed to spend eternity in Hell; therefore, doing anything possible to save them from that fate (by forcing them to convert to Christianity by any means necessary) is an act of love."

Which is exactly what I meant by people reading too much into it, making it out that these actions are justified.

I'm not sure I get it. Do you have any response re: the historical accounts on the rest of that page?

Yes, I would say these people ignore the command not to kill. Either that or they just had an axe to grind and used religion as an excuse for their actions.

How does one take commandments from one's maker, who holds eternal salvation or damnation in his hand, "too seriously"?

By killing, by breaking the word of god and damning oneself. By screaming that the sky is falling over 'the rapture' while claiming that it's fiction. By bombing abortion clinics because of their religious beliefs. By killing those who follow religion.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 01:37 AM
How could there be? I don't know, it was your claim:

"As far as the bible goes yes. If you need to ask that come back in a few months after putting in the research."

Close, the warring factions (who were Jews to use a catch all term) fought over their belief of God, before Jesus. What warring factions of jews? How did the beliefs of these faction differ in their belief about god?

Which is exactly what I meant by people reading too much into it, making it out that these actions are justified. It's absolutely justified within the context of their religion. Most rational people would reject such behavior as immoral, hence why neither religion nor the bible should be considered a legitimate source of morality. It's far too subjective for my comfort level and that appears to be the case for you as well.

Yes, I would say these people ignore the command not to kill. Either that or they just had an axe to grind and used religion as an excuse for their actions. But they follow the commandment to kill those that god has told them to kill as well as those that god has told them to kill via revelation to christianity's spiritual leaders.

By killing, by breaking the word of god and damning oneself. By screaming that the sky is falling over 'the rapture' while claiming that it's fiction. By bombing abortion clinics because of their religious beliefs. By killing those who follow religion. Not damning one's self if you're killing those that god told you to kill.

ET Warrior
07-28-2007, 05:15 AM
Now answer the question, was killing considered just during and after Jesus' time?
The first of the Crusades began in 1095 AD. They were sanctioned by the Pope, and carried the full support of the church. In fact, all who answered the call to fight were told that were they to die all of their sins would be forgiven.

Sounds like they considered the killing to be just...

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 09:29 AM
I don't know, it was your claim:

In terms of the people who are portrayed in the Bible, those who would become Christians as well as those who would remain Jews, then yes it would all happen before Jesus.

What warring factions of jews? How did the beliefs of these faction differ in their belief about god?

Things such as the Canaanites and the Hitites, the Jebusites, ect. Those that broke away from Moses for example, or the battle of Jericho.

But they follow the commandment to kill those that god has told them to kill as well as those that god has told them to kill via revelation to christianity's spiritual leaders.

By Christian standereds they were in the wrong, particularly today when we are meant to be at war with such radicals. I know that this was a Christian act, but obviously they didn't read or otherwise ignored the command not to kill.

Not damning one's self if you're killing those that god told you to kill.

This is very much splitting hairs, as it ignores the point of the command not to kill.

A question, if I may. Why are you parading this rapture business about? If you don't believe in god then you'd know it won't happen.

The first of the Crusades began in 1095 AD. They were sanctioned by the Pope, and carried the full support of the church. In fact, all who answered the call to fight were told that were they to die all of their sins would be forgiven.

Sounds like they considered the killing to be just...

I admit that in the past religion has been the cause of evil, there has even been a calling for violence. Therefore I say test us. Test whether or not this is presently true of religion.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 03:10 PM
In terms of the people who are portrayed in the Bible, those who would become Christians as well as those who would remain Jews, then yes it would all happen before Jesus. Anything before jesus would be a jewish conflict, not a christian one. Futhermore, you've been presented with evidence that there have been religious wars and persecutions carried out by christians since the inception of christianity. I would say this argument has been soundly refuted.

Things such as the Canaanites and the Hitites, the Jebusites, ect. Those that broke away from Moses for example, or the battle of Jericho. I'm aware that there were different tribes, but I'd never heard them described as warring factions.

By Christian standereds they were in the wrong, particularly today when we are meant to be at war with such radicals. I know that this was a Christian act, but obviously they didn't read or otherwise ignored the command not to kill. It's impossible to point to one thing in the bible and called it "the standard" and then point to a contradicting verse and call it "the standard". There can only be one standard. I understand which interpretation you've elected to adopt, and I think it's a good one. Where I get hung up is that you seem to want all the individuals that have different interpretations to bear sole accountability for choosing the "wrong" interpretation when there's is just as valid as yours (within the context of religion).

You want religion (specifically christianity) to be an objective thing and you want to consider yourself to be on the "right" side of the demarcation line. But it's not and you may not be.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that you don't agree with other interpretation, or even point out that they are immoral (an argument with which I would tend to agree). Unfortunately though, you can't just dismiss them as "wrong" because your source works against you.

This is very much splitting hairs, as it ignores the point of the command not to kill. It's not splitting hairs though. The bible says "kill" and the bible also says "don't kill". You are fixated on one and seem to be ignoring the significance of the other. No one is arguing that the bible says "don't kill", we're merely trying to point out that there is no one clear way to interpret the book and it tells us to kill an awful lot.

A question, if I may. Why are you parading this rapture business about? If you don't believe in god then you'd know it won't happen. I'll pose the same question to you as I did to mimartin:

If someone was pointing a gun at your head because he believed voices had told him to kill you, does it matter much that you don't hear them also?

My belief is completely irrelevant in this scenario. Someone else has put my life in their hands in accordance with their belief. My life is no less in danger because I don't share their belief.

Same thing happens when you have some loony behind the wheel that believes that it's ok to drive while intoxicated. That person's belief is endangering the lives of those that don't share that belief. That's the whole point.

I admit that in the past religion has been the cause of evil, there has even been a calling for violence. Therefore I say test us. Test whether or not this is presently true of religion. http://www.religioustolerance.org/curr_war.htm

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 07:08 PM
By the same token you don't believe the end of the world you accuse Christians are pining for is going to happen. So why does it worry you so much? Could they possibly be right? As for someone acting violent, it doesn't matter what the reason is to me, they have to be stopped. Now you can take all those who are religious that act violently and I dare say they wouldn't even make up 1% of the religious world. With that in mind would Atheists, who have no holy text as a moral compass, be even worse if they act violent? They are not being influenced by nonsense written to brainwash others, this is how they really are.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 07:53 PM
By the same token you don't believe the end of the world you accuse Christians are pining for is going to happen. So why does it worry you so much? I believe I've addressed this several times already.

If the person/people in control believe it, then that's all that matters. The people that make the policy decisions. The people who decide whether or not we go to war. The people that decide what our children learn in schools. If these people believe that jesus will return "soon" and they it's their duty as christians to help prepare the way, then it really doesn't matter what I think. My belief (or lack thereof) is unimportant, because the ship is being helmed by those with a belief.

The earlier analogy with the guy with the gun. He hears the voices. If he believes the voices and the voices tell him to pull the trigger, my lack of belief is completely irrelevant. Similarly, if the majority of the voting public in the U.S. is comprised of fundamentalists, then the U.S. is going to have a fundamentalist agenda. Fundamentialist thinking is going to influence (if not directly dictate) policy. Therefore those of us that recognize that there is no evidence for god get to sit and watch as people with a very radical shared belief in an imaginary deity take their orders from an invisible man in the sky. And some of us are very concerned.

Could they possibly be right? I prefer not to waste my time worrying about possibilities. I think time is much better spent on things that have a likelihood of happening, or probabilities. It is possible that christians have it all wrong and that the true path to salvation lies with the steady and devoted worship of Zeus. Could be that isn't it either and we should be following Odin or Thor. It could be that the real creator in all this mess is the flying spaghetti monster. Since I don't have any reason to assume that one imaginary friend is any more real than any other, it seems that my choices would be to either worship them all equally (thereby hedging my bets) or not worship any of them until I have a good reason to.

So, the possibility they might be right? It's so incredibly thin that I consider it entirely a waste of time to even consider. If they are right, then I'm screwed and worrying about it isn't going to change anything.

As for someone acting violent, it doesn't matter what the reason is to me, they have to be stopped. But who are you to decide that? There interpretation (within the scope of religion) is just as valid as yours. It is just as "literal" as yours. What makes your version any more true than theirs? What if you are wrong and you want to stop the true message of god?

Now you can take all those who are religious that act violently and I dare say they wouldn't even make up 1% of the religious world. Supposition sounds great, however without a legitimate source, I don't know why anyone should consider this. I could say that it's 99% and we could argue the merits of who's number is more impressive and why.

With that in mind would Atheists, who have no holy text as a moral compass, be even worse if they act violent? I'm not sure I understand the question.

Atheists don't have a holy text to act as a moral compass, therefore the law-abiding ones tend to defer to the law as defined by our legal system and the objective study of morality. Since the law very clearly states that killing, except for the purpose of self-defense, is wrong, I can't imagine that an atheist would have any possible explanation other that insanity for murdering someone.

The non-law abiding atheists would breaking the law by committing murder, just as a theist would. Only the atheist would not be able to say that they were following the word of god as a defense.

