Hey! Do you have any links to information to clear up the Zeitgeist wrongs that you were referring to? I have only seen part of the film and would be very interested in knowing what false information it claims. Thanks so much.
This page has lots of links to different information and sources that refute particular parts of the movie including part 2 and part 3 of the movie which are equally full of propaganda and misinformation.
hey there, i'm an atheist without balls! i don't identify as agnostic though... (before you say i can't take a joke please know that yes, i can; just thought i'd point out the use of that language, because atheism has a pretty horrific record on accepting women as equal members of the community).
I understand and I wouldn’t say that you can’t take a joke. Know that I was not attempting to imply anything sexist in posting that picture and I apologize if anyone took it that way. I’ve answered the agnostic question many times before and am just at the point where I like to push agnostics to use the word in the correct context instead of as a cop out to remove themselves from the discussion.
Have you watched Zeitgeist: The Movie? It brings up certain points that are quite interesting and that are hard to avoid in a conversation about religion, politics and economics after watching it.
Zeitgeist is a crap movie and I suggest you don’t believe any of the information they present without thoroughly researching it yourself. There was a picture on reddit recently that is worth a look on that, it is here. (Posting it would likely distort the text too much.) Originally when I watched the movie I was very excited with the information but didn’t know enough to know that it was wrong, as a result I am particularly spiteful against the Zeitgeist movie and will tell anyone I can that it is utter garbage, the equivalent of propaganda. They took something that had a small basis and simply invented other information to try to add credence to their points, that type of manipulation of information should not be tolerated and the movie should be suppressed out of memory.
Thoughts and opinions on SCOTUS upholding the ACA and as a bonus question thoughts and opinions on CNN reporting it wrong?
In many ways I am very happy about the ruling. I am very happy that it will get a great number of people health care and prevent insurance companies from forcing people with pre-existing conditions to die. I think that it is a good thing overall and after many years of it being implemented that people will see it as a positive and wonder why it took us so long to get a system as it is. From a personal stand point, it is bad for me. I am a working class person that does not have health insurance and hasn’t had it for over 10 years. That means I either have to get insurance I can not afford, since there will be no government option, or suffer a penalty. I really am a bit upset about that but with all the positives that it will do for other people I am trying to suppress my self-centered view on this topic.
Hopefully CNN will learn from this fiasco that the current news environment of trying to get every story 5 seconds sooner than the competition isn’t really needed. People would rather have accurate reporting than a story pushed out 10 seconds ahead of the competition. CNN has become a joke when it comes to news in recent years. This little mishap is just another great reminder that they no longer care about being the most accurate source in news, they just want to beat Fox to the story.
Regarding Christianity and Slavery again... How do you handle people who say you're insane because They Claim that Christianity ENDED slavery in America? This is the kind of crap I usually get for opening my mouth up. And to top it all off, They try to make the claim that Atheism is to blame for slavery lasting as long as it did being them darn Atheists isolated the good people from the Lord! I just want to pull my hair out...
It is true that many Christian groups and organizations were the first to oppose slavery, there certainly were very few to no significant secular groups at the time. I am of the view that it was the least they could do considering how long their religion had been used to justify slavery. A few hundred years before slavery even started in the Americas people already had to wrestle with the moral implications of enslaving other people. In order to clear their conscience of this they would often deem people of other races to be “less than human” or “cursed”, in this way they were treated like animals and it no longer became a moral issue. They of course worked to justify this within a religious framework as well and the idea met little resistance within the churches.
This was an idea that could not last though because they were dealing with people, not animals. As that point become more and more glaringly clear people found less ways to justify enslaving people and it turned more to the economic necessity. By the time that slavery was eventually abolished there were very few people making the argument that slaves were sub-human but more that the economy of the south depended upon the cheap labor. People could find less reasons to justify it in a moral sense and with that shift many Christians groups also shifted their views, although the Quakers in particular were one group that had always been opposed to slavery.
