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Dead Zone => The Bottomless Pit => Topic started by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 06:22:30 AM

Title: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 06:22:30 AM
This is in response to the video "Why Does Every Intelligent Christian Disobey Jesus".  I already shredded the main body of the video in an earlier thread but I thought I'd come back and shred the ending, which is even more loony.  Towards the end it starts telling me why I choose to remain a Christian, which I find somewhat odd since I don't believe in mind reading.  The maker of these videos seems to be big on scientific testing.  I wonder whether he's willing to subject his mind reading skills to such a test?  (But that's not the topic of this thread.  The topic is a series of five lies that he tells.)

The video then goes on to say that "Let's talk about what Christians might do to you: You might lose your job.  You might get arrested.  You might get beaten.  Your kids might get kicked out of Boy Scouts.  You would be shunned by friends and family."  Well that's a list of consequences.  Let's have a look at whether any of them are true.

1. "You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.

2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.  In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism, while their are a number of countries run by atheists where you'll get arrested if you switch from atheism to Christianity.  Cuba and China are two examples.

3. "You might get beaten."  Nope.  Just as with the previous one, there's no place where leaving Christianity will get anyone beaten, but plentiful places where leaving atheism will get you beaten.

4. "Your kids might get kicked out of the Boy Scouts."  First I don't have kids.  Second, if I did, they probably wouldn't be in Boy Scouts.  Third, if I had kids in Boy Scouts, my religious decisions would not get them kicked out.

5. "You would be shunned by friends and family."  My family is mostly atheists.  It's funny that the video maker would think that atheists would be so small-minded as to stop liking a person merely because they changed their religious viewpoint.  Certainly none of my Christian friends would do such a thing.

In my previous thread, nobody was able to defend what the video said, so the responses mostly attacked me or changed the subject.  But I'm here to discuss this particular portion of this particular video, so please post if you have any defense of the video to make.  If no one can defend it, I guess I'll assume that the video maker resorted to these absurd lies because he knows that the truth always works against atheism and for Christianity.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Vivisectus on February 19, 2011, 07:04:22 AM
It may not apply to you directly, but there are people on this board who have had a fair view of the things described there happen to them. Not everywhere, and I am glad to see that where you are, atheists are apparently not discriminated against. But it does happen - a lot! Ask around here and you will get some pretty gruesome stories.

I have friends myself in the bible belt who make sure to go to church, because they own their own business is a small town and they have seen other businesses boycotted because of perceived irreligiousness, for instance.

Where is this awesome shredding BTW? I seem to have missed it.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: jetson on February 19, 2011, 08:41:22 AM
Weak.  Very weak.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 19, 2011, 10:20:17 AM
Where is this awesome shredding BTW? I seem to have missed it.
Here, have a look: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"? (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,15728.0.html)

Not a lot of shredding done on his part. A lot of shredding of his arguments done by forum members though. The one thing that prominently stood out was his constant claiming that the bible and all those nasty passages "obviously" had to be interpreted as metaphor but despite constant requests he failed at showing how to determine literal from metaphorical content of the bible, he failed at explaining why there are over 30000 Christian denominations all interpreting the bible differently (and are often at odds with each other about what God and the bible really meant) and last but not least he failed to explain why his personal interpretation of certain parts as a metaphor should be given any merit over the countless other interpretations by other Christians who take those particular parts as literal or the whole bible as literal.

(Not to forget the whole episode in which he says the commandment to love your fellow man does in no way prohibit the killing of the "fellow man" by good Christians.)

Just like his new OP is not any better either. For the most part it can be summed up with "I can't see this happening to me, so it does not happen at all."
That's one of the problems with a lot of theists coming here. Most of them don't notice any of this behavior of "good Christians" towards atheists because they are part of the in-group and they aren't facing the pointy end of the sticks their fellow Christians are holding.

1. "You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.
A great number of atheists living in the bible belt dare to think otherwise. We also have some self-employed members here who would lose most of their customers in those areas if they made their non-belief known, effectively resulting in them going out of business.

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2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.
Sorry, but wrong again.

One of the most prominent examples would be David Mills, who tried to organize a protest against a faith healer coming to his town (in the US I might add). He knew when it comes to believers having their belief threatened, things can often get quite heated (Have a look at the mailbag for examples).
Naturally he contacted the local police office for protection of the protest against the "Miracle Rally" of the faith healer.

He spoke with three officers. The first one told him he planned to attend the rally himself and would spit in Mill's face if he saw him. The second one flat out told Mills if anything happened and no matter who started it, they'd arrest Mills and his fellow protesters because they were trying to interfere with God's work. And last but not least the third police officer told him to go to hell, that nobody wants to protect atheists and he hoped somebody would bloody Mills up good.

And quite a while back I also remember a post on this forum of a fellow forum member who got a bit of police harassment for having a Darwin fish bumper sticker on his car.

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In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism,
Try that in the African countries where there are wars fought over who's sides Christianity is right. Try that in the African countries that made homosexuality a crime (with support and guidance from Christian organizations from the US). You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs).

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while their are a number of countries run by atheists where you'll get arrested if you switch from atheism to Christianity.  Cuba and China are two examples.
Except that none of these arrests happen "in the name of atheism." If there was a freethinker organization trying to form in China, the members would be arrested too.

These countries have no state religion but none of their actions are done in the name of atheism.

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3. "You might get beaten."  Nope.  Just as with the previous one, there's no place where leaving Christianity will get anyone beaten, but plentiful places where leaving atheism will get you beaten.
You obviously haven't talked to any atheists who live in the bible belt of the USA.

It doesn't take a lot of searching to find quite news not only about the destruction of property merely for being connected to atheists and freethinkers but also news about atheists getting a fist in the face for as much as hanging up posters advertising for an atheist event.

As many members on this board have said it in one way or the other: In certain corners of the US even going so far as having a simple atheist bumper sticker on your car will mean that when you return to your parked car it has a lot more bumps, dents and scratches in the paint than it had before. And if you arrive at the wrong time you end up with a lot more bumps, dents and scratches, too.

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4. "Your kids might get kicked out of the Boy Scouts."  First I don't have kids.
Irrelevant. 

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Second, if I did, they probably wouldn't be in Boy Scouts.
Irrelevant.

This is not exclusively about Boy Scouts. It's about a whole lot of organizations that emphasize on the belief in God and simply don't want neither you nor your kids as a member if you don't share their belief.

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Third, if I had kids in Boy Scouts, my religious decisions would not get them kicked out.
You might want to research that a bit more...

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5. "You would be shunned by friends and family."  My family is mostly atheists.  It's funny that the video maker would think that atheists would be so small-minded as to stop liking a person merely because they changed their religious viewpoint.  Certainly none of my Christian friends would do such a thing.
Funny thing you say that.

Do we really have to go through all the countless instances, personal testimonials and reports about Christian family members and friends completely dropping people for openly being atheists? Really?

This is once again a case of "I don't believe this could happen to me, so it never happens."

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In my previous thread, nobody was able to defend what the video said, so the responses mostly attacked me or changed the subject.
You do realize that people can still read the old thread, right?

It was more like you were unable to defend your own reasoning.

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If no one can defend it, I guess I'll assume that the video maker resorted to these absurd lies because he knows that the truth always works against atheism and for Christianity.
Oh, that had me laugh out so loud I made the cat wake up and run out of the room.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Ambassador Pony on February 19, 2011, 11:23:27 AM
I don't believe in mind reading.

Now, try to help some of your fellow christians understand why prayer doesn't work. Together, we might make a difference.

Thanks for your support.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: naemhni on February 19, 2011, 11:44:20 AM
Here's the short version of AlexBP's post: "It can't happen to me, therefore, it can't happen at all."  To say that this is illogical is putting it mildly.  That would be like me saying that since I can't get ovarian cancer, nobody can.

AlexBP, if you're truly and completely secure from any kind of harm or prejudiced behavior or anything, well, then, more power to you.  But consider yourself fortunate -- many of the rest of us (including me) aren't so lucky.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 19, 2011, 12:50:47 PM
This is in response to the video "Why Does Every Intelligent Christian Disobey Jesus".  I already shredded the main body of the video in an earlier thread but I thought I'd come back and shred the ending, which is even more loony.

What "shredding?" Just the usual "secret decoder ring" garbage. Not even decent secret decoder ring garbage-- just the run-of-the mill stuff. But you have a bad habit of claiming victory, regardless of the actual results of the discussion.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 02:11:54 PM
It may not apply to you directly, but there are people on this board who have had a fair view of the things described there happen to them.
Why did the video maker use the second person pronoun "you" to tell me that I would suffer these consequences if I left Christianity, if what he really meant was that someone else would?  Even a kindergarten student can tell the difference between saying "you are tall" and "somebody else is tall".

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Not everywhere, and I am glad to see that where you are, atheists are apparently not discriminated against. But it does happen - a lot! Ask around here and you will get some pretty gruesome stories.
You atheists may be satisfied with fictional stories, but I'm a Christian so my goal is to find the truth.  If the best you can offer me is anonymous posts on the 'net (or even non-anonymous posts on the 'net) isn't that basically the same as admitting that it isn't true?  Isn't it widely known that posts on internet message boards can contain untruths?

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I have friends myself in the bible belt who make sure to go to church, because they own their own business is a small town and they have seen other businesses boycotted because of perceived irreligiousness, for instance.
The video maker claims that I'm in danger of being beaten and arrested if I cease to be a Christian.  You're willing to admit that he was wrong about that, but you say that he's right about those things happening to other people.  Then what do boycotts have to do with it?  Has anyone on this board actually been beaten and arrested for being non-Christian?  If so, where can I find unbiased, outside confirmation of this fact.

(By the way, lectures about the terrors of the "bible belt" aren't going to fool me.  I grew up in Kentucky and North Carolina, went to grad school in Tennessee, and currently live in Virginia, so I know that culture-wise the Bible belt is not much different from any other part of the country, and I never encountered any boycott of the type you described.)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 19, 2011, 02:29:07 PM
You atheists may be satisfied with fictional stories, but I'm a Christian so my goal is to find the truth.  If the best you can offer me is anonymous posts on the 'net (or even non-anonymous posts on the 'net) isn't that basically the same as admitting that it isn't true?  Isn't it widely known that posts on internet message boards can contain untruths?

Yes... What about atheists murdered by religious people due to being atheists (http://www.parallelpac.org/murder.htm), or atheism being misrepresented by theist assholes, claiming that "atheist ideals" (since apparently atheism has core ideals, of which I was previously unaware) caused more deaths than religious ideals (although the maximum number of deaths by atheists[1] is about 4% of the maximum number of deaths caused by theists[2]), or the fact that a century or so ago, if you looked up atheist/atheism in the dictionary, it would come up as "evil" etc, or the fact that (some) theists act like giant pricks (both IRL and on the internet), saying that atheists are hopeless etc etc etc

I could go on literally until my fingers hurt

EDIT: For the examples I didn't present links for, just check this forum
EDIT #2: @ the staff - The language used in my post (assholes, pricks etc) might be a bit harsh but it's appropriate considering the meaning of the words I used and considering the actions of the theists I speak of
 1. Note: Not in the name of atheism, as that is impossible
 2. In the name of their religion
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 02:36:06 PM
Sorry, but wrong again.

One of the most prominent examples would be David Mills, who tried to organize a protest against a faith healer coming to his town (in the US I might add). He knew when it comes to believers having their belief threatened, things can often get quite heated (Have a look at the mailbag for examples).
Naturally he contacted the local police office for protection of the protest against the "Miracle Rally" of the faith healer.

He spoke with three officers. The first one told him he planned to attend the rally himself and would spit in Mill's face if he saw him. The second one flat out told Mills if anything happened and no matter who started it, they'd arrest Mills and his fellow protesters because they were trying to interfere with God's work. And last but not least the third police officer told him to go to hell, that nobody wants to protect atheists and he hoped somebody would bloody Mills up good.
Are you able to link me to a newspaper article about this incident?  If not, why should I believe that it happened?

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And quite a while back I also remember a post on this forum of a fellow forum member who got a bit of police harassment for having a Darwin fish bumper sticker on his car.
Again, why should I believe this is true?

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In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism, Try that in the African countries where there are wars fought over who's sides Christianity is right. Try that in the African countries that made homosexuality a crime (with support and guidance from Christian organizations from the US).
Which African countries are those exactly?  (I'm aware that Uganda passed a law criminalizing homosexuality but it has nothing to do with any Christian organization from America or elsewhere.  In any case that's irrelevant to this thread, where we're talking about the consequences of leaving Christianity.  I predicted that folks would try to change the subject and you've done exactly that.  Clearly I have powers of prophecy.)
 
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You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs).
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was started by an atheist who proudly massacred tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims.  As you doubtlessly know, Josip Broz Tito, who took power in Yugoslavia after WWII was an atheist.  Like most atheist dictators, his reign was bloody, as he killed an estimated 250,000 people.  He had numerous Catholic clergy arrested or killed and he purged his government of Christians.  Tito died in 1980.  His successor, Slobodan Milosevic, largely continued his violent policies, but various regions of Yugoslavia had had enough and tried to break away from Serbia in 1991.  Milosevic, not happy about that, incited Serb groups to start the war.  His tactics throughout were famously brutal and he had a particular focus on cruelty to the Catholic clergy, as for instance when he ordered his troops to rape nuns before killing them.  Anyone doubting the facts can read about his trial for war crimes and genocide at the Hague.

So yes, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was about religious differences, specifically the differences between an atheist madman who ruled by mass murder and Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice.
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These countries have no state religion but none of their actions are done in the name of atheism.
I'm sure that the thousands of Christians and others who have been arrested, tortured, or murdered because they refused to be atheists take great comfort from the fact that it wasn't being done in the name of atheism.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Vivisectus on February 19, 2011, 02:38:49 PM
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You atheists may be satisfied with fictional stories, but I'm a Christian so my goal is to find the truth.


Dibs on having that for my new sig!!! LOL!!!

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If the best you can offer me is anonymous posts on the 'net (or even non-anonymous posts on the 'net) isn't that basically the same as admitting that it isn't true?  Isn't it widely known that posts on internet message boards can contain untruths?

Have you examined the logic behind that? All athenians are liars, says Socrates the athenian :)

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The video maker claims that I'm in danger of being beaten and arrested if I cease to be a Christian.  You're willing to admit that he was wrong about that, but you say that he's right about those things happening to other people.  Then what do boycotts have to do with it?  Has anyone on this board actually been beaten and arrested for being non-Christian?  If so, where can I find unbiased, outside confirmation of this fact

I think someone posted a video there are one stage for some people being beaten to death for having the wrong religion.

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(By the way, lectures about the terrors of the "bible belt" aren't going to fool me.  I grew up in Kentucky and North Carolina, went to grad school in Tennessee, and currently live in Virginia, so I know that culture-wise the Bible belt is not much different from any other part of the country, and I never encountered any boycott of the type you described.)

Good ole Christian boy like you? Course not. I assure you it happens though.

Now don;t get me wrong - I am not saying there is systematic repression of Atheists out there in the states. I am just saying that there IS a lot of bigotry, and that it DOES take the forms described at times.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 02:51:19 PM
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If the best you can offer me is anonymous posts on the 'net (or even non-anonymous posts on the 'net) isn't that basically the same as admitting that it isn't true?  Isn't it widely known that posts on internet message boards can contain untruths?

Have you examined the logic behind that?
What exactly are you referring to here?  I said that not everything posted on the internet is true.  You appear to disagree.  Does that mean that you think everything posted on the internet is true?  If not, then what are you saying?

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I think someone posted a video there are one stage for some people being beaten to death for having the wrong religion.
Huh?
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I assure you it happens though.
I believe that I've already explained that I won't accept anonymous, unspecified internet claims at face value.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Aaron123 on February 19, 2011, 03:06:31 PM
AlexBP, you're applying a great deal of skepticism towards certain claims being made.  I'd like to ask if you'd applied that same level of skepticism towards the bible.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Vivisectus on February 19, 2011, 03:07:50 PM
You are asserting things on a website. One of the things you are asserting is how unreliable assertions on the internet are. I find this funny. That's all.

Heres some examples to get you started, from http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/downey_24_4.htm (http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/downey_24_4.htm)

Gray, Tennessee: Carletta Sims joined a financial firm in June 2001. Shortly afterward, two Baptist coworkers took offense upon learning that Sims was an atheist. Management granted the coworkers’ request to be assigned workspaces further from Sims. When Sims complained about a picture of Jesus left on her computer, management discharged her. Sims filed suit, seeking $250,000; U.S. District Judge Thomas Hull ruled that “religious discrimination (or preferential treatment of Christians) can be inferred.” In January 2004, the major bank that had since acquired the firm settled with Sims for an undisclosed amount.

Ada, Oklahoma: A Baptist student told a local newspaper she wouldn’t take professor William Zellner’s classes because he was an atheist, triggering a flurry of abuse. Zellner received harassing notes and telephone calls, some threatening. His car was vandalized, for a time on a daily basis. A local church sold “I am praying for Dr. Zellner” buttons. His children experienced shunning and beatings from religious children.

Minneapolis, Minnesota: First-grader Michael Bristor, an atheist, was denied an honor roll certificate when he refused to participate in an unconstitutional “prayer time” at a public school. For three years, administrators ignored the family’s complaints until a lawsuit was filed.

Caro, Michigan: In December 2001, Anonka—an open atheist who maintains a museum of Christian religious atrocities—appeared before the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners to challenge a nativity scene placed on public land. Commissioners responded angrily, saying she had no right to be present and proceeding to ridicule her. Anonka and her family suffered repeated harassment including annoyance calls, threatening calls and letters, and vandalism. In February 2004, the county settled in U.S. District Court, agreeing to pay an undisclosed sum and to issue a “public expression of regret.”

Pocopson, Pennsylvania: My own atheism came to prominence when I became involved in a legal challenge to a Ten Commandments plaque on the wall of the Chester County, Pennsylvania, courthouse. Neighbors organized a shunning campaign, some area merchants refused to do business with me, and I received hundreds of threatening letters and phone calls. (The depth of public animus against me became a subject of local news and magazine coverage.) I was forced to close my interior decorating business because of death threats that compelled me to stop visiting the homes of persons unknown to me.

Calgary, Alberta: An eleven-year-old boy (name withheld) experienced daily physical attacks and threats against his life by schoolmates—notably the sons of three local pastors—after protesting intercom readings of the Lord’s Prayer in a public school. He was repeatedly body-checked into hallway walls and attacked in the rest rooms. One pastor’s son stalked him with a butcher knife in an empty portable classroom. Despite the seriousness of this incident, no action was taken. The boy’s parents transferred him to another school for his own safety.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 19, 2011, 03:09:02 PM
AlexBP, you're applying a great deal of skepticism towards certain claims being made.  I'd like to ask if you'd applied that same level of skepticism towards the bible.

Answer expected:
He did but (his version of) god made some extremely "explicit" intervention(s) in his/her life and he/she just "knew" it was this specific god. And being brought up believing in said god had nothing to do with it
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Tinyal on February 19, 2011, 03:20:32 PM
If the best you can offer me is anonymous posts on the 'net (or even non-anonymous posts on the 'net) isn't that basically the same as admitting that it isn't true?  Isn't it widely known that posts on internet message boards can contain untruths?

Alex, your post reminds me of someone who can't get their head out of their nether region and  who doesn't pay attention to news sources, bbc reports , magazines, studys & reports at public library's , college courses - I could go on and on. Some of the data you'd find is no doubt compromised, but there's no way all of it is lies.   You can (and, in my view, undoubtedly will) continue to keep your fingers firmly implanted in your ears as regards the dangers of coming out as an atheist all over the world, but that doesn't make the truth go away.  Keeping your ears stuffed up is well practiced by most of the christians I know personally - I doubt you're substantially different. (nearly all christian's I know also deny human caused global weather changes, another subject for which there is massive evidence).
You do realize it's effectively impossible to get elected anywhere in the USA if it's known you're an atheist?  I think there's one (1) elected official out of the 1000's who's come out.  Studies have shown it's easier to get elected as a convicted felon than as an atheist.  Google it yourself.
 And no, it's not my responsibility to do your research for you - I couldn't care less what you think.


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What exactly are you referring to here?  I said that not everything posted on the internet is true.  You appear to disagree.  Does that mean that you think everything posted on the internet is true?  If not, then what are you saying?
I suppose you're one of those 'everything's black or white' types?  Of course not everything is true - they did not state that everything is - that's a strawman you just created to argue against.  Pay attention to what people actually say/type.


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I believe that I've already explained that I won't accept anonymous, unspecified internet claims at face value.
Let me repeat for the hard of hearing - I don't give a damm what you won't accept at face value.  Do some research for once in your life.  But remember not to study too hard, you might find the truth conflicts with your beliefs.

Folks, I think this one is hopeless :(
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Aaron123 on February 19, 2011, 03:32:19 PM
AlexBP, you're applying a great deal of skepticism towards certain claims being made.  I'd like to ask if you'd applied that same level of skepticism towards the bible.

Answer expected:
He did but (his version of) god made some extremely "explicit" intervention(s) in his/her life and he/she just "knew" it was this specific god. And being brought up believing in said god had nothing to do with it

Most likely.  But who knows?  Maybe he'll be The One with the answers.  Maybe he'll say "Yes, I know you're familar with the bible; yes, I know you've read it cover-to-cover; yes, I know your objections with the bible; yes, I know that up until now, there has been no scientifically verified proof of god's existence.  But now, I have found rock-soild, scientifically verifiable proof of god's existence, and this proof addresses all of your concerns, and I have submitted this proof to the scientific community to be peer-reviewed.  Expect the results in a few days."

Well, a guy can dream...  8)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 03:36:04 PM
AlexBP, you're applying a great deal of skepticism towards certain claims being made.
"A great deal of skepticism"?  I don't think that refusing to accept everything posted on the internet is a great deal of skepticism.  I would hope--perhaps vainly--that it's the normal level.  But most of you folks are generally proud of your supposed willingness to question everything.  Isn't it a little odd that you're now demanding I accept anonymous posts as reality?

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I'd like to ask if you'd applied that same level of skepticism towards the bible.
I have indeed spent an enormous amount of time researching the claims for and against accuracy of the Gospels and read many books on the matter from many different perspectives.  If you'd like to discuss that we can do so in a different thread, perhaps in the moderated debate section, since it's not relevant to this one.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 03:46:45 PM
You do realize it's effectively impossible to get elected anywhere in the USA if it's known you're an atheist?  I think there's one (1) elected official out of the 1000's who's come out.  Studies have shown it's easier to get elected as a convicted felon than as an atheist.  Google it yourself.
Okay, I googled it.  As you can see (http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&q=it%27s+easier+to+get+elected+as+a+convicted+felon+than+as+an+atheist&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.1,or.&fp=5e2b21bd614e0a97), nothing comes up that justifies what you say.  In any case you're obviously wrong since in most states convicted felons can't vote, much less run for office.  Further, this is changing the subject.  Let me emphasize again: the video says that I could be arrested or beaten if I cease to be a Christian.  Do you have any evidence that this is true?

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And no, it's not my responsibility to do your research for you - I couldn't care less what you think
So basically you're saying that you have evidence but you won't tell me what the evidence is.  If not, then why should I accept your word that it exists?

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Folks, I think this one is hopeless :(
So does that mean that you won't be posting in my threads any more?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Graybeard on February 19, 2011, 03:57:30 PM
Let's have a look at whether any of them are true.

1. "You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.

2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.  In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism, while their are a number of countries run by atheists where you'll get arrested if you switch from atheism to Christianity.  Cuba and China are two examples.

3. "You might get beaten."  Nope.  Just as with the previous one, there's no place where leaving Christianity will get anyone beaten, but plentiful places where leaving atheism will get you beaten.

4. "Your kids might get kicked out of the Boy Scouts."  First I don't have kids.  Second, if I did, they probably wouldn't be in Boy Scouts.  Third, if I had kids in Boy Scouts, my religious decisions would not get them kicked out.

5. "You would be shunned by friends and family."  My family is mostly atheists.  It's funny that the video maker would think that atheists would be so small-minded as to stop liking a person merely because they changed their religious viewpoint.  Certainly none of my Christian friends would do such a thing.
@AlexBP,
It is apparent that you have taken the "You" to mean "you personally" when it is, in fact the equivalent of the third person pronoun, "one". This is shown by the verbs being in the conditional tense.

The fact that you feel the world revolves around you (AlexBP) is not at all surprising. You have created a little god by picking and choosing between verses of the bible you (AlexBP) like and will follow and those which you (AlexBP) can reject or call "symbolic or allegorical" because you disagree with them.

Having made your construction kit god, it is clear that he is you (AlexBP) and you (AlexBP) worship yourself.

'Fess up: I'm right aren't I?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 19, 2011, 04:06:31 PM
In any case you're obviously wrong since in most states convicted felons can't vote, much less run for office.

True. However... (http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/some-americans-reluctant-vote-mormon-72yearold-presidential-candidates.aspx)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 04:14:46 PM
You are asserting things on a website. One of the things you are asserting is how unreliable assertions on the internet are. I find this funny. That's all.
In this thread I'm asking whether anyone can provide an explanation for the video in question.  My assertions are not really relevant.  My question is what's relevant, and your answers. 

