I've heard the "energy can never be destroyed, only displaced" argument before, but there are different types of energy. Don't you think that the energy that composes living matter, chemical energy, does after a time simply loses its potency, like when a battery finally "dies" as we like to say, and becomes inert? Wouldn't you agree that likewise, consciousness ends with the cessation of brain activity?
Why would you possibly think that energy would or even could “lose its potency”? There would be no good reason to think that it would and inert energy is not the same as non-existent. Even when energy isn’t actively doing anything it still exists and is still part of the whole that makes up our universe. Batteries aren’t energy themselves, they hold energy, the energy they once held is used on other things and expended but that energy still exists, the battery is merely a vessel. I have absolutely no reason to think that consciousness would continue on after death, I believe that consciousness is dependent upon our brain and physical bodies and without those what we know as “consciousness” would not be able to exist.
I'm not saying that we don't have reason to be upset with religion---we do. But we should not forget to promote the benefits of education in addition to exposing the ills of faith. We should be pro-science, not just anti-religion. Cheers!
If you simply take a look at my blog you will see hundreds of posts dedicated to eduction, science, and furthering reason and logic. This is exactly what I have done.
“In the course of the great Taiping rebellion, which was only crushed in 1864, the exotic “Christians” routed the Manchu trash wherever they met it, took Nanking and all the cities along the Yangtze River, and created panic in Peking. Burning Buddhist and Taoist temples, and substituting Christ for Confucius as they went along, they could almost certainly have overrun the whole country had they made up their minds to do so. Six hundred cities and towns were destroyed in the course of their crusade, and an empire that had a population of 400 million in 1850 was down to 267 million by 1862, it is said.”—Dennis Bloodworth - The Chinese Looking Glass
(☆u☆) Ar3 you also of th3 opinion that a soul is a ridiculous conc3pt ?
What most people traditionally consider to be the “soul” is an absurd concept that couldn’t possibly exist in reality. With that said though I am not as down on the possibilities of what might happen after death as many people would think. I am actually quite comfortable in stating that some form of reincarnation takes place. Obviously one of the most basic scientific concepts can be summed up as energy is never created or destroyed simply converted. We obviously have some form of energy that animates our thoughts and our bodies. That energy will never disappear, even when we’re dead, it will simply transfer in to something else.
To be clear I don’t think this energy retains any memory, it doesn’t identify itself as you and it certainly doesn’t hold your experiences and memories. It is an essential and important part of you but it is essentially entirely apathetic to “who” and “what” you are. We don’t have bodies, we are bodies. What makes us is strictly material and even if any matter of our “energy” or whatever you would like to call it survives past the physical death of our bodies there is absolutely no good reason to think that whatever that is, is us, or could be recognized as us. It simply returns to the cycle of the universe to continue on the pattern that has been repeating since the beginning of time.
I have an ask asking for book suggestions to become more informed on the topic of Atheism and religion, I would suggest these books as a great start and they already come with helpful links to PDF or Audiobooks. Hope this helps as it is a great base.
I understand why you have your beliefs, but please keep in mind that religion is about being a loving person for God rather than being a brainwashed fool. I strongly disagree with your beliefs, but everyone is entitled to their opinion; both of us.
Perhaps you can do the world a favor and turn being a “loving person for God” to being a loving person for humanity. If you are going to devalue this life, this world, and humanity why take part in it at all? Religion teaches you to de-value this life, it teaches you to treat it as temporal and unworthy of your full consideration and devotion. My disbelief has provided me with exactly the opposite. It has shown me that this life is the only thing worth valuing at all, that this world we live in is the only thing to be really concerned with.
I will never agree with your beliefs but I will never tell you that you don’t have a right to have it. I will tell you though that those beliefs and values make you a morally abysmal person in my view. Anyone who lists their “love of God” as their top priority has nothing of worth to say to me on the topic of morality or justice. You make it clear that you don’t value this world, how could I possibly take what you have to say about it serious? If you are not of this world, don’t be of this world, but I am certainly am. Yet unfortunately I am far more likely to experience persecution, prejudice, and contempt for my view, than you are for yours.
Do you believe we can remove religious opinions and religion-based actions from American politics?
