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Monthly ArchiveDecember 2010



Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 31 Dec 2010

One fact to completely refute creationist claims

Creationists make up approximately half of the adults in the United States. In this video, Richard Dawkins is asked: “Do you think there could be one sentence that would convince a creationist to seriously doubt their theory?” For his answer he chooses the pattern of resemblances of genes:

While the pattern of resemblance in genes is valid answer, it is likely to go over the heads of creationists, most of whom have no real idea what a gene is or how it functions in a cell.

A more convincing answer is the utter stupidity of the “intelligent designer” if such a designer were to exist. Everyone can see this stupidity simply by reflecting on their own bodies, as described in this article:

Intelligent Design Made Mankind?

It is shocking that anyone could look at the myriad problems in the design of the human body alone, much less in the rest of “nature”, and then propose that there is an “intelligent designer”.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 30 Dec 2010

Do we need a “god” to define moral behavior?

Do we need a “god” to define moral behavior? This image contains the answer to that question, and the answer is very succinct:

Euthypro Dilemma

The fact is that moral behavior is very easy to define, and no “god” is required at all – intelligent people have been doing it for thousands of years. This page shows how easy it is:

Understanding the Importance of Moral and Ethical Behavior

Also helpful:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 29 Dec 2010

Where fundamentalism comes from in modern society

Religion should be dying – in fact it is dying – but it appears that it is ascending. That is the optical illusion explained in this article:

Faith and Modernity

Two tectonic shifts have produced the gap that fundamentalism fills. One concerns the question that has dominated the sociology of religion for more than a century: Will faith decline as modernity advances? The great thinkers of another era — Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber — believed that in one way or another it would. Today’s leading sociologists point to Jerry Falwell and Osama bin Laden to claim that it will not. Roy stands with yesterday’s giants. It is true, he concedes, that conservative religion is growing. But any talk of a religious revival is “an optical illusion.” Religion, he writes, “is both more visible and at the same time frequently in decline.” It cedes so much to the secular world that it can no longer offer a transcendental alternative to it.

Christianity &Islam Thomas on 28 Dec 2010

Britain crosses the threshold – Christians are a minority

Something to celebrate in Britain:

Congratulations, Great Britain!

The article notes that it only took a generation to shift from 34% non-religious to 51% non-religious. There’s hope for the United States yet; I don’t think we’ll see a majority non-religious in my lifetime (but surprise me!), but we can make a relatively rapid change.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 24 Dec 2010

Marshall Brain has a new project – DecidingToBeBetter.com

Marshall Brain has a new project and he could use your comments and suggestions. It’s called DecidingToBeBetter.com. Is it genius? Insanity? You decide…

Christianity &Islam &Rationals Thomas on 23 Dec 2010

Why do Christians hate Atheists?

It is well known that Christians despise Atheists. And because the majority of Americans are Christians, Atheists are said to be the most despised group of people in the country.

University of Minnesota Study on American Attitudes Towards Atheists & Atheism

Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It’s not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.

Why is this? This article tries to find the answer:

Why Religious People Are Scared of Atheists

if you follow atheism in the news, you begin to see a very different story.

You begin to see that atheists are regularly criticized — vilified, even — simply for existing.

Or, to be more accurate, for existing in the open. For declining to hide our atheism. For coming out.

Example:

But this “no atheists in the Christmas parade” sentiment was widely expressed. And more to the point: Many people weren’t content to simply say, “I don’t like this.” They were saying that it should not have been allowed. They were saying that atheists, quite literally, should not have been permitted to march.

Just a reminder before we go on: We’re talking about playing “Jingle Bells” in a Christmas parade. You can’t get any less controversial than this. It’s like a freaking Norman Rockwell painting. How much more sweet and agreeable could you be? Okay, yes, they were playing “Jingle Bells” on vuvuzelas. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The point seems to be that atheists, simply by existing, and being public about our existence, are offensive, mocking, provocative, hateful troublemakers.

So the next time you hear atheists called offensive, mocking, provocative, hateful troublemakers, remember this: We get called that for playing “Jingle Bells” in a marching band. We get called these things simply for being open about who we are.

The article’s conclusion is hard to deny:

In other words: When all atheists do is say, “Atheists exist,” it gets treated as an assault.

It’s hard not to see this as theocracy being threatened.

How else are we supposed to interpret it? When people say that atheists have no right to march in a public parade, and ought to be prevented from doing so? When people are deeply troubled by their curious children asking questions about different religious views, and think these children ought not to be influenced by any view other than Christianity? What is that but attempting to promote your religious views by silencing all the others?