Quote
Heres some examples to get you started, from http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/downey_24_4.htm (http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/downey_24_4.htm)
Thank you for actually being willing to answer and provide links.  However, it's not terribly convincing.  The author begins by acknowledging that everybody, including atheist allies, who's done a study on the issue has concluded that discrimination against atheists is not a problem.  Then she insists that this conclusion is wrong because of six anecdotes.  In addition to the obvious problem of whether the anecdotes are true, they just don't add up to case.  Some are about  people who tried to censor the religious expression of others based on the constitutional separation of church and state (which isn't in my copy of the the Constitution).  It's common sense that when you try to silence others by force, they'll probably not respond by liking you too much.  In the case of Carletta Sims it seems the government was actually on her side as she won a lawsuit claiming religious discrimination.  The case of William Zellner's children being beaten would be serious if true, but it raises the question of why no one was convicted in this crime if it actually happened.

Real discrimination would look something more like the case of Frank Lay and Robert Freeman, government workers who were threatened with jail time over an ACLU complaint that they said a prayer, and the student Mary Allen who was banned from speaking at her own graduation because she's a Christian.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/criminal-prayer-case-stirs-protests/?feat=home_headlines (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/criminal-prayer-case-stirs-protests/?feat=home_headlines)

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Graybeard on February 19, 2011, 04:19:52 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 04:37:58 PM
Yes... What about atheists murdered by religious people due to being atheists (http://www.parallelpac.org/murder.htm), or atheism being misrepresented by theist assholes, claiming that "atheist ideals" (since apparently atheism has core ideals, of which I was previously unaware) caused more deaths than religious ideals (although the maximum number of deaths by atheists[1] is about 4% of the maximum number of deaths caused by theists[2]), or the fact that a century or so ago, if you looked up atheist/atheism in the dictionary, it would come up as "evil" etc, or the fact that (some) theists act like giant pricks (both IRL and on the internet), saying that atheists are hopeless etc etc etc
 1. Note: Not in the name of atheism, as that is impossible
 2. In the name of their religion
What about them?

I happen to have an old edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I looked up "atheist" and it did not say "evil" or anything related to that, so you're wrong there.

You say the "maximum number of deaths by atheists is about 4% of the maximum number of deaths caused by theists".  First of all, why is this relevant?  The video ascribes that anyone who ceases to be a Christian will be arrested or beaten.  It says nothing about theists generally, so you're just trying to change the subject.  Second, how do you know that what you say is true?  Consider that the atheist champion, Chairman Mao, killed seventy million of people, give or take.  (See The Black Book of Communism for a cite.)  So if you actually knew 100 murders by theists for every 4 by atheists, you'd have to find 1.75 billion murders by theists to account for Mao alone.  And of course Mao is just number one on a very long list of atheists who committed massive crimes against humanity.

Oh, and some people have said nasty things about you on the internet.  Excuse me while a cry a bucket of tears in sympathy.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 19, 2011, 04:46:19 PM
@AlexBP,
It is apparent that you have taken the "You" to mean "you personally" when it is, in fact the equivalent of the third person pronoun, "one". This is shown by the verbs being in the conditional tense.
The video addresses the viewer as "you" throughout, with no indication that it isn't meant personally.  However, as I've already pointed out, the entire statement is ludicrous regardless of whether we interpret it as addressed to myself or to Christians generally.

Quote
The fact that you feel the world revolves around you
I don't feel that the world revolves around me.

Quote
'Fess up: I'm right [sic] aren't I?
No, you're wrong.  But since you apparently claim the ability to read minds, I can ask you the same question that I asked the maker of the video: are you willing to put this ability to scientific tests?
Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists
What's your reason for posting a link (to Wikipedia!) while not saying anything of your own?

Like the others here, it seems that you'd prefer to change the subject rather than defending the video.  By your interpretation, it says that all Christians are at risk of being arrested and beaten if they choose to leave Christianity.  Are you able to justify this statement?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: naemhni on February 19, 2011, 04:48:11 PM
I happen to have an old edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I looked up "atheist" and it did not say "evil" or anything related to that, so you're wrong there.

Not finding it in one dictionary does not prove it false, especially in the case of the OED, which is probably more objective than most.  I remember seeing "evil" and/or "wickedness" listed as definitions for "atheism" listed in dictionaries as little as about twenty years ago, and it's still listed as such in some dictionaries today, although mercifully the definition is now usually listed as obsolete or archaic.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism)
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/atheism (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/atheism)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 20, 2011, 04:08:42 AM
You asked two questions about atheists being harmed that I know little or nothing about, so I won't pretend otherwise. But the following I will respond to:

In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism, Try that in the African countries where there are wars fought over who's sides Christianity is right. Try that in the African countries that made homosexuality a crime (with support and guidance from Christian organizations from the US).
Which African countries are those exactly?  (I'm aware that Uganda passed a law criminalizing homosexuality but it has nothing to do with any Christian organization from America or elsewhere.  In any case that's irrelevant to this thread, where we're talking about the consequences of leaving Christianity.  I predicted that folks would try to change the subject and you've done exactly that.  Clearly I have powers of prophecy.)
You kinda wrong about "any Christian organization from America or elsewhere"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183)
from another source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html)
And another, which includes this quote:
Quote
The introduction of the anti-homosexual bill in 2009 followed a conference in Kampala that was attended by American activists who consider same-gender relationships sinful. The U.S. evangelicals believe gays and lesbians can become heterosexual through prayer and counseling. Some gay Ugandans still resent that American intervention.
http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/ (http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/)

Quote
You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs).
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was started by an atheist who proudly massacred tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims.  As you doubtlessly know, Josip Broz Tito, who took power in Yugoslavia after WWII was an atheist.  Like most atheist dictators, his reign was bloody, as he killed an estimated 250,000 people.  He had numerous Catholic clergy arrested or killed and he purged his government of Christians.  Tito died in 1980.  His successor, Slobodan Milosevic, largely continued his violent policies, but various regions of Yugoslavia had had enough and tried to break away from Serbia in 1991.  Milosevic, not happy about that, incited Serb groups to start the war.  His tactics throughout were famously brutal and he had a particular focus on cruelty to the Catholic clergy, as for instance when he ordered his troops to rape nuns before killing them.  Anyone doubting the facts can read about his trial for war crimes and genocide at the Hague.

So yes, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was about religious differences, specifically the differences between an atheist madman who ruled by mass murder and Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice.

I have no desire to defend the atrocities done in the former Yugoslavia or anywhere else, but the catholics were not killed simply because Milosevic was an atheist. The catholics joined and abetted Hitler in WWII, where a couple of million Yugoslavs died. This pissed off the locals. They're still mad. Again, I can't excuse or condone what was done, but it wasn't just because Milosevic was an atheist. There were more down the earth reasons. And though Tito was a total a**hole, he did hold the country together despite all of its ethnic differences, and he was actually pretty popular, though yes he did kill a lot of folks. Later in his reign he stopped doing that and got kind of nice. He got foreign aid from the US, something no other communist nation got. He let people come and go long before the other communist nations fell.

He became a communist because he was captured by the Russians in WWI when it was still a Tsarist nation, and imprisoned brutally. The Russiana revolution came along, busted him out, and freed him from the clutches of his Eastern Orthodox captors. Again, I'm not excusing anything, but he had his reasons.

Also, after WWII, and the betrayal of the nation by the catholic church, he did try to negotiate with them so that they could return to their old relationship with the country and people. It didn't work, but he tried. The head Bishop had been a Nazi sympathizer, or perhaps worse, and the two of them didn't get along. Sh*t happens.

Quote
I'm sure that the thousands of Christians and others who have been arrested, tortured, or murdered because they refused to be atheists take great comfort from the fact that it wasn't being done in the name of atheism.

They weren't murdered because they wouldn't become atheists. The died because they fought against Tito, or because they were innocents caught in the crossfire. But Tito wasn't doing folks in for anti-religious reasons. That wasn't a big issue for him. I remember back in the 70's when people were amazed that Yugoslavia had held together without people fighting each other to the death. That didn't happen until the fall of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia. Then all the various religious factions had a field day killing each other. And I'm sure there were atheists in there as well, but it was the muslims and the catholics and the orthodox killing each other for religious reasons that caused most of it. And the old wounds including the catholic church's relationship with the catholic nazis didn't help a bit.

Oh, and you won't get beat up if you become an atheist. You're such a pleasant person I'm sure you'll skate by. But your inability to extrapolate the generic "you" to mean you AND others and understand that folks do die for being atheists just like they die for attending religious rallies and just like they die for being gay.

Like this guy did:
http://vassleer.newsvine.com/_news/2007/01/03/504714-murdered-for-being-an-atheist (http://vassleer.newsvine.com/_news/2007/01/03/504714-murdered-for-being-an-atheist)

Is this atheism stuff as serious as forgetting to bring a gun to a Tea Party rally? Probably not. But people do die because they are atheists just like others die for being religious. If it is wrong to complain, then that means we lack one more freedom, and we're not going to put up with that either.

The point is this: The world isn't a pretty place. You guys ain't helping things much. So we mention it. Please allow that your complaints about the world aren't the only ones out there. Adapt.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Odin on February 20, 2011, 05:27:02 AM
Okay, I googled it.  As you can see, nothing comes up that justifies what you say.

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Legislation/constitution/article6.html (http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Legislation/constitution/article6.html)

Everyone, look at Section 8 of Article VI of the current Constitution of the State of North Carolina.  How many other states have things like this in their Constitutions?

This can't even be challenged as being unconstitutional under state law, because it is in the Constitution!

Odin, King of the Gods
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 20, 2011, 06:39:51 AM
What about them?

So, "fictitious" internet stories, as you call them, are not relevant but stories which you'd accept as real (being in the news and all) are not relevant either? Is ANYTHING relevant?

I happen to have an old edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I looked up "atheist" and it did not say "evil" or anything related to that, so you're wrong there.

pianodwarf already addressed this so I see no reason why I should do it again

You say the "maximum number of deaths by atheists is about 4% of the maximum number of deaths caused by theists".  First of all, why is this relevant?  The video ascribes that anyone who ceases to be a Christian will be arrested or beaten.  It says nothing about theists generally, so you're just trying to change the subject.  Second, how do you know that what you say is true?  Consider that the atheist champion, Chairman Mao, killed seventy million of people, give or take.  (See The Black Book of Communism for a cite.)  So if you actually knew 100 murders by theists for every 4 by atheists, you'd have to find 1.75 billion murders by theists to account for Mao alone.  And of course Mao is just number one on a very long list of atheists who committed massive crimes against humanity.

Quote from: atheistblogger.com
Theism has managed to kill an estimate of 2,229,074,100 people.

Atheism has managed to kill an estimate of 95,000,000 people.
[1]

Also, it's relevant. Very relevant. Because most, if not all, of those killed were, in fact, "heathens", as they are[2] called. That includes but is not limited to:
Everyone who does not follow the religion which caused said murders
Non-theists

Oh, and some people have said nasty things about you on the internet.  Excuse me while a cry a bucket of tears in sympathy.

And the relevance of this would be...?
 1. Source (http://atheistblogger.com/2008/07/02/death-toll-theism-vs-atheism)
 2. Not "were", "are"
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 20, 2011, 08:00:09 AM
(I had this post already prepared and ready yesterday but when I wanted to post it the forum decided it was time to die for several hours.  >:( )


Are you able to link me to a newspaper article about this incident?  If not, why should I believe that it happened?
I can link you to his book, which you could have found out for yourself if you had cared to look for it.

Why should you believe it? You don't have to. Keep your fingers in your ears if you like.

Quote
Again, why should I believe this is true?
Again, you don't have to. It sure is easier for you to believe that all the atheists giving you examples just like this one or talking about their life are all making it up. Yes, we're evil like that.

Just like all those stories about persecution of Christians are made up too, right?

Quote
Which African countries are those exactly?
We'd be talking about Nigeria and Uganda to name a few.

Case in point: Atheist arrested and beaten in Nigeria (http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2011/02/01/iheu-leo-igwe-imprisoned-and-beaten-by-police-while-rescuing-two-children-accused-of-witchcraft-in-nigeria-10487984/) 

Quote
(I'm aware that Uganda passed a law criminalizing homosexuality but it has nothing to do with any Christian organization from America or elsewhere.  In any case that's irrelevant to this thread, where we're talking about the consequences of leaving Christianity.  I predicted that folks would try to change the subject and you've done exactly that.  Clearly I have powers of prophecy.)
AlexBP, why are you lying here? I thought Jesus does not like liars.

I did not change the subject. I was giving examples and explanations about those countries. I don't see me starting a discussion about homosexuality there.
 
Quote
Like most atheist dictators, his reign was bloody, as he killed an estimated 250,000 people.
Oh, right because he did that all by himself.... All of a sudden all previously religious people in the army and the government disappeared into thin air and were replaced by those hundreds of thousands of atheists coming out of nowhere. Right....

Quote
He had numerous Catholic clergy arrested or killed and he purged his government of Christians.
Since you are so knowledgeable about this you doubtlessly know that the Catholic clergy and church worked together with the Nazis and were heavily involved in the previous Ustasa regime's genocide program (going so far that catholic clergy men were in control of concentration camps), coordinated and enforced mass conversions and benefited from "requisitioning" of property of other religious groups and members thereof. Not to mention that the Catholic church played a vital role in the escape of numerous war criminals of the previous regime through the "ratlines" of the Catholic Church.

Does that justify all the loss of life? No, but it shows that the black-and-white picture you try to paint could not be any less correct.

Quote
His successor, Slobodan Milosevic, largely continued his violent policies, but various regions of Yugoslavia had had enough and tried to break away from Serbia in 1991.  Milosevic, not happy about that, incited Serb groups to start the war.  His tactics throughout were famously brutal and he had a particular focus on cruelty to the Catholic clergy, as for instance when he ordered his troops to rape nuns before killing them.  Anyone doubting the facts can read about his trial for war crimes and genocide at the Hague.
You do realize that the Serbs who did that are Christians themselves, right? But wait...they are not "the right kind of Christians", am I correct?

Quote
So yes, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was about religious differences, specifically the differences between an atheist madman who ruled by mass murder and Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice.
Funny thing is that all the parties involved in the war were religious. Those forces of the "atheist madman" were Christians themselves, just not the same brand of Christianity.

And I find it interesting that you seem so uninterested in the previous history of that region when your "Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice" did not care one bit about what others wanted and did just the same to all the other denominations as long as they were the ones who held the power in their hands.

Hm...I wonder if that could have something to do with all the atrocities and be a reason why those people hated each others guts in that region for so long... Food for thought...

Quote
I'm sure that the thousands of Christians and others who have been arrested, tortured, or murdered because they refused to be atheists take great comfort from the fact that it wasn't being done in the name of atheism.
Dodging the point.

The point is that none of it happened in the name of atheism (as opposed to what you were and still are implying) and you fail to address this point. Instead you opt for polemics.



And I certainly noticed that you were quite selective in answering my post. Following your own "rules" of your OP I take it you concede the rest of the points which you did not answer to.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Aaron123 on February 20, 2011, 11:17:11 AM
"A great deal of skepticism"?  I don't think that refusing to accept everything posted on the internet is a great deal of skepticism.  I would hope--perhaps vainly--that it's the normal level.  But most of you folks are generally proud of your supposed willingness to question everything.  Isn't it a little odd that you're now demanding I accept anonymous posts as reality?

This strikes me more as making a bug fuss over word choice than anything else.


Quote
I have indeed spent an enormous amount of time researching the claims for and against accuracy of the Gospels and read many books on the matter from many different perspectives.  If you'd like to discuss that we can do so in a different thread, perhaps in the moderated debate section, since it's not relevant to this one.

Please do present a topic on this.  I'd be very interested in what this research was all about.  I do hope, though, that it has nothing to do with the likes of Lee Strobel or William Lane Craig.  Or for that matter, the use of non-contemporaneous second century historians as "verifications" that the events of the bible happened.  Or that just because the bible make use of real places and people, that it must be true.

I'm not kidding.  Just as long as those common fallacies are not being used, I'd like to hear more.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: mrbiscoop on February 20, 2011, 12:41:26 PM
Sorry, but wrong again.

One of the most prominent examples would be David Mills, who tried to organize a protest against a faith healer coming to his town (in the US I might add). He knew when it comes to believers having their belief threatened, things can often get quite heated (Have a look at the mailbag for examples).
Naturally he contacted the local police office for protection of the protest against the "Miracle Rally" of the faith healer.

He spoke with three officers. The first one told him he planned to attend the rally himself and would spit in Mill's face if he saw him. The second one flat out told Mills if anything happened and no matter who started it, they'd arrest Mills and his fellow protesters because they were trying to interfere with God's work. And last but not least the third police officer told him to go to hell, that nobody wants to protect atheists and he hoped somebody would bloody Mills up good.
Are you able to link me to a newspaper article about this incident?  If not, why should I believe that it happened?
http://www.amazon.com/Atheist-Universe-Thinking-Christian-Fundamentalism/dp/1569755671/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298223628&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Atheist-Universe-Thinking-Christian-Fundamentalism/dp/1569755671/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298223628&sr=1-1)

This is his book where he talks about this event.
My apologies for the quoting snafu.

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 20, 2011, 01:05:05 PM
Asmoday.....population of all Indian nations in North America in 1492 80,000,000 population in 1944 800,000......The christian nations that took over N.A. took 400 years to do it but the job have failed to do so. eraticating the heathens is hard work.

 for every so called athiestexterminator there is many a christian that could put them to shame
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 01:22:16 PM
Not finding it in one dictionary does not prove it false, especially in the case of the OED, which is probably more objective than most.  I remember seeing "evil" and/or "wickedness" listed as definitions for "atheism" listed in dictionaries as little as about twenty years ago, and it's still listed as such in some dictionaries today, although mercifully the definition is now usually listed as obsolete or archaic.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism)
The original claim was "the fact that a century or so ago, if you looked up atheist/atheism in the dictionary, it would come up as evil etc".  I've now demonstrated that this 'fact' is actually a fiction, exactly like most of the 'facts' that you all are hurling at me.  If Webster lists that as an "archaic" usage we know nothing about when it meant, and it could have been many centuries ago.  I would be interested to know exactly which dictionaries listed "evil" or "wickedness" under atheism twenty years ago, though frankly I doubt that I'm going to find out.  However, all of this is merely another attempt to change the subject.  The video in question explicitly talks about the present and any attempt to discuss things in dictionaries from the past near or far is merely an attempt to avoid defending what the video says.  So, once again, the video says that if I left Christianity I would risk being arrested and beaten.  Do you or do you not have any justification of this statement to offer?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 01:32:29 PM
You asked two questions about atheists being harmed that I know little or nothing about, so I won't pretend otherwise.
Well I'm glad that at least one person one this board is willing to admit that he can't provide any justification for what the video says.  Is anyone else willing to join him?

Quote
You kinda wrong about "any Christian organization from America or elsewhere"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183)
from another source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html)
And another, which includes this quote:
http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/ (http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/)
Your articles do not say that Christian organizations in America supported the bill that was introduced in Uganda.  They instead talk about Christian organizations that opposed the bill.  Which would tend to suggest that I was right.  But in any case, as I already said, that's irrelevant to the topic of this thread.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 01:55:39 PM
I have no desire to defend the atrocities done in the former Yugoslavia or anywhere else, but the catholics were not killed simply because Milosevic was an atheist. The catholics joined and abetted Hitler in WWII, where a couple of million Yugoslavs died. This pissed off the locals. They're still mad. Again, I can't excuse or condone what was done, but it wasn't just because Milosevic was an atheist. There were more down the earth reasons.
Your claim that "catholics joined and abetted Hitler in WWII" is interesting.  I wonder how you would reconcile that with Nazi actions in WWII.  For example, after the Nazis invaded Poland one of their first actions was to have thousands of Catholic clergy sent to concentration camps.  In fact, this happened before the mass roundups of Jews.  In the particular case of Yugoslavia, the Catholic archbishop of Croatia, Alojzije Stepinac, was a prominent leader of resistance to Nazi war crimes and genocide in Yugoslavia, at great risk to himself.  He took direct action to save hundreds of Jews and other victims, while under his leadership many other Catholics also worked to save lives and resist Nazi rule.  After Tito came to power, he had Stepinac arrest.  You can read about Stepinac's history here:
http://www.croatianhistory.net/etf/jews.html (http://www.croatianhistory.net/etf/jews.html)
So certainly your claim that "the head Bishop had been a Nazi sympathizer" is flatly untrue and seems like a good demonstration of the old adage that 'no good deed goes unpunished'.  I also recommend the book The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, by Holocaust historian Dr. Michael Phayer, which clears up a lot of anti-Catholic myths that have spread around the issue.

Quote
And I'm sure there were atheists in there as well, but it was the muslims and the catholics and the orthodox killing each other for religious reasons that caused most of it.
Do you have a citation for this?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 20, 2011, 01:58:25 PM
The original claim was "the fact that a century or so ago, if you looked up atheist/atheism in the dictionary, it would come up as evil etc".  I've now demonstrated that this 'fact' is actually a fiction, exactly like most of the 'facts' that you all are hurling at me.  If Webster lists that as an "archaic" usage we know nothing about when it meant, and it could have been many centuries ago.  I would be interested to know exactly which dictionaries listed "evil" or "wickedness" under atheism twenty years ago, though frankly I doubt that I'm going to find out.  However, all of this is merely another attempt to change the subject.  The video in question explicitly talks about the present and any attempt to discuss things in dictionaries from the past near or far is merely an attempt to avoid defending what the video says.  So, once again, the video says that if I left Christianity I would risk being arrested and beaten.  Do you or do you not have any justification of this statement to offer?

You do realize that just because the 20th century ended 12 years ago, that doesn't mean it began 20 years ago, right? 1 century is 100 years. A lot has changed. "Archaic" could mean anywhere from 1 century to 100000 years

Anyway, we presented evidence which clearly contradicted your OP. You just refuse to accept it, claiming they're "fictitious internet stories"
Guess what? Fictitious internet stories don't make it on the news. Yet This story (http://www.goddiscussion.com/4755/discrimination-against-americas-most-hated-group-atheists/) and this story (http://www.goddiscussion.com/12038/atheists-are-the-most-distrusted-and-discriminated-group-in-america-a-new-look-at-statistics-law-and-the-military/) made it on the news and clearly show how discrimination against atheism/atheists is occurring in the so-called "free nation of the United States of America"[1]

When someone says that they KNOW little or nothing about it, you claim they are admitting they don't have any evidence. That's called a strawman and it pisses me off. Evidence is all around you. Hell, Bush Sr. himself said that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens of the United States of America, since, apparently, the USA is a theocracy
 1. Read their constitution
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 02:13:08 PM
So, "fictitious" internet stories, as you call them, are not relevant but stories which you'd accept as real (being in the news and all) are not relevant either? Is ANYTHING relevant?
I'm not quite sure what you're talking about here given that you've only linked to one story and that written by the "Michigan State Director of American Atheists".  If you've got a report from a trustworthy source reporting on the events in that case I'd be happy to hear it.

Oh, and some people have said nasty things about you on the internet.  Excuse me while a cry a bucket of tears in sympathy.
Quote
And the relevance of this would be...?
The relevance is this.  The video claims that Christian are only remaining Christians because we're afraid of being arrested and beaten &c... if we leave Christianity.  I've asked for any justification of the statement that people leaving Christianity risk being arrested and beaten.  In return, you mentioned that some religious people have said nasty things on the internet.  That's not the same arrests and beatings, and you bringing it up strongly suggests that you're getting desperate.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 20, 2011, 02:14:20 PM
You asked two questions about atheists being harmed that I know little or nothing about, so I won't pretend otherwise.
Well I'm glad that at least one person one this board is willing to admit that he can't provide any justification for what the video says.  Is anyone else willing to join him?

Quote
You kinda wrong about "any Christian organization from America or elsewhere"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183)
from another source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html)
And another, which includes this quote:
http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/ (http://newsone.com/world/newsonestaff2/gay-ugandan-activist-david-kato-killed/)
Your articles do not say that Christian organizations in America supported the bill that was introduced in Uganda.  They instead talk about Christian organizations that opposed the bill.  Which would tend to suggest that I was right.  But in any case, as I already said, that's irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

I'm a little perplexed. When one article is titled "U.S. Church Lends Help To Anti-Gay Ugandan Pastor", and another one has this quote:

Quote
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

and this:

Quote
One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which threatens to hang homosexuals, and, as a result, has put Uganda on a collision course with Western nations.

What part of that screams "opposition" to you?

I don't post things to back up my contentions without reading them first. Perhaps you shouldn't diss them until you do the same. Or explain in some more specific way why you think "did" means "didn't".

Edited for clarity. Nothing removed. Incomplete sentence fixed.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 20, 2011, 02:39:37 PM
I'm not quite sure what you're talking about here given that you've only linked to one story and that written by the "Michigan State Director of American Atheists".  If you've got a report from a trustworthy source reporting on the events in that case I'd be happy to hear it.

Like my last post?
Also, why is the Michigan State Director of American Atheists not a trustworthy source? If said person was lying, theists would be all over his ass

The relevance is this.  The video claims that Christian are only remaining Christians because we're afraid of being arrested and beaten &c... if we leave Christianity.  I've asked for any justification of the statement that people leaving Christianity risk being arrested and beaten.  In return, you mentioned that some religious people have said nasty things on the internet.  That's not the same arrests and beatings, and you bringing it up strongly suggests that you're getting desperate.

