I do try to keep “corrupt preacher” as an emergency job options just in case. Solipsism and self-satisfaction are powerful draws, religion relies on that.
Thank you for the message. I appreciate it. I am surprised you would feel that way with how secretive I am about my real identity on here but I am certainly flattered. I actually really liked seeing the clip of Mike Bost making the rounds yesterday. He was impassioned and real, he was genuinely frustrated with the fact that he is not able to do his job the way he should be able to. Real emotion like that is something rare to see from a politician but something we could really use more of.
Politics in the United States, especially lately, have become such a joke. The political system is broken and doesn’t show any signs of becoming any better. We could use more men like Mike Bost getting honestly upset and showing it, that is about the only chance we have of ever pushing for political reform and change. We vote against our interests, we vote for lawyers who are experienced at having the best argument instead of having the best policies, and we allow real issues to get muddles in a sea of distractions. Hopefully we see some real changes to the way we address politics soon.
Hmmm sounds tempting. You know, what I really want is even more powerful than all of that. It wouldn’t matter how much money you have, you can’t buy what I want. No amount of power can really change it. The one thing I want, what I really need is…….proof.
I was raised Catholic but explored other religions on my own. At different times I identified myself as a Wiccan, Buddhist, and a Satanist. I actually read the bible before I decided to try out the other religions and knew Christianity was not for me. I struggled for a while thinking that some religion had to be right before I ever considered the more obvious answer, that they’re all wrong.
I find the good guy Satan memes pretty funny. Sees Jesus starving in the desert, tries to get Jesus to eat but is considered the bad guy. God decided he doesn’t like the Amalekites and says to slaughter every last one of them, but is supposed to be the good guy everyone worships. It is no wonder that most people who actually read the bible end up distancing themselves from religion.
Really the title of agnostic vs. gnostic is a tough one to distinguish for other people because it is a fairly meaningless title. Someone can claim to be gnostic but not have any information at all. You don’t necessarily have to have knowledge but simply claim that the knowledge is available to us. I think most people are realistically agnostic, simply being humble enough to say there are many things we currently do not and can not know leaves agnosticism as the logical choice. When it comes to certain particular gods though that is an entirely different story and I do feel we have good reason to say we can know for certain they do not exist.
Alright so back to answering serious questions and I have a few of them in my inbox right now asking about agnosticism. This is a topic I’ve talked about many times but it is worth answering again because people seem so confused about the topic. So many people want to label agnosticism as a belief they can hold similar to Atheism, theism, or deism when it is actually an answer to a completely different question. No one, despite all those that claim it, is simply just agnostic.
For a quick definition someone who is agnostic feels that we can not have knowledge of god’s existence or non-existence. A gnostic would say that we can or do have knowledge about the existence or non-existence of god. The gnostic/agnostic label only refers to speculation on the availability of knowledge, it has nothing to do with belief or lack of belief at all. It answers a different question.
In my experience people who attempt to take the agnostic label are actually Atheists. Most people tend to call themselves agnostics as a catch all for “I don’t know”. They treat it as if saying they are agnostic allows them to completely side step the entire conversation. They treat it like “I don’t know” is a good answer to “Do you or do you not believe?” when really the only answers are yes or no. For the average agnostic since they do not know, they do not believe, it would be quite difficult to believe in something that you claim to not know anything about.
I think that too many people don’t understand the term and simply use it as a way to avoid the “Atheist” label. I think a lot of people see it as a way they can entirely avoid the topic and the debate completely. If someone doesn’t want to discuss it that it is entirely fine but they should at least acknowledge that they are simply apathetic and as a result likely a non-believer. Often the people that say they are agnostic do so in a completely benign and inconsequential manner, what really bothers me is when people start advancing agnosticism as a proper belief position that is more intellectually honest than Atheism.
In the bible itself Satan is rather undefined. At different times he is referred to by different names and in different forms so it is hard to pin down exactly who/what he is. If you ask most Christians you’ll usually get a view more heavily influenced by the book “Paradise Lost” than what is actually in the bible. Really though, every good book needs a good antagonist and what good would the whole story be without some power actively working against god?
