Those who grow up in an atheist household are least likely to maintain their beliefs about religion as adults, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This “retention rate” was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study.
I honestly find these results very surprising, the entire article is available at the link above.
As for the post about forgiveness vs. mercy - Words like Love, and Mercy are words that are often twisted. Ex: Love = Sex. Not true. Love is a choice. Mercy has two definitions, the one Anon gave and "out of a desire to relieve suffering; motivated by compassion". If you accept the mercy, then you allow yourself to be forgiven! It's like when you do something bad, and your parents allow you to tell the truth, if you don't want to, they ground you! Purgatory is where your clean yourself up!
Catholicism no longer teachers about purgatory and says that it no longer exists. In a way that is a good thing, at least for people now, it does nothing for the thousands of parents who were anguished over the idea of their unbaptized newborn child that passed away having to spend eternity in some form of limbo. They can all laugh at them now as they look back and say “We were only kidding”. Religious leaders in particular no longer backs the idea of purgatory as real, perhaps it would be time to update your view on it as well.
"At this point you are simply presenting your own interpretation of what you want god to be" - Isn't that your opinion since your view would be that He is cruel and unloving. While I'm getting my information from Scripture and 2000 years of Wisdom... Try reading Hosea, it's beautiful! And again with the punishment thing, we went over that, I don't want anyone to spend eternity without love. If you feel free, then it's really your own decision, no one's going to stop you!
It is my opinion, are you going to tell me that it is incorrect though? All religious people do it in some way, they really have to with how undefined many of the particular aspects of god are. People also like to invent what they feel this deities opinions would be on new topics that aren’t addressed in the bible. I’ll admit that statement is my opinion, but will you admit that it is correct?
You don’t want anyone to spend eternity being punished….but you support a deity who supposedly does, or permits it, or allows it. Are you a more moral person than what your god is? If you would do anything possible to prevent this punishment, and he supposedly can but does not, wouldn’t that mean you are more moral? But how can that be if “god” is the personification of everything god? I’m not saying that you fall short morally, but as we’ve discussed in the past, your god certainly seems to.
Hello! I grew up in a Muslim home, my whole family is *loosely* religious (they follow some parts of the religion, only when they feel like it..-__-), but I am an atheist. It's currently Ramadan and my mother gets very angry/sad with me for not fasting or being religious…they don't quite know I'm atheist because they'd just flip out and whats the purpose in sharing anyway? I just distance myself from them when they choose to be religious. Any advice for how to put up with the next month? :/
Well hopefully things have been working out okay for you. It’s no surprise that like most religious people they only chose to follow it when they want to. It’s the same reason that you see packed churches on Easter and Christmas when less than 1/3 of those people regularly attend. Hopefully for that reason you’ll be able to get away a bit and don’t have to worry about following the tradition in the same way.
It is difficult to be in a situation where you can’t be completely honest with your family about who you are. I am really not one that ever attempts to advocate not telling the truth, but there are certain times it is certainly understandable to omit the truth. Since that seems to be the situation you find yourself in I imagine it is something you are used to doing. Hopefully you can find a bit of time to get away during the day and still continue to live your life the way you want, even then you can still take part in the feast at the end of the day, nothing wrong with a good meal.
I know how vain it is to gild a grief with words, and yet I wish to take from every grave its fear. Here in this world, where life and death are equal kings, all should be brave enough to meet what all the dead have met. The future has been filled with fear, stained and polluted by the heartless past. From the wondrous tree of life the buds and blossoms fall with ripened fruit, and in the common bed of earth, patriarchs and babes sleep side by side.
Why should we fear that which will come to all that is? We cannot tell, we do not know, which is the greater blessing — life or death. We cannot say that death is not a good. We do not know whether the grave is the end of this life, or the door of another, or whether the night here is not somewhere else a dawn. Neither can we tell which is the more fortunate — the child dying in its mother’s arms, before its lips have learned to form a word, or he who journeys all the length of life’s uneven road, painfully taking the last slow steps with staff and crutch.
