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I don't understand atheism.

Atheists claim they are free from religion, but yet, they will dedicate their life to tv shows, bulletin boards, chat rooms, forums..etc,etc. And they spend their every waking hour discussing God. Is that what atheism stands for? I didn't think so.

So your position is that you and your religious group can force your religion on others and make it so that anyone who doesn't believe is ousted from society. Your religion encroaches upon other peoples freedoms and then you declare that this is a Christian nation. Then you complain when some atheist gets tired of the BS and strikes back, revealing the stupidity that most religions are built upon. How convenient that you feel that others peoples beliefs can be disregarded but your belief should be protected from any scrutiny. We got the constitution on our side, you have a stupid holy book that you don't even follow or probably haven't even read completely and rely on dumbass preacher to translate it for you. Why can't you keep your beliefs to yourself? Then we wouldn't have a problem.

Leysin said, "So your position is that you and your religious group can force your religion on others and make it so that anyone who doesn't believe is ousted from society."

No, it was a rant about what he thinks atheists do with their time; and he doesn't know because he has never met one, and if he did they would have nothing to say to someone that stupid. Unless they are involved in a dispute with some domineering, overbearing Christian, who is hell bent on forcing their opinions on everyone and anyone, atheists find many other topics far more interesting than a discussion about a non-existent god.

Leysin said, "Your religion encroaches upon other peoples freedoms and then you declare that this is a Christian nation. Then you complain when some atheist gets tired of the BS and strikes back, revealing the stupidity that most religions are built upon. How convenient that you feel that others peoples beliefs can be disregarded but your belief should be protected from any scrutiny."

Speaking grammatically, you don't seem to know the difference in the plural and possessive case. Some atheists do not get tired because they are encroaching on their right to believe; they are encroaching on their right not to believe.

Leysin said, "We got the constitution on our side, you have a stupid holy book that you don't even follow or probably haven't even read completely and rely on dumbass preacher to translate it for you. Why can't you keep your beliefs to yourself? Then we wouldn't have a problem."

Everyone has the Constitution on their side. The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That little phrase protects the Roman Catholics, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, or any other religions. There is a great deal of religious diversity in the United States. The true test of the strength of the nation's commitment to freedom of religion is that we do not allow any one religion to encroach on anyone's rights. Faith based initiative is doing that right now. So, we really no longer have the freedom of religion that the Constitution guarantees us. That means that the wearing away of our Constitutional rights could mean one day living in a country where the state could establish a religion. Meaning that we would no longer be a Constitutional Republic, but a theocracy. Like all of the countries we are currently criticizing, and supposedly fighting to bring them freedom.

The First Amendment contains two clauses addressing religious freedom. The Free Exercise Clause prevents the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Establishment Clause prevents the government from making laws respecting an establishment of religion. That actually means bringing religion into a public government funded place and forcing it on a restricted audience. Meaning people who are not there for religion, but have to be there to meet some other requirement. None of these things are difficult to understand, but their will always be those people who want to force their religious belief on others, and are too ignorant to understand why we have "The Establishment Clause" in the first place.

The Establishment Clause prevents the government from making laws respecting an establishment of religion. In 1802 President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter in which he mentioned the need to maintain a wall of separation between church and state. That is what is in Establishment Clause language. It stands for the idea that religion and government must remain separate. Keeping government and religion separate obviously means that government may not declare an official religion.

Although it is always stated that people came to America seeking religious freedom, the American colonists did not have religious freedom. Most of the original colonies established their own official religions, and many of them persecuted people who were not of their same persuasion. Puritans were grossly intolerant of other religions, and from there their intolerance and insanity lead to the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. I'm sure this is why many of the founding fathers wanted Separation of Church and State, and it is the only thing that stood between the public and this kind of insanity reoccurring.

After the colonies revolted against England in 1776, and became the United States, and established a federal government with the U.S. Constitution in 1789, Congress drafted the Bill of Rights. Although the Constitution defined and limited the powers of the federal government, it did not protect the rights of American citizens. The Bill of Rights, which consists of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, does just that. Mindful of the history of religious oppression by the Church of England and the early American colonies, Congress used the First Amendment to protect religious freedom in America. The Bill of Rights also protects the few from the many. Meaning might (or numbers) does not make anyone right.

Rather than get all annoyed at your comments to me, I'll just agree with you. No need wasting time arguing about details, since I was just responding based on the question that was posed.

