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Atheist Community of Austin
Selling Atheism

The show is awesome but it has one problem. It is a problem shared by most atheists. We let believers define the paradigm and we play their game.

In short, as atheists we do a terrible job selling atheism. We mostly spend our time defending non-belief and showing believers how ignorant / illogical / stupid they are.

I love atheism and I love being an atheist. Let me hear some others telling me how much they love everything about atheism! Atheists rock! We are the real leaders of the free world!

You're probably right (about letting the theists run the show) it doesn't make for fascinating dialogue but most likely otherwise they would get really mad and take their marbles and go home. Given the fact that atheists have no way to bribe or punish anyone (keep them out of paradise or send them to hell, give "prosperity" lectures or miracle healing services while incessantly pleading for tithes) I guess it's best to just let the theists run the show, who needs atheists. Besides, many of us have never gotten the chance to hear theists promote dishonesty (loyalty over honesty) hatred, cruelty, uninformed faith and assurance over reason or belief in myths over facts.

Nevertheless, I don't think atheism can be sold, it's only about evaluation of all the pertinent information. It's the careful, thoughtful, examination of all the material before making any decisions. Anyone can examine the evidence; all they have to do is get off the couch, know how to find things out for themselves and have a desire to know the truth. Very few people really do want to know the truth and that's the reason people criticize (and react with anger) toward those who have researched, studied, and examined the material in question. Most believers are not seeking alternatives; they are brainwashed people who just want to proselytize, they've been conditioned to reject anything that contradicts what they already believe.

There are many brilliant atheists that are never seen or heard by the public and they rarely appear in the media because there is a certain group that always raises hell (when atheists are rarely- if ever- allowed to speak) because of their own fear. If they are so sure of their "belief", why don't they want everyone to speak? There is a campaign to keep the media toadying to small-minded "beleebers" who are too stupid to do research or use correct grammar, or even give a logical argument. People who want everyone to believe in a god or deity need to come up with some proof of it's existence. The only thing that would ever be required (if this was not a scam) would be proving that it is real. That proof would have to meet the same standards that any scientific or scholarly work does. Take out all the bull shit; and slander toward those who don't agree with them, the threats of hell, or the reward of heaven and see what you have left. They need to come up with some fact based information or shut the f**k up!

Some people want to sell something they haven't proven by simply eliminating all of the contradictory evidence and at the same time destroy this country by mixing political, economic, and social views in their sick warped bible-based clap trap. All of that might change if the public was better informed. There is ample evidence that the holy writ is wrong and religion can no longer pose as science.

There are very few people defending the right to "intellectual freedom" (nobody has the right to insists that everyone agrees with them) it's a simple matter of allowing everyone to hear all sides of an issue. You can't have freedom of speech without the freedom to hear.

Once you start believing things because of threats and rewards (or a lot of hand waving) you have stopped using any kind of thinking process, it's out of our hands, and there's little you can do to tame the beast. But some of us won't give our minds over to just anyone and allow them to do as they please with it; we want to have control over our own minds, and create our own happiness.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was asked, "What is your aim in Philosophy?" (Wittgenstein answered) "To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle" (Philosophical Investigations).

You have to know (in order to understand the quote) Wittgenstein discovered that once a fly flew into a beer bottle it couldn't find it's way out.

Intellectual freedom is one of my top five reasons for loving being an atheist. I love being able to think what I want (and say what I want!)

No self censorship here!

From Linda: "Take out all the bull shit; and slander toward those who don't agree with them, the threats of hell, or the reward of heaven and see what you have left. They need to come up with some fact based information or shut the f**k up!"

I'm just curious, Linda, how many people did you convert into atheism with a selling speech like this?

From Linda: "There are very few people defending the right to "intellectual freedom" (nobody has the right to insists that everyone agrees with them) it's a simple matter of allowing everyone to hear all sides of an issue. You can't have freedom of speech without the freedom to hear."

Did your ears hear what your mouth has just said?

I wondered for some time, why Jews do not accept Christ as their Messiah. After all, Christians point out prophecies about Christ throughout the OT. Oddly enough, I got the answer from atheists.

From Linda in another thread: "325 First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea - the Christian Church separates Easter from Passover: "We desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews".

That statement was followed by centuries of persecuting and killing Jews for not eating pork, while asking "Why don't you, guys, accept Christ as your Messiah?"

Very interesting selling techniques...

The original topic was about theists being allowed to run an atheist show or set the agenda; David said, "The show is awesome but it has one problem. It is a problem shared by most atheists. We let believers define the paradigm and we play their game." He thought this was not a good way to sell something.

My comments pointed out the fact that atheists don't have anything to actually sell like (savior/gods, miracles, prayer clothes, bibles, holy roller banjo music and fiddley sticks etc) atheist are simply trying to wake people up to fight for their right to think; and for the freedom to speak about what they think. I guess some people can't figure it out since they're not "smart" - "at all!" It all just went zipping right over their heads.

AG said, "I'm just curious, Linda, how many people did you convert into atheism with a selling speech like this?"

Why do you think you can contribute anything to a discussion that you really don't understand? The issue is not about conversion or (a brainwashed purpose driven life) to get theists to become atheists; it's about the fact that nobody can question the Sunday morning preach-a-thons. The religious rights assertion's that the Founding Fathers framed our government on Christian beliefs is a provable falsehood. The Constitution was written by people who wanted to be free of tyrannical divine rule under a theocracy and that is why they made sure to keep religion out of government. We either have freedom of speech or we don't. If we are all equal religion should not have exclusive rights or have civil right or privilege not available to the non-religious. If we are a free country then the right to speak out should be equally available to every side of an issue. It isn't possible to have freedom unless you have freedom of religious and from religion. If only the mainstream theocratic ideas are being then why are we trying to force other cultures with theocracies to replace that with our system? It really does sound like some people are hogging the show because they think others have no-rights-at-all. That's why you have theists trying to hog an atheist message board with fake questions and fake topics; or not really answering the topics but just trying to remove the actual issues.

I haven't seen many real atheists going on Christian message boards trying to convert anyone. I did read a post on another atheist blog that they caught a preacher writing nonsense and feigning atheism. Why don't you ask yourself why bible thumpers are all over atheist message boards trying to convert people? Why do they throw hissy fits when they lose an argument? (BTW) How many times does someone have to kick their ass before they get the point? Could it possibly be because they can't stand the thought of anyone speaking who doesn't believe what they were brainwashed into believing because it threatens their weak minded ideas. So, what you are saying would make sense if any of us were on theists message boards trying to sell atheism - but we're not.

The bible babble is a religious philosophy with questions that can never be answered and answer that can never be questioned. When scientist have provided answers with evidence you don't need myths to answer questions, but some people just don't want to move on.

Theology has never been about finding the truth or telling the truth. When scientific facts contradict biblical beliefs they prefer to ignore science; Religious beliefs are philosophies with the illusion of knowledge where none in reality exists. Religion makes no effort to explain a thing it's all a mystery. It does not explain where life came from you just live it. Religion promotes the idea that we should all be in awe of everything; we shouldn't treat it as a problem that can be solved by the human mind. And when evangelicals are caught preaching things that can be proven to be wrong scientifically then they claim religion is not science; the purpose of religion is to discourage immorality, when it has been proven that religion has little impact on society problems, it has little to do with morality.

Most of us have an innate moral sense which is genetically coded into us as a direct result of over one hundred thousand years of physical and social evolution. With the exception of some mutant psychopaths who run a muck killing. And religion does nothing for them or the insane.

What evidence is there for the existence of any god (there is no evidence) all you have is dogma. Atheists are not trying to prove anything about something for which there is no evidence.

AG, "Did your ears hear what your mouth has just said?"

Yes, not only did I read what I was saying but I also understand what I'm saying; unlike yourself who follows every comment on an atheist message board with some off the wall comment just to get the last word.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell in his book 'The Problem of Philosophy'. One of his famous critiques was that reliance upon evidence, rather than upon superstition, would have enormous social consequences. He said, "I wish to propose for the reader's favorable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

If I may borrow one of your favorite texts? IMHO, you don't learn things, you memorize things. That's why you make remarks about other people's posts that don't even vaguely resemble the actual meaning. If this is deliberate you're just asinine.

AG said, "I wondered for some time, why Jews do not accept Christ as their Messiah. After all, Christians point out prophecies about Christ throughout the OT. Oddly enough, I got the answer from atheists. From Linda in another thread: "325 First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea - the Christian Church separates Easter from Passover: "We desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews".

AG said, "That statement was followed by centuries of persecuting and killing Jews for not eating pork, while asking "Why don't you, guys, accept Christ as your Messiah?" Very interesting selling techniques..."

I can't figure out if this is supposed to be funny or if you're just dense, but no wonder you can't figure out why atheists don't believe Christian twaddle! The reason the Jews became a target of Christian persecution was because they wouldn't assimilate or merge their religion with the Christians like the Pagans and Gentiles had done. Even though under the Emperor Constantine the New State religion 'Christianity' tortured and burned those who wouldn't covert. Now that really is a "Very interesting selling techniques..." Anyone that has read the New Testament should be aware of the fact that the NT condemns the Jewish religion throughout.

Unlike Jewish scholars who knew the teachings of the Law, Gentiles had practically no understanding of Jewish law. If you do not keep the Law you are not a Jew. Christians and Pagans were Gentiles. The Old Testament is a specifically Christian translation of the collection of Hebrew Scriptures known as the Tanakh. The Old Testament is not a Jewish book, it is interpolations of stories from Jewish books that were revised to match up with the Christian story of a Messiah. The Protestant Old Testament Scriptures were translations of Hebrew texts. Many of these translations are either wrong because of ignorance or design.

The Apostle Paul introduced "saving grace" to replace Jewish Law and merge Judaism and Christianity. The Old Testament is only an attempt to merge the new religion with Judaism because Jews do not regard the concoction as anything Jewish. In the 2nd century the Roman Empire was practically hysterical that the salves would convert to Judaism since the Jews opposed slavery and were at war with the Romans.

The Roman Emperor Galleries and Constantine shared the position of Emperor at the same time. At that time Galleries had declared all religions should be tolerated. After Galleries died Constantine ruled the Roman Empire alone. The Roman Emperor Constantine convened a council of Christian bishops the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD in Turkey. Constantine paid for the printing of the New Religion's bibles (all other books were burned) and he used the state to support and authorize the Christian religion and Churches with government funds. Those who denied the deity of Jesus Christ were labeled heretics and many were tortured or murdered.

The Jewish Law was never followed at all by the Gentiles and never has been. The Romans concocted a religion that was much easier for the non-scholars and slaves to understand. Most amazing is the level of brainwashing is so severe that Christians in general are not even aware of that fact. The Apostle Paul was in charge of eliminating anything Jewish from the new religion. This is very obvious in his writings on grace in the New Testament and anything written by fellow converts. This was very true of the grace alone commandments exalted (given authority) by Jesus and his follower. The outcome was the church virtually ignored the Law, and the Hebrew Prophets, Paul's writings and teachings were centered on grace, and so were all the fictional Apostles and their Master Jesus himself. That is why an imaginary Jesus was coined and promoted as much more important than James, who was the head of the Church of Jerusalem, and who never supported Paul.

The God of Judaism was an entirely different God from the (three in one God) of the Christian gospel trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christianity and Judaism disagree about God and the Adam and Eve fall from grace. Jews did not need a savior (according to their beliefs) they are the chosen people. They do not believe in a savior God or "messiah." The word messiah was a misinterpreted word that originally meant an anointed one (a king) who would rule; it was never a God who would be crucified on a Roman Cross. All of this nonsense ran contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures. In Hebrew Scripture there is oneness. One God (not three) Yahweh one Sheol where everyone goes when they die, and all creation is good. Each human being is wonderfully made as one cohesive unit.

The New Testament and Jesus Christ were designed to make the Jewish Law obsolete. The "official story" was that Jesus had come to free man from the Law. The Christians are no longer under the Law but under grace alone and this is Paul's theology. Paul replaced the God of Judaism with his vision of Jesus and the "New Testament God." This is how the Romans through Paul gave Christianity the moral authority over the Jewish Scripture and the Law.

The Roman Church replaced the Jewish synagogue and grace replaced the Law. They made Pagan holidays into Holy Days, and the Christian Church would now receive all that had been promised to the Jews. There was never any intention of uniting Judaism and Christianity. The idea was to replace Judaism with Christianity.

So, I'm not responsible for the fact that you can't grasp what Constantine's persecution of the Jews was really about, it's not over eating pork. Maybe you think Christians were in the sausage business.

Christians were taught that the Mosaic Law was done away with. Tithing is a legalistic part of the Temple worship of the old Mosaic Law. Jesus brought in the new covenant at the Passover as recorded in Mark 14: 22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." 23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.

The (Jewish story) about the old covenant started with Passover when God took the Jews out of the land of Egypt.

The new covenant (according to Christians) is with Jesus at the last supper which (it just so happens) is supposed to be on a Passover, but 'The Last Supper' is really based on Pagan ritual. Mithras to be exact. Mithas and Christ had virgin births. Both Mithraism and Christianity celebrated the birth of their god on the winter solstice, the 25th of December. Mithraism and Christianity told of a major flood. Mithraism tells that during a terrible drought Mithra shot an arrow into a stone cliff to quench mankind's thirst. Mithraism and Christianity emphasized mankind's redemption resulting from a sacrificial death followed by the god's ascent to heaven. Mithraism and Christianity portray a resurrection through sacrifice. Mithraism (used the spring equinox and fertility myths) but both told of a Last Supper linked with the blood sacrifice whose symbolic recreation by eating bread and wine provided salvation for all believers. After Mithra killed the bull he feasted upon it with the Sun God and other companions before ascending to the heavens in the sun god's chariot. The Christian Last Supper was before Jesus' crucifixion and then He ascended to heaven.

Maybe you can turn this into something other than what it obviously is to justify believing in fairy tales.

Linda, I am not trying to distort the facts. I believe, your account is accurate. Christianity has been twisted from the very beginning. I have watched this video http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=cHJqwc6dYSg&page=1 where a Jew explains that Jesus was rejected by the Jews as messiah not as much because of theological points, as because of the behaviors of Christians - exactly those that you describe. Jewish messiah was supposed to fulfill the Jewish law (Matthew 5:17 ""Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."), but the Christians, instead of embracing Jewish culture, Jewish holidays, laws about kosher food, etc., proceeded to abolish them, made statements like the one at the Council of Nicea, and persecuted Jews who tried to follow the Law and tradition.

Even today paganism is seen throughout Christian holidays. Birthday of Jesus is nowhere in the Bible. December 25 was chosen to replace pagan celebration of solstice, and the tree also comes from some pagan tradition. Easter is full of eggs and bunnies - pagan symbols of fertility, and the egg hunt is a strange game of greed for children. None of this has anything to do with the Pesach. I don't even mention Santa and the shopping frenzy. At the same time, other feasts prescribed in Torah are abolished. The reason, as you point out, are ignorance of the Law, ignorance of Jewish culture, and "disgust" towards Jews. I am not disputing these facts. I'm trying to point out a similarity in this behavior of Christians and some sayings of today's atheists. You seem to have trouble seeing such parallels as you say: "That's why you make remarks about other people's posts that don't even vaguely resemble the actual meaning. If this is deliberate you're just asinine." which is no surprise as you seem to have trouble understanding metaphoric language.

A more extended quote from the Council of Nicea is as follows: "...we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?"

I thought, the parallel is fairly clear, but for you I might need to explain my thought. Aren't some atheists now "disgusted" with Christians? Aren't some atheists accusing Christians of "boasting that without their direction we could not keep this feast"? Aren't some atheists accusing Christians that "they are no longer led by reason but by wild violence as their delusion may urge them"? The similarity is striking to me. Vocabulary is nearly identical.

I am not trying to convert you into Christianity. I'm just pointing out that I do not see any principal difference between what you say about Christians and what Christians said about Jews in 325 AD. I called it "Interesting selling techniques" with sarcasm. And it is somewhat disturbing to me after I read of all the atrocities that followed after 325 AD in your own posts.

Strange. I feel like explaining myself to a child and not to a person of your intelligence.

From: AG (Posted Aug 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm)

AG said, "Linda, I am not trying to distort the facts. I believe, your account is accurate. Christianity has been twisted from the very beginning. I have watched this video http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=cHJqwc6dYSg&page=1 where a Jew explains that Jesus was rejected by the Jews as messiah not as much because of theological points, as because of the behaviors of Christians - exactly those that you describe."

Linda's Second Answer: Oh! If the Christians had been nice the Jews wouldn't have had a problem with their Jesus lie! Ha! You just distorted the facts again. What you are saying is false AG, "Jesus was rejected by the Jews as messiah not as much because of theological points, as because of the behaviors of Christians" that's not what I explained. Linda said, "Jews did not need a savior (according to their beliefs) they ARE the chosen people. They do not believe in a savior God or "messiah." The word messiah was a misinterpreted word that originally meant an anointed one (a king) who would rule; it was never a God who would be crucified on a Roman Cross. See it was all about theology! Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism (combining of often contradictory beliefs) in the ancient world. There were many Jesuses but the story was a cultural construct. Christianity is a concoction of plagiarism and the rehashing, rewriting, regurgitating of ancient religion and many words were misinterpreted. The Christians formed a political alliance with the Roman State, but Christianity remained unpopular for centuries and persecution was necessary to impose it on the people. The Council of Nicea decided to discard and destroy each and every book, epistle, and gospel that did not agree with their (concoction) "theology", which was the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. The "chosen Gospels" were randomly assigned authorship over a hundred years after they were written. In the 2nd century the Jewish faith was purged from Christianity.

The Dead Sea Scrolls indicate that the original church of Jerusalem was an extremist Jewish movement violently opposed to the influence and dominance of Rome. Nowhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the name Jesus, and Christianity has no support in the translations. The Dead Sea Scrolls challenged the originality of Christianity as the embodiment of the message of Christ. The Dead Sea Scrolls only mentions "teachers of righteousness" that were part of an ultra conservative messianic Jewish movement based in Qumran going back at least 100 years BCE. The Dead Scrolls also indicate that many of the practices that people now regard as Christian (N T) were not new. The Lord's Prayer and the Lord's Supper can be traced to the Qumrans, also going back at least one century before the fictitious virgin birth of Jesus, which "virgin" is just another misinterpreted word. The reason for all these mistakes is because they were trying to invent a messiah that would fit the Jewish prophecy. Everything Christians know about Christianity is false. Their beliefs are based on pagan beliefs of the Roman culture, superstitions and a Jewish messiah who never came. So, Paul invented a messiah that had come and died for people's sins, but at the time they didn't know he was god, three-fourths of the people in the Roman Empire were slaves. Paul was giving the slaves a sense of freedom when they were still slaves, and access to the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Paul took his message to illiterate peasants and other unfortunate people. The Jewish Mashiach was an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land not get in bed with their arch enemy the Romans.

AG said, "Jewish messiah was supposed to fulfill the Jewish law (Matthew 5:17 ""Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."),"

Unlike Jewish scholars who knew the teachings of the Law, Gentiles had practically no understanding of Jewish law. The Old Testament Scriptures were translations of Hebrew texts. Many of these translations are either wrong because of ignorance or design. The Apostle Paul introduced "saving grace" to replace Jewish Law and merge Judaism and Christianity. See this is about theology! The Old Testament is only an attempt to merge the new religion with Judaism because Jews do not regard the concoction as anything Jewish. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. In Hebrew Scripture there is oneness. One God (not three) Yahweh. Canaanites are known to be the earliest population that inhabited Palestine and if the Jewish religion is traced back to it's roots, which is the Canaanite religion, there were many gods that's why the OT says, "You shall have no other gods before me" as is in one of the Ten Commandments; that's the real reason not the drippy apologists alibis. Who was God talking to when He said "Let us create man in our image"? Probably the many gods of the polytheism of Canaanites. In the Bible the name Elohim can be traced to the Abrahamic religions from polytheism to monotheism, from many gods to one God. Elohim is plural of El, you see? it means gods and gods Children. Yes, El had children and a wife Asherah.

Then AG listed all the things that are proof that Christianity came from paganism (Xmas, Estar, etc.) and then AG says, "None of this has anything to do with the Pesach."

Pesach is the Jewish holiday of Passover it has nothing what-so-ever to do with Christmas or the birth of a three-in-one savior/god or His death. Passover commemorates the Jews exodus from Egypt and the killing of the sacrificial Lamb. But the Christians tried to make Jesus the sacrificial Lamp of Pesach -Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, it's not about sausage either.

AG said, "I am not disputing these facts. I'm trying to point out a similarity in this behavior of Christians and some sayings of today's atheists. You seem to have trouble seeing such parallels as you say:

You keep leaving off who says what! Linda Said, "That's why you make remarks about other people's posts that don't even vaguely resemble the actual meaning. If this is deliberate you're just asinine."

AG said, "which is no surprise as you seem to have trouble understanding metaphoric language."

What metaphoric language? Oh! "Jews don't eat pork?" No! It's about Christians trying to make Jesus into the Passover lamb of Judaism. You have gone way out on a limb trying to be a persecuted Christian. I presume your ignorant conclusion is someone disagreeing with you is equivalent to persecution. It's like what happened to the Jews. It's just fair and balanced as Fox News.

AG said, "I wondered for some time, why Jews do not accept Christ as their Messiah. After all, Christians point out prophecies about Christ throughout the OT."

No one has ever fulfilled the Torah's description of this future King, and the Second Coming does not fix the problem for apologists because Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Hebrew Scriptures no concept of a second coming exists. Christianity claims that God assumes human form. The Torah says God is not a mortal (Numbers 23:19). No Jewish belief supports a human/ savior god that died on a Roman cross. The Messiah is a future King. That's why the Jews didn't accept Christianity. The God of Judaism was an entirely different God from the (three in one God) of the Christian gospel trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christianity and Judaism disagree about God and the Adam and Eve fall from grace. All of this nonsense ran contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures. In Hebrew Scripture there is oneness. One God (not three) Yahweh one Sheol where everyone goes when they die, and all creation is good. Each human being is wonderfully made as one cohesive unit.

AG said, "Oddly enough, I got the answer from atheists. From Linda in another thread: "325 First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea - the Christian Church separates Easter from Passover: "We desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews". That statement was followed by centuries of persecuting and killing Jews for not eating pork, while asking "Why don't you, guys, accept Christ as your Messiah?" Very interesting selling techniques..."

Linda's Second Answer: Well, first of all the Christians were trying to make their Holy days and the Jews Holy days concur but Jesus didn't die on Passover, that's a provable lie because there is always a full moon on Passover and Easter is dated as the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. How was Jesus dead for three days and three nights before he rose if He died on a Friday afternoon and rose before sunrise on a Sunday? Jesus' Last Supper was a Seder, a Jewish holiday of Passover. The Gospel of Mark 14:12, Jesus prepared for the Last Supper on the "first day of Unleavened Bread when they sacrificed the Passover lamb." This time let's make it clear why the Jews didn't accept the Christian Messiah. When Jesus (supposedly) died on the Roman Cross there was a three hour eclipse over the whole world. An eclipse can not occur during Passover, and Passover is always celebrated during the full moon. The word "Messiah" is a translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means, Anointed. It refers to a person (not a savior/god man) being anointed with oil. Every King is a Messiah; the Jews were referring to a future anointed king as The Mashiach.

Jews didn't buy the Messiah Savior God story not because of the way Christians treated them. It was because they knew it was a stupid lie. The reason the Jews became a target of Christian persecution was because they wouldn't assimilate or merge with the Christians, and that is not to say that anyone had a fact base belief, there are pagan origins to all of them Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

AG said, (but still doesn't understand) AG, "A more extended quote from the Council of Nicea is as follows: "...we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?"

Yes, isn't this the pot calling the kettle black! It's about the thread where you were arguing with Don Baker over his remark "religion causes harm." I gave that among many more examples of religion causing harm. However, It's about Jesus not being the Passover lamb now- it's not about pork.

AG said, "I thought, the parallel is fairly clear, but for you I might need to explain my thought. Aren't some atheists now "disgusted" with Christians? Aren't some atheists accusing Christians of "boasting that without their direction we could not keep this feast"?"

Surely you jest!

AG said, "Aren't some atheists accusing Christians that "they are no longer led by reason but by wild violence as their delusion may urge them"? The similarity is striking to me. Vocabulary is nearly identical."

Kid yourself! You don't understand most of what was written and you have proven that. That's probably why Don Baker couldn't follow your idiotic thinking when you were proving that "religion causes harm" is false. You know what? You are desperately trying to prove that Christians are being persecuted because someone is telling you that Christianity is fake. Christians are supposed to be persecuted - it's biblical.

