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Bjorn
15 Dec 2013, 13:38
* Defined dorkily from Google search, double checked by my handy-dandy Webster

Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
Anti-theism: an active opposition to theism of any kind, or an active opposition to specific kinds

So there we have the decided differences between the two philosophies, but it seems to me that what I sense from the atheists around here is that they seem much more apathetic or even agnostic about their true beliefs. Is there anything that differs in your daily walks? Are there any particular pantheons that bother you more than others? Any particular religions? I know that I personally am much more vocal in my daily life about my dislike for Christians (not exactly Christianity) than I am on here, or anywhere else, really.

Experiences? Stories? For the brave theists, got any horror stories? Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why? Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

Medusa
15 Dec 2013, 17:00
I am a hard atheist. To the point I rarely capitalize the A in atheist. One religion does not bother me over another. I find fault in them regardless. AND..I find benefits in them as well. At the end of the long lonely day of a believer (minus the rare extremists) they are just trying to navigate their life. Just like me.

Denarius
15 Dec 2013, 17:49
I'm not really bothered by anyone's religion or beliefs exactly, what bothers me is when they use that as a justification to act inappropriately or to excuse their ignorance.

Really the only things that outright offend me are religiously motivated bigotry and forcing religious beliefs on others.

People's beliefs tend not to bother me, unless the people go out of their way to bother me with their beliefs. I don't know them, I haven't lived their lives. I believe the things I do because of the life I've lived, I might very well believe the way they do were I in their shoes.

I think that most people, theist or otherwise, would benefit from thinking about why they believe the things they do. I know I've surprised myself more than a few times doing just that.

Understanding why you believe the things you do is can be quite helpful when it comes to understanding why other people might believe the things they do.

Cobra
15 Dec 2013, 17:50
Being a theist of whatever sort,

Agnosticism does not bother me as long as the person is open minded about all sides. I sort of respect agnosticism because I can see where that person is coming from in their stated label.

Atheism bothers me only when nihilism comes as a result of it. I think there are actually a few scientific reasons to believe in something more, if not a godlike something. See: theories of consciousness relating to quantum mechanics and DMT studies. I do find it somewhat upsetting when someone completely refuses to even study or consider anything "paranormal" because there have actually been statistically positive results before; see: Dr. Brian Josephson's site at Cambridge.

Anti-theism bothers me greatly because I feel that they are just as bad as people they oppose, what with forcing their religious opinion. Anti-theists were found to be the most dogmatic group actually. Note that I also dislike it when a religion says that they are the only people who are right. Shinto is not this way.

I don't feel personally attacked if someone disagrees with me. I feel personally attacked if... well, if I'm personally attacked, by anyone, religious or otherwise.

Denarius
15 Dec 2013, 17:50
I'm not really bothered by anyone's religion or beliefs exactly, what bothers me is when they use that as a justification to act inappropriately or to excuse their ignorance.

Really the only things that outright offend me are religiously motivated bigotry and forcing religious beliefs on others.

People's beliefs tend not to bother me, unless the people go out of their way to bother me with their beliefs. I don't know them, I haven't lived their lives. I believe the things I do because of the life I've lived, I might very well believe the way they do were I in their shoes.

I think that most people, theist or otherwise, would benefit from thinking about why they believe the things they do. I know I've surprised myself more than a few times doing just that.

Understanding why you believe the things that you do can be quite helpful when it comes to understanding why other people might believe the things that they do.

Rae'ya
15 Dec 2013, 18:00
... For the brave theists, got any horror stories?

Thankfully, no. lol. My experience with atheists in general is pretty tame... they don't believe in gods and they think I'm deluded. If anything it's a subtle contempt or 'pfft, don't make me laugh' sort of thing, rather than anything overtly anti-theist. The few atheists that I know in real life really just don't care what I do or don't believe.


Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why?

No. And I really don't see that it should. I am comfortable enough in my beliefs and the reasons behind them that I don't need validation from external sources. I'm very much an 'each to their own' sort of person... I have my beliefs, you have yours. I can't prove you wrong, you can't prove me wrong... and at the end of the day, I really have no desire to. I have much less of an issue with atheism and agnosticism than I do with faiths that proselytize, and even then it's not the faith itself so much as the concept of shoving it down someone else's throat.


Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

No. I like disagreement lol. I like discussion. I like debate. To me, there is nothing more boring than a 'discussion' thread where everyone just follows each other going 'oh yeah, I agree' or something like that. BORING! Disagree with me! Challenge me! Make me think about my beliefs and the reasons behind them. Either I'll take what you say on board and adjust my beliefs or I'll decide that it doesn't change anything and keep on believing. Spirituality without discussion and disagreement is blind faith, and I'm really not into that.

To be honest I find it really sad the number of people who take disagreement personally, or who feel that a disagreement is automatically snarky or scary. Granted, there are a lot of people who don't know how to disagree amicably, but there are also a lot of people who do, and who do so regularly. Once you bring ego and emotion into it then it's a lost argument... but if you go into it with the attitude of using this disagreement to learn and grow, then it can only be a good thing.

Malflick
15 Dec 2013, 19:24
I have some pretty intense horror stories on this topic. Not sure I want to get into them right now, cause ugh.

Aeran
15 Dec 2013, 19:34
got any horror stories?

Not really - although I do spend a fair bit of time in gaming communities, which are very atheistic, so it kind of sucks not being able to refer to something which is such a huge part of my life. Not only that, but even the parts of my practice and lifestyle which are fairly mainstream get derided if they come up, even though they're perfectly valid from a scientific point of view. Meditation is a good example - I get a lot of 'hurr, why would you sit there and do nothing, it's just silly new age nonsense' if I mention it, despite the fact that there's actually extensive scientific evidence of the benefits of meditation, putting aside the spiritual aspect entirely.


Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why?

Not at all, I was a hardcore atheist of the Dawkins/Hitchens reading, 'burn the churches!' variety up until a few years ago, and I would still hold that worldview if it weren't for certain experiences I'd had, so I entirely understand it. I do, however, find it a little sad - no matter how much people might protest otherwise, I think the majority do find the complete rejection of spiritual ideas and practices a little depressing, which becomes evident when you spend any amount of time in atheistic communities. Science is great, but it just isn't a replacement for spirituality.


Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

Not at all, as long as they don't use the issue as a cover for personal attacks or disparaging remarks - as I said, I used to hold those views myself, and still would if circumstances were different, so it's hard to take them personally.

B. de Corbin
15 Dec 2013, 19:41
I have a problem when one's beliefs cause one to live an ineffective, wasted life.

I have a problem when people use their religion as an excuse for doing things that they can not justify using only human decency as a criieria.

I have a problem when people use junk from old, vague, poorly written books from antiquity to justify mistreatment of living humans.

In short, I have a problem when people justify heinous acts via their "religion" - actions that can not be justified in any other way.

Aside from that, I have no problem with other people's beliefs. They aren't mine, but who care? Mine aren't theirs either.

ThorsSon
15 Dec 2013, 21:06
In line with Medusa's comment, I am a "hard atheist." I, in honesty, go a step further than disbelief in god/gods... I believe that there is/are no god/gods (the distinction is subtle, I know... but I do not simply lack the opinion that god(s) exist(s). I hold the opinion that no god(s) exist(s)).

In some ways, I fall into the anti-theism mentality, at least mentally. For the most part, I keep my mouth shut and live-and-let-live... but, in my mind, I think that religion and belief in the supernatural has done more harm than good.

Monotheism has provided strong support (intentionally or unintentionally) to sexism, racism, castigation, tyranny and genocide (to name a few).
Belief in the supernatural (divine intervention/prayer/magic/etc) has led people to death when they (or, worse, their parents) forgo medical treatment in favor of faith healing (prayer, spells, magic potions, exorcism, etc).
Belief in the supernatural has led people to be misled by psychics, rather than consulting actual counselors.
Creationism has led to the idea that there is no reason to worry about the environment, because "man was set to rule over creation" and, why bother trying to preserve something that God is just going to burn soon anyway?
Psychics have led police to believe that kidnap victims were dead... only to find out later that the person was still alive, being tortured, with no one looking for them, because the psychic said that they were dead.
Catholicism perpetuates the AIDS epidemic in Africa by preaching against contraception.
etc and so on.

There are many crimes against humanity that religion visits upon us...

I am mostly silent about my anti-theism, because I know that most religious people are good people... BUT... religion (and magical thinking, in general), is largely behind most human atrocities.

I am also silent, in part, because I know that human atrocities would happen, anyway... because human nature is human nature, with or without religion... but, then again, human nature is what gave us religion.

Dumuzi
16 Dec 2013, 00:56
Experiences? Stories? For the brave theists, got any horror stories? Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why? Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

If I personally feel attacked when someone disagrees with me, then I'd feel attacked by every single human that doesn't agree with me! I think it's ridiculous to assume everyone will agree with you.

In that regards I don't discriminate between theists and atheists who disagree with my point of view. I think they are wrong, but they have he right to believe what they want, just as much as they both think I am wrong, but may believe what I want.

(Sorry, no interesting horror stories)

So the idea of atheist/agnosticism/anti-theism doesn't bother me. I simply think they are wrong. That's all.

Rowanwood
16 Dec 2013, 06:52
I've had more problems with other theists than with anti-theists. If someone wants to shout at me that I'm dumb for whatever beliefs I have, I usually just do that all-knowing Mona Lisa smile and let them burn themselves out.

What I believe doesn't depend on anyone's approval.

I really hate when theists discriminate against those that don't share their exact flavor preference be it religious specifically or other opinions they feel are required to have said spiritual opinion...but that's a whole other story.

Medusa
16 Dec 2013, 12:23
I've never been 'attacked' for being an atheist. Probably because when I talk to poeple, I'm not a total cunt.

Bjorn
16 Dec 2013, 16:58
Atheism bothers me only when nihilism comes as a result of it. I think there are actually a few scientific reasons to believe in something more, if not a godlike something. See: theories of consciousness relating to quantum mechanics and DMT studies. I do find it somewhat upsetting when someone completely refuses to even study or consider anything "paranormal" because there have actually been statistically positive results before; see: Dr. Brian Josephson's site at Cambridge.

What is the trouble with nihilism? After all, we can't prove that there even IS a meaning to life, we all just assign our own meanings to it, or subscribe to theories given to us by religious texts, or don't care enough to bother... Nihilism does not have to indicate an unhappy, meaningless life. My only REAL trouble with nihilism is when the "moral" aspects are thrown away as an excuse to get away with intentional cruelty -- but nihilism itself does not suggest cruelty. That lies within the person prescribed to the theory and tells more about them than nihilism.


Anti-theism bothers me greatly because I feel that they are just as bad as people they oppose, what with forcing their religious opinion. Anti-theists were found to be the most dogmatic group actually. Note that I also dislike it when a religion says that they are the only people who are right. Shinto is not this way.

I would agree on this though I think that the majority of anti-theism is practiced more in philosophy than in action. Anyone who believes something vehemently is bound to be vocal about it, in my experience.

Bjorn
16 Dec 2013, 19:11
No. I like disagreement lol. I like discussion. I like debate. To me, there is nothing more boring than a 'discussion' thread where everyone just follows each other going 'oh yeah, I agree' or something like that. BORING! Disagree with me! Challenge me! Make me think about my beliefs and the reasons behind them. Either I'll take what you say on board and adjust my beliefs or I'll decide that it doesn't change anything and keep on believing. Spirituality without discussion and disagreement is blind faith, and I'm really not into that.

To be honest I find it really sad the number of people who take disagreement personally, or who feel that a disagreement is automatically snarky or scary. Granted, there are a lot of people who don't know how to disagree amicably, but there are also a lot of people who do, and who do so regularly. Once you bring ego and emotion into it then it's a lost argument... but if you go into it with the attitude of using this disagreement to learn and grow, then it can only be a good thing.

I like it as well, conflict and disagreement are good for us as. Without skepticism there would never be any updates in scientific theory, we would never grow to our potential, evolution would have been made moot...

I will readily admit to being emotional and argumentative but I like to think that, despite my bluntness, I try to keep a fair head and when I don't, I apologize.

B. de Corbin
17 Dec 2013, 05:28
Solipsism and existentialism are both better for atheists than is nihilism.

Just because there is no Huge Cosmic Purpose doesn't mean that there is no purpose. It just means that you can (and should) find or make your own purpose.

The idea that if a purpose isn't given from "on high" to you then the world is without purpose and hope is ridiculous - a philosophy for losers. It's just pathetic.

Ula
17 Dec 2013, 08:12
* Defined dorkily from Google search, double checked by my handy-dandy Webster

Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
Anti-theism: an active opposition to theism of any kind, or an active opposition to specific kinds

So there we have the decided differences between the two philosophies, but it seems to me that what I sense from the atheists around here is that they seem much more apathetic or even agnostic about their true beliefs. Is there anything that differs in your daily walks? Are there any particular pantheons that bother you more than others? Any particular religions? I know that I personally am much more vocal in my daily life about my dislike for Christians (not exactly Christianity) than I am on here, or anywhere else, really.

Experiences? Stories? For the brave theists, got any horror stories? Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why? Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

I am a member of a couple free thinker/atheist boards. I go there knowing my beliefs will be called into question and picked at. Not a problem. There are those who often post about going out to religious boards and doing the same thing to members just to be hurtful and mean. They are no better then witnessing Christians. I have no real life support as far as my faith/religion so having to deal with anti-believers on boards I go to for support and growth is frustrating pretty much bs. It's hard to discuss ideas with other believers when you constantly get the your all dumb and wrong when your in the middle of an exchange. I have learned that in those place you just don't get too personal and keep it as general as possible.

Orecha
17 Dec 2013, 08:35
I've got no problem with atheists. It's the antitheists that tend to rub me the wrong way. It isn't their existence that bothers me but the fact that my existence bothers them.

I find many antitheists, when you really start talking to them, actually come from a position of subconscious or closeted misotheism. That is, that they are acting out of hatred for their pantheon of origin and wish to some how punish their gods. Somewhere, deep down, they still believe, which is why they hate so vehemently. If they truly had ceased to believe, they would be filled with apathy not hate (like how I fell about my ex-girlfriends). The sad thing is that, like the vocal fundamentalist minority among the religions they hate, the antitheists are incredibly vocal and therefore tend to represent the totality of atheism in the public mind. Richard Dawkins' fundamentalist and militant brand of atheism, what those of us in the academic study of religion call "Dawkinsian Atheism," is a prime example.

I was actually recently attacked on facebook by one such antitheist, who resorted to personal attacks against me and my girlfriend when I debunked his claims against a certain religion that he was violently attacking. The humorous part is that when he began attacking me as a religious person, he got my religion wrong, repeatedly. Alas...

Hekla
17 Dec 2013, 09:50
For the brave theists, got any horror stories?
I wouldn't call it a horror story per se, but I did have a bad experience with Christians six years ago. I was with my high school youth group on a mission trip down to New Orleans just helping out with work that still needed to be done from Katrina damage. At the end of the trip, I caught wind that people were saying some pretty nasty and unfounded things about me behind my back. It hurt me to the point that I actually got angry with Christianity as a whole - since I read more and more about hypocrisy of that sort when I did a lot of research on religion. Because of that, I'm actually a bit anti-theist myself, in the sense that I'm strongly opposed to organized religion.


Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why?
Not at all. Actually I kind of like it. It's mentally stimulating for me to hear differing views and people questioning faith. Gives me new stuff to chew on. In fact, if it weren't for faith questioning, I'd probably still be a half-believing Christian-in-name-only.


Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?
I don't feel personally attacked until the other person starts to berate me just for being different than them. Or actually attacks me.


Creationism has led to the idea that there is no reason to worry about the environment, because "man was set to rule over creation" and, why bother trying to preserve something that God is just going to burn soon anyway?
This is the single largest thing I hate about creationism. I know people who still don't believe that global warming is being accelerated by human ignorance, and don't care if entire species go extinct. Hel, those people don't believe global warming exists or existed ever. But this will just become a long rant about why I disagree with creationism, so I'll stop here.

Orecha
17 Dec 2013, 11:18
Monotheism has provided strong support (intentionally or unintentionally) to sexism, racism, castigation, tyranny and genocide (to name a few).
[...]
Creationism has led to the idea that there is no reason to worry about the environment, because "man was set to rule over creation" and, why bother trying to preserve something that God is just going to burn soon anyway?


This is the single largest thing I hate about creationism. I know people who still don't believe that global warming is being accelerated by human ignorance, and don't care if entire species go extinct. Hel, those people don't believe global warming exists or existed ever. But this will just become a long rant about why I disagree with creationism, so I'll stop here.

This is one of my big pet peeves about antitheism and why I see most antitheism as masked or closeted misotheism. Antitheists tend to be, in fact, against the dominant religion of their culture (in this case, Christianity) and, therefore, lump all religions in with that one offending religion.

This is the case with creationism here. Almost all religions are creationist; however, it is really only Christianity has the viewpoint put forward here as offensive ("that there is no reason to worry about the environment, because 'man was set to rule over creation' and, why bother trying to preserve something that God is just going to burn soon anyway?"). Consider that earth-centered religions are nearly 100% creationist, and that argument gets a bit deflated. I'm not saying that this isn't a valid argument against Christianity, just that the use of the term "creationist" is a bit unfair to the other religions throughout time that believed that the universe was created by gods. Just keep in mind that it's not "creationism" in and of itself that you're voicing a problem with, just the Christian version of it.

The same is true of "monotheism." There are/were many monotheistic faiths that promoted pacifist egalitarian societies. It is greed not monotheism that drives "sexism, racism, castigation, tyranny and genocide." Polytheistic cultures have their share of these. Look at Rome, Assyria, Babylonia, Greece, and Precolonial Central America for examples, just to name a few. Even atheist cultures are driven by the same forces as well, such as with Stalinist Russia.

Sit down and think about what you hate. Is it Religion with a capital "R" or is it really only one religion.

Hekla
17 Dec 2013, 11:50
It is unfair to lump all creation beliefs together, and I will concede that I was too broad in my post. I was referring to Christian Creationists, since that's the most vocal (if not the only vocal) version of the belief in creation. I still believe in creation, but it's my own belief. It's the Young Earth brand of Creationism, and all the flawed science within that I find conflict with and cannot stand.

But I still oppose organized religion in general. I won't even call myself Ásatrú even though I follow and honor the Aesir. Not outwardly, at least.

ThorsSon
17 Dec 2013, 12:08
This is one of my big pet peeves about antitheism and why I see most antitheism as masked or closeted misotheism. Antitheists tend to be, in fact, against the dominant religion of their culture (in this case, Christianity) and, therefore, lump all religions in with that one offending religion.

This is the case with creationism here. Almost all religions are creationist; however, it is really only Christianity has the viewpoint put forward here as offensive ("that there is no reason to worry about the environment, because 'man was set to rule over creation' and, why bother trying to preserve something that God is just going to burn soon anyway?"). Consider that earth-centered religions are nearly 100% creationist, and that argument gets a bit deflated. I'm not saying that this isn't a valid argument against Christianity, just that the use of the term "creationist" is a bit unfair to the other religions throughout time that believed that the universe was created by gods. Just keep in mind that it's not "creationism" in and of itself that you're voicing a problem with, just the Christian version of it.

You are right, I was lazy in my use of the word "creationist," as I was, on that point, speaking specifically of Biblical creationists.


The same is true of "monotheism." There are/were many monotheistic faiths that promoted pacifist egalitarian societies. It is greed not monotheism that drives "sexism, racism, castigation, tyranny and genocide." Polytheistic cultures have their share of these. Look at Rome, Assyria, Babylonia, Greece, and Precolonial Central America for examples, just to name a few. Even atheist cultures are driven by the same forces as well, such as with Stalinist Russia.

I didn't say "drive," I said it has provided strong support. A single, patriarchal deity is much easier for those in power to wield as a tool of oppression, than is a pantheon. Yes, it is greed that is behind it.

And, as I said at the end of my previous post, I recognize that human nature would still be human nature, with or without religion, and that is why my anti-theism is mostly relegated to my own thoughts, rather than my speech or actions... I am only discussing it here, because the question was asked.


Sit down and think about what you hate. Is it Religion with a capital "R" or is it really only one religion.

Hate isn't the word. I just see a lot of trouble with religion, magical thinking, and belief in/reliance upon the supernatural.

My issue is with it being used as a tool to oppress and/or abuse. I also take issue with the fact, that often, it seems religious belief replaces critical thinking.

I don't hate religion... but I do find it objectionable.

It is true, that most of the things that might get mentioned off the top of my head, if asked why, would be directed at the Abrahamic religions and Scientology... but that is because they of their size and reach.

But, psychics and homeopathy would find their way into the discussion, as well.

Medusa
17 Dec 2013, 12:58
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it. I mean.. I sort of get a sense of this:
I don't mind gays. Just be quiet, sit down and don't kiss in my outdoor space.

It seems people don't mind us until we speak about our beliefs, our rights, our perspective. Then suddenly we are assholes because we showed our existence.

As an atheist I have the same right to be obnoxious as the theists are. Especially this time of year. It seems theists don't mind the non ones until about it's time to 'celebrate' something theists think is specifically theirs.

Yeah. This. In a more academic way. But I'm full of pizza and chocolate.

Rowanwood
17 Dec 2013, 13:11
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it. I mean.. I sort of get a sense of this:
I don't mind gays. Just be quiet, sit down and don't kiss in my outdoor space.

It seems people don't mind us until we speak about our beliefs, our rights, our perspective. Then suddenly we are assholes because we showed our existence.

As an atheist I have the same right to be obnoxious as the theists are. Especially this time of year. It seems theists don't mind the non ones until about it's time to 'celebrate' something theists think is specifically theirs.

Yeah. This. In a more academic way. But I'm full of pizza and chocolate.


I only get offended if the debate is just a full on attack. I'm hardly a woo-woo hallelujah sort of theist; I'm just barely a theist at all. I don't mind if someone thinks I'm wrong, I just dislike someone just saying I'm defective or idiotic for having a belief. That's the key thing discussed above, atheist vs antitheist vs misotheist. In the end, most faith doesn't have proof, so I can't debate or stand back and say, x=y hence my pantheism is right. Because it might not be for someone...and that's fine with me. But it is right for me, because it brings me peace, helps me function in the world, yet doesn't prevent me from accepting new info and interacting with it accordingly. That's all the proof I have, and all I, personally, need. I hardly think that's a point of view that's worthy of derision. THAT's all I take issue with with, if that's clear.

It doesn't hurt me if someone doesn't believe. It doesn't hurt me if they are vocal about it...if it's done with respect. Using the gay metaphor? If two men want to be together, that's awesome but I'd take issue with them screaming about how gross women are and how they should all be just used to make more sexy boy babies and then locked up like the sick gross things they are....see my point?

Aeran
17 Dec 2013, 13:58
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith?

I'm not sure if you're referring to people here or just speaking generally, because I haven't seen anyone here claim that atheists bother them inherently, People have already summed up what's generally found to be irritating behavior on the part of atheists. I think the general theme has been that they have nothing against atheists as long as they're respectful about it.

I'm not sure if I qualify as a 'theist,' but speaking personally, I'm happy to debate my worldview and have my beliefs and opinions picked apart, but not when I'm trying to discuss something else. There's a time and a place to question people's beliefs and practices and worldviews and what not. What does bug me is when I'm trying to have a discussion about a specific aspect of my beliefs or practices that requires accepting, for the time being, certain assumptions, only to have people barge in and drag the entire discussion off topic just so they can shift it into them picking apart those assumptions or shoving their own worldview around.

A really good example of this is a certain forum I used to post on, this place was set up for the discussion of occult spirituality, magic, etc. but had one or two members who held very strictly to what was basically the psychological theory of magic, and would literally jump in on and hijack every single discussion to try and breakdown what was being said into the framework of their understanding. So someone would create a thread asking whether X and Y practices are compatible, or for advice with a certain ritual, or how to deal with a certain phenomena, only to have these individuals barge in and not just say 'hey, have you looked at it from this perspective,' but break down every little thing to use it to provide an example of why their understanding is right and the original poster's is wrong, making post after post shoving their opinion's down people's throats when all they wanted was opinions and advice from people whoo'd had the same experiences. That kind of obnoxious dogmatism really bothers me. There's nothing wrong with varying beliefs and opinions, but there's a time and a place to put them out there, and ways to do it without shoving them down people's throats and getting in the way of a perfectly good discussion.

None of that is directed at you personally, I've never seen any of that from your direction, but that kind of stuff is extremely common. The stereotype of the obnoxious, abrasive internet atheist didn't develop out of nowhere. If you're gonna define yourself with that label, you need to accept that it comes with a ton of baggage.

Medusa
17 Dec 2013, 14:04
The first part of the question is directed for you guys here. The other part is what I see in general out there. Especially the news. Which I realize in context, is a small amount of the theist population.


If you're gonna define yourself with that label, you need to accept that it comes with a ton of baggage.
Good point. Which is why out there in the world I identify as a Satanist. Because the baggage that comes with that?

People are too scared to fucking ask me a dumb question. It's a usable label if you ask me ;)

Aeran
17 Dec 2013, 14:10
Good point. Which is why out there in the world I identify as a Satanist. Because the baggage that comes with that?

I'm confused, are you saying that 'satanist' comes with less baggage than 'atheist'? :p

edit: wait, nevermind, I get, that stray question mark did my head in for a moment. Sleep deprivation isn't helping.

thalassa
17 Dec 2013, 14:54
and homeopathy would find their way into the discussion, as well.

Ugh. Don't even get me started on homeopathy. (not that this is the place for it anyhow) I'm down with (in general, though I object to some specific practices and practitioners) herbalism, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments...heck, I even claim to practice magic. But homeopathy is pure snake oil BS.

/end off topic



I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it. I mean.. I sort of get a sense of this:
I don't mind gays. Just be quiet, sit down and don't kiss in my outdoor space.

It seems people don't mind us until we speak about our beliefs, our rights, our perspective. Then suddenly we are assholes because we showed our existence.

As an atheist I have the same right to be obnoxious as the theists are. Especially this time of year. It seems theists don't mind the non ones until about it's time to 'celebrate' something theists think is specifically theirs.

Yeah. This. In a more academic way. But I'm full of pizza and chocolate.

I'm not sure if I really count as theist. I mean, I definitely don't in a traditional sort of way--at best, I suppose I'm an agnostic pantheist with soft polytheistic tendencies. But, I could care less if a non-theist questions my religious and spiritual ideas--I question them on a regular basis. I do, however, mind if people are (theist or nontheist) rude about their beliefs, particularly in a way that belittles another's beliefs. Even more, I despise it when a person that is in a place of privilege uses their faith (or lack off it) to harass or intimidate someone else.

I've seen an adult atheist, for example, harass a kid for their religious beliefs until the kid was in tears. I've also seen an adult Christian do the same thing to a child that is not. I hate assholes...so lets just say that they both got a taste of their own medicine from someone old enough to stand up for themselves. Honestly, I see it as bullying and a sign of incompetent thought and lack of confidence/sincerity of belief/non-belief. AFAIC, these people want to bully others for their spirituality (or lack thereof), either as a justification of their own faith, or to fill in the chinks of doubt in their fortress of dogma, or because it gets their rocks off. Either way, they can kiss my cookies.

So, in Thalassa-world, it works like this...if someone is willing to discuss their beliefs in an equal exchange of information and ideas or to have a constructively critical comparison of religious beliefs, that's frigging awesome. If not, STFU because I don't give a flying rat's patootie.

Cobra
17 Dec 2013, 17:59
What is the trouble with nihilism? After all, we can't prove that there even IS a meaning to life, we all just assign our own meanings to it, or subscribe to theories given to us by religious texts, or don't care enough to bother... Nihilism does not have to indicate an unhappy, meaningless life. My only REAL trouble with nihilism is when the "moral" aspects are thrown away as an excuse to get away with intentional cruelty -- but nihilism itself does not suggest cruelty. That lies within the person prescribed to the theory and tells more about them than nihilism.

Well, I think you and B. de Corbin sort of answered this one for me.

Orecha
18 Dec 2013, 14:22
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it. I mean.. I sort of get a sense of this:
I don't mind gays. Just be quiet, sit down and don't kiss in my outdoor space.

It seems people don't mind us until we speak about our beliefs, our rights, our perspective. Then suddenly we are assholes because we showed our existence.

As an atheist I have the same right to be obnoxious as the theists are. Especially this time of year. It seems theists don't mind the non ones until about it's time to 'celebrate' something theists think is specifically theirs.

Yeah. This. In a more academic way. But I'm full of pizza and chocolate.

I've got no problem with people speaking their minds in a public forum, and I'd never call someone an asshole just for that. Nothing bothers me at all when people of other religious backgrounds, theist or otherwise, question my "faith," as long as they do so with calmness and respect. In fact, I welcome it! It often helps me question myself and make sure I'm doing what I believe is right.

The problem is, there is a BIG difference between speaking your mind and proselytizing, and that is what many atheists and antitheists do, whether they want to see it that way or not. Pushing conversion to another's view through coercion, insults, and the deconstruction of the other's view points in a disrespectful fashion is proselytizing, no mater who is doing it. If your viewpoint is truly worthy of someone adopting it, it should be able to stand on its own merit. You shouldn't have to run the other person's views through the mud, insult them as a person, or threaten them in any way. No one has the right to be obnoxious. No one has the right to put down another's religion or lack there of, no matter what time of year it is.

Unfortunately, it seems that many atheists and antitheists don't know where the line is between healthy discourse and outright insult (not that I'm saying all theists do, because many definitely do not). When a person questions another's beliefs, it should be with respect, not scorn. And don't think that just because another group behaves like a bunch of assholes that it suddenly gives you the right. If you truly believe your viewpoint to be higher and loftier, then act like it. As the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey. If you act like an asshole, that's all people hear: They don't hear your point, just that you're being a total dick.

----

I think one of the biggest issues between theists and atheists/antitheists is that often both groups see the existence of the other as some sort of threat. Beyond the antitheist spiel about religion causing all of the wars in the world, there is often a subconscious dialog that goes on between atheists and theists (or between theists of different traditions) when they are in a room together. "If I believe X and they don't, then what does that say about what I believe?" Or "If I don't believe X and they do, then what does that say?" This almost always happens subconsciously, though occasionally it is a conscious thought. Rational humans question their beliefs constantly, whether they realize it or not. The only possible exceptions are zealots and the insane.

The problem comes when the person thinking these thoughts goes through a moment of cognitive dissonance, when they are brought to question their own beliefs and realize that the two competing systems are mutually exclusive. One of two possibilities occurs at this point: a healthy questioning of one's own core values or an explosive expression of willful ignorance. The latter of the two is what usually results in a fight.

