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Christianity &Rationals Thomas on 10 Dec 2009 12:40 am

It sucks to be an atheist in America

Critics of Cecil Bothwell cite N.C. bar to atheists

North Carolina’s constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office.

Opponents of Cecil Bothwell are seizing on that law to argue he should not be seated as a City Council member today, even though federal courts have ruled religious tests for public office are unlawful under the U.S. Constitution.

30 Responses to “It sucks to be an atheist in America”

  1. on 10 Dec 2009 at 4:02 am 1.chris said …

    Dont worry atheist, he will get in office im sure of it if not then someone like him will. Why i say this is because in the bible it states that christians well be thrown in jail , beheaded, ect… For being Gods children. So dont worry it will happen but, when that time comes know the end is upon us and thats right before all hell breaks loose.

  2. on 10 Dec 2009 at 3:51 pm 2.Jynx said …

    Chris, you are implying that Cecil Bothwell is the kind of person who would disciminate against Christians by throwing them in jail and will somehow “behead” them. What a ridiculous statement.
    If you have any evidence for such a horrendous master plan by Mr. Bothwell, please present it. If not, then I suggest you seek psychiatric assistance for your paranoid delusions of persecution.

  3. on 10 Dec 2009 at 6:43 pm 3.Snowflake said …

    I like Mr. Bothwell, but I’m a little iffy on his beheading policies.

  4. on 10 Dec 2009 at 7:13 pm 4.chris said …

    Jynx…. No thats not what i ment. What i ment was people like him will be in office and fill the seats. After awhile things will begain to change. Thats when the mayhem will begin. Thats not right now tho.

  5. on 10 Dec 2009 at 8:32 pm 5.Jynx said …

    Chris, perhaps you would care to explain what you mean be the phrase, “people like him”. It is this phrase which carries the implication that Mr. Bothwell is the kind of person who would “throw Christians in jail” and “behead them”.

  6. on 10 Dec 2009 at 8:36 pm 6.Xenon said …

    Hitler never took office by promising to incinerate jews. We know his policies will, naturally be anti-religious. And we also know if there was a law against religion, the atheist would use it for victory. :) Politics is politics.

  7. on 10 Dec 2009 at 8:51 pm 7.chris said …

    Ok question for the both of you, If atheist were to take over the office of it all wouldnt you do away with Christ? And the Anti- Christ is the one who will start the mayhem that would be the who ever his name would be.

  8. on 10 Dec 2009 at 9:22 pm 8.Jynx said …

    Xenon, I invoke Godwin’s Law. Your use of a Hitler analogy is needlessly inflammatory and commits the fallacy of loaded language. Furthermore, it assumes what Chris has already stated but not yet proven.

    Chris, your statement, “If atheist were to take over the office of it all wouldnt you do away with Christ?”, is unclear. Do you mean to ask would I, as an atheist, attempt to remove all references to god from government proceedings? Do you mean to ask If I would attempt to confiscate all bibles in the nation and prohibit the citizens of American from practicing Christianity?

    You will simply have to explain what you mean, exactly.

  9. on 10 Dec 2009 at 9:59 pm 9.chris said …

    Jynx…. You cant speak for all atheist but yourself would you do away with Christ all the way around? For instance, the bible , the word, Gods existence? none the less you are only one of millions so , even with your answer it couldnt represent but less than a % of atheist. Would all who are atheist with power be differant with the option of doing away with God?

  10. on 10 Dec 2009 at 10:11 pm 10.Jynx said …

    Chris, clearly I cannot speak for all atheists…nor have I ever claimed to. What, precisely is the point of pointing out something so obvious?

    As for the rest of your comment, I assume you mean to ask if I would prohibit the teaching/following of Christianity and would I also destroy all of the bibles in America. Is this what you mean?

    If that is what you meant, the answer is an emphatic no. I believe in the freedom to believe whatever one wishes to. That is why the seperation of state and church is so important. It doesn’t only benefit atheists, it benefits religious believers as well.

    Just as you did earlier with your comments about Mr. Bothwell, you are now imlying that an atheist in a position of power would most probably force a lack of religion on everyone else. This is an incredible assertion on your part without a shred of evidence to support it.