There is a lot of debate about the greatness of Abraham Lincoln as a president and although I don’t consider him perfect I do consider him a man that did a great deal of good for our country. He was also one of the most secular presidents we’ve ever had and quite possibly a non-believer privately. His statement “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” simply and concisely expresses his overall vision. He sought to be a peacemaker and did not want to push for a war but in many ways the entire topic had hit the point of no return.
Atheists and non-believers have never been of a large enough group to have real pull and sway in America. It is only now getting to the point that non-believers are even acknowledged in political discussion. Atheists certainly had no pull in slavery, they also had little pull in stopping it though unfortunately due to that same lack of sway. I think any credit that religion can take in putting an end to slavery it owes twice as much in being responsible for the imposition of it in the first place.
Do you believe that Jewish is an ethnicity, or just a religion? I personally think it's both, because of genetic differences between Jews from a certain region, and other people from that region (like how Eastern European Jews are at higher risk for certain diseases than just Eastern Europeans). I was just wondering what your opinion on this would be. Thanks!
I would say more so than most religions it could be considered so. Of course there are many people that convert to Judaism for various reasons which would be completely exempt from that but if you are able to trace ancestry back far enough the people of Judea would be considered ethnically Jewish. I think there are very few people alive today that could trace their ancestry back that far but there is at least some basis to the thought.
I would like to know if I'm alone here with this problem. Basically people call me a bigot because I don't date minorities. I don't date minorities because the majority of them are prayer nuts and atheist haters. Like whenever I dated hot Hispanic women, and really got into good relations with them, God would come up sooner or later. When she found out that I was a non-believer, the shit would fly: I'm demeted, I'm evil, I'm going to hell etc... It's the same like this over and over again!
Race really isn’t the factor that you’re having an issue with so I don’t know why you would phrase it as “you don’t date minorities”. When you phrase it in that way it does come across as quite bigoted. You can just as easily find white people that will call you demented, evil, and tell you that you’ll go to hell. Perhaps you need to broaden your horizons and not date anyone instead.
I feel really stupid, can you explain the last photo you posted?
People used Christianity as a way to justify slavery and segregation for hundreds of years. Christianity was imposed upon African slaves brought to the new world and they were forced to give up many or all of their traditional religious beliefs.
I would just like to sincerely thank you. I am atheist, however my family is Christian. Although my family isn't extremely religious in any way, my grandmother is. So, by extension, my mother is opposed to other religions. When I told her I was atheist for the first time, she refused to believe me because she thought I was just being ignorant (I was 15 at the time but extremely and totally sure of my decision) I showed her your blog and why I thought this way, and she has accepted it. Thank you.
I really really appreciate this message. It has made my day, thank you for sharing your story with me. I am very glad you and your mother were able to work things out and I am extremely glad I was able to provide any small amount of help. :)
I understand you might not have had the same experiences as many of the thousands of Christians out there... but I gotta ask.. how can you hate what you don't understand?
Don’t be confused for a moment in thinking that I don’t understand religion. I don’t reject religion because I am ignorant to it, exactly the opposite reason, I know too much about religion. Only the extremely self deluded could take the time to honestly objectively study the origins of their religion and their validity as well as the social/political impacts of these beliefs and still say they are true. I continue to try to learn every day and the more that I learn the more that it becomes entirely clear that man made god, not the other way around.
I know from experience that my God is loving, merciful, all-powerful, and everything you say He isn't. People, ultimately, chose evil over good and bad things happen for this reason. There are many reasons God doesn't stop some of these things; to teach lessons, to make people stronger in life and faith. As humans, we're not expected to understand all of God's motives. We're expected to have faith. I know this is a common argument from Christians but the reason we use it is because it's truth.
(This is the same person who sent the anon message about god not being impotent, she sent a follow up message to indicate she didn’t intend to send it anon originally.)