As a non-meat eater, I face this all of the time. Someone will offer me a meat dish, and I will respond, "No thank you. I don't eat meat." I phrase it that way for a reason. If I say that I'm a vegetarian, there's almost always a presupposed ideology that comes with it. Unfortunately, the same presupposed ideology comes with saying that you don't eat meat. People react as if you just shot their mother in the face. "What do you mean you don't eat meat?" Then there's the theist/nontheist divide, but it always boils down to either "animals were put here for us to eat..." or "we're the top of the food chain..." I tend to avoid the conversation at this point, but the reaction is often rather violent, insulting, and always unprovoked. Innocent theists and nontheists alike get it from the more belligerent and ignorant of the opposite side of the fence as well. It's an unfortunate side effect of the increasing forced binary in western culture (especially the US), and yes, it's the primary reason many people outside of any binary in that system are attacked, from libertarians to gender-queer.

- - - Updated - - -


I'm not sure if you're referring to people here or just speaking generally, because I haven't seen anyone here claim that atheists bother them inherently, People have already summed up what's generally found to be irritating behavior on the part of atheists. I think the general theme has been that they have nothing against atheists as long as they're respectful about it.

Exactly my point!

Rowanwood
18 Dec 2013, 14:31
Orecha has a good point and a good metaphor there. It's like a the vegetarian/carnivore debate.

I eat meat but I was a vegetarian for years, so I've seen this one from both sides. As a vegetarian, often you are surrounded by those militant vegans who are naked, throwing paint on people, screaming meat is murder. But most vegetarians just want to eat their beans in peace. Seriously.

Most carnivores couldn't care less what you eat. Don't want steak? Awesome, more for me, but they do get twitchy when some throws paint on them and tells them they are a murderer. But some carnivores run around shouting about how all vegetarians are going to get fat and die and they sounds like idiots.

So eventually, both sides get touchy. They just assume the other side of the debate is batshit nuts because that's the vocal minority everyone sees, because you can't miss them.

(This is leaving out the zealots; the paint flingers and meat throwing crazy people)

Don't even get me started on the dichotomy of the liberal/conservative mindsets. Holy toast, batman.

Thing is, you sit down and TALK to a person and you discover they are pretty alright. It's why I love this place. I adore people I never thought I would, considering the hype around their beliefs. But if you get through the BS, there's probably still a person under there worth knowing...or not.

These us vs. them spats seem to be herd mentality at its finest, no matter how smart you think you are on either side of the fence, you are still just grazing on the fodder of rhetoric.

ThorsSon
18 Dec 2013, 15:06
As a non-meat eater, I face this all of the time. Someone will offer me a meat dish, and I will respond, "No thank you. I don't eat meat." I phrase it that way for a reason. If I say that I'm a vegetarian, there's almost always a presupposed ideology that comes with it. Unfortunately, the same presupposed ideology comes with saying that you don't eat meat. People react as if you just shot their mother in the face. "What do you mean you don't eat meat?" Then there's the theist/nontheist divide, but it always boils down to either "animals were put here for us to eat..." or "we're the top of the food chain..." I tend to avoid the conversation at this point, but the reaction is often rather violent, insulting, and always unprovoked. Innocent theists and nontheists alike get it from the more belligerent and ignorant of the opposite side of the fence as well. It's an unfortunate side effect of the increasing forced binary in western culture (especially the US), and yes, it's the primary reason many people outside of any binary in that system are attacked, from libertarians to gender-queer.

I feel your pain.

This type of situation is a large part of why I am often hesitant to even mention that I am an atheist in real life.

Telling people that you are a non-believer is often a quick way to find yourself in an argument.

Despite the things that I have said in this thread, I am not out to convert people away from religion... and in 99% of situations, I'm not even interested in discussing religion. As a result, most of the people who know me in real life are unaware of my atheism... but when it happens to come up ("where do you go to church?" "I don't" "what are you some kind of atheist, or something?" "yes, I am")... it rarely is pleasant. Much like your "I don't eat meat" conversations.

Bjorn
19 Dec 2013, 15:22
I feel your pain.

This type of situation is a large part of why I am often hesitant to even mention that I am an atheist in real life.

Telling people that you are a non-believer is often a quick way to find yourself in an argument.

Despite the things that I have said in this thread, I am not out to convert people away from religion... and in 99% of situations, I'm not even interested in discussing religion. As a result, most of the people who know me in real life are unaware of my atheism... but when it happens to come up ("where do you go to church?" "I don't" "what are you some kind of atheist, or something?" "yes, I am")... it rarely is pleasant. Much like your "I don't eat meat" conversations.

Agreed. I feel that, for the most part, on here and in real life, the problem with atheism and agnosticism comes as soon as we state our reasoning for believing (or disbelieving) the way we do, which is interpreted as an attack. Well, yes and no, because obviously I think everyone is wrong, including my own personal beliefs, but as soon as that tidbit comes up, I'm defined as an asshole (that much more in real life than on here, but I have experienced that as well in both places) for speaking up in the first place. Which, to me, makes absolutely no sense at all because the very words used imply that either none of them exist, or that proof is unknowable. So, yeah. -_-

However, perhaps I invite it. I like to argue. I like conflict. But I don't think it makes much sense to rail against people being what they are, especially when there are no facts to spew on either side.

Medusa
19 Dec 2013, 16:29
Religion is not the most important thing about a person. So I would rather discuss other things that actually matter. In the end we are all just going day by day. The religious beliefs rarely make a real definitive appearance in most of us anyways.

Rae'ya
20 Dec 2013, 01:54
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it. I mean.. I sort of get a sense of this:
I don't mind gays. Just be quiet, sit down and don't kiss in my outdoor space.

Atheists and anti-theists don't bother me at all.

People trying to push their beliefs down my throat bother me, and that is most certainly not limited to atheists and anti-theists. If I'm perfectly honest I see that a lot more from pagan people than I do anyone else.

As others have said, there's a difference between discussion and debate, and proselytizing and pushing beliefs on another person. I'm all for discussion... not such a fan of being force-fed.

shadow1982
29 Dec 2013, 09:57
I'd like to ask the theists a question. Is what bothers you about non theists that they question your faith? Or that when they do it, they are idiots about it.


Non theists don't bother me any more or less than other theists do. People being assholes about anything bothers me, and I tend to find this is driven more by their personalities than their beliefs, or lack thereof.

I am another one who enjoys having my beliefs questioned, if it is done in the spirit of healthy debate. I question my beliefs all the time so other people doing the same doesn't threaten me in any way.

Gleb
18 Jul 2014, 09:53
Experiences? Stories? For the brave theists, got any horror stories? Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why? Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

About a month or two before finishing my tenth class, I was sitting with two or three of my classmates playing cards (we had nothing to do during the break - so cards just for fun). Before we took our places, one of them noticed a bible book on the table, and threw it out of the window. And he is atheist. He just sat and giggled. Of course I didn't keep my mouth shut about this.... I don't follow Judaism myself, but I still respect the religion as such.
I don't have anything against atheists, as long as they don't act with stupidity.

98% of the atheists I know are nice people. I can say even awesome. But there will be always the 2%....

About feeling personally attacked - it depends on how the person shows it. If it's in a rude way of course I will be feeling attacked. If it's polite - no problem.
Another situation is when I am being forced by a religion but that's for another time.

Roknrol
18 Jul 2014, 18:53
Didn't know this thread existed :)

Yeah, I'm a non-believing kind of atheist that figures what you believe is your business until you make it my business. Once you've made it my business, as long as you're polite I will be to. As soon as you state (or imply) that I'm too stupid to recognize God, the gloves come off and I treat you like a 3rd grader. That's how I roll :p

Books are probably the closest thing you can come to "sacred" for me. Any destruction of any book is a damned travesty - I do not care how many "copies" there are.

I'm not a fan of anti-theists. I appreciate their stance of course, but I cannot agree with it. One of the biggest complaints that I hear from Atheists about believers is how the believers supposedly know what the atheists "need"...and when atheists start being anti-theism they've become hypocrites.

What religions bother me? Any that either through force or deception leave you less capable of making your own decisions. I know that's broad, but that's how I feel about it. If they "convince" you that you shouldn't make your own decisions - say, because God should make your decisions for you - then you are granting another person the right to decide your fate. If you want that? Well, I can't stop you.

Honestly, what bothers me the most is "knowing deception". I completely don't mind a priest (or whoever) telling me "I don't know", but telling me that my family getting slaughtered as part of "God's plan" doesn't help anyone. I would rather hear "I don't know" than a blatant (or not so blatant) lie. That's why "religions" like JWs and Scientology rub me so hard the wrong way - these are two groups that have, over the course of the years, decided that the best way to not have to explain their religion is to not explain it.

I'm not a fan of oppression in any regard - I find sexism to be as repulsive as bigotry (although I do admit to enjoying some of the jokes of both of them) - and I find religion to be supremely repressive in that regard. People are frequently told to ignore their common sense and experience - enough so that they often refuse to accept what they already know to be true.

That being said, I do see the utility in religion, as long as people are still "allowed" (Ie, with a lack of brainwashing) to make their own decisions.

WinterTraditions
19 Jul 2014, 03:48
Sadly, atheism and anti-theism bothers me. I would be totally fine with atheists if not every atheist I've met had a sprinkling of anti-theism in their opinion. The most common insult is that I lack an education, that I'm an extremist, and that I am mentally handicapped in some way. That is what I get from all the atheists I interact with, online and offline. Hell, I've had better run-ins with Christians than Atheists Anti-Theists. To put it in perspective, I had a lovely conversation with a Jehovah's Witness (Invited him into my living room! It was winter) and I didn't feel offended at all. However, when I sit down with any atheist, instead of giving me reasons as to why they believe what they believe, examples, whatnot... They resort to slander without any sort of positive reinforcement.

It doesn't help that I have more in common with a housefly than an atheist. I'm a jumble of labels that get me into a very bad mess: Neo-Wiccan, Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, and Angelolator. (This label causes me more grief than any other. Yes, even Pro-Life.)

I'm fine with people saying I will go to Hell, because that is a spiritual idea I do not believe in. However, it hurts immensely when Atheists use the "You won't amount to anything because you're a theist" line. That's because it attacks my intelligence, my self-worth, my life, and my spirituality.

Bjorn
19 Jul 2014, 06:28
Sadly, atheism and anti-theism bothers me. I would be totally fine with atheists if not every atheist I've met had a sprinkling of anti-theism in their opinion. The most common insult is that I lack an education, that I'm an extremist, and that I am mentally handicapped in some way. That is what I get from all the atheists I interact with, online and offline. Hell, I've had better run-ins with Christians than Atheists Anti-Theists. To put it in perspective, I had a lovely conversation with a Jehovah's Witness (Invited him into my living room! It was winter) and I didn't feel offended at all. However, when I sit down with any atheist, instead of giving me reasons as to why they believe what they believe, examples, whatnot... They resort to slander without any sort of positive reinforcement.

It doesn't help that I have more in common with a housefly than an atheist. I'm a jumble of labels that get me into a very bad mess: Neo-Wiccan, Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, and Angelolator. (This label causes me more grief than any other. Yes, even Pro-Life.)

I'm fine with people saying I will go to Hell, because that is a spiritual idea I do not believe in. However, it hurts immensely when Atheists use the "You won't amount to anything because you're a theist" line. That's because it attacks my intelligence, my self-worth, my life, and my spirituality.

Interesting reply -- I had to comment.

Yes, I would admit that there is a persuasion of anti-theism coursing through my veins. After all, I think religion and theism are harmful to society and have done little more than oppress women and kill young men in the name of holy war (I use the Bible and history books to compile these feelings though I am aware that there are many theistic religions that have killed less than the Judeo-Christian), but I try very hard to maintain the idea of "hate the belief, not the believer."

I've met my fair share of dickhead atheists that seem to think that atheism is proof of their intelligence. Atheism isn't proof of anything. It simply states that you don't believe in gods -- THAT'S IT. To think that someone couldn't simply be nice and engage in a discussion with someone who believes differently is embarrassing and on behalf of all agnostic atheists, I apologize. After all, there's a wealth of scientific research to support atheism so I don't know why the 'attack' has to be led with the same type of blind faith in an idea as what they're trying to argue against.

I'm sure that last line ruffled your feathers but please know I'm not being condescending. It is, however, difficult to discuss these topics with theists since there is no scientific research to support the idea. I've looked. In MY experience, every theist I talk to relies on faith and unverified personal gnosis in order to try and relate to me their interpretation of god, so that's usually where the condescension begins. No evidence? No research? No credible way for us to recreate the experiment and get the same results? Well, ok then. To someone who needs more than a feeling, these claims all start to sound like children retelling dreams.

B. de Corbin
19 Jul 2014, 07:09
Hundreds of years of religious wars raging across Europe, to say nothing of the Middle East.

Crusades and Jihads.

Flat out oppression of those who don't buy in to the holy song and dance.

Promotion of ignorance over knowledge, with ignorance masquerading as wisdom.

The promotion of death for nothing, euphemistically referred to as "martyrhood."

Accepting babble on "faith" because it comes from old books, rather than using personal experience and experimentation.

Dewy eyed mush heads imagining that it will be all better when we're dead, rather than working to improve the here-and-now.

Men, women and children sacrificed to appease imaginary monsters of worship.

Thousands of years of guilt over normal bodily functions.

Vast quantities of cash wasted in an orgy of religious infrastructure.

There is a lot to dislike in the religion scam.

I'd like to say "I don't care, as long as you don't bother me with your goofiness," but everything on this list affects me, either directly or indirectly.

However, as an atheist, I never bother anybody (except when I speak). So I am evil incarnated, and damned proud of it.

Roknrol
19 Jul 2014, 11:00
Sadly, atheism and anti-theism bothers me. I would be totally fine with atheists if not every atheist I've met had a sprinkling of anti-theism in their opinion. Not that I can say I'm surprised...a lot of people - believers and non - are incapable of a decent presentation.


The most common insult is that I lack an education, that I'm an extremist, and that I am mentally handicapped in some way. I don't know you well enough to say one way or another, but I do admit that I have felt that way about *some* believers, and I've told them so. I always have a reason though, so if I did it to you and you asked me I explained :p


That is what I get from all the atheists I interact with, online and offline. Hell, I've had better run-ins with Christians than Atheists Anti-Theists. To put it in perspective, I had a lovely conversation with a Jehovah's Witness (Invited him into my living room! It was winter) and I didn't feel offended at all. This is because Jehovas Witnesses aren't showing up at your house to make you feel better, they're there to "sell" you on their religion. They aren't going to be rude or mean, and honestly you won't even get the actual JW teachings in those visits - you'll get a watered down "more paletable" version...it's part of the sales pitch. Atheists don't care if you buy what they're selling, so they frequently don't care about presentation at all - figuring that hitting you with their version of a Bible is the way to get you to understand where they're coming from.


However, when I sit down with any atheist, instead of giving me reasons as to why they believe what they believe, examples, whatnot... They resort to slander without any sort of positive reinforcement.I can't answer for anyone but myself. If you have questions for me, ask...I'll try not to be any more rude than necessary ;)


It doesn't help that I have more in common with a housefly than an atheist. I'm a jumble of labels that get me into a very bad mess: Neo-Wiccan, Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, and Angelolator. (This label causes me more grief than any other. Yes, even Pro-Life.)Personally I don't care about labels much...I've been through plenty of religions and I don't think there's a whole lot left for them to teach me. Of course, I'm always waiting to be proven wrong...


