“Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man’s gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality.”—Gora [Shri Goparaju Ramachandra Rao] (1902-1975)
"Thank god I'm atheist". The whole "thank god..." thing is almost built into us, people say it without even realizing or acknowledging what they're saying. I've heard many many many atheists say "thank god for..." without even realizing it, does this happen to you? Does it bother you when atheists use that phrase? What's a good alternative to it anyways? "Thank goodness"?
Personally I’ve gotten pretty good about avoiding saying it. Sometimes I almost have to consciously stop myself from saying “Oh my god” to some thing because it is just so common to our vernacular. Really I don’t think people should consider it much of a big deal. If we move to a more secular society eventually we will work on removing the references from our language and it will become less and less common.
Most people realize when someone says something like that they aren’t actually invoking the name of God. Just like when someone says God damn it they aren’t literally asking for God to damn whatever it is they are referring to for all eternity. It’s just part of our language that we’ve developed.
The most ridiculous things is when someone jumps on it as an “Ah ha! You do believe in God! You just said God!” That’s preposterous, there is absolutely no reason saying “God” has to imply that one believes, on any level, in a God. The people that get all bent out of shape about it just need to relax and realize it is just part of our language.
Hello, Hateful Atheist. I have a question. My dad is an agnostic. His main problem is understanding how humans came to be. He doesn't think that some entity went ZAP and humans were formed, but he also doesn't think evolution is logical. How can I get him to pick a side? I'm thinking of e-mailing him websites and debates concerning both sides. How would this work?
If he doesn’t believe in evolution or creation, what does he believe? Aliens? Magic? We’re all some very advanced computer simulation and none of us actually exist except for in his mind?
It’s strange that he wouldn’t pick either side. As far as getting to understand evolution providing him with some information may be helpful but you would probably need to get a bigger understanding of what exactly it is that he doesn’t understand with evolution. For some people a sticking point is the complexity of DNA which we haven’t, as of yet, been able to recreate in a lab settings. We have found ways that many of the building blocks of DNA would be available in a pre-life world and getting closer and closer to revealing those secrets. So really would probably need to know a bit more about what he does believe as well as why he rejects the currently popular theories.
“The theist and the scientist are rival interpreters of nature, the one retreats as the other advances.”—Joseph McCabe (1867 - 1955) - Former Roman Catholic priest and scholar who renounced his faith and later wrote nearly 250 Atheistic and anti-religious books
“The rich world likes and wishes to believe that someone, somewhere, is doing something for the Third World. For this reason, it does not inquire too closely into the motives or practices of anyone who fulfills, however vicariously, this mandate. The great white hope meets the the great black hole; the mission to the heathen blends with the comforting myth of Florence Nightingale. As ever, the true address of the missionary is to the self-satisfaction of the sponsor and the donor, and not the needs of the downtrodden. Helpless infants, abandoned derelicts, lepers and the terminally ill are the raw material for demonstrations of compassion. They are in no position to complain, and their passivity and abjection is considered a sterling trait. It is time to recognize that the world’s leading exponent of this false consolation is herself a demagogue, an obscurantist and servant of earthly powers.”—Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa from The Missionary Position
I love your blog alot, I'm 17 and an atheist and I have some religious friends and I was wondering, since I love your responses would you tell me what to say if they ask something along the lines of "you can't prove that evolution is true just like religion so how do you know?" and its a ridiculous argument but i am having trouble wording a response. Thank you so much!
Hey thank you for the message. I seem to run into a lot of people like that as well, what usually is referred to as the “science deniers”. They have various tactics they use to get people to doubt science like pointing out how we have to “trust” scientists, or how they talk about things that are too complex or difficult for most people to understand, or how *dramatic gasp* some have even been wrong in the past. None of this should apply to evolution at this point due to the mountains of available information on the topic and almost universal acceptance among scientists. It has moved into the category where, as close as science is able to, it is proven to be fact.
The easiest way to try to get someone to realize the difference is pointing out the clear differences between science and faith. Faith is something you have to accept without any proof, without any real justification, it is something that people accept simply because they want to or feel they should. The same isn’t true with science, with science the only way for something to be largely accepted is through testing, trial and error, demonstration, research, actual processes that go about trying to find out what is true and what is not true. With faith, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, either no one knows a definitive answer or people simply chose to believe it despite heavy indications that it is wrong.
