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Christianity Thomas on 08 Apr 2011 12:18 am

A Christian asks, why don’t atheists believe that Jesus existed?

The following thread from Reddit is worth reading:

A question from a Christian

as a Christian I have a lot of beliefs about a guy we call Jesus who was probably named Yeshua and died circa 30CE. I’ve heard that there are people who don’t even think the guy existed in any form. I mean, obviously I don’t expect you guys to think he came back to life or even healed anybody, but I don’t understand why you’d go so far as to say that the guy didn’t exist at all. So… why not?

Here is the top-rated answer:

I am one who doesn’t think Jesus actually existed, and I will try to make my case here. Secondly, there is a subreddit called r/jesusmyth that you should check out.

On to why I don’t think he existed:

First, there is no contemporary evidence what so ever. Not a single shred of documentation exists written in the time frame that mentions this person. Not a single Roman document ordering his death and not a single mention from any historian writing at the time, and 1st century Judea is a very well documented area where we have descriptions of multiple low level preachers claiming to be a messiah. The biographers of Herod never once mention him slaughtering children and the biographers of Pilate never mention him allowing a mob to grant immunity to a barbaric zealot while condemning Jesus, an act that was unprecedented in ancient times.

Second, even the Gospel accounts are demonstrably incompatible and historically inaccurate. In Matthew, Jesus is born during the reign of Herod, who died in 4 BCE, but in Luke, he is born during the Census of Quirinis, which occurred during 4-5 CE. One of those has to be wrong, so we cannot accept either as true. Beyond that, the simple removal of Jesus from the cross is historically inaccurate. Roman crucifiction was used as much as a warning to others as a punishment to the condemned. As such, bodies were not removed from the cross. They were left there to rot as a warning to others to keep in line. There is no way, the Roman authorities would have allowed the condemned to be removed from the cross on the same day of his execution. I know the Bible works in a cover about the bodies needing to be down before Passover, but the Romans wouldn’t have done it.

Third, the earliest writings of Jesus we have come from Saul/Paul, a person who admittedly never met Jesus, and who’s writings never actually refer to Jesus as an actual person who once walked the Earth, they are written to depict Jesus as someone who only existed in the Spirit World.

Fourth, the Gospels were all written at least 40 years after Jesus’ death, so they provide no useful first hand information. We also have no idea who the actual authors were, so we cannot verify anything. Also, the earliest known copies of Mark (the first gospel written) don’t even mention the resurrection, that wasn’t added until later, which brings into question the whole resurrection story. Since the other 3 Gospels are mostly just copied from Mark (with some changes and embellishment) they are just as flawed.

Lastly, the “proofs” that Christians trot of ancient writings about Jesus have been mostly proven to be forgeries (see Josephus).

The situation is obvious. Jesus never existed in reality. He (and everything attributed to him) is a myth, just like the myth of Santa Claus.

Why do Christians believe this myth, especially with so many myth elements displayed so prominently, such as the virgin birth, the miracles and the resurrection from death? This video explains why:

269 Responses to “A Christian asks, why don’t atheists believe that Jesus existed?”

  1. on 08 Apr 2011 at 2:00 pm 1.Anti-Theist said …

    The fear of death, isolation, and accountability seem to outweigh the freedom of reality; which doesn’t even take into account the weight of indoctrination being performed by a loved one. It seems there’s a large demographic mentally unable / too pusillanimous to overcome these odds.

  2. on 09 Apr 2011 at 7:33 pm 2.J Marshall said …

    There are many who claim that Jesus never existed, that He was only a mythical character. But those who make such a claim are not historians, and, if sincere, are ignorant of the facts. The world has more information about the life of Jesus Christ than just about any other person of the ancient world. His birth, life, death and resurrection are revealed in much more detail than most ancient figures whose existence is taken for granted by historians. Consider the following:

    1. The New Testament contains 27 separate documents that were written in the first century A.D. by eyewitnesses of the life and works of Jesus Christ and which chronicles firsthand testimony to what they had seen and heard.

    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life—the Life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that Eternal Life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3)

    2. The existence of Jesus Christ is recorded by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who was born in A.D. 37.

    Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.

    He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day (Antiquities, XVIII, III)

    3. The Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (A.D. 112) referred to Jesus Christ and the Christians in Rome when he wrote about the reign of Nero (Annals, XV; 44). He further, in his Histories, referred to Christianity when mentioning the burning of the temple of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which record was preserved by Sulpicius Severus (Chronicles, 30:6). Additionally, the Roman historian Seutonius (A.D. 120) referred to Jesus or His followers in “Life of Claudius” (A.D. 112) in his Epistles, X, 96.

    4. Writings from Jewish Rabbis (circa A.D. 40-180) in the Talmud and other Jewish writings refer to Jesus Christ, i.e., His “hanging” (on a cross) on the eve of Passover, His identification along with the names of five of His disciples, certain healings in His name and scoffing at the “claim” that He was born of a virgin—implying His birth was probably “illegitimate.”

    5. Almost all major religions—those for and against Him—acknowledge the existence of Jesus Christ. For hundreds of years His existence was widely accepted as George Washington’s existence is accepted today. It is only in recent history that His existence has been seriously challenged. The enormity of early manuscripts referring to Jesus Christ is far and above any record of anyone who has ever lived upon earth. These manuscripts exceed 24,000, the earliest were written within 25 years of Jesus’ death. No work of antiquity approaches the Bible’s documentary credibility, including all works that are accepted as historical fact.

    To deny the existence of Jesus Christ in light of historical evidence is indication of either serious ignorance; or, more likely, the predisposition of a totally biased mind regarding the subject. Even the renowned Encyclopedia Britannica with approximately 20,000 words uses more space regarding Jesus Christ than it does for Aristotle, Cicero, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed or Napoleon Bonaparte.

  3. on 09 Apr 2011 at 8:40 pm 3.Severin said …

    #2

    Maybe some Jesus existed, maybe not, I would not know.

    Why would I care?

  4. on 09 Apr 2011 at 10:21 pm 4.TGHO said …

    @2 J Marshall,

    Looks like someone didn’t bother reading any of the responses to the question.

    It is very clear that when the historical records are examined that there is no actual evidence supporting the existence of the biblical Jesus. There is quite a lot of historical evidence supporting the existence of religious dissenters, nut cases, hermits and self claimed prophets, but those were very common at the time, especially since the primitive people back then basically believed in thousands of gods, magical powers, demons, devils and all sorts of things we now know are mythical.

    Taking your points one by one:

    1. The bible is not a reliable reference. The various accounts are contradictory, fragmented and have no archaeological support. Furthermore, the biblical accounts seem to have been edited, altered and changed over the years. They also were written well after the fact.

    2. The account noted by Josephus is certainly an insert, and has been further altered at a later time.

    3. Tacitus certainly mentions christians – we don’t doubt that christians existed around this time. His account of Jesus is taken from the christians and is not factual.

    4. The Talmud account is contradictory to the biblical account, and the two do not match at all. It’s highly likely that the Talmud account is discussing yet another self-proclaimed prophet of the time (of which there were many hundreds).

    5. Many major religions also acknowledge the existence of Krishna, Ganesh, Quezacotl, Pan, Thor, Wotan, Marduk and so on. That does not mean that these beings exist or have existed in the past.

    Please produce these 24,000 documents. You’ve mentioned the four main ones quoted as “evidence” Jesus actually existed, deeper analysis clearly shows that these documents actually do not support your argument.

    It’s quite clear, from a historical and archaeological sense, that the christian Jesus as depicted in the bible was a mythical figure, build upon the dozens and dozens of religious figures which existed at the time.

  5. on 09 Apr 2011 at 11:55 pm 5.Boz said …

    JM

    Great post supported by all the evidence. I never respond to such crazy accusations any more than I respond to Holocaust deniers. If they can deny God exists Jesus was the next step. I think many of them are Truthers as well.

  6. on 10 Apr 2011 at 12:11 am 6.TGHO said …

    @5 Boz,

    Except there is no evidence presented. Cripes mate, how about actually engaging your brain rather than sucking down the cool aid.

    With respect to the Holocast (thread Godwined by post #5), there is mountains of documented evidence, including photographs, physical remains, buildings, etc. Denying the Holocast is quite ludicrous. Constract this to the existence of the biblical Jesus, where there is actually NO EVIDENCE. There is plenty of evidence supporting the existence of religious figures, cult leaders, self proclaimed prophets and so on. But there is no evidence supporting the christian mythical figure.

    Contrary to your claim, the majority of Holocaust deniers and 9/11 Truthers are theist, not atheist. Mostly because theists tend to ignore evidence and data, and only follow their preconcieved notions which support their predetermined worldview, whereas atheists examine the evidence and arrive at a valid conclusion.

  7. on 10 Apr 2011 at 12:34 am 7.Scott said …

    That would be Kool Aid mate. If you must use the terms, learn them.

    Marshall,

    Josh McDowell has put together some great books on all the evidence for Jesus from the Bible, historians and eyewitness accounts. It is well written and brings all the evidence together

    The vast majority of historians agree Jesus did exist but it is true; you will have the crazy conspiracy theorist regardless of subject.

  8. on 10 Apr 2011 at 12:56 am 8.TGHO said …

    @7 Scott,

    I’m not American, so don’t drink that stuff.

    Josh McDowell? Seriously? The quality of his work is extremely low. He basically takes all the christian writing at face value and does no actual research. Starting from a biased view, and then confirming that view via limited data is not research.

    I’ve heard the claim “The vast majority of historians agree Jesus did exist” but have not seen this actually substantiated. The majority of historians I have actually spoken with are neutral on the topic (mostly because that’s not their research area). Those who are Middle East experts agree with the evidence, not with the biased world views of christians.

  9. on 10 Apr 2011 at 7:00 am 9.Severin said …

    Scott, Marshall,

    Why is Jesus’ existance or non-existance important?
    Who cares and why?

  10. on 10 Apr 2011 at 4:07 pm 10.DPK said …

    I have to side with Severin on this one. To answer the question posted by the Christian in the original blog post:
    I don’t think it’s a fair assumption to ask “Why don’t atheists believe that Jesus existed.” It would seem there is a fair amount of evidence that exists both ways. Enough that I think it fair to say you will find atheists that believe Jesus existed as an historical figure, and those that believe he is a myth amalgamated from a variety of sources.
    The only fair assumption is to say that atheists do not believe that Jesus was divine, and that I believe has been well demonstrated.
    As to the historical Jesus… like Severin aptly put “Who cares and why?”

  11. on 10 Apr 2011 at 4:47 pm 11.Observer said …

    #7 Josh McDowell? You cannot be serious. How is it that someone with neither academic nor research background is considered an authority on anything other than BS? This fellow is a diploma mill grad; he went to Wheaton College. He is also one of the scheisters associated with the Campus Crusade from Christ.

    It just boggles the mind how folk willingly choose to walk the path of deception. Open your minds.

    As for “Jesus” and the “How do you know George Washington existed?” bit, anyone serious can see there is a continuous line of information supporting Washington’s existence, from his house, grave/tomb, to portraiture, to his own writing, to other first-hand accounts, to now preserved records of the aforementioned. What is not considered is that in the past three centuries where we have had comparatively cheap mass media, print and now electromagnetic based media, and until relatively recently, serious inquiry and criticism, even then an enormous body of myth developed around George Washington.

    How can anyone take seriously the notion that the Jesus associated with Christianity is anything other than mostly myth? Especially since it is almost all supernatural? It just boggles the mind.

  12. on 10 Apr 2011 at 6:46 pm 12.Rostam said …

    I read a great book on the matter called “Beyond the Gospels” by Roderic Dunkerley. He looked at all the evidence both Biblical and eternal (much like Josh McDowell). No doubt Jesus did exist. One could question His claims but not his existence.

    Regarding Josh McDowell, he actually is a brilliant man, well educated and a former atheist. He also went to Biola after Wheaton. He became a Christian by attempting to debunk Christianity.

  13. on 10 Apr 2011 at 8:37 pm 13.TGHO said …

    @12 Rostam,

    Roderic Dunkerley’s books are simply more christian apologetics. Again, there is no actual scholarly work within the books, just simple acceptance of christian myth at face value.

    Josh McDowell is a fraud – he claims the title “Dr” when he does not hold any PhD degrees, apart from an honourary doctorate from a christian degree mill. His work is of extremely low quality – I have read his books, and they are badly written, contain no actual analysis and also accept the christian myth at face value.

    It is quite easy to question the existence of the biblical Jesus. All one has to do is examine the evidence, which clearly supports the argument that the biblical Jesus was a myth.

  14. on 10 Apr 2011 at 9:03 pm 14.Thomas said …

    In addition to McDowell and Dunkerley check into works by Strobel, Colson, Hanengraff and CS Lewis. All have some great works available.

    No need to listen to the scoffers who you know have never read any of their works. Check them out for yourselves. A very interesting and exciting field of research.

  15. on 11 Apr 2011 at 5:35 am 15.Severin said …

    12 Rostam
    “No doubt Jesus did exist. One could question His claims but not his existence.“

    I do not question his existance, because I do not care whether he did, or did not exists. I question claims that he was god.

    Mybe you find some evidences for his existance, but you will never find any evidence he was a god.
    If he existed, he was one of many tramps who walked through Judea „teaching“ … something.
    If his techings recorded in Bible (if those are his words!?) are all he said, it has no historical, social or any other value.
    My mother also used to say: „love your neighbors“, and much more than that, and she was atheist.
    Natives from Marquise Islands and Eskimos used to have similar social principles before they ever heard about Jesus.

    Again: why is Jesus’ existance important? Who cares?

  16. on 11 Apr 2011 at 8:44 am 16.TGHO said …

    @14 Thomas,

    Except Strobel, Colson, Hanengraff and CS Lewis are no different to McDowell and Dunkerley. I’ve read Strobel and CS Lewis, and their offerings are simply more of the same – christian apologetics with non-existent analysis, christian bias and a trend to ignore data and evidence which does not fit their pre-concieved worldviews.

    I agree that it is a very interesting and exciting field of research, especially whilst the historical and archaeological findings are so controversial – stacking up strongly on the side of rationalism rather than religion.

  17. on 11 Apr 2011 at 4:13 pm 17.anon said …

    In reading this post, I have to say that I an a Christian, but I also believe that there is more in the way of symbolism in the bible. I believe that there is more to every story than just what we read. After all, we were not there, we live in faith, which in any language, faith is a very powerful word.

    Did Jesus exist?

    Probably, at the very least, I would prefer to believe he did exist.

    Did Noah actually build an ark and lead the animals two by two?

    Well, I would have to say probably not?

    But Noah could have existed, yet like figures that are mentioned in the bible there is a lot of myth surrounding these people.

    To talk of the bible and say that none of it is true or all of it is true would be a test to anyone that has any common sense. There are so many interpretations to the bible that it can make any story hard to believe. We still try to change the bible to make it fit our lives today.

    The thing that cracks me up about atheists is that they say that they believe GOD does not exist, all I have to say about that is that they believe in something.

    As for me, I believe in GOD especially after what has happened to me in my life. After all that I continue to have faith that there is still some good to come.

  18. on 11 Apr 2011 at 5:37 pm 18.A Romantic said …

    “Christian apologetics with non-existent analysis, christian bias and a trend to ignore data and evidence which does not fit their pre-concieved worldviews.”

    That sounds a lot like atheist. They ignore all the obvious proof in design and intelligence in creation in order to continue their beliefs.

    The great thing about God is nothing in science can or ever will contradict Him. However atheist must downplay the incredible design and complexity to continue their worldview.

  19. on 11 Apr 2011 at 5:49 pm 19.MrQ said …

    anon:

    The thing that cracks me up about atheists is that they say that they believe GOD does not exist, all I have to say about that is that they believe in something.

    Yes, believe in something, like ideas that can be proved, concepts with evidence backing it up, and what is logical. Why do you resort to magic and the supernatural to explain that which you do not know or understand?

    Speaking of belief in something, I believe I’ll have another beer.

    After all that I continue to have faith that there is still some good to come.

    Only the big guy in the sky knows for sure ;-) . You may find success or, possibly, spring your mortal coil tomorrow. It’s all part of his plan, right? And it’s all good.

  20. on 11 Apr 2011 at 6:32 pm 20.Anon said …

    MrQ

    Truth is we all need to believe in something. If I chose to believe in GOD to get me through my problems and if I chose to believe that he is with me, then that is for me. I prefer to believe in GOD than to turn to drugs or alcohol to get me through.

    Not all parts of Christianity are true. Some are only myth.
    If I chose to bel

  21. on 11 Apr 2011 at 7:51 pm 21.A Romantic said …

    “Third, the earliest writings of Jesus we have come from Saul/Paul

  22. on 11 Apr 2011 at 7:59 pm 22.Boz said …

    “First, there is no contemporary evidence what so ever. Not a single shred of documentation exists written in the time frame that mentions this person.”

    Jesus was a Jew in the remote part of the empire. No likely to have much written about him. Considering the burning of Jerusalem in 70AD this would be expected. This point is moot.

    Second, even the Gospel accounts are demonstrably incompatible and historically inaccurate.

    Untrue. The Gospels present the same perspective through different eyes. They actually compliment each other very well. Any Biblical scholar would make this point.

    “Third, the earliest writings of Jesus we have come from Saul/Paul”

    Untrue, the earliest writings are the Gospels and these were men who were with him for 3 years. James is considered to be quite early as well and he was the 1/2 brother of Jesus.

    “Fourth, the Gospels were all written at least 40 years after Jesus’ death”

    This is the most funny. He doesn’t realize how much more this makes Jesus a reality. No other ancient documents come close to be written this close to the time of the events. Very strong evidence of the accuracy.

    Marshall offered some very good evidence as well. Just wanted to correct the many inaccuracies.

  23. on 11 Apr 2011 at 8:28 pm 23.Anti-Theist said …

    What is a content Christian doing defending their faith on this site? Shouldn’t you be worshiping your lord? You’ve said your piece many times, in many different ways and we’re not buying it.

  24. on 11 Apr 2011 at 9:10 pm 24.DPK said …

    “I prefer to believe in GOD than to turn to drugs or alcohol to get me through.”

    Do you really think these are your only options? How sad. An invisible buddy or chemical dependence? You can actually enjoy being alive instead you know.

    “Not all parts of Christianity are true. Some are only myth.”

    That doesn’t really say much for god’s perfect word then, does it? How do you know which parts are a myth, and which parts are true? The ones you like are true and the one you don’t are not? Sorry, this makes no sense to me. You “choose” to believe, while at the same time you admit that much of it is nonsense.

    I guess I just don’t get the mind set of people who will acknowledge the ridiculousness of much of the dogma of their faith , and then just “decide” to believe it anyway. I just can’t do that. I guess it take a different personality type.

  25. on 11 Apr 2011 at 9:45 pm 25.Observer said …

    #22 Boz, you are so simple. I am glad you learned the word “moot”, although have misapplied it here. The Jesus myth does take part in a remote part of the empire, but the punchline was in a provincial capital. You argue later that nearly contemporaneous accounts of Jesus exist as Gospels, yet you blithely dismiss the possibility of contemporaneous accounts remaining due to the rambunctious Titus. What? You have never read Caesar’s writings? (I know the answer.) I hate to break it to you, but his missives from Gaul were contemporaneous accounts of important events, occurred around 60 years before the bastard Jesus was born to his mother and exist today as written. Why then the paucity of real information about the then living wish-fulfilling-Jewish-zombie?

    You know xtians, it is pretty icky you worship a zombie, even if he was once a nice Jewish boy. Grunewald’s “Decent from the Cross” in the Uffizi gets the green rotting skin just about right.

  26. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:00 pm 26.Rostam said …

    Boz,

    And that would not even begin to include all the historians. The entire Bible can be assembled from external works with exception of about 25-30 verses. There is not another book on the planet that can claim such fame and unleash such passion. It is truly amazing, remarkable and powerful.