Every cradle asks us “Whence?” and every coffin “Whither?” The poor barbarian, weeping above his dead, can answer these questions just as well as the robed priest of the most authentic creed. The tearful ignorance of the one, is as consoling as the learned and unmeaning words of the other. No man, standing where the horizon of a life has touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears.
May be death gives all there is of worth to life. If those we press and strain within our arms could never die, perhaps that love would wither from the earth. May be this common fate treads out from the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and hate. And I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love is not. Another life is nought, unless we know and love again the ones who love us here.
They who stand with breaking hearts around this little grave, need have no fear. The larger and the nobler faith in all that is, and is to be, tells us that death, even at its worst, is only perfect rest. We know that through the common wants of life — the needs and duties of each hour — their grief will lessen day by day, until at last this grave will be to them a place of rest and peace — almost of joy. There is for them this consolation: The dead do not suffer. If they live again, their lives will surely be as good as ours. We have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate awaits us all. We, too, have our religion, and it is this: Help for the living — Hope for the dead.
”— Robert G. Ingersoll (At A Child’s Grave, January 8 1882)
I only want to make one comment related to the tragedy in Aurora Colorado and the insensitive, callous, idiotic remarks made by Jerry Newcombe. I only personally knew one victim of the shooting, Matt McQuinn, who was the 27 year old that took a bullet and died in order to protect his gf and her brother. I only met Matt a few times and we only spoke briefly before but from everything I have heard from those that knew him better he was not at all religious. If there were such a place as heaven he would deserve an express pass. I know your friends and family will all miss you Matt, and fuck anyone who wants to speak down about you after such a courageous and selfless act. Fuck Jerry Newcombe and fuck anyone that supports him or his group.
I don’t really see why that would be funny. We actually sent a few more messages between us and seemed to come to an agreement of views. I at one point considered myself to be a Buddhist as well and I’m white, is that funny?
In some ways I do have to admire him. He stood up against the Pope, who was arguably the most powerful person in the entire world at that point, and lived to talk about it. He condemned the obviously idiotic and phoney practice of selling indulgence to be able to get away with sinning. It took a lot of bravery for him to do what he did and perhaps if he wasn’t so misguided with religion he could have been a great skeptic. He could also be credited with doing a great service in bringing the bible and therefor literacy to more common people. His life definitely had far reaching effects.
In the end though of course, he is wrong. He is still focusing within a very small world view, a very small framework that he is looking at. It is hard to imagine how his views would have changed if he had access to the great amount of information we have available to us today. He could have been perhaps even more influential. In some ways I do support what he did and I think many of his actions were positive. On the other hand of course though he was a anti-Semitic religious fanatic to the end, he just happened to be one that provided a bit more good than most.
Of course it's about removing the need for materialistic things in your life, yes. It is still possible to practice Buddhism without doing that though. Perhaps someone doesn't want to reach enlightenment just yet. I love my cats and there is no way I'm ever going to give them up to become enlightened. I still agree with Buddhism fundamentals though. I haven't practiced meditation in years because I have a lack of motivation. But that doesn't mean I am not a true Buddhist.
It means you’re a half-assed Buddhist, sorry for the bluntness but that is how I see it. You claim to be a Buddhist, yet you are actively going against the fundamental teachings because of your own want. Part of Buddhism is giving up that want as well, so sure, you’re a Buddhist, about as much as you are a Wiccan also.
:| you don't have to become a monk to be a buddhist, just like you don't have to become a priest to be catholic.
I never said you have to become a monk but you can not reach enlightenment well retaining desire for material things. So if you don’t give up possessions but still contend to be a Buddhist you’re doing it half-assed.
You've certainly got it all wrong. As someone who has lived in a Buddhist center (a house where people meet up to meditate and discuss Buddhism) for 4 years of her life, I know a lot about Buddhism and it's not all about monks and starving yourself. There are also many different forms of Buddhism just like there are many different forms of Christianity.