I'm never desperate. Violent crimes start at discrimination and hate-speech. It escalates. First a person/group exercises "freedom of speech", as it is called. Then, since it is not stopped, the person/group actively discriminates against said minority. Then, when that is punished, said person/group actively engages in violent acts against said minority

"Anger begets anger"[1]

As for the actual acts, we have [ur=http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/06/27/indianola-police-charge-16-year-old-with-murder]this[/url] and this (http://atheism.about.com/b/2007/02/21/persecution-of-atheists-for-not-being-christian.htm), for example
 1. Dunno who said it first but I'm quoting Raging Raven from Metal Gear Solid 4
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 02:43:34 PM
Quote from: atheistblogger.com
Theism has managed to kill an estimate of 2,229,074,100 people.

Atheism has managed to kill an estimate of 95,000,000 people.
[1]
 1. Source (http://atheistblogger.com/2008/07/02/death-toll-theism-vs-atheism)
So the best source you can give me is "atheistblogger.com"?  Okay.  Let's have a look at what atheistblogger.com says and what evidence he provides.

First on the estimate that atheism has killed 95,000,000 people.  He gives 20 to 40 million deaths for Chairman Mao's regime in China.  The Black Book of Communism gives an estimate 70 million, part of 94,000,0000 with a small margin of error for the entire history of communism, though being published in the 90's it doesn't include the most recent communist atrocities.  The Black Book is famous for its exhaustive documentation.  However, we should also remember that there have been atheist tyrants who were not communists.  (For example, Alfonso da Costa, head of secret police in Portugal for 18 years.)  However, I imagine that sum total of murders for that group is relatively small compared to the total for communists.  So I'll accept the 95,000,000 figure for our purposes.

Now let's consider his tally of supposed theist atrocities.

The first example he gives is the An Shi rebellion, which he claims cost 36,000,000 lives.  He links to a Wikipedia page which explicitly says that it almost certainly did not cost 36,000,000 lives.  Oops.

He says that Genghis Khan was "an avowedly religious person".  He links to a Wikiedia article which says that we don't know much of Genghis Khan's religion.  Oops.

He says that "Total violence between Protestants and Catholics over disputes of religious ideology in the Middle Ages have been conservatively estimated at 14 million."  He backs this up by linking to a page that says nothing whatsoever about the topic.  Oops.

(Also there were no Protestants in the Middle Ages.  Oops.)

He mentions Japan in the sixteenth century but his link is to an article that says nothing about religion in Japan at that time.  Oops.

He claims that the Crusades cost 9 million lives.  His link that supposedly backs this up goes nowhere.  Oops.

He blames Christians for the death of 100,000,000 Native Americans, then links to a page that specifically argues against blaming Europeans conquerors for those deaths.  Oops.

He says that the Puritans wages "biological warfare with smallpox-infested blankets" and links to a webpage which says nothing whatsoever about that.  Oops.

(Also the smallpox epidemic had already spread across the Americas before the Puritans arrived.  Oops.)

And there are many other "oops" moments on that page, but I lack the patience to list them all.

At the end he gives a "final tally for theism" of 2,229,074,100.  Unfortunately for him (and you) even the phony numbers that he's presented throughout the page do not add up to that number.  Oops.

So, are you still willing to claim that "theism has managed to kill an estimate of 2,229,074,100 people", or are you willing to admit that you got fooled by a bogus estimate?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 20, 2011, 02:59:01 PM
I have no desire to defend the atrocities done in the former Yugoslavia or anywhere else, but the catholics were not killed simply because Milosevic was an atheist. The catholics joined and abetted Hitler in WWII, where a couple of million Yugoslavs died. This pissed off the locals. They're still mad. Again, I can't excuse or condone what was done, but it wasn't just because Milosevic was an atheist. There were more down the earth reasons.
Your claim that "catholics joined and abetted Hitler in WWII" is interesting.  I wonder how you would reconcile that with Nazi actions in WWII.  For example, after the Nazis invaded Poland one of their first actions was to have thousands of Catholic clergy sent to concentration camps.  In fact, this happened before the mass roundups of Jews.  In the particular case of Yugoslavia, the Catholic archbishop of Croatia, Alojzije Stepinac, was a prominent leader of resistance to Nazi war crimes and genocide in Yugoslavia, at great risk to himself.  He took direct action to save hundreds of Jews and other victims, while under his leadership many other Catholics also worked to save lives and resist Nazi rule.  After Tito came to power, he had Stepinac arrest.  You can read about Stepinac's history here:
http://www.croatianhistory.net/etf/jews.html (http://www.croatianhistory.net/etf/jews.html)
So certainly your claim that "the head Bishop had been a Nazi sympathizer" is flatly untrue and seems like a good demonstration of the old adage that 'no good deed goes unpunished'.  I also recommend the book The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, by Holocaust historian Dr. Michael Phayer, which clears up a lot of anti-Catholic myths that have spread around the issue.

I have no trouble finding conflicting information on the web about the complicity of catholics in this situation. But the truth is of little value in a world where folks are killing each without excuse. If the perception was that catholics worked with the nazis, then they will treated like the did whether guilty or not. And most people pulling the triggers will think they have a correct understanding of why they are killing.

However, I can find sources that still insist that catholics were involved not only in accepting and working with the nazis, but also leading massacres. I found a quote from a book called "Hitlers Pope", written by John Cornwell, who is described within this quote as a research fellow at Jesuit College and a devout catholic:

Quote
While some Croatian Catholic priests were executed for refusing to take part in the massacres, there is documentation of participation by others. Informed American Catholics are horrified at Ustasha crimes and the implicit or explicit complicity of the Vatican and Croatian clergy. John Cornwell, a research fellow at Jesuit College and devout Catholic who studied Vatican archives reports in Hitler's Pope, “Ustashe leadership embarked on their massacres with a cruel and haphazard barbarism that has few parallels in history.... Priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres. Many went around routinely armed and performed their murderous acts with zeal … . Individual Franciscans killed, set fire to homes, sacked villages, and laid waste the Bosnian countryside at the head of Ustashe bands.” (Penguin Books, New York, 1999: 249-254)

This quote is from http://www.jasenovac-info.com/cd/biblioteka/wschindley-jasenovac_en.html (http://www.jasenovac-info.com/cd/biblioteka/wschindley-jasenovac_en.html) There were worse quotes I could have used from still other books.

The history book you referred to was written in 2000. The one I'm referring to was written in 1999. So very different conclusions were written at about the same time. If the historians can't keep it straight, then I can't keep it straight. And if I can't keep it straight, how would the folks that thought they were wronged keep it straight?

So if the catholics can't agree on their role and I'm getting both sides of the story from multiple sources, which am I to believe. And if I can't keep it straight and I have no vested interest in the matter, how can people with guns and anger do any better a job. If the perception was that catholics were the bad guys, it wasn't because a bunch of atheists hated them. It was because a bunch of people who thought they'd been wronged by members of the church who hated them. If some were atheist, so be it. That it's not likely that atheists were in the majority is relevant. When the churches and state started getting along a few decades later there was a resurgence of religion in Yugoslavia, even as it was still communist. Atheists don't resurge churches.

Quote
Do you have a citation for this?

In the more recent conflict, you need to give me a citation as to why you believe Yugoslavia was only atheists killing believers or whatever you think it was before I can know how to counter it. All I heard for years was ethnic this killing ethnic that throughout the region, and I don't remember any point where anyone said "It's the frickin' atheists!" So please refresh my memory with some reference so that I can either come to agree with you or counter your points. All I see when I look at the history of the conflict is Serbians killing Albanians and Croats killing Bosnians and vice versa. Every reason I ever saw or heard was either ethnic or religious, with most of the latter being between catholics and muslims. But hey, maybe I saw all of this on Faux Newz and I was misinformed. Lemme know.

Edit: Added link for quote used in this response.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 20, 2011, 03:02:24 PM
Asmoday.....population of all Indian nations in North America in 1492 80,000,000 population in 1944 800,000......The christian nations that took over N.A. took 400 years to do it but the job have failed to do so. eraticating the heathens is hard work.

 for every so called athiestexterminator there is many a christian that could put them to shame
Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't have any idea what you're talking about.  First of all, concerning your claim of 80,000,000 Native Americans, estimates vary but most are much lower than that. (http://"http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#America")  Second, while it's unfortunate that so many Native Americans died it has little to do with Christianity or Europeans or capitalism or the United States or anything.  After millenia of separation, those living in America had no immunity to diseases from the old world.  When Europeans arrived, the diseases spread and many Native Americans died.  Unfortunate, to be sure, but regardless of who was involved the same thing was bound to happen eventually and it could not be avoided.  Some left-wing historians have made up claims that the spread of diseases was caused by Puritans but that's false, see my previous post for details.

Further, I find it strange that anyone would attempt to blame U.S. government action on theists.  Aren't folks on this board constantly claiming that America was not founded as a Christian nation and with "separation of church and state"?  If so, then government policy to Indians was secular, was it not?  Further, at least in the case of that government's most notorious action, the Trial of Tears, the Cherokee victims were Christians.  So that would be a case of violence by a secular government against Christians.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: naemhni on February 20, 2011, 03:12:49 PM
The original claim was "the fact that a century or so ago, if you looked up atheist/atheism in the dictionary, it would come up as evil etc".  I've now demonstrated that this 'fact' is actually a fiction

Did you even read the response I wrote, or did you just quote it and ignore it?

Quote
the video says that if I left Christianity I would risk being arrested and beaten.  Do you or do you not have any justification of this statement to offer?

There have been a number of examples offered to you.  Again, did you even read them?

You know, like most of the people here at WWGHA, I spend a lot of time listening to atheist podcasts.  There's one topic that comes up almost ever time in every single one of them: the struggle with trying to figure out whether to tell friends, family members, and/or colleagues about whether or not you're an atheist because there are so many risks involved with it.  It's frequently referred to as "coming out", and for good reason -- we face a lot of the same potential consequences as gays do when they do the same thing.

Some people really don't face any risks by being openly atheist, and as I said before and will say again: if you truly believe that you would be one of them, then more power to you.  Most of us, however, are not so fortunate.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 20, 2011, 03:20:38 PM
Asmoday.....population of all Indian nations in North America in 1492 80,000,000 population in 1944 800,000......The christian nations that took over N.A. took 400 years to do it but the job have failed to do so. eraticating the heathens is hard work.

 for every so called athiestexterminator there is many a christian that could put them to shame
Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't have any idea what you're talking about.  First of all, concerning your claim of 80,000,000 Native Americans, estimates vary but most are much lower than that. (http://"http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#America")  Second, while it's unfortunate that so many Native Americans died it has little to do with Christianity or Europeans or capitalism or the United States or anything.  After millenia of separation, those living in America had no immunity to diseases from the old world.  When Europeans arrived, the diseases spread and many Native Americans died.  Unfortunate, to be sure, but regardless of who was involved the same thing was bound to happen eventually and it could not be avoided.  Some left-wing historians have made up claims that the spread of diseases was caused by Puritans but that's false, see my previous post for details.

Further, I find it strange that anyone would attempt to blame U.S. government action on theists.  Aren't folks on this board constantly claiming that America was not founded as a Christian nation and with "separation of church and state"?  If so, then government policy to Indians was secular, was it not?  Further, at least in the case of that government's most notorious action, the Trial of Tears, the Cherokee victims were Christians.  So that would be a case of violence by a secular government against Christians.
You sir are an IDIOT

here is just a little taste

http://www.hiddenfromhistory.org/ (http://www.hiddenfromhistory.org/)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 20, 2011, 05:49:04 PM
The first example he gives is the An Shi rebellion, which he claims cost 36,000,000 lives.  He links to a Wikipedia page which explicitly says that it almost certainly did not cost 36,000,000 lives.  Oops.

Liar, liar, pants on fire
Quote from: Wikipedia
The rebellion spanned the reigns of three emperors, starting during the reign of Xuanzong and ending during the reign of Daizong. The toll of the dead and missing, including those caused by suppression and famine, is estimated at up to 36 million,

Oops

He says that Genghis Khan was "an avowedly religious person".  He links to a Wikiedia article which says that we don't know much of Genghis Khan's religion.  Oops.

Oops again
Quote from: Wikipedia
Genghis Khan's religion is widely speculated to be Shamanism or Tengriism, which was very likely among nomadic Mongol-Turkic tribes of Central Asia. But he was very tolerant religiously, and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted Buddhist monks, Christian missionaries, Muslim merchants, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.

So we don't know exactly which religion Genghis Khan had... But we do know he had one

He says that "Total violence between Protestants and Catholics over disputes of religious ideology in the Middle Ages have been conservatively estimated at 14 million."  He backs this up by linking to a page that says nothing whatsoever about the topic.  Oops.

(Also there were no Protestants in the Middle Ages.  Oops.)

Apparently the page which it linked to was moved or deleted. And apparently you're right, I found no evidence of protestants in the Middle Ages

He mentions Japan in the sixteenth century but his link is to an article that says nothing about religion in Japan at that time.  Oops.

Oh, what, you mean this one right here? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29)

He claims that the Crusades cost 9 million lives.  His link that supposedly backs this up goes nowhere.  Oops.

You mean the link that is then redirected to something saying "Sorry, the GeoCities web site you were trying to reach is no longer available."?
Remember that was posted 3 years ago, some links may be missing. I added up the total of the crusades' death toll[1] and it's 85000. Note, however, that I didn't check every single article from top to bottom, as I hate history and there are 7(?) "main" crusades+a hell of a lot more "secondary" crusades so this number is merely a very small fraction of said crusades' death toll, considering some numbers were unknown and I didn't check them all

He blames Christians for the death of 100,000,000 Native Americans, then links to a page that specifically argues against blaming Europeans conquerors for those deaths.  Oops.

And yet, that number remains
Funny how that works

He says that the Puritans wages "biological warfare with smallpox-infested blankets" and links to a webpage which says nothing whatsoever about that.  Oops.

(Also the smallpox epidemic had already spread across the Americas before the Puritans arrived.  Oops.)

Dunno about this and I honestly don't have the time

And there are many other "oops" moments on that page, but I lack the patience to list them all.

Let me guess, Hitler wasn't actually a catholic, despite the "Gott Mit Uns" belt buckles, the "Mein Kampf" quotes etc, theists don't oppose vaccines, abortions, condoms etc

At the end he gives a "final tally for theism" of 2,229,074,100.  Unfortunately for him (and you) even the phony numbers that he's presented throughout the page do not add up to that number.  Oops.

Quote from: Author of the blog
Dear childish idiots,

Somehow some of you have managed to figure out that the end result total doesn't like up with (some) of the numbers listed. Some of you have gone so far as to indicate that children should be able to figure this out, therefore I'm less intelligent than a child. Permit some consistency then when I say that you are less intelligent than children because a child should be able to read the explanation I have provided over and over and over and over and over again in the comments thread.

Some of the numbers have imprecise figures, some of them I did not provide numbers for. This includes estimates of damage done by Catholic anti-condom lunacy, a certain fraction of deaths from vaccine-curable diseases in Africa in the last fifteen years, etc. For some of these numbers you have to actually go to something called a "book" for the end result. But, as I have already concluded that several of you are illiterate, I doubt that this word "book" will mean much to you.

So, are you still willing to claim that "theism has managed to kill an estimate of 2,229,074,100 people", or are you willing to admit that you got fooled by a bogus estimate?

If you're willing to admit you either lied or didn't read any of the articles
 1. Using Wikipedia as a source, only if the numbers were available and only a few of them
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 21, 2011, 09:52:08 AM
I have a question.  What point do you think you are making by saying "atheist dictators killed all these people"? Even if you are right[1], what does that matter?  Are you saying all atheists are evil because of it?   Are you saying atheists are amoral?  Spit the marbles out of your mouth and say what you mean, boy.

He's something for you: perhaps the greatest figure in the history of liberty and democracy - Thomas Jefferson - was an atheist.  So were a bunch of his peers in founding the American experiment.  Some of them were xian.  So what?  It means atheists run the full spectrum of bad to good, just like xians. 

I have no problem saying there are xians who are really good people.  My catholic grandmother is one.  But xianity does not make anyone good.  Nor is it an antidote for being evil either.  Alex, if you are being honest[2], you'll admit that.  You will admit that there have been some xians who have committed horrible acts too.  And all this bullshit about Hitler and Mao killing in the name of atheism, is just bigotry on your part.  You are just trying to reinforce a lie you have been told.  You are nurturing your own prejudice.

I really hate when discussions turn into arguments about body counts or whether dictator xyz was an atheist or what it means to kill in the name of a religion.  It's a stupid, meaningless argument.  "My dad is bigger than your dad".  It too is easy to get dragged into those arguments.  Avoid them if you can.




 
 1. and I do not think you are
 2. and I'm not holding my breath, because so far you've been a total douchebag about absolutely everything
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 11:45:00 AM
Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't have any idea what you're talking about.  First of all, concerning your claim of 80,000,000 Native Americans, estimates vary but most are much lower than that. (http://"http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#America")  Second, while it's unfortunate that so many Native Americans died it has little to do with Christianity or Europeans or capitalism or the United States or anything.  After millenia of separation, those living in America had no immunity to diseases from the old world.  When Europeans arrived, the diseases spread and many Native Americans died.  Unfortunate, to be sure, but regardless of who was involved the same thing was bound to happen eventually and it could not be avoided.  Some left-wing historians have made up claims that the spread of diseases was caused by Puritans but that's false, see my previous post for details.

Further, I find it strange that anyone would attempt to blame U.S. government action on theists.  Aren't folks on this board constantly claiming that America was not founded as a Christian nation and with "separation of church and state"?  If so, then government policy to Indians was secular, was it not?  Further, at least in the case of that government's most notorious action, the Trial of Tears, the Cherokee victims were Christians.  So that would be a case of violence by a secular government against Christians.
You sir are an IDIOT
I love you too.
Quote
here is just a little taste

http://www.hiddenfromhistory.org/ (http://www.hiddenfromhistory.org/)
So what's you're point?  Are you actually willing to answer any of the objections that I made to your argument or just toss up irrelevant links and then run away and hide?  Your first post claimed that "theist exterminators" killed 100,000,000 Native Americans.  Do you any credible source to back this up, or are you just going to avoid admitting that you got caught lying by calling me an idiot again?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 12:20:25 PM
The first example he gives is the An Shi rebellion, which he claims cost 36,000,000 lives.  He links to a Wikipedia page which explicitly says that it almost certainly did not cost 36,000,000 lives.  Oops.

Liar, liar, pants on fire
Quote from: Wikipedia
The rebellion spanned the reigns of three emperors, starting during the reign of Xuanzong and ending during the reign of Daizong. The toll of the dead and missing, including those caused by suppression and famine, is estimated at up to 36 million,

Oops
Let's look at that Wikipedia article in a little bit more detail, shall we?  You quoted one sentence from a certain paragraph but--for reasons that I can't imagine--failed to quote the ending sentence of that same paragraph, which is this: "However the numbers recorded on the registers do not necessarily reflect actual population loss due to the breakdown of the census system during the war".  In addition, the source that Wikipedia itself gives for the 36 million figure actually says this: "Many historians have affirmed that 36 million lives were lost as a result of the violent event, but Fitzgerald and others have shown that this is incredible.  Even if such a huge loss were conceivable, it would be naive to suppose that an accurate count could be carried out".  So in summary, I was right about what the Wikipedia article said, while you tried to mislead by highly selective quoting.  Further, the Wikipedia article itself was wrong and the cited source actually confirms my statement.

Quote
Oops again
Quote from: Wikipedia
Genghis Khan's religion is widely speculated to be Shamanism or Tengriism, which was very likely among nomadic Mongol-Turkic tribes of Central Asia. But he was very tolerant religiously, and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted Buddhist monks, Christian missionaries, Muslim merchants, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.
So we don't know exactly which religion Genghis Khan had... But we do know he had one
How exactly do we know that?  Wikipedia says its "widely speculated" that the he followed Shamanism or Tengriism (neither having much to do with how any of us would understand religion).  Speculation is different from knowing.  At least that's how I see it; perhaps you atheists have decided that anything you speculate is a proven fact.

Quote
Oh, what, you mean this one right here? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29)
That article makes no mention of religion other than saying that there were Buddhist monks in Korea who resisted Japanese invasion and that the Japanese sacked Buddhist Temples.  However, the article that "atheistblogger" linked to about the traditional position of the Emperor was the one supposed to proved that the emperor in the 16th century thought himself a God, but didn't actually prove any such thing.

Quote
Remember that was posted 3 years ago, some links may be missing. I added up the total of the crusades' death toll[1] and it's 85000. Note, however, that I didn't check every single article from top to bottom, as I hate history and there are 7(?) "main" crusades+a hell of a lot more "secondary" crusades so this number is merely a very small fraction of said crusades' death toll, considering some numbers were unknown and I didn't check them all
 1. Using Wikipedia as a source, only if the numbers were available and only a few of them
If he said 9,000,000 and the real number is 85,000 then he was off by more than 99%, which is bad even by atheist standards.  Even supposing the death toll was twice the 85,000 you found, your blogger would still be utterly wrong.
Quote
And yet, that number remains
Funny how that works
What exactly are you trying to say here?  First, if you're trying to say that one hundred million Native Americans died, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim and gives average estimates of a vastly smaller number.  Second, if you're trying to say that Europeans were responsible for these deaths, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim as well.  So why don't you be very clear about what exactly you're trying to say here?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 21, 2011, 12:47:15 PM
Facts are facts............people with theist ideologies kill heathens because God tells them to.....your history books white wash it all away,They made Hitler and Stalin look like ametuers
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 21, 2011, 12:50:08 PM
My number was 80 million.........turns out its 60 million,,,,,,,,,,but genocide is genocide
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 02:00:03 PM
I can link you to his book, which you could have found out for yourself if you had cared to look for it.

Why should you believe it? You don't have to. Keep your fingers in your ears if you like.

Again, you don't have to. It sure is easier for you to believe that all the atheists giving you examples just like this one or talking about their life are all making it up.
Making things up seems to be in the water around here.  Consider the case of Archbishop Stepinac, already discussed.  He waged a heroic resistance campaign against the Nazis, but some folks are wedded to the idea that the Catholic Church aided the Nazis, hence someone in this very thread chose to call him a "Nazi sympathizer or even worse".  One such statement might be a mistake, but after the entire thread and many others--not to mention the videos that GII posts and the website itself--overflow with such lies you guys just lose credibility.  However, suppose for the sake of argument that I accept that all this annecdote of abuse against atheists is true, and that the person telling it presented it honestly without leaving out any details that might affect how we interpret it.  Where does that get you?  Nowhere.  Let's recall the basic logic of the video.  The video maker begins by claiming that Jesus must be insane because of the gospel message of universal love and other things.  He concludes by saying that the real reason why I'm a Christian is because I fear being arrest, beaten, &c... by Christians if I cease to be one.  (Some have argued that the 'you' doesn't address me personally but instead a general audience, but that only makes the video's claims even more absurd.)  The video would only make any sense if most or all Christians faced a constant threat of being arrested and beaten for leaving Christianity.  As we do not, scattered once-or-twice-a-decade annecdotes would do nothing to justify the video even if those annecdotes were true.  Further, even supposing that my religious decision was motivated by fear of being arrested and killed, I--as an American alive today--would face a much greater threat of violence for maintaining my Christian faith than leaving it.  I have alreadly linked to a Washington Times article about the cases of Robert Freeman, Frank Lay, and MAry Allen as one example.  One might also mention the eight Christian students shot while praying at Heath High School and many other incidents (http://"http://articles.cnn.com/1997-12-02/us/9712_02_school.shooting.on_1_gun-with-one-bullet-random-shooting-bang?_s=PM:US").  If the claim that Christians are under widespread risk of arrest and beatings whenever we leave our faith is not true, then the entire video becomes gibberish and the maker, despite his smug attitude of intellectual superiority, looks like a doofus.

So, once again, would anyone like to defend what the video says about the fact that I'm only refusing to leave Christianity because of fear of being arrested and beaten?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 21, 2011, 03:04:26 PM
there is true history,,,,and history told by the victors,written down
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 21, 2011, 03:06:17 PM
I can hardly believe so many words were wasted on such a preposterously stupid OP.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 21, 2011, 03:17:56 PM
I can hardly believe so many words were wasted on such a preposterously stupid OP.

Given Alex's history with us.This was to be expected.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 21, 2011, 03:29:42 PM
Let me rephrase that for clarity.

I can hardly believe the atheist members of this forum have wasted so many words in response to such a preposterously stupid OP.

To each his own, I suppose.

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 03:36:59 PM
I have a question.  What point do you think you are making by saying "atheist dictators killed all these people"? Even if you are right[1], what does that matter?  Are you saying all atheists are evil because of it?   Are you saying atheists are amoral?  Spit the marbles out of your mouth and say what you mean, boy.
 1. and I do not think you are
Well I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in.  Recall in the OP I said that I wanted to discuss a particular video.  Others tried to throw the discussion off with claims about, for instance, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, saying that it was an example of violence by Christians, at which point I had to respond that the war was started by an atheist dictator intent on violently persecuting Christians and Muslims.  (At which somebody tried to mitigate it with a claim that the Catholics collaborated with the Nazis during WWII, so I had to debunk that as well.  Similarly Blaziken posted a non-sequiter claim that theists had killed 2,229,704,100 people based on a claim that an atheist blogger made up, and I debunked that at well.  So if you don't want to have discussions about historical atrocities, don't complain to be; instead complain to your fellow atheists who keep trying to talk about that as a means of avoiding the OP.