Please don’t mistake my bluntness for hostility but your personal experiences mean nothing to me. Your own personal experience mean nothing more than the personal experience of billions of other people. Their personal experience is quite vast and includes people who believe they are being sent secret messages by aliens, believe they are the reincarnation of a great historic figure, believe they are watched by angels, or believe they are chosen by god. Their experiences do not make reality, neither do yours. Your personal experiences are your own and can not be used to prove any objective truth about the world. Why would you believe you are given special knowledge that is denied to others? What is more likely, that you alone were given special proof to confirm one of the greatest mysteries of the universe, or that you mistakenly credit it as such?
People chose to do what we would consider relatively good or bad things because that is simply how we have evolved. People that do dishonest things to get ahead aren’t always caught, they do often get away with it and get ahead in life because of it. If doing good things brought about only good results people would not do bad things, essentially if karma was true it would be ridiculous for anyone to do anything bad or evil because it would be returned upon them. People do “evil” for many reasons but none of it has to do with any rejection or acceptance of imaginary figures.
When people attempt to justify atrocities and disasters in religious terms it always drives me nuts. Thousands of people die so god can “teach us a lesson”? What is that lesson exactly, because that part always remains very unclear? Couldn’t he perhaps do it in some way that doesn’t result in the slaughtering of thousands upon thousands of innocent people? Aren’t these innocent people then doomed to not learn whatever this important lesson supposedly is? Perhaps people wouldn’t have to be “stronger” if it wasn’t for god attempting to “teach us a lesson”. If, as humans as you point out, we are not supposed to understand the motives how are we going to learn any lesson? How is this definition any different from a tyrant who demands you will do as he says because he knows better than you? I am not a slave, you shouldn’t want to be one.
If Christianity was the true religion there would be some indication of this. Christians suffer the same as Muslims, Hindus, non-believers and all of the rest do. Prayers are not answered and all faith and non-faith groups enjoy roughly the same life expectancy and life quality. If one of these groups was truly talking to god, truly “blessed”, truly living the life that they are ordered to by some ethereal slave driver wouldn’t they expect to see some results for all of this? If not, what is the point? Oh yes, the next life, that carrot always dangled just out of reach of the believer. Something that drives people to discount this life in favor of false promises, another evil doctrine, but a completely different subject.
I know you probably get a lot of these inbox messages defending God. I just want to say that God is not impotent; He very well could and does do things to stop bad things from happening in the world. However, the fact that people chose Satan so long ago made it so that the world, determined by God, was doomed. Hence, things like wars and murder still happen.
I get them from time to time but it is often hard to sort out the people that are simply trolling from the people that are being genuine. It is an unfortunate part of dealing with the topic of religion, what people actually believe and what seems so ridiculous and outlandish mixes and blurs. The definition of god that most Christians subscribe to is illogical and self defeating. God can not be all powerful, all knowing, and loving with the world that we have.
In your world, if god works to stop “bad” things from happening, why do bad things happen at all? Why does he need to stop bad things at all if he is able to stop the earlier precursor steps that would lead to bad things or lead people to do bad things? If he is all knowing how come he created Satan and gave Satan domain over the Earth, knowing it would lead people to sin? If he is all knowing, why would he need to test anyone, he would already know the results of the test wouldn’t he? The Christian god is such an illogical being that it can not possibly exist, I don’t even consider it a fringe possibility anymore which makes it harder for me to have a serious discussion with a Christian, they are wrong before they even open their mouth.
Hello, good sir. What are your thoughts on protesting churches?
If a church wants to protest a political or social issue they should be able to, anyone should be allowed to practice free speech and a right to peacefully assemble, but when a church attempts to sway the political field they are violating our long held traditional of keeping church and state separate. If a church wants to use its power and influence in that way they should no longer, for legal reasons, by classified as a church and should be required to pay taxes. They shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways, either they are an entity separated from the federal government or they are not, if they are not they should not be granted special status. I really think in general all churches should be taxed but especially ones that attempt to expound a political message. They are attempting to cross fields and push their views and ideals upon the general public, it is political proselytization and not something we should tolerate from an entity that is given special status exempted from other government regulations and rules.
