Atheism only means the lack of a belief in God. Why is it so hard for Christians to realize that we dismiss their religion for the same reasons that they dismiss all other religions? It doesn't make us horrible people, immoral, or mean that we are going to hell. It just means that we think the bible sounds like a fairy tale gone too far, and choose to live our lives as if there isn't a man in the sky watching us. I'm just curious as to what the true problems with Atheism are, and I am interested in hearing opinions.
Saftey in numbers, the more the people who believe, the more sure the belief.
I don't have a problem with atheists per se, I'm just sick and tired of reading all the comments filled with mockery and sarcasm towards my religion. It seems that some people can't respect what I believe, and some others are just as ruthless as they claim us believers to be.
Think about it this way, people mock (insert religion) because it is all without evidence supporting its outlandish claims. Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence. Lest you have a problem where nations argue on whose god is bigger...oh wait...I think this is exactly what is happening now, and for the past centuries.
Really? Which nations are claiming their god is bigger? I missed that segment on CNN.
Such a small minded person. Look at the big picture.
Wow. That was uncalled for. I've been reading and interacting with Emile for a while and I don't think she's small minded at all. That response on the other hand...
That's interesting. By my perception, your statement was small minded, incredibly naive and void of any understanding of current events.
Does the term "holy war" mean anything to you? Current and past events throughout the globe? Christian v Muslim? Catholic v Protestant (and just about anyone else for quite some time)? Quite a few others? Might not meet your standards of tact but there are millions upon millions of dead people who became so needlessly as a result of 'my god's bigger than your god' who quite frankly don't care whether my pinky's up or down as I reiterate Justin's extraordinarily valid point. Millions - I'm sure your feelings and your false reality are more important than they ever were. Carry on.
Justin's point may have been valid in past centuries....to a point. If we ignore everything that motivates nation states to war. I don't tend to ignore things that are blatantly obvious.
Yes, religion does motivate some to violence. However, if we look at the number of deaths in the last century, those caused by war or government policy; we clearly see that religion accounts for a minute percentage of those deaths. So, I ask you...why are we not focusing on the major problems in current society? Why would someone persist in attempting to paint religion as the primary instigator in this day and age? It is clearly an inability to view the larger picture. Is this inability due to an entrenched bias which causes anything and everything to be the fault of religion, or is it simply a lack of understanding of the dynamics which lead to large scale violence such as war, and government policies which result in the deaths of millions?
If it is simply bias which causes one to want to blame religion for the woes of the world then clearly no amount of fact would be able to sway the adherent from what they want to believe. If it is simply a lack of understanding then I would think even a modicum of time spent in study from reputable and unbiased sources would help dispel the myth.
I think some people want to believe in myths over dispelling them. It sounds crazy but it would explain what we see in those cases.
Well, I also think it is a defense mechanism. 'Move responsibility away from me' type of move. Of all of the violence perpetrated in our, and our parents, lifetime none done by our government, or citizens, was done in the name of religion.
The argument is an attempt to lay blame without taking any responsibility. It is one reason why world peace eludes us. Refusal to view one's own thoughts and actions as contributory factors stymies our ability to fairly assess the thoughts and actions of others.
Interesting. I lost 3 friends in a religiously motivated attack. Disgusting that you will defend those actions and pretend they did not happen.
I'm sorry for your loss. I thing though, you might need to reread the points made. You seemed to completely miss her points.
She was lying:
Have you no morals at all?
I guess that is a "no " on reading what she actually wrote. This seems to buttress her points and you get in some insults.
"Yes, religion does motivate some to violence. However, if we look at the number of deaths in the last century, those caused by war or government policy; we clearly see that religion accounts for a minute percentage of those deaths."
Some care more about accusing and laying blame and not looking at the actual facts of even recent history to do so. I have to go with the Facts in this case.
I quoted what she actually wrote - it was a lie. I see you chose cut that out and replace it with an edited text.
That happens fairly frequently. You should be used to it by now.
The actual truth,is that I quoted a bigger portion of the actual quote than he did of Emile's.
This kind if thing happens fairly often, when it's not warranted. If you do what I recommended to him to read the actual posts and what he quoted of hers, then what I did, this could be avoided.
So, you are calling me a liar and you are saying I have no morals? Just want to be clear on this.
But, you are specifically calling another hubber out as a liar and saying that this hubber has no morals? Still seeking clarity.
I'd hate to be accused of repeating a personal attack.
You have to make your case from an actual text she said. Stop with the personal attacks please. I have not said or fine anything moral and you just keep saying whatever you want like its true. That is not how you show something to be true.
That is not true, the truth is I copy pasted a larger portion of her actual text than you did.
It is not fair to do this even if you didn't carefully read what she originally said. No editing done or needed. I think there is another struggle with reality going on here, if you didn't carefully read her posts.
No you didn't. You copy pasted a completely different piece to what I quoted.
You are literally unbelievable. If you go back to the post where you took a quote for two different people , Emile and myself, then my quote from her. I was the one telling the truth. I quoted a larger portion by copy pasting.
Never ever will I understand how you get away with what you do. It makes me want to leave hub pages altogether that you get at way with the stuff you do.
I have an idea though.
I'm not alone in my idea . I wish I could share it with you but I just don't feel "safe" enough to do so. I pay attention to what I see and the level of trust is not there with some like there is with others.
This is what I quoted from:
You then changed it to this:
After pretending to be sorry for my loss. Shocking lack of moral fibre. No wonder your beliefs cause so many conflicts.
Awaiting your apology.
Mark, could you give me a rough guestimate of the number of deaths in the last century which are directly attributable to religious conflict? From everything I have read that number is no where near the deaths caused by other violence. WWI and WWII, communist governments terrorizing their citizens, artificial famines created by governments to cause massive deaths of certain ethnic groups. Among the myriad wars we just appear to all love to participate in.
Yes, religion is a problem in some countries. A dangerous potential problem in our world. You live in a country where it is in your face. I don't. I suppose you are simply attempting to make those of us who don't live amoung it see the danger you see; but aren't you going just a tad bit too far?
I was catching up on posts and never saw an answer to these very good points and questions. You sum up here the point you made, that when disagreed with could be shown to be wrong if these points were simply addressed. They are not, and part of the reason I think that is, is because to do so would have to admit the truth about these points.
It has appeared to be the case that more than once, this might be a true raw spot of which some people don't want to be challenged about their beliefs about something. It seems like a deeply ingrained thing to think and believe about some people that is simply not warranted. Not after examining the actual facts of these matters. Facts of these points can be clearly upsetting to some, but the question is why is that? Why is the truth or more reasonable and obvious point not sufficient that we see the knee jerk reaction we do?
I did not change it. I did a "copy paste", and if you know what that is, and also know how to compare what you are accusing me of changing, then anyone can see who is reallly telling the truth. If I changed what she wrote it would be super obvious and could be shown.
No apology from me, for copy pasting from some ones post, and you won't find me asking for one. I understand very well I would never get one from you. If I ever did find you to agree with me in my assesrnt of things in cases like this, that would be the day id start to really worry.
I truly was sorry for your loss at the hands if horrific behavior of others. It's just best I am completely done ever responding to and really even reading your posts. We can't agree the sky is blue or water is wet. So it's futille and whatever the reason for the drive is that all see here, I want nothing to do with it.
It's just hard because of the incredible level of dishonesty ongoing about those simply disagreed with. It's a much deeper problem than reason and facts can fix. Thus my comments about the other possible moderation and lack of. That is something people normally could appeal to. Something is prohibiting.....
No apology for accusing me of something I have now proven I did not do? OK .
You "copy pasted" a different quote to the one I had used. I just showed you your mistake. Oh well - no wonder your religion causes so many conflicts.
This is not how I observed things to transpire. This has become incredibly convoluted. Well, we've got where the disconnect is now. It turns out I'm not the things you said about me. My copy paste was never meant to be whatever you seem to be claiming. I had my own purposes for showing what was in my copy paste.
Conflict comes from where it actually comes from. Since I have no recourse even with the truth about my posts, nor help from moderation, nor fair reasoning from you, pls stop responding to my posts, I will return the favor. I have never asked this of anyone as of yet. For the reasons given, it would be strange if me to carry on like this any further. At the rusk of being accused of being a hypocrite, when I have seen this used as a true manipulative tactic by others I make the request all the same. It is more than justified and long overdue. (I sense through observation the desperation behind some needing others to be wrong on anything, even when not) as with all things, the particulars matter. Take care
Yes - I understand you are not interested in how things actually transpired and have ignored the proof I provided that you made a mistake - deliberate or not. No wonder your religion causes so many conflicts. Shocking that you feel you can accuse me of things I did not do and are too lazy to scroll back to see and admit your mistake.
People would probably make you a very nice thread saying how great you are. Let me know, I'd like to post in that thread
Interesting that you see my comments as defense of violence or pretending that it did not happen. How did you get that out of my statement?
Between 60 - 80 MILLION people died during the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent.
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages … ttacks.htm
http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-r … -white-men
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/ … 55928.html
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell; he commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women."
"It is Allah that instructed us," Shekau said in the video. "Until we soak the ground of Nigeria with Christian blood and so-called Muslims contradicting Islam. After we have killed, killed, killed, and get fatigue and wondering what to do with their corpses - smelling of [Barack] Obama, [George] Bush and [Goodluck] Jonathan - will open prison and be imprison the rest. Infidels have no value."
http://www.theage.com.au/insight/who-is … zr7f7.html
One link at a time, please. Would you say that, during our and our parent's lifetimes that violence perpetrated in the name of religion has had a larger death toll than violence perpetrated for other reasons? If so, please name the conflicts and the death toll. If I'm wrong I'd like more than an emotionally charged complaint about Islamic extremists which seeks to tie an entire religion to violence.
There are a great deal more links that would refute your claim.
Minimizing the violence perpetrated by religions in contrast to other reasons is not logical. If it is a reason, should it not be ignored?
There is also the problem of scale and efficiency. For example, the eleventh century Crusades death toll was about a million Jews and Muslims. If those same battles were fought today, the death toll could be in the tens or hundreds of millions due to the fact our population is so much bigger than it was in the eleventh century. Back then, they used bow, arrow and spears while today they use long range missiles and drones. It is much easier to kill a million today than back then.
'Those who won't learn from history are destined to repeat it.'
Would you say the west has not learned from it's religious history? If so,.why?
I'm not sure I understand the question, could you be more specific? What history do you refer? What is it that the west was supposed to learn?
We, the west, are a product of the history of Europe. Those of us who are not direct descendents have grafted ourselves to that history through immigration and participation in those societies which have evolved. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't agree that the Crusades were wrong. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks witch hunts, burning heretics at the stake, governmental control of conscience or any religious control of individual rights made sense. It would be difficult for me to believe we could, collectively, find sense in religious control of our lives.
So. We have learned not to wield religion as a collective weapon. Unfortunately, our societies still wield weapons. I think it would be more productive to attempt to understand current reasons we allow ourselves to use as justification for our actions within a conflict. If we are honest, there is a better chance of others stepping up with honesty, thus resolving conflict.
But, that is the point, one of those reasons is religion and can't be ignored or minimized.
How will it help to resolve conflicts if religions aren't honest?
Well, I think we in the west are incredibly dishonest about our actions throughout the world. There is no moral high ground in war. We all allow our governments to participate because we feel the war is in our best interests. We have to be honest with ourselves. Openly honest with others. Admit to our mistakes if we expect others to admit to theirs. So what if religion is the weapon wielded by those against us? What about the weapons we wield?
To sum it all up. Religion is not the problem I bring to the table, but I don't claim to not be a part of the overall problem. I'll gladly discuss the things we can do better. The things we get wrong. I see no construction reason in complaining about what others are doing wrong if we won't face our own problems also.
Could that be because about 80% of the west is dominated by Christianity?
Many of the problems in the west are due to religion, that is why there is constructive reason to do discuss it and see what we can do better.
I see your response as biased. I don't think Christianity is the problem. Primarily because the same behavior patterns which I see as our problem run across religious lines. Atheists, agnostics, Christians, Buddhists, etc are all participating in the behavior patterns within the West which contribute to world wide conflict. We can certainly say that since the higher percentage do claim to be Christian they are more of the problem. The difficulty with supporting that claim is that if those who claim to be Christian simply decided to not be Christian; then there is no reason to believe their behavior patterns (those which clearly mimic those of the other groups) would change.
