Author Topic: Christian standing to be counted  (Read 4282 times)

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Offline nopaniers

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Christian standing to be counted
« on: February 06, 2011, 09:47:47 AM »
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Tell us why you believe

If this is asking why I believe in God, then it's because believing in God makes far more sense of reality than when I consider that he doesn't exist.

If this is asking why I am a Christian, that is because of the person of Jesus.

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and why your belief is important to you

Because it shapes who I am.

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What is it that makes your belief so strong?

God does.

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How has God worked in your life?

In shaping who I am.

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Why do you think it is important for others to believe?

Perhaps I should give some reasons why I started to be open about my Christianity in public. I was told (by an outspoken atheist) that if I could not prove that God existed then I had no right to speak in public. I also heard the head of the atheist bus campaign in the UK arguing that people with religious belief should be discriminated against, and read Jerry Coyne's and Richard Dawkins opinion that members of the National Academy of Sciences who held religious beliefs should be ridiculed, because although this would not convince those people who had thought deeply about it, it would convince people who hadn't.

So I guess, I'm a reluctant evangelist. I'm here, not only because atheism is false, but because the spiteful behavior encouraged by the "new" atheists pales in comparison with loving your brother.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 10:00:31 AM »

Perhaps I should give some reasons why I started to be open about my Christianity in public. I was told (by an outspoken atheist) that if I could not prove that God existed then I had no right to speak in public. I also heard the head of the atheist bus campaign in the UK arguing that people with religious belief should be discriminated against, and read Jerry Coyne's and Richard Dawkins opinion that members of the National Academy of Sciences who held religious beliefs should be ridiculed, because although this would not convince those people who had thought deeply about it, it would convince people who hadn't.

So I guess, I'm a reluctant evangelist. I'm here, not only because atheism is false, but because the spiteful behavior encouraged by the "new" atheists pales in comparison with loving your brother.

Well, I will say that you have a misunderstanding of atheism, and you may have chosen to cling to this particular misunderstanding, but I don't see why.

Far more atheists could care less what you believe religiously.  What they care about is when believers try to force it upon everyone around them.  I refer you to this blog regarding persecution of believers:

http://www.daylightatheism.org/2011/02/on-taking-offense.html

Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 10:22:33 AM »
That seems a very American-centric point of view, and I'm not American. In fact, our Prime Minister is atheist. That doesn't stop atheists sending me abusive emails though.

This is a quick example of some behaviour that happened to me and my friends.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 10:29:23 AM »
That seems a very American-centric point of view, and I'm not American. In fact, our Prime Minister is atheist. That doesn't stop atheists sending me abusive emails though.

This is a quick example of some behaviour that happened to me and my friends.

Agreed.  I live in the United States, where being an atheist can literally be dangerous.  It can also hurt one's career, for example.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 10:37:13 AM »
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You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline LadyLucy

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 03:08:09 PM »
This is a quick example of some behaviour that happened to me and my friends.

LOL. You take THAT seriously? It was most likely a 4chan raid. No actual Atheists involved, by the way. Craigslist is a silly site. 4chan likes Craigslist. They see the Christian forum and all the prayer requests and troll their hardest. But it still doesn't change that the UK does have plenty of Atheists. They seem different. I thought Dawkins established civility? I thought he did. But ridiculing Christians for believing something silly should not be done. That's stupid.


Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 03:41:28 PM »
This is a quick example of some behaviour that happened to me and my friends.

You're kidding, right?  That's what you're complaining about?  A bunch of people being mean to you on the Web?  How whiny can you get?  You're guaranteed to encounter that if you use the Web at all... hell, I even had one person once call me a "fucking moron" because I had never heard of Socotra Island.

If you want to see some real abuse, take a look at this thread, where some smogbrain told us to mind our own business because "Christians did nothing to us".

And even that stuff is tame by comparison to the stories that some people could tell.  Here's a fun one related by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion":

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David Mills, in his admirable book "Atheist Universe", tells a story which you would dismiss as an unrealistic caricature of police bigotry if it were fiction.  A Christian faith-healer ran a 'Miracle Crusade' which came to Mills's home town once a year.  Among other things, the faith-healer encouraged diabetics to throw away their insulin, and cancer patients to give up their chemotherapy and pray for a miracle instead.  Reasonably enough, Mills decided to organize a peaceful demonstration to warn people.  But he made the mistake of going to the police to tell them of his intention and ask for police protection against possible attacks from supporters of the faith-healer.  The first police officer to whom he spoke asked, 'Is you gonna protest fir him or 'gin him?' (meaning for or against the faith-healer).  When Mills replied, 'Against him,' the policeman said that he himself planned to attend the rally and intended to spit personally in Mills's face as he marched past Mills's demonstration.

