The article is quite long but to sum it up he starts off by trying to break down the most common argument from Atheists as being personal attacks. Saying that it would mean the theist either must have some kind of a mental deficiency or malfunction, or that they must be irrational or unreasonable people. Trying to bring the objections down to a level of personal attack on the character of the believer, obviously slanting the language to try and curry favor with his eventual position which is quite weak as well.
He seems fully willing to admit there is absolutely no evidential reasons for the belief in God but his reasons are:
- I just believe in God because I believe in God. I can’t help that because it is just what I believe.
- I don’t want to not believe in God because I don’t think I should even though I acknowledge my beliefs are irrational and not based on any form of proof.
He then goes on to say that Atheists are probably the one actually suffering from some sort of dysfunction. He throws in a few of the same old foundation less jives of Atheists being unhappy with life and just angry. Then states that the reason people are Atheists may be because they are sinners. Since Atheists are all sinners there must be a God and we just don’t believe in him because of that sin blinding us to him. How is this man well respected for his views?
He goes on to state that since either Atheists or theists must have some sort of cognitive dysfunction that there must be some sort of “optimal” function for the human mind. The only way someone can come up with the idea of anything being optimal is to compare it to a being of supreme perfection. There we go presto chango we were made in God’s image and if we’re functioning properly we believe in God. If we don’t believe in God it must mean we suffer from some sort of deficiency.
Obviously this is the extremely boiled down version but I am not impressed in the least bit with that type of argument. If you have something else perhaps you’d like to link me to I’d be willing to take a look. He boils it down to personal attacks, tries to put them on even grounds, then turn the tables around. It’s nothing more the petty word games, non sequiturs, and twisted logic.
Hey! I'm reading your old posts & I'm currently on your answer to anon (or a troll, whichever) requesting that you define "bullshit" & why things in the bible are bullshit. I came across this part of your answer: "There are no historical records to verify the bible outside of the bible. There is no proof for the existence of the biblical Jesus outside of the bible." About the Jesus thing, I remember when I was in world history (in high school), there was a section in the required textbook about Jesus & his "documented" birth & death. I've always felt that there is no serious documentation of Jesus whatsoever, though, so I have a theory that these texts included him historically just the same as science classes go over creationism—as a courtesy to religious people. What are your thoughts on this?
Hey thank you for the question. I think having just a small nod to Jesus in a history book is probably not a big deal. Even if Jesus never existed unfortunately we are left with all of his followers and the supposed teachings he left behind. I don’t think even if it was proven one way or another definitively that it would change anything at all. Faith isn’t based on facts.
Given the available information I do think that it is quite possible that a man the story of Jesus was partly based on existed. I don’t think that he was anything like the biblical story suggests he was. I don’t believe he performed miracles, he wasn’t the son of God, wasn’t born of a virgin, didn’t die and come back to life, any of that myth. He was a simple normal man who became a myth after his death if anything. The stories of him were twisted and contorted beyond what actually happened to create this unrealistic image of a messiah.
Jesus was trying hard to fulfill the prophecy of the Old Testament and the bible shows that. If it was an entirely fabricated story may as well just fabricate it all instead of showing the “struggles” of Jesus in trying to appease the Jewish people. The story spread quickly even if it did only originally start as a small cult of people, but proof of early Christians is certainly no proof of Christ.
The biggest issue for me comes from the fact that there are no facts outside of the bible that show or even suggest for a moment that Jesus of the bible really existed. As I’ve said many times Josephus was a fake. The only other mentions of Jesus at all from around the time period are small passing mentions in letters between individuals. No stories of grand miracles or healing but just a small “oh yeah, this guy was put to death over there…”. Simple hear say and nothing more. If such a man was to exist there would be some information. There would be at least one small shred of real proof, someone outside the bible who can say yes, I saw this man, yes he was who the bible says he is.
So he might of been real, if he was he certainly wasn’t the son of God. There is just shy of absolute 0 chance that he is ever going to “return” once again. He was probably just a regular guy who tried to tell people to be good to each other and ended up being warped into this mythological legend. Unfortunately no matter what the case, we’re stuck with the aftermath.
So the straw man arguments that Dawkins creates don't bother you at all?
It is a nice pseudo intellectual argument to try and cast off what he says as being a straw man argument. I don’t see the book as fitting that description. It is not uncommon for people that want to dismiss what he has to say instead of addressing the topic as well. It’s much easier to cast off the argument as being invalid in the first place than actually answer to it.