You tell him to keep his beliefs to him self yet you seem to have voiced yours. You seem a bit militant and angry. He is just pointing out that belief is religion they are the same. You are an atheist that is your religion. You believe there is no god so you worship the physical world. You worship the works of your own hands which as any one will admit are imperfect. He worships jesus Christ whom he believes is perfect . As do i. And it seems that those that share our belief in jesus christ are the ones being pushed out of society . As for christians not doing what jesus taught us to do think of it like this did you go through high school in one day? I bet not. Just because a person is a Christian does not mean they are perfect in fact it means the opposite it mean they are spiritualy lacking and in need of an eternal savior. It takes time to learn and to build self control that he desires us to have. As for the constitution it protects religious freedom as well as free speech.

God bless you and keep you always. With love and understanding that where you are i once was But i came to understand that everything has a beginning and in the beginning there was god and the word was with god.

Atheists merely assert that they do not believe in a god. After that it is up to the individual.

Atheists tend towards being intellectually discriminating, and do not have much use for any irrational beliefs. All the mental gymnastics in the world can't change the fact that atheists tend towards being intelligent and discriminatory in general about things that they believe.

If an atheist were not rational then who would be? Unlike the lies being spread by the religious fanatics to promote their stupidity that (atheist are more superstitious than believers are) the actual fact of the matter is that atheists are not superstitious. Maybe they are talking to the fakes.

That is why atheists don't believe in the virgin birth, resurrection or creationism. Atheism and rationalism are very much the same things, and to think they are not isn't very rational.

Therefore, there is no reason to believe that an atheist would have any reason to embrace any pseudo-scientific religious beliefs, and the occult and paranormal are in the same category.

Atheism requires at least a degree of independent thinking. Atheists come to atheism via means other than letting someone tell them what to think, and I can say with confidence, skepticism is the main ingredient for atheism. Skepticism is in no way related to having flights of fancy. Atheists have a very admirable ability for using critical thinking, something theists just don't practice. Atheists are also very discriminating about the kinds of ideas that they will entertain. They do not believe things on a whim.

"Atheism and rationalism are very much the same things, and to think they are not isn't very rational."

No, they're not, and this statement is just wishful thinking. As an atheist, I'd like very much to believe that all atheists are rational, skeptical people, but I know that's just not the case. Holding a belief grounded in reason and evidence in one area is no guarantee that an individual will apply the same standards in other areas.

I interact regularly with atheists who are also anti-vaxxers, believe in ghosts, swear by chiropractic manipulation, and think homeopathy is useful. I've met more than a few who were 9/11 truthers and HIV denialists as well. These are, for the most part, intelligent and well-educated people. They've simply failed to apply the same standards of reason and evidence to all of their beliefs.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the number of atheists who've forwarded links to Zeitgeist to us, because they thought it was just excellent. It isn't - it's utter crap. If someone were to base his atheism on the first part of that movie, they'd be an atheist for some very bad reasons. I offer this as a caution against blindly accepting a claim because it's something we want to believe. If skepticism about a claim is appropriate for what we don't want to believe, it's doubly important for what we do want to believe. As the late Richard Feynman said, "Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

Oh, and in case anyone's wondering - my pseudonym is less a descriptor and more a reminder to practice what Dr. Feynman said.

Did Nostradamus ever predict ghosts? 'Cause that might convince me.Ha!

I have been to atheist meeting all over the world and only once met one of those. As soon as he said, "critical thinking doesn't mean being a close-minded skeptic." I said, "yes it does" on my way out! I'm just one of those atheists who happens not to believe in Casper or Yhwhy?

"Trust a witness in all matters in which neither his self-interest, his passions, his prejudices, nor the love of the marvelous is strongly concerned. When they are involved, require corroborative evidence in exact proportion to the contravention of probability by the thing testified."

~ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

Rational Jen said, "I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the number of atheists who've forwarded links to Zeitgeist to us, because they thought it was just excellent. It isn't - it's utter crap."

I have never seen this film but I have read some things that were supposedly in it. I have come to the conclusion that it is probably a well-known technique of mixing some truths with lies. I think that the media is a propaganda machine. If there are some things that are true - that are going to come out - they mix them with lies and nobody will believe them. It is a really good way to keep the public confused.

"Look Who's Irrational Now" (Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2008)

"The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.

"The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did."

They are saying that people who don't worship are the same as atheists or atheism and it's not. So, if they "believe in the occult and the paranormal" that isn't synonymous with rational thought. They also didn't include the belief in the religious supernatural or paranormal in this study. Raising people from the dead, virgin birth, resurrection, creation week or the talking snakes.

There were plenty of rebuttals from atheists on this. Most of them said that very few people who fit that profile are atheists.

I also found some religious types that use the Emile Cammaerts quote - "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing - they believe in anything." It's promoting the same kind of nonsense.

