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Offline Nam

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Though not a strictly New argument
« on: August 22, 2013, 09:47:11 PM »
Are you, like me, noticing a great trend of Christians making the claim that Christianity is not a religion but atheism is?

What's the strategy? especially here in the US? They want all the things that come with being a religion[1] yet seemingly none of the responsibility of being a religion, or to be defined as one, and clearly they are defined as one.

Then they turn around and state "atheism is a religion", with imagined and false lists of it being one.

I don't understand this strategy, do you?

-Nam
 1. tax breaks, etc.,
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Online xyzzy

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 01:48:06 AM »
Are you, like me, noticing a great trend of Christians making the claim that Christianity is not a religion but atheism is?

What's the strategy? especially here in the US? They want all the things that come with being a religion[1] yet seemingly none of the responsibility of being a religion, or to be defined as one, and clearly they are defined as one.

Then they turn around and state "atheism is a religion", with imagined and false lists of it being one.

I don't understand this strategy, do you?

-Nam
 1. tax breaks, etc.,

In the case of atheism being a "religion",  it seems to be an attempt to divert attention away from the theist's lack of proof and to try to argue from a position of false equivalency / equivocation. In that case "you too have (religious) beliefs" or "it take more faith to be an atheist" seem to be favourites.

As for Christianity not being a religion. I see it as a desire to immunise religious-inspired beliefs from the negative connotations of the word religion.

How, though, the cherry picking and SPAG that leads to the position of "Christianity is a personal relationship, not a religion", "Christianity is a philosophy", or "I'm spiritual but not religious" when following biblical teachings / premises, is functionally any different from being a run-of-the-mill cherry-picking adherent, is not something I am able to discern.
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 08:29:39 AM »
Atheists have consistently shown the Xians can't prove diddly. If Xians can make Atheism a religion it makes Atheists like Xians, which they expect would bolster their arguments. 

Strategically it looks like they are trying put both parties on the same or a level playing field. Basically, if I can't play on your level, I'll drag you down to my level.

Or, they have run out of defenses and they're in Desperation mode.

Or, they are just being their stupid selves when making such claims.


Wiki
Quote
Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality

Dictionary.com
Quote
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


Merriam/Webster
Quote
1a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith


Religion, by the definitions I could find, involves something supernatural/superhuman, includes rituals and requires faith instead of proof, so I doubt Xians will ever prove Atheism is a religion.
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Offline epidemic

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 09:29:37 AM »
Atheism is a belief/faith but there is no set of structured rules or worship.  Christianity however you want to practice it, has belief/faith, rules and worshipping a superbeing.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 10:12:09 AM »
Actually, atheism isn't a belief or a faith.  A belief requires you to believe in something, but atheism is a statement of non-belief.  If you don't believe in something, that doesn't mean you believe in the opposite (wording aside, since that's just syntax - a non-belief in something doesn't suggest a belief in nothing).  And since faith requires belief, it cannot be a faith either.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 10:16:19 AM »
Atheism is a belief/faith but there is no set of structured rules or worship.  Christianity however you want to practice it, has belief/faith, rules and worshipping a superbeing.

How is atheism a "belief/faith"?

Explain it.

-Nam
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 10:26:29 AM »
Atheism is a belief/faith but there is no set of structured rules or worship.  Christianity however you want to practice it, has belief/faith, rules and worshipping a superbeing.

How is atheism a "belief/faith"?

Explain it.

-Nam

There's a difference between the atheism we had as babies and adult atheism. We had no concept of a god, and therefore no belief as a baby. As an adult atheist we see no need for things to require and outside unseen agency to operate, that is adult atheism. It is the belief the world work more or less like it looks like it works....no fairys needed.

That minature dragons and pattern spiders aren't making our cars work. Its the faith of noflyingshoeswhilesleeping.

Its subtle, but it is there.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 11:22:11 AM »
The reason I don't consider atheism a belief is that I, as an atheist, don't have a lack of facts to back it up.