I stand behind my statement that the only reason to discuss religion as the problem is because the person who resides in the west who is laying blame in that quarter is not yet interested in pursuing the real reasons we in the West continue to wage war. Now, if someone from the Middle East chirped up and said religion was the problem for violence in their region, or why their nations waged war, I'd be inclined to listen and commiserate. But, I would still feel that I had an obligation to understand how my actions and the actions of my government were exacerbating the problems. No nation wages war alone. It takes at least two to tango.
It isn't that religion isn't a problem, it is that it is not the only problem and not the main problem we should be addressing.
No one said religion is the only problem, but it is a big problem and needs to be addressed. You can find plenty of Muslims and organizations who will chirp up and say that Islam is a problem for violence.
I think the overall point is that this is a human problem, not specific to religion. Remove religion it's not like the behavior would go away. There'd just be some other reasoning given. This would be the equivalent of altering the two party elective system in the states because of how a few "tea partiers" behave. It's still people being people. And they'll justify doing what they want to do by whatever means necessary. Religion is just a common go-to.
Very fair. It seems to me, there appears almost a deep need to demonize religion across the board, by some.
This doesn't make rational sense to me, all thing considered, including what you say there.
I get the reaction. To many religion has been an over-bearing force in their life. It's a natural reaction to want to lash out against it. But unfortunately I think their vision is ultimately too narrow as they try to destroy it at the roots by discrediting the religious ideas they're built around, rather than recognizing organized religion for what it really is. It's a human-made, human-run thing with all the same problems as anything else human-made and human-run. It's flawed like any human institution.
I get the reaction, I guess, but its frustrating for the same reasons I think you are saying there. They are judging it by the organized religion that has grown out from the original ideas, the human made part, the added on parts. This has been an ongoing destructive force and it can be seen when talked about in the finer details. So often, the things being held up as a bad idea or even immoral, have nothing whatsoever to do for example, with Jesus himself. In fact, if they really believe some of the things they are saying are SO bad, then they would actually be very much in line with Jesus.(again, as an example.) This is a frustration, because of the "fake" is winning in the minds of people everywhere, while the "real" is almost being lost or cast aside. I think there is a lot that describes these observations, in fact certain people's views explain this, while others make no sense of it whatsoever. I think these are all meant to be clues.
It makes me think of the parables of the seeds that would have maybe grown, but got choked out, etc. There is a lot more going on.
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
I looked up the above for myself, and figured I would go ahead and post it here if others wanted to see it.
Let's approach this from a different angle. Are you American? What do you think drives us to our aggression? If you are not American, then whatever country you live in....what drives the policies within that nation which are considered aggressive by other nations?
Do you feel that your country and its policies bear any responsibility for any of the problems in the world stage; either now, or historically (within the last 100 years). Do you think your way of life somehow contributes to the problems?
Basically, what do you bring to the table other than complaints about others?
I'm not sure what the problem is here, but you seem to be reading someone else posts and responding to me.
No. Maybe you aren't understanding my point? If all you bring to the table is complaints about others then you set up an environment where all others will bring to the table is complaints about you. You are, thus, creating conflict. You become an integral part of the problem.
Many here in the West perceive religion as the problem in other parts of the world. By focusing solely on our perception of the shortcomings of others we fail to address the shortcomings we bring to the table which help to drive the conflict. Of course, you've also stated that Christianity drives the conflict here in the West. You refuse to address the shortcomings you contribute to the conflict. You are giving the impression that you find yourself without blame.
Sorry. Those who won't honestly evaluate their own selves rarely find an environment where their constant complaints about others will be taken seriously. Self righteousness has that effect.
There is a focus of the major problems in society, religion is just one of them. To discount the deaths religions have caused throughout history, and continue to this day, is just minimizing the vast amount of human suffering perpetuated by religion over the years.
The absolute amount of violence attributed to religion may or may not equal that contributed by other reasons but that doesn't excuse religion from it's role in the multitudes of war and death throughout the ages. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that eliminating one of the major reasons for conflict between people would actually be a good thing in the long run, whether the reason is nationalism, racism, or religion.
I have always been a strong advocate of the assumption that religion is a tool in the arsenal of war. I think my problem is that it is not a tool in our current arsenal, yet we continue to participate in conflicts. We are an integral part of the problem but if we simply focus on other people's problems how are we positively contributing to a solution?
I also missed that segment on CNN or any other news outlet. As for outlandish claims, for myself, I find the claim that that the universe is a giant, cosmological accident in which non-living things become alive suddenly and then randomly form themselves into larger living entities and eventually thinking larger entities to be more outlandish than belief in God, but that's just me.
just a quick question Heather. How deeply have you actually studied cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution, if at all?
Yes! I studied cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution through junior high, high school, college and graduate school and continue to keep up with current thought in these areas today. I just find it difficult on a personal level to consider that the watch (universe) did not have a watchmaker.
You've studied evolution extensively and still think the watchmaker argument is valid for creationism? Can you tell me why?
I'll come right back with a question of my own. Can you tell me why it is not valid?
Which part are you referring to? Irreducible complexity was debunked in court by a witness brought in by creationists.
I'm aware of the shortcomings of the watch/watchmaker analogy. I couldn't answer more completely at the time because I had family matters to deal with.
In the end, here's the situation. I choose to believe in God. I choose to follow Jesus and live my life as a Christian. I have looked at a lot of different belief systems through the years. Atheism was one of the first things I considered and to me it doesn't make sense. Yes, the watch/watchmaker analogy is limited and fallacious. Yes, it was debunked in court and etc. It is, however, one of the quickest ways for me to say I believe in God. I believe that God created the universe. I do not know what His means were in doing so. No argument that I can put up for believing in God is going to make you change your mind just as no argument that you put up is going to make me change my mind. That's because belief in God is in itself an act of faith and I choose to have faith.
Now that's honest. Kudos.
It's much more honourable than trying to debunk science... or arguing that it should be debunked.
I don't think you would find too many people arguing with saying you believe just because you do. It's when you start arguing that others should or start trying to disprove science that the negative reaction comes.
I have no wish to debunk science and I don't believe in arguing people into believing in God or Christ. It took me a long time to settle things in my own mind as to the truth of Christianity even though I initially became a believer as a young child. I had a lot of unanswered questions that I wrestled with for a long time.
Now, if someone is interested in Christian matters and asks me sincere questions or even if I invite someone to church and they come, I'm perfectly happy to explain both the essentials of the faith, the further eccentricities of the denomination I belong to and even some of my personal reasons for having left behind the denomination I was raised in to join one that is very different in its ecclesiastical makeup than the one I was raised in.
An addendum to my post, I studied the above deeply enough to keep up with my acquaintances who are scientific in their thought processes and who profess to not believe in God. Many of them hold degrees at the masters or doctoral level in scientific fields. Some of them are relatives who are atheists. Some are Fellows of the Jesus Seminar. 99% of them keep up with the scientific journals and the latest thought in science, especially evolutionary thought. My own educational background is in literature, not science, but I do what I can to be able to keep up in thought and conversation with the people I come into contact with.
Heather, I sure do feel lucky then if this is all truly just an accident, that came about from natural and undirected processes against all the amazing odds. That we can even ponder it with our minds is even more incredible. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of that.
I haven't seen how natural and undirected processes can account for the beginning, the big bang and all that came after till now. Yet it doesn't stop people from believing in just that, all the same. (Those that do believe that.)
People who mock all religions are exhibiting bigotry. Its the same as mocking another race.
They forget that they are acting in a bigoted manner and seem to think its morally OK.
Is it OK to mock only a few religions? Maybe Wicca, the gods of ancient greece and the worship of trees and rocks as gods? And Buddhism and Islam? And of course atheism (it's becoming common to call that a religion)?
You know - all the religions except your own? Is it OK to declare them all wrong and that the adherents will go to the mythical hell some believe is real? Or is that bigotry, too?
I have noticed also that many refer to atheism like or as a religion. I forget at the moment the exact reasoning given but it was interesting.
I always get the impression that those claim atheism is a religion have the feeling that religion itself (actually religious people, not the religion) is somehow second class, inferior. As they themselves are religious the speaker must then "bring down" the other side, in this case by declaring THEM to be religious, too.
Ridiculous, that that's how it appears to me.
It's a fallacy, of course. A lack of belief in gods cannot be a religion, by definition.
Check any dictionary and you will find the definition of religion includes when people
stick to a belief even atheism.
its called a "dictionary": there you will find the Answer.
I have a dictionary, and know what religion means. They don't think they are a religion of course. The things I was referring to were actual parallels made in how they are just like a religion. It is that exact information I am referring to.
A person becomes a bigot when they mock an entire group be it one particular religion or race.
Racial and religious tolerance is the sign of a civilized mind.
The New Atheism of today has become quasi-religious. I have no problem with atheism but individuals who advocate total religious intolerance are plainly bigots.
I guess the question then is what you mean by "mock". I don't think bigotry has anything to do with actually mocking, just declaring other beliefs, peoples, races, etc. to be either inferior or wrong. Neither of which is mocking.
No wilderness unfortunately you are wrong. Please now read the dictionary plus the other reading I have recommended!
The practitioners of bigotry always claim they "are not racist" and they "are not intolerant of religions" as they are in deep deep denial. Even the calm so called 'logical' claim that religions and races are inferior is ugly gross bigotry through and through (by all definitions of law, commonsense and basic ethics).
big·ot noun \ˈbi-gət\
: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)
a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
synonyms: racial bigot, racialist, xenophobe, chauvinist, supremacist More
(racially) discriminatory, racialist, prejudiced, bigoted
noun: racist; plural noun: racists; adjective: racist
having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.
"we are investigating complaints about racist abuse at the club"
Nowhere in either definition is the word "mock" ("tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.") found. Neither bigotry nor racism has anything to do with laughing at someone.
People are going to judge and "mock" not everything in this world can be perfect nor fixed. So what if people make fun of what you believe in or don't agree with you on a certain thing. You shouldn't care what anyone thinks or has to say about the matter. If all you look for in life is happiness then don't let the negatives get to you. If talking to a rock makes you happy by all means go for it.
Fair points Kayla
I wish more and more people would worry about themselves than others. If we all did that, can you imagine what a better world we would have? That and wanting freedom for all. Its good to focus on the positive I think, especially if things are getting us down ever.
That is pretty fair ( when talking about mocking). Sometimes those that are theist bigoted don't see it in themselves, but are quick to say others are being bigoted when they are not. Usually what seems to drive this at times, seems to be just a very string need for the other side to be "wrong." I haven't agreed with you on much of anything as I would rather see the thing exhibited actually being done before accusing. So thought I would mention it.
To be clear, I don't think the bigotry is all from one group or anything. It's whoever does it.
So, to mock an ideology is exactly the same thing as mocking people?
When did that contradiction become a reality?
Clearly if a person mocks entire races or religions they are acting in an intolerant and bigoted manner eg hitler mocked the jews.
Its basic stuff to understand unless a bigoted mindset is at work in denial like Dawkins.
I remind you that Hitler was a christian, and yes, it is well documented. Also look at the inscription on the belts of the SS troops. Dawkins is not in denial of anything. He is a scientist who is willing to change his views and beliefs if EVIDENCE can be supplied. Ken Ham stated in the debate with Bill Nye, that he (Ham) would not change his belief in God even if presented with evidence showing him to be wrong. Bill Nye said in the same debate that he would believe in God if he was shown evidence supporting this. Who's in denial and who's more open minded?
we all know that Dawkins is intolerant of religion hence he is a classic bigot.
Its more than just a disbelief in God: he hates ALL religion. Its a common definition of bigotry to hate a race or religion or all religions. It can't be called science and is not amenable to scientific debate as a bigot won't change their minds about their hate.
Lybrah, that was a really hateful thing you did to Link10103. I'm sure one of your Christian duties is to judge agnostics and atheists, even though you are guilty of the same crimes that you accuse them of. Christians judge atheists all the time and it's wrong. You can have your religion. My opinion of Christianity belongs to me.
Not sure. Did you guys discuss that at last weeks Annual Atheist Conference in Utah? I see all 700 of you showed up.
A very interesting question. However, a humble view and opinion, a christian, an atheist, or a whatever somewhat will with propensity always respond with generalities or personal opinion or a view. That of least occurs more than not with most (again a generalization) open forums. That is the nature of forums. A christian is lumped into being all Christians and an atheist is lumped into being all Atheists and etc.
