This concept was just brought up in another discussion. I was so surprised to see it stated so bluntly.
So, I guess it is time to contemplate the ramifications of spreading Atheism in society.
After all, God is not an abstract concept. God is a concrete reality.
And I agree with Headly Von Noggin who stated that the force / existence of God is a like a hurricane! A force we need to work with and cooperate with. A force we need to understand.
(And not deny.)
Uh oh, I sound like preacher!
But, I mean really...
Like scientists, we must accurately observe and decode the laws of nature, for instance.
And realize we are part of nature.
Well, we might look at other countries that use the same basic democracy we do, but are primarily atheist, and how they compare financially, socially and morally.
Countries like Australia or the UK might make a good start - has rampant atheism harmed either country? Both have much lower homicide rates - is it because of or in spite of atheism? Both are more socialistic - does atheism play a part in insisting we care for and support our neighbors? Both seem at least as environmentally conscious as we are - does God's instruction that everything is for our use result in destroying the environment? Both have banned guns - does Christianity promote gun ownership? Neither appears to have the large number of mass killings (particularly of small school children) we do - is that a Christian trait that atheism could help remove from our society? We are losing our technology supremacy - is it a result of increasing atheism elsewhere in the world while we remain mired in biblical "truths"?
To suggest that the western world is more secularized, and therefore their prosperity can be attributed to their secularization is the fallacy of confusing correlated data with causation.
Of course! That's why similar governmental/financial systems were specified. As near as possible, countries that are similar in all respects except the amount of atheism should be considered. Not communist, not extremely socialist, not Amazon tribal communities, not African third world villages. Just similar first world countries with varying degrees of atheism.
This conversation was over right here. Anybody who responded was merely dancing around these facts and preaching their bias, because these are the real questions to which these answers are obvious.
I might flip it around the other way and say,
"Ok, let's look at countries who DO govern and legislate according to religious scripture. The beheading of women for the crime of being raped happens only in theocracies, does this mean theocracy promotes the mistreatment of women? Children are raised to believe things based solely on cultural dogma only in religious states, does this mean that non-secularized government deters citizens from learning science and other methods of discerning truth, while substituting nonsense and garbage talk? People who are poor and oppressed only tend to blow themselves up on crowded city busses when they have been indoctrinated and taught to believe they will be rewarded in some after life, does this mean organized religion and the certainty of life after death in a military setting is the only thing that could possibly lead to suicide bombing?
But I could reply with the Nazi regime. Communist Russia. Radicals are radicals whether they are atheists or religious.
And that's really all I have to say about the idea that my sincerely held philosophy is some kind of scourge.
With atheism comes moral relativism. That is the acceptance of any man made rule so long as the majority agrees. Since there are no rules set in stone it has the most potential to create a society of morally ambiguous elitism. It is the most dangerous philosophy, survival of the fittest.
So, the laws of any given country are a dangerous philosophy compared with religious laws?
The laws of the land are not based on survival of the fittest, fyi.
Depends on which country we're talking about. Communist Russia, China, North Korea, Cambodia, any other atheist dominated country, it's survival of the fittest.
America, Europe, lots of Christianity and lots of liberty. No Christianity = no liberty. It is after all America and Europe that are paving the way for women's rights, gay rights, etc.
And yet countries have laws forbidding slavery while the bible has laws on how badly one can beat a slave.
And yet countries have laws that punish rapist while the bible simply forces her to marry the rapist.
I could go on...
Most of the countries that have abolished slavery and rape have a Christian majority. In fact they are the societies which have paved the way for abolishing such practices world wide. Atheists have never done that, in fact if you care to pick up a history book you will find that they have done the exact opposite.
Of course. Whether or not people are loving is a personal choice regardless of the doctrines their culture offers.
One bus is full of atheists - and another bus (which is standing by) is full of Christians.
Now - both of these buses are heading for a picnic. If you are asked to choose between the two groups to have a picnic - which one would you choose?
I would choose to go to the picnic in which both buses rendezvoused. I don't agree religions should be grounds for dividing people.
Not if He teaches his followers to make others choose between their faith and their enjoyment of picnicking with one another.
[ luv ]
feel tender affection for somebody: to feel tender affection for somebody such as a close relative or friend, or for something such as a place, an ideal, or an animal
---Athiests clearly feel and show love the same way that other people do, just not towards a God (or Gods).
Really? Like when he flooded the earth killing everything except one family?
Think of if you had the power and knowledge to create a world and the people disobeyed your orders or commandments. What else would you do to them?
Is that what you do to those who disobey you? Is it the only option? One would think an all powerful God would have the power to reach them all individually and simply make the ones not cooperating disappear. It's not the loving thing to do is it? God admits (according to the bible) that he is a jealous God.
No, I don't do that to people if they disobey me. I'm a human being. God has the authority to do as He pleases and deems necessary. We are not our own. We as a whole are products of His creation.
That's special pleading. Only God is allowed to kill people for a loving reason.
I can't speak for God. My duty is to obey His Word and it is your duty also. I can't speak for those who disobey Him either. God has all the power. If you know who has the power to stop God then let me know who he or she is. This is my final response to this forum. Be blessed!
Yes, it was the consequence of WILLFUL unimaginable transgressions against God and nature. So much so that God felt the need to wipe the slate clean. It must have been an act of mercy. He is behind the scenes because he gave us free will. Free will must be managed rightly!
"Really? Like when he flooded the earth killing everything except one family?"
These are stories. I don't see any reason to think that they are any true than alice in wonderland.
But love is something real. And love is the pinnacle of the consciousness that we call God.
Love is God. God is love.
'A PRODIO Thread [a new take on human spirituality]'
"Right, so you admit the bible is only stories. Good we can move on from here."
Yes, Bible is mostly comprised of stories. But those stories (not all of them) have value.
"Value, sure I can agree with that. The problem lies when someone thinks the stories are factual."
The problem also lies when someone wittingly refuses to accept that those stories have their value.
Neither, I'll take my minivan. It's more comfortable for the kids.
Now, I would like you to define love from a scientific standpoint, and explain why it is a morally good emotion.
I think the patience with which we are engaging with your bigoted statements reflects the best kind of love -- specifically tolerance.
Yet it is the non-believers in society that force the Christian majority to better their morals. To, in this specific case, dump the idea of slavery.
Atheists have never done it because slavery was dumped everywhere before there was a atheist society to dump it. Probably because it is such a egregious moral offense it doesn't need an atheist majority - enough Christians come to understand that god's book is just wrong here that the practice dies.
Well, I looked that up. Perhaps it's something you should have done before making that comment.
3rd century BC: Ashoka abolishes slave trade.
221-206 BC: The Qin Dynasty’s measures to eliminate the landowning aristocracy include the abolition of slavery.
17: Wang Mang, first and only emperor of the Xin Dynasty usurped the Chinese throne and instituted a series of sweeping reforms, including the abolition of slavery.
1200: Slavery virtually disappears in Japan.
1368: China's Hongwu Emperor establishes the Ming dynasty and would abolish all forms of slavery.
1850: In the United States, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 requires the return of escaped slaves to their owners.
1863: In the United States, Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation which declared slaves in Confederate-controlled areas to be freed.
1865: December: U.S. abolishes slavery.
I got news for you China still has slaves, America doesn't. Thanks to those crazy right wing Republicans.
1906: China formally abolishes slavery effective 31 January 1910.
And yet to this day the Chinese government houses hundreds if not thousands of forced labor camps for political dissidents and criminals. Not to mention the countless government sanctioned sweatshops they have, a practice that includes child labor, low wages, long hours, no extra pay for overtime, etc. Things that have ceased to exist in America. Oh yeah then there's the one child policy, and the totalitarian government. Please go on about how much more enlightened and superior the people of China are to the Western world.
Nope, that's not what I've done at all. I've showed you that many predominately non christian nations have gotten rid of slavery long before predominately non christian nations. What did help was the secularization of nations.
You did no such thing. None-christian countries have been banning slavery way before the Christian south was forced to.
Your argument is the personification of moral ambiguity, and half truths. But it's okay for you to lie because you have no set book of standards. Whereas if I lie it's actually a bad thing and I will be held accountable by God and my Christian piers.
So you are implying that the Northern States weren't Christian. -False
China doesn't have thousands of slaves, sweat shops, labor camps, etc. -False
The reality is when a Christian society decides to make laws that are contrary to the dictates of the Bible they have to deal with the consequences of their errors, and duly correct them. This is because the laws in the Bible are a constant. Particularly the moral code of the New Testament. And others can point out their short comings.
Atheists on the other hand, can be carried like a reed through the wind with any convenient form of worldly doctrine that suits them. There are no after life consequences for wrong doing, there is only the morality invented by those who support their own baseless theories on right and wrong. Majority rules, survival of the fittest, eat or be eaten. You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery channel...
Face it dude, you experience freedom because lots and lots of Christians said you could.
I agree. We have freedom because of the boundaries which protect it. The boundaries were erected/ established by Christians, and Jews as well, through their belief systems.
Sure, like during the middle ages. Do you really understand what freedom is? Please do some research.
What is freedom? It is based on perspective. What is yours? Did you live in the middle ages in your last life?
You prove my point, we can look back at bad Christians and know they were wrong based on a moral constant.
But for you morality is fluid. Eight years ago it was perfectly acceptable to vote in a president who was a proponent of traditional marriage, and that's what we did. Then he changed his mind. Lousy Christian, Good secularist.
Of course the secularists in America were fine with it until eight years ago. Liberals do tend to rouse up anger in special interest groups. Blacks, Latinos, Gays, Women, whoever they can get to jump on the bandwagon.
"Your argument is the personification of moral ambiguity, and half truths. But it's okay for you to lie because you have no set book of standards. Whereas if I lie it's actually a bad thing and I will be held accountable by God and my Christian piers."
Some atheists do have a set book of standards. Just not yours.
"The reality is when a Christian society decides to make laws that are contrary to the dictates of the Bible they have to deal with the consequences of their errors, and duly correct them. This is because the laws in the Bible are a constant. Particularly the moral code of the New Testament. And others can point out their short comings.
Atheists on the other hand, can be carried like a reed through the wind with any convenient form of worldly doctrine that suits them. There are no after life consequences for wrong doing, there is only the morality invented by those who support their own baseless theories on right and wrong. Majority rules, survival of the fittest, eat or be eaten. You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery channel...
First of all, what in the world does this have to do with the topic? All this communicates is 'my ideas are better than yours and you do awful things.'
You do realize that you're taking every atheist and shoving them into a metaphorical box you have created which defines every atheist out there? You think you know how every atheist thinks and does not think? Is that not a little narrow-minded? I know a damn good amount of atheists who do not think or do a single thing you just posted.
"Face it dude, you experience freedom because lots and lots of Christians said you could. "
Are you talking about Christians fighting for freedom in wars? Because if you are...
Might want to stop and think before your own words disgrace the God you claim you serve.
IMO This was his point and it is appropriate. "...the laws in the Bible are a constant. Particularly the moral code of the New Testament." His post has nothing what-so-ever to do with fighting or anything else. It has to do with following a prescribed and valid set of moral codes for the good of the whole of society. Thankfulness for Jesus is the only attitude we should have. Thank God for Jesus coming to this beautiful planet and trying to keep it that way.
Whoever wants to proclaim that God and The new testament are a myth, have it your way.
It is not mine.
- just sharin'.
"This was his point and it is appropriate. "...the laws in the Bible are a constant. Particularly the moral code of the New Testament." His post has nothing what so ever to do with fighting or anything else. It has to do with following a prescribed and valid set of moral codes for the good of the whole of society. Thankfulness for Jesus is the only attitude we should have. Thank God for Jesus coming to this beautiful planet and trying to keep it that way."
If that was actually what he said, it would have been an ok or appropriate thing to say. You missed half of the other presumptions therein.
In doing so, he made narrow-minded claims about every single atheist on the planet, describing arrogantly how he assumed they all acted, and presenting Christians as always following the morals they supposedly believe. I think he is doing a good job of tossing out those same morals himself.
Thank you Kathryn, I think Ashtonfirefly is having a hard time keeping up with the conversation.
Thank you for the underhanded insult, but I don't take bait. Sorry.
As I explained to Kathryn, that is not ALL you said. If you had said simply that, it would be different. But you didn't. Please see my comment for further explanation. Repeating myself is not necessary.
Well I'm sorry if you are insulted by the truth. But if you would like to prove me wrong, by all means please tell me by what set book of standards do Atheists follow? Saul Alinsky? The Communist Manifesto? Origin of the species? Where do you get your morality?
"Well I'm sorry if you are insulted by the truth. But if you would like to prove me wrong, by all means please tell me by what set book of standards do Atheists follow? Saul Alinsky? The Communist Manifesto? Origin of the species? Where do you get your morality?"
Well that's the whole point. We disagree on what is true. I was not personally insulted. How could I be? I'm not atheist.
If you are referring to my statement that your "A is having a hard time keeping up with the conversation" was an insult, then my answer is the same. I wasn't insulted. (Hence, the "I don't take bait?") I was pointing out that you were attempting to insult me and that it was juvenile in the context of a discussion.
I just felt it was slightly unfair to say that ALL atheists behave without a set moral standard. Some may not have a particular book, or Bible, or any such thing, but I think it hardly accurate to say that atheists do not follow a set system of morality. Whether or not it is contained in a book is irrelevant. From what they have discussed with me, theirs is a system of morality which is founded on what they believe to be a natural conscience or moral standard. The Bible is not the only system of morality. Some feel that there is a moral compass that applies to either them or all of society (it depends on who you speak to.)
In comparison, do Christians really have a set book of standards? Each Christian interprets the Bible differently and applies it to their own life differently. If a set moral standard of rules exists, then what is the point of it if its absolute meaning is not respected? So is this not similar to what I am describing concerning atheists?
In other words, your words may apply to some atheists, but not all.
Therefore the conclusions you drew will not apply to all.
I hope that clarifies.
Sorry, we are able to think for ourselves. You can however if you like continue to hate homosexuals, beat your slaves and kill your disobedient children however it may land you in prison.
"...the laws in the Bible are a constant." Are they? !!!!! Please show me how. Where in that bible does it declare that all those laws of Deuteronomy and Leviticus must be applied to, and obey by, ME, in the 21st century?
Even the "Ten Commandments" are not clear in their meaning or their intent, unless one studies the history and cultural backgrounds of those days, thousands of years ago.
I have a moral compass within me. For sure, I did have a "christian" background, but that is not what makes me observe certain codes of practice today. Christianity of itself does not make a person "good." It is simply a belief system conjured up by people who like to be religious.... and who love to judge others with a perception of superiority over those whom they judge. Yes, it gives the believer a compass for his/her own life, that is fine. But it's a personal compass. It cannot be placed upon the shoulders of anyone else without their wish and permission.
Not accepting the existence of "God" does NOT make me a bad person. I take responsibility for my own actions, and have no one else to whom I can pass the buck. What I do in this life is the most important consideration for me. There is nothing after death that I need to worry about, except in how my actions might continue to affect those that I leave behind.
So, Onusonus, please stop judging me for having an a-theist opinion.
Sounds like a very conservative person talking... one who is totally against socialism.
Is there any place in your mind for giving help and comfort those who are less fortunate than yourself? Someone who has tried hard to get a job, but has found that no one will take him on, because he's "black," or "deaf," or simply too old? Do you regard every one who is destitute as having go there by his/her own fault? You cannot stomach the idea of socialist principles, can you?
You claim to be morally superior to people who have atheist opinions, simply because you believe in a fictitious god of your own mental gymnastics. Is this not gross arrogance? This is another example of why I have turned away from the religion of pseudo-christianity.
You left Christianity because of guys like me? That's kind of like not going to the gym because of all the fat people.
So now please tell me how Christlike it is to forcefully steal money from one group of people and give it to another.
When a democratic government decides to collect taxes, then share the proceeds fairly amongst the less fortunate members of that society, it is not "stealing." How ever you came to such a conclusion I cannot say. But you need to think carefully about what you do believe..... there is some illogical, biased stuff coming out which does not even equate with being "christ-like."
It is simply not like that… it is not like that at all.
Sorry, Kathryn, with respect, but I did feel a very judgmental aspect of Onusonus coming through here, which is not exactly what you would call a "caring" spirit. IMHO.