Satan is what allows Christianity to have a write off for any objection that can be brought up. The problem of evil can be answered simply by a Christian by throwing out “free will” and “the devil” that leads people to sin. It is simply a way of scapegoating the problems of the world and the evils that people perpetuate. In order to believe in some ultimate good guy you have to believe in some ultimate bad guy, otherwise you have no way of explaining how the “good” guy hasn’t won out yet.
IF SATN NOT REEL HOW COM PEEPL GET POSESED BY HIM? SATN - 1 ATHEIST - 0!!!
Any “evil empires” that tried to stomp out religion attempted to do so because they saw religion as competition. How can they get people to fully devote their minds and bodies to their cause if they are still being held back by religion? These “evil empires” realized that there was only enough room for one evil con man at a time so that meant religion had to go.
In the “same neighborhood”? As in where they live? You had no flow from one question to another. Many Atheists identify as something other than straight but that has nothing to do with being sexual deviants. They aren’t sexually repressed the way that religious people often are. As a result they are able to express their sexual appetite in healthy and responsible ways with consenting individuals.
Woo, a bunch of trolly questions in my inbox after the long weekend.
The answer is of course no. Unlike many religious people who believe that wonderful just born babies need to be mutilated in order to be more perfect in the eyes of the “lord”, Atheists believe no such nonsense. Many Atheists are actively against this type of mutilation. You would be hard pressed to find anything short of religion that could convince someone to take a knife to a new born babies genitals.
You do realize that the Koran is far, far removed from the time Christ supposedly lived? This is a topic I have been doing a lot of research on lately. Bart Ehrman’s book “Did Jesus Exist?” makes quite a good case for it but I still remain skeptical. Outside of the bible any sources that refer to Jesus are far removed from any of the supposed events of his life. They don’t even come from supposed eye witnesses when they do, so they are more or less hearsay. Even the gospels were all written many years after he supposedly lived by individuals who likely never met their “Jesus”.
I remain genuinely skeptical on his existence at all but I have come to have a better view of who I think he would be if he did exist. I do think that he believed the world was going to end very soon. I think that he was a good Rabbinical teacher, just how good is part of the extreme exaggeration. He was likely entirely illiterate. He likely never traveled more than a few hundred miles from his place of birth. He likely never even claimed the divinity or the miracles later accredited to him. He knew that John the Baptist was killed and likely believed that if there was a god he would not have allowed it unless the world was to end soon. The world, of course, has not ended and that should really be the end of the Jesus story. If it wasn’t for the hundreds of fan-fiction publications put out over the next several hundred years after his death we wouldn’t even contemplate this archaic death cult. Yet the vast majority of his modern day followers remain so ignorant on the topic that it is ludicrous.
I enjoy the show quite a bit. I really like going back to the older episodes because it seems like they had more adamantly religious callers that wanted to challenge them earlier on in the show. It is pretty amazing how long they have been going now and the amount of topics they have covered.
It is often a topic that comes up, people like to point out how non-religious people have done evil things as well. It is all a fairly simple concept though once people realize it. Basically good people will be good, bad people will be bad, but religion has the special power to teach people to be bad. People have killed other in the name of their religion, in defense of their religion, and even sometimes to supposedly “prove” the power of their religion. No one has ever killed anyone in the name of Atheism, ever. Atheism has no doctrine or teaching that will condone, excuse, or encourage killing another person.
Religion is immensely powerful and has a very strong pull. Religion can allow people to justify atrocities and believe that it is for the good of their religion or god. It can make people that seem otherwise sane and logical justify and condone outrageous things. William Lane Craig, one of the best known Christian apologists, condones genocide when it is biblically ordered. He has said that if the Amalekites were alive today it would be every Christians duty to kill them where ever they lived because to not do so would go against “God’s will”. Apparently omnipotent god is unable to resolve this issue on his own.
I enjoy debating people on the bible at times because so often Christians will hold on to misconceptions about it but one thing I have found is that it will always end up being futile. The bible can be used for Christians to justify many points but within the same bible you can justify the opposite as well. The bible is a huge book filled with contradictions, errors, rewrites, additions, and flat out forgeries, because of this it is certainly not a completely coherent book. Any point a Christian attempts to bring up based on the bible can usually be countered by a point in the same bible. It is obviously a semi-historical book of fiction, only the Christians painfully unfamiliar with the real stories of the bible seem to not realize that.