I don’t think we will be able to until the majority in America is no longer religious. Well the majority of Americans remain religious it is always going to find a way to bleed through to politics. It is also extremely important for politicians to pander to the religious base. Once religious people become the minority many politicians will put less emphasis on pandering to them and their whims and we can start to push religious based belief out of the political realm. Politics are really just a reflection of the people, hence why politics in the United States are generally so screwed up, as long as the people remain strongly religious it will reflect in the politics of our country.
Wait, aren't people allowed to believe whatever they want?
People are allowed to believe what they want. I’m also allowed to think those beliefs are ridiculous and outlandish. If they are willing to discuss their beliefs then they should be open to debate, discussion, and yes even criticism. I am not looking to force anyone to change their beliefs but I can’t understand how once a belief is shown to be irrational and illogical that someone would still cling to it unless it is for self centered reasons.
Wait, what about Buddhism and Taoism and such? Those are religions [Less violent than others], do you still hate those?
They are still religions, aren’t they? They are still irrational and detracting from reality, aren’t they? So yes, I still hate those religions just as I hate all other religions. It isn’t a matter of just a specific religion I hate or a specific practice or belief within religion, it is religion in general. Religion takes away from life, it distracts people from reality, and it treats this world as if it is unworthy of us. It undermines the importance and fleeting nature of life. Religion breeds solipsism and Buddhism and Taoism are just as bad, if not worse, at that as any other religion is. I don’t understand why I have so many people that think Eastern religion should get a free pass unless they are simply being racist and romanticizing the East as some sort of “enlightened utopia” where people can’t be irrational.
I enjoy this page a lot. It brings be comfort to know that there are rational and logical people out there. Especially when I'm constantly surrounded by idiots who think "atheist" means "person without morals or anything to live for." When we know it's the exact opposite.
Thank you, I do appreciate it. I think if for no other reason at all that is a reason why Atheist groups, pages, and discussions are important. No one wants to feel as if they are the only one and honestly I am almost overwhelmed by just how many people from all different walks of life I’ve come across who identify as non-believers. We no longer have to hide in the corners of society being afraid to speak out about the sanctioned insanity that runs rampant in our daily lives, we can finally speak up and embrace freedom from the mental oppression shoved on to us for so long.
There are some religious people who will always have a negative view of Atheists, they are the people that are so small minded that they will hate and discriminate against anyone with even a small difference in their world view or opinion. We know that we share the moral high ground, we care about what is good and right because it is good and right not because a religion sanctions it. We are developing our morality the way that people did before religion came around and tried to hijack it all, by worrying about what is actually right or wrong, not just who tells us it is. In the long run non-believers will always be around and on a long enough time scale religions will always go extinct.
I really have to say, I love following you and reading your responses. While I'm neither Atheist or a monotheistic follower, and have nothing really against either, I love the information you post. You're such a quality person, and I would love to pick your brain one day.
Am posting this just because it is definitely one of the most awesome compliments I could receive. If someone who isn’t even interested in the topic being discussed still enjoys reading what I write I must be doing something right. Thank you so much for the message. :)
"Charities exist, in a religious context, as a way of attempting to alleviate the guilt of the successful religious person." Citation needed.
You’re really going to start pointing to things that need citation when it comes to a religious discussion? Really? Sounds like you’re demanding a level of proof from others that you would never demand of Christian views in general, personally I would think that is a bit hypocritical.
What do you think of the phrase "the devil is in the details"? As far as I understand, it was Lucifer who enticed Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge, gave them clothes, told them to question their God. I'm not very familiar with Christianity, so correct me if I'm wrong.
Well it wasn’t exactly the devil that gave them clothes but when they ate the apple they became aware of their nakedness and despite being the only two people in all of existence felt some need to be self conscious. That whole story really doesn’t make sense and for the most part even many of the most devoted Christians will say that it isn’t a “literal” story. Small concession right?
Anyways, the phrase “the devil is in the details” seems to be applied more broadly, usually it is just a turn of phrase people use outside of biblical discussion. As it relates to Christianity though, when you look at it in detail that is when it starts to break down. When you question why the resurrections stories are all different, why the earth was “created” twice, why are their countless contradictions, why are there all of these events and stories that seem to make no logical sense at all, basically all of the “details”. That is where people find reason to doubt and question, that is where people find reasons to distrust Christianity. Of course anything that makes people doubt Christianity can only be one thing….THE DEVIL!