The quote is implying that non-belief in god is a basis for loosing skepticism. I think that anyone who thinks not having a belief in god causes anyone to lose their reasoning skills probably hasn't got too much reasoning skill.

The religious types also quote G.K. Chesterton, 'The Laughing Prophets', 1937 Chesterton's Father Brown, "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense", which is to say that one loses their norms, and, "It's drowning all your old rationalism and skepticism, it's coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition."

The gapping hole left because you don't believe in god will be filled with all kinds of nonsense. Somehow I just don't believe that?

But I've seen a lot of weird things, like the freethinker group that I went to several years ago. They met on Sunday and had a preacher who didn't allow anyone to express an opinion, but he was very dogmatic about his own. He was telling everyone what to freethinker. I only went once.

I just don't think all of those subjects that were grouped together are in the same category. Belief in the paranormal and the other subjects do not have a correlation unless they are slanted.

If the Disneyland version of 9/11 'The Path to 9/11' is all that some people know. They think it is the official account. While the 'official story' the bi-partisan '9/11 Commission Report' leaves you scratching your head in disbelief. Anyone would probably at least conclude that the Bush administration ignored the terrorist threat and looked the other way. It sure took a long time to get a commission to look into the attacks on 9/11. They were only too eager to admit to 'incredible incompetence.'

In his appearance before the 9/11 commission Richard Clarke apologized to the victims of 9/11. Clarke has accused Bush in a book of ignoring al-Qaida before the Sept. 11 attacks, in which about 3,000 people were killed at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. He has said the President then rushed to blame Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The former counter-terrorism chief in the Bush and Clinton White Houses apologized to the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying, "Your government failed you." But he placed the bulk of the blame on President Bush, accusing his administration of not making terrorism "an urgent issue." In contrast, the Clinton administration had "no higher priority," said Richard Clarke.

PBS Documentary 'The Man Who Knew' story of John O'Neill demonstrates how the events of 9/11 might have been prevented if only the FBI would have listened to one of the most experienced analysts on terrorism. John O'Neill had voiced concerns stimulated an interagency group white paper urging greater protection of federal buildings in Lower Manhattan. And that white paper noted that, Osama bin Laden, his Al Qaeda organization and affiliated extremists group currently pose a clear and immediate threat to U.S. interests. The information in that documentary would lead most people to conclude that the departmental politics within the FBI and with the Ambassador to Yemen prevented Mr. O'Neill from possibly preventing the 9/11 attacks. The information in the documentary points to certain people who stood in his way, and forced him to retire from the FBI.

Aids is also a strange anomaly. To start with, President Reagan told people that it wouldn't affect anyone that didn't have a depraved lifestyle. It took the medical community screaming at the top of their lungs that the blood supply was not safe - to wake up people up.

The more recent controversy has been about whether HIV causes Aids. Not that HIV doesn't exist. If the person were very educated they would know this. Peter Duesberg, one of the world's leading experts on retroviruses, and Kary Mullis, winner of the Nobel prize in Chemistry for PCR, a technique that is used greatly in AIDS research to enhance copies of DNA infected with HIV (which is normally extremely hard to detect) for analysis were extremely important in prodding the scientific community to provide more rigorous answers. The controversy is about what really happens with AIDS and whether efforts should be spent on combating HIV when it is clear that there is at least some doubt.

Gallo and Montagnier (the two founders of HIV), in the October 1988 Scientific American (an issue entirely devoted to AIDS) do claim the belief that HIV does indeed cause AIDS. But they do acknowledge, in the end, that even though HIV kills T4 cells, the direct killing is not adequate to explain the massive eradication of the immune system.

Some people diagnosed with having AIDS have latent or inactive HIV. And even a single exception to any hypothesis should be adequate to question it, following a philosophy of science. A lot of people with HIV do not have AIDS: About a third of the HIV+ people, over a million Americans. A million Americans alone with HIV with normal T-cell counts. The simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) causes a full blown AIDS-like disease in Asian Macaque monkeys, but not in certain other species. All that is about HIV-1, there is another less virulent strain, HIV-2, endemic to certain populations in West Africa. Does HIV always causes AIDS: We do not know and we could be wrong about this. There is no gene in HIV that has been determined to be harmful, and the mechanism of pathogenicity is completely a mystery. We spend billions of dollars on basic research devising up various ways to combat HIV. We still do not have a cure for AIDS.

This doesn't mean people should disregard all the caution that should be used to make sure they don't become HIV+, since there is an enormous correlation between AIDS and HIV. Even if HIV is not the only factor, it suggests that you will with extremely high probability end up with AIDS if you engage in behavior that leads to HIV+. But every student of logic knows that correlation does not imply causality; unfortunately this is the path, which we have chosen to take.