  27. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:02 pm 27.Severin said …

    18 Romantic
    “They ignore all the obvious proof in design…”

    Such as…?

    Didn’t we discuss it many times, and you always claimed there are evidences, but never offered any?

    Why don’t you finally give us evidences you mention?

  28. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:11 pm 28.Severin said …

    17 anon
    „We still try to change the bible to make it fit our lives today.“

    Wasn’t Bible said to be the word of god?
    WHO is trying to change the Bible, authorized by whom?

    Am I free to write a new Bible?

  29. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:27 pm 29.Severin said …

    26 Rostam
    “It (the Bible) is truly amazing, remarkable and powerful.”

    My mother was truly amazing and remarkable, and her words influenced us children a lot. Her words were powerful for us.
    She proclaimed love. She was righteous. She was sincere. She was compassionate.
    She never said slavery was O.K., for example, neither she thought disobediant children or non-virgin brides should be stoned.
    I learned (learnt?) ONLY love from my mother: love to other people, love to animals, love to nature, love to life…
    I found only hate in the Bible.

    She did not read Bible, but she NEVER told me not to read it, neither she ever made comments about it.

    My mother was an atheist.

    Bible is powerful in spreading superstition, stupidty and hate.

  30. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:44 pm 30.Severin said …

    22 Boz

    Let’s say you proved that Jesus existed.
    Fine!

    Now, finally, tll me WHY THE HELL is that important?
    Why should I care?
    Why should anyone care?

    He existed, he was a Jewish tramp who walked around and talked some bullshits…who cares?
    Many tramps walked through history and talked bullshits.
    Why is this one so imortant?

    Maybe because YOU think he was god?
    Then it is YOUR problem, not ours.
    We don’t think he was god (IF he existed).

  31. on 11 Apr 2011 at 10:52 pm 31.Ubi Dubium said …

    I like the Santa Claus analogy. Santa was originally based on Nicholas, a Bishop of Myra, who was a real person. Yet all of the present mythology and symbolism surrounding Santa and all the things that children fervently believe about him have no realtion to the original Nicholas. Whether he existed or not is now irrelevant to belief in the story of the jolly old elf who fills your stockings on xmas eve.

    I think much the same is true of any historical Jesus. It does not matter whether there was an original Jesus or not. Xians have created a modern mythology that can bear no relationship to the preaching of a Roman-era apocalyptic jewish rabbi.

  32. on 11 Apr 2011 at 11:57 pm 32.DPK said …

    What? Santa’s not REAL?
    Prove it.

  33. on 12 Apr 2011 at 1:48 am 33.Obvious said …

    Yes we all agree Santa is not real (Right?) but that in no way disproves God. It is completely irrelevant to the discussion of God. God has a long history in many cultures. He has a long history in my personal life. I don’t care if any atheist believs my personal experience has revelance. It does for me.

    If atheist want to be taken seriously, you need to come up with some reasons to not believe which are much better than this website. How will it improve my life? How will it change my future for the better?

    I regret the best you have will be “You need to prove God to us”. That is the default line when your claims are called to the carpet. Therefore there would be no reason to recant.

    Wouldn’t it be better for atheist just to remain silent unless they have something to offer? Is “we lack belief” all that great an offer? I lack belief in Santa and have never put up a website.

  34. on 12 Apr 2011 at 2:25 am 34.DPK said …

    But perhaps you would feel differently about putting up a website if people told you that the USA was a Clausian nation, that we need to teach the elfen theory of creation in science class, wanted to write “Ho Ho Ho” on a all our federal buildings and courthouses, and insisted that our children should be instructed about things like reindeer flight theory.

    The difference between Santa and god is that everyone KNOWS Santa is imaginary, but not everyone knows god is. No matter how good it makes you feel, that doesn’t make god any more real than the joy of a child on xmas makes Santa real.

    The real problem is not that anyone cares what you think, really (and remember YOU are HERE… we’re not on your Christian site talking trash) but the fact is that superstition and ignorance is bad for humanity. Yes, religion is BAD for humanity. It causes strife and division, it holds back reason and understanding. It substitutes the search for truth with dogma. It’s just time to put it to rest, along with all the thousands of other false, untrue and completely delusional religions that have come and gone throughout history.

  35. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:20 am 35.Hell Yeah said …

    “Yes we all agree Santa is not real (Right?) but that in no way disproves God. It is completely irrelevant to the discussion of God.”

    Comparing the belief of Santa to the belief of God is just one of many ways that disproves God. It is, of course, harder to just focus on one example, that is why you have to look at all the different variables out there that disprove God.

    Santa and God were both brainwashed into children’s minds. The only difference is that while still a child, they were told that Santa wasn’t real by their authority figures (adults/parents). But no one told them that God wasn’t real. Then these children eventually become authority figures over their own children and the cycle continues. Some children are raised to believe God doesn’t exist and some adults eventually realize God isn’t real. The problem is that the majority want to believe so bad that God is real that they talk themselves into believing it no matter what. Can you imagine if children refused to believe that Santa isn’t real? Of course, it is easier to prove it because they will eventually find out that their parents were the ones putting the gifts under the tree. Okay, here is a homework assignment for you believers of God. Next time you think you are talking to him, ask yourself if that could just be your own conscience talking to yourself.

    ————–

    “God has a long history in many cultures.”

    Which god are you refering to? The sun god? Thor? (speaking of Thor, he must be real because there is a movie coming out on him, LOL)

    How about those cultures that put their shoes out for a santa like figure to fill with gifts? Isn’t that just another version of Santa?

    God(s) exist in many cultures because as a human species we ponder where we came from. But why does a god have to take on human qualities? Can’t god just be the beginning of anything, no matter what it is? God can be the beginning of the universe, but it doesn’t mean it was a divine creature that created it and still exists and that their is a heaven/afterlife for us. Also, in other living species, any kind of authority figure can be considered their god. For example, dogs probably think their owners are their god. As babies/young kids we thought our parents were gods in a way.

  36. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:45 am 36.Hell Yeah said …

    “The great thing about God is nothing in science can or ever will contradict Him. However atheist must downplay the incredible design and complexity to continue their worldview.”

    Like I refered to in post #35, we can make god be anything we want, for example in this case, we can call science god. So when you say nothing in science can contradict God, what we all call science you also refer to science as god.

    And as far as design and complexity goes, they are just what we perceive as complex and designed inteligently. Can you imagine what billions of years of randomness while following natural laws and evolution can come up with? What we perceive as complex may not be complex to other higher intelligent beings that could be out there in the universe. For exmaple, as a kid when struggling to learn a school subject we thought that the subject was complex. Now that we have learned it, we don’t perceive it as complex anymore. Well, relate that back to your complexity in the universe. Who says it is complex? Humans do. Probably because we haven’t completely learned the subject yet, right?

  37. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:51 am 37.Hell Yeah said …

    “The entire Bible can be assembled from external works with exception of about 25-30 verses. There is not another book on the planet that can claim such fame and unleash such passion. It is truly amazing, remarkable and powerful.”

    The entire Internet came from external works. It is truly amazing, remarkable, and powerful (especially the porn. LOL).

  38. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:53 am 38.Severin said …

    33 Obvious
    “Wouldn’t it be better for atheist just to remain silent unless they have something to offer?“

    That is what you would like, hah?

    Wouldn’t it be better if you just shut up?

    From the dawn of human race religions oppressed humans, controlled people’s lives, even their thoughts, and in most (if not all) cases brutally killed people who said something contrary to their „techings“.
    Even today, Islam kills people who do not follow their teachings, as it was with Christianity only some 150-200 years ago.
    In some Christian countries you are „free“ to declare yourself an atheist, but you will NOT be welcome to society, and you will FEEL it.

    Why would I remain silent when I see religions talking my children, and my friend’s children, about horses with wing, resurrection, making people from dust (mud, dirt…), earth created 6,000 years ago…
    I can not remain silent when someone claims evolution is false.

    I especially can not be silent when I see people (children!) being offered (offered today, FORCED in past) to read about, and to accept, some strange, terrible „morlity“ of a strange, brutal, lunatic god, who orders killings and kills personally, all who don’t agree with him.

    No one stops you to worship anything you please in privacy of your church or your home, as long as YOU remain silent.

  39. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:01 am 39.Severin said …

    26 Rostam
    “The entire Bible can be assembled from external works with exception of about 25-30 verses.”

    Congratulations!
    You have just pulled the chair under the whole Christianity!

    Poor people are killing themselves to prove Bible is word of god, and you say Bible is a collection of babblings of ancient PEOPLE!

  40. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:18 am 40.Severin said …

    Arthur C. Clark and Stephen Baxter
    “Firstborn”
    Chapter 16 “James Clark Maxwell” (page about 104 in version in my language; sorry, I do not have original version in English):

    “I believe that God could be found in laws of physics”, Myra said.
    “That is, those laws ARE god himself” (Said James).

    I am happy and proud someone like A.C. Clark shares my thoughts.

  41. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:08 am 41.toadstool bob said …

    Severin

    I think.what anon 17 was tying to say is that there are a lot of translations of the bilble. And still it is being translated today.

    My favorite thing to tell people about religion is that maybe we have it all wrong and there is no GOD. But what if GOD really does exist?

    I have always been a skeptic until the birth of my twins. Now I know that they are the miracle that I have always waited for in my life.

    When my wife was pregnant with them there was a period that we thought we were going to lose the twins and possibly my wife. I wasn’t much for prayer back then, but boy did I pray. They are two and a half now and my wife is doing very well.

    I do not know if it was the power of prayer that saved them, but I do know that I am not going to take the chance that prayer was not or did not play roll.

  42. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:49 am 42.TGHO said …

    @17 anon,

    “all I have to say about that is that they believe in something”

    - no, actually, humans don’t have to believe in something.

  43. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:58 am 43.TGHO said …

    @18 A Romantic,

    “They ignore all the obvious proof in design and intelligence in creation in order to continue their beliefs”

    – really? Please provide evidence of this design and intelligence within nature. So far in two threads the theists have capitulated due to being unable to provide any such evidence.

    “The great thing about God is nothing in science can or ever will contradict Him”

    – except for the simple fact that science does not support magic. And that 90% of the actions attributed to the christian myth can be explained quite simply via science.

    “incredible design and complexity”

    – you need to provide examples.

  44. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:59 am 44.TGHO said …

    @20 Anon,

    “Truth is we all need to believe in something”

    – this is incorrect.

  45. on 12 Apr 2011 at 10:21 am 45.TGHO said …

    @22 Boz,

    “Jesus was a Jew in the remote part of the empire. No likely to have much written about him. Considering the burning of Jerusalem in 70AD this would be expected. This point is moot.”

    – Jerusalem? One of the greatest and most politically important cities within the Roman Empire? The pivotal city which allowed Rome to control much of the Middle East? Where they stationed thousands of troops as they invaded Turkey, Persia, Arabia, etc., etc.? That same Jerusalem? Seriously? We have, right now, a huge amount of material written in and around Jerusalem from this time, and not one item mentions the christian mythical figure of Jesus.

    “Untrue. The Gospels present the same perspective through different eyes. They actually compliment each other very well. Any Biblical scholar would make this point.”

    – I take it you’ve not read the bible then? The document is riddled with contradictions and inaccuracies even just within the four core gospels.

    “Untrue, the earliest writings are the Gospels and these were men who were with him for 3 years. James is considered to be quite early as well and he was the 1/2 brother of Jesus.”

    – I think you need to study this a little more. The majority of historical scholars place the gospel of James as being written some time between 70AD – 100AD. The earliest writings which are accurately dated are the writings of Paul from 54AD and around that time. Paul, by his own admission, never met Jesus in the flesh.

    “This is the most funny. He doesn’t realize how much more this makes Jesus a reality. No other ancient documents come close to be written this close to the time of the events. Very strong evidence of the accuracy.”

    – How, exactly, is this evidence for the existence of Jesus? Especially considering we have actual documents written by the historical figures *themselves*.

    Marshall offered no evidence beyond the usual christian apologistia, same as yourself. Please do better next time.

  46. on 12 Apr 2011 at 10:30 am 46.TGHO said …

    @26 Rostam,

    Wrong again Rostam. You need to go and read the torah or the koran, both are just as stimulating as the christian bible.

    And assembling the bible from external works? Nearly every book on the planet can make the same claim, especially with the Internet now in place.

  47. on 12 Apr 2011 at 10:46 am 47.TGHO said …

    @33 Obvious,

    “If atheist want to be taken seriously, you need to come up with some reasons to not believe which are much better than this website. How will it improve my life? How will it change my future for the better?”

    Replacing religion with rationalism will substaintially improve people’s lives.

    1) More focus upon solving problems scientifically

    2) More focus upon making this life better rather than “praying for the next”

    3) Less mistreatment of women and homosexuals

    4) Better use of the environment – more focus on sustainability

    5) Greatly improved education for youth

    6) Less child rape by “celibate” priests

    7) Less religious shysters taking advantage of the gullible

    8) Less stealing from the poor and underprivileged

    9) Fairer distribution of wealth

    10) Less global conflict and war

    And many more…

  48. on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:12 am 48.Obvious said …

    “And as far as design and complexity goes, they are just what we perceive as complex and designed inteligently.”

    This is my favorite statement. So if it is only complex to us, who is it not complex to? Time and Chance?

    What HY has done is let us know that he really does know God is real, It is obvious.

  49. on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:36 am 49.Obvious said …

    I will ask again. How will atheism improve my life? How will it change my future for the better? If you desire for someone to leave their belief system you must present a good case.

    Please no broad charges and accusations.

  50. on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:52 am 50.TGHO said …

    @48 Obvious,

    Please provide an example of this complexity.

  51. on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:55 am 51.TGHO said …

    @49 Obvious,

    Typical theist, thinking only of themselves. Widen your worldview, think of humanity as a whole. Move out of your selfishness.

    If you want to discuss at a personal level, then moving from religious to atheistic will make you a more rational, realistic person grounded in the real world rather than a deluded follower of a mythical religion.

  52. on 12 Apr 2011 at 12:07 pm 52.Obvious said …

    “Move out of your selfishness.”

    Oh, my selfishness. OK, tell me how am I being selfish?

  53. on 12 Apr 2011 at 12:08 pm 53.Obvious said …

    “Please provide an example of this complexity.”

    You will need to poll HY. That was his statement.

  54. on 12 Apr 2011 at 1:11 pm 54.DPK said …

    “I will ask again. How will atheism improve my life? How will it change my future for the better? If you desire for someone to leave their belief system you must present a good case.”

    Sorry, we don’t. The truth does not care one bit whether it benefits you personally. Reality does not need to offer you something better than delusion. You speak of your faith as if it were some kind of narcotic that allows you to escape reality. But the drug is a lie, and reality is still reality.

  55. on 12 Apr 2011 at 1:46 pm 55.Observer said …

    #48 Obvious. It is well established that for arbitrarily complex systems where there are analytical solutions, the same analytical solutions can be found using numerical methods which rely solely on random progressions of primitive functions of increasing complexity. What is more, there are now an increasing number of solutions to problems where there were not analytical solutions, and could only be solved using the same techniques mentioned above. What was the inspiration for the numerical techniques? Darwinian-style biological evolution. As for us not knowing it all now, think how long it took to move from the “discovery” of fire to landing a man on the moon.

    How is it that complexity necessarily implies “God”? Is it “God” is a puzzler and realized that the Sunday crossword would not be enough for some of us?

  56. on 12 Apr 2011 at 1:56 pm 56.Observer said …

    #41 toadstool bob. Congratulations on your healthy twins and wife’s health. Note though that you are attributing the good outcome to a benevolent super-natural force. On the same day your twins were born, untold thousands were suffering an ignominious death in filth and squalor to no fault of their own. Where was the benevolent super-natural force? Your good fortune was part of “his” plan? You are evil if you believe so.

    What is more, we are wired to propagate the species. There are now many studies showing that the smell of one’s offspring create enormous rushes of hormones and other neuro-agents triggering nurturing behavior. Despite it being something we can coldly analyze, it does not in any way reduce its personal importance. Babies are one of the great joys of life. Enjoy your babies, and think twice, or several times, before you infect them with the superstitions and hindrance of religion.

  57. on 12 Apr 2011 at 3:03 pm 57.johnnie rotten said …

    Observer…

    So what you are saying is that Toadstool Bob for mentioning his twins is evil. And in saying that he is evil for thanking GOD for his small blessings that would make his children evil.

    You talk about the countless that have suffered because of the births of his twins and that they are suffering at the hands of GOD. When in reality they are suffering at the hands of man. Oh wait, since you are a true believer in scientific method, blind scientific studies have proven that those countless that have suffered, have suffered at the hands of man. GOD did not create their suffering.

    I am a Christian, that is my faith and my choice. My children love to go to church and love to participate in the youth groups. Last weekend they went and cleaned up an 84 year old woman’s house. And she was not even a member of the church nor was she even Christian. She was in need of help. So yes there is some good that comes out of Christianity. There is good that comes out of Judaism, and there are good Muslims. Not all are fanatics. Of course when it comes to the Book of Mormon I do take issue. Joseph Smith was cheating on his wife, so next thing you know, they believe that polygamy is a good thing. Convenient eh?
    The Mormons have also taken a faith and turned it into a business. Where I live there are more Mormon churches than there are Walgreens. In other words, there is a Mormon Church on every block here.

    You chose to be an Atheist, that is yours, but I am not here calling you or your kids evil, I can and will if you so chose. Hell, it could get real nasty if you want. That could bump up the blog authors ratings.

    There was one of the videos that I watched on this site, that talks about death and what the bible says. Newsflash, death was around for long before humans existed. And someone on here said the bible is the word of GOD and his laws. But there again, it is all subject to translation. Is revelations truly accurate when it talks of the end of the world. Probably not, but maybe it is the end of the world as we know it. There are after all a lot of changes taking place.

    And if science is so perfect, why do they always say ‘before time began’, time is the only thing that is immortal. It never began, and it will never end. It simply always will be!

    I am sure I have more to say, but I do have a life.

  58. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:00 pm 58.Joshua said …

    My two cents. There are two issues; the existence of Jesus, and the claims the bible says Jesus made.

    Did Jesus exist? Maybe. The evidence that I have read is inconclusive at best. There are no firsthand accounts, and many of the independent sources are have problems, such as those mentioned above (TGHO #4). The best book I have read is “The Jesus Puzzle” by Earl J. Doherty.
    A good discussion involving some of the problems is in this post by a guy named Stephen Butterfield who was trying out one of those Christian “alpha courses” that are supposed to convince you of Christianity, but are more designed to soothe the doubts of believers with poor thinking skills.
    http://alphacoursereview.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/week-1b-who-is-jesus/

    At least in this area there are Christians who try when it comes to the concept of “independent evidence”. Unfortunately the evidence is rather poor. The bible itself gets used wrong as well. It is one piece of evidence. You cannot count the people within the book independently. Scholars do not believe that those books were actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or any of the others. Also the “hundreds of witnesses” is just one guy saying they existed, not hundreds of sources unless you have the written accounts of all of those people.

    These problems get more compounded when you consider changes to the bible over the years so severe that when you consider all the fragments collected by scholars, every word has been changed multiple times (look up some of Bart Ehrman’s youtube videos, the school filter won’t let me be sure but I think this is the one I am thinking of

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=video&cd=3&ved=0CEMQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DO-1hdqNDQ9E&rct=j&q=changes%20to%20the%20bible%20over%20time%20Bart%20Ehrman&ei=ZHWkTcWXIaKx0QHV6MCDCQ&usg=AFQjCNH73LJjzfnXzrIb9Wa5gyk_LcuUrw&cad=rja).