In general Christians can’t be detailed minded, the details are what will trip up their faith, so of course that is where the devil hides.
I call myself a militant atheist. I've been "a Christian", raised in a Christian home and still have lots of Christian friends. Lately, here in Sweden at least, the secularization is happening all the time, thank god (lol). What I see is a church that is evolving. And that is a paradox. I see Christians who start to "modernize their belief and the Bible". And of course, it makes me happy. I think we're seeing the death of Christianity within a couple of hundred years or so. What do you think?
The church evolving is generally a good thing because otherwise we would still have to deal with them attempting to persecute “witches” or burn homosexuals because of their “sin”. Having a more modern church is, of course, a step forward but the church can only do so much. At the very root of Christianity is the untenable idea of a magic daddy in the sky watching over us which no person with any logic or sense can realistically believe. Christianity can never evolve to the point that its core principles are inline with reality.
Many European countries are a step ahead from the rest of the world in finally dismissing religion for good. I think it quite likely if not completely assured that non-belief will be the dominant view of people in many major European countries in the next 20 to 30 years. As for the rest of the world we’re a bit behind, especially the very religiously minded Americans. In American we will likely have people clinging desperately to their religion to the bitter end, but this too shall pass. The next generation of people are not falling in to the same trap of religious brainwashing and mental manipulation like previous generations have, which gives me hope. I think it is almost certain in our life time that even in America non-belief will be the dominant view.
I try to be a bit reserved with my hope but I still think it is going to happen quite quickly. If we look at the last time non-belief made a strong surge (around the late 1800’s when the views of “Naturalism” started to become popular) we still had too many weak minded individuals in positions of power and influence. We ended up slipping back in to a strong religious resurgence pushed mainly through a campaign of fear and propaganda. I am hopeful that we are too sensible to fall for such a thing once again, but if I have learned anything about humanity at all it is to keep my expectations low.
"The reason that people tithe" - you can't know the intension of someone, I don't give because I feel like I have to alleviate guilt... and not for any favours. I like giving because it makes others feel loved, and giving is a natural thing - it's human to give. I bet you give as well. "unless you have sold all of your possessions " - there are Saints who have done this. I wish we could have a real conversation, I could bring you clarity on what's we actual believe!
Unconscious motive and self-deception are common human traits. Perhaps I can not know the specific intention of each individual, but if we are being honest, you certainly can’t either. You likely have other motivations that you may never even acknowledge consciously. Religious people in general though are part of a herd and it is easier to study the herd and learn their traits than it is to learn the traits of each individuals. The herd tithes and gives because it is part of the protection racket. They give to gain favor with their imaginary sky daddy but more importantly to them to stay in favor with the herd they have joined in to.
I know what religious people believe, I realize and understand what the beliefs are but when we come to motive it is much more complicated. You could never tell me truthfully and honestly the motives of religious people because you yourself very likely don’t understand all of them, that doesn’t mean we can not look at the patterns. I assure you I constantly seek new insight when it comes to the discussion of religious but rarely if ever does this insight come from a believer themselves. I’m no longer at the point where I can learn anything from another bleeding heart whaling on about “the glory of Christ”.
Instead of just bashing Christianity - you can't tell me that so many good things have not come from it. Hospitals, orphanages, the largest charitable organization on the planet, the scientific method, founded the college system... You can't refute that!
Charities exist, in a religious context, as a way of attempting to alleviate the guilt of the successful religious person. The reason that people tithe is so that they can feel as if they are supporting their community because they believe that is what the bible calls for. They believe it will grant them favor with their magical sky daddy. What does the bible actually call for though?
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
So Christians really don’t even live up to the level of charity they supposedly commit themselves to. They are hypocrites, unsurprisingly, and would be deemed “unworthy” by their supposed poster boy, Jesus. So unless you have sold all of your possessions you shouldn’t even speak of charity in a Christian sense because you’re not doing it in a Christian sense.