The reason Christianity is fake is not just a matter of people changing the real meaning of it or whatever - it's a total lie. And you wouldn't be getting this disturbing news if you weren't trying to get your proselytizing on an atheist message board any despicable way you can. Then you want to appear to be the injured party. You've done that for years. Most intelligent people would tell you exactly where to get off for even trying to push your uninformed theorizations off on them. I'll bet you don't see the parallel between a popular lard ass, big mouthed Christian preacher's outcry, on a typical Sunday morning tirade, that "atheists should leave the country" and Constantine calling the Council of Nicea to create and enforce a state religion. They were telling anyone who disagreed to get out of Rome.

AG said, "Christianity has been twisted from the very beginning."

No, Christianity has been a total lie from the very beginning and the Jews rejected it because a three-in-one god that died on a Roman Cross wasn't exactly their cup of tea. But it wasn't about sausage or how the Christians acted. The Old Testament is not a Jewish book, it is interpolations of stories from Jewish books that were revised to match up with the Christian story of a Messiah. The Protestant Old Testament Scriptures were translations of Hebrew texts. Many of these translations are either wrong because of ignorance or design.

Either you didn't read what was written -or you don't understand one word of it -or you can't decipher what you do read.

It's tough selling something that has no content. Skeptism or humanism has content, those i think would be a better sell. Atheism is a reaction not a cause. So I wouldn't apply values to it.

I think the economic drive behind religion is often ignored. There is a strong incentive for most believers within an institution to profit from the promotion of their beliefs.

Things are changing and finally, there has become an economic incentive to promote atheism. People want to buy books on atheism and this should be encouraged. I have made a commitment to buying everything I can find on atheism. I hope others will join me. Perhaps we can have a market demand led evolution/revolution.

Reply to messages From: David (Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm) - (Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm)

Actually my reply was more-or-less tongue-in-cheek, I was being facetious. I'm not opposed to peaceful demonstrations that could prevent these overbearing clods from running everyone and everything in America into the proverbial gutter, but it would take tremendous public pressure to change this because (I believe) there is an alliance between religious, corporate, as well as, the military industrial complex and the media that uses these stooges to keep things going the way they have always gone (wars raging & social injustice) and keeping change at bay.

Yes, atheists write books, and atheists have been writing books for umpteen thousands of years. However, atheists and agnostics like Carl Sagan, George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Miller, Tarig Ali (didn't or don't) just write about being an atheist. It hasn't been that long ago that much of the time atheist's or liberal's (too far to the left) work was censored or inhibited. Up until the late 50's people were blacklisted because of the House on an Un-Americán Activities. So, many writers and celebrities probably never disclose the fact that they were atheists (and a form of that goes on today).

Before the internet and pod casts that make it harder to totally hush some things up (before that time) few people knew that our most important writers were not believers and many leaned very far to the left. The non-progressives still attempt to deny what historians and scholars know are the facts.

But my actual point was about how much exposure to freethinker's or atheist's ideas are found in the mainstream media. Every Sunday there is a veritable onslaught of televangelists ranting and raving that there is more proof of Jeeezus's existence than any figure in history, but by the end of their tirade invariably they haven't produced any real evidence supporting their claims. And there are many religious claims made every Sunday morning that couldn't be proven if their lives depended on it. Most of these claims are just flat out not the truth; however, I have never seen a program with rebuttals, or a program that questions or challenges mainstream religious beliefs or demands that they back up their claims. My point was about how much atheist's, freethinker's or agnostic's material is on American mainstream television or radio stations. The truth is (and everyone knows it) there is precious little atheist, freethinker or agnostic friendly programming in American mainstream media (commercial television or radio) atheists have as much right to be heard and to advertise their books as anyone else does in this so-called free country. But let me know the first time you hear anyone in the mainstream media who asks in-your-face questions that challenges the believers to back up their claims.

Reply to message From: Luke D (Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm)

Atheists aren't selling anything (atheists are exposing a fake) that has been sold as genuine and true for thousands of years without being challenged. Learning to use logic and common sense along with the ability to reason is far more valuable than all the myths and fables that fanatics can dreaming up.

There is no validity or logic in superstition or supernatural beliefs because these kinds of beliefs have no basis or foundation in fact, the only reason some people are still caught up in this hokum is because of mind-control. Where's the content in that? Is Genesis accurate in the order of creation or about when and how life appeared? A half-ass examination shows that it is not. God couldn't get the order right? Religious teachers of all stripes can't demonstrate how the order of creation in Genesis works? Genesis 1:2 "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" Genesis 1:3 "Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light." These verses say that light was made after the water and that earth already existed; that's wrong. The entire universe was brightly lit for its first 300,000 years of existence, billions of years before the earth came into being. Genesis 1:2 "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know from scientific studies that the early universe did not have any liquid water. None at all. Not even any water molecules. In fact, for a period of several hundred thousand years, it did not have any molecules of any sort. The Genesis description of water above the firmament is plainly wrong.

I'm sure that certain people want to believe that a Holy Book that is totally false concerning anything that requires an education is actually very helpful in other ways. But these Holy Books are not valuable teaching tool at all. There is nothing in them of value that couldn't be taught by much better methods. And that is where all the religious ideas have come from (and I do mean all).

Some people think it is worthwhile to impart valuable "cognitive content" instead of worthless lies. Giving people (that are being threatened) the right information, along with the idea that they have the right to live without fear, and ask questions is valuable.

Linda, Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. To do so would be unscientific.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Chuck Johnson said, "Linda, Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. To do so would be unscientific."

How would you know? The little cliche "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" along with the sermon is better proof of what I said that "Most believers are not seeking alternatives; they are brainwashed people who just want to proselytize, they've been conditioned to reject anything that contradicts what they already believe" than anything I could ever explain. Don't beeleebers ever come up with anything new? When there is nothing but contradictions nobody with any sense calls it scientific.

Chuck Johnson said, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I've noticed how much effect that has had on the national obsession with football and god.

I think I'll just start re-posting what (you're not addressing) so you can preach a sermon instead and hope that's all anyone will read.

There is no validity or logic in superstition or supernatural beliefs because these kinds of beliefs have no basis or foundation in fact, the only reason some people are still caught up in this hokum is because of mind-control. Where's the content in that?

Is Genesis accurate in the order of creation or about when and how life appeared? A half-ass examination shows that it is not. God couldn't get the order right? Religious teachers of all stripes can't demonstrate how the order of creation in Genesis works? Genesis 1:2 "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" Genesis 1:3 "Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light." These verses say that light was made after the water and that earth already existed; that's wrong. The entire universe was brightly lit for its first 300,000 years of existence, billions of years before the earth came into being. Genesis 1:2 "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know from scientific studies that the early universe did not have any liquid water. None at all. Not even any water molecules. In fact, for a period of several hundred thousand years, it did not have any molecules of any sort. The Genesis description of water above the firmament is plainly wrong.

I'm sure that certain people, who want to believe that a Holy Book that is totally false concerning most anything that requires an education to know it's wrong, is actually very educational. But these Holy Books are not valuable teaching tool at all. There is nothing in them of value that couldn't be taught by much better methods.

Maybe pointing out what actually was being discussed will help you get off your penchant for indoctrinating people.

If beeleebers are so sure of their "beliefs", why don't they want everyone to speak? There is a campaign to keep the media toadying to small-minded "beleebers" who are too stupid to do research or use correct grammar, or even give a logical argument. People who want everyone to believe in a god or deity need to come up with some proof of it's existence.

That proof would have to meet the same standards that any scientific or scholarly work does. Take out all the bull shit; and slander toward those who don't agree with them, the threats of hell, or the reward of heaven and see what you have left. They need to come up with some fact based information or shut the f**k up!

"If beeleebers are so sure of their "beliefs", why don't they want everyone to speak?"

When everyone speaks, nobody listens.

Why don't you stop trying to revise something into an argument that you think you can win. Although, I guess that's all bible thumpers have going for them.

When only one side is allowed to speak everyone stops listening eventually.

"If beeleebers are so sure of their "beliefs", why don't they want everyone to speak?"

The next time you copy anything I write you better put my name on it, because you didn't say that I did.

"Atheism is a reaction not a cause. " From: Luke D

Hi Luke D

What do you mean by this? Atheism is a "knee jerk response" to what?

Hey Lynde

I just mean that atheism does not exist without the idea of a god first, if humans never developed the idea of a god, atheism would not exist. and its not a cause, because it offers nothing other then a lack of belief.

Luke D said, "I just mean that atheism does not exist without the idea of a god first, if humans never developed the idea of a god, atheism would not exist."

Atheism was first; it's not the other way around, atheism or atheists existed before their was any concept of a God.

Luke D said, "and its not a cause, because it offers nothing other then a lack of belief."

It doesn't have to be a 'cause' to not be a reaction to a fairy story, or the idea that god is the 'first cause', which is a Christian thing that doesn't require anything in the way of a response since science has been ignoring it for decades.

We know scientifically that the bible has no answers, the idea of a supernatural being or Creation has not answered how we and the universe got are here.

Science has given us all the answers to those questions and religion has given us 0 answers to anything. Why would anyone react to that?

How can one sell a lack of something, anyway?

I agree with Luke D. I thought of what might be an appropriate selling slogan for atheism, but all slogans that come to mind are about something else - science, reason, skepticism, humanism, responsibility. It's like "selling" a lack of a car to people who use it every day. The best one can do is convince people that cars cause pollution, create economic dependency on oil, etc., but that's all negative. One needs to offer a good alternative. E.g., bicycle - health, ecology, cost, etc. But that becomes a selling speech for the bicycle, not for the "lack of a car".

I'm looking at this banner at the top of this page "Promoting Positive Atheism and the Separation of Church & State". I'm all for positive and creative things and separation of Church & State. I don't need to be an atheist for that. But too often atheists focus on negativism - showing that other people are stupid or ignorant, writing books on how "religion causes harm" or "is toxic", etc. Even criticizing fellow atheists for agreeing with believers or quoting the Bible in a positive way. Bitterness is not very attractive or "positive".

I agree with you Luke. However, my thing is this..we cannot lead people to atheism. If someone doesn't care sufficiently, they're less like to reason honestly. I think its a wonderful thing that there are tons of resources out there for believers to to look into. However, the desire has to come from them. Its only when I'm confronted by the religious, that I question their beliefs. In doing so, I want to put forth the sense that I'm calling into question what they believe while trying not to attack them for believing it. I think that many theist sautomatically think that we're attacking them as a person rather than the ideas that drive religious belief itself.

You tell me it's the institution Well, you know You better free you mind instead

The Beatles song "Revolution" was written by John Lennon (who professed atheism ) his song "Imagine" reflects his atheism and involvement in the peace movement during the Vietnam war. The Nixon administration decided Lennon was a threat because of the lyrics to his songs and his associations. John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine" were thought to be a threat to national stability, because they were opposing the current administrations political views on the Vietnam war.

During this time John Lennon put his anti-war sentiments into his songs. The government tried to neutralize the (John Lennon) threat by having him deported. Lennon was kept under surveillance and Nixon was reported to on Lennon's activities. Nixon claimed he wanted to leave a "generation of peace" (this was going to make him a great President) but we got the Vietnam War, which he greatly escalated during his time in office.

Before John Lennon left the Beatles they were asked about their views on the Vietnam war, but they had been advised not to get involved in politics. John Lennon wrote "Revolution" to get his views out, the rest of the band was no that thrilled with this song, but John wanted to make a statement. There were two versions of "Revolution" a slow and fast one, and on the fast version Lennon says you can count me out first (then he says in) which was deemed insubordinate. When John Lennon was asked to explain his (out - in) statement he said he didn't agree with the war, he wanted peace and didn't agree with violence, but he wasn't sure that it was going to be possible to remain non-violent and change things.

"Revolution" the lyrics "You say you've got a real solution well, you know we'd all love to see the plan"

Nixon ran for President saying he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam war. But he step up the war and widened it after he got elected.

"you say you'll change the constitution, well you know we all wanna change your head, you tell me it's the institution, well you know you better free your mind instead."

Robert Kennedy spoke about "The Secret Government" and so did Professor Carroll Quigley (a renowned professor at Georgetown University) in his 'Tragedy and Hope' (1966) he said: "There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records."

President Nixon was the first U.S. president to visit mainland China while in office. In his toast to Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, former CFR member and now President, Richard Nixon, expresses "the hope that each of us has to build a new world order." Wouldn't that require a change to the Constitution?

The song "Revolution" is about the government limiting our "freedom" especially freedom of speech. It's what Lennon experienced when they tried to keep him silent or from getting the chance to change minds from what the government propaganda and media puts out. It's about having your own ideas instead. "Free your mind instead."

David, You say you want a revolution? Then you must think of atheism as a steppingstone. Science is a similar steppingstone.

The goal is a worldwide community of human beings who put a very high value on truthfulness and a very high value on respecting the lives, the health, and the safety of other human beings. Everywhere.

Chuck,

You seem to be a convinced atheist as you said "God is a lie that is thousands of years old" in another thread. Yet, seeing you quoting 1 Corinthians 13 after saying "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. To do so would be unscientific.", it appears that you see some value in, at least, some religious teachings. I'm curious if you really do. And if so, how do you see incorporating these values into atheist culture and worldview?

You also seem to believe in a possibility of "a worldwide community of human beings who put a very high value on truthfulness and a very high value on respecting the lives, the health, and the safety of other human beings." What is the scientific basis of such belief? It seems to contradict all known human history and experience. Don't you think that such aspirations are always based on faith without evidence?

AG, Thank you for your comments. Yes, I say that God is a lie that is thousands of years old. God was created by ancient scientists and philosophers who were trying to understand where things come from and what controls the world that we see. God was a theory or conjecture used as a tool for discovery. The people who were at the top of the Pyramid of Authority then co-opted God for their own purposes. God then moved from Believe It or Not status into Believe It OR ELSE ! status. God has been a very powerful tool to enhance and to perpetuate the Pyramid. Times change. The divine right of kings in North America suffered a fatal blow on July 4th, 1776. I live just an hour's drive from Independence Hall. That place is visited as a shrine by people from all over the world.

AG, You say: "It appears that you see some value in, at least, some religious teachings." You have phrased this so broadly that I could respond by saying: "Yes, religious teachings are a goldmine of source material for the study of abnormal human psychology." But your comments to me have been respectful and sincerely curious, so I will say instead that church people carry in their minds ideas, observations, and knowledge that is internally inconsistent and is in conflict with what they constantly see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears. They know that 1+1=2 and that 1+1=3 and they know that both of these equations are true. When a scientist (and atheists have some similarities to scientists) sees such a conflict, he gets interested, gets curious and sets about learning more. When a church person sees such a conflict, he gets a thrill to be looking at more proof that God works in mysterious ways. Or sometimes he sees no conflict at all. In any case, the God vindication machinery in his mind switches on, and the conflict is resolved. These people are nuts! But I don't think that most medical insurance is ready to pay to de-program the faithful as of this writing.

You have commented on my quoting 1 Corinthians 13. Please reread this part of the Bible, but first put on a different pair of glasses. Not for your eyes, but lenses for your mind. You might see what I see. Read in a certain way, 1 Corinthians 13 can be seen as flagrant blasphemy.

To know more about how I see this passage from Corinthians, you can visit Youtube and watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOfqBoafTc from Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man: Knowledge or Certainty. A one hour show.

Chuck Johnson said, "They know that 1+1=2 and that 1+1=3 and they know that both of these equations are true. When a scientist (and atheists have some similarities to scientists) sees such a conflict, he gets interested, gets curious and sets about learning more. When a church person sees such a conflict, he gets a thrill to be looking at more proof that God works in mysterious ways."

What possible interest would an atheist or a scientist or anyone with a brain have in this 1+1=2 and 1+1 =3?

1+1 = 2 The Father and Son 1+1 =3 The Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Really! Atheist and scientists get interested in what?

Only your Christian "friends" would be excited even thought they have no answer to that silly little riddle - it's just a mystery!

AG, Thank you for your second comment:

You also seem to believe in a possibility of "a worldwide community of human beings who put a very high value on truthfulness and a very high value on respecting the lives, the health, and the safety of other human beings." What is the scientific basis of such belief? It seems to contradict all known human history and experience. Don't you think that such aspirations are always based on faith without evidence?

Instead of addressing your question with theory or philosophy, I ask you to view a TED talks video posted on Youtube called "A Brief History Of Violence". The presenter here is Steven Pinker. He is a psychology professor at Harvard University.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk

No, I don't think that such aspirations are always based on faith without evidence. The original title of Steven Pinker's presentation was " Everything You Know Is Wrong "

AG said, "You also seem to believe in a possibility of "a worldwide community of human beings who put a very high value on truthfulness and a very high value on respecting the lives, the health, and the safety of other human beings." What is the scientific basis of such belief?"

Chuck Johnson (wink, wink) replied, "Instead of addressing your question with theory or philosophy, I ask you to view a TED talks video posted on Youtube called "A Brief History Of Violence"."

Why not give a scientific answer? It's not about philosophy because morality evolved. It's the only answer that really counts as an answer? I already gave the answer to that silly remark "what gene is responsible for morality?"

Morality didn't come from God's word because if it did we would still be raping, pillaging and burning. You know, the kind of love the bible teaches, that some people read and believe is the word of a superior being.

Marc Hauser, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, proposed in his book "Moral Minds" that the brain has a genetically shaped mechanism for acquiring moral rules, a universal moral grammar similar to the neural machinery for learning language.

Biological altruism can come about through natural selection. Natural selection occurs when a variant of a gene (an allele) at a given locus tends to cause a modification of a bodily or behavioral trait (a phenotypic trait) in a way that, in the overall environment, tends to cause that variant of the gene to increase its relative frequency in the next generation; this then increases the representation of the associated trait modification as well. Typically this happens when the phenotypic modification is one that causes the organism to have greater reproductive success

Moral judgments provided a survival technique of a primitive cultures that live in groups, now vanished, selfishness had to be controlled or there wouldn't have been any advantage to communal living. Morality is an evolutionary artifact that is still used to indoctrinate people in numerous belief structures that make little sense other than some people still need to obey their masters and that makes them feel like all is right with the world.

Primatologist (Primatology is the study of nonhuman primates) Frans de Waal's in his book, "Primates and Philosophers," gives plenty of evidence that supports his view that the roots of morality can be seen in the social behavior of monkeys and apes. The fact that morality is an integral part of our evolutionary past is now well established in the studies of behavior genetics. Edward O. Wilson was first to assert that morality is an innate feature of our evolutionary past.

Moral behaviors of social animals evolved to make societies work and that is the foundation from which human morality evolved.

It appears that you see some value in, at least, some religious teachings. I'm curious if you really do. And if so, how do you see incorporating these values into atheist culture and worldview?

AG, 1 Corinthians 13 is not a very religious passage. In some ways, it is anti religious because of the value it places on faith and the value it places on love. Faith is a religious thing and love is a human thing.

"And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing."

There are parables, proverbs, and other worldly advice for humans in the Bible, and some of this advice and education stands the test of time. When Jesus gets off of his high horse, he can be witty, wise, and inspiring.

The Bible explains how the universe came to exist, and this is science. Bad science. The Bible says that God requires his people to employ rape, slavery, genocide, and a host of other horrors. This is law and politics. Bad law and politics.

The Faithful need to realize that the Bible was written by human beings with no supernatural help. The Faithful and Atheists alike need to realize that the Bible evolved over many centuries, and it evolved to serve the needs of people at the top of the Pyramid Of Authority. The Pyramid got a double benefit from Christian teachings. The church leaders gained power and money, and kings and queens did the same. The divine right of kings asserted that the secular leaders were granted their exalted positions by God.

In this way, God, the eternal soul, and salvation by Jesus served the purpose of helping to organize and control societies.

The creation of Western civilization is a wonderful thing. The Church helped to create it. The violence, torture, genocide, etc. sponsored by the Church are terrible things.

It is important to be analytical in this way. Ancient science and ancient politics must no longer be allowed to do their damage to the human race.

Little children are required to believe in Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, and the Easter Bunny.This helps them to become both gullible and deceitful. Gullibility and deceit have helped to sustain the Church for thousands of years.

By saying this, I am not trying to insult anyone. - - - It's just the truth.

AG, It's time that you and your church friends stopped throwing good money after bad.

Sorry to break in on this vaudeville act, but this topic was about who should run an atheist program and the Rights and Freedoms of all people. All those freedoms and things the bible tells believers to take away from everyone else.

Most of us have an innate moral sense which is genetically coded into us as a direct result of over one hundred thousand years of physical and social evolution. With the exception of some mutant psychopaths who run a muck killing. Religion has done nothing for them and that's provable. What evidence is there for the existence of any god (there is no evidence) all you have is dogma. Atheists are not trying to prove anything about something for which there is no evidence.

What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers. We know that they have no facts, reasoning or explanations for anything. These beliefs appeal to highly uneducated people. Atheist don't share bible thumpers supernatural fantasies or beliefs in a magic man Jeebus. Some people do recover from religious brainwashing but they have to want to first themselves.

From Linda: "Most of us have an innate moral sense which is genetically coded into us as a direct result of over one hundred thousand years of physical and social evolution. With the exception of some mutant psychopaths who run a muck killing."

Linda, which gene is responsible for moral behavior? Forgive me my ignorance, but I hope you can update us on the latest research. It appears that studying neuroscience in a graduate school is not more effective than religion in prevention of mass killings. I've read some old opinions that social behavior is learned, not "innate".

From Linda: "These beliefs appeal to highly uneducated people." like Descartes, Pascal, Newton, Mendel, Kant, and Lemaitre, among others. What you say, of course, implies, that an average believer is no match to an average atheist in education which, of course, gives you right to ridicule everyone who does not share your educated opinion.

And then, we wonder, why "as atheists we do a terrible job selling atheism" and "What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers".

To insist that God or 'The Word of God' made people moral is to insist that something exists (and did something) without any means of detecting what the something is. Any feature of reality that our minds or senses cannot possibly perceive directly or indirectly is meaningless as an answer to any question. And provides no basis for rational consideration.

Marc Hauser, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, proposed in his book "Moral Minds" that the brain has a genetically shaped mechanism for acquiring moral rules, a universal moral grammar similar to the neural machinery for learning language.

Biological altruism can come about through natural selection. Natural selection occurs when a variant of a gene (an allele) at a given locus tends to cause a modification of a bodily or behavioral trait (a phenotypic trait) in a way that, in the overall environment, tends to cause that variant of the gene to increase its relative frequency in the next generation; this then increases the representation of the associated trait modification as well. Typically this happens when the phenotypic modification is one that causes the organism to have greater reproductive success

Moral judgments provided a survival technique of a primitive cultures that live in groups, now vanished, selfishness had to be controlled or there wouldn't have been any advantage to communal living. Morality is an evolutionary artifact that is still used to indoctrinate people in numerous belief structures that make little sense other than some people still need to obey their masters and that makes them feel like all is right with the world.

Primatologist (Primatology is the study of nonhuman primates) Frans de Waal's in his book, "Primates and Philosophers," gives plenty of evidence that supports his view that the roots of morality can be seen in the social behavior of monkeys and apes. The fact that morality is an integral part of our evolutionary past is now well established in the studies of behavior genetics. Edward O. Wilson was first to assert that morality is an innate feature of our evolutionary past.

Moral behaviors of social animals evolved to make societies work and that is the foundation from which human morality evolved.

What you say here may be true, but you may want to quote more reliable sources

http://harvardmagazine.com/2010/08/harvard-dean-details-hauser-scientific-misconduct

The controversy was not over "Moral Minds" (the book I cited) it was about a paper on language origins. The book "Moral Minds" about the evolution of morals is based on findings from many scientists and there is no reason to disregard those findings.

The paper in question was about the origin of language and the tests show that monkeys can tell apart the pattern in syllable sequences. But one result couldn't be replicated. That's why science is so fantastic, everything is questioned. Unlike the bible babble that everyone takes for granted.

A few of the scientists who have written books or papers about the evolution of morals:

Joshua Greene "The Moral Instinct" by Joshua Greene, a philosopher and cognitive neuroscientist, The impulse against roughing up a fellow human would explain other examples in which people abjure (reject) killing one to save many, like euthanizing a hospital patient to harvest his organs and save five dying patients in need of transplants, or throwing someone out of a crowded lifeboat to keep it afloat. By itself this would be no more than a plausible story, but Greene teamed up with the cognitive neuroscientist Jonathan Cohen and several Princeton colleagues to peer into people's brains using functional M.R.I. They sought to find signs of a conflict between brain areas associated with emotion (the ones that recoil from harming someone) and areas dedicated to rational analysis (the ones that calculate lives lost and saved). When people pondered the dilemmas that required killing someone with their bare hands, several networks in their brains lighted up. One, which included the medial (inward-facing) parts of the frontal lobes, has been implicated in emotions about other people. A second, the dorsolateral (upper and outer-facing) surface of the frontal lobes, has been implicated in ongoing mental computation (including nonmoral reasoning, like deciding whether to get somewhere by plane or train). And a third region, the anterior cingulate cortex (an evolutionarily ancient strip lying at the base of the inner surface of each cerebral hemisphere), registers a conflict between an urge coming from one part of the brain and an advisory coming from another. But when the people were pondering a hands-off dilemma, like switching the trolley onto the spur with the single worker, the brain reacted differently: only the area involved in rational calculation stood out. Other studies have shown that neurological patients who have blunted emotions because of damage to the frontal lobes become utilitarians: they think it makes perfect sense to throw the fat man off the bridge. Together, the findings corroborate Greene's theory that our non-utilitarian intuitions come from the victory of an emotional impulse over a cost-benefit analysis."