    But even if Jesus did exist all the bibles claims about him need to be verified. Is there a god? If so is he a son of this god? Do miracles occur? Did specifically those miracles occur? ETC……
    My opinion is that the Jesus story is based on one of the crazy preachers that existed at that time and over time it was seized upon for reasons currently lost to time. It was probably convenient in a similar way that Christianity was to Constantine. The details were muddled due to a historical game of “telephone” and without evidence there is no reason to believe any of the supernatural claims (just like today’s supernatural claims).

  59. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:01 pm 59.Joshua said …

    Thomas 14,
    A Romantic 18,

    Read this.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

  60. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:02 pm 60.Joshua said …

    @ Rostam 26
    See my comment about Bart Eherman. There are massive differences between all the different fragments.

  61. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:21 pm 61.Joshua said …

    @ Obvious

    I think that the problem that we have with your questions is that they assume things that are not true.

    Atheism is a disbelief in the reality claims of theists. The reason we don’t believe is because we find the evidence for god or gods poor. There is no proof for atheism. No one here is called to the carpet because it is not our job to prove a negative. Also it suggests that you believe for bad reasons when you can not explain to us why you believe. If this is so important to you, showing us why you believe should be easy.

    Atheism does not inform morality, this is why many atheists are humanists. We think that if there are no gods than solving all of our problems is up to us humans. The sources to solving those problems and finding ways to make people happier are their own beliefs and philosophies that are independent of atheism.

    I guess the simplest way to put it is that your happiness and future does not determine reality. Reality will be what it is no matter how you feel about it. That is why it seems selfish and kind of childish.

  62. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:56 pm 62.Obvious said …

    So DPK you tell me I should revert to atheism but it will not change my life for the better?

    You claim I have a delusion but since you do not know me that might be difficult to support. You are the first to make such an accusation so I will need to pass on your analysis.

    I love my life, my friends and family. Why would I leave all that to take up your worldview? Now if you could prove it is the absolute truth I might reconsider.

    Johnnie Rotten

    I like what you youth group is doing. That is what it is all about.

  63. on 12 Apr 2011 at 4:59 pm 63.Obvious said …

    DPK

    Tell me how you know atheism is The Truth? Seems to be a mighty bold claim

  64. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:34 pm 64.DPK said …

    “I love my life, my friends and family. Why would I leave all that to take up your worldview? Now if you could prove it is the absolute truth I might reconsider.”

    I say the exact same about you.
    I have never said I know atheism is the truth… ever. It would be silly to assert that you know something that cannot be known. That is religion’s job.
    I have said that there is zero evidence to support the existence of a supernatural god, so why should I believe in one? I have also said that when you examine the real world in the view of what people claim god to be, an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect being, a lot of stuff doesn’t make sense. We don’t need to rehash them all again, do we? So, based on that, I’d say I’m fairly certain that god, as defined by most religions, is imaginary. Fairly certain means well supported by the evidence, not know beyond any possible doubt.

    Atheism is not a “belief in” something, it is a lack of belief. Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy? No? Why not? Do you think I should be able to demand of you that you prove the T.F. is imaginary for me to adopt your worldview? Will it make my life better?

    Listen to your own arguments… you talk exactly like someone suffering a delusion. You demand proof that your delusion is not real, but your own definition of your god is not falsifiable because of the magical properties you impart him.

    Why should anyone want you to abandon your delusion? Here’s a little story:
    You and your friend are driving along a mountain road and find the road is blocked by a pile of rocks. You look up the side of the hill, to a spot where you knew the rocks used to be. You see tracks in the dirt where the rocks rolled or slid down. You can’t get home because the road is blocked.
    You say to your friend, “Looks like a storm or something dislodged that pile of rocks and they rolled down the hillside. Help me move them so we can get home?”
    Your friend says, “No, no. An invisible dragon put those rocks there on purpose. He is wise and powerful, and wants those rock there. We dare not move them or he will incinerate us with his fiery breath.”
    Now, your friend is an otherwise normal, happy person who happens to believe in invisible dragons. You cannot prove to him that invisible dragons are not real. You cannot prove to him that the invisible dragon did not put the rocks in the road, but the rocks are impeding progress.
    You are fairly certain that the rocks slid down the hill, because you know about gravity, and you’ve seen rocks fall before. The evidence seems to support your idea that the rocks rolled from a higher vantage, but you didn’t witness it and can’t prove it to your friend’s satisfaction.
    Do you let your friend have his delusion, or do you move the rocks?

  65. on 12 Apr 2011 at 5:54 pm 65.DPK said …

    57.johnnie rotten said …

    Observer…

    So what you are saying is that Toadstool Bob for mentioning his twins is evil. And in saying that he is evil for thanking GOD for his small blessings that would make his children evil.

    That’s not what he said at all. He said it would be evil of him to assume that god would single out HIS children for his grace of healing while at the same time, allowing countless other children to die of starvation, disease, and neglect. It is easy to thank god for saving your children when they are sick, but you must realize that while you are rejoicing in your miracle, many other parents who also prayed to god, perhaps more fervently than you, (and quite possibly not just to ‘hedge their bets’) are burying their children today.

    Let me ask Toadstool Bob if his children were under medical care? Why? If you believe that god saved them, why would you doubt his benevolence and resort to, gasp, medical science? Hedging your bets again? You know full well that without medical treatment “god” alone would have killed your twins… So why does he get credit now for saving them? Please remember, if god is the creator, god also created smallpox and dysentery. Do you offer him thanks and praise for those creations?

  66. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:07 pm 66.Obvious said …

    So your comments about truth and reality in #54; you were not speaking of atheism being truth and reality? Would you be claiming your lack of belief is the truth and reality?

    But then you state I need to abandon my delusion. You are being very confusing.

    You jumped into a discussion I was having with TGHO therefore I thought you had something.

  67. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:22 pm 67.Severin said …

    41 Toadstool
    I am happy for you, I really am.
    I have only one daughter, and I still remember how happy I was when she was born.

    On th other hand, there must be at least 100,000 pairs of twins (and probably 100 million other parents and children) who had problems during pregnancy, or other serious problems.
    Some of them finished tragically
    Some of them finished with some undesired consequences
    Some finished happily, in spite of complications

    Then, we can say with high degree of certainty:
    Some parents prayed to Christian god
    Some of them preyed to Allah
    Other prayed to other gods
    Many did not pray at all

    Consequences are always the same. They do not depend on someone’s prayers.

    If there is a god in this huge universe, do you think he

  68. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:24 pm 68.Severin said …

    If there is a god in this huge universe, do you think he keeps under control every single creature?

    A huge machine!

  69. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:32 pm 69.Severin said …

    41 Toadstool
    “But what if GOD really does exist?”

    As long as he does not care of me on very personal level, his existance or non-existance is his problem.
    My mind tells me god does not exist, and if Mr. God wants me to believe he does, he has to contact me and prove himaself a god, not let me make my own choices among thousands of existing religions/subreligions, all of them fighting each other.
    If I wanted to believe in god, which one would you suggest me to try, and why?

    My concern is not “what if he exists”! My concern is “what if make a wrong choice”!

  70. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:55 pm 70.Lou said …

    57.johnnie rotten said …

    “So what you are saying is that Toadstool Bob for mentioning his twins is evil.”

    He didn’t say that. You are as dense as a bucket of rocks. How can you ever hope to understand difficult concepts when you can’t understand something else that’s so simple?

  71. on 12 Apr 2011 at 6:59 pm 71.Lou said …

    66.Obvious said …

    “But then you state I need to abandon my delusion. You are being very confusing.”

    It’s not that he’s very confusing. It’s that you can’t understand one simple idea – atheism is the rejection of theism. It’s simple. Get it? If you don’t, the move on to something you can comprehend.

  72. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:02 pm 72.DPK said …

    “So your comments about truth and reality in #54; you were not speaking of atheism being truth and reality? Would you be claiming your lack of belief is the truth and reality?”

    I am atheist, so, yes I believe that your belief in the supernatural is unfounded. However, in the context of the conversation, what I said was:

    “The truth does not care one bit whether it benefits you personally. Reality does not need to offer you something better than delusion.”

    This was in response to your assertion that any alternate belief system apart from your own needs to “offer you something better”. That’s a lot like saying that you will continue to believe in Santa until someone else offers you better presents.

    Reality is reality, and will continue to be so whether you believe it or not… pretty simple point actually. Don’t see why is it causing you so much difficulty. Much like the centuries when the church held that an earth centered universe was dogma, the universe cared not one bit that it was guilty of heresy.

    As to whether or not I am holding atheism out as truth, I believe I have already answered that in #64.

  73. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:04 pm 73.Severin said …

    49 Obvious
    “I will ask again. How will atheism improve my life?”

    I can tell you at least one very important thing that is better in my life than in yours:
    I do not believe in eternal life after I die.
    I do not live in fear.
    One big concern less in one’s life, is it little?

    I use all my capacities to LIVE.
    It is very nice life, and very nice feeling, trust me!
    I did not say “easy life”, but whose life is easy?
    Mine is nice!

  74. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:27 pm 74.Severin said …

    57 J.R.
    “GOD did not create their suffering.”

    WHAT?
    God has nothing to do with diseases, hunger, earthquakes, floods?
    He is only responsible for “happy ends”?
    When a baby dies, humans are responsible, and when a baby survives, it is god’s deed!?

    Please!
    Do you think we are all idiots?

  75. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:40 pm 75.Severin said …

    57 J.R.
    “Last weekend they went and cleaned up an 84 year old woman’s house. And she was not even a member of the church nor was she even Christian. She was in need of help. So yes there is some good that comes out of Christianity.”

    Very nice of you! Congratulations!

    I helped people in the war (local war, Balkan, Europe, some 20 years ago) risking a lot: my career, my property, my freedom, in some situations even my life.
    I helped most of them by transporting them to safe places, not to be maltreated, maybe even killed, and other ways, for example by covering them in some critical situations.
    I also helped them by food and money.
    I never asked for religion of people I used to help.

    I am an atheist.

  76. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:49 pm 76.Lou said …

    62.Obvious said …

    “Why would I leave all that to take up your worldview? Now if you could prove it is the absolute truth I might reconsider.”

    Who proved your “worldview” to you and how did they do it?

  77. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:57 pm 77.Lou said …

    49.Obvious said …

    “I will ask again. How will atheism improve my life?”

    How does not believing in Zeus improve your life?

    “How will it change my future for the better?”

    In and of itself, it won’t. But, in and of itself, neither does Christianity. Within certain limits, you create your future. As a theist, you allow others to create it.

  78. on 12 Apr 2011 at 8:21 pm 78.TGHO said …

    @52 Obvious,

    “Oh, my selfishness. OK, tell me how am I being selfish?”

    Your language. I, me, mine, I. Focused on self.

  79. on 12 Apr 2011 at 8:25 pm 79.MrQ said …

    Anon: post #17

    The thing that cracks me up about atheists is that they say that they believe GOD does not exist, all I have to say about that is that they believe in something.

    I believe in myself. I believe that I have the ability to know the difference between shit and shinola. I believe that I can make good decisions for myself and lead a good, productive, moral, and happy life. I don’t want an unproven/unprovable premise (such as a god) to hang my hat onto and keep me from “straying”…because, anon, I believe in myself. My strength comes from within.

    Anon, let’s examine exactly what you may mean with “everyone believes in something”. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong with anything I write here, I am always open to reason. Let me ask you, Anon, do you believe that the Earth orbits the Sun or is this something that you know? I doubt that you have ever truly verified for yourself that Galileo was correct, I certainly haven’t. Is the orbital information taken on faith or is it considered a belief? Or should it be called knowledge?

    Extend that same train of thought to the sciences and life. Many branches of science are bombarding us all with massive amounts of information. Do I have the ability and time to verify it all? Hell no, I have never even verified Galileo’s assertion. Do I swallow every nugget of information from the scientific community? Absolutely not. People can, and do, attempt to colour data; just look at this website (LOL, HD motorcycles washing up on beaches) and think of the tobacco industry (smoking does not cause cancer) etc, etc. I consider myself a skeptic- I naturally question far fetched ideas such as auras, healing power of crystals, homeopathy, god(s)….It’s really a long list. I am sure that we can both agree that, your belief in a biblical god notwithstanding, all gods are completely non-existent.

    So it comes down to me. I believe that with my education, training, and life experiences I am able to set a course for myself and my family based on knowledge and reason, free of superstitions and holy ghosts. I like to separate the wheat from the chaff. Hence, my requirement for proof of a personal deity is set high.

    With that in mind; what do I believe? I believe I’ll have another beer. Hey, I do believe in something after all!! ;-) Cheers!

  80. on 12 Apr 2011 at 8:32 pm 80.TGHO said …

    @53 Obvious,

    “You will need to poll HY. That was his statement.”

    So you concede the design/complexity argument? Good, that’s a step in the right direction.

  81. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:35 pm 81.Obvious said …

    TGHO

    So if we use I & me and mine we are selfish? Would you like me to search the site for the times you use I and me? Talk is cheap TGHO. Huh, #45 has many the uses of I……..

    So is that all you have? Concede what? Design and complexity? I don’t argue Santa and I don’t argue the Obvious.

    #72 DPK

    any alternate belief system apart from your own needs to “offer you something better”.”

    On the contrary DPK. We ALL look for something that is real true and worth living for. Look at TGHO’s list in #47. Of course his list is completely misleading but in it we see many things including his bend toward communism. However, you can’t seem to provide any benefits of why I should recant and come to your worldview?

    Thats OK. Just asking.

  82. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:41 pm 82.Horatiio said …

    Obvious,

    TGHO is an IT help desk jockey from down under. He attempted to lie about being a 1st year biology student on a previous thread. Just giving you ab heads up about the pot who is calling the kettle black.

    HY states that creation is only complex to us? I was just contemplating to who is it not complex? I suppose he meant TGHO. LOL

    Well, at least he admits the truth while our hairy orangutan can’t pull his head out of his rear.

  83. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:42 pm 83.Horatiio said …

    Sorry, he was a professor of 1st year biology students. :)

  84. on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:04 pm 84.Johnie Rotten said …

    Lou said

    You are as dense as a bucket of rocks.

    I have been called worse.

    Severin

    As far as GOD only doing good things. I never said that. You said that. You also blamed GOD for disease even though you don’t believe in him. A bit like a walking contradiction you are.

    The thing about an open mind is that it is a sign of intelligence.

    I will tell you something of the Christian Faithful. We question our faith all of the time. That’s just part of it.

  85. on 13 Apr 2011 at 12:12 am 85.DPK said …

    Obvious:
    The only thing in TGHO’s #47 post that could be even remotely construed as leaning toward communism is “faire distribution of wealth”. That leave 9 other point that you asked for that went complete unanswered.
    Never the less, let’s review, once again. I’ll try to type slower since you’re having difficulty grasping:
    Santa = an idea, a concept a “hypothesis”. Belief in Santa demands evidence that it is real.
    No Santa = not an idea, not a hypothesis, simply a rejection of the Santa idea for lack of evidence. Does not require proof.
    Leprechauns = an idea, a hypothesis, (leprechauns exist). Requires proof.
    No Leprechauns = Not a hypothesis. Does not require proof that leprechauns do not exists.
    Thor, God of thunder = an idea, a hypothesis that require proof to be believed.
    No Thor = not an idea or hypothesis that require proof that he doesn’t exist.
    God of Abraham, Jesus = an idea, a hypothesis that requires proof to be accepted.
    No god = not and idea, not a hypothesis. Merely a rejection of the “God hypothesis” as being not supported by the evidence. Does not require any proof to be offered. Does not owe you any “benefits”. It is not a “worldview” it is just a rejection of YOUR worldview. If you don’t accept it, fine. But don’t ask other people to justify it for you. Not our job. YOU are the one making fantastic claims about invisible, magical beings. You are the one that needs to show some evidence that your fantastic claims are in any way, shape or form, are true.

    Horatiio,
    Personal attacks on TGHO now. Can’t argue the point, attack the debater. Argumentum ad hominem… bad form. Also not very christian of you.

    Johnie R
    Severin was being sarcastic, in case you missed it. He didn’t really mean HE blames god for disease and suffering. He meant you must accept that if you are going to credit god for the good “miracles” then you must credit him for the not so good ones too. I guess the only way for your superior open mind and advanced intelligence to make your point was to try to twist his words into something contradictory. Makes you look kind of, silly, actually.

    Some friends of mine, who are devout, born again christians, recently had a crisis when one of their young children became sick, and eventually developed severe bacterial pneumonia. They took him to the doctor, and also put a notice on FB asking all their friends to pray for him. He continued to get worse, so they put him in the hospital. The family pleaded for more prayers, and the doctors started IV antibiotics. After 36 hours of circling the drain, the antibiotics did their job and he started to improve.
    Of course, the parents proclaimed, “Thank you all… the prayers are WORKING. Praise God. Keep the prayers coming.”
    Now, if god was going to heal him, how many prayers do you think it takes before he changes his mind about making the kid sick in the first place? 100, 1000, 10,000? Is there a magic number? Does St. Peter come to god and say, “Hey, we’ve got prayers coming in for little Johnie… he’s dying of pneumonia.” God says, “How many?” “58 so far.” “Pfftttt… the kid’s worm food. Lemme know if it hits 1000 and I’ll think about doing something. What’s the prayer count on the orphans who are starving in Somolia up too, btw?”

  86. on 13 Apr 2011 at 1:51 am 86.Lou said …

    85.DPK said …

    “Johnie R
    Severin was being sarcastic, in case you missed it. He didn’t really mean HE blames god for disease and suffering. He meant you must accept that if you are going to credit god for the good “miracles” then you must credit him for the not so good ones too.”

    As I previously wrote – “dense as a bucket of rocks.”

  87. on 13 Apr 2011 at 1:55 am 87.Lou said …

    84.Johnie Rotten said …

    “I will tell you something of the Christian Faithful. We question our faith all of the time. That’s just part of it.”

    Not that that’s true, but you SHOULD question it because it’s so absurd. The problem is that the than Christian faithful continue to arrive at the same WRONG answer.

  88. on 13 Apr 2011 at 1:59 am 88.Obvious said …

    “You are the one that needs to show some evidence”

    See my post #33. This is where I predicted you would go. As I stated there, I lack belief in Santa and I have never put up a website. Your examples are immaterial. Do you run into those who believe in the things you posted? If not there is probably nothing to those beliefs. It is a good assumption. So stick to the subject. Don’t digress.

    Your lack of belief offers nothing. There is no reason to become an atheist. That was my point all along. But obviously atheism is about more than just lack of belief. You know it and so does everyone else.

    Horatio,

    I can assure you TGHO is no professor.

  89. on 13 Apr 2011 at 2:00 am 89.Obvious said …

    “The problem is that the than Christian faithful continue to arrive at the same WRONG answer.”

    Lets try Lou. Can you prove you claim?

  90. on 13 Apr 2011 at 2:23 am 90.DPK said …

    Obvious: apt name, you are so predictable. Like so many religious apologists you insist on trying to shift the burden of proving or disproving your beliefs on others.
    Sorry. Not gonna happen.
    Good point about Santa and Leprechauns not being a really valid comparison because not many people actually profess belief in them.
    Let’s take a more direct comparison. I assume you are christian. Do you believe the Koran is the word of god? Do you believe Allah is god? Do you believe that Mohammad physically rode to the 7 levels of heaven on a winged horse? LOTS of people believe that. Those beliefs offer comfort and spiritual stimulation to about 1.5 billion people.
    Now, I assume you think they have it wrong and you have it right. Can you prove it?
    How about Hindus? Jews? Buddists? Jains?
    They ALL think you have it 100% wrong. What makes you sure?
    You are looking for a “reason” to become an atheist. If you don’t consider putting aside superstition and ignorance reason enough, than there is absolutely no reason you should.

  91. on 13 Apr 2011 at 3:53 am 91.Johnie Rotten said …

    Lou

    Like said I have been called worse..

    As far as the wrong answer goes Lou. It is only the wrong answer for you.