We know from simple reasoning and logic once 'all' is introduced in an argument it is considered not a truism. It is known as the 'bifurcation' fallacy. The bible is proof of that with not all created beings are of good moral since there is Satan and sin. There are angels of purity within the bible and of course the Christ - Jesus. That demonstrates reasoning regarding 'all' and lumping a single person into a mass of peoples as being the same as the generality is false, of least for this person.
The atheist 'I' know with a personal nature (And some I have read here in these forums) do not dismiss all other religions completely as religion is defined, they simply do not accept there is a God(s). Therefore as most dictionaries have 3 or more definitions for religion an atheist rejects those associated with a God. They do accept those definitions centering around a principal, cause, or a system(s) regarding living. After all atheism has its religious trends as does the person who NFL football is there religion.
Everyone has 'faith' and the arguments of 'faith' from any side denying 'faith' really does not hold water. The argument itself is having 'faith' what is stated in explanation or argument is a truism. 'Faith' is not prescribed to be only associated with a God(s) or a religion (again there are more than one definition) it is exercising a belief(s) and/or a belief system with truism(s) and those are at question.
Belief is of occurrence of basically three elements. If only two of those elements are exercised it is simply acknowledgement and not belief. The common elements of both of those are acceptance, trust, and faith. Some say the order is of importance too. The key is 'acceptance'. All arguments of faith are based firstly on acceptance. In other words one cannot argue trust and faith without first there being acceptance of something. An atheist does not accept the existence of God(s) [A supernatural nature of being]. Simple enough. Yet with definition they do accept science and reasoning. There is acceptance, trust, and faith therefore there is belief.
Arguments of trust and faith of/in/with a God(s) are mute without there being acceptance. That (again a humble view or opinion) is where discussions falter between the generalizations of an atheist and any believer of God(s). You cannot argue Christianity as a truism until there is acceptance of God(s). Holy scriptures [of any faith based belief system of a deity(s)] are mute other than the reason or reasoning (principals of philosophy like logic) contained within. Some say that is the purpose with Pauline scriptures of a man educated with Greek knowledge of philosophy and logic. Also a man good with mathematics as he was a tax collector.
Hypothetical could occur with 'presumptions' [Acknowledgement] and not acceptance seeking proofs or truisms with discussions whether argumentative or arguing. Those are different. [Example discussing with the presumption of a singular God - monotheism, concept and differences of either faith based or evidence based religion(s) or religious positions contrasting polytheism. An atheist could argue one side or the other based on evidence and reasoning within the definitions of the discussion]. One is emotionless and one is with emotion.
Trust is a key element. Trust to stay within the prescribed definitions for the discussion even with presumptions. Having faith of the discussion is a key element. And, acceptance of the issue at argument is a key element. Therefore there is a belief in/of, with the process of the argumentative discussion [The atheist could conclude by discussion 'if' there is deity, then it could be a God vs. Gods or God vs Goddess and etc. Those are historical arguments seeking those truisms since say Descartes].
Not as a defense, a very slight explanation, is what is sought with the question proposed with this forum is of ethics and morals. Morals are of right and wrong within the individual and with groups or groupings it is ethics. The forum question alludes to personality(s) being of question and of generalities. At stake is the morals of those who discuss and the ethics of the discussion of individuals. That is a good question that was proposed for this forum of least in my humble view or opinion. This specific forum question has a developing set of ethics led by the originality of the question or questioning. The authority is that and not the author.
The atheist I know will tire really quickly with those who argue with scriptures [or concepts derived from] of holy books for instance . They appear as an opponent because of the introduction of scripture as proof and the one who introduced that as authority appear as if lost to the atheist. The scriptures are mute as they have no authority since there is not a God(s) unless used for reasoning as argumentative and not arguing [with emotion(s)]. The atheist does have their belief system. There is acceptance of their truisms of which they exercise with trust and faith - science, reasoning, and etc. They simply do not accept there is a God(s).
So as seen with a really long and maybe not necessary sharing of a view is cause for understanding arguing with emotion vs. argumentative discussion from a position without emotion. Once emotions are interjected then it is less of ethics and more of morals. As that occurs principals for morality are of issue (remember morals are of the person presenting character traits such as pride and associated emotions) hence religious views are interjected by one side or the other [Both at times]. Then, again, we see God(s) introduced for authority. Then comes what the holy scriptures are interpreted to say as authoritative contrasting science and reasoning.
The atheist is worn out by that time (a euphemism) as they simply do not accept God(s). The argument becomes circular and never ending with emotions raised on both sides and the lowering of ethics. Thus, finger pointing, the taking of personal offenses (And, at times offense of lumped in generalities of a grouping known or not known, i.e. a specific denomination with the variances of dogma, doctrine, and social enterprise contrast differing views of atheism and those associated social enterprise), and maybe personal vendettas enter with personality conflicts. Then we discover assumptions are rendered as one (a specific person with personality traits and with emotions) or a few as being representative of all. We know all cannot be used with logic of reasoning.
That is where the original question (remembering the question is the authority and not the author) runs slightly tilted with "Why is it so hard for Christians . . ." offering a conclusion of being 'all' persons of Christianity contrasting a view of singularity with 'Atheism' as a belief system - acceptance, trust, and faith vs. a contrast with 'atheists', which would be an equaled siding of position [There could be conflict of two individuals of liberty and autonomy contrasting / comparing with individuals or armies of such]. One side offers a belief system vs. another side of peoples. Those are different. There is not any position of argument until there is equality. Atheists vs. Christians or Atheism vs. Christianity [Both would require an accepted definition].
Again realizing while asking forgiveness I took the liberty of explaining a view that simply is not representative of all Christians or Atheists. Yes, I accept God, yet I do not belong to an organized religion. What is the generalized assumption(s) to define what a Christian 'is' simply is at question from this point. Most definitely it is not the acceptance of God(s) as there is Judaism, Hinduism, Islamic, and other faith and evidence based belief systems with a God(s) as authoritative or of a supernatural nature. I have not any challenges or problems with any specific atheist [of least of civility] or Atheism. Such is as such is. My hope is we may work side by side building a bridge or constructing a building needed for the homeless. Belief is belief. We are then agreed and equal. The rest is, well, kinda' personal of any isn't it?
Your opening premise is totally wrong.
Once a person starts lumping groups together they have dropped the ball and are running but they dont know they dropped the ball!
This lumping together is stereotyping which is a big mistake both logically and ethically.
Racial and religious stereotyping is bigotry in another form.
Lumping all Christians together is about as safe as lumping all atheists together. Some Christians are like, "You're going to hell!" and some are like, "Whatever, it never really happened it's just something we should try really hard to do."
Some atheists are like, "You dimwitted moron, I can't believe you're so stupid that you don't just automatically agree with me!" and some are like, "Well, I guess if it works for you, but I just can't see it myself."
I think most Christians just want a "live and let live" world with atheists. In the areas that that might not be able to be the case, I think lies the problem. I am a Christian and I truly just want peace with all people, including atheists. Sometimes, it seems the atheists are not truly content with the Christians, with all due respect. If we are all just having different views, and we are all truly tolerant, then what is the problem with Christianity if I am minding my own business and trying to get along in this world like everyone else? If an atheist asks me my honest opinion on something including my views about life and the hereafter, I will share it. It may sound cheesy, but can't we all just get along? All joking aside...
There does seem to be quite a lot of smearing of Christians and the teachings of Jesus going on, and this doesn't not promote peace among people that simply disagree with each other. I wish there was more understanding from some atheists than I see. To those that practice a live and let live mentality, I have no problem, but to those seeming to need to demean and cause trouble, that seems a bit more strange to me. If the atheists that do that kind of thing are truly just lacking a belief in god, what does it truly matter or hurt if others believe in Jesus or not?
I, as a Christian, do not have a problem with atheism in and of itself. What I have an issue with are atheists who speak of their viewpoint as being the more intelligent, more enlightened view. It's often assumed that if one believes in God, they must also lack knowledge of science, they must reject modern scientifically gained wisdom, or they just must not have critically assessed their views very strongly. Believers are often spoken of as superstitious people clinging to antequated/outdated beliefs because they're not as forward thinking. I personally am a science fanatic. And I critically analyze everything. But I am often told, strictly because I'm a believer, that I don't REALLY understand. Many atheists I've spoken to seem to struggle to wrap their heads around how someone could properly understand science AND still maintain a belief in God. So they're assumption most often seems to be that anyone who continues to maintain a belief in God must not really get it.
A really massive part of science is the scientific method, used to determine knowledge and truth of the world around us. It cannot, however, be used to find anything at all about a god anywhere, yet the believer insists there IS such a god.
If the believer is to understand science, then, they must willingly set aside all they know of the field, and specifically the proper methods of finding truth, when it comes to the religious field. Live a life of two faces, so to speak.
So yes, it is difficult to think that a believer understands science.
Yet it's a proper understanding of science and what can be determined via the scientific method that answers that for you. Because science is only capable of measuring and observing matter/energy from the big bang forward, we can only really determine 'truth' about the natural world that resulted from that. If a God were involved in the creation of the singularity from which the universe expanded, or set the values of the natural laws, there would be no way to determine that. God would have to be a link within the causal chain to be detectable scientifically. So, belief in God does not change anything determined through science. In fact, most of the forefathers of science, including those who first established the scientific method, were themselves Christians. Through their viewpoint, science was the study of God's creation. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, Pascal, Descartes, Boyle, Newton, Pasteur, and Kelvin were all Christians.
Even today, there are a good number of members of the scientific community who are also Christians. And they do not compartmentalize their beliefs like you're suggesting, yet are able to make meaningful contributions. Ken Miller, for example, is a cell biologist who argues for evolution to be taught in schools. From his view...
“By any reasonable analysis, evolution does nothing to distance or to weaken the power of God. We already know that we live in a world of natural causes, explicable by the workings of natural law. All that evolution does is to extend the workings of these natural laws to the novelty of life and to its changes over time. A God who presides over an evolutionary process is not an impotent, passive observer. Rather, He is one whose genius fashioned a fruitful world in which the process of continuing creation is woven into the fabric of matter itself. He retains the freedom to act, to reveal Himself to His creatures, to inspire, and to teach. He is the master of chance and time, whose actions, both powerful and subtle, respect the independence of His creation and give human beings the genuine freedom to accept or reject His love.”
- Ken Miller, Cell Biologist/Brown University Professor/Christian, from his book 'Finding Darwin's God'
To the believer, belief in God does nothing to change what's been determined scientifically. The only difference is we believe things work as they do and the universe exists as it does deliberately. We don't look for "magic" happenings, if God is the creator and designer of this natural/causal universe, then how things work is how they were designed. God, in our eyes, did not fashion a universe that requires constant maintenance and upkeep on His part, but rather He designed a universe that works on its own.
Another believer is Dr. Richard Stannis. He is a high energy particle physicist who worked at the CERN supercolider and was part of the team who worked to learn many of the latest things determined about subatomic particles. Clearly his beliefs do not hinder him from being a contributing factor in the advancement of scientific understanding.
Although many will highly disagree with you, a belief in a god does not change knowledge gained from scientific study.
But that sidesteps the entire question of why a belief at all? We know knowledge comes from the scientific method, but believers refuse to use it when it comes to religious questions, for the obvious reason that it does not supply the answers they want to see. Which is kind of what I said - believers live a two faced life; one face of science where they understand what "truth" means and the other where "truth" means whatever they wish it to mean today.
As far as the old Christians that studied science; they either ignored the dichotomy of scripture vs knowledge or spun the scripture to say something it never meant. Like your evolutionist saying god guides evolution while ignoring that the bible is very clear that it took just one day to produce all life. You can pretend that the words in the bible, the Holy Word of God, agrees with what we know happened, but it is only a pretense and not true at all.
This, to me, just seems to be a case of having too much faith in the scientific method. Meaning, if you think a method devised by human minds could actually be capable of determining every truth about the natural world, and that it's the only method needed to determine all truth, and that anything that may be deemed beyond its jurisdiction can't be truth, then that to me seems short-sited.
The reason I personally believe has a lot to do with my level of understanding of the natural world through science. I find it hard to believe that something like intelligence can just arise haphazardly and totally unintended. The mere fact that intelligence exists at all, that it seems to be a natural product of this universe, means the more likely answer is that some form of intelligence was involved in how the universe works. And then there are those human characteristics that lack any good explanation in that mindset, like laughing or crying. I find a purely scientific explanation of a god-less existence to be too hollow to fully encompass all that life is.