(I have come indoors to the warm for a mid-morning cup of coffee and cake....care to join me?)
- sure, Johnny... sounds great.
I wish you would not say we as believers somehow judge YOU. We all have a sense of justice and fairness and I believe our moral compass is built within us as humans.
Sometimes in some cases, the compass is crushed. Some do not get to protect theirs. They are the ones to be concerned about.
Ok, admittedly not all christians set out to judge, but my question(s) is(are): "Does morality come packaged within Christianity?"
Is a person more "moral" by virtue of his/her status within christianity?
Are there some christians who are less "moral" than some who do not profess christianity?
What of the so-called christians who hide behind a smoke-screen of christianity, and continue on with an immoral life anyway?
1. Does morality come packaged… what do you mean 'packaged?"
2. I do not comprehend "status."
3. Some of the less "moral" people I know were those indoctrinated harshly into Catholicism. I have also witnessed that some Catholics go through the rituals on Sunday and then forget it all during the week. Or they go to Confession and then go and do it again the next chance they get. There is some disconnect form their experience at church… or lack of true experience at church... and their daily lives.
4. The smoke screen of piousness? and show up at church on Sunday when all the while they are harboring and forcing sex with girls they have kidnapped and are keeping in their house. Huge disconnect between conscience and actions. That guy killed himself once he was caught and in jail. I really would like to know more about that scenario in a case study kind of way. Wouldn't you? It is all baffling. I am not the one to answer these questions. Don't forget, I am not for religiosity, mindless rituals, or associated dogmas. Just the essence of religion and the truth behind it. Some want to throw the baby (God) out with the bathwater (all the crap you mention). Just throw out the crap.
Clearer thought: Atheism can be seen as a kind of enzyme eating away the crap. Ha ha ha! In that way atheists are Good for Society! Yay! common ground! Thank You, Jonnycomelater on his virtual surfboard sans wetsuit! I knew you were cool like that!
This is a tough one to answer. Jesus once said, "If you, being evil, are able to give good things to your children, how much more can my Father give you who believe." (paraphrased) Jesus is speaking to people in this quote. Morality is within everyone, (In my opinion). That doesn't make everyone moral because many refuse to be moral. I am sure after a certain length of time that those who refuse to be moral will lose the ability to be moral. Like having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
When a person comes to Christ, a change starts taking place. The person will be a new creature in Christ. It isn't an overnight change. I am still changing myself even after 17 years as a believer in Christ. So my answer would be no.
My answer here would be yes. Some Christians don't care how they talk, what they do or who they hurt just the same as unbelievers.
The bible says you reap what you sow. If someone confesses to be a christian but is not, then that person is a liar and cannot be trusted. The Bible gives us guidelines to go by. It also states to test the spirits and see if they are of God. I could say they most likely will end up in hell but then I will be accused of judging and labeled as such.
In the end, God will judge all people. He has the first and the final say in all things.
In this instant I have no judgment of you for saying that Sir Dent. As you know, I don't accept the idea that there is a "god" or a "heaven" or a "hell" for me following my death. So it's pointless arguing on that score.
All of that belief system is, for me, a concoction of the human mind. However, whether there is/was some entity that you could term a "designer," or "creator" of this finite universe we find ourselves in, I cannot say.
The two hypotheses are separate in my view. The Creator and the Judge. I reject the latter, give possibility to the former. Anyway, either of those is dependent on human perception.
Being charitable means digging in your own pockets and giving to the poor, not hiring a politician to dig in someone else's. The very idea of class warfare breaks two of God's top ten no-no's. Don't covet other people's possessions, and don't steal. That is what we call a moral absolute.
So the good Christian doesn't want to help pay for educating the people or building infrastructure?
"Now there are no non-Christian Republicans. This is an amazing fact, there are 278 Republicans in Congress. They are now all Christian and all white except for one black senator who was appointed. So this is an entirely Christian, white party." ~ Bill Mayer - June 13 commenting on Dave Brat's win over Eric Cantor.
Republicans AREN'T monolithic. There are Christian Republicans, Conservative Republicans, Liberal Republicans, Moderate Republics, LBGT Republicans, Atheist Republicans and so on.
What about Democratic Republicans? Or is that an oxymoron?
Not, human beings are complex and there is no one label. We have varied aspects within ourselves.
So, if I am gay; if I agree with collecting taxes and distributing some of the surplus to the less fortunate in society; if I support free enterprise and taking a few risks in order to potentially earn more profit; if I don't give a hoot about any god making judgment of me after my death.....in all these cases I remain a worthwhile member of the World's community, to be accepted and respected?
You don't matter. This comment was clearly talking about congressmen. You wouldn't matter anyways because clearly you're not adept at reading posts and discerning their meaning. Then again, maybe you should be a senator.
Hard to differentiate between "man made rules" and "priest made rules", except of course the "priest made rules" always seem to benefit the priests more than the common man.
In the end, though, all of man's rules come from man. It may take centuries or even millennium to eradicate the damage done by the priests setting themselves up as man's moral guidelines, but it can and will be done. We've seen it too many times to think differently - slavery, women's rights, gay rights, etc. have all resulted from the general population wresting control from the priests.
Moral relativism has actually wormed its way into many religious traditions as well, so I don't think this can be blamed on atheism.
Well I looked at this in reverse. What good has Atheism ever done society - ever?
(I have no qualms with atheism)
I can think of Mother Theresa and all the good she did in her faith. But I cannot think of one good thing ever done in the name of Atheism. Dawkins would be an example of a hard core atheist never doing one good thing for man kind because he is motivated by antitheism. Einstein, Darwin, Bronowski, Descartes and so many more did not do anything in the name of atheism.
Name an atheist who did good work in the name of atheism?
Eric, is it necessary to do anything "in the name of any "...ism?"
Cannot our deeds be done appropriately, in context, with sincerity, and with due consideration of one's neighbour, without attaching some religious motivation to it?
This presumption that if you are christian, then you contribute more to the betterment of society than if you are not christian.... this to me is totally false.
The point is that if you are treating your neighbour badly because you are atheist, you are giving a bad example. And no one can escape being an example for their religious (or areligious) group.
A lot of atheists I've met seem to be more selfish than many other religious groups, which has led me to hypothesise that atheism is only relevant in the "first world". That kind of selfishness only works with an abundance of resources.
Ha, look at the Christian a page back that doesn't want to pay his taxes and then come and talk to me about sharing.
Christianity has had its entire charity system perverted into donating the "charity" to the churches, mainly to buy new pews and stained glass windows.
The issue with religions is something Voltaire pointed out a long time ago: Knowledge is power, but power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The people in charge of religious knowledge are much more likely to pervert teachings into things that favour their own situation.
Now that the barriers to all education, not just religious teachings, are eroding, you will find that corruption going down to the individual person, whether it is an atheist who rejects religion and decides to be selfish because he has decided to reject morality, or whether it's a Christian who takes verses out of context in order to cheat the government.
But if I can legally avoid paying taxes to the US government then I will do so, because it's an ethical dilemma knowing that my money is going to fund a prison system where rape is encouraged and the senseless murders of innocents in third world countries.
"whether it is an atheist who rejects religion and decides to be selfish because he has decided to reject morality"
Sorry, atheists may reject religion but that doesn't make them immoral.
Funny, you do understand that one measure of ones ethics is there ability to stay out of prison. As it turns out while atheists make up almost 20% of North America and make up less then 1% of prisons.
Why would we do things in the name of Atheism? We might do good things in the name of humanity.
You may want to have another look at what Mother Theresa was up to.
You make my point -- I do not think anyone does anything productive in the name of atheism. But I think we can agree that there is much negative (against) action coming from atheists.
But Atheists do good, we just don't need to feel we have to. See the difference. When people do good in the name of their religion they are doing it for selfish reasons. If you however do good for the sake of doing good then you have done good because you know it's good.
What negative actions are coming from atheists?
You, are an <personal attack snipped>. Mother Theresa took money from Criminals all over the world in order to build hundreds of convents in her own name. She caused pain and suffering for millions of people by preaching that poverty was a "gift from God", and need not be rectified. She greatly decreased the rise of feminism, and last but not least, she didn't even believe in God. You don't know anything about anything that you're talking about, eh?
Think of all the wickedness done in the name of religion. Atheism, is just a single respond to a single question: Does God exists? And it says "of course not, you're an adult and that's silly as hell." So you can see how nobody would do anything in the name of it, it's not a thing to be doing things in the name of. I would do something great for the sake of my wife or child, or even another human being whom I didn't know but needed help. None of these things would have anything to do with the fact that I think believe in God, ESPECIALLY the ridiculous Santa Clause of Christianity, is silly as hell.
Doing something in the name of atheism would be looking doing something in the name of not believing in big foot. What? I'm going to feed the homeless because I think that believing in big foot is silly. No.
Religious people do good things usually because humans naturally feel empathy and compassion, the same reason as non religious people. If a religious person does go out and feed the homeless or whatever, and they are doing it entirely because they think they'll be rewarded after death with heaven, then they're not even doing it for a good reason anyways. They're actually just being selfish and concerned with their own fate.
Calling me an idiot to begin a long rant is an interesting method of causing people not to take your rant seriously. If I can help you with that delivery method just give me a call.
Ranting against me and Mother Theresa in the same opening paragraph is a real feather in my cap, thank you. I "give" my money to criminals (IRS) so taking it from them is a step up though.
The rest just confirms what I said. Thank you.
Extremism is what hurts society. The atheists I've met who were extreme and unrelenting in their views, calling for the eradication of religious traditions by either forcefully deconverting people or killing them, are the ones I worry about. The same goes with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus....
But if someone just doesn't believe in God (whether by my crude understandings or someone else's), that's fine. I don't think it's going to hurt society. What would hurt society is forcing them into the position of a hypocrite, someone who has to pretend to believe when they honestly do not.
Just to make it clear, although I am of an atheist opinion, does not mean I close my eyes or mind to any other points of view. For example, I do have a bible on my bookshelf (the King James version,) and do find interesting "life lessons" within it.
For example, if you read Luke 23, with a bit of 22 to keep it in context of the situation, you will find any one of us there in the midst of that crowd.
"I" might be one of the Priest, that feels threatened by a leader that stirs up the people. He has been preaching stuff that un-nerves me, questions what I tell my congregation, questions the whole basis of what I preach.
"I" might be Pilot himself, coming to the conclusion that this man they are accusing, and whom they want me to crucify, is not such a bad guy after all, but I will go along with the crowd's wishes if they press me..... don't want Rome to hear of my failing to keep control.... might lose my job or my head!
"I" might be just one of the crowd, here for the spectacle and wanting the blood of someone to get me worked up and excited. A death is just the thing. (Was it not this emotion that drove the lynch mobs.... mostly good christian members of the community .... to string up Afro-American slaves for the slightest misdemeanour?)
"I" might be Herod or one of his band of upstarts......having a bit of sadistic fun with this weirdo that's been targeted by the crowd. If he's going to die anyway, why not have our fun? (Who, claiming a strong relationship with a god, would be willing to stand up and defend a homosexual person that was being set upon and bullied by a local gang in the street?)
Probably the worst hat I could wear, would be that of hypocrite - claiming to be an upright, fair and respected member of the community, yet hating this man for telling the truths which go right to the heart of my conscience. I know I have some nasty secrets which most people don't know about, but this man has seen right through my fancy dress and called me out.... it hurts, and he has got to go.... I don't want to hear any of what he has been saying.
So, you see.... I don't accept any of the beliefs about this book or this man being some special envoy coming from a "god." But I do see real, down-to-earth lessons in it, and not just the parts I have referenced. These lessons need to be seen, understood and heeded by anyone who thinks he/she has a special mission to convert others to what they believe.
When ever we point one finger at another individual, there are 3 fingers pointing backwards to ME!.
I think atheism will probably be the eventual savior of society. It allows for the mind to cast off superstition and beliefs that keep it from progressing.
I wasn't always an atheist. I grew up moderate/liberal Christian, had to question those ideas as a young man - traveled - explored other ways of life for a while (like living in India and studying Hinduism) and realized that was no better - worse perhaps because although it claims to be the eternal law - it's followers are happy to see human beings shuffled into classes, the lowest of which it was fine to abuse and harm. I was disillusioned to find that my lofty impression of Gandhi could easily be trampled by learning some little-known facts about the man.
That's when religion began to drop away in earnest. I didn't make a decision to become an atheist- my mind just finally rose above it. That was a turning point in my life - toward incredible happiness - but I didn't know that until later.
True athiests live in the day - in the now. Because we do that - we can live fully - we are not bound by superstition.
That said - I have numerous Christian friends, some of whom have commented that if they knew they would be as happy as I am - they would consider giving up their beliefs. I tell them it doesn't work that way. You don't choose - your mind simply arrives at that conclusion through no help or coercion.
Whereas I used to frown at the idea that Jesus called the Parisees "children of the devil," and Hitler used those words (among others) to justify genocide of Jews, I no longer worry about those kinds of things. Jesus wasn't real. The story is nice - when you leave out the bad parts - but it's not real.
I don't try to convince anyone else of what to - or not to - believe - they are on their own path.
I'm just very happy that I found the path I found. It's truly opened my eyes and allowed me to appreciate the world in much greater depth.
I am not an atheist, and I really don't care if anyone is an atheist as long as they don't get preachy about it. As with any belief, it is the desire to crusade against and crush opposing views that leads to detrimental results.
Q. What exactly are the "detrimental results?"
A. The impinging on another's right to think and discern the truth for themselves.
Dictating to others about what they should or should not believe, (no matter if their belief is right or wrong, real or delusional, supported by facts or just wishful thinking…) is not kind. What is kindness? Having enough respect to allow another to make up his own mind, do his own research and lead himself to the watering hole of his choice. Maybe I like the trees around this watering hole better than that one over there where you are. All watering holes have water. Please let us choose which ever watering hole we want.
Offering opinions and sharing beliefs is another matter entirely.
But saying one MUST believe such and such is Taboo.
So it seems we have reached the conclusion (at least Yours Truly has) that Atheism, as presented by a specific group of people in the United States, is in direct confrontation with Christianity as presented by a specific group of people in the United States. Individual persons confront each other across a Wall, that is erected expressly for the purpose of throwing rocks at each other across the wall.
Just supposing you don't need to be anti-each other. Supposing it does not matter whether there is/is not a god. Supposing it is of no consequence whether anyone accepts/does not accept the premise of Original Sin, or the need to be Saved. Just supposing each of us has the freedom to explore life as we find it and, when the urge takes us, we just look for other possibilities, without having to take on board any set-in-concrete premise.
Then it's ok to take down that Wall. Cease the need to throw rocks. Talk quietly with each other, over a coffee or chai or beer. Share views. Work for a common cause.
This would, of course, remove the fun of confrontation. Yet it could pave the way for a better world, don't you think?
After the beginning of keyboarding to others on the internet, (Originally, it was the Grateful Dead enthusiasts in San Francisco,) polite etiquette in chat rooms and such started to diminish. Gradually over time, it became a situation of almost NO Etiquette what-so-ever! It is slightly different here on HP because of the strict boundaries. However, people are getting sneaky at releasing their grudges and their psychological ruts that they have never found a way out of. It is too bad. But that is the way it is. We who want and expect the ideal are getting the short end of the stick, as we always have and always will. There is no help for it. Sadly.
According To What I Have Observed
PS Yes, I posted this topic. I wish it would go away. I often end up feeling this way after I post something controversial. I don't know what comes over me… some sort of psychological rut .. I guess. either that or:
The Devil Made Me Do It.
With all fairness, you can't help if people respond disrespectfully to one another. You posted a controversial topic, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have posted it in order to initiate respectful debate. It's a good, interesting topic that is capable of being discussed in a level-headed, logical, respectful manner. You can post about ponies and rabbits and rainbows and people will still find something to be disrespectful and rude about.
Rabbits aren't fluffy enough. What chain of command do I take this up with!?!?
I think everything has a cause and effect to it. A lot depends on what is actually real. A lot of what Atheism does in terms of possibly hurting anyone, is that they may be hurting themselves at the very least. In spreading or evangelizing it to others, it could be potentially hurting others in the same way they are hurting themselves, but it is in an area that is very personal, not on the societal level usually.
The denial of or a lack of belief in a god, need not hurt society at all necessarily, and especially if they were good people. I don't know that that is the case though. Its a choice like any other choice we have with cause and effect to it.