  92. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:07 am 92.Johnie Rotten said …

    It is also only the wrong answer for those that don’t believe. For those who do believeperhaps its the right answer..

  93. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:12 am 93.Susej said …

    If Jesus actually existed, why doesn’t he have any writings? He did supposedly live for 33 years, right? Isn’t that plenty of time for him to personally jot things down?

  94. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:21 am 94.Johnie Rotten said …

    Severin

    I am ex military and fought in a war. Risking my life everyday. Buying don’t brag about it. What you and I did is a far cry from the actions of a Christian youth group. They showed a kindness and volunteered to do so. Comparing what you have done to what kids have done just really isn’t right.

  95. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:22 am 95.Susej said …

    A little girl is standing on top of a cliff, looking down at the sea and crying her eyes out. A priest approaches and says, “My child, why are you so upset?”

    The little girl turns to him and says, “My mummy and daddy were in their car — and it just rolled over the cliff and smashed on the rocks down there.”

    The priest slowly looks around him while unbuttoning his cassock and says, “It’s just not your day, is it?”

    Q: Whats white, sticky and moves across the sky at a thousand miles an hour?

    A: The coming of the Lord

    Q: How does Jesus masturbate?

    A: Like this…(place your hand flat on your groin, palm side down and mimic jerking off using the hole in your hand)

    Q: What’s the difference between Jesus and a picture of Jesus?

    A: You only need one nail to hang up a picture of Jesus.

    Jesus is coming…
    …get a towel

  96. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:26 am 96.Susej said …

    50 fun things for non christians to do in church

    1. Pull aside an unruly child in a preschool sunday school class and say:
    “If you’re bad in here, you’ll go to Hell.”

    2. A week beforehand, find a member of ACT-UP. Tell him the scheduled sermon is entitled “Why god Sent AIDS to Punish Homosexuals”.

    3. Put stray dogs in coat closets.

    4. Un-tune the piano.

    5. Replace the pianist’s sheet music with “Stairway to heaven”.

    6. Going through all the hymnals, mark song 666.

    7. Find an empty seat, and ask the person next to it: “Is this seat SAVED?”

    8. Toss around a giant beach ball before service, like at Grateful Dead concerts.

    9. Ten minutes before it starts, find a kid in the front rows, hand him a dollar, and tell him to ask the preacher: “Would you rather be stoned or crucified?”

    10. Hide copies of Hustler inside the pulpit. Point them out.

    11. Start a wave.

    12. Do cool things with the lighting.

    13. When attendance is taken, sign on fake names like “Hugh G. Rection” and “Oliver Klozoff”.

    14. Wear an ankh or a new-age crystal pendant.

    15. When the choir sings, roll your eyes and grumble: “Oh, christ! Are they gonna do another SONG?”

    16. Make up your own words to the songs.

    17. Twenty minutes into the service, look at your watch, stand up, and say: “Oh shit. This isn’t the wedding!” Run out quickly.

    18. Eat dry Cap’n Crunch through the entire service.

    19. If there is a crying baby, go over and tell the mother: “IF YOU DON’T SHUT THAT GODDAMN THING UP SO HELP ME GOD I’LL KILL IT!!!”

    20. Dress all in black.

    21. Pierce the body of a tiny animal with stainless-steel wire. Wear it in your ear as jewelry. If you are male, wear two. Change sets for the evening service.

    22. If it is an easter service, wear a pastel jacket, tie, and matching shorts. If you are male, wear a floral-print dress instead.

    23. At a church dinner, scoop up a forkful of mashed potatoes. Announce that you can see an image of jesus.

    24. Place blocks of dry ice near the air ducts. Take off your shoes and socks.

    25. Hide near the baptismal pool with a block of sodium. At the first mention of “fire and brimstone”, throw it in.

    26. Inflate balloons, then send them off.

    27. Mark places in the bible or hymnal with religious-themed Far Side cartoons.

    28. Turn in the bible to the ten commandments (Exodus 20: 3-17). Draw in asterisks and write exceptions at the bottom of the page.

    29. Make the sun reflect off your watch into the preacher’s face.

    30. Make calls to 900 numbers on the phone in the kitchen.

    31.During the service, play with plastic dinosaurs. If someone asks what you’re doing, tell them: “These are dinosaurs. They ruled the earth over 65 million years ago.”

    32. Discreetly position a number of bottle rockets on the floor. Discreetly light them.

    33. Snicker every time the preacher talks about someone being stoned, especially stephen.

    34. Dip communion wafers in communion wine. Eat it and exaggerate on how good it is.

    35. When they pass around the collection plate, drop in a piece of paper with the preacher’s credit card number on it.

    36. Turn to your neighbor, whisper: “This do in remembrance of me,” and lick them.

    39. Fake a possession.

    40. Distribute condoms.

    41. Speak in tongues.

    42. Ask where the nearest ashtray is.

    43. Drool in the collection plate.

    44. Ask someone what they think about the Book of Peleponnesians. After they tell you, inform them that there is no Book of Peleponnesians.

    45. After a catholic service, stand outside and tell Polish jokes. When someone points out that pope john paul II came from Poland, act embarrassed.

    46. Show unusual interest in any reference to the word “Ministry”.

    47. At a church supper, bring a casserole with a ring or piece of a wristwatch embedded inside.

    48. Overnight, have the stained-glass windows replaced with new ones depicting comical, erotic, or death-related imagery,… Send the bill to the preacher.

    49. Write on the bathroom wall: “The eyes of the lord are upon you!!!”

    50. Spread the word that there’ll be a rave party at the address of the church next Saturday at midnight.

  97. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:33 am 97.Susej said …

    Catholics are against abortions.
    Catholics are against homosexuals.
    But, I can’t think of anyone who has less abortions than homosexuals! — George Carlin

    Q: Why did the Rationalist cross the road?
    A:To be sure to see both sides.

  98. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:34 am 98.Susej said …

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

  99. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:39 am 99.Susej said …

    When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized, the Lord doesn’t work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me … and I got it!

  100. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:02 am 100.Severin said …

    84 J.R.
    “As far as GOD only doing good things. I never said that.”

    Not explicitely, but:
    57 J.R.
    “You talk about the countless that have suffered because of the births of his twins and that they are suffering at the hands of GOD. When in reality they are suffering at the hands of man… GOD did not create their suffering.”

    You DID say that god is not responsible for suffering. What should I conclude?

  101. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:13 am 101.Severin said …

    84 J.R.
    “You also blamed GOD for disease even though you don’t believe in him.”

    Sorry L.R., I will begin to question your intelligence.
    Or, maybe my poor English contributes to bad understanding?

    I do not believe in god.
    It was you who said that god in which you believe, did (was responsible) for something, and did not (was not responsible) for something else.

    Then I only asked what sort of god was it: one who is doing only good deeds?
    It is called sarcasm.

  102. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:24 am 102.Severin said …

    94 J.R.
    I would never question or ridicule children and their work.
    I only wanted to say that doing good has no roots in Christianity.

    You probably can imagine some people 6,000 years ago, when there was no a “C” of Christianity, also helping other people, risking a lot.

    Both good and bad come from people.
    No god has anything to do with it.

  103. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:36 am 103.Severin said …

    88 Obvious
    “Your examples are immaterial.”

    Of course, you have material evidences for existance of god.
    We can’t wait to see them!

    2+2=4 is also immaterial, but true.

  104. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:49 am 104.Severin said …

    88 Obvious
    “But obviously atheism is about more than just lack of belief.”

    Ha, ha, ha,…
    Always the same labeling!
    If we believe some shit, it MUST be they believe “something” (some other shit) too, they just hide their faith.

    No, dear Obvious!
    Your disbelieving in Santa IS comparable with our disbelieve in god!
    It is EXACTLY the same thing.

    Or, maybe you hide your believing in Santa?
    Someone tryed to persuade me, recently, that he was able to heal epilepsy by his own “electricity”, by only waving his hands around a patient.
    I did not “buy” it. I DID NOT BELIEVE IT, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. No “hidden thoughts”, no doubts, no questioning…I just DID NOT BELIEVE.

    How to explain dibelief to a believer.
    Try again with your believeing in Santa!

  105. on 13 Apr 2011 at 10:53 am 105.TGHO said …

    @81 Obvious,

    Go and read your comment #49 again. You’re focusing upon yourself. Think of the wider picture of humankind, and the overall benefit of religion becoming less of a concern.

    If you think that design in nature is “obvious”, then provide some examples please. Otherwise, concede the argument, like Horatiio has already done.

    “We ALL look for something that is real true and worth living for”

    – again, you are incorrect. Your desire for a father figure and insecurities regarding maturity do not automatically apply to other humans.

    “his bend toward communism”

    – *rolls eyes* Oh please.

  106. on 13 Apr 2011 at 10:55 am 106.TGHO said …

    @85 DPK,

    Thanks for the support, but don’t worry about Horatiio. I’ve already defeated him in every debate we’ve had, the poor guy is wallowing in his misery.

  107. on 13 Apr 2011 at 11:10 am 107.TGHO said …

    @88 Obvious,

    “There is no reason to become an atheist.”

    – I listed 10 good reasons in post #47. Can you counter any of them?

    “But obviously atheism is about more than just lack of belief. You know it and so does everyone else.”

    – explain please.

  108. on 13 Apr 2011 at 11:51 am 108.Horatiio said …

    Obvious

    The poor TGHO is under another delusion! He thought he had a class full of biology students now he believes he has won debates!

    LOL!!!

    TGHO let me summarize you list. It is delusional much like your biology students. You put down some of your opinions and then attempt to shape a debate. Where is peer-reviewed research proving your conclusions?

    Reasons to leave Atheism

    1. Murders those who believe in God
    2. OK with pedophilia
    3. Nothing is wrong
    4. Delusions of grandeur
    5. Brainwash students
    6. Don’t help the poor
    7. Selfish with money
    8. see classrooms of students that don’t exist
    9. Believe is self-creating universes
    10. Fill of Hate

    There you go. See how easy it is to post opinion.

  109. on 13 Apr 2011 at 12:07 pm 109.Hell Yeah said …

    Hor,
    Wow, where to begin….I have to run in a minute to work so I can only mention a few…..

    “Reasons to leave Atheism”

    1. Murders those who believe in God – yes, people who don’t believe in an invisbile magical being just go around murdering those who do believe. LOL. I think I will skip work today and go do that.

    2. OK with pedophilia – The pope and priests are atheists?

    3. Nothing is wrong
    4. Delusions of grandeur
    5. Brainwash students
    6. Don’t help the poor

    7. Selfish with money – who got the United States in huge debt by not taxing the rich and paying off their rich buddies who got them in office? The George Bush Republican Christians.

    8. see classrooms of students that don’t exist
    9. Believe is self-creating universes

    10. Fill of Hate – can’t hate something we don’t believe in.

  110. on 13 Apr 2011 at 1:50 pm 110.DPK said …

    Susej:
    Please spare us your 4th grade humor. Seriously, I know you think you’re being cute, but I think I speak for everyone here in saying no one finds it amusing. Thanks.

    Hor:
    You really should have stuck with LOL. At least that maintained the illusion that maybe your point of view had some kind of intellectual basis. But your last post #108 kind of killed that illusion. Not even worthy of a reply other than to say, “Are you serious?” (I’m stifling a LOL here.)

  111. on 13 Apr 2011 at 2:02 pm 111.Lou said …

    89.Obvious said …

    “Lets try Lou. Can you prove you claim?”

    I don’t have to prove it. The evidence is obvious. If Christianity is true, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion, nor would there be any other religions. It’s that simple.

    91.Johnie Rotten said …

    “As far as the wrong answer goes Lou. It is only the wrong answer for you.”

    You believing a delusion doesn’t make it correct for you. That’s why it’s called a delusion.

  112. on 13 Apr 2011 at 2:58 pm 112.johnnie rotten said …

    Lou

    So what!
    _______

    Severin said:

    I do not believe in god.
    It was you who said that god in which you believe, did (was responsible) for something, and did not (was not responsible) for something else”

    If it was sarcasm Severin, then I apologize. Unfortunately in a blog it is sometimes hard to determine ones tone.
    ____________

    What I am trying to figure out is why all Christians are lumped in with the bad Christians.

    Are there not Athiest pedophiles?

    I know that there are Christian pedophiles.

    Are there not Athiest murders?

    There are Christian murder.

    I don’t think there is anyway to deny that there are bad in both.

  113. on 13 Apr 2011 at 5:11 pm 113.Lou said …

    112.johnnie rotten said …

    “What I am trying to figure out is why all Christians are lumped in with the bad Christians.”

    They aren’t.

    “I don’t think there is anyway to deny that there are bad in both.”

    So, what’s your point? Is somebody arguing otherwise?

  114. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:15 pm 114.johnnie rotten said …

    Yeah Lou, somewhere on here I think I read that argument… I do not know where, I tend to get lost on these blogs.

  115. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:37 pm 115.Severin said …

    112 J.R.
    “I don’t think there is anyway to deny that there are bad in both.”

    Nobody denies it.
    However, IF religion/god had some influence on human behavior, it SHOULD NECESSARILY reflect in religious people being BETTER than atheists.

    Please see statistics!
    - No. of atheists in jails compared to No. of theists (proportionally to participation of both in population)
    - Crime statistics
    - Abortion statistics
    etc
    Statistics do not support the idea that believing in god makes us better.
    On the contrary!

  116. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:38 pm 116.DPK said …

    I have to kind of take issue with that. Not that I claim that atheists are only good… of course not. But I have always had a belief that MOST religious people do not ‘really’ believe what they profess. Yes, they go to church and pray and make a donation, but most people are quite good at compartmentalizing their ‘Sunday Faith” from reality. Pedophile priests are a good example. These are people who have supposedly devoted their life to the service of god, and certainly proclaim to believe that god will judge and punish us for our sins…. and yet, they do what? Molest little children and conspire to hide it with others? They cannot do that AND really believe what they say. People who rob banks NEVER think they are going to get caught. If you believed, going in that you would absolutely get caught and would spend the rest of your life in jail, you simply never would do it, right?
    Likewise with people who claim to have faith in prayer and that god has a plan for them. If you really believed that, when you kid got sick, you’d take him to a priest instead of a doctor. You wouldn’t buy insurance or worry about having a job, because you would KNOW that god will provide for you. You would do what Jesus told you to do, and “sell all that you have, give the money to the poor, and [go follow him].
    Point being, I think there actually aren’t any ‘bad’ christians, just bad people pretending to be christians.
    But in the broader sense Johnnie, you are right, there are both good and bad people on both sides of the fence, which actually agrees with our point that you don’t need religion to be a good person, and morality comes from within ourselves, not handed to us on stone tablets by an invisible magical being.

  117. on 13 Apr 2011 at 6:55 pm 117.johnnie rotten said …

    Severin

    I think based on both in population that is not really a fair comparison. Remember a lot of people that go to jail get religion. It is an interesting phenomenon known as early parole.

  118. on 13 Apr 2011 at 7:33 pm 118.Curmudgeon said …

    “I don’t have to prove it. The evidence is obvious. If Christianity is true, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion”

    If it is obvious then provide some Louis.

    There are fake Rolex watches but there are also genuine Rolex watches. The fake Rolex watches do not prove the real Rolex watches do not exist Louis. Discussion also does not proves something is false.

    Some people get there reasoning skills from Barney.

  119. on 13 Apr 2011 at 8:13 pm 119.TGHO said …

    @108 Horatiio,

    Poor Horatiio, stumbling about in his blindness. Maybe one day you’ll gain wisdom (but I’m not holding my breath).

  120. on 13 Apr 2011 at 8:47 pm 120.TGHO said …

    @112 johnnie rotten,

    “What I am trying to figure out is why all Christians are lumped in with the bad Christians. ”

    – simply because the good christians do not speak out against the radical christians. There are many cases where more centralist christians fail to condemn radicals within their own religion. If these christians wish to be labeled differently, then they have to act differently. They can’t stay silent and just expect to be treated any different to the radicals. (Note that this applies to most religions, such as islam, etc.)

    Yes, there are atheist paedophiles and atheist murderers. However atheist paedophiles go to prison, whereas catholic paedophiles get flown out of the country and protected by the Pope. That’s injustice.

    I certainly don’t deny that there’s bad in both. However the bads in atheists don’t try to blame their acts upon a mythical being, like many theists do – “Satan made me do it!”

  121. on 13 Apr 2011 at 8:49 pm 121.TGHO said …

    @117 johnnie rotten,

    “Remember a lot of people that go to jail get religion”

    – a lot of people who go to prison *change* religion, especially in the US, where the large numbers of black christian inmates become muslim.

    The numbers of atheists actually getting arrested and going to court and then to prison are markedly smaller than theists.

  122. on 14 Apr 2011 at 12:20 am 122.Hell Yeah said …

    “There are fake Rolex watches but there are also genuine Rolex watches. The fake Rolex watches do not prove the real Rolex watches do not exist Louis. Discussion also does not proves something is false.”

    Bad analogy…..usually there has to be the genuine item first before fake ones can be copied from it. Last I knew, almost all religions have been around before Christianity.

  123. on 14 Apr 2011 at 12:57 am 123.Johnie Rotten said …

    112 johnnie rotten, “What I am trying to figure out is why all Christians are lumped in with the bad Christians. ” -simply because the good christians do not speak out against the radical christians. There are many cases where more centralist christians fail to condemn radicals within their own religion.

    Tgho. You response is not correct. Many good christians speak out about the bad. And many do condemn the bad.

  124. on 14 Apr 2011 at 6:27 am 124.Severin said …

    117 J.R.
    “I think based on both in population that is not really a fair comparison.“

    I don’t know how are you in math/statsitcs, but it is the ONLY correct comparison: PERCENTAGES.
    If we have 10% of atheists and 90% theirsts in population, that makes 1000 atheists and 9000 theists if we have 10000 people. If we have 1 of 100 atheists (10 of 1000) is in prison for murder, and 2 of 100 (18 of 9000) religious people are in prison for murder (and it repeats for decades), then statistically speaking, theists are more prone to commit murder than atheists (or v.v., if the situation is contrary, but it is not!).

    If you compare % of atheists in some countries and compare % of criminal deeds, murders taken as a measure, you will se that ratio of crimes (murders) is significantly lower in more atheistic countries.
    The ratio of abortions and diseases like gonorea and sifilis,… are much lower in less religious countries.

    South American countries have almost 100% religious population.
    Not to mention Afganistan, Pakistan….there are NO atheist there!

    Generally (incomes and health taken as measures) people in more atheistic countries live better than people in more religious countries.
    My question is simple: why would we need god?

  125. on 14 Apr 2011 at 6:30 am 125.Severin said …

    Sorry, I missed a “0″ (zero) in typing: 2 of 100 is 180 of 9000, not 18.

  126. on 14 Apr 2011 at 7:57 am 126.TGHO said …

    @123 Johnie Rotten,

    “Tgho. You response is not correct. Many good christians speak out about the bad. And many do condemn the bad.”

    – Really? I know of a few – a handful – who do this. The vast majority, the *overwhelming* majority stay silent.

  127. on 14 Apr 2011 at 1:54 pm 127.Lou said …

    118.Curmudgeon said …

    “I don’t have to prove it. The evidence is obvious. If Christianity is true, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion”

    If it is obvious then provide some Louis.”

    Don’t be ridiculous. Are you arguing with children that Santa Clause is not real? Of course not. Why? Even though it’s obvious, a child can believe and wants to believe in Santa. Same thing with Christianity. Jesus is simply the Santa Clause of adult children who can believe and want to believe in Jesus, even though it’s obvious he (and therefore Christianity) isn’t real.

    Grow up.

  128. on 14 Apr 2011 at 2:23 pm 128.Burebista said …

    “Bad analogy…..usually there has to be the genuine item first before fake ones can be copied from it”

    No, good analog. We have the genuine article in God and then we have the fake ones. You know, the ones you guys list constantly? Unfortunately, you guys cannot tell the difference. You never will until you meet the real God. That requires a relationship, not science.