It’s one of my favorite books of all time. It has done a lot to open up people’s eyes across the world. I am extremely grateful for Richard Dawkins and all the amazing work that he does. Out of all of the great Atheists books written in recent years it is probably the best done.
So I was wondering if I should try and do something special for my 1,000th post but I couldn’t come up with anything easy and timely. So instead I want to do what people typically do at a milestone and tell all my followers again how much I appreciate you all. The messages of appreciation and encouraging comments make it so worth while. Even the ones who hate me, if you add to the discussion or what I do on this page, I appreciate it. It’s been about 6 months now that I’ve had this page and the response has been phenomenal. It has given me a lot of great discussion, information, and new ideas. Just have to take the opportunity to say again how much I appreciate this site and having the chance to do what I do. As always feel free to contact me with comments/questions/anon stalking love letters or whatever you like.
first things first, thank you for hating. I'd been going to Cal State Long Beach for three years, and there's a gang of fucking hippies that want to spread nothing but this fictional "infinite love" but ignore the benefits of the balance hating on things provides. Fuck, i hate them sooooo much.
But I like you. Atheists are awesome, and generally smarter than the average public (especially given my public of college age love-tards, God I hate them soo much). I'm a theist, but I renounced God at one point in my life because of an abysmal depression I fell into. I don't believe in any specific religion, but I talk to the ceiling more than I have in years.
My question for you is this: is it predisposed for an atheist to doubt the knowledge/wisdom/intelligence of someone who believes, or is it an unfair stigma that the religious tie to atheists?
Thanks for the message, this definitely made me chuckle a bit.
For your question it is a little hard to say because I think there is quite a mix. A lot of it really depends on the topic. If I’m discussing with someone the big bang, evolution, or many other scientific topics and someone pipes in with “Well in the bible…” chances are I’ll roll my eyes a bit and not pay any attention to what they’re going to say. It’s not relevant to the discussion and anything they’re going to throw in won’t be productive. The bible can not offer any insights into science.
When discussing religion I often like to listen to what believers have to say. I’m not necessarily going to wait with bated breath for their insightful revelation that is sure to change my mind, but I want their input when possible. I want to know what drives religious people to be religious and how their mind operates. Often because of that I may take more interest in what they say, even if I doubt the credibility of it.
As far as it relates to most other topics though I take religious and non-religious individuals on the same grounds. If it’s not related to religion, and not related to a particular person’s depiction of morality, insight from religious or non-religious people can be equally valid. I’d trust just about anything Francis Collins says about genetics, but that doesn’t mean I’d trust his view on morality. His scientific insight is based on actual studies and research and not “faith” thankfully.
I try not to discredit someone simply because they are religious but more often than not once the topic comes up something comes along that makes me have to question their basis in reality. Once that happens it’s usually down hill from there and very hard for someone to regain credibility once they admit that they believe in fantasy stories and fairy talse. As a result it may be more common than it should for Atheists to write off believers as having no insight on anything. Unfortunately it is a type of stereotyping and not one that I try to give into but I can definitely see how the perception came about.
The problem with religious schools in Ireland is that religion is a part of the curriculum. Since 98% of primary schools (up to age 12/13) are run by the Catholic Church things like first confession, first holy communion and confirmation are prepared for in school time. So if a child is a child of atheist/non - Catholic parents they have to sit out this stuff and also feel left out from their peers. The other problem this creates is that some parents, particularly in densely populated areas, feel forced into baptising their children when they might not have otherwise as the primary schools show preference to children of Catholic parents that have been baptised. It is slowly getting better, there are more secular and multi-denominational schools opening up, but not enough and not quickly enough!
Thank you for sharing this. Always like hearing the state of things around the world. I guess it isn’t so surprising considering Ireland is one of the last bastions of fundamental Catholicism. Hopefully things will continue to change and Ireland can finally enjoy some much deserved peace and prosperity.
To go against what the anon said about the pope. I went to a Catholic high school and we had to pray for the archbishop and the pope. We had to pray that those leaders would make good decisions because Catholics have to follow their ruling. All 4 years of high school, I was taught that whatever the pope had written about Catholic law, rules, etc. was the truth and that all Catholics had to abide by it since the pope was the chosen one to tell God's message. Being Atheist, I just sat there thinking, "I have to listen to an elderly man in a pointy hat thousands of miles away? Bullshit." Anyways, that is my take on what I was taught about the pope.