Biologist E.O. Wilson Evolution and Our Inner Conflict by E.O. Wilson

Scientific evidence, a good part of it accumulated during the past 20 years.....etc, suggests that we are all genetic chimeras (a creature with parts from multiple animals) at once saints and sinners -- not because humanity has failed to reach some foreordained religious or ideological ideal -- but because of the way our species originated across millions of years of biological evolution.

Steven Pinker "Is There a Gene for Compassion?" By Steven Pinker. Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world's foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals," Foreign Policy's "100 Global Thinkers," and Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today."

Steven Pinker "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker "We once lived in a world in which human sacrifice, sadistic torture, grisly mutilations, brutal slavery, political murder, debtors' prisons, and blood sports were commonplace. Today, these practices horrify us, have been abolished in much of the world, and are being pushed to the margins in the rest. Whether you are counting police-blotter murders or genocides, world war death tolls or the spanking of children and the treatment of animals, rates of violence have decreased over time. Using more than a hundred graphs and maps, Pinker shows that the conventional wisdom that we are living in an exceptionally violent era is an illusion, stoked by media coverage of the goriest events and fanned by an increasing awareness of violence."

Robert Wright "The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright. Explains the evolution of human morals.

Chuck,

Thanks for your responses. I watched the videos. I think, Borowski's video is a great illustration of 1 Corinthians 13. I agree with you very much on what you say here. Neither faith, nor knowledge (mind you) should be above love, according to St. Paul. You omitted the first part of the quote: "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." I'm not sure if it makes sense to disagree with everything in the Bible including passages like this. I would say that certainty of one's opinion is a form of pride and "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." It does not matter if that opinion is based on faith or science.

I disagree with Linda that atheists are not interested in spreading atheism. Why this forum, shows, books, and debates then? I don't have a problem with atheism, but I do have a problem (like you, Chuck) with teaching from a high horse and being too certain one's opinion. Good ideas are not spread with an opening phrase "You stupid idiot". Ridiculing believers does not serve atheists well. "He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace." I'm sure, hissing does not help believers. "What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers?"

The tone, Linda, the tone. Chuck has a point. A good reading of the Book of Proverbs would be beneficial to many believers and atheists alike.

AG said, "I disagree with Linda that atheists are not interested in spreading atheism. Why this forum, shows, books, and debates then? I don't have a problem with atheism,"

You don't have a problem with atheism - then why are you spending all this time on an atheist message board disputing science or anything that discredits your beliefs.

AG said, "but I do have a problem (like you, Chuck) with teaching from a high horse and being too certain one's opinion."

We've all heard that one before. You left out people trying to distort things by leaving out why something was said or what it was about: AG, said "And then, we wonder, why "as atheists we do a terrible job selling atheism" (Who said that (your pal) the atheist proselytizing scripture?) mixed with my comment (out of context) "What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers". He put those together as all one thing.

I will say right now that most people (with any sense) won't try to reason with brainwashed bible thumpers - there is no loss in that unless someone here is an expert in deprogramming.

This is what I actually wrote that has no resemblance to that silly little diatribe of yours.

And sorry, but the comment wasn't to the atheist proselytizing scripture.

Reply to message From: Luke D (Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm)

Linda said, "Atheists aren't selling anything (atheists are exposing a fake) that has been sold as genuine and true for thousands of years without being challenged. Learning to use logic and common sense along with the ability to reason is far more valuable than all the myths and fables that fanatics can dream up."

I'm referring to atheism isn't being sold or spread - it's learning to use logic and common sense. Exposing lies in a book is not necessarily the spreading of atheism or the selling of atheism. Especially since there is no reward or punishment involved - none of the books claim you'll go to hell or get rich if you don't become an atheist. It's just about letting the chips fall where they may. There have been many books by all kinds of people with the same ideas based on the research of experts concerning ancient history, modern science, evolution or the origins of religion etc.

Do you gossip about people instead of addressing the issues or giving evidence for your beliefs because that's all you know how to do?

P.S. I don't give rats ass what a jerk like you thinks of my tone.

"P.S. I don't give rats ass what a jerk like you thinks of my tone."

Nice. Have you noticed how people lose temper when they run out of reasonable arguments?

Hey, clueless, nobody takes you seriously. You couldn't make anyone mad, they're disgusted! Do you know the difference? Why be mad at someone that could sum up everything they know in three words. "God did it."

Beside, it's interesting watching someone attack and insult anyone who threatens their phantasmagoria of magic and weird fiction, because they just can't handle the truth.

Linda,

I find some of what you say inconsistent. I may be mistaken. It is possible that I misinterpret your attitude. I wish it to be so. But here are your own quotes.

In another thread, you said: "325 First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea - the Christian Church separates Easter from Passover: "We desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews". Then you posted a long list of atrocities and abuse committed by Christians against Jews over the past thousand or so years. You seem to rightfully condemn Christians for calling Jews "detestable" and acknowledge that such attitude lead to centuries of abuse and atrocities that you quoted.

Now, you say: "What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers..." I take it, you deny having anything in common with Christians and wish to separate yourself from their detestable crowd.

If you say that you don't consider Christians detestable, here is your latest quote: "Hey, clueless, nobody takes you seriously. You couldn't make anyone mad, they're disgusted! Do you know the difference? Why be mad at someone that could sum up everything they know in three words. "God did it." - I perceive "disgusted" as slightly more intense than "detested".

I may be missing or misunderstanding something, but would you kindly explain the difference between your attitude and the one you so vehemently condemn? As you may know, some people are disgusted by homosexuals and refer to them in derogatory terms. Atheists seem to condemn such attitude as well. But disgust towards believers is considered quite commendable among atheists while agreeing with anything in the scripture may lead to "excommunication". That's an interesting interpretation of freedom of speech.

You say, all of the Bible is garbage, but when I compare your words to what the Bible says, somehow, I agree with the Bible more:

"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"

I don't understand why these words are so hard to believe and this advice to follow. Shouldn't we stop being disgusted with each other? Or, at least, refrain from expressing it? Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to insult and ridicule each other. Criticism does not mean those things either.

I write this because I think you are a smart and educated person, and I'm surprised to read some of the things you write.

AG said, "Now, you say:" Did you mean Linda said, "What do you really think atheists have in common with brainwashed bible thumpers..."

I'll bet there was a good reason for saying that. Trying to force atheists (who are not interested) in socializing with Xians or to listen to one of their brainwashing sessions better known as preaching - that might get a response like that.

AG said, "I take it, you deny having anything in common with Christians and wish to separate yourself from their detestable crowd."

Yes, but I'm not telling anyone what they need to believe in order to prevent them from burning in Hades forever. I'm also not suggesting that they should destroy other peoples places of worship or telling them that they should burn witches. These are just a couple of reasons I like to keep my distance.

AG said, "If you say that you don't consider Christians detestable, here is your latest quote: You left off my name again - you didn't write any of this I did.

Linda said, "Hey, clueless, nobody takes you seriously. You couldn't make anyone mad, they're disgusted! Do you know the difference? Why be mad at someone that could sum up everything they know in three words. "God did it." - I perceive "disgusted" as slightly more intense than "detested".

I was addressing your remark because your idea that a clown like you could make anyone mad is disgusting. Don't compare my remarks to every Christian - unless they're all devious and half-witted.

I wrote that because I think people have the "right" to live as rational beings, morals come from the ability to reason. We don't believe that God gave morality to humanity; that makes religion unnecessary to have morality. Traits that help a species to survive are passed to the next generation, and traits that don't will die out. If the trait to be serial killers was passed on that species would be done for. The basic adaptation possessed by humans for survival is reasoning ability; an evolutionary ethics would make this a primary consideration.

All of the religious wars proves that morality didn't come from the Bible. It appears that the God given command to conquer your neighbor was much stronger than the axiom to "love your neighbor."

God's moral rules, first you rape, then you pillage and then you burn. Some of us think that what we know scientifically today 2012 is light years ahead of what we knew just a short time ago. Science is advancing very quickly now. That means the scales that may have been level in the past, have now dipped very far to one side because of a preponderance of evidence. All of the evidence points to natural causes and no evidence points to a Creator or Creation; it is now sensible for scientists and other well-grounded people to say the existence of God is not a reasonable hypothesis.

You don't know the difference in a bloody myths that the world would be lost without a savior that was sacrificed tortured and killed on a bloody cross, and a civilized society that doesn't need those kinds of myths in order to do what is right, how about it's a myth made up to make man indebted to something that they must worship and doggedly follow. It gives them something to die for.

When these myths about savior god/men were circulating the common people had no knowledge of modern medicine, they were told that disease was the result of sin, or punishment by God John 5:13-15; Luke 13:11; Deuteronomy 28:27-29. Mental illness was demon possession (Matthew 9:32-34), or was a punishment from God (1 Samuel 16:14-16). They believed that miracles preformed by holy men or God, could cure the victim Acts 5:15-16; 19:11-12. Bacteria, viruses and psychoses, the real causes of illnesses, were unknown, as were the causes of natural phenomena like lightening striking, floods or earthquakes. The common man in the time of the Jesus myth were ignorant, superstitious and gullible when it came to understanding nature and disease. The gospel myths relate that the man named Jesus had the same understanding of nature and disease as the people of his day. I don't consider that very convincing evidence that he was a Supreme Being.

Let's face facts, all that you're really doing is poking holes in the ceiling with your finger and talking to an imaginary being and calling that worshiping. You're putting the highest value on something that never talks to you or gives you the time of day.

Good Luck.

"P.S. I don't give rats ass what a jerk like you thinks of my tone."

Again my writing without my name on it. You didn't say that either I did!

Linda, you asked "You don't have a problem with atheism - then why are you spending all this time on an atheist message board disputing science or anything that discredits your beliefs. "

Because when we want to confirm a rule, hypothesis, belief, or theory we need to deliberately seek evidence that contradicts it. This is according to Karl Popper. If our search results in only finding supporting or non-contradicting evidence, the hypothesis, belief, or theory gain credibility. Otherwise, we may need to adjust our beliefs accordingly.

For example, I have changed my attitude towards homosexuality. My wife asked me a few days ago if I would object our teenage son to have a homosexual friend. I said no to which she disagreed. I also wondered, where this "one man - one woman" thing comes from in terms of evolution of society. After reading Engels "The Origins of Family, State, and Private Property", I don't think it has anything to do with religion, but rather with relationship to property, inheritance, and control of inbreeding. Engels shows that the impact of monogamy on morality is, in fact, degrading. Not that I'm ready to commit adultery, but I think, this decision must follow from love to my wife, and not from religious rules. I took some Harvard research on-line survey about mind out of curiosity. I found that I think of dead people as just that - dead matter, incapable of feeling pain or pleasure, or planning ahead. I think, we are getting there.

As for existence of Creator as a cosmological concept, inherent harm of religion, and wisdom of the Bible, some of your posts, surprisingly, strengthen my beliefs.

Besides, Linda, I enjoy conversations with you. You make me a better man. I am reading things that I would not be interested to read otherwise, just because I'm curious where the heck you got that. I find myself reading Hawking, Penrose, books on quantum vacuum, Higgs field, and what not. To say nothing of history, psychology, and philosophy. I also learn to ignore empty minor insults. You also taught me that it is less embarrassing to admit ignorance than to boast with knowledge. This makes me a better Christian.

Seriously, I wanted to thank you for that.

And now, ridicule from Linda: ...

AG said, "I don't have a problem with atheism, but I do have a problem (like you, Chuck) with teaching from a high horse and being too certain one's opinion."

I haven't looked at the forum for a while and saw this thread. I think folks like AG are really upset when there are educated people who are "too certain" of their opinion. The last time I checked (on this thread, anyway) you weren't exactly back-peddling your opinion, yet you expect others to do so. What you call a "high horse" is someone who speaks with some knowledge about what they're speaking of. How much knowledge does it take to memorize and quote Bible passages? Four year old's do it every day at Jesus on the Bloody Cross Academy of America.

Emily,

If you read my posts, I do not promote the view "God exists" and I'm ready to debunk any believer who claims he has "evidence". I think, it is arrogant to say that my beliefs are better than anybody else's. As Chuck mentioned, Bible has a few good places which, definitely, can be used by anyone. But I would not defend a position that stories about virgin birth, resurrection, or new Jerusalem with streets of gold are factual truths. I also believe that many commandments in the Bible have already been revised (like stoning adulterers and Sabbath breakers), even by those who defend literal interpretation of the Bible, so much of the "moral authority" of the Bible is being obsoleted. Views on homosexuality are next, it seems. I already changed my views on that issue (thanks to this forum). I would not try to convince anyone in reality of heaven before I die. Guess, why - because I don't have evidence, and speculations aren't worth much in an argument between reasonable people.

On the other hand, my beliefs is my personal business and I may believe whatever I choose. So do you. One of the Christian beliefs that I chose to keep is that it is wrong to humiliate others, judge them, proclaim "wicked" or immoral, or blame them for causing evil. I understand that my many of my fellow Christians do not do what they preach. I think, they should. Calling another person stupid is arrogant, especially for a person who deems himself educated. It assumes superiority to another person which is pride. Calling another person immoral also means assuming a moral superiority. Who am I to judge? A follower of religion that killed millions over the last couple thousand years? A follower of a person (Jesus) who has prostitutes and adulterers among his ancestors (Tamar, Rahab, David & Bathsheba)?

Unfortunately, I see a lot of judging, blaming, and calling names from atheists. And that's what I hope to address.

As for your belief that atheists speak with some knowledge, they often don't. I've seen so many cliche opinions from atheists. E.g., no astrophysicist can assert with certainty that the universe came from nothing. This is impossible to observe. It's a possibility, a conjecture, but not a proven fact. Yet, many atheists take this as proven fact. Linda claims here that morality comes from evolution, while even Dawkins says that he would never use "survival of the fittest" principle as a moral guide. I would need to see a lot of research to buy this claim. It's a mere belief.

I don't claim that I'm in any way superior to anyone, because I can quote a few things from the Bible. Everyone can do that. I am always open to listen an educated opinion. I am reading books that Linda quotes. What I don't like is prejudice against each other and judgment based on preconceived opinions and cliche. Unfortunately, I see a lot of that among atheists.

AG said, "Emily, If you read my posts, I do not promote the view "God exists" and I'm ready to debunk any believer who claims he has "evidence". I think, it is arrogant to say that my beliefs are better than anybody else's. As Chuck mentioned, Bible has a few good places which, definitely, can be used by anyone. But I would not defend a position that stories about virgin birth, resurrection, or new Jerusalem with streets of gold are factual truths."

Linda's Answer: Look at: Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of the Earth

AG said, "Bible says in many places that God is beyond time. 6 days in the Bible, for sure, do not mean 6 periods of rotation of our planet around itself. What do "6 days" mean? Why does it matter?"

Linda's Answer: It doesn't matter where you think God is - this is about the Age Of Earth! The Bible states "with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". If Creation week took six days (a thousand years long) that's six thousand, but if a years was 24 hrs it's 6 days. According to Genesis the morning and the evening were the first day and that is a 24 hr day, but that was before the sun was created for the Earth to rotate around. Also, "God separated light from darkness" that wouldn't be necessary because darkness is merely the absence of light. Without light, there will automatically be darkness. I hope that even you recognize the errors.

Look at: Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of the Earth - AG said, "IMHO, atheism is a very proud and bold point of view and, as such, is not a wise one. Science may know "something" compared to what it knew 200 years ago, but it knows NOTHING compared to what there is to know. I think, it is a far better attitude to bow your head and thank the Lord that He gave us the ability to understand these things and reveals His majestic work to us in various ways. If getting on your knees is not acceptable to your ego, go ahead, insult me. I'd rather get on my knees before God than be brought to my knees by some jerk with a gun with same arrogant attitude."

Linda's Answer: Threats are all you've got. The Bible (which is what your beliefs are based on) sanctifies slavery and any number of immoral acts too numerous to mention. Some of us don't need a reward or threats to do what is right. You are a self-absorbed jerk with an arrogant attitude, and down right stupid. So, just shoot me!

Linda's Answer: Your opinions are not humble and are not worth much believe me. What you think about atheists isn't the most important thing in the whole fucking world! Atheists believe in facing the truth even if it's the ugly truth instead of just believing a pack of sweet little lies. We have not been putting out addled insulting remarks; you got the facts and you answered them with incoherent prattle and bible verses. All you know how to do is memorize biblical insanity, which isn't knowledge or experience and post whiny complaints..

Linda's Answer: What's "rude" is you posting a question for "Linda" and when you got the answer you ignored it because (as usual) it was interrupted and you had to first post pages of bible babble and threats instead of first answering my reply.

AG said, "I also believe that many commandments in the Bible have already been revised (like stoning adulterers and Sabbath breakers), even by those who defend literal interpretation of the Bible, so much of the "moral authority" of the Bible is being obsoleted. Views on homosexuality are next, it seems. I already changed my views on that issue (thanks to this forum). I would not try to convince anyone in reality of heaven before I die. Guess, why - because I don't have evidence, and speculations aren't worth much in an argument between reasonable people."

Linda's Answer: Even if you didn't believe the ridiculous stories in the bible (which is questionable) it's nothing new. Many of the books that weren't included in the Holy Writ were discarded because they were so unreal or grotesque. You're not 'different' from most believers who either ignore or make excuses for all the contradictions and errors in a book that was supposed to be inspired by a Superior Being or your Lord and Master.

AG said, "On the other hand, my beliefs is my personal business and I may believe whatever I choose. So do you."

Linda's Answer: That's right but we are on an atheist message board discussing an atheist issue and you are the one interrupting with your religious prattle.

AG said, "One of the Christian beliefs that I chose to keep is that it is wrong to humiliate others, judge them, proclaim "wicked" or immoral, or blame them for causing evil. I understand that my many of my fellow Christians do not do what they preach. I think, they should. Calling another person stupid is arrogant, especially for a person who deems himself educated. It assumes superiority to another person which is pride. Calling another person immoral also means assuming a moral superiority. Who am I to judge? A follower of religion that killed millions over the last couple thousand years? A follower of a person (Jesus) who has prostitutes and adulterers among his ancestors (Tamar, Rahab, David & Bathsheba)?"

Linda's Answer: They tell that story because they took the gospel to the illiterate and uneducated first. Uneducated primitive men wrote the bible babble and as man became educated they knew it was drivel and that's why it takes extreme coercion to keep that information from (what is commonly called folks) or the common people. You need to come up with some proof that any of these stories are based in fact. There is not one shred of evidence or any reason to believe that it's anything but fiction.

AG said, "Unfortunately, I see a lot of judging, blaming, and calling names from atheists. And that's what I hope to address."

Linda's Answer: Your dubious beliefs (or religion) has nothing to offer in terms of morality; your morality doesn't include having a genuinely good reason to believe something in the first place. These are only excuses. That's not what you've been addressing and the reason you are being insulted is because you really want to disrupt the atheist forum so the atheists can't discuss their own issue that atheists should have equal time in the media. If you don't understand what the issue is then butt out.

AG said, "As for your belief that atheists speak with some knowledge, they often don't. I've seen so many cliche opinions from atheists. E.g., no astrophysicist can assert with certainty that the universe came from nothing. This is impossible to observe. It's a possibility, a conjecture, but not a proven fact. Yet, many atheists take this as proven fact."

Linda's Answer: The cosmological argument (first cause) is not new, so presenting pseudoscience versions of it does nothing to change the basic assumptions. That 'something' couldn't come from 'nothing' and there had to be a 'first cause'.

Linda's Answer: Physicists are using the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world analyze the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC. Today, just about every scientist believes in the Big Bang model. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, the Big Bang is considered the beginning. The mathematical underpinnings of the Big Bang theory include Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity along with standard theories of fundamental particles.

Linda's Answer: There was no matter as we know it in the time leading up to the Big Bang, but there was a concentration of energy that began to expand at some point. There is a concept that most modern physicists agree on consistent with all current knowledge that gives an explanation of the origin of our universe. From a random quantum fluctuation the universe tunneled from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals. The bubble then inflated exponentially and its curvature energy transformed into matter and radiation. Inflation stopped and the more linear Big Bang expansion commenced.

Linda's answer: To: AG on Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age Of Earth:

Linda's Answer: George Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a burst of fireworks, comparing galaxies to the burning embers spreading out in a growing sphere from the center of the burst. He believed this burst of fireworks was the beginning of time, taking place on (what he called) "a day without yesterday."

Linda's Answer: Scientists accepted the Big Bang as fact, but some scientists predicted that gravity would eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and make the universe fall back toward its center, but Lemaitre believed that the universe would keep expanding. He argued that the Big Bang was a unique event, while other scientists believed that the universe would shrink to the point of another Big Bang, and so on.

Linda's Answer: In the winter of 1998, two separate teams of astronomers in Berkeley, California made a startling discovery. They were both observing supernovae (exploding stars visible over great distances) to see how fast the universe is expanding. In accordance with prevailing scientific wisdom, the astronomers expected to find the rate of expansion to be decreasing, Instead they found it to be increasing, a discovery which has since "shaken astronomy to its core" (Astronomy, October 1999). The observations made in Berkeley supported Lemaitre's contention that the Big Bang was in fact "a day without yesterday." The Big Bang is the accepted theory by most scientists today and what the elite group of scientists and physics working in CERN are basing their experiments on.

Linda's Answer: What George Lemaitre discovered, Einstein had recognized almost fifteen years earlier. In 1915, Albert Einstein had concluded that the universe could not be static because of calculations based on his recently-discovered theory of relativity (therefore Einstein was evaluating the same conclusions as George Lemaitre). After Russian physicist Alexandra Friedman produced computations showing that the structure of the universe was not static but even a tiny impulse might be sufficient to cause the whole structure to expand or contract according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity around 1922, George Lemaitre recognize what Friedman's work meant. George Lemaitre a Belgian astronomer (based on Friedman's computations) decided that the universe had a beginning and that it was expanding as a result of something that had triggered it. He also stated that the rate of radiation could be used as a measure of the aftermath of that "something". And all of this might have been ignored except in 1929 Edwin Hubble, working at the California Mount Wilson observatory, made one of the most important discoveries. Hubble's observation showed the celestial bodies were moving away from us. Later on Hubble made another discovery; the stars weren't just racing away from Earth; they were racing away from each other as well. Hubble concluded a universe where everything is moving away from everything else is a universe that is constantly expanding. If the universe was expanding (getting bigger) as time passed, then in the past the universe was smaller; and as we looked back in time everything would be getting smaller until it came together from different directions or converged at a single point. The finding from this model was that at some time all the matter in the universe was compacted in a single point that had zero volume because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point that had zero volume. This explosion is known as the Big Bang and this has repeatedly been confirmed by observational evidence.

Linda's Answer: Quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles are particle-antiparticle pairs that come into existence in otherwise empty space for very brief periods of time, in agreement with the Heisenberg uncertainty relations. Physicists have known for a long time that some fundamental particles have mass, but the mathematics underlying the standard model predicts that they should be mass less. Without the zero mass assumption the model doesn't work. Peter Higgs presented a possible solution to this problem. He hypothesized at an early time after the Big Bang all particle became liquid. But as the Universe cooled down, one the Higgs field started to condense and become thick. Other particles, interacting with the Higgs field, were dragged back. Particles which experience this drag effect are experiencing inertia, one has to push them with a force to get them to move. According to Newton, any particle with inertia also has mass. Higgs' mechanism tells us how the particles of the standard model were mass less, as the mathematics tell us may have acquired non-zero masses. The amount of mass each particle feels is proportional to the strength with which it feels the effect of the Higgs thick fluid. The Higgs Boson is what the LHC was looking for among other things, and they have recently announced that they FOUND the HIGGS BOSON.

AG said, "Linda claims here that morality comes from evolution, while even Dawkins says that he would never use "survival of the fittest" principle as a moral guide. I would need to see a lot of research to buy this claim. It's a mere belief."

Linda's Answer: To insist that God or 'The Word of God' made people moral is to insist that something exists (and did something) without any means of detecting what the something is. Any feature of reality that our minds or senses cannot possibly perceive directly or indirectly is meaningless as an answer to any question. And provides no basis for rational consideration.

Linda's Answer: I can't do a thing about your inability to understand "survival of the fittest" which can include having a gene that prevents a species from contracting a deadly disease. So, that wouldn't have anything to do with morality. In primitive man whatever is right for your tribal culture was their morality. However, group's survival might depend on morality and that is why and how morality evolved. Marc Hauser, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, proposed in his book "Moral Minds" that the brain has a genetically shaped mechanism for acquiring moral rules, a universal moral grammar similar to the neural machinery for learning language.