With these situations I often like to turn it around on them and ask why they don’t accept evolution to be true. Usually it will reveal whatever lack of understanding they have or their inability to comprehend science. You will often get the ridiculous answers about no “transitional species” or wanting to see a cat give birth to a dog or some other ridiculous non sense. This is the perfect opportunity to try and enlighten people about evolution. Almost every apprehension to it is rooted in a misunderstanding. I don’t expect you’ll be able to entirely enlighten them on the issue right at the moment but I have never heard a valid argument against evolution. The closest anyone can ever get to something against evolution has to start with, “I can’t understand…” in which case they reveal their problem from the get go. It’s not science’s fault if someone can’t understand and doesn’t make it any less true.
In short we can prove evolution to be true with the accepted scientific process but probably not in the way your particular questioner is asking for it to be proven. The only reason to doubt evolution is out of not understanding. Science and religion are in no way on equal levels, one is accepted purely on faith well the other is founded on facts and information.
“Ethiopians imagine their gods as black and snub-nosed; Thracians blue-eyed and red-haired. But if horses or lions had hands, or could draw and fashion works as men do, horses would draw the gods shaped like horses and lions like lions, making the gods resemble themselves.”—Xenophanes
what's wrong with ignorance and belief anyway
there is no right or wrong way of living
There is nothing wrong with people being ignorant, if they realize their limitations and don’t look to purposely spread that ignorance. Not everyone has the privileged of education or even common sense. Those people that chose to remain ignorant can blissfully do so if they chose but they certainly should not look to make policies for other people, push purposeful ignorance and misinformation on to others, or hold positions of influence over others.
It makes no difference to me if the man down the street from me believes in one God or a thousand, as long as it is a privately held belief. With people gearing up for presidential elections it is quite important to me if we’ll be voting for a rational, educated, and reasonable individual or someone who revels in ignorance. When my son goes to school it concerns me if he will be taught science and real information in schools or misinformation like creationist garbage. It concerns me when I can’t pass one day in society without having something symbolic of Christianity shoved into my face. It concerns me when I have to see religious fanatics constantly looking to interfere in the lives of others.
By all means if someone wants to be ignorant, believe in whatever mystical or magical beings or creatures they’d like, feel free. Just keep it to yourself, keep it out of schools, keep it out of society, and keep it out of the lives of others. If that is what makes you happy, enjoy it, they do say ignorance is bliss for a reason.
Man, it's really too bad you're not a "loving atheist". Hatred is a sad thing. I feel sorry for you, as no person should harbor such strong hatred (although many do, of course)... it's a waste of life! I understand the reasons for your discontents and anger, but it is my sincere hope that you open your heart to inner peace and compassion, rather than bitterness and rage.
Yeah….I don’t think “loving Atheist” really gets across my point that you obviously so completely miss or chose to ignore. I hate religion. I don’t hate people, I don’t hate life, I don’t hate puppy dogs and butterflies. I’m not a hateful person in every day life and every aspect of my life. What I do hate is the pathetic ignoramuses that like to assert their moral and “spiritual” superiority over others because they’ve talked themselves so deep into their own delusion that they insist they are “special”.
You think you have it all figured out snowflake? Chances are you have no idea. Chances are you’re still reading fantasy books, talking to yourself, and putting on a show each Sunday for those in your community to show your piety and devotion. Does it make you feel good? Does it let you sleep at night, wrapping yourself up in your warm little lie?
My inner thoughts aren’t some battle field in constant disarray, I am quite at peace with many aspects in my life personally. I understand compassion and have just as much capacity to feel it as anyone else. What I can not be at peace with is blatant ignorance being forced onto unwilling individuals. Children being abused by religion in all aspects, women being denied their rights because of idiotic religious lunatics looking to control their body, our country’s very foundation being torn asunder by religion demagogues are all things that leave me with a deep sense of injustice and unrest.
So please, before you attempt to pass judgement, before you attempt to feign any type of pity, do yourself a favor and at least understand my mentality. Don’t jump to false assumptions and prejudices when you have absolutely no idea what it is that I feel or think, when you have no clue about who I am or why I say and do the things I do. Basically, if you’re going to try and judge me without even taking the time to know me do us all the favor of keeping your ignorant thoughts to yourself.