It is that lack of facts, that lack of actual information, that requires belief, requires faith. As an atheist, I am not defining a reality that needs, at it's base, gross assumptions, old stories, a book full of excuses, and horny old men who have the hots for my two boys to write apologetics.

Big difference.
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Offline epidemic

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 01:34:28 PM »
Hatter23 exactly!

Once someone makes the claim that everything come from god because the universe is so amazing that it had to come from a diety.  Atheists believe that it happened by natural means with no need for a magic guy in the sky.  Neither have solid proof to back their claim and both are faith based.  Faith in their analysis of the world around us.

Offline epidemic

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 01:45:07 PM »
The reason I don't consider atheism a belief is that I, as an atheist, don't have a lack of facts to back it up.

It is that lack of facts, that lack of actual information, that requires belief, requires faith. As an atheist, I am not defining a reality that needs, at it's base, gross assumptions, old stories, a book full of excuses, and horny old men who have the hots for my two boys to write apologetics.

Big difference.

There are tons of facts regarding god and his works.  You just dont give them any credibility and as such dont believe them.  There are people who claim to have spoken with him in the past.  We claim they are nutz or fabricating stories.    Jesus could very well have walked on water and raised the dead.  We only have the second hand of the converts regarding the events.  That does not make said words wrong just unverifiable.  in my life I have never seen any magic and as such I give their words even less credibility because it defies logic.  But that was the point of the walking on water exercise.  Too bad we did not have video back then:)


Let me give you an example of a truth you probably wont believe.   I caught a bullet that I fired down range from my 44 magnum.  This is absolutely true but I can not prove it.  It defies logic so you do not believe me in all likelihood.  But that does not make it false.











It was a fluke the target I was firing at had just the right density to slow it and send the bullet back in a high arc with little deformation I saw it coming and decided to catch it.  It was awesome and fricking hot so I immediatly dropped it.  It was also hardly worth it because my buddy was not watching So I have no wittnesses either.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2013, 01:49:46 PM »
Hatter23 exactly!

Once someone makes the claim that everything come from god because the universe is so amazing that it had to come from a diety.  Atheists believe that it happened by natural means with no need for a magic guy in the sky.  Neither have solid proof to back their claim and both are faith based.  Faith in their analysis of the world around us.

I think there's a huge difference between "solid evidence" and "made up evidence", or to be kind "unsubstantiated evidence".

Big difference.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Online Aaron123

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2013, 01:56:33 PM »
Are you, like me, noticing a great trend of Christians making the claim that Christianity is not a religion but atheism is?

What's the strategy? especially here in the US? They want all the things that come with being a religion[1] yet seemingly none of the responsibility of being a religion, or to be defined as one, and clearly they are defined as one.

Then they turn around and state "atheism is a religion", with imagined and false lists of it being one.

I don't understand this strategy, do you?

-Nam
 1. tax breaks, etc.,

I suspect part of it is an inability to understand the whole concept of not having religious beliefs.  For many theists, their lives are wrapped up around their religion.  They go to church, pray to god every night, say prayers before dinner, thanking god for the food (and ignoring the hard work of the farmers...), take time to think about what differences god made in their lives, using god and his divine morality to guide their lives, etc etc.  For them, everyone must "believe in" something.  For them, that's just natural; the same way water is wet, the sky is blue.

Now you have this group of people that... does none of that.  They don't pray, they sleep in on sunday, they don't give thanks to god.  They don't even acknowledge his existence.  Apparently, they "believe in" nothing!   No one could possibily live "without god"!  There's just no way anyone could live like that, so it has to be a belief system in itself.  That just has to be a religion, right?


At least that's the impression I get from those "atheism is a religion/takes more faith" retorts.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2013, 02:05:41 PM »
Hatter23 exactly!

