Atheists, do you despise Jesus or just religions (in general) that worship God?
Such God worshiping religions would include Judaism and Islam.
Also, did something happen to you to make you angry about "God" or is this just a scientific decision you made in college?? Many atheists demand that Christians prove their beliefs. How do you prove yours... or do you? Believe it or not, no sarcasm is intended here. I just want to know what you think of Jesus and how you came to your conclusions about the non-existence of God. I ask that we stick to the question, for the most part. We are all entitled to our beliefs, but I ask that we suppress any desire to be vulgar in any way.
Most of the atheists I know (myself included) can't despise god because we don't believe that he exists. I don't spend a lot (or any) time hating imaginary things like God or Zeus or Thor. Most Christians I know don't hate the gods posited by any other religion. they simply don't believe in them, and atheists are probably rather similar.
As far as the burden of proof is concerned, it rests squarely on the shoulders of people making the positive claim. A believer asserts (claims) that their god is real, therefore the burden of proof is on them. I don't assert that "there are no gods". I don't say that I know with absolute certainty that no gods exist. I classify myself as an atheist agnostic - an atheist because I do not currently believe in a god (without belief) and an agnostic because i think it's impossible to know for certain one way or the other. What do I have to prove?
A lot of Christians try to shift the burden of proof by asking atheists to prove that no god exists. It's impossible. I cannot definitively prove that no god exists any more than you can prove that no unicorns or dragons exist. Proving a negative absolute is impossible in any circumstance, and attempting to shift the burden of proof that way simply demonstrates a weakness in a believer's ability to prove or justify faith - something that the Bible specifically states that believers should be able to do.
"1 Peter 3:15New International Version (NIV)
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"
I don't know why so many people assume that atheists are somehow angry at god. It seems silly when turned around. If I asked you, for example, if you were angry at Zeus or Allah because you obviously don't believe in them, it would seem a bit absurd, wouldn't it? That's not to say that atheists and other non believers do not have real issues to be angry about - like the behavior of some of the believers that they encounter. Believers that try to restrict rights from others because they don't follow the morals dictated by their beliefs, or the believers who fly airplanes into buildings for their faith in their god. There are a lot of actions triggered by belief that should outrage everyone - not just atheists - but anger at god? not at all.
http://www.amazon.com/Atheists-Angry-Th … B007MCMKV6
A scientist can prove something he has found out while a believer who has attained enlightenment and thus claims to know God cannot do so. This is because God is the most abstract feeling and like all feelings,it can only be expressed and not proved.
I'm not convinced that jesus as an individual existed, but I think a lot of believers are so concerned with spreading what they think to be his message that they miss his life example and have become similar to the leaders he often railed against.
Agreed JMcFarland. Jesus despised the Pharisees. I agree that more self-proclaimed Christians would do well to take the hint. Needless to say, I don't lump all Christians in the same category, nor am I suggesting that you do..
B4 becoming a true believer, b4 I saw the light of Christ, I was like Julius Cesar, wearing a mask, not willing to take responsibility, passing d burden 2 others, JMF. As I have seen God's truth in Jesus, I saw true FREEDOM in His light.
What does that have to do with what I posted or any of the responses? We are here to answer a question, and it seems like you are here to preach and spread your beliefs to us? Why do you feel the need to proselytize to those who aren't interested?
savvy: Then why do you lump Atheists into 1 category of contempt and anger?
IDONO, point taken. What I should have said is that most atheists on forums are quite adamant about expressing their contempt for Christian beliefs in no uncertain terms, and I wonder why.
I am an atheist, I don't hate god or gods of any kind, I also don't hate religion or religious people. If anything I hate the evils I see religious people perpetrate in the name of their belief and nothing more.
I've never been the type of person to ask people to prove their beliefs. I really don't care why most people believe what they do. How people came in to existence has really never been much of an interest to me. JMcFarland covered most of my thoughts on it so I will just cover the Jesus part. IF Jesus was real I see him as a cross between (and please try not to take offense to this) Billy Graham and Jim Jones. If I went based on the bible (which I do not believe mostly) then he seems like someone who started out with good intentions and became a bit delusional and attention seeking. I see it just as I would any one else who suddenly came out and said they were the son of a God. If a random person told you that they were a God would you believe them? I just can't.
Since I was a child, I was fond of asking questions. For me, it was part of growing, peeples. I opened my heart and my mind to everything, until I realized I have a spirit that I can't see yet I can perceive and it connects me to my God my Creator.
You are trying to convert, Edwin. Constantly. This is a window on your own psychology, nothing more.
Edwin: We get already! Your testimonial is a wonderful thing. You should surely write a hub on it. But please, not here. We all need a chance to make our own decisions.
I suggest that a person's belief in any concept of a god, and the nature of that god they believe in, are really expressions of that person's inner psychological makeup.
You have put up here a photograph of someone's impression of what Jesus would have looked like. There are other renderings of his likeness, each one reflecting the desires of people who do the worshiping.
So in these terms, "Jesus" would be just a figment of the imagination.
I cannot despise an imaginary being. That would be absurd. Yet I can respect the person who really chooses to believe.
Your impression of things is only as good as far as you will yourself to believe in jonnycl. Humility opens up more truth than what pride dictates, which like material things, is but passing with life.
Greetings Edwinoel. I visited Pampanga in the early 1980s, lovely people, full of hospitality and kindness.
jonnycomelately, as far as I know, you always express your beliefs in a respectful manner and I appreciate it. That being said, there is ample proof for the existence of Jesus; actually more than any other historical person--even Julius Ceasar.
I must be missing something, but I don't think Atheists dispute the existence of Jesus. They don't believe that he was the son of God. How could they? That wouldn't make sense. They never state that Jesus was a bad person. Why the spin?
Some scholars dispute the historical validity of the person of Jesus. The majority of scholars do not - because the majority of biblical scholars are so because they believe in the bible. I believe she is trying to imply that they're invalid.