Does that address your question or did I miss the gist entirely?

They are not being influenced by nonsense written to brainwash others, this is how they really are. I'm not really sure what this is about either. Could you please clarify?

Thanks.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-28-2007, 07:53 PM
By the same token you don't believe the end of the world you accuse Christians are pining for is going to happen. So why does it worry you so much? Could they possibly be right?I think the reason he's worried is that they let the belief that the world's going to end affect their political stance. Their statements are chillingly similar to those of suicidal people going 'I'm going to kill myself on Friday anyway, so why go to work? Why clean my house? Why eat healthy?'.

End Timers state similar sentiments, such as that we don't need to worry about global warming since the world's about to end anyway. Or worse, that we should encourage and fuel global warming as much as possible because natural disasters are a part of the End Times. And what about their beliefs about the Middle East? What about those who believe that in order for Jesus to return, the Al-Aqsa mosque must be razed? What about those who consider nuclear war greatly desirable as it will, in their eyes, bring about the Rapture? The list goes on.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 07:56 PM
Bingo!

Thanks for putting it more clearly then I've been able to.

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 08:18 PM
People in government are Christian rapturists because someone there claims we don't need to worry about climate change? Right, that's all you're going on?

Why would I be right to stop them? Simple, self defense. They seek to harm others, I seek to stop that from happening.

If Atheists dictate their own actions then wouldn't those who act violent be worse than theists brainwashed by religion?

Achilles
07-28-2007, 08:49 PM
People in government are Christian rapturists because someone there claims we don't need to worry about climate change? Right, that's all you're going on? Nope, that's not all I'm going on. We've been through this before Nancy.

Bush says god told him to go to war in iraq. Bush's administration pushes the Faith Based Initiative initiative. Bush's administration put into place limits on stem cell research and has ignored calls by the medical community to lift those restrictions for religious reasons. Bush advocates "teaching both sides of the controversy" when it comes to allowing creationism in the science classroom. These are a handful of examples off the top of my head.

But specifically to your example, Bush has rejected U.S. involvement in Kyoto, citing economic reasons. Ignoring the fact that clean energy means less reliance on fuel, and his family's fortune just happens to have been built on oil and most of his friends are also in the oil business, it seems odd that someone would put money ahead of the potential long-term impact on our environment. Unless of course one also considers that he is a born-again christian, therefore it is highly likely that he is one of those 44% that thinks it doesn't matter anyways because jesus will return in the next 50 years to take over.

Why would I be right to stop them? Simple, self defense. They seek to harm others, I seek to stop that from happening. If you are living in accordance with god's will, what would you need to defend yourself from? They seek to harm those that don't follow god's will. Unless you weren't following god's will, I don't see what you would have to worry about.

P.S. It sounds like you're afraid of those that have a radical religious agenda. It seems that you and I may have more in common than I had previous thought. ;)

If Atheists dictate their own actions then wouldn't those who act violent be worse than theists brainwashed by religion? Who said anything about atheists dictating their own actions? We all dictate our own actions, don't we? Some of us defer to ancient religious texts, but that still our conscious choice isn't it? Some of us defer to laws of the land and that is also a decision, right?

It seems that the true distinction might be those that abdicate their decision-making by accepting a pre-packaged set of morals and edicts and those that choose to accept only that which makes sense.

But again, not to ignore your point: those atheists that would ignore the law and commit acts of violence would be just as wrong as theists that did the same. The only difference is that the theist would claim that they acted violently in accordance with god's will.

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 09:12 PM
There are two points to bring up with the rapture. The first is it is unabashed arrogance to act as though it's going to happen. No one can predict when or if it will happen. It could happen tomorrow or a hundred thousand years from now. The other point is a lot of what happens in Revelations (rapture), there's a line of thought that it's metaphorical. For example the opening of the seals that cause earthquakes, natural disasters, famine, war, the dead to rise from the grave, ect, we are the ones opening the seals through our actions. War in Iraq, or to be more accurate war on the Muslim Islamist world, that would be one of the signs. Nuclear weapons, that could be another, a creation to tempt us and we gobble it up. However the thing is with the way you say people in government are acting, I wouldn't say this is religion, rather I would say this is people who think they can control god, if we are to take what you're saying to the ultimate and they are trying to orchastrate the end of the world. Besides which, they have one year left to do it before many of them are gone, the elections are rolling around. You would think if they don't care what happens then they would be taking drastic measures by now.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 09:42 PM
There are two points to bring up with the rapture. The first is it is unabashed arrogance to act as though it's going to happen. No one can predict when or if it will happen. Revelations says it's going to happen. If you would like to contest the validity of the content found in the new testament, you won't get any argument from me. Just keep in mind this is the same new testament that contains the entirety of jesus' message.

It could happen tomorrow or a hundred thousand years from now. My vote is for "never", but as I've repeatedly pointed out, it doesn't matter what I (or you) think, rather what the believers think.

The other point is a lot of what happens in Revelations (rapture), there's a line of thought that it's metaphorical. For example the opening of the seals that cause earthquakes, natural disasters, famine, war, the dead to rise from the grave, ect, we are the ones opening the seals through our actions. War in Iraq, or to be more accurate war on the Muslim Islamist world, that would be one of the signs. Nuclear weapons, that could be another, a creation to tempt us and we gobble it up. However the thing is with the way you say people in government are acting, I wouldn't say this is religion, rather I would say this is people who think they can control god, if we are to take what you're saying to the ultimate and they are trying to orchastrate the end of the world. I think you're making a great deal of my case for me ;)

The bible does not say specifically who will put events into place, only which events will signify the coming of the rapture. If the bible said "and then on October 3rd, 2049 Tom Smith will do xyz at which time God will come down and do blah", that would be one thing. We could all gather round and "look stupid, it says right there 'October 3rd, 2049'. Is your name 'Tom Smith'? Then sit down and shut up!". But it doesn't say that.

Like so much of the bible, it's wide open to interpretation. Earthquakes? Check. Famine? Check. War? War? Nope, don't have war here. Think we should wait? Well, we could start one. Sure, let's fire this baby up then.

The bible doesn't say that mankind will not have a direct impact on any of the events. It's perfectly reasonable to expect that some people think they can then.

Besides which, they have one year left to do it before many of them are gone, the elections are rolling around. Many of bush's "inner circle" have been around for quite some time. They were key members in other president's administrations and they will probably continue on behind the scenes for many years to come. In the mean time, they and their protégés will continue their work inside think tanks, which seem to be the new source for gov't policy. It is my sincere hope that all this will be over when Bush leaves office, but I suspect that it will not be.

You would think if they don't care what happens then they would be taking drastic measures by now. Cause and effect are not always immediate. Who's to say that we won't be discovering new ramifications of the bush administration's actions decades from now? Not I and not you.

Nancy Allen``
07-28-2007, 10:27 PM
Okay, let's assume for a moment that everything you say is right, there is some Illuminati in power that seeks to destroy the world for god. Why hasn't Bush's enemies, considering he is something of a figurehead for such a plot, used this angle? That he or the people that support him are mindless religious zombies working towards the world's destruction? For that matter why haven't they come after you for trying to expose this conspiracy?

Jae Onasi
07-28-2007, 10:28 PM
Unless of course one also considers that he is a born-again christian, therefore it is highly likely that he is one of those 44% that thinks it doesn't matter anyways because jesus will return in the next 50 years to take over.

Your source where Bush actually asserts this? Or actually says he believes he's going to bring about Christ's return? Or has even come close to implying such a thing?

So there are 44% (which is a minority, and far from 'highly likely') that allegedly believe that Christ will return in 50 years. So what? If Bush doesn't share that minority view, and you have no proof that he's ever said he believes he's responsible for ushering the rapture, then I don't understand why you and others persist in stating this as if it were fact, or even a strong theory.

Just because he's an Evangelical does not mean he believes God's coming back in the next 50 years, and if he knows his Bible as well as he says he does, he knows that the rapture is entirely up to God, not him.

Achilles
07-28-2007, 11:26 PM
Okay, let's assume for a moment that everything you say is right, there is some Illuminati in power that seeks to destroy the world for god. This is your assertion, not mine, therefore it will be up to you to defend it. If you would like to discuss what I actually said, please let me know and we can pick it up from there.

Why hasn't Bush's enemies, considering he is something of a figurehead for such a plot, used this angle? If that 44% does represent the majority of the voting public, how do you think they would respond to direct criticism? Considering that about 83% of americans consider themselves christian, how do you think the public would respond to any criticism directed toward christianity (feel free to use your own behavior in these threads as a benchmark)? Which politicians do you think are eager to do such a thing?

That he or the people that support him are mindless religious zombies working towards the world's destruction? "Mindless religious zombies" is your term, but I'd like to use it sometime if that's alright.

For that matter why haven't they come after you for trying to expose this conspiracy? It's not a conspiracy if a large percentage of americans are aware of/behind it. :)

Your source where Bush actually asserts this? Did I say that he did? I believe that I acknowledged that it was supposition when I wrote it. Would you care to show how such a conclusion is less likely than likely?