I think its more of something to watch for all of us, on the other hand. What happens to a society if the members of said society only answer to themselves and what they want at any time? Not all people that answer only to themselves, really want pure good and freedom for all people for all times. If materialist based view is a true way to view the world in a realistic way, then we are kind of at the whim of our wants and desires. Those can go "south", which could be viewed as a plus to another. We can see where in history that can break down, even in more recent history like this last century.
I think it is possibly better to consider views that are reflective of our reality, our human existence, science, history, etc. This is what we each are faced with. While it seems ok at first glance to pick a view that seems inconsequential at first, like a smorgasbord of food, lol, really each view either does or does NOT reflect our human experience and the world. This isn't free from consequences anymore than picking something illogical is free from consequences in any other area of life. I think whatever is absolutely true, will stand up to scrutiny and match reality. Regardless of if we approve or like whatever it is.
Yes, I can see how the propagation of reason, logic, morals and ethics can really hurt others. Actually, I can't see that at all. You'll need to explain it.
Sorry, but a lack of belief in any god does not lead to acting on the whims of our wants and desires, they are not linked together in any way other than by the irrational belief that a believers god has all the answers in regards to morality. Certainly, the Abrahamic god has few if any morals to teach.
That would be secularism, in which everyone has equal rights and freedoms, but that kind of society does not bode will with believers because they are at a loss to tell people how to behave and what to believe, despite the fact they try to take away the rights and freedoms of others as a result.
We have two world views. One is based on the writing of slave owners a few thousand years ago and dictate how badly one can beat a slave and how to kill children for being disobedient, the other based on our current knowledge of the human condition and how to not cause harm to each other. You pick.
I disagree, and I have picked a view. I understand you are sharing your personal views on another view, or beliefs of that view. I have tried in the past to explain what my views to you and others are, but you are allowed to have any view you like of my views, whether or not I agree with them. (Or whether or not they reflect reality of them.)
So I guess you are going with the slave owner's view on ethics then.
No. That is your view of my view talking there. My view is different from how you are saying it is. My view actually is the best view I have found, regarding freedom in every way for all humans for all time. If you are into freedom, you would actually like my views, properly understood. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about my views.
Freedom? I guess your world view must not be based on the slave owner book?
No, my views are not based on a slave holder book.
The views I hold and the reason I became a Christian, were because I responded to what I heard about Jesus, what he did and said. I think Jesus got it right. His take on things ring true to me more than anything else I have found, since testing it hard. If Jesus was real and telling and showing the truth, I think things would look exactly as they do. So much is explained that nothing else explains, to me.
This the most base form of what I believe. All the reasons why, the proofs, and why I think it's the most reasonable of the other options are varied and many.
What did you test hard?
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill,"
If Jesus is God, whatever He taught has to be true. Therefore we can trust the accuracy of the Old Testament Scriptures on issues of slavery, history, science, and moral instruction.
Well, I tested for instance many of the things atheists and others bring up against Christianity. The things brought up are true or not. So I looked and researched those individual things.
You and I have a different understanding of the laws and history recorded in the Old Testament, which to me explains the disconnect you are touching on.
For example , IF you really thought that being a believer in Jesus and his words MEANT that you must keep and beat slaves a certain way and sometimes kill rebellious kids, then I can easily see your rejection of that. I wouldn't agree with such an assessment though. Some act like they think that is true, but I have to really wonder at that.
As for Jesus and where we disagree, I think he explains some of the confusion in other passages. Like he sums up all the law and the prophets in the two greatest commandments. I think you and I disagree some on what the purpose is of the texts from four thousand years prior. Which is fine and explains our differing views some to me.
Do you believe the bible to be true? Keep in mind, it does not make sense to say some of it is and other parts are not. I would assume its the very definition of cherry picking to say Jesus walked the earth and performed miracles and hold that as FACT as stated by the bible, but then say stoning witches/killing disobedient children/marrying your rapist victim because you raped her is open for interpretation.
If you haven't already, can you clarify the parts you believe to be true and false? I do not think anyone can choose the good things to be true and discount the bad completely and still expect to be taken seriously in a discussion. Its one thing to admit that bad things, but to ignore/write them off completely is delusional.
A sentence usually consists of more than one word, especially if it is trying to make a point. Otherwise, its nonsense.
If you agree with Radman, then you could take the examples I gave to him to be for yourself and we can go from there. Edit:
In fairness to him I don't know for sure he holds the view I presented, thus the "if" in it. He might think Christians should be doing all the same things, since he brings up slavery a lot for example. I haven't heard back from him on that yet.
Let's start there, and that would be keeping with the conversation we are having.
Edit: As for what is true in the bible, I think the various writers over the thousands of years did their best to share Israel's history, gods interaction as a group with them, psalms and songs, prophecy and wisdom literature that is there. I take each portion as I think the author intended them to be read. I think we should do that with all literature though I suppose doing it another way is possible but I don't think it's the best to do.
I believe RadMan's point is that if you hold the bible to be credible, you must hold it ALL as credible and not choose what to believe in. He brings up slavery alot because its in the bible, there are people who say you should live by the bible because they think it is true, yet I am pretty positive they dont have slaves in their basement or kill their promiscuous daughters who aren't married yet. When asked about that, they deflect the question, a little like you did with me since you did not give me a clear cut answer as to what you hold to be true in the bible, or they just ignore the question completely.
I cant really imagine a situation where writing about how to sell your daughter as slave can be interpreted as anything other than how to sell your daughter as a slave.
It seems you have possibly misunderstood me. I do think its true that any had slaves back in the day and had laws reflecting that. A couple of things here. First I have nothing to deflect. I am responding to what seems to be suggested, that I am somehow inconsistent (or worse) for being a follower of Jesus and not doing something else in the Old Testament.
Am I misunderstanding?
Consider this, that even in Jesus' day he didn't have a slave nor command people to. I was not drawn to be a Christian by the Old Testament laws for the Israelites.
I think a lot was descriptive and not "prescriptive" for much of the Old Testament. If Jesus had commanded the same things or had slaves or killed adulterous women, i wouldn't follow that guy. The reasons why matter. Do you think I am inconsistent somehow still with this explanation, and if so, can you explain how I would be?
Do you take any ancient literature speaking of such things as slavery, to mean that If you believe it, you must take on some particular belief or action?
It seems to be presented though like we are breaking apart a list of commands like we would be breaking apart say the constitution or some other document, if some kept some laws and not others, then one could maybe say there is inconsistency. I admit some people that want slaves have abused what is in the bible for a kind if twisting around of things. The reasons why this is, matters to me, the particulars matter. I and many others covered all the reasoning recently in another thread.
The reasons why people aren't keeping slaves in a basement seem obvious to me, and don't include denying part of the scriptures as true. I think other histories are also true that speak of slavery. If I am off on what you are talking about, let me know, but I hope this helps to understand where I'm coming from.
All you have to do is look at the countries in history whose governments and leaders were atheists, state atheism, and you have your answer.
Was "the evil empire" a good thing, was red China a good thing? A slew of communist states were all based on atheism, why aren't they the greatest nations on earth? How about Nazi Germany? To the contrary they are all the authors of the greatest inhumanities committed on earth. I suppose Cuba or North Korea would float the atheists' boat? Ultimately the spread of atheism will lead to an atheist government and history bears witness that can not be a good thing. And no surprise, as without God who is to decide what is moral and what is immoral and why? There can be no universal absolutes to an atheist. For atheists whoever has the power over others can dictate whatever agenda he wishes, there is nothing in their philosophy that demands respect for the truth, for human rights, for democratic principles and this has been demonstrated throughout the world in history and into modern times.
Hey! Guess what? The Nazis had belt buckles that said "Gott Mitt Uns" on them. Do you know what that means in German?
And it is no surprise that you would try to use such an artifact to assert that Hitler and the Nazi regime believed in God which is totally absurd. Christianity remained the dominant religion in Germany through the Nazi period and many "nazis" had a hard time forsaking it but its influence over Germans displeased the Nazi hierarchy. Hitler believed that in the long run National Socialism and religion would not be able to co-exist, and stressed repeatedly that Nazism was a secular ideology, founded on modern science: "Science, he declared, would easily destroy the last remaining vestiges of superstition". Germany could not tolerate the intervention of foreign influences such as the Pope and "Priests, he said, were 'black bugs', 'abortions in black cassocks'".
During Hitler's dictatorship, more than 6,000 clergymen, on the charge of treasonable activity, were imprisoned or executed. The same measures were taken in the occupied territories; in French Lorraine, the Nazis forbade religious youth movements, parish meetings, scout meetings, and church assets were taken. Church schools were closed, and teachers in religious institutes were dismissed. The episcopal seminary was closed, and the SA and SS desecrated churches, religious statutes and pictures. 300 clergy were expelled from the Lorraine region, monks and nuns were deported or forced to renounce their vows. That is from wikipedia, your reference of choice Zellkiiro! Nazi Germany was absolutely an atheist state and your sneaky little quips won't change that fact.
I guess believing a magic man in the sky who has the power to create everything from nothing but can't get a book dictated properly makes much more sense then...
I cant really understand how anyone can talk about god and proper morals. If I followed the bible word for word, I would be a child murdering slave owner who rapes and marries women left and right. But due to a little thing called common sense, I do none of those. Not because god tells me not to, but because I doubt I myself would like to be raped or owned against my will.
Simple logic that has nothing to do with god. Imagine that? Atheism is not a cause, its a state of mind. To say atheism is bad because some of the worst criminals in history were atheistic is saying that every single person who is an atheist is on the same level as them, which is clearly insane.
You think you are good at putting words in my mouth and making conclusions that are not implied, but then that is what we always see when one tries to reason with an atheist besides changing the subject when they can't refute the truth.What I said about atheism cannot be refuted - and all I said was we have evidence of what an atheist government has been like in the past, there are no exceptions. You think atheism is such a good thing why don't you choose to live in one of these atheist run countries? You think you can do better? Right, ask yourself why there are no atheist states and have never been any that have given the human race anything but oppression and inhumanity. All I can say is thank God atheists are a tiny minority in this country lest it become another atheist state.
What words did I put in your mouth and what non implied conclusions did I make? You say the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany were due to, or otherwise heavily influenced, by Atheism. If you are condemning atheism as a whole, that means you are saying anyone who is atheistic is likely to commit genocide, which is lunacy. You are no more or less likely to do that if you are an atheist. You cannot be influenced by something that is nothing. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, that is it. Thats like saying I killed a bunch of children because I was breathing oxygen. Last time I checked, regular run of the mill oxygen does not make people homicidal, but religion does in more cases than it should.
I do not go out and kill people because I do not believe in god. I do not say please and thank you because I do not believe in god. I dont kill people because I have no wish to, and I say please and thank you because I want to. No mystical force is guiding my actions one way or the other and I dont need it to since I clearly know how my moral compass works. If you cannot sit there and assume that putting a bullet in someone's head or chopping their limbs off is inherently wrong to do, then it only makes sense that an invisible being has to tell you its wrong. Goes along perfectly with the craziness.
I feel like you need to go look up the definition of atheism, and then go find the word that describes whatever it is that you are talking about, since clearly they are not the same thing.
What I said is accurate and quite clear to an objective reader although you seem blind to it. But to say Atheism is simply a lack of a belief in Gods as if atheists believe everything else other people do except they don't believe in God is ludicrous and naive if not deceiving. Today's atheism, as is on display by the vocal minority of activists throughout the media and elsewhere and is often defined by their belief in macro evolution which frankly takes way more faith to believe in than Christianity.
Atheists live as though God does not exist...tell me how does an atheist define good and evil? What makes one atheist's morality more right than another atheist? If there is no God then explain to me why you think Stalin was wrong to murder millions of his opposition, or do you? Is there a secret absolute that all atheists believe in (and is so where did that come from) or by their own philosophy what give's any one atheist the right or ability to assert their beliefs of what is right or wrong over another atheist's morality. Why is militant atheism not as valid as passive atheism? Tell me. You cannot.
The psalmist David declared:
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalms 14:1 (KJV)
The psalmist David also wrote "The heavens declare the glory of God..." - Psalms 19:1
If you want to bring up the Bible (that's a joke, someone who doesn't believe in God is going to criticize his word) I'd suggest you enroll in a Bible study and consult with people of faith who have spent a lifetime studying it and serving the Lord instead of cherry picking or absorbing garbage written by atheists because it agrees with your misguided notions and ideas. You have to be extremely arrogant to say your conclusions from reading scripture are the accurate or the final word of possible comprehension of it's meaning when millions of people far more intelligent and accomplished than you revere it as the truth and the actual word of God, but then atheists, like you, are always caught up in their own ego. No surprise.
Atheism has nothing to do with evolution, macro or micro. Atheism addresses only one question: belief in a god/gods. In much the same way that theism doesn't automatically connect with republicanism or pro life. My lack of a belief in God has nothing to do with anything else.
As someone who had studied the Bible in its original languages in college, and who is interested enough in early Christianity to be currently seeking a degree in history (and plan to get my master's and doctorate) joining a bible study is unnecessary, and theists are just as guilty of cherry picking as some atheists are.
Furthermore, I have never said there is no God. I Lack a belief in a god. If non belief is a belief system, then bald is a hair color and not playing football is a sport. Who are you to tell an anonymous stranger on the Internet that millions of people are smarter, just because you disagree with and dislike their conclusions? Would you appreciate someone implying that you're dumb because of what you believe, or would you consider that a personal attack that you have no problem inflicting on others?
Give me a break - search this link http://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/ethics? for how many times evolution is extolled
Did you count how many times the fact the earth not the center of the universe is mentioned? Certainly that's an atheistic concept and in direct contradiction of teachings of the ancients as well...
Or the Periodic Chart of Elements? How about the law of Gravity or the physics of fusion? All areas of knowledge outside of scripture - shouldn't we be looking at everything the bible doesn't give us as nasty atheist stuff?
a lot of atheists accept evolution due to the overwhelming evidence, yes, but it is not a tenant of atheism. Atheism is not a belief system. If you want to say atheism is a belief system, then bald is a hair color and not stamp collecting is a hobby.
tsadjatko, thanks for that link. It might be a great group to join one day when I get bored with hubbing. Would you like to meet me there for coffee one day?
Hey Jonny, I'd love nothing more than to meet you for coffee some day. I'd love to have you over for a BBQ. If you are ever in town...
I'd love to take Jonny for coffee as well. I'll fight you for it. Florida is much more awesome than Canada - unless we're talking about me migrating to Canada, in which case Canada is AWESOME. Can both Devon and I marry you (or perhaps your sons) to get citizenship? :-)
You and Devon are already married! As am I. I told you, we should go as a group and seek political refuge. And have jonny over for coffe, then beer and BBQ at the same time. What a plan! In the words of my favorite zombie slayers, how's THAT for a piece of fried gold?
True, and gay marriage is actually recognized in Canada. Damn, there goes my master plan - although i bet Rad would like to be married to two lesbians :-) His wife, not so much.
political asylum it is. I'll bring the beer.
This is building up into a con-spirit-zy. At least it might turn out to be a Church of New Atheism!
Thanks everyone. Canada here we come!
Caught up in my own ego you say? Thats funny, I dont think I defined myself as an atheist, just that I understood their views. I am an agnostic. But I'm sure you knew that...oh wait.
If you wish to read further into that, I guess I am an atheist when it regards any type of organized religion's god. I think they are all a load of BS, but I do not outright deny that there might be SOME kind of higher deity out there. There is no evidence to say that there is, but there is none to say that there isn't either. I am fine with either answer since it still does not affect how I will live my life, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be interested in knowing for certain.
How does a Christian define good and evil? Because an outdated book/invisible deity told them what is good and bad? I dont understand how you see that as somehow more logical than an individual person defining what is good and bad to them when that book has an abhorrent amount of bad things in it. If you were to go outside your home and kill someone right now, I would imagine you would not feel all too pleased with yourself. You would feel terribly horrified, logic would then dictate that killing people is a bad thing to do. If you were to go out and rape a woman, I highly doubt they would enjoy it, so again logic would dictate that it is a bad thing to do.
Anyway, you voided any of your credibility from now regarding this topic for saying that I cannot criticize the bible if I do not believe in it. So basically what you are saying is that only people who believe in the bible can talk about it, meaning that no one is ever allowed to say anything bad about it. THAT my friend, is what is detrimental to society.