Whether "Jesus" ever existed in reality or not, I am not debating that....for me it does not matter. What I am saying is that any person who "believes" such a person existed long ago imagines his/her own preconceptions of that Jesus's personality
Johnny, I do not imagine Jesus's personality because I can read about it in great detail from the scriptures. JM, I am not implying other scholars are invalid. Skeptics are equally committed to their bias. All one can do is study both arguments.
Savvy, however much detail your read in the text of the bible, you still add your own interpretation(s) to what ever you read, and manipulate any meaning to suit your preconceived ideas. You are not alone. But what you believe is yours, alone.
Not entirely jonny, as most NT scholars lack adequate training in Hebrew & Aramaic paraphrasing. Thus they make improper parallels regarding Greek literature & Hebrew & Aramaic texts. A compelling case is made for Jesus thru proper schola
you're saying that most NT scholars (which are largely Christian) lack the proper training for their profession? On what basis do you make that claim? I think these scholars would be surprised by that assertion from a layperson.
JMcFarland, I'm a layperson who has access to material as do all. Some scholars willingly produce publications that lack all criteria because they need to publish. I know this from my brother who publishes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIwV__gW5v4
if the need to publish is so great that they neglect all the criteria for doing so, there is a process in place called "peer review" that would stop the publication in its tracks. Genuine scholarship in all fields requires peer review.
"studies of peer review have identified numerous problems, including confirmatory bias... favoritism for established investigators in a given field ... and ideological orientation" Also, I meant "not all."
That's absurd to me. How can they continue to make a living in a field with no cross checking guidelines for actual scholarship?
"....and ideological orientation" is surely the domain of most christian propagandists?
JM, A rated journals are rigorous, and scholars know which one's they are. But garbage is still published. For every article, you can find a counter--so peer review is helpful, but not a guarantee..
Although I am not an atheist I do know some and they simply don't believe there is a god. It's not possible to dislike something you don't believe is real. They also don't believe there is a devil.
Generally speaking I think atheists feel bombarded with religious talk and resent having others tell them how they should live their lives. I've even known Christians who have said,
"I love God but I can't stand his fans."
Some people feel it's their duty to go out and recruit for their church or they push their religion like "life insurance" by saying things like "You don't want to go to hell, do you?"
It's my belief that God wants people to come to him of their own (free will). Having said that most atheists sit quietly while others say grace over their meals. They usually try to avoid religious discussions unless they're pulled into a debate having to explain why they do not believe. More or less their attitude is (live and let live). Rarely do they try and "convert" believers into non-believers. They tend to accept the reality that people have a right to worship and believe whatever they choose to. The atheists I know are fairly "laid back" people. Once again I've yet to meet anyone that despised a thing or person whom they do not believes exist.
Hello dashingscorpio. Yes, my favorite cousin is an atheist and she is laid back, as you described... as long as no one "preaches" at her. Since I don't do that, I forget that some people do "preach" uninvited. Good point.
As in Ecclesiastes dashingsc, I have learned how fast time flies, and how meaningless life is with all things material becoming center, but as I put God, love and faith in Jesus at center, I saw the truth in God's light.
The lack of evidence is too glaring. As a former Christian, whose father was a minister, I began to understand at a young age that my dad's beliefs were delusional. But before that, I was "saved" and tried to participate in church services. Although my brother took right to it, I always found church to be confusing and suspected something just wasn't right.
But the turning point began when I prayed for things that God should have given me. I didn't ask for anything unreasonable. We were desperately poor sharecroppers, churchgoing and obedient to God. I prayed over and over and over again.....never ever any assistance. Being young, and still delusional, I DID become angry at "God." At some point I did curse "God"....Why not? He promised to answer prayers, and just didn't.....ever! It was starting to become apparent that my hunches about the nonexistence of God were being confirmed, right before my eyes. There was a sinking feeling, as I pondered how to go forward from there. I was 14. I was no longer mad at "God" as I realized this was only a character in a book of adult fairy tales. But, still, I was angry at all the people who mindlessly gave me this false hope, and continued to assert this false hope even after I had confirmation that not one, of the hundreds of prayers, been answered. NOT ONE....no matter how much faith I had. As an adult, I understand that ALL religions are absurd, and are the result of indoctrinations, programming or brainwashing.
Hello getitright. Your answer explains a lot. Being poor and not receiving any help would make most people angry..Thanks for being honest. Your answer gives me a better understanding.
Understand that the anger was just the start. I was also angry at Santa for not ever bringing us presents, and I think you will agree that being angry at Santa is absurd. Santa and God are based in the same childish fiction, with trickery to deceive
G., it sounds like you are angry with God's claims who you equate to be a failed Santa. My reasons for believing: "If there is no God, anything is permissible." If there is no God, all we're really left with are arbitrary preferences. --Dostoyevsky
God doesn't have any claims. Man says that there is a God who makes claims, just like man said of Santa. At least man came clean about Santa. Your reason for believing is lacking any real meaning. Man doesn't need God to be good.
True, at least due to our expectations in the U.S. But is morality "subjective" and therefore "not binding," as in many Asian governments?"
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/can-we-b … ithout-god
"I prayed for things that God should have given me." I suspect that at the root of some atheists' belief system is an underdeveloped sense of self and the relationship between self, God, reality and the universe. It is disappointment in life not God.
Retief - Can you back that claim up? Can you even define what an atheists belief system is?
JM, Perhaps Relief is asking the question: What is your belief system? Relief said he is speculating. I don't think he made any specific claim.
You have taken those words completely out of context. I just wanted to emphasize that there was no reason NOT to answer my many prayers. Why bother praying for something you don't feel you deserve....like FOOD? What nonsensical logic.
God gave me life out of unconditional love, that I may give back n share this uncond'nl love w others. Little did I know, He always tested my faith in Him every time. He created me along with others, that I may see in us all, His love and blessings.
That is nothing but pure DRIVEL! When someone's head is hopelessly immersed in an ancient fairy tale, the only thing possible is to regurgitate mind numbing nonsense.