Once someone makes the claim that everything come from god because the universe is so amazing that it had to come from a diety.  Atheists believe that it happened by natural means with no need for a magic guy in the sky.  Neither have solid proof to back their claim and both are faith based.  Faith in their analysis of the world around us.

Both are 'faith' but one is the faith the your shoes fly around in your room while you are asleep and no recording devices are present...and the other is the 'faith' that shoes don't fly around the room in those circumstances.

And the latter, aflyingshoeism, isn't very much of a faith at all. That's what adult atheism is, every bit the faith of aflyingshoeism. So how much solid proof do you require of the worldview of aflyingshoeism? How much faith does it require? It same amount of faith. Only a smidge more than the amount of faith that while taking a bite out of apple, the next bite you take out of the same piece of fruit will not be a spoonful of chicken noodle soup.





« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:26:12 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Online Aaron123

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2013, 02:10:03 PM »
But that was the point of the walking on water exercise.  Too bad we did not have video back then:)

So what's stopping Jesus from coming down and walk on water again?  Should be be easy for him to do it a second time, and we'd be able to record it on (high definition) video.  Seems like that would be a pretty quick and easy way to gut the whole "no evidence for Jesus" arguement.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2013, 02:13:29 PM »
Are you, like me, noticing a great trend of Christians making the claim that Christianity is not a religion but atheism is?


Because if you refuse to be defined, you "get out of" the negative connotations and connections of that definition. If you define someone, regardless of how intellectually dishonest it is to do so, you force them to answer for the negative connotations and connections of that definition.

It is quite simple, and complete horseshit.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2013, 02:22:57 PM »
Once someone makes the claim that everything come from god because the universe is so amazing that it had to come from a diety.  Atheists believe that it happened by natural means with no need for a magic guy in the sky.  Neither have solid proof to back their claim and both are faith based.  Faith in their analysis of the world around us.
The former certainly is faith-based, but I don't think it's reasonable to call the latter that.  For one thing, it's a false equivalence.  Theism requires faith because its central tenet (the existence of a god) isn't supported by facts, but rather by imagination.  Atheism does not require faith because its central tenet (that gods don't exist) is effectively a null value.  Atheists don't imagine anything in place of a god that requires faith to prop it up.

What you are essentially saying is that if one person imagines that something is, and another person doesn't imagine something in its place, that they're both using their imaginations.  Which isn't true.  "Not imagining something" is not the same as "imagining that something is not".  If one person has faith in something, and another person doesn't believe that it exists, they don't both have faith.

For another, naturalistic explanations of how things came to be are backed up by evidence, at least the evidence we have available.  Instead, they focus on what actually exists, and while there are the occasional unproven hypothetical ideas that pop up (like gravitons and tachyons), they aren't accepted at large unless there's evidence to support them.

What I think you and Hatter are referring to are certain kinds of concepts, such as honor, justice, equality, etc.  Those concepts don't have a physical reality, and they can't be proven.  So it might be accurate to say that a person has faith in such concepts, regardless of whether they have faith in a god.  And in that narrow respect, you could probably say that an atheist has faith.  However, it is nothing like the faith needed to believe in something without evidence.  The faith a theist needs to believe in a god without evidence is nothing like the faith (assuming that's the right term) an atheist needs to believe in honor or justice - not to mention that theists also tend to believe in those or similar concepts.

Offline stuffin

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2013, 02:37:39 PM »
Atheism is a belief/faith but there is no set of structured rules or worship.  Christianity however you want to practice it, has belief/faith, rules and worshipping a superbeing.

I do not see it that way.

What exactly is the belief/faith I have?

To have faith in something means you believe it is true, happened or will happen despite facts that indicate otherwise.

The facts I have about my Atheism point me to not have faith (in a Deity). OR, I see no facts to point me towards believing in a Deity.

If there were absolute proof of a diety, it would no longer be called faith.

The definitions I posted said religion requires structed rules of/for worship. I have none of those, therefore I do not fit the definition of being religious.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2013, 03:13:47 PM »
What I think you and Hatter are referring to are certain kinds of concepts, such as honor, justice, equality, etc. 