“I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth, and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, master of his fate and captain of his soul. To attain this I would put priests to work, also, and turn the temples into schools.”—Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) first prime minister (1947-1964) of independent India
What's your take on Pantheism? (aka the Universe IS God)
I was asked about this quite a while ago but haven’t answered it any time recently. My simplest answer would be that it is giving the name of “God” to something that doesn’t require it. The universe doesn’t care what we call it and it most certainly doesn’t care if we worship or praise it. It is by it’s very nature uncaring of our existence. Why call something like that God? Why worship something that doesn’t care whether you live or die? It’s a fairly unneeded title in my opinion.
I was reading about scientist such as Newton, Galileo and Einstien who all held a belief in God. These are extremely logical and rational people-- which is why I find it so hard to believe that they did. They must have known something we didn't? I am something of a ... believing/questioning non-believer. Aka, confused. -.-
I just don't know what to think! I don't understand anymore...
When talking about scientists long ago it is often hard to get a clear grasp of exactly what they believed or why they believed what they did. If you go back far enough in time almost everyone believed in God or at least would publicly profess to belief regardless of personal belief out of fear of prosecution. The struggle of science vs. religion is a long one. Religion is notorious for being especially hard on scientists when their findings agitate the church.
Newton in particular was a bit strange. He most definitely did believe in God. He also believed in alchemy and was somewhat obsessed with it. Just because he was a brilliant man in science doesn’t mean he had everything right. It also doesn’t follow that since he was an intelligent man that it is any more likely for God to exist.
Einstein is an interesting one to talk about. He absolutely did not believe in any kind of theistic God. His image of “God” could really only be compared with the absolute loosest description of a deistic God. When discussing his views on God people often refer specifically to an “Einsteinian God”, since his view is fairly distinct from most other expressions of God. As a result I personally don’t think what he refers to as “God” has any need/reason/want to be called God. He is trying to use mystical wording to describe a force that could potentially be understood.
Just because they were great men of science doesn’t mean they have any special ability to know if God does or does not exist. Even today there are some scientists who do believe in God. The vast majority do not. Science and religion are really not compatible on some levels. Which is precisely why most scientists have given up on even worrying about religion. They know they aren’t going to find any real answers there.
First off I wanna say that your blog is amazing, as a proud atheist myself, your reasoning gives me the courage to stand up to religion.
And I wanna ask you a simple question you've probably gotten a bajillion times before; what drives you to do what you do? Why put so much energy behind your atheism? Thanks :)
Hey, thanks for the question. It is a question I am asked fairly often from both sides really. Usually with the religious they put it a little more accusatory as if I must have my own agenda I’m attempting to promote. It’s really a pretty simple answer, because I care, and I feel it’s an area I can provide insight and commentary on. I’ve been intrigued by religion for a very long time and have spent many years researching and learning.
Religion has been one of most influential forces in nearly every aspect of humanity throughout time. It has shaped us into the world we are today. It still influences us in our daily lives even though it seems to be lessening all the time. It needs to be even less. It’s a lesson from history that many people don’t seem to want to look at, that religion destroys and divides peoples.
I usually consider myself primarily an anti-theist, who happens to be an Atheist. I have taken it to a level where I am much more outspoken and perhaps more bold in my criticism and denouncement of religion than many Atheists may be. I don’t think there are enough people that are, there is an obvious need to speak out against the evils of religion, even the religious will acknowledge that, but almost nobody wants to be that person. People are afraid of upsetting deeply held beliefs or causing too much drama. There is no reason to be afraid of it as long as it can be discussed.
We need to let go of religion. We need to be able to grow up. We need to say that it is an antique and outdated thought that no longer serves it’s purpose. If humanity isn’t willing to grow up and let go on it’s own than maybe it needs more people like me to help speed the process along. If we still refuse to let go, we’re only hurting ourselves and causing more issues in the world, repeating lessons history should of already taught us long ago.
Tell me how scientology is more out there than a religion about a zombie space god that is his own son who kills himself to forgive people for a woman eating an apple?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Christianity isn’t extremely far fetched and out there. Even some of the most fundamental Christians will look at Scientologists and say “You can’t seriously believe this shit.” Scientology is exactly the kind of religion you would expect to be dreamed up by a sci-fi writer and copious amounts of recreational drugs.