I'm fine with people saying I will go to Hell, because that is a spiritual idea I do not believe in. However, it hurts immensely when Atheists use the "You won't amount to anything because you're a theist" line. That's because it attacks my intelligence, my self-worth, my life, and my spirituality.
That sounds like a completely bullshit Atheist to me. Anyone that pays attention to, you know, the facts, knows damned well that religion has NEVER had any sort of correlation with success, not even slightly.

So I would say you're talking to Atheists that don't know what in the fuck they're talking about. Feel free to ask questions in the various Atheist threads - nobody will jump your shit for honest questions (and if you're concerned that you may get that response, say so in your post - we'll be extra careful to not offend...unless you're acting like you want to be offended :p )

B. de Corbin
19 Jul 2014, 15:32
Honeyed words come from salesmen.

Listen to unpleasant voices before you form opinions.

Denarius
19 Jul 2014, 16:12
To put it in perspective, I had a lovely conversation with a Jehovah's Witness (Invited him into my living room! It was winter) and I didn't feel offended at all. However, when I sit down with any atheist, instead of giving me reasons as to why they believe what they believe, examples, whatnot... They resort to slander without any sort of positive reinforcement.

The reasons for this are simple. You've met LOTS of atheists, it's just that most of them are just people living their lives. People who broadcast their religion or lack thereof have ulterior motives or they're just being obnoxious asshats.

The JW wanted to convert you, the atheists probably just had a beef with religion and they're taking it out on you.

Also, what is an Angelolater?

WinterTraditions
20 Jul 2014, 19:18
Interesting reply -- I had to comment.

Yes, I would admit that there is a persuasion of anti-theism coursing through my veins. After all, I think religion and theism are harmful to society and have done little more than oppress women and kill young men in the name of holy war (I use the Bible and history books to compile these feelings though I am aware that there are many theistic religions that have killed less than the Judeo-Christian), but I try very hard to maintain the idea of "hate the belief, not the believer."

I'm sure that last line ruffled your feathers but please know I'm not being condescending. It is, however, difficult to discuss these topics with theists since there is no scientific research to support the idea. I've looked. In MY experience, every theist I talk to relies on faith and unverified personal gnosis in order to try and relate to me their interpretation of god, so that's usually where the condescension begins. No evidence? No research? No credible way for us to recreate the experiment and get the same results? Well, ok then. To someone who needs more than a feeling, these claims all start to sound like children retelling dreams.

It's not religion that kills people. It's men. I will use the attacks the USA has done on the Middle East as an example. They are not pushing a religion of any kind, they are attacking religion itself, 'terrorists', and some say it's for the benefit of oil. Religion is just one of many motives for war and killing. It's not the be-all-end-all. Religion would be helpful to society if it wasn't people who screwed it up.

I think the opposite of what you're trying to maintain: I hate the believer, not the belief.

As for your line on scientific evidence... There are many things besides religion that cannot call on scientific evidence, and are instead backed by interpretation and experience. Restaurants, for example. Technically, you cannot base how good a restaurant is based on how much things cost, or how many sales they make. Rather, it is by word of mouth via positive experience.


Hundreds of years of religious wars raging across Europe, to say nothing of the Middle East.

Crusades and Jihads.

Flat out oppression of those who don't buy in to the holy song and dance.

Promotion of ignorance over knowledge, with ignorance masquerading as wisdom.

The promotion of death for nothing, euphemistically referred to as "martyrhood."

Accepting babble on "faith" because it comes from old books, rather than using personal experience and experimentation.

Dewy eyed mush heads imagining that it will be all better when we're dead, rather than working to improve the here-and-now.

Men, women and children sacrificed to appease imaginary monsters of worship.

Thousands of years of guilt over normal bodily functions.

Vast quantities of cash wasted in an orgy of religious infrastructure.

There is a lot to dislike in the religion scam.

I'd like to say "I don't care, as long as you don't bother me with your goofiness," but everything on this list affects me, either directly or indirectly.

However, as an atheist, I never bother anybody (except when I speak). So I am evil incarnated, and damned proud of it.

The crusades? There were several crusades, as you probably know.. The crusades was when Muslims overtook Jerusalem, and the Pope wanted to retake the holy city. How? He had his soldiers fast and pray and march outside Jerusalem. And they succeeded. They took back Jerusalem without bloodshed. That is how Christianity is supposed to work. When the Muslims took it back a second time, however, they were unable to get it back (Most likely because a different Pope was in charge.) By the fourth Crusades, the church only had enough money to get the soldiers half-way to Jerusalem. They stopped in the city their ship stranded them in. The only way they could continue was if they had money. However, the current King of that city was not the rightful heir. The prince promised that if the crusaders helped him get back the throne, he would give them money and more soldiers. So, the crusaders helped. When the Prince overthrew his uncle, however, the Prince did not keep his promise. That's why the sack on the city happened. The soldiers were stuck far away from their homes and families, starving, and they needed the money the prince promised to at least get back home. They lost their morals as a result, and they were not ordered by the Pope to do what they did. They acted as human beings, not religious followers.




Anyone that pays attention to, you know, the facts, knows damned well that religion has NEVER had any sort of correlation with success, not even slightly.

That's a pretty bold statement. Please read above on my post concerning the First Crusade. I will then point you in the direction of Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan. To my knowledge, no wars have started from either religion, and nobody has killed under the name of those religions.




Also, what is an Angelolater?

An angelolator practices angelolatry, which is the worship of angels.

Roknrol
20 Jul 2014, 19:56
That's a pretty bold statement. Please read above on my post concerning the First Crusade. I will then point you in the direction of Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan. To my knowledge, no wars have started from either religion, and nobody has killed under the name of those religions.

I wish people would read before they respond. I didn't say anything about war. I said "success", which is something you implied that other atheists based on religion. While I know Atheists that hold this view, it is demonstrably false. Note: Nothing about war or crusades, simply a response to your...response.

Not only that, but selectively picking and choosing what you decide you want to respond to is kind of a crappy thing to do. You made a long post which many of us addressed point by point. Hell, you apparently didn't even bother to read my post - why quote me at all?

MaskedOne
20 Jul 2014, 20:05
I am welcoming this thread to time out.

I want second opinions about certain issues and not letting people publicly lose their tempers while I seek second opinions dramatically improves this thread's chance of long term survival.

If all goes well (let's be clear, I'm not promising a thing, merely predicting) then it'll be re-opened inside the 3-16 hours.

ChainLightning
20 Jul 2014, 23:36
Oh, for fuck's sake. Don't people ever learn?


I'm siding with WinterTraditions in this impromptu debate. I take issue with anti-theism, alone. Add Atheists to the mix, that try to disembowel certain theists? That is a sure fire way to light the fuse on *this* tampon.


Listing grievances as a means to prove the validity of anti-theism.
Using supposed "facts" to discredit entire belief systems.
Taking aim at *any* believer, to force-feed them an Atheist reality.
Forgetting that Mankind created religion, not the other way around.
Perpetuating hatred, in ANY form.


I start taking it personal when an atheist, small A, suddenly appears to swell up with pride that they found a theist, unto which they can unleash their dismissive condescension (and oft pretentiousness), in my presence.

An example: On facebook, yesterday, my nephew posted an anti-Islam image, or collage tbh, that listed several atrocities committed by certain extremists, as proof of the folly of Islam, and stating it as the entire world's moral imperative - to rid the planet of all Muslims, once and for all. My nephew thinks of himself as a devout Christian.

I take issue with both ideas, there, personally. A devout Christian, he is not. And his attack on Islam, in its entirety, is no different than any racist/white supremacist wanting to rid this country of all the blacks. (Which he also happens to believe would be appropriate, by the way.) First, the basis for his misguided opinion is NOT his religion. He simply USES his religion to back up his claim that Jesus was a blonde, blue-eyed man from Norfolk, or some such idiocy.

So, in that rats' nest, we have atrocities committed by members of one religious sect, being singled out by a member of another religious sect, that is bent on PROVING a religion is horrible, horribly unacceptable to any God-loving person, and anyone with even a modicum of self respect. It's empty, is what it is. It's the same thing I see, day-in and day-out, with certain extremist Athiests - the ones that focus on ANTI- *whatever*, pick-a-belief.

I see that anti-theism as dehumanizing. I see it as just a more sophisticated form of oppression. I see it as perpetuating hate or discord.

I don't really give a thought to *what* a person wants to believe. Outside of this forum, I've been known to single out specific tenets of many major belief systems, as nonsensical. In fact, that's what made me such a free-thinker, an Eclectic, for my entire adult life. Creationism, for instance, I believe there is something diving in that mix, that brought about the evolution of man. Just not quite in the way some stories are told. Others can believe whatever they want. But I take umbrage at any insinuation that belief, alone, is a sign of weakness, of some measure. I get violently opposed to overtones of hate, whether it's religions, skin colors, genders, or favorite pizza toppings. HATE is the problem. Humans nurturing their hatred under the guise of some false idea that facts are all that matter and that history is a completely accurate barometer of religious dogma.

If you remove the humans, and remove their hate, you lose ALL that ground that you try to shove down theist throats, in that anti-theist diatribe.


But no. Instead, people everywhere, pick their favorite religion to throw rocks at. To blame for naught but human actions. Ya know, the old line about who is the bigger fool, the fool or the one that follows him? Who's the bigger idiot? The idiot or the idiot that tries to PROVE how stupid the idiot is? Let that sink in, for a few minutes. People suck. Then they join religious movements. And people still suck. Then they turn tails and blame religion. And people *still* suck. Then they pretend to be all sophisticated, educated, beyond superstition and beyond reproach, they've become intellectuals with higher standards, values and impeccable morals - totally oblivious to the fact that Muslims are the sole reason that the Dark Ages even ended.

Oh. Wait. They haven't. People STILL suck. They still place some superstitious fear on believers, that those believers do not possess. We humans are a fun lot. If we can't find a good reason to hate, we'll make one up!

ThePaganMafia
21 Jul 2014, 07:27
Any belief system empowers people to feel better or more right than others of different viewpoints. It doesnt couple well with the fact that humans are dicks anyways.

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 07:34
Interesting.

People offended by a LIST of ways in which religious people affect even those who want no part of religion (the point of the list, for those who didn't read clear to the end before drawing long knives*).

I should have added:

To believers, religion is too SACRED to bear the same criticisms that every other thing that exists must bear.

That, in and of itself, even if there were no other reasons at all, is enough to make it frightening - to me. My brain refuses to accept the "touch not the godly" limitation.


* Bjorn excepted. We are currently playing with knives, so it's ok :cool:

thalassa
21 Jul 2014, 08:13
Interesting.

People offended by a LIST of ways in which religious people affect even those who want no part of religion (the point of the list, for those who didn't read clear to the end before drawing long knives*).

I should have added:

To believers, religion is too SACRED to bear the same criticisms that every other thing that exists must bear.

That, in and of itself, even if there were no other reasons at all, is enough to make it frightening - to me. My brain refuses to accept the "touch not the godly" limitation.


Problem with the list is that "religious people" aren't a monolith. Lumping every single religion and every single religious person into a list of things which some religions have done (but may not do anymore) is problematic because it is inaccurate, its stereotyping, and honestly, its guilty of the same sort of bias that some theists levy towards atheists. Blaming religion as the origin of all ills, as if people would not do what people do, without the existence of religion is either willful ignorance or deliberate disingenuity...just as much as saying "religion is wonderful and the origin of good" would be--which, I might add, is not something ANYONE here has said.

Religion (including the lack of it) is an excuse--one more, lousy excuse that people use to point fingers and other one another...if its not a matter of religion, its political philosophy, philosopy philosophy, gender (and gender bias, which is reinforced by certain religions, didn't necessairly start with them), skin color, ethnicity, weight, clothing preference, etc. Religion is a tool--just as much as a screwdriver or a pencil or a rifle...in the hands of a decent person capable of compassion and reason, it can be wielded with some skill as an incredible instrument for good. The problem isn't religion---its the dearth of decent people capable of both compassion and reason. And religious people--theists--don't hold the patent on that problem.

I'm all for being critical. But criticism is generally useful when its constructive, rather than destructive. Pick a religion (and make a specific religion, not "Christians" or "Muslims" or "Baptists" or "Buddhists" unless its actually a belief or action that actually exists among nearly all of their respective groups) and say "this teaching sucks because of X, Y, and Z" or "this action damages X, Y, and Z". At best, a blanket statement is almost never helpful, and even even less often factual...at worst, it comes off as prejudice and bigotry, whether its meant that way or not. Honestly...I expect better of us...because I know that most of us are capable of it.

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 08:34
Problem with the list is that "religious people" aren't a monolith. Lumping every single religion and every single religious person into a list of things which some religions have done (but may not do anymore) is problematic because it is inaccurate, its stereotyping, and honestly, its guilty of the same sort of bias that some theists levy towards atheists. Blaming religion as the origin of all ills, as if people would not do what people do, without the existence of religion is either willful ignorance or deliberate disingenuity...just as much as saying "religion is wonderful and the origin of good" would be--which, I might add, is not something ANYONE here has said.



That is a bit unfair.

To say "this has been an effect of religion" is not the same as saying "every person who has a religion has done this," although I will admit that the misrepresentation is easier to respond to than the actual idea expressed. I fully understand the difference between individuals and averages.

If I say "raccoons carry rabies" I haven't said "all raccoons carry rabies," nor have I blamed raccoons for being subject to rabies.

I've simply stated a fact.

Facts are either right or wrong, but never PC or not PC.

thalassa
21 Jul 2014, 08:43
I fully understand the difference between individuals and averages.

I know that...But that assumes that everyone can and will read it as such...that everyone has the linguistic skill, maturity, comprehension level, and life experience to do so. We all have the tendency to forget that not everyone is on the same playing field in these things.

I know I used your post as an example up there, but the comment itself really was meant as a reminder to everyone, not just to single you out (I should know better than to post on stuff like this at work, because I tend to be too short) and I apologize since looking back, that is how it read.

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 08:48
I know that...But that assumes that everyone can and will read it as such...that everyone has the linguistic skill, maturity, comprehension level, and life experience to do so. We all have the tendency to forget that not everyone is on the same playing field in these things.

Let's teach that then ;)

ChainLightning
21 Jul 2014, 09:48
People offended by a LIST of ways in which religious people affect even those who want no part of religion. And yet, one expects those that want no part of religion, the exception of credulity?

Don't misunderstand me. I know religions have had more than their fair share of negative impacts on others. Atheists don't usually make that same mistake. Anti-theists, however, very frequently do. The real culprit, here, is still not religion but people. You want no part of religion? You have to avoid people. Religions won't chase you down and push dogma under your wheels. People will and do. So, this anti-theist crap, taking potshots at belief systems, is way off the mark.

Way.


I should have added:

To believers, religion is too SACRED to bear the same criticisms that every other thing that exists must bear.

That, in and of itself, even if there were no other reasons at all, is enough to make it frightening - to me. My brain refuses to accept the "touch not the godly" limitation.

And to non-believers, those that believe are relegated to the "begging for a reality check" or "worthy of abuse" category? No.

Criticism comes in many, many flavors. From the gentle, guiding hands that correct one's errors to flat-out derision.

Anything worth a thought is worth analysis. But being anti-religion is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for denigrating faith. Particularly when it's people that have ruined the perceptions of religious beliefs, by manipulation or otherwise nefarious personal agendas, or whatnot. That's not religion, at fault, there. That's human's de rigueur, in their purest form. Seriously. It's pot-kettle. Since humans are so often hideously atrocious to one another, we can be hideously atrocious to others? No. But it's human nature! How can we mere meatsacks ever hope to understand one another, when we're so busy sizing up the opposition, instead? Pointing out the flaws in everyone else and their beliefs?