I find the mindset your speaking from to be limiting in this regard. To me it is perfectly reasonable to postulate an intelligence being involved, but to most 'science minded' this postulation is totally out of bounds. When I look at things like DNA coding, which is a naturally self-organized system that makes possible the retention and passing on of information, I don't see how anyone can see that the complexity of life comes from naturally evolved code embedded in our make-up and come away from that thinking no intelligence was involved.
Your example about the creation account and all life evolving in a day thing, I know you and I have had this conversation at great length. But think about this just for a minute. Imagine you were trying to explain the complexity of the geological and biological formation of the earth's history to someone from the bronze age. We today often do this, referring to large spans of time in the past as a 'day'. Back in the 'day'. This is just a literary method for conveying an idea. What I find most troubling with those who are so quick to dismiss things like the creation account based on reasons like what you stated, is there's no consideration given to maybe why it was told in this manner. Which enables people to quickly dismiss an ancient text that has clearly had a significant impact on the world. I'm sure you and I have discussed the way I read Genesis 1-11. From my view, Genesis 2-11 accurately describes how the modern human world was first set in motion. Whether you buy the God aspect of the story or not, I find it hard to believe that the parallels between that story and actual history are mere coincidence.
Yet, because of views like the one you stated, many people are quick to dismiss it all categorically because it used the language of 'days' in its explanation. Nevermind that this story could offer profound insight into our history and what makes us who we are. Let's just assume that anyone who thought these books up to this point were significant in any way just weren't as smart and well informed as we are now, that they were all obviously duped by one of the world's oldest forms of propaganda, and dismiss it all.
It is absolutely true that other methods than the scientific method can be used to find truth. It is also absolutely true that none of the methods ever used in theology have EVER produced verifiable truth. Only claims of truth. Of the two, then, I know which I prefer.
"I don't see how anyone can see that the complexity of life comes from naturally evolved code embedded in our make-up and come away from that thinking no intelligence was involved. " And this is an excellent example of the type of thinking and conclusion drawing theologicians like to use: I don't understand it so it isn't true". A conclusion based on ignorance, with zero observation or testing, and one that has no basis in reality. Just in the imagination of the person making the claim.
You cannot explain God's use of the word "day" to mean anything but "day". Certainly the people then understand "many moons" or "lots of years". "Day" means "day", not some longer period you would like to see because it fits reality. Just "Day", and no, Genesis does not accurately describe how the world was first set in motion.
I do agree, however, that the tale can offer insights not listed in biblical scripture. It just doesn't offer anything along the lines of creation or where we came from. No, the insights come from further work, from changing the words of that ancient text into something completely different from what it says.
The Hebrew word translated as 'day' in the creation account is 'yom', which also can be translated to mean 'age', or 'era'. And the 'evening' and 'morning' language used in conjunction is also not strange to be used in Hebrew to mean the beginning and ending of an 'era' or 'age'.
Here's a method I used to establish truth, that I have sense substantiated with significant amounts of supporting evidence. I created a template of the timeline of Genesis using the geneological lists from Gen5 and 10. I then looked at the known history of Mesopotamia and found a specific span of time that matches that timeline, where actual events that very much mirror events described, actually happened. And these events that actually happened were by no means small insignficant events. These events are recognized amongst the scientific community as being pivotal events in our human history.
Yet, without asking for any specifics, or giving any due consideration whatsoever, you feel it appropriate to simply say, "and no, Genesis does not accurately describe how the world was first set in motion."
Through this view, this theory I was looking to either disprove or substantiate through evidence, this framework actually made predictions that turned out to be true. One of which being a significant behavioral change in human history that can actually be seen in the archaeological record. This behavioral change was an expected result based on this theory. And there it was. Plain as day. I also had no knowledge of the Sumerians when I first embarked on this. I discovered them as another prediction made by this model.
Those kinds of findings, in scientific practices, are generally viewed as being indicators that a particular theory is close to the truth.
Again, headly. If these are indicators that a particular hypothesis (not theory, at least not in scientific terms) is close to the truth, where are the peer reviewed historical or archeological journals? Where is the input from scholars in the field who have degrees in this particular field of study? Why is there not an outcry from the majority of Christians that this explains everything, and archeological science and research is proving Genesis to be true? Why is no one (that I've seen) saying anything like this except you? Do you have a degree in archeology or sociology? Have you published anything that has been peer reviewed by anyone who does? What sources did you use to determine all of this, and was confirmation bias ruled out? Do you have anything other than your own claims and research that verify your conclusions? You're always asking for journals and polls and articles from others. Where are yours? If this were true, would it not be significant in the field of historical, biblical scholarship? Why isn't it? You know as well as I do that history is not nearly as clearly defined as a science. It's about probabilities and likelihoods to piece together what most likely happened when multiple primary sources are not available. Mathematical theorems like Bayes can be used to try to identify the likely from the unlikely. We clearly can't go back in time to test and verify our expectations.
Saying "iI don't know how dna could have happened without intelligence" is simply an argument from ignorance. I know you know that. I Don't know the answer either, but that does not mean I'm justified to just assert it must be intelligence or anything else.
As far as DNA goes, I'm arguing for the argument of intelligence. Usually the conversation gets stopped right there without consideration. I'm just telling Wilderness, who asked 'why believe?' some of the reasons I do. That it's not a lack of critical thought, it's not a lack of critical analysis on my part, or a lack of scientific understanding. I'm not saying I don't understand DNA, therefore 'goddunit'. I'm saying I do understand DNA quite well, and it alone gives me reason to think there's more going on than just haphazard chance.
I would love to get this stuff I'm talking about peer reviewed. If anyone gets a sense of how much time I dedicate to this, it should be you. But I'm only one guy, with a full time job, and no idea where to turn it seems. I've published hubs on the topic that get a lot of hits and ignite a lot of conversations. I'm not sure what else to do. Maybe I can approach professors at universities that are near me. I seriously don't know. So I dedicate a lot of time speaking to people who are more knowledgeable than me in particular topics, like you and your knowledge of the new testament, to see if it stands up. So far, after nearly 2 years of this, a podcast, and countless conversations, I've yet to find one person who can poke holes in it.
Please understand that I'm not at all saying or implying that your entire argument is nothing but the argument from ignorance. I didn't even say that you said goddunit. I was simply attempting to point out that saying "I can't see how this could happen without intelligence" is the argument from ignorance, and should be avoided as much as possible, being a logical fallacy.
As far as peer review, as a college student, I am able to submit things to historical journals in higher grades to be reviewed and/or published. Talk to Rachel. Talk to tenured professors. Write to publications and ask for their criteria. There are towns of reputable journals and publications out there. While I appreciate that you're just a normal working guy, if you want this stuff to be examined critically from experts in the field to establish or point out problems, you have to take the initiative to give it to them. I'm sure you can understand my reluctance to just take your word for it. I like you, but I don't know you, and anyone can literally say they've spent decades researching something only to present shoddy research that had never been examined. I have not studied the cultures in depth that you have. I'm not in a position to take your research line by line and refute it. Other people with degrees in these fields can. That's the only way to get it reviewed in a scholarly fashion and either revise it or scrap it all together and start over. If it were me, I'd want to know one way or another, and make the efforts necessary to make that happen. Otherwise, to a layperson, you just sound like another guy with a theory. I know you're not, but I'm sure you get where I'm coming from here.
Yeah, I can get that, and I would like to know for sure whether or not I'm wasting my time. But what I'm trying to address here is Wilderness's question about 'why believe?' I'm trying to show that I have plenty of reason to believe and that it has nothing to do with a lack of understanding. I'm trying to point out to him how ridiculous it sounds for someone to say, "So yes, it is difficult to think that a believer understands science." when the very people who first devised the scientific theory he's touting were coming from that very same mindset. Then I point out people who are making notable contributions to science currently, who are Christians, yet in his mind he just can't understand how it's possible. And there it is again. I don't understand, therefore.... half the world's population believes in non-sense and doesn't understand science.
I understand your conversion with wilderness. It's not one I want to jump in the middle of except to point out what I already interjected. Not surprisingly, you and I disagree on a lot, but hey, it happens.
Yeah, see, we disagree all the time, yet I still like you. I guess what I'm trying to get at that bothers me is any mindset that justifies belittling a large section of the population as less smart or less capable of thinking, that then seems to result in this attitude of dismissal. And that kind of thing runs rampant through many of the discussions I've had. That is probably my single biggest issue with atheism, to bend back around to the point of the OP. But along side that, you are an example of an atheist I like, so there's that. And I actually like Wilderness too. He and I have had many an interesting discussion.
But I do like you. Even dais as much a few posts up. You're articulate and intelligent and even though I'm still mad at you for the show, I still like you. That doesn't mean that I don't get irritated or frustrated. We both do. That's just two people being two people.
I may ridicule some aspects of Christianity, but that's not the same thing as telling a Christian that they're stupid. I try not to paint people with large brushes, and take them for what they say they are. Do I screw up? Sure. All I can do is learn from it and try to move forward.
I did not mean to insinuate this is something you do, if that's how that came across. You're actually pretty good about having mutually respectful discussions. Wilderness is too, actually. And I will forever be sorry for not giving you your well deserved kudos on-air. If I ever get that opportunity again that is something I will make right!
You know that I'm mostly kidding about the show, right? It's just the one thing that I can continually get you for :-)
Hi Headly, Hi Julie, this has been an interesting read....it's only 7.45am here and I've been at the computer for almost 2 hours.
Just a little "pebble in the pond," - have you considered that the reference to "intelligence" can only be applied to the restricted understandings of us humans? The degrees by which anything, or any concept, can be understood, can only be understood from such restricted positions. We can't take it beyond our experiences dictated by our senses, our physical awareness, without venturing into the "mind view," the imagination, hence the beliefs.
I suspect the frustrations which you both feel from time to time are based in the ability/inability to describe your ideas and concepts. You are met by the preconceptions of others.... they (we in all cases) base our understandings on what we have already learned from study or experience. To step beyond that is the difficulty. The preconceptions colour and distort any perception of the new idea.
Even if Headly were to take his ideas to academics for Peer Review, how can he be sure that their opinions are open enough to seriously and fairly assess his (perhaps) amateur thinking? The academic view is, after all, an accepted point of view of other academics... hardly free of bias.
That is certainly a possibility. But what I've got to show is pretty hard to deny. It's a span of 2000 years, broken down by specifically described events that show parallels to actual events that had the same impact described. Whether or not you think the God part of it is real, it's pretty hard to deny the story isn't at least told around these real life events. These events actually are what set the modern human world in motion. A direct line can be seen between these events and the emergence of multiple independent civilizations. Biased or not, if one were willing to take an honest look, I don't think a bias could deny it. It all lines up, down to the number of centuries in between and the specific locations given. I'm surprised nobody else has seen it, at least that I know of. I've seen books written about pieces of it, where others see some of the same patterns, but I've yet to see anyone else put the whole thing together. When I started looking, I didn't expect to find what I did for that very reason. Because there have been so many interested parties looking for this sort of thing before. Now, whether or not a respected member of academics would publicly speak on behalf of my hair-brained idea is another question entirely.
But I think it's of monumental importance to any member of the human race. It's our story. It's what made us. At the very least it shows that people of those bronze age civilizations had a much better grasp of what was going on around them than many give them credit for. They'd have to to be able to tell such an elaborate story around these events that spans such a long stretch of time.
I think it is very exciting what you are doing, and wish you the very best in your endeavors with it. Other than what you mentioned, like contacting professors of various kinds, to see what they think and would recommend as a next step, I am not sure. If you ever want to go the publishing route, that is another option that might open other doors and there are surely publishers that would want to get in with something like that. Its good you are sharing it in the mean time, as people that are searching for truth about origins may find it very interesting even if it disagrees with a currently held belief or view. I wish you the best with it.
I feel that Headly's later post about the use and correct interpretation of ancient language gives some good clues on that word "day." Very relevant to this discussion I suggest.
I think believers often don't use science to address religious questions, because science isn't capable of answering many questions that are common to man. Science and self are almost gods to some people. They nearly worship both, and think that all answers can be found there. In looking at origins, science stops at a point. That is a great reason to look to the tools that can shed more light on what CAN shed light on such things. Its not about ignoring science though. Its acknowledging its limitations. It does have its limits.
It continues to be demeaning some to insist that you know WHY some people do things, as in they do things to get the right answers they want to see. I am sure this happens sometimes, but it isn't limited to Christians, that is for sure. That they lived a two faced life is also something I disagree with, at least with the ones I know, and for myself.