Also, I find it odd that out of that paragraph, you choose to question the one sentence that was clearly supposition. I suppose the other examples I provided as support for my argument will go uncontested.

Or actually says he believes he's going to bring about Christ's return? Or has even come close to implying such a thing? He's said more than enough to confirm for me that he is a radical fundamentalist. If he draws the line at trying to bring about the rapture, that's fine. But he's given me no reason to think he does.

So there are 44% (which is a minority, and far from 'highly likely')... 44% is a minority if the sample is 100% of the population. If the sample is say 75% of the population, then 44% would represent about 57% - not a minority.

In the 2000 election approximately 55% of eligble voters actually participated in the election. If 100% of that 44% turned out, then they represented 80% of the voting public - far from "a minority".

Considering that every christian resource I've encountered endorsed Bush (including the christian coalition's very helpful "voting guides" (http://www.cc.org/voterguides.cfm)), and that there have been active campaigns (http://www.evangelsociety.org/sherk/voter.html) to get christians into voting booths, I don't think the claims that Bush had a highly-organized base in the 2000 and 2004 elections are unfounded.

...that allegedly believe that Christ will return in 50 years. So what? If Bush doesn't share that minority view, and you have no proof that he's ever said he believes he's responsible for ushering the rapture, then I don't understand why you and others persist in stating this as if it were fact, or even a strong theory. Bush has espoused his evangelicalism at every turn, yet I'm supposed to believe that he doesn't share the common evangelical belief in the rapture just because he hasn't specifically commented on the subject? I think it's perfectly reasonable to that it is, at the very least, a strong theory.

Just because he's an Evangelical does not mean he believes God's coming back in the next 50 years, and if he knows his Bible as well as he says he does, he knows that the rapture is entirely up to God, not him.I haven't yet had the opportunity to ask Bush when he does think that jesus will return. If 83% of americans are christian and 44% of christians say they think the rapture will occur in the next 50 years, then my odd are just better than 50/50 that Bush is one of the people betting on sooner rather than later.

Just out of curiosity Jae, which verse (or verses) are you referring to specifically? I've noticed in this thread that a lot of christians tend to assume that their interpretation of the bible is the one they consider to be "literal", so I'd like to see just how specific god was when he said that it was up to him. The last time I read revelations, it sure seemed pretty up-in-the-air, but that was a long time ago.

Thanks!

Totenkopf
07-29-2007, 12:17 AM
In the 2000 election approximately 55% of eligble voters actually participated in the election. If 100% of that 44% turned out, then they represented 80% of the voting public - far from "a minority".

Seems that if that were the case, there'dve been no need for the USSC to get involved. It's doubtful that if 80% of the elctorate were evangelicals that they'dve voted for Gore in any case. So, your specualtion here seems wildly off course.

Jae Onasi
07-29-2007, 02:09 AM
Did I say that he did? I believe that I acknowledged that it was supposition when I wrote it. Would you care to show how such a conclusion is less likely than likely?
You're the one who made the claim. :)
I haven't seen any indication that Bush has said he is personally going to usher in the rapture. Nor have I seen him claim that he believes the rapture will happen in the next 50 years. Not all evangelicals or fundamentalists believe the rapture will happen in the next 50 years. Therefore, assuming Bush believes that the rapture will occur in the next 50 years is hypothetical at the very best.

Could you please also provide the source for your 44% who believe the rapture will occur in the next 50 years? I find it hard to believe that half of the US thinks it, when only about 9% of the population is evangelical.

Also, I find it odd that out of that paragraph, you choose to question the one sentence that was clearly supposition. I suppose the other examples I provided as support for my argument will go uncontested.It was the only thing I was interested in at the moment, and it's an issue that has been brought up more than once (and I've asked them about it as well), but it hasn't been answered in a satisfactory way.

He's said more than enough to confirm for me that he is a radical fundamentalist. If he draws the line at trying to bring about the rapture, that's fine. But he's given me no reason to think he does.
However, there's no proof whatsoever that he believes this. Belief in fundamentalism is not the same thing. Not all fundamentalists believe the rapture, much less believe it'll happen in our lifetimes.

44% is a minority if the sample is 100% of the population. If the sample is say 75% of the population, then 44% would represent about 57% - not a minority.
If you'd provide the stat source, we all could evaluate it for such things.

In the 2000 election approximately 55% of eligble voters actually participated in the election. If 100% of that 44% turned out, then they represented 80% of the voting public - far from "a minority".

14% of the electorate declared themselves part of the 'Religious Right' in the 2000 election in exit polls--the 'Religious Right' being the group that would believe in the rapture. That's still a minority. Link (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/155/story_15515_1.html).
56% of eligible voters who declared themselves part of the 'Religious Right' voted, about 5% higher than the 51% cited for the entire electorate, but a smaller percentage than a number of other groups (Catholics, Jews, other Protestants, other Non-Christians, etc.)

Considering that every christian resource I've encountered endorsed Bush (including the christian coalition's very helpful "voting guides" (http://www.cc.org/voterguides.cfm)), and that there have been active campaigns (http://www.evangelsociety.org/sherk/voter.html) to get christians into voting booths, I don't think the claims that Bush had a highly-organized base in the 2000 and 2004 elections are unfounded.
You're overlooking the heavily organized voter base among Black Protestant churches--90% of Black Protestants voted for Gore, only 8% for Bush, and they were just as active in getting out the vote and putting out voter guides for Gore. It was also the evangelical groups that put out voting guides--the mainline denominations did not get active like that.

Bush has espoused his evangelicalism at every turn, yet I'm supposed to believe that he doesn't share the common evangelical belief in the rapture just because he hasn't specifically commented on the subject? I think it's perfectly reasonable to that it is, at the very least, a strong theory.Not every evangelical believes in the rapture. And many evangelicals don't believe it's going to happen imminently.

I haven't yet had the opportunity to ask Bush when he does think that jesus will return. If 83% of americans are christian and 44% of christians say they think the rapture will occur in the next 50 years, then my odd are just better than 50/50 that Bush is one of the people betting on sooner rather than later.I can't make a decision on that either way without seeing the 44% data. How do you get better than 50/50 out of that? 44% of Christians apparently think the rapture will occur (though I find that hard to believe), which means 56% of Christians don't believe that, which means it's more likely Christians _don't_ believe in the rapture. The 83% of Americans being Christian is irrelevant in this case--it just means 44% of those 83% of Americans allegedly believe that, but still 56% of those 83% don't.

Just out of curiosity Jae, which verse (or verses) are you referring to specifically? I've noticed in this thread that a lot of christians tend to assume that their interpretation of the bible is the one they consider to be "literal", so I'd like to see just how specific god was when he said that it was up to him. The last time I read revelations, it sure seemed pretty up-in-the-air, but that was a long time ago.
Matt 24:36, chiefly, though the rest of the chapter discusses pretty much the same thing. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." It's the NIV version--most scholars acknowledge that as the most accurate of the translations. I don't read Greek so I don't have the extra nuances from reading it directly.

Revelation doesn't discuss when He'll return, true. Anyone who thinks s/h can force a God who created an entire universe into doing something because s/he wants Him to is rather foolish at best.

John Galt
07-29-2007, 03:01 AM
http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=1690 ??

good a place to start as any.

Achilles
07-29-2007, 03:36 AM
You're the one who made the claim. :) Just so that I can make sure that you and I are on the same page, please tell me what claim that is.

This one:
Unless of course one also considers that he is a born-again christian, therefore it is highly likely that he is one of those 44% that thinks it doesn't matter anyways because jesus will return in the next 50 years to take over.Call it 'theory', 'assertion', or whatever, if that makes you feel better instead of 'claim'. I'm not hung up on the semantics of that.

To the best of my knowledge, I've never asserted that Bush said that he was trying to bring about the rapture. I have frequently expressed my misgivings about Bush and the Bush administration and have, when I felt the evidence supported me, stated that he and his administrations have made decisions that are very much consistent with a "rapture ideology".

You can't nail me to an argument that I never made, Jae :)I simply asked you to provide proof to back up this hypothesis. The only thing you can prove is that he's an evangelical, because he's stated that. You can't even prove that he even believes in the rapture, much less does things to try to bring that about. Until you can, this is nothing but unsupportable supposition, and I expect better from _you_.


As I stated in my last post: my odds are better than 50/50.
See below for stat discussion--the odds are not better than 50/50.

Could you please also provide the source for your 44% who believe the rapture will occur in the next 50 years? The source is a Pew survey which is no longer available on their site. Sam Harris references it in Letter to a Christian Nation (quote from the book can be found here (http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/harris/ltcn_quotes.php)), as well as several of his lectures.
Ah. So we have someone who is clearly biased against religion providing unprovable data pulled out of who-knows-where as fact, possibly something he's just made up out of thin air. I see no link to any Pew surveys on this. When you have a better source, I'll reconsider the credibility. Until then, I don't consider this a worthy source.
This Pew survey (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1084) that you quoted states only 20% believe Christ will return in their lifetime. 50% of Christians don't believe that any individual's or nation's actions have influence over Christ's return, only 23% did believe this was the case.