  129. on 14 Apr 2011 at 2:47 pm 129.Lou said …

    128.Burebista said …

    “You never will until you meet the real God. That requires a relationship, not science.”

    No, it requires a delusion – a relationship with an invisible, unknown, magical, supernatural being that speaks to you, but not to the majority of the other people on the planet.

    “George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.” – Sam Harris

  130. on 14 Apr 2011 at 3:12 pm 130.Lou said …

    118.Curmudgeon said …

    “If it is obvious then provide some Louis.”

    I already did. If christianity was true, then I would know (of) it and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If it were true, then all people on the planet would know it.

    “Discussion also does not proves something is false.”

    I didn’t say it did. Knowledge and truth “proves” something is real, not an ancient, fictional book. Not delusions. But if something is known to be true, for example, that the earth is a globe and not flat, then nobody of any intelligence argues (discusses) otherwise. If christianity were known to be true, then we wouldn’t have this discussion. But that discussion, in and of itself, doesn’t “prove” anything – except perhaps the ignorance of the those who believe that christianity is true.

    “Some people get there reasoning skills from Barney.”

    Some people get their “worldview” from the bible and voices in the head. Children listen to Barney. Children believe in Santa Claus. Adult children believe in Jesus.

  131. on 14 Apr 2011 at 7:29 pm 131.Burebista said …

    Lou

    My dear fella. Just because YOU have not met God does not mean he does not exist. I have zero doubt. You on the other hand do not know.

    Now, from here you will claim you do know and then you will be asked for proof. Then you will claim you are not required to give proof.

    It is the atheists way out of providing proof of the…”Delusion”.

  132. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:03 pm 132.DPK said …

    Burebista,

    Only a fool would claim to know what cannot be known. You do not know god is real anymore that Lou can “know” he is not. If you claim otherwise, you are an idiot.
    So, the only thing left for those on either side is to examine the evidence to see what is most likely.
    When we examine the evidence for god, (as this website and godisimaginary.com) demonstrate, we find a lot of problems.
    When we look at the problem from the point of view of an imaginary god… things make sense.
    The conclusion that is supported by the evidence is a rejection of the idea of god.

    A rational person does not claim to know the unknowable. Only religions do that. If the existence of god is something you “know” then you should be able to demonstrate it to me. I’ll offer my challenge once again. I “know” gravity is real, even though I can’t see it and can’t fully explain it. Likewise, you “know” god is real, even though you cannot see it or fully explain it.
    I will climb a 20′ ladder and hold a bowling ball over your head. You stand underneath and pray that god will suspend the ball in mid air after I let go. (a pretty paltry task for the creator of the universe and water walker, right?).
    Anyway, I can predict a number of loud and painful outcomes to our experiment, but I can promise you that the ball hanging in mid air will not be one of them. Yes, the god of Abraham who resurrected our other friend’s buddy from the dead after 8 hours will not prevent your skull from being cracked open.

    Once again, yes, you are correct. If you know that god is real, then the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it.

  133. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:24 pm 133.Anti-Theist said …

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

  134. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:27 pm 134.Lou said …

    131.Burebista said …

    “My dear fella. Just because YOU have not met God does not mean he does not exist.”

    Correct.

    “I have zero doubt.”

    And others have “zero doubt” that their (version of) god exits. If god exists, then all of those beliefs are wrong except one. Therefore, it’s much, much more probable that you are all wrong than that one of you is correct, especially when there’s no more evidence for your god than there is for any of the others.

    “You on the other hand do not know.”

    I do not “know” that god does not exist. But I do know that there’s no evidence that he does. Therefore, I reject such a belief. That’s what’s known as atheism. Perhaps you can’t understand this simple concept – there’s nothing to prove about my rejection of your belief. Atheists did not present the idea of not god. Theists presented the idea of god. If they want to force their belief, then it’s their obligation to “prove” it.

    Nobody has to prove disbelief in god anymore than they do for the tooth fairy and Santa. It’s a simple concept to understand. Anybody who can’t understand that atheists don’t have to prove their rejection of theism are simply demonstrating why they’re theists in the first place.

  135. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:46 pm 135.Lou said …

    133.Anti-Theist said …

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

    This reminds me of alien abduction mythology. Before the idea of aliens (ETs), people were abducted by goblins(?).

  136. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:47 pm 136.TGHO said …

    So glad I’m not a theist. The level of delusion they have to set up to swallow their mythical beliefs is astounding. Reading Burebista’s posts really drives it home that these poor people need serious help.

  137. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:50 pm 137.DPK said …

    133.Anti-Theist said …

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

    Can Burebista borrow this when I drop the bowling ball on his head?

  138. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:57 pm 138.TGHO said …

    @137 DPK,

    “Can Burebista borrow this when I drop the bowling ball on his head?”

    – are you expecting to knock some sense into his skull? Not sure it will work! ;)

  139. on 14 Apr 2011 at 8:58 pm 139.Lou said …

    132.DPK said …

    “I “know” gravity is real, even though I can’t see it and can’t fully explain it.”

    Bull! Gravity is only a theory! LOL!

  140. on 14 Apr 2011 at 9:19 pm 140.Rajan said …

    “Therefore, it’s much, much more probable that you are all wrong than that one of you is correct”

    Actually mathematical probability would be in the favor of a God when considering the long history, the number in the populace who purport such a being and the tremendous number of unknowns in the universe.

    Then when considering the passion of those who deny God with such fury, the probability becomes even greater.

    Alien seeding of life was first proposed by Francis Crick. A hypothesis that has likewise not yet been disproven

  141. on 14 Apr 2011 at 10:35 pm 141.Lou said …

    140.Rajan said …

    “Actually mathematical probability would be in the favor of a God when considering the long history, the number in the populace who purport such a being and the tremendous number of unknowns in the universe.”

    Absurdly funny! That’s like saying the lottery odds change because of the number of people who think that they will win.

  142. on 14 Apr 2011 at 11:15 pm 142.Horatiio said …

    “That’s like saying the lottery odds change because of the number of people who think that they will win.”

    Sigh…wrong again Lou. The lottery does have one correct winner!!!! LOL!

    I’m sorry you make me laugh.

  143. on 14 Apr 2011 at 11:30 pm 143.Lou said …

    142.Horatiio said …

    “That’s like saying the lottery odds change because of the number of people who think that they will win.”

    “Sigh…wrong again Lou. The lottery does have one correct winner!!!! LOL!”

    Non sequitur…

    “I’m sorry you make me laugh.”

    It’s not me that makes you laugh, perhaps it’s your obvious lack of cognitive reasoning ability that causes you to constantly misunderstand comments and interpret them as humor. That also explains your inability to understand that the lottery odds don’t change because of the number of people who think that they will win.

    P.S. I suggest that you learn how to use commas in your comments.

  144. on 14 Apr 2011 at 11:53 pm 144.Hell Yeah said …

    “No, good analog. We have the genuine article in God and then we have the fake ones. You know, the ones you guys list constantly? Unfortunately, you guys cannot tell the difference. You never will until you meet the real God. That requires a relationship, not science.”

    ….speaking of articles or writings, why do not follow the genuine bible, which was the orginal one? Why did parts have to be re-written or taken out? Wouldn’t that make it not genuine anymore, just like your folexs? And I guess you didn’t get the point I was trying to make about Christianity not being the original religion, so wouldn’t that make it not genuine anymore, but just copies of other religions? If Christianity is the true religion, then why wasn’t it the first and only religion? Your God sure took a long time before he sent a copy of himself to Earth to let mankind know they were following the wrong god(s).

  145. on 15 Apr 2011 at 1:16 am 145.Horatiio said …

    HY

    What? or maybe Huh?

    The entire Bible points to Jesus. You guys spend too much time on blogs! Seriously

    __

    Uh, yeah Lou. We know lottery odds do not change. Thanks.

    You know it has a number of winners to, right????

    Wow!

  146. on 15 Apr 2011 at 1:56 am 146.Hell Yeah said …

    Hor,

    You moron. Read posts 118 and 122, then read 144. My posts aren’t claiming that parts of the bible don’t point to Jesus. You are just misinterpreting my points. The discussion is on the difference between genuine and fakes. Cur tried to use an example of Rolexs and Folexs. I was simply pointing out that in order to have a fake item, you have to have the original first, and that many religions (which you guys think as fake) have been around before Christianity (which you guys think is genuine). How can Christianity be genuine when it has many similarities to other religions before it’s time? How can the Christian God be the real God, when many other gods were thought to be real before him? And then I pointed out that the orginal writing of the bible isn’t in it’s original form anymore, so how can you claim it to be genuine? And many similar stories of the bible have been around in other religions before Christianity was born. If the Christian god is real, then he would have let humanity know about him long before a mass amount of time went by and then he all of a sudden appears to let people know about him…….hmmmm……maybe he should have done that from the beginning? Get my points now?

  147. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:02 am 147.DPK said …

    I don’t think Hor is actually misrepresenting your posts. I used to think he was doing that intentionally because he didn’t have a better answer, so he would just try to make it sound like you said something you didn’t. He’s being doing that to everyone for as long as I’ve been here.
    But then it dawned on me that he really ISN’T clever enough to be deceitful and cunning. He really, really just doesn’t get it when you make a point that doesn’t fit with his indoctrination. Kinda like the “that does not compute, that does not compute..” before the robet would start to smoke and shake in the old B-flicks.
    So, be kind to him. In a way, it’s not his fault. His brainwashing was pretty thorough, and aparently, they used bleach.

  148. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:14 am 148.MrQ said …

    HY / DPK
    Teaching a pig to fly would be easier than teaching comprehension to poor daft Hor. Good luck! But then he’s not here to learn…he just wants to rant about that bastard zombie guy and HD motorcycles. LOL!!

  149. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:30 am 149.Horatiio said …

    HY

    Ah, no since it irrelevant in those post and now. This is a challenge for you huh? Well, unless you are arrogant enough to know what God did way back then and how He was working. YHWH is the real deal and the others are false. He was involved in creation!!!!! It doesn’t get earlier than that Obama!!!! LOL!

    Its much like your lottery reference other than the fact there are many lottery winners. You did know that, right?

    DPK

    You so silly. It really is my fault. Really, I take full responsibility :)

    You guys are fun.

  150. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:33 am 150.Horatiio said …

    HY

    Ad Homenim attacks…..Shame on you. DPK doesn’t like those type of attacks. He must have missed yours :)

  151. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:45 am 151.Hell Yeah said …

    Whore,
    So if I invent a story about a god that created the Christian god, wouldn’t that be earlier? That would then make my story real then, right? LOL. Do you see the point that just because a god was thought up long after all other religions have been around and the people that thought up this god made this god the strongest of them all, doesn’t mean he is a real one.

  152. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:00 am 152.Lou said …

    145.Horatiio said …

    “Uh, yeah Lou. We know lottery odds do not change. Thanks.”

    But the person to whom I directed my analogy apparently does not know that because he believes that the odds of god’s existence is dependent upon how many people believe in him. And your non-sequitur comment doesn’t exactly demonstrate much more of an understanding of logic.

    “You know it has a number of winners to, right????”

    Perhaps you meant “too?” Either way, what is your point?

  153. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:13 am 153.Severin said …

    123 J.R.
    “Many good christians speak out about the bad. And many do condemn the bad.”

    Let’s see:
    Some Chritians kill, lie, steal, abuse children…
    Some atheists do the same.

    Some Christians speak about the bad and condemn the bad.
    Some atheists do the same.

    Christians believe in god.
    Atheists don’t.

    Does god influence human behavior?
    Obviously not! OBVIOUSLY, otherwise ALL Christians would do only good, and ALL atheists would do only bad.
    Do we need god doing nothing?
    No!

  154. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:22 am 154.Severin said …

    142 Horatio
    “Sigh…wrong again Lou. The lottery does have one correct winner!!!!”

    Except when nobody buys the lotery ticket with right number.

  155. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:32 am 155.Severin said …

    145 Horatio
    “The entire Bible points to Jesus.”

    Wow!
    Why are you debating about the Bible if you never read it?
    I’we read some 100 pages and did not see a letter pointing to Jesus.

    You better stop making fool of yourself.
    Who will trust you anything after such claims.

  156. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:45 am 156.Severin said …

    146 H.Y.
    “If the Christian god is real, then he would have let humanity know about him long before a mass amount of time went by and then he all of a sudden appears to let people know about him…….hmmmm……maybe he should have done that from the beginning?”

    It seems that gods evolve too?

  157. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:55 am 157.Severin said …

    149 Horatio
    “Its much like your lottery reference other than the fact there are many lottery winners. You did know that, right?”

    The ONLY winner is lotary Co (Org?)! ALWAYS, no exception.
    Lotary works based on probability calculations. They pre-calculate possibilities that someone (or a number of people) win. Then collect money from millions by selling tickets with numbers. Then they take a part of collected money to themselves and to the state (taxes). The rest goes to possible winners.
    When you win a lotery, you do NOT get money from lotery, from the state or from god. You get money from OTHER lotery ticket buyers who DID NOT WIN.

    Knowing that, I never buy lotary tickets. Neither I ever gamble.
    If I need money, I work.

  158. on 15 Apr 2011 at 7:00 am 158.Severin said …

    149 Horatio
    ” He was involved in creation!!!!!”

    Too few exclamation marks to make me trust you!

  159. on 15 Apr 2011 at 12:50 pm 159.Lou said …

    148.MrQ said …

    “Teaching a pig to fly would be easier than teaching comprehension to poor daft Hor.”

    He has a disability. He really cannot connect the dots.

  160. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:07 pm 160.Boz said …

    Hor,

    One thing I have learned in my many years. Those involved in a cult cannot see reason. No matter how obvious and widely accepted God is, they cannot see the truth.

    Cult members believe the rest of the world is delusional. Sound familiar? It is like watching a train wreck when you see it it action.

  161. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:12 pm 161.Lou said …

    160.Boz said …

    “One thing I have learned in my many years. Those involved in a cult cannot see reason. No matter how obvious and widely accepted God is, they cannot see the truth.”

    Correct – that there is no evidence for God.

    “Cult members believe the rest of the world is delusional. Sound familiar? It is like watching a train wreck when you see it it action.”

    An accurate description of religion and religious zealots in action. Thanks for posting it.

  162. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:18 pm 162.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 149

    I have no reason to believe any of that. I have never seen convincing evidence god did anything at any time for your or anyone else’s gods. There is no creation. There is only the world and the evidence that lets us figure out where it came from. If a Muslim came in and made assertions about his god you would not be convinced. Why should anyone be convinced by you?

    Also you do not understand Ad Hominum attacks. That is when the sole content of an argument is an insult. HY had other things in there with the insult so at worst he might be an asshole. Not that I care because even if an asshole says 2+2+4 they are still right no matter how much they bother you.

  163. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:30 pm 163.EmoHeart said …

    If “God” truley loved us he would have let us know that he does exist instead of hiding from us. So since he has not “shown himself” we do not believe.
    Besides how do we know that Jesus was really “God’s” son? He could have been some derranged man looking for an excuse for people to fallow him around like dogs. Also how do we know that Jesus’ mom, Mary wasn’t some whore and told her husband, Joseph that she never had sex with another man. She could have been raped and didn’t want to tell anyone. Their are so many possibilities that say “God” doesn’t exist. Only one possibility that he does.

  164. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:06 pm 164.Anti-Theist said …

    It doesn’t really matter, without Yahweh these people would be robbing liquor stores, swinging from rafters, raping infants, and so on. They need the promise, hope, and dictatorship that comes with the fantasy to control themselves. To our resident theists; know that nobody cares what you do to be happy (as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.) Our problem isn’t with you, god, the bible, or the peanut butter you rub yourself with. We fight against bigots who try to force us to act in accordance to their faith, we fight against the abuse of children, we fight ignorance, and only when you allow yourself to be a tool for the atrocities or those like them mentioned; we fight you. This is our playpen. If you don’t like it here; leave (go to church.) But don’t act like were attacking you or your silly little faith. Remember you have the right to be offended just as you have the right to get back to serving your lord (and out of our hair.) Until then, “En garde!”

  165. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:22 pm 165.johnnie rotten said …

    So I have to ask a question of the Atheists here….

    If Jesus of Nazareth never existed, where did Christianity come from?( or as you Atheists probably like to call it, Christinsanity).

    What is the religion really based on?

    Do you really think that all Christians do not realize that there is a lot of symbolism associated with myth?

    Or is it all based on mass hysteria an delusion?

    The Christian Faith had to come from somewhere.And it grew to have a huge following. There are a lot of significant things in history that are not mentioned even thought they happened.

    Now of course Lou will say that I am as dense as a bucket of rocks, but the reality of it is, that if you are all the ones that know, I would like to have your take on it.

    And yes I know, there are more than one question here.

  166. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:29 pm 166.johnnie rotten said …

    163.EmoHeart said …

    If “God” truley loved us he would have let us know that he does exist instead of hiding from us. So since he has not “shown himself” we do not believe.

    If GOD truly loves us, he would want us to have Faith and truly love and believe in him. The same goes for parents as they love their children, they would want their children to have faith that they love them even when things are not going according to plan.( Sorry , I am not sure how I should have said that any different, hopefully the meaning of what I am trying to say comes through).

    If GOD always shows himself to us, then we would take him for granted.

  167. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:37 pm 167.DPK said …

    Johnny… fair question. Maybe I can make it clear with another question.
    The ancient Aztecs worshiped a host of gods and offered them human sacrifices. Their civilization lasted 900 years and their religion was followed by millions of people. Where did it come from?

    Hinduism is the oldest surviving major religion and is followed by close to a billion people today. Where did it come from?

    So, your question about Christianity is kind of pointless. ALL religions “came from” something… folklore and legend. The fact that Christianity developed does not prove that Jesus was real any more than the ancient Greek religions prove that Zeus was real.

    It is clear that the Christian legend… god’s son born of a virgin, birth heralded by a star, murdered, died and was resurrected, all come from earlier pagan religions that had amazingly similar stories.

    Just like the fact that the Mormon religion was completely fabricated by a con-man, Joesph Smith, and it’s Book of Mormon contains claims that are clearly, demonstrably false… the religion sprang up and is believed by many anyway.

    The claim of “mass hysteria” or hallucination is not just a wild ass guess that atheists made up to discredit religion… you only have to look at the thousands of discarded gods and religions that have existed throughout history to see that it not only real, it is quite common.

  168. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:38 pm 168.Anti-Theist said …

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

  169. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:47 pm 169.DPK said …

    “If GOD always shows himself to us, then we would take him for granted.”

    Johnny… did you parents hide in a closet and refuse to let you see them when you were growing up?

    Did they write important life lessons to you in the form of a puzzle that you needed a preacher to interpret for you?

    If god loved me so much and needed me to believe in him, all he’s have to do is materialize himself in front of me and make himself known. He did this to Moses and Abraham and other biblical figures. He talked directly to people all the time in the bible, so apparently this is not a problem for him. So why does he reject me? And honestly… other that those “feelings” you get… have you ever actually seen him, or actually physically heard his voice? Didn’t think so.

    Don’t you find it curious that god so plainly reveals himself to the likes of Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swagart, and Jim Baker… but not to people like me and TGHO and Severin and Lou.. and so many others? It would be so easy for him to convince us, and everyone else of his existence, but he doesn’t. Why? Because he wants us to have faith? Why? My parents wanted me to know they loved me… they did it by being there.

  170. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:00 pm 170.Lou said …

    169.DPK said …

    “Don’t you find it curious that god so plainly reveals himself to the likes of Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swagart, and Jim Baker…”

    Further evidence of why the bible isn’t true. The bible is simply the ancient version of TV evangelists – wackos spewing forth nonsense.