Perhaps you should do a bit more reading about Gautama before you attempt to claim that I am wrong. I studied Buddhism myself and although I do agree there are many different forms of it the religion itself is based on the abandoning of material things and the material world. That is the essential core of Buddhism and have never heard someone attempt to claim otherwise. As with many other religions there are different forms, and many of those forms diverge from others and go against foundational teachings. I am sure you can point to some form of Buddhism that doesn’t push the giving up of material want, but I would say that it is a form of Buddhism that doesn’t reflect the foundational teachings. Just like there is no true Christian, there is no true Buddhist, but there are those that at least attempt to live up to many of the teachings of the original Buddha, and those that don’t.
How do you feel about atheist buddhists, i.e. those who don't believe in god but follow the path of peace, serenity, and mental enlightenment?
Meditating and enjoying Eastern art does not make one a Buddhist. I have come across too many people that buy in to the Westernized form of Buddhism as being a “religion of enlightenment” that doesn’t suffer from many of the same tangles that traditional religions do. When I see an Atheist Buddhist give up his worldly possessions, take up his robes and bowl, and go about begging for food then I can say I’ve met someone who is an actual Atheist Buddhist. Until then I will likely just hear it from people who read a book or two on Eastern philosophy and cling to the title because they feel it makes them more interesting. I certainly take less issue with Buddhism than I do with many religions but you’ll usually only find “Atheist Buddhists” in the west and they are often a far cry from what would be recognized as a Buddhist in the East.
I could read your blog all day, there's something so satisfying about seeing you 'correct' the indoctrinated whose only defense for believing what they do is 'god is love'. If that's what love is then I'll happily live a life of hate, also liberated by the fact that I have torn myself from His arms and if anyone asks why I chose to do so I will answer 'because 'He' gave me free will', because surely then I cannot be wrong?
Thank you and I appreciate it. :) It is something that should be done, I think in many ways I am doing the religious a favor. Of course this sounds very arrogant and cocky of me to say but shouldn’t those that are wrong be told that they are wrong? If I held on to a belief or idea that someone would be able to easily show to me or explain to me why it is wrong I would be very grateful if they showed me the error in my ways. Of course I rarely get gratitude from the religious.
If god knows all things he would have known long ago that you would chose to not believe in him and yet he did nothing to change the course of events. In a way it would have to be said that god wants you to not believe in him if he does nothing to alter the course of events he already knew would happen. If you are following your free will and doing what god’s supposed will is aren’t you acting in exactly the same way that all religious believers are, just not sharing the belief? You are acting the way they do, just not believing what they believe, which is why it seems believes really don’t care about “saving” anyone, they simply care about people validating what they want to believe.
what are your thoughts on the belief of "universal salvation" that many of the more liberal christians hold?
It is just another softening of Christian dogma. In many ways it seems to invalidate other aspects of Christianity. If all people will eventually be redeemed and reconciled with god than there is really no permanent consequences to sin. Someone can deny the holy spirit and still be redeemed, which according to the bible is the only completely unforgivable sin. Not to mention it means that everyone gets in at some point. Some day Hitler will be standing in heaven along with the millions of Jews that he slaughtered. Would it still be paradise for them? Would they be eternally happy to spend eternity with the man that murdered them and their families? They can’t be not happy, it’s heaven, they have to be. You have no choice and no alternative in that cult, it makes the entire idea slightly more repulsive to me.
I saw a bumper sticker today that said "God is Pro-Life" and it took me about half a second to realize what a ridiculous statement that is. This is a deity that supposedly wiped out nearly everyone on Earth just because we weren't behaving nicely (one would have to assume that there were even some unborn children in the mix). There's not even a mention of abortion in the Bible. What are your thoughts about random causes people stick their religion to for no apparent reason?
Not to mention the slaughter of the first born in Egypt. “Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. 5 Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 6 Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again.” It seems that god is actually very anti-life when it supposedly serves his purpose.
