Forced? How utterly ridiculous. You choose to participate in a forum which aims to attract Christians, who more often than not only involve themselves in a thread once it is already underway.
I said that in order to argue effectively against you, I am forced to step inside of your argument. Not once did I say I am forced to come here. You were mistaken.
These threads, of course, oscillate through a very predictable cycle of pointing out the apparent horror of living in the richest land on earth and it's prevalance of religion. Then, once the thread has a Christian participating, somebody plasters images of starving African children across the screen. See any irony in that? Claiming to be victims whilst highighting just how good your lives actually are?
I never said that my life was bad. In fact, I live a great life. A wonderful life. In spite of the religious fucktards that I am surrounded by in the bible belt, I've managed to carve out a pretty good existence all on my own, and as long as I remain a semi-closeted atheist (because I fear losing my job to those good, wonderful Christians who might fire me for not believing the same fairy tale as them), I'll continue to live that life. But what sort of ass hat would I be if I based my opinions of the world we lived in without looking at how it is in other nations and in other parts of the world? Birth geography and hard work got me to where I am now.
Let me ask you MM... Would you judge someone to be a good person if they treated you like a king, but kicked the shit out of millions of other people for what appears to be no reason at all? Do you have a problem with me judging that person as bad? Would it not be the height of selfishness to judge him good?
The religious intolerance claim is pretty bloody thin. Some more irony: if you're not high fiving each other for being cycnical enough to paste images of starving kids on the screen, you're bitching and moaning about Christians harrassing gay people, or picketing abortion clinics, or whatever. What does that reflect? Dissatisfaction about somebody's freedom to live as they please being screwed with, right? Right? But what's a broken record argument against the existence of the Christian God on the forum? That suffering is allowed to occur. That He allows people to live as they please.
For fucks sake MM, do you even hear what you're saying? What is the objective difference between a god that doesn't exist and one that 'allows people to live as they please'? Let me give you a hint... there isn't one. That's why it's a good argument against the Christian God.
We bitch and moan, and rightfully so, against the Christians who harass gay people, picket abortion clinics and the like, precisely because of the reasons you said. The reason people do that stuff is because of their 'belief' in God and their 'belief' that God wants certain things, not because God really exists.
You are not forced to argue against the existence of God. You want to. You enjoy it.
I never said I was forced to do it. I made it perfectly clear that the methodology required to effectively argue against the existence of God forces us to argue from the inside, not the outside.
I believe Christianity and religion are, on the whole, terrible for the world and that is why I think it's important to argue against it. In that respect, I feel I need to argue against it. That it's important to argue against it.
Even if that was true, it doesn't begin to explain the most committed Christians I personally know, the ones force fed atheism through school but recognising God despite it.
LOL! I think you confuse 'force fed atheism' in schools with 'not teaching Christianity' in schools. You make it sound like school is the only place where children are taught things. People get God from church and being indoctrinated into it. That's why they get to the kids as early as they can. They don't withhold religious teaching until a child turns 18, and then hand them 5 different religious books and tell them to pick the right one. If they did that, then nobody would 'recognize God'.
Yeah, see my point above. You want freedom, but not if it has negative consequences. This reasoning essentially translates to a stubborn belief that, if you can't see a purpose for something, a purpose cannot exist.
I'm not saying that a purpose can't exist, MM. I'm saying that until I am presented with said purpose, then it is reasonable to judge the events in the same way that I judge the events if I were to witness the same sort of thing in any other context. For example: if I saw my neighbor playing with his kids in the front yard and having a good time, I might think my neighbor is a good guy. This is how I judge those sorts of things. But if I saw my neighbor smashing his child's head in with a baseball bat, I would think my neighbor is a pretty bad guy. I judge that based on what I think of it. This is reasonable, is it not? Should I suspend judgement and think, 'he knows more than I do about his child... maybe I should just assume he has a good reason for doing it.'. No. Never.
But here is the kicker with you religious people. Every good thing that happens... you think you've got God's purpose all figured out. Know why? Because you've created this God character and imbued him with all that is good. So as soon as you see something good, you use the normal reasoning process (fed through your God belief) to say, 'ah, look what God is doing there. God is so good'. But when something bad happens, you don't use that same reasoning process anymore. You don't say, 'ah, look what God is doing there. What an ass hole.' You immediately jump away from the normal way you assess good and bad and you say stupid shit like, 'there might be a purpose we just don't know about.' Bullshit. You're completely biasing your judgements that way and you know it.
Also, the implications of what you're saying are staggering... What you're saying amounts to... 'childhood cancer might have an ultimate purpose'. Fine, but if you really believe that, you should be celebrating it! Cheering in the streets for cancer! Yay Cancer! But you don't, do you? You think it's bad, right?
It's the partial God problem, again and again. God has power, he can stop the pain. That you get on baord with, to make a point. God knows more than you, and there is a reason for this pain. What? Know more than me? Preposterous!
The other possibility, MM, is that you're completely fucking wrong, and good and bad things happen all the time because there is no God overseeing it. Please tell me where that goes wrong for you logically?
I don't want to use pain as a tool of debate. I grieve right along with you at the pain in the world. But no way is it's existence evidence against God'd existence.
Only in the world of the believer, MM. Only in the world of the believer. That's the effects of the brainwashing.
There are other arguments against God. But they are barely ever discussed.
You don't look at other threads too much, do you?