Let’s look at just a few of the basic things Scientology teaches, my clearance level isn’t high enough to know to know all the best secrets sadly. They say that we are all actually immoral beings but we have just forgot our way. That is because of the evil alien ruler Xenu, he is the cause of evil. He took aliens from all across the different planets and froze them before loading them into planes that look just like DC8s. He had them brought them to our planet and dumped them into the volcanoes of Hawaii and set off hydrogen bombs. The souls (thetans) of all of these dead aliens were trying to escape but Xenu didn’t want this so he made giant soul catchers in the sky. These souls were then taken to a giant soul brain washing facility on earth and made to watch hours and hours of video to believe a false history. This goes on for about 36 days before being released onto the earth where they joined in with early humans and are what cause all of our pain and suffering today.
By going through the “Purification Rundown” you can remove these negative forces from your body. They have “auditors” that go through the counseling sessions with people. They specifically target celebrities and people they feel will help their persona. The amount of counseling and auditing they receive often depends on how many donations they provide and sadly Scientology has actually received the status of “religion” in the United States making them tax exempt.
This is supposed to be a real religion? We’re supposed to take them seriously? They are an actual “church” and actually believe this crazy shit? I honestly doubt many of the people in the hierarchy actually believe these thing but have turned it into such a successful scheme it’s hard to turn back now. They are a bunch of ridiculous and crazy cultists, criminals, and frauds.
What do you think is the most far fetched religion? I think Scientology takes it in my book.
As far as which one is the most out there I’d have to probably agree with Scientology. I’d say Mormons are probably a close second. If we included weird and strange cults there are many others but as far as having main stream acceptance Scientology has to be tops.
(Jesus) 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
(Jesus) 57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”
"The bible is all about peace and telling us how to live a good life!" — Christians, who obviously don’t really believe what the bible says.
“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”—Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Yet, we would like the rest of the world to believe we’re a country full of reasonable, logical, and responsible adults, we just insist on hoping that people are tortured for eternity after their death. Just because people would like to believe some sort of justice system outside of this life exists does not mean it’s true. They write off a large percent of people who say “I don’t know” as being part of people who don’t believe in hell. Personally if asked I would of said no, there is absolutely no reason for me to think that such a place even exists. People have a hard time letting go of their wishful thinking, even when it is macabre. It is honestly embarrassing that a majority of our country believes such things.
What do you think of http://an-ominous-atheist.tumblr.com/ ?
Personally I think that she gets too worked up and emotional in her debates- I can hardly read them, even if her points are good, because she's so annoying. Lessens her credibility a bit because it makes her seem like she's angrily defending herself instead of debating maturely. What do you think? (By the way, you're my favorite atheism blog.)
Hopefully she sees this message, (I know she follows me, or did at least) don’t want it to seem as if I’m talking about her behind her back. I do enjoy her page quite a bit, she is very smart but she is quite aggressive with her views at times. It can be entertaining when she’ll reblog a random Christian post to include her commentary and point out all of the flaws. It seems like it is a bit more of an “in your face, this is how it is, if you don’t like it piss off” type style. It’s not for everyone but it can be interesting at times.
Sometimes she does seem very impassioned with what she says. After running an Atheist blog page for a while I know it can be hard at times to separate emotion from the posts. There have been a few times I’ve wanted to call names and just rip someone apart as well but I usually try to hold down any aggression. She’s just being who she is, she may not win any Christians over with it, but it can still be fun to watch. Thank you very much for the message and the compliment, I appreciate it. :)
Why, exactly, shouldn't we celebrate death? (I'm going a bit Socrates here), but is death necessarily a bad thing?
There are situations in which death doesn’t have to be such a bad or depressing thing. Any celebration though after someone’s passing I think should focus on the aspects of their life. It should focus on what they have done, not so much the fact that they are gone. In the situation where someone’s life is taken prematurely or in war it isn’t something we should celebrate at all. We especially shouldn’t celebrate that act of killing. Us killing someone is not a victory, it’s unfortunate that it has to take place at all. I don’t always look at death as horrible and bad, it’s inevitable. There is never a time though I can imagine cheering for someone being killed.