I find it hard to believe that half of the US thinks it, when only about 9% of the population is evangelical. 83% christian. Unless I'm mistaken, you don't have to be evangelical to believe in the 2nd coming. I'm sure the Tim Lehaye books don't help much either :)
Tim LaHaye is an evangelical. Not all Christians are Evangelical or believe in the rapture.


However, there's no proof whatsoever that he believes this. Belief in fundamentalism is not the same thing. Not all fundamentalists believe the rapture, much less believe it'll happen in our lifetimes. Nope, that's why it supposition. In a court of law, you don't have to have video tape evidence to find someone guilty of a crime. You just have to have evidence that would be sufficient to convince a reasonable person that the defendant is guilty.
Which you have yet to provide to a level that a court of law would begin to think satisfactory.

But let's be honest with ourselves for just a moment: Even if I did have a link quoting Bush, would it really sway your opinion of the man or his legacy?
Yes, actually it would. I'm not sure why everyone thinks I'm a huge Bush fan when I'm not--some of the issues he espouses I share, but certainly not all--I differ radically from the GOP on environmentalism and health care for instance. I really don't think he's that great of a President, and I was extremely disappointed in the 2000 elections because I think Gore and Lieberman would have done a far better job.

Bush does plenty enough to discredit himself, but I don't want to be unfair by mischaracterizing him as having done or believed something he hasn't. It's not fair to wrongly accuse someone of doing something he hasn't or being something he's not.

14% of the electorate declared themselves part of the 'Religious Right' in the 2000 election in exit polls--the 'Religious Right' being the group that would believe in the rapture. That's still a minority. Aside from the fact that question is ambiguously worded, your assertion that belief in rapture being specific to the "religious right" is going to be difficult to defend.It's not a Catholic doctrine so Catholics are out. Since Episcopalians and Lutherans are similar doctrinally, they're out. Other mainline denomniations such as Presbyterians, Methodists, and so on don't profess the rapture either. This leaves only the evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians, who've been lumped together as 'the Religious Right'.


We don't know how survey data correlates with your survey data. My point was to show that you don't know what percentage of the voting public is represented within that 44%. Which is not even a number that can be substantiated in the first place.

You're overlooking the heavily organized voter base among Black Protestant churches Your own source shows that black protestants were less than 10% of the electorate.
You'll have to help me out Jae. I can't find any examples of partisan voter guides for Al Gore. I'm willing to take your word for it that they exist, I just want to see if they are just as damning as sites like these (http://www.prayandvote.com/).Can't find any at the moment from 2000 (since it's not salient now, they likely aren't kept on websites, and I haven't come close to exhausting keywords), but my sister goes to a black church and knows first hand about voter organization there. :) Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson are very active in politics and religion both and both support Dems nearly, if not always, exclusively. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (http://sclcnational.org/net/content/page.aspx?s=50345.0.12.2607) page on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives read like planks in the Dem platform, and the site has links to no less than _five_ different sites where people can go register to vote. Sen. Clinton and Edwards both have actively attended Black Protestant churches on a regular basis to court the black vote during church services. I don't know of any GOP candidates who've likewise been invited to speak at such services.

I wasn't looking at the stat amount of people, I was just pointing out that white evangelicals were not the only ones who were highly organized. Bush's people at the grass-roots level did do a better job at getting voters out, especially in states like Ohio, which is one of the reasons why he won in 2000, but the Black Protestant churches were also highly organized.

Not every evangelical believes in the rapture. And many evangelicals don't believe it's going to happen imminently. And "imminently" means...? Before dinner? :)Next Tuesday at 3:33 UTC -5. Everyone's invited to the send-off party, BYOB. :)
Seriously, since the criteria for 'soon' is 'within our lifetimes/within 50 years', we'll go with that.

44% of americans (not specifically christians). If 83% of americans are christians and 44% of americans believe that jesus will come back in the next 50 years, then that 44% represents about 53% of christians.
Achilles, assuming for the moment the 44% number is accurate, if 44% of Americans believe Jesus will come back, they by definition also have to be Christian. Non-Christians don't believe in Christ or the rapture. How many of those alleged 44% believe Christ will return but are not Christian? I would be surprised if there were any, and if there are any it would be highly likely to be a statistically insignificant amount. You have to be a Christian to believe Christ will return, so those 44% are all (or very nearly all) Christian.


BTW: White evangelicals? 95%. In your lifetime? 33%. ;) 33% of white evangelicals. So Bush theoretically has a 33% chance of believing that Christ will return in this lifetime, which means a 67% chance of not believing it.


Matt 24:36, chiefly, though the rest of the chapter discusses pretty much the same thing. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." But that doesn't specifically address the circumstances. And even if it did, it completely ignores the psychology.Well, no, because you didn't ask about circumstances. I assumed you were asking about the specific timing as stated in the Bible, since that question followed right after your paragraph talking about the percentage who believed Christ would return in this lifetime. I've read the same wars/rumors of wars/earthquakes/etc. passages that you have. I don't think greater media coverage means we have more of these things at this point in history, it just means we have better media coverage. I don't care if He comes back this lifetime or not. I can't do anything to alter that. All I can do is work to make a difference here on Earth and in the lives of the people around me at this point in time.


Who says anything about forcing god to do anything? If a group of christians believe that god is waiting for a certain set of circumstances to be established before he acts, then why does it seem unreasonable for them to work toward creating those circumstances? Especially if the text is vague about how those circumstances are to come about?The only thing we're supposed to be working for, as Christians, is to be more Christ-like. God's got everything covered. If He can make an entire universe, He certainly doesn't need us to engineer circumstances for Him.


It seems that there is a very high expectation when it comes to rational behavior and this expectation is being applied to a group that values faith over reason. I don't understand why anyone thinks this will be a high-percentage exercise.Could you clarify what you mean for me, please? I'm thinking of multiple different meanings for this because I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to.

OMG, I hit the edit button when I meant to hit the reply button, Achilles, and I didn't catch it until it was too late. I am SO sorry I messed up your post!! I'll try to see if there's any way it can be retrieved--it's gone from my tab already but I'll check with one of the admins to see if it's cached anywhere. Again, my deepest apologies! --Jae

Jae Onasi
07-29-2007, 07:46 PM
You're the one who made the claim. :) Just so that I can make sure that you and I are on the same page, please tell me what claim that is.

This one:
Unless of course one also considers that he is a born-again christian, therefore it is highly likely that he is one of those 44% that thinks it doesn't matter anyways because jesus will return in the next 50 years to take over.Call it 'theory', 'assertion', or whatever, if that makes you feel better instead of 'claim'. I'm not hung up on the semantics of that.

To the best of my knowledge, I've never asserted that Bush said that he was trying to bring about the rapture. I have frequently expressed my misgivings about Bush and the Bush administration and have, when I felt the evidence supported me, stated that he and his administrations have made decisions that are very much consistent with a "rapture ideology".

You can't nail me to an argument that I never made, Jae :)I simply asked you to provide proof to back up this hypothesis. The only thing you can prove is that he's an evangelical, because he's stated that. You can't even prove that he even believes in the rapture, much less does things to try to bring that about. Until you can, this is nothing but unsupportable supposition, and I expect better from _you_.


As I stated in my last post: my odds are better than 50/50.
See below for stat discussion--the odds are not better than 50/50.

Could you please also provide the source for your 44% who believe the rapture will occur in the next 50 years? The source is a Pew survey which is no longer available on their site. Sam Harris references it in Letter to a Christian Nation (quote from the book can be found here (http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/harris/ltcn_quotes.php)), as well as several of his lectures.
Ah. So we have someone who is clearly biased against religion providing unprovable data pulled out of who-knows-where as fact, possibly something he's just made up out of thin air. I see no link to any Pew surveys on this. When you have a better source, I'll reconsider the credibility. Until then, I don't consider this a worthy source.
This Pew survey (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1084) that you quoted states only 20% believe Christ will return in their lifetime. 50% of Christians don't believe that any individual's or nation's actions have influence over Christ's return, only 23% did believe this was the case.

I find it hard to believe that half of the US thinks it, when only about 9% of the population is evangelical. 83% christian. Unless I'm mistaken, you don't have to be evangelical to believe in the 2nd coming. I'm sure the Tim Lehaye books don't help much either :)
Tim LaHaye is an evangelical. Not all Christians are Evangelical or believe in the rapture.


However, there's no proof whatsoever that he believes this. Belief in fundamentalism is not the same thing. Not all fundamentalists believe the rapture, much less believe it'll happen in our lifetimes. Nope, that's why it supposition. In a court of law, you don't have to have video tape evidence to find someone guilty of a crime. You just have to have evidence that would be sufficient to convince a reasonable person that the defendant is guilty.
Which you have yet to provide to a level that a court of law would begin to think satisfactory.

But let's be honest with ourselves for just a moment: Even if I did have a link quoting Bush, would it really sway your opinion of the man or his legacy?
Yes, actually it would. I'm not sure why everyone thinks I'm a huge Bush fan when I'm not--some of the issues he espouses I share, but certainly not all--I differ radically from the GOP on environmentalism and health care for instance. I really don't think he's that great of a President, and I was extremely disappointed in the 2000 elections because I think Gore and Lieberman would have done a far better job.