Thank you for the message. My family members who were religious were strongly the “traditional” Catholic style and felt much the same way. Religion now more than ever is trying to soften it’s stance where ever it can to try and draw more mass appeal. Too little, too late. I wouldn’t be surprised if many younger Catholic children no longer have papal infallibility shoved down their throats as much as it used to. It still remains though just as silly and as core of a belief in Catholicism as transubstantiation.
It's still mostly incorrect to say that anything the Catholic Pope says about morality and faith is infallible and must be accepted as true. Many preparations have to be made before a Pope makes an "infallible statement" so that the distinction of the word of God and the word of man can be clear. In fact, the Papal Infallibility has only happened a handful of times (under ten, but I'm not sure of the correct number. Sorry, it's been a while since school).
Also, on the note of Christian schools (I saw something mentioned in an earlier post today), I feel the need to bring to light that we were not taught on faith. I went to a Catholic high school after going to public school all my life. In one of our religion classes we had a semester of apologetics (defending the faith). The class began with us explaining why we believed what we believed and then having our teacher rip apart all unsound arguments. Through this "devil's advocate" style of teaching, we were then forced to research our faith and come up with our own arguments (or find past arguments that were sound that we agreed with). Just wanted to let you know that many places aren't asking for blind faith anymore.
To sum it up very basically the only things he has to do to make his statement infallible are: 1. Wear his Popey hat (mitre), 2. Sit on his Popey chair (ex cathedra, does not have to be the literal chair of Peter) 3. State in some way that what he is about to say is infallible. There is no official wording as to what needs to be said for it to be considered infallible. That is really about all he needs to do. It is true that it has not been used extremely often but is one of the core beliefs of Catholicism. Papal infallibility is a central belief and it is not incorrect to say that it is expected to be accepted as true by all Catholic. Many Catholics would state it should be accepted as infallible by all people of faith because to deny what the Pope has said would be denying the word of God.
On the religious school issue what I was saying is that there are many religious schools that remain secular, those I would support. Any school that supports a particular religion or a particular view of a particular religion, teaches that information based on religious dogma and not fact, is a complete and total failure. Thinking of new and creative ways to try and defend your faith still boils down to a matter of blind faith. All faith is blind faith. You believe in God because you believe in God and you need to find reasons that coincide with your belief in God to explain away the the things that don’t. Finding new ways of defending your view of faith is a far cry from trying to answer the mysteries that you’re using faith to answer.
I can't understand how people worship the pope. He's only a person, how is he so reveared and loved?
The Pope has always been a topic that intrigued me. I’ll assume you’re referring to the Catholic Pope, there are others, but he is obviously the most well know. When I was growing up I had a great aunt who spent her entire life as a Catholic nun and was give the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. She was able to speak to him directly before a service and got a picture taken with him. The way she described it, the wonder in her eyes, and the emotion it made it obvious that to her it was one step below meeting God himself face to face. It was probably the happiest moment in his life, which I find to be a little sad.
I had a random anon that made a comment to me before saying it’s incorrect to say that Catholics worship the Pope. They may not worship him in the same sense that they worship God or Jesus but the official ruling of the Pope’s power isn’t far off. The official infallibility of the Pope wasn’t established until 1870 (and reaffirmed in the 1960’s) but the tradition dates back far longer than that. The only major challenge to the notion of infallibility stems from Pope Pius XII’s “Assumption of Mary” where he lays out in great detail Mary’s assent in to heaven, being infallible as the Pope it is accepted as Catholic doctrine.
In it’s most fundamental form the church is infallible as well. A heirachy must be established in order to give a voice to this infallible authority so that it may be heard. The highest point of which would be the Pope. Papal infallibility states in part that God prevent the Pope from speaking incorrectly when it comes to faith or morality. Therefor everything the Pope says related to faith and morality is to be taken as entirely true and considered unquestionable since God has allowed him to say it.
So I guess to be entirely fair we can’t say that Catholics worship the Pope. They do admit that he is a man, even if many of them have been venerated to sainthood after their death. They just say when he’s wearing his Popey hat, sitting in his Popey chair, doing his Popey business that his words are directly guided and monitored by God himself. That everything he says well doing his Popey business has to be accepted as true by members of the Catholic faith and was inspired by God. Of course he is limited to clarification on existing doctrines and not able to create new doctrines. I’d say that’s pretty close to worship.
(Fun random fact: June 3rd, 1963 Pope John XXIII died, that was also the same day my mother was born, no wonder my mother was the black sheep of the family.)