U C savvy, the "Retief"s of the world R Y the anger. Direct w/ his "superiority" as so many. (not all) I now "suspect" and over developed sense of self w/ a lack of respect and intelligence. This is a religious rep & I'm supposed to appear friend
Cre8tor, To clarify, Relief did not use the word intelligence or lack thereof with regard to atheists. Atheists use that phrase constantly in referring to Christians, by assuming we all believe blindly without having studied anything. Works both ways
The intelligence part has nothing to do w his or my religion. It's an observation based on the statement he made and lack of fact within it. Admittedly, agitated by the intent of his remarks but my intent wasn't to link intellect w religion.
I would agree with most of the comments here that atheists are, generally, not angry with god. Anger suggests that we were all once believers and were, in some way, slighted by god. My personal atheism came about through the study of literature which illustrated, not just how man could have written the bible, but how it can and has been used through history for power and influence. Early societies often use religion as both law and policemen before a modern system can get put in place. For me, it was more of a gradual realization rather than a desire to rebel or a feeling of abandonment.
I do think that some of the messages preached by Jesus, whether he was a real man or just a fictional character, have some positive influence. Healing the sick, giving to the poor, etc. I believe Atheists and Christians can see eye to eye on humanitarian efforts. But, unfortunately, some theists use their god as a trump card rather than an example to live by. For example, Jesus saved me, so I get it into heaven just for believing him (rather than doing good deeds). This doesn't represent all those who follow religions, but you would be hard pressed to see an atheist complain about a christian soup kitchen.
Ultimately, I think there are two dangers with god based religions. And, it isn't lectures or insults. While it might be hurtful when people tell me I'm going to hell (because they don't even know me) it doesn't affect my day to day life. The first danger is laws based around outdated religious codes. The most recent being gay marriage. Very frequently the bible is used as an excuse for not giving equal rights to everyone. Not only would Jesus probably have disagreed with such practices, but it forces the non-believers to live by a religious code, against their will. I think theists can agree that forcing people to do anything is bad.
The second danger of deity based religions is that it provides a cloak for those that are truly disturbed. Let me be clear that I'm not saying those who believe in god are disturbed. I know many believers that are great people and totally sane. But, if someone with mental problems shouts about space aliens and crocodiles in the sewers, we will see their problem sooner and be able to get them help before they hurt someone. But if they shout about Jesus and God, we let it slide. And that is where a lot of extremists come from who wish to 'destroy' the non-believers. They terrify me way more than the prospect of a godless world.
Before my miracle experience, I feared death, MTD. Living my third life, in Christ and with Christ, I have seen hope in His truth. Trusting Him more has opened new horizons of truth in this life, in His words come power over all evil, forever, Amen
M.T. Dremer, yet the Bible has given us a standard that did not exist before, but which non believers credit themselves as having. Again, I quote I quote Dostoyevsky again)."If there is no God, all we're really left with are arbitrary preferences."
If that is indeed what we are left with, is it such a big problem? Maybe if/when we adjust to the situation it's quite satisfactory?
No, jonnycomelately. Arbitrary preferences create dictators, as in all communist regimes who have a record of ignoring human rights and forcing their beliefs upon people, at the threat of murder or imprisonment.
and the history of the church from its origins up through the Renaissance didn't have a history of ignoring human rights and enforcing their beliefs, often causing murder, death torture and belief by force?
JM. How long ago was the Renaissance? What happened then was Evil, but now Christians nations have freedom of religion without fear of torture. We tend to take our freedom for granted. Not so in Communist & Islamic nations, which despise Christia
Christian nations? I don't know of many (if any) Christian nations, and many Christians worldwide are still being persecuted, which is why I find it morally repugnant that so many American Christians claim persecution over nothing but disagreements.
God is not the counter to arbitrary preferences, survival is. Morality comes from our desire to live, and our desire for those we love to live. It existed long before religion and in species that aren't human.
Not to mention, discounting the 1500 years the church held power in the 700 years after they lost it is a bit disingenuous. How much progress in human rights, science and technology has happened since that was previously thought heretical?
Is this morally repugnant JM. I don't think you know the first thing about religious persecution. http://www.prisoneralert.com/
Oh I don't? After spending time in the mission field in a country that is now torturing and burning people for witch craft? I don't think you have any idea what I know, and being condescending towards atheists in your comments doesn't help.
JM Who is torturing these people? Were you sympathizing with Christians? If so, then I missed your point. The site I pasted is about persecuted Christians. If you are saying that Westerners don't know the first thing about persecution, I agree.
in Kenya (I was a MK w/ my parents there), it's often christians doing the persecuting. What I was saying was that Christians in America have no right claiming that they're being attacked or persecuted just because they're disagreed with.
JM, that's interesting about Kenya. Do you remember what year it was? I don't know of Christians who claim persecution, except underground Christians who are tortured. But I agree that US citizens have freedom of speech & as such, are not persecu
I was in Kenya between 1992 and 1994. The Witch hunts started later. Many Christians on hp claim that they're being attacked and persecuted whenever someone disagrees with them or when they're asked to not mandate public school prayer. Absurd.
What I hate about religion the most is that if the person in that pic was any darker in color it would cause a controversy. It says that belief is a monopoly, not an altruism.
I can't prove my belief because I have a lack of belief, no belief, in any god. Since Jesus doesn't exist, how could I despise him? I don't like religions because of their exclusionary attitudes and superiority complex ("we're going to heaven because we were fortunate enough to be born into the correct family with the correct beliefs") and because of the way each religion and sub group chooses to interpret right and wrong, particularly as it relates to our sexual lives and behavior. Nothing happened to me to make me angry at "God". As an adult, I learned to think and evaluate information. I'm not scientific at all, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the bible ('the word of God') is full of contradictions and is subject to many interpretations, as is evidenced by all of the variations in doctrines among churches and religious groups. It doesn't take a scientist to recognize that what was written was intended for the time in which it was written (i.e., no mention of computers). Additionally, the atheists I've met have much stronger morals, are more honest, and are more at peace with the world than any religious person I have ever met, and I do come from a strongly religious background.