I don’t think they are exactly the same but I think that they do have similarities. Both of them are rooted in the religious idea that women should be modest and should cover themselves. For both of them these are standards applied to women much more strongly than to men. With both religions women must not only express their subjugated place but also physically demonstrate it with what they wear.
There are definitely differences worth pointing out though like the fact that nuns will enter in to the decision mostly on their own and of their own free will. Some women may experience pressure from their family (in some case more than others and certainly more so in the past) but the majority make that choice for themselves, even though it may be because of a lifetime of conditioning and implanted ideas. Women are also free to stop being a nun if they chose to. I have an aunt who was a nun for many years and since leaving has even married, twice. Something that would have been generally unheard of in Catholicism many years ago. Women in Islam, in many areas of the world, are never given that choice. Many are forbidden to leave Islam or forced to follow the compulsion of modesty, if they still attempt to resist oftentimes the consequences can be quite severe.
It is amazing that women don’t reject religion a great deal more than men do. Nearly all religious institutions (even including many of the Eastern religions like Buddhism) subjugate women and have for thousands of years. They are all institutes of oppression and seek to apply even stronger oppression to women. When it comes down to treatment in Christianity vs. Islam many times the acts of Islam come across as much more barbaric and cruel. That is simply part of the current climate of Islam, people will make excuses for it, but it’s nearly impossible to deny that a great deal more women are killed/beaten/abused in this day and age because of Islam than by Christianity because of transgressions against the religion.
Exactly. If someone had the power to cure terminal diseases by simply touching someone they wouldn’t be in some tiny church in a remote part of the country. They would be the most famous and in demand person in the world. It would be somewhat cruel of them to keep such a “gift” away from other people that truly need it. Instead they pass around a collection plate and wait for the admiration of a few people that they were able to trick in to believing their performance.
They expect that people won’t question something like that, especially when there face to face with such a “miracle”. I had someone quite a while back put forward a story about a woman who was paralyzed in a car accident and supposedly cured by faith healers. After looking in to the back story there were several clues that pointed to more than simple “faith”. Sites not only referred to the doctors that she had been seeing on a regular basis since her accident many years earlier AND a physical therapist but made mention of the fact the woman forbid them from discussing her condition with anyone. If she was really “cured” by a faith healer, why put a gag order on the doctors? The only logical reason she would say such a thing is to hide behind doctor patient confidentiality and keep her lie from being exposed.
I can’t believe that there are people around who think they are rational sane individuals that still believe in that garbage. It is a fake, it is a scam, it is either the power of suggestion or a blatant fraud. These people are con men, snake oil salesmen, shysters. You know the reason that rational people don’t believe in faith healers? Because it has never been proven to be anything of value. If faith healing was in any way real you better believe science would have a great deal of interest in it.
There are disease that go in to remission spontaneously and without a currently known reason. This happens to both believers and non-believers as well. These “faith healers” never accomplish anything that could not have been accomplished either naturally or through other means. Have you ever seen a faith healer help an amputee grow back a new limb? Of course you haven’t, that’s because they don’t actually do anything. Just because you’re a gullible fool don’t act as if I am denying something in any way valid or compelling.
Love, like many words, is so hard to define because of our limitations in language. It is also one of those things that can mean different things to different people. Speaking about real, deeply held, earnest love is different than the way that many people throw it around. People will say they love their phones, their car, or whatever material things but this type of love is very different than the love for family or someone you want to spend your life with.
Part of the reason real meaningful love is such an amazing feeling is because of the fact that it goes beyond what we can express in words. I can’t type something up that would allow you to feel and experience love the way that I perceive it and feel it. The best we can do is throw out the same old terms that nearly seem cliche. I’ll do my best to define it for myself, but of course it can be different for everyone.
For me loving someone means that I think about them often, I wonder how they are feeling and what they are experiencing. I care deeply about their emotions and what will give them happiness and avoid sadness. I care very much about their safety, their comfort, and their level of their own self acceptance. I also care very much about how they perceive me and hope to do my best to not disappoint or let down those that I love. I have a longing to be close to those that I love, to be able to share experiences and moments with them, even the trivial. It gives me a reason to push on in life that is beyond myself, love gives me a reason to live and to strive for a better world and a better life for all.