Mills decided to try his luck with a second police officer.  This one said that if any of the faith-healer's supporters violently confronted Mills, the officer would arrest Mills because he was 'trying to interfere with God's work'.  Mills went home and tried telephoning the police station, in the hope of finding more sympathy at a senior level.  He was finally connected to a sergeant who said, 'To hell with you, Buddy.  No policeman wants to protect a goddamned atheist.  I hope somebody bloodies you up good.'  Apparently adverbs were in short supply in this police station, along with the milk of human kindness and a sense of duty.  Mills relates that he spoke to about seven or eight policemen that day.  None of them was helpful, and most of them directly threatened Mills with violence.

Ever had an entire police department threaten to beat you up for being a Christian?  I'm guessing not...
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 03:54:48 PM »
You can't be serious? I've had discussions on video game forums that make this look like a chat over a cup of tea.

Seriously, it's the internet. Suck it up, Princess.
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 04:03:09 PM »
Quote
David Mills, in his admirable book "Atheist Universe", tells a story which you would dismiss as an unrealistic caricature of police bigotry if it were fiction.  A Christian faith-healer ran a 'Miracle Crusade' which came to Mills's home town once a year.  Among other things, the faith-healer encouraged diabetics to throw away their insulin, and cancer patients to give up their chemotherapy and pray for a miracle instead.  Reasonably enough, Mills decided to organize a peaceful demonstration to warn people.  But he made the mistake of going to the police to tell them of his intention and ask for police protection against possible attacks from supporters of the faith-healer.  The first police officer to whom he spoke asked, 'Is you gonna protest fir him or 'gin him?' (meaning for or against the faith-healer).  When Mills replied, 'Against him,' the policeman said that he himself planned to attend the rally and intended to spit personally in Mills's face as he marched past Mills's demonstration.

Mills decided to try his luck with a second police officer.  This one said that if any of the faith-healer's supporters violently confronted Mills, the officer would arrest Mills because he was 'trying to interfere with God's work'.  Mills went home and tried telephoning the police station, in the hope of finding more sympathy at a senior level.  He was finally connected to a sergeant who said, 'To hell with you, Buddy.  No policeman wants to protect a goddamned atheist.  I hope somebody bloodies you up good.'  Apparently adverbs were in short supply in this police station, along with the milk of human kindness and a sense of duty.  Mills relates that he spoke to about seven or eight policemen that day.  None of them was helpful, and most of them directly threatened Mills with violence.

Ever had an entire police department threaten to beat you up for being a Christian?  I'm guessing not...

Now THAT'S violence and lack of civility. Worse than tame words like "ridiculing."

I truly mean no offense to you nopainers, believe me. But theists already ridicule themselves by believing in something that doesn't exist and cannot be proven to exist, along with believing lies every once in a while (Creationists, one example). If "ridiculing" means something as simple as "my gosh, you actually believe in that?", then that's nothing. It's meant to make you think and reason things out when it comes to deities.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 04:06:35 PM by LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce »


Offline JeffPT

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 12:14:06 AM »
I am currently of the mind set that Christians DO deserve open ridicule for their beliefs.  If it were socially acceptable, I would laugh and point at everyone with a religious license plate, bumper sticker, Jesus tattoo, cross around their neck, and football player that bows on a knee after scoring.  I find it that stupid.  Sorry. 

I didn't start that way, but that's where I am now.  I have read how some people are saying ridicule is counterproductive to what we are trying to do, but I have a hard time helping it.  Call it a character flaw.  I used to think Christianity was just wrong.  Now I find it hilariously wrong.  I'm just being honest here.  I'm not saying "do what I do" and I am certainly not saying my way is best. 

There are many times that I see a Christian post something and I hit the reply button... type in a scathing, belittling message that I just end up erasing because theres no substance in it.  It's just ridicule.  Most of the time I erase them.  It makes me feel better to see what I want to say written down though.  Is that weird? 

nopaniers, you're wrong.  God isn't real.  I'm trying hard not to point and laugh.  Really I am.  It isn't working, but I'm trying. 
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 02:27:40 AM »
Quote from: jetson
Agreed.  I live in the United States, where being an atheist can literally be dangerous.  It can also hurt one's career, for example.