Yeah you are an agnostic and I am a pineapple - you are so full of it. Read your own comments.
I did read my own comments, in fact here they are.
Can you point out where I specifically said I was an absolute atheist?
Real quick: an atheist is defined as a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods. Pretty sure I said I think a higher deity exists, but I do not care either way. Agnosticism is what I feel closest describes my views, and that is pretty much the only other "religious" option outside of atheism on most social network sites that bother to ask.
Keep in mind that just because I do not believe in YOUR/anyone's specific god, it does not make me a full blooded atheist.
Evil is hurting someone intentionally and with malice. Good would be pretty much the opposite, without need to kiss the feet of an imaginary being.
See first answer - definition of evil.
No. The golden rule is very nearly universal (except among Christians, in spite of it being spriptural) - let that be the primary belief.
You would have to define "militant atheism". I've never seen an atheist on a street corner with a bullhorn declaring "There is no god", but I've sure seen the Christians doing it with their beliefs. I've never seen an atheist with a multi-million dollar church (tax free) fleecing the sheeple for billions with the message they will live forever (without evidence, no less), but surely the Christians do it. Or did you mean the insistence that the religious keep their beliefs out of other peoples lives? Is that what makes them "militant"? That they wish to be left out of the dogmas and rules of religion? If so, they are as valid as anyone else's atheism.
Are those sufficient answers?
So you are dictating to me what morality should be based on what? your opinion, that is all how is that any different than Stalin's opinion - you are a better atheist than him? As an atheist he wouldn't agree.
tsadjatko, I just dare you to substitute the word "atheist" where ever you have mentioned it in your post, with the word "theist." If you can answer all of your questions in that way, then please come back and argue your points.
I suspect you are looking at a group in the United States that calls itself "Atheist," with a capital A.
If that group has any of the exuberance found in many other groups, with all manner of "isms" and persuasions, then I can understand your rhetoric. However, as you know from my previous posts in other forums, and from the posts of small-a atheists here, we do not have one exclusive set of opinions that could set us apart as a group.
I, for one, see a huge, wonderful, integrated world in which there is room for us all.
Yes, we do hear that from a small group of believers who have yet to understand anything about evolution, the scientific illiterate amongst the population.
Unless you can show any gods existing, then we all live as though God does not exist.
With a dictionary?
Logic, reason and speech. Of course, the idea is not to be more right, the idea is to agree.
Stalin was an insane dictator, this is well known in what was the Soviet Union.
Sure, make up anything you want and there will be no answer for it.
Yes, I would certainly be quite suspect and skeptical over any book that ordained absolute truth and then went on to state that anyone who doesn't agree must be an evil, corrupt fool. Those are usually the books to be avoided.
Are you saying we are incapable of reading a book? I don't need anyone else to tell my what's written there.
Ah, so only those who consider the Bible the actual word of God are the intelligent ones. Perhaps, you could explain then, that amongst those millions of people, why are they all broken up in denominations that can't agree with each others "comprehension and intelligence"?
Why not look at other countries that have democracies with a separation of church rather than pointing to dictators? Separation meaning faith is not allowed to sway the governments opinion.
Name some. I simply pointed out what atheist states have done. You want to change the subject be my guest. Name some democracies that are run by atheists.
Canada is a democracy with a separation of church and state as is Sweden. Would you like me to list more.
And so the government is run by a majority of atheists elected to run the country? I mean if atheism is not detrimental to society and is such a great thing you would think that a democracy would elect all atheists to run it. Is that the case in Canada and Switzerland? Why don't you live in Canada or Switzerland? Actually Canada is a Constitutional monarchy and Switzerland a republic.
There is a giant difference between the two systems of government called a democracy and a republic and those who interchange the two are usually advocates of republics but are ignorant of the difference. Democracies are free only if the people know what freedom is and are consistent in their application of it. If a majority of the people don’t know this, then a democracy could be just as tyrannical as the worst dictator.
My point was what has resulted when a country was ruled by atheism. Until such time as Canada and Switzerland elect a majority of atheists to run the country we really don't know, do we, how that would work out for society there. Truth is an atheist government will never happen in a republic unless the republic consisted of a majority of atheists and I guarantee you if that ever happened the next thing you would see is the ruling class of atheists eradicating their opposition as has happened in every atheist state in history. In the mean time a case can easily be made that atheism, even in a republic is a detriment to society.
He didn't say that the government was run by atheists. He said there is a separation of church and state in these democracies.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of democratic government. In a country with a separation of church and state such as Canada's the leaders can't allow their religion to interfere with policy. Essentially the government is not in the business of having a religious opinion. So, in Canada they have had gay marriage for some time now.
BTW, I do live in Canada. And I mentioned Sweden not Switzerland.
Is Canada as great as people make it out to be? As in free/cheap health insurance that makes you live forever and ever? A magical place such as that surely cannot exist...
And yet, you have failed to make a case.
With great respect to those who have a faith which is dear to their heart, this post is in no way attempting to deny your choice. It simply attempts to address bigoted attitudes.
The belief that there was something
and that something happened to do something
and then something magically was made
for the reasons that something only knew
for itself, creating everything for itself
in an explosive moment of uttering a word
and even allowed something that it had
created to die then become alive again
and live forever more.
Makes perfect sense.
What about Christian Communism?
No, I don't see Atheism detrimental to the whole society, but it is only good if people that have a high moral within themselves practice it, but when people with low moral practice it, it becomes risky to say the least.
Is it okay or also too risky for Christians with low morals to practice their religion?
I think you hit on a real good point here. "religion" in the clearly derogatory sense you use it here would be harmful. So we say, "if it is a good religion then it would be better for a low person to follow that religion" "if it is a bad religion it would be worse for that low person to follow that religion"
Atheism gives no guidance in this matter and so of the three choices one would hope that the low person follow a good religion and not atheism or a bad religion.
In this sense both atheism and a bad religion would be detrimental to society. With a person with low morals and weak conscience his best hope would be with some guidance externally. No guidance or bad guidance would be harmful to society.
And yet somehow Atheist's manage to stay out of prison? Perhaps it's religion itself that sometimes stunts moral/ethical growth.
Perhaps it takes 10 seconds to generalize an assertion.
There are a hell of a lot of atheists in prison. Bad religion could stunt growth, clearly bad religion is right up there with no religion.
16-20% of North American's are atheists, yet they make up much less that 1% of the prison population.
Just like there are no atheists in fox holes. Do you know the routine for claiming a religion and why it is done for inmates? There are boxes to check and if you check atheist you do not get any perks of being a member of a religion -- care packages, visits and time for service. That 1% is pretty stupid.
I understand the Aryan Brotherhood call themselves Christian. Nice try there.
Outdated and inherently inaccurate idiom is outdated and inherently inaccurate.
I know several out and proud atheists who served in foxholes and helicopters, tanks, etc. So not only is that blatantly untrue, it's also incredibly condescending.
You really don't understand - "there are no atheists in fox holes" is a trite expression that means when facing certain death even atheists will call on God. Eric did not mean that atheists are cowards or literally won't get into fox holes, and it is no secret that many who claim to be atheists deep down inside really believe in God but for emotional or rebellious reasons claim not to. When facing certain death or danger I wouldn't be surprised if you or anyone else would call upon the Lord. After all he created you, he created everything.
Including the thing that is the cause of the certain death scenario. By your logic, an atheist is more likely to scorn god rather than ask for help for creating the source of their destruction. But its okay cuz god care bears everyone and will forgive them right?
I understand the expression, thank you. What you seem to fail to understand is that the atheists I know faced life and death situations in the armed forces and never once called on God. I have been in potentially fatal situations (two car accidents come to mind) and I never called on god either. It makes the expression completely irrelevant and untrue.
Your assertions that atheists know there's a god but just don't wish to acknowledge or follow him is ridiculous. What you're describing is a maltheist, not an atheist.
And, of course, you must be referring to Christianity, right?
There is one glaring problem with this concept; every religion, sect and church purports to be good. How will the person of low morals choose? By picking one nearest his/her own philosophy is the most likely answer, leaving them right where they started except with a reason and encouragement to continue acting poorly.
How true, bad stuff happens just like bad people happen. But logically you are taking a possible situation and proving that that would be bad --- agreed. What of psychopaths that run sects? Clearly that is bad unless a fellow psychopath likes it, in which case it is bad for society just like having no code at all.
Just so. Let one of low morals fall into Westboro Baptist, or behind another Hitler, and it harms society. Whether religious or atheist, there are bad "groups" and good "groups". Follow the bad to cause harm, follow the good to cause (societies) growth and maturity.
And, of course, you're going to tell us that Christianity is a good religion?
Atheism doesn't offer guidance in this matter, it does not justify any religions to be good or bad, it simply shows all religions to be irrelevant.
Can you show us a good religion that is not detrimental to society?
"Absolutely no problem, I would agree the answer to what Jesus actually considered about hell was more complicated and misunderstood than what it ought to be, as you say, vastly different. Undoubtedly, a guy like Jesus would recognize and acknowledge a good person no matter what that person believed as a faith, and was certain in His mind that person could never warrant receiving the punishment of hell.
Surely, if I eat human babies for breakfast, I would expect some form of cruel punishment from any given god in the afterlife, that just stands to reason. I'm sure many of us could easily picture Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot roasting over an open flame to a tender crisp for all eternity. It is something even I would have no problem agreeing with God over that decision."
Now that's something I can't understand. Why this cruel punishment? What can it possibly accomplish, what is the purpose of such action?
God could simply dispose of such people as flawed creations or tools that have served their purpose. He could change them to be nice. He could do anything - why does He cause cruel punishment, or indeed any punishment at all?
Sorry, but that is just copy/paste, that isn't a response. Do you actually have anything to say?
Christianity is a good religion IF followed the correct way. Obviously, people killing others in the name of God is NOT christ-like. Christianity is NOT to blame for those atrocities. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
So people who call themselves Christians but disagree with your interpretation are not real Christians? They, of course, would say the same thing about you. Why do you assume that you're right and everyone else is wrong?
No, I do not believe that the people who carried out the Spanish Inquisition were real Christians. I think they were deceived. God will judge.
I see. Saying that during the inquisition would have gotten you burned. Your opinion is fun and all, but they used Scripture to justify their position, just like you do - and considering what I've seen you say about homosexuals and on these forums, you don't seem much better than they were - you just lack the power and spry that they had to do something about it.
I would NEVER tie someone up to a pole and burn them alive. NEVER.
Not even if your god told you to? You'd make a poor Abraham, refusing to follow God's orders like that.
Yet when you declare homosexual persons as sinful, and that convinces others anywhere in the world to punish them, even hang them up until they are dead, it is your declaration that is a nail in their coffins.
All based upon your interpretation of a book that you claim was written by your god. Some god!
The Inquisitions began around the 12th century, didn't end until the early part of the 19th century and encapsulated much of the known world.
So, based on your claim, few if any were Christians for seven hundred years.
Just because one says that one is a Christian, does not mean that they are Christian.
"Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven," said Jesus. In other words, not everyone who thinks they're getting saved is actually saved.
No true scottsman logical fallacy. What you really mean is that if self proclaimed Christians act in a way you don't like, you'll just say they're not "real" Christians like you are - but they would probably say the same about you. It doesn't hurt your faith to amir that Christians in the past have been guilty of terrible things. It doesn't mean that they're not Christians.
Do you believe in fairies? Humans, you, I, everyone, are responsible for our actions. The buck stops here. There is no one "out there" beyond our selves, making decisions for us.
When you can come back into yourself and deal with whatever you find there, then you will start to make a difference in this world. It is something I do all the time. I am still not perfect in every situation, never will be. It's in the journey of trying that we find a worthwhile life.
Having an atheist understanding does not make me a bad person. Being a christian does not make you a good person. We have to keep trying all the time. No passing the buck onto a mythical Satan... or calling upon a mythical Jesus to save you. The Buck Stops Here, with "Me!"
Religion does not pass the buck. There is free will, referenced often in the Bible. The choices are indeed within the individual and yes, one is responsible for their own choices, religious or not.
Yes I firmly believe in the possibility of fairies. Do you think we know all of Heaven and Earth that you can discount the possibility of anything? Recently we've discovered at least 10 species we believed to be extinct and passed off giant squids as a fantasy of sailors until one washed up on a beach.
With respect, Sassy, I do discount the notion of a "heaven" out there somewhere...... As a finite being on this finite planet subject to finite environment and physical laws, as we understand them, I do not see anything in terms of a possibility of "fairies" either at the bottom of the garden or in any life of reality.
I see any references to "heaven" in the bible as being metaphor, trying to give clarity to a state of being which we can achieve in this life via appropriate intentions, decisions, actions and practice.
In this sense I don't see any point in passing the buck to imaginary forces. They might exist in some form, outside of my finite experience, but it's a waste of time searching for them. It would detract from my tasks and involvements with this life that I know.
You, I and everyone is entitled to see it differently, and we can respect those with differences. So, let's agree to differ.
(As a further comment, a few hours later, after having been doing gardening all morning..... I am not averse to new scientific findings that we might have extra-sensory abilities, for example originating from EMFs generated by electrical activity in our brains.... in any part of the body for that matter. We know that any electrical current in a conductor can produce magnetism, so it's possible we could communicate telepathically, from a logical point of view. All I would require would be repeatable experiments and proofs and demonstrable outcomes before accepting, not hearsay or beliefs.)
Sorry, but using an imaginary super evil guy to defend the position of an ideology is not an argument. Try talking about reality, instead.
Perhaps, I should have said that religions gives guidance to people that don't know how to behave, so it helps them to form an idea what to do. Whereas atheism does not, so atheism does not help anyone.
Are you saying that because it doesnt help them, it harms them instead?
No, but if it does not help, it is useless to follow, or say that it is good.
Atheism is not something that you "follow". It is a single position on a single question: whether you believe in a god or lack belief. I don't understand your comment.
JM Then why would an atheist ever argue with a theist? Seems you are saying it is a "to me" single issue. And I see your point. But that makes arguing about it with someone else nonsensical. (except for fun but not out of conviction ;-)
A "to me" single point of issue leaves questioning or attacking a Christian simply a mean spirited episode, and that would be detrimental.
I talk about religion because it's a subject that I have studied for my whole life, and I've found that an incredibly large majority of Christians I've interacted with know next to nothing about the history of the Bible or the early church that they have so much faith in. I've always been interested in history, and you cannot study history without studying religion. Should I just ignore a subject that interests me because I don't believe it's true anymore? Do you have to believe in something in order to talk about it? That seems silly to me.
I have these conversations because I like them, they're fun and they interest me. Why do you? Solely for conversion opportunities? How many people have you converted in the hp forums?
Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god. That's it. That's the only question it addresses. It's like saying that a lack of belief in Bigfoot makes you a good or bad person. It's completely nonsensical. It is a single issue
And so also why I discuss these matters. They are of great interest and a little more important than supermarket tabloid divas.
So atheism is not intrinsically bad for society.
Religion is not intrinsically bad for society.
The bottom line answer here is that Atheism is not bad for society. Amen
In a way atheism does give you freedom. If you no longer believe in a higher power, then you no longer believe in having someone to answer to for your wrongdoings. Atheism gives one freedom to continue living a sinful life. People justify their sins but believing that there is no one deity to answer to.
You do not speak for or understand atheists at all. Please stop trying to speak for us. We're right here.
But that is why some people have turned away from God. I've heard such atheists say it was a relief not to believe in God anymore because they didn't have to worry about hell, or getting comeuppance from sins.
I don't believe you. It was freeing to recognize that I was an atheist, but it wasn't because I was "free to sin" or free from your version of hell. I really soberly doubt any actual atheist had told you that, and if they did I sincerely doubt that they have good reasons for being an atheist. It's laughable. It's even more laughable that you don't understand why.
I'm not going to say who said it, but he is a very well respected and articulate atheist here on Hubpages.
Yeah, still don't believe you. Even if it is true, Not all atheists are rational. Just like not all Christians are loving. It's still laughable.
Phew! A respected Atheist here in Hubpages?! Is this what they mean by Climate Change?
Does this person's name relate to the head of the human body, more specifically the bone portion? Because if you are talking about who I think you are talking about, I highly doubt he ever said that and if so, I intend to ask him how he phrased it to you.