Complete fakes. They’ve never been verified outside of the Catholic church. Is it possible that the Catholic church might have some self serving reason to verify that a piece of bread has blood in it to make their silly little ritual seem more real? I think the only logical answer is yes.
It’s garbage. People that want to look for “code” and secret meaning will often find it incidentally. If someone is already to claim that a book is written with divine warrant what good would come from putting in a “secret” code of no importance? Just people with too much time on their hands giving more credit than they should to those who wrote the books.
I am unaware of what you mean by proven miracles. Miracles can not be proven, generally if they were “proven” in any way they would fail to be miraculous. There are obviously events that we don’t have full explanations for, and due to a lack of information may never have explanations for, but it still does not make them miracles. No one can appear in two places at the same time. If you’d like to let me know more of what you’re referring to I’d probably enjoy looking in to it but if such a thing was verified it would be major world news. If the first time you hear of a stunning miracle is years later from a friend, chances are that it is all a fraud simply being passed around. The miraculous thing about our world is that miracles don’t happen.
I do not appreciate the term “towelheads”. I would not use it myself and will not answer any questions that include a term like that used in that way. You’re welcome to criticize religious people, I myself do it quite often, but I do not condone the use of racist terms well doing so.
There are actually quite a few books out there right now very much along the same lines. There is the book “Heaven Is Real”, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”, “My Time In Heaven” and who knows how many others. These books all have basically the same story, someone has a near death experience and they believe they “go to Heaven” and experience god/angels or whatever other random junk their subconscious mind believes they should see when they die.
These stories are complete garbage and are simply a way for people to attempt to profit from unfortunate experiences in the past. People will come up with whatever justification they can to avoid saying that these were simply fantasies of the mind. “These kids saw and experienced things they couldn’t have know!” Bull shit. The parents attempt to exploit their children in this way are disgusting and self service. They attempt to exploit an unfortunate event in their child’s life for profit. The parents often encourage and fuel these deluded fantasies to the point that the child themselves probably think it was a very real experience when it was not.
Near death experiences are an interesting topic and science has done a lot of work to try to better understand them. The rush of endorphins and hormones that flood through someone’s body in a near death experience create strange and unusual feelings that are hard to describe to people that haven’t gone through such an experience. In these cases the brain is not dead even if the body is for a period of time. If someone’s brain does not die, they are not dead. It is not a full death experience, it is a “near death” experience and anything people see or feel during these times should not be trusted as real. Basically people that buy in to these books are gullible and want to read a feel good story about how they’ll be whisked away to paradise of their own mental creation after death. If someone tells you they believe these books to be entirely authentic, they’re a credulous fool.
I would certainly say that it is the safer and more honest approach to curiosity. Curiosity is really what drives so much of science. If we didn’t have curiosity we wouldn’t feel the need to explore and discover new ideas. When doing so it is important to approach these things with as much skepticism as possible if we are going to be scrupulous and honest. If we don’t we may end up rushing to judgement and create huge stirs of excitement for essentially no reasons like in the case of the neutrino going faster than the speed of light or arsenic based life.
Skepticism promotes intellectual integrity and honesty. Covering all the skeptical objections to a claim someone might make will make it much easier for an idea or concept to be accepted. Skepticism also promotes critical analysis, it prompts us to look for faults and weak points. It can encourage curiosity in many cases as long as it is not so strong as to reject ideas with merit outright based on skeptical doubts. Overall I think most people could stand to be far more skeptical than they are.
People can debate the issue all the they like but it should be undeniable that among many things they could hate, our freedom and our liberty is one of them. The fact that we allow women to vote and remain uncovered. The fact that we were founded as a secular country, the fact that we embrace democracy and discourage theocracy. The fact that we pride ourselves on religious tolerance and free expression of all cultures and belief. This, among anything else they may hate about us, are also things that they hate.