You're right - science cannot answer theological questions. Nothing can, unless truth is irrelevant (which is the case in most theological questions).
There are no tools that can shed light on the great questions of religion. Questions such as "Is there a god", "Did Jesus come back to life" cannot be answered with any degree of certainty at all, just faith and belief.
I suspect that you misunderstood the "two faced" comments - it was intended to indicate that religious people, including Christians, do not require the same level of proof that they apply to other facets of their life when looking for religious answers. They are two faced in that they look at the world with two different requirements; that of science in everyday life and a completely different requirement of meeting their desired conclusions in theology.
I think truth is kind of everything. Very relevant to all we are. I didn't misunderstand, and I think you are not alone in your assuming the worst of people in these cases. I also wasn't referring to just theological things, but other things in life. I think it is assumed science can weigh in on everything. I have been parts of many discussions in these forums for example, where we see examples of what I am talking about playing out. People tend to let their beliefs often drive their discussion of many topics, and I am not referring to believers there!
I do notice that you put great weight into your own opinions and beliefs about things you disagree with, and the people that you disagree with. I am sure there is more reasoning behind it perhaps, but you aren't offering that at the moment, just the opinion part. (Negative at that.) This is part of the problem I think. It is so ingrained in people that its just OK to talk like this about people, to the degree that they truly see nothing wrong with it at all.
I hope one day people will see it the way I do, and see what I mean even if they don't know. To test what I am saying, to see if it is true, watch some of the discussions in these forums to see who actually most often ends up relying heavily on their beliefs that aren't backed by science. It can be a real eye opener. Not just backed by science, but other things like logic, reason, and facts. I think what you are assuming can be tested with open eyes, and the results can be repeatable and observable. This is what I see, most often. Look at what COUNTS as truth to people, and what the basis is. This way, you don't just think I am disagreeing with you for my side or anything.
"you are not alone in your assuming the worst of people in these cases."
Why is using emotion and desire as a reason to formulate a belief automatically bad? Only when it negatively affects the believer or the people he interacts with would that be true; in the large majority of cases any harm from believing in a god is negligible. It IS true that details often hurt those around (gay marriage, for example) but that is a separate belief from that of a god's existence.
For a great many people the belief in a father figure watching over them, guiding them in what is right and wrong, is of great comfort and causes no particular harm.
Wait, let me back up a little bit here as I have another question. Based on what you say there and in the other posts, are you saying that people formulate their beliefs based off of emotion and desire (of Christians in particular?) Just trying to understand what you are saying. I could add, what brings comfort?
Do you at least see how many things you assume in all of your posts to me tonight? A few things almost in each post? How could you possibly be right in all your assumptions about such a vast group of people?
Then I can answer better.
Just as the chasm between spirituality and carnality, Justice and letter of the law, rationalism and empiricism, a priori and a posteriori knowledge, so is the chasm between believer and non believer. You are dealing with strict dogmatic empiricists, materialist fundamentalists, who find a priori knowledge and rationalism, foreign, unfathomable concepts...
because that is their nature, rather than their philosophy.
"...a priori..." independent of experience thus no one can argue the case on the basis of sensible, sound logic?
So, what you believe is all in your mind?
Arguing the case on the basis of sound logic is a priori. So, what you believe is out of your mind?
Materialist Fundamentalists. I can see that. Never thought about it quite like that though.
Only the short-sighted cannot see that God is existing everywhere all the time in all things, whether they are scientists, believers or atheists/agnostics! Personally I think some Christians border on being atheistic! especially if they do not acknowledge the discoveries of science!
No one could have made the point better, but I appreciate the honesty.
And, there is the start of the problem; in a nutshell. One person rejects a view for personal reasons and then attempts to marginalize the thinking of another.
Great way to showcase the shortcomings of the human mind wilderness.
Try reading Godel. Try to study Einsteins ideas about God. Then your eyes will open and see, and your ears will hear.
To the more traditionalist, fundamentalist, and conservative Christian, the concept of atheism and atheists are the antithesis of all what is deemed moral and good to the Christian mind. The more traditional, fundamentalist, and conservative Christian see atheism and atheists as the ultimate in evil as they maintain that since the latter does not believe in God; that in the Christian mind is considered to be grieviously and insidiously wrong. Such Christians furthermore maintain that atheists are in moral error because of their beliefs. They also believe that atheists are in mortal error because of the latter's beliefs that they have cut themselves off from the grace of God and thereby have damned themselves to hell.
Besides the theological stance, many traditionalist, fundamentalist, and conservative Christians see the atheist as different from their belief ideology. Atheism, in many such Christians' mind is anti-belief and threatens the religious status quo. To some of these Christians who are mired in their beliefs because of familial, societal, and religious pressure, the atheist represent going outside of such conventions. The atheist has freedom to really express his/her individual beliefs and to live the life that many religionists can only dream of and wish for. The atheist is an individual while the Christian religionist is parroting and following societal religious dictates.
Good morning all!!!
I think what many tend to forget is that Christ is the determining factor in the life of Christians. He laid distinct lines for what is good and what is not so good.
Not believing in God is the TOP no-no...
Jesus also says who cut themselves off from grace and damns themselves to hell.
The atheists here are NOT free. They want to be, but they look for freedom in knowledge (another biblical no-no). Christ gives freedom in ways the world has yet to think of.
Yes, atheists think that they are free because they dont have to worry that their actions have no consequence other than what the world deems fit; but are they really free when all their time is spent refuting the imaginary/swatting at flies??? They want to be sure that we know that Christians suck! They want us to know that we live bogusly.
And we return that favor...
Why does anybody have such a problem with anybody else? It is because most people do not allow others the right to their own belief system. This battle between Atheists and Christians will go on till Mt. Everest melts or hell freezes over, whichever comes first -- and frankly it is getting rather boring. It is all over the HP forums and WHY? Because some people have nothing else to talk about.
Almost every day a new thread comes out with the age old question that starts a war. I think it is high time for people to just let it be. Ain't no way to win this war.
This war was won thousands of years ago. we are followers of instruction left by Jesus the first-born of us Christian people. We were told to YELL until the wall falls flat.
Someday...we may stop...and rest...
It wasn't much of a war, they saw that you were on God's side and instantly surrendered.
I've been meaning to give you the groupie scream for a while now... I procrastinate regular.
Thanks. I love the service I am able to give to one who has NEVER let me down. I am just a tool in the RIGHT hands. Im grateful. And you are definitely part of "our" team. Thanks for that too. ♡
Its a time of great social change and the debate is hugely important.
The intolerance shown by either side will lose in the courts. My money is on spirituality as it embraces all belief and looks for common ground. Total religious intolerance is really really REALLY bad.
I believe you have it backwards. It's amazing how one who claims to not believe in God will write five thousand hubs on the topic of Christianity. Why so much passion?
Thats right! There is a determined push at total religious intolerance which inevitably suggests racial intolerance as whole societies are built on their religion. Look at oppressed indigenous people whose religion helps to keep their identity. Look at the american indians who lost nearly everything and whose religion has helped them to survive. To mock religion and trying to destroy it will destroy real people and real culture. Why? So people like Dawkins can sell a few more books??
Entirely false, the intolerance is towards the intolerance of religions and what they teach.
That would be the intolerance of a religion towards the indians that caused that.
It is clear to any onjective observer that atheism has jumped tracks and its adherents are now trying to make atheism a great influence in science and philosophy etc.
The simple one line dictionary meaning is not an excuse to claim that New Atheism is not a growing social force.
I am not against atheism but gross bigotry against all religion is not atheism and will never be atheism.
How does an atheist make a "great influence in science"? All they can do is maintain the beliefs without supporting evidence not be substituted for knowledge and truth. Is that the "influence" you refer to - that belief should no longer be the basis for our "knowledge" base?
All science until about the mid 20th Century was about the awe and majesty of the universe as created by God. Only later did it become an exercise in trying to disprove God.
This is why Godel is so important: he knew the philosophical side of science was changing and he pointed out the conceptual errors to science itself. Conceptual errors that Stephen Hawking agrees with in his free online essay "Godel and the End of Physics".
No scientist worth their salt would ever try to disprove a creature defined as from another universe and invisible to all efforts to detect it. An exercise in futility.
I can only suggest you read about these scientists' personal motivations and ideas on this topic. Start with Godel as he was a part of it.
Its important not to use what you "think" God is as the be all and end all of religious theory. I certainly don't see Him as a creature from another universe.
The Hindus rightly believe that God permeates the entire universe, is pure intelligent energy, is the universe itself, and resides in every atom, and indeed is every atom. They have been claiming for millenniums that everything is a vibration and that God has created and is those vibrations.
This is a much more sophisticated view than you present about what "you think" about God.
String theory (a philosophy itself) also claims that everything is a vibration so science and religion once again meet at the same point.
True. But many scientists worth their salt have started from the assumption that God does not exist and then, whether they trumpeted this in public or not, have used various discoveries and scientific theories as further proof of that assumption.
Yes, like it's such a crazy idea to let the evidence lead things in the search. It seems going wherever the evidence leads is only allowed in cases where particular favorable outcomes can be achieved. Others are not even allowed in the "table" for consideration. Ruled out as non scientific and magical imaginings from ancient archaic writers.
Lots of social conditioning goes on as well, people can be publicly ridiculed in all sorts of venues. It teaches the "dissenter" to be quiet lest there be a repeat and the quiet onlookers learn very quickly from these "masters" of science. To be fair they are often incredibly intelligent, but not as often wise or fair. Then things are set and they can carry on with the much less ridiculous and get on with the more scientific ideas.
Many have observed this and in case they thought that the "experts" were totally fair and always reasonable with no biases deep within, I wanted to share for possible reconsideration of just letting the evidence lead no matter where it may go. I think that us good science!
(As we see in the discussion of our origins)
The naturalist disposition of science is necessary. Even those who first devised the scientific method, who themselves were Christians, understood this. You can't account for divine manipulation of natural processes in a controlled experiment. And anyone who uses scientific knowledge or discoveries who tries to speak as though any kind of proof can be established about God through these either don't get God, don't get science, or both.
Then I have to ask what you mean there by the naturalist disposition so I'm not assuming anything.
naturalism - a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.
That is what I thought naturalism was. Wondered if you meant something else when adding on the word disposition as you seemed to be disagreeing. I must just not be understanding the nature of what you were disagreeing with (if anything) The first Christian scientists didn't assume like Chris was talking about. Perhaps I misunderstood.
If one is employing scientific practices they are looking for 'natural' repeatable causes. They don't assume any processes as being where God intervenes. But it is a common flaw nowadays for people to think scientific discoveries have in some way removed God or have proven God isn't there. All they've done is disproved some age old assumptions about how God functions.
Anyone who refers to science as having something to say about God's existence, I'll often ask them to explain what exactly they're expecting to see that isn't there that then leads one to believe God wasn't involved. What would the evidence have looked like if a God were involved? Somehow finding natural cause of processes equates in their mind to there being no need for a God. If one assumes God is some invisible cartoon magician floating around space manipulating natural processes then its their concept of God that's wrong. That's the only kind of God science could inform about.
Like Wilderness said in another conversation a while back, if this God can interact with the physical world, then natural elements, like light, should interact with this God, suggesting God should then be detectable. That's not true. That would indicate a being that is not the creator of the universe, but rather something that is also a product of this universe.
Thank you, that was a very good explanation.
I'd like to jump in, headly. A good that does not interact with the natural world is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist. I think the point was that if a god interacts with the natural world and changes things, answers prayer etc should be testable by the natural processes that it affects. I'm not sure why you say it's not true. It sounds like social pleading because it had not been detected.
It's just a poor concept of God. A concept of God that isn't big enough to be the creator or everything. Think about it this way, think about how we understand the natural world now. How matter adheres to set laws, how everything behaves in particular ways. If a God did indeed create this universe to work the way it does, then how impressive would this creator be if His creation required His constant attention?
I think of God more in the context of a programmer. With existence being a running program. You run it, it plays out the one way it can. So, if God were to want to cause something different to happen, He'd tweak the already existing programming so that the sequence of events when run play out another way that realize the desired outcome.
The bible says God inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15), that He dwells in heaven (Deuteronomy 26:15), that He perceives time differently than we do (Psalm 90:4). God's actions, to us, appear 'natural'. He IS nature. They're indistinguishable. Like this universe. A universe that by all appearances seems to have inflated out from a single point and formed itself, that's exactly what should expect to see with the God described in the bible. He doesn't physically mold things and manipulate His own processes.