That is completely outside the realm of religious versus sacrilegious. Instead, it is firmly planted, right in the lap of every single "civilized" being. It's an overblown sense of self, to the detriment of others, that likely have an overblown sense of self, themselves. And you blame religion for that??

People do not have a common ground, at all, except in their vast array of omnipresent vices and shortcomings. The folly of man: they believe they have none.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 10:19
Ok, I'm kind of upset that in our small corner of this site where atheists can discuss their thoughts, we're being told not to.

That, in fact, makes me very angry and hurt. We don't comment on theist threads because it's not helpful but if this is the type of treatment I can expect whenI'm trying to talk to fellow atheists on our own spot, I am left with the conclusion that we are simply not welcome here.

And if such is the case, I will adjust my bookmarks accordingly.

Denarius
21 Jul 2014, 10:40
Ok, I'm kind of upset that in our small corner of this site where atheists can discuss their thoughts, we're being told not to.


That's a bit unfair. We're not being told not to express ourselves, we're having a discussion. Maybe a bit more heated than is strictly necessary, but no one is shutting the other down.

Unchallenging flawed logic inevitably results in misinformation, which is helpful to no one. If it's a belief worth having, then it's a belief that can hold up to scrutiny. That right there is one of the main reasons that I AM an atheist. Because I believe that nothing is above scrutiny.

There's always the SAFE zone for sharing your thoughts. Otherwise expect criticism when warranted, I'd expect nothing less.

Edit: Plus, we're still subject to forum rules and guidelines.

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 10:45
Atheists don't usually make that same mistake. Anti-theists, however, very frequently do. ....

...And to non-believers, those that believe are relegated to the "begging for a reality check" or "worthy of abuse" category? No.

When I make those errors, I'll appreciate them being pointed out. Those are things I may do inadvertently, and would like to correct if I do.

Until them...

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 10:47
Before I ask my question, this little intro is necessary: I don't want to hurt anybody here in this section, but I want to understand something.

Ok, so an atheist is a person that doesn't believe in any god or deity - ok, no problem. But what is exactly is the purpose of anti-theists?
In every group of people (except PF of course), there are good and bad people. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Pagans. It's a matter of case, to whom we speak.
Some will appear normal and capable of having a polite discussion. Others will try to convert people and say things like "you will burn in hell".

So basically, atheists (or even anti theists, to be correct), who really disagree with religious people actually disagree with this group of people that tries to convert and influence, right?

Again, no offense meant here.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 10:49
That's a bit unfair. We're not being told not to express ourselves, we're having a discussion. Maybe a bit more heated than is strictly necessary, but no one is shutting the other down.

Unchallenging flawed logic inevitably results in misinformation, which is helpful to no one. If it's a belief worth having, then it's a belief that can hold up to scrutiny. That right there is one of the main reasons that I AM an atheist. Because I believe that nothing is above scrutiny.

This isn't about scrutiny, I'm fine with that. THIS felt like "don't step on any toes and make sure to be 100% PC so that no one gets offended."

Facts are facts, and the thread getting shut down and scolded for a list of facts is unacceptable in my eyes.

If I'm the only one who feels this way, like I said, I'll politely escort myself out.

thalassa
21 Jul 2014, 10:49
Ok, I'm kind of upset that in our small corner of this site where atheists can discuss their thoughts, we're being told not to.

That, in fact, makes me very angry and hurt. We don't comment on theist threads because it's not helpful but if this is the type of treatment I can expect when I'm trying to talk to fellow atheists on our own spot, I am left with the conclusion that we are simply not welcome here.

And if such is the case, I will adjust my bookmarks accordingly.

Its not a matter of not commenting on theist threads or not commenting on atheist threads...its a matter of not commenting in a way that attacks someone or a group of someones wholesale, or can be (has been) easily construed as attacking someone or a group of someones, regardless of what section someone is in.

The Atheist section is a section for people (including non-atheists) to talk about Atheism, not just a board for Atheists....just as the Heathen board is a board about Heathen traditions, not just a board for Heathens. Although, I'm fairly sure a number of people skip sections for that reason, and most of the use by this board may be by Athiests, the individual boards aren't here to segregate people into their own little clubs, they are here as placeholders for subjects of conversation. In part boards are also a place for people of like mind to find one another, but it certainly isn't a place to find one another to point fingers at each other and giggle behind closed doors over their beliefs or lack of belief. And even sections were here soley for use of *enter group here* it still wouldn't be an Atheist playground to knock theists, anymore than the theistic sections (not that everyone using those sections are thiests anyhow) are every going to be theist playgrounds for knocking Atheism.

This forum is multi-faith (and that includes NO faith), period...every single section of the board, from the Heathen board to the Abrahamic boards to the Rant section. I have no problem with being critical. Be critical. But be constructive about it. Like I said before--criticism is generally useful when its constructive, rather than destructive. Pick a religion (and make a specific religion, not "Christians" or "Muslims" or "Baptists" or "Buddhists" or "theists"...or "atheists"...unless its actually a belief or action that actually exists among nearly all of their respective groups) and say "this teaching sucks because of X, Y, and Z" or "this action damages X, Y, and Z". At best, a blanket statement is almost never helpful, and even even less often factual...at worst, it comes off as prejudice and bigotry, whether its meant that way or not. Honestly...I expect better of us...because I know that most of us are capable of it.

I might add that this goes for every single part of this forum, period. This just happens to be the first place its shown up in a while. All of us, ALL OF US (and that includes myself, and staff), can stand to improve in the manner in which we express ourselves, so that we are perfectly clear when we mean to be insulting or not...and can stand to improve in how we react when we are questioned or criticized.

Denarius
21 Jul 2014, 10:56
THIS felt like "don't step on any toes and make sure to be 100% PC so that no one gets offended.

There are conduct rules here, simple as that. Facts or no, you still have to behave within the community guidelines. Things like respect and tolerance is a part of that, and that's great. That focus on community is very likely the reason why this part of the forums exist in the first place.

Edit: Thal got to it first.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 11:03
Someone explain to me how a list of facts is an attack.

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 11:04
My last $0.02 in this thread.

I take offense to someone telling me that my beliefs are 100% offensive (because a handful of members that have held those beliefs have been so) and that it's my responsibility to justify their behavior.

I did not do so - instead I responded to the post with an attempt at kindness and understanding - which went ignored, I think, because I'm an Atheist.

BDC rattled off a list of why he felt that religion was at fault.

Nobody addressed his points - he was attacked for pointing out the obvious.

My post wasn't even read, yet was responded to in kind.

And the Mods are defending the illiterate that crossed into "here there be dragons" - I mean seriously, if you hate alligators you should probably stay out of Louisiana swamps.

I'm all for discussion, but this isn't that. Reality is not subjective.

/done

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 11:07
Before I ask my question, this little intro is necessary: I don't want to hurt anybody here in this section, but I want to understand something.

Ok, so an atheist is a person that doesn't believe in any god or deity - ok, no problem. But what is exactly is the purpose of anti-theists?


I had to look up the term "anti-theist" to make sure it really means what the two parts mean - against the belief in gods.

It does.

Specifically, it indicates that a belief in gods is harmful to people and/or society.

To be clear -

It doesn't mean a belief that it is completely harmful, with no possibility of any good.

It does not mean a belief that people who practice a religion are retarded

It does not mean a belief that all believers in god(s) are creating equal harm, or any harm at all.

It does not mean a belief that anti-theists have a blanket license for theist hunting.

It does not mean a belief that nasty or impolite behavior is acceptable.



In short, people who are anti-theist are subject to the same kind of broad spectrum prejudicial condemnation that the religiosi accuse anti-theists of leveling at them.

That needs to be out in the open before the conversation continues.

Respect works both ways, or I cancel my subscription to Good Manners Weekly.

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 11:08
Someone explain to me how a list of facts is an attack.

It's considered to be an attack because the reader assumes they are expected to defend it.

There is no defense for that list - it was a horrible list of human beings doing what human beings do in the name of religion.

But because we don't have a religion to claim "foul!" under we get singled out. Remember - you can attack "non religion" all you want, after all, nobody that matters will care.

While this is NOT the standard that I've seen at this forum, that certainly seems to be the case here.

/doneforrealsies

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 11:10
My last $0.02 in this thread.

I take offense to someone telling me that my beliefs are 100% offensive (because a handful of members that have held those beliefs have been so) and that it's my responsibility to justify their behavior.

I did not do so - instead I responded to the post with an attempt at kindness and understanding - which went ignored, I think, because I'm an Atheist.

BDC rattled off a list of why he felt that religion was at fault.

Nobody addressed his points - he was attacked for pointing out the obvious.

My post wasn't even read, yet was responded to in kind.

And the Mods are defending the illiterate that crossed into "here there be dragons" - I mean seriously, if you hate alligators you should probably stay out of Louisiana swamps.

I'm all for discussion, but this isn't that. Reality is not subjective.

/done

SO MUCH THIS.

I'm disgusted.

thalassa
21 Jul 2014, 11:12
This isn't about scrutiny, I'm fine with that. THIS felt like "don't step on any toes and make sure to be 100% PC so that no one gets offended."

Facts are facts, and the thread getting shut down and scolded for a list of facts is unacceptable in my eyes.

If I'm the only one who feels this way, like I said, I'll politely escort myself out.

AFAIC, its not getting shut down for this conversation.

I don't want to put this in green or red, but this is sort of half-Thal and half-Thal as mod/admin speaking:

I think this right here is something that should be discussed, and its been a long time coming---not specifically from this conversation, or from a theist vs nontheist standpoint, just in general. MO closed this thread temporairly because of other things going on beind the scenes...this thread was not shut down for the content of the conversation but because of the tone--as I mentioned to Corbin, we as individuals often have a tendency to assume that everyone has the linguistic skill, maturity, comprehension level, and life experience to meet these sorts of heated conversations of equal footing...we as staff, often know more about when this is not the case than general users do, and when we aren't sure, we act preemptively.

The simple fact of this forum is that we have a lot of disparate belief systems. We are a unique place where people of disparate belief systems come together to talk about them. Invariably due to these disparate belief systems, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, panties in a wad, toes stepped on, etc--whether it be fairly or unfairly. We (staff wise) try to minimize that...and yeah, minimizing that probably does feel like the PC police.

I get that you feel sort of like this is your safe zone. I completely understand that, and I sympathize...but the simple fact of things is that this entire forum should be safe for mostly everyone. Not safe from challenging thinking, not safe from criticism, but safe emotional ground without fear of being ridiculed for their beliefs, whatever they may be.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 11:14
Then there shouldn't be a section for us at all. Facts are facts and I'm not going to censor myself for people who can't be bothered to read the disclaimer.

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 11:31
I had to look up the term "anti-theist" to make sure it really means what the two parts mean - against the belief in gods.

It does.

Specifically, it indicates that a belief in gods is harmful to people and/or society.

To be clear -

It doesn't mean a belief that it is completely harmful, with no possibility of any good.

It does not mean a belief that people who practice a religion are retarded

It does not mean a belief that all believers in god(s) are creating equal harm, or any harm at all.

It does not mean a belief that anti-theists have a blanket license for theist hunting.

It does not mean a belief that nasty or impolite behavior is acceptable.



In short, people who are anti-theist are subject to the same kind of broad spectrum prejudicial condemnation that the religiosi accuse anti-theists of leveling at them.

That needs to be out in the open before the conversation continues.

Respect works both ways, or I cancel my subscription to Good Manners Weekly.

Thanks very much, Corbin :) . It really tells a lot.

- - - Updated - - -


Then there shouldn't be a section for us at all. Facts are facts and I'm not going to censor myself for people who can't be bothered to read the disclaimer.
Bjorn, it's ok not to agree with someone and to have an argument, of course as long as it is a polite one. Plus, wanting facts is also fine. But, remember that religion and science are not separated. They complete each other.
I understand your point of view, but let me ask you something. - Is there a proof that there is no god at all (any god)? Why and for what purpose were all of the ancient temples built then?

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 11:35
Furthermore, how is it belittling to state FACTS?

I'm effing flabbergasted. No one called anyone stupid, though Chain was quick to step in with remarkable condescension.
No one attacked anyone.

If reading these threads makes someone feel guilty or attacked then that's on them. We can't be fairly asked to tiptoe around historical accuracy to avoid someone's potential future hurt.

It's foul. It's unfair. I'm not letting this one go.

Medusa
21 Jul 2014, 12:43
The "I'm offended" level in this thread is too damn high.
Ya'll need Cthulhu.

ChainLightning
21 Jul 2014, 14:08
Wow. I step away to grab a nap and people suddenly get all sorts of butt hurt.

I jumped in, so as to take up an already catastrophic debate. One in which I am particularly keen. If you folks think I'm being condescending, because I am stating an opposing viewpoint, with no less care for the nerves it tweaks, fine. I'm in the wrong business. But if you all can handle throwing firewater at others' belief, why can't you handle people throwing firewater at your NON-belief?

Master Corbin and I said virtually the exact same thing, at one point, just on opposing sides of this debate. He's not wrong. Nor am I.

As Thal has explained, and MO attempted to, the tone in this thread was off the charts. You all know me. That's an invitation to PLAY. I LOVE heated debates! I love the passion that people put into their BEING, in such debates. I don't actually care which side of the debate I get to argue on, or for, I just want IN.

Now, as to facts. Bjorn, my dear, you're wielding this demand for facts around like some sort of shield. Corbin produced a number of things he felt strongly about, that prove that the belief in gods is harmful. That is not a fact. I'm sorry to say. The facts, he listed, are certainly worthy of supporting his theory. That much is true. But to prove that the belief (in gods) is harmful? That, it does not do. It simply suggests. In my special way, I attempted to *prove* the opposite. Which is where it gets interesting, for me.

Rok hasn't had a debate with me for quite the long time, now. Under normal circumstances, I think he would have recognized my take on the subject. But then, his own comments, in here, seem to fluctuate between ambiguous and accusative. It is a step to defend one person's opposing view. And look at how fast that view gets squashed. I don't want her in here, facing you guys. You all have been around the debating block hundreds of times. You *are* the big dogs on this block. Nobody is telling you what to believe or what not to believe. But somebody *is* raising some very pointed issues with the method of calling a belief or religion harmful.

This is what happened recently, when I named both TS and Rok, in a continuing atmosphere that was not conducive to religious tolerance. In the atheist boards, you get a bit more leeway, for the sheer meaning of Atheism - which to some probably *could* find somehow offensive. But these are the Atheist boards. They paid their admission.

As to the forum, might I just copy our Mission Statement, one more time, for all those that may have missed reading it?

Pagan Forum is a multi-faith discussion board. We welcome members of all faiths and paths to share their experiences and broaden their knowledge of many different types of religious traditions. We seek to provide a comfortable environment where our members can feel safe and may openly share any information without fear of religious intolerance.

People can't really feel safe when they keep seeing people talk about how harmful and atrocious their religion is. If we were to make it quite comfortable for all our non-believers, we would have no believer on-site. And vice versa. We have to walk a narrow balance, there. It is that context, that Thal and myself have tried to tweak in this thread. A la, scrutiny works two ways. We can't shield non-belief from scrutiny if we can't shield belief from scrutiny. And why the heck would anyone be shielding anything anyway? Oh yeah. Those pesky words like, "welcome", "comfort", and "safe".