I’ve spent a lot of today trying to flesh out my thoughts on the entire situation. I feel like sharing a few opinions. Chances are many people may disagree with some or all of these but I’ve tried to consider the situation as best I can.
- The world is a better place for him not being part of it but I don’t feel as if any measure of justice was served. I don’t think he should of been able to die like the coward that he is cowering in a million dollar facility. Hiding behind his wife, using her as a human shield, perhaps only a few moments of terrorizing thoughts flashing through his mind. He should of been made to stand trial, he should of been forced to face many of the people he hurt, not tortured, but I think many people may feel rightfully robbed on any sense of justice.
- I don’t think people should celebrate his death. As I said the world is probably a better place with him gone from it but we don’t need to take to the street cheering and chanting. We shouldn’t celebrate death. The first images that came to my mind was imagines of mainly Islamic countries throughout the world celebrating the disaster of 9/11. Do we really want to celebrate a death the same way those we attempt to condemn did? There is certainly no reason to morn, but there is no reason to cheer. This is, if anything, a very minor victory in the “war” to overcome theocratic tyranny.
- I realize virtually no one outside of Osama’s followers prescribe to his particular view of Islam. With that said, he did use Islam as a tool of his own devices. He was able to feed on young impressionable people using religion as a tool for his purposes. His view certainly does not reflect the view of all Muslims but it serves as a perfect example of the evils and atrocities religion can breed. It serves as a reminder of how people can be trained and indoctrinated into believing the most ridiculous claims imaginable. It does not reflect all religion but it would be foolish to dismiss it without looking at the lesson it can provide us.
- Is he really dead? Any crazy conspiracy theories? I think overall he is very likely dead. Even his own people have confirmed his death. I understand why they did a quick burial at sea, to hopefully minimize any martyrdom. It will deter turning his grave site into some sort of holy shrine for his delusional followers. Just because he is gone doesn’t mean there won’t be others that seek to fill his roll. It doesn’t mean that we can drop our guard and claim and absolute victory. It means we’re just one small step closer to making the world a slightly better place.
“Christianity has operated with an unmitigated arrogance and cruelty — necessarily, since a religion ordinarily imposes on those who have discovered the true faith the spiritual duty of liberating the infidels.”—James A Baldwin (1924-1987)
Why not replace the idea of "God" as some man in the clouds, with the idea of "fate" or "destiny", that things happen as they should, always, in order to accept them and alleviate misery?
I don’t believe in “fate” or “destiny” either. No reason to replace one imaginary creature with a different imaginary idea I don’t believe in. Accepting that things happen as they should or as they were intended to does nothing to alleviate misery or pain.
"People could be helped even more by secular charities that don’t proselytize than Catholic charities if they had the same funds."
Proof, please. Because as it is, many people who are in positions to help those in need don't. The world has the ability to help, we just don't.
"Catholic charities often provide their generous “donations” conditionally."
Again, proof please.
The first one would be simple. Don’t buy bibles, buy more food/clothes/medicine instead. Don’t build churches, build hospitals and schools. Don’t force people to convert to your religion in order to work with or receive the charity. Even those simple small steps would provide a great deal more help.
You have never heard of forced conversions? We don’t even need to go back to the Inquisitions to see it happening. Most the time these missionaries due their work in areas of the world that are so impoverished and deprived the people have no way of speaking up or letting the rest of the world know. Right now one of the only areas of the world that you hear about it is in India. India thankfully has laws in place to try and prevent forced conversion but it still happens often. (http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/11831.html 6 Christians arrested just last week for it)
Currently Haiti is also experiencing a lot of the same issues. Many of the Christian based charities in Haiti are forcing conversion in order to receive relief. I did post an extensive article on it just a few months ago. People are being forced to convert in order to receive food and aid and if they refuse they have to fend for themselves. Some charity isn’t it? Love our God, or we’ll watch you starve to death, it’s about as low as anyone can possibly get. Even worse it’s not only their money they’re using for this, they’re using our tax dollars too.
How can religion cause people to lack responsibility when they are clearly commanded to help one another? Faith and Hope don't come without Charity. If anything, regardless of if you believe it is taught out of fear or not, Christianity demands we step up and take responsibility. This is why more people in poverty have been helped more by the Catholic church than any other private organization.