Actually I'm not. I referring to the concept that there is a kind of faith to assume things operate without unseen agency, but it is only technically so. Similar to how the agnositc atheist states while there is a vanishly small probability of a god, they can operate on the assumption there isn't one until evidence shows otherwise.

That operating assumption is the faith I talk of and it is NOT NOT NOT the equivalent of the faith of gnostic theism. It is a ".01 to the negative 300th power" percent kind of faith.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2013, 04:20:26 PM »
Perhaps "belief" and "faith" are being used interchangeably here, and I don't think they are. Though, some dictionaries do list "religious faith" as a definition of "belief" but, since atheism doesn't have need, or definition of "faith" itself (and whether a religious standpoint is existent) I find they really aren't interchangeable-but that's my opinion.

-Nam
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2013, 04:38:23 PM »
The reason I don't consider atheism a belief is that I, as an atheist, don't have a lack of facts to back it up.

It is that lack of facts, that lack of actual information, that requires belief, requires faith. As an atheist, I am not defining a reality that needs, at it's base, gross assumptions, old stories, a book full of excuses, and horny old men who have the hots for my two boys to write apologetics.

Big difference.

There are tons of facts regarding god and his works.  You just dont give them any credibility and as such dont believe them.  There are people who claim to have spoken with him in the past.  We claim they are nutz or fabricating stories.    Jesus could very well have walked on water and raised the dead.  We only have the second hand of the converts regarding the events.  That does not make said words wrong just unverifiable.  in my life I have never seen any magic and as such I give their words even less credibility because it defies logic.  But that was the point of the walking on water exercise.  Too bad we did not have video back then:)


Let me give you an example of a truth you probably wont believe.   I caught a bullet that I fired down range from my 44 magnum.  This is absolutely true but I can not prove it.  It defies logic so you do not believe me in all likelihood.  But that does not make it false.

(Space removed now that we know the end of the story)

It was a fluke the target I was firing at had just the right density to slow it and send the bullet back in a high arc with little deformation I saw it coming and decided to catch it.  It was awesome and fricking hot so I immediatly dropped it.  It was also hardly worth it because my buddy was not watching So I have no wittnesses either.

The catching of a .44 is well within the limits of believability under the circumstances you described. None of the laws of the universe were violated. The law of averages were not violated. My sensibilities were not violated. If you were known to me as an otherwise trustworthy and honest person, I would have no doubts. Since you have not yet proven to me that you are neither trustworthy or honest, I will go ahead and believe you now. Subject to change if you should start proving yourself unworthy of such respect.

Religions do violate the laws of the universe, the law of averages and my sensibilities. This is not a good thing.

(By the way, I too wish we would have had video back then. It would be much easier to disprove the fairy tales that are now claimed by the religious to be true.)

The various sciences such as geology, paleontology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, archaeology, etc. combined with human sciences such as genetics and psychology to piece together a story that is consistent across disciplines. The geologists agree with the physicists and astronomers about the age of the planet, the biologists agree with the geologists and the chemists regarding the age of life, the archaeologists agree with the geneticists regarding humans and how long we've been around.

And you agree with one book, highly edited, imaginatively translated, used as a source of power that is held over millions who, to various degrees, choose to maintain the level of ignorance necessary to keep the story believable. Believers prefer a simple history, a simple explanation as to why everything isn't rosy (sin) and a way to get back in the graces of their supposed god (born again or whatever any given religious group requires). Such preferences make Jack a dull boy as he repeats various mantras (god is good, I'm a sinner, Jesus loves me...) and walks around pleased with the vastness of his knowledge, never daring compare it with either actual information or reality.