  171. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:14 pm 171.Anti-Theist said …

    Whether you believe in god or not doesn’t really matter. In times like today, in the civilized world, with so little time until expiration; all that matters is your happiness. Are you more content / productive with or without the fear of a supernatural being punishing you for disobedience? If you need the supernatural, much cooler fantasies than Christianity are at your disposal. Certain people are better as sheep; there just not happy unless someone’s walking all over them. I don’t think I’m any better than theists, I just refuse to worship anything aside from myself, my kids, my wife.

  172. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:36 pm 172.Horatiio said …

    “Cult members believe the rest of the world is delusional. Sound familiar?”

    Oh very much so Boz.

    I think this has been brought up before. We have 3-4% of the population making a claim that the rest of the population is delusional.

    Hmmm, I am beginning to think we have stumbled upon a new psychological disorder. I don’t have time to research it but have a a close friend who is a clinical shrink. I’ll check into it.

  173. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:44 pm 173.johnnie rotten said …

    I understand what you are saying DPK, but it is not a pointless question. I have read articles that say that Neanderthal man supposedly buried their ritually buried their dead. So it is believed that they had some sort of religious or spiritual ceremony. It has to come from somewhere, perhaps it is a way to understand our own immortality. I do not know. No one really knows where it comes from,so we deify it, and give it a name, be it Christianity or whatever Judaism or whatever.

    My parents never locked me in a closet to and I do not need a preacher to interpret the lessons in life. What I have is a belief in something bigger than me and I also believe in myself. I do not expect GOD to show himself to me, because I need to take care of the things I need to take care of. I do not need GOD to answer my prayers about wanting a ‘new bicycle’, that is something that I have to do myself without stealing it like SUSEJ said.

  174. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:46 pm 174.johnnie rotten said …

    Anti-Theist said:

    Whether you believe in god or not doesn’t really matter. In times like today, in the civilized world, with so little time until expiration; all that matters is your happiness. Are you more content / productive with or without the fear of a supernatural being punishing you for disobedience? If you need the supernatural, much cooler fantasies than Christianity are at your disposal. Certain people are better as sheep; there just not happy unless someone’s walking all over them. I don’t think I’m any better than theists, I just refuse to worship anything aside from myself, my kids, my wife.

    You are right, a persons faith is his own.

  175. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:39 pm 175.DPK said …

    “I do not expect GOD to show himself to me, because I need to take care of the things I need to take care of. I do not need GOD to answer my prayers about wanting a ‘new bicycle’, that is something that I have to do myself without stealing it like SUSEJ said.”

    EXACTLY! You and are are actually on the same page. You are only one step away from taking the next logical conclusion. You do not need god to do these things. In fact, god does not do these things. He doesn’t take care of you, answer your prayers, because he exists only in your head. Now, you just need to admit that to yourself and you are free of the same ancient superstitions that made primitive man worship the sun, cower at thunder and lightning, and worship the wind and sea.

  176. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:45 pm 176.johnnie rotten said …

    DPK if it were that simple there would be far fewer Christians in the world.

  177. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:45 pm 177.Lou said …

    172.Horatiio said …

    “I think this has been brought up before. We have 3-4% of the population making a claim that the rest of the population is delusional.”

    And?

    Are all the people who believe in a different god than you also delusional?

    Not everybody who believes in a god is delusional.

    “Hmmm, I am beginning to think…”

    Watch out…

    “…we have stumbled upon a new psychological disorder. I don’t have time to research it but have a a close friend who is a clinical shrink. I’ll check into it.”

    Really? You think that delusion is new disorder?

  178. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:46 pm 178.Joshua said …

    @ jonnie rotten 165

    “If Jesus of Nazareth never existed, where did Christianity come from?( or as you Atheists probably like to call it, Christinsanity).

    What is the religion really based on?”

    You have to go back and look at the history of Christianity. It is conceivable that a religion could start that worships someone who did not exist, lots of religions have savior figures and the psychological benefits of such a figure may have led some folks to make one up. I do not know that Jesus did not exist, I just know that I do not find the evidence convincing. Personally I do not believe in any gods or what is usually understood as “the supernatural” so I usually don’t spend much time thinking about the existence of Jesus since there are bigger disbelief in play.

    “Do you really think that all Christians do not realize that there is a lot of symbolism associated with myth?

    Or is it all based on mass hysteria an delusion?”

    I am not sure what you mean here. I would not think that something using symbolism automatically means that the thing being symbolized does not exist. “Chair” is a symbol in our language for a real object, but in a sense “two” does not exist because there is no discrete thing that is “two”. There are “two” single things. It depends on the religion but if I am off base maybe you could clarify?

    “The Christian Faith had to come from somewhere.And it grew to have a huge following. There are a lot of significant things in history that are not mentioned even thought they happened.”

    Of course it came from somewhere. To find out we study the evidence available to us. If there is insufficient evidence available to find an answer than we may never find an answer. But numbers of followers is not good enough. If one billion people said that you could live without eating, they would still be wrong. How do you know something significant happened if there is no evidence? (If that is what you mean by “not mentioned”) I don’t believe anything without evidence.

  179. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:47 pm 179.DPK said …

    “I think this has been brought up before. We have 3-4% of the population making a claim that the rest of the population is delusional.”

    Hor, it seems that you are once again saying that because a large percentage of the world’s population believes in something, that defines reality, and the smaller percentage that reject it must be delusional.

    Do we have to go here again? Let’s review.
    The MAJORITY of the world’s population are not christian, and do not accept Yahweh and Jesus, and the Holy Ghost as god. Therefore YOUR religion is wrong… sorry, your proposition, your conclusions.

    Every other religion that existed throughout history where the VAST majority of people believed in it is therefore also… true.

    Every other crackpot belief that once held universal acceptance is true; ie, flat earth, spontaneous generation, alchemy, astrology, witch hunting, demonic possession, etc….

    Do you even THINK about what you are saying before you type? Please ask your mother or some other adult to review your work before you submit them so you don’t look so utterly foolish.

  180. on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:59 pm 180.DPK said …

    “DPK if it were that simple there would be far fewer Christians in the world.”

    It really is that simple.

    The number of Christians in the world is a direct result of where you happen to be born, and of the societal pressure to be religious.

    Think of this simple truth Johnnie… if you had been born in North Africa, the overwhelming odds are that you would be Muslim today, and you would be telling me that Jesus was NOT god and that Allah is the only true god.

    Also, see my older post about people who are religious by social convention and who simply compartmentalize their faith with reality. They are Sunday believers, but they don’t really buy it. They know, like you, that god is not going to answer their prayers and if you want the bike you have to work to earn it. They know when the kid is sick you take him to a doctor, not to a church. They know that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people because shit happens and god has nothing to do with it. They give praise to god for watching over them, and they tell you they trust completely in god’s plan for them. But they still buckle their seat-belts and get cancer screenings, because if god’s plan is for them to get cancer or have an auto accident, they want to make sure his plan doesn’t come to fruition.

  181. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:14 pm 181.Lou said …

    179.DPK said …

    “Hor, it seems that you are once again saying that because a large percentage of the world’s population believes in something, that defines reality, and the smaller percentage that reject it must be delusional.

    Do you even THINK about what you are saying before you type? Please ask your mother or some other adult to review your work before you submit them so you don’t look so utterly foolish.”

    No kidding! What is up with this guy?

    Hor, when you visit your alleged friend who’s a shrink, ask him to read your last messages posted here.

  182. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:20 pm 182.DPK said …

    Let me address also, if I may, the belief that atheists and agnostics are a tiny tiny minority.

    I don’t have any statistics or figures to back this up, so please don’t hammer me. I can’t prove it, ok? It is more in the way of a personal observation, but I think it has relevance. I’d be curious to know if others here have experienced the same thing.

    Where I live, whenever the topic comes up, in company, of religious affiliation, the question is never “Do you believe in god?” The question is always, “Where do you worship?” or “What church do you belong to?”
    Usually, I’ll just say “None” and change the subject. But sometimes, if I’m with people I maybe know more (and have had 2 or 3 gin and tonics) I will say, “I’m atheist. I don’t believe in god.”
    When this happens, you can actually see the look of absolute horror on people’s faces, as if I had just said, “I spend Sundays raping and murdering children. If they are christian children, I cannibalize them too.” Then THEY will quickly change the topic and try to avoid me for the rest of the night.
    BUT… and this has happened EVERY time. Afterward at least one, and often times more than one, person will come up to me after and say, “I’m with you on the god thing. I don’t believe either, but I don’t want it getting around because of my (job, business, kids… fill in the blank).

    A year ago I found out that one of my best friends that I had known for 30 years, was agnostic. The topic had never come up in 30 years, and he had no idea I was atheist.

    So, my point is, I believe there are a LOT more of us than statistic show. A lot more. And an even larger group than that, I think, are the ones who actually do profess a faith, but aren’t really buying into either. The “bet hedgers” like the guy who said… (maybe it was Johnnie??) he decided to “believe” because it was a safer bet when his kids were sick and he wasn’t going to take any chances. Cover all the bases, so to speak. That isn’t belief.. that’s a facade.
    The ones who REALLY, REALLY believe, are the guys flying airplanes into buildings, strapping on explosive vests, picketing at fallen soldier’s funerals, and burning Korans. We call them nut jobs.. and rightly so.

  183. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:29 pm 183.johnnie rotten said …

    DPK

    My question still really stands… Why?

    why do some have faith and others do not. Is it because of people like Susej who use sarcasm to explain why prayers go unanswered. The faithful say that GOD has other plans when their plans go unanswered.

    The true origins of Christianity come from Judaism, because Jesus was a Jew.( that is if you believe he existed at all)

    Why is it bad to believe in GOD and why are those that do delusional?

    Maybe GOD does exist want Atheists are delusional.

    My point is that neither side has really provided proof!

    So some of us will go on believing and some will not.

  184. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:36 pm 184.johnnie rotten said …

    DPK said:

    The “bet hedgers” like the guy who said… (maybe it was Johnnie??) he decided to “believe” because it was a safer bet when his kids were sick and he wasn’t going to take any chances. Cover all the bases, so to speak. That isn’t belief.. that’s a facade.

    I did not say that,but if it gives that person comfort to believe in that manner then to them it is not a facade at least to him. Who am I to judge.

    I too was an Atheist until a few years ago, then I had my own personal experience that had profound changes in my life….and no, I did not see the Virgin Mary in grilled cheese.

  185. on 15 Apr 2011 at 6:56 pm 185.DPK said …

    No, you are right, and neither side CAN provide proof. Theists define god as to be unfalsifiable. He is all powerful, he must remain hidden, he requires faith, if he revealed himself, your faith would be destroyed. The rationalizations are endless.
    So, what can we do? Well, like this website that we are under, and others try to do, is look at what we can. When we put our understanding of what god should be to the test, we have problems, lots of problems. that require more and more and more elaborate rationalizations to explain away.
    Like, if god is all knowing and knows everything that will happen, how can you saw he gave us free will? It’s a simple question, but one that cannot be reconciled. If god KNOWS that tomorrow I will murder my mother in law, knowledge implies certainty… I cannot choose not to do her in, because then god would have been wrong. Christians say “God exists outside of time and you can’t understand it, but it’s true.”
    Then there is the problem of evil. God is all powerful and all good. Then why did he create evil? (he created everything..remember) Why doesn’t he destroy it? Believers say God didn’t create evil, man did by turning away from god. No, Satan was one of god’s angles, who turned away (with a bunch of others).. why did they do that? If everything is so great in heaven, why did Lucifer revolt? Why didn’t god just stop him, or destroy him, or not create him in the first place?
    See where I’m going? lots and lots of problems.
    But, if you open your mind for a second, and look at the world and all the things we see from the other point of view, that maybe god isn’t real, maybe people just made him up as a way to explain things they didn’t have answers for, as a way to ease the loss of a loved one with a story of eternal life in a happy place, as a way to believe that those who had wronged them will “get their’s” in the next life. If you look at it honestly from this perspective, ALL of those problems disappear and what we actually see makes sense.
    That’s as best I can offer you in the way of proof, because your god has been defined as being unprovable. If he is unprovable he is therefore undisprovable (and I may have just made that word up.. sorry).
    The last question to ask yourself honestly is this one… If you still decide you need to believe in a god, how do you pick one? There are lots available, and they all claim to have a lock hold on what is true, who god is, what he expects of you, and what you must do to avoid damnation. You have NO way of determining WHICH one is actually true, if any? What id the Muslims are right? You’re screwed. What if the Mormons are right? Screwed. Scientologists, Hindus, Buddhists? (ok maybe you aren’t totally screwed as a buddhist but at the least you’ve wasted a life).
    Then ask yourself… why would god make it so? If he wants me to know him, why is it so confusing?? He’s the all powerful creator. Wouldn’t he have made the path to enlightenment so crystal clear and inspiring that no one could possibly doubt it? IT IS an important question and one with supposedly dire consequences… why would he let so much up to chance?

  186. on 15 Apr 2011 at 7:15 pm 186.johnnie rotten said …

    Yin and Yang

    Good and Bad

    There has to be both. One can not exist without the other. Why did Angels revolt, do not know, I was not there. What if the others are right?

    Will we ever know?

    That is where faith comes in.

    Why does there have to be good with the bad?

    Because without the bad, what would there be to compare the good too?

    It is like asking if there is an end to outer space. No one really knows except for the fact that everything ends. Except for one thing that will never end, and that is time.

    I know that I am rambling, but one can go on and on with this debate and end up coming to the same conclusion.

    GOD either does or does not exist.It all depends on how you look at it.

  187. on 15 Apr 2011 at 7:29 pm 187.Boz said …

    I think you and Johnny have hit on a good point. Man has always believed in something bigger than him. In is an innate quality. There is a small percent of the populace that believe there is nothing beyond what they can detect with the 5 senses.

    It may be a psychological disorder after all. Like Johnny and many other Christians they do overcome the disorder in many cases. It would be an interesting study.

  188. on 15 Apr 2011 at 7:30 pm 188.Boz said …

    Sorry, the post was directed to Horatio.

  189. on 15 Apr 2011 at 7:51 pm 189.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 182

    I completely agree. It is pretty hard to figure out how many there really are though. Not only are there the people who are hiding because they fear social backlash, but not everyone uses the words the same way.

    For example I consider atheism and agnosticism to both apply to some people. Atheism has to do with belief. You either believe or you don’t, there is no middle ground and you can not force yourself to believe. Agnosticism has to do with knowledge, you either know something or you don’t. Again no middle ground. So you can be a gnostic theist or atheist, and an agnostic theist or atheist.

    I hear people treat agnosticism as some kind of middle ground between theism and atheism and it drives me crazy! If you can not answer the question “do you believe in a god” with a “yes”, you are an atheist! There is no “I don’t know” for belief.

    I hope that someone collects some data someday. There are at least as many atheists as Jews and they have A LOT more political power.

  190. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:06 pm 190.MrQ said …

    Man has always believed in something bigger than him. In is an innate quality.

    I don’t completely agree here. I think it would be more accurate to say that with the evolution of Man came something that separates us from ALL of the animals – we can imagine. If we can imagine it, we can make it so.

    Think of what life would have been like some 250,000 years ago, at the dawn of Homo Sapiens. Survival was the primary objective. Few rules governed us. Must have been quite difficult.
    However, through time we were able to manipulate our environments like no other creature beforehand. As we developed social bonds, rules, societies, we had the opportunity to use our (evolved) big brains and wonder “Why?” Clearly there is behaviour in early Man that indicates a desire to understand our environment and our place in it. Without technology to explain something as simple as a rainbow, everything in nature must have seemed mysterious and magical. No doubt our imaginations worked overtime to construct definitions and tried to make sense of it all – giving rise to myths. Religions are extensions of this myth building. Some people still use the myths to explain our place in the world/universe. Some people rely on the myths to help keep themselves on the straight and narrow. Some people just believe because “math is tough” and they don’t want to think. Still others believe because it’s how they were raised. And so on…..

    Johnnie rotten (post #165/183) asks “Why?” Well, so did the early humans.

  191. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:06 pm 191.Joshua said …

    @ jonnie rotten 183

    First, what do you mean by faith? I hear lots of people use the word faith and it seams to change definitions depending on the person or moment. Sometimes it means “believing even though you do not have good reasons” and I hear this use sometimes when I don’t find any of a persons arguments satisfactory. That is what they are essentially asking me to do, just believe anyway. I can then ask the same person why think that believing for bad/no reasons is a good thing and then they will say something like “faith does not mean belief for bad reasons!” and then we go in circles. This is one of those words where I always have to ask what the person means. I have no faith at all, I have justified belief and I think it is better.

    “Why is it bad to believe in GOD and why are those that do delusional?”

    We think it is bad because we think that all of the evidence we have seen is bad. Those that believe in god take actions out in the world that do impact us. Of course we will oppose things that effect us that we think are based on things that are not true. If you do anything that includes an error, you will end up with mistakes. When you believe in god and vote, you make mistakes that affect us.

    I do not think that theists are delusional, I think that they have really bad standards of evidence, and are not usually willing to justify what they believe and consider what we say about why we disagree. Just look at some of the discussions involving science. Some of us will take the time to correct something that is factually incorrect, and when we get a response it amounts to “nah uhhhh” because all they do is say something and rarely say why we are wrong or why they think what they do. Without attaching a “why” to a “what” all you have is an assertion.

    “My point is that neither side has really provided proof!”

    It only makes sense to believe in things that you have evidence (not proof) for. If you are happy believing in something with no “proof” than why this god? Why not Zeus, Allah, Krishna, Shiva, Loki….?

  192. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:14 pm 192.Joshua said …

    @ jonnie rotten 186

    Humans define good and bad. It is not a thing like “positive” and “negative” on magnets. There is no universal law that makes “good” and “bad”. They do not exist with out minds to define them. Generally “good” is things we like, and “bad” is things we don’t like. The specific change with every human, city, country, and century. Literally everything you can think of has been considered “good” or “bad” at different times and by different people. What we think of as a generic ‘good” and “bad” is just the average of everyone’s beliefs at a given time in a given place. It always changes. The important part is WHY something is considered good or bad, that is where the real important work is.

  193. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:19 pm 193.johnnie rotten said …

    Like I said you have to have both or how would you determine the difference

  194. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:25 pm 194.Joshua said …

    @ Boz 187

    What a bunch of bullshit. When you say “bigger” get specific. Atheists have no problems believing in governments, planets, mountains and plenty of “bigger” things. Just say it. You mean a god. It’s the same rhetorical bullshit as when some people say “atheists believe in nothing” when it is obvious that atheists believe in rocks, trees, cars, movies and plenty of other things that theists believe in. You are just being vague as a tool to make atheists look crazy so you can ignore the substance of an argument as you change the definition of “something” when atheists don’t like what ever “something” you were just referencing.

    Man has always wanted an explanation, ANY explanation for the world around him so we can try to gain an advantage and make life better. It used to be Zeus and lightning and as our knowledge grows there are fewer and fewer places for your “something” to hide. I have every right to be skeptical of god-claims since every time throughout history a god-explanation was given, it lost over time. It is a good default for a reason, your evidence is likely crap.

  195. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:34 pm 195.Joshua said …

    @ Boz 193

    No, you claim you have to have both with no evidence.

    My evidence? I consider something good if I like it. I consider it neutral if does not harm me or anyone else. I consider it bad if it harms me or others. It is a spectrum, there are things that are neither good or bad. Why can’t you have “good” without “bad? Wrong question in my opinion. Why can’t you have good without bad. Human advancement is all about trying to remove the “bad” and create more “good”. I reject the idea that you have to have both.

  196. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:34 pm 196.DPK said …

    Johnnie:
    “Yin and Yang Good and Bad There has to be both.”

    I suppose, but not a very satisfying answer from your perspective considering the god definition. He set the rules, so it doesn’t have to be that way. According to the bible, originally there wasn’t. Everything in heaven was good, and perfect. Then Lucifer took revolt against god and there was a war.. then god cast him and his followers out. So, if you believe the bible story, things must not have been so great in heaven or there would have been no revolt, and god is not all powerful because he would have just destroyed the opposition, or better yet, he would have seen it coming and never made Lucifer in the first place… but, it’s all a fairy tale… doesn’t mean anything.