    I happen to disagree with you that an atheist in such a position would probably force others to give up the practice of their religion. In any case, you will have to provide a huge amount of evidence in order to support such an idea. Good Luck.

  11. on 10 Dec 2009 at 11:00 pm 11.Severin said …

    “In any case, you will have to provide a huge amount of evidence in order to support such an idea. Good Luck”

    Do not vaste your time, this gentleman never gives any evidences. He does not accept them either. Whatever logical list of evidences you expose, he will all the time answer with examples from Bible, and his own interpretations of “god’s words”, “god’s law”, etc.
    Everybody is free to believe what he wants, but discussion with him is not a discussion, it is one way street: he is right all the time!

  12. on 11 Dec 2009 at 12:17 am 12.chris said …

    I try to see your point about why there is no God, yet I dont see proof that the bible is wrong either. There are people,places,things &visions in the bible that prove fact from fiction. A one way street? Ok answer this, if the bible is false ,fake, or fraudulent,without using the bible or its words & saying something that makes sence with proof then i am all ears and willing to listen?

  13. on 11 Dec 2009 at 12:27 am 13.Xenon said …

    Jynx get out of here with your ridiculous law. Hitler was a master of propaganda like no other and the comparison is relevant. The stupidity of using goodwins law in an improper fashion is embarrassing.,,,,well for you.

  14. on 11 Dec 2009 at 12:59 am 14.Jynx said …

    Xenon, would you care to substantiate your comparison between Mr. Bothwell and Hitler, or merely continue to assert it?

    The argument attempting to compare Hitler and Mr. Bothwell is indeed fallacious, as I have already explained. If you think my analysis is mistaken you will need to deal with the points I have already made rather than merely repeating them. Saying, “My comparison is valid” does not make it so.

    I invoked Godwin’s Law partially in jest, however there is an actual fallacy known as Reductio ad Hitlerum. Although the latin is bastardized and the fallacy is a newly cited one, it is clearly an extension of the Reductio ad Absurdum and a variation of an ad hominem. In other words, my original points still stand as you have failed to address them.

    Either present logical justification for your comparison between Hitler and Mr. Bothwell, Xenon or admit your argument is a failed one.

  15. on 11 Dec 2009 at 1:14 am 15.Severin said …

    Yunx
    This is very specific sort of people.
    When you say, which is historically proven (and I heard personally in Hitler’s recorded speaches, as I, namely, understan German language well), that Hitler many times said that it was “god’s providence” he was a German leader, some gentlemen neglect it, and call you names.
    What atheist would address to god in his public speaches?
    And, of course, Hitler was origin christian.

    Than, when you find in Bible that god unconditionally requests to obey authorities, because they were put in power by his will, and ask such people why god put in power almost always extreme lunatics (and atheists!), and why he alow them to torture and kill people for decades, they find something alse to say, but you NEVER get dierct and honest answers. Either god is lunatic monster, or there is no god, is clear to any logical mind if he reads biblical contradictions (and nonsenses) and contradictions between Bible and life/history.
    But do not expect logical mind from them.

    Yuou can not get any sensible answer to any question or statement. You always get excuses for god, and logically wrong comparisons, or comparisons and explanations totally out of context.

    For example, please see discussion 21 – 27 at „Understanding Atheism“, and you will se that there is no point in such „discussion“. They do not listen but themself!

    Just ignore them, and maybe THEY will „get out of here“ as another gentleman kindly suggested to you.

  16. on 11 Dec 2009 at 1:31 am 16.Ashley said …

    Well gentlemen, and women, it is at this point in your debate that I would like to throw in my two cents…Chris: I understand your position as I too am a believer, but to say that because a person is unfit/ineligible to hold a public office because of their atheism is both absurd and it shakes the very foundation of our great nation’s constitution. SEPARATION FROM CHURCH AND STATE! This not only prevents atheists from being barred their right to run for and hold public office, but it protects, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, etc, etc. We are one nation of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Jews, Christians, atheists, and yes even Muslims. Our strength is in our unity, and it is past time that we came to respect each other for our actions, and policies NOT OUR FAITH or lack there of.
    Xenon: You seem to enjoy touting around your conspiracy theory like version of reality wherein all non-believers are Hitler. I suggest to you that you stop, pull your head out of your rear, and seek counseling. If you cared to do a little research to back up your juvenile ideas, you would very quickly find that Hitler was in fact a known Catholic. This fact puts a gaping hole in your rather erroneous argument. I am sorry…I know it hurts, but reality often does.