Linda's Answer: Biological altruism can come about through natural selection. Natural selection occurs when a variant of a gene (an allele) at a given locus tends to cause a modification of a bodily or behavioral trait (a phenotypic trait) in a way that, in the overall environment, tends to cause that variant of the gene to increase its relative frequency in the next generation; this then increases the representation of the associated trait modification as well. Typically this happens when the phenotypic modification is one that causes the organism to have greater reproductive success

Linda's Answer: Moral judgments provided a survival technique of a primitive cultures that live in groups, now vanished, selfishness had to be controlled or there wouldn't have been any advantage to communal living. Morality is an evolutionary artifact that is still used to indoctrinate people in numerous belief structures that make little sense other than some people still need to obey their masters and that makes them feel like all is right with the world.

Linda's Answer: Primatologist (Primatology is the study of nonhuman primates) Frans de Waal's in his book, "Primates and Philosophers," gives plenty of evidence that supports his view that the roots of morality can be seen in the social behavior of monkeys and apes. The fact that morality is an integral part of our evolutionary past is now well established in the studies of behavior genetics. Edward O. Wilson was first to assert that morality is an innate feature of our evolutionary past.

Linda's Answer: Moral behaviors of social animals evolved to make societies work and that is the foundation from which human morality evolved.

AG said, "I don't claim that I'm in any way superior to anyone, because I can quote a few things from the Bible. Everyone can do that. I am always open to listen an educated opinion. I am reading books that Linda quotes. What I don't like is prejudice against each other and judgment based on preconceived opinions and cliche. Unfortunately, I see a lot of that among atheists."

Linda's Answer: You are trying to portray yourself as an egalitarian when every word out of your mouth screams overbearing redneck fundie. You clearly don't think atheists have any rights at all. Anyone who can read just needs to go look at this thread and The Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of Earth (it's even better) they will see that you don't understand science or physics and you are the one trying to force your religious views on atheists. Remember The (topic) Age Of Earth where you posted a butt load of Bible passages, that were totally irrelevant to the discussion. You're being judged according to what you've written (the remarks you've made) speak volumes about whose the narrow minded bigot. What you are doing (for the most part) is going around the message board interrupting discussions and of course you are getting told off. Then in retaliation you copycat what was said to you the next time you interrupt one of their discussions.

Chuck Johnson said, "Linda, Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. To do so would be unscientific." He proceeded posting a string of bible babble.

Linda Answered: How would you know? The little CLICHE "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" along with the sermon is better proof of what I said that "Most believers are not seeking alternatives; they are brainwashed people who just want to proselytize, they've been conditioned to reject anything that contradicts what they already believe" than anything I could ever explain.

Linda's Answer: It's not rude to come to the conclusion (after listening to a loads of crap) that the person is confusing brainwashing with knowledge and cannot accept facts. To continue to force a false premise (when the evidence proves it is wrong) because you cannot face reality is contemptuous.

Linda's Answer: I tried to put my name next to my answers in an attempt to prevent AG from saying he learned something from me and making it appear that my answers were something other than what it was (like trying to make it appear we were talking about Jews not eating pork as a reason for their persecution) that answer was in reference to Does Religion Cause Harm. Don't merge your stupidity with my answers (and you are a disgusting jerk). That'll be the day when atheists do the kind of violence toward anyone that vicious little goody-two-shoes worshipers have done to everyone who doesn't agree with them. After all they're taught from birth that they are 'special' and everyone different from them isn't - most of us know that.

Linda, thanks for pasting this here again.

LINDA SAID: "From a random quantum fluctuation the universe tunneled from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation."

I have traced this phrase through a long chain of cut-and-pastes on the internet to this article:

http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/anthro_skintel.html: "According to this scenario, by means of a random quantum fluctuation the universe "tunneled" from pure vacuum ("nothing") to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation but is not quite "nothing." The space inside this bubble of false vacuum was curved, or warped. A small amount of energy was contained in that curvature, somewhat like the energy stored in a strung bow. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals."

This is an article written by a professor of philosophy, not a physicist. This text is not only confusing, it misinterprets the concepts. According to this book, http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Books/StructVacuumE.pdf, pages 16-19, Fig. 1.8: "If there are two local energy minima separated by a potential barrier, the vacuum can then remain in the "false" vacuum state for an almost unlimited length of time." Fig. 1.9 "If the transition from a "false" vacuum to a "true" vacuum is triggered, the true vacuum expands in an explosion at the speed of light, releasing available energy".

Tunneling into the "false" vacuum from "pure" vacuum would require energy rather than release it. If you understand energy band diagrams, you can see it rather easily. Sorry I had to correct this little inaccuracy, but you keep embarrassing yourself posting this error over and over. Linda, I understand what you say better than you think. What you describe here is a theory, a conjecture. Vacuum, even "pure" vacuum, is not "nothing". It's a "region of space". Vacuum cannot exist without space, can it? Also, tunneling is a process in time which implies a previous state and the resulting state. This contradicts to your idea that there was nothing (no time, no space, no matter) before big bang.

I'm getting weary of this. You don't respond to what I say. You simply dump same cut-and-paste stuff without much thinking of what it really means. Would you like me to cut and paste a few pages from the Bible?

To; AG,

I can't understand why you don't recognize a well known physicists Alexander Vilenkin's theory when you claim to have been studying physics for 10 years.

I'm writing about a well known theories that can be found in many places just like gravity or any other physics related issue.

Modern physics has given us the theory that the Universe "came into existence out of nothing". I've read a butt load of articles and books by physicists who concur that the universe came into existence out of nothing.

There was no matter as we know it in the time leading up to the Big Bang, but there was a concentration of energy that began to expand at some point. There is a concept that most modern physicists agree on consistent with all current knowledge that gives an explanation of the origin of our universe.

Physicist Alexander Vilenkin's quantum tunneling concept:

From a random quantum fluctuation the universe tunneled from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals. The bubble then inflated exponentially and its curvature energy transformed into matter and radiation. Inflation stopped and the more linear Big Bang expansion commenced.

Heisenberg himself offered such an observer effect at the quantum level:

An aspect of the Big Bang theory is quantum vacuum fluctuations - virtual particles are particle-antiparticle pairs that come into existence in otherwise empty space for very brief periods of time, in agreement with the Heisenberg uncertainty relations.

The Higgs field was postulated by a British physicist Peter Higgs and others in 1964.

Physicists have known for a long time that some fundamental particles have mass, but the mathematics underlying the standard model predicts that they should be mass less. Without the zero mass assumption the model doesn't work. Peter Higgs presented a possible solution to this problem. He hypothesized at an early time after the Big Bang all particle became liquid. But as the Universe cooled down, one the Higgs field started to condense and become thick. Other particles, interacting with the Higgs field, were dragged back. Particles which experience this drag effect are experiencing inertia, one has to push them with a force to get them to move. According to Newton, any particle with inertia also has mass. Higgs' mechanism tells us how the particles of the standard model were mass less, as the mathematics tell us may have acquired non-zero masses. The amount of mass each particle feels is proportional to the strength with which it feels the effect of the Higgs thick fluid. The higgs boson is what the lhc was looking for among other things, and they have recently announced that think they have found the higgs boson.

"I think we have it," Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director general of CERN, said in an interview from his office outside Geneva, calling the discovery "a historic milestone." His words signaled what is probably the beginning of the end for one of the longest, most expensive searches in the history of science. If scientists are lucky, the discovery could lead to a new understanding of how the universe began.

What you are tired of is the fact that modern physics says that there is no need for a creator (you want it to just be a philosophy) neither physicists nor scientists make up laws or assume theories and then work backwards to try and prove them, as Creation science assumes a Creator exists that created the world, and then works backwards to prove it. That's why Creation science is still waiting to get any of the answers.

By the way, you don't comprehend the answers anyway, you will turn right around and say that nobody knows things that they do know.

From: Linda (Posted Aug 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm) Here is my post (written in my own words)from my knowledge of Physicist Alexander Vilenkin quantum tunneling theory: Clearly it's not the same as the article AG cut and pasted

Linda's Answer: There was no matter as we know it in the time leading up to the Big Bang, but there was a concentration of energy that began to expand at some point. There is a concept that most modern physicists agree on consistent with all current knowledge that gives an explanation of the origin of our universe. From a random quantum fluctuation the universe tunneled from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals. The bubble then inflated exponentially and its curvature energy transformed into matter and radiation. Inflation stopped and the more linear Big Bang expansion commenced.

AG said, "I have traced this phrase through a long chain of cut-and-pastes on the internet to this article: http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/anthro_skintel.html:

Then he posted this crap, which was not what I wrote but anyone can find information on quantum tunneling like AG did after I told him what it was because it has been written about by all kinds of people (even apologists) and scientists and physicists. All kinds of people have written about gravity but only apologists don't believe in it.

AG, "According to this scenario, by means of a random quantum fluctuation the universe "tunneled" from pure vacuum ("nothing") to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation but is not quite "nothing." The space inside this bubble of false vacuum was curved, or warped. A small amount of energy was contained in that curvature, somewhat like the energy stored in a strung bow. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals."

AG says, "This is an article written by a professor of philosophy, not a physicist. This text is not only confusing, it misinterprets the concepts. According to this book, http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Books/StructVacuumE.pdf, pages 16-19, Fig. 1.8:

I think we all know by now that nothing that I wrote came from that article that you say you are quoting from in an attempt to discredit someone who is not love'n "Jeeebus" and doesn't believe He licked his finger and pocked it into space and made Him a universe then he blowed on some dirt and made Him a man.

AG says this is from that article, "Tunneling into the "false" vacuum from "pure" vacuum would require energy rather than release it." AG says, "If you understand energy band diagrams, you can see it rather easily. Sorry I had to correct this little inaccuracy,"

That'll be the day! Sorry but I first have to stop laughing. You're the one that copied from an article trying to correct someone on an issue that you don't even slightly understand. You didn't even find that there are many physicists who have written about quantum tunneling. You said that you copied something from a professor of philosophy, who was not a physicist.

Heisenberg recognized tunneling as a new quantum mechanism.

The Alan Guth model is called the Inflationary Universe. In the Inflation model, our Universe starts out as a rapidly expanding bubble of pure vacuum energy, with no matter or radiation. After a period of rapid expansion, or inflation, and rapid cooling, the potential energy in the vacuum is converted through particle physics processes into the kinetic energy of matter and radiation. The Universe heats up again and we get the standard Big Bang. You will find this explanation of Alan Guth's model in many physics forums, articles and books.

I think that the tunneling here would involve the energy of space-time itself dropping down into a `negative` energy. The decay of higgs particles on the wall of a false vacuum actually generated the energy to create matter and antimatter, the energy of inflation was derived from the breaking apart of the four forces.

Victor Stenger asks, "what is the ultimate symmetrical state? The answer "nothing". The state of nothing is absolutely symmetrical, beyond any comparison. If we apply nature's principle of seeking the least energetic equilibrium via symmetry breaking, we see that this state of nothing must break into a state of "something", as perfect symmetry requires a higher level of energy to maintain than imperfect symmetry. This "something" manifested in the Big Bang. Big Bang is a symmetry break from "nothing." It happened because nature constantly seeks a lower state of energy."

Moments after Big Bang the total energy was low enough to allow a symmetry break, causing gravity to separate from the other three forces. Later, strong force separated. Later still, weak force and electromagnetism. Super-symmetry breaking is like water turning into ice; no input energy is needed.

AG said, "I'm getting weary of this. You don't respond to what I say. You simply dump same cut-and-paste stuff without much thinking of what it really means."

What you're weary of are the people who know the answers you try to pawn off as science are nothing but bible babble. If they would just go away you'd have a pulpit all to yourself!

You're the one that turns around and asks the same questions "where did the universe come from, something can't come from nothing" when you just got the answer on another thread. It's because you don't know it's the answer and you don't understand the answers anyway.

AG said, "Would you like me to cut and paste a few pages from the Bible?"

You have been cutting and pasting from the bible look at Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of Earth where you posted bible vs and tried to say it was the theory of evolution and that Darwin was a racist etc. That's really all you know or understand.

What needs to happen to center you in reality is this, the next time you unload a pile of crap like this on someone I hope they dump it on your head. I hope it will make you feel really silly while it oozes down your face. And I bet you know where you can go from there.

AG said, "This text is not only confusing, it misinterprets the concepts. According to this book,http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Books/StructVacuumE.pdf, pages 16-19, Fig. 1.8:" AG said, "If there are two local energy minima separated by a potential barrier, the vacuum can then remain in the "false" vacuum state for an almost unlimited length of time." Fig. 1.9 "If the transition from a "false" vacuum to a "true" vacuum is triggered, the true vacuum expands in an explosion at the speed of light, releasing available energy".

Well, it's your text! Nobody else cut and pasted it on the message board as an answer.

This Book from Rafelski University of Arizona physics? (The structured vacuum: thinking about nothing:) Authors Johann Rafelski, Berndt Muller Edition illustrated Publisher H. Deutsch, 1985 Length181 pages Subjects Science General.

It's about a false vacuum.This has nothing to do with what happened in the singularity or the Big Bang. This is about what would happen to Earth if we are in a false vacuum instead of a true vacuum. We could be instantly destroyed if a bubble of lower-energy vacuum were nucleated, it would expand approaching the speed of light and destroy the Earth. In a false vacuum the energy is higher than that in the true vacuum, there is a barrier preventing the field from classically rolling down to the true vacuum. Consequently, the transition to the true vacuum must be stimulated by the creation of high-energy particles or through quantum-mechanical tunneling.

I wrote about the physicists theory about the origin of the Universe as a quantum tunneling event the theory of the universe "quantum tunneling from nothing, at the Big Bang.

But you keep right on correcting us!

"I love atheism and I love being an atheist". See, this is the problem with atheists. They criticize religious people for the absurd things they accept as true, but then they say something ridiculous like this. Either this person is a misguided atheist or playing around.

David said, "I love atheism and I love being an atheist. Let me hear some others telling me how much they love everything about atheism! Atheists rock! We are the real leaders of the free world!"

I personally think this is right on-not at all absurd. Christians are always on the attack and atheists are always on the defensive-and walking on eggshells to prove they are not "haters." Screw that-what do atheists have to apologize for-"I'm so sorry I'm rational ?" Or, "Pardon me, but I hope you aren't offended-I'll be thinking for myself on Sunday." Christians (and other religions, but around here, mostly Christians) are surrounded by like-minded people pumping them up and making them feel good about themselves. What I think David is saying is essentially that we should spend more time supporting each other, enjoying the cool things that we could be talking about (science, reality) and not fighting off the latest negative attacks by people like AG.

Emily, I'm sorry that you view my comments as negative.

You said, "Christians are always on the attack and atheists are always on the defensive-and walking on eggshells to prove they are not "haters." Screw that-what do atheists have to apologize for-"I'm so sorry I'm rational ?" Or, "Pardon me, but I hope you aren't offended-I'll be thinking for myself on Sunday."

I agree with you. Atheists don't have to apologize. But they don't have to respond with insults and ridicule either. I don't believe, atheists are haters. I do believe it in spite of some things I hear from atheists. It upsets me when I hear hate speeches from atheists. At least, I perceive some of them as hate speeches, just like you perceive my comments as negative. And if I do, many others would as well. It also upsets me when I hear hate speeches from Christians. I had to accept Christianity to come to this point of view. Hating intolerant people does not promote tolerance. Loving our enemy does. There was a TED talk this month http://www.ted.com/talks/scilla_elworthy_fighting_with_non_violence.html "How do you deal with a bully without becoming a thug?". The answer is not scientific. It's not explicitly religious, but I view "meditation to change one's attitude and addressing fears" very close to Solomon's prayer for wisdom.

I try not to respond to rude posts other than pointing out the rudeness without returning it. Please, let me know if I was rude to anyone here. I would like to apologize. I post in this forum not to attack your beliefs, but to challenge mine. I am learning many things here and I would like to thank all of you.

Don't atheists have better causes than exposing how stupid or immoral other people are? I guess, this is the main question in this thread.

No, most of us realize what you & company are doing (and have done for years) you're interrupting discussions that aren't about you or your idiotic agenda, because like all Xian bullies you think you have the right to interrupt a discussion with mind numbing twaddle.

AG said, "Don't atheists have better causes than exposing how stupid or immoral other people are? I guess, this is the main question in this thread."

The original topic, posted by David, was about theists being allowed to run an atheist show or set the agenda. David said, "The show is awesome but it has one problem. It is a problem shared by most atheists. We let believers define the paradigm and we play their game."

The reason you don't know what the discussion was even about is because you have another agenda, and it's not addressing the topic. Most of the time when an atheist posts a topic on this message board it's interrupted by mind numbing prattle from fanatics who want to sidetrack the discussion and prevent the atheists from having a forum. Just like this discussion was interrupted with (a fake debate) and insults directed at the disgusted atheists. It is this mind-set that allows you to cling to your nonsensical religion without question. Let me leave you with a quote - since I know how much you like them.

St. Jerome said, "There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or an uneducated congregation."

The main point in the thread was actually David pointing out that atheists need to-if I may put it in my own words-"do their own thing" without constantly focusing on the attacks or diversions of defending atheism to "people of faith." Instead we could be having real discussions about science or something we ourselves value. There is nothing wrong with people who disagree having a dialogue, but it takes up ALL of atheists time-it does not, however, take up ALL of Christians' time-they spend much more time supporting each other and "Bible Lurnin'." You know why? Atheists are not bothering Christians-they don't troll their millions of message boards, nor do they call The 700 Club. You mentioned earlier in the thread to Linda that Atheists cannot "sell" Atheism with that kind of language. Atheists are NOT Selling anything to anyone-unlike The 700 Club and all that jazz, non-belief and the support of others who express non-belief is free.

AG said: I am learning many things here and I would like to thank all of you.

This is good. - - - Very, very good.

In another thread, AG says that God is wisdom. He also says that there is "something" that drives us towards better life. That seems to be about it for AG's God. Very good.

Why is this so good? - - - Because old-time christianity and today's fundamentalism both try to kill curiosity, logic, reason, and the imagination. If it doesn't serve the purposes of God, the Divine Plan, Biblical Teachings, etc. you will be treated very badly by the Church. Absurd threats and promises are made to keep you faithful.

This is the philosophy of drama, emotion, hope, fear, and fraud.

AG is moving forward with the rest of the thinking Human race. There is very little left of his theology to hold him back.

I believe in a God who is a fictional character in a book (actually, many books). I also believe in a God who is the subject of a very long tradition of oral storytelling. Pat Robertson and many others continue that tradition today.

I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways. This is only natural. Some of the things that people think about, talk about, make movies about, etc. are manifestations of God here on Earth. These manifestations of perceptions and ideas do in fact affect the way we do things here on Earth. If this type of God didn't exist along with all of his earthly manifestations, the ACA would not exist. The ACA is a manifestation on Earth of God.

So here is what I have learned: There is a continuum between belief in God and in other supernatural things, and non-belief.

No gaps. The proof of this is that there is a continuum of definitions of God.

Remember that I believe in God and in his manifestations here on Earth. But before you shout - Hallelujah! - Praise the Lord! - be sure to read the fine print !

Chuck, you said, "Why is this so good? - - - Because old-time christianity and today's fundamentalism both try to kill curiosity, logic, reason, and the imagination. If it doesn't serve the purposes of God, the Divine Plan, Biblical Teachings, etc. you will be treated very badly by the Church. Absurd threats and promises are made to keep you faithful."

I don't think at all that the spirit of Christianity is to kill curiosity, logic, reason, and the imagination. I think, it is to the contrary. The issue is that over the centuries, "Divine Plan", "Biblical Truth", "purposes of God", etc. became registered trademarks of the Church corporation who ruthlessly prosecuted anyone trying to use them without paying royalties. I don't think anyone can claim ownership of those concepts except God himself. I think, the situation slowly improves. I don't think that declaring the whole thing evil and throwing it into the garbage bin is a wise tactic. It has been done before and it did not work. Allowing to crucify oneself and rising again is at the core of Christianity. There is something in this teaching that keeps appealing to human heart.

From: Chuck Johnson (Posted Jul 31, 2012 at 4:31 am) in another thread "God is a lie that is thousands of years old."

From: Chuck Johnson (Posted Aug 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm) "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways. This is only natural. Some of the things that people think about, talk about, make movies about, etc. are manifestations of God here on Earth. These manifestations of perceptions and ideas do in fact affect the way we do things here on Earth. If this type of God didn't exist along with all of his earthly manifestations, the ACA would not exist. The ACA is a manifestation on Earth of God."

"... the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Self-contradiction is not always absurd.

AG,

From: AG (Posted Aug 26, 2012 at 12:57 am) AG said, "... the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

I hate to rain on your happy ass daydream but neither of you are holding two opposed ideas in your mind at the same time. Both of you have just formed your own personalized God that is based on the same groundless claims of any and every other belief. You're trying to renegotiate the same old beliefs into something that might convince someone that what you believe are ideas that you came to by yourself; when it's just - the same old - same old.

According to the Holy Writ Jesus was "God with us" when He walked upon this earth (spirit or not) and yet he chose to ignore the grinding poverty, and all of the evil and suffering.

Paul never spoke of Jesus as a man who walked the Earth because Paul's entire knowledge of Jesus came from visions. Paul and the Early Church Fathers were highly influenced by Mithraism; even so, most Christians claim Jesus was a savior god/man who actually walked the Earth. Yet, there is no evidence outside the bible babble of a Jesus who ever existed, and I think some people were smart enough to think that mattered. That's why Jesus must have been a spirit since no evidence of his existence could be located.

Atheism is defined as not believing that a god exists. So, how does anyone become an atheist by just redefining their god? What you're describing are two different things: atheism is not having a belief in god/gods and theism is a belief claim. You're trying to merge the two and it just won't work, it isn't atheism it's an oxymoron. What you want is to find a way to join in on a discussion by calling your god something other than what it is and your belief as well, so that you can proselytize some more; never mind the fact that you really aren't addressing the actual topic.

The problem with what you are doing is it doesn't require critical thinking, and it's just replacing the concept of god with another one without removing it all together. It's the same club you already belong to; you're here to recruit. You don't have to think for yourself to come up with another version of god. Guess what? There is no god! Atheism is not another belief system, or a way to a be better theist, "good for you"; as your pal seem to think. You are both wooing recognition and acceptance of your beliefs.

People don't become atheists because somebody told them there was no god, and they just believe them, they actually became atheists because of what they have learned and by thinking for themselves. What you're advocating doesn't require one scintilla of critical thinking; it requires belief, redefining a belief doesn't add up to atheism, it's just finding another way to accept a belief over critical thinking. You are advocating an irrational belief over thinking for yourself. Atheist don't accept beliefs that are in opposition to all available evidence.

To make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. -Frederick Douglass

Linda said: "You're trying to renegotiate the same old beliefs into something that might convince someone that what you believe are ideas that you came to by yourself; when it's just - the same old - same old."

Linda, I was trying to show you that what you say and do has been said and done thousands of years ago multiple times - disgust with other people without knowing them, judging and labeling people by stereotypes, accusing large groups of people of "evildoing" based on facts that have nothing to do with specific people in question, again, by stereotypes. I know, Christians are guilty of all that too. I thought, atheists would be different, but it turns out "the same old - same old."

Linda said: "The problem with what you are doing is it doesn't require critical thinking, and it's just replacing the concept of god with another one without removing it all together."

If I were not critical, I would gobble up whatever you or Dawkins or the Pope feed me and won't bother to argue. The whole reason I'm here is because I'm critical of what you say and I'm critical of what I believe too. As for removing the concept of god all together, once a concept exists, it cannot be removed. Can it? As I said, I understand "God" as "something" that drives us towards a better life. This "something" is often illogical and contradicts the evidence. I do think that a drive to better life is essential for human existence and even atheists have it. Why should I remove this concept?

Linda said: "You don't have to think for yourself to come up with another version of god."

How so? If I were not thinking for myself, I would accept some version of god that already exists. Why bother coming up with something different?

Linda said: "Guess what? There is no god! Atheism is not another belief system..."

Don't you believe that the universe can be explained without a Creator? How is that not a belief system or an underlying principle for one?

Reply to AG post: (Posted Aug 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm)

My replies and other people's replies copy the entire post that we are replying to. We put our comments under what they said quote marks and their name on it. We don't take one sentence that is out of context or little snip-its from an entire paper and comment on that to create a so-called argument. Let's try to piece my original reply back together shall we? Since there would be no reason to reply to these senseless out of context strange ramblings.

AG said, "Linda said: "You're trying to renegotiate the same old beliefs into something that might convince someone that what you believe are ideas that you came to by yourself; when it's just - the same old - same old."

Well now let me see, how about it? Lets go back to where AG first quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald shall we? ... "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." --F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an atheist and that quote you tried to jerry-rigg to conform with what y'all are doing has nothing to do with a xian agenda mixed with elusive atheist views. Now let's go to the whole thing that I said not just one sentence out of context.