There is no way we would make these lunatics happy, people who attempt to say “if we just changed our foreign policy” or “if we just changed where we intervened” are lying to themselves and buying in to the control that they attempt to exert over us. We should not succumb to their demands and we should not consider them the victims in this situation. You can say what you like about US foreign policy, I am certainly not attempting to champion the United States policies throughout the years, but if you believe that is the only reason these terrorists hate us, you’re lying to yourself. You’re a terrorist apologist and you sanction the deaths of innocents if you really believe that. I won’t buy in to something so disgusting.
Muslims venerate a pedophile, don’t talk to me about evils when you venerate a man who boldly committed and encouraged evils acts.
Allah is simply the Arabic word for “god” which means that Allah doesn’t exist, so Allah has no power. Jesus, if he was anything at all, was simply a delusional apocalyptic Rabbi, poor and uneducated, likely completely illiterate. So I guess Jesus would be more powerful? Although I don’t think he would care at all about 9/11, considering that it was several thousands years after he may have supposedly lived if he did at all. No powers care about religious wars, if the did there would be a winner.
What 9/11 means is that we need to have better airport security. We need to be on our guard. We need to realize we live in a world where people hate us for our way of life and for our freedoms. The world drastically changed post 9/11. People will often say that we shouldn’t trade our “freedoms” for security, if you sincerely consider being able to get on a plane with several hundred strangers without being check a “freedom” you have a very strange view of it indeed.
Any university that attempts to have a “creation science department” should not be considered a real university or be able to give out real degrees. They should be stripped off all accreditation. Anyone willingly linking themselves with Jerry Falwell is not worth consideration as a sensible, logical, or intelligent person. I do agree a lot with Bill Maher on that topic, allowing Liberty University to give out degrees destroys the sanctity of real degrees.
1. There have actually been some religious groups and individuals that did celebrate death. There are some factions that would party and congratulate the departed on the fact that they would get to experience paradise. It doesn’t happen often but personally I think that remembering someone should be more about celebrating their life than mourning their death. Death reaches us all, but the events of our lives are what makes life unique.
Other than that the most logical and obvious reason is what drives a lot of religion, ego and solipsism. People are upset because they are without that person. They are upset because they are missing out on being with that person. I am not saying that mourning the death of a person is a selfish act in itself. Especially for non-believers who know we will never see these people again, we have plenty of reason to mourn and be sad. Those that honestly believe the dead are going to a better place, where they will one day join them, it makes much less sense.
2. Only Catholics in particular will venerate the Pope and they mostly do it because of the loss of guidance they have on earth. The Pope is the most venerated man in traditional Catholicism and as a result most looked to for guidance and information. When the Pope dies people see it as if a man with one of the closest associations to “God” has died. They are then without his “wisdom” to direct their faith and the ancient ceremonies and traditions are set in to place once again with people jockeying for position. There really are quite a good deal of politics involved in the selection of a new Pope.
As for why they all want to see their corpse, personally I am a little unsure on this myself. Perhaps just a way to say good bye. Traditionally death and corpses are something that people are naturally adverse to. There has often been discussion in religious circles about particularly pious people’s corpses behaving differently, perhaps even being “incorruptible” and is why many corpses have been entombed in glass display boxes to be ogled by the faithful. It seems to be quite a strange custom indeed.
Woah, hey, what are you saying about Reggie White? Just because he had one of the worst scores on celebrity Jeopardy of all times….I kid of course. I’ve never really talked about Tebow too much because I really don’t care for him and think he’s more or less irrelevant. Perhaps he simply isn’t interested in sex. Perhaps he does have deep seeded homosexual feelings he’s unwilling and unable to recognize. Personally I think people are a little bit over invested in his sex life, but only because he makes such a big deal of it himself. It is amazing to see how people react to him, so many people can’t stand him but there are those die hard Christians that look at him as a great “role model” and cry about how the media bashes him because of his faith. If any professional athlete made their faith or lack there of as much of a topic of discussion as Tebow does chances are it would always be annoying.
It is built up very similarly to a lot of religions. Hand pick a few small items that can be turned or twisted to reflect your desired view point and present it as factual information. I certainly can’t say that it is impossible in our 4.5 billion year history as a planet that some other sentient life form visited our planet but so many people that buy in to these theories want to accredit so much of our history and accomplishments to these alien influences without solid factual basis. After a while it all sounds like a bunch of gibberish.