  17. on 11 Dec 2009 at 3:32 am 17.chris said …

    Yea that was a negative comment, i take back what i said about whatever his name is. I tried to hear why God is my imaginary friend but nothing lol. I understand why we are differant. The reason im lost on why someone could not believe is, if i read a book that said and i was told by millions that trust in a man higher than I or burn forever. I guess logic does kick in. When if i did believe would my life change any or would i be crazy to or not to believe. I hear logic well ok, it sounds to me that if a atheist believes in something other than what they can see its bogus. But follow what was taught by a man of God is right, really, or i cant see wind so it must not be there. If you were on an open field on concrete with nothing around,and something brushed across your skin and hair its wind (but you cant see it)does that mean it dont exist. Well if im wrong then i go to nothing if im right then i leave to some place that makes living here even better. Yall are right logic does make sense.

  18. on 11 Dec 2009 at 5:26 am 18.Jynx said …

    Chris, almost none of your last comment makes any sense to me whatsoever. The only portion I can decipher is this :

    Chris said:
    “If you were on an open field on concrete with nothing around,and something brushed across your skin and hair its wind (but you cant see it)does that mean it dont exist. ”

    The difference between wind and “god” is that although we cannot see wind per se, we can easily measure its effects and find other forms of ample evidence it exists. We can perform experiments and reconstruct a natural wind in a labratory.

    With “god” there is no such evidence. There are no measurable effects, there are no indirect causal agents to infer…nothing.

    More serious than this is the simply fact that the term “god” has no coherent ontology. Its very definition is logically contradictory. Before we could even begin to attest any actual existence of “god” we would need a clear definition which stands up to logic. Without that you can’t even get off the ground.

    If you have any other points you would like to make, Chris I would be willing to listen. Please try to be clearer when you construct your statements. It is honestly very difficult to determine what you are trying to say.

  19. on 11 Dec 2009 at 12:30 pm 19.Xenon said …

    “Either present logical justification for your comparison between Hitler and Mr. Bothwell, Xenon or admit your argument is a failed one.”

    There is another avenue Jynx. I made the assertion with the comparison. Prove it wrong. Until then, keep you blogosphere philosophy out of the equation. Oh and see 6 for my comparison. You really got overly excited about much of nothing Jynxy.

  20. on 11 Dec 2009 at 2:27 pm 20.chris said …

    Jynx…. You seem to be an understanding and kind person. God will only be seen by a faith believing christian. If anybody has no doubt you wont feel, see,or hear him, but his there with you right now just waiting for you to open your arms because his are open waiting for you. Youve heard it all before i know, but his arms stay open until death, then they close. You will appear before him and be in awe at such a beautiful man with love. To you at this point its real because you see him but, its to late. God will say you had proof everywhere rainbow, bible, etc… Look for a book by C.S. Lewis titled The Screwtape Letters. It has better insight on why you sometimes feel like God’s not there. Im leaving this sight its been fun but ive said and heard all that is needed thank you and God bless amen

  21. on 11 Dec 2009 at 3:56 pm 21.Severin said …

    Yynx
    “The difference between wind and “god” is that although we cannot see wind per se, we can easily measure…, etc.”
    Chis
    “…but his there with you right now just waiting for you to open your arms…”

    I told you!
    In my country we say: “One (is hammering) the nail, another (is hammering) the wall”

  22. on 11 Dec 2009 at 5:16 pm 22.Jynx said …

    Chris, thank you for your civility and kind words. I understand your perspective but all I have heard are appeals to emotion. As for the “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, I have read it, along with “Mere Christianity”. Although it has been awhile, I recall I enjoyed the writing style while also recognizing it for what it is…fantasy.