But basic research on how HIV causes AIDS has not turned up anything. Perhaps it is time to admit that we could be wrong and look in another direction as to molecular causality.

In an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, there is a HIV+ patient who has now lived for 12 years without getting AIDS. His CD4 count is as good as you and I. But the person in question seems to have HIV with a supposedly pathogenic protein inactivated. So if you look at it cynically, it's one indication that HIV has nothing to do with AIDS. If you look at it optimistically, there might be hope for a live vaccine: Of course, the sample here is very a small one.

HIV alone cannot be responsible for the depletion of the T-cell count that seen in AIDS patients: This is the strongest claim that can be made toward the argument that HIV does not cause AIDS.

In contrast to other industrialized countries, there is little regulation of herbal medicines in the U.S. Consumers of herbal medicines has few guarantees about which ones are safe and effective.

Only a few herbs have been studied in randomized, double blind, clinical trials, and the type of study that provides the strongest evidence for the effectiveness of a medical treatment. Without evidence from a clinical trial it is very difficult, if not impossible, to judge the safety and efficacy of herbal medicines. Herbal and conventional medicines share common historical and biological roots and have similarities. Their basic actions occur by the same mechanisms and the active ingredients in herbal medicines, like those in conventional medicines, can be considered drugs. Both herbal and conventional medicines should be used with care because all drugs carry the possibility of harmful or 'adverse' effects on health. Just from what I have been reading it would appear the problem is that there have not been enough studies, and there is not enough regulation. But there is no way to know that they don't work. Since they say that the concern is more about safety and it seems that the kind of studies needed to judge the efficacy of herbal medicines have not been done.

As far as a belief in the supernatural - every study that has ever been done has proven that there is no basis for belief in anything supernatural. I find that independent rational thought is much more prevalent with skeptics and atheists. Secular Humanists are the most exceptionally circumspect about what they believed to be true. In my mind there is no difference in the religious supernatural belief and any other kind.

Secular Humanist wrote: "I just don't think all of those subjects that were grouped together are in the same category. Belief in the paranormal and the other subjects do not have a correlation unless they are slanted."

Please feel free to explain why anyone needs to carefully categorize irrational beliefs that result from a failure to apply reason and evidence. Oh, wait - you just demonstrated additional ways people hold on to false beliefs - dishonesty and/or intellectual laziness.

If you're going to cut&paste, at least get some current research. Your HIV crap is from a blog post written in 1992. Unless you are the author of that blog, you just plagiarized the hell out of someone else's work. Dishonesty aside, do you think that maybe, just maybe we know a little bit more about HIV & AIDS in 2009 than we did in 1992? For example, do you know why there are a lot of people with HIV who don't have AIDS? It's called HAART. It works.

What was your point in writing all that? Did you investigate 9/11 and HIV/AIDS until you got the answers you wanted? If so, please go back and re-read Dr. Feynman's quote and apply it.

More about fools from "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!":

"Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompus fools --- guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus --- THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn't a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!"

"From: YHWHisGOD

Atheists claim they are free from religion, but yet, they will dedicate their life to tv shows, bulletin boards, chat rooms, forums..etc,etc."

I have personally known few Atheists that do this, some of them do all of these things, but I would like to see your proof that they dedicate their life to it. Do you have any evidence or proof that this is the case?

"And they spend their every waking hour discussing God."

Still waiting on some evidence that that, is indeed, the case. Got any yet?

"Is that what atheism stands for? I didn't think so."

It just means that someone lacks a belief in deities, there is not doctrine or rules beyond that.

---Atheists claim they are free from religion, but yet, they will dedicate their life to tv shows, bulletin boards, chat rooms, forums..etc,etc. And they spend their every waking hour discussing God. Is that what atheism stands for? I didn't think so.---

Only a person with a narcissistic personality would make such a statement.

Atheist's are free from the belief of supernatural religion. We are NOT free from religion. Christian's and other superstitious believers see to that.

Since Atheist's live in a free-thinking society, yet also where others fail to realize where they stop and where other people start, Atheist's have no other productive choice except to fight our way through the bullshit of religious contention that attempts to dictate to everyone as to just how all living beings should live, think, feel or vote.

Only a narcissist would focus on a message, mock the messenger, and then shoot the messenger and disregard the message he mocked. Is that what ignorant Christian's and believers of supernatural fairies do?

I thought so.

The first point of failure in this assertion is that it is only a small subset of atheists who participate in debates over the nature of reality or the role of religion in society. Just as the vast majority of theists simply live their daily life without putting too much thought into these topics, so too with atheists.

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