Bush does plenty enough to discredit himself, but I don't want to be unfair by mischaracterizing him as having done or believed something he hasn't. It's not fair to wrongly accuse someone of doing something he hasn't or being something he's not.

14% of the electorate declared themselves part of the 'Religious Right' in the 2000 election in exit polls--the 'Religious Right' being the group that would believe in the rapture. That's still a minority. Aside from the fact that question is ambiguously worded, your assertion that belief in rapture being specific to the "religious right" is going to be difficult to defend.It's not a Catholic doctrine so Catholics are out. Since Episcopalians and Lutherans are similar doctrinally, they're out. Other mainline denomniations such as Presbyterians, Methodists, and so on don't profess the rapture either. This leaves only the evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians, who've been lumped together as 'the Religious Right'.


We don't know how survey data correlates with your survey data. My point was to show that you don't know what percentage of the voting public is represented within that 44%. Which is not even a number that can be substantiated in the first place.

You're overlooking the heavily organized voter base among Black Protestant churches Your own source shows that black protestants were less than 10% of the electorate.
You'll have to help me out Jae. I can't find any examples of partisan voter guides for Al Gore. I'm willing to take your word for it that they exist, I just want to see if they are just as damning as sites like these (http://www.prayandvote.com/).Can't find any at the moment from 2000 (since it's not salient now, they likely aren't kept on websites, and I haven't come close to exhausting keywords), but my sister goes to a black church and knows first hand about voter organization there. :) Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson are very active in politics and religion both and both support Dems nearly, if not always, exclusively. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (http://sclcnational.org/net/content/page.aspx?s=50345.0.12.2607) page on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives read like planks in the Dem platform, and the site has links to no less than _five_ different sites where people can go register to vote. Sen. Clinton and Edwards both have actively attended Black Protestant churches on a regular basis to court the black vote during church services. I don't know of any GOP candidates who've likewise been invited to speak at such services.

I wasn't looking at the stat amount of people, I was just pointing out that white evangelicals were not the only ones who were highly organized. Bush's people at the grass-roots level did do a better job at getting voters out, especially in states like Ohio, which is one of the reasons why he won in 2000, but the Black Protestant churches were also highly organized.

Not every evangelical believes in the rapture. And many evangelicals don't believe it's going to happen imminently. And "imminently" means...? Before dinner? :)Next Tuesday at 3:33 UTC -5. Everyone's invited to the send-off party, BYOB. :)
Seriously, since the criteria for 'soon' is 'within our lifetimes/within 50 years', we'll go with that.

44% of americans (not specifically christians). If 83% of americans are christians and 44% of americans believe that jesus will come back in the next 50 years, then that 44% represents about 53% of christians.
Achilles, assuming for the moment the 44% number is accurate, if 44% of Americans believe Jesus will come back, they by definition also have to be Christian. Non-Christians don't believe in Christ or the rapture. How many of those alleged 44% believe Christ will return but are not Christian? I would be surprised if there were any, and if there are any it would be highly likely to be a statistically insignificant amount. You have to be a Christian to believe Christ will return, so those 44% are all (or very nearly all) Christian.


BTW: White evangelicals? 95%. In your lifetime? 33%. ;) 33% of white evangelicals. So Bush theoretically has a 33% chance of believing that Christ will return in this lifetime, which means a 67% chance of not believing it.


Matt 24:36, chiefly, though the rest of the chapter discusses pretty much the same thing. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." But that doesn't specifically address the circumstances. And even if it did, it completely ignores the psychology.Well, no, because you didn't ask about circumstances. I assumed you were asking about the specific timing as stated in the Bible, since that question followed right after your paragraph talking about the percentage who believed Christ would return in this lifetime. I've read the same wars/rumors of wars/earthquakes/etc. passages that you have. I don't think greater media coverage means we have more of these things at this point in history, it just means we have better media coverage. I don't care if He comes back this lifetime or not. I can't do anything to alter that. All I can do is work to make a difference here on Earth and in the lives of the people around me at this point in time.


Who says anything about forcing god to do anything? If a group of christians believe that god is waiting for a certain set of circumstances to be established before he acts, then why does it seem unreasonable for them to work toward creating those circumstances? Especially if the text is vague about how those circumstances are to come about?The only thing we're supposed to be working for, as Christians, is to be more Christ-like. God's got everything covered. If He can make an entire universe, He certainly doesn't need us to engineer circumstances for Him.


It seems that there is a very high expectation when it comes to rational behavior and this expectation is being applied to a group that values faith over reason. I don't understand why anyone thinks this will be a high-percentage exercise.Could you clarify what you mean for me, please? I'm thinking of multiple different meanings for this because I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-30-2007, 12:51 AM
Why would I be right to stop them? Simple, self defense. They seek to harm others, I seek to stop that from happening.Ahem (http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_teachings_of_jesus/on_self-defense/mt05_38.html).

Achilles
07-30-2007, 12:56 AM
This one: <snip>
Call it 'theory', 'assertion', or whatever, if that makes you feel better instead of 'claim'. I'm not hung up on the semantics of that. I'm confused Jae. The allegation was that I said Bush said that he was trying to force the rapture. The claim that you referenced here has nothing to do with that. I'm glad I asked for clarification because it seems that we aren't even having the same conversation anymore.

If you are able to find where I did state that Bush claimed to be forcing the rapture, please feel free to call me on it and we can pick up where we left off.

I simply asked you to provide proof to back up this hypothesis. The only thing you can prove is that he's an evangelical, because he's stated that. You can't even prove that he even believes in the rapture, much less does things to try to bring that about. Until you can, this is nothing but unsupportable supposition, and I expect better from _you_. Supposition is fine so long as one does not confuse it with fact. Thus far, I don't believe that I have. As for whether or not it's unsupportable: I guess that depends on how objective the two of us are willing to be.

Bush opted to label himself as an evangelical. Self-identifying with an ideology permits people to make certain assumptions about others. Telling me that you are a member of the KKK would allow me to make some snap assumptions about how you feel about racial minorities. I suppose it's entirely possible that you could be a member of the KKK and not really feel any kind of prejudice, but since you have identified yourself with that group, I really don't have any good reason to assume that this presumption is incorrect.

Now if we were talking about Bush as a man over the age of 40 or someone that writes with his right hand, such presumptions would be foolish and incorrect. However in this scenario we are talking about an ideology that he voluntarily elected to identify himself with.

If you feel that I am way out of line for comfortably assuming that Bush is part of the 95% of evangelicals that believe in 2nd coming, then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point. And I'll find a way to carry on knowing that I've disappointed you :)

See below for stat discussion--the odds are not better than 50/50. Looking forward to it.

Ah. So we have someone who is clearly biased against religion providing unprovable data pulled out of who-knows-where as fact, possibly something he's just made up out of thin air.I'm sorry that Pew no longer has the survey available on their website, but I think it takes a huge leap to go from that to "made up out of thin air". I think, "Since I can't confirm the source, I'll remain skeptical" would have been sufficient.

Regardless, here (http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl6.htm) is another source that talks about the survey and also references a princton survey done about the same time, which the Pew survey results confirmed.

This Pew survey (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1084) that you quoted states only 20% believe Christ will return in their lifetime. Right. I believe I already pointed out in my previous (now disappeared) post that since the questions were not worded the same way, an apple-to-apples comparison was not possible. It could be that people that answered "likely" in the previous survey wouldn't have been included in this number and doing so would put the comparative number closer to 40%. But of course, that would just be guessing.

50% of Christians don't believe that any individual's or nation's actions have influence over Christ's return, only 23% did believe this was the case. And the other 27%?

I don't see how that 50% number is significant in any way, other than the alarming fact that only half of christians believe that they have no impact whatsoever. 1-in-4 thinking they do with another 1-in-4 undecided is scary enough as-is thank you.

Tim LaHaye is an evangelical. Not all Christians are Evangelical or believe in the rapture. Are you telling me that only 9% of americans are buying his books?

Also, I never said that all christians are evangelical or believe in the rapture, but I appreciate you stating the obvious, just in case.

Which you have yet to provide to a level that a court of law would begin to think satisfactory. Which is your opinion.

Yes, actually it would. I'll take your word for it, but I will state honestly that based on experience, I find it hard to believe.

I'm not sure why everyone thinks I'm a huge Bush fan when I'm not--some of the issues he espouses I share, but certainly not all--I differ radically from the GOP on environmentalism and health care for instance. I really don't think he's that great of a President, and I was extremely disappointed in the 2000 elections because I think Gore and Lieberman would have done a far better job. Many of the arguments you've made match his administrations rhetoric (in some cases nearly word-for-word). I guess I've just assumed that you were a Bush supporter.

And since you admitted that such evidence would change your current opinion, I can only assume that your current opinion is mostly favorable.

Bush does plenty enough to discredit himself, but I don't want to be unfair by mischaracterizing him as having done or believed something he hasn't. It's not fair to wrongly accuse someone of doing something he hasn't or being something he's not. So are you playing devil's advocate or do you truly believe that these aren't his intentions?