People want god to be pro-life if they are pro-life because it gives them an excuse to not seem like a complete and total asshole. They can say to themselves “Well I’m right because god wants it this way.” regardless of any actual facts. People think it gives them a way to side step the need for any other explanation because it was information handed down by some higher authority. It’s no surprise that the people who make god in to their image have god hating who they hate and supporting what they support. Just another side effect of the Christian delusion.
I just wanted to point out to nataliestiener that to forgive and to have mercy on a person are two entirely different things. Eg if a friend were to kiss a person you fancied, if you were forgive them, you move on. You forget their mistake and youdon't hold a grudge. If you had mercy on them, it's like saying, 'you deserve to be beaten up, you did something really horrible, but I wont beat you because I'm a good person'- you do hold a grudge. If God was all loveing, he would forgive you.
Absolutely true which is why it is so hard to defend the complex god Christians create when they empower him with too much perfection. You end up with contradictions. Justice is another factor that needs to be figured in with forgiveness and mercy. If god is merciful to someone, can he still be just? If he provides mercy to one does that deny justice to another? If he forgives, how are those that are wronged to receive restitution? He could be merciful, he could be forgiving, or he could be just but all 3 can not be perfectly embodied in one being because one would leave the other lacking.
The Western (i.e. white) world, and some of East Asia (Japan for example) have already gone through their demographic transitions. The rest of the world, to varying degrees, is still going through demographic transition, in some cases (Muslim world, sub-Saharan Africa) with absurdly high birth rates and lowering death rates. When you look at these centers of population growth, these are not atheists, not people who will be raised as atheists, or even much exposed to it in later life. The
demographic projections indicate huge population growth in religious, in certain areas violently religious, areas. What’s your take on this? How does this inform your views on immigration, not only in the US but the Western world? It seems the Japanese basically don’t have immigration, or at least at an insignificant level, so their country isn’t under any real threat. What about the rest of the first world, what do you think the future holds?
This seems to be the type of question that may be a bit controversial no matter how I answer it. Lots of people likely have different perspectives and answers on this topic so before I go in to my answer hopefully people will keep that in mind. It seems that any time people discuss Islam it is a touchy topic and perhaps that is because of how aggressive many Muslims are in denouncing any criticism of their religion. Everyone wants to discuss Islam but nobody wants to speak out against Islam. This is an issue that relates to other religions as well, Hinduism and Sikhism come to mind, but the majority of this growth that you’re referring to is happening in Islam.
Many groups have claimed to be the largest growing religious group and in the Western-Euro centric world it is likely non-believers, but outside of that world it is Islam. In sheer numbers that growth in Islam likely outnumbers the growth of non-believers, but statistics on these things can be hard to gather. As a result we’ve seen a good amount of controversy in areas of Europe where many Islamic and religious minority people are attempting to migrate. There have been bans on halaal and kosher meat slaughter, circumcision, and even burkas in several countries. Some people see this as European people suppressing religious liberty but others see it as these countries taking a stand against allowing widespread practice of these “traditions” in their country and I think with good reason. If we are truly going to eventually eradicate many of these archaic practices there needs to be a stance against them. Many European countries have given up on cultural integration, they realize it has been largely unsuccessful.
Many of these immigrating groups often want to bring all of their traditions and practices with them regardless of whatever cultural or legal conflicts may arise. The hope of European countries is that immigrating people will integrate into their society and become part of it but that is not what is happening. These groups are attempting to remain entirely separate. They are becoming isolated and section themselves off, it is a form of self imposed segregation. Once these groups achieve a sizable number they even often believe they should only be held accountable to their own rules and regulations, not that of the country they are actually occupying.
These are issues that do need to be addressed and need to be discussed and I think European laws restricting or banning what are barbaric religious traditions is a step to push more integration. People need to be brought together, not pushed even further in to their own separating groups clinging to ridiculous tradition. I really don’t know how this can be best accomplished without “offending” people or pushing against their religious sensibilities. At some point I think that may be an issue we shouldn’t be as concerned about, especially when it comes to a topic that involves religiously sanctioned cruelty and abuse. I would rather have religious people offended than to have people and animals needlessly abused.