If Atheists are harassed or discriminated against, is there some Legal means of fighting back? I'd really like to know because in my experiences it's usually my word vs. theirs, and they always plead innocent. In other words, the Employer gets away with it, and usually with the help of sheer numbers on their side.
Depends on where you are in the world really but in the United States absolutely. No one should have to suffer discrimination but the key for legal matters is you need to be able to prove it. You should not only report any issues with discrimination to your HR office but also keep a record of it yourself including times and dates, make sure to keep a copy of any emails related to it as well (if your company uses an email system). If your employer refuses to do anything regarding the issue you may need to escalate the issue further which could include contacting a lawyer or a group such as American Atheists or the FFRF, who do work especially with issues related to Atheists and Atheist discrimination.
It is difficult to prove in many cases which is why good documentation is important. If you can say “I wrote down on this date and this time when someone said this” it makes it much harder for someone to say I simply don’t remember that. When you’re able to point to many instances of that and have stronger backing it becomes much easier to prove a case of discrimination. Unfortunately it is something that never pleasant and often times people that face discrimination, even if the issue does become escalated to the point that it is acknowledged, end up having to move on to another company or another career. I wish you the best of luck but don’t allow it to continue on without attempting to stand up for your rights.
what do you belive is the weirdest religion? And don't say scientology cuz its weird, but we've all heard that story a dozen times lol.
There are a lot of very strange religious sub groups, it is hard to say what would be the strangest. In the United States the Pentecostal snake handlers jump to mind as the weirdest. Off of the top of my head worldwide without researching many options I’d probably have to say the Aghori Hindus. They are very, very strange but are mostly revered in India.
What do you think about swearing an oath on the Bible in court? If you were in that position, would you feel able to lie (theoretically, of course) given that you are not at all religious? (Forgive me if this isn't very clear...)
I understand what you mean but this seems to be a source of confusion for many people. If someone is a non-believer or is part of a religion that forbids taking “oaths” they are allowed to simply make an affirmation to tell the truth. When I first learned about that I found it very funny actually, for a religion person they must swear upon their holy book to tell the truth, for a non-believer though they’ll just take our word on it.
Is it true that Atheist babies are born with certain abnormalities which are normally fixed in the hospital shortly after birth? Things like horns, fangs, the number 666 or a tail?
You mean foreskin? I don’t quite think it is abnormal but the religious feel the need to lop it off for some reason. Personally I think that children should be left intact, it’s a shame that the genital mutilation community is almost entirely religious.
Why is it "perfectly normal" to see an image of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or angels... But when people see UFOs or something non-biblical, they're Crazy?
I don’t think it is perfectly normal. It is interesting to me that psychology actually makes a distinction for delusions that are religious in nature to not call them delusions. They’re all the same thing. The only difference is one is generally culturally acceptable and the other is not. Personally I don’t think it should get special treatment and someday perhaps when people don’t so readily accept religion as justifiable delusion they’ll get rid of the distinction.
Is there an annual "Atheist Day" or a day I can take off work each year and claim it's for "religious purposes"?
There is the National Day of Reason which is the first Thursday of May. There is also Darwin Day which is around Feb. 12th. There is the old idiotic joke that April 1st was declared national Atheist day by some judge in Texas. The type of wit and humor you’d come to expect from Texas.
What do you think of parapsychology and "star children?"
Both topics just make me laugh really. I used to have a lot of sincere interest in parapsychology and looking back at that I laugh about how serious I took the topic for a long time. Star children has to be one of the strangest names imaginable. People never stop making up ridiculous claims and fantasizing about wild things beyond the possible.
Is it true that there is a secret Atheist Underground dedicated to the destruction of all religions worldwide? Is it true they are allied with Satanic Anti-Christ groups? Is Obama the Anti-Christ?
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I'd just like to say thank you. Your tumblr introduced me to many of my favorites like Daniel Dennett or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which I think was a great role model for many young women. For many years I was scared to admit my true feelings about religion for fear of being thought of as a hypocrite because I used to be religious. But seeing people like Ayaan make me realize the lengths some people will go to, to be true to themselves.