But there’s another, more insidious way that taking offense at atheists’ existence is an attempt to establish theocracy, and to perpetuate the degree of theocracy that we already have.

Very good article. Read the whole thing.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 22 Dec 2010

An Atheist on Judgement Day

Assume there really is a god of some sort. What happens to an atheist on judgment day? Two takes:

1) Short Story: An Atheist on Judgment Day

2) But what if you’re wrong?

The simple fact is that the “God” of the Bible is so absurd and so self-contradictory that his existence is an impossibility. The idea that any other “god” could exist in its place, and allow such absurdity to infect and delude so many, means that any other god is an absurdity as well, and thus equally impossible. Thus, God is imaginary – any god.

Christianity Thomas on 21 Dec 2010

Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat

Steven Colbert explains how Jesus and Christianity is supposed to work:

Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat

What he realizes is that Jesus would be a liberal Democrat, and therefore Republicans need to abandon Jesus and Christianity.

Similar to:

If only Christians would do what Jesus tells them to do…

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 20 Dec 2010

Ricky Gervais and Pat Condell share their thoughts on Atheism and Faith

Let’s start with Ricky Gervais:

A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist

Here is why he is an atheist – he reasoned it out, just like any kid would with his belief in Santa, around age 8:

I was sitting at the kitchen table when my brother came home. He was 11 years older than me, so he would have been 19. He was as smart as anyone I knew, but he was too cheeky. He would answer back and get into trouble. I was a good boy. I went to church and believed in God – what a relief for a working-­?class mother. You see, growing up where I did, mums didn’t hope as high as their kids growing up to be doctors; they just hoped their kids didn’t go to jail. So bring them up believing in God and they’ll be good and law abiding. It’s a perfect system. Well, nearly. 75 percent of Americans are God-­?fearing Christians; 75 percent of prisoners are God-­?fearing Christians. 10 percent of Americans are atheists; 0.2 percent of prisoners are atheists.

But anyway, there I was happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, “Why do you believe in God?” Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. “Bob” she said in a tone that I knew meant, “Shut up.” Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong it didn’t matter what people said.

Oh … hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist.

Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evolution – a theory so simple that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals and us – with imagination, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.

But living an honest life – for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.

That is a good thing to remember: “the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.”

Pat Condell is a little more blunt:

Christianity Thomas on 16 Dec 2010

THE TRUTH – according to Christians

What is THE TRUTH, according to Christians? If you go to this page it is revealed:

Proof That God Exists: Welcome

This website IS about truth. The truth that we are sinners, that we have defied God, that we have offended Him, denied His authority, and put ourselves in the wrong with Him. This website IS about the eternal consequences of our sin, the judgment we deserve for our rebellion, and the only way we can be put right with God

Isn’t that an uplifting message? Everyone is guilty of sin the instant they are born, and just by existing we offend this God creature, and we all deserve to be punished for it. Eternally.

Who would “worship” a God creature who is this ridiculous?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 15 Dec 2010

The “Clash of Beliefs” in Fort Worth

What happens when atheists speak in public like Christians/Muslims/Jews have been speaking in public for centuries? All hell breaks loose:

Millions of people are good without God

A clash of beliefs has rattled Fort Worth city ever since atheists bought ad space on four city buses to reach out to nonbelievers who might feel isolated during the Christmas season. After all, Fort Worth is a place where residents commonly ask people they have just met where they worship and many encounters end with, “Have a blessed day.”

Update (December 16) – THEY FOUND A SOLUTION! Ban the atheist ads:

The T Bans All Religious, Political Ads

Christianity Thomas on 14 Dec 2010

Amazing – The “religious right” speaks out against environmentalism

The green movement? The scientific evidence for climate change? The desire to stop polluting the planet? The goal of saving thousands of species into extinction? These are now the enemies of Jesus Christ as explained in the following video:

“Around the world environmentalism has become a radical movement – something we call the Green Dragon. And it is deadly. Deadly to human prosperity. Deadly to human life. Deadly to human freedom. And deadly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it: Environmentalism is no longer your friend. It is your enemy”

It is utterly amazing how delusional religious people can be. Understand the delusion by watching this short video on the delusion of Christianity:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 12 Dec 2010

Top Ten Creationist Arguments – and their destruction

More than half of the adults in the United States believe in creationism. Here’s why they are wrong:

Christianity Thomas on 10 Dec 2010

Watch how a Christian responds to the words of Jesus

An extremely interesting thread over at Reddit, in the Christianity section:

All right r/Christianity, the goal is $10,000 for World Vision’s Clean Water Fund. Let’s do this thing!