That would imply that you are afraid of god. It does not make sense to say you love and accept god into your heart when you are terrified of him sending you to hell for not believing. It is hard to take people seriously when they say that god is all loving when they themselves are afraid of being sent to hell for something as simple as not believing hard enough.
Yes, Link, I think you may be thinking of the same person, and yes, he has said it, more than once. He and I have had many a conversation, and he has written hundreds of hubs on the topic of being an atheist.
And yes, I am afraid of God, in the same way a child would be afraid of their parents: for disciplinary purposes. God is a loving God, but He is just. Think of it the way a parent would raise a child, disciplining them for not acting favorably. And it is not that one would go to hell for not believing hard enough, you either believe or you don't.
I would be afraid of getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar because it either meant a spanking, a time out, or having my toy/game system taken away for a month +.
All of those things are temporary, some of them can be lifted earlier with good behavior. Eternity in hell is for...well eternity. Endless. Never ending. Couple that with supposedly the worst pain imaginable and thats the worse thing that could ever happen to a person. The worst pain/experience you could ever imagine is being brought down upon you by a supposed all loving father who created everything in existence. Why is this punishment happening? For something as silly as not having faith in god due to no concrete proof of his existence which he himself knows since he is also all knowing (meaning he doesnt care). That makes sense to you?
And just to clarify a bit about this hub user. If it is indeed the same person I have in mind, he has 99 hubs, so "hundreds" is not even an accurate exaggeration, he would have to top 200 at minimum for that to be accurate. Also, what you are saying is that he said (to you) in previous conversations that he became an atheist solely because it allowed him to sin as much as he wanted without punishment? I am looking at your previous comments and that is what I am getting from you, please clarify otherwise.
That is precisely what I say, too. However, one of the big reasons that I started to "turn away from god," was the people who tried to convince me that it/he/she existed. Generally I saw nothing that would convince me such a god existed. Then I started to use my brain, instead of my imagination, and - Hey Presto.... the answers slotted into place. I could decide what was right and what was wrong without being preached to by those who played at holiness.
What a fallacious statement to make! Utterly presumptuous!
No, it means we no longer believe in answering to an invisible super being and instead, answering to ourselves. We don't live with invisible super beings, but we do have to live with ourselves.
It also gives people the freedom to live good, moral lives, which they most often do.
There are thousands of deities to answer to, or none at all. Choosing one of the thousands is hypocritical.
Not even the Hindus - who have billions gods (note: small letter 'g') at their disposal - said anything like this. Polytheism arose as a need to instruct the simple minded. Maybe even to gull them too. But no culture says there are more than one Creator.
Hindus who have billions of gods - also have a philosophy/religion like Advaita Vedanta. Perhaps every culture where polytheism is/was practiced - do have their such distinctions between gods and Creator.
And, that's fine and is not a problem at all. The point of the matter is whether or not a Creator actually exists, let alone the choice between the "billions of Gods" history has provided from all cultures.
Before there was monotheism, there was polytheism. How does that fit in with a Creator?
Polytheism precedes monotheism because it takes some 'intellectual' refinement to arrive at the 'one God' conclusion. And formulating as 'advanced' a philosophy, like the Advaita Vedanta, requires more such refinement.
As for the question whether a Creator exists - you know, you know all about it. It doesn't exist.
Exactly, we evolve and learn, supplanting old information with new information, thus changing our worldviews. Science has come a long way in helping us with that evolution, supplanting ancient myths and superstitions with facts and theories, to arrive at the 'no God required' conclusion.
Most philosophies are only as good as the paper on which they were written.
Sorry, I never click those links. You'll need to explain it.
I am fine with the possibility of a "creator" that is referred to as "God." I am not ok with humans setting up a fictitious "God" that sits in judgment of us. This is human manipulation to have control over other humans.
I'm fine with that possibility, too, but as time goes on, it becomes a smaller possibility, infinitesimally smaller, almost to the point of being Planck length in stature and magnitude.
On this I would tend to agree as well. We (as a thinking species) have tended to look outwards towards the huge, bigger-than-everything, old-man-in-the-sky God that looks down on us like a worrisome father. (You can't look upon me as such, because I am certainly not big, and not really old yet.... so please don't call me God! )
I see scientific discovery on the atomic scale as far more enlightening. The quantum choices, from the electron and smaller upwards, reaching into the genes and their choices, filling a void of infinite intricacy, rather like the lugs on each jigsaw puzzle piece, and being driven by simply the potential of "let's fill this space." This could be the only "creative" aspect.... the potential is the force driving everything forward. I know this can be confusing and confronting for those who believe otherwise, but don't worry..... we will never know the absolute, final truth about anything, because there is no such thing. Meanwhile, we can just play with our minds and argue and surmise and adopt our own understandings for the time being.
Hindus do not have billions of gods. They have one God. Everything else you see is a an aspect, a facet, a characteristic of that God manifest in us humans. In the same way that Catholicism portrays different aspects of that God in such characters as the virgin Mary, each of the saints, even the various renderings of Jesus.
From the point of view of a Christian, the danger in spreading atheism is that many souls will be led away from God. Why do that? God wants people to come to Him, not reject Him.
If god wants to win souls, demonstrating that he exists would be a good start. Proof would also be an adequate follow up. Otherwise, why believe in something for no reason?
I believe that God reveals Himself in many ways; but people choose not to see Him.
Ok. Can you demonstrate that? You can believe whatever you like, but I can equally say that another gods followers say the same thing, and you don't buy that.
It might be the most difficult thing for you to do: question whether what you have been taught and what you believe might be questionable!
I can't reveal God to you; only He can reveal Himself. It's just something you feel in your heart. You have to change your perspective--that of an Atheist.
No I don't have to. You make your choice. I make mine.
I am not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, only asking that you don't think you have to load yours on to me. Because that is a common presumption on the part of evangelical christians.
And I call that arrogant.
For me, there is no judgmental god, one that cannot be seen, only imagined.
Humans do the judging, and we all do it pretty badly in most cases.
Christians only want to spread the good news about Jesus, it is not arrogance, it's love. We want you to be apart of something that is great. Y'all take it the wrong way.
Maybe it's not the way we take it (since we don't take it at all) but the way is continually presented after we've already said no. Repeating the sane message over and over again is tedious, especially when you've heard it, argued it, etc. Would you like it is every time you turned around someone was trying to convert you to Islam? Would you find that to be an act of love?
Considering what awaits a non-believer, I would consider it to be an act of love.
Do you know what awaits non believers of Islam? Are you afraid of it? Why not? When you understand your answer to that question, you will understand why I'm not afraid of your version either.
Lybrah,your opinion and your attitude is all based upon what you believe. You can say you "know it," but that is only to the point at which it satisfies your understanding.
You do not, and you cannot, know what is best for me, whether it be to do with my physical needs, mental needs, spiritual needs. There is no "god" that makes judgment upon me, here or after my death. You may continue to "believe" there is, and you can continue to believe it, but you have no right poking your nose into my life unless, either I ask you to or, if you found me on the street in need of care and unable to speak for myself then, of course, I would be most grateful for help. I would do the same for you, regardless of whatever we disagreed about.
Even to enter into a "prayer" on my behalf would be presumptuous of you, and interfering i my life.
The best you can do, if you want to "do the work of your Lord," is ask people if they would like you to be involved. If they say Yes, then do as they wish. If they say No, then walk away and give them your blessing.... freely, unconditionally.
Stop worrying what will happen to them after their death. You don't know what it will be. I know there will be nothing of me after my death, so now, in this life, is the important thing to contend with.
No, we are not taking it the wrong way, your words are ample proof of that. It's all about what YOU want for us and not about what we want for ourselves. That's not love by any stretch of the imagination, that's pure selfishness.
Fair enough, and when God actually does reveal himself to all of us, we can change our perspective then. Until then, we are free to have a perspective void of any gods, all of them, including yours.
That's just an excuse. If God reveals Himself, we certainly do want to see Him. Of course, you're free to show us where God has revealed Himself to the masses?
In the form of evidence and observation of aftereffects. Ever have your cable go out and your TV received only static? You've just observed a piece of the evidence.
That method (that you've just mentioned) may apply to prove many other 'things'.
So what? What does that have to do with you? People are free to do what they want, yes? Are you free to believe in your God? Do you want those freedoms taken away from you?
This conversation topic is by its nature very inflamatory.
The opposite question of whether religion is detrimental to our society seems equally valid.
...why do we have religion? Why is religion bad when all it tries to do is bring peace, joy and love? Why do people think that life without God is so great? It is very dangerous to live your life without knowing God and that's why atheism is potentially dangerous. To lose consciousness of God is not recommended for anyone,
I suggest the answer to this question, Kathryn, is that the world is full of variety, full of contrasts.
Some people can't help but have beliefs in something outside of themselves. It's inherent in their nature. Others, like myself, take a step out of the usual thinking mold and find other ways of viewing the world. I guess it does not have to be a situation where we all agree about everything in unison.
If there is a "god" as you believe, and there are some like myself who don't believe, does that negate the existence of the god you believe in? No, of course it doesn't. If there is a god and when you die you are totally without any consciousness at all, you will not be in a position to know there is no god. So, being none the wiser, there will nothing for you to be worried about.... total Nirvana.
I will never convince you of my thinking, and visa versa. The non-acceptance of either view does not have the power to change it. So we can continue to respect the "what if" questions and turn our backs if we don't even want to pursue the idea.
@oceans "I say this because atheism as a view is connected inherently with a materialist viewpoint. On that view, anything goes really, anything one wants or deems right at the current time."
That is the most outrageous statement I have ever seen you write, Oceans! It is totally discriminatory, making the presumption that a person is more sinful, less moral, just because he or she is a non-believer.
It is a false view, it's judgmental, it's elitist, and I suggest you get out of that mode of thinking. It is totally unhelpful, because it sets you against me and every other person who does not accept the premise that a god exists in reality. Mostly you come over here as a kindly person, who thinks things through carefully. I don't think you have done so here.
If you consider your view to be "christian," i.e., something your Jesus would approve of, then this is one more reason I could never re-enter the christian church.
Oh Jonny! Ugh... I don't like that what I said upset you to the degree it seems to have done. I did delete the comment while I could, in case I might have not been the most clear minded at that moment, but in looking it over I had a couple of things to say. First, the hard part of what I said is explained in the greater part of my post. Its not an easy thing to discuss for sure. Do you want to discuss the reasons I said that more deeply? I ask this because I think your response seems to fit what I said, but might have been a knee jerk response in part. Please let me explain...
I am not saying that all atheists are capable of doing that kind of thing, and actually quite the contrary. (like the mass murdering regimes... as the most extreme example I can think of...) I think its the WHY behind these things, that I am getting at. Do you want to discuss the particulars to see if I am being as out of line and extreme, even unkind as you are making me out to be? This isn't necessarily a Christian viewl, but I think one that logically follows. For instance, if I am truly and actually wrong, what morality could anyone force onto another atheist if the atheist had power to shut down that said morality? There would have to be one.
I also said I am speaking of views here, and my idea I am trying to get across is that each of us holds a view that supports the world and reality we are part of or not. If it is wrong to mass murder even, then on a materialist viewpoint who says so? What if that person thought they were being most moral to do so? You know what got me thinking about all this in part? The parallel thread about religion going on, and some of the very very scary responses even on the first page. If you look at history, what I am saying is actually NOT so crazy, but it IS abhorrent, and I am trying to get to the "why." A lot would explain possible things going on in a mass murderers mind, but a morality that is outside of ourselves isn't going to be one of them, and not because I say so, but because it is logically impossible on the view alone, that upholds a materialistic, relativistic, and atheistic idea. If I am wrong, then what morality could say they were wrong in doing what they thought was right? We would have to be able to point to one, wouldn't we? Our society might be an answer, but if the power in charge in the examples I am speaking of, had no societal power over the person/group in charge. They had free reign to do what they were doing. Can it be reasoned to such a person that they "ought to not do that?" If so, what is the basis?
I have seen others share a similar view to mine. Its about accounting for what we know very deeply is true. I think all of us ARE moral creatures, and most listen to that morality. If we are about to say another is wrong in anything, like you are with me even, on what basis do you say so? Wouldn't it be just a preference really? Do we prefer that people don't kill others? Rather, we KNOW it is wrong to do so. I am not saying anyone is less moral or more sinful,
Please forgive my effort to get people to consider if their views can support what they say they support. This is actually what I would hope others would do with me as well, which I think is part of your response there. Encouraging me to ditch the view I shared about things like I did. I see how it can be upsetting now that I look more closely, and for that I am sorry, but I am not sorry for hoping to get us all to think more deeply about each of our views. While this seemed out of character for me, is it possible i AM still thinking, but broaching just an uncomfortable topic? On another day, many atheists would be happy to agree that if worded different, they don't want any outside morality telling them what they ought to or ought not to do? I like you a lot Jonny, and not happy you are not happy with me. What do you want to do, can we discuss parts you disagree with? You are one of my favorite atheists.
Oceans, sorry for taking so long to reply to yours. I was so busy yesterday and only found time to offer short replies to a couple of other posts. Yours is more searching and needed more consideration, so I have got out of bed at 4.30am whilst it is still quiet.
I return the compliment. You are a reasonable and approachable person, and I like your style of joining debate, even when I may not agree with your opinions. So, please don't fret. There is nothing bad in disagreeing and then sorting through to find agreement. And I am not going to desert in the face of difficulty.
There is a tendency in me, as with others, to label people into groups that I can address and with whom I can set up a dislike battle. Later in this thread I took up against "right wing believers," because it's easy to group and lay the blame. This is not the best way forward and I apologise.
However, that need to confront and fight comes from my fear. I am afraid for my own skin, my own freedom to live my life without hindrance from fanatical bullies. When anyone presumes that, because I am of an atheist mind I consequently must be seen as less than moral, this is a threat to me. When anyone presumes that because I am homosexual in my orientation then I am a danger to anyone else, in particular children, this is also a threat to me and my freedom. In each of these cases the presumptions are based upon ignorance, innuendo, unsubstantiated beliefs and superstitions. When a group of people come together to condemn me based upon their ignorance, then my life is, literally, in danger. There are many countries in this world where I would, truly, be in danger.
I have seen people say that in christian societies you don't get people being put to death for such leanings as you see in myself. Yet to cast out any person, especially a young woman or man from the family is a shockingly cruel thing to do, especially if it is based upon an innate aspect of the person's nature. In the natural order of other gregarious animals, to be ostracized and rejected from the herd is often a death sentence, deprived of community protection and sufficient food to survive. The same can happen in human communities.
Can you see that my concerns about false labeling are real and need to be addressed?
Atheist does not equal immoral. Christian does not equal moral. Atheist does not equal complacency. Christian does not equal responsible. Homosexual does not equal a danger to children. Christian does not equal totally safe for children.
The opposite can apply in each of the above equations. We are all a mixture of the same ingredients in the pie. Just different proportions, that's all. Believers, non-believers, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, we are all human with the same fears. And I say, it is the fears which lead us to knee-jerk reactions against bullying.
I have said enough. Responses please, but hopefully well considered responses, not just knee-jerk reactions.
Jonny, my delay took even longer, so I hope you will understand, and thank you for what you say here. I understand what you are saying, I really think I do. A lot of us respond out of fear. I hope that what I share here can at least relieve some of the ideas that seem to result from what you take my views to mean, or entail. I can't speak for others, but I can definitely speak for my own views.
My views, can't harm you in any way. Its part of one of the reasons I choose the view I do. I know you and others may disagree, but I think it is the path to actually the most freedom for all people for all time. Not taking it from anyone. The reasons why are more detailed, but I am sharing this part in a bottom line kind of way. You won't or wouldn't ever be harmed BY my views, or someone like me holding them. It wouldn't be logical, or something that followed from them.
So if your life were ever literally be in danger, it wouldn't be in line with my personally held and chosen view. Its a bit tricky in these settings because the things being discussed are front and center, and in a sense being asked to be discussed. So they are. As for hatred, ostracizing, hurting others in any way, I am against that. I don't see the benefit, and can see the harm. I think all of us are adults, and with that comes trust that each person actually has weighed out their decisions enough to be at peace with them. IF they want to discuss, then discuss we may.... but other than that, what is the point of being hateful, mean, cruel, punishing..etc?