The idea of redemption is something that strongly takes away from personal responsibility. The idea that no matter what action someone commits, no matter how horrible it is, all they have to do is simply ask for forgiveness and it is granted. How is that responsibility? How is that accountability?
The idea that the only way to be rewarded is by accepting Jesus is absolutely ignorant. Someone can be a good, responsible, giving, caring person their entire life but yet still be damned forever. Someone can murder, rape, and abuse people but still be rewarded with an eternal paradise. Whatever lesson this teaches it certainly has nothing to do with responsibility.
People with a bit more fundamental view on religion may give into the idea of predestination. In which case there is no responsibility to anyone for anything since it has all been set out by God. If someone punches you in the face it was simply the way God planned things to be, that person isn’t responsible.
People could be helped even more by secular charities that don’t proselytize than Catholic charities if they had the same funds. Catholic charities often provide their generous “donations” conditionally. They often require people to attend church or even pledge to Jesus in order to receive it. They push their way into developing and struggling countries so that they can exploit uneducated individuals. That is about the only way they are able to spread their message any more since the developed areas of the world are turning away from the Catholic church in huge numbers.
"The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them — the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you're sensible, you'll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status."
— Carl Sagan
This is an interesting quote. I do think it often turns into an us vs. them mentality but I think a lot of times it is unavoidable. When you present someone with facts and information but they refuse to listen to reason, what alternative are you left with? I do my best on my page to address all legitimate questions I receive and try to have discussions that maintain a productive tone. We try to get our message across but if someone still simply refuses to listen to science, reason, logic, or even common sense, what more can you do? People have the right to hold onto nonsensical beliefs if they chose to, there is really nothing we can do about that. It doesn’t mean we need to treat them as just as valid as any other or give them more consideration than what they’re worth.
Honestly couldn’t care less about the whole thing for the most part. Don’t understand the infatuation with the love lives of people that happen to be the result of a lot of royal inbreeding. Just more celebrity worship. I guess if I was English I might have a bit more curiosity but personally I’ll be happy when it’s out of the news.
Dear Hateful Atheist,
Today, I was legitimately asked "So, why do you believe in every aspect of proven science?" by a friend who I was having a friendly debate with about religion. That question I asked that evoked this response was "So, why do you believe in some parts of the bible, and not others? Do you honestly believe that god created the earth 6,000 years ago?" When faced with this response, I was shocked by the utter stupidity it had to ask a question such as this. He even included the word "proven" in there. I guess my question would be, have you ever been asked such a stupid question, or been involved in an equally ridiculous instance?
Have you seen much of my page? I get a lot of ridiculous questions. Some of them have to be trolls but there have been a lot of legitimate completely ridiculous questions as well. Usually the most ridiculous ones have to do with people that don’t understand evolution. Things like do you really thing something as complex as humans just evolved? Yes, yes I do. If we evolved from monkeys how come there are still monkeys? How come there aren’t all the transitional fossils? Usually the ridiculous questions reveal a lot about the lack of understanding the questioner has. Like in your case, whoever asked you that obviously doesn’t understand what science even is.
This isn't really related to religion, but you're intelligent so I felt like asking your opinion. Do you think that UFO's have ever actually been sighted by people on the earth, or do you think that all of the claims etc. are false and ridiculous?
There is no reason to believe any of the claims of UFO sightings as of yet. There has never been sufficient evidence to say that these things don’t have a much simpler explanation like weather balloons, birds, optical illusions, personal hallucinations, or something of the like. I have always had a bit of a strange curiosity when it comes to UFO stories. Some of the most spectacular sightings, like the one last year in China that temporarily shut down the airports, really don’t have a good explanation as of yet, but assuming that it is something other worldly or extra terrestrial is a non sequitur. Perhaps some day we will know for sure if we have been contacted by life outside of our planet but as of yet there is no solid reason to believe we have.
What do you think of W.K. Clifford's idea, "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."?
I think it’s an interesting statement. As far as belief I believe it is true that you should have some kind of evidence to support that belief. There are reasons to have curiosity and interest in ideas that do no have sufficient evidence because that is exactly what drives science to discover new things. There is plenty of reason to think beyond what we already know but as far as accepting and believing something, there needs to be some type of reason or evidence for it.