After seeing the question about the Illuminati, I wondered this:
What is your opinion of the movie Zeitgeist, specifically the comparison of Christianity to other religions?
I actually made a comment about Zeitgeist quite a while ago. I originally liked the movie a lot but after doing a bit more research the movie is filled with inaccuracies. It’s true that a lot of the story of Jesus was borrowed from other stories and other religions but many of the specific comparison they drew were incorrect. Some of the information they stated of other gods and other religions is also incorrect. If you enjoyed the movie I would definitely encourage doing a bit more research into the specifics because it’s not something I’d recommend trusting at face value. I watched the first two but because of my concerns over their inaccuracies I’ve totally avoided the most recent one.
what is your opinion on the illuminati/free masonry?
I think the Masons get a bit of a bad reputation just because they like to be a secretive group. They probably have their secrets, their circles of influence, and their own agenda that they keep mainly to themselves. I think that their perceived influence though is probably pushed out of proportion. I’ve met and talked to many Masons in the past and none of them seem to have a weird agenda or secret plans.
As far as any kind Illuminati or secret world power, I don’t think it’s much of a secret. If you do enough research you can often find where the sources of power and influence in the world are and the world bank is one of the biggest. The world bank along with the federal reserve system in the USA have more power to influence global trends and financial markets than any other group could ever imagine. They could cause panic throughout the world on a moments notice and their agenda is really what I’d love to know. It’s not necessarily something I spend a lot of time being concerned with but giving a few select people almost exclusive power over the financial future of the majority of the world could be disastrous.
Is this anti-religion thing as big of a part of your everyday life as it is your "tumblr" life?
yes, i know you're on tumblr everyday, but i mean your not-internet world. haha
It seems to be increasing but still isn’t a huge part of my outside tumblr life. I have all the normal responsibilities of life to take care of too. I work 40 hours, take care of my son, find time for real life people sometimes, and a little bit of time to relax and be lazy.
I usually try and combine the two a lot, I’m definitely a multitasker. I’m on tumblr while at work, will usually be listening to a debate or some sort of discussion while playing video games, and will read a book if my son just wants to watch tv while we sit together. I hope to become more active in it in my life and will continue to look for ways I can incorporate it into my daily life. Even in real life though I don’t shy away from expressing my view at the very least.
Still cant answer what god is to you? And owh....u probably understand NOTHING when u were reading al-quran...shows how stupid you are :) you can't juz read quran the way it is..ppl like you won't understand the true meaning of each and every word of allah swt
Looks like I have a Muslim trolly friend, that is so sweet. It’s good to spread beyond the Christians or pompous agnostic ones I’ve had recently.
I’ll assume that English is probably not your first language and not make the simple jokes that I could about me failing at understanding when you’re unable to string together a coherent sentence. Regardless, the reason I didn’t answer the question of what god is to me is because it is entirely pointless. God is nothing to me, there is no God, there is no such force/entity/power that I would ever in any sense consider to be worthy of the name God. God doesn’t exist.
As far as my understanding of the Qu’ran, is my interpretation any less valid than any other? No, it’s not. If I wanted to grow a big bushy beard and start calling myself an Imam I could. If I could get people to listen to what I say regarding it I could start calling myself a “Quranic scholar” or some other b.s. made up title to try and flex my ego. There is no such thing as the “true meaning” of Allah because Allah is just as made up as Shiva, Vishnu, Mazda, Yahweh, Baal, and all the other member of the imaginary deity club.
Perhaps you shouldn’t blame me for not understanding, maybe you should blame the syphilitic, pedophile, lunatic you call a prophet for making up such a horrible, misogynistic, violent, disgusting story and dooming countless millions to a life of pain and subjugation.
Somewhat related to your last Ask: do you have anything in particular that would be certain enough proof of God? Or would it be one of those "I'd know if it I saw it" sorts of things?
(I'm sorry if someone has asked you this before...still a new-ish follower. :) )
Thanks for the question and it’s quite alright. There are definitely things that would show proof of God that I would be willing to accept. It is hard to say exactly what all they would be, what level of proof would need to become available in order to sway my mind. If a theistic God was real of course he could just reveal himself and remove all question from anyone’s mind, that would be the easiest way.
If we saw things act outside of the laws of natural order it would be a good case for God. The greatest miracle of the world is that there are no miracles, if there were it would be a case for an outside force. If the belief of God was consistent throughout the world, all religions with the same interpretation, it would be much harder to dispute. If the theistic idea of God was real in any way I think it would be apparent, so obvious, that it should be impossible to deny.