It's not a Catholic doctrine so Catholics are out. Since Episcopalians and Lutherans are similar doctrinally, they're out. Other mainline denomniations such as Presbyterians, Methodists, and so on don't profess the rapture either. This leaves only the evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians, who've been lumped together as 'the Religious Right'. Right. So the way to word that question to avoid ambiguity would have been "Do you consider yourself an evangelical or fundamentalist?". Ambiguous wording accusation stands.

PS: the alternative question that I provided would be considered double-barreled. Too many marketing classes and to much experience writing surveys for my own good :)

Which is not even a number that can be substantiated in the first place. Sure it can. You opted not to accept the source, which I can't help. Just because the survey data isn't online, doesn't mean it's not available. It just makes it significantly more difficult for me to provide for you. :)

Can't find any at the moment from 2000 (since it's not salient now, they likely aren't kept on websites, and I haven't come close to exhausting keywords), but my sister goes to a black church and knows first hand about voter organization there. :) Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson are very active in politics and religion both and both support Dems nearly, if not always, exclusively. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (http://sclcnational.org/net/content/page.aspx?s=50345.0.12.2607) page on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives read like planks in the Dem platform, and the site has links to no less than _five_ different sites where people can go register to vote. Sen. Clinton and Edwards both have actively attended Black Protestant churches on a regular basis to court the black vote during church services. I don't know of any GOP candidates who've likewise been invited to speak at such services. Even if I accepted this all, it still only speaks to a very small percentage of the voting population.

Damn them for being ineffective if you want, but it doesn't change my point.

Achilles, assuming for the moment the 44% number is accurate, if 44% of Americans believe Jesus will come back, they by definition also have to be Christian. Non-Christians don't believe in Christ or the rapture. How many of those alleged 44% believe Christ will return but are not Christian? I would be surprised if there were any, and if there are any it would be highly likely to be a statistically insignificant amount. You have to be a Christian to believe Christ will return, so those 44% are all (or very nearly all) Christian. Imagine that 100 people are asked the same two questions. If the responded answers "yes" the first question, a check goes in a box in a column. If they answers "no" then no check is made. Same process for the second question.

In this scenario, 83 of those 100 people had checks in the first column and 44 also had checks in the second column. So 44% of the 100 people surveyed said "yes" to the second question. There is no relationship between the first column and the second column. In your model, only 44% of the people that answered yes to the first question also answered yes to the second question, creating a relationship that did not exist in the survey results. Does that help clarify the distinction?

If it helps, completely ignore the 83% number, because I think that may be the source of the distraction. 44% of americans said they believed that it was either "certain" or "likely" that jesus would return within the next 50 years. No one will argue that these people were also most likely christians.

So Bush theoretically has a 33% chance of believing that Christ will return in this lifetime, which means a 67% chance of not believing it. And a 95% chance of believing in the second coming in the first place, but that's another point.

1-in-3 is still very good odds. I liked 1-in-2.5 better, but hey.

Well, no, because you didn't ask about circumstances. I assumed you were asking about the specific timing as stated in the Bible, since that question followed right after your paragraph talking about the percentage who believed Christ would return in this lifetime. My apologies. I thought my point was obvious. My mistake for not being more specific.

I've read the same wars/rumors of wars/earthquakes/etc. passages that you have. I don't think greater media coverage means we have more of these things at this point in history, it just means we have better media coverage. I don't care if He comes back this lifetime or not. I can't do anything to alter that. All I can do is work to make a difference here on Earth and in the lives of the people around me at this point in time. This speaks to my point about the psychology.

The only thing we're supposed to be working for, as Christians, is to be more Christ-like. I guess that, like so much else in christianity, is open to interpretation.

God's got everything covered. If He can make an entire universe, He certainly doesn't need us to engineer circumstances for Him. But still we make cars with steering wheels, right? Right.

You don't leave your commute in god's hands because you believe that even though god could control your vehicle if he wanted to, he chooses not to for his own reasons. I don't judge the fundamentalists too harshly if they apply the same thinking to their ideology on armageddon.

Could you clarify what you mean for me, please? I'm thinking of multiple different meanings for this because I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to. I'm not sure how to put this nicely without simply repeating what I've already said, but I'll do my best.

Faith is not rational, yet many of the arguments and counter-arguments presented in this thread presume that the faithful are also rational. Why is it that you expect people that believe that they have a relationship with an invisible man in the sky to behave rationally about that belief?

Or as Sam Harris puts it:

The President of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. Now, if he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ludicrous or more offensive.

OMG, I hit the edit button when I meant to hit the reply button, Achilles, and I didn't catch it until it was too late. I am SO sorry I messed up your post!! I'll try to see if there's any way it can be retrieved--it's gone from my tab already but I'll check with one of the admins to see if it's cached anywhere. Again, my deepest apologies! --Jae It's no problem. I think I managed to fish most of your response out, but you'll have to carry the arguments from memory until all is squared away. Take care.

Nancy Allen``
07-30-2007, 09:07 AM
Ahem (http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_teachings_of_jesus/on_self-defense/mt05_38.html).

The actual verse is talking about seeking revenge, not acting in self defense. Of course you are entitled to defend yourself and others, in fact the same rules the apply to the police also apply to you in terms of using reasonable force.

As for this whole rapture business, Christians are meant to be stewards of god's world, so as far as not worrying about global warming goes for example by rights they should be more worried about it than you are.

Achilles
07-30-2007, 11:58 AM
FYI that some christians have taken that whole "dominion" business from Genesis along with selected bits of Revelations and come up with an interpretation that the earth is ours to "rape" (to borrow Ann Coulter's term).

I'm sure there are others that support the "good stewardship" philosophy that you've mentioned. The point is that once again the bible supports both interpretations.

Nancy Allen``
07-30-2007, 07:19 PM
Source?

Achilles
07-30-2007, 07:33 PM
"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.' " - Ann Coulter (Fox News; Hannity & Colmes; June 20, 2001).

If you want to see it online, you'll have to google it yourself. Many of ann's quotes are rather colorful and I didn't feel that I could link to any of the quote sites without potentially violating the PG-13 rule.

EDIT: It just occured to me that you were referring to dominionism and not the ann coulter quote. Sorry. This (http://www.religioustolerance.org/tomek30.htm) source is probably a good start.

Nancy Allen``
07-30-2007, 08:20 PM
And are you quite sure that Atheists are completely free of blame over enviromental damage?

ET Warrior
07-30-2007, 09:37 PM
And are you quite sure that Atheists are completely free of blame over enviromental damage?
Really? We spent how many pages of this thread explaining in every possible way the distinction between an atheist who does something and someone who is religious who is motivated to do something because of their religion.

Totenkopf
07-30-2007, 09:41 PM
Right, ET, the economic exploitation of the planet is primarily the fault of religion and not human concerns (greed, power, etc...). :rolleyes:

ET Warrior
07-30-2007, 09:43 PM
Right, ET, the economic exploitation of the planet is primarily the fault of religion and not human concerns
Shucks, I don't recall ever making that assertion.

Nancy Allen``
07-30-2007, 09:44 PM
I seem to remember something being said about how people will pick apart arguements in a debate forum. Now the burdon of evidence on whether religion is to blame for enviromental destruction, and that Atheists are blameless in it, is on you. What has been presented? An interpretation of a quote from the bible by someone who wants to portray religion as some great evil. Now if you want this to be taken seriously you will show us solid evidence.

Totenkopf
07-30-2007, 09:55 PM
Never claimed you said that verbatim. Nancy's point didn't seem to be that there was some "church" of atheism" that doctrinally said "go forth and pollute, ravage and rape the earth". The argument here seems to be that many "christians" are ecologically unsound, gambling that God will come down w/in a generation or two to smite the earth and all unbelievers, thus no point in worrying about cleaning up or even about making a mess in the first place. She was merely pointing out that much of the ecological damage to the earth has been perpetrated by people not doing anything in the name of God/gods. Thus, both atheists and theists are to blame for the state of the planet, with no proof of who's more guilty than the other. It would be very hard to prove that the world's major corporations and the global population in general are polluting the planet b/c they got a dispensation from Jesus/Buddha/etc.. that it would be okay.

Achilles
07-30-2007, 10:39 PM
I seem to remember something being said about how people will pick apart arguements in a debate forum. Now the burdon of evidence on whether religion is to blame for enviromental destruction, and that Atheists are blameless in it, is on you. It certainly would be, if that was the claim being made. Since I don't see anyone making that claim, I'm not sure what this is referencing.

What has been presented? An interpretation of a quote from the bible by someone who wants to portray religion as some great evil. Now if you want this to be taken seriously you will show us solid evidence. What has been presented is that there is a group of christians that believe that the bible gives them free reign to do whatever they would like with the earth's natural resources. I have made my argument (the existence of such a group) and supported it with evidence. If you would like to present a counter-argument or question my source, then feel free. I look forward to reading your response.