I totally agree. I think that discrimination on purely religious grounds is unacceptable. To do that seems like a pretty basic violation of human rights, and what it means to live in a free country.

Quote from: LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce
No actual Atheists involved, by the way.

Why do you think that? If you have a look back, and you'll find they used the own handles before they realized they could post anonymously.

Quote from: LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce
I thought Dawkins established civility?

I don't think that likening Christians to Nazis (eg. in his documentary "Root of all evil" where he likens church services to the Nuremberg Rallies) - or likening people who even accept Christians who are scientists to "appeasers" is very civil.

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If "ridiculing" means something as simple as "my gosh, you actually believe in that?", then that's nothing

In this case, it meant sending messages to a middle aged woman whose ex-husband had just died suggesting that she wanted to have sex with corpses.

These are the the reasons that I think this discussion is important. I dislike the rhetoric coming out of the "new" atheists, and I can only it as being harmful for themselves and for society.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 02:37:43 AM by nopaniers »
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 03:10:33 AM »
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There are many times that I see a Christian post something and I hit the reply button... type in a scathing, belittling message that I just end up erasing because theres no substance in it.  It's just ridicule.  Most of the time I erase them.  It makes me feel better to see what I want to say written down though.  Is that weird?

Not at all. I'd guess that's a pretty honest human response to quite a lot of the net. The fact we're missing face to face contact doesn't help.
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Offline Vivisectus

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 06:46:19 AM »
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If this is asking why I believe in God, then it's because believing in God makes far more sense of reality than when I consider that he doesn't exist.

Sounds interesting. It makes less sense for me. Do you want to start a thread explaining how believing in god makes sense of reality?
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Offline hickdive

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 08:11:35 AM »
I also heard the head of the atheist bus campaign in the UK arguing that people with religious belief should be discriminated against...

That didn't happen. For one thing any advertisment in any media in the UK that argued that certain people should be discriminated against would be illegal. For another thing, the actual wording of the original bus advert was, "There probably is no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

So what are we to make of your assertion? The best I can come up with is that you get some hearsay from your co-religionists and can't be bothered to check it out for yourself. Why should we listen to anyone who is so lazy? The worst I can up with is that you're prefectly well aware of the wording of the campaign and know it can't possibly be construed as an argument for discrimination but you choose to be a "Liar for christ" for some unkown reason. Why should we listen to a liar?
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Offline Larissa238

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 08:51:58 AM »
Quote from: LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce
I thought Dawkins established civility?

I don't think that likening Christians to Nazis (eg. in his documentary "Root of all evil" where he likens church services to the Nuremberg Rallies) - or likening people who even accept Christians who are scientists to "appeasers" is very civil.


There is no "likening" that Christians were Nazi's- The Nazis were Christian. We have a whole other topic about that.
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 10:46:24 AM »
Quote from: LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce
No actual Atheists involved, by the way.

Why do you think that? If you have a look back, and you'll find they used the own handles before they realized they could post anonymously.

-Sighs- http://boards.4chan.org/b/

That place (a place I go to daily since I was little, just for kicks) is where people congregate and troll, for fun. There are Atheist vs. Theist topics ALL THE TIME. Some of the trolls are not actual Atheists in the end. No one's serious. Craigslist isn't serious. This "new Atheist" thing seems to be gobbled up like wildfire by the most gullible (no offence, again, because the site I just showed you is often talked about as an "Internet hate machine" and for some reason, many people take GREAT offense and can't help but take it seriously. Craigslist is no different.) I read the vast majority of the comments in the site you showed me (the prayer site) and it's trolls. I bet you my green card, SS #, and my wallet that many of the people who posted were trolls at their finest.

Quote from: LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce
I thought Dawkins established civility?

I don't think that likening Christians to Nazis (eg. in his documentary "Root of all evil" where he likens church services to the Nuremberg Rallies) - or likening people who even accept Christians who are scientists to "appeasers" is very civil.

We have a topic about this, like Larissa said. The Nazis were indeed Christians. Denying that only shows you fear for your own faith. We look for facts, not fallacies. So, we began researching on whether they really were Atheists or Christians. Turned out the mass followers were indeed Christian, and that even the Pope supported Hitler for the discrimination of the Jews and homosexuals along with many others ideals (no one but a few people, such as SS officers, however, knew about the holocaust though, until the USA invaded Berlin. The German civilians had no clue that atrocity was going on. After finding the concentration camps, the US military showed the German people what Hitler has been hiding for so long; no, they forced them to actually. Just wanted to share my knowledge from history so that you don't feel too horrified in knowing that the Pope knew about the discrimination of the Jews.)