For a deistic God it would be much harder to say what it would take to show proof. That is sort of the point of the deistic God though, he was lazy, started stuff into motion and went away to never be heard or seen again. Whenever people attempt to propose that idea I don’t really see the point. What’s the difference between a God that does nothing and no God at all? It’s all part of the human need for an absolute, a finite starting point, if that was to exist it would be next to impossible to ever determine. Science will continue to try and find ways though and should be able to at least continually push back that “starting point” that people feel the need to interject God into.
This is for Clentils question
I don't want students who could make the next major breakthrough in renewable energy sources or space travel to have been taught that anything they don't understand, and that nobody yet understands, is divinely constructed and therefore beyond their intellectual capacity. The day that happens, Americans will just sit in awe of what we don't understand, while we watch the rest of the world boldly go where no mortal has gone before. - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you are so awesome, I really wasn’t that mad about Pluto to begin with. I don’t know if I can consider you the next Sagan yet but you’re making a good case for it. :)
Sadly America is sitting back and letting the rest of the world zoom past us in many aspects. They worry about advances in technology and improving their quality of life well in America we bicker over who can get married and if women should have rights to their own bodies. America needs to get it’s priorities right.
Do you ever wonder, even for a split second, "What if I'm wrong?" Not saying you are or aren't, but does it ever cross your mind?
Yes, all the time. So many times people think that being an Atheist means I’ve “closed” my mind off to all other possibilities and that I am steadfast in knowing that I am right, that isn’t the case. I state my opinions with assurance because they are based off of information and observation that is currently available. I don’t think that I am always right. I hope to find many things in my life later on that I am wrong about, I strongly doubt God will be one though.
I am able to look at every example of God, every religion, every belief structure and analyze it independently with no emotional attachment to sway my views. I am able to observe it from an objective stand point to try and see if I am able to reconcile it with what I already know and accept to be true. I try to constantly look at alternative belief system and schools of though. I try to always keep in mind that I easily could be wrong, but no information I’ve ever come across as of yet has been able to show me why I am, until such information ever comes about (I’m dubious) I will remain with what I see to be the only logical stand point.
"I hope to provide him with a quality education and quality life though so that he doesn’t have to turn to the mysterious."
I know I probably sound like a broken record, Mr Atheist, but just want to clarify for the record that being brought up in a Christian family does NOT necessarily mean that one will have an awful, or in any way deficient life. Nor does it mean that one will experience anything other than love and unconditional acceptance even if one should decide to become an an Atheist. I know this from both personal experience and from knowing many Christian families. It makes me sad that you seem to know many of the opposite.
I know there is an unspoken footnote to everything you say that says you are not speaking about everybody in one big blanket statement, but I feel the need to defend my corner anyway, however that shall be defined. :)
Thank you for the message. I do agree that you are not necessarily going to be deficient in love in any way. I also know you can receive a quality education from Christian based schools, not faith schools, but secular schools that happen to have a religious base. I also know that you can have a happy and fulfilling life as a Christians.
However, being brought up in a religious faith does teach a level of unquestioning acceptance. It teaches submission to authority, it teaches acceptance of not understanding, and it teachers children not to think for themselves. People can receive a quality upbringing in a religious family but the search for knowledge and understanding aren’t on equal grounds. I hope to provide my son with a questioning sense of wonder about the universe not complacency or fear of the unknown. There are certain aspects that a non-religious up bringing provide that a religious one can not.
Thanks for the question. I would have to say overall probably not. I definitely identify with the struggle of feminists, and I definitely encourage equal rights among all people. Being a man and calling myself a feminist, I think, would require a lot. I’d have to be much more careful with certain things to hold myself to that standard. I definitely do take an interest in issues that affect women and feel strongly about them though.
I appreciate the work feminists do and I think the oppression of religion is something that adds to their struggle. I definitely think anti-theists and feminists have a synergy in what they are both trying to accomplish. Religion is often one of the most oppressive forces used against women especially in heavily Islamic countries. In that sense we are definitely working on the same team.
I just don’t think I could live up to the standards of what a male who refers to himself as a feminist should be. I love the female form and have been known to make comments to and about women I find attractive. I sometimes enjoy humor that may not be sympathetic to feminists. I know you can do that and still be a feminist but it is such a fine line that I wouldn’t want to call myself one and then be considered a disgrace to it.