Nancy Allen``
07-30-2007, 11:15 PM
The evidence you provided said that we are to use the planet's resources as we see fit. That would apply irrelevent of religion. Atheists arn't card carrying members of Earth First, the Sierra group and the like are they? Nor is lack of religion a magical tailsman making them blameless for what is done to the enviroment is it? Nowhere does it say anything about not bothering to sustain the enviroment or that what enviromental damage they cause doesn't matter. On the specific bible quotes it is not saying we are to abuse the enviroment, we are to use it responsibly. If you can find it get what's known as the Quest bible, it's a study bible that answers many of the questions raised from reading specific passages.

Dagobahn Eagle
07-30-2007, 11:19 PM
I don't think either Achilles (despite the dominions page he linked to) or ET Warrior is saying that the only reason people are not being environmentalistic is that they're fundies. Nor did I, as a matter of fact, despite my End Timers assertion. Achilles and ET's responses came as a response to your 'stewards of the Earth' assertion. They're saying that while an environmentalist finds arguments for his cause in the Bible, those opposed to environmentalism will, too.

Achilles
07-30-2007, 11:39 PM
The evidence you provided said that we are to use the planet's resources as we see fit. The evidence that I provided shows that there is a sub-set of christians known as dominionists and they believe that any kind of environmental stewardship is in direct opposition to god's will.

You can either accept this, present out counter-argument that would attempt to disprove the existence of such a group, or attempt to discredit my source. Or you could repeat yourself again. Or trying to change the subject to something other than what we were discussing.

Atheists arn't card carrying members of Earth First, the Sierra group and the like are they? I don't recall anyone making the claim. Also, I'm not sure what this has to do with the argument.

Nor is lack of religion a magical tailsman making them blameless for what is done to the enviroment is it? Nowhere does it say anything about not bothering to sustain the enviroment or that what enviromental damage they cause doesn't matter. On the specific bible quotes it is not saying we are to abuse the enviroment, we are to use it responsibly. If you can find it get what's known as the Quest bible, it's a study bible that answers many of the questions raised from reading specific passages. I'm really having difficulty following along. I'm not sure how any of this addresses the interpretation of the bible that we were discussing.

They're saying that while an environmentalist finds arguments for his cause in the Bible, those opposed to environmentalism will, too. Exactly.

Prime
07-31-2007, 12:18 AM
Now the burdon of evidence on whether religion is to blame for enviromental destruction, and that Atheists are blameless in it, is on you. For crying out loud, Nancy, no one ever made that claim!

TK-8252
07-31-2007, 12:28 AM
This thread is going too fast for me to keep up with, so I'm not really going to try to join in, but I would like to ask why is the word "atheist" being capitalized by some of the debaters as if it were a proper noun? Atheism is not an organization of any kind, like Christianity or Islam. Stop treating it as if it were. You don't capitalize monotheism or polytheism, so why treat atheism any differently?

I think it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is by those who capitalize it as a proper noun. Not just the stucture of the word, but what it means.

Sorry, I just had a bone to pick.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 12:32 AM
For crying out loud, Nancy, no one ever made that claim!

No, but by saying religion says to wreck the enviroment, as Ann Coulter said and atheists put forth (notice the small a?) it's as if they have done nothing wrong which is at best fallicious.

Achilles
07-31-2007, 12:53 AM
No one has attempted to make it comparative except you. I'm sure that there are a lot of atheists out there that aren't very "green", but that doesn't really matter because the argument had nothing to do with atheists.

This isn't about which group is better than the other, rather it's about "some christians are using the bible as justification for poor management of natural resources and 'earth stewardship'". Thus far you have not addressed the actual argument. However you have managed to bring up this completely irrelevant argument several times.

So, are you contesting the existence of this group of christians? Is your stance that they don't exist?

@TK-8252: I try not to capitalize any ideology unless it begins a sentence. If I've slipped a few times and managed to offend you - my apologies.

tk102
07-31-2007, 01:03 AM
No, but by saying religion says to wreck the enviroment, as Ann Coulter said and atheists put forth (notice the small a?) it's as if they have done nothing wrong which is at best fallicious.The closest I could find anyone saying such a thing, aside Ann Coulter, was when Achilles made the supposition that the Bush administration believed in the rapture and was trying to bring it about.
In thread references
Post 96 (http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2348195&postcount=96)
Post 203 (http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2348195&postcount=203)

Can we agree:
1. A president has the power to help or harm the environment and begin wars in the Middle East.
2. Achilles has pointed to Kyoto and Iraq and linked them to Bush's theistic beliefs and suggested they could be part of bringing about the rapture.
3. Nancy has suggested that atheists could and have also hurt the environment.

My corollary: An atheist president could also start a war in the Middle East. Someone on a forum somewhere may believe he's trying to bring about the end of the world.

rather it's about "some christians are using the bible as justification for poor management of natural resources and 'earth stewardship'".I'm sure some atheists use science for their own nefarious purposes as well. Maybe someday eugenics will be a good science reason for an atheist president to go to war against the impure societies. We could suppose things all day. The bottom line that I am hearing is that atheists simply don't trust the motives of theists because it seems no one has the definitive guide for Bible interpretation.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 01:04 AM
I am contesting how creditble a piece from the bible that had been twisted around to say 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.' is as evidence. One quote from a bigot does not a case make. Now you don't like atheists being put on trial over how well they manage the enviroment, but nonetheless the question must be asked on how well they manage the enviroment.

Achilles
07-31-2007, 01:32 AM
The closest I could find anyone saying such a thing, aside Ann Coulter, was when Achilles made the supposition that the Bush administration believed in the rapture and was trying to bring it about. Et tu, teekay?

My corollary: An atheist president could also start a war in the Middle East. Someone on a forum somewhere may believe he's trying to bring about the end of the world. Yes, but said forumite would not be able to make the argument that said atheist president's actions are religiously motivated.

ADDED BY EDIT:
I'm sure some atheists use science for their own nefarious purposes as well. Red herring :D:evil6:

I'm sure your point is accurate and true, however I'm not sure how it relates to the argument regarding the existence of dominionists.

Maybe someday eugenics will be a good science reason for an atheist president to go to war against the impure societies. We could suppose things all day. The bottom line that I am hearing is that atheists simply don't trust the motives of theists because it seems no one has the definitive guide for Bible interpretation. I would venture to guess that you'll find some moderate and liberal christians that don't trust fundamentalist christians on the same grounds. Therefore, I think it's inaccurate and potentially a little unfair to categorize this as an "atheist" problem.

END A.B.E.

I am contesting how creditble a piece from the bible that had been twisted around to say 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.' is as evidence. You won't hear any argument from me. I think my point all along was to show that the bible is not credible at all. If you want to argue the interpretation, then I imagine that you would have better luck taking your complaints to those doing the interpreting. Just be prepared for a potentially violent episode of "he said/she said" as they will be quoting from the exact same book as you.

One quote from a bigot does not a case make. Ann Coulter is just one example. While her language is extreme, it does represent the viewpoint of many. Don't kill the messenger.

Now you don't like atheists being put on trial over how well they manage the enviroment, but nonetheless the question must be asked on how well they manage the enviroment. If you would like to talk about how atheists manage the environment, I'd be more than happy to join you. However we should probably start similar threads on how blond-haired people manage the environment, etc.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 01:38 AM
So why haven't you been able to provide anything better? Look, I know you want you portray religion as some great evil, you really do. But something to keep in mind is that let's say for example religion was successfully eliminated. What then? Would wars break out between atheists whose 'religion' is science and atheists whose 'religion' is law?

tk102
07-31-2007, 01:48 AM
Yes, but said forumite would not be able to make the argument that said atheist president's actions are religiously motivated.I take from argument: We should not trust those who have power and are religiously motivated because the source of their inspiration can be twisted to whatever interpretation seems fitting.

Okay.

But it begs the question of whether atheists are any more immune to corruption if given power? A skillful athetist politician could wrap himself around scientific reasoning to justify whatever action he sees fit. If he already has power, what difference does it make whether there is a scientific review process that is objecting to his claims?

If there is no difference between theists and atheists when it comes to corruption in power, your arguments while true, don't back your implied assertion that theists are more harmful than atheists.
Red herringI think this post explains its pertinence.
Et tu, teekay?What can I say, you guys look like you're having too much fun without me.

Edit:
Therefore, I think it's inaccurate and potentially a little unfair to categorize this as an "atheist" problem.Sorry didn't mean to imply an atheist problem -- I thought we were talking about theists vs. atheists not dominionists vs. everybody else. I was just trying to show a flip side. In that case substitute "non-dominionists" in for atheists throughout this post and the last. :xp:

Achilles
07-31-2007, 02:06 AM
So why haven't you been able to provide anything better? Regarding what? Dominionism?

If the link that I provided before was insufficient, here's the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism). It only makes a passing reference to environmental concerns, which is why I originally provided the much more detailed Religious Tolerance page.

Look, I know you want you portray religion as some great evil, you really do. Actually, my goal is "unnecessary". I don't consider religion, in and of itself, evil anymore than I consider software "evil". Most religion is bad software.