Thank you, I definitely appreciate the message. Ayaan is a fantastic and amazing woman, from the first time I heard her talk I wanted to learn more about her. She has such an amazing story and has lived such a wonderful life, something she would have probably never been able to accomplish growing up in Somalia. She has risked so much to accomplish so much, she could be an inspiration for anyone. It is great that it has inspired you in that way, I only wish everyone could really be true to what they think and believe.
hatefulatheist, I believe in God but I don't believe in religion, prayer or books (bible, quran, etc.) I'm a deist I guess I would say. How can I have a good relationship with my Catholic mother while still staying true to myself? I don't like upsetting her and having her worry about me, but I don't like feeling like I'm lying to myself or not doing what I truly feel. Her biggest issue with me is when I say I reject the bible as the truth.
I am not really used to giving advice to deists but I imagine that a lot of it would be fairly similar to the advice I’d give an Atheist. Talk with your mother and let her know your issues and questions. Let her know that there are certain things you disagree with and chances are your mother may disagree with some of them as well. Very few Catholics actually believe in transubstantiation but by definition you can’t really be a Roman Catholic without believing in it. Nearly all believers write their own gospel and if you can find some way of explaining to your mother that you want to flesh out your own ideas she may sympathize.
Often times there are certain points and aspects that will trigger a bad reaction from a family member and if you can avoid those you stand a better chance of being able to communicate. Perhaps avoid the topic of the validity of the bible, even if your mother says she believers it as absolute truth she likely does not, it is a self contradictory book, but that is a difficult discussion to have and likely won’t ease tensions. I would say to focus more on what you do believe and how you would like to explore that. Perhaps your mother will not understand right away but that is why it is crucial to keep communication open and let her know your feelings and point of view. Good luck.
I find some of your anons incredibly ridiculous. Even if someone is a religious "nut" and you're an atheist, it's not your job to try and "break" someone. Especially for stupid reasons like dating. If you truly even cared about this person enough to have a meaningful friendship/relationship, you'd have to confront the worst scenario which is them always being religious and deciding if you can live with that. Because there is no guarantee of change. Forcing change never works.
I agree that it is not a good reason but I can think of many instances where there would be a good reason to try and “break” someone of a religion. There is a very fine line between religion and cult and if someone is really in a terrible situation the caring thing to do would be to help try to bring them out of it. If you truly care about someone and you see them taken advantage of and manipulated honestly it may be cruel to not try to interject in some way. Overall though you’re absolutely right, it’s a bad reason to try to change things.
To your anon, I can say that trying to convert a Catholic is one of the most difficult things seeing as Catholics seem to have formulated an argument or an idea for absolutely any hole in religion possible. I've been in Catholic schools all my life, and they're incredibly stubborn.
They certainly can be but they are also some that most commonly leave their religion. I think Catholicism, out of any denomination, is shrinking up quickly. Catholicism is goofy just at the very face of it so when dealing with a logical person it can sometimes be easy to at least get them to renounce traditional Catholicism, if not religion completely.
You may find this question immoral. It also might make a great book some day. How would you go about "breaking" a Catholic? I've been an Atheist all my life and by far the most beautiful women I've seen have been Christian nuts. They reject me and would like to do the opposite and convert me into one of them. How do you de-religionize a person?
There are plenty of worthwhile reasons to attempt to draw someone out of their religious shell but in order to date one isn’t a very altruistic reason. I wouldn’t consider that a good reason to attempt to bring someone out of religion and would rather not give you advice on doing such a thing if that is your intended purpose.
what do you think about richard dawkin - the god delusion? i've read some reviews about this book and many atheists say that this book is a shame for every "real" atheist because of the weak arguments etc. i thought it was great. what do you think?