I say this a lot, but life is precious, going by quickly. I hope everyone in these forums are here because they are thoughtful people. That whatever side of the debate they are on, they are caring about and thinking hard about all the things we discuss. We are drawn here for a reason I think. I don't think its a mistake. Its neat to meet others along the way like yourself. For that, I am so glad.
Please understand I am not speaking about people, but a view in that prior comment, and that is a tough thing, but I make a habit of putting all views to a test, and what comes with them. I am not interested in false labeling or hurting anyone, thus the time to think and regroup. I don't have the view that atheism equals immoral, nor that Christian equals moral, and the rest, etc. I hope this matters to you.
I am against bullying, and that would include the killing of others some have brought up in the thread over time and for whatever reason. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, and thank you for your patience, and if you remember what we were even talking about. My life has been crazy busy here, but I wanted to respond while I still had it in my mind to do so. Hope you are doing well. Thank you again.
Atheism, as is theism, is a product of the human mind. All that is and all that is imagined is defined by the human mind to accommodate the needs of that mind. By it self Atheism is. perhaps, the most reasoned approach and understanding of what is the universe, what came before, after and outside.
We define existence and as we evolve in understanding, as a child evolves to an adult, our knowledge base grows and, as we once believed in the omnipotence of our parents, we must know believe in us.
We are inherently a pack animal and all such packs have an alpha male and it is this submissive position by the rest of the pack that leads to an unpleasant society. This is theism and too, Atheism, as its history shows evolves into a totalitarian society, as theism into a theocracy.
I would assert that Atheism is the cornerstone of the American Bill of Rights, as this document is absent any purported theistic principle. It provides for independent thought and action, a freedom to achieve and the freedom to fail.
Atheistic thought is the only positive future of humanity as it is the only philosophy that endears the true uniqueness and importance of the human mind, save the weakness of the pack to be saved from themselves.
Atheism is not a cause to kill for, while theism has been used as such for centuries. I would assume it only logical that at the very least, people would not think atheism is detrimental to society. I have yet to see anyone present a valid argument as to how it could be. I wonder if anyone will try it with you.
Religion is what's detrimental to society. For examples, look no further than Europe between 450 AD and 1500 AD. If that's not enough, check out the vast majority of the Middle East ever since the 1600s AD. Or hell, Israel and Palestine since forever.
Why didn't you mention the present-day European Union?
EXCELLENT point made. In Dark Age Europe, when Christianity took over, civlization regressed in many instances. Sex and sexuality was seen as debased, only delegated for procreative purposes. The body and physicality was viewed as sinful and to be "holy" meant to denigrate physical needs. Anything that was not religious was considered to be inconsequential. In the Renaissance humankind became more enlightened and started to see religion as imprisoning, as a result, culture and civilization began to blossom again.
And I could easily point to the Soviet Union, atheist-communist China during their purges, or any other regime of that sort. Each of which killed more people than all of those who died in the incident you are mentioning.
The truth or falsehood of a philosophy or idea is not based on the behavior of its adherents. To suggest that Christianity can be refuted because some Christians didn't live up to the Christian ethic is fallacious, and opens up the example I mentioned above.
What is also worth noting, the wide and vast majority of these enlightenment and renaissance thinkers were still theists, not atheists, so how exactly can we point to secularization as the factor that transformed that time period?
Blind following of religious traditions without understanding the principles behind the texts/rules is what hurts society. But I see that you already agree with this as you recognise the Middle East did not experience a decline in scientific learnings until they adopted the worshipping of traditions (around 1600AD), since Islam itself reached Arabia around 600AD (roughly).
I've stated this earlier - and would state this again - atheism is not advisable. It's actually more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
How is atheism more dangerous than smoking cigarette? Headly stated atheists are like cancer which needs to be radiated out. How is Atheism dangerous to you?
Follow the life of an atheist. Observe it yourself.
I'm living the life of an atheist. What's your point and you didn't answer my question.
Once you're inside the matrix - everything that the matrix offers you - feels real. Everything that exists outside of the matrix - would feel unreal.
One must - at least once - get out of it just to experiment if alternative realities exist.
Atheism (the current version of it) filters out a lot of material out of life. It's unhealthy and inadvisable.
So is making nasty assumptions about people and being judgmental.
And, you're free not to follow atheism just as we are free not to follow Christianity.
But, it would appear by the design of this thread (which is pure hate speech) that you don't want others to have the same freedom as you.
I seriously doubt you or any other Christian does not practice something that isn't unhealthy or inadvisable.
Sorry, I'll go with reality. You can live in a fantasy world if you like.
I would have to respectfully disagree. Atheism as a philosophy is just an idea, inert until wielded by the individual. Only the individuals actions can be evil or good based on how they conform with Gods will.
I would say that atheist (and the philosophical naturalism that animates it) are ideas that one has to "presume" rather than discover. As a Christian who used to be an atheist- atheism is mentally stagnating (especially the brand espoused by the "New Atheists"). But the philosophy isn't "bad" itself.
Exactly how is Atheism more dangerous and I would have to assume that you speak to more than cigarettes. To assert that The Bill of Rights is predicated on Atheistic thought, is not unrealistic; how is that bad?
The framers of the constitution advocated the belief in God for our free society. They knew it would be vital for the populace to be on the same page as far as a moral code of conduct and basis for law and even custom. If atheists live by the same morals and customs, all is well. It is postulated by the atheists that a sense of decent morals is inbuilt within natural man. Common sense does provide the same morals as religious morals, after all.
However, for them to tear down nativity scenes and the pictures of Jesus from public schools which so choose to have them, is not complying with harmless and beloved customs. To remove the word "God" from of the pledge of allegiance, to erase "In God We Trust" from our currency, to deny prayer when it is called for in public schools or to disallow graduation speeches which mention God, atheists are behaving in a detrimental way to American society, which traditionally has been predominantly Judea/Christian.
When they attempt to remove rights and deny freedoms, they are detrimental.
The framers of the constitution advocated the belief in God for our free society. They knew it would be vital for the populace to be on the same page as far as a moral code of conduct and basis for law and even custom. If atheists live by the same morals and customs, all is well. It is postulated by the atheists that a sense of decent morals is inbuilt within natural man. Common sense does provide the same morals as religious morals, after all.
However, for them to tear down nativity scenes and the pictures of Jesus from public schools which so choose to have them, is not complying with harmless and beloved customs. To remove the word "God" from of the pledge of allegiance, to erase "In God We Trust" from our currency, to deny prayer when it is called for in public schools or to disallow graduation speeches which mention God, atheists are behaving in a detrimental way to American society, which traditionally has been predominantly Judea/Christian.
When they attempt to remove rights and deny freedoms, they are detrimental.
Bill of Rights, is of what I speak and of these, as you will note, there is an absence of theistic dogma. Freedom of speech, religion etc. are contradictions to the advocacy of theistic 'morality or dogma'. These 'Rights' are free from and again a contradiction to religious teachings and to the point, what is commanded, as 'righteous and moral conduct, in something called, The Ten Commandments. Freedom of religion, which I endorse, cannot exist unless there is first a freedom from religion. This means that you cannot force me, by any means, to be a Muslim, nor can I force you to be Atheistic. As a tax payer, under your premise, I should be compelled to assist you in your belief, for schools or other tax payer funded establishments. This is not freedom of religion, but a mandate by government to support your belief, your religion. It is than a government endorsement of a religious belief. For private property, do as you will. It is not my business and no measure should be taken to prevent you from exercising your belief.
If you agree that the government can tell a private company to install handicapped parking, prevent smoking and pay a certain wage, then most certainly you should have no objection to the government telling you that you cannot place religious symbols on your property. Is this not the same thing? Private property is now by the definition of the State.
There were many attempts to insert Christian dogma into the Constitution and all were rebuffed. The most popular was Jefferson's letter to the Bishops of Danbury Connecticut.
Please tell me how one removes a god? For The Pledge, that the word god is removed, does your god cease to exist?
That you accuse Atheists of detrimental conduct; if the Constitution were removed America would be a theocracy.
I have to agree however, that a war on Christianity and Judaism is under way, but it is not Atheism that you need to worry about. Concern yourself with the endearment of Islam by the government and a looming secular theism. Such is the creation of an omnipotent government, as in Marxist Socialism. Atheism is a reasoned refutation of deities, of the spiritual or Man centered kind.
I do not deny the existence of spiritual deities. I do not possess universal intelligence. I am not the fool to say categorically there is not. It is not reasonable. Is he the fool to categorically say that gods exist, when he too, suffers from a lack of universal intelligence? My decision to embrace Atheism is a knowledge of theism. It is a reasoned choice, not a choice based upon emotion, fears, or generational teachings.
Christianity is dying, as too, Judaism. This is regrettable for many reasons.
I do hope you realize that "In God We Trust" was not originally on american currency, and "Under God" was not part of the pledge of allegiance initially either.
About prayer in schools, and this is where common sense should kick in mind you, if you think kids in school have the right to pray/learn about god, then you also think that kids should have the right to pray to any and all other gods that you don't believe in...right? You would have absolutely no problem with a kid praying to Allah or whatever other names people have for "god" right alongside the kids praying to your specific god, correct? Taking into account that you can get decked in the face for looking at people wrong while walking the hallways, I can't possibly imagine how that could go wrong at all.
If you think keeping religion out of public schools is some atheistic plot to derail religion as a whole, you are certifiably insane. Its sad how I have to clarify this in order to avoid the no explanation ban hammer, but that was not an insult rather than a fact if that is what you truly believe.
These are American customs which the atheists are trying to derail, not religion. We are not a muslim nation, but Allah is God too..
No, they're not. They're Christians customs/icons, pushed onto a gullible public happy to force their religion onto everyone in the country, just a few years ago. During my lifetime, in fact.
They are NOT American customs.
Yes, they are... because this is a traditionally Christian nation founded by Christian /Judea God believing folks… in fact, without the push to get their butts somewhere where they could practice their worship of God in the way they wanted to, they might not have come over here at all! We are not a nation founded by Atheists!
We weren't founded by Christians, either - at least not what we would call Christian today.
Jamestown was half penal and half trading - no Christians at all. The Puritans were so far to the right they probably would not be considered Christians today. Some of the "founding fathers" were, some were not. Some were Deists, but not Christian and if it were possible to declare atheism back then and survive the experience I suspect we'd find many more atheists. African slaves, of course, were not Christian when brought over and very few Chinese were, either.
We've been a melting pot right from the beginning, in both nationalities and beliefs.
Wishful thinking. Not accurate. I am talking about belief in God. Africans took to Christianity quite easily. Why? Because they traditionally had an affinity to the spiritual world. Buddhists believe in God within and without. Chinese had very strong beliefs in spiritual matters as well. The belief in God is so wide spread. You really think prisoners in the penal colony had no belief in God? They probably had just forgotten God in their desperate lives in which they were unfortunate and destitute, or had become drunkards and were generally so unlucky, they had to take drastic measures in order to survive.
To be continued.
Kathryn, what are you afraid of? If you allow persons like myself to choose not to accept the existence of "God," does that in any way negate your belief for yourself? I.e., your personal belief can be ok for you, and others like yourself who choose to believe. My non-belief is ok for myself. Can we not exist happily side-by-side, each having our own belief? Why should my choice affect yours and vise versa?
Christianity is not the only religion in the United States of America. Do you maintain that it must, ultimately, be the only religion? Must everyone accept the existence of a judgmental god? Can you allow people to live by their Muslim faith? Can you allow a person practising Buddhism to do so without requiring that he/she be encourage to take on christianity?
There is no way I will go back to the beliefs I held up to 30 years ago. I found so much controversy and so much religiosity/superstition/rhetoric/hypocrisy in the followers of christianity, that I walked away from it and have found so much more enlightening knowledge outside of the christian church that it leaves me cold to take on the dogma ever again.
Thus, anyone hoping and praying that jonnycomelately will be converted to anything in christianity is simply wishful thinking, without consideration of my personal feelings.
You said: "Christianity is not the only religion in the United States of America. Do you maintain that it must, ultimately, be the only religion? Must everyone accept the existence of a judgmental god? Can you allow people to live by their Muslim faith? Can you allow a person practising Buddhism to do so without requiring that he/she be encourage to take on christianity?"
Don't you know that I totally agree with this? I am not advocating Christianity. I am advocating belief in God!
I am not afraid of anything. What are YOU afraid of? I am discussing my opinion regarding whether or not Atheism is detrimental to society. My answer is Yes, IF it tries to negate or justifies erasing customs and traditions already established and already RIGHTFULLY in place. Are you saying I should not be expressing my opinion just because YOU do not happen to like it?
Q. Do you think it is fair if Atheists remove well-founded and beloved customs in America?
Nativity scenes, images of Mary, pictures of Jesus, graduation speeches referencing God and His blessings, etc. have become absolutely taboo.
I think it is really really PATHETIC that public schools no longer coordinate the winter and spring breaks with the holidays of Christmas and Easter. The magic of life is much diminished in the public school for students and staff... as most there sense but can't quite put their finger on it...
In the context of your Q/last paragraph here, I am much more with you. In fact I had not realised such a situation was happening there in the USA. I am aware of similar stories coming out of Britain. Apparently the christian festivals are becoming very limited because people are trying to be politically correct in regard to Islam. I feel this is retrogressive, regardless of my non-belief in the religious aspects.
How do you encourage the mystery, the glitter, the fun of festivals such as christmas without upholding the religion? How, in the United Kingdom, does one keep the excitement of Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes) alive on November 5, without upholding the grotesque treatment of that man and his henchmen following their trial - hung drawn and quartered?! Is there such a wide mixing of cultural traditions in the modern world that we are all losing sight of our identity. This itself can bring about instability.
There is so much change taking place in our society (societies) that this is causing us a lot of stress and anxiety. It has been said that we need an entity outside of ourselves, a Higher Power, to keep us focused. If that is a "Divine Consciousness," a "God," the "Self," whatever.... fine. No problems with that. But using that Higher Power to impose authority is not acceptable in my eyes.
I am not, therefore, entirely against everything you have written as you can see. Just that I don't like to be tied into a belief system. My freedom to choose is paramount. Maybe I must extend that to yourself and others much more.
NO ONE can tie anyone into a belief system. Some folks SEEM to try. They ARE irritating… but mostly they are just really convinced that their belief system will help others and/or they like to share the good news. It is as simple as that.
We have freedom of Religion. And NO ONE says you MUST have a religion!!!!. After all, we are over 15, and citizens of a free country. We make up our own minds. After 15 not even our parents can control our minds. Only ourselves...
As Far As I Know!
So glad to know you are not advocating Christianity. You have probably indicated this previously but I had forgotten or it had slipped past my noticing.
Actually Krishna helps explain Jesus just fine.
Absolutely. I see Jesus' expression "I am the way" as the very same as the Buddha's Way. Any and every enlightened person will understand this, and if any so-called enlightened person said he or she was exclusively the incarnation of God, then that would negate their claim.
The christian religion, as I understand it, (and am open to correction), has tended to declare God as exclusive and only approachable by select and elite persons. It separates and segregates. Whereas the eastern religions have portrayed integration, oneness, uplifting union.
How blind are you? How on earth can it be "American" customs when "God" was nowhere to be seen on our currency and pledge of allegiance up until just a few decades ago? That is a very clear Christian custom, and for a country that is a melting pot of any and all kinds of people who follow hundreds of different religions, it is a very oppressing custom at that.
I sincerely hope there is some hidden meaning Prodio is trying to get across with that comment that is flying over my head, since I cannot imagine anyone insane enough to actually believe that literally.
I did not mention Christianity! I mentioned observing God in nature!
I thought this was a rather profound statement I made:
"...God is not an abstract concept. God is a concrete reality "
You either respect the rights of people to make up their own mind about this or you don't--which leads pretty much inevitably to forcing people to live in ways that are not true to their own conscience.
Yes, I agree. Belief in God is a personal matter.
However, Spreading Atheism is not good for society.
You are saying "it is a personal choice but you are wrong in a way that harms humanity"
That means you don't respect my choices at all and think I am objectively bad. I don't respect your choice to consider me a bad person who is doing bad things in the world. I know that is not true.
If you are not for shutting down the belief in God, you should not take offense. I am just exploring a Godless society. China is one. Well, the leaders tried to make it so.
Unsupported opinions, particularly when false to reality, are rarely considered to be "profound"...