Linda said, "I hate to rain on your happy ass daydream but neither of you are holding two opposed ideas in your mind at the same time. Both of you have just formed your own personalized God that is based on the same groundless claims of any and every other belief. You're trying to renegotiate the same old beliefs into something that might convince someone that what you believe are ideas that you came to by yourself; when it's just - the same old - same old.

See how really different it is when things are not taken out of context by leaving out everything that went before so that the meaning is totally lost.

I'm saying what y'all believe is the product of brainwashing; it's not the product of careful thoughtful research. Renegotiate is in reference to the fact that you're pretending that what you have isn't religion when what you are doing is the basis for all religion. When they disagreed they took their marbles and went out and started a new branch of the same-old same-old. You think you can convince atheists that brainwashing bullshit is interesting and appealing as a philosophy so that atheists or almost atheists (like y'all) will just eat it up like good candy.

Not giving it the-time-of-day!

From: AG said, "Linda, I was trying to show you that what you say and do has been said and done thousands of years ago multiple times - disgust with other people without knowing them, judging and labeling people by stereotypes, accusing large groups of people of "evildoing" based on facts that have nothing to do with specific people in question, again, by stereotypes. I know, Christians are guilty of all that too. I thought, atheists would be different, but it turns out "the same old - same old."

"Same-old same-old" was my little quip why don't you try to think up one of your own. You clearly do not understand the history of the Jewish Wars or anything that I've written. The Romans designated the Jews an enemy of the state for a reason and then turned everyone against them - it's known as propaganda. I'm not judging people that I know nothing about or that I don't know. I know more about that sick little religion than most believers who follow it. You know the ones that become vicious and irate when they are told it's all fake and everything they believe is a lie. Especially when you have the proof of that fact. And yet, when they stop throwing hissy fits, they're going to teach us what religion really means 'cause we just don't get it. They need another approach to convey that "message of peace and love" since we don't seem to be get'n it. And don't believe a word of it.

According to the Holy Writ Jesus was "God with us" when He walked upon this earth (spirit or not) and yet he chose to ignore the grinding poverty, and all of the evil and suffering.

Paul never spoke of Jesus as a man who walked the Earth because Paul's entire knowledge of Jesus came from visions. Paul and the Early Church Fathers were highly influenced by Mithraism; even so, most Christians claim Jesus was a savior god/man who actually walked the Earth. Yet, there is no evidence outside the bible babble of a Jesus who ever existed, and I think some people were smart enough to think that mattered. That's why Jesus must have been a spirit since no evidence of his existence could be located.

From: AG said, "Linda said: "The problem with what you are doing is it doesn't require critical thinking, and it's just replacing the concept of god with another one without removing it all together."

Let's give that sentence some substance: Atheism is defined as not believing that a god exists. So, how does anyone become an atheist by just redefining their god? What you're describing are two different things: atheism is not having a belief in god/gods and theism is a belief claim. You're trying to merge the two and it just won't work, it isn't atheism it's an oxymoron. What you want is to find a way to join in on a discussion by calling your god something other than what it is and your belief as well, so that you can proselytize some more; never mind the fact that you really aren't addressing the actual topic. The problem with what you are doing is it doesn't require critical thinking, and it's just replacing the concept of god with another one without removing it all together. It's the same club you already belong to; you're here to recruit. You don't have to think for yourself to come up with another version of (the same) god. Guess what? There is no god! Atheism is not another belief system, or a way to a be better theist, "good for you"; as your pal seems to think. You are both wooing recognition and acceptance of your beliefs.

It's amazing how intelligible things become when an entire paragraph is not whittled down to one sentence.

AG said, "If I were not critical, I would gobble up whatever you or Dawkins or the Pope feed me and won't bother to argue."

From what y'all have written in both names I don't think Dawkins has written anything that you could understand because it does require reasoning ability. y'all flat out don't comprehend most any theory or anything that is being explained - that doesn't involve the supernatural.

You are trying to say that because you changed your mind (if you did) after we pointed out the incredible ignorance of your views we should change ours because of your ignorant statements, quotes out of context and misquotes. When clearly you don't have the slightest idea what treating anyone as an equal really means. It means lot's of people are not like you and they don't want what you think you've got. We have all heard the B.S that you are itching to unload on us so that we can become mindless followers like you. I'm sure that most overly zealous believers want to proselytize and wheedle their way into atheists or anyone's lives to increase their membership and money - but they don't have the right.

I don't think you have to worry about my menu being the same as what the Pope's feeding people. Nevertheless, I have written about many scientists but I don't recall referring to Dawkins once - if ever. I know that when a scientific theory clearly disputes the bible babble no matter how many times it's explained you don't comprehend the theory. You also claim that things are not true even though there is plenty of evidence - on the other hand you have no evidence. I also know that when you are given evidence you dispute what is there because you can't face the fact that what you believe is wrong and not true.

AG said, "The whole reason I'm here is because I'm critical of what you say and I'm critical of what I believe too. As for removing the concept of god all together, once a concept exists, it cannot be removed. Can it?"

Really, how about the concept that the Earth is flat? Does anyone have that concept today? There are plenty of examples of things that no one believe today that came straight from bible babble. You are not critical of what you believe -you simply know that you can't tell us things about the bible babble that we know is absurd - but you are advocating belief.

Who thinks that that there never was a rainbow before Noah's flood? And isn't drowning a rather cruel way to kill people even if they were wicked? Joshua 10:12-14: god made the sun and moon stand still. God in all his wisdom doesn't know that the sun does not orbit the earth. The sunrise is an optical illusion that the primitive men who wrote the bible didn't understand. In fact people who sit in a room every Sunday and listen to someone teach from a book that a child could understand needs to figure out what is wrong with them, not everybody else.

AG said, "As I said, I understand "God" as "something" that drives us towards a better life. This "something" is often illogical and contradicts the evidence. I do think that a drive to better life is essential for human existence and even atheists have it. Why should I remove this concept?"

How can "something" or "anything" that is illogical or contradicts the evidence lead to a better life? Rape, pillage and burn your neighbor - while loving them - Charlie Manson style. Um Hmm! Things don't get better with half-baked ideas that don't work. It's because we are evolving and acquiring knowledge that we have a better life. Evolution is the basis for all biological science not creation. We discovered evolution and our own DNA which proves that everything on earth is connected and evolved. This lead to gene therapy. We will have a much better life when the people who do not need a sky daddy outnumber the fanatics who cling to their security blanket. AG said, "Linda said: "You don't have to think for yourself to come up with another version of god." How so? If I were not thinking for myself, I would accept some version of god that already exists. Why bother coming up with something different?"

You tacked this on at the bottom of the page but I have already answered it with the full paragraph where it actually originally was in the post. I will rehash a portion of it. Linda said, "The problem with what you are doing is it doesn't require critical thinking, and it's just replacing the concept of god with another one without removing it all together. It's the same club you already belong to; you're here to recruit. You don't have to think for yourself to come up with another version of god. Guess what? There is no god! Atheism is not another belief system, or a way to a be better theist, "good for you"; as your pal seem to think. You are both wooing recognition and acceptance of your beliefs."

If this was something new it would be entirely different and not just another version of someone's ideas (an all powerful - all knowing - vengeful god) to control a population. It really doesn't matter what they ever called it Zeus, Thor etc.... it's all really the same thing.

AG said, Linda said: "Guess what? There is no god! Atheism is not another belief system..." Don't you believe that the universe can be explained without a Creator? How is that not a belief system or an underlying principle for one?"

You say that there is no proof of god because there can't be any proof of god. Isn't that because He's in another realm outside the universe? Well, there is nothing outside the universe and even if you don't believe it or understand it - we know there is not. The universe does not require a creator to exist and neither does life in the universe. Something that is just believed on faith alone and has never been proven to be true is a belief system. Atheist dismissing claims about a creator or creation because (nothing was created) there is no evidence or reason to believe it - that is not a belief system and nobody but fundie apologists say that it is. If dismissing claims made without evidence or not believing them is a "belief system" than not playing golf is a sport.

AG, In your August 26th message, you stated that I have contradicted myself. You need to understand that I was referring to two different gods.

The God that is a lie is any and all gods with supernatural powers or attributes. Infinite knowledge, infinite wisdom, infinite power, infinite creativity, etc. are all the hallmarks of a God which is not there. People say that he really is there, but I don't agree.

I do not believe in the supernatural. - - - It seems that you do.

The God which causes the ACA to exist is the real God. This one is not a lie. This God really does exist as a fictional character in the minds of people. This God appears in books, movies, sermons, etc.

This is the true and real God (in a fictional way), and he has pretty much the same attributes as Tom Sawyer and King Lear. None of these characters has a brain, a mind, or the power to make decisions. The folks who created these fictional characters use them to express their own ideas. The human race is in control of fictional characters. The human imagination has created the power that God has over them, and the human imagination can take God's power away.

AG, Here is a link:

http://tinyurl.com/2udr2ft

To a Twilight Zone episode called "Nick of Time"

From: Chuck Johnson (Posted Aug 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm) "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways. This is clearly something a person who has a belief in god, the spirit, would say. It's not a comment that would even occur to an atheist. I know your little message is that religion and god is what made people become atheists, so, there is an idiotic continuum (that doesn't make it sound any more scientific or believable) it's bunk; there is no connection. Without the fanatics it wouldn't be an issue and it's that simple. That's how atheists think - in case you want to know.

Linda said: This is clearly something a person who has a belief in god, the spirit, would say.

Linda, "God, the spirit" won't work for this discussion. Too ambiguous. I went to the dictionary, and "spirit" has a wide range of meanings.

I believe in god, the thought, god, the fictional character, god, the figment of the imagination.

I do not believe in god the supernatural being.

My statement number one said: "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways."

This is a traditional way that religious believers speak and write. In the interests of being less traditional, and becoming more clear to you, I will change that. I will state:

"I also know that God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

But we need to do better than that. The idea of God being an "it" is even creepier to me than God being a "he".

So my statement number three says that:

"I also know that belief in God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

So statement number three is successful in that both you and I can agree that it is a true statement about what God does or does not do here on Earth.

But if we return to statement number one and say: "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways, but that God is merely a fictional character."

Then this is logically equivalent to statement number three.

You want even better? - - - How about:

"I know that the erroneous and misguided belief in a false and fictitious God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

Or how about:

"I know that the erroneous and misguided belief in a false and fictitious God is a hideous blight upon each and every citizen of planet Earth."

No, that's taking it too far. - - - I am not such an extremist.

Chuck, I think, metaphoric language and humor have a lot in common. People either get it or not. Explaining a joke only makes it awkward. "He who has ears, let him hear." E.g., when I said that Christians persecuted Jews for not eating pork, by "not eating pork" I meant following Jewish tradition, remaining true to their culture. I thought, the metaphor was fairly clear. Yet, "pork" was miraculously turned into "sausage", and, of course, I was the one twisting everything. I mean no offense to Linda.

I marvel at how differently human minds work. I've read in this forum that the story of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge is about apples. I don't think, I can argue with that. I thought, I could, but I realized that no two people perceive the world the same way. Often, people read the same word or perceive the same thing and get completely different meanings from what they perceive. The whole world often seems like an optical illusion from one of those Escher's prints. Daniel Dennett explains it well in this video http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html

Most arguments between believers and atheists seem like a discussion between a deaf and a blind about music and the art of painting.

Chuck Johnson said, "Linda said: This is clearly something a person who has a belief in god, the spirit, would say."

Why did Linda say that? Let's put the whole thing in context. From: Chuck Johnson (Posted Aug 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm) "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways."

Then Linda said, This is clearly something a person who has a belief in god, the spirit, would say. It's not a comment that would even occur to an atheist.

Chucky Johnson said, Linda, "God, the spirit" won't work for this discussion. Too ambiguous. I went to the dictionary, and "spirit" has a wide range of meanings."

Not in this context - god the spirit that manifest itself. You are talking about belief in god. God is the "Holy Spirit" god is a spirit.

Chucky Johnson said, "I believe in god, the thought, god, the fictional character, god, the figment of the imagination. I do not believe in god the supernatural being."

Well, a figment of the imagination doesn't manifest itself!

Atheist Community of Austin (Topic) "We who believe there is a God need to see point of view of those who do not believe" Chucky Johnson said, "It is just a trick of the language to declare that the universe was not always in existence. Of course it existed. But if you were to travel backwards in time far enough, the universe might not be at all recognizable. People have their limitations."

Yes people have their limitations but science doesn't. The rationale behind all of this twaddle is that if the creationists claim that the universe needs a cause then why doesn't god need a cause? Problem solved Just say the universe has always been there. We know that the universe had a beginning. There is no "cause" behind the origin of the Universe. The Universe emerged from the quantum vacuum. Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations is how the universe started. It all started from a microscopic speck of energy. I gave all of the scientific details of how the universe started from quantum vacuum fluctuations and on the Atheist Community of Austin (Topic) "We who believe there is a God need to see point of view of those who do not believe" and on the thread as well. Chucky Johnson said, "My statement number one said: "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways."

Dictionary - manifest (to show plainly -reveal or display) (to prove beyond doubt (of a disembodied spirit to appear in visible form.)

Chucky Johnson said, "I would like to add that saying god manifests himself is saying God has revealed himself in many different ways."

How so? I just can't wait to hear the corny fake story about how atheists think that god manifests himself in many different ways when they don't believe that there is a god.

Chucky Johnson said, "This is a traditional way that religious believers speak and write. In the interests of being less traditional, and becoming more clear to you, I will change that. I will state: "I also know that God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

Oh! Well now then, that's way better, adding "here on Earth in many ways" to the god manifests itself instead of himself will make everything crystal clear. You are not now, and you never have been, an atheist. Got it!

Chucky Johnson said, "But we need to do better than that."

No shit Pard!

The idea of God being an "it" is even creepier to me than God being a "he". So my statement number three says that: "I also know that belief in God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

Chucky Johnson said, "So statement number three is successful in that both you and I can agree that it is a true statement about what God does or does not do here on Earth. But if we return to statement number one and say: "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways, but that God is merely a fictional character."

A fictional character cannot manifest itself here on Earth or anywhere.

Chucky Johnson said, "Then this is logically equivalent to statement number three. You want even better? - - - How about: I know that the erroneous and misguided belief in a false and fictitious God manifests itself here on Earth in many ways."

You know why you believe that Chucky? From: AG (Posted Aug 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm) AG said, "Christianity has been twisted from the very beginning. Even today paganism is seen throughout Christian holidays. Birthday of Jesus is nowhere in the Bible. December 25 was chosen to replace pagan celebration of solstice, and the tree also comes from some pagan tradition. Easter is full of eggs and bunnies - pagan symbols of fertility, and the egg hunt is a strange game of greed for children. None of this has anything to do with the Pesach. I don't even mention Santa and the shopping frenzy."

I've written about the history of Christianity. Christianity is religious syncretism or the blending of two or more religious beliefs. There was never a Jesus period this deity was based on much older myths about savior gods. There were never 12 disciples and the names attributed to the gospels are just titles. The authors are unknown. That's why your daddy decided that the God here on Earth is a distortion.

Chucky Johnson said, "Or how about: "I know that the erroneous and misguided belief in a false and fictitious God is a hideous blight upon each and every citizen of planet Earth." No, that's taking it too far. - - - I am not such an extremist."

Yes you are an extremist - and we know what kind - it's not an atheist extremist.

AG said: Don't atheists have better causes than exposing how stupid or immoral other people are? I guess, this is the main question in this thread.

AG, Exposing stupidity and immorality can be a very important cause. It depends upon case-by-case specifics as to how high a priority that exposing should have.

AG, You are right that "Better Causes" is an agenda that needs to be developed and strengthened in the communities of atheists. A growing, positive presence of atheism both as perception and as achievements in the communities is important.

The selling of atheism is a work in progress. The ACA continues to grow.

Chuck, thanks for your post. I think, we are on the same page. I don't believe we can find physical evidence for God anywhere in the universe. So, I'm quite atheistic when it comes to explaining physical nature. But I agree with you when you say "... I believe in God and in his manifestations here on Earth." I understand it as "spiritual manifestations" in terms of our drive to change the life for better. This is where faith is indispensable. In this sense, yes, ACA and atheism itself is a manifestation of God. Another self-refuting paradox...

Chuck said, "AG, Exposing stupidity and immorality can be a very important cause. It depends upon case-by-case specifics as to how high a priority that exposing should have."

I thought, that's kind of what Jesus was trying to do 2000 years ago in his own way. The agenda is still the same. I don't think, Christianity can be replaced with something radically better. The idea of nailing our sins to the cross is, very much, alive. The implementation of this idea is still in the works.

AG said, "Chuck, thanks for your post. I think, we are on the same page. I don't believe we can find physical evidence for God anywhere in the universe."

You guys are definitely on the same page-and in my opinion your shared beliefs sound almost identical to the ones shared by members of the Oprah Winfey Book Club-no knowledge required, newly recycled versions of "old time religion." The whole, "I'm spiritual but not religious b.s. that you can find in all the hokey new denominations of Christianity-"Unity" church, "Church of Universal Life," etc. And AG contradicts what he said above with what he says below:

AG said, (in reference to exposing stupidity being an important cause), "I thought, that's kind of what Jesus was trying to do 2000 years ago in his own way. The agenda is still the same."

So you DO believe in a God named Jesus that existed 2000 years ago. As for the existence of Jesus-there is alot of evidence that says otherwise. Bill Maher's movie "Religulous" has a great segment about all the "Jesus" gods with identical stories (virgin birth, raising "Lazarus" from the dead, killed on a tree, rose from the dead) that PRECEED Jesus. This is something we have evidence of because we have writings from these ancient people that show us they told these stories long before jesus ever "existed." If you believe in Jesus, you are a Chrisitan and you have a God. You are not "atheistic', as you claim, when it comes to the "physical universe." You can't eat the twinkie filling without eating the cake part, too. If you beleive in science, the evidence so far shows no "intelligunt desinne," as George W. Bush would spell it. Jesus and Science do not go together any more than Dubya and "book lurnin'." I first learned this when I read a little five dollar book called "Guide to Earth and Space" by Isaac Assimov. The first few chapters showed me the Bible is the most incompatible with science book ever written-and it's supposed to tell me about the "Creator!" As Jesus said in the Bible, if you are lukewarm he has no use for you-he will "spit you" out of his mouth (his supposed words, not mine). If you beleive in Jesus then you must beleive this, too, so you guys need to make a decision and have the courage to stick by it.

As for the ACA being a "manifestation of God"-that is so funny. It is like saying that vomiting is a manifestation of Ipecac Syrup. People came to the conclusion (in one way or another) and decided they are sick of lies about a gawd, guilt trips, sick ideas about how to raise a child, sick ideas about women, and political control of society through churches. If we were fortunate enough to never have been told these stupid lies in our lives, there would be no need for calling ourselves "non-believers," we would just study science and reality-maybe medical research facilities and planetariums would be on every streetcorner instead of churches. Denmark is almost exculsively atheistic and has one of the best societies to live in on this planet-they take care of their people and their people are exceedingly happy- all without god. We are a "manifestation" of people who are sick of something that does much more harm than good. Read Christopher Hitchens' book, "god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything."

"As for the ACA being a "manifestation of God"-that is so funny. It is like saying that vomiting is a manifestation of Ipecac Syrup. "

Emily, Yes, your analogy is correct. Also, it is like saying that penicillin is a manifestation of streptococcus and other infectious agents. Necessity is the mother of invention.

But above that, you say: You guys are definitely on the same page-and in my opinion your shared beliefs sound almost identical to the ones shared by members of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club-no knowledge required, newly recycled versions of "old time religion."

So it seems that you thought that I was being inadvertently funny. This is because you didn't read the fine print. Always read the fine print. God and King Lear manifest their presence here on earth to many humans, and even to the beasts of the earth. If one were to fall asleep while reading the Bible or King Lear, and the book would fall from the hand and onto the family cat, the reality of the fictional character would become manifest unto one of the innocent beasts of the earth.

So I was just being logical. Logical can be funny. Just read Mark Twain.

I believe that God is a fictional character in books, plays, movies, and in ancient folktales, speeches, sermons, etc.

God is a puppet. People put words into God's mouth, but God has no brain and no mind to come up with words of his own. - - - It's people that do it all.

So why do I say these odd things - - - to be funny ? - - - No. I did it as a thought experiment to try to define how close I am to being a believer in God, a believer in the supernatural, or a believer in the Spirit. I was inspired by my noticing that AG is very close to being an atheist. But he is not quite there.

AG has said: "There is "something" that drives us towards better life - justice, love, etc. I think, it's a simple human belief."

And he has said: "God is wisdom."

To me, AG is close to being an atheist, but he tends to obfuscate rather than be clear when asked to define his style of belief or non-belief. His faith hangs on by a thread. This is the Oprah Winfrey Book Club style of belief. Can't quite let go of that old time religion.

In a different thread, I advised that AG and his Church friends should stop throwing good money after bad.

I will be clear and direct about my own lack of belief: I know that God is not a supernatural thing. I know that King Lear is not supernatural.

I do not have little wisps, traces, or imaginings of soul, spirit, energies, Cosmic Vibrations, or other Winfrey stuff.

To me such leftovers are too much like the days of Jim Crow when southern whites would entertain the notion of nigger. Their ancestors had used so many African slaves to death in order to become wealthy, and the white folk needed to not feel bad about this. So they entertained notions where they continued to define US citizens of African ancestry as clearly and substantially inferior to whites. Problem solved. - - - No shame is needed. They're just n - - - - - - .

And that is another example. Those southern whites should not have thrown good money after bad.

Chuck said, "Emily, Yes, your analogy is correct. Also, it is like saying that penicillin is a manifestation of streptococcus and other infectious agents. Necessity is the mother of invention."

Actually, I think god and religion are the streptococcus-and the atheists (reality/science) are the penicillin. Penicillin has done way more for humanity than religion ever has.

Chuck said, "So it seems that you thought that I was being inadvertently funny."

Not funny "ha ha", funny absurd.

Chuck said, "This is because you didn't read the fine print. Always read the fine print. God and King Lear manifest their presence here on earth to many humans, and even to the beasts of the earth. If one were to fall asleep while reading the Bible or King Lear, and the book would fall from the hand and onto the family cat, the reality of the fictional character would become manifest unto one of the innocent beasts of the earth. "

Whaaat? The cat can read King Lear? Did you have one of those Gary Busey motorcycle accidents and hit your head?

Chuck said, "So I was just being logical. Logical can be funny. Just read Mark Twain."

You aren't Mark Twain, dude.

"So why do I say these odd things - - - to be funny ? - - - No. I did it as a thought experiment to try to define how close I am to being a believer in God, a believer in the supernatural, or a believer in the Spirit. I was inspired by my noticing that AG is very close to being an atheist. But he is not quite there."

Correction-you're both already there.

Chuck said, "I will be clear and direct about my own lack of belief: I know that God is not a supernatural thing. I know that King Lear is not supernatural." I do not have little wisps, traces, or imaginings of soul, spirit, energies, Cosmic Vibrations, or other Winfrey stuff. To me such leftovers are too much like the days of Jim Crow when southern whites would entertain the notion of nigger."

Actually, the southern whites made sure to indoctrinate their slaves into religion to keep them under control. That is what religion does best.

You are not an atheist, AG is not an atheist, but you guys are so hokey and dishonest about what you are-I have more respect for an honest fundie who really believes what they're saying and TELL THE TRUTH-you try to blur what you're talking about by mixing things together-"I don't believe god is a supernatural thing-but god is somehow real and atheism wouldn't exist without him-i don't believe in a creator of the universe, but I beleive that there is no better philosophy to replace Christianity (AG)," etc. You guys are just trying to inject religious crap onto an atheist message board, but not the traditional way-you are pretending to be "sort of athesits." News flash: you aren't fooling any intelligent atheist who reads this.

Also, you pick and choose what you respond to-wanna respond to why Denmark is one of the best countries in the world and it is almost entirely ATHEIST? If religion is so great for a society, why is this, hmmm?

Emily, our language is full of metaphors. Metaphors don't make sense when taken literally. It's a great capability of our brain to see "what is not there" and find similarities between incomparable things. E.g. one may say "opposites attract" about electrical charges or sexes. There is no basis for drawing such parallels in reality.

E.g., "The Lord of the Rings" is, obviously, not a real story. Yet, it can be said that "we all carry our own ring of temptation which we must cast away and destroy". You may say "whaaat? I don't have any rings!" Well, just say that you didn't understand the metaphor or that it did not make sense to YOU. It does not mean that the metaphor is stupid or does not make sense to anyone. The story does not have to be based on real facts to have meaning and to have impact on our lives.

Incidentally, Bible has a metaphor upon a metaphor upon a metaphor. "He who has ears, let him hear".

AG said, "E.g. one may say "opposites attract" about electrical charges or sexes. There is no basis for drawing such parallels in reality"

Actually, there is a scienfific basis for "opposites attract"- a middle schooler has learned that one.

AG said, "Well, just say that you didn't understand the metaphor or that it did not make sense to YOU. It does not mean that the metaphor is stupid or does not make sense to anyone."