What I think of Jesus: I think there may or may not have been a 'Jesus'. I don't really care. The only proof that Jesus existed is in the bible, so there is no proof of his existence unless you believe that this poorly written, inconsistent, nasty book is true. Since the bible tells us to sell our daughters, keep and beat slaves, kill our disobedient children, for example, and none of us do that in our civilized society today, how can any of us accept that this bad, bad book is proof of the existence of anything? Also, I think each of us should be responsible for our own sins, and that it's absurd to value 'Jesus dying for our sins'. Whether I am right or wrong in doing something, I know that I am responsible for what I do, and would never want someone else to take the blame or credit for my actions. What type of father kills his son for the sins of others? The whole idea is immoral, in my opinion.
Beverly Stevens, I asked that we suppress any desire to be vulgar. "...poorly written, inconsistent, nasty book" qualifies as such. If you are representative of most atheists, then Peter Hitchens observations in "The Rage Against God" are correct.
How is commenting on a poorly written, inconsistent, nasty book vulgar? Sorry, I don't see it. If I were commenting on any other poorly written, nasty book, would you also think my comment is vulgar? I was trying to answer your question honestly.
Beverly, I appreciate that everyone, including you, is trying to be forthright. The definitions of nasty is: physically repugnant, obscene, disgustingly filthy. (Merriam Webster) The Bible is actually one of the best pieces of historical literature
I saw the bible too Bev, as filled with contradictions, until the Holy Spirit enlightened me 2 God's truth, that man himself has refused 2 better understand these contradictions as all meant 2 b, that God can never be outdone, He remains in control.
savvydating: If you want me to re-write my comment without the word that offends you, I'll be glad to do that.
Beverly, not necessary. You made your point. The point I was making is that distinguished scholars consider the Bible to be one of the best pieces of historical literature in the world. They should know, as they fully understand historical context.
The problem there is that most biblical scholars are religious. Of course they're going to make that claim, and they have an agenda to uphold and protect. Everyone has biases, which is why looking on every possible side often yields better result
JM said:"The problem there is that most biblical scholars are religious."
I know u r trying 2 say they r biased, but then; the problem with most doctors is that they are MD's, the problem with most bankers are that they are financiers. dsnt make sens
most doctors are MDs and not research fellows, teachers, etc? What is a doctor biased against? You cannot expect a biblical scholar or the scholar of the Koran to be open to the idea that they're wrong - they'll lose their livelihood.
but it's a catch 22 because most people are not interested in studying bibles if they don't have a vested interest. n this case, u r the rare exception
Hardly. There are secular biblical scholars who either started by believing and changed their opinion or recognized the need for a balanced, independent approach. They're outnumbered, but that's expected.
I agreed that they exist, just not in droves. Typically one enters a field they r interested n. Medicine, teaching, etc. But to enter n2 politics or religion field requires personal commitment, so typically people enter w/ a bias.
Do I despise Jesus? No.
Do I despise religions? No.
Do I have any anger for any religious person at all? At the moment no.
I o get a bit frustrated when religious leaders and their preachings impinge on my own personal freedoms!! I'm talking about those more aggressive, extreme religious leaders found within both Muslim and Christian faiths for example!!
I might occasionally feel sorry for the many, many people who are daily misguided and led astray by powermongering leaders and I would probably argue and debate the subject of God or no-God with them if they wished to do it sensibly but I would suspect that we'd soon hit the bedrock of faith, and there's just no reasoning with that.
As a child I had a very religious upbringing but gradually over time saw through this as a case of conditioning if you like, guided by my parents. I hold no grudges.
Eventually I started to look into the history of Christianity, talking to many people, looking at many texts and books and articles and so on. The conclusions I drew from this study led me to believe that there is no God existent in the world my mind inhabits.
chef-du-jour, "....and debate the subject of God or no-God with them if they wished to do it sensibly but I would suspect that we'd soon hit the bedrock of faith, and there's just no reasoning with that " puts it so well, thank you for those words.
Hi Chef. Debates can and are done sensibly by SOME debaters, thus I see the "bedrock" argument as a dodge. But I do commend your lack of "grudges," especially since Christianity, as opposed to Marxism, allows many to take their comfort for granted.
God is spirit and He makes my mind and my heart connect to my spirit, onto infinity I can see the truth in Christ and the truth in creation.
I won't repeat so much of what's already been said that I agree with (JMcFarland, dashingscorpio) but would like to add...Atheists/Agnostics do still have morals and values. Too often Atheists are seen as some punk with a mohawk who enjoys kicking in store fronts and teeth. Your question (and I say this with respect) in and of itself suggests that Atheists are an angry, hateful bunch and shows a lack of understanding. Perhaps this is what provokes this "anger" you seem to think exists. It's hard to appear friendly and accepting when the subject comes up and I allow someone their belief as they condemn me for mine, and condemn me for mine, and condemn me for mine. See an Atheist can disagree and not believe the same as others...but they can't damn your soul to hell! Whether I believe in the place or not, it doesn't promote a warm fuzzy feeling toward you. (and I say "you" loosely i hope you understand)
Cre8tor. Yes, of course atheists have morals & I do Not see them as you suggested. It's just that their response to God & the Bible are usually wrought with contempt, and this is my effort to understand why.
Maybe you see a group in the United States that labels themselves Atheists. You might be judging all atheists in that light. Is this so? I am not a person to respond with contempt, usually. Fundamentalist Atheists might be an exception.
When having a conversation on belief, most Christians want to save me. Convince me. Win me over. Offer me something that I feel I already have. Like a vacuum salesman. I try to politely say no but then the pedestal comes out. Yes, now I'm upset.
Do you agree that the desire to convert someone to whatever belief indicates a personal insecurity?
And that ultimately, it does not matter. If I am secure in my own understanding that I can live with, it does not matter?
Mormoms and Muslims are taught to convert people so they are following "instructions." Christians are taught to spread the "good news" about Jesus, respectfully. To "condemn" is disrespectful & doing so is wrong and misguided, johnny and Cre8to
Perhaps some but not what bothers me & is perhaps natural. It's the force & tactics used that get me, which often lead to disrespect and judgment, often by a stranger & now it matters. My beliefs don't require restraint IF provoked or thr
Not sure I understand Savvy... have I ever "condemned"?