God lives in a human mathematical concept, God lives in a place named heaven and God cannot tell time or count?
Would you prefer to rephrase that or is scripture considered infallible?
Do you think that if eternity exists, (like in that other thread we are talking about it in where eternity is favorable now for some atheists & scientists), that eternity is actually based only in a human mathematical concept? How? How would actual eternity be limited to a made up idea from humans that came along far after?
Which brings me to another point, we are at a very specific point in time. If it is eternal like some (according to you) scientists are now suggesting, how did we get to this particular point in time?
How many years do you think passed in eternity before we got to the halfway point to where we are this moment in actual time? There has to be an answer for that if true.
"eternity" has several meanings. The popular concept of "forever". A mathematical concept that can only be expressed mathematically. It has even been used to indicate "outside of time", whatever that means.
But "forever" is difficult to grasp. Your question is a good example; the time from the beginning of time (big bang) to now is no problem and neither is half of that. The time between any two events is no problem, either. The time to the end of eternity, however, is different; that is eternal. So is half the time and so is .00000000000000000000000000000001% of it; they are all "eternity", but are not equal.
So while the universe is some 14 billion years old and it's been 4 billion since the earth coalesced, the time remaining is that times infinity. Or any other symbol or set of symbols that includes infinity. 14 billion PLUS infinity. Or infinity minus 10. All the same. Confusing.
My basic point in asking that question was to get us to think more of how different our reality would be if an eternal universe was the actual case. If our universe were actually eternal, with an eternal amount of "things happening one after the other" into eternity past, we could never be at this moment in this day.
Yet we are.
Thus the question that a good friend posed to me about eternity past that I asked about how "long a period of time" passed before we got to some halfway point in eternity?
We are at this moment (or the point you are reading this) at the end of time or history, until the next second, then the next, etc.
A mathematical concept? I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you're probably confusing 'eternity' with 'infinity'. I'm sure the concept of time going on forever has been around apart from mathematics for quite some time.
There's no need to rephrase. That's what the scripture says. And the way they were speaking of this God all those centuries ago only really makes any kind of sense in the 20th century, post Einstein's relativity. Now it should be apparent that if they're talking about a being that created the universe, as they directly claim, then they're talking about a being who existed apart from this universe. Now understanding both time and space to be products of the big bang, they did not come into existence until the universe did, that means that where-ever this place is beyond this newly created universe that they're speaking of, is incredibly consistent with how they were talking way back then, though they could have not understood it the way we do now.
And I didn't say anything about God not being able to count or tell time. The bible says that to God a day is like a 1000 years and a 1000 years are like a day. Existing apart from time, and not being a product of the same universe that time exists within, God would not experience time linearly as we do. So a day would be like a 1000 years and a 1000 years would be like a day. There's no difference. No linear span of time separating the two.
Who has time for counting or clock school while busy tweaking the universe??? Duh...
Forgive me for dropping in in the middle, but where did you get that God can't tell time or count? Because that is certainly not Biblical.
Reality has appeared to do a very good job of showing any gods not existing simply by the very fact there is no evidence whatsoever to support the existence of any gods. Reality does support in every way the laws of physics governing all aspects of our universe in the form of scientific discoveries.
There would be no evidence of evolution, for starters. That alone speaks volumes for the non-existence of gods.
Or, more precisely, natural causes precludes the need for any gods based on the evidence.
Many religions have many different gods, none conform to reality in that none have any evidence for supporting their existence, cartoon or otherwise.
That isn't true, gods can indeed have many of the same properties as our universe without being a product of our universe.
You know how I've said that people who tend to assume God does not exist use science as 'proof' even if the science itself does not prove that?
Yeah, once again ED makes my point for me.
Do you not find thousands of years of searching without a single piece of evidence being found to be rather...indicative...if not proof there is no god?
What exactly does the evidence that should be there in your eyes look like that would prove God exists? According to what's described in the bible, that God simply spoke existence into being. Here we find out that not only did our universe in fact 'begin', but that by all appearances it seems to have formed itself. What else do you expect to see? Do you even know what to look for to determine, based on evidence, whether or not God exists? That's kind of important if you're going to reach this kind of conclusion.
Let's see the god. Measure it, talk to it. Lots of us, not just a couple of claims from thousands of years ago. Let the god prove its abilities by performing for us and let us watch and verify it is violating natural laws of this universe.
But what conclusion? That it is improbable that there is a god out there? Lack of evidence would seem to indicate that, which is what I said.
But that's what I mean. You kind of have to know what you're looking for to determine there is a lack of evidence. If you don't know what to look for, then you're not going to see the evidence though it could be right under your nose.
Take those claims from thousands of years ago. The earliest of those stories describe a God who created multiple male/female beings who lived for centuries. Well, we've got a good number of ancient documents written by the civilizations that existed in that age/region who all claim there were these immortal male/female gods who existed in their ancient past. An expected result if you know what to look for. Or a dramatic change in human behavior that can actually be traced in the archaeological record, beginning in that same age/region, and spreading all throughout the world from there. A change very much like what the expected result would be if those ancient claims are true. If you first figure out what to look for, then you'll have a better idea of where to look and what to look for.
??? I said what to look for. And it did not include tales from ignorant past civilizations, all different from each other, and all discredited in the big picture (There was no Thor, no Odin and no Asgard, at least as gods).
On the other hand, we can see those early stories, gradually morphing from trees, rocks and planets being gods to more immaterial creatures living off-planet to the current version living in another universe with different physical laws. It is quite convenient to remove your god from view as those that were not all failed the "god test"; none were actually gods in spite of the claims. The current Christian version may be the ultimate; a god that cannot be found, does not exist in our reality and does not interact in our universe except in the imaginations of believers.
Why do you assume those past civilizations were ignorant. They're the societies that first gave us logical thought and science and mathematics and writing and the way of life we still enjoy to this day. Why must the assumption always be that they were ignorant?
It is also an expected result that the stories told by each of those civilizations would be different as each resulted from the dispersion of Noah's descendants at Babel. So each civilization had their own set of immortal gods.
This morphing you're talking about is yet another assumption. We assume that these mythological stories about these gods are just ignorant minds trying to make sense of things. Yet multiple independent civilizations came up with basically the same explanation. They all talked about these immortal male/female beings in their ancient past. Are we supposed to just assume that they all invented basically the same explanation across multiple independent cultures? Or does that maybe sound a little far fetched?
So the only acceptable proof you would allow is if this all powerful God showed Himself by performing tricks for you? There's no other way we can determine truth other than this one far-fetched scenario?
Because they didn't have nuclear power plants? Or telescopes? Or anything beyond basic arithmetic? Or any idea of the biology inside them? Or that the earth is round and moves? Keep in mind that the term "ignorant" is a relative one, not absolute, and is only useful when comparing things. Things like our knowledge base and theirs.
Expected (using today's knowledge base, not theirs)? Of course each culture had their own gods; does that mean that each was real?
An assumption taken from the history books recording such things, yes. Basically the same explanation? Yes, if that explanation is "a god did it - the anthropomorphic god that favors me - now give me money.". So yes, it sounds a little (great deal) far fetched if you are implying there was a connection to reality. Whether true or not, though, it is certainly no indication (evidence) of supernatural beings from another universe that created us, loves us and will throw us into Hell if we misbehave. Or even that Thor came down and fathered children.
Playing mind and philosophical games with the beliefs of ancient (or modern, for that matter) civilizations doesn't work; what else would you suggest?
Yes. In comparison to the level of knowledge we have now, you could refer to them as 'ignorant'. The problem with that is along with it comes these connotations that they were simple minded. Like your assumption that they just explained things away by inventing these anthropomorphic gods. Let's not forget its these same individuals who were our first astronomers. They didn't just assign reason all willy-nilly to things. They observed and tracked the movement of the heavens.
Take the Sumerians for an example. These people have a list of firsts in human history that is truly staggering. They invented the first written language, the first written laws, the first government (the first kind of monarchy), they invented sailboats and chariots. And they used a base-60 numbering system that we still use today for tracking time and in geometry to measure the degrees in a circle. They were the first organized civilization. They had the first cities with class stratification. A ruling class and a working class. We know these things. We know they completely transformed how humans live on this planet. Yet, according to the Sumerians themselves, they were taught the ways of civilization. By these gods. These male and female gods who lived in the temples that we know actually existed at the center of each of their city states. Another first. Having these temples. The Sumerians themselves don't give credit to their ancestors for all these amazing advancements and inventions, they claim these gods who lived among them taught them. So we've got real results, a real and quite dramatic shift in inventions and a way of life. Real evidence of an established group of people showing signs of significant influence by something.
It's one explanation to just assume all these mythological gods were invented to explain stuff. It's another to see the very real possibility that these stories show such commonality between them because there's a kernel of truth there. Actual beings that these stories were inspired by. This is just one facet of evidence that supports these events actually happening. It goes well beyond this. So do we just keep assuming we know better, despite the evidence? Should we be so quick to dismiss any other possibility in favor of our own assumptions?
There is no other way. And, considering how many Christians claim they know for a fact God exists because they've had some sort of experience/encounter with God, it would appear they already have seen God performing tricks, so why can't we observe that, too?
The problem is, that way in and of itself is not guaranteed. Many, many, many who demand such proof would disbelieve it if they saw a hundred angels dancing on the head of a pin. Or a burning, talking bush. Or Jesus descending from the clouds with an army of angels to battle Satan. They would look for any other explanation than "Oh, God is real after all."
Yes... truth. Skepticism is rigid. If I do no believe in God; he could do my grocery shopping; pack the groceries; add a signed gift certificate; and seal my bags with manna; and STILL skepticism would prevail.
I'm so glad I got to read your post. Truth is truth.
There's a stipulation to that. First you have to believe and acknowledge. It's like a connection that has to be established at both ends. If you don't do your part on your end, you don't receive anything. If your disconnected spiritually, how do you hope to observe anything spiritual? Outward appearance, outward shows of power, turns your attention the wrong direction. Spiritual is an inward journey.
That would be biased.
Is that how it works? How do you know that? Where is your evidence?
In my life. In my mind. Just like everything else that goes along with the unseeable mind, its inaccessible to you. It's something that does indeed exist, that can't be proven to exist empirically. It's something that is part of each of our realities, yet is beyond observation, at least to anyone outside of ourselves. Unfortunately, you don't get concrete certainty with everything in life. That's true in dealing with other minds outside of your own, as well as spirituality. It's something you have to take on faith. Through faith you can have a connection. You just have to take my word for it because I cannot show you. That's life.
The evidence of the laws of nature compared to your faith which is based on one of thousands of ancient myths and superstitions unequivocally supports reality, but not your word.
Laws of nature that are as of yet unaccounted for as to their origin or causal reason for existing. It's not just my word. It's an undeniable force that's had a significant impact on our human history. I know how easily you dismiss that as mass delusion, but it's evidence of people's internal experience being what they say it is. You've been around. You've seen trends come and go. Something doesn't have this kind of staying power if it doesn't speak to its participants on some profound level. That's why it ultimately comes down to faith. It's a leap of faith. It's a personal, internal decision. An acknowledgement. Humility. Its the state required to be aligned, to be ready to accept.
Why is that so hard to believe? This essence that makes us what we are, this life force that compels us to 'do' and to 'be' is the same essence that compelled life to climb up out of the primordial ooze in the first place. It made life on this planet what it is by pushing living things through the teeth of evolution. As Sagan once put it, we're made of star stuff. The same elements that were first born in stars and then scattered when those stars super nova'd, somehow, a bundle of these elements inside of our heads is able to achieve self-awareness and imagination and passions and wants and identity. We're compelled to understand. Given what these minds of ours are capable of, I don't see how one can be so rigid about what is possible through them. If this particular bundle of matter can do all of this inside of our heads, what else is matter capable of that we can't 'observe'? A deeper connectedness to the universe around us, that bore us. A connection our senses are not evolved to detect physically, but still something there. That moves people. That compels people.
I'm not saying to accept anything whole-heartedly or blindly. But if you allow for the possibility, and allow yourself to see evidence in an alternate light that a rigid purely material mindset doesn't allow, then you can maybe begin to see possibilities that were too quickly dismissed before. When you approach anything with predefined definitions of what's acceptable and what isn't then it's your predispositions that define what you see and what you count as relevant. I'm just saying be mindful of how your own ways of thinking can color how you perceive things and whether or not you're actually able to 'see' the whole picture clearly.