But now, since we both agree that this thread should not be about historical issues, let's get back to what it should be about.  The video claims that the only reason why I (or alternately Christians in the modern-day USA generally) only remain Christians because we're afraid of being beaten or arrested if we leave Christianity.  I, on the other, believe that this claim is false.  Who is right: the video maker or myself?  This is a simple question, and one of us must be right while the other is wrong.  Which of us do you think is right and which of us do you think is wrong, and if you choose the video maker then what justification do you offer?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 03:39:01 PM
My number was 80 million.........turns out its 60 million,,,,,,,,,,but genocide is genocide
I don't think I've ever seen four punctuation errors in one sentence before.  Wow.  Nonetheless, you still haven't asnwered my question.  If you claim that sixty million Native Americans were killed in genocide, what evidence do you offer?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 03:47:49 PM
Evidence is all around you. Hell, Bush Sr. himself said that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens of the United States of America, since, apparently, the USA is a theocracy
George Bush never said any such thing.  You've been suckered by a well-known fake once again.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 21, 2011, 03:55:46 PM
He didn't? Well I guess this (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#) is fake, then?

Quote
George H. W. Bush
No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.… I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 21, 2011, 04:09:15 PM
He didn't? Well I guess this (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#) is fake, then?
Yes, it's fake.  As the creator of the well-known reference page snopes.com has documented, the quote was first "reported" by Robert Sherman in American Atheist magazine over a year after the date when Bush was supposed to have said it, Sherman can provide not explanation of why he waited so long to "report" it, and none of the dozens of other people at the press conference in question remember Bush saying that or anything like it.  Even the Wikiquote page you linked to puts it as "attributed" rather than "sourced", meaning no good verification of it exists.  Further, since so many atheists define their identity through phony claims of victimization, it makes perfect sense that someone trying to harm him would try to take advantage of that bias by making up such a quote right before the election.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 21, 2011, 04:19:07 PM
He didn't? Well I guess this (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#) is fake, then?
Yes, it's fake.  As the creator of the well-known reference page snopes.com has documented, the quote was first "reported" by Robert Sherman in American Atheist magazine over a year after the date when Bush was supposed to have said it, Sherman can provide not explanation of why he waited so long to "report" it, and none of the dozens of other people at the press conference in question remember Bush saying that or anything like it.  Even the Wikiquote page you linked to puts it as "attributed" rather than "sourced", meaning no good verification of it exists.  Further, since so many atheists define their identity through phony claims of victimization, it makes perfect sense that someone trying to harm him would try to take advantage of that bias by making up such a quote right before the election.

I'm off to bed now, I'll address this tomorrow if I have the time...
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 21, 2011, 04:48:02 PM
I have a question.  What point do you think you are making by saying "atheist dictators killed all these people"? Even if you are right[1], what does that matter?  Are you saying all atheists are evil because of it?   Are you saying atheists are amoral?  Spit the marbles out of your mouth and say what you mean, boy.
 1. and I do not think you are
Well I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in.  Recall in the OP I said that I wanted to discuss a particular video.  Others tried to throw the discussion off with claims about, for instance, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, saying that it was an example of violence by Christians, at which point I had to respond that the war was started by an atheist dictator intent on violently persecuting Christians and Muslims.  (At which somebody tried to mitigate it with a claim that the Catholics collaborated with the Nazis during WWII, so I had to debunk that as well.


And then I debunked you debunking, or at least made it clear that a) it isn't clear what they participation of the catholics was in WWII and b) the people with the guns thought it was true, and they were killing catholics indiscriminately, and others were killing muslims indiscriminately, and orthodox indisciminately. And it wasn't atheists killing the religious as you stated, but a whole bunch of religious types (mostly under the guise of various cultural groups, but each clearly identified with certain religions) that were killing each other. Whether you believe the catholics innocent or I believe that some people in WWII were guilty of teaming up with the nazis is no importance. People with guns thought it true, and they were pulling the trigger. Other people with other guns though the muslims needed to die, and they pulled triggers. The atheism part was minor. Most of Yugoslavia considered itself religious prior to the breakup, and it was old wounds and new desires that got people killed, not the rantings of someone who was atheist telling everybody to be atheist and kill believers. That wasn't the case at all.

Quote
But now, since we both agree that this thread should not be about historical issues, let's get back to what it should be about. 

In your OP you took the term "you" so literally that it meant the words in that video couldn't possibly apply to anyone else. And that was the biggest problem. The fact that you live in an open-minded lala land doesn't mean everybody does. And in fact many don't.

Is being an atheist actually as dangerous as being a gay in some areas? Probably not. I've never heard of "atheist bashing". But the problem is this. Any injustice in a country that bills itself as "the land of the free" is one injustice too many. And if there are people in this country suffering because they are atheists, it needs to be addressed just as suffering because of being a gay or a muslim or a black needs to be addressed. That you personally don't get shot too often doesn't mean that nobody does. That you personally don't get ostracized and disowned and fired and hassled doesn't mean that nobody does.

Was the video perhaps worded wrong? Maybe. If everybody thought it was made just for them and nobody else would ever see it and the word "you" was used with a very specific meaning, it could be interpreted that way. If the site was called WhyCantAlexBPBeAnAtheist then you would have every right to be upset that it didn't apply only to you. That's not what it is called.

So my suggestion. Don't take the generic so personal. And don't harass atheists in the process of trying to prove to them they are aren't harassed. It hurts you case.

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 21, 2011, 04:57:24 PM
I have a question.  What point do you think you are making by saying "atheist dictators killed all these people"? Even if you are right[1], what does that matter?  Are you saying all atheists are evil because of it?   Are you saying atheists are amoral?  Spit the marbles out of your mouth and say what you mean, boy.
 1. and I do not think you are
Well I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in.


...At which point you DID say that "atheist dictators killed all these people," is that what you mean?

If you didn't say it outright, did you imply it? Why even talk about it if not?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 21, 2011, 05:07:09 PM
He didn't? Well I guess this (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#) is fake, then?
Yes, it's fake.  As the creator of the well-known reference page snopes.com has documented, the quote was first "reported" by Robert Sherman in American Atheist magazine over a year after the date when Bush was supposed to have said it, Sherman can provide not explanation of why he waited so long to "report" it, and none of the dozens of other people at the press conference in question remember Bush saying that or anything like it.  Even the Wikiquote page you linked to puts it as "attributed" rather than "sourced", meaning no good verification of it exists.  Further, since so many atheists define their identity through phony claims of victimization, it makes perfect sense that someone trying to harm him would try to take advantage of that bias by making up such a quote right before the election.

Apparently you've been told by someone that snopes is always right. Don't know if they are or not. Robert Sherman posted this on his site in 2006 in an effort to prove that it occurred.

http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm (http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm)

He says there are documents in the Bush presidential library that back up his story.

Snopes doesn't even the story right. At first contributors claim it was from August of 1988, and then go on to say reference is made to that quote prior to that. Sherman's date has always been 1987. Not did he address or write about "President Bush" but rather then about the Vice President, which, unless Snopes has info to the contrary, he was.

Besides that, I don't see Snopes categorically stating that it is false. Unless you have a link to provide that goes to some other page than the one I found.



Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 21, 2011, 06:01:16 PM
Well I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in.


...At which point you DID say that "atheist dictators killed all these people," is that what you mean?

If you didn't say it outright, did you imply it? Why even talk about it if not?
Except that AlexBP's claim "I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in" is a lie.

I think Alex forgets that people can simply go back to the beginning of the thread and actually read older posts. He wasn't dragged into anything that would somehow pressure him to make such a statement. That was all his own doing.
So let's just have a look at the older posts.

In my first reply to his OP I said at one point:

You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs).
(no further remark regarding this conflict was made)

In direct reply to this AlexBP wrote:

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was started by an atheist who proudly massacred tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims.  As you doubtlessly know, Josip Broz Tito, who took power in Yugoslavia after WWII was an atheist.  Like most atheist dictators, his reign was bloody, as he killed an estimated 250,000 people.  He had numerous Catholic clergy arrested or killed and he purged his government of Christians.  Tito died in 1980.  His successor, Slobodan Milosevic, largely continued his violent policies, but various regions of Yugoslavia had had enough and tried to break away from Serbia in 1991.  Milosevic, not happy about that, incited Serb groups to start the war.  His tactics throughout were famously brutal and he had a particular focus on cruelty to the Catholic clergy, as for instance when he ordered his troops to rape nuns before killing them.  Anyone doubting the facts can read about his trial for war crimes and genocide at the Hague.

So yes, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was about religious differences, specifically the differences between an atheist madman who ruled by mass murder and Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice.
Emphasis added.

I'd like to add that he was reminded by ParkingPlaces and myself that he completely ignored that the forces of the "atheist madmen" were Christians themselves (just not his favored brand of Christianity) and that the things that happened were by no means the result of atheistic persecution of Christians since all the religious factions had their very own grudges to settle with each other.
Yet he does not react to that. He even goes on to claim he "debunked" the claim of collaboration of the Catholic church with the Nazi and Ustasa regime when even devout Catholic historians after studying the archives of the Vatican are horrified of the extent of the involvement of the Catholic church and clergy in these gruesome happenings.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: jetson on February 21, 2011, 07:59:37 PM
Does the video actually say "might" as the OP transcribes in the first four assertions?  If so, then WTF are we arguing about?

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 21, 2011, 10:01:59 PM
59million.....you left about a million
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 22, 2011, 12:28:20 AM
Except that AlexBP's claim "I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in" is a lie.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

I'd like to add that he was reminded by ParkingPlaces and myself that he completely ignored that the forces of the "atheist madmen" were Christians themselves (just not his favored brand of Christianity)...

Yeah, what about that? All the forces of these brutal atheist dictators are all atheists, or what? I find that very difficult to swallow. What does it say about all these Christians and Muslims that they can be so easily conned into committing horrific, unspeakable acts against one another and against people of other faiths?

I mean, considering that most of humanity claims some sort of religion means that it is more likely that these people were religious, wouldn't you agree, AlexBP? It would also mean that the people actually pulling the triggers and dumping in the Zyklon B were predominantly religious people.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 22, 2011, 07:08:25 AM
He didn't? Well I guess this (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#) is fake, then?
Yes, it's fake.  As the creator of the well-known reference page snopes.com has documented, the quote was first "reported" by Robert Sherman in American Atheist magazine over a year after the date when Bush was supposed to have said it, Sherman can provide not explanation of why he waited so long to "report" it, and none of the dozens of other people at the press conference in question remember Bush saying that or anything like it.  Even the Wikiquote page you linked to puts it as "attributed" rather than "sourced", meaning no good verification of it exists.  Further, since so many atheists define their identity through phony claims of victimization, it makes perfect sense that someone trying to harm him would try to take advantage of that bias by making up such a quote right before the election.

Yes, well ParkingPlaces found it before me (Well done! :D). Wikiquote sources to the website ParkingPlaces indicates.

Also "attributed" seems quite reliable (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wikiquote:Sourced_and_Unsourced_sections#).

Snopes - never heard of it. Did a little research. It's not run by experts as I thought, but by a couple; Barbara and David Mikkelson. So don't know how that can make it more believeable... They search the net themselves for the answers....
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: pingnak on February 22, 2011, 08:02:23 AM
Odd.  I can't find an actual ARTICLE on snopes.com about that.  Just opinions in forum posts.

There is a confirmed one for an official Jesus Day for Texas by HW's war-mongering, torture-loving, profligate son.
http://snopes.com/religion/jesusday.asp (http://snopes.com/religion/jesusday.asp)

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 22, 2011, 09:53:27 AM
Snopes - never heard of it. Did a little research. It's not run by experts as I thought, but by a couple; Barbara and David Mikkelson. So don't know how that can make it more believeable... They search the net themselves for the answers....

Snopes is pretty reliable. In this particular case there is no way to conclude if Bush actually said that. I think it sounds plausible, but I don't reference it because it isn't reliable.

Here's an idea:

AlexBP, if you think that all this anti-atheist stuff is just a myth we have created, I challenge you to put that hypothesis to the ultimate test: You pretend to be an atheist for two weeks.

For two weeks' time, you act as if you are a vocal atheist to everyone you know. Tell your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your parents, grandparents, confess your atheism to your church leaders... Everyone that is important to you in your life. If any of them try to debate your views, debate back as best you can. Defend your viewpoint.

Be bold and fearless, because you know for a fact that no one is going to treat you any differently, right?

You don't actually have to stop believing for this expereiment--you are only putting your hypothesis to the test. After two weeks you can tell everyone it was just a phase and things will be back to normal... Maybe... Or then again, you might have lost a bunch of friends, maybe your job... But it all depends on where you live and the kind of people in your life.

Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 22, 2011, 11:34:57 AM
Snopes is pretty reliable. In this particular case there is no way to conclude if Bush actually said that. I think it sounds plausible, but I don't reference it because it isn't reliable.
Okay. Thanks. Now I know.  :)


Here's an idea:

AlexBP, if you think that all this anti-atheist stuff is just a myth we have created, I challenge you to put that hypothesis to the ultimate test: You pretend to be an atheist for two weeks.

For two weeks' time, you act as if you are a vocal atheist to everyone you know. Tell your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your parents, grandparents, confess your atheism to your church leaders... Everyone that is important to you in your life. If any of them try to debate your views, debate back as best you can. Defend your viewpoint.

Be bold and fearless, because you know for a fact that no one is going to treat you any differently, right?

You don't actually have to stop believing for this expereiment--you are only putting your hypothesis to the test. After two weeks you can tell everyone it was just a phase and things will be back to normal... Maybe... Or then again, you might have lost a bunch of friends, maybe your job... But it all depends on where you live and the kind of people in your life.

Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?

Sounds like a fair challenge. Then we will all get the answers. I hope AlexBP answers...
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 22, 2011, 11:56:50 AM
Excellent idea, Agamemnon. Though I assume he's gone. And I assume he again thinks he won the argument. And he's bragging to all his friends about how he mopped the floor with us. Ego distortion was strong in that one.

Oh well. Such is life. Someone else equally as sure of him or herself will show up soon. Be patient my friends...
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 22, 2011, 12:35:28 PM
Here's an idea:
...
Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?

Flipping brilliant.  +1


Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 22, 2011, 01:30:51 PM
In my previous thread, nobody was able to defend what the video said, so the responses mostly attacked me or changed the subject.  But I'm here to discuss this particular portion of this particular video, so please post if you have any defense of the video to make.  If no one can defend it, I guess I'll assume that the video maker resorted to these absurd lies because he knows that the truth always works against atheism and for Christianity.

I do love when Christians claim victory where none was won.  How amusing to see even more lies trail from their mouths.  Hilarious. 

and if this is the thread that Alex has declared victory in, http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,15728.174.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,15728.174.html)  Well, no victory here at all, just another little Christian who runs away from questions for a few months and then comes back telling the same lies as usual. Alex, did you pray for God to make us forget you and your actions or to make you a better warrior for Christ?  Seems that he's failed pathetically in both.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 22, 2011, 01:34:51 PM
So Alex is gone... I came here to reply to him/her but now I see it would be a waste of my time
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Dante on February 22, 2011, 01:39:16 PM
So Alex is gone... I came here to reply to him/her but now I see it would be a waste of my time

A waste of your time even if he were still here.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 22, 2011, 02:13:36 PM
So Alex is gone... I came here to reply to him/her but now I see it would be a waste of my time

A waste of your time even if he were still here.

Even so, required by the rules if he was still here
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 22, 2011, 02:19:35 PM
He might read this thread, without logging in....?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 22, 2011, 04:22:46 PM
Snopes is pretty reliable. In this particular case there is no way to conclude if Bush actually said that. I think it sounds plausible, but I don't reference it because it isn't reliable.
I think I can agree with that.  It all comes down to whether we place more trust in the word of Sherman alone, or in everyone else at that press conference together.  If we want examples of politicians denying rights to people on religious gorunds, how about Democrat Martha Coakley, who when asked whether Catholic doctors and nurses who don't want to perform abortions should be allowed to choose not to perform abortions responded: "You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."  Unlike the Bush quote, this is one is certainly real and there's a video:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/)

Quote
AlexBP, if you think that all this anti-atheist stuff is just a myth we have created, I challenge you to put that hypothesis to the ultimate test: You pretend to be an atheist for two weeks.
Okay, I take your challenge.  As a matter of fact, I've already taken your challenge for a lot longer than two weeks.  As I mentioned in this thread and others I was raised by atheist parents and was an atheist until age 23.  In all that time I was (a) not arrested (b) not beaten (c) did not lose my job (d) was not kicked out of boy scouts (e) not expelled from my family.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 22, 2011, 04:42:58 PM
Quote
AlexBP, if you think that all this anti-atheist stuff is just a myth we have created, I challenge you to put that hypothesis to the ultimate test: You pretend to be an atheist for two weeks.
Okay, I take your challenge.  As a matter of fact, I've already taken your challenge for a lot longer than two weeks.  As I mentioned in this thread and others I was raised by atheist parents and was an atheist until age 23.  In all that time I was (a) not arrested (b) not beaten (c) did not lose my job (d) was not kicked out of boy scouts (e) not expelled from my family.

Sorry, but if you haven't experienced any anti-atheist bigotry or discrimination then you didn't take the challenge.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 22, 2011, 04:46:24 PM
Okay, I take your challenge.  As a matter of fact, I've already taken your challenge for a lot longer than two weeks.  As I mentioned in this thread and others I was raised by atheist parents and was an atheist until age 23.  In all that time I was (a) not arrested (b) not beaten (c) did not lose my job (d) was not kicked out of boy scouts (e) not expelled from my family.

and because you were lucky, we should believe no one has any problems? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. 

as for catholics who want to work in ERs, they have a choice.  More than they would allow someone who disagreed with them.  Would you accept a JW who refused to give people blood transfusions in the position of an ER doctor?  I feel the same about having a doctor who refused to perform an abortion in an ER where the mothers life depends on it.   No reason to force one's religion on another in either case.  None at all.   Your rights end where mine begin.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 22, 2011, 04:50:46 PM
Alex, I couldn't help but notice that you never responded to the fact that it was pointed out earlier that you directly lied in the thread. In fact it was pointed out twice on two different issues.

Yes, yes, I know what we're all thinking. "Oooh, a Christian lied and when called on it pretended that nothing happened. What a bold defiance of established trends." But let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just didn't notice that part. Maybe he's not actually completely dishonest. Though granted his record says otherwise.

So Alex, anything to say for yourself? I mean something honest, as opposed to what you usually roll with.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 22, 2011, 04:55:14 PM
To take the challenge properly, you will have experienced one or more of the following:

http://atheism.about.com/od/attacksonatheism/p/AtheistBigotry.htm (http://atheism.about.com/od/attacksonatheism/p/AtheistBigotry.htm)

Quote
Discrimination Against Atheists in America:

Bigotry against atheists is not limited to theory and harsh language — anti-atheist bigotry can also lead to anti-atheist discrimination. After all, if bigots are convinced that atheists are immoral, untrustworthy, and perhaps even evil on some level, then it’s only to be expected that they will treat atheists unequally and as inferiors. Unfortunately, the reasons behind anti-atheist discrimination are no better than discrimination against Jews and racial minorities in the past.

Atheists are Discriminated Against in Politics:

Perhaps the most obvious example of how atheists are discriminated against is in politics: people are less likely to vote for atheists than they are for any other minority — women, blacks, Jews, Muslims, or even gays. No atheist is likely to be elected on any level anywhere in America and no politicians are likely to specifically appeal to atheists’ votes by defending their interests. Some even openly express bigotry against atheists, for example President George H.W. Bush.

Atheists are Discriminated Against in Child Custody Cases:

Some may find it surprising, but atheists are routinely discriminated against by judges deciding child custody cases. There is a common assumption that religion — any religion — is necessary for properly raising children and that atheists are incapable of seeing to the religious, moral, and social needs of their own kids. Parents who regularly attend church are given great preference over parents who don’t believe in gods.

Atheists are Discriminated Against in the Boy Scouts:

It is well known that the Boy Scouts of America excludes atheists both as members and as leaders. Not so well known is why: the Boy Scouts of America asserts that atheists are incapable of being sufficiently moral or patriotic to deserve to be involved with scouting. As a private organization this is their right, however bigoted it is; so long as they receive public assistance and funding, however, their discrimination should be as illegal as it is unethical.

This is how I know you didn't take the challenge-- if you had you would have been excluded from the Boy Scouts, since it is their policy and it is enforced. The only way to get around that policy would be for you to have lied about your atheism.

Continuing:

Quote
Atheists are Discriminated Against in the Workplace:

Religious discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but this doesn’t keep those who are prejudiced against atheists from acting. Atheists can be the targets of discrimination like any other minority unless others are unaware of a person’s atheism — one reason why many atheists keep their true beliefs a secret. Very rarely does one find people willing to admit to discrimination, but it does happen because some really don’t believe that bigotry and discrimination against atheists is wrong.

Atheists are Discriminated Against in Schools:

Discrimination against atheists in school isn’t too uncommon, unfortunately, and as a consequence atheists can feel very much alone. Just as some schools have tried to hinder the creation of groups for gay students, some have tried to hinder the creation of groups for atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers. Such discrimination is illegal, but that doesn’t stop school administrators who don’t want to be seen as supporting godless atheists.

Atheists are Discriminated Against in the Media:

When was the last time you saw an open atheist in the media — whether news media, movies, or television programs? It’s very rare, and often when we do see atheists they’re rarely portrayed as normal, well-adjusted people. Gay characters and individuals are far more visible than atheists, which is yet another example of how even gays are less despised in America than atheists.
Atheists are Discriminated Against in Families:

It’s a sad but unfortunate fact that many atheists have to keep their atheism hidden from their own families. Sometimes, not even spouses are made aware that one is an atheist — they go to church if they have to and participate in religious holidays but without really believing and without the ability to be truly honest. They feel this way because some families will simply disown and turn away from someone merely for being an atheist. Bigotry shouldn’t twist families apart like that.
Atheists are Discriminated Against in History:

Perhaps the most unusual place we find discrimination against atheists is in history — or the presentation of history, to be more accurate. There have been a number of known or suspected atheist philosophers, scientists, and political leaders throughout history as well as quite a few freethinkers who remained theists but rejected orthodox religious beliefs. How often, though, do we hear about these things? This is not unlike how the homosexuality of many famous figures is suppressed.

Atheists’ Fear in a Christian Nation:

A common theme throughout all these examples of how atheists can be discriminated against is the fear atheists can experience at the prospect of others finding out about them. The consequence of Christians’ anti-atheist bigotry can be quite severe, so of course atheists will do all they can to avoid revealing the truth. This, of course, only serves to underscore the courage of those willing to come out of the closet to stand up for what’s right and against illegal behavior.
 
Christian Right bigots who seem to revel in promoting anti-atheist prejudice commonly attack these same atheists verbally, accusing them of being anti-American and threatening to destroy the liberties which define America. Why? Because they dare to challenge what they see as improper government promotion of religion. These verbal attacks all too frequently encourage actual physical attacks: atheists who challenge issues such as school prayers or teaching creationism have had to contend with assaults, threats, and vandalism. They may be shunned by their community where neighbors will turn away and merchants will refuse to serve them.

Coming out as an atheist in any manner, but especially in a very public manner, is dangerous and made even more dangerous by Christians in America. They insist that America is a “Christian Nation,” which often appears to mean that atheists aren’t welcome and shouldn’t make waves by demanding equality. For many atheists, the idea of America as a “Christian Nation” is one that instills fear at the prospect of what Christians might do when they have even more power to discriminate than they currently do.

I would be surprised if there were any atheist on this forum who was fully open about their atheism that didn't experience one or more of the items above.

How does it feel to be a bigot, AlexBP?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 22, 2011, 05:06:14 PM

I would be surprised if there were any atheist on this forum who was fully open about their atheism that didn't experience one or more of the items above.

How does it feel to be a bigot, AlexBP?

In the interests of fairness, I have to point out that I fall into that category. Of course I probably don't count since I'm not American.

Besides, considering the record so far, I wouldn't count on Alex being entirely honest with that statement of his, Agamemnon. 
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 22, 2011, 06:33:35 PM
His schtick is getting old. "The video said "you" and that can only mean me personally and in no way could have possibly have been meant in a general way. So since XYZ did not happen to me personally, it never happens at all! The video is full of lies!"
In the same way he answers to the challenge. "I came out to my atheist parents that I was an atheist. They did not cut off their ties to me. It's all lies folks. People who come out to their parents about their atheism don't get shunned or thrown out. You make it all up, people!"

It should also be noted that given how little he cares about telling the truth (as he demonstrated in this very thread) and given his own words and actions in this thread that testimonials on the internet can be dismissed as fake and completely made up right away, I think it is safe to say that dear AlexBP is lying through his teeth when he says that a) he ever took the challenge in any way, b) he ever was actually an atheist (let alone an atheist for 23 years) and c) that his parents are atheists.
(Before I read him gloating how accusing him of lying is obviously a sign that he's "won" somehow: No, not at all. I'm merely applying your own methods and arguments on you.)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 22, 2011, 06:41:18 PM
Snopes is pretty reliable. In this particular case there is no way to conclude if Bush actually said that. I think it sounds plausible, but I don't reference it because it isn't reliable.
I think I can agree with that.  It all comes down to whether we place more trust in the word of Sherman alone, or in everyone else at that press conference together.  If we want examples of politicians denying rights to people on religious gorunds, how about Democrat Martha Coakley, who when asked whether Catholic doctors and nurses who don't want to perform abortions should be allowed to choose not to perform abortions responded: "You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."  Unlike the Bush quote, this is one is certainly real and there's a video:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/)

Quote
AlexBP, if you think that all this anti-atheist stuff is just a myth we have created, I challenge you to put that hypothesis to the ultimate test: You pretend to be an atheist for two weeks.
Okay, I take your challenge.  As a matter of fact, I've already taken your challenge for a lot longer than two weeks.  As I mentioned in this thread and others I was raised by atheist parents and was an atheist until age 23.  In all that time I was (a) not arrested (b) not beaten (c) did not lose my job (d) was not kicked out of boy scouts (e) not expelled from my family.
so athiests Can teach right from wrong is that what your saying?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 22, 2011, 06:51:50 PM
This fellow ain't worth it. If the only thing he can acknowledge is his "me me me" attitude, I'm sort of thinking that's all he has to offer. And he's already proven to be content free.