Savvydating. Just look for a minute at the attitude of your question and all the assumptions you made. I'm not attacking you at all, but when you ask or imply with contempt, how can you expect anything other than contemptuous responses?
according to Christianity, what will happen to me if I die & never accept Jesus Christ as my savior? Am I not condemned if u say it out loud or not? I don't feel this of any religion but most feel it of me. Poor label to carry if I believe or not
johnnycomelately, I was not referring to you. You have never condemned anyone as far as I know. What I was saying is that Christians have no right to condemn, nor does anyone else.
Isn't that a picture of Richard Chamberlain? Despise is a harsh word. Do you despise people that don't believe in Jesus, or just other people's religions in general? I personally have no problem with people having any belief, unless their view is that all other possible beliefs are wrong, because they know the only absolute truth. I understand that faith dictates having the belief that you are guided by the truth, but nobody knows for sure. At least not until they die. I believe accepting one another as human beings and loving one another, is more important than being right. Truth is relative, beliefs are based on personal interpretations. So I would say I despise nobody, but a few have told me that they despise my beliefs or worse. By the way, I am a pagan.
Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d
blake4d. Truth is not relative. Individuals may not be inherently moral. Also, I have never condemned an atheist, a christian, or a pagan. I don't have that right or that desire. I think "do as you will, harm none" is a moral motto.
Truth is relative, savvydating. The individual decides what they believe is true, based on their experiences, their convictions, their morals or lack there of. There maybe absolute truths, like life and death, but human truth is based on beliefs.
Blake44. I tend to equate truth with morality, so this is where my distinction lies. People do have many beliefs regarding morality, but some things are morally true or morally bankrupt. (Not talking rules here)
Just because something is moral, does not make it true. It is moral not to lie, but people tell white lies to children to protect them from ugly truths about life. It is not immoral to eat meat, but I am sure cows would disagree with the practice...
blake4d, that is Robert Powell in the title role of the made-for-television film, "Jesus of Nazareth". Sorry, reading the comments when I saw your question. No personal comment on the question..though an interesting discussion! Bright blessings all.
After reading every response and comment, I am amazed at how easy it is for people to challenge one's opinion by making a request that they know is impossible to fulfill. Prove it's true! Prove it's not true! If one or the other could be proven, it no longer would be a belief, would it? It would then be a fact. If one actually produced proof, how would the challenger react? Would you accept the truth or deny fact? Ask yourself that before making assumptions about the other. That is why we should all respect each other's beliefs because at some point, in our individual lives, or deaths, it will be proven, one way or the other. My beliefs are my beliefs and I don't have the desire or the need to prove those to anyone. And no one should feel they have the right to ask me to do so.
IDONO, I know atheists feel no need to prove; it is the stance they have chosen which strikes me as rather convenient. But as I've stated before, I just wanted to know more about their feelings to better understand.
There IS NO PROOF for either side so why would it be convenient for one and not the other. One side says there is nothing there so there is nothing to prove and the other accepts on faith so no proof is required. Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.
Savvy. The word "despise" leaves no space for understanding. My responses would have been much different if you used the word " resent". A person can resent someone they don't believe in. Not who they are but what they stand for.
It's not that atheists "feel no need to prove" as if they chose that stance out of "convenience". You do not need to attempt to disprove something unless something has been proven first. It would be different if we made a positive claim. We don't.
Cre8tor, this is why I included Jesus in this question. He represented God on earth. There is more than ample proof of his existence, which is found through a great deal of historical documentation, in the books of scripture. History provides proof.
Was talking about your comment of convenience, no Jesus there. Christians say "faith" for what they can't prove. Is it convenient? I could C it that way dont U think? Why does it "strike" you and shouldn't me? U learn more being objective.
Even if there was indisputable proof that a man named jesus existed (which is debated by many reputable scholars on both sides) that does not automatically make the claims that are made of him true.
Cre8tor. I haven't used the faith argument, though I think faith is a fine thing. Also, you can listen to a debate between Ehrman and Evans. Evans uses his knowledge to debate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr6KX3wM71s
When a Christian has "no need to prove", they claim faith. Why doesn't this "strike" U as a "convenient stance" like U say of the atheist? Point is, it's not a matter of convenience and you shouldn't be "struck" by it or unfair about the claim.
savvy: Looking beyond all the bickering, sarcasm and anger in a bunch of responses, I recognize something. You are the only 1 that consistently displayed patience, tolerance and composure throughout. Rather than argue, I want to know how. Open minded
Thank you IDONO. You are very kind to say so and I appreciate your comment very much. Sometimes I struggle in trying to figure out how to respond properly without losing sight of my feelings of responsibility toward my belief in Jesus.
Perhaps it's not the belief in things that isn't tangible. Speaking for myself, I don't like being lead astray from my own feelings of what's right. All religions have a way of trying to change a person's views, or question your life's meaning. Ironically religion and war go hand in hand when you're dealing with power of persuasion.
I firmly agree.So do you consider yourself to be of the 'athiest' persuasion or 'agnostic'?
As do atheist communist regimes, such as Stalin's who claimed religion needed to be removed to attain the ideal communist society. He killed approx 20 million people directly & indirectly.
Well probably agnostic, because even though I try to resist it's hard not ponder if you're right or not.
I consider myself an atheist agnostic. I lack a belief in a god, which makes me an atheist, but I do not know with absolute certainty that no God exists, which makes me agnostic. They're not always mutually exclusive by default.
So I take it Savvy that you are comparing my humble opinion to Stalin. However I guess I may be interpreting this all wrong and just getting a history lesson.
Josh, your opinion is nothing like Stalin's. Yours was nice, though broad. I was giving a specific example of war & religion based upon radical Marxist views. During the Renaissance, Christian catholics also committed heinous crimes.
What about the anti-Marxism in USA ? Spread and used by who consider themselves superior by virtue of their christianity? Hypocrisy?