As for science and education, religion has done more to harm these things than it has ever done to provide them good. Yes, yes we all know many sciences started out as attempts to “prove” that god existed but all were miserable failures. Sciences did exist outside of the Judeo-Christian world though as well. So even without religion to be around the whole of science would still be available to us and given a different set of events in this world we still would make all of these scientific discoveries in time. Religion has done nothing special to provide for these things but has on countless occasions worked to try to retard their progress.
So as for yourself, instead of attempting to link Christianity to all of the positive things you see in the world take a moment to reflect on how much more pure so many of these things could be without the taint of Christianity. Imagine if people actually just gave to charity because they are good people who want to help others, instead of believing that they must do it for some other worldly reward. Imagine a world where all scientific advancements are entertained and encouraged, not just the ones that the church sanctioned. Image a world where education is provided to all people regardless of their status in life and regardless of their religious conviction. Once you can imagine all of these things free of the taint of Christianity you have envisioned a secular world.
So, my friend recently told me that there was a group of people handing out bibles near her middle school. Which is a public middle school , by the way. And the people doing it evaded the principle when he tried to ask them to leave.
Unfortunately if they aren’t on school grounds they are in their full legal right. It is sad that the religious attempt to target children for brain washing and indoctrination when instead they should be reaching out to children to think and expand their world view, not narrow it. The religious will use whatever dirty tricks they can to help spread their word, they feel that the ends justifies the means. Personally I get quite frustrated when I see proselytizing groups even in my neighborhood, we should no longer simply allow these people to victimize the credulous and uninformed.
"It tells me that the Catholic church has failed" - that's why the Catholic church went from 12 people & Jesus to over 2 billion knowing about Christ right?! Also, the arguments you make about homophobia and child molesting are ignorant... You can't tell me that not one single atheist has ever committed a crime. We're also not homophobic, we welcome!
I don’t know which part of your statement is more hopelessly sad and pathetic. The fact that you are actually trying to say that one of the most homophobic groups on the entire planet is not, or that you actually think the Catholic church was built up from “12 people & Jesus”. Of course non-believers can commit crimes, statistically speaking though there are far less non-believer in incarceration, but we also don’t attempted to go before the entire world and trumpet that we have the only path to the moral high ground and that people should look up to us for it. The Catholic church has been attempting to convince people of this for hundreds of years yet it has failed itself countless times. The Catholic church is one of the biggest jokes in religion, it is the Scientology of Christianity.
In Catholicism, it is the churches #1 goal to evangelize. It's in our nature to want community, and unity, to 'spread the word'. It's funny to me that you're JUST as adamant to create unity and community! What does that tell you?
It tells me that the Catholic church has failed and it is about time someone does it without all of the homophobia, child molesting, and misogyny.
How is the Quran any worse than the Bible? They both seem pretty equally horrible to me.
They are both archaic evil books used to spread chaos and oppression across the world but the Qu’ran is much more direct about it. The Qu’ran was cobbled together by warlords living in a war torn land and the book reflects that. It is very open and direct when calling for abuse and mistreatment of non-believers. One of the biggest differences is that Christians have had to learn to live with people of other religions for longer than most Muslims have. In most areas where Islam was prosperous it was in control and didn’t have to answer to anyone. Islam just isn’t accustomed to living in harmony with other religions, that is something that Islam is still adjusting to. Christianity has a head start when it comes to that.
Christianity has also gone through many reformations and changes over the last 2,000 years. The bible that most people read today is extremely different than the bible of the 5th and 6th century, it has been updated and reworded hundreds of times. The Qu’ran has had far less changes from the “original” copy. Muslims fight strongly against even the smallest changes within their scripture where Christians really could care less. As a result Muslims read a much less refine book than the bible, and it certainly shows when reading it. Both books are horrible, but reading the Qu’ran is like reading a first draft manifesto by war hungry fools, the bible is the version that has been edited and reworked to make it more palatable.
My mother is one of those "What about those people who NEED religion to get by? Especially those on death row or extreme poverty." people, and that's her favorite argument to use when I say a few good deeds now can not erase so many years of bad ones. She's an ex-catholic but still in the realm of religious, and I don't really have any good replies. How would you respond to that?
Religion has never been, and was never meant to be, used as a tool to raise people up from a lower quality of life to a better one. Religion has always been used to keep the poor and destitute in their place and happy with it. In religion poverty is seen as a badge of honor, to be worn proudly, no talks of empowering people to a better status in life. Saying that those people in extreme poverty need it is to say that you want to do nothing to alleviate that poverty, you just want to find a way for them to be able to better accept it.