Many Atheists tend to look down their noses at other Atheists that they feel aren’t as nuanced as they are. “The God Delusion” was a very well written book and one I recommend strongly to people that are new to the concept of Atheism. It appeals well to a new audience and works as a great introduction. There strength of the arguments can be debated but he covers a variety of topics, besides religion has never been able to tackle even the easiest problems so almost all the argument points against religion still have some merit.
What are your opinions on Russian Communism's destruction of churches to fulfill the Communist duties in removing "the opium of the people"?
I think that the “opium of the people” line has been very misunderstood by many people. It is certainly not the best line even in close proximity to that line. I much prefer, “Criticism of religion has plucked the flowers from the chain, not so that men and women may wear the chain without consolation but so that they may break the chain and cull the living flower.”
In short though this is a question I have been asked quite a few times and it is a fairly simple answer. They wanted to be able to take control of the hearts and minds of the people, they wanted to turn them in to obedient thought slaves for the cause, they wanted them not to question their authority and power. If that line of reasoning sounds familiar, it should, because it is also what is at the heart of religion. The Communists, more or less, had to do away with the competition.
i'm so glad i live where i live. i can go out und talk to everybody about atheism and religion. i am an atheist and i can go to my religious grandma and tell her, that i not belive. and nobody hates me because i dont belive in bullshit. and i dont hate anybody for living with a lie.
Religion vs. Science. I don't get these people. IIRC the Bible says that Earth is 6,000 years old. Jesus-backers frequently try to prove that modern human remains in certain "anomaly" sites are millions of years old to discredit Evolution, but in so doing they're contradicting their own holy book. Can't they get their own act together?
They simply try to make an in route where ever they can. Once something has been shown by science to be entirely true, like evolution, religion will attack it from multiple angles. They will not only try to deny its truth based on the fact that it is non-biblical and contradicts the bible but they will also attempt to undermine the science itself. The second tactic of attempting to undermine the science is more infuriating to me personally.
Someone can say “I just don’t agree with science” and I can move on knowing that they told me “I want to be ignorant”, so I have less worry. When someone attempts to come back with faked science, misinformation, and out right lies it is much more frustrating. At that point not only do you need to attempt to explain why their information is incorrect but also point them to the correct information. Misinformation is far worse than ignorance, that’s why Fox news views are more out of touch with the real world than backwoods Montana separatists are.
“Is religious indoctination child abuse?” can I get some help on this for my RS coursework please? Or links? I've googled it and can't find much :/
Richard Dawkins is one of the only prominent Atheists I know of that has discussed this topic in much detail. I honestly do not have any real good suggestions for information available online related to the topic. Perhaps if someone else knows of something that could help they can leave a reply to this post.
What does the inverted cross symbolize to you? I am an atheist, and I know other "atheists" who seem to think that the inverted cross symbolizes theistic views, when I've always thought it was more so associated with "satan" and "satanic ways". Is it hypocritical, in your opinion, for an atheist to sport/use inverted crosses? Or perhaps is it more of just a mockery thing towards Christians/those who are religious.
It is one of those symbols that is a little bit different for each person I think. The roots of it are fairly religious and it has been used as a religious symbol many times. There was a small bit of controversy in 2000 when John Paul II sat in a throne with an upside cross carved in it. It seems to be taken with mixed feelings but if it has a strong tie with any denomination of Christianity it would be Catholicism.
In recent times I think the symbol is much more tied to Satanism than to it’s original religious meaning. Satanism itself is a fairly young religion and as a result the common symbols representing it are much more well known to us. In Satanism it is used as a direct challenge to Christianity, a symbolic sign of wanting to turn the religion completely upside down. It was always interesting to me that in voicing their displeasure with Christianity they adopted a Christian symbol.
I would say it is up to the individual Atheist how they feel about the symbol and what it represents to them. If someone wants to sport it as a symbol challenging Christianity that is their choice, but expect to have some smug pedantic Christian take the opportunity to point out the Christian ties. It really is a gruesome symbol though overall, thousands of people have been crucified. I’m not one for venerating torture, that is part of the reason I rejected religion to begin with.