Am I to understand that the members of PF won't allow opposing viewpoints, anymore? That those pesky words only apply to SOME people, namely you Atheists? I already know that *that* is bullshit. You guys aren't like that. None of you. I'm sorry you all got so worked up about your right to condemn religion not being up to par with your freedom from offense when someone condemns yours.


I'm done. This debate has lost all intrigue, now.

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 14:18
Bjorn, it's ok not to agree with someone and to have an argument, of course as long as it is a polite one. Plus, wanting facts is also fine. But, remember that religion and science are not separated. They complete each other.
Sorry Gleb, this is an opinion. I believe that as a survival trait religion has been necessary for our species, but I also think that that time is passed and that religion isn't necessary from an evolutionary standpoint. That's a far cry from thinking that religion is offering any discernible benefit to mankind right now, which does not seem to be the case. I do not think that religion and science must compete with each other, but when religion trods on scientific territory, science has every right to defend it's ground.



I understand your point of view, but let me ask you something. - Is there a proof that there is no god at all (any god)? Why and for what purpose were all of the ancient temples built then?
I think that you don't understand our point of view ;)

Science requires that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The claimant is always the one that must defend his or her stance (using science). That's the way that science works.

When you talk about things that require "belief", you are definitively in the realm of "claimant" as well as "extraordinary proof". You don't believe me? Let me ask you something:

Do you believe in gravity?

Of course you don't. You don't need to build a temple to it or beg it for forgiveness - it works on all matter, regardless of opinion or belief. Proof is easy, evidence is abundant.

God? No evidence. No proof. Some temples? Are you seriously going to tell me that that constitutes "proof" to you?

http://disturbinghorror.com/Serial-Killers/Serial-Killers-Bio/Jeffery-Dahmer.html

Jeffrey Dhamer was building an altar of human skulls - does that mean the God he believed in is real? Or is it just possible that the m'fer was insane? And 200 years ago? An intelligent but insane person could go a long long way toward mass oppression. Humans are easy to control, after all.

So no, I don't believe that any man made device or man-written book is, in and of itself, evidence of God.

Do magickal things only happen in such places? Or after reading certain syllables? Cool - let's prove it! Let me ride along on your ghost hunts and on your psychic journeys - that would be an excellent way to prove to me that any of it works.

But keep in mind that I've done my research. I know an awful lot about the science behind why these things appear to work (oftentimes)...so if it's one of those reasons that makes it seem to work? That doesn't constitute proof.

But you wanted to know why temples were built? Because human beings desire answers, and we haven't always (hell, for the majority of our own history) had the ability to answer those questions. And when we don't have answers, we panic. And large numbers of panicky people are called a "mob", and are notoriously difficult to control. But if those people have answers, they stop being panicky and they start getting to work doing the things that need to be done (that they also don't understand) like growing food for the populace and making sure there's clean water. But we aren't living in times where those questions can't be answered anymore. Most of the people today are literate for starters, so they don't have to rely on just what some other person wants them to know. Now they have the ability to self-educate, and with the Internet that has completely removed ANY excuse for not knowing something. The only real question is whether or not you're able to ask the right question.

The question isn't, "Does God exist?" The question is, "Why do you think that He does?" In short, until I make an extraordinary claim, it's not my responsibility to prove a damned thing.

- - - Updated - - -

Chain: none of my comments have been directed at you, specifically. Not a one.

My issue is this - and I've pointed this out: We were blindly attacked, flat out, in our own section. When we responded - BDC with his list, Bjorn with confusion and genuine concern for understanding, and myself under the assumption that the complainant had just had bad experiences, we were once again attacked and told - essentially, that if we didn't have "religion" our value bottomed out.

Not everyone has put forth or supported that view. But I believe that some people are unwittingly supporting the persons behind it without realizing exactly how offensive it actually is.

Like you, I would rather work it out...but I came by my Atheism fairly - you of all people should know that. You also know that I of all people grant everyone the opportunity to explain themselves - which I also did. I cannot answer for the others in this thread, but this is my view. As far as my response to Gleb goes, it also supports the idea that the believers here really don't understand...and this is absolutely fine! But then come in and learn to understand.

As you said, we *are* the big dogs - you know damned well we can't back down when challenged ;)

WinterTraditions
21 Jul 2014, 14:22
I wish people would read before they respond. I didn't say anything about war. I said "success", which is something you implied that other atheists based on religion. While I know Atheists that hold this view, it is demonstrably false. Note: Nothing about war or crusades, simply a response to your...response.

Not only that, but selectively picking and choosing what you decide you want to respond to is kind of a crappy thing to do. You made a long post which many of us addressed point by point. Hell, you apparently didn't even bother to read my post - why quote me at all?

Why are you offended that I only responded to a small portion of your response? I only respond to specific text for one or two reasons:

1) I am avoiding attacking another person
2) I wish to stop the specific conversation
or
3) I understand your point and I don't feel the need to add anything to it

Are you wanting me to respond to every sentence you make with 'yes you're right' or 'no you're wrong'?

I know you didn't say anything about war. Perhaps I should have worded that differently... I don't know of Buddhism or Shintoism doing any harm, or not causing success. You can certainly correct me. Science has had it's moments of being unsuccessful, as has several religious movements. But to say that religion has never been successful? That's way to broad of a hole you're digging.

Denarius
21 Jul 2014, 14:32
I don't know of Buddhism or Shintoism doing any harm, or not causing success.

There's an entire article on wikipedia about Buddhism and violence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_violence). Plus, the argument can and has been made that Shinto (and Buddhism) played a huge role in Imperial Japan's military actions.

WinterTraditions
21 Jul 2014, 14:39
There's an entire article on wikipedia about Buddhism and violence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_violence). Plus, the argument can and has been made that Shinto (and Buddhism) played a huge role in Imperial Japan's military actions.

Thanks for the link. Wish it wasn't from Wikipedia, though. Can you give me some reliable sources on religion's role in Imperial Japan?

Denarius
21 Jul 2014, 14:44
Thanks for the link. Wish it wasn't from Wikipedia, though. Can you give me some reliable sources on religion's role in Imperial Japan?

well, there's some books: Zen at War (http://www.amazon.com/Zen-at-War-2nd-Edition/dp/0742539261), Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand (http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Fury-Religion-Violence-Southern/dp/0199793247/ref=pd_sim_b_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0DN5TW5TMZMFR30V0AEQ) and Buddhist Warfare. (http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Warfare-Michael-Jerryson/dp/0195394844/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y)

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 14:45
I know you didn't say anything about war. Perhaps I should have worded that differently... I don't know of Buddhism or Shintoism doing any harm, or not causing success. You can certainly correct me. Science has had it's moments of being unsuccessful, as has several religious movements. But to say that religion has never been successful? That's way to broad of a hole you're digging.

Show me in this thread where I claimed that religion caused harm. I made no such claim, with the two exceptions (known religions, cults are obvious) Jehovas Witnesses and Scientologists. I have reasons for both which I am happy to ennumerate for you, although I'm certain they can be found elsewhere on the Forums. You accuse me of something that I have not said/done, and demand that I defend it.

The answer is no. Show me where I have made such a claim, and I will defend that.

WinterTraditions
21 Jul 2014, 15:09
Show me in this thread where I claimed that religion caused harm. I made no such claim, with the two exceptions (known religions, cults are obvious) Jehovas Witnesses and Scientologists. I have reasons for both which I am happy to ennumerate for you, although I'm certain they can be found elsewhere on the Forums. You accuse me of something that I have not said/done, and demand that I defend it.

The answer is no. Show me where I have made such a claim, and I will defend that.

I never claimed that you said religion causes harm. Am I not allowed to say that I don't know of two religions causing harm, in correlation with your announcement that religion never leads to success? I asked for correction on if there are incidents where Buddhism or Shintoism never caused success. You're getting mad at me for being selective in what I respond to, and you responded to a single word I said while assuming that I claimed you to say that religion causes harm.

ChainLightning
21 Jul 2014, 15:28
Winter, Stop. Rok, just... stop.

Your key points were: Rok, you said success has never been dependent on religion, or a lack of it. Or something to that effect.

Winter, please stop projecting innocence when statements you've made were wildly incorrect.


That's enough, now! You can't even get your argument straight.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 16:14
It's all making sense. I thought about it. Calmed a little. Figured out: Idon't actually belong here because I'm no longer pagan.

Says 'pagan' right in the url.

You'll not see my face on boards of any importance.

ThePaganMafia
21 Jul 2014, 16:39
I don't know. If Atheists can deal with people beliving in faeries and have a relationship with a multitude of deities then Pagans can deal with anti-theism.

B. de Corbin
21 Jul 2014, 16:45
I'm moving over to a thread on Humanism, if anybody wants to leave this rumble...

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 22:51
Sorry Gleb, this is an opinion. I believe that as a survival trait religion has been necessary for our species, but I also think that that time is passed and that religion isn't necessary from an evolutionary standpoint. That's a far cry from thinking that religion is offering any discernible benefit to mankind right now, which does not seem to be the case. I do not think that religion and science must compete with each other, but when religion trods on scientific territory, science has every right to defend it's ground.


I think that you don't understand our point of view ;)

Science requires that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The claimant is always the one that must defend his or her stance (using science). That's the way that science works.

When you talk about things that require "belief", you are definitively in the realm of "claimant" as well as "extraordinary proof". You don't believe me? Let me ask you something:

Do you believe in gravity?

Of course you don't. You don't need to build a temple to it or beg it for forgiveness - it works on all matter, regardless of opinion or belief. Proof is easy, evidence is abundant.

God? No evidence. No proof. Some temples? Are you seriously going to tell me that that constitutes "proof" to you?

http://disturbinghorror.com/Serial-Killers/Serial-Killers-Bio/Jeffery-Dahmer.html

Jeffrey Dhamer was building an altar of human skulls - does that mean the God he believed in is real? Or is it just possible that the m'fer was insane? And 200 years ago? An intelligent but insane person could go a long long way toward mass oppression. Humans are easy to control, after all.

So no, I don't believe that any man made device or man-written book is, in and of itself, evidence of God.

Do magickal things only happen in such places? Or after reading certain syllables? Cool - let's prove it! Let me ride along on your ghost hunts and on your psychic journeys - that would be an excellent way to prove to me that any of it works.

But keep in mind that I've done my research. I know an awful lot about the science behind why these things appear to work (oftentimes)...so if it's one of those reasons that makes it seem to work? That doesn't constitute proof.

But you wanted to know why temples were built? Because human beings desire answers, and we haven't always (hell, for the majority of our own history) had the ability to answer those questions. And when we don't have answers, we panic. And large numbers of panicky people are called a "mob", and are notoriously difficult to control. But if those people have answers, they stop being panicky and they start getting to work doing the things that need to be done (that they also don't understand) like growing food for the populace and making sure there's clean water. But we aren't living in times where those questions can't be answered anymore. Most of the people today are literate for starters, so they don't have to rely on just what some other person wants them to know. Now they have the ability to self-educate, and with the Internet that has completely removed ANY excuse for not knowing something. The only real question is whether or not you're able to ask the right question.

The question isn't, "Does God exist?" The question is, "Why do you think that He does?" In short, until I make an extraordinary claim, it's not my responsibility to prove a damned thing.



It makes sense, Rok. I also agree that the right question is as you said - "Why do you think god exists?" and not- "Do you believe in him?".
Personally, if I was asked this question, I would go slowly back through history.
I would like you to read what I will write next, and correct me if I am wrong at some point. :) I still have two questions about the subject.

1. What kind of facts are necessary, in order to prove the existence of a god?
2. If we go back from our current era, and think about the history of everything, what will be the conclusion?
21st century (all the pagan branches evolve again, Abrahamic religions too, and there is also growth of technology and science) -> Middle Centuries (Mostly Christianity rules over everything, almost no technology growth, the only growth known is the one of art) -> The era of myths, when the paganism was spread almost everywhere. It is mostly the mythology that is taught in elementary schools. -> Dinosaurs.
But what was before? How did the world create? What is the cause of the beginning of everything? Why there are also several other galaxies?
Perhaps there IS a scientific answer to my questions. That's why I post them here. :)

- - - Updated - - -

I don't want to say someone is wrong here, but just to have a polite argument. Without attacking anyone, but coming together to a solution of some sort.

Roknrol
22 Jul 2014, 08:38
It makes sense, Rok. I also agree that the right question is as you said - "Why do you think god exists?" and not- "Do you believe in him?".
Personally, if I was asked this question, I would go slowly back through history. That would be a good starting point - just don't "end" there ;) History is passed :D


I would like you to read what I will write next, and correct me if I am wrong at some point. :) I still have two questions about the subject.I'm far from an expert, but I'll give it a shot :)


1. What kind of facts are necessary, in order to prove the existence of a god?You don't, or at least, science doesn't. The problem here is that definitions are fuzzy, and Science relies on understanding the question as much as understanding the answer.

I could certainly offer up...suggestions...but they would by no means be an "encompassing" list of proofs, as God is supposedly all-powerful. Presumably He could change the laws of Physics. I'd say that'd be a pretty solid proof there.

Bringing someone back from the dead? Sure, as long as there's evidence that the person was actually dead - say, someone that's already been embalmed - that'd be a pretty neat trick.

For me, the biggest evidence that there *isn't* a traditional God is found at the site "Why won't God heal amputees" or something like that.

We hear every day how God worked on someone's behalf. We hear about cured cancer and cured children and cured parents and cured pets - everything from cancer to psoriasis...but I have never - not one time - heard a story about how some amputee regrew a limb. Not one. Mountains of anecdotal evidence cannot ignore the fact that when God really has the opportunity to make His point, He doesn't.

What would I accept? Well, anything acceptable :) It would have to be something testable and unexplainable by any simpler means (Occam's Razor).



2. If we go back from our current era, and think about the history of everything, what will be the conclusion?
21st century (all the pagan branches evolve again, Abrahamic religions too, and there is also growth of technology and science) -> Middle Centuries (Mostly Christianity rules over everything, almost no technology growth, the only growth known is the one of art) -> The era of myths, when the paganism was spread almost everywhere. It is mostly the mythology that is taught in elementary schools. -> Dinosaurs. Well, this assumes "Western History", as I'm certain the Chinese have had a very very different historical last few thousand years.

But we can't really work backwards I don't think - hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20...we can't know what our ancestors thought by where we ended up. We *can* know what our ancestors thought by what we read though (and by what they wrote, of course) and we can see countless examples of where human perceptions have deceptively led people to the incorrect conclusions (earth is flat, bathing is bad, sex with family is good, etc etc etc etc etc...really, the list goes on as long as you feel like enumerating)

This is how *I* view human history, but this is not "science"...simply my perception.

20,000 years ago humanity is nearly wiped out by an asteroid, largely blocking the sun and causing an ice age. These near-humans used some tools, but were far from scientists.

I know not which form their Gods would have taken prior to this event, but is there any real mystery on why our earliest Gods were Animals and the Sun? Oh, and fire...we can't forget fire.

On top of that we have the very human need for social interaction, the very real existence of people that want to dictate how other people live, and the very very real existence of people that are willing to blindly follow.

Rinse and repeat for a few thousand years.

Magically you end up with all sorts of magic stories about magic people that did magic things magically. They are the beliefs - the suggestions and teachings, the uplifting sayings and songs, that help keep people alive when they don't have much more reason to do so.