As the old quote by Seneca the Younger goes “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”
The reason people on death row tend to cling to religion should be obvious, they are so close to death and they are left with nothing but time to contemplate the after-life. Why is this a positive? Why should these people, moral monsters in almost all regards, be given some form of compassion and solace to turn to? Yes, I know, they are still human beings but saying that religion can provide comfort to a monster who is about to put down for the good of society does absolutely nothing to make it redeemable to me.
Perhaps these people that are left to suffer under oppression and poverty would actually be able to muster the courage and strength to fight against this oppression if they weren’t trained to be slaves. Religion teaches people to become slaves, it teaches people to subjugate their will, their wants, and their desires to something and someone else. Almost always the people manipulating these poor fools are doing it for their own gain, masking it behind the pretense of a higher power. Allowing religion to continue on doesn’t give those abused by it a better life, it simply allows for those that are doing the abuse to live a better life.
What are your opinions on the atheists who do not bother shouting or spreading the ideas of antitheism?
The Atheists that don’t get involved in anti-theism don’t really bother me at all. I think that if someone has escaped from religion it would make sense that they would want to help others do the same, but it is not as if they are required to. People can be apathetic to the entire topic and they will likely be less stressed by the whole discussion in general. There is nothing wrong with simply avoiding religion, I think it is what a lot of would like to do if it was possible and our conscience would allow it.
The Atheists that do really bother me are the ones that work as religious apologists and speak about the religious in such a condescending way without even realizing it. The Atheists that tell you that “some people” need religion, that some people use it for good, or (worst of all) that some people can’t handle the world and reality without religion. Those are the Atheists that really get on my nerves, ones that have accepted reality for themselves but look down at the lowly religious who “need” to have religion.
Now some may say that I “look down” on religious people in much the same way but I see this as a misconception of intention. My intention is not to look down on lowly religious people and keep them there in their squalor and ignorance, not at all. My goal is to allow them to raise themselves up, to embrace reality and truth, and to free them from the shackling burden that religion places upon them. In that way the Atheist who seems as if they are defending religion actually has a much more depressing and lowly view of the religious minded person. Either don’t care about religion or work against religion, but don’t have the gall to try and tell me that “some people” need religion, especially if you’ve already escaped it yourself.
Do/have you gotten any serious threats or hate mail for this blog? Like death threats, stalkers and the like? I really want to make a long entry in my blog (not anonymous) about Atheism, including quotes from the Bible, evidence of harm, debunking western Jesus ever existed, explanations on evolution, etc. As well as being openly angry(hateful) about it all. Though the thought of being flooded with hate mail and threats makes me backtrack all those plans. I'm a 18 year old girl btw.
As it relates to the blog I haven’t really had much issue. I have had a few minor threats and some angry people but I haven’t ever had any threats I considered legitimate. With the fact that I keep myself more or less anonymous though it likely makes it easier. The internet is a big place and chances are most the people that get upset aren’t even anywhere near me. For the most part I would not worry about it too terribly much. The internet has become more and more accepting of such views over the years.
With that said though I do still want to suggest some level of caution. I did have a situation on Facebook where I followed one of the local news stations and did have some issues with a few people. They would often post articles related to the topic of religion and me being me I responded with my blunt and straight forward view point on the topic. This greatly upset a few people that all seemed to know each other outside Facebook and they did start sending me vague threats directly, they even posted my home address on a page and suggested for people to “come visit me”. I did take those threats a bit more seriously and have since tried to distance myself from those pages. Thankfully nothing has come from it but the people I was upsetting were, not surprisingly, right wing conservative pro-gun type of individuals.
People will get upset but it takes a lot to make people so mad that they take it off of the internet. Being a young woman you have a whole other set of factors to take in to account that I do not. You may end up having the opposite effect where someone becomes so enamored with you that they take it too far. Perhaps not, but I honestly don’t know how common that type of thing is in relation to internet religious discussion. The short version, I wouldn’t worry about it too terribly much, but it is always good to keep your safety and security in mind. Don’t let it be such a worry that it holds you back from doing and saying what you feel is really important to you.