People looking for supremacy and world domination - might have a look at Germany, Japan, Norway, or even Switzerland.
They are some of the most spiritual nations I've even seen. Not saying the quality of their lives..
Acknowledging the REALITY of our immortality is very important.
...expecting eventual darkness and nothingness after death is detrimental. People must know the entire reality. Our lives are so short. What is to prevent hedonism?
What is to prevent drug use?
What is to prevent suicide?
What is to prevent wasting the precious days we have on earth?
Even if we are, as some think, electricity running through our nervous system - agreeing with the *law* of conservation of energy - it is still, kind of, immortal.
Though I don't think that this is the case. Electricity can not be self-conscious.
If electricity is self-conscious - then - of what material - exactly - is that self-consciousness composed of?
So you assume atheists are hedonistic, drug using, suicidal wastrels?
I mean that honestly. Why would you think people who don't happen to believe in God would not be good and responsible? Why would we not be able to see that hurting other people or ourselves is wrong? What would thinking this life is all we have make us less aware that it is precious and short? I don't understand.
I feel like you are saying you basically think I am scum because I happen to be athiest and that makes me sad, because I certainly do not feel that way about you.
That is quite like saying that color-blindness poses no risk while one is driving a car.
No, it is like refusing to say having delusions is a risk when driving a car. So long as they are not the kind of delusion that interferes with car driving. That is what I, out of respect, do for you.
Just because you can't imagine nonexistence doesn't mean you get to live forever. Sorry to break it to you.
I've heard that the hedonistic, suicidal, deadbeat, drug addicted Buddhist gangs are a force to be reckoned with.
Then maybe they are not following the precepts of Buddhism and perhaps they do not believe in God, which I don't think Buddha really deals directly with. They may not want to follow the precepts of Buddha without a true means of knowing Spirit within AND without. Just guessing. Not totally up on Buddhism.
Buddhism is an atheistic religion. I'm sure you could find one or two that believe in God somewhere, but as a whole, yeah... they don't.
Not really correct. Nowhere - Gautama Buddha denied the possibility of existence of a Creator God. He might have said that he was not sure whether God exists or not.
Atheism is the lack of belief in a God... so yes, since Buddhists lack the belief in a God they are atheistic.
So you just made the word up on the spot? That's amazing! It's a real word, and almost relevant to boot.
That's incredible! Kudos.
Certainly there is no difference between atheism and agnosticism.
There is apparently no difference between - "it can never exist" - and "I'm not sure, it might exist.".
Maybe you should read that again. That's not at all what it says. Oh, you didn't read it at all did you? You just thought you knew what it was going to say so that's what you guessed.
I might not know what bill passes, and how, at the senate. But it does affect the way my boss runs his office. Buddhism stands on the foundation of, to say, a sort of universal spirituality (some basic principles that almost all human beings would agree with). Where does this spirituality come from?
They didn't find the ways to reach the Creator God - that's another thing.
Oh, there are basic principles that all humans would agree with? Name one.
Luckily, I have you to teach me.
So, I asked the question... what is your answer? Or do you not have one?
"Buddhism stands on the foundation of, to say, a sort of universal spirituality (some basic principles that almost all human beings would agree with)."
The Eight Fold Path of Buddhism. See below, Melissa.
You are calling atheists bad people. You expect us to think that is okay?
I would never do that to any group of people just for what they believe. It is prejudice. It is not something a civil society should accept. We have to let people think whatever they want and condemn only actually causing harm.
Not believing in God does not harm me. Me being openly atheist does not harm other people. I am not and will not be ashamed of who I am.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about atheists. I was one. I am talking about spreading atheism. or rather insisting there is no God just because the force of God is not easily recognized. Well, to many it is easily recognized and even directly perceived!
Without comprehending our life beyond the physical plane, life on the physical plane makes little sense. What is to prevent us from killing ourselves when we feel like doing so? What is to prevent us from just wallowing away in an opium fog? What is to prevent us from becoming selfish and blindly ambitious?
What is to prevent us from just wasting our precious few days, months, years on earth?
The fact that I am a kind and empathetic person who loves my family, community, race and planet, abhors all suffering and wants all sentient beings to be happy.
You have yet to explain why your would assume otherwise. I really am sad that you assume me to be so horrible just because I am not Christian.
I have had enough negatively for one day and will go hug my dog. Gotta love dogs. They don't judge.
That's not a nice way of talking. Sometimes, it might demonstrate the symptoms of lacking spirituality in real-time.
What about a mother who raises her children with no sense of spiritual reality. We are not discussing you, an atheist!
We are discussing the willful shutting down of the belief in God and the consequences of doing so in society as a whole!
God is a reality to be explored, not a concept to be shut down.
A mother who raises her children without exposure to religion is doing them the favor of not indoctrinating them. It really is a favor.
Same thing as soon as you start "teaching" it.
I do not agree and either does Dr. Montessori. She discovered that children have a natural propensity for understanding/knowing God. It is very helpful to bring God into their lives. God loves them. Why not?
If God wants to be in their lives, then he can bring himself.
The second that anyone else brings God into their lives, they are forcing their own views upon the child. Children don't know God any more than they inherently know geography. The only definition that anyone has of God to pass on is the one they have in their own head. By giving them this definition when they are young, the opportunity to form their own faith is being taken from them.
It's about reality and not faith. The contention is: God is a reality.
If you can find one undisputable fact about God then you will be teaching children FACT. If not, then you are teaching children your opinions. That then limits their ability to find their own faith.
That's why their aren't that many Christian children in Saudi Arabia. That's why there aren't that many Hindu children in the US. Their environment means that they will most likely be indoctrinated into the religion that exists around them. Thus removing their chance to think for themselves. They will always be biased by how their "teacher" taught them.
So yes, it is a favor to let them reach the age of maturity and choose for themselves... you know, since faith or lack thereof is a pretty big part of a person's life.
You are correct. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Religion (if not properly processed) might be as bad as atheism is. And the task of a good parent is to keep in check that the child is not getting - so to speak - infected with malicious beliefs.
Yes. If you study Montessori you clearly realize she was not for indoctrination of any kind.
Yes, that's why religion shouldn't be "TAUGHT" to them by anybody. When they reach adulthood, they can find their truth themselves. Just like you don't pick out a spouse for a child, you shouldn't pick their religion/faith/spirituality either.
I must inform them which side of the road is allowed for driving.
It's my responsibility to inform. After that - it's up to them what they choose or do not.
No, it's not, actually. It's your responsibility to let them choose their own path without influence.
Thank you Melissa, if parents force their faith upon their children, they will either reluctantly accept the faith, outwardly going through the motions, actually not being true adherents to this faith or they will out and out rebel. I have witnessed both. There are people whose parents forced religion upon them and they still outwardly adhere to the faith, going through the motions. There were also others who rebelled. Let children decide for themselves, it is more authentic that way. However, there are few parents enlightened enough to let their children decided their own particular religious/spiritual path. Most parents contend that it is BEST that children be brought up in a religion. They contend that not to do so would be morally wrong.
On that point - right now - both of us can not be anything but arbitrary.
But - what we are proposing - is this:
God is a reality, and not an imaginary conception, a belief. It's existence is as much a reality as the existence of material reality is.
You need proof? Want to see it yourself?
-We need an update. We are working to fix this whole issue, and make God available to everyone, as a reality. Human spirituality is overdue a major update.
The funny thing is… roll the drums… Jesus has the answer! 2,000 years ago he came with the answer and we have yet to understand what in the world what he was saying!!!! He does need to return to explain himself!!!! Meanwhile, we can read what he said. The NT works, (that remain,) are real and true documents. They are really the only proof we have of God's reality in the western world. The East has Krishna and we have Jesus. Of course, the East could have Jesus and we could have Krishna... for the asking. Both together are the best.
- this is a profound statement which is totally worth repeating. May I Prodio? I am quite sure he would not mind:
"God is a reality, and not an imaginary conception, a belief. It's existence is as much a reality as the existence of material reality is."
The majority of people in the world agree with this statement with a natural sense of understanding REALITY. It is not fantasy. It is not boring. Reality is anything but boring. Look around you. Feel within you. It as all God. it is all REAL.
Defining reality is as difficult as defining a color. I can't define the color brown - to you. I can show it.
Very nicely stated. We can, however, determine by which SENSE brown is perceived.
In that context, how is reality perceived by you?
Just a side note, brown is defined everyday. Humans have had to define it quite succinctly to computers. As such it is completely reproducible. Before that, dye makers defined it. Crayon Makers defined it. Paint makers defined it. Webster defined it.
It exists, is reproducible, and is perceivable to every human being whose vision is not damaged.
May I cut in?
The sixth sense, of course. But this sense is denied by others. Do not be fooled, the sixth sense is built within us, just as the others senses were. Believe it or not. One's own choice. just sharin'.
If we dream long enough - we might begin to consider that to be our reality.
No, The will is our reality and we must stay in touch with our will. Whatever serves to disrupt our connection to our will is detrimental to our sense of reality. Only when we have a sense of reality are we truly happy.
Just The Way I See It. ( But, based or very credible sources.)
A human body may have two healthy eyes - the eyes may be open - and we may move a color-slide before those eyes.
But if there is no self-consciousness present in that human body - then it can not perceive those colors.
To perceive reality - we need a (physical) human body - and self-consciousness.
Heck! We are actually self-consciousness!
It's true that we can reproduce color - up to an extent. But we can not create or define them.
It's just like that we may extract gold out of earth - mold it for our purposes - but we can not create the atoms and the specific atomic-structure - that constitute the metal that we call gold.
We might like to see ourselves if our body stops to produce that thing atomically- for - say - a month.
The body (no one knows - by the way - what created the first human body, and how) does that for you free of charge.
[just not saying how we can recreate teeth or eyesight (or other organs or functions) if we accidentally lose them]
Thanks for mentioning about coma, though. That was a nice plug in.
Then perhaps you should look into this evidence thing.
Yes, faith is described and defined in what we call a "dictionary". But, be careful, these books are dangerous in that they elucidate and educate.
Primal instincts telling us to survive and reproduce, as has been programmed into us by hundreds of millions of years of evolution.
Killing ourselves? Obviously goes against survival.
Wallowing in an opium fog? Wastes time that would otherwise be better spent reproducing.
Selfishness and blind ambition only stop working when you're a pack animal and your selfishness endangers the pack. Those traits are thus naturally kept in check, and benefits both survival and reproduction.
Wasting time? Obviously, that means less time for reproduction, so of course it's not viable.
Some do end up killing themselves. I could drag in stats but I don't want to know them.
Bring something fresh and creative. That one is outdated as ...
Sigmund Freud (German pronunciation: [ˈziːkmʊnt ˈfʁɔʏ̯t]; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis.
(As is often the result of concentrating upon the concept of one's life after death.)
Pondering the conundrum of existence shouldn't be considered a waste. Should it?
Sure, only if it takes takes up so much time in one's life that it leaves no time or thought for working at the practical details that can help to ensure survival.
It's a bit like burying your head in the sand, believing you are safe until someone kicks you up the posterior to convince you of reality.
A sense of personal responsibility maybe. Or just a love for life.
You don't need God to believe in yourself.
Most people have a sense that we will not die. Ever. And we can't.
Unless we deserve the "second death," as mentioned in the bible...
Whatever that is! Big question mark! And a scary one.
I'm HOPING there's oblivion when I die. I would hate to have to live forever. How boring.
Oblivion is not really death. I am talking second death… does that scare you
Not sure what a second death is. Is that a Christian thing?
It's only scary to people who believe in it enough to fear it. It's why we don't see Christians afraid of the many other incarnations of a "hell" concept in ancient greek, Roman or Muslim varieties - they don't believe those afterlife experiences truly exist, so they have no fear of them. Atheists typically don't hold a fear of hell under Christian beliefs either unless they were indoctrinated so severely to be fearful of the Christian hell that it continues to plague them even after they lose their faith.
I am trying to say that death does not exist. To advocate NOT believing in life after death is to rob others of the truth.
And therefore detrimental to society.
It may be true, but no one alive knows. You can believe in it, but that belief does not automatically translate to fact - you can't demonstrate it or prove it. If it's true, it's factual whether you believe it or not - but there is no reason to believe it's true unless you just like the idea and decide that it's true because it appeals to you.
It is true and society must plan their actions accordingly.
A mon Avis.
Same-O, Same-O we've all seen SO many times on these forums. A claim made contrary to observation, but an unwillingness/inability to back it up with evidence.
Some things are a GIVEN, wilderness! Spirit/Energy is not destroy-able ENERGY is SCIENTIFIC PROOF of God as SPIRIT!
A Mon Avis
Heat, light, electricity, electro magnetic waves… all invisible. And detectable.
Why can't we detect souls?
...very very subtle and fine vibration that we do not have the apparatus to detect.
There is Intuition of course, but you do not wish to discuss Same-O.
Take it or leave it.
Actually, very little in this world is a given. "Given's" from the past include flat earth and a sun travelling around it. It includes Thor and Poseidon and it includes an immaterial, invisible, undetectable "soul" that is postulated but has not been seen in thousands of years of searching. So no, a "soul" is NOT a "given", irregardless of how much you would like it to be there.
We can't detect something that isn't there...
Death does exist, and you have no way to prove that there is an afterlife.
Come on, Jane Six, you know spirit cannot be destroyed. You do seem grumpy today. Even though you took such a long break...
I am in a pretty good mood today, but thanks for your concern.
All I "know" is that there is no proof for any of that. I require proof now, I thought you realized that.
But the proof is staring you,( in particular,) in the face! The proof is all around us!!!
Not from what I can see. Order can come from chaos on it's own. No God needed.
Not saying God doesn't exist, but I can see that things can be explained with out God having to be involved.
If I "experience" God, I know it's time to get my meds checked.
You are an earth rider. Thats all I can say!
I think it means you are not in Planetary Orbit.
No. It refers to one who is riding one's planet as the planet revolves on its axis and orbits its star... as opposed to driving one's planet.
Its like surfing, Johnny…
Nope! Just hang ten!
Hanging Ten is a surfing maneuver and is considered one of the most impressive and iconic stunts one can perform with a surfboard. Hanging ten is when the surfer positions the surfboard in such a way that the back of it is covered by the wave and the wave rider is free to walk to the front of the board and hang all ten toes over the nose of the board. Usually this can only be done on a heavy longboard." Thesaurus
No analogy. Just pure info.
So you've suddenly become a Christian? Nothing wrong with that, I change religions all the time too.
I believe in the validity BEHIND all religions.
But you are quoting scripture as if it were true. Just trying to figure out where you're coming from.
All religions reveal truth in some way… not detectable by most people. why? because people tend to have limited understanding based on their use of intellectual abilities alone.
Is that why we also use telescopes? And geiger counters and neutrino detectors and microscopes and the Hadron Collider? Because simple intellect without observation is virtually useless?
I was talking about the use of intuition along with intellect. You did not compute, I guess.
As intuition is based on past experiences and old wives tales, and as neither our own past experience nor that of old wives includes seeing a spirit, it can be of no help here.
gosh |gäSH| exclaim.
used to express surprise or give emphasis:
Repeating from elsewhere: Intuition is a real ability and it is the most real-time of all abilities.
I am sorry and VERY surprised you don't acknowledge you have it, wilderness! It is the sixth sense which all people have. It can atrophy from disuse, however.
I absolutely have and use intuition (and even have a gosh, just not yours). I can, for instance, often "intuit" that an incorrect math answer is wrong; it just "feels" wrong, without any specifics.
I also hold it strictly in check, recognizing that it is unreliable and must be backed up by real evidence for any important decisions/conclusions.
But it is not a "sense" like the other 5; it is just the workings of intellect and memory, meshing together to come up with a likely answer based on history.
No, it is direct perception. You must give yourself this credit.
And, you do have full understanding of religious truth based on your use of your intellectual abilities?
Then why worry about something you aren't even sure of what it is? Cancer sounds scary, but I don't worry about getting it.
I worry about things that affect me directly.
This statement is my point in a nutshell:
God is a reality to be explored, not a concept to be shut down.
The Eight-Fold path of Buddhism
1. Complete or Perfect Vision, also translated as right view or understanding. Vision of the nature of reality and the path of transformation.
2. Perfected Emotion or Aspiration, also translated as right thought or attitude. Liberating emotional intelligence in your life and acting from love and compassion. An informed heart and feeling mind that are free to practice letting go.