And as a tool, the people in charge find out how very very very useful it is. Telling someone that they have to climb into the yucky water to wash invisible bugs off of their body so they don't die may be a little over their heads, but people understand "Cleanliness is next to Godliness", as well as "God said so."

Now...some of those people still exist. These people desperately need to be told how the Universe works and they are willing to accept the FIRST answer as the RIGHT answer.

I'm sure I've deviated and this didn't answer your question - ask again another way and I'll try again another way :D



But what was before? How did the world create? What is the cause of the beginning of everything? Why there are also several other galaxies?Why does "God" answer these questions better than "we don't know"?

Personally I find the answer "I don't know" to be very satisfying...it gives us something to research. "God did it!" doesn't really answer anything, as (I pointed out above), God isn't even defined.


Perhaps there IS a scientific answer to my questions. That's why I post them here. :)And someday there might be. There ARE limitations in science (science doesn't claim to be able to answer everything) - after all, the Universe is only as big as what we can see. Since light travels at a set speed, we know that the Universe is (at least) a few hundred billion years old (based on how "far" we can see)...but you know, it could be a WHOLE lot bigger - the light from those distant stars just haven't reached us yet.

So to answer your questions:
What was before? We don't know.
How did the world create? World or Universe? The Universe (as best we can tell) started off with everything compressed into one tiny finite amount of space. The pressure was too big (due to an imbalance between matter and antimatter, as best we can tell) and exploded (too much pressure). After a few billion years, gravity took over and started pulling matter together (we have tested and can witness at least this much in space). Eventually, big balls of gas get together, build up pressure (because, you know, gravity) and eventually it gets so dense and hot that the gas combusts. BAM, stars. In the hearts of stars, with the heat and pressure, the elements are created - Oxygen, Hydrogen, Iron, Diamonds, CARBON (which is kind of important).

Over billions of years, matter is ejected into space and reabsorbed into stars. Planets form from debris that is too far away from a star to be pulled in right away because gravity (and newtons laws) still work. Etc etc etc - I'm leaving gaps, but that should be enough to get you started if you want to know details :)

What is the cause of the beginning of everything? We don't know
Why there are also several other galaxies? AFAIC this question alone is enough to cause me to question the existence of a God that supposedly only has our best interests in mind.

Humanity used to believe that the Earth was the center of our solar system. Science has shown us that, not only are we not in the center of the solar system, we're at the fringe of a galaxy that's nothing particularly special, NOT in the middle of the Universe. Doesn't sound like we're the prime focus of much,



- - - Updated - - -

I don't want to say someone is wrong here, but just to have a polite argument. Without attacking anyone, but coming together to a solution of some sort.

Even though it's not strictly on-topic, I much prefer real conversation to petty bickering myself.

And sometimes science doesn't answer the questions to people's satisfaction...that is very true. But does God always do so? And at least with science you have a fair shot of getting an answer that makes sense (even if it's one you don't like).

Gleb
22 Jul 2014, 09:11
That would be a good starting point - just don't "end" there ;) History is passed :D

I'm far from an expert, but I'll give it a shot :)

You don't, or at least, science doesn't. The problem here is that definitions are fuzzy, and Science relies on understanding the question as much as understanding the answer.

I could certainly offer up...suggestions...but they would by no means be an "encompassing" list of proofs, as God is supposedly all-powerful. Presumably He could change the laws of Physics. I'd say that'd be a pretty solid proof there.

Bringing someone back from the dead? Sure, as long as there's evidence that the person was actually dead - say, someone that's already been embalmed - that'd be a pretty neat trick.

For me, the biggest evidence that there *isn't* a traditional God is found at the site "Why won't God heal amputees" or something like that.

We hear every day how God worked on someone's behalf. We hear about cured cancer and cured children and cured parents and cured pets - everything from cancer to psoriasis...but I have never - not one time - heard a story about how some amputee regrew a limb. Not one. Mountains of anecdotal evidence cannot ignore the fact that when God really has the opportunity to make His point, He doesn't.

What would I accept? Well, anything acceptable :) It would have to be something testable and unexplainable by any simpler means (Occam's Razor).


Well, this assumes "Western History", as I'm certain the Chinese have had a very very different historical last few thousand years.

But we can't really work backwards I don't think - hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20...we can't know what our ancestors thought by where we ended up. We *can* know what our ancestors thought by what we read though (and by what they wrote, of course) and we can see countless examples of where human perceptions have deceptively led people to the incorrect conclusions (earth is flat, bathing is bad, sex with family is good, etc etc etc etc etc...really, the list goes on as long as you feel like enumerating)

This is how *I* view human history, but this is not "science"...simply my perception.

20,000 years ago humanity is nearly wiped out by an asteroid, largely blocking the sun and causing an ice age. These near-humans used some tools, but were far from scientists.

I know not which form their Gods would have taken prior to this event, but is there any real mystery on why our earliest Gods were Animals and the Sun? Oh, and fire...we can't forget fire.

On top of that we have the very human need for social interaction, the very real existence of people that want to dictate how other people live, and the very very real existence of people that are willing to blindly follow.

Rinse and repeat for a few thousand years.

Magically you end up with all sorts of magic stories about magic people that did magic things magically. They are the beliefs - the suggestions and teachings, the uplifting sayings and songs, that help keep people alive when they don't have much more reason to do so.

And as a tool, the people in charge find out how very very very useful it is. Telling someone that they have to climb into the yucky water to wash invisible bugs off of their body so they don't die may be a little over their heads, but people understand "Cleanliness is next to Godliness", as well as "God said so."

Now...some of those people still exist. These people desperately need to be told how the Universe works and they are willing to accept the FIRST answer as the RIGHT answer.

I'm sure I've deviated and this didn't answer your question - ask again another way and I'll try again another way :D


Why does "God" answer these questions better than "we don't know"?

Personally I find the answer "I don't know" to be very satisfying...it gives us something to research. "God did it!" doesn't really answer anything, as (I pointed out above), God isn't even defined.

And someday there might be. There ARE limitations in science (science doesn't claim to be able to answer everything) - after all, the Universe is only as big as what we can see. Since light travels at a set speed, we know that the Universe is (at least) a few hundred billion years old (based on how "far" we can see)...but you know, it could be a WHOLE lot bigger - the light from those distant stars just haven't reached us yet.

So to answer your questions:
What was before? We don't know.
How did the world create? World or Universe? The Universe (as best we can tell) started off with everything compressed into one tiny finite amount of space. The pressure was too big (due to an imbalance between matter and antimatter, as best we can tell) and exploded (too much pressure). After a few billion years, gravity took over and started pulling matter together (we have tested and can witness at least this much in space). Eventually, big balls of gas get together, build up pressure (because, you know, gravity) and eventually it gets so dense and hot that the gas combusts. BAM, stars. In the hearts of stars, with the heat and pressure, the elements are created - Oxygen, Hydrogen, Iron, Diamonds, CARBON (which is kind of important).

Over billions of years, matter is ejected into space and reabsorbed into stars. Planets form from debris that is too far away from a star to be pulled in right away because gravity (and newtons laws) still work. Etc etc etc - I'm leaving gaps, but that should be enough to get you started if you want to know details :)

What is the cause of the beginning of everything? We don't know
Why there are also several other galaxies? AFAIC this question alone is enough to cause me to question the existence of a God that supposedly only has our best interests in mind.

Humanity used to believe that the Earth was the center of our solar system. Science has shown us that, not only are we not in the center of the solar system, we're at the fringe of a galaxy that's nothing particularly special, NOT in the middle of the Universe. Doesn't sound like we're the prime focus of much,




Even though it's not strictly on-topic, I much prefer real conversation to petty bickering myself.

And sometimes science doesn't answer the questions to people's satisfaction...that is very true. But does God always do so? And at least with science you have a fair shot of getting an answer that makes sense (even if it's one you don't like).

Thanks very much, Rok :) You have given me an excellent start point about everything. I guess the rest is just research.

GardenOfShadows
22 Sep 2014, 12:14
For the brave theists, got any horror stories?

No, not really. At most, people think I'm silly or a little delusional. I've never actually been heavily criticized or called stupid for being a theist.


Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you?

No, they don't.


Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

Until the day comes where I'm told I can't practice my path, or that somehow my path will lead to the fall of rationality and civilization, I don't care what other people think.

satanic witch
22 Sep 2014, 12:50
I don't have a problem with atheism , but like every group u have extremests , now anti - theism is somthing that I've had a few brushes with on the internet thank the gods not in person, from some people I've met online who have anti theism views they seemed execivily rude and aggravating , them and extremest Christians are the only ones I have any real pains with

loststarshine
22 Sep 2014, 13:53
No. I like disagreement lol. I like discussion. I like debate. To me, there is nothing more boring than a 'discussion' thread where everyone just follows each other going 'oh yeah, I agree' or something like that. BORING! Disagree with me! Challenge me! Make me think about my beliefs and the reasons behind them. Either I'll take what you say on board and adjust my beliefs or I'll decide that it doesn't change anything and keep on believing. Spirituality without discussion and disagreement is blind faith, and I'm really not into that. .[/QUOTE]


That all of that^^ exactly how I feel. Since joining the boards I revaluate my thoughts and feelings helping my beliefs grow and transform

dantefrizzoli
24 Sep 2014, 14:11
It's always seemed to me that denominations/divisions/sects/whatever-you-want-to-call-thems are most responsible for taking the spirituality of a few and turning it into the madness of many. By this definition...



Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
Anti-theism: an active opposition to theism of any kind, or an active opposition to specific kinds


...I would have to say anti-theism seems to have the most precise line on countering the evils done by and in the name of religion.

Azvanna
24 Sep 2014, 17:18
1. What kind of facts are necessary, in order to prove the existence of a god?
- - - Updated - - -


I smiled when I read that because what a curly question!! Divinity/spirituality is articulated in so many different ways it would be hard to know what is being proven even with a fact in hand!

I love discussing spirituality with my friend who's a scientist. He identifies as atheist but not anti-theist. He remarked to me that divinity is a construct we (our human ancestors) used to explain the mysterious. His example was that when we didn't know what made the waves move like they do, we imbued them with a water-spirit. He reckoned that religion is a social construct to get a group of people to agree to behave a certain way. He asked me why I believed in God and all I could give him were statements that started with 'I feel' or 'because of *this unexplained mystery.* He made his point, but I think it's very important to have a language to explain those experiences that fall beyond the five senses.

I don't think that it's the belief in divinity that is harmful, but it's what the mind and the conscience does with such a belief. What guides the conscience depends very much on the ability to empathise, past experiences and social conditioning. There's a song by Sara Groves called 'Painting Pictures of Egypt' and in the lyric she sings 'but the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned. Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.' It's a song about cognitive inertia and I feel this is where we are at on a global scale at the moment. As a human race, we are only just getting to know each other and our world. We are meeting people with other ways of living that conflict with our own. Scientific advances challenge our interpretation of the supernatural. When the sifting ends, what will remain?

Anti-theism just seems silly to me. It seems to perpetuate the same things it wants to stop. When people fight verbally or physically in the name of their gods, what they are really fighting for is their way of life. They would still have a way of life without a divinity to centre it around. Anti-theism seems to pick a fight over lifestyle choice as well. It doesn't seem helpful.

Gleb
24 Sep 2014, 20:29
I smiled when I read that because what a curly question!! Divinity/spirituality is articulated in so many different ways it would be hard to know what is being proven even with a fact in hand!

I love discussing spirituality with my friend who's a scientist. He identifies as atheist but not anti-theist. He remarked to me that divinity is a construct we (our human ancestors) used to explain the mysterious. His example was that when we didn't know what made the waves move like they do, we imbued them with a water-spirit. He reckoned that religion is a social construct to get a group of people to agree to behave a certain way. He asked me why I believed in God and all I could give him were statements that started with 'I feel' or 'because of *this unexplained mystery.* He made his point, but I think it's very important to have a language to explain those experiences that fall beyond the five senses.

I don't think that it's the belief in divinity that is harmful, but it's what the mind and the conscience does with such a belief. What guides the conscience depends very much on the ability to empathise, past experiences and social conditioning. There's a song by Sara Groves called 'Painting Pictures of Egypt' and in the lyric she sings 'but the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned. Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.' It's a song about cognitive inertia and I feel this is where we are at on a global scale at the moment. As a human race, we are only just getting to know each other and our world. We are meeting people with other ways of living that conflict with our own. Scientific advances challenge our interpretation of the supernatural. When the sifting ends, what will remain?

Anti-theism just seems silly to me. It seems to perpetuate the same things it wants to stop. When people fight verbally or physically in the name of their gods, what they are really fighting for is their way of life. They would still have a way of life without a divinity to centre it around. Anti-theism seems to pick a fight over lifestyle choice as well. It doesn't seem helpful.
Agreed. I don't even think, that the existence of a god needs any proof. Why? Because so many miracles happen in this world. An these miracles are the proof. Some might ask: "Why all the wars happen, then?", and the answer is that we - the humans want so. As you said, Azvanna, it's the way of life of one group of people, or another.

habbalah
01 Dec 2014, 23:46
No real horror stories, just kind of an amusing one. My brother used to be a hardcore Christian, then very abruptly because a hardcore atheist. He knows I'm a pagan and after asking me a little about what I believed, railed against me and started saying why he didn't believe particular things that I did. My response was pretty much "that's fine that you feel that way". Then he asked if I believed in creation, and when I said yes, he asked me how I could possibly not believe in evolution. At that point, my deflective responses stopped and I instead replied, "you can believe in creation and still believe in evolution, moron. Even the first speck of dust needed to come from somewhere". He didn't seem to know how to take that.

Denarius
01 Dec 2014, 23:59
No real horror stories, just kind of an amusing one. My brother used to be a hardcore Christian, then very abruptly because a hardcore atheist.

Hah, the dreaded born-again atheist.

habbalah
02 Dec 2014, 00:26
Hah, the dreaded born-again atheist.

To be fair to him, he did ask to borrow one of my books about paganism. He said it was because he was curious, not because he was interested spiritually. I think that a read through these forums might be interesting to him (secular humanism sounds right up his alley).

Seeking a Religion
24 Jan 2015, 11:06
* Defined dorkily from Google search, double checked by my handy-dandy Webster

Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
Anti-theism: an active opposition to theism of any kind, or an active opposition to specific kinds

So there we have the decided differences between the two philosophies, but it seems to me that what I sense from the atheists around here is that they seem much more apathetic or even agnostic about their true beliefs. Is there anything that differs in your daily walks? Are there any particular pantheons that bother you more than others? Any particular religions? I know that I personally am much more vocal in my daily life about my dislike for Christians (not exactly Christianity) than I am on here, or anywhere else, really.

Experiences? Stories? For the brave theists, got any horror stories? Does the very idea of atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism bother you and if so, why? Do you feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with you -- if so, why?

I believe the anti-Theist crowd can best be summed up by the term : New Atheism . People that qualify would be folks like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, etc...whove come out with books defaming all World Religions as 'evil' and who take a personal focus-vendetta on Theism and Christianity . Until these people hit the scene, atheism was more subdued, tolerant , permissive of other Beliefs, etc.... seems like over the last 5 decades its gone from a non hostile approach to a very hostile approach with the relentless spewing of defamation, personal attacks on Christians in particular, gross ridiculing , et al... Ive also noticed that there has been a shift in what used to be called traditional atheistic worldview and origins which was materialism and naturalism..., to accommodate even the possibility of a Creator or higher level Aliens (see youtubes Dawkins vs Stein interview) . Ever since Science proved that our universe had a definite beginning in time and it is not eternal, it has really shook up the atheist world and they've had to accommodate more of a Theistic Worldview / Origins im sure much to their schagrin .