I'll say as I please. I understood this so-called "metaphor" just fine-and used a great example of someone who spouts off the same "metaphors" continously-Gary Busey! He is into the same vague, spiritual-but-not-religious stuff you and Chuck are putting all over this message board. He makes "acronyms" for things and can't come up with a coherent thought if he tries. I actually feel a little sorry for him-he seems like a weak guy who is hurting inside-and if someone questions his "spiritual" stuff, he lashes out, which proves that most people get into this stuff because of some inner hurt, imho.

AG said, "Incidentally, Bible has a metaphor upon a metaphor upon a metaphor. "He who has ears, let him hear".

Dude, if you want to quote the bible, go to a bible study group-that's obviously your thing-why can't you have the b**ls to admit it?

Emily said: "Actually, there is a scienfific basis for "opposites attract"- a middle schooler has learned that one."

Are you saying that there is a scientific basis for drawing similarities between attraction of the opposite electrical charges and attraction between a man and a woman or attraction between two people with opposite temperaments? I think, such conclusions and analogies exist in our head only. We can hardly say a sentence without "spouting" off a metaphor (as if a metaphor can be spouted off like a liquid). It has nothing to do with spirituality or motorcycle accidents. It has to do with how our brains and language work. We understand unfamiliar things by comparing them to what we already know. This is why electromagnetic waves and waves on the water surface are both called "waves" and this is why we "build" theories on "foundations" like a house. This is why I have no difficulty with phrases like "God knows what happens" or "God manifests himself to humans". I have no problem understanding what Chuck is talking about. Busey's videos on youtube, by the way, have overwhelming amount of "likes" versus "dislikes" indicating that most people appreciate what he says.

As for our inner weaknesses and insecurities, I will call a liar anyone who says he does not have them. Saying such thing is, likely, an evidence of an inner insecurity. I admit, I started reading and posting on this board to deal with my own insecurities. This is how we grow - dealing with our insecurities and resolving cognitive dissonances, one at a time. And I agree that lashing out on other people is an evidence of internal insecurity (e.g. calling people "jerks" for disagreeing with one's opinion held in high esteem).

Emily said: "Dude, if you want to quote the bible, go to a bible study group-that's obviously your thing-why can't you have the b**ls to admit it?"

Where is your "I'll say as I please" attitude? What happened to "freedom of speech"? And what is that "b**ls" thing? Where are the balls to spell out the word? These speeches about freedom of speech mingled with misplaced censorship and desire to purge bible quotes from the forum strike me with inconsistency.

AG said, "This is why I have no difficulty with phrases like "God knows what happens" or "God manifests himself to humans". I have no problem understanding what Chuck is talking about. Busey's videos on youtube, by the way, have overwhelming amount of "likes" versus "dislikes" indicating that most people appreciate what he says."

And there are millions of people who "like" YouTube videos of cat's ringing doorbells-here's a saying for you-if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it? Gary Busey's brain is made of scrambled eggs.

AG said, " And what is that "b**ls" thing? Where are the balls to spell out the word?"

O.K., BALLS, BALLS, BALLS. (I'm not usually much of a cusser.)

AG said, " These speeches about freedom of speech mingled with misplaced censorship and desire to purge bible quotes from the forum strike me with inconsistency."

You are the king of inconsistency. You are quoting bible passages and claming to be-as you put it-"atheistic." That would be like me going on to a christian web page and saying I love beebus and then quoting "On the Origin of Speicies" -then getting mad when anyone didn't dig evolution. It's not just inconsistent, it's lying.

Emily said: "O.K., BALLS, BALLS, BALLS. (I'm not usually much of a cusser.)"

Much better :) Euphemisms are not effective. Everyone understands what they mean. After a while, people have to invent euphemisms for euphemism because the real meaning comes back.

Emily said: " You are the king of inconsistency. You are quoting bible passages and claming to be-as you put it-"atheistic." That would be like me going on to a christian web page and saying I love beebus and then quoting "On the Origin of Speicies" -then getting mad when anyone didn't dig evolution. It's not just inconsistent, it's lying."

Let's say, I appreciate self-refuting statements. Some of them are wise. E.g. "The only constant is change" (Heraclitus) or "I know that I know nothing" (Socrates). I believe, some things require us to be atheistic (science is one of them), while other things call for more "spiritual" interpretations (e.g. how to treat each other). "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

And I'm not getting mad. People get mad when things are not going their way. I'm much at peace with this fact. I'm willing to admit and have admitted when I agree with someone.

Emily said: "Gary Busey's brain is made of scrambled eggs."

You are quick to judge people. His filmography on IMDB consists of 155 titles! That's one hundred and fifty five. Do you seriously believe that a person with scrambled eggs for brains can do that? I am no fan of Busey. Your post is the first time where I heard his name. I've seen some very silly videos with him on Youtube. But I disagree when you say that people like his videos, because they are similar to the videos of cats and babies. And I would not call an idiot anyone with 155 films under his belt.

Leave Busey alone. Take Star Wars. Won't you admit that Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon all over the world? Isn't there a "Star Wars cult"? There are analogies with religion here. Consider Yoda. Fictional character. Can't it be said that "Yoda manifests himself on Earth?" Undoubtedly so. There are thousands of fans of Yoda. Why? Listen what he says:

YODA: Fear is the path of the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. ...

LUKE: I don't believe it. YODA: That is why you fail...

YODA: Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side are they.

Where, do you think, these ideas are from? Perhaps, even in the Bible, these ideas are not new. It's very unfortunate that Christianity is muddled with the genocide, inquisition, witch hunting and other stuff. There have been plenty of Darth Vaders in the history. The stigma is so strong now that many people reject the whole thing, without slightest desire to understand. And yet, admire the wisdom of Yoda or get interested in Eastern martial arts and philosophies.

Metaphors are not nonsense. This is how our brain operates. We find commonalities between things and commonalities between commonalities. This is why we are able to find our way in totally unfamiliar situations.

AG said (in reference to Gary Busey), " His filmography on IMDB consists of 155 titles! That's one hundred and fifty five. Do you seriously believe that a person with scrambled eggs for brains can do that?"

Yes! J-Lo and Britney Spears have sold Millions of albums and can neither sing nor dance.

AG said, "And I would not call an idiot anyone with 155 films under his belt."

I would. AG said, "Leave Busey alone."

Make me. Geez, you're touchy when it comes to Busey!

AG said, " Take Star Wars. Won't you admit that Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon all over the world? Isn't there a "Star Wars cult"? There are analogies with religion here. Consider Yoda. Fictional character. Can't it be said that "Yoda manifests himself on Earth?" Undoubtedly so. There are thousands of fans of Yoda." Ahahahahahahahahaha!! Now you're quoting Star Wars!

AG said, (after quoting Yoda), "Where, do you think, these ideas are from? Perhaps, even in the Bible, these ideas are not new. It's very unfortunate that Christianity is muddled with the genocide, inquisition, witch hunting and other stuff. There have been plenty of Darth Vaders in the history. The stigma is so strong now that many people reject the whole thing, without slightest desire to understand."

Unfortunately you are the one who does not understand. The "good stuff" in the Bible (and I've said this in response to you before) is BORROWED from philosophies that came before. But you got one thing right-the Bible is as fake as Star Wars.

I don't admire fictional characters like Yoda or Jesus-I prefer the real people who said these things first.

Well, I guess, our brains work differently... You don't seem to appreciate metaphors and prefer specific language, factual people, etc. That's fine. However, there is a quote ascribed to Einstein, "Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you anywhere." I think, most human achievements were done by imagining things that "are not there" (yet).

As for Britney Spears, J. Lo and Busey, I'm not a fan of any of them. However, what you say reminds me of Mark Knopfler's song: "That ain't working, that's the way you do it - you play the guitar on the MTV... Money for nothing, chicks for free." (I'm sorry, that's how my brain works. Associations come up to my mind all the time. haha - now I'm quoting Mark Knopfler) It's easy to make those judgments. That's how we find ourselves surrounded by jerks, everything becomes negative, and we come to hate our life and other people. I make a conscious effort to get rid of this mental habit. Try it - you may find yourself a happier person :).

AG said, "I think, most human achievements were done by imagining things that "are not there" (yet)."

And the people acheiving those things are people like Stephen Hawking, not preachers. As for your "metaphors"-I love poetry by real poets who see the real meaning, beauty and/or ugliness of life. The stuff you and Chuck are posting is not poetry. Poetry is a way of capturing the essence of something so that someone in another time and place can understand. That is very tangible and real-not the la-la land stuff that comes from religion.

AG said, "It's easy to make those judgments. That's how we find ourselves surrounded by jerks, everything becomes negative, and we come to hate our life and other people. I make a conscious effort to get rid of this mental habit. Try it - you may find yourself a happier person :)."

AG, you are such a typical Christian, deciding that people who don't have your religion are "jerks" who "hate life and other people." I love my life and I love the good people in it. Christians (with a few exceptions) and other religious people (with a few exceptions) are the most JUDGEMENTAL (and NEGATIVE toward people who don't agree with them) folks on earth. I don't see atheists picketing gay funerals or blowing up abortion clinics.

I value my life too much to hand my brain over to religious nutbags. Life in Iran is very ugly because the good people of Iran are ruled by the iron hand of religious nuts.

Reality is both positive and negative-but it takes courage to face it.

You spend alot of time on this message board fighting with atheists about why they need to be more religious. Try to get rid of your "mental habit" of bible thumping and watch something besides Star Wars-you may find yourself a "less dumbass" person - You don't need Beebus to be happy!!

Emily said: "I love poetry by real poets who see the real meaning, beauty and/or ugliness of life. The stuff you and Chuck are posting is not poetry. Poetry is a way of capturing the essence of something so that someone in another time and place can understand. That is very tangible and real-not the la-la land stuff that comes from religion. "

Your comment about "real meaning and beauty of life" reminds me of Zoolander: ""I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is." "Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty." :-) Think of it... moisture... that is very tangible and real. Someone can understand it in another time and place. :-) Sorry, I don't mean to ridicule what you said. A lot of people view Bible as "capturing the essence of something". You don't. That's fine. I laugh at my own words all the time. And I encourage people to do the same :-).

Emily said: " AG, you are such a typical Christian, deciding that people who don't have your religion are "jerks" who "hate life and other people." I love my life and I love the good people in it. "

You misinterpret what I said and create a stereotype of Christians. Where did I call anyone a "jerk" in this forum? Where did I say that you hate life and other people? Read again what I said. "That's how we find ourselves surrounded by jerks" means that if we call everyone around us a "jerk" (like other people in this thread, not I and not you), we will find ourselves surrounded by jerks. Taking my words as calling someone a "jerk" is the opposite to what I meant. Same about the negative view of anything. It leads to misery. I didn't quote the Bible. It's common sense. Why you apply your words to yourself - I don't know.

Emily said: "Christians (with a few exceptions) and other religious people (with a few exceptions) are the most JUDGEMENTAL (and NEGATIVE toward people who don't agree with them) folks on earth. I don't see atheists picketing gay funerals or blowing up abortion clinics."

And here comes the attitude I was talking about. I'm glad, you added "a few exceptions". I wouldn't argue. There are horrible people among Christians and religious people. Like those you mention who picket gay funerals and blowing up abortion clinics. But I few THOSE as "a few exceptions". I don't see any significant portion of Christians doing that. There are folks driving around with those bumper stickers expressing views that I, by the way, do not share. But this is a free speech society. I have to respect that if I want my opinion respected.

I don't know about Iran. Life under Stalin was worse.

Emily said: "You spend alot of time on this message board fighting with atheists about why they need to be more religious. Try to get rid of your "mental habit" of bible thumping and watch something besides Star Wars-you may find yourself a "less dumbass" person - You don't need Beebus to be happy!!"

Misconception again. Where do I say that anyone needs to be more religious? My comment about positive attitude does not mention religion. You'll find the same in many secular TV shows and books. The reason I'm here is to find why I should be less religious and I am yet to see a good reason. I don't watch Star Wars. I watch videos on TED.com, occasional videos in this forum, debates on religious topics with Mike Shermer, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and other folks. Star Wars and Zoolander are just for laughs :-).

Emily said: Denmark is one of the best countries in the world and it is almost entirely ATHEIST? If religion is so great for a society, why is this, hmmm?

Emily,

Let's not put too much emphasis on the arguments as to what the statistics are for Scandinavia, and how to interpret those statistics. It is too easy to mislead and to lie with statistics. Lets just say that the citizens of Denmark are not very religious.

This from About.com: The widely known red and white flag became Denmark's official national flag in 1625 and serves as the base for all other Scandinavian flags. The flag's cross in white color is a symbol for Christianity.

So we will now say that Denmark was a Christian country at one time, but now much less religious than it used to be.

First, I will state that the obsolescence of theism and atheism is the hoped-for goal. In the future, we need a world of sensible, educated people who view the superstitions of the past (including religion) as being the superstitions of the past. At such a stage in human development, the concept of atheism will be viewed as being quaint.

As far as the present-day Danish, I expect that the statistics show a cause-and-effect that works in both directions. I expect that because many Danish children are raised without religion, this helps to make for a stronger, more moral society.

I would also expect that because the Danish are educated, sensible people, the impulse, and the need to subscribe to heaven-and-hell drama is diminished. Religion (especially fundamentalism) often inspires the faithful to worship themselves as being very special and superior people. Such people engage in the practice of building themselves up by tearing others down. Education, and modern morality (as opposed to old-testament morality) tend to reduce the need for schadenfreude.

Years ago, I read somewhere that when Hitler's armies advanced on Denmark, many Danish citizens knew that the Germans would soon make the Jews of Denmark dissappear. Many of the Jews of Denmark disappeared before the Germans arrived. Those Jews only reappeared when the Allies advanced through Europe after D-Day. - - - Educated, sensible people.

Chuck Johnson (Posted Sep 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm) Chuck Johnson said, "Emily, Let's not put too much emphasis on the arguments as to what the statistics are for Scandinavia, and how to interpret those statistics. It is too easy to mislead and to lie with statistics. Lets just say that the citizens of Denmark are not very religious."

No, let's just say Denmark has one of the largest atheist/agnostic populations in the world. In fact it's the third largest.

You really are a piece of work! Hmmm? I gave you books, news, articles and charts with the same information. People that have spent several years and won awards for their investigative reporting. That's known as a preponderance of evidence and that means there is too much corroborating (confirming) evidence not to believe it. Unlike Christianity which has none.

Originally the Danes were not Christians, in fact Christianity was forced upon them. Danes believed in the Norse God Odin.

Then Harald Bluetooth became the King of Denmark by war, he won all of Denmark and Norway, and made the Danes Christian. Danes were Catholics until 1536 when the King Christian III decided to change to Protestants and the church became a state Church.

That's how it was until 1849 when the Danes became a democracy with a constitution. At this time he Danes had been told what to believe for 900 years. The present King Frederik VII wanted them to remain an evangelical-Lutheran state. But the Danes rejected this and decided that everyone would decide for themselves what they believed. So it's a constitutional right of every Dane (except the King or Queen) to have a religious belief or not to have one.

Most people who have read about Scandinavian countries know that even though the majority of the population of the country are members of the official state religion the population is still non-religious.

The majority of Danes belong to the National Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark but the country is overwhelmingly non-religious. Infants are baptized as a tradition and because they have been baptized they are counted as members; but it doesn't reflect their beliefs nor church attendance. They baptize their children as a cultural tradition but it doesn't requires any obligations.

Membership in a Church and actually believing in God are very different things in Denmark and most Scandinavian countries. 80% of the population may have been baptized and made members of a church as infants but they only set foot in a church for christenings, weddings and funerals. The churches are thought of as places for social events or cultural celebrations but not as places of worship to most Danes.

The majority of Danes are non-religious as my From: Linda (Posted Sep 4, 2012 at 11:28 am) 2012 chart shows. And it also made it clear that the countries that were least religious have very high illiteracy rates and every article says they are far less corrupt. They also have far less violent crime. They are not only wealthy but they are smart and that's why they are not falling for any of the religious twaddle that has been forced on the uneducated and underprivileged.

As I said, "I'm sure there are interest groups that want Americans to think the people in the happiest countries are rolling on the floor and slobbering for Jeezus but they are not."

Linda, you are trying hard to make things appear the way you like them.

Linda said: "I gave you books, news, articles and charts with the same information. People that have spent several years and won awards for their investigative reporting. That's known as a preponderance of evidence and that means there is too much corroborating (confirming) evidence not to believe it. Unlike Christianity which has none."

According to Karl Popper, the theorist of the modern scientific method, supporting evidence does not matter as much as contradicting evidence. To confirm a theory you must make an honest and thorough attempt to falsify it and consider all possible alternative explanations of the observed data. You are not doing that. You ignore or dismiss any attempt to point out evidence that contradicts your proposition. So, I wouldn't even try...

Linda said: "Originally the Danes were not Christians, in fact Christianity was forced upon them. Danes believed in the Norse God Odin."

OK, so how does that make Danes "natural born atheists"?

Linda said: "But the Danes rejected this and decided that everyone would decide for themselves what they believed. So it's a constitutional right of every Dane (except the King or Queen) to have a religious belief or not to have one."

So it is in the United States and most other countries in the world. It's a basic human right acknowledged by most of the civilized world these days. This was even in the Constitution of the Soviet Union. This is not what makes Denmark different from other countries.

Linda said: "The majority of Danes belong to the National Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark but the country is overwhelmingly non-religious. Infants are baptized as a tradition and because they have been baptized they are counted as members; but it doesn't reflect their beliefs nor church attendance. They baptize their children as a cultural tradition but it doesn't requires any obligations. "

Following this logic, most Christians in the United States are not Christians as well. For instance, they do not give away all their property to poor. When somebody says "Hitler was not a Christian - he did not walk the path of Jesus", you say, "Oh, yes, he was!" - he did this and that which makes him a Christian. But when someone points out: "Most Danes are Christians, because they baptize children, have weddings and funerals in churches", you say "Oh, no, they only do this because of tradition! They are not "true" Christians!". Where is consistency? Aren't you tired of those arguments regarding who are "true Christians"? It's a silly argument. If someone baptizes his child, it's hard to call him an atheist or "non-religious". I go to church to hear music, ponder about life, and socialize with people. Most believers do these days. That's what built communities around churches for centuries. In most churches, there are no obligations. Attendance is voluntary, giving is voluntary. Religious obligations are to oneself. "God" is a metaphor for our consciousness - a tool to visualize the voice in our head that tells us what is right.

Linda said: " The majority of Danes are non-religious as my From: Linda (Posted Sep 4, 2012 at 11:28 am) 2012 chart shows. And it also made it clear that the countries that were least religious have very high illiteracy rates and every article says they are far less corrupt. They also have far less violent crime. They are not only wealthy but they are smart and that's why they are not falling for any of the religious twaddle that has been forced on the uneducated and underprivileged.

As I said, "I'm sure there are interest groups that want Americans to think the people in the happiest countries are rolling on the floor and slobbering for Jeezus but they are not.""

Perhaps, you meant "high literacy rates". You make it look like as people reject religion, they automatically become more literate, more prosperous, and more ethical. Isn't the causal relationship just opposite - as people become more educated, they become more prosperous, and as they become more prosperous, they become less religious? It seems to me that when people become more educated, but NOT less religious, they would be more prosperous regardless of religiosity. Wouldn't it make more sense, instead of fighting against religion, to fight for better education? It seems to me, educated people would make right decisions and draw right conclusions whether they are reading the Bible, Koran, or a quantum physics book. But fools would make foolish conclusions regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Nobody can fix your inability to understand any slightly complicated subject. That is why, yet again, you're trying to combine fanaticism with ignorance about something you simply can not grasp. It's probably more convenient to act like someone didn't present the facts with up-to-date charts and studies. AG "Linda, you are trying hard to make things appear the way you like them." No, the facts that have been presented do that - you have no facts what-so-ever - but you act like you do.

AG said, "Linda said, So it's a constitutional right of every Dane (except the King or Queen) to have a religious belief or not to have one."

AG said, "So it is in the United States and most other countries in the world. It's a basic human right acknowledged by most of the civilized world these days. This was even in the Constitution of the Soviet Union. This is not what makes Denmark different from other countries.

At birth, all Danes are considered to be members of the official state church and are required to pay church tax as part of their income taxes. The church is financially supported by the state, and membership is at birth. Surely even you understand that our constitution makes that impossible since we have the Establishment clause and obviously they do not. There can be no State Church or a Church tax.

England requires everyone to pay a tax for the Churches but they have a huge population of atheists/agnostics, and so do the Scandinavians.

There are plenty of people around the world that celebrate holidays as a cultural event that have no belief in any god/gods. Most Danes consider their churches places to socialize not places to worship anything.

Don Baker mentioned the least religious countries were happier on the same thread and I gave AG data on Atheist Community of Austin (topic) On "Religion causes harm." No matter how many examples you give him he will keep saying it isn't enough when he has no real examples or proof that it isn't true or that a savior/god or anything he believes ever existed. Here are some books on the topic that you might try to read.

The best countries - in every way - are the least religious. And the lower the number of religious the better. Denmark 18% - That means only 18 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

Society Without God - By Sociologist Phil Zuckerman Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion Category

Sociologist Phil Zuckerman spent a year in Scandinavia: He found that most residents of Denmark and Sweden don't worship any god at all, don't pray, and don't give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the "happiness index" and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.

MORE BOOKS:

Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe Greg Epstein The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture Darrel W. Ray Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion by Phil Zuckerman

ARTICLES:

Current Affairs: Denmark may be ranked number one in the happiness category, but when it comes to religion, Danes find themselves nearly in last place. Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Year after year, Danes continues to draw international attention as "the happiest people in the world." Interestingly enough, they are also one of the least religious, with only a small portion of the population attending church on a regular basis and atheism running strong.

literacy in some of the least religious was at 99% and literacy in some of the most religious were around 40.9%.

AG said, "According to Karl Popper, the theorist of the modern scientific method, supporting evidence does not matter as much as contradicting evidence. To confirm a theory you must make an honest and thorough attempt to falsify it and consider all possible alternative explanations of the observed data. You are not doing that. You ignore or dismiss any attempt to point out evidence that contradicts your proposition. So, I wouldn't even try..."

You have no contradictory evidence. AG "To confirm a theory you must make an honest and thorough attempt to falsify it and consider all possible alternative explanations of the observed data." Oh! And you are? You wouldn't even try! You have no contradictory evidence and you never present any real proof of anything you claim.

Denmark has one of the largest atheist/agnostic populations in the world. In fact it's the third largest. I gave you books, news, articles and charts with the same information. People that have spent several years and won awards for their investigative reporting. That's known as a preponderance of evidence and that means there is too much corroborating (confirming) evidence not to believe it. Unlike Christianity which has none. There was no credible contradictory evidence.

AG said, "Linda said: "Originally the Danes were not Christians, in fact Christianity was forced upon them. Danes believed in the Norse God Odin." AG said, "OK, so how does that make Danes "natural born atheists"?"

Nobody said anything about a natural born atheist but in fact everyone in the world was. Religion came much later in the evolution of man and Christianity (relatively speaking) was a very recent concoction of many existing religions. It's your desperate need for a security blanket that makes it impossible for you to grasp that simple little concept, or maybe you just have to change the argument to something you think you can win? Why is AG answering what I told Church Johnson the "so-called atheist" who supposedly is someone else anyway?"

AG said, "Linda said: "But the Danes rejected this and decided that everyone would decide for themselves what they believed. So it's a constitutional right of every Dane (except the King or Queen) to have a religious belief or not to have one." AG said, "So it is in the United States and most other countries in the world. It's a basic human right acknowledged by most of the civilized world these days. This was even in the Constitution of the Soviet Union. This is not what makes Denmark different from other countries."

America doesn't have a State Church or a Church tax and we are not automatic members at birth. Linda's answer: My response was to the so-called atheists Church Johnson said, "Emily, Let's not put too much emphasis on the arguments as to what the statistics are for Scandinavia, and how to interpret those statistics. It is too easy to mislead and to lie with statistics. Lets just say that the citizens of Denmark are not very religious."

Linda's answer: It's obvious he hasn't got a clue.

In 1849 the Danes became a democracy with a constitution. Until this time the Danes had been told what to believe for 900 years. The present King Frederik VII wanted them to remain an evangelical-Lutheran state. But the Danes rejected this and decided that everyone would decide for themselves what they believed. So it's a constitutional right of every Dane (except the King or Queen) to have a religious belief or not to have one. But they will still be born members of the State Church - real complicated isn't it.

Most people who have read about Scandinavian countries know that even though there is an official state religion the population is still non-religious.

Membership in a Church and actually believing in God are very different things in Denmark and most Scandinavian countries. 80% of the population may have been made members of a church as infants but they only set foot in a church for christenings, weddings and funerals. The churches are thought of as places for social events or cultural celebrations but not as places of worship to most Danes.