Not worth it at all.

Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 22, 2011, 07:21:26 PM
If we want examples of politicians denying rights to people on religious gorunds, how about Democrat Martha Coakley, who when asked whether Catholic doctors and nurses who don't want to perform abortions should be allowed to choose not to perform abortions responded: "You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."  Unlike the Bush quote, this is one is certainly real and there's a video:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/)
AlexBP, why are you lying again? And even so obviously to lie and then to provide a link that directly shows you are lying.

Hm...I think I'll just quote something you said earlier in this thread: "Oops"


Coakley was not denying people's rights on religious grounds. She didn't deny people anything at all. Her answer was common sense (something a lot of religious folks have problems with, I know).
People can believe in whatever they want. And if their belief says "Don't do XYZ!" then so be it. But if their belief forbids XYZ and in an Emergency Room XYZ has to be performed to save lives, then they should stay the f**k out of there and work somewhere else. (You can't tell me any nurse does't know prior to starting work in an ER that sometimes abortions are necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman.)

As velkyn already said: Your rights end where mine begin. A Jehova's witness has the right to believe whatever he wants. That includes his right to believe blood transfusions are the epitome of evil. But if a JW decides to work in an ER and starts denying people medical help in the form of blood transfusions his right of religious freedom ends then and there in the second his belief cuts into the rights of the people coming to the ER seeking help.

To say "You can have religious freedom, but if you are a Jew you probably should not work as a bacon taste tester" is not "denying rights to people on religious grounds" either. It's simply common sense!
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 22, 2011, 11:26:46 PM
In the interests of fairness, I have to point out that I fall into that category. Of course I probably don't count since I'm not American.

The video is directed primarily at an American audience, so I would say not. Although, there are some places in the US where atheists are not as actively discriminated against. I've lived most of my life in the bible belt, so I've seen my share.

The fact of the matter is, people will use any reason to discriminate and abuse other people, and religion is one of the most common reasons there is. So to completely reject anti-atheist bigotry is ridiculous.

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheitsHated.htm (http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheitsHated.htm)

"Research Finds that Atheists are Most Despised, Most Distrusted Minority"

Quote
Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It's not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.

The most recent study was conducted by the University of Minnesota, which found that atheists ranked lower than "Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in 'sharing their vision of American society.' Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry..."
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: jetson on February 23, 2011, 12:17:02 AM
This is in response to the video "Why Does Every Intelligent Christian Disobey Jesus".  I already shredded the main body of the video in an earlier thread but I thought I'd come back and shred the ending, which is even more loony.  Towards the end it starts telling me why I choose to remain a Christian, which I find somewhat odd since I don't believe in mind reading.  The maker of these videos seems to be big on scientific testing.  I wonder whether he's willing to subject his mind reading skills to such a test?  (But that's not the topic of this thread.  The topic is a series of five lies that he tells.)

The video then goes on to say that "Let's talk about what Christians might do to you: You might lose your job.  You might get arrested.  You might get beaten.  Your kids might get kicked out of Boy Scouts.  You would be shunned by friends and family."  Well that's a list of consequences.  Let's have a look at whether any of them are true.

1. "You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.

2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.  In fact there's no country in the world where you can get arrested for switching from Christianity to atheism, while their are a number of countries run by atheists where you'll get arrested if you switch from atheism to Christianity.  Cuba and China are two examples.

3. "You might get beaten."  Nope.  Just as with the previous one, there's no place where leaving Christianity will get anyone beaten, but plentiful places where leaving atheism will get you beaten.

4. "Your kids might get kicked out of the Boy Scouts."  First I don't have kids.  Second, if I did, they probably wouldn't be in Boy Scouts.  Third, if I had kids in Boy Scouts, my religious decisions would not get them kicked out.

5. "You would be shunned by friends and family."  My family is mostly atheists.  It's funny that the video maker would think that atheists would be so small-minded as to stop liking a person merely because they changed their religious viewpoint.  Certainly none of my Christian friends would do such a thing.

In my previous thread, nobody was able to defend what the video said, so the responses mostly attacked me or changed the subject.  But I'm here to discuss this particular portion of this particular video, so please post if you have any defense of the video to make.  If no one can defend it, I guess I'll assume that the video maker resorted to these absurd lies because he knows that the truth always works against atheism and for Christianity.

I added some bolding to the OP.  Now, I'm too lazy to go watch the video, so I would like to know if the transcription is accurate.  Did the author of the video use the word "might" in those cases above?  If so, then once again, WTF are we even discussing? 

If the word "might" is in the video, then it stands that you do not understand what that word actually means.  Or do you have some other explanation for why you choose to ignore it.  Isn't it beyond obvious that being an atheist does not guarantee that those things will happen to you?  As I said when I first replied, weak, very weak.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 23, 2011, 01:12:36 AM
I added some bolding to the OP.  Now, I'm too lazy to go watch the video, so I would like to know if the transcription is accurate.  Did the author of the video use the word "might" in those cases above?  If so, then once again, WTF are we even discussing? 

If the word "might" is in the video, then it stands that you do not understand what that word actually means.  Or do you have some other explanation for why you choose to ignore it.  Isn't it beyond obvious that being an atheist does not guarantee that those things will happen to you?  As I said when I first replied, weak, very weak.

Yes, the video does use the word "might" in it, so that part is accurate.

What isn't accurate is his assertion. What isn't accurate is this part:

Towards the end it starts telling me why I choose to remain a Christian, which I find somewhat odd since I don't believe in mind reading.

The video does not tell him why he chooses to remain a Christian. What the video says is (7:43)

So here is something to consider. Could it be that you claim to be Christian because you're afraid of other Christians? Many "Christians" are very scary people. They don't love one another, many Christians are filled with Hatred, Racism, Homophobia, and Violence. For example, our prisons are overflowing with Christians with Christians.

Perhaps you're afraid of what Christians might do to you.

-You might lose your job.
-You might get arrested.
-You might be beaten.
-Your kids could get kicked out of Boy Scouts.


The video is clearly posing the scenario of being afraid as one possibility and asking you to consider whether it applies to you. It is not "mind reading". This is a strawman created by a mediocre Christian who can't support an argument honestly.

Other things I would like to point out while I'm here.

I already shredded the main body of the video in an earlier thread but I thought I'd come back and shred the ending, which is even more loony.

At which point exactly Alex, did you shred the argument? Because all I can see is you putting up fallacies, lying, and dodging questions and then repeatedly getting smacked around with the logic hammer like a red-headed step-child. Then you taking off mid-conversation and not coming back for five months, suddenly claiming victory. Please, I'm truly curious, where was this awesome argument you made? Or is this yet another lie (I've counted four so far if you include this one, and I was only half-paying attention to what you had to say).

Furthermore,I would also like to point out:

But I'm here to discuss this particular portion of this particular video, so please post if you have any defense of the video to make.  If no one can defend it, I guess I'll assume that the video maker resorted to these absurd lies because he knows that the truth always works against atheism and for Christianity.

What is there here to defend? Your argument has no content to it. Your argument is "I don't fit into this category that doesn't even actually apply to me (since we've established that you've never really tried to be a non-Christian, or at least not openly). Therefore it's a lie."

Examples:


1. "You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.

You don't actually know that this wouldn't happen. You're just saying it. For all you know, if you went up to your boss and told him that you were going to become an athiest or convert to Judaism you would be fired. So this is not an argument against the point. To even begin to use this you would first need to demonstrate proof that there's no chance that it could happen to you (which it seems you can't) and then have to show  that the point being made applies specifically to you and not to Christians in general. Then you might have an argument that is somewhat valid.

Again:

2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.

While you can show that this is highly unlikely to occur in the US, the point was not aimed only at Americans. There are countries where you can be arrested for not being a Christian, which I'm sure has already been shown by others, you do not support this position that you take. Furthermore, the video does not necessarily speak about converting from Christian to atheist. Merely from leaving Christianity. So the point is equally applicable if you of another religion being persecuted and arrested by questions (such as the Jews). Again however, this is not addressing you directly unless you can show otherwise. So the fact that it does not apply to you does not invalidate the point.

So there is no real defence to your argument because it isn't an argument. It's an empty set of statements that involved no thought to dream up. I'm still waiting for one of your "shredding" arguments, but quite frankly I'm not holding out much hope to hear it.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: pingnak on February 23, 2011, 04:41:15 AM
While there are no laws on the books to arrest someone based on their religion (although many short-sighted Christians still seem to want to make an exception for Islam), there is nothing to prevent police officers from abusing their authority, bearing false witness, etc.  You know, to uphold Christian values.  Bigotry is a distressingly common thread in alleged cases of police misconduct.  And I say 'alleged', since those kinds of cases tend to 'disappear' after a short bit of paid leave (i.e. free vacation time).

But it's not all bad news.  What's telling in this fine example of positive developments in combatting bigotry in all its forms, is that it needed to happen at all.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/george-washington-institute-for-religious-freedom--facing-history-symposium-in-washington-dc-116678294.html (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/george-washington-institute-for-religious-freedom--facing-history-symposium-in-washington-dc-116678294.html)

Secular folk are not at all innocent of a little bigotry ourselves.  We (for the most part) tend not to remain blissfully ignorant of this fact.  A little introspection goes a long way for any follower of ANY creed, even if that 'creed' is not to have a creed.

Unfortunately, certain people seem to believe that introspection is a 'sin'.  One must follow, follow, follow, and never once second guess their leaders' adherence to their religious ideals, teachings, or their motives, or even their own motives for being such a mute and conformist member of a herd of mindless sheep.

Perhaps that sounded a bit bigoted?

I'll walk further out on the 'politically correct' tight rope now, and use racial examples.

I normally don't care what race/color/whatever you are.  If you came from China or Mexico or France, and speak even a little English, it's a lot more than the Spanish or Chinese or French, or whatever else that I know.  I'm duly impressed.  If you were raised in America and acted more or less 'American', you're just like anyone else.  If I were to move to and live in China or Mexico or France, I would be expected to speak the local language there.  How would I be perceived if I moved there and acted out the whole 'ugly American' way, and demanded everyone address me in English, and understand English to suit me?

If you behave like a retarded racial stereotype, I will similarly be put off, perhaps even offended.  Speak exclusively in your native tongue among your family?  Fine.  I know a lot of folks who could have learned a second, or even third language when they were young, from their parents and/or grandparents, and regretted the lost opportunity to do so.  To speak AROUND me as if your language is a secret code?  That's rude.  Dress as a thug/gang member, and act like a thug, and I am genuinely less kindly disposed toward you.  Is that racist?  Be black, or white, or Hispanic, or whatever, and dress and behave like a gangsta retard on MTV, and it's much the same thing.  You're waving your cultural (or sub-cultural) dick in my face, just as if I had moved to France or China, or Mexico and played the 'ugly American' there.

So when a religious person goes out of their way to BEHAVE like a stereotypical holy roller/fundy/wowser, and gets in my face, it tends to raise my hackles a bit.  You can hail mary and 'Jesus wuvs you' and 'let's pray', and whatever else all you like in a POLITE and NON-COERCIVE way, and I am never offended, or eager to make offense in turn.  But when you're impolitely waving your religious dick in my face, or worse, trying to make our secular, liberal, democratic republic do that for you, I am less inclined to be kindly disposed towards you, and I'm probably going to give you some version of the 'ugly atheist' act, in kind.

In general, I'm expected by religious people to swallow a WHOLE RELIGION from scratch, and the person who is petulantly demanding that I do so would never in their wildest dreams switch to even a slightly different denomination of exactly the same religion...  any more than a gang-banger would change his colors. 

I don't personally care if you keep or lose your religion.  Just keep it in your pants.  And if you go to an 'atheist' site and lay down the gauntlet, don't be surprised when someone picks it up.  Do I go to 'Rapture Ready' or any of the thousands of other religiously oriented sites and troll?  Nope.  But if you post here, you've volunteered to get a special and intimate examination of your religious beliefs that won't be comfortable, and might not all be 'polite'.  Do you walk into a biker bar and proclaim that Harley Davidson motorcycles are 'gay', and expect a unanimously friendly reception?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 11:55:59 AM
In your OP you took the term "you" so literally that it meant the words in that video couldn't possibly apply to anyone else. And that was the biggest problem. The fact that you live in an open-minded lala land doesn't mean everybody does. And in fact many don't.
I have already addressed this point, so I don't see what you're hoping to accomplish by bringing it up again.  It does not matter whether the video-maker intends for "you" to apply to me personally or to Christians generally.  Either way, the video in junk.  It says, concerning Christians who leave Christianity, "you might be beaten" or "you  might be arrested".  Can you show me any evidence that for those who leave are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  Can you show me any evidence that they are beaten either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  These are simple yes-no questions and you folks should be able to give me a yes-no answer.  If the answer is "no" (or if you continue refusing to answer) then the video's claims are absurd.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 12:06:24 PM
Apparently you've been told by someone that snopes is always right. Don't know if they are or not. Robert Sherman posted this on his site in 2006 in an effort to prove that it occurred.

http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm (http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm)

He says there are documents in the Bush presidential library that back up his story.
Sherman says so but he is wrong.  He says "This letter was a clear admission by the President, through his counsel, that he had indeed made the remarks and was not backing down from them."  However, the text of the letter in question says nothing of the kind, nor anything that can rationally be interpreted as meaning that.

Quote
Besides that, I don't see Snopes categorically stating that it is false.
Snopes wouldn't categorically state that it's false unless there's proof that it's false, such as a video.  Otherwise they do the best they can.  As they say, there are many suspicious things about Sherman's claim which point to it being false, the most important being that apparently no one at the press conference heard it other than Sherman, and Sherman himself won't acknowledge this fact, much less try to explain it.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 23, 2011, 12:09:06 PM
If the answer is "no" (or if you continue refusing to answer) then the video's claims are absurd.

False. The ability, or lack of ability, of someone here to supply evidence does not invalidate the video in any way.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 23, 2011, 12:13:53 PM
If you want evidence of atheists being abused for being atheists, look in the forum mailbag. There is plenty of evidence.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 12:22:20 PM
Except that AlexBP's claim "I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in" is a lie.  So let's just have a look at the older posts.

In my first reply to his OP I said at one point:
You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs).
(no further remark regarding this conflict was made)

In direct reply to this AlexBP wrote:
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was started by an atheist who proudly massacred tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims.  As you doubtlessly know, Josip Broz Tito, who took power in Yugoslavia after WWII was an atheist.  Like most atheist dictators, his reign was bloody, as he killed an estimated 250,000 people.  He had numerous Catholic clergy arrested or killed and he purged his government of Christians.  Tito died in 1980.  His successor, Slobodan Milosevic, largely continued his violent policies, but various regions of Yugoslavia had had enough and tried to break away from Serbia in 1991.  Milosevic, not happy about that, incited Serb groups to start the war.  His tactics throughout were famously brutal and he had a particular focus on cruelty to the Catholic clergy, as for instance when he ordered his troops to rape nuns before killing them.  Anyone doubting the facts can read about his trial for war crimes and genocide at the Hague.
So yes, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was about religious differences, specifically the differences between an atheist madman who ruled by mass murder and Christians who wanted freedom of religious practice.
Emphasis added.

I began the thread by pointing out that nowhere on earth are Christians arrested or beaten when they convert.

You then responded "You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs)".  Thus you were the first person to mention Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you made a completely untrue claim that the war was caused by religious beliefs.


I then responded by pointing out that the war was started by an atheist dictator, not by any religious person or group.  That was the only way that I could respond to your untrue claims.  I tell the truth and I'm not going to apologize for doing so.  If you're upset that I shot down your erroneous statement about the causes of the war, tough beans.  You can't blame me for mentioning Milosevic when you're the one who dragged in an utterly irrelevant and false claim about the war in Yugoslavia.
Quote
I'd like to add that he was reminded by ParkingPlaces and myself that he completely ignored that the forces of the "atheist madmen" were Christians themselves (just not his favored brand of Christianity) and that the things that happened were by no means the result of atheistic persecution of Christians since all the religious factions had their very own grudges to settle with each other.
Of course you conveniently neglect to mention that neither you nor ParkingPlaces have provided any citation to back up this claim.  Tito was not merely against Catholics but against all religious believers.  True he actually killed a huge number of Catholics for the crime of being Catholic, while with the Serbian Orthodox he merely purged them from the government, shut down many churches, and drove some clergy into exile.  (The Black Book of Communism covers this.)  Milosevic largely continued Tito's anti-religious policies, though perhaps with a little less vehemence.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 23, 2011, 02:22:50 PM
I have already addressed this point, so I don't see what you're hoping to accomplish by bringing it up again.  It does not matter whether the video-maker intends for "you" to apply to me personally or to Christians generally.  Either way, the video in junk.  It says, concerning Christians who leave Christianity, "you might be beaten" or "you  might be arrested".  Can you show me any evidence that for those who leave are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  Can you show me any evidence that they are beaten either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  These are simple yes-no questions and you folks should be able to give me a yes-no answer.  If the answer is "no" (or if you continue refusing to answer) then the video's claims are absurd.

The answer is yes...

Atheist kid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM6BEGZ-spI#)
Here's a kid being abused by his own mother for being atheist...

Not much of a loving mother, huh?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 23, 2011, 02:29:08 PM
Sorry to butt in, but I don't think he's going to look in the Mailbag from what I've gathered (lurked in this topic back and forth). So, I'm bringing the Mailbag to him. Here is only a bit of evidence of Atheists being discriminated against:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17408.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17408.0.html) <--- Contains some personal testimonials, read through
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17046.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17046.0.html) <--- Some guy thinking he's got the answers, claiming we are idiots
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17045.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17045.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17753.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17753.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17829.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17829.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13158.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13158.0.html) <--- Some nuthead
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13642.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13642.0.html) <--- Another nuthead
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13356.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13356.0.html) <--- Claiming we know nothing (there are lots of those)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12703.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12703.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12706.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12706.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12615.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12615.0.html) <--- Jesus Christ, my eyes
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12830.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12830.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12238.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12238.0.html)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11824.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11824.0.html) <--- Someone thinking he's smart and indirectly calling us idiots
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12121.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12121.0.html) <--- Some guy trying to insult (and failing)
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11012.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11012.0.html) <--- Eh. There's lots of these.

I would post ridiculous amounts of preaching, but I'm already going on a tangent in a few of these (not direct attacks).

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11563.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11563.0.html) <--- Some idiot
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10858.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10858.0.html) <--- Doesn't make sense
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11935.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,11935.0.html) <--- "OH NO WE ARE ALL GOING TO HELL!"
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10480.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10480.0.html) <--- Some Theist
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10584.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10584.0.html)

I could go through these all day. OK, one more, because this one was awful.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10019.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,10019.0.html)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 23, 2011, 02:30:25 PM
I wonder if Tito was upset about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involvement_of_Croatian_Catholic_clergy_with_the_Usta%C5%A1a_regime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involvement_of_Croatian_Catholic_clergy_with_the_Usta%C5%A1a_regime)   I really don't see anywhere where Tito killed Catholics just for being Catholics.  Perhaps Alex can provide some evidence.  and I read this
Quote
In 1966 an agreement with the Vatican, spawned by the death of Stepinac in 1960 and the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, was signed according new freedom to the Yugoslav Roman Catholic Church, particularly to teach the catechism and open seminaries. The agreement also eased tensions, which had prevented the naming of new bishops in Yugoslavia since 1945.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito)

I'd also add that we have more than enough evidence that non-Christians, not only atheists are targets by idiots in the US miltary and happily we have people who are willing to stand up to such nonsense: http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/ (http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 23, 2011, 02:53:11 PM
I have already addressed this point, so I don't see what you're hoping to accomplish by bringing it up again.  It does not matter whether the video-maker intends for "you" to apply to me personally or to Christians generally.

Yes,it matters. Your entire pseudo-argument is based on the assumption that the video is addressing you directly. Unless you can show that this is the case, your initial premise fails. This was already shown before, which I notice you conveniently ignored. It's good to see that you don't let honesty get in the way of trying to make your point. Whatever it's actually supposed to be.

  Either way, the video in junk. 

Makes an assumption that you have yet to prove.

Can you show me any evidence that for those who leave are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  Can you show me any evidence that they are beaten either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  These are simple yes-no questions and you folks should be able to give me a yes-no answer.

It's been shown repetedly in this thread. Your ignoring it doesn't make it go away. It just serves to make you look more and more like a liar. Not that we didn't have a lot of evidence of that. Which I notice you have failed to respond to either. Going by your logic, since you continue to refuse to respond, I'm going to assume that you're admitting to having lied when you were accused of it.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 03:27:15 PM
Quote
Can you show me any evidence that for those who leave are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  Can you show me any evidence that they are beaten either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  These are simple yes-no questions and you folks should be able to give me a yes-no answer.

It's been shown repetedly in this thread.
Okay, finally we have a claim nailed down.  According to Alzael, "it has been shown repeatedly in this thread" that "those who leave [Christianity] are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time" and "beaten all of the time or some known percentage of the time".  Good.  I'm glad that you're actually willing to address my questions rather than dodging them.  Thank you for that.  Now I have just one question.  I don't recall any time in this thread when anyone has posted evidence of these things, so please tell me who posted evidence that a significant percentage of Christians are being arrested and beaten for leaving Christianity and the number of the post in which he did so.  Thankl you in advance.

Quote
Not that we didn't have a lot of evidence of that. Which I notice you have failed to respond to either. Going by your logic, since you continue to refuse to respond, I'm going to assume that you're admitting to having lied when you were accused of it.
Just one minor problem.  When you say that I've never responded to charges of lying, you're lying.  Blaziken accused me of lying in #45 and I responded in post #48.  Asmoday accused me of lying in #65.  I responded in #98.  There may be others that I haven't responded to yet, since necessarily given that there's a lot more of you folks than me, but in any case that's sufficient to show your claim to be false.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Azdgari on February 23, 2011, 03:51:03 PM
AlexBP, my father and his 2nd wife pretty much disowned me for being an atheist back when I was 12 years old.[1]  He softened up since then, but it was a direct and obvious case of anti-atheist bigotry on their part.

It does happen.
 1. Fortunately I lived with my mother at the time.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 03:58:51 PM
I have already addressed this point, so I don't see what you're hoping to accomplish by bringing it up again.  It does not matter whether the video-maker intends for "you" to apply to me personally or to Christians generally.  Either way, the video in junk.  It says, concerning Christians who leave Christianity, "you might be beaten" or "you  might be arrested".  Can you show me any evidence that for those who leave are arrested either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  Can you show me any evidence that they are beaten either all of the time or some known percentage of the time?  These are simple yes-no questions and you folks should be able to give me a yes-no answer.

The answer is yes...
If the answer is yes, then why don't you provide me evidence of large numbers of Christians being beaten and arrested after leaving Christianity?  In your post you accidentally linked to a video in which nobody is beaten or arrested, obviously a mistake on your part, and in any case I've alread explained why I'm not impressed by anonymous internet testimony.  So, once again, I asked whether you had evidence of people being arrested and beaten in numbers for leaving Christianity and you said "the answer is yes", so now please provide the evidence that you were referring to.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 04:15:20 PM
Yes, the video does use the word "might" in it, so that part is accurate.
What exact evidence to you use to support the claim that I "might be arrested" if I leave Christianity?  Please be as specific as possible.

Quote
The video is clearly posing the scenario of being afraid as one possibility and asking you to consider whether it applies to you.
The scenario it offers is utterly preposterous, has no basis in reality, and is merely being served up as a very thin excuse for the video maker to declare that Christians are murderous, racist, etc...
Quote
we've established that you've never really tried to be a non-Christian, or at least not openly
I don't recall any of us establishing any such thing.  How exactly would it even be possible to establish any such thing?  Have you followed me around from the moment of my birth and observed that I was never a non-Christian?  Do you have video tapes of my entire life?

Quote
1.
Quote
"You might lose your job."  Nope, my job has no relation to my religion.
You don't actually know that this wouldn't happen.
Actually I do know that this wouldn't happen since I know the qualification for my job and they make no mention of religion, and furthermore my workplace has employees practicing many religions and none.  So I was right when I said that my job has no relation to my religion, and you were wrong when you said otherwise.  It seems that your mind-reading skills are as lame as those of the video maker.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 04:23:28 PM
1. "2. "You might get arrested."  Nope, I live in a country (the United States) where everyone may practice the religion of their choice.

While you can show that this is highly unlikely to occur in the US, the point was not aimed only at Americans. There are countries where you can be arrested for not being a Christian,
There is no country on earth where you can be arrested for not being a Christian.  There are countries where you can be arrested for not being an atheist, and I've named two already.