Jonny, it's not by virtue of their Christianity. It's because Marxism does nothing good and never will. History has shown us this. Christianity has nothing to do with it. Even a secular person can see that.
I must say thanks to Savvy for the explanation. We talk about atheist and other denominations faith regarding "Gods". Shouldn't we really discuss why war is the back bone of faith. You know good vs evil what would faith be without chaos.
Guys. I think by using examples 4 both sides we have established that beliefs do not cause war, people do. Whether u r Christian, Muslim, or atheist, there are good people and bad people. There are those who make decisions thinking it is 4 the good
Whether I`m right or not,I pretend to be neither josh.
Mklow1 - I agree people cause war. No doubt or argument. BUT...Why do you think religion has so often been used as the excuse to condone it?
War is about power. Anyone trying to gain power uses anything they can that can be used as a vehicle to attain that power.
Anyone trying to kill can use many means as well, yet the gun seems to be the weapon of choice. Why do you think those who want to obtain power through war have chosen religion as that vehicle so often? Perhaps more than any other.
Really? Please enlighten me on how many wars have been declared by a religion, what percentage, and give me your sources. It sounds like you came up with your presumption by feelings and not logic because you use the word "perhaps".
Stick and move. Stick and move. Bob and weave. You a boxer? Why not answer the simple question? Are you afraid of what you'll have to say?
Cre8tor, Mklaw1 is correct. Most wars are not caused by religion. The majority of wars have been for profits or power. Also, the Crusades was the last Christian war. That being said, Islam is still conducting wars to create an Islamic state.
I said religion was used as a vehicle & excuse to condone & asked why. Not a cause though it has been. It's wrong 2 say perhaps if I'm unsure of %? What % is OFTEN exactly. Hitler claimed to work for god. Why would he say this to support his
R u referring to Hitler, the gentleman that liked to use propaganda (i.e. lies)? What he did and why has been and will be debated forever, but the fact remains that he did not declare war due to religion or because of it or in the name of it.
When u interject "declare" u change my statements & question. Yes that Hitler. Apparently terrorists aren't using Islam as a vehicle & Christian belief didn't back near extinction of Native Americans & slavery. What, not war? Lets ask the
What happened to Native Americans and slavery were not a product of religion. They were about money and power. Those instances would have happened whether religion existed or not because those types of things have happened since the dawn of mankind.
So when the leaders began 2 kill off natives, they gained support of fellow CHRISTIANS by telling them it was justified by greed & power? Interesting. Same w/ slavery? "It's ok. We're lazy." Very interesting.
"They were about money and power." Those who wage war USE religion to gain money and power. They know that humans flock to religion in times of fear and famine. Still happening today especially in christianity.
Jonny, do you have specific examples. I am also responding to another comment you made: ....and ideological orientation" is surely the domain of most christian propagandists?" That response is propaganda, used often by atheists. It lacks integrity.
Deflected again. Well perhaps the question here and much of the conversation that has followed explains a lot. Please though, don't deflect my frustrations toward God or Jesus or any other deity.
"they gained support of fellow CHRISTIANS"
and atheist, and jews, and pagans, etc.This is a people issue,not a religion issue,which is what u arent quite gettin.Yes religious people happened to b involved, but it was not a religious issue
Cre8tor, you are accusing others of that which you do. That's why I ask. You seem to blame most wars and evils on Christians without proof. The last "Holy war" was during the Crusades, long ago. Read "Rage Against God" for more perspective on wars.
savvy - I've deflected nothing and you keep injecting whatever words you like. Did you even read my question? Mklow - LOL! You're a percent guy. Just how much of the population then we're Jews? .5%??? 4% today. Don't blame them!
Again, for the umpteenth time u missed the point. I see debating with you if futile. Have a good one.
You only want to debate thats the problem. I was seeking an answer, not a debate. (Just like my other question on choice)The question was simple. I know avoidance by complication. Are you involved in politics?
Wow, u have short term memory. I answered your question right after you asked it. I said:
"War is about power. Anyone trying to gain power uses anything they can that can be used as a vehicle to attain that power."
Now, who's the politician?
Weird cuz I don't recall asking what war was about? Do you? Hmm. Perhaps there's a glitch in HP. Let me clear that up for u. Why is religion often used as a vehicle to CONDONE, EXCUSE, SUPPORT, SELL, GAIN FOLLOWING...for war?
Cre8tor, you'd have to check in with the Supreme religious leader of Iran, for one... but keep in mind, he isn't Christian.
u asked why is it used to condone, i said it is about power. what part of that don't u understand? i don't think i can say it any clearer.
Mk-war is about power/greed but it's not what the leader says to get his people to condone/support/follow him. Savvy-do u say Islam is the only example? I point 2 no specific religion. Once call out Christians but not w my question.
I agree, please see my response to your question about 20 posts up. I said religion was a vehicle. This is what I have said the entire time.
You say "anything CAN" not "religion is" but we're getting there. Now. WHY is religion often used as that vehicle? Savvy- Note: I do NOT say Christians here. Never did. Not even implied. Nor do I imply Islam or voodoo. Just religion.
For power, Einstein. Anything bad people can use. I mean, u say "we are getting there" like u r trying to teach me something, but u aren't quite understanding that I already know all of this. My point is that religion is not the bad guy. Bad people r
Yes. It's called reading comprehension. My 10 yr old is learning it in 4th grade now. He struggles too. People choose certain words for a reason. Like people choose religion to condone war. There's a reason this vehicle helps them gain power.
Money is what they r after, but I dont hear u saying it causes war so we should rid the world of it. Science builds the weapons, but i am sure u aren't anti science. my point is there r bigger factors in war other than religion.
MK - I can no longer run on this wheel w u. Either there is a language barrier or I'm on candid camera. Oh & it's because religions r full of people who feel superior, want a greater purpose & r led. Ease the conscience, you'll have an army.
I don't think there is a language barrier. I think the best I could have answered your statement about 4th grade reading comprehension problem is that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Keep fighting that good fight
It was a joke Mk. My boys are actually quite intelligent. Well above average in some cases. I am glad to see you agree w what I've said about religious choices though. Apples in fact do not fall far from trees. I couldn't have said it better.