    Xenon, here is what you wrote for comment number 6, which you claim was your “comparison” :

    “Hitler never took office by promising to incinerate jews. We know his policies will, naturally be anti-religious. And we also know if there was a law against religion, the atheist would use it for victory. ”

    I will try to explain this again for you. In your second sentence, you say, “his policies…” I assume you were referring to Mr. Bothwell.

    First of all, I do not know that his policies will be “anti-religious”. If you have evidence that they will be, please present it.

    In the last sentence of said comment, you claim that an atheist would somehow use a “law against religion” for “victory”. Which law would you be referring to? I am not aware of any “law against religion”. Furthermore, this entire statement is (once again) nothing more than an assertion made by you without a single piece of evidence to back it up.

    Finally, I will discuss your use of Hitler as an innapropriate and fallacious analogy. Even IF everything you claim on comment number 6 were proven to be true, ie. that Mr. Bothwell plans to go on some sort of legal crusade against religion, that would STILL not justify a comparison to Hitler. For one thing, Hitler was backed by the Catholic church and the Nazis belt buckles said, “God with Us”. He was most certianly not anti-religious.

    All of this aside, however, the fundamental point here is that even if Hitler WAS anti-religious, and even if Mr. Bothwell WAS attempting to crusade against religion somehow, the comparison would STILL be fallacious.

    Simply because two individuals share one or more characteristics does not mean they are the same or that they can be appropriately analogized. For instance: Hitler was a Catholic; Mr. Smith is a Catholic; Therefore Mr. Smith is like Hitler.

    This is clearly a fallacious comparison and is structurally identical to what you are implying by comparing Hitler with Mr. Bothwell.

    Xenon said:
    “Until then, keep you blogosphere philosophy out of the equation.”

    I’m not even sure what you mean by this. I am using logic in order to critically analyze your comments. If you find this to be annoying, stop making fallacious arguments.

  23. on 11 Dec 2009 at 5:54 pm 23.Euphemism said …

    Don’t threaten people with your imaginary afterlife of punishment Chris, it’s just rude. And if you say make an analogy between god and the wind, you have to make it fit. The wind doesn’t blow on my skin only after I believe in it, as you claim your god does. If you say there is so much proof for god out there, and that all we have to do is look for it, then why has some of the best science in the world failed to perceive anything unexplainable through natural means? If I do the legwork and try honestly to find out if there is a god or not through methods other than scripture and fail, is that my fault or god’s? He certainly doesn’t appear to be trying very hard, I wish he would hurry up and reveal himself to me because the longer I wait, the more unlikely it becomes, and I suppose the more damned I become.

  24. on 11 Dec 2009 at 7:41 pm 24.Xenon said …

    “Hitler never took office by promising to incinerate jews. We know his policies will, naturally be anti-religious. And we also know if there was a law against religion, the atheist would use it for victory. :) Politics is politics.”

    #1 Actually read the 1st sentence. It points out the master of propaganda Hitler was during his time. No comparison to Bothwell. Only implication being politicians say what the public wants to hear not what they believe.

    #2. The second sentence. I have read statements by Bothwell. He is anti-religion as most atheist tend to be or they would not be atheist. I don’t need to prove it since it is my opinion as a voter.

    3. Once agin you fail to read the third sentence. Did you see the word “if”? If there was a law an atheist could exploit to keep out his competition he/she would utilize said law. Politician are politicians regardless of faith.

    I appreciate your attempt to use logic. You my be better off learning to read and do so in context without looking for some sort of “gotcha”.

  25. on 11 Dec 2009 at 9:47 pm 25.Severin said …

    “Only implication being politicians say what the public wants to hear not what they believe.”

    So you think Mr. Bothwell is saying what most of Americans want to hear? Or at least more and more of them? Bravo for Americans!
    Or was he brave enought to say something most of population do not want to hear?
    Bravo for mr. Bothwell!

    Decide!

  26. on 11 Dec 2009 at 11:37 pm 26.Bleu said …

    Hitler wore a moustach. People with moustaches are evil. This is the reasoning ^xenu uses.

  27. on 12 Dec 2009 at 2:13 am 27.Jynx said …

    Xenon said:
    ““Hitler never took office by promising to incinerate jews. We know his policies will, naturally be anti-religious.”