    This is just ONE of the many problems with religions. Ultimately, if god created everything, than god is responsible for everything. If man is fucked up, it’s because god created him to be that way. Not only did he create him to be that way, he did it knowing full well… in advance… that that is how things would play out. If I am a skeptic who rejects god, and there is a god, it’s his fault because he made me this way, AND he didn’t do anything in my life to make me change my mind…. see the problem?

    Joshua:
    I have always understood the distinction as being agnostic concedes that you cannot prove or disprove god, so it makes no difference to argue the point. In short “I don’t care.”
    Atheist conclude also that you cannot prove or disprove god’s existence, but feel that the evidence, overwhelmingly or even marginally, supports the idea of it’s non-existence.
    Either one chooses to live their lives free of religious “faith” because it is either irrelevant or false.
    I suppose you could define it differently.

  197. on 15 Apr 2011 at 8:50 pm 197.johnnie rotten said …

    know if GOD created him to be that way then man would be nothing more than a bunch of GOD robots.We have the ability to do both good and bad and chose our own path. That is the way that it should be,GOD gives us guidance in “laws” or whatever you want to call them and we have to determine how they best fit us.

    As far as a war in heaven, who knows what Lucifer what the revolt was over. It could have been over a cup of sugar or Lucifer could have wanted to take over heaven and rule man in his own image. Perhaps that is the fairytale in the debate over the existence of GOD.

    When your kids want something do you always give it to them or do you expect them to earn it?

    If you just give it to them then what lesson are they learning from you as the parent. If they earn it then the lesson that they are learning is that they have to show some real desire to get what they want by earning it. If you just give it to them then they learn that all they have to say is that yes I see you, yes you are real and yes I love you and no matter what I do I get what I want without having to earn it.

    Same goes for GOD,you have to earn the things you want.

  198. on 15 Apr 2011 at 9:37 pm 198.A Romantic said …

    Based on Wired Magazine’s observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray, one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger’s and atheism. It’s by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger’s Quotient test of 27.8.

    The test notes that “Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism”. The average male score is 18, the average female score is 15.

  199. on 15 Apr 2011 at 10:02 pm 199.MrQ said …

    @198 Aromatic,
    Wonder what the IQ of the believers would be? Maybe something like an inverse relationship – the more virulent and hardcore the belief, the lower the IQ. I have no doubt.
    Wonder what that proves? Just throwing it out there….
    BTW, I guess I am lucky – I don’t know what Dr. PZ Meyers place is. Have a great weekend.

  200. on 15 Apr 2011 at 10:21 pm 200.Lou said …

    198.A Romantic said …

    “…to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray,”

    That is simply a matter of opinion. I would dare say that Dawkins has a more pleasant personality than most people. And I would rather have dinner him than with Fred Phelps.

    “…one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger’s and atheism.”

    Reasonably? I don’t think so.

    “It’s by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent…”

    “Virulent” people of any faith or background might score high on the test.

    I took it and scored 14.

  201. on 15 Apr 2011 at 10:54 pm 201.DPK said …

    Well, Dawkins is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008, so if that’s a high functioning autistic, ok.

    I’d rather be in that company than this guy’s:

    http://thenewgay.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/god-hates-fags1239565001-279×200.jpg

  202. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:23 am 202.Hell Yeah said …

    Bozo said

    “Those involved in a cult cannot see reason.”

    Boz, I think you have it backwards. Cults have consistant gatherings where they believe in something greater than them and preach about it at the gatherings. Sounds like church to me. But you think people that don’t gather and don’t believe in a higher power are a cult?

  203. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:36 am 203.Xenon said …

    AR

    I did a search and didn’t realize the amount of research going into atheism and asperger’s syndrome. Here is a good article from Scientific American.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=people-with-aspergers-less-likely-t-2010-05-29

    A very telling quote:

    “The atheists, in contrast, revealed themselves to be reasoning teleologically, but then they rejected those thoughts”

    This is good. It helps me understand their problem much better. However I work with many youth. The youth who go atheist are outcast, unpopular and only claim atheism to be rebellious. The syndrome is not the problem.

  204. on 16 Apr 2011 at 1:26 am 204.DPK said …

    Great article. Did you notice that it attributed the tendency toward “god did it” was a by product of social cognition…. ehem NOT GOD.

    As compared with 34 neurotypical people, those with Asperger’s syndrome were significantly less likely to invoke a teleological response—for example, saying the event was meant to unfold in a particular way or explaining that God had a hand in it. They were more likely to invoke a natural cause (such as blaming an illness on a virus they thought they were exposed to) or to give a descriptive response…

    So, believing you got sick because you were exposed to a virus or bacteria is an “illness” and believing you got sick because god was punishing you is “normal”.

    Give me a break.

    Did you also read:
    These results support the idea that seeing purpose behind life events is a result of our MIND’S FOCUS on social thinking.

    Some experts theorize that certain schizophrenia symptoms (for instance, paranoia) arise in part from a hyperactive sense of social reasoning. “I’d guess that they’d give lots of teleological answers; more than neurotypical people, and certainly far more than people with Asperger’s,” Heywood says.

    So, religious beliefs seem to point you more toward schizophrenia and paranoia…

    That explains a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    Did you ever think that perhaps your teen atheists that are social outcasts are perhaps social outcasts BECAUSE they are atheists? Atheists are the most vilified and hated group in the country.

  205. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:25 pm 205.Lou said …

    203.Xenon said …

    “However I work with many youth.”

    What moron allows that to happen?

  206. on 16 Apr 2011 at 7:05 pm 206.Truett said …

    #203
    “The atheists, in contrast, revealed themselves to be reasoning teleologically, but then they rejected those thoughts”

    That would explain a lot. When you can look at all the obvious evidence in creation and they still deny God there must be something wrong upstairs.

    Xenon,

    I disagree with the students who struggle for acceptance. The effects of Asperger’s would lead students to have an inability to build relationships and relate to other students.

  207. on 17 Apr 2011 at 3:30 am 207.I am God said …

    I was an Atheist until I realized I was God!

  208. on 17 Apr 2011 at 7:08 am 208.Severin said …

    186 J.R.
    “Good and Bad“

    How GOOOOD was it, felt (thought) the lion eating a gazelle.
    How BAAAAD was it, was the last feeling (thought) of poor gazelle.

    “Good” and “bad” are ambivalent terms.
    There is no absolute good and absolute bad. Wheteher some event is good or bad, depends on the side you observe it from.
    Even a murder is good for a murderer and bad for the victime.
    (I did NOT say “moral”! I said “good”; a murderer either feels “goog” or gets some money, or some other “good” result from his deed).
    Abusing children is good for an abuser and bad for poor child.
    Then, when society eliminates a murderer (abuser), it is good for society, and bad for a murderer (abuser).

    You need a consensus in a society to make rules about what is good and what is bad.
    In animal world, such consensus is done by instincts, which are built by evolution.
    In world of humans, humans are trying to build consensuses that will keep society existing and going forward.

    Gods have nothing to do with “good” and/or “bad”.

  209. on 17 Apr 2011 at 7:23 am 209.Severin said …

    186 J.R.
    “What if the others are right?
    Will we ever know?
    That is where faith comes in.”

    I know perfectly what is right and what is wrong without faith.
    In rare cases I doubt, I have laws and I consult them to see what consesnsus did the society I am living with (or the society I am a guest of) say about what is right and what is wrong in that specific case.
    I do not go to church for advice, I do not pray god to tell me…In most cases I KNOW something is wrong (murdering, raping, abusing children, violating speed limit, beating someone, stealing…).
    In other (very rare) cases I ask people or read laws.
    Guess what: I never failed!

  210. on 17 Apr 2011 at 7:29 am 210.Severin said …

    187 Boz
    “Man has always believed in something bigger than him.“

    And men were always wrong.
    Weren’t people believing in Ra (“something bigger than them”) wrong?

  211. on 17 Apr 2011 at 6:19 pm 211.Severin said …

    187 Boz
    „It may be a psychological disorder after all.“

    It IS a psychological disorder, imposed by evolution.
    Youngs of animals, including youngs of humans (children), have a built in „MUST“, imposed by evolution, to immediatelly, without delay, obey „higher force“ (parents and older members of society), without their own „thinking“ or „reasoning“.
    It is a mechanism of survival: parents, and other older members are experenced in recognizing danger, youngs are not, and to survive, youngs have to obey „higher force“ unconditionally and immediately.
    If a young would not unconditionally and immediately obey a sign of a parent, it could be eaten in seconds.
    The instinct that tells a young „obey unconditionally“ is deeply „built in“ psyhology of youngs.
    It is, however, „nice“ to have such a protection! It replaces responsibility from an individual to the „higher force“ (parents, older members of society). It makes the inidvidual „lazy“, unwilling to take its own responsibility
    Youngs which expect to be protected after some age, to prolongue their “chilhood”, are left from „higher force“ (in animal sicieties) to manage their lives themselves, and typically die in mouths of predators.

    Human youngs typically don’t die. They keep running away from their responsibilities, and keep relaying to „higher force“ their whole lives.

    They become religious.

    It could be said that religions are one of many bad solutions (or uncomplete solutions) evolution brought to human beings.

  212. on 18 Apr 2011 at 5:46 pm 212.Rostam said …

    #203
    “didn’t realize the amount of research going into atheism and asperger’s syndrome.”

    That is very interesting. The atheist tend to pride themselves in their IQs and they typically tend to be socially awkward. There seems to be a very definite trend between Aspergers and Atheism.

  213. on 18 Apr 2011 at 5:53 pm 213.DPK said …

    It is very interesting. I especially was intrigued by the suspected link between religious beliefs and schizophrenia and paranoia.
    Theists tend to be crazy and often make no sense when they speak. They also seem to believe that someone is watching them all the time.
    There seems to be a very definite link between belief in invisible beings and schizophrenia and paranoia.

  214. on 18 Apr 2011 at 7:29 pm 214.Lou said …

    212.Rostam said …

    “That is very interesting. The atheist tend to pride themselves in their IQs and they typically tend to be socially awkward.”

    Nonsense. You’re making things up as you coontunue this discussion.

    “There seems to be a very definite trend between Aspergers and Atheism.”

    A “definite trend?” More nonsense. But there is a definite trend in the lies you post about atheism and Aspergers.

    I wonder if there’s a “definite trend” between suicide bombers and theist Muslims who explode things in the name of God?

  215. on 18 Apr 2011 at 7:30 pm 215.Lou said …

    214.Lou said …

    “You’re making things up as you coontunue this discussion.”

    Correction: continue

  216. on 18 Apr 2011 at 9:38 pm 216.Horatiio said …

    I knew it! I knew atheism had to be tied into some psychological disorder. There was no other explanation. Good link there at #203 Xenon.

  217. on 18 Apr 2011 at 10:24 pm 217.Lou said …

    216.Horatiio said …

    “I knew it! I knew atheism had to be tied into some psychological disorder. There was no other explanation. Good link there at #203 Xenon.”

    You knew no such thing. The most obvious “psychological disorder” displayed here is that of a pathological liar – you.

  218. on 18 Apr 2011 at 10:46 pm 218.DPK said …

    “I knew it! I knew atheism had to be tied into some psychological disorder. There was no other explanation. Good link there at #203 Xenon.”

    It would seem you can add that to a long list of things you “know” that are based completely on bullshit. Man, you are gullible.

    FWIW, I am not “socially awkward”. I am not autistic. And someone who believes in stories like Noah’s ark and Lot’s wife being turned to a pillar of salt telling me I have a mental illness is, well, LOL worthy. If nothing else H, your are always good for a laugh.

    Reminds me of this weekend, my 87 year old mother in law was watching her TV preacher show, and the preacher/con artist is telling some bible story and he says “This story sounds like a fairy tale, or something you might hear around a campfire. But the difference is, THIS story ACTUALLY happened!”

    Apparently that’s enough for a lot of people, so since you are like them, I can understand you’re being easily deluded.

  219. on 19 Apr 2011 at 3:19 pm 219.Truett said …

    I play ball with a guy who is an atheist. I would say he has some of the tendencies you find in Aspergers. He is loud, cocky and makes comments that are socially odd. He has a difficult time connecting. When we are playing ball he does fine but when the game is over he is quite the odd ball.

  220. on 19 Apr 2011 at 4:27 pm 220.Lou said …

    219.Truett said …

    “I play ball with a guy who is an atheist. I would say he has some of the tendencies you find in Aspergers. He is loud, cocky and makes comments that are socially odd. He has a difficult time connecting. When we are playing ball he does fine but when the game is over he is quite the odd ball.”

    Therefore, it must be true that there’s a link between Aspergers and atheism. OK everybody, debate over. Truett’s anecdotal evidence has rendered further discussion moot. Case closed.

    The trend here by theist posters never changes. When they can’t support the argument for theism, they deliberately misrepresent or exaggerate the facts in order to attack atheism.

  221. on 19 Apr 2011 at 4:53 pm 221.DPK said …

    I have a friend who is a born again Christian.
    He has bad teeth and breath.
    That proves Christians have poor oral hygiene.

  222. on 19 Apr 2011 at 4:54 pm 222.DPK said …

    I have a friend who is a born again Christian.
    He has bad teeth and breath.
    That proves Christians have poor oral hygiene.

    These guys must have learned logical reasoning at Liberty University.

  223. on 19 Apr 2011 at 5:12 pm 223.Lou said …

    222.DPK said …

    “I have a friend who is a born again Christian.
    He has bad teeth and breath.
    That proves Christians have poor oral hygiene.”

    All theists believe in god. Therefore, that proves that all theists are stupid. LOL!

  224. on 19 Apr 2011 at 7:17 pm 224.Truett said …

    DPK & Lou

    There is some support forums on the web for atheist and Aspergers. You might want to google and join one. You might find it helpful.

  225. on 19 Apr 2011 at 8:13 pm 225.Lou said …

    224.Truett said …

    “DPK & Lou

    There is some support forums on the web for atheist and Aspergers. You might want to google and join one. You might find it helpful.”

    What I would find to be helpful is for you or any other theists to actually stay on topic, provide any legitimate evidence to support your belief in god, not attack atheism (a simple rejection of your belief), not intentionally misrepresent statements such as Harris’, and to not make idiotic comments such as your #224.

  226. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:37 am 226.Hell Yeah said …

    It is funny that the theists posting comments such as atheists are delusional and should seek help. That just because the minority of us can see reality, that we are some kind of retarded outcasts. Aren’t you guys the ones that see and feel things that aren’t really there (aka not proven to exist)? Reminds me of those who are wandering in a desert and see water, when it really isn’t there. Maybe that is how the bible was written? Too many people wandering the desert without water and near death, that they wish too much for an afterlife that they tend to believe it no matter what.

  227. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:21 am 227.Observer said …

    #226 Hell Yeah. That is actually a good insight. The last three sentences are quotable.

  228. on 24 Apr 2011 at 4:29 pm 228.Observer said …

    #57 Johnny Rotten. You are a prime example of the stupidity of many xtians, and why they remain xtians. You refer to my post #56 and are incapable of understanding what it says. Seriously, you demonstrate the mental age of an elementary school student. No wonder the arguments being posted here for the benefit of xtians do not get through.

  229. on 24 Apr 2011 at 5:07 pm 229.Horatiio said …

    Nose Buster!

    Did momma let you out of the basement to play with your Mambian Dalit doll?

    Good for you. You must have been a good boy this week! Play nice.

  230. on 24 Apr 2011 at 7:50 pm 230.Observer said …

    #203 Xenon the inert windbag…

    It is a great article, of course you either do not understand it, or in proper xtian form, chose to lie and misrepresent it.

    First the background: The article is a journalist’s interpretation of a poster session at a academic conference. Xenon is probably unaware that these sessions do not present peer-reviewed research. They present new research that does not quite make into one of the prime sessions. What is important here is that it is not peer-reviewed.

    Nevertheless, the results are interesting. And what they do show is that the default for “normal” in the sense of +/- a few standard deviations, humans is teleological thinking- that things happen for a “reason” in a deterministic sense. This type of reasoning is thought to arise from the brain circuitry that allows most of us to be able to divine the meanings of actions by our fellows and act in ways that does not cause endless battles.

    Ausperger’s syndrome people are effectively defined by inability to pick up on social clues. One interesting point in this research is that the responses of the Ausbergers folk were rational. They did not invoke God or other dieties for mishaps. If they got sick, they were likely to attribute it to a virus or other bug. If they met someone, it was due to chance, such as a confluence of events leading to the meeting. etc.

    They were compared to atheists. Somehow it was discerned that the atheists were thinking teleologically, but would revise there interpretation of events to reflect rational materialistic ideas. Why is this surprising? We evolved from primates. What would be surprising is if we did not harbor this social circuitry, which influenced our thoughts. It is great that many of us, namely of the atheist ilk, can think and behave rationally.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing was what the windbag Xenon omitted. Schizophrenics are on the other end of the spectrum to the Ausberger folks. They, who I think we can all agree are in fact delusional, are the ones most likely to frame events in their lives teleologically. Rationality is not a strong suit. I believe Xenon experiences the world in a very teleological way.

    The most horrifying thing is that Xenon works with young humans. Any possibility other than him being the counter example for youth to how one should live one’s life is a shame. A nearly as useful job for him would be working in a Jesus camp setting to prepare the simpletons to be exploited by their betters.

    Happy Easter. May the Wish-Fulfilling Jewish Zombie make all your dreams come true!

  231. on 24 Apr 2011 at 7:52 pm 231.Observer said …

    Hor- Splendid to read your inspiring words. Yes, she brushed the roaches off of a day old papadam and sent me our for a bit of devil may care twixt the open sewers and leper beggers.

  232. on 24 Apr 2011 at 8:27 pm 232.Ben said …

    “Why is this surprising? We evolved from primates. What would be surprising is if we did not harbor this social circuitry, which influenced our thoughts.”

    Actually O is incorrect here. It is surprising if we involved from primates that we do have such behavior characteristics. That is one of the phenomena that make this study so interesting.

  233. on 26 Apr 2011 at 2:30 pm 233.Julie Klein said …

    You people may think Christians are “delusional”, but I would like to know how it is hurting everyone else? Christians for the most part are good people. I know what you are thinking, “Christians are hippocrits”, right? Well I agree that we all are hippocrits at one time or another regardless of what we believe. We are human, not by any means perfect, not you & especially not me. I for one have seen the hand of God work in my own life. I personally know and work with an atheist. I also know many Christians. The difference between the two types of people (Christians & atheists) is clear. People who don’t know God have no hope and generally are miserable, unhappy, negative people. Say what you want, but it is TRUE!!! Now the Bible teaches us guidelines to live by which tells us to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, to be loving & forgiving. I ask, what is so terrible about that? Anyone can take any scripture and twist it to fit their beliefs. Lets say you are right (your not), but lets say you are and there is no Heaven or Hell. I live a fulfilling, loving life, generally thought of by most people as a good person and I die and there is no Heaven. What have I lost? The answer, nothing. Lets say I’m right and I die and go to Heaven. What have I lost? Nothing. What have I gained? Everything!!!!
    Now lets say your wrong and you live a life with no hope, living in anyway that suits you, looking out for number one. Maybe you volunteered and did alot for mankind, but misleading them at the same time. You also may be thought of as generally a good person, but you have no hope, therefore, no peace. Then you die and there is no Heaven, what have you lost? Nothing. But, WHAT IF there really is a Heaven? What have you lost? Everything, condemned to eternity (forever) in Hell, suffering.
    Something to think about isn’t it? God Bless you all, I will be praying for you to find the truth!!
    I am not delusional, I am blessed and forgiven and you can be too.