Thought I'd throw in with the before/after birth thing. There have been studies done about whether or not homosexuality is decided before or after birth and the conclusion has shown to be before. It seems that homosexual men and heterosexual women's brains function in very similar ways (same goes for heterosexual men and homosexual women) in the tests that were conducted. And the differences do develop before birth.
That's the basic gist of it, but this video does a much better job at explaining and demonstrating it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVwjCppq82c
Thanks for the info and this link. I had to watch the video before posting it up but it definitely makes sense to me and it has science to back it up. There is of course the whole “gray” area of bisexual, pansexual, and other alternative sexualities that can’t be grouped into the two categories we like to group people. As far as this study though it looks like some good information.
Luckily, we aren't "commanded" to hate religious people. I can tolerate certain levels of religiosity from person to person, and I'm sure that I would tolerate my son much more so. Everyone has the chance to make stupid decisions, and if my son chose to do so, go for it. I wouldn't stop loving him like most fundamentalist Christians that I know.
Thank you for this, I totally agree. I think that’s all that needs to be said on that subject really.
"From the time that he was 3 I knew he would be gay when he was older. I don’t exactly know how or why ... There was never a doubt in my mind."
So you made an assumption based on feeling and no factual evidence? Let me turn this around:
From the time that I was 3 I knew there was a God who watched over us. I don't exactly know how or why ... There was never a doubt in my mind.
Speaking of knowing you being hypocritical, you make the same arguments that theists make more and more.
The difference being that when he was 15 he decided to confirm what I had expected all along. Where’s your confirmation? You’ll be waiting a while, get back to me once you get that.
Lol, well, children are also not born as homosexuals either ahaha. Rather, they are born with predispositions to become homosexual, bisexual, hetero, etc. I'm not saying it's all choice, but it is to some extent :P
And I'm not disagreeing with you, just elaborating what you mean, I think? :)
Actually, I disagree. I think there are some children that are actually just born homosexual. Most probably are born in some level of gray area and may eventually chose to gravitate to one or the other. My reasoning mostly being from personal experience. I have a younger half brother who was most definitely born gay. A few years ago he came out to us as gay which was a bit surprising considering he lives with my family in a town of less than 500 people in rural Wisconsin. From the time that he was 3 I knew he would be gay when he was older. I don’t exactly know how or why but I told my mother even then that he would grow up to be gay. There was never a doubt in my mind. For the most part I generally agree that it won’t be set in stone for everyone from the moment they’re born, but for many people being heterosexual is something that never enters their mind.
Sounds pretty selfish to me. Actually, it sounds very much like when fundamental Christians say they would still love their son if he was gay, but they don't want to see homosexuals kissing or holding hands (or otherwise expressing their homosexuality).
It can sound selfish to you if you’d like, but if I didn’t make it clear before, his opinion matters most to me. How should a parent feel if their child was to turn into the epitome of what they stood against? They could hate their child, but I won’t. What I don’t think is an apt comparison is comparing a theoretically religious child to a theoretically homosexual child.
Unless you’re entirely ignorant of biology you know homosexuality is not a choice. Children don’t chose to become homosexual the same way a child could chose to become religious. My son will be taught about the real world, biology, evolution, and science. If he chooses to reject that and turn to myth and superstition it will be his choice but I assure you he was not born that way. No one is just “born” religious, so that particular comparison is not apt.
So are you saying that you encourage all religious people to voice whatever they believe if it's really what they want, no matter how ridiculous it seems to you?
No. I’m saying I’d encourage my son to do it if it was what he really wanted to do and it made him happy, because he is my son and I love him. He matters to me, the opinions of other religious people when it comes to religion do not. When other religious individuals do it I have no problem in saying how annoying, arrogant, and ignorant it is. I’d explain that point of view to my son as well but if he still wanted to do it, I’d want him to be happy. Does that open me up to accusations of being hypocritical? Absolutely, but I don’t care, as I said the opinion of my son matters to me more. If wanting him to be happy even if he is wrong is hypocritical than so be it.
So if your son turned out to be religious, would you continue to mock his beliefs?
I suppose what you’re referring to as “mocking” would depend on exactly what he decided to believe. I wouldn’t taunt him about it but I would talk with him and discuss it. If the worst case scenario came about and he tells me “Dad, I’m a young Earth creationist.” I would probably be in shock and to how I could of failed at teaching my son more about the real world, but I’d still love him none the less.