Your bullet is valid. Your bible is not.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2013, 05:36:35 PM »
These are some of the criteria of how Christians interpret atheism as a religion, I probably should've posted this in the OP:

1. Christians believe in God and atheists do not. Atheists can't be an "atheist" without a god to not believe in therefore, atheists are religious. (there's a god, and atheists don't believe in it)

2. Materialism is their world-view, therefore they are religious.

3. They have a "Messiah": Charles Darwin. Therefore, atheists are religious.

4. They have leaders (most that come up are dead people like Nietzsche, Hitchens, Hitler, Lenin, Marx, Clemens[1], Darwin, Maher, etc.,) therefore, they are religious.

5. They have apostasy (meaning when an atheist turns to Christianity, they say bad things about that person).

6. They have apostles (or evangelicals) like Dawkins, and Dennett (whoever s/he is) etc.,

7. They have Faith. To deny the One True Godâ„¢ that is the Christian God takes faith. Therefore, they are religious.

8. Atheists believe that something created them. What is that something, you may ask? Nothing. That's right! Atheists believe that Nothing created them therefore, atheists are religious.

9. They have "scripture", and that scripture is Evolution therefore, atheists are religious.

If there's more, I either don't remember it or haven't heard/read it yet.

-Nam
 1. yes, I have seen Mark Twain listed as a leader of atheists
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2013, 05:53:11 PM »
Pretty good list Nam. And just like religion, every item is wrong.

Coincidence? I don't think so...
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2013, 06:26:43 PM »
Epidemic: Let me give you an example of a truth you probably wont believe.   
I caught a fart and I bottled it.  This is absolutely true but I can not prove it.  It defies logic so you do not believe me in all likelihood.  But that does not make it false.
It was a fluke and of target I was aiming it at my sister and it back fired, however it just had the right density to be bottled, I saw it coming and decided to catch it.  It was awesome and fricking hot and sticky. I've got in my cupboard your welcome to come round and have a sniff. It was hardly worth catching, because nobody was watching so I have no witnesses either.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

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Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2013, 06:52:48 PM »
"If a trees falls in the forest but no one was there to witness it, did it really fall?"

-Nam
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Online Aaron123

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2013, 10:06:12 AM »
These are some of the criteria of how Christians interpret atheism as a religion, I probably should've posted this in the OP:

*snip*


Again, I think that some of them have genuine difficulty grasping the concept of no religious beliefs.  I once saw someone on another board asking--and this was a genuinely serious question--that since atheists don't believe in god, does that mean they believe in the devil.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2013, 11:09:25 AM »
^^^ That's not unlike those that claim that we are atheists because we hate their god. Talk about not clear on the concept.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2013, 11:48:58 AM »
I think many of them just really don't understand, and it's because the Bible tells them one thing (in many different ways) and their preacher/priest tells them something different, and they believe the preacher/priest. Why wouldn't they? most of them never even read the Bible or ever thought for themselves.

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This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline epidemic

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2013, 02:12:53 PM »
^^^ That's not unlike those that claim that we are atheists because we hate their god. Talk about not clear on the concept.

I think when Atheists explain their problems with the bible they end up sounding like they hate god.  They talk about the bible indicating a mean god, and how god just does not make sense.  They take this to be hating god.  But in reality most of the time it is just someone who does not believe in god and tries to use examples they would understand.

Offline Nam

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Re: Though not a strictly New argument
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2013, 02:59:31 PM »
I remembered another one, and this is seen a lot: I used to be an atheist now I'm a Christian.

The problem with this is, I feel, most of what they perceive as "atheism" has nothing to do with the definition.

Example:

[Christian speaking] "I grew up in a Christian home. My parents are Christian, grandparents, siblings, etc., but I wasn't saved until much later."

That's not the same as being an atheist, in my opinion.

Either one has never had any knowledge of god/s, or one actively subscribes to atheism based on the knowledge (cumulatively) out there.

Another example:

I came from [religion here], and am no longer an atheist. Meaning: I didn't believe in The One True Godâ„¢, therefore I believed in a false god and therefore was an atheist.

There are many other variations to that.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.