Conversely, I see more of a proactive stand against Atheism and the New Atheist regime from CHristians who are finally refusing to be the sleeping Giant they've been and are speaking out against the fallacies of Atheism from a worldview and sociological standpoint . The next decade is going to be an interesting one for sure, so stock up on the popcorn.

Denarius
24 Jan 2015, 15:45
Ever since Science proved that our universe had a definite beginning in time and it is not eternal, it has really shook up the atheist world and they've had to accommodate more of a Theistic Worldview / Origins im sure much to their schagrin .

Actually, we've only proved that the universe as it exists now and to the extent that we understand it had a beginning. We actually have a few explanations for how that could of occurred as well, outside of divine magic.

Such as this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekpyrotic_universe). Really, our universe could very well just be one of many universes with their origins in a larger universe (http://www.universetoday.com/15051/thinking-about-time-before-the-big-bang/).

Here's Dawkins' views RE: religion is evil:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw14Ua93M6k

Behind the rhetoric, it's a valid point. It's also literally the same argument that Christinaity makes for man being evil in nature, that there is potential for evil in all of us. I wouldn't really go so far as to say that myself, but religion is definitely not a force for good.

It can be, the potential is there, but as a whole it isn't. Not by a long shot. There is nothing in this world that hasn't been corrupted by our baser nature. Not religion, not atheism, not science.

That is a problem with US, not with any of those things.

Seeking a Religion
25 Jan 2015, 15:12
Actually, we've only proved that the universe as it exists now and to the extent that we understand it had a beginning. We actually have a few explanations for how that could of occurred as well, outside of divine magic.





Behind the rhetoric, it's a valid point. It's also literally the same argument that Christinaity makes for man being evil in nature, that there is potential for evil in all of us. I wouldn't really go so far as to say that myself, but religion is definitely not a force for good.

It can be, the potential is there, but as a whole it isn't. Not by a long shot. There is nothing in this world that hasn't been corrupted by our baser nature. Not religion, not atheism, not science.

That is a problem with US, not with any of those things.

Modern science has proven that the universe had a cause and when you look at what kind of cause it had to have been based on the effects we have, it is clear to the reasonable Mind that it had to be personal . The multiverse speculation is completely unprovable and imaginary because it doesn't deal with the reality we have. When we examine what we do have by way of effects from the Creation event (our reality today) , we can get a very accurate idea of what the First Cause had to be ; The First Cause must be self existent, timeless, nonspatial, immaterial since the First Cause created time, space, and matter and he is without limits and is infinite . The first cause of anything that becomes finite, must be infinite or outside of what is created much like a Painter is to his Painting. The First Cause would have to unimaginably powerful to create the entire Universe out of nothing and supremely intelligent to design the Universe with incredible precision . The Cause would have to be personal in order to choose to convert a state of nothingness into the time-space-material universe, for, an impersonal force has no ability to make choices. These characteristics of the First Cause are exactly the characteristics ascribe to God and they are NOT someones religion or subjective experience...rather they are drawn from the scientific evidence which IS our reality .

'Religion is definitely not a source for good....' : Including the sociological fallout of religious secular humanism based on its affirmations found in Manifesto 1 and 2.

volcaniclastic
25 Jan 2015, 15:16
Modern science has proven that the universe had a cause and when you look at what kind of cause it had to have been based on the effects we have, it is clear to the reasonable Mind that it had to be personal . The multiverse speculation is completely unprovable and imaginary because it doesn't deal with the reality we have.

That's an assumption. In your humble opinion, it is clear that it had to be personal. Don't confuse opinion with science.

Denarius
25 Jan 2015, 18:53
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc

Wow, the universe is so precisely designed...

Seeking a Religion
26 Jan 2015, 09:16
That's an assumption. In your humble opinion, it is clear that it had to be personal. Don't confuse opinion with science.


Wont you please tell us then : How did highly personal ,intelligent entities , information-laden effects come from unwilled/undirected/non intelligent raw materials and chemicals like hydrogen, helium, planets, stars, etc ? Tell us how DNA with its vast information density with specified complexity enough to fill 1,000 volumes of encyclopedias from a one celled amoeba (per atheist Richard Dawkins) came from dead chemicals ? This isn't my opinion....rather it is scientifically impossible . Back in the early 1980's when the Pet Rock phenomenon was in full force, my Pet Rock didn't do squat for me by way of communicating --- it just took up dead space and my mom made me clean the thing weekly cause it was just a dust collector...and oversized paper weight.

Atheism is the least possible worldviews out of all ; it requires one be illogical for the sake of enjoying no ultimate moral culpability by way of lifestyle choices. Eliminate a personal moral creator and virtually everything is permissible.

iris
26 Jan 2015, 09:39
Well... the answer, to me, seems to be pretty simple : evolution.

B. de Corbin
26 Jan 2015, 09:46
Wont you please tell us then : How did highly personal ,intelligent entities , information-laden effects come from unwilled/undirected/non intelligent raw materials and chemicals like hydrogen, helium, planets, stars, etc ? Tell us how DNA with its vast information density with specified complexity enough to fill 1,000 volumes of encyclopedias from a one celled amoeba (per atheist Richard Dawkins) came from dead chemicals ? This isn't my opinion....rather it is scientifically impossible ...*

Yup - I suppose it is... right up to the point where one begins to understand chemistry & chemical reactions, physics and the effects of physical processes, or evolution...

*emphasis added.

- - - Updated - - -


Atheism is the least possible worldviews out of all ; it requires one be illogical for the sake of enjoying no ultimate moral culpability by way of lifestyle choices. Eliminate a personal moral creator and virtually everything is permissible.

I love this kind of ignorant poop beyond all words.

Religious people must be weird - if they suddenly became atheists, they are convinced that they will begin raping their daughters, and prostituting their sons...

Uhm... people like this, apparently, do need God to tell them how to be human.

MaskedOne
26 Jan 2015, 09:54
Oddly enough

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+10%3A23&version=CEB

a creator power doesn't actually guarantee restriction any more than the lack of one. It might (depends on path) add consequences to ill choice but society does the same thing and generally faster.

anunitu
26 Jan 2015, 10:00
Hey B.De.,kinda liking the quote you have in your sig...

"It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion. Bertrand Russell"

volcaniclastic
26 Jan 2015, 10:05
Wont you please tell us then : How did highly personal ,intelligent entities , information-laden effects come from unwilled/undirected/non intelligent raw materials and chemicals like hydrogen, helium, planets, stars, etc ? Tell us how DNA with its vast information density with specified complexity enough to fill 1,000 volumes of encyclopedias from a one celled amoeba (per atheist Richard Dawkins) came from dead chemicals ? This isn't my opinion....rather it is scientifically impossible . Back in the early 1980's when the Pet Rock phenomenon was in full force, my Pet Rock didn't do squat for me by way of communicating --- it just took up dead space and my mom made me clean the thing weekly cause it was just a dust collector...and oversized paper weight.

Atheism is the least possible worldviews out of all ; it requires one be illogical for the sake of enjoying no ultimate moral culpability by way of lifestyle choices. Eliminate a personal moral creator and virtually everything is permissible.

Tell me, then: Using science, explain how a God could exist. What is a god comprised of? Do they follow the law of conservation of energy and mass? Do they weigh anything? Using science, tell me how they created us. Are we but play-doh pawns to the will of the universe, easily shaped, and molded, and not held accountable for our own evolutionary path?

As per your rock example: a rock is a rock. A rock is not composed of cells. A rock is composed of minerals. No matter how many googly eyes you paste onto your rock, at the end of the day, your rock is a rock. It neither multiplies, nor divides its molecular structure, and the only way for it to change its nature is through erosion, weathering, or temperature pressure changes. It cannot become pregnant, it cannot starve, it cannot adapt to the environment around it, except through the above mentioned factors.

Do not speak of what you do not know.

for more reading, please see this article on how scientists believe matter was formed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/636886.stm)

habbalah
26 Jan 2015, 10:36
Atheism is the least possible worldviews out of all ; it requires one be illogical for the sake of enjoying no ultimate moral culpability by way of lifestyle choices. Eliminate a personal moral creator and virtually everything is permissible.

Actually, no. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a higher power. Most atheists don't state "I know there is no God", because it's not a provable fact (some will, of course, but not the majority). Many atheists choose to look at science for their worldview, but not all do. The assertion that there's no moral culpability just because you don't have a spiritual code to refer to is both absurd and insulting.

Your society still has secular laws to adhere to, many of them similar to common moral codes in religions (don't steal, don't lie, don't hurt other people). Beyond that, even as a spiritual person, I know that it's not my spirituality that gives me morals--it's my own knowledge of what is right and wrong based on how an issue would affect me and other people.

The common argument is that "if you're an atheist, you'd go out and murder all of the people you wanted to". Well, if I lost all of my spiritual beliefs and this were true, I still wouldn't want to murder anyone. If you have this mindset and it's only a higher power that's keeping your killing spree in check, you need therapy, not a god.

iris
26 Jan 2015, 10:52
Actually, no. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a higher power. Most atheists don't state "I know there is no God", because it's not a provable fact (some will, of course, but not the majority). Many atheists choose to look at science for their worldview, but not all do. The assertion that there's no moral culpability just because you don't have a spiritual code to refer to is both absurd and insulting.

Your society still has secular laws to adhere to, many of them similar to common moral codes in religions (don't steal, don't lie, don't hurt other people). Beyond that, even as a spiritual person, I know that it's not my spirituality that gives me morals--it's my own knowledge of what is right and wrong based on how an issue would affect me and other people.

The common argument is that "if you're an atheist, you'd go out and murder all of the people you wanted to". Well, if I lost all of my spiritual beliefs and this were true, I still wouldn't want to murder anyone. If you have this mindset and it's only a higher power that's keeping your killing spree in check, you need therapy, not a god.

Exactly! No religion and no personal morals has absolutely nothing to do with each other. If the lack of a god makes you think it's ok to hurt someone something is wrong, but it has nothing to do with religion. I don't abstain from killing for fear of judgement, I don't kill because it goes against myself and my own feelings of right and wrong.

thalassa
26 Jan 2015, 12:10
Yup - I suppose it is... right up to the point where one begins to understand chemistry & chemical reactions, physics and the effects of physical processes, or evolution...

*emphasis added.

Lol...

Amazingly, I'm a scientist with a degree in biology and I'm (mostly) a theist...AND I have absolutely no problem with how life can arise from non-life.

Because, ya know, I understand the multiple models.






I love this kind of ignorant poop beyond all words.

Religious people must be weird - if they suddenly became atheists, they are convinced that they will begin raping their daughters, and prostituting their sons...

Uhm... people like this, apparently, do need God to tell them how to be human.


ditto

Denarius
26 Jan 2015, 16:02
If I was a Christian there'd be nothing to stop me from selling my daughter as a slave. (Exodus - 21:7-11 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2021:7-11))

Bjorn
26 Jan 2015, 16:11
Modern science has proven that the universe had a cause and when you look at what kind of cause it had to have been based on the effects we have, it is clear to the reasonable Mind that it had to be personal . The multiverse speculation is completely unprovable and imaginary because it doesn't deal with the reality we have. When we examine what we do have by way of effects from the Creation event (our reality today) , we can get a very accurate idea of what the First Cause had to be ; The First Cause must be self existent, timeless, nonspatial, immaterial since the First Cause created time, space, and matter and he is without limits and is infinite . The first cause of anything that becomes finite, must be infinite or outside of what is created much like a Painter is to his Painting. The First Cause would have to unimaginably powerful to create the entire Universe out of nothing and supremely intelligent to design the Universe with incredible precision . The Cause would have to be personal in order to choose to convert a state of nothingness into the time-space-material universe, for, an impersonal force has no ability to make choices. These characteristics of the First Cause are exactly the characteristics ascribe to God and they are NOT someones religion or subjective experience...rather they are drawn from the scientific evidence which IS our reality .

'Religion is definitely not a source for good....' : Including the sociological fallout of religious secular humanism based on its affirmations found in Manifesto 1 and 2.

This is an excellent theory, but it's not backed up by science. Yes, I am an atheist. No, I do not believe in any gods. Yes, I believe that religion is the most evil scourge to ever afflict the earth... but I don't assert that the universe is proven to be anything other than what we know it to be. We do not know the origin of the universe and therefore we do not know the 'intent' of it's 'creation.'

While I agree with a lot of your perspective, I do not agree that it is concrete fact.

Let me be clear, I am not trying to discourage you from posting on this thread and sharing your thoughts, just know the difference between making philosophical hypotheses and scientific fact.

- - - Updated - - -


Wont you please tell us then : How did highly personal ,intelligent entities , information-laden effects come from unwilled/undirected/non intelligent raw materials and chemicals like hydrogen, helium, planets, stars, etc ? Tell us how DNA with its vast information density with specified complexity enough to fill 1,000 volumes of encyclopedias from a one celled amoeba (per atheist Richard Dawkins) came from dead chemicals ? This isn't my opinion....rather it is scientifically impossible . Back in the early 1980's when the Pet Rock phenomenon was in full force, my Pet Rock didn't do squat for me by way of communicating --- it just took up dead space and my mom made me clean the thing weekly cause it was just a dust collector...and oversized paper weight.

Atheism is the least possible worldviews out of all ; it requires one be illogical for the sake of enjoying no ultimate moral culpability by way of lifestyle choices. Eliminate a personal moral creator and virtually everything is permissible.

"This isn't my opinion, rather it is scientifically impossible."

Since we're in the habit of being snarky, please enlighten me as to your scientific education and contributions to the scientific community. To assert such claims requires more evidence than opinion and couch-philosophy.

- - - Updated - - -


Tell me, then: Using science, explain how a God could exist. What is a god comprised of? Do they follow the law of conservation of energy and mass? Do they weigh anything? Using science, tell me how they created us. Are we but play-doh pawns to the will of the universe, easily shaped, and molded, and not held accountable for our own evolutionary path?

As per your rock example: a rock is a rock. A rock is not composed of cells. A rock is composed of minerals. No matter how many googly eyes you paste onto your rock, at the end of the day, your rock is a rock. It neither multiplies, nor divides its molecular structure, and the only way for it to change its nature is through erosion, weathering, or temperature pressure changes. It cannot become pregnant, it cannot starve, it cannot adapt to the environment around it, except through the above mentioned factors.

Do not speak of what you do not know.

for more reading, please see this article on how scientists believe matter was formed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/636886.stm)

It is not possible to love you any harder.

Medusa
26 Jan 2015, 19:59
Just so we all know. I do have morals. I mean, I won't eat a baby if I dropped it on the floor past the 5 second mark. Pft. I'm not a barbarian.

habbalah
26 Jan 2015, 20:07
Just so we all know. I do have morals. I mean, I won't eat a baby if I dropped it on the floor past the 5 second mark. Pft. I'm not a barbarian.

And not without the right sauce.

Bjorn
26 Jan 2015, 22:55
Just so we all know. I do have morals. I mean, I won't eat a baby if I dropped it on the floor past the 5 second mark. Pft. I'm not a barbarian.

Same as V goes for you.

iris
27 Jan 2015, 01:14
Just so we all know. I do have morals. I mean, I won't eat a baby if I dropped it on the floor past the 5 second mark. Pft. I'm not a barbarian.

You just made my day!