Quote
Furthermore, the video does not necessarily speak about converting from Christian to atheist.
If the video isn't saying anything about converting to atheism specifically then why do people such as Lady AmorosaLuckyDulce keep posting long whines about the "discrimination" that atheists suffer?  How is that relevant to the claims made in the video?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 23, 2011, 04:30:37 PM
-Sighs- You asked for evidence. I presented them to you. I even pointed out testimonials. Why are you being like this? Do you not see at all? It's not "whining". I'm not saying, "BAWW, HE HIT ME, SOMEONE CALL THE WAAMBULANCE." You asked for evidence of Atheists being discriminated against. And I bet you just glimpsed and said to yourself, "Hmm, just whining. I am the best person around with the best and most innocent religion around. No one arrests or discriminates Atheists because I haven't seen it happen."

Jesus. It's all about you, you, you. No one else matters to you. Very compassionate and understanding, Alex.  &) I bet if the Christians, or in fact, any other religion at all, were presenting evidence about discrimination from Atheists, then you would give all the care in the world. That's what you are showing me.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 23, 2011, 04:54:26 PM
Alex, as long as there is one instance, there *is* a known percentage.  And even the smallest percentage is too much for people to be doing just because someone lacks the belief in some deity.  I know that there have been posts here in response to the videos promising physical attacks from Christians on atheists.  Should we take those in to account?  Is anything but cowardice preventing such things? 

We know that Christians have persecuted atheists and have persecuted each other for daring to be of not the "right" sect.  Unitarians are the Christian sect that seems to be the focus of most other Christians (http://www.uua.org/publications/pamphlets/introductions/151249.shtml (http://www.uua.org/publications/pamphlets/introductions/151249.shtml)) , though anabaptists, protestants, and catholics are at the focus at various times.  They were arrested, harmed and killed.  This isn't a common thing in recent times, being that I suspect Christians don't like jail any more than the next person, but when they though they had the upper hand, they had no problem in persecuting each other and everyone else.  Do you think that they would stop at their own kind and not bother atheists?  I'm sure that those people had jobs that had nothing to do with religion directly but when found out to not be of the "approved" sect or belief, they were attacked anyway. 

This is what I think that Brain was intimating in the video, however, I do not know that.  I find that considering the history of Christains, "might be" is not too hard to believe and that it is only in countries where there is religious freedom, even to not have any religion that anyone is safe from people who want to force their religion on others and to kill those who do not agree with those people's particular beliefs. 

and I am curious, can you point me to the post that you listed two countries where is was illegal *not* to be an atheist? I'm thinking maybe in the crazier central asian republics but I'm not finding much on the internet on this claim.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 23, 2011, 08:26:03 PM
-Sighs- You asked for evidence. I presented them to you. I even pointed out testimonials. Why are you being like this? Do you not see at all? It's not "whining". I'm not saying, "BAWW, HE HIT ME, SOMEONE CALL THE WAAMBULANCE." You asked for evidence of Atheists being discriminated against.
Actually what I asked for is evidence that people who leave Christianity are being arrested and beaten as a result, that being what the video in question claims.  What I'm getting it's lots of claims that atheists have to put up with nasty things on the internet.  Everybody has to put up with nasty things on the internet and if I felt it would prove anything, I'd link you to some virulent attacks by atheists against Christians, including demands for us to be killed, but that's beside the point.  The internet is a place where people say nasty things to vent, often without thinking.  Saying nasty things on the internet is not a crime and just as well, since if it were a crime, this forum and the associated site and videos would be among the first to go.  But what the video claims is that we Christians are arresting and beating people for leaving Christian (right now, not in past centuries) and I've been asking for evidence that backs up that specific claim, not evidence of nasty internet posts.  I don't think that I'm going to get any.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 23, 2011, 09:31:00 PM
Ok. You want evidence for IRL discrimination. Fair enough, since the Internet is open to trolling.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2009/02/an_advocate_for_atheists_in_ar.html (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2009/02/an_advocate_for_atheists_in_ar.html)
Arizona doesn't allow Atheists to testify or be a witness in court.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20110222/NEWS/110229946/1004/news?Title=Atheist-Arrested-at-Polk-School-Board-Meeting (http://www.theledger.com/article/20110222/NEWS/110229946/1004/news?Title=Atheist-Arrested-at-Polk-School-Board-Meeting)
Arrested for speaking out against prayer in schools, since it's government property ("disorderly conduct and possession of a medical prescription without proof" were the charges)

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/18/2073112/atheists-questions-sheriffs-basketball.html (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/18/2073112/atheists-questions-sheriffs-basketball.html)
The same Atheist group from the previous article were speaking out against donating government equipment to a religious organization. It was the judge's intention to remove basketball hoops from jails and give them to a church. (It is unconstitutional) He didn't listen. This is a related article, so I posted it.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/25659 (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/25659)
Military personnel declaring it is OK to discriminate Atheists.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=downey_24_4 (http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=downey_24_4)
Stories of people discriminated against for being Atheists. (Unfortunately, many go unreported in fear of further bashing, or because some of the media tends to have religious affiliations, therefore excluding stories if they are even reported)

http://www.beliefnet.com/News/2002/11/Atheist-Scout-Booted-From-Scouting.aspx (http://www.beliefnet.com/News/2002/11/Atheist-Scout-Booted-From-Scouting.aspx)
There are plenty of cases like these, unfortunately unreported many times. I have a friend who has to keep lying about his religious affiliation (he is an Atheist) just so he can stay in the Boy Scouts. He knows just how bad bigotry is in the Boy Scouts. You have to have this God in your life and you can't be a homosexual (seriously).

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-dallas/religion-the-workplace-an-atheist-s-battle-against-discrimination-pt-1 (http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-dallas/religion-the-workplace-an-atheist-s-battle-against-discrimination-pt-1)
Discrimination in the workplace.

http://www.atheistrev.com/2008/02/complaining-about-god-in-school-can.html (http://www.atheistrev.com/2008/02/complaining-about-god-in-school-can.html)
Someone speaks out for their lack of belief and is unfortunately, severely punished for it. These types of things go unreported many times (which is why I showed you a link to the Mailbag that read "Christians did nothing to you" (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17408.0.html), because it had personal IRL testimonials from people in this forum) due to fear or just going, "What's the point? They actually believe this is a 'Christian nation'. I can't report this. It's not worth it."

These are a few.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 24, 2011, 11:02:38 AM
I don't recall any time in this thread when anyone has posted evidence of these things, so please tell me who posted evidence that a significant percentage of Christians are being arrested and beaten for leaving Christianity and the number of the post in which he did so.

For starters there's the post ZenZen made above with the video. Otherwise go back and actually read what people have written. If you're too lazy to actually read them on your own, why expect me to do the work for you. As for "some known percentage of the time" if it happens even once then there's a known percentage so that part is essentially fairly stupid.

What exact evidence to you use to support the claim that I "might be arrested" if I leave Christianity?  Please be as specific as possible.

Irrelevant and a dodge. I wasn't making the argument. Jetson asked if the video used the word "might" in it and I was responding to him. This wasn't even addressed to you.

On a sidenote, evidence for this was provided before as well in previous posts. As I said, don't be so lazy and expect other people to do your work for you. And don't be so egocentric. It's been pointed out over and over again that this isn't addressing you specifically and so might not apply to you and your situation. Your ego is a little out of control.

The scenario it offers is utterly preposterous, has no basis in reality, and is merely being served up as a very thin excuse for the video maker to declare that Christians are murderous, racist, etc...

Except that you can't show this. People here have been showing many instances of Christians discriminating and harming non-Christians. So clearly the concern has some validity. You can say that it's preposterous all that you want, but you can't seem to show it. If it has no basis in reality then why are these events happening? Clearly reality doesn't agree with you.

  It seems that your mind-reading skills are as lame as those of the video maker.

There was no mind-reading done in the video. This was pointed out. You're simply making another attempt to misrepresent  what the video said to support the strawman that you've been setting up since the OP. The video simply asks the person watching it to consider the possibility that part of their faith might be motivated by these factors.


There is no country on earth where you can be arrested for not being a Christian.

Yeah, there's no country on earth. Unless you ignore every single country that does it.

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-philadelphia/palestinian-arrested-for-being-an-atheist (http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-philadelphia/palestinian-arrested-for-being-an-atheist)

Also in any country that follows Sharia law it is illegal to be an atheist. So that's quite a few Islamic countries like Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In fact unless you're a Muslin, Christian, or Zoroastrian in Iran you don't even have any legal status. Atheists or members of other religions have to register as one of those faiths to have any legal rights.

In Greece there are only three recognized churches, the Greek Orthodox, Judaism, and Islam. While they don't arrest people of other faiths, people who don't belong to those faiths have their rights limited. And it's actually illegal to proselytize your faith to the Orthodox members.

An example of Greek laws. "Greek Law No 1363/38, with amendment Law No. 1672/39 states: "Anyone engaging in proselytism shall be liable to imprisonment and a fine between 1,000 and 50,000 drachmas; he shall, moreover be subject to police supervision for a period of between six months and one year to be fixed by the court when convicting the offender.""

"The second law requires anybody that is not Orthodox to obtain church licenses from both the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the local Orthodox bishops. However, the Ministry defines different religions under different laws. According to the law, only the Orthodox Church, Judaism and Islam are recognized as "legal persons of public law," and are therefore recognized. The "legal persons of private law" category includes all other religious groups, including Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses and pagans. "

So in Greece we not only have Christians persecuting other faiths, but Christians persecuting other Christians as well.

In Indonesia it isn't technically illegal to be an atheist. But it is illegal to openly express any views that are atheistic.

From article Pascal 345 of the Indonesian criminal code "Anyone who in public agitates in any form with the intention of causing the denial of belief in any religion followed in Indonesia will be subject to a jail term of not more than four years or a fine of not more than 300 million rupiah."

And in case you're thinking that this isn't meant to be against atheists necessarily. This is what Ifdhal Kasim said about the new law back when it was still going through government to be passed. "What's more in the proposed criminal code those who become atheists or encourage others to lose faith in their religion are subject to penalties." Also Indonesia restricts births and marriages if you happen to not be a member of one of the government recognized religions.

http://www.indonesiamatters.com/673/atheism-crime/ (http://www.indonesiamatters.com/673/atheism-crime/)

It's amazing the information that you can find when you actually try to do research instead of making mindless claims, isn't it?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Agamemnon on February 24, 2011, 12:06:34 PM
If my boss finds out I am an atheist and I am passed over for promotion for that reason then I have been subjected to discrimination for being an atheist. And there's a pretty good chance I would never even know it. If my boss sabotages my career, fires me, moves me to another department, etc., because of atheism then I am being discriminated against for atheism.

If my wife divorces me for being an atheist then I have been subjected to discrimination for being an atheist.

If I have a bumper sticker on my car that indicates I am an atheist and someone keys my car in a parking lot because of my atheism then I have been abused for my atheism.

If my best friend ends our friendship because I am an atheist... If my family shuns me because I am an atheist...

If anyone mistreats me because of atheism then that is discrimination for my atheism.

To try to pretend these things do not happen is beyond ridiculous. It is willful ignorance. People kill each other over religious differences all the time. What makes you think they won't discriminate against atheists? Your skepticism has no basis in reality.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 24, 2011, 12:52:32 PM
If the answer is yes, then why don't you provide me evidence of large numbers of Christians being beaten and arrested after leaving Christianity?  In your post you accidentally linked to a video in which nobody is beaten or arrested, obviously a mistake on your part, and in any case I've alread explained why I'm not impressed by anonymous internet testimony.  So, once again, I asked whether you had evidence of people being arrested and beaten in numbers for leaving Christianity and you said "the answer is yes", so now please provide the evidence that you were referring to.

You know - my video was to show you that even kids get mistreated when they "come out". It was no accident, I can assure you...
(And just so you know - there's no need to be condescending - you sound like Mr. O'reilly - and that's not a compliment.)

To add on Alzael's list: Vermont actually have a law against atheism:
"It is illegal to deny the existence of God"

And I don't know if there has been any massmurders against atheists for just being atheists,
However:
Man and wife murdered for being atheists. (http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Religious-axe-killer-jailed/2004/12/23/1103391878844.html#)

And:

On October 18, 2004, Arthur Shelton, a self described Christian and Eagle Scout, murdered his friend and roommate, Larry Hooper, because Hooper didn't believe in God. (http://www.parallelpac.org/murder.htm#)

And just because you are not discriminated against doesn't mean it's not happening.
To follow your logic:
Bones can't brake, because I've never broken bones.
Car-accidents don't happen, because I've never been in one.
People don't murder, because I haven't been murdered.
Everyone likes pizza - because I do!
Etc...

It's "Tide goes in, tide goes out" / "Sun goes up, sun goes down" all over again...  :blank:
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 24, 2011, 01:08:23 PM
As a side-note:
I actually cried reading the murder of Larry Hooper, especially during and after the trial. What the fuck is wrong with these people? (I am referring to the Christians who were taunting the Atheists that came into the courtroom with their crosses and signs.)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 24, 2011, 01:25:18 PM
Also, to point out again,Alex. Your entire argument in the OP is predicated on the assumption that the video is speaking directly to you, specifically. If you can't demonstrate that this is the case then your argument failed right from the beginning. I'm still waiting on this.

It might behoove you to first make a solid initial argument with a solid premise before moving onto others.

Something else that I notice is that he hasn't answered my question about how he shredded all of the arguments in the previous thread. I'm just curious because so far he can't even validate his initial argument in this thread. So I'm wondering where this supposed great argumentative skill of his went in the five months since he ran off last time in mid-conversation.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 24, 2011, 01:59:48 PM
I don't recall any time in this thread when anyone has posted evidence of these things, so please tell me who posted evidence that a significant percentage of Christians are being arrested and beaten for leaving Christianity and the number of the post in which he did so.
For starters there's the post ZenZen made above with the video.
Apparently you didn't notice that I've already responded to that.  As I said already, the video makes no mention of any atheist or anyone else being beaten or arrested for any reason.  Therefore I can't understand why you would cite it as evidence that people are being beaten and arrested when they leave Christianity for atheism.  Further, the video is obviously staged.  If this were a real, spontaneous argument that erupted about the kid's atheism, then would the family have carefully positioned a running video camera beforehand to make sure that it captured the spontaneous argument?  And even supposing that for some reason they did have a running video camera which captured the argument, would they have posted it on YouTube?  Obviously the answer to both questions is no, so the video must have been staged by somebody hoping to smear Christians.

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Otherwise go back and actually read what people have written.
I specificaally asked you give the numbers of the posts in which people offer evidence that those who leave Christianity are being beaten and arrested.

Quote
There is no country on earth where you can be arrested for not being a Christian.

Yeah, there's no country on earth. Unless you ignore every single country that does it.
And those countries would be which ones exactly?  Greece?  As the State Department website  (http://"http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90178.htm") notes, the Constitution "provides for the right of all citizens to practice the religion of their choice".  You cite a law saying that there's a different legal status for churches in unrecognized and recognized religions but as the State Dept. site demonstrates that's a cosmetic difference and all religions still operate freely.  Therefore your claim that the Greeks are "persecuting" any religion is utterly false.  You also attempt to point to Sharia Law to justify your statement that Christians are persecuting people but that runs afoul of one teeny, weeny little problem: Sharia Law is imposed by Muslims, not Christians, and indeed is used in the Muslim countries you list to persecute Christians, not by Christians to persecute atheists.  For example, in Saudi Arabia numerous Christians have been arrested and tortured for the crime of being Christians (http://"http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=940").  Hence when you say that Sharia Law is a means of persecution for not being a Christian, it's like saying that Auschwitz Concentration Camp was run by Jews.  So, know that we know that no one is being arrested or otherwise persecuted for not being Christian in Greece or the Muslim world, why don't you tell us which countries you know of where that does happen?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: ZenZen on February 24, 2011, 02:22:04 PM
Further, the video is obviously staged.  If this were a real, spontaneous argument that erupted about the kid's atheism, then would the family have carefully positioned a running video camera beforehand to make sure that it captured the spontaneous argument?  And even supposing that for some reason they did have a running video camera which captured the argument, would they have posted it on YouTube?  Obviously the answer to both questions is no, so the video must have been staged by somebody hoping to smear Christians.

You honestly don't think religious people can do bad things, do you?

If you notice the start of the video, the camera is being placed on a table. To me it seems, that a sibling or another person, knew that the kid was going to tell his parents about his atheism, and S/he therefor grabbed a camera and started recording at once. The ending of the video doesn't point to a staging - why stop in the middle of it?  :o To me it seems, that the cameraman didn't want to be spotted as the mother came too close...

And how about you respond to everyone else's (?) posts?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 24, 2011, 04:08:53 PM
Ok. You want evidence for IRL discrimination. Fair enough, since the Internet is open to trolling.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/18/2073112/atheists-questions-sheriffs-basketball.html (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/18/2073112/atheists-questions-sheriffs-basketball.html)
The same Atheist group from the previous article were speaking out against donating government equipment to a religious organization. It was the judge's intention to remove basketball hoops from jails and give them to a church. (It is unconstitutional) He didn't listen. This is a related article, so I posted it.
My copy of the Constitution doesn't say anything about basketball hoops, nor about donations of government property to churches at all.  Think about that one for a minute and you might get an inkling of why some people aren't terribly fond of atheists.  Do they really have nothing better to do with their lives than trying to stop kids from playing basketball by force?

Other than that your list does not exactly move me to tears.  You said you'd provide real life evidence rather than anonymous internet claims yet several of your links are to anonymous internet claims and others I've responded to before.  (See post #21)  In regards to the issue of the state constitution (in Arkansas, not Arizona) I fully agree that the biased language should be removed.  However, as the Washington Post article notes, it has not been enforced for generations, and thus is doing no more harm than countless examples of archaic lanaguage from all kinds of laws all over the country, all of which are routinely ignored.  Other than that, we could play a game of 'swap the annecdote' until the cows come home.  You've got some guy arrested in a school meeting (though not because he was an atheist), I've got two guys in Florida actually threatened with arrest for saying a prayer. (http://"http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/criminal-prayer-case-stirs-protests/?feat=home_headlines")  You've got an unproven claim of job discrimination, I've got two churches vandalized (http://"http://www.beacononlinenews.com/news/daily/2752").  You've got the murder of Larry Hooper, I've got the shooting of the prayer group at Heath High School (http://"http://schoolshooting.org/attacks/heath-high-school-west-paducah-ky").  So 'swap the annecdote' is a fun game to play but in the end it proves nothing.

Let's get back to the point of the thread.  According to the video, the Christian viewer is supposed to take it for granted that if he leaves Christianity, there's a serious chance that he'll be arrested or beaten.  Do you have any evidence that would back up this claim?  Not evidence of people making nasty posts on the internet and not posts of people who lost their job and insisted that it must be because of their atheism, but actually evidence of large numbers of people being arrested and beaten because they left Christianity?  Again, this is a yes-no question and should admit a yes-no answer.  If the answer is 'yes', then show me the evidence.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 24, 2011, 04:42:12 PM
I do love how Alex finds his stories so much better than anyone elses, when they aren't.  It isn't against the law for atheists to be athesits but they suffer for it anyway.  It seems that the prayer case you mention is a case of breaking an actual law.  And the motive for the Heath school shooting?  Seems to be at least claimed by some, it was caused by violent video games.   and yes, churches have been vandalized, as have mosques and synagoges.  I'm not personally aware of any atheists homes being vandalized, but I would not be suprised in the least to find my front window broken after one of my letters to the editor that shows I am an atheist.  I do get lovely little letters with tracts in them and claims of prayers for me.  Prayers that always fail. :) 

Considering the evidence that has been presented, yes there can be considered a serious chance that theists will persecute atheists.  How would you like to definen a "serious chance", Alex?  this is not about "large numbers" which you seem to have manufactured.  It is about if this can happen at all. 
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 24, 2011, 04:45:38 PM
We know that Christians have persecuted atheists and have persecuted each other for daring to be of not the "right" sect.
...
This is what I think that Brain was intimating in the video, however, I do not know that.
So the guy was saying that I should stop and consider the possibility that I may be subjected to various persecutions by Christians that occurred in distant historical epochs?  How exactly is that supposed to happen?  Am I supposedly afraid of falling through a time warp?  I knew that you guys believe in mind-reading but the fact that you also believe in time travel comes as news to me.

Why don't you stop right now and consider the possibility that the only reason why you're an atheist is that you're afraid that Robespierre will send you to the guillotine if you convert to Christianity.  Pretty silly idea, isn't it?

(Is the guy's name actually "Brain", by the way?)
Quote
and I am curious, can you point me to the post that you listed two countries where is was illegal

Persecution of Christians in China:

Christian Persecution in Atheist China (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbgDlMmAGaw#)

Persecution of Christians in Cuba:

http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/ (http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/)

I could have also mentioned Vietnam (http://"http://www.persecution.net/vietnam.htm") or a number of other countries.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Asmoday on February 24, 2011, 04:50:22 PM
I began the thread by pointing out that nowhere on earth are Christians arrested or beaten when they convert.

You then responded "You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs)".  Thus you were the first person to mention Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you made a completely untrue claim that the war was caused by religious beliefs.


I then responded by pointing out that the war was started by an atheist dictator, not by any religious person or group.  That was the only way that I could respond to your untrue claims.  I tell the truth and I'm not going to apologize for doing so.  If you're upset that I shot down your erroneous statement about the causes of the war, tough beans.  You can't blame me for mentioning Milosevic when you're the one who dragged in an utterly irrelevant and false claim about the war in Yugoslavia.
At least try to keep up, AlexBP.

Your claim was "I never said "atheist dictators killed all these people" or anything about that until others dragged the issue in." That's the point this is about.

As it is obvious in the quoted parts, your claim is wrong. Not only were you not pressured into making any sweeping statements of that sort but you blurted it out on your own accord and repeated it numerous times (including your latest post).  Which makes your previous claim a lie.

But let's get further into this.

Quote
You then responded "You should have tried that during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a war that was all about religious beliefs)".  Thus you were the first person to mention Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you made a completely untrue claim that the war was caused by religious beliefs.
I don't see myself saying "caused". Do you?
I said it was all about religious beliefs as the three groups fighting this war were / are not so much ethnic groups but their main point of difference is their religion, namely Orthodox Christians (Serbs), Catholic Christians (Croats) and Muslims (Bosniaks) (further explained with numerous sources in the article "Religion and War in Yugoslavia" written by David Jovanovic).

Quote
I then responded by pointing out that the war was started by an atheist dictator, not by any religious person or group.
What ParkingPlaces and myself have explained to you in detail (but which you ignored) is that each of the three factions had their own grudges to settle with each other (based on religious reasons). Weather Milosevic was an atheist or not is of minor importance in the grand scheme of things, as his rhetoric was aimed at the Serbs and promised them their Orthodox Christian Greater Serbia and an opportunity of revenge on the Catholics for what they had done to the Orthodox during WW2 (at the onset of the war in 1991 the state controlled television station broadcasted interviews with (supposedly) Croats talking about their independence, airing remarks such as "Where Serbian blood was shed by Ustasha knives, there will be our boundaries.").

Back in WW2 the Independent State of Croatia on the territory of Yugoslavia lead by the Ustase regime was a clerical fascist dictatorship that aimed to create a "Greater Croatia," emphasizing the importance of the Roman Catholic Church (as an example the Ustase banned the use of contraception and the laws against blasphemy were made much more severe) and the patriarchal family model. Their laws were directly aimed against the Serbs, the Orthodox Christian population. They implemented religious conversion laws directly into their legislation in May 1941.

Those laws were explained by the minister of education, Mile Budak, in his speech the following July:
"We will kill one third of all Serbs. We will deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to convert to Catholicism."

These laws were enacted by the Croat Roman Catholic forces with utmost brutality, going so far that it was even reported to Heinrich Himmler in a GESTAPO report in February 1942:
"Increased activity of the bands [of rebels] is chiefly due to atrocities carried out by Ustaše units in Croatia against the Orthodox population. The Ustaše committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age, but especially against helpless old people, women and children. The number of the Orthodox that the Croats have massacred and sadistically tortured to death is about three hundred thousand."

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust: "Ustasa terrorists killed 500,000 Serbs, expelled 250,000 and forced 250,000 to convert to Catholicism."

All of this was well remembered by the Serbs all through the years up to the start of the the Bosnia-Herzegovina war. It should be noted that one point that enraged the population of Orthodox Christians (A.K.A. the Serbs) the most was that the Catholics (A.K.A. the Croats) upon declaring independence with their Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia took up a flag and coat of arms that was practically identical to the flag and coat of arms used by the Independent State of Croatia under the Ustase regime.

As I have said before, this is by no means a justification for all the atrocities that happened but it shows clearly that your simplistic view of history of an atheistic dictator being responsible for all the continued bloodshed is wrong.

Quote
That was the only way that I could respond to your untrue claims.
Except that you responded not only with a claim that was overly simplistic but also wrong.

Quote
I tell the truth and I'm not going to apologize for doing so.  If you're upset that I shot down your erroneous statement about the causes of the war, tough beans.  You can't blame me for mentioning Milosevic when you're the one who dragged in an utterly irrelevant and false claim about the war in Yugoslavia.
There would not be a problem if you actually had made a true statement in the first place. Not that I doubt you think it's true, but that doesn't make it so.