The majority of Danes are non-religious as my From: Linda (Posted Sep 4, 2012 at 11:28 am) 2012 chart shows. And it also made it clear that the countries that were least religious have very high illiteracy rates and every article says they are far less corrupt. They also have far less violent crime. They are not only wealthy but they are smart and that's why they are not falling for any of the religious twaddle that has been forced on the uneducated and underprivileged.

As I said, "I'm sure there are interest groups that want Americans to think the people in the happiest countries are rolling on the floor and slobbering for Jeebus - but they are not."

I don't see any reason for the half-ass copying of what people have said and then acting like you have presented a reasonable argument when you haven't. As a matter of fact I doubt that you could reason your way out of a wet paper bag.

Chuck said, "To me, AG is close to being an atheist, but he tends to obfuscate rather than be clear when asked to define his style of belief or non-belief. His faith hangs on by a thread."

IMHO, our whole life is hang by a thread. And the thread is called "faith" - faith that we can make it and faith that it's worth the effort. I'm pretty sure, "God" is only in my head or "soul" or "heart" or whatever metaphoric place of my body. And that's exactly where he is supposed to be. If this does not make sense, then try to find evidence that we have any "thoughts" in our heads. How many "thoughts" have scientists seen upon opening a person's skull? There is stuff that cannot be seen or measured, which, nevertheless affects our lives and the history of human society. Why is this so unreasonable to believe?

AG said: I'm pretty sure, "God" is only in my head or "soul" or "heart" or whatever metaphoric place of my body. And that's exactly where he is supposed to be. If this does not make sense, then try to find evidence that we have any "thoughts" in our heads. How many "thoughts" have scientists seen upon opening a person's skull?

AG, It does make sense that God is just a thought. If you click here:

http://tinyurl.com/c3lz42t

You can see Tracie Harris telling us that she believes in God as a mental concept. I have said that God is a fictional character. Linda has said that God is a figment of the imagination. These are the ways to describe the existence of God that make sense.

How many "thoughts" have scientists seen upon opening a person's skull?

A great many, and this investigation is decades old. For many years now, neurosurgeons have been able to elicit body movements, physical sensations, and flashback memories by applying small voltages to the human brain. With the invention of the squid magnetometer, magnetic fields outside of the brain are used to show thought patterns inside of the brain (in the mind). This is possible because the activity of the brain consists of chemical reactions, changing electrical currents, and changing magnetic fields. This is the way that nerves (neurons) work, and the brain is a mass of neurons.

Why have you not looked this up? - - - Did you not know that this is an active field of research?

Also, magnetic resonance imaging renders colored maps of the brain, and these maps show different areas of the brain going through activity changes in response words, pictures, or other ways of communicating with the patient under study.

Here are a couple of links to get you started:

http://tinyurl.com/yjk853f

http://phys.org/news203052531.html

Chuck,

The Atheist Experience episode was good. The arguments between atheists and believers regarding the first cause remind me of this :)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

Just because the caller has one mouth and not two and cannot speak as fast as Matt and Tracie, does not mean he was talking nonsense. Many atheists think with stereotypes: "Believer = uneducated brainwashed idiot" or "religion = harm". It is no different from other stereotypical thinking like "homosexuality = immorality" or "Latino immigrants = criminals" or "blonde female = stupidity". Pushing the button and rolling eyes does not convince anyone of anything. This is the biggest obstacle to "selling atheism" discussed in this thread. Understanding another person and finding common ground is far more valuable than proving another person wrong. "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." You may agree that wisdom is never unilateral. Unilateral wisdom turns into foolishness or worse.

But I do like WHAT was said in the video. The questions were exactly right: "How do you define 'exist'?" So, it seems that if I say that "God is immaterial" - a concept in my head, you and Tracie seem to agree with me. Don has also admitted in another thread that some meanings of the word "spirit" make sense to atheists.

Now, what is a "thought"? Do "thoughts" exist? You and Tracie seem to make no distinction between "a thought" and "brain activity". Don said "mind is what brain does". That's operationalism: "Time is what clock measures: no clocks - no time." It's one way to define world. Not the best one. Have I seen a thought detached from human brain? Have you ever read a book or watched any video? Do books contain thoughts? Do images contain thoughts? Can you detect electromagnetic activity in a book using MRI? Or would you say that books are nothing but paper, ink and glue? When scientists map words to brain areas or detect active brain regions, they detect brain activity, not thoughts. Thoughts are not brain activity, it seems. Thoughts and ideas can be represented by brain activity, ink on paper, images carved in stone, shapes of clay, knots on yarn, flags on a rope; electrical impulses, digital, or analog, transmitted over wire, or radio, etc., etc. One may say that thoughts reflect reality or thoughts are "symbols of reality". Similarly, words in a book represent thoughts or words are "symbols of thoughts". The brain does not deal with real objects. The brain operates with symbols. Two jars have multiple symbols or concepts attached to them: "number 2", "glass", "container", "lid", "bottom", "cylinder", "circle", "volume", "shape". These associations may be *represented* in the brain as links between neurons. All of those are not "jars". Image of a thing is not the thing itself. There can be things without images representing them or images without things they represent. Images can exist in our brain, on paper, on computer monitor, on canvas, or in the sky. Isn't it possible to study a DNA molecule and say that the person it belongs to has black hair? Can it be said that DNA is an image of our physical body? Is it identical to our body? Can it exist independently of a body?

I'm not talking of anything mystical here, am I?

Number "2" is an idea, a concept. It's not identical to two jars on the desk. Can I measure God? No. Can I detect God with a physical device? No. Can I measure a thought? You say, you can detect a thought with a physical device. You *think* you can detect a though with a physical device. Here is this circularity again. And atheists blame religion for circular thinking. "Can an omnipotent God create a rock too heavy for him to lift?" Whether or not, he is not omnipotent! - haha! "Can omniscient and omnipotent God change a future event which he *knows* will happen?" If he can, he is not omniscient. If he cannot, he is not omnipotent! - hahaha! "Can omnipotent and benevolent God do evil?" Gotcha! God is neither omnipotent nor benevolent! HAHAHA!

Remember Monty Python? "Stop arguing with me! I'm not! Yes you are! No, I'm not!" Emily said: "You are the king of inconsistency!" I LOVE inconsistency. Inconsistency moves science forward and makes us laugh.

Your link about how magnetic field changes moral judgement is awesome. One more study of *how* humans make moral judgements. I know how, you know how, everyone knows how - with emotions. And I don't need a degree in psychology to tell that emotions can be changed by magnetic field, medical drugs, weather, food, alcohol, music, periods, or global news. Main conclusion of the article sounds like a revelation: "The study not only shows that our morals aren't exactly incorruptible, but also sheds light on the way the brain organizes and compartmentalizes moral decision making. It also reinforces something we all know intuitively to be true: finding the difference between right and wrong is rarely as simple as it sounds."

Just this morning there was an episode on NPR about another such study.

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~jgreene/

Greene found that moral judgments depend on how we visualize events or people. E.g. when people are asked whether they would flip a railroad switch to kill one person instead of five, most say they would. That's the moral judgment made with reason. But when you attach images to numbers, the answer is not so obvious: would you flip a railroad switch to kill a child instead of 5 convicted murderers? What act is more immoral: axe murdering of a family with 3 children or dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima? How come our logic changes when images are attached or detached? Conclusion of the study: images cause emotions. Sometimes, moral decisions are made with reason, sometimes, with emotions. I would say, morals are judged with reason only when no emotions are involved. Reminds me of a rabbi judging two people. He listens to one party and says: "I think, you are right." He listens to the other party and says: "I think, you are right too." Then someone rebukes him: "What kind of a judge are you? You think that both parties are right!" The rabbi replies with a sigh: "I think, you are also right." That's the moral judgment with pure reason, without emotions :).

I don't mean that what you say is nonsense. I don't claim that God exists as "objective reality". I think, we are in agreement that God is an idea in our head. I just wanted to show that most of these arguments are arguments about words stemming from confusion between images and objects they represent. Rolling eyes and pushing the button just shows a lack of understanding. Sometimes, we may hear something outlandish from religious people. But not all religious stuff is nonsense.

Emily said: "Denmark is almost exculsively atheistic and has one of the best societies to live in on this planet-they take care of their people and their people are exceedingly happy- all without god."

I keep hearing that about Scandinavian countries, but with very few references to actual data. It appears to be a hearsay that is told and re-told from one atheist web-site to another. I tried to find the data, and the best I found on www.thearda.com shows that there are only 10% atheists and agnostics combined in Denmark.

http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Downloads/INTL2008_DL2.asp

Note, the data on this web site was updated in 2011 and has statistics on religious demographics in all nearly 200 countries in the world. There is no such thing as "almost exclusively atheistic" country. It's one of the myths atheists believe without evidence.

It seems to me that atheistic zeal for verifying claims is very selective. Can anyone provide better data or a reference to some research on Scandinavian countries - religion, and socio-economic well-being?

AG said, "I keep hearing that about Scandinavian countries, but with very few references to actual data. It appears to be a hearsay that is told and re-told from one atheist web-site to another. I tried to find the data, and the best I found on www.thearda.com shows that there are only 10% atheists and agnostics combined in Denmark."

Actually, according to www.nairaland.com, "predominantly atheist countries have the LOWEST crime rates and LOWEST teenage preganancy rates in the world. In 2008 Gregory S. Paul wrote about this and compared 18 "prosperous democracies." According to his research, Denmark was 20% totally atheist in 2008, and 78% considered themselves "theists" but not absolute believers in a god. Only 13% in Denmark believed fully in a gawd.

Japan is an even better example of a successful atheistic country-LEAST crime prone country in the world, LOWEST teen pregnancy rate in the world. Fewer than 10% of the Japanese in 2008 said they think god exists.

AG said, "There is no such thing as "almost exclusively atheistic" country. It's one of the myths atheists believe without evidence. "

Well, there's you're evidence above.

AG said, "It seems to me that atheistic zeal for verifying claims is very selective. Can anyone provide better data or a reference to some research on Scandinavian countries - religion, and socio-economic well-being?"

Your attempt to verify the claim that religion helps society is based on nothing-it's actually a bald-faced lie. The U.S has the HIGHEST teen pregnancy rate and HIGHEST homicide rate in the WORLD- and in 2008 (according to Gregory S. Paul's research) 62% of US know "for sure" there is a god, 78% are theists in some way, and 3% are atheists.

There is your "better data and research."

And you gotta be kidding about socioeconomic well-being-high school students know the quality of life in Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden is more prosperous for a larger portion of the total population than the US-years of Republican deregulation and "god" have "ghetto-ized" our nation into the gutter. We make a profit off of prisons (Supermax) and don't take care of our people. I saw a television program around 2009 where they were talking about how women leave baby strollers out in Denmark because there are virtually no kidnappings there, and the woman interviewing the Dens was shocked-in America, you would be scared to death to leave your child alone for a second. They talked about how virtually all the local beautiful historic church buildings are used for is town meetings-very few people beleive in god. This also shocked the interviewer. That is where I first heard of Denmark-the only atheist page I look at is this one and I read books, I don't troll message boards.

Your conclusions are based on what you want to be true, not evidence. If you can prove that god has made any country "better" I'll "get my ass to church" asap.

From: AG (Posted Aug 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm)

AG, "Emily said: "Denmark is almost exculsively atheistic and has one of the best societies to live in on this planet-they take care of their people and their people are exceedingly happy- all without god."

Those that are religious are a very small percent of the population.

AG said, "I keep hearing that about Scandinavian countries, but with very few references to actual data. It appears to be a hearsay that is told and re-told from one atheist web-site to another. I tried to find the data, and the best I found on www.thearda.com shows that there are only 10% atheists and agnostics combined in Denmark."

The best countries - in every way - are the least religious. And the lower the number of religious the better. Denmark 18% - That means only 18 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious. It looks like Emily is right!

I told AG about the Sociologist Phil Zuckerman who spent a year in Scandinavia and wrote a book on the subject. Don Baker mentioned the least religious countries were happier on the same thread and I gave AG data on Atheist Community of Austin (topic) On "Religion causes harm." No matter how many examples you give him he will keep saying it isn't enough when he has no real examples or proof that it isn't true or that a savior/god or anything he believes ever existed. Here are some books on the topic that you might try to read.

Society Without God - By Sociologist Phil Zuckerman

Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion Category

Sociologist Phil Zuckerman spent a year in Scandinavia: He found that most residents of Denmark and Sweden don't worship any god at all, don't pray, and don't give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the "happiness index" and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.

MORE BOOKS:

Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe Greg Epstein

The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture Darrel W. Ray

Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion by Phil Zuckerman

ARTICLES:

Current Affairs: Denmark may be ranked number one in the happiness category, but when it comes to religion, Danes find themselves nearly in last place.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Year after year, Danes continues to draw international attention as "the happiest people in the world." Interestingly enough, they are also one of the least religious, with only a small portion of the population attending church on a regular basis and atheism running strong.

According to NationMaster, a statistical website, Church attendance in Denmark is strikingly low, a meager 5% compared to the United States' 44%.

Out of 53 countries, this places Denmark at 45 (meaning as the happiest) and the United States at 11 (meaning as the happiest).

Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, who also score high on the happiness scale, are also some of the least religious countries in the world.

NEWS:

Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth ABC News by Bill Weir and Sylvia Johnson

60 Minutes on CBS News Morley Safer On Why The Danes Are Considered The Happiest People On Earth.

AG said, "Note, the data on this web site was updated in 2011 and has statistics on religious demographics in all nearly 200 countries in the world. There is no such thing as "almost exclusively atheistic" country. It's one of the myths atheists believe without evidence."

If a country 14% religious and the rest are not it is predominantly non-religious. That's all anyone has said. This issue is not about he/said/she/said it's about statistics. And that's what was being said! You have been on this message board trying to claim all kinds of absurdities without evidence and that's why you're so desperate to smear atheists with the same brush. It's pretty clear what we are saying (to most people): I will say it all again and then prove it by posting the information. The wealthiest and most advanced countries are the least religious, least violent and the most socially equitable. The poorest and least equitable countries are the most violent and most religious.

NOTE: this data is from 2012.

Canadian Atheist: Comparing Least Religious Countries With Most Religious - Do We Need Religion to Thrive as a Society?

In a previous article, a few posters suggested that religion was needed in order to maintain a thriving country. I disagree, but statistics should be able to show us whether or not that assertion is true or at least if it's likely to be true.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

According to Gallup here is a list of the least and most religious countries. Underneath each country I will use Wiki to list the GDP, literacy rate, homicide rate per 100,000 and life expectancy to show somewhat the financial prosperity, education, violent crime rate and health of its citizens. When available, I will also give the rating of each country in brackets. For example, if the literacy rate says 99% with a (20th) beside it, it means that it ranks 20th overall in the world with a 99% literacy rate.

Let's get started.

11 LEAST RELIGIOUS - LISTED FROM LEAST RELIGIOUS TO MOST

Estonia 14% religious - That means that only 14% of the population is religious the majority are not religious!

GDP - 24.65 billion (98th)

Literacy - 99.8% (3rd in the world)

Life expectancy - 71.4 years (104th in the world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 6.7

Sweden 17% - That means only 17 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - 354.7 billion (33rd)

Literacy -99% (42nd in world)

Life expectancy -80.9 years (20th in world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 1.2

Denmark 18% - That means only 18 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $313.8 billion (46th)

Literacy - 99% (28th)

Life expectancy - 78.3 (36th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 1.1

Norway 20%

GDP - $276.5 billion

Literacy - 99% (20th)

Life expectancy - 80.2 (13th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.8

Czech Republic 21% - That means only 21 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - 260.6 billion (42nd)

Literacy - 99% (20th)

Life expectancy - 76.5 (44th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 2.2

Azerbaijan 21% - That means only 21 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $46.38 billion (76th)

Literacy - 99.5% (13th)

Life expectancy - 67.5 (124th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 2.4

Hong Kong 21% - That means only 21 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $325.8 billion

Literacy - 94.6% (76th)

Life expectancy - 82.2 (2nd)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.6

Japan 25% - That means only 25% of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $5.4 trillion (3rd)

Literacy - 99% (20th)

Life expectancy - 82.6 (1st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.5

France 25% -That means only 25 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $2.7 trillion (5th)

Literacy - 99% (20th)

Life expectancy - 76.4 (45th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 1.6

Mongolia 27% -That means only 27% of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $9.4 billion (150th)

Literacy - 97.5% (59th)

Life expectancy - 66.8 (128th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 13.1

Belarus 27% - That means only 27 % of the population is religious the majority are not religious.

GDP - $116 billion (60th)

Literacy - 99.7 (7th)

Life expectancy - 69 (117th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 8.3

11 MOST RELIGIOUS - LISTED FROM MOST TO LEAST

Egypt 100% religious - That means 100% of the population is religious.

GDP - $500.9 billion (27th)

Literacy - 66.4% (156th)

Life expectancy - 71.3 (106th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.7

Bangladesh 99% - That means 99% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $104.9 billion (45th)

Literacy - 55.9% (163rd)

Life expectancy - 64.1 (142nd)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 2.3

Sri Lanka 99% - That means 99% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - 59 Billion

Literacy - 94.2% (81st)

Life expectancy - 72.4 (91st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 7.2

Indonesia 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $1.0 trillion (15th)

Literacy - 92% (91st)

Life expectancy - 70.7 (110th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 8.9

Congo 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $4.15 billion

Literacy - 81.1% (127th)

Life expectancy - 55.3 (164th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 18.8

Sierra Leon 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - 1.9 billion

Literacy - 40.9% (174th)

Life expectancy - 42.6 (190th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 34

Malawi 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $8.272 billion

Literacy - 73.7% (139th)

Life expectancy - 48.3 (179th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 18

Senegal 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $11.12 billion

Literacy - 49.7% (171st)

Life expectancy - 63.1 (146th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 14.2

Djibouti 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $1.738 billion

Literacy - 70.3% (146th)

Life expectancy - 54.8 (165th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 3.5

Morocco 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $153,257 billion (54th)

Literacy - 56.1% (162nd)

Life expectancy - 71.2 (107th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.5

United Arab Emirates 98% - That means 98% of the population is religious the rest are not.

GDP - $201 billion

Literacy - 90% (102nd)

Life expectancy - 78.7 (31st)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.7

And just for kicks and giggles, let's look at the average between the two when it comes to homicide rates for the people who always say you need religion to have morals.

AVERAGE HOMICIDE RATE IN THE LEAST RELIGIOUS COUNTRIES

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 3.5

AVERAGE HOMICIDE RATE IN THE MOST RELIGIOUS COUNTRIES

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 9.89

"Now that's out of the way, I think you can clearly see that the less religious countries are doing better than the more religious countries - they're wealthier, have lower homicide rates, better life expectancy and have more robust economies."

I noticed that literacy in some of the least religious was at 99% and literacy in some of the most religious were around 40.9%.

Also, some of the most religious countries have oil money but it's in the hands of very few. That means the society as a whole is very poor and uneducated and as we know first hand - very violent.

What would you say about this data?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/152732/Religious-Higher-Wellbeing-Across-Faiths.aspx

As of Zuckerman's data on religiosity in Denmark, here is the quote from Zuckerman's research: http://www.atheist-community.org/boards/add_message.php

"According to Norris and Inglehart (2004) 48% of Danes do not believe in God. According to Bondeson (2003), 49% of Danes do not believe in "a personal God." According to Greeley (2003), 43% of Danes do not believe in God, although only 15% self-identify as "atheist." According to Froese (2001), 45% of Danes are either atheist or agnostic. According to Gustafsson and Pettersson (2000), 80% of Danes do not believe in a "personal God."

80% seems to be an outlier and the oldest data point. I'd trust the 40%+ numbers more since there are 4 of them. 40% is far from being "almost exclusively" atheistic.

Thanks for pointing to the data. I'll check. Based on thearda.org, I did find a very strong correlation between % of atheists and agnostics and GDP per capita. It would be interesting to see whether changes in religious demographics are followed by the social improvements and not the other way around. It may well be that "people turn to God in times of trouble" and turn away when times are happy.

You can't blame me for being too skeptical, can you? :)

AG said, "What would you say about this data?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/152732/Religious-Higher-Wellbeing-Across-Faiths.aspx

As of Zuckerman's data on religiosity in Denmark, here is the quote from

Zuckerman's research: http://www.atheist-community.org/boards/add_message.php"

I would say, "I gave you data from 2012. I also gave many different sources News, books, articles with the same information "that the happiest countries are the least religious," and AG can't even remember that's what this is about. You're giving data from 2000, 2002, 2003 2004. AG is still trying to make this about something it was never about.

You don't know anything about the Scandinavian culture. Like America, Denmark is a secular country, but America has a political party that has been taken over by religious conservatives who want to mix religion with government or have a theocracy. We had a theocracy and fought a revolution to get rid of it.

You haven't proven that the countries that are better are not the most religious. So, you had to make the argument about something else. You said that religion improves lives (makes things better) makes people better. It doesn't - so deal with it!

AG said, "According to Norris and Inglehart (2004) 48% of Danes do not believe in God. According to Bondeson (2003), 49% of Danes do not believe in "a personal God." According to Greeley (2003), 43% of Danes do not believe in God, although only 15% self-identify as "atheist." According to Froese (2001), 45% of Danes are either atheist or agnostic. According to Gustafsson and Pettersson (2000), 80% of Danes do not believe in a "personal God. 80% seems to be an outlier and the oldest data point. I'd trust the 40%+ numbers more since there are 4 of them. 40% is far from being "almost exclusively" atheistic."

The News, books, articles and charts that I referenced demonstrate that the Danes have one of the largest atheist, agnostic population in the world and are the happiest people in the world. We are talking about non-belief not Church membership. Most people who have read about Scandinavian countries know that even though the majority of the population of the country are members of the official state religion the population is still non-religious. The majority of Danes belong to the National Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark but the country is overwhelmingly non-religious. Infants are baptized as a tradition and because they have been baptized they are counted as members; but it doesn't reflect their beliefs nor church attendance. They baptize their children as a cultural tradition but it doesn't requires any obligations. Membership in a Church and actually believing in God are very different things in Denmark and most Scandinavian countries. 80% of the population may have been baptized and made members of a church as infants but they only set foot in a church for christenings, weddings and funerals. The churches are thought of as places for social events or cultural celebrations but not as places of worship to most Danes. Danes are for the most part non-religious as my 2012 chart shows.

I'm sure there are interest groups that want Americans to think the people in the happiest countries are rolling on the floor and slobbering for Jeezus but they are not.

AG said, "Thanks for pointing to the data. I'll check. Based on thearda.org, I did find a very strong correlation between % of atheists and agnostics and GDP per capita. It would be interesting to see whether changes in religious demographics are followed by the social improvements and not the other way around. It may well be that "people turn to God in times of trouble" and turn away when times are happy."

The reason for the least religious countries wealth is their higher level of education and lower level of corruption. It's clear that the countries that were least religious have very high illiteracy rates and every article says they are far less corrupt. They also have far less violent crime. They are not only wealthy but they are smart and that's why they are not falling for any of the religious twaddle that has been forced on the uneducated and underprivileged. The connection is obviously better education, education means populations that are far less religious, and far happier. These countries offer a better way of life because of the level of social justice and the lack of violence.

AG said, "You can't blame me for being too skeptical, can you? :)"

Skeptics don't just believe things. You are doing exactly that. It doesn't matter if everyone but me believe in the supernatural or a superior being; the only thing that matters is the evidence and does it make logical sense. It is not skepticism to only question things that don't support what you already believe. You don't question what you have been indoctrinated into believing you make excuses for it so you can continue to believe in it. And that's all that you have been doing here. Looking for a way to keep on believing something that has no supporting evidence and doesn't make logical sense.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/152723/Religious-Americans-Enjoy-Higher-Wellbeing.aspx

PRINCETON, NJ -- An analysis of more than 676,000 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews conducted in 2011 and 2010 finds that Americans who are the most religious have the highest levels of wellbeing. The statistically significant relationship between religiousness and wellbeing holds up after controlling for numerous demographic variables.

The data is from February 2012.

America is a backwards country, it seems :).

"Read Christopher Hitchens' book, "god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything.""

That's a great title for a "positive" book. Don't you think, Dawkins and Hitchens are somewhat selective in the "evidence" they choose? In my opinion, there are great many examples when religion played a positive role in human life and history. Atheists seem to ignore them.

Ag said,"Read Christopher Hitchens' book, "god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything."" That's a great title for a "positive" book. " And it's a great book. If you're looking for positive fluff why don't you read "Mary Poppins." By the way, the Bible is the most NEGATIVE DOWNER I've ever read.

"Seek and you will find". Especially, in the Bible. If you look for gloom and doom (bloodshed, child cannibalism, eating excrements, murder with dissecting the body and mailing the parts out), it's there. If you look for inspiration, it's there too. Who is to blame for what we see in a mirror?

AG says, "Seek and you will find". Especially, in the Bible."

Wow, what a surprise to find you quoting bible passages.

AG said, " If you look for inspiration, it's there too." Who is to blame for what we see in a mirror?"