You have presented a strawman. The origins of the natural laws are part of Big Bang theory, ongoing research with more answers to come. This has nothing to do with the Biblical Creation story.
Are you speaking of one of thousands of gods and religions that have impacted billions over the eons?
Not such a 'personal, internal decision' after-all, is it?
Because it sounds like so much myth and superstitious nonsense, that's why.
You're not really seeing evidence in a different light, you're just attempting to pigeon hole your religious beliefs into reality, and it's not working. Allowing for the possibilities you suggest is just wishful thinking based on magic and mystery.
Yeah, the natural laws are part of the Big Bang theory in that they're already present. They're there first as a fundamental force that then splits into four. But already present. You're speaking as if this is all already hashed out and accounted for. When the laws that actually shape the universe are not.
"Are you speaking of one of thousands of gods and religions that have impacted billions over the eons?"
I think you're over-stating that just a tad. There's really only one God who has had this kind of an impact. You might like to lump Thor into the mix when you want to speak of 'thousands of gods', but the fact is the majority of humanity has been interested in only one. The God of the books of Moses which lie at the heart of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions.
I'm not pigeonholing my beliefs. My beliefs allow my mind to be open to possibilities beyond what your self-defined allowances will allow. There are still extensive relevant bits not yet accounted for that go right to the heart of all these matters. Those fundamental forces are one, and the mind is another. Yet, by the very same requirements you use to allow/disallow the mind would not qualify either. You can't prove it's there empirically either. Yet it is.
"There's really only one God who has had this kind of an impact"
Umm. To put that in perspective, did not the entire known world once worship Ataguchu and Catequil?
Or, in another part of the world, Odin? And in yet another place, the entire myriad of gods of the first Australians?
Christianity has never even come close to that. Not even half that.
None of these have had the impact of the staying power of Abraham's God. Just about the entirety of Western civilization, all of Islamic civilization, and half the world's population through to this day.
Ataguchu and Catephil were Incan gods. How could the entire known world at one time have worshipped Incan gods? I think you're maybe thinking of 'anamism'.
That's what's called a fallacy, appeal to popularity.
A "fallacy" that justifies ignoring the significant impact these particular texts have had. You might as well close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears.
Sorry, but fyi, fallacies don't justify anything because they are invalid.
Odd, you are the one closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears as you ignore other religions and our history. Projecting again?
How am I ignoring other religions and our history if I'm drawing a comparison between the Abrahamic God and those others. If I'm comparing, clearly I'm not ignorning the others because they're what I'm comparing to.
I'm not saying the 'fallacy' in itself justifies anything, I'm saying you dubbing what I'm pointing out an appeal to popularity fallacy justifies you ignoring an undeniable fact. The impact these stories have had on humanity is valid data. Significant data. Stamping it a 'fallacy' to point this out is a cop-out.
You're not drawing comparisons at all, that is the point.
You are ignoring the impact of other religions throughout history.
No, I'm not. Name another religion, another God, whose had a comparable impact. There's not one.
Sun worshiping had the biggest impact to humans throughout history, comparably speaking.
Well that sounds like a total shot in the dark. Unfortunately, there's no support for it....
"Although sun worship has been used frequently as a term for “pagan” religion, it is, in fact, relatively rare. Though almost every culture uses solar motifs, only a relatively few cultures (Egyptian, Indo-European, and Meso-American) developed solar religions. All of these groups had in common a well-developed urban civilization with a strong ideology of sacred kingship. In all of them the imagery of the sun as the ruler of both the upper and the lower worlds that he majestically visits on his daily round is prominent."
- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top … un-worship
This isn't nearly comparable to the impact the Abraham God has had.
You should actually read that article and others like it. Get some education, dude.
I did. And nothing there suggests that a sun god had near the impact of the Abrhamic God. Only the God spoken of in Genesis has been as prevalent throughout human history. No other connotation of god has had near the impact. Which was the original point.
Show me. It baffles me how someone who puts such stock in facts and evidence so consistently refuses to back up their statements. This is an easy one.
Are you serious? Do you actually need someone to read an article for you and then explain it to you?
The article explains how sun worshiping impacted many societies and religions all over the world throughout history, including the creation of your religion.
And, what does this have to do with anything, anyways?
Well, I may need you to read and explain how you got what you got out of it. I read the same article and didn't get any of that. It explained commonality between those who did show a history of sun worship, but no tie to 'my religion'. What it did say specifically was how uncommon sun worship was and how few actually did.
What it has to do with is your statement about there being thousands of gods in your attempt to downplay the books of Moses or the impact they've had. Clearly, while there are many gods, none have had the impact that this one has had.
Staying power, no. But affect? Ask the ones sacrificed by the Incas. Or ask the Egyptians, who saw their entire civilization collapse as a result or religious beliefs building the pyramids at a cost they could not afford.
But the entire known world, to the Incas, worshiped the Incan gods. Just as the entire known world, to Australian aborigines, worshiped those gods.
Even considering this, the impact is still insignificant to the impact of 5 ancient books that spoke of one God in particular. The impact we see is what you'd expect if something truly profound happened in the ancient past of these people.
"if something truly profound happened in the ancient past of these people."
You mean like a god talking to them and telling them what to do?
It did. Just as it did the Jews. And the aborigines. And the Druids and other Pagans of Europe. Gods all over the world have spoken and told people what to do and how to live. It guided their entire civilization; the known world at the time, which is far more than the Jews could claim and certainly not the Christian sect.
That should tell you something. There are claims out there of interactions with gods, but only one that coincides with a dramatic shift in human behavior, and resulted in three large religions that still exist today that make up over half the world's population. These others we're speaking of, nowhere to be found other than in history. The influence these particular texts have had have left a lasting impression in that entire region of the world. The kind of lasting impression you'd expect if something like what's described really happened.
Only one that coincides with a dramatic shift in human behavior? I'd have to say that ALL of them resulted in a dramatic shift in human behavior. Only when we get so specific as to require the "three large religions that still exist today that make up over half the world's population" do we see a difference. Wouldn't it be easier just to say that a man named "Abraham" was one of the priests/prophets? Or that a man named "Noah" built a boat in the myth?
It is false to claim there are no adherents today - there are certainly Druids, I would expect some Australians to worship the old ways and perhaps even a South American here and there. Making them far older than Christianity, particularly those in Australia. They've diminished in numbers, but then so have the Jews, Christians and Muslims (as a percentage of humanity - total numbers rise with the population). Time changes all.
Well considering the dramatic shift in behavior I'm talking about only happened once and completely changed the world, there's no comparison.
Time does change all. But the impact of the books of Moses is undeniable. They've transformed the world, they've been a major influence in a large chunk of human history, far beyond any Druid or Australian strains.
But that still does not make them true. These are religions who have conquered and converted historically by sword point and controlled a large majority of the known world by force. Maybe that piece of history directly relates to their influence you keep referring to. It says nothing about the truthfulness of their claims. When it's convert or die, a lot of people are going to convert. When you then torture and execute those you don't feel converted sincerely, it drives the point home. The cultures of conquered lands start to become intertwined with the overwhelming religious majority until other beliefs are chased out our lost. The success of Christianity, at least in its first 1500 years was more about it's prominence as the only accepted religion in Rome (after Constantine) and it's immediate persecution of Roman pagans and expansion outward. If success demonstrated truthfulness, Islam would be much true than Christianity, and you would be a Muslim.
it may not 'make' them true, but it certainly shouldn't be so flippantly cast out as an 'appeal to popularity' fallacy. Yes, Christianity has a history of being forced upon people, but if you're taking a step back and looking at the entirety of human history, there's an obvious impact that those first few books of Genesis have had that is undeniable, that can't all be dismissed as heavy-handed. It's perpetuated on, well beyond the periods you're speaking of. As with anything else, something doesn't have that kind of staying power if there isn't something to it. If it doesn't mean something profound to people on some deeper level. Like anything else, it would just fade with time.
No, it doesn't automatically mean that there's something to it just because it has stuck around so long. The Jews wiped out the native inhabitants of caanan. They were exiled and returned. They were taken over by Romans, who quenched uprisings violently, but allowed them their religious beliefs. JEsus, a jew, was killed by the Romans as a dissident and trouble maker. Romans considered Christians a sect of Judaism and start an on again off again period of persecution. A Roman emperor made Christianity the only state sanctioned religion. Had Constantine not done that, Christianity would not exist today. Eastern Christianity would have been conquered by the moors, and Western Christianity would not have spread towards Northern europe. Christianity's spread is due to its methods, not its validity.
Do you think that there is something to Hinduism because it is so old and so prevalent in some parts of the world? Christianity's goal is to proselytize and get converts. Jews don't do that. Hindus don't do that. Muslims do it by rigid control and force. You're only seeing what you want to see here. Your argument is along the same lines as a few other posters who claim that the fact Christianity is so often targeted for position and/or criticism makes it more likely to be true. It's simply a bad argument. There are much better arguments to be made, but I don't see many people making them.
I appreciate so much that you know that stuff and bring it to the discussion. I still don't know the history as well as I'd like so when it's given in such a plain and straight matter of fact way I enjoy reading it. It makes it more real, fleshes it out better for me I guess.
Yes, I do in fact think there is something to Hinduism, for the same reasons. It's a centuries honed insight into the that particular sect of humanity over that time. I still take into consideration human instinct and intuition, even in others. I don't doubt Hinduism can and does offer spiritual insights that are valuable.
I have a similar view for something like Astrology. I don't believe you can for-tale the future by mapping the stars, but I do think there is validity in the centuries-long assessment of human personality and an association to when/where you're born. Like statistically gathered information, the importance that people who practiced Astrology put on their work is heightened, and thus more likely to be carefully recorded. I certainly resemble the personality type of my astrological sign. I don't think that's coincidence. I think there very well could be something to patterns astrologers have found.
Whatever it is, if it sticks around, it speaks to what being human is in some form or fashion, because whatever it is, it rang true or proved itself relevant enough to not just fade away. Oppression only gets you so far with humans. We get fed up, we revolt. We reject. I see a lot of that now towards organized religion. Many have felt over-bearing influence and are now lashing out. I feel it in myself. I can't explain the odd feeling I get the few occasions I returned to my childhood church. Very mixed feelings.
Between the history of that particular region, significant parallels I see in the ancient texts from that particular region and time, and the progression of humanity since, from that point outward, tells me there's something incredibly significant about these books that's beyond any man-made influence or agenda.
Thank you, Headly, for that. I know you and I can go head to head, but I respect all the research that you've done, and I appreciate the fact that you appreciate that I've studied history extensively and can have an intense conversation about it without being accused of being ignorant. While we're not always respectful 100% of the time, we both make the effort, and that's what matters. At least to me.
As an aside, I have been accepted (early, since I haven't completed my bachelor's in European History yet) into a graduate seminar in early church history and ancient/roman history from Julius Caesar to Constantine to the fall of Rome. This period is intensely interesting to me, as you may have gathered, and it's critical to understand this point in history prior to engaging in a Graduate degree in European History, given the rise of the church.
Well congratulations on your acceptance. To me, I find it really cool that I can come to a place like this and converse with people that have your level of knowledge and understanding on various topics. That's what I hoped for when I first found Hubpages. Like any place online, there's a lot of muck you first have to wade through, but there's some value here. And I appreciate the time and effort you put into participating and sharing your knowledge.
Where do you get that Christianity would not exist today, minus Constantine? Granted that a lot of things that happened in its name probably would not have, but to say that it would have died out is a bit strong.
I agree with Headly, these religions would not have lasted for so long had they not spoken to something deeper within people (and since I'm one who claims a mystical experience, we're talking something really deep within me and contrary to pretty much everything I was before.) Although Christianity is certainly not without bloodshed, it's a bit simplistic to state that the only way it ever advanced was by force of arms. And although I'm no Muslim, and certainly the early days of Islam were at the point of the sword for the most part, people today don't convert because they face extinction otherwise..