"Freedom, most definitely and that is one of the biggest things religious individuals give up." - Technically you are correct. We freely give up our Free Will to do the will of God... But we haven't lost our ability to be free, that's silly! Now, don't get me wrong, your freedom is probably not the same as my freedom. Your freedom probably consists of doing whatever you please (within the law, and your own personal boundaries), where mine may limit me from eating meat on Friday's, or playing soccer Sunday but instead going to mass... I don't find that I lack freedom, for the reason that I choose this lifestyle. You may think I'm chained up by Catholicism, but really, it gives me more freedom than you could ever understand, and you can't/won't understand unless you were in my shoes!
I also was wondering why you use the world evil. You stated that Christianity and Muslim's are the greatest of evils... but if you don't believe in stuff like that, how does this evil work?
You realize I have been in the Catholic shoes before, but regardless glad we are at least partially able to agree on something. I don’t consider it just a loss of freedom in the physical sense, like not eating meat on certain days or not working on certain days, but also a loss of freedom of thought. Being told to accept things without questioning. Being told to accept things as positively true regardless of it they make logical sense or agree with your own reasoning. Being told that not only your actions but thoughts are watched at every moment of every day, so that there is nothing private to yourself.
Wanting to give up physical and mental freedom is a subservient desire. It’s a desire to want to sacrifice yourself and give into a force you perceive to be greater than yourself. It’s out of fear and juvenile thinking in my opinion. It’s wanting to have an eternal parent to watch over your every action with either a nod of approval or a scolding glare. Why can’t you simply take personal responsibility for your thoughts and actions on your own instead of trying to overlay the moral standards of an archaic and irrelevant book?
As for the last part are you trying to say I don’t believe in evil? Just because I don’t believe in religion or an absolute standard of morality doesn’t meant I can’t still gauge things to be good or evil. From what I’ve seen religion has been the greatest source of evil throughout time and of religions Christianity and Islam are currently the largest proprietors of evil. Obviously this influences people in many different ways and many different aspects but as Christopher Hitchens has said religion really does have the ability to poison everything.
Do you feel that being a Christian or simply being a person of unreligious faith causes them to lack wisdom, intelligence, logic, freedom, responsibility and reason? That only those who are atheists possess that quality?
And I see that on here, the only religion you refute seems to be Christianity and the Muslim faith, does this mean you support the other world faiths in their morals and thinking?
Wisdom, no, not necessarily. Intelligence, possibly, but certainly not in all areas. Logic, yes, absolutely. Freedom, most definitely and that is one of the biggest things religious individuals give up. Responsibility and reason, yes, they are also two major things that religious individuals often give up or at least have illogical view points on.
So the fact that I only discuss half of the world is not enough for you? Perhaps if I lived in a village filled with Hindus and Sheikhs I’d be more concerned with them. Do you really think not denouncing them means I support them? You think me and Ahura Mazda have some secret deal worked out where if I work against the two major religions I get special prizes?
It should be obvious why I go for the biggest targets. If I could possibly bring about any change in those two religions I’d happily move on to work on others after. Right now though they comprise a large portion of the world and are the two most influential religions. They are the two that are affecting policies and governments throughout the world. They are the greatest of the evils.
Your "logic" makes no sense, here you take the basis of the Christian faith, without fully understanding and denounce it.
Just because you can form a sentence does not make you a logical person, and I'm 100% faith free and I sit here and disagree.
Now for the other side of comments I receive. How do you see it that I don’t understand Christianity? If you mean I haven’t been to seminary school you are correct but I have a very good understanding of Christianity. Do I have to hate freedom, beat women, and threaten everyone I don’t like for a few years to be able to say I hate Islam too? Don’t be so ridiculous.
It often bothers me when people send a message like this and throw in the whole “I’m an Atheist too” or “I’m not religious but” comments. If you are an Atheist as well and disagree with what I say, why not simply discuss it with me? Why try to send comments anonymously that provide no help or insight into what you disagree with at all?
That seems to be one of the biggest things that separates me from the anonymous messages I get. I’m not afraid to put my opinion out there and defend it. I’m not afraid to speak out with what I believe or think. I’m not afraid to get all these silly pointless unhelpful messages because of what I do on the internet. But you? You can’t even step out of anonymity long enough to denounce one person.