But something to keep in mind is that let's say for example religion was successfully eliminated. What then? Would wars break out between atheists whose 'religion' is science and atheists whose 'religion' is law?I'd be happy to explore this with you further.

If the world suddenly admitted that there was no tooth-fairy, would that precipitate an international catastrophe? Most of us give up the notion when we are kids, but are our view regarding economics forever tainted? Would wars break out now that fifty-cent pieces, silver dollars, and 2 dollar bills are taken out of circulation?

If the only reason that you do good in this world is because you think that god is watching, then I would contend that your goodness is based on a system of rewards and therefore not genuine. Despite our disagreements, I don't think for a second that you would turn into a cannibalistic serial-killer if you ever lost your faith and you would probably continue to be a good person no matter what. Is your faith in mankind so fragile that you cannot extend the same presumptions to them?

Some people probably would come unhinged, but these people already had screws loose anyways. The unfortunately reality is that their religiousity probably did more to hide their problems than help them.

I'll leave it to you to take it from here.

*****
I take from argument: We should not trust those who have power and are religiously motivated because the source of their inspiration can be twisted to whatever interpretation seems fitting. I would definitely say that's part of it, but probably not the biggest nor most important part.

The argument is that we should not trust those who have the power and are religious because the general public should be able to trust that those in power are going to make the best, most rational, decision using all the information that is available with the goal of serving the greatest good. Therefore, if the people in power have uniformly expressed a profound belief in something that is irrational, and values a belief system that completely contradicts the best information available, how can we trust that their decisions are being made with the welfare of all people in mind?

The fact that their source of moral fortitude is so completely open to interpretation is simply arsenic in the frosting on the crazy-cake.

Okay.

But it begs the question of whether atheists are any more immune to corruption if given power? No, absolutely not. No more than left-handed people would be (and also no less so).

If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that individual values are the key. I would posit that you are much less likely to have a hodge-podge, pre-packaged, contradictory system of values if you are an atheist than if you are a theist, but I don't want to speak too highly of atheists (in general) or too critically of theists (in general).

A skillful athetist politician could wrap himself around scientific reasoning to justify whatever action he sees fit. If he already has power, what difference does it make whether there is a scientific review process that is objecting to his claims? Sure, but what if the general public grew up in an environment in which they weren't taught to allow others to think for them or that refusal to submit to authority would lead to eternal damnation? Do you think that would have some impact on said politician's success? Do you know any atheists that don't question authority? (Feel free to use me as an example :D)

If there is no difference between theists and atheists when it comes to corruption in power, your arguments while true, don't back your implied assertion that theists are more harmful than atheists. I think your argument, while true, tends to address components where mine tends to look to the system as a whole.

I really think we're getting dangerously close to needing a new thread :D

I think this post explains its pertinence. You took all the fun out of my inside joke. :)

What can I say, you guys look like you're having too much fun without me. The more the merrier.

Edit:
Sorry didn't mean to imply an atheist problem -- I thought we were talking about theists vs. atheists not dominionists vs. everybody else. I was just trying to show a flip side. In that case substitute "non-dominionists" in for atheists throughout this post and the last. :xp:Sounds like too much work. You win :)


Thanks for reading.

tk102
07-31-2007, 02:52 AM
...we should not trust those who have the power and are religious because the general public should be able to trust that those in power are going to make the best, most rational, decision using all the information that is available with the goal of serving the greatest good. Therefore, if the people in power have uniformly expressed a profound belief in something that is irrational, and values a belief system that completely contradicts the best information available, how can we trust that their decisions are being made with the welfare of all people in mind?Hmm. That seems coherent and consistent. The only area I could think to argue against is on the assumption that the rational decision is equivalent to the best decision or would serve the greatest good. But that'd come across as irrational. :p

Sure, but what if the general public grew up in an environment in which they weren't taught to allow others to think for them or that refusal to submit to authority would lead to eternal damnation? Do you think that would have some impact on said politician's success? Touché!
Sounds like too much work. You win :)I don't think so.


EDIT: Whoops. I should have just combined posts. Could a moderator please fix this? Thanks in advance.Redhawke taught me how to do this once... click point click.

Cheers.

You have learned well padawan. - RH

As long as you don't do that to someone else's post incorrectly. :D --Jae

Achilles
07-31-2007, 03:20 AM
Hmm. That seems coherent and consistent. The only area I could think to argue against is on the assumption that the rational decision is equivalent to the best decision or would serve the greatest good. But that'd come across as irrational. :p :lol: I think you and I have yet to agree on a definition for "rational" so I'll assume that any contention stems from that.

FWIW, I don't think all leaders with religious tendencies fit the profile that I outlined above. For instance, Chris Dodd considers himself a devout roman catholic, however I've heard the man speak many times and I would feel perfect comfortable with him in the driver's seat (even though I'll most likely be voting for Obama).


Redhawke taught me how to do this once... click point click.

Cheers.
Thanks!

Samuel Dravis
07-31-2007, 03:34 AM
I think tktktktktk means that a rationally made decision may not be the best possible in absolute terms, which can be true. Still, such a decision is going to be consistently better overall than decisions (guesses?) you'd come to through non-rational means.

You people have been busy on this thread. ^_^

Achilles
07-31-2007, 03:41 AM
I think tktktktktk means that a rationally made decision may not be the best possible in absolute terms, which can be true. Still, such a decision is going to be consistently better overall than decisions (guesses?) you'd come to through non-rational means. Right. I view "sacrifice 100 to save 1,000,000" as a rational decision. Sucks for the 100 (especially if I am one of the 100), but the greater good is served by saving the million.

Reading tea leaves to help make the decision? Not so much. ;)

You people have been busy on this thread. ^_^ We wanted to make sure you had plenty to read when you got back.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 07:31 PM
I'll try this again. Let's look at things from a diffirent perspective. Rather than look at religion as something that commands action how about looking at it as something that without any specific word of god has people rushing to it's defense. fighting, killing for it. Those who don't read the scripttures that say to smite the non believers but do so out of defense of their religion. Okay, now with that in mind people can become that devoted to so many things aside from religion. Are you a little quick to reply to Darwin criticism for example? I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and certainly that alone will make you as bad as some people have been. What I'm saying is especially if it is your single minded interest then it can be very easy to become obsessed with it, attacking others for the slightest percieved criticism of your...for lack of a better word, fanaticism.

Achilles
07-31-2007, 08:10 PM
I'll try this again. Let's look at things from a diffirent perspective. Rather than look at religion as something that commands action how about looking at it as something that without any specific word of god has people rushing to it's defense. fighting, killing for it. Those who don't read the scripttures that say to smite the non believers but do so out of defense of their religion. Okay, now with that in mind people can become that devoted to so many things aside from religion. Are you a little quick to reply to Darwin criticism for example? I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and certainly that alone will make you as bad as some people have been. What I'm saying is especially if it is your single minded interest then it can be very easy to become obsessed with it, attacking others for the slightest percieved criticism of your...for lack of a better word, fanaticism. I can't say for sure, but I think I'm following a little better this time.

The problem with this argument is that it's entirely hypothetical. Religion does make commandments. Trying to imagine it as something different and then compare that to something else doesn't gain us anything greater understanding of either subject. It's like saying, "imagine that guns fired lollipops instead of bullets. Since lollipops don't kill people, guns are just as dangerous as candy stores". While the logic may appear sound on the surface, the whole argument hinges on guns firing lollipops instead of bullets. In this case, the whole argument hinges on religion not having commandments to kill. As much as we want that to not be the truth, it's still the truth no matter what.

People can become fanatical about things other than religion, but that isn't a case for the argument that religion doesn't promote fanaticism.

Thank you for taking the time to reframe your argument.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 08:14 PM
Intolerance for other beliefs is fananticism. Condemning others because of what they believe or what they think is fananticism.

Achilles
07-31-2007, 08:24 PM
I appreciate that, but I'm not sure how it moves the conversation forward. The last time I checked the three abrahamic monotheisms all had ideologies based on intolerance and condemnation, which has been my position all along.

Nancy Allen``
07-31-2007, 08:50 PM
Then raise it with those who refuse to allow other people's beliefs in society. Atheism is just as much to blame for it as religion.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 12:09 AM
Then raise it with those who refuse to allow other people's beliefs in society. I'm afraid you'll need to be a little more specific. For some reason the only examples I can come up with consist of christians repressing jews and muslims, muslims repressing christians and jews, and...well, I can't think of any examples of jews repressing christians or muslims, but I'm sure someone will be happy to jump in if an example exists. Also any of the above repressing "pagan" religions.

Or to put it more bluntly, "I already am".

Atheism is just as much to blame for it as religion. Using Einstein's definition of insanity, I am about to show that I've truly lost my mind by asking you to provide an example and expecting you to come back with something that hasn't already been shown to be not applicable. *hangs head in shame*

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 01:28 AM
Here's a link that directly applies to atheist hatred of religion.

http://www.carm.org/atheism/atheistattacks.htm

Now, as we have combated racial and sexual intolerance, as we have combated intolerance of other religions, we must also combat the hatred and intolerance of religion period.

Name-calling is flaming here. Don't do it again--this is a warning. --Jae