Here’s the gist – one of the members of the Christianity sub-reddit is trying to encourage other members to donate to this charity. He says:

The World Vision effort is at $271 out of $10,000. If every single member of r/Christianity gives just $1.11 we can reach the goal of $10,000 in no time! If every member of r/C gives just $1.11 to BOTH campaigns, both Doctors Without Borders and World Vision will EACH have will over $10,000 in their coffers!

A member named rabidmonkey1 responds with this comment:

I would love to give… but I’m poor and out of a job right now. When I get a job, I’ll give, okay? The good news is, I interviewed recently and it went swimmingly, so hopefully that will be soon!

He receives this feedback, straight from the mouth of Jesus:

Luke 12: 32-34: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What rabidmonkey1 does next is this:

Really? I sense an atheist troll. Why not justify slavery while you’re at it.

Edit: You’re a jackass. I’m not the typical “American Consumer.” I don’t buy things I don’t need. I’ve been selling the stuff I have and living what can only at best be described as a minimalist life. I sleep in a sleeping bag. I’ve been living of rice and potatoes and beans. I’m not starving. I’ve been getting by. Friends and loved ones help me out. I don’t complain. I gave 1 dollar to charity yesterday because that’s what I could afford. And I’m willing to work, but the situation has been terrible where I am. I’ve been to 6 interviews over the past few months but haven’t gotten any offers.

Seriously, you’re an asshat. You speak without having any knowledge of the situation, you hurt real people who are just trying to be kind, and are really just here to troll. Go away you miserable excuse for a human being. I seriously hope a mod bans you for this tripe.

He receives this question in reply:

s/he quoted the bible. thats trolling?

To that rabidmonkey1 says:

It’s the context of the verse here – s/he’s basically saying I’m being a terrible person for not, idk, selling my gym socks. It’s the insensitivity. The utter cruelty in speaking when that person truly has no knowledge of my life circumstances at the moment. I honestly have nothing left to sell.

Moreover, you can use Bible verses to justify nearly anything. It’s a stupid mode of operation, and one Atheists in general like to harp on. You won’t really see Christians on this forum posting that kind of response.

Why does rabidmonkey1 react in this way? It is because ALL Christians react in this way to almost everything Jesus says. They completely ignore the words of Jesus in the Bible. If all the Christians in the Christian sub-reddit actually obeyed Jesus, they would have ALL given everything away to the poor. That is what Jesus tells them to do.

Watch this video and you will see exactly what Jesus tells Christians to do:

Every Christian disobeys Jesus every day.

Christianity &Rationals Thomas on 08 Dec 2010

The reality of the “god” in the Bible vs. the Christian feel-good fantasy – How can Christians ignore reality?

One thing that rational people find so bizarre about Christians is their apparent inability to think critically, to read honestly, or to understand the ramifications of their belief in a “god”.

For example, Christians say that the Bible is the word of God. And more than half of Christians say that the Bible is literally true. But then they will completely ignore what the Bible says. The best marker for this desire to ignore the Bible can be seen in the 10 commandments. Christians want to post the 10 commandments everywhere – in schools, court houses, town squares, etc. But then they ignore the commandment to honor the Sabbath, as well as the Bible’s direct commandment to kill everyone who does not honor the Sabbath. This video lays bare the hypocrisy.

In the same way, Christians completely ignore the reality of the Bible’s rape laws:

The Bible’s Rape Laws Made Easy

How could anyone believe in a “god” that is this disgusting? To get out of this, Christians will say, “those rape laws are in the old testament and no longer apply blah blah blah.” When they say that, Christians completely ignore the fact that the 10 commandments are also in the old testament. The hypocrisy stuns any rational person. How can Christians live with such obvious duplicity?

Instead of the God presented in the Bible, most Christians want to believe in a fluffy, happy, friendly “god” like this:

Everybody

The problem with this fluffy “god” is that, in order to believe in him, you must completely ignore reality. Millions of people die every day in horrible ways: starvation, drought, war, genocide, torture, famine, parasites, earthquakes, cancer, tsunamis, disease, etc. They live miserable lives. And then the Bible promises that most of them will be tortured in hell for eternity anyway. This is reality.

How can Christians completely ignore reality? It makes it hard for any rational person to take Christians seriously. How can they be so deluded?

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