Wow, has to be one of the strangest situations I have heard of in a while. Generally speaking it is not necessarily “normal” Islamic behavior to threaten to kill someone, but the official punishment for apostasy (leaving the religion) in Islam is death. In that sense she is devoutly following the teachings of Islam. It is not uncommon even in this day and age for people to be killed for apostasy, it’s quite barbaric.
The rules for women are much stricter in Islam than they are for men. Officially men are allowed to marry outside of Islam as long as it is to a “chaste” Christian or Jewish woman. Women are forbidden to marry outside of Islam. Islam assumes men will take the “dominant” role in a marriage where a woman is more susceptible to “corruption”. Islamic women are not even to be seen in public with a man that they are not married or related to. Since it sounds as if she very traditional, in many traditional Muslim interpretations “dating” doesn’t really happen and a woman will only seek someone when looking for a spouse. Outside of marriage the two are often chaperoned to make sure nothing “inappropriate” happens.
As far as what to do I would avoid making any promises you are not ready for. If you are genuinely interested in Islam research it and seek to understand it better before making any kind of commitment. At that point you can make your own decision, but if your failure to convert is going to be a stumbling block for your girlfriend you two may be better off apart. No one can be forced to believe, you could only be forced to fain belief, if that is not for you I would suggest at least slowing things down until you have more knowledge on the subject in general.
So you talk down to me for talking with people in terms that god is still a possibility, since really that is the only way to discuss these topics with religious people, then condemn me for being closed minded? I assure you I am firmly an Atheist, but if I rejected even discussing these topics, wouldn’t that make me close minded? Isn’t that an essential part of science, always keeping open to new ideas and possibilities then examining them? It’s always so helpful when anon’s like to point out how much they disagree with my opinion and then provided absolutely no insight as to what they disagree with or why, by the way that is sarcasm since comprehension may not be your strong point.
I do think that there is some threat of Dominionism in this country but it is relatively minor. We have seen a trend of strongly conservative, largely Christian, politicians taking office in many areas throughout the country. Christianity has attempted to co-op with the Republican part as much as possible. Obviously this does not apply to each and every Christian but it would be nearly impossible to deny how strongly the right panders to conservative Christian values.
I think with more and more of the country turning away from religion or at least discounting the influence of religion there is less chance for this happening on a large scale. It can definitely happen on a state level and in local government which is why I personally think the Ron Paul-esque idea of autonomous states is extremely problematic and quite dangerous. If each state was allowed to decide entirely on their own it wouldn’t be long before you saw “Christian states” appearing throughout the country. Our country would be in complete turmoil if we allowed the states that power.
I certainly don’t think the failing is because Christianity hasn’t tried but simply because people are too far progressed to allow such archaic laws to govern their lives. At least that is the case in most situations and generally on a national level. As we saw with the travesty that is “amendment 1” in North Carolina the conservative Christian base is, at times, able to rally together and make their small voice the strongest to push through their agenda. Because of situations like that it is even more important that we keep ever vigilant of the serious threat to our livelihood and hard fought freedoms that many conservative Christian would seek to deny us of. Perhaps you are a bit paranoid, but there are certainly good reasons to be, it’s not unfounded paranoia where there really are people out there looking to bring America under the influence of biblical law.
Thankfully I can say I have never run in to a situation like that. It sounds like it would be quite frustrating and quite difficult to deal with. I’ve only worked for a few different companies in my life but all of them had an HR department that would take this type of issue very seriously. This is not only discrimination but it is harassment and is not something you should tolerate in the work place.
I would absolutely speak to someone in your HR department if possible. They are the ones most responsible for handling these kind of issues and should treat it very seriously. If for some reason they refuse to treat it seriously personally I would continue to escalate the issue and even consider talking to a lawyer. No one should have to tolerate that type of treatment in the work place and there are options to try to put a stop to it.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. No one wants to cause problems with their work but it appears as if there are already major issues for you. I wish you the best of luck. Don’t be afraid to stand up and demand your rights, they are in the wrong in this situation, not you.