Nothing would ever change that, and just because he believes something different than me doesn’t mean I’d change my stance. It also doesn’t mean that I would stop voicing my opinion. I’d encourage him to voice his if it was really what he wanted to do no matter how misguided I might see it to be. I’d continue to question him and explore why it is he ended up deciding to believe what he did. I’d continue to try to show him why I disagree but if he chooses to believe it, it’s his choice and no matter how much I may disagree it wouldn’t change anything.
Are you or do you force atheism on your son? If he wanted to believe in God, would you love him less?
Funny thing, it’s impossible to “force” Atheism on a child. He’s a child. Children don’t believe in God unless someone teaches that to them. I’ve never, as of yet, taught my son anything about religion. Mostly because I feel he is too young to understand the concept and at this point in his life it is entirely inconsequential to him. He’s a kid, I’m going to let him be a kid. He’s got plenty of time in the future to read fairy tales and myth stories.
If somehow later on in his life he decided to become religious I would have no problem with that. I feel it is unlikely it would happen but if it did, it’s not going to change my feelings about my son. Unlike many religious families I mean it when I tell my son I will always love him no matter what happens. I hope to provide him with a quality education and quality life though so that he doesn’t have to turn to the mysterious.
You think that loving everyone equally would devalue your love for someone who means more to you, so do you have like a list of the people you love most to the people you love least? I don't want to attack you, I want to understand why you hate so dearly. Where did something go wrong, that you struggle everyday to stand up for this belief of non-belief. I am truly sorry for whatever may have caused you to feel like the world is against you.
You make me laugh at the feigned concern for what could possibly make me an Atheist. Do you think everyone that disagrees with your world view must of suffered some sort of trauma? Please don’t be so condescending in your implications. I am not some hurt angry child throwing a tantrum at religion because I’ve lost my favorite blanket. Please save your insincere concerns for someone who needs it.
I don’t have a physical list but I do have an order. I think if you say that you don’t you’re either being ridiculous or blatantly lying. My direct family would of course be at the top of the list with my son having a special place all his own. From there would be close friends and less close relatives, further down acquaintances. I am not saying that I can not have any love for people I don’t personally know, I’m simply being honest in saying that I am going to love those more important to me more, as anyone would. Not withstanding how indefinable love is if you were to honestly try and say you believe otherwise, that you love your parents as much as a stranger you’ve never met before, I’d have to seriously question what you consider love to be.
"When looking at the bible as a reference for how to live your life I still hold true to it being bullshit."
Yes, "love thy neighbor" is such a horrible concept to live by.
Oh my rolly polly recurring anon trolly. Out of the three messages you sent me yesterday in this one you seemed to take the least pride in being completely illogical, so I figured I’d post this one. It’s great how some people seem to think they can cherry pick one passage out of a HUGE book and say it’s good. Let’s take a little look at this statement though.
I assume you’re not referring to when Confucius said something very similar around 500 year before Jesus. Confucius ended up saying: “Love thy neighbor as thyself: Do not to others what thou wouldn’t not wish be done to thyself: Forgive injuries. Forgive thy enemy, be reconciled to him, give him assistance, invoke God in his behalf.”
You’re probably referring to when it appears in the bible. Leviticus 19:18 maybe? “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” Really though I though Christians tried so hard to distance themselves from Leviticus since that is a crazy one? The next passage of course about not planting two different types of seeds together or wearing clothes woven of two kinds of material.
Okay, okay, fine Matthew 22:37-40 right? I mean come on that has to be the good one, right? 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[b] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Right well that all sounds nice and lovely doesn’t it? Too bad it was interpreted to mean only Jews. Love your neighbor, hate your enemy was still the common mentality. It wasn’t taken to be all inclusive.
Now if you really, really know your stuff (which I doubt) you might say ha! No that is not the case, Jesus was asked what our neighbor should be. That’s how the story of the “good Samaritan” started when the Samaritan helped a Jewish man. Isn’t that a quaint little antidote? There was this group of people that were so horrible that when one of them did something nice once it really made us take notice, I guess they might be our neighbors too. We’ll still of course foster in group morality and out group hostility since they aren’t really as good as us, that’s why it’s so surprising when one does something nice. Not exactly a great moral lesson.
Still want to press the issue? Well I don’t personally like the quote myself anyways. I do love humanity but I don’t love my neighbor as myself, I don’t think anyone does, I think it’s ridiculous to imply that you would. You can be altruistic to your neighbor, you can be kind, you can be generous, but you are not going to love your neighbor the same as yourself. You’re not going to love your neighbor the same as you love your family and those closest to you. I honestly don’t think you should want to.