In "Mein Kempf", Hitler said people should exercize more and take up the arts. That doesn't make Mein Kemp and "inspiring book", and I reserve the right to look at the work as a WHOLE-the bible is a sick peice of excrement-if you find a bloody tortured dead guy and people killing their children ok because Jesus said, "Love thy neighbor", that's your choice, not mine.

That mirror comment shows how nasty you guys get when you don't get your way with converting people's thoughts-I don't see biblical mumbo-jumbo in my mirror.

As for what I see in the mirror, I see me, and as John Lennon would say,... "and that's reality."

Emily said: "As for what I see in the mirror, I see me, and as John Lennon would say,... "and that's reality.""

I hope, you don't seriously believe that you said something meaningful. If you do, try to explain to yourself the meaning of "me" and "reality" and whether an image in the mirror physically exist anywhere in reality outside our brain. It's a good way to understand the limits of our understanding.

AG said, "I hope, you don't seriously believe that you said something meaningful. If you do, try to explain to yourself the meaning of "me" and "reality" and whether an image in the mirror physically exist anywhere in reality outside our brain."

I don't believe I said anything meaningful-JOHN LENNON did. But you are probably way smarter than that guy. A three year old can explain the meaning of "me" and "reality." I feel sorry for you-you don't even know that you exist! I guess that's what being "spiritual" can do for you. Anywho-how about real issues, like the one that was going on about the countries of the world that are non-religious and superior in quality of life to the religious ones? It is convenient to go into la la land when you can't argue a real point.

Emily said: "I don't believe I said anything meaningful-JOHN LENNON did. But you are probably way smarter than that guy. A three year old can explain the meaning of "me" and "reality." I feel sorry for you-you don't even know that you exist! I guess that's what being "spiritual" can do for you. Anywho-how about real issues, like the one that was going on about the countries of the world that are non-religious and superior in quality of life to the religious ones? It is convenient to go into la la land when you can't argue a real point."

OK. I hoped, you didn't believe that JOHN LENNON said anything meaningful, but my hope is lost. I confess, I'm at a total loss when it comes to definitions of "me" and "reality". Your argument that "even a child can explain the meaning of "me" and "reality" does not explain much. Here is one from my 5-year old son: "Life is a big giant toilet joke." Why don't you start from searching "self" and "reality" in Wikipedia. Then follow the links, then read a few books - Plato, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Jung. The list can get long. You think, I'm quoting Star Wars and Zoolander, because I have scrambled eggs for brains and have not read a serious book? No. It's because I HAVE read some books on the topic :).

As for correlation between religion and prosperity of a nation. Quite honestly, I think, we are trying to make reality look the way we want here. Those numbers of "religious folks" vs. "non religious folks" are not worth much. All this is subject for definition and debate. Can a person who goes to church twice a year to pay homage to tradition called a Christian? Who is a "real Christian" vs., what, "imaginary Christian"? A lot of people, even atheists, have superstitions - wear "lucky charms", avoid #13, etc. Are those "true atheists"? Many non-religious people believe in spiritual things: freedom, love, perseverance, respect, obedience, and have their idiosyncracies about these things. Sorting people into boxes is not my thing... Sorry. I don't think it's a "real" point. Even if there is correlation between religiosity and prosperity - what causes what? Perhaps, prosperity causes a drop in religiosity? Or, more likely, education causes increase in prosperity which causes increase of education, and both cause a drop in religiosity, because when things go well, people don't bother with issues of "sin" or "virtue" - they simply enjoy life.

From: AG (Posted Sep 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm) "Seek and you will find". Especially, in the Bible. If you look for gloom and doom (bloodshed, child cannibalism, eating excrements, murder with dissecting the body and mailing the parts out), it's there. If you look for inspiration, it's there too. Who is to blame for what we see in a mirror?

Linda said: So, now it's our fault that we didn't overlook or omit all of the violence, murder, mayhem and contradictions and just pass this garbage or (gar-babble) off as moral teachings like the clergy is doing? We are talking about what is in the Good Book (aka) or also known as the Bible not what anyone sees in the mirror. It's another attempt to avoid the real issue - which is all you can do! You are trying to pass something off as inspirational that is clearly juvenile, ignorant and down right maniacal.

BTW- you don't need the "s" on excrement it should read eating excrement - your not any better in grammar even with spell check - but you've learned a lot.

AG said, "I thought, that's kind of what Jesus was trying to do 2000 years ago in his own way. The agenda is still the same. I don't think, Christianity can be replaced with something radically better. The idea of nailing our sins to the cross is, very much, alive. The implementation of this idea is still in the works."

Christianity is a Gentile mission concocted by the Romans to assimilate the Jews and all other religions. It was the synchronization of pagan and Jewish religions.

Contemporary historians or (historians living in that time period) have written the facts and dates about significant things that happened in the past, and studying these writings can prove what did or didn't happen. This is how you know if something is actual history or a myth. Historian, poets and writers never wrote one word about Jesus that lived in the same place and time

David Ulansey book on Mithraism, "The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries", in which he convincingly shows that Mithraism originated in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. That is where Paul of Tarsus came from. This is pretty good evidence Paul's beliefs came from Mithraism, which had many practices exactly like Christianity. Paul never cites the Gospels because the Gospels come much later. You can prove that by reading the Bible and you will find that Paul never refers to them.

There is no evidence that James and Paul had any relationship because they did not agree on the Jewish religion (not Christianity) Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire after the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed and James (the head of the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem) was dead. Then Paul exalted a fictional Jesus above James once James was dead. Paul (with assistance of the Rome Empire) started spreading this Jewish/ Pagan gospel.

Erasmus, four hundred years ago, said the Gospels were originally written in Greek. The Gospel of John is largely composed of the speculations of Greek philosophy. I think that this is much more fun than reading one book and believing every word is true. Scholars know that a single individual did not write the first five books of the Bible. The first five books are a compilation of conflicting diverse writing composed over many centuries. Moses (One person) was not the author of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah (the law) or the Pentateuch. In which, by the way, Moses recounts his own funeral.

The Israelites lived for centuries with the Canaanites. Many of the sacrifices that are mentioned in the Ugaritic texts have names that are identical to those described in the book of Leviticus. It is also clear that Ugaritic and early biblical Hebrew poetry share a common literary tradition. El was used as the name of the all-powerful God of monotheistic religions. The Israelites identified him with their God YHWH in order to develop the monotheism of the Torah. Then, much later, under Jewish and Christian influence, Muhammad declared El, under his Arabic designation, Allah, to be the one true God and founded Islam.

When the royal palace of Ugarit was uncovered, a large number of cuneiform tablets were found. These tablets were the literature written down in about 1375 BCE but much older in origin. This literature described Canaanite gods that can be found in the Hebrew Bible. If you would care to read a book on the subject: Mark S Smith, 'The origins of biblical monotheism: Israel's polytheistic background and the Ugaritic texts', New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

The Old Testament that supposedly came from Moses is probably based on the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, who is also credited with creating monotheism. Like Moses Akhenaten led an exodus from Egypt. There was never any ancient sprawling kingdom of Israel; there was an ancient Jerusalem, but not the mythical kingdom of Israel. That phrase comes from the combination of three ancient deities, Isis - Ra, and El., and Moses never existed.

The OT story claims Moses was given the law on Mt. Sinai and was ordered by God to bring the law down to his people. That is not true, because it can be demonstrated to be false. It is also a fact that the Ten Commandments were not given to Moses on Mt. Sinai they came from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This can easily be found to be true with a little research.

Cuneiform texts of Ras Shamara - Ugarit attests that much of the Old Testament and the ancient Hebrew god were borrowed from the Canaanites. The Jewish people evolved from polytheism to monotheism with the promotion of a god who had been known by a variety of names, into one supreme God, Yahweh who had a consort, Asherah. This female entity was later merged by Greek and Roman traditions into Aphrodite and Venus, and known earlier to the Egyptians as Isis.

"Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic" by Frank Cross (Cambridge Harvard University Press) the book has the history of religion of Israel compared to Ugaritic texts. Much of the Old Testaments and the religion was purloined from the Canaanite's religion.

This is nothing new! AG has never given any evidence or reason to believe what he believes. He simply claims that other people don't give evidence and other people don't know what their even talking about. Well where is your evidence or anything that even indicates that you know what we are talking about?

The Gospels are fictional stories that are no more true than the folk and fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Reply to: Chuck Johnson (Posted Aug 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm)

Chuck Johnson said, "AG, You are right that "Better Causes" is an agenda that needs to be developed and strengthened in the communities of atheists. A growing, positive presence of atheism both as perception and as achievements in the communities is important."

No, Chuck That's not what you and AG are about, and it's not too surprising that you don't seem to have gotten the gist of the discussion, it's about not allowing theists to take over an atheist show. Now we just need to add an atheist message board.

Everyone go to (or look at) Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of the Earth - AG said, "IMHO, atheism is a very proud and bold point of view and, as such, is not a wise one. Science may know "something" compared to what it knew 200 years ago, but it knows NOTHING compared to what there is to know. I think, it is a far better attitude to bow your head and thank the Lord that He gave us the ability to understand these things and reveals His majestic work to us in various ways. If getting on your knees is not acceptable to your ego, go ahead, insult me. I'd rather get on my knees before God than be brought to my knees by some jerk with a gun with same arrogant attitude."

Linda's Answer: Threats are all you've got. The Bible (which is what your beliefs are based on) sanctifies slavery and any number of immoral acts too numerous to mention. Some of us don't need a reward or threats to do what is right. You are a self-absorbed jerk with an arrogant attitude, and down right stupid. So, just shoot me!

The same theme on this thread from both AG and Chuck *the Lord reveals His majestic work to us in various ways*.

Chuck Johnson said, "AG said: I am learning many things here and I would like to thank all of you. This is good. - - - Very, very good. In another thread, AG says that God is wisdom. He also says that there is "something" that drives us towards better life. That seems to be about it for AG's God. Very good.

Well Chuck-y poo I've posted some things on this thread that AG said about his god that I don't consider--- very good.

Chuck Johnson said, "I also know that God manifests himself here on Earth in many ways. This is only natural. Some of the things that people think about, talk about, make movies about, etc. are manifestations of God here on Earth."

Atheist don't think any kind of a god exists; consequently, atheists don't think god has any influence on the Earth what-so-ever. Christians claim that anything that turns out good is a manifestation of god on Earth - but if it sucks the devil caused it.

Chuck Johnson said, "These manifestations of perceptions and ideas do in fact affect the way we do things here on Earth. If this type of God didn't exist along with all of his earthly manifestations, the ACA would not exist. The ACA is a manifestation on Earth of God."

I'm sure you think that (don't you think everything is a manifestation of god) or should we say creation? There is always evidence for "existence" logically, empirically etc. that will be proven if indeed something exists. If there was something affecting the way we do things on Earth (even if it's outside the universe) science would have detected that and discovered it; however science has discovered there is nothing outside of the universe, and the supernatural has failed every test that it's ever been subjected to. Science has unlocked the mysteries that the Holy Books claimed (and still claim) nobody will ever know.

Chuck Johnson said, "So here is what I have learned: There is a continuum between belief in God and in other supernatural things, and non-belief."

Belief or acceptance of something as true that isn't based on actual fact has nothing what-so-ever in common with non-belief. Especially god belief which is based on authority not facts or evidence.

Chuck Johnson said, "No gaps. The proof of this is that there is a continuum of definitions of God."

The rules of logic, we can discover what truths follow from other truths, but you can't follow nonsense and get anywhere. Belief in the supernatural, supernatural beings or spirits is inconsistent (not consistent) with non-belief.

Chuck Johnson said, "Remember that I believe in God and in his manifestations here on Earth. But before you shout - Hallelujah! - Praise the Lord! - be sure to read the fine print!"

It's more than obvious that you use irrational points to assess the facts. You're not concerned with the issue of truth. It's the Christian way to disregard all evidence that is contrary to what they already believe. You are hanging on to your belief by your fingernails, a whimsical gossamer deity exists to influence what happens on Earth, this is not evident but the desire to believe it overrules all rationality. Your beliefs have nothing to do with truth or reason. It's what makes you feel good. Atheist don't accept beliefs that are in opposition to all available evidence.

I'm sure you'd love it if someone would stop the criticism of your spiritual Jesus nonsense as atheism for the hoax and fairy tale it really is.

Linda said, quoting me:

"The ACA is a manifestation on Earth of God."

Then Linda said, as a reply to me: I'm sure you think that (don't you think everything is a manifestation of god) or should we say creation?

Linda, No I don't think that everything is a manifestation of God. I can see that prior to a few millions of years ago, there can be no manifestations of God here on Earth. That is because, before humans had the sophisticated speech of modern humans, and the power to think abstractly as we do now, God didn't exist. Therefore, there could be no manifestations of God on Earth.

In the 1800s, the telephone was invented. Prior to that, there could be no manifestations here on Earth of the telephone (no phone bills, no emergency calls for police or ambulance, no phone gossip with friends and family, etc.)

Humans invented God. - - - God did not invent humans.

People who believe in the supernatural have gotten it completely backwards.

I do not believe in the supernatural. My view of the "inventing" is correct.

My quote from long ago: "If getting on your knees is not acceptable to your ego, go ahead, insult me. I'd rather get on my knees before God than be brought to my knees by some jerk with a gun with same arrogant attitude."

Linda's Answer: Threats are all you've got. The Bible (which is what your beliefs are based on) sanctifies slavery and any number of immoral acts too numerous to mention. Some of us don't need a reward or threats to do what is right. You are a self-absorbed jerk with an arrogant attitude, and down right stupid. So, just shoot me! "

Linda, that was an old quote of mine. It was too emotional. I should not have said it that way. I apologize. You got the meaning of my words backwards. If you listen to Scilla Elworthy's TED talk on "How do you deal with a bully without becoming a thug?" [http://www.ted.com/talks/scilla_elworthy_fighting_with_non_violence.html], she has this episode of how an officer prevented a bloody fight in Iraq by commanding his soldiers to kneel in front of an enraged crowd if Iraqis. It sounds much like an urban legend. Even if it is a myth, it's an inspiring one.

There is also a story of Russian researcher Nikolai Miklukho-Maklay who landed on a New Guienea island in 1871 and encountered an aggressive tribe who approached him with spears. "He was unarmed and had to find a way to counter their aggression with something other than more aggression. Miklukho-Maklay took off his shoes, put them under his head like a pillow and went to sleep. The Papuans were shocked at this sort of reaction and lack of fear. When Miklukho-Maklay woke up he was greeted like a deity. " [http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/exploring-russia/nikolay-miklukho-maklay/] This could have made another good illustration to Scilla Elworthy's talk.

I consider examples like these true "miracles of the spirit". There is nothing supernatural in these stories, yet such humility and self-control are very unusual for human nature. Rage and insults produce the same in response. Humility and self-control can do "miracles".

AG said, "I consider examples like these true "miracles of the spirit". There is nothing supernatural in these stories, yet such humility and self-control are very unusual for human nature. Rage and insults produce the same in response. Humility and self-control can do "miracles"."

Humility and self-control are awesome-and the majority of Christians and Muslims lack both-their willingness to kill for their religions proves that quite well. They are the first to go into a "rage" and throw out "insults" at those that don't agree with them. Their religion doesn't make their "human nature" improve IN ANY way.

"Miracles" are bologna.

If people behave horribly, they will have a horrible society. If they are civil, they will have a civil society. That is very tangible and REAL-no miracle. People have learned this over time and the smart ones have adjusted their behavior accordingly.

But you can put your hand on the tv with Pat Robertson to catch those "miracles of the spirit" if you want to-just don't call yourself an atheist.

JerseyFish,

I bet he doesn't have a fish on the back of his car.

If our objective is to sell it, then we need a slogan. Even if it's cheesy it would be better than nothing.

A simple slogan that fits us all and rejects nonsense. "Chariots of Iron" styled slogans are great, but essentially only amount to an inside joke when it's that obscure (especially to them) plus it only rejects Abrahamic religions.

But, I majored in math, so the only slogan I could come up with that fit the bill and wasn't a paragraph long was:

"I'll take responsibility for what I do; you take responsibility for what you do."

.... At the very least it would exclude outside intervening supernatural causes, scapegoats, vicarious redemption, indirect forgiveness, indirect blame....etc... But I'm not an ad wizard, so I know it's gotta be possible to do better.

Ashley, How about: Human Evolution and Human Achievement

Bumper sticker: God Did It ? - - - - - - HA !

Chuck Johnson, What about? "...Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?" --Isaiah 36:12; also in II Kings 18:27. Ha! Ha!

Ashey H. said, "If our objective is to sell it, then we need a slogan. Even if it's cheesy it would be better than nothing." How about, "I'm a pepper, your a pepper, wouldn't you like to be an Atheist, toooooo?" No, wait a minute, that's taken. I don't know about slogans-I drive past churches with corny slogans like, "Come In-We Have Prayer Conditioning," and "There's No Business Like Soul Business," and I think this kind of thing is hillbilly preacher territory. From a marketing standpoint, if you really were trying to SELL something, a slogan isn't a bad idea. But in my opinion atheists aren't selling-or inticing anyone into accepting -anything. I think David had it right about the show and about what our attitude should be-but I see this as a network of support, not a promotional sales kind of thing. The kind of people who think for themselves are way less motivated to go do something based on corny slogans than the kind of people who are followers.

First. It's hard to deny having more openly atheistic people wouldn't be nice.

Second. On a social level, if we aren't open about it, then just as with other minorities oppressed by religion, many atheists will continue to be closeted because we aren't showing collective courage and pride. Doing a little of that can give other people the courage to stand up too.

Just saying, it's not like we don't have glaringly obvious correlations to other abused communities of minorities like homosexuals, who often live in vast numbers among religious people while living secret lives because they see no support and are constantly maligned. Thinking they're in far fewer numbers than they really are.

Thirdly... The A.C.A. products page sucks. Why aren't we selling T-Shirts with slogans we think up? If google doesn't match what we say, and we post it to a date, they're ours. A.C.A. can legally sell them.

You know what, let's jump the gun and setup a thread for T-Shirt slogans. People post them and we can all help research them to see if they're copyrighted or trademarked in some way. There are plenty of companies which will produce them cheap T-shirts and based on small, or individual orders. So buying up vast amounts wouldn't be necessary to start, minimal start up cost. cheap web page to sell them. constant revenue source.

Yeah?! I'm excited!

OH! I got a T-Shirt slogan!

"You're still running Human Sacrifice V1.0???"

From: Ashley H. If our objective is to sell it, then we need a slogan. Even if it's cheesy it would be better than nothing. "I'll take responsibility for what I do; you take responsibility for what you do."

I like this idea of a slogan. How about this one?

"Reality fever, catch it!"

But the topic about not allowing theists to take over and run an atheist forum (or giving theists more air time) still has been sidetracked.

I really think the original post should have said, instead of selling atheism, it's making the general public aware of atheists and explaining why they don't believe.

Most stations (tv and radio) are taken over by the preach-a-thons every Sunday, but I have never seen a program with rebuttals, or a program that questions or challenges mainstream religious beliefs or demands that they back up their claims.

Now this issue has been diverted to selling atheism by making up atheist slogans. What good are slogans when atheists don't get equal time on any mainstream television or radio broadcast. We don't get to sing little hymns or jingles to a mainstream audience.

The best vaccination against indoctrination is atheism.

I just made that up - right now - It ain't that hard!

This one I've seen on a T-shirt:

"National Sarcasm Society ... Like, we need your support."

In the same line of thought:

"National Skepticism Society... Do you really want to join?"

Sorry, perhaps, this is not exactly what you, guys, are looking for :)

Aren't commercial slogans a kind of brainwashing? Isn't an idea of advertising against brainwashing somewhat self-refuting?

Anyway, how about

"Science delivers." ?

.....the theist don't play their game on my corner at the bridge of the infamous saddleback church here in lake forest.....at first i got sucked in, however with practice i developed a style that puts them on the defensive....and lately i send them on their way thinking and scratching their heads.....they are at a natural disadvantage as they are dealing with "faith" and "faith" is defined by and given its unique structure as it cannot exist without doubt.....doubt is the yin of faith.....so given that they are always straddled with existential angst as a result of the doubt, they are by nature defensive....all you have to use their own momentum against them like judo......

Sage Mock, Your message didn't mention how scientists and skeptics do the "Faith" thing.

Since people (children, too) tend to be attached to certainty (it provides psychological benefits to be certain) becoming a scientist or a skeptic requires a learning curve.

That learning consists of letting go of the need to be personally "Right", "Correct", or to "Have Faith". Judging that a particular proposition is "Right" is a cooperative effort. The emphasis is on the "Rightness" of the proposition, and not on the "Rightness" of the person.

The need to be "Right", and to then identify yourself with the proposition which you think is "Right" interferes with scientific discovery.

A person's talent as a scientist requires curiosity, and curiosity is not served well by an emotional need to show the world that you are "Right".

"Rightness" in science gets shared with the world in the form of publication and peer review. The contributions of other scientists then helps to define the "Rightness" or the "Error" of the scientific matter in question.

Judging a matter to be in "Error" is as important as finding it to be "Right". In this way, scientists maximize curiosity, competence, and truthfulness as the forces that drive scientific discovery.

Physicians also have an "Index of suspicion" as to whether a particular disease may or may not be present. That index changes as new test results are brought to the doctor's attention.

To many church people, "Faith" is good and "Doubt" is bad. Faith in what? - - - Faith in whatever your church leaders tell you that you should believe.

The concept that "Faith Is Good" is also important to authoritarian governments. The Soviet Union and its Communist Party required its citizens to be "Faithful". "Faith" was good, "Doubt" was counterrevolutionary. The Gulag was used to deal with doubters.

Soviet Communism boasted that it was both scientific and atheistic.

This, from the land of Joseph Stalin, Trofim Lysenko, and a newspaper called "Pravda"

Chuck said, "That learning consists of letting go of the need to be personally "Right", "Correct", or to "Have Faith". Judging that a particular proposition is "Right" is a cooperative effort. The emphasis is on the "Rightness" of the proposition, and not on the "Rightness" of the person."

In other words, focusing on "what is right", not "who is right". Good words, Chuck. Unfortunately, I see a lot of focus of "who is right" in atheist forums.

On the other hand, religion often helps to let go of this certainty and sense of control of our own lives or circumstances and accept things as they are, even if they don't go our way "for you cannot make even one hair white or black."

Chuck said: "To many church people, "Faith" is good and "Doubt" is bad. Faith in what? - - - Faith in whatever your church leaders tell you that you should believe. "

To many, but not for all. Many people are critical of what they hear in church while remaining Christians. And they have always been. If it were not so, there would be "one holy Catholic and apostolic church", and no Protestants, Puritans, Baptists, and other denominations who disagree with Catholicism. Religion does not always mean mindless following despite of the popular stereotype.

I like the phrase "doubt is the ying of faith". We need both to move forward. We cannot be skeptical of everything, just as we cannot believe just anything. To me, having faith in "God alone" with "God" being an abstract concept whose ways we can never know completely, practically means placing absolute faith in nothing, for having absolute faith in anything but God would be idolatry. I find this position more consistent than "being skeptical of everything", because that includes being skeptical of skepticism and here we go again on the merry-go-round of the circular thinking. That's just my philosophical view. I understand that other people have different opinions.

By the way, "Pravda" means "Truth" in Russian.

Once again, a real atheist-Sage Mock- said something clever and true- and here comes AG and Chuck to tell him why he needs to change his thinking and be more spiritual and nutty instead.

Do you think anyone really believes you guys are atheists? People on the board should stop responding to your redundant attempts to sell "spiritual atheism."

Go with Judo Sage Mock!!!

Emily,

This is something they have done for years - one of them puts up a lame brained message as an atheist - then they answer it. I think it's a way of avoiding the real atheists and the real facts (which they can't deal with) and they can still believe their crap.

Believers are sure that they are "right" without one shred of evidence.

The difference between faith and science is that faith is the belief in things without evidence and science doesn't make a decision that isn't based on the evidence.

Science has much more to do with using reason to find what is true or "right" than being "right." Scientists decide if something is possible or logical based on the evidence. If religion was about the evidence or what's real then it wouldn't be called faith, it would be the facts.

Blind faith does exist without doubt - so does brainwashing. Faith has little in common with doubt or skepticism, and it has even less in common with reason, especially blindfolded faith.

The little followers are defensive because they are taught to fear and hate anyone who questions their beliefs. You didn't explain the style that puts them on the defensive?

Why not ask them "if a superior being can't communicate his presence and ideas to everyone on earth how can He be Omnipotent"?

Trying to sell anyone on Anti-Theism is about as easy as selling someone on Islamist Extremism. The poster children of your faith, Danton, Lenin, Than Shwe, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Linda, Don Baker, Ceausescu, Honecker, Castro, Pol Pot, Milosevic, Bonaparte and Mussolini, are just as charming and delightful as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Bin Laden and the rest. Just sayin' ...

"If atheism solved all human woe, then the Soviet Union would have been an empire of joy and dancing bunnies, instead of the land of corpses." - John C Wright

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