Quote
Quote
I'd like to add that he was reminded by ParkingPlaces and myself that he completely ignored that the forces of the "atheist madmen" were Christians themselves (just not his favored brand of Christianity) and that the things that happened were by no means the result of atheistic persecution of Christians since all the religious factions had their very own grudges to settle with each other.
Of course you conveniently neglect to mention that neither you nor ParkingPlaces have provided any citation to back up this claim. 
I must say I found it rather amusing that you'd ask for citations when you continue to claim again and again "atheist dictators killed all these people" but you avoid the question "Who did the killing?" like the devil avoids holy water.

Were Tito and Milosevic atheists? They are listed as such, I won't debate that point.

Their followers however were not. The population of the region has always been particularly connected to their particular brand of religion. So much that their religion became part of their respective national identity. Serb, Croat and Bosniak are practically synonymous for Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim.

Peter Black, senior historian at the United States Holocaust Museum: "In the Balkans, religious identification became part of national identity, as expressed through language and the communication of the national myth. Thus, being Orthodox is part of being Serbian."

And here we get back to your claim "atheist dictators killed all these people." How did they do that? Apparently they must have done it all by themselves since the population was and still is religious through and through.

Milosevic, the leader of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, might have been an atheist but his followers definitely were not. They were Christians.
They even received heavy support from their "Orthodox Brothers" in Greece. Going so far that Greek volunteers joined the Serbian forces in the form of the Greek Volunteer Guard. They even took part in the Srebrenica battle and massacre; the Greek flag was hoisted over the town after battle at the specific request of Ratko Mladic to honour "the brave Greeks fighting on our side."

In 1993 the Archbishop Seraphim of Athens had invited Radovan Karadzic where Karadzic proclaimed in a public event: "We have only God and the Greeks on our side."
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 24, 2011, 04:54:37 PM
My copy of the Constitution doesn't say anything about basketball hoops, nor about donations of government property to churches at all.  Think about that one for a minute and you might get an inkling of why some people aren't terribly fond of atheists.  Do they really have nothing better to do with their lives than trying to stop kids from playing basketball by force?

You are not getting the point. Why do they not have a right to express themselves? Sure, it's not that big of a matter, but someone had to speak out for this, because it is unconstitutional to give government property to a religious institution. Religious institutions already don't have to pay taxes. They very easily can get donations from the people, instead of taking some basketball hoops from a prison. Stop dodging the point.

Other than that your list does not exactly move me to tears.  You said you'd provide real life evidence rather than anonymous internet claims yet several of your links are to anonymous internet claims and others I've responded to before.  (See post #21)  In regards to the issue of the state constitution (in Arkansas, not Arizona) I fully agree that the biased language should be removed.  However, as the Washington Post article notes, it has not been enforced for generations, and thus is doing no more harm than countless examples of archaic lanaguage from all kinds of laws all over the country, all of which are routinely ignored.  Other than that, we could play a game of 'swap the annecdote' until the cows come home.  You've got some guy arrested in a school meeting (though not because he was an atheist), I've got two guys in Florida actually threatened with arrest for saying a prayer. (http://"http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/criminal-prayer-case-stirs-protests/?feat=home_headlines") 

And if you read the article, you'd see as to WHY they were arrested:
Quote
"The defendants all admitted wrongdoing,” said Daniel Mach, director of litigation for its freedom of religion program. “For example, the Pace High School teachers handbook asks teachers to ‘embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.’"

This guy, Daniel Mach, Atheist or not, declared their doings unconstitutional because well, it IS unconstitutional to have religion in government (in this case, practicing "Christian virtue" in a public school). The Founding Fathers meant for the United States of America to have rights for all religious groups and people that are of no faith. Government is supposed to be separated from religion. Since the people have a right to protest, of course people made an outroar over the arrests. "This is a Christian nation!" But that's not the case. This is a nation for all religions (and lack thereof), not just Christianity.

You've got an unproven claim of job discrimination, I've got two churches vandalized (http://"http://www.beacononlinenews.com/news/daily/2752").

Why are you assuming they are Atheists? Stop it. The people responsible were idiots. Myself, I would NEVER vandalize a religious institution, and for some reason, I am absolutely sure that an Atheist would not do this (we are not mad at god and we have no reason to vandalize a church). I assume these kids were Satanists. (Ooooo, scary, they think they are so bad. Sorry, just my experience with knowing those little idiots in high school.) Fuck, they could have been any religion. Stop trying to make yourself look like innocent victims, despite the fact that the churches received terrible damages. That's preposterous and they shouldn't be doing that. Personally, I would donate money and go there to help them, rather than pray that the place gets better. Just because I am an Atheist does not make me a bad person. You seem to think so.

You've got the murder of Larry Hooper, I've got the shooting of the prayer group at Heath High School (http://"http://schoolshooting.org/attacks/heath-high-school-west-paducah-ky").  So 'swap the annecdote' is a fun game to play but in the end it proves nothing.

Why do you assume he is an Atheist? He was mentally ill. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting#Possible_motives) Unfortunately for those students, they had to die. Don't use their deaths to prove that he was "Atheist scum". Stop trying to make your religion look like martyrs. Proves nothing? You are so insensitive. I'm guessing you approve that these people who had a lack of belief died.

Edit: I'm an honest person, and I just did more research/digging. Here's more info. on the little brat:
http://www.skcentral.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=3712&pid=81340 (http://www.skcentral.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=3712&pid=81340)

Apparently, he was analyzed by 5 psychologists and thought he understood the consequences, so the "mentally ill" thing in the media was a lie. However, what wasn't a lie was the bullying. He was indeed miserable, but doesn't mean he was mentally ill nor had to kill these kids. Atheism has nothing to do with the loss of lives. In fact, here are notes that he meant to give to his girl-friend: Page 1 (http://serialkillersink.net/images2/carneal2322.jpg) and Page 2 (http://serialkillersink.net/images2/carneal9843.jpg). Turns out he was religious.

Let's get back to the point of the thread.  According to the video, the Christian viewer is supposed to take it for granted that if he leaves Christianity, there's a serious chance that he'll be arrested or beaten.  Do you have any evidence that would back up this claim?  Not evidence of people making nasty posts on the internet and not posts of people who lost their job and insisted that it must be because of their atheism, but actually evidence of large numbers of people being arrested and beaten because they left Christianity?  Again, this is a yes-no question and should admit a yes-no answer.  If the answer is 'yes', then show me the evidence.

I don't want to end up searching and digging even more news stories since you are not acknowledging these injustices. Stop being a bigot.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 24, 2011, 06:24:50 PM
Persecution of Christians in China:

Christian Persecution in Atheist China (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbgDlMmAGaw#)

This article explains as to why China is the way it is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3993857.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3993857.stm)

Their constitution says that everyone has a right to their own religion, and that evangelization is not allowed. Unfortunately for Christians and other major minorities, they suffer because they are popular Western ideals, and as you well know, China is a Communist country... They are not entirely for "free-thinking", depending on what they believed first. Many are pretty much god-less (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_China#Christianity) after so many centuries of having philosophical stances rather than belief in a god. They don't want religions to be able to run rampant. They are Communist; they don't want certain ideals to run rampant overall, which is why it's not a political foundation of choice in the world. It doesn't imply that Atheists are evil. I don't approve of their behavior. China has one of the worst human rights problems in the world, but as you know, they are almost fit enough to become a super-power and we must negotiate with them economically and all, regardless of their Communist outlooks. I've never seen what's so great about Communism; it just leaves people jailed and believing ONLY what is "appropriate", and that is purely subjective and no one should be doing that. That's why the USA has an issue with dealing with China, things like these.

You know what's weird though? The Chinese constitution claims that there is religious freedom and that believing in a deity/deities is not illegal, when clearly, there's problems with this "religious freedom" claim and arrests have been made for believing in certain beliefs. It isn't healthy for the people, and it certainly is not the way to go.

Persecution of Christians in Cuba:

http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/ (http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/)

Communist ideals = disaster. Agreed, correct?

I could have also mentioned Vietnam (http://"http://www.persecution.net/vietnam.htm") or a number of other countries.

Communism in Vietnam is very unfortunate. And I am sure other countries are unfortunate as well. Can we at least agree on one thing and that is that Communism is just not right and causes severe problems with human rights? Read this. (http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml8341.htm) Unfortunately, Atheism tends to be "the way to go" when it comes to Communism. But just because I am an Atheist does not imply that I am going to become a Communist and go kill/arrest/torment people. That's absurd. Morales and ethics (if any) are twisted in Communism. Here's a better explanation. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_communists_atheists)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 24, 2011, 06:46:05 PM
Further, the video is obviously staged.  If this were a real, spontaneous argument that erupted about the kid's atheism, then would the family have carefully positioned a running video camera beforehand to make sure that it captured the spontaneous argument?  And even supposing that for some reason they did have a running video camera which captured the argument, would they have posted it on YouTube?  Obviously the answer to both questions is no, so the video must have been staged by somebody hoping to smear Christians.

You honestly don't think religious people can do bad things, do you?

If you notice the start of the video, the camera is being placed on a table. To me it seems, that a sibling or another person, knew that the kid was going to tell his parents about his atheism, and S/he therefor grabbed a camera and started recording at once. The ending of the video doesn't point to a staging - why stop in the middle of it?  :o To me it seems, that the cameraman didn't want to be spotted as the mother came too close...

And how about you respond to everyone else's (?) posts?
C'mon Zenzen ,we all know that theists who do bad things are not "true believers"
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 24, 2011, 06:52:57 PM
I apologize to both the staff and Alex for still not having replied to his/her posts. However, I have been busy with two essays (one related to PE and another to astrophysics) so I've been kinda busy (also a crappy game I just finished writing on the TI-83+). I will reply tomorrow (it's nearly midnight where I live) or perhaps the day after, if tomorrow I am still busy (doubtful though)
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 24, 2011, 07:27:51 PM
Greece?  As the State Department website notes, the Constitution "provides for the right of all citizens to practice the religion of their choice".  You cite a law saying that there's a different legal status for churches in unrecognized and recognized religions but as the State Dept. site demonstrates that's a cosmetic difference and all religions still operate freely.  Therefore your claim that the Greeks are "persecuting" any religion is utterly false.

I am aware that the constitution says that. However the actual law says differently, and it is a law which is upheld. It is allowed to persist because of the control that the Greek Orthodox church exerts over Greek politics. So just to be clear. The best you can do is to suggest that having laws specifically targetted to limit the rights and freedoms of others who aren't members of a certain group, doesn't count as persecution? Clearly you have a dizzying and marvelous intellect.

This is an article regarding the practice of the laws. http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss4/09.htm (http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss4/09.htm)

Also http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_greec.htm (http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_greec.htm)

Interview with a member of one of the Pagan churches talking about persecution. http://agis10.tripod.com/id9.html (http://agis10.tripod.com/id9.html)  http://agis10.tripod.com/ (http://agis10.tripod.com/)

From Wikipedia:"Greece has not used its laws about blasphemy to protect any religion other than the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the state church of Greece."

"Greece complements its laws against blasphemy with laws against "religious insult". The laws forbid the creation, display or trade in work that "insults public sentiment" or that "offends people's religious sentiments". The right to redress for a religious insult has so far been restricted to Christians."

You also attempt to point to Sharia Law to justify your statement that Christians are persecuting people but that runs afoul of one teeny, weeny little problem: Sharia Law is imposed by Muslims, not Christians, and indeed is used in the Muslim countries you list to persecute Christians, not by Christians to persecute atheists.

This is irrelevant and stupidly so. Yes they are Muslims which does not matter to what is being spoken of. The issue raised, which was even said in the quote was "There is no country on earth where you can be arrested for not being a Christian." The issue that was responded to did not have to deal with it solely being Christians persecuting others.

So, know that we know that no one is being arrested or otherwise persecuted for not being Christian in Greece or the Muslim world, why don't you tell us which countries you know of where that does happen?

I have shown that people are being perseucted in Greece for not being Christian. In fact all you managed to use against it the first time was to say "Well it says differently elsewhere so it must not be true." So you never succesfully refuted it to begin with. As for the Muslim world, this is such an obvious and stupid lie that if I thought you were actually capable of shame, I'd tell you that's what you should be feeling along about now.

As I already mentioned but I can see that you chose to ignore in favour of making this strawman argument, Sharia Law applies the same standards to any non-Muslim. So yes, we have established that people are persecuted for not being Christian in the Muslim world. In fact Christians are generally more tolerated than say, Jews or atheists. Which I also pointed out.

So, did you have a single actual legitimate argument to make for anything? For that matter you STILL have not yet validated your initial argument, which I've asked you to do about three times now. Before you respond to the other points I've raised, do that. Or should I just assume from this moment forward that you can't validate the argument and you're just here to lie, waste our time, and demonstrate your astounding lack of intellectual prowess?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: jetson on February 24, 2011, 08:32:04 PM
AlexBP,

You started this thread, and in doing so, made a very specific argument on behalf of yourself, that does not match at all with what the video appears to be claiming.  Clearly, the video is not making a claim that you will, or have ever experienced any of the things it asserted.  Please acknowledge this fact.

Multiple members have reported some of your replies for breaking forum rules, specifically stonewalling and dodging.  And given the amount of replies to you that directly contrast with your assertion, I have to agree.  Either acknowledge the replies with evidence that they are false, or admit that the things you claim do not happen, actually do happen, and have happened.

Jetson
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Alzael on February 24, 2011, 11:06:10 PM
I'm also still curious to know how you shredded the video the first time. I would really like to know since you haven't managed to yet even make a topic post that doesn't involve severe misinterpretation and several logical fallacies.If you can actually validate your initial argument then at such time that you actually do I will, of course, retract that statement. But somehow I'm not pretty sure you won't. Mostly because of established precedent.

Your topic post in the first thread was just as poor. And you did, in fact, run out right in the middle of that conversation. Which is odd considering that you were allegedly doing so well, but then I guess it's really easy for you to ignore reality.  Moreover you also never established any validity for your arguments that you were making. As was pointed out by Operator_A25 in that thread.

Bringing up other passages in the Bible and asking me whether they are literal or metaphorical is irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

AlexBP,

In your OP You state:

First of all the video attempts to prove that Christians disobey Jesus.  In this it fails because it misinterprets what Jesus said.  To see why we must understand the concept of a metaphor, which is a type of figurative language wherein someone says one thing that's not literally true because it illustrates a point in a vivid way.

Therefore, the question of how you determine the difference between literal and metaphorical passages in the bible is on-topic and fair game.

Your failure to supply an effective and consistent means of discerning between metaphor and literal passages means that you have failed to supply a convincing counter argument to the videos. Your claim of "victory" is completely without merit, in my opinion.

What I think you are doing is attempting to dodge valid questions raised regarding your supposed ability to correctly interpret these passages.

So throughout that whole thread not once did you manage to show that your intial argument had any value. And yet you claim that no one defended against it? You never even made a valid argument in the first place. Actually out of everything said in the video you only even responded to three of the points made in the first place, and you didn't even say anything substantive about them. Your entire post boiled down to "it's a metaphor" repeated ad nauseum. You made a lot of claims that certain things were metaphors but never provided any evidence of why. I suppose this is to be expected though since you've openly admitted to not being an intelligent person.

I just thought I'd point out this obvious series of lies and pattern of behaviour. Now why don't you try and actually do something to show that your initial argument in any way, shape, or form, makes an actual point.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Seppuku on February 25, 2011, 03:49:19 AM
Quote from: AlexBP
3. "You might get beaten."  Nope.  Just as with the previous one, there's no place where leaving Christianity will get anyone beaten, but plentiful places where leaving atheism will get you beaten.

I hate to keep on using him as an example, ex-member here, Goodkat. Beaten by his Christian father because he discovered he was an atheist. The bible would encourage Goodkat's father to murder him, so in terms of biblical values, he got off lightly.

I think you are blissfully ignorant of what happens in the Christian world. India: Christian extremists violently attacking Hindus. Nigeria: Christian churches accusing people of witchcraft, thus beating children, torturing them and even burning them because they think they're witches. USA: many individuals and groups are anti-atheist and persecute atheists for not believing, cases of harassment and even violence, double standards all over the place favouring Christians and discriminating against atheists, e.g. the double standard that it's okay to put up a Christian billboard telling people they'll go to hell if they don't accept Jesus, but as soon as an atheist billboard is put up saying, "There might be no God", it has to be taken down. There's a long list of where atheists are persecuted in the world and an even longer list of where Christians has commited acts of cruelty in the name of their God or because their bible demanded it. Many atheists find it insulting when Christians claim to be the ones persecuted because groups of atheists stand up and saying, "we're not putting up with the shit you deal, so we're going to publically question your faith". This is what this website is aimed to do and of course, I'd much prefer it if theists did question their faith, apply reason to what they believe and not derive all their values from a 2,000 year old ancient script that contradicts itself (do not kill, but homosexuals must die).

Now, I also see many Christians try the claim 'atheism is responsible for acts of evil' (and proceed to use Stalin as an example). I'm going to say, that it's bullshit. It's about as responsible for 'evil' as theism is responsible for the crusades or Hitler's Nazism (yes, Hitler was a theist, not an atheist as people like to claim), but I hear somebody crying, "but the crusades were done in the name of God!" Simple, the Crusades didn't happen because people believe in the existence of a God, but because they believed it was the righteous thing in the name of God, there's a difference because it's their religious text not their position on deities that excused them. Equally, the lack of belief in any deities holds no position on how a person acts, rather, other values that drive them. Humanism is a form of atheistic morality (but is not a part of atheism itself, I'm an atheist, but not a humanist), if humanism encourages a man to blow up a school (not that it would), then it means humanism is at fault, not atheism. Just as if the bible says, "kill non believers" (like for the Crusades) then it is Christianity that's at fault, not theism.


I understand too, that not every Christian is alike, many follow the 'nice' teachings and completely ignore that dark, horrible and bloody side of the bible, probably because they have the capacity to reason that such things are wrong or simply are ignorant that they even exist (not every Christian has read the bible). I say I am happy for a person to believe what they believe so long as it isn't harmful of another person. I have Christian friends, who think although I'm an atheist, I'll go to heaven. They believe their God doesn't only reward the loyal, but also the good. I could probably find fault with that by quoting the bible, but hey, I'd rather encourage Christians to think about morality in terms of reason and not in terms of scripture. I know Christians who love having people, like me, who can challenge their faith, because they believe Christians ought to have a level of reason and of course, it's difficult to start picking faults with your own beliefs if nobody's there to challenge them. Of course, in the experience of this forum, such Christians are rarity.



However, I'll probably say this. I don't expect you'll respond, because it's common place here from theists, but I hope at least you've read what I've had to say. Though hopefully in not using bible quotations, you'll question my claims about the bible and thus engage with what I've written.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 25, 2011, 04:18:44 AM
<snip>

If there ever was a post more worthy of +1, I haven't seen it yet[1]
PS: Still too busy to reply to Alex's posts, gonna go to school now (probably gonna be late after this)
 1. Didn't quote the actual post due to the size of it
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: kin hell on February 25, 2011, 08:46:39 AM
<snip>
>snippage<
a post  worthy of +1,
agreed
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 09:08:18 AM
AlexBP,

You started this thread, and in doing so, made a very specific argument on behalf of yourself, that does not match at all with what the video appears to be claiming.  Clearly, the video is not making a claim that you will, or have ever experienced any of the things it asserted.  Please acknowledge this fact.
I have already responded to this.  See, for instance, post #94, one of several.  As I pointed out, if the video is directed to me personally it is completely wrong and if it is directed to Christians generally then it is even more wrong.  If the video is trying to say that all Christians everywhere are probably only remaining Christians because they "might be arrested" and "might be beaten" for leaving Christianity, then you all would have to prove that that is the reality for Christians everywhere or at least in a wide variety of places.  Even if someone could come up with one or two examples of Christians being arrested for leaving Christianity, it would not justify the claims that the video makes.  Needless to say, nobody has yet come up with a single example of anyone being arrested for leaving Christianity, much less widespread examples.  Why are you asking me to "acknowledge this fact" when I've already responded to it several times?

Quote
Multiple members have reported some of your replies for breaking forum rules, specifically stonewalling and dodging.  And given the amount of replies to you that directly contrast with your assertion, I have to agree.  Either acknowledge the replies with evidence that they are false, or admit that the things you claim do not happen, actually do happen, and have happened.
As I've already said, I don't have time to respond to every post when there are so many but I'm trying to respond to the major points.  With that said, which replies are you referring to when you ask me to "acknowledge the replies"?  Alzael says that somebody has posted examples of people being arrested and beaten for not being Christians, but when I've asked him (twice!) for the numbers of this post, he's refused to answer.  So far we have the following: (1) Anonymous internet claims that people have been beaten by Christians. (2) Claims that Christians have posted nasty things on the internet. (3) Claims by LadyAmorosa that Christians are being denied the right to speak. (4) Claims by Alzael that non-Christians are being arrested in the Islamic countries and persecuted in Greece.  My responses have been:

(1) Anonymous internet claims are not reliable.

(2) Insults posted on the internet are not examples of persecution and do not constitute arrests and beatings.

(3) I've responded to this one and will do so in more depth.

(4) Same.

So which, exactly, do you want me to respond to?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 09:31:32 AM
I am aware that the constitution says that. However the actual law says differently, and it is a law which is upheld. It is allowed to persist because of the control that the Greek Orthodox church exerts over Greek politics. So just to be clear. The best you can do is to suggest that having laws specifically targetted to limit the rights and freedoms of others who aren't members of a certain group, doesn't count as persecution? Clearly you have a dizzying and marvelous intellect.

This is an article regarding the practice of the laws. http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss4/09.htm (http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss4/09.htm)

Also http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_greec.htm (http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_greec.htm)

Interview with a member of one of the Pagan churches talking about persecution. http://agis10.tripod.com/id9.html (http://agis10.tripod.com/id9.html)  http://agis10.tripod.com/ (http://agis10.tripod.com/)
I asked for an example of a country where people can be arrested for leaving Christianity.  You cited Greece as such as example.  How many people have been arrested in Greece for leaving Christianity?  No ambiguity in this question, just give me a number and back it up with a citation.  (Note I'm not asking for examples from several generations back of being arrested for failing to get a permit or violation of the proletyzing law, but examples of people being arrested solely for not being a Christian.

You claim that the non-Orthodox are being "persecuted" in Greece based on two things.  First, other churches are required to get a permit to operate, and second, laws against prosletyzing and religious insults.  However, neither of those constitutes persecution, at least not according to the definition found in my dictionary.  At worst the Greek government shows slight favoritism to one church, not different from what governments in the USA have done for much of our history.  Countless countries have such laws including those who governments are proudly secular.

Quote
You also attempt to point to Sharia Law to justify your statement that Christians are persecuting people but that runs afoul of one teeny, weeny little problem: Sharia Law is imposed by Muslims, not Christians, and indeed is used in the Muslim countries you list to persecute Christians, not by Christians to persecute atheists.

This is irrelevant and stupidly so. Yes they are Muslims which does not matter to what is being spoken of. The issue raised, which was even said in the quote was "There is no country on earth where you can be arrested for not being a Christian." The issue that was responded to did not have to deal with it solely being Christians persecuting others.
Actually if you want to prove that there is "a country where you can be arrested for not being a Christian", then you have to prove there's a country where you can be arrested for not being a Christian.  A country where Muslims persecute people for not being Muslims is not an example of a country where people are persecuted for not being Christians.  Unless you have proof that Muslims in Egypt, Yemen, etc... are being persecuted for not being Christians, those countries are not places where people get persecuted for being non-Christians.  Further, I have already given a link to an article about the persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, which needless to say you ignored.  Here are some more examples of Christians being persecuted in the countries where you erroneously claim that Christians have been treated favorably.

Iran: http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/2074 (http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/2074)

Egypt: http://www.copts.com/english/ (http://www.copts.com/english/)

Yemen: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/persecuted-christians/persecution/persecution-in-yemen/ (http://www.opendoorsusa.org/persecuted-christians/persecution/persecution-in-yemen/)

So your #1 example of a place where people are being arrested for being non-Christian actually turns out to be a place where people are being arrested for being Christians.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: 12 Monkeys on February 25, 2011, 10:29:11 AM
Alex,do you actually think that Christianity is the only religion with a persecution complex? The only religion with martyrs like you?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 10:32:36 AM
I hate to keep on using him as an example, ex-member here, Goodkat. Beaten by his Christian father because he discovered he was an atheist. The bible would encourage Goodkat's father to murder him, so in terms of biblical values, he got off lightly.
And the evidence which makes this claim more reliable than any other anonymous internet claim is what?

Quote
I think you are blissfully ignorant of what happens in the Christian world. India: Christian extremists violently attacking Hindus.
There's certainly evidence of Hindu extremists violently attacking Christians (http://"http://www.ijfm.org/PDFs_IJFM/18_1_PDFs/hh_persecution.pdf").  What evidence do you have that it actually happens the other way around?

Quote
Nigeria: Christian churches accusing people of witchcraft, thus beating children, torturing them and even burning them because they think they're witches.
Citation please?

Quote
USA: many individuals and groups are anti-atheist and persecute atheists for not believing, cases of harassment and even violence, double standards all over the place favouring Christians and discriminating against atheists, e.g. the double standard that it's okay to put up a Christian billboard telling people they'll go to hell if they don't accept Jesus, but as soon as an atheist billboard is put up saying, "There might be no God", it has to be taken down.
Atheist billboards do not have to be taken down (http://"http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/for-the-holidays-an-atheism-billboard/").  That's an absurd claim.  Other than, please provide citations to back up what you're saying.


Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 10:56:55 AM
Alex,do you actually think that Christianity is the only religion with a persecution complex? The only religion with martyrs like you?
No
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 11:05:58 AM
This article explains as to why China is the way it is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3993857.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3993857.stm)

Their constitution says that everyone has a right to their own religion, and that evangelization is not allowed. Unfortunately for Christians and other major minorities, they suffer because they are popular Western ideals, and as you well know, China is a Communist country... They are not entirely for "free-thinking", depending on what they believed first. Many are pretty much god-less (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_China#Christianity) after so many centuries of having philosophical stances rather than belief in a god. They don't want religions to be able to run rampant. They are Communist; they don't want certain ideals to run rampant overall, which is why it's not a political foundation of choice in the world. It doesn't imply that Atheists are evil.
I am glad that you agree that persecution of Christians in China is taking place.  I've never said that it implies that atheists are evil, or anything of that sort.  I merely pointed to China as an example to disprove the video's claims.  According to the video, Christians need to consider that we're only Christians because we're afraid of being beaten and arrested.  Yet in China there are 100,000,000 Christians who risk being beaten and arrested because they are Christians.  If they converted from Christianity to atheism they would no longer be at that risk, since they'd be following the religious viewpoint of the government.  So where's the logic of saying that fear of arrest and beatings causes people to be Christians in this case?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 25, 2011, 11:09:19 AM
Let's look at that Wikipedia article in a little bit more detail, shall we?  You quoted one sentence from a certain paragraph but--for reasons that I can't imagine--failed to quote the ending sentence of that same paragraph, which is this: "However the numbers recorded on the registers do not necessarily reflect actual population loss due to the breakdown of the census system during the war".  In addition, the source that Wikipedia itself gives for the 36 million figure actually says this: "Many historians have affirmed that 36 million lives were lost as a result of the violent event, but Fitzgerald and others have shown that this is incredible.  Even if such a huge loss were conceivable, it would be naive to suppose that an accurate count could be carried out".  So in summary, I was right about what the Wikipedia article said, while you tried to mislead by highly selective quoting.  Further, the Wikipedia article itself was wrong and the cited source actually confirms my statement.



Quote
How exactly do we know that?  Wikipedia says its "widely speculated" that the he followed Shamanism or Tengriism (neither having much to do with how any of us would understand religion).  Speculation is different from knowing.  At least that's how I see it; perhaps you atheists have decided that anything you speculate is a proven fact.

If the dichotomy is between "A and B", and A and B are both religions, then he was a religious man. Once again, we know he had a religion - we just don't know which one[1]

Quote
That article makes no mention of religion other than saying that there were Buddhist monks in Korea who resisted Japanese invasion and that the Japanese sacked Buddhist Temples.  However, the article that "atheistblogger" linked to about the traditional position of the Emperor was the one supposed to proved that the emperor in the 16th century thought himself a God, but didn't actually prove any such thing.

True, I found no reference to such thing

Quote
If he said 9,000,000 and the real number is 85,000 then he was off by more than 99%, which is bad even by atheist standards.  Even supposing the death toll was twice the 85,000 you found, your blogger would still be utterly wrong.

Read what I said. Or better yet, let me summarize it for you:
I don't have the patience to go through all the articles for 15 crusades , finding the part with the death toll and adding it all up
PS: What are "atheist standards"? Is that the same as the standards that make it impossible to have an atheist president in the USA and pretty much every religious country?

Quote
What exactly are you trying to say here?  First, if you're trying to say that one hundred million Native Americans died, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim and gives average estimates of a vastly smaller number.  Second, if you're trying to say that Europeans were responsible for these deaths, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim as well.  So why don't you be very clear about what exactly you're trying to say here?

The people still died. Some from diseases we brought unintentionally, the large majority for religious conquest
 1. IMO it's all the same crap
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 25, 2011, 11:16:34 AM
So the guy was saying that I should stop and consider the possibility that I may be subjected to various persecutions by Christians that occurred in distant historical epochs?  How exactly is that supposed to happen?  Am I supposedly afraid of falling through a time warp?  I knew that you guys believe in mind-reading but the fact that you also believe in time travel comes as news to me.
No.  It is drawing conclusions that Christians can be violent when they aren't believed and accepted by historical *and* modern events.  Events that you have been shown again and again.  You are either intentionaly acting stupid or you simply are.  I haven't quite decided on which yet.  Either way, you are not helping your position by your actions.
Quote
Why don't you stop right now and consider the possibility that the only reason why you're an atheist is that you're afraid that Robespierre will send you to the guillotine if you convert to Christianity.  Pretty silly idea, isn't it?
Lovely strawman.  As I have indicated above, it is not simply an appeal to historical incidents.  I'm wondering do you know why Robespierre et al were so anti-clerical?  It's a textbook example of the problems of the collusion of church and state. 

Quote
(Is the guy's name actually "Brain", by the way?)
Yes, Marshall Brain.  He's an author and he's been on TV.  http://www.marshallbrain.com/ (http://www.marshallbrain.com/)
Quote
Persecution of Christians in China:
Christian Persecution in Atheist China (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbgDlMmAGaw#)
Persecution of Christians in Cuba:
http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/ (http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/cuba-prominent-church-leader-on-trial-17642/)
I could have also mentioned Vietnam (http://"http://www.persecution.net/vietnam.htm") or a number of other countries.
In China it is not illegal to be Christian.  Simple as that. They even have some nice churches.  I am guessing that those Christians aren't the 'right' type of Christians for you.   Same for Cuba.  I have to wonder, do you know what the term illegal actually means?  Evidently not by the links you give.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 11:22:32 AM
If we want examples of politicians denying rights to people on religious gorunds, how about Democrat Martha Coakley, who when asked whether Catholic doctors and nurses who don't want to perform abortions should be allowed to choose not to perform abortions responded: "You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."  Unlike the Bush quote, this is one is certainly real and there's a video:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2010/jan/14/martha-coakley-devout-catholics-probably-shouldnt-/)
AlexBP, why are you lying again? And even so obviously to lie and then to provide a link that directly shows you are lying.

Hm...I think I'll just quote something you said earlier in this thread: "Oops"


Coakley was not denying people's rights on religious grounds. She didn't deny people anything at all. Her answer was common sense (something a lot of religious folks have problems with, I know).
People can believe in whatever they want. And if their belief says "Don't do XYZ!" then so be it. But if their belief forbids XYZ and in an Emergency Room XYZ has to be performed to save lives, then they should stay the f**k out of there and work somewhere else. (You can't tell me any nurse does't know prior to starting work in an ER that sometimes abortions are necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman.)
You obviously are not aware of what Coakley was talking about.  In America we have a conscience clause  (http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscience_clause_(medical)") which allows doctors and nurses to decide whether they'll participate in abortion or not.  This clause has existed for almost 40 years, was approved by almost unanimous support of both parties, and been upheld many times.  It does not prevent women from recieving abortions in cases of medical necessity, but only says that a doctor or nurse need not provide abortion on demand against his or her conscience.  Barack Obama's initial health care bill tried to eliminate part of the conscience clause, and in a debate over that Coakley said that anyone religious opposed to providing abortion on demand not in cases of medical necessity should not work in the ER.  Cases of abortion for medical necessity do not play into this issue at all.  In any case it's moot for two reasons.  First, a group of conservative Democrats overruled Obama on that point in the final portion of the bill.  Second, Coakley lost her Senate race to Scott Brown and it was probably because of her anti-Catholic comment.
 
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 11:34:03 AM
If the dichotomy is between "A and B", and A and B are both religions, then he was a religious man. y
But in this case we don't have a dichotomy between two religions, we have speculation that it might be on or the other.  Since it's only a speculation, it could be some other religion or none at all.

Quote
Quote
If he said 9,000,000 and the real number is 85,000 then he was off by more than 99%, which is bad even by atheist standards.  Even supposing the death toll was twice the 85,000 you found, your blogger would still be utterly wrong.
Read what I said. Or better yet, let me summarize it for you:
I don't have the patience to go through all the articles for 15 crusades , finding the part with the death toll and adding it all up
So what you said matches what I said.  There's nill evidence to back up your blogger's claim that the death toll was nine million.  You've found a figure of 85,000 and suggested that there might be more in other articles that you looked at.  But how many more?  Especially consider that the number of Crusades was 9 rather than 15  (http://"http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-crusades.htm") and the later ones were extremely small campaigns compared to the first, it's highly unlikely that the missing 8,915,000 casulties are located in the articles that you didn't read.

Quote
Quote
What exactly are you trying to say here?  First, if you're trying to say that one hundred million Native Americans died, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim and gives average estimates of a vastly smaller number.  Second, if you're trying to say that Europeans were responsible for these deaths, the source that your blogger linked to is explicity devoted to debunking that claim as well.  So why don't you be very clear about what exactly you're trying to say here?
The people still died. Some from diseases we brought unintentionally, the large majority for religious conquest
Could we have a citation for the claim that "the large majority [died] for religious conquest"?  I don't think that's true.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 11:51:39 AM
You are not getting the point. Why do they not have a right to express themselves?
Wait, you're responded to my quote about this article. (http://"http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/18/2073112/atheists-questions-sheriffs-basketball.html")  Where in that article do you see any evidence that the atheist group is not allowed to express themselves?  Clearly the article demonstartes that they are allowed to express themselves, and further they have the ability to force a judge to waste time dealing with their frivolous claims.

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This guy, Daniel Mach, Atheist or not, declared their doings unconstitutional because well, it IS unconstitutional to have religion in government (in this case, practicing "Christian virtue" in a public school). The Founding Fathers meant for the United States of America to have rights for all religious groups and people that are of no faith. Government is supposed to be separated from religion.
Actually they didn't.  In England the Church of England was the Establishment, meaning that everywhere in England you had to be a member of that Church in order to run for office or have other rights.  (From this comes every third-grader's favorite word: "antidisestablishmentarianism").  The founders put in the Constitution a ban on establishment of religion by Congress in order to protect the religious rights of the states, many of which began as colonies started by religious refugees.  Many states had a direct relation between church and government, to the point where some percentage of government income went directly to the church.  This was true in New York, Connecticut, and others.  It was specifically to protect these states that the First Amendment was worded so as to prevent establishment of religion at the national level.

On the various individual cases I'm largely in agreement with you.  There's a little bit of individual violence between Christians and atheists and perhaps once every 20 years or so one of each group in this country murders one of the other, usually as a result of mental illness, but it proves nothing about either group generally and it's certainly absurd to claim that Christians would leave if we weren't trembling in fear of such a thing happening to us.

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Let's get back to the point of the thread.  According to the video, the Christian viewer is supposed to take it for granted that if he leaves Christianity, there's a serious chance that he'll be arrested or beaten.  Do you have any evidence that would back up this claim?  Not evidence of people making nasty posts on the internet and not posts of people who lost their job and insisted that it must be because of their atheism, but actually evidence of large numbers of people being arrested and beaten because they left Christianity?  Again, this is a yes-no question and should admit a yes-no answer.  If the answer is 'yes', then show me the evidence.
I don't want to end up searching and digging even more news stories since you are not acknowledging these injustices. Stop being a bigot.
That sounds like a 'no'.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: One Above All on February 25, 2011, 11:58:32 AM
But in this case we don't have a dichotomy between two religions, we have speculation that it might be on or the other.  Since it's only a speculation, it could be some other religion or none at all.

Considering the tribe he belonged to had no atheists, it's impossible for him to have been an atheist. Also considering the speculation is between one or the other, it pretty much means the odds of being a third, or even fourth option are mathematically insignificant

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So what you said matches what I said.  There's nill evidence to back up your blogger's claim that the death toll was nine million.  You've found a figure of 85,000 and suggested that there might be more in other articles that you looked at.  But how many more?  Especially consider that the number of Crusades was 9 rather than 15  (http://"http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-crusades.htm") and the later ones were extremely small campaigns compared to the first, it's highly unlikely that the missing 8,915,000 casulties are located in the articles that you didn't read.

I said 15 as an arbitrary number. And yes, it's highly unlikely... though not impossible. We won't know unless one of us has the patience to check all the articles (I assure you I don't have it)

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Could we have a citation for the claim that "the large majority [died] for religious conquest"?  I don't think that's true.

Why did we expand in the first place? Greed
Why were missionaries sent to the native americans? Religious conversion
What happened to those who did not follow the religion being preached to them? Death
What happened to those who questioned said religion? Death

It's always the same - theists persecuting those who do not follow their religion
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 12:00:20 PM
I understand too, that not every Christian is alike, many follow the 'nice' teachings and completely ignore that dark, horrible and bloody side of the bible, probably because they have the capacity to reason that such things are wrong or simply are ignorant that they even exist (not every Christian has read the bible). I say I am happy for a person to believe what they believe so long as it isn't harmful of another person. I have Christian friends, who think although I'm an atheist, I'll go to heaven. They believe their God doesn't only reward the loyal, but also the good. I could probably find fault with that by quoting the bible, but hey, I'd rather encourage Christians to think about morality in terms of reason and not in terms of scripture. I know Christians who love having people, like me, who can challenge their faith, because they believe Christians ought to have a level of reason and of course, it's difficult to start picking faults with your own beliefs if nobody's there to challenge them. Of course, in the experience of this forum, such Christians are rarity.

However, I'll probably say this. I don't expect you'll respond, because it's common place here from theists, but I hope at least you've read what I've had to say.
Well it does raise an obvious question, given your claim to have Christian friends, and another posted claimed to have a Christian grandmother and so forth.  Why do you hang out on a message board where many time a day you'll see your friends (or grandmother) referred to as "idiots", "insane", and so forth?  Why are you here when the site and videos that inspired this forum says that your friends (or grandmother) are "hateful", "racist", etc... and implies that they're going around arresting and beating people?  (Yes, of course the particular video mentioned in this thread is full of weasel words like 'might', but in other videos this Brain guy makes clear that his attack is against all Christians without exception.)  How can you sit here peacefully and watch so much hatred getting hurled at your friends or family?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 25, 2011, 12:29:31 PM

Hi all,

This thread, which did not exactly get off on the right foot, has degenerated to a point where there is no useful discussion.  I do not see any chance of it recovering relevance.  So, to the Pit with it.

Your affectionate Uncle,
Screwtape
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 12:35:58 PM
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Of course you conveniently neglect to mention that neither you nor ParkingPlaces have provided any citation to back up this claim. 
I must say I found it rather amusing that you'd ask for citations when you continue to claim again and again "atheist dictators killed all these people" but you avoid the question "Who did the killing?" like the devil avoids holy water.
Actually I have tackled that question.  As I already mentioned, Tito purged his government of all religious believers: Serbian Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, or other.  Milosevic continued the policy.  I have given a citation for this: The Black Book of Communism.  So obviously it is not true that there was an overwhleming majority of Orthodox in Serbia throughout their reigns.  Obviously they found plentiful non-believers to do their dirty work.  On the question of what the exact religious makeup of the army during the Bosnian War was, I have no figures, but I presume you don't either.  I do know that Randy Sullivan, journalist for Rolling Stone and other sources, gave firsthand accounts of the war, and recorded many instances in which the armies attacks against Catholics were particularly motivated by how the Catholics had held out against the atheist policies of Milosevic.

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In 1993 the Archbishop Seraphim of Athens had invited Radovan Karadzic where Karadzic proclaimed in a public event: "We have only God and the Greeks on our side."
And the relevance is what?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: AlexBP on February 25, 2011, 01:26:45 PM
Well if the mods say that the debate is over, I'll take their word for it.  In any case I got what I asked for.  I wanted to know if there was any justification for what the video said.  Now I know there isn't.  Good day.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Seppuku on February 25, 2011, 01:36:44 PM
I hate to keep on using him as an example, ex-member here, Goodkat. Beaten by his Christian father because he discovered he was an atheist. The bible would encourage Goodkat's father to murder him, so in terms of biblical values, he got off lightly.
And the evidence which makes this claim more reliable than any other anonymous internet claim is what?


He was a trusted member of the forum who engage positively and was a regular. People do lie on the internet, but he showed no signs of being a liar, but of course we only have his word to rely on. I'd argue that it's likely he was telling the truth, but obviously I don't have the hard evidence to put to the table.

Quote from: AlexBP
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I think you are blissfully ignorant of what happens in the Christian world. India: Christian extremists violently attacking Hindus.
There's certainly evidence of Hindu extremists violently attacking Christians (http://"http://www.ijfm.org/PDFs_IJFM/18_1_PDFs/hh_persecution.pdf").  What evidence do you have that it actually happens the other way around?

With pleasure:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm)



Quote from: AlexBP
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Nigeria: Christian churches accusing people of witchcraft, thus beating children, torturing them and even burning them because they think they're witches.
Citation please?

With pleasure:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/09/tracymcveigh.theobserver (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/09/tracymcveigh.theobserver)

Quote from: AlexBP
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USA: many individuals and
groups are anti-atheist and persecute atheists for not believing, cases of harassment and even violence, double standards all over the place favouring Christians and discriminating against atheists, e.g. the double standard that it's okay to put up a Christian billboard telling people they'll go to hell if they don't accept Jesus, but as soon as an atheist billboard is put up saying, "There might be no God", it has to be taken down.
Atheist billboards do not have to be taken down (http://"http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/for-the-holidays-an-atheism-billboard/").  That's an absurd claim.  Other than, please provide citations to back up what you're saying.

With pleasure:

http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/11/12/cincinnati-atheist-billboard-taken-down/ (http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/11/12/cincinnati-atheist-billboard-taken-down/)
http://www2.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/Godless-Billboard-Moved-After-Threats (http://www2.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/Godless-Billboard-Moved-After-Threats)

So will you accept that Christians dish out their own level of shit?

I understand too, that not every Christian is alike, many follow the 'nice' teachings and completely ignore that dark, horrible and bloody side of the bible, probably because they have the capacity to reason that such things are wrong or simply are ignorant that they even exist (not every Christian has read the bible). I say I am happy for a person to believe what they believe so long as it isn't harmful of another person. I have Christian friends, who think although I'm an atheist, I'll go to heaven. They believe their God doesn't only reward the loyal, but also the good. I could probably find fault with that by quoting the bible, but hey, I'd rather encourage Christians to think about morality in terms of reason and not in terms of scripture. I know Christians who love having people, like me, who can challenge their faith, because they believe Christians ought to have a level of reason and of course, it's difficult to start picking faults with your own beliefs if nobody's there to challenge them. Of course, in the experience of this forum, such Christians are rarity.

However, I'll probably say this. I don't expect you'll respond, because it's common place here from theists, but I hope at least you've read what I've had to say.
Well it does raise an obvious question, given your claim to have Christian friends, and another posted claimed to have a Christian grandmother and so forth.  Why do you hang out on a message board where many time a day you'll see your friends (or grandmother) referred to as "idiots", "insane", and so forth?  Why are you here when the site and videos that inspired this forum says that your friends (or grandmother) are "hateful", "racist", etc... and implies that they're going around arresting and beating people?  (Yes, of course the particular video mentioned in this thread is full of weasel words like 'might', but in other videos this Brain guy makes clear that his attack is against all Christians without exception.)  How can you sit here peacefully and watch so much hatred getting hurled at your friends or family?


To answer your question:

1) I respect other people's views. I disagree that all Christians are idiotic for their beliefs, but that's because I respect their beliefs also. If a person deems such beliefs as idiotic, then that's up to them, I'll may argue against it, but ultimately, respect they're different. They're not actively going out their way to insult my friends and family nor are they acting against their rights. My sentimentality stands, I have no problem with what people believe so long as they're not hurting anybody.
2) People make generalisations. It's no use trying to fight them. When Christians are called hateful, racist etc. then I use my head, "well obviously not every Christian is racist or hateful and this person is intelligent enough to realise that".


Well if the mods say that the debate is over, I'll take their word for it.  In any case I got what I asked for.  I wanted to know if there was any justification for what the video said.  Now I know there isn't.  Good day.


This is the 'Bottomless Pit', it doesn't necessarily mean debate is over, it just means, it's out of the way and threads here can go on for pages and pages. But that last comment strikes me as arrogant.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Azdgari on February 25, 2011, 01:52:04 PM
It is telling that AlexBP considers everyone on this forum to be a liar about his or her personal life unless he or she is able to prove otherwise.  Since this is the internet, and people on this forum are generally not public figures, such proof is nigh-impossible to provide.  And so AlexBP is able to continue to believe that everyone else on here is a liar.

Very convenient, that.  Not condusive to any sort of respectful dialogue, but then that's not his aim.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: Gnu Ordure on February 25, 2011, 02:01:37 PM
Alex:
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Well if the mods say that the debate is over, I'll take their word for it.
They didn't say it's over, they've merely moved it to a different section.


Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 25, 2011, 02:07:16 PM
I am glad that you agree that persecution of Christians in China is taking place.  I've never said that it implies that atheists are evil, or anything of that sort.  I merely pointed to China as an example to disprove the video's claims.  According to the video, Christians need to consider that we're only Christians because we're afraid of being beaten and arrested.  Yet in China there are 100,000,000 Christians who risk being beaten and arrested because they are Christians.  If they converted from Christianity to atheism they would no longer be at that risk, since they'd be following the religious viewpoint of the government.  So where's the logic of saying that fear of arrest and beatings causes people to be Christians in this case?

I knew this was going on; it's horrible. I don't like it. Everyone is free to think what they think. Communism is against that. And like I stated earlier, the reason as to why China is largely bereft of faith is due to their ideals. Confucianism is a philosophical stance as well as Taoism. These people majorly don't believe in deities; it has been this way for a couple of centuries (before, they were kinda religious; the Emperor was the mandate of heaven, he was the connection to the heavens, etc.). So, they are pretty much atheists. However, Communism in China has allowed religions and any strong ideal alike to be persecuted (this goes for any religion that is capable of giving the people power and hold group meetings, which is completely unacceptable in Communism, as you well know). I wanted to add that it doesn't make atheism/atheists evil because some Theists like to make the claim "OH, Atheists ARE evil! Look at Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot/Hitler!" when in reality, it is the horrible idea of Communism that puts these people at risk, not atheism. Crimes against humanity, we both agree, are unacceptable, and that everyone should be entitled to their belief.

So, we were talking about China there, yes? Yes.

So, referring to your question: So where's the logic of saying that fear of arrest and beatings causes people to be Christians in this case?

Now that's where we are talking about other countries that are not under Communist rule. I could use the Nazi regime to show that atheists were being killed in concentration camps, not just Jews et al. (the rest of the people that were deemed "worthless"), but that's unfair comparison, considering they were Communists. So, I will not make a reduction to the absurd, because that is disrespectful, considering that not all Christians/any religious peoples are like that. Regarding your question, the fear of arrests, beatings, injustices, and discrimination through harassment and violence that we're talking about here would be for example, within the America's Bible Belt.

I know you stated that you lived in the Bible Belt and that nothing happened where you are at, but hear me out here: People can be so self-righteous about their actions against atheists that they are not going to put this as a news story, but rather, it would be the town gossip, or it would be forgotten about. People can be so bigoted as to attack/ruin these people's lives. I understand some stories appear on blogs or other places on the Internet, but why deny the claim? Why would they lie? We have no reason to. We are not getting profit out of it. We are not making shit up to get sympathy. We are speaking out our fears over the Internet because frankly, the Internet is a free-roaming place. It's much safer here.

People here at the WWGHA forums have spoken out and testified on what happened to them, regarding Christians/any other religion. Does that make the stories false? No. Some people here have grown up/still are within the Bible Belt and shared their calamities. Just because you didn't see it happen or didn't hear about it does not in any way imply it didn't happen. I want to post more news stories, but it's up to you whether you want to believe them or not. It's not attacking your faith, mind you. It's showing you what some people will do in the name of their faith. Remember, we are talking about one country right now, and that is the USA. Seppuku named a few other countries in which this discrimination against atheists/people that don't believe enough takes place, and I'm sure you can do further research yourself instead of asking us directly for more. You have Google. Just search up "countries that discriminate against atheists" or different phrases if you are curious to know. When I stated earlier that I don't want to post more news stories, only to have them shot down and not even discussed properly like I do with your articles, then I don't want to make the effort because it only gives me the assumption that you only want what you want to hear. Prove me wrong.
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: LadyLucy on February 25, 2011, 02:16:40 PM
AlexBP, I would like to continue to discuss with you. We're getting on the right track. But please, no reductions to the absurd. Actually discuss with me, like we are doing right now. Be honest. I'm honest about the persecution of any other religion. I'm honest about the persecution of atheists. I'm honest about the calamities of mankind. I research both. We are talking about Christians not only persecuting atheists, but Christians going down hard on people even for not believing enough. I've read some testimonials and news stories about that, but I say again, I'm only willing to post these if you are willing to accept the other news stories instead of making a competition about "Whose news stories are the best/show the most martyrs?", which isn't the point that I have been trying to make. No one here is a martyr. Not one. People die. Things happen sometimes for the wrong reasons. Agreed?
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: velkyn on February 25, 2011, 03:17:34 PM
Well if the mods say that the debate is over, I'll take their word for it.  In any case I got what I asked for.  I wanted to know if there was any justification for what the video said.  Now I know there isn't.  Good day.

and here we see Alex again declaring victory where none was gained.  It is a shame that you must lie to do this, Alex.  What does your god say about lying again? 
Title: Re: Further response to a video
Post by: screwtape on February 25, 2011, 04:35:59 PM
Well if the mods say that the debate is over,


I did not say the debate was over.  I said, it had degenerated into a shitshow and as such was moved to the Bottomless Pit.  You are free to continue your "discussion", unless it gets worse, in which case the thread will be locked.