Maybe "not exist" is too strong a term. Christianity may exist, in some form, in the present day even if Constantine had never made it the state religion of Rome and propagated its interests. His doing so, however, altered Christianity and the history of the church unquestionably. The Eastern church was soon to face the tide of Islam, which it barely survived - and changed as a result. Without becoming the State religion of Rome, Christianity's spread in the west would have been stunted. That's without question. Prior to Constantine, Christianity was, like I said, considered a sect of Judaism. It was persecuted, but for the first 3 centuries, it was little more than a blip on the radar of Rome. Had it not gained political power when and how it did, it may have easily gone the way of the Essenes or other small sects of the time. When Constantine named Christianity the official religion of Rome, Christianity mixed with political power for the first time, which not only enabled the early church fathers to establish and set in stone the core doctrines (and debated and settled the divinity of Jesus) but it also encouraged the defining of "heretics" who did not follow those core doctrines. We see that with the writings of some of the early fathers who spent a great deal of time and energy writing against (and stamping out) those heresies like Marcian, etc. As the church's power grew, so did its influence - so much so that the fall of Rome was due to Germanic tribes who ALSO called themselves Christians. Christianity spread as Rome spread - and when Rome FELL, The influence of the official state religion was already well under way. If you want to listen to something really long but really interesting on this period, listen to this: http://www.dancarlin.com//disp.php/hhar … -antiquity
Christianity as a whole may have existed still in the present without Constantine - but what Christianity would it be? being the state religion allowed the councils that lead to core church doctrines being established. It lead to the formation and organization of the official Catholic church, which went on to rule most of Europe throughout the middle ages. No catholic church = no protestant church later on. The gnostics would have had free reign without inquisitions to hold them back. I'd probably go so far as to say that without Constantine's influence, the Christianity we may have had today may not even resemble the Christianity we're all familiar with in our current age.
I'm a big Dan Carlin fan and have all but one of his Hardcore History podcasts. I'm a history geek from way back and love how he functions as a sort of meta-historian, although he claims he's not a historian (probably because he's not an academic.) In fact I've recommended listening to him in these forums several times.
And please don't get me wrong, I already knew everything you said. I respect your knowledge and find it pleasant to be able to discuss church history with someone who knows it as well, and sometimes better, than I do even if we draw different conclusions from it. From my perspective, as I suspect you already know, there is another component to the rise of certain religions and the mechanisms of same.
I'm sure that you have your reasons for concluding that Christianity's success was due to it's truth. From my perspective,however, I recognize that once religion was mixed with political power, the result was practically inevitable. The Catholic church spread like wildfire once the two were mixed, and maintained that reign (often of terror) for centuries and longer. When it encountered opposition, or another perceived religious threat, it stamped it out. That power, rather than the message, is what encouraged its advancement forward into the modern age.
I don't know if you're open to additional suggestions (I love Dan Carlin) but if you want a different kind of book that's on audio as well as in print (it saves me time, since I don't really have the opportunity to sit down and read very much anymore unless it's my textbooks) I'd be curious to see what you'd make out of "The God Virus" by Dr. Darrel Ray - a psychologist.
I don't disagree with your analysis of the result of mixing the Catholic church and the Roman state (or for that matter, making any one faith the official state religion.) That has been widely acknowledged by Protestant theologians and historians for decades, if not centuries. In fact, it's a pretty key point in any history of the rise of Protestantism. But I take a slightly more nuanced view in that I think God uses human instruments to further His ends.
I don't make any promises about the book but I'll see about getting a copy of the audio.
So far I've listened to five minutes of the book and it can be summed up this way:
"If you've ever wondered why religion is responsible for this bad thing, this bad thing, this bad thing and the other bad thing and why people do bad stupid things because of their pre-Enlightenment religion (which Richard Dawkins has shown to be bad...and stupid) then I will show you how to fight back against this bad religion that has no redeeming values."
I'm not holding out a lot of hope, frankly...
I didn't get that at all. I know the guy, and he's really not like that. It's about how it spreads and why it is such an effective tool at controlling behaviors, generating responsiveness and initiating experiences which are then attributed to it.
Well, I hope it gets better because he only talks about the bad things religion 'makes' people do in the first two minutes. And acknowledges how much his book owes to Dawkins and to some other man who I'd never heard of.
As I said, I found it interesting from a psychological standpoint, but don't bother. It was a nazi sized mistake, and I'll refund any money you paid for the audio.
Here is a review
Easily The Best Coaster I Own,
This review is from: God Virus, The: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture (Paperback)
This is so weird. I've read something like this before. I want to say it was called Mein Kampf, but it's been so long I can't remember. The author made similar arguments by over-generalizing large groups of human beings who thought a different way. It's interesting too because I believe he went on to compare these human beings and their beliefs to a disease and that in order to create a fuller and better human race, it would be necessary to destroy them. I wonder if Ole Darrel here has ever heard or read anything of that man. All I can say is that I certainly look forward to his next book titled "How To Make Gross Over-Generalizations About Ideologies You Haven't Taken The Time To Understand While Simultaneously Generating A Profit For Yourself". I gave this 2 stars because let's be honest, the cover is terrible.
Still haven't read it. Found a review from someone who (shock) agrees with you exactly (who may or may not have read it themselves, since they are an anonymous stranger on the Internet) and prop that up to support your opinion based on a three sentence Sunday of the first five minutes. Fair, that is.
Oh look. I found that review too, and all the comments about how silly such a comparison really is.
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2X2LTU9XR … hisHelpful
All right. I'll give it a fair shake. It's just the first few minutes tend to focus on negative behaviors.
Dehumanization tactics such as blatant association of believers/virus infected, were used in the holocaust and other genocides.
Just forget it. Don't bother listening to it, lest you be unduly influenced by atheist propaganda reminiscent of the Holocaust. Sometimes I really question why I'm still here.
Sorry I suggested it, Chris. From a psychological standpoint I found it interesting. It was apparently stupid to suggest it may be interesting to anyone else but me. Godwins law strikes again. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
Whats true? Do you have a religion virus or infection? It isn't Godwins law to point out dehumanization tactics, because that is exactly what the Nazis did. Do you have a religion virus or infection?
You haven't read the book. You have read a 30 second summary of the book by someone who had listened to five minutes of the audio and based your entire opinion on that summary. Godwins law most certainly applies given the circumstances.
The question would still apply in general. So could be answered.
Here is a question then, assuming the best about the book, the author, and you suggesting it. Does the author ever use any kind of dehumanization tactics about believers, whatsoever? That should clear things up, right?
Edit: Oh wait, I hadn't seen the title (lol), "The God Virus." Does it talk about then, JM, people that have the equivalent of a virus that believe in God? Do share, since you have read it, and recommend it so highly? Trying to understand what you find so appealing about it.
No, it is a psychological approach to religion and it's impact and why it had been so successful. I found nothing dehumanizing or demeaning about it, and if it were it would be hilarious since it's written by a humanist. It's about the history of this country in particular, religions roles in sexuality, guilt and community and I found it incredibly interesting from a sociological and psychological standpoint.
Ok, fair enough. Do you know why he titled it what he did then?
I don't know why he chose the title. I'm not him. I'm assuming because it's a book on how religion affects our lives and culture, just like it says, and how it spreads over time. He compares religion ( not the religious) to a virus that has to spread to survive. It's s metaphor. Why don't you ask him.
Excerpts from the Book. (same language as Nazi Dehumanization Propaganda)
Virtually all religions rely upon early childhood indoctrination as the
prime infection strategy. Other infection strategies include proselytizing,
offering help and financial aid with strings attached, providing educational
opportunities at religious institutions and many other approaches which we
encounter frequently in the media and in daily exposure to religion.
A particularly interesting example is the parasitic protozoa
. This protozoa causes infected rodents
to lose their inborn aversion
to cat smells. This behavior is beneficial to
, because it reproduces
in cats that have eaten infected mice and rats. Infected cats in turn spread
toxiplasma through their droppings.
Jews as an uncivilized and parasitic people
Well, the best way I can twist that around to assume the best, is that the author was showing an example of something he DOESN'T believe in, or that he doesn't think people should consider.
That said, I think this explains all the non answers, that the resulting stuff... I am such a meany you know. I can't just get on board with those ideas! I actually will NOT apologize for holding the views I do in regards to human beings, no matter WHAT they believe, and not ignore commonly known history either.
I can admit I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to even remotely dehumanizing people, and perhaps that was what I was responding to, but when I saw the title, "The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture," I can see why the sudden don't read this after all, I take it back, etc. Tired frankly, of the stuff I see here too. I would hope all of us would stick up for the same ideals, purely as humans, and put aside the other stuff. I am still going to read it, but based on my simple questions and the strange response, I get a gut feeling some won't want to discuss it with me. Imagine this, bad ideas are what is bad. When you need to defend a poor or bad idea, why would that be? This is not a popular stance, and makes one a big meany. I can take that.
We won't know for absolute sure, until I read it, but in the mean time, she wasn't willing to talk about how it wasn't what the quotes and title looked like it was. What else can I do but go with what I am provided?
Actually, I'd be more than happy to discuss this, or any other topic, with you. You can email me any time, and we can see how fair and non biased a conversation can be one on one without people jumping in, getting emotional and taking things out of context. Forums are fun, but as I've come to realize, they're not ideal for conversions I'd like to have. I'm up for it. My email is linked in my profile page.
Ok. Thanks for that. I need to tell you straight up, I am no different in private when it comes to the kinds of views we are discussing, (Like the ones in the title of the book for example and quotes shown.) You probably won't like me any more there than here.
I am not against it though for sure, thanks again.
I don't expect you to be any different. Warning label is unnecessary, but thanks.
From The 8 Stages of Genocide
3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.
God Virus, The: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture
Richard Dawkins and others have noted the similarities of religions to
parasitic behavioral control of certain animals. For example, Daniel Dennett writes about religion as a parasite
A particularly interesting example is the parasitic protozoa
Toxiplasma gondii. This protozoa causes infected rodents
To understand our model of viral religion, let us first look at some examples in biology: Grasshoppers infected with the hairworm Spinochordodes tellinii.
Imagine that a religion is a virus with its own unique mix of properties.
Just as the HIV virus is different than a cold virus, both infect..
Thank you for making it black and white, and in color, lol, to show the possible parallels. You weren't making it up... Its very possible some literally don't know of the actual propaganda tools used in WW2 to get people to "go along with" a REALLY REALLY BAD IDEA. (Which would explain some of the responses and lack of also.)
Dehumanizing or remotely comparing people to bugs, rodents, grasshoppers or a virus or disease has been done before, is the point. It never starts out saying it just like that, its a process how it gets there. Its not a big jump to just admit what happened when it was done before. A LOT of psychology is going on there from the early stages to later.
In my opinion, its a bad idea no matter what author may hold it. I am still going to read it for sure, to make sure nothing is out of context, but so far what has been shown in quoting the book seems to be in keeping with the title of it, "God Virus, The: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture."
I will make no apologies for this view I hold, not ever, no matter who holds it. Hitler held a view opposite of mine on this, and people blindly believed it too. Normally deemed a very bad guy, by most accounts. It applies to whatever group it is being said about. (To be clear, speaking only of those that hold these actual views, the views are what I am against.)
One more thing, it IS possible that many Christians (or others) here haven't heard about how atheists talk like this sometimes (NOT JM here...) about believers. So they see it as an attack, which is super strange to me, but maybe not if they really really don't know. People might be naive, and unaware, and I know you and I are not as we have been debating them for years. Ideas matter. Ideas like comparing first, people's beliefs to infection, are not a far step to implying they are "infected", etc. The ideas start small, and its actually really good this all came up because people can think we are being dramatic for the case of wanting or needing to be right. Quite the opposite, I WISH anyone could show how this is not correct, or has not happened in history before to a targeted group. Its worse than thinking of them as slaves even, worse than owning a person, to consider them infected and minimizing their humanity. (Because of what can follow, as seen with the Jews under Hitler, and others that were disabled, weak, or of certain persuasions, etc. All considered the same, and eventually it was "nothing to them to exterminate." (Speaking of Nazi Germany and the holocaust there.)
The sad and unexpected part for me, is the very real disappointment I am feeling at what I observed today. That was totally unexpected. At least I know now.
The first part of the book explain how viruses work. Do you see anywhere within the cherry picked passage where believers are called these names? Do you Not see the difference between calling a religion a virus as an analogy and calling believers rat, grasshoppers, etc? This is far from black and white, oceans, and I think you know it if you look at it without your bias.
I will be happy to discuss all of this with you once you have actually read the book. Until then, you're basing your opinions only on what someone else is saying and cherry picking from it. Believers don't like it when atheists do that from the Bible.
I would think calling religion a virus is attempting to single out one ideology, as if it were somehow unique. Does not any ideology influence society's choices and behavior patterns?
I would think any number of loosely agreed upon ideologies could be labeled a virus. However, i don't know that 'the God virus' is the most virulent virus here in the first world. Or, the most dangerous. I would even venture to say that viruses are at war, each hoping to claim supremacy.