The apple reference was about reading comprehension. I hope u c the irony in that! lol
'Despise' is not the correct term to this question.From an agnostic point of view anyway.I used to think of myself as an athiest,but that was before I discovered the term and meaning of 'agnostic'.At the same time when I considered myself athiest I could not relate to the anger that was being directed toward athiests in general by christian believers,in turn I did not relate to the anger a true athiest felt towards believers,therefor I did not consider myself to be a true athiest.I did not have that kind of anger towards any belief in religion.I have found that athiests are very much in kind with skeptics,they tend to display anger towards a belief of something that they cannot understand or free themself to open their mind to.Then I discovered the true meaning of what it is to be agnostic and I completely related to it.I firmly believe in a divine being(source)and it`s creation of the known universe,but I refrain from commitment to any religious doctrine.
Darren68. I totally understand your choice to "refrain from commitment..." I believe a certain amount of skepticism is healthy, whereas anger is not. I do not attend any single church. Mostly I read historical accounts of Jesus & listen to debate
I don`t consider myself a skeptic when it comes to religion.I am not 'undecided'.I jumped off the fence a while ago now.But something I`ve discovered just recently about "Zoroastianism"!??Enlighten me savvy.Do you know anything about?
Darren68, I don't know much at all about Zoraster, except that his name comes up during allegations of virgin birth parallels. But those (Z) beliefs began in the 9th century AD, long after Jesus & thus too far in time to be considered reliable.
While atheists believe in nothing (which is mind made) they blame others for believing to something they don't see;
Atheists don't believe in fairy tales but other than that they have no idea if god exists or not.
Funny that a belief is "nothing" if it doesn't include a book or deity to tell one how to "believe".
Cre8tor, please enlighten us as to what an atheist believes in that differentiates them from other beliefs. My take was that the only thing binding atheists was the lack of a belief or denial in a god, which is the definition of an atheist.
Coolcasing. Thanks for commenting. Atheists seem to take issue with the Bible, which is part history, part prophecy and part inspirational poetry, as in Proverbs & Psalms. It needs to be read as such to have a clear understanding. Context matters
Not fair 2 ask me 2 answer in 250 words & I know I want w b clear w you. Let's just say, I'm still motivated by something 2 wake up, not kill people, sleep in peace & make a good life for my children. No book required. Label me what u will.
First of all, the lack of characters is a cop-out. U want to criticize coolcasing's definition of belief, but you won't offer 1 of your own. I gave you the definition of atheism, which is the lack of belief in a god.
Second, I never label people.
Be reasonable. My beliefs & the differences in 250 words? Easy for you, "Read Bible". "BELIEF: something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction." I can't have this without a god? I have a dictionary too.
It's a shame u r leaving it at that. Pity since your first post to coolscasing had so much potential. Maybe you should write a Hub. I would love to hear it from an expert.
Leaving what at what? I'm saying not believing in a god or being part of a religion doesn't deny someone the ability 2 have a belief as CC implied. That's incorrect, not criticism and I blame no one. Enough w remarks. I'm remaining cordial yes?
U r remaining cordial, as am I. U said u can't fully explain w/ 250 characters and I suggested u write a Hub.
I am not an atheist, but I do speak with lots of them on the internet; Youtube to be more precise. I can honestly say that they(most of the ones I have talked to) claim to not despise Jesus (because they also claim he does not exist, and nobody can despise someone who does not even exist, right?), but in a debate, when they are confronted with strong arguments for God's existence, then they attack His character, and His morality.
Think about it... why would someone attack the character of God, and His morality when they claim He does not exist? Are they confirming that the real reason for their "disbelief" or "lack of belief" is because they despise (hate) His character and His morality?
I have yet to encounter a strong argument for God's existence. What I can debate about, however, is the character of the god portrayed in the bible or the Koran or in other holy books, and the claims that believers make - which doesn't equal accepta
Maira818, I have found this to be the case as well. I think the problem is that many westerners take the bible out of context. They believe it must be aligned with modern western thought. The bible is a middle eastern book. Customs were different.
In my experience, those that attack one another in heated debates generally attack the followers or non-believers. They also tend to attack the words written in the Bible and perhaps mock Jesus just as believers attack atheists.
I've yet to be presented with a single piece of tangible evidence that any gods exist, let alone a strong argument. conversely I see abundant evidence that they don't exist.
No anger, no despising.
My father was a Pastor and I know the Bible and Christianity inside out.
But I studied comparative mythology, history and evolutionary biology and personally, I don't believe in any deities or follow a religion. I consider religion a sociological phenomenon.
I just don't even think about it anymore except as an academic subject. It's largely uninteresting and irrelevant to me.
Your picture choice is interesting, though. It is of the atheist actor, Robert Powell, from Franco Zefferelli's movie based on a Catholic interpretation of the canonical gospels. Playing Jesus made him famous. When he was asked in an interview about that he said, "I read the Bible but it was no help really, there are no real clues to the character. So, I had to find a way of playing the character the way people believed in it. The key was to present a blank canvas and allow people watching to fill it in on their own."
I think that's rather telling about the nature of religious belief.
Greetings stuff4kids. I appreciated your answer. A bit ironic about the actor. Lol. As for his assertion that he learned nothing about the character of Jesus from the Bible, this tells me he read next to nothing. Jim Cavaziel felt differently.
This tells me you read everything into it, Savvy! Your answer is appreciated as much as one can. You will obviously never change your view.
What I'm saying Jonny, is that the character of Jesus shines through bright and clear in the New Testament.
As an agnostic I don't hate or despise any god or gods. I am very interested in the beautiful myths and art produced by various religions/god beliefs. I lack the ability to totally believe in imaginary figures.
The main issue for me is the fact that a lot (millions and millions) of people have been killed, and are presently being killed, by violent warriors in the name of their god. I find this common practice abhorrent. Religion seems a main excuse for prejudice and genocide.