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If "ridiculing" means something as simple as "my gosh, you actually believe in that?", then that's nothing

In this case, it meant sending messages to a middle aged woman whose ex-husband had just died suggesting that she wanted to have sex with corpses.

To be quite honest, I laughed. Not for her or at her, but at the trolls. They are idiots, nopainers. Don't pay mind to them. Look, I'm sure this is clear evidence that these "new Atheists" are going to invade and take over the world through force (pfft HA!), but the media needs news stories. This is a big news story, especially in the UK where there are Atheists. These "new Atheists"? Nope. I can personally tell you that there is no such thing. Only over the Internet they can troll their hardest. I'll give you a small sample of how trolls are put into the media and how the media uses a scare tactic. Same thing as with this "new Atheist" news story.

Enjoy.

Side-note: (Like I give a shit about breaking rules #1 and #2. Fight Club was good though.)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 10:57:59 AM by LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce »


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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 12:40:33 PM »
Nopaniers:

Paranoia doesn't suit you well. There are people on the net that will hassle you for everything from your beliefs to the color of your underwear. Understand that and the rest of you life will go a bit better.

You'll never be able to take a stand on anything without someone else disagreeing with you. And that includes things like trying to prevent childhood diseases and wanting to cure lepers. And the people that disagree with you? They'll be being told by others that they aren't disagreeing enough.

Humans are involved. That an take the fun out of a lot of things.

... hell, I even had one person once call me a "fucking moron" because I had never heard of Socotra Island.

Oh great. This means I'm a fucking moron too! But I always suspected that.  :)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2011, 01:17:49 PM »
well, NP, your testimonnial is lacking in a bit of detail.  Yes, I can see your believe is important to you. Why do you think this belief is based on reality?  Do you have a reason why you believe other than you were raised in a culture that finds religion to be a good thing, no matter what harm it does? 

Your claims are pretty generic.  Each theist is sure that their god is the one responsible for the universe, for "good", etc.  Why do you think yours is the most likely? 

You say that your god shapes you.  Do you beleive in free will and the ability for the person to choose?  If your god shapes you, does he shape everyone?  In Romans 9 it seems to indicate that, do you agree? 

You claim in an anecdote that an atheist said that if you can't prove your god exists, then you should keep your opinions to yourself, yes?  What do you think of other theists who proclaim that you are wrong and they are right?  Do they have the right to say you are wrong?  Would it make a difference if they had evidence that this was so?  I also very much doubt your claism that the "head of the atheist bus campaign in the UK" (who: Polly Toynbee? one of these folks: http://www.humanism.org.uk/about/people/vicepresidents? ) said anything of the sort you claim.  You see, if you want to make such claims, you need documentable quotes.  I have seen far far too many Christian here who outrightly lie about atheist and atheism and they lie badly. 

As for loving anyone's brother, your JC seems to forget that when saying that anyone who does not accept him as king should be killed (Luke 19)

If atheism, the lack of beleif in god/gods, is false, surely you have evidence to demonstrate that.  IF not, it's just wishful thinking.  It's time to put your evidence on the table, NP.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2011, 05:49:49 PM »
I don't agree with excluding baskets from this thread. Remove the plank from thine own eye "nopaniers".
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2011, 06:38:49 PM »

If this is asking why I believe in God, then it's because believing in God makes far more sense of reality than when I consider that he doesn't exist.
Tell me, what part of reality does not make sense?

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- in response to "Why do you think it is important for others to believe?" I was told (by an outspoken atheist) that if I could not prove that God existed then I had no right to speak in public.
Do I have a right to speak out in public that dandelions cure cancer? I probably do, but you can see the point of those who oppose the broadcasting of bogus ideas, can't you?

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I also heard the head of the atheist bus campaign in the UK arguing that people with religious belief should be discriminated against,
This has been dealt with by Hickdive above

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and read Jerry Coyne's and Richard Dawkins opinion that members of the National Academy of Sciences who held religious beliefs should be ridiculed, because although this would not convince those people who had thought deeply about it, it would convince people who hadn't.
We're back to dandelions curing cancer, aren't we? I some professor started warbling on about it, people might be impressed. It's called "using undue influence".