Wouldn’t it devalue the love of those closest to you if you loved everyone completely equally regardless of who they are? Love a convicted murderer the same as you love your mother? I certainly don’t think so, and I see absolutely no reason you should want to. It is fine to love others even those you don’t know, it is fine to treat others the way you want to be treated in most day to day interaction, but I am certainly not going to love everyone equally regardless of who they are. I’m not going to treat sociopaths and those we’ve deemed unfit for society the same as I treat those closest to me.
Perhaps next time you’ll want to pick a better cherry.
Just wanted to post up a thank you note since last night I finally hit 1,500 followers! My numbers tend to go up and down a bit, I don’t mind being a little controversial obviously. Just want to say thank you to everyone for whatever reason you follow, even if it is just troll me. I know pretty much everyone says it but I seriously never expected anywhere near this many followers. Again thanks. :)
So a few days ago I got into the discussion about the historicity of the bible. I had a few messages between me and http://thebeeble.tumblr.com/ and he let me know about something that honestly surprised me. Maybe it even shocked me but at the very least was not something I had heard before. The Smithsonian Institution is a leading research organization and is a trusted source of information related to science and history. According to the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology:
"much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories.
These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work. For the most part, historical events described took place and the peoples cited really existed. This is not to say that every event as reported in the historical books happened exactly as stated.”
They also state that the first 12 chapters of Genesis have no factual basis, and that the biblical flood story of Noah, despite hundreds of attempts, can not be verified to have occurred. They also go on to sum it up with a statement “In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.” So is this just a case of the Smithsonian being nice to the bible or can it really be trusted as a historical documents? Why say it is just as valid as many other documents we use for our basis of history but still state it is “not an historical document”?
This discussion came about from my claim of the bible being “bullshit”. I said that much of the information is incorrect, misleading, or generally false. I have to clarify that I am not challenging archaeological findings, many verify places mentioned in the bible do in fact exist. That information is often correct and there are often other sources to verify this as well. The same holds true for many (not all) of the people mentioned and discussed, the majority of them did exist in some way and were real people. The event and their experiences, as the Smithsonian acknowledges, may not be entirely correct or accurate.
Although many time archaeological information will prove the places recorded in the bible existed new information will also sometimes reveal complete inaccuracies. A notable example would be the account of Joshua’s conquest and destruction of the Canaanite city of Ai. According to Joshua 8, Israelite forces attacked Ai, burned it, “utterly destroyed all the inhabitants,” and made it a “heap forever” (vs:26-28). Extensive archaeological work at the site of Ai, however, has revealed that the city was destroyed and burned around 2400 B. C., which would have been over a thousand years before the time of Joshua. The same holds true for the excavation of the city of Jericho showing it was destroyed around 2300 B.C. Most likely legend was woven into history and these early event became tied with Joshua’s conquests. Most often with biblical archaeology the confirmations are trumpeted where as the contradictions are overlooked.
So if the people and places were mostly real does that mean the bible is right? Of course not. If we used the bible only as an additional resource to try and verify people and places that existed in that time along with other sources of information, it may be somewhat accurate. If we used it to explore the way people interacted, the psychology and culture of the time, and the daily practices of people, perhaps it could be considered an accurate record of that as well. Admitting this does not add any credence to the bible being the word of God, the basis for morality, or something we should look to as being completely true. It’s meant to be used as a religious book and that is how it is most commonly used.
When looking at the bible as a reference for how to live your life I still hold true to it being bullshit. When you look at many of the events and experiences, particularly the miracles, the flood, the mass exodus from Egypt (which lacks any historical vindication despite efforts), the story of creation, revelations, the biblical story of Jesus, these are all “bullshit”. It may have some historical accuracy but it’s historicity has to be called deeply in to question. If you’d like me to say it in a softer stance as long as the bible isn’t used as a religious book, it’s not entirely bullshit, once it’s used for religious purposes, it becomes bullshit.
To the person who said "I'm an agnostic, but honestly, the whole idea of comparing fairies to a God is a horrible argument."
Me too, I hate it when people compare God and unicorns, because nobody died in the name of unicorns.
I know I make the comparison all the time, but that part is true. I’m being a bit mean to the unicorns trying to put them on the same level as God. :)
do you have a regular, personal blog as well as this one?
I’ve been asked this before and since you don’t have ask turned on I’ll just post it. :) No unfortunately I don’t, I’ve thought about it but this page eats up so much of my internet time as it is chances are I’d never do anything with it.