    ” Actually read the 1st sentence. It points out the master of propaganda Hitler was during his time. No comparison to Bothwell. Only implication being politicians say what the public wants to hear not what they believe.”

    You began a paragraph with a sentence about Hitler and in the NEXT SENTENCE referred to Mr. Bothwell. You can claim all day long that your statement lacked an implied comaparison between Hitler and Mr. Bothwell but it’s there in black and white.

    This is how implication works. It isn’t EXPLICIT it is IMPLICIT.

    Xenon said:
    “I appreciate your attempt to use logic. You my be better off learning to read and do so in context without looking for some sort of “gotcha”.”

    My ability to read is just fine, thank you. If you would like some assistance familiarizing yourself with the structure of sentences which contain fallacious language via implication, please feel free to refer to Wayne A. Davis’ “An Introduction to Logic”; pg. 57. You may be particularly interested in the section on that page titled, “Emotive Language”. It concerns various informal fallacies commonly organized under the heading, “Biasing Influences”.

    You may also wish to refer to “Informal Logic – A Pragmatic Approach” by Douglas Walton. On pages 78-95 he lays out the structure of fallacies of irrelevence, of which your statement clearly falls into. Also, page 321 section 9.8 begins a study of “Subtle Equivocations” which widely applies here as well.

    I provide all of this information in the interest of helping you learn how your method of argumentation (particularly in comment number 6) is fallacious and therefore, how you may avoid such pitfalls in the future.

  28. on 12 Dec 2009 at 3:58 am 28.Burebista said …

    Jynx

    You may want to revisit what this exercise is in reality. Its a BLOG, not a dissertation nor a project for your logic class. LOL, you students take this entirely to seriously. You made a mistake by making assumptions that were not present. Its OK, rally. I mean anyone who has a logic textbook page memorized must live in his parents basement!

    Thank you for referring to my comments as a paragraph. I thought of it more as few comments on a blog topic with no particular paragraph arrangement.

    Oh, when referring to a text you may want to end you post with a bibliography or works cited in turabian format of course. I cannot quote the turabian section from memory as you can so please forgive me!

    Geez, such silliness….

  29. on 12 Dec 2009 at 4:03 am 29.Burebista said …

    “So you think Mr. Bothwell is saying what most of Americans want to hear? Or at least more and more of them? Bravo for Americans!”

    lol, yes he is and thanks partner for the opening! I will pay your mortgage, I will lower your taxes and I will insure that you have food on your table. Oh and don’t worry about working for it. Can’t qualify for a mortgage? No problem, we will force the institutions (thanks to Carter) to give you one then the government will pay your way.

    Amazing how Americans will fall for such dribble.

  30. on 12 Dec 2009 at 4:37 pm 30.Jynx said …

    Burebista said:
    “Thank you for referring to my comments as a paragraph. I thought of it more as few comments on a blog topic with no particular paragraph arrangement.”

    I was addressing Xenon comment @ number 6. If you are Xenon using a different screen name, why do so?

    Burebista said:
    “You may want to revisit what this exercise is in reality. Its a BLOG, not a dissertation nor a project for your logic class. LOL, you students take this entirely to seriously.”

    I haven’t been a student in years…and yes, I do take the topic of atheists being denied office on the basis of their lack of belief seriously. I also take seriously statements which imply comparisons between a genocidal maniac like Hitler and a politician who has never committed a single murder…much less been responsible for 6 million or so murders. I find it shocking that more people do not take such things seriously.

    Burebista said:
    “I mean anyone who has a logic textbook page memorized must live in his parents basement!”

    Or perhaps such a person possesses a private collection of books, manuscripts and essays written on a wide variety of topics and placed conveniently on shelves in their office. Perhaps such a person is familiar with topics such as logic, history, language and philosophy because said person organizes and writes cirriculum for parents who home-school their gifted children…

    …or perhaps the person has simply gone to the trouble of educating themselves before making wild, unproven assertions.

    If a person has no wish to justify their viewpoints to others, then I would suggest that person(s) decline to share their viewpoints in the first place. Once a comment is made, it enters the marketplace of ideas and must then stand or fall on it own merit.

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