Thanks for stopping by, marshacanada. You've pointed out two recurring reasons that atheists give: 1) God is a myth and, 2) religion causes evil things to happen. I maintain that most wars are caused by a desire for profit and power, religion aside.
Again savvy...the word marshacanada used was EXCUSE. Interjecting the word CAUSE changes the statement.
Why do you assume or suggest that atheists despise anything? Though I am not atheist, per se, I am not a Christian and do not believe any one deity is the right deity. Many of my friends are pure atheists, though, and I can attest to their love for life and all things human; including Christians and any/all religious zealots.
Perhaps the issue is why do atheists get such a negative assumption from someone like yourself? Just because some people fight for separation of church and state, or refuse to exclude other religions to satisfy just one religion, does not mean they are hateful. It means they are all-inclusive or at least fair.
I appreciate the body of your question, though the title comes off as condescending and a little judgmental.
College? I decided that there was no god at around 8 years old. It simply didn't make any sense to me and still doesn't at 60.
As others have pointed out you can't despise something that doesn't exist so I would never waste the energy.
Jesus isn't special among god myths. There is no real evidence that he ever existed as a man or as a god. The "Jesus fable" makes absolutely no sense at all and was told many times prior to Jesus with only slight variations. But without bothering with details the story simply doesn't stand up to even mild logical scrutiny.
As to religions in general; they are the single worst thing ever to befall mankind, they are the most divisive and destructive. Catholicism in particular is responsible for much, if not most of, what ails the 3rd world, namely poverty due to the lack of family planning. Religion is largely responsible for the overpopulation that is destroying the very planet we live on and today, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the planet can't sustain our numbers. Religions are telling there minions that nothing is wrong and that they should continue to proliferate, that is inexcusable.
Atheism / non-belief consists of 3 words "gods don't exist". There is no un-holy book or dogma to prove or disprove, no fables, no myths to defend or analyze. You can't prove nothing exists because there is nothing to prove. The onus of proof falls solely on those claiming that something / anything exists. So no, I make no attempt to prove atheism simply because it can't be done.
The conversation would go something like this;
Me- "Look over there."
Them- "I don't see anything."
Them- "No I mean there is nothing there."
Me- "My point."
Them- "I don't understand, what are you talking about?"
Me- "Can't you feel the presence of nothing,,, it's everywhere."
Them- "How could I feel nothing, you're a loony!"
This would be followed by much confusion and shrugging of shoulders.
But reverse this conversation and they somehow expect me to see and feel their nothing / gods.
I can no more see / feel their gods than they can see / feel nothing, because neither exist.
Finally; Did a god do something to anger me?
No, how could nothing anger me?
Religious followers have angered me in the past but they only represent their church / ideology and in theory can't speak for a god.
There are a lot of responses so forgive me if I am repeating anything. This is my personal view- I don't despise Jesus, or any religion for that matter. Your questions seems to suggest atheists do, as a matter of fact. I actually think Jesus was- if the knowledge we have of him is historically true- a great man with some very forward thinking moral ideas. I actually think much of modern day Christianity and many Christians are very far removed from what he actually taught- how many Christians do you know that don't judge for instance? It's a shame I wish more Christians were like Jesus and lived by his teachings. It seems most Christians seem to live by St Paul's teachings which were much more judgmental and hateful and so probably easier for people to follow. Anyway I am probably generalizing and being unfair but that is sometimes the feeling I get when I see people using religion as an excuse to oppose people's human rights and freedoms. I remember seeing a fridge magnet once that said "Christians aren't perfect, they just expect you to be." It made me laugh and it's exactly the kind of thing Jesus warned against- the speck in your brother's eye and all that.
Hi Meg Moon. I agree that Jesus was very forward thinking & quite radical in his message to accept all. As for the magnet, it's clever, but untrue. Christians feel as if atheists expect us to be perfect. Everyone is flawed. l do support Gay righ
I'm sure you do but you can't speak for all Christians. I agree though many atheists are shocked when religious people do anything a bit naughty like you're not people too.
Meg Moon, great comment. Every word you wrote I agree with. Using Jesus as a shield from that which is "different" or unsavory to them seems to be common. Certainly not with all Christians, though.
Meg Moon. It's true that many Christians are prejudiced against Gays. This is wrong. I believe many are taking the Bible out of context, and I always speak to them about this. Torn, by Justin Lee is a book I recommend to Christians about this matter.
YES, you are in fact despising the God Himself not only His messengers or their religion, do you know simply how and why ? Non-recognition of His existence which was the message of His messengers is in an act of despise in itself.
He is the almighty Who is more sovereign, more superior and Has stated in His Holy Books that He sent the Messengers to tell all people that He is existing and gave any Messenger a miracle or portent because the people of past ages had limited means of sciences to know Him by deduction or through thinking in His creation. You can not ask Him to show up what you call His character. Who are you if compared with His unlimited soverign power ? You are nothing but a small negligible creature in His unlimited kingdom.
No more miracles or messengers are expected to come after the last messenger of I slam Mohammed, and this is mentioned in the Qura'an which is the last Holy book.
If you do not believe in Him as your God then you are impliedly despising Him and despising the message of His messengers by default. This is the true belief of any person who believes in Him.
"Who are you if compared with His unlimited sovereign power?" If one does not believe in him, or chooses another God as his or her deity, how does this even make sense? What I mean is, to me, Jesus is a mere man, buried long ago. I am MUCH more.
I am talking about religions that worship ONE GOD . There is nothing called '' another God '' . I do agree with you that Jesus was a mere man but I believe that he was a messenger whom the God had sent with a message that had been replace by Islam.
It's all in your mind, Mahmo. I despise no god, because there is not one. Only that which you chose to believe in your mind. My mind is no better, no worse than yours.
I hope we meet together in the day of resurrection to tell me how you came to life again ? I know it is difficult for you to believe but did you come to this world also just by mere unwise haphazard act and without wise act of wise power ?
No offense, but your statement appears to be mere drivel..blatantly making stuff up to suit your already absurd conclusion that Atheist can actually hate something that doesn't exist. You probably also think that Islam is the religion of peace
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