3. Perfected or whole Speech. Also called right speech. Clear, truthful, uplifting and non-harmful communication.
4. Integral Action. Also called right action. An ethical foundation for life based on the principle of non-exploitation of oneself and others. The five precepts.
5. Proper Livelihood. Also called right livelihood. This is a livelihood based on correct action the ethical principal of non-exploitation. The basis of an Ideal society.
6. Complete or Full Effort, Energy or Vitality. Also called right effort or diligence. Consciously directing our life energy to the transformative path of creative and healing action that fosters wholeness. Conscious evolution.
7. Complete or Thorough Awareness. Also called "right mindfulness". Developing awareness, "if you hold yourself dear watch yourself well". Levels of Awareness and mindfulness - of things, oneself, feelings, thought, people and Reality.
8. Full, Integral or Holistic Samadhi. This is often translated as concentration, meditation, absorption or one-pointedness of mind. None of these translations is adequate. Samadhi literally means to be fixed, absorbed in or established at one point, thus the first level of meaning is concentration when the mind is fixed on a single object. The second level of meaning goes further and represents the establishment, not just of the mind, but also of the whole being in various levels or modes of consciousness and awareness. This is Samadhi in the sense of enlightenment or Buddhahood.
- John Allan
Not one mention of God that I could see, though. Are you sure that's what you were looking for?
oh, they were discussing Buddhism above. I wanted to prove that the precepts can be accepted by any spiritually striving person.
Buddhism stands on the foundation of, to say, a sort of universal spirituality (some basic principles that almost all human beings would agree with) and Melissa wanted him to name one.
I can't see how the senate affects my trash-collector's behavior, either.
Odd. I can. But as this part of the conversation was about whether or not Buddhism was an atheist religion,I thought I'd address that.
I'm sorry. Are you praying or expressing exasperation?
"Not one mention of God that I could see, though."
I am wondering if indoctrination is the thing we all fear the most? I am wondering if Atheism is merely a matter of throwing the baby, (God,) out with the bathwater, (indoctrination?)
I have a feeling we, here in this forum, may be on the same page more than we know!
In the case of children - religion is not advisable. We are engaged in a kind of (subtle) child abuse if we introduce children to any religion.
what about public school … never mind… I hope you will pick up Secret of Childhood and Absorbent Mind (which she wrote in India,) by Dr. Maria Montessori, Prodio. You would be very fascinated with her precepts and discoveries. She was first and foremost a scientist balanced with great love for children.
It is strictly inadvisable to introduce (good children) to the public school system.
It's advisable to home-school them.
God - if we can establish it as a reality - would be a different issue.
No, I disagree. Everything in life is about reality.
We may know that God is a reality - not everyone. They would like to see proof. Experience it in real-time.
Unless the parents share their truths and correct opinions, based on knowledge, the children may not know how to tap into it. We need to introduce…
How does a society socialize the reality of God into society? Well, this is getting complicated.
They don't. Faith is not a societal choice. It's a personal choice.
Children will go looking for answers when they have questions. Teach them how to use the library.
I would say it is a family choice. When they are older they can change if they want to.
If they talk about God - that's one thing. If they talk about Christian, or Muslim or another one God - that's another. In most of the cases - they tend to mix both of these (the God that religion offers - and the God that exists independent of religion).
The measure of benefit and harm would depend upon the ratio of the mixture.
That's not a clean process. But - as with the other aspects of this world - we have to accept it. And sometimes - it's better to have something than nothing.
Right now - in this world - though many people know that a Creator God exists - they can't prove it to others. God has not yet been established as a reality - like the Sun rising every morning or other obvious realities - in this world.
This weak spot keeps atheism alive. If we can somehow *show* that God indeed exists - that would instantly kill atheism. That's the difficult aspect of the enterprise.
No. A parent who witnesses the miracle of creation, ( the birth and being of his own child,) knows there is a God. The love in their hearts comes from God. It is more than they can explain. Where would we be without this Love / God?
Atheists love their children too. They can explain it quite nicely. Hell I can explain it without God. Do you need a link?
I do thank God for my children... however I can certainly conclude that the miracle of their birth and conception did not require his presence... and likely wouldn't have occurred if I actually believed he was standing at the foot of my bed.
He is in us, manifesting as us. He is not standing at the foot of the bed….
(well, maybe some angels are.) Jesus said, if your (third) eye is single you will perceive (intuit) your body to be light. That light is the Energy, Love, Consciousness of God. He is everything! We are a spark of all that He is. We are immortal. This needs to understood. It is a matter of understanding and not of indoctrination.
As time goes on more and more people will be on the same page.
I am not arguing. Just revealing possibilities.
Which part? Because if it's the "miracle" of the conception of my children, I don't think I'm the one who should be explaining that to you.
"Atheists love their children too. They can explain it quite nicely. Hell I can explain it without God. Do you need a link?"
Actually, it amounts to the same thing. The "miracle" of conception and childbirth is hardly a miracle. Anyone who has grown up on a farm understands that pretty early. As far as loving children, no God needs to be involved.
Biologically? Ocytocin. Evolutionary? Survival of one's genetic material. Societal? Protection of the young leads to continuation of the society. Psychologically? Bonding.
Plus babies are cute. I would have loved those little squirming pink poop factories regardless. By the time they weren't so cute, I had grown rather attached to them. They're hardly miracles though. Well, maybe one of them was... but that's a story for another day.
Please explain what you don't understand about it.
The theory of evolution seems to be a great artist.
[Just not saying that it creates all those supercomplex invisible bonds as well.]
Has this really become an argument of "can atheist love children"?!?
It was the next logical step after hedonism, suicide and drug use. I'm pretty sure world hunger, hemorrhoids and Justin Bieber are coming soon.
Indoctrination is indeed a fear. By saying that a God exists, then you are indoctrinating a child to an opinion. That opinion will brainwash them to believe something there is no proof that exists. When they go looking themselves they can find their own answers.
I totally agree. No child should be indoctrinated into a belief/faith. Let him/her study and explore many belief/faith systems, if he/she chooses. Better yet, let him assess and think about spiritual matters for himself/herself. So many people are in a religion because they were indoctrination into such as very young children. They are so ensconced in their particular faith that they could see anything else beyond that particular scope.
Certain truths need to be introduced at a young age or there may not be an inclination to search at all.
If they were really truths, then it wouldn't matter when they were introduced. Now, certain opinions don't withstand the scrutiny of adulthood without being brainwashed from birth. Kinda like Santa. A child will believe it, an adult rarely will. It's relying on the gullibility and naivety of children.
No. There is an absorbent period in childhood. It is the right, … duty! of the parent to introduce and impart firmly held correct opinions and knowledge. The child can give it up or not, his choice... after the age of 15. This is subtle and not worth arguing about. (It is mentioned in the bible as most know.)
Yes, the period when children believe the adults in their life unconditionally. Doesn't it seem kind of repugnant to take advantage of that? I mean you (universal) have this completely innocent trusting being and you are telling them things that are going to affect their whole life...
And you tell them your opinion as fact.
See, I think that's wrong. Always.
"Then, right opinion is not a whit inferior to knowledge, or less useful in action; nor is the man who has right opinion inferior to him who has knowledge? Socrates asks in Plato's Meno, a whole discussion on virtue. (They never figured out if virtue could actually be taught. But, according to GMA Grube in the Introduction of Plato's Meno: "true opinion or belief as a guide to right conduct is important in the Republic and other Platonic works." (390 BCE) So this topic has been been struggled over for centuries.
Of course it is inferior to knowledge: as it is nothing but opinion it cannot be considered truth when explaining it to others. No reasoning, questioning person will take it as true and is as likely to pass it off as simple imagination as anything.
Unsupported opinion is very difficult to pass on to other people, then, and to expect them to take it as true is nearly impossible.
Spreading anything is a bad idea! Let everyone make up their own mind of which one of the 4000 plus religions they want. If they choose none, they are just choosing one less than the average believer. If however you stick to the forum title then no. If everyone suddenly turned atheist on their own the world would be no worse and likely much better in the sense of human rights. Without religions our brains still work!
How can minds be made up if knowledge is not spread / revealed in some manner. Not through indoctrination, but through socialization.
No knowledge was spread to me by atheists about becoming atheist. It would be my opinion (though I'll admit I may be wrong) that most atheist became atheist on their own. Their own brain gave them the knowledge they needed to come to an informed opinion. Of course that knowledge was based on something, but not necessarily based on someone else's knowledge. Socialization happens naturally and isn't always considered "spreading" a belief. I was 5 or 6 years old when I decided I didn't believe in a god, so could there really have been enough socialization there to impact that decision at such a young age?
were you exposed to theism as a young child?
The discussion has veered to this understanding: that atheism should not be indoctrinated any more than theism should be indoctrinated. Neither should be indoctrinated. In other words, Indoctrinating either is taboo.
(Actually the original point was that Atheism could harm society if universally accepted. That God is an undeniable force to reckon with. That we should learn to work with God and not deny Him.)
But each to their own, of course.
Only that I knew some people believed there was some super thing (I was a child) but if that is considered enough "socialization" why didn't I become a theist? I don't argue that socialization plays a role in EVERYTHING we do, because it does, but for me to have been so young becoming a non believer seemed to be as natural as learning to read or talk. So I do believe that people are capable of forming a religious opinion or lack thereof based on nothing more than what seems to be a natural reaction in the brain. Some people are more susceptible to feeling "spiritual". It isn't always a matter of teachings.
"Actually the original point was that Atheism could harm society if universally accepted." Which I addressed in the first post. Although the second you throw the word spreading into the post I think it causes a knee jerk reaction because most people (here) believe that others should be free to believe what they want.
Well, in Plato's Meno Socrates discusses the possibility that virtue is not taught (and cannot be taught) but that it is recollected as knowledge from… roll the drums… past lives!
How does atheism harm society, Kathryn? How many wars, inquisitions, and genocides were instituted and implemented in the name of organized religions? How many acts of discrimination including slavery was instituted in the name of organized religion? Please tell me, I'll wait.
Atheism does not pose a harm to society? Organized religion has posed more harm in this society than atheism ever could. Many organized religions see a woman's right to reproductive freedom as unnatural . There are religious beliefs that proclaim that being part of the LBGT communities as aberrant. There are religions which advocate against scientific inquiry and advances. There are religions which are against a comprehensive sex education, instead maintaining that abstinence only sex education is the only legitimate form of sex education. NEED I SAY MORE.
A democratic nation needs the basis of religion to set forth moral principles. Does atheism set forth moral principals? I'll wait, as well.
Atheism does set forth moral principles. Instead of relying upon religion and or a supernatural entity in terms of what is right and wrong. Atheists have inward guidance as to moral principles. They rely upon themselves as a moral compass, not some outside religious authority.
This gets back to the age old question: can virtue be taught or is it naturally within one's recollection of what is true. I do not know the answer. The founding fathers of this nation had the belief that religion was good in instructing us about the reality of God. That's all.
So does Al Qaeda. So does the KKK. So did the Lord's Resistance Army. So did the Army of God. I could really go on for pages.
I said the REALITY of God, through the words of Jesus and the bible. Not crazy radical organizations!
Oh, so the reality that you agree with. That's what the founding fathers wanted to teach a couple hundred years ago.
Let me know when everyone comes to an agreement on what reality of Jesus and the Bible they choose. When you figure it out, and everyone agrees, then we'll go ahead and ram it down our children's throat.
It should be an option to believe in the reality God however one sees fit. Not a concept to be denied. As Prodio said. "Some might want to close down the gold mine."
I , for one, am for keeping it open.
and as Headly Von Noggin told Rad Man elsewhere, God is like a hurricane! A force we can't deny! We need to work with it… Not deny it… or something to that effect. It was Headly's remark that sparked this discussion. I never would have brought up such a sensitive subject… but there it was in black and white in the HubPages Forums… In fact, Rad Man had to ask Headly, "So, you think atheism is like a cancer?"
Is Atheism detrimental to society?
Ok I take the bait.
Under what criteria would someone think this? Oh...the people who are NOT atheists. Of course they're going to think that. Just like [some] atheists think that believing in a deity is detrimental to society.
It depends on what you think is detrimental, and that depends on your worldview. So, to the atheist, it is not detrimental, to another person, it is. So really I think I can guess that this question is posed to people who are NOT atheist.
Around in circles we will go, and there will be a billion posts with each person telling the other how terribly destructive the others' worldview is, with people not changing their minds about a damn thing because it's impossible to change their mind until they change their worldviews.
God is a force we must deal with... It is like a "hurricane…!" Headly Von Noggin will you please come on in?
I'm sorry but what in the world does that have to do with what I said?
A hurricane can be seen and detected and measured. God is simply of the imagination that helps people deal with death.
I'm not here to entertain. I'm here to supply to supply the boring facts. So, rather than making irrelevant posts about my not so fun posts why not give an opinion. It better be entertaining.
The truth is not obliged to be entertaining.
Given that you misrepresented what he said in the first place I doubt that he will.
See, I'm a Christian...I can see where my own faith is detrimental to society. I just can't see where atheism is. I've never met an atheist that was any less "moral" than the Christians I know. I suppose theoretically if they became the majority and punished people for their personal faith that was different, it could happen. I'm not sure how they could read minds enough to do it though.
Headly said God is a force we must work with... that we must not deny it! That is a very unique point of view to express here in these forums and to an atheist, yet.
People say all kinds of things. Headly isn't talking right now. Would you like to give your own opinion?
Oh, that is a novel idea. Hmm let me think… my opinion is that Atheism is not detrimental to society as a whole. But any faction can become dangerous to the minority of society if is becomes a majority. Would atheism become dangerous as a majority? How can I know? I have no idea. Because, after all, I am quite convinced that virtue comes from within a person and is not necessarily taught. But, I could be wrong.
Um, how is that an answer to what you are replying to.
Clearly we can and do deny it.
Indoctrination of forced belief systems is always bad. Socialization of truth is always good. Headly mentioned the effects of atheism on society as a whole. I wish he would jog over here for a little while and explain himself!
I don't agree with Headly on anything from God to the color of the sky, but in all fairness I believe their words were taken out of context here. If you wanted Headly to explain themselves, I think the most generous way to do it would NOT have been to publicly expose and attribute the comment to them without giving the FULL context by which they could be critiqued, and then acting as if they should go to a post you arbitrarily created, to explain their statement. Sorry but that's not fair.
I tried to find the exact conversation, but it is impossible. I thought he might join us and after all, it is an open forum. If there are rules about this I should learn them. In my mind, ideas should be allowed to be pretty free flowing.
You can do whatever you like. All I'm saying is the approach was not courteous, given the fact it was taken out of context of the entire debate involved and you attributed it to them publicly, then thought that they should reply to you. That opens the door for people to interpret that person and what they said, the way you interpreted it, and before that person has a chance to respond, people have already gotten an idea of what they said. Headly wouldn't have time to discuss it because they'd be having to re-explain what they said in context. Just didn't seem courteous.
The context, to all who have read the previous statements.
"The cancer analogy is to show how individual components in a complex system that refuse to work in harmony with the system are a danger to that system. Free will is dangerous. It means your behavior is no longer governed by instincts honed over countless generations. This is why laws had to be created to specifically tell people not to sleep with and procreate with family members. Things that would have been instilled naturally before were no longer 'naturally' adhered to. Social norms had not yet been established.
I'm not saying atheists in particular are like a cancer. I'm using that analogy to explain why some are not admitted into the next life. How it's not just some decision that God made, but that it's necessary because they are a detriment to the system. This is what makes eternal life with numerous beings with free will possible."
Judge for yourselves.
I did not read this one. Only the ones before it. Can you provide the link? That would be most helpful! Anyway Ashton, You win… It is not a worthy subject to discuss anymore since it is based on out of context words from elsewhere in the Forum Stratosphere.
Of course, Atheists love their children. That is a non-issue. There are religious parents who don't love their children unless their children subscribe to the SAME ethical or spiritual principles as they do. How many religious parents DISOWN or DISASSOCIATE from their children because the latter decide to reject their parents' faith and/or to explore other faiths?
Yes, after the age of 15 the child has his own will and his search for God must be respected. Just as we respect the atheists departure from God; It is a choice we must allow.
But, it should not be advocated for others!
Furthermore, I believe it is irresponsible to do so.