  234. on 26 Apr 2011 at 4:16 pm 234.Lou said …

    233.Julie Klein said …

    “I am not delusional, I am blessed and forgiven and you can be too.”

    Yet another testimony for delusion.

  235. on 26 Apr 2011 at 5:00 pm 235.DPK said …

    Julie,
    You paint atheists with the same kind of broad brush that you condemn us for using on Christians! You object, rightly so, when we make braid characterizations of religious people, and then you say, “People who don’t know God have no hope and generally are miserable, unhappy, negative people. Say what you want, but it is TRUE!!!” I am not any of those things. This is the kind of cult thinking you have been indoctrinated into.
    Let’s look at you “safer bet to believe” hypothesis.
    First, you must understand that one cannot choose to simply “believe” something because it promises a better outcome. That is not belief. That is no different than saying, “Well, if I believe in Santa Claus, I may get a present. If I don’t believe in Santa, than I definitely won’t get a present. So, I will believe because the chance of getting a present is better than having no chance of getting a present, so what’s the harm?” So, you “decide” to believe in Santa. But you don’t “really” believe it, do you? And your belief, no matter how much you convince yourself that Santa is real, and surround yourself with other people who believe in Santa, and say terrible things about people who don’t believe in Santa… none of that has the slightest bearing on the reality of Santa, does it?
    Now, you also claim that god has revealed himself to you and you are “saved”. God has not revealed himself to me. If he had, than I would naturally believe in him. He hasn’t. And the christian god has also not revealed himself to 2/3rd of the world’s population? Why is that? Why does god give the “gift” of belief to some people and not others? I mean, like Santa, I could go to church and claim to believe in god and Jesus. But it would be a lie.
    Does god want us to lie? Does god want us to pretend to believe when we don’t? Remember, he created us to be the way we are.
    Lastly, if you do believe in a god, you must have some inkling of the level of intelligence that must define a being capable of creating the entire universe and everything in it. Do you think that such an unimaginable intelligence would be so petty as to require worship from the like of us?

  236. on 27 Apr 2011 at 2:25 am 236.Julie Klein said …

    DPK,
    First of all I have not been indoctrinated into any kind of cult and I am not a Christian because it is “safe”. I know it to be the truth, yes I have a personal relation with my Lord & Savior!!! I know without a shadow of a doubt.
    You cannot even compare God and santa claus. I know that Jesus is coming again soon, and yes I am guaranteed eternal life, not possibly!! Again I ask, how does that hurt anybody else? Some athiest talk about how close minded Christians are, well maybe you could see that God has and will reveal himself to you and ALL of the world’s population if you would allow it to happen.
    No God does not want anyone to lie, and yes you are free to believe what you want.
    Lastly, yes God did create EVERYTHING and he created us for companionship.
    Again, God bless you all, I pray that you will find truth and peace.

  237. on 27 Apr 2011 at 3:05 am 237.Lou said …

    236.Julie Klein said …

    “I know it to be the truth, yes I have a personal relation with my Lord & Savior!!! I know without a shadow of a doubt.”

    This is how we know you are delusional. If you have such a “personal relation[ship] with a “Lord & Savior,” then so would everybody else. You’re nothing special. You’re only one of billions of people who live or who have lived on this planet. And the vast majority don’t claim to have any such relationship as yours. What’s more probable – that you are one of the chosen few who have a special relationship with Jesus/God or that you are simply deluded?

    “You cannot even compare God and santa claus.”

    Correct, because Santa Claus is based upon some real people. God is a total myth.

    “I know that Jesus is coming again soon, and yes I am guaranteed eternal life, not possibly!!”

    You don’t know any such thing. You might believe it, but you don’t know it. Ask yourself why you are posting comments here. It’s because you have to reinforce a belief that even you doubt.

    “Again I ask, how does that hurt anybody else?”

    It doesn’t, if you keep it to yourself. So why are you here bothering nonbelievers about your imaginary world?

  238. on 27 Apr 2011 at 3:27 am 238.DPK said …

    Lou is right, you are claiming to “know” things that cannot, by definition, be known, and yet you claim you have not be indoctrinated.
    “Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.”

    You are a textbook example of indoctrination, and part of your indoctrination would be to deny it.

    Why can’t I compare Santa and god? Just because you say I can’t? The analogy is exactly the same. You are the one to propose the idea that it is “safer” to believe than to “not believe” because you have “everything” to gain and nothing to loose. Then you claim that this is not the reason you believe. It was your idea!
    Your personal belief does not hurt anyone, just like believing in Santa does not hurt anyone, except it is a sign of an inability to think rationally, and that inability translates into day to day life, which affects us as a species.
    Let me ask you this… Would you leave your child in the care of someone who believed there was an invisible fire breathing dragon living in their backyard? Probably not, because you would consider that person to be somewhat mentally unbalanced. You would tend to doubt that person’s ability to make proper judgements regarding the care of your child. If the house caught fire, that person might just think the dragon had the hiccups, and trust that the dragon would put the fire out.
    True, most religious people are able to differentiate their “faith” from reality well enough that it doesn’t interfere with their normal functioning, but in many instance religious people DO present a problem for society. When they do things like try to have bible stories taught in schools as “science”. When they try to influence the legal and political process based on what they imagine their “god” wants to happen, and most extremely, when they terrorize and kill people in the name of their religions, it DOES do harm to all of us.

  239. on 27 Apr 2011 at 3:47 am 239.Julie Klein said …

    I don’t believe in killing anyone in God’s name or for any other reason, and I’m pretty sure in the Bible it does not encourage violence.
    You think I’m delusional, I think you are delusional.
    God created the earth and everything in it, including science.
    I read today that a Freedom From Religion Foudation was trying to sue the federal government because they felt like the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. It was thrown out of court. The appeals court was quoted as saying “Hurt feelings differ from legal injury.” Where I live if one would like to show up and pray, one can. If one does not want to, one does not, again, how is that hurting anyone or pushing anything down anyone elses throat?
    I am a healthcare professional and have had many science classes, which I feel are all the more reason to believe in a higher being. It was not accidental.
    God bless :)

  240. on 27 Apr 2011 at 4:06 am 240.DPK said …

    “I don’t believe in killing anyone in God’s name or for any other reason, and I’m pretty sure in the Bible it does not encourage violence.”

    Have you READ the bible?? I have.
    Seriously? No one who has actually read the bible could possibly make that claim with a straight face. This is the kind of indoctrination you have been subjected to. People have told you that god only condones love and respect, and you refuse to acknowledge that the god of the bible prescribes murder, genocide, infanticide, slavery, and all manor of death and torture. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, just read Leviticus and then come back and tell me that you are “pretty sure the bible does not condone violence.

    If you are going to try and convince people of your opinion, you need to present more than regurgitated sermon speak.

    I didn’t say YOU want to kill people, but you cannot deny that there are many people who do, and have.

    You are a healthcare professional. If you were sick and a doctor told you just pray and you’d be fine, would you accept that as an approved medical treatment? I hope not. That is what I mean by the necessity of compartmentalizing your faith with reality. You believe that god answers prayers, but you know if you have bacterial pneumonia you need antibiotics. A National Day of Prayer is not a problem, but if prayer was the “official” national plan for the budget deficit, that would be a problem, wouldn’t it?

  241. on 27 Apr 2011 at 4:26 am 241.Julie Klein said …

    DPK,
    Have you read the New Testament?

  242. on 27 Apr 2011 at 1:02 pm 242.DPK said …

    Julie:
    I have. It would be pretty foolish of me to dismiss your ideas about god if I hadn’t read the book they are based on. I have read the entire bible. Have you?

  243. on 27 Apr 2011 at 2:05 pm 243.Lou said …

    239.Julie Klein said …

    “I don’t believe in killing anyone in God’s name or for any other reason, and I’m pretty sure in the Bible it does not encourage violence.”

    You obviously are delusional.

    “You think I’m delusional, I think you are delusional.”

    In the context of this discussion, we can’t be delusional. We simply reject your unsubstantiated belief. Who’s delusional – someone who believes in leprechauns or someone who doesn’t?

    “God created….science.”

    “Science” was created by God? I don’t think so. Science is the body of knowledge of nature and the methodology therein. It only exists in the context of conscious thought. Perhaps you meant nature. But let’s assume you’re correct. Then why would God create something that is most responsible rejecting a belief in him?

  244. on 27 Apr 2011 at 3:38 pm 244.DPK said …

    God created science?? God created smallpox, dysentery and cancer too… what’s you’re point?

    Let’s look at the three defining criteria for a delusion:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction)
    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
    impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

    Now which of us fits the definition?
    Julie, the brainwashing is very strong with you. You aren’t even aware when you are talking utter nonsense, like “the bible does not condone violence.”

  245. on 27 Apr 2011 at 4:56 pm 245.Severin said …

    242 JK
    “Have you read the New Testament?”

    I did, too.

    Let’s first clear an important point:
    Does Bible consist of NT only?
    Who and when declared the OT invalid?

    2nd point:
    Is Jesus god, or not? Is he a part of the trinity?
    can we put: Jesus = god, and god = Jesus?
    Jesus CAN NOT be pardoned for god’s crimes in the OT!
    He WAS THERE! He, PERSONALLY ordered ripping of pregnant women and dashing of children!
    Or, are you trying to SEPARATE trinity, and say Jesus is not its part?
    Are you trying to impose some NEW religion to Christians?

    2nd point:
    WHAT is it said in the NT, that was not known to Australian Aborigines before they ever heard for NT and Jesus?
    Love your neighbor? They knew it, without the NT, and had good relaitons to their neighbors.

    Ah, yes, they certainly did NOT hear this:
    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    (Luke 14:26).

  246. on 27 Apr 2011 at 5:48 pm 246.Severin said …

    242 JK
    I suggest you to read the Bible and to try to find traces of love in it.
    I could’nt find a trace!

    The word “love”, itself, appears ONLY connected with god and neighbors.
    When Bible says anything about children, it is ONLY in god’s order to KILL your own disobedient children.

    I can not love god who orders ripping of pregnant women.
    I can not love Jesus, who accept only people who hate everybody and everything, including life itself (ANd orders ripping of pregnant women, as Jesus = god/god = Jesus).
    I can not love my neghbor either, as he is an asshole who beats his dog.
    I can love, and do love, many other people, by my own choice.

    You said you had personal relationship with that monster?

  247. on 27 Apr 2011 at 9:50 pm 247.Xenon said …

    DPK

    Stop wasting people’s time here. Go read the Bible in context and then come back.

    Geez, like arguing with a third grader about Pride and Prejudice.

  248. on 28 Apr 2011 at 12:20 am 248.Lou said …

    247.Xenon said …

    DPK

    “Stop wasting people’s time here. Go read the Bible in context and then come back.”

    If your time is being wasted, then why don’t you leave and post your drivel where some moron appreciates it?

    Why don’t you read the bible in context – a fictional book translated and edited countless times by countless people over a few thousand years, a book not worth the reams of paper and gallons of ink wasted to publish it?

  249. on 28 Apr 2011 at 2:57 am 249.DPK said …

    By “in context” you mean with you, or some other religious idiot telling me what god “really meant” when he says things like:

    “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”

    This is the inerrant word of god. Please put it in context for us stupid people who would foolishly assume that god intends us to stone to death our “stubborn and rebellious” children.

  250. on 02 May 2011 at 3:39 pm 250.EmoHeart said …

    The fact that “God” said to stone the children is really ironic; considering he supposedly “loves” everyone in exsistence. The fact the “God” hates gays and people who do wrong is intersting since he is one of those bad people, plus he clearly doesn’t love everyone. I heard a bible story where he killed all these people who were gay or committed crime(s) when he is the real evil. He burned down that city.

    God is a lie made by some crazy man
    He’s the reason we’ve had so many wars
    Religion gets us into trouble
    Those of us who stay out of religion have less problems

  251. on 04 May 2011 at 5:53 am 251.Sam said …

    Great – Now I don’t believe in God anymore or anything. Not much point doing anything anymore. Thanks for your help.

  252. on 04 May 2011 at 2:25 pm 252.DPK said …

    How sad for you. You have had the luck to be born a sentient being capable of reason, understanding, contemplation, and love… and that’s not enough for you. You see “no point” in living life unless you can get another one, an eternal one of infinite bliss, after this one is done. How totally self absorbed are you? If you god isn’t real than there is no “point doing anything anymore”! Wow. Sucks to be you, I guess.
    Newsflash. I don’t believe in supernatural superstitious nonsense and I live a happy, full, meaningful life and I appreciate every moment of it. I don’t wallow in self pity and I don’t live in fear of the wrath of some make believe apparition. I’m not alone. You don’t need an invisible friend to be happy or to have meaning in your life. If you do, I’m sorry for you.

  253. on 05 May 2011 at 12:44 am 253.Sam said …

    I guess this isn’t the place for much encouragement. I grew up in a Christian family and my whole life has been about the Christian life. To think that one can just take that culture away and be instantly satisfied is short-sighted.

  254. on 05 May 2011 at 10:37 am 254.Jacob said …

    Sam – I agree that this isn’t the place for encouragement. I suggest that you talk to one of the senior people at your church or a Christian friend that you respect. A blog or Google searches aren’t the right way to make big decisions concerning your faith.

  255. on 05 May 2011 at 1:17 pm 255.Lou said …

    253.Sam said …

    “I guess this isn’t the place for much encouragement.”

    Yes it is. It encourages you to understand life and nature and dispense with imaginary gods and fictional religious philosophy.

    “I grew up in a Christian family and my whole life has been about the Christian life. To think that one can just take that culture away and be instantly satisfied is short-sighted.”

    WRONG! God and religion are a ball and chain that only prevent you from seeing life, nature, and the universe as it really is. “Christian life” is a deception and a fraud.

  256. on 05 May 2011 at 2:46 pm 256.Ben said …

    Sam,

    I disagree. I see the teachings of scripture lived out right before my eyes. Look at Psalm 1 and see if many on this blog do not meet the criteria laid out in that Psalm.

    I am always encouraged when I see God’s Word being so accurate time and time again. I do feel bad for those who are falling under the evil.

  257. on 05 May 2011 at 2:49 pm 257.DPK said …

    Sam,
    Perhaps I misread you post. I thought you were being sarcastic. But perhaps I was wrong? Perhaps you have come to the realization that god does not exist and now feel depressed, like something is “missing”.
    If that’s the case… sorry.
    Don’t know how I can encourage you other than to say, like a drug addict kicking an ingrained habit, you want things to go back to the high you experienced before. Only now you realize that the high was a lie, and could only lead you nowhere. Such are the empty promises and false claims of religions. Take joy in the fact that you have won the cosmic lottery, and have had the good fortune to get a lifetime as a conscious being. As Dawkins said, (paraphrasing) you can enjoy the beauty of the garden without there having to be fairies at the bottom. It may be hard to see right now, but truth is better than lies…. way better.

  258. on 05 May 2011 at 3:19 pm 258.Lou said …

    256.Ben said …

    “I am always encouraged when I see God’s Word being so accurate time and time again.”

    Encouraged = deluded in this case.

    “I do feel bad for those who are falling under the evil.”

    I “feel bad for those who are falling under” ignorance and superstition that is the foundation of religion.

  259. on 05 May 2011 at 3:37 pm 259.DPK said …

    “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

    Ben… I will ask you once again. Is there any indication that the miracles you interpret as being “the teachings of scripture lived out right before my eyes” never happen to atheists? Do good things happen more frequently to believers vs. non believers? Do bad things happen less frequently to believers vs non-believers? Do people who don’t believe in god ever get cancer remission, or remission for MS?
    Does god ever “answers prayers” in a way that cannot be explained by simple coincidence? For example, do BOTH sides ever win a football game? Do human’s amputated arms or legs ever regenerate? Does anyone ever get cured of ALS, or any of a number of other incurable diseases that people NEVER get better from?

    If you can’t demonstrate any of this, then I will point out again that you are experiencing god’s word with blinders on, only looking at what you want to see, and ignoring everything else.

    I ask you again, you have said that “we” are closed minded. Yet we have given you many possible scenarios where we would admit that god was indeed real. We are open to persuasion. Can you give US even ONE scenario in which you would be convinced that god was imaginary? If you can’t, then it is you who is closed minded.

  260. on 06 May 2011 at 4:10 am 260.Sam said …

    No sarcasm here.

    I am not a particularly well person and although I can see your point as to ‘enjoying the beauty of the garden’, my garden is stuffed and not one I’m particularly thankful for. I’ve always accepted my situation as being God’s will and at least not forever. I agree that this still has built up a fair amount of pity and self absorbtion. Plenty or the people in support groups I have been involved with are happy enough.

    Anyhow…. back to the point.

    I can ignore the arguments both for and against historical proof of Jesus or creation for that matter that I have read here. I don’t have any expertise in these areas so it is just a choice of who you want to believe. My problem is more to do with what happens in day to day life. I don’t see much happening in the way of God interacting with God. One day just follows on the next. The best ‘miracle’ our church has ever comes up with is getting miraculously supplied the correct change to pay a bill. I want something a bit better than that.

    256. Ben – I can’t quite see how Psalm 1 applies. I can’t see the Godly prospering any more than the wicked are perishing. Unless it is trying to say this in an eternal since in which case – wait and see. Other parts of the Bible lament that the wicked are prospering and the Godly aren’t, so which one is right.

    And while we are at it, what is going on with the talking donkey in Numbers. Don’t you feel the least bit squimish when you acknowledge that yes, I believe the donkey was talking.

  261. on 06 May 2011 at 12:55 pm 261.JohnnyP said …

    “I do feel bad for those who are falling under the evil.”

    “Evil”. LOL.

  262. on 21 Jun 2013 at 11:21 pm 262.Frank said …

    E. M. Blaiklock, professor of classics at Auckland University, once said “I claim to be a historian. My approach to classics is historical, and I say to you the evidence for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is better authenticated then most of the facts of ancient history.”

    Virtually all historians of antiquity that Jesus existed, that he was baptized by the man known as St. John the Baptist, and that he was crucified under the reign of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. Those that argue that he never existed are about as credible as Holocaust deniers, and cite sources that are as ignorant on the subjects they pontificate as they are.

  263. on 22 Jun 2013 at 1:27 am 263.alex said …

    “Those that argue that he never existed are about as credible as Holocaust deniers…”

    wrong, driveby theist shithead. holocaust have countless witnesses, fotos, etc. your authenticated christ is a joke. get the fuck out of here, dipshit, resusitating a two year old thread.

  264. on 22 Jun 2013 at 2:05 am 264.Swede said …

    Frank,

    Absolutely those who study classical literature know there is no denying Christ and his life.

  265. on 22 Jun 2013 at 2:36 am 265.alex said …

    “Absolutely those who study classical literature know there is no denying Christ and his life.”

    wrong. there are people who studied classical literature and deny the bullshit christ.

    next, sock.

  266. on 09 Mar 2014 at 2:59 pm 266.wizardofoz said …

    There is no such thing as time.
    you have always existed
    why question
    you will alway exist.

  267. on 09 Mar 2014 at 3:08 pm 267.alex said …

    “There is no such thing as time.
    you have always existed
    why question
    you will alway exist.”

    and gays should be allowed to get married?

    go away, pseudo cerebral motherfucker. shit dismissed.

  268. on 09 Mar 2014 at 7:43 pm 268.Miami5O said …

    “I say to you the evidence for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is better authenticated then most of the facts of ancient history.”

    Denial of Christ is a recent exercise. Atheists, dealing with more and more science pointing to a deity, see the need to deny Christ and minimize the complexity of life.

  269. on 09 Mar 2014 at 8:01 pm 269.alex said …

    “Denial of Christ is a recent exercise. Atheists, dealing with more and more science pointing to a deity, see the need to deny Christ and minimize the complexity of life.”

    where did you get this bullshit from? your mama got cancer and you know she’ll die and you’ll never see her again, so you make up shit?

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