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the spiteful behavior encouraged by the "new" atheists pales in comparison with loving your brother.
Who is my brother? Someone who tells lies and has people deceive themselves and thus shares my delusions? Anyhow, you make it sound as if atheists want mankind to suffer, when we see this is patently not so.

Finally, all that was a piece of rhetoric, lacking any evidence for gods, etc., but did not answer the question, "Why do you think it is important for others to believe?"
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2011, 03:42:56 AM »
Quote from:
That didn't happen.

Hopefully I have found the right one: here is a recording.
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2011, 03:57:30 AM »
Quote
There is no "likening" that Christians were Nazi's- The Nazis were Christian.

National Socialism was a political organization with people from religious different beliefs including atheists, but that is irrelevant.

The question is if it is okay to imply people are Nazis who are not.
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2011, 05:19:43 AM »
Quote from: velkyn
Why do you think this belief is based on reality?

Because it has both good explanatory power, and is also coherent.

For example, if I consider the logical and consistent nature of God, it makes good sense to me that the universe we see should exhibit logical and ordered laws that we've discovered with modern science. On the other hand, I don't see a particular reason for expecting this from the assumption that God doesn't exist. In fact, if you read writings of the theists like Kepler and Newton, that is exactly what they did expect based on their theological points of view.

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Do you have a reason why you believe other than you were raised in a culture that finds religion to be a good thing, no matter what harm it does?

I'm not at all sure that is true. The number of actual church-going people in my society is vastly dwarfed by those that do not. In any case, the answer is yes.

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Do you beleive in free will and the ability for the person to choose?

I do not know if we have free will or not. I will say this though - it seems impossible for an atheist to claim to have free will. I often see them do that, and that seems incoherent to me on any number of levels.

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If your god shapes you, does he shape everyone?

To some extent. For example, it says that God hardens Pharaoh, not that he made him reject Moses in the first place. I am certainly no theologian though, and Romans is often subtle, so I don't think making quick calls as I see it carries much weight.

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You claim in an anecdote that an atheist said that if you can't prove your god exists, then you should keep your opinions to yourself, yes?

Yes.

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What do you think of other theists who proclaim that you are wrong and they are right?  Do they have the right to say you are wrong?

Absolutely. I think that everyone has a right to express themselves. If someone else claims I am wrong, I consider what they say. For example, if you look at the link to my blog (down below) I just typed out some of the reasons that I don't find arguments for Islam convincing. I'd appreciate constructive criticism.

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Would it make a difference if they had evidence that this was so?

Yes.

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I also very much doubt your claism

Well I posted a link to a recording (above) so you don't have to take my word for it.

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As for loving anyone's brother, your JC seems to forget that when saying that anyone who does not accept him as king should be killed (Luke 19)

Luke 19 does not appear to say that at all.

I hope that answers some of your questions. Thank you for them.
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Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2011, 05:35:28 AM »
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Tell me, what part of reality does not make sense?

Reality does make sense.

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Do I have a right to speak out in public that dandelions cure cancer?

Sure.

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I some professor started warbling on about it, people might be impressed. It's called "using undue influence".

I'm sorry, I don't understand. The suggestion was that members of the National Academy of Sciences should be ridiculed.

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Who is my brother?

Jesus answered that.
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Offline Doctor X

Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2011, 05:47:44 AM »
Quote from: velkyn
As for loving anyone's brother, your JC seems to forget that when saying that anyone who does not accept him as king should be killed (Luke 19)

Luke 19 does not appear to say that at all.

Actually, it does:

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Lk 9:27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.

Then there is another:

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Lk 14:26 Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.



--J.D.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2011, 06:07:51 AM »
Quote from:
That didn't happen.

Hopefully I have found the right one: here is a recording.

At what point does this person:

a) Join the show (she is neither of the guests, nor is she the interviewer);

b) Make the statement you claim she made?

 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline nopaniers

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2011, 06:20:01 AM »
Quote from: Doctor X
Actually it does...

That is part of a parable. Parables are stories to illustrate points. In this case the point is to not be lazy with what God has given you.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2011, 06:20:32 AM »
Bookmark until I can access a PC with sound to check the claim that has been made.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Doctor X

Re: Christian standing to be counted
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2011, 06:23:13 AM »
That is part of a parable.

No, son, that apology does not help you; it is a metaphor for the eschaton.

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Parables are stories to illustrate points.

Not according to Mk.

--J.D.