The future is something people always like to speculate on but no one can really know. I think there are two options more likely than others, prosperity or annihilation and religion may be one of the largest factors in deciding which road we take. The digging in of religion or the relinquishing of religion could be what decides it. I can not envision any scenario in which the world better prospers with more religion. I am hopeful, but I am often reminded that people tend to act against their own best interests. Time will tell.
Do you know anything about 'the God gene'? Do you know of any good informational sites that talk about it?
I think it’s one of the most polite and scientific ways to attempt to explain why some people are simply born more gullible and credulous. Unfortunately the only information I’ve really seen on it has come through articles and a few discussions in video clips. I know that during an episode of “Through the Wormhole” they discuss it and I would certainly recommend that show to any science fan. Hopefully it is something that we will continue to get information on since as far as I know the entire idea has only been around for a few years.
As soon as I find more on the 'change His mind' thing, I'll let you know. Though one thing I most certainly CAN defend is how He is LOVING... You said "a loving being would interject to prevent people from suffering for all of eternity." - You're right! and HE DOES! God is merciful before He is just. So unless you reject His mercy, then that's when He has to be the judge! No one falls into hell who hasn't torn themselves out of His arms! I'd also have a hard time believing that too... :/
It seems whenever someone tells me they will get back to me on a particular topic because they are a bit stumped I never hear from them again. If you do come up with an answer, feel free to let me know though. At this point you are simply presenting your own interpretation of what you want god to be, you are not defending the biblical god. It is what a large number of Christians do with their view of god so it is no surprise really but it is something I’m not unfamiliar with.
Yes, yes “god has revealed himself through his only son” or whatever cliche religious line justifies your belief that those who know of and do not accept your god deserve punishment, I have heard it many times. Obviously you know what my feelings are on that subject. There are many religions that have all made that claim and Christianity is just another one, you were basically given one at a young age and have stuck with it.
They say that there is one completely unforgivable and irredeemable sin and that is to deny the “holy spirit”. This is something that I’ve likely done in countless ways, by the standard of your religion that alone is enough to warrant an eternity of punishment. I have ripped myself from the man-forged manacles of religious ignorance and feel liberated to be set free of them. If that is being “torn out of His arms” I can let you know it is the most liberating experience I have ever partaken in and I am happy with my freedom.
Okay, well first off-God is unchanging. He exists out of time, He's present to everything at every time. God's also not trumpet my free will, you didn't take what I said to heart-He wouldn't take control of someone's life, we need to LET Him. It's as simple as respect. Yes, He COULD do all that, but that's not how love works. Love is freely given and received, otherwise it's not love! Prayer on the other hand is us giving up our free will, acknowledging that we can't do it alone, letting Him.
"God is unchanging" is a view that is held by many Christians, reenforced by the bible, but can not really be true if other aspects of the Christian god are correct. For one, if god is unchanging he could not change his mind, but he clearly does in Exodus 32:14 "Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." He was able to change his mind, and therefor must be capable of changing.
The second reason presents Christians with a paradox. If god is unchanging that means his will and his plan are unchanging which would mean prayer is useless. If god can not change, prayers will not sway or move him in any way and the entire act is fruitless. So either “god” must be able to change, or prayer is a complete waste of time. If god is unable to make any change then the world is static and the need to refer to him as a personal god is somewhat invalidated, he is no longer personal because he is unable to change or interact with anything that has not already been preordained. Free will and predestination are paradoxes.
Really though that’s not how love works? So the way it works is if I don’t love him I deserve an eternity of agony and suffering, is that how love works? The god figure as described by the bible is not a loving being, a loving being would interject to prevent people from suffering for all of eternity. That would be the moral thing to do, that would easily prevent all of this pain and suffering. It would be a complete moral abomination, to watch countless billions head to an eternity of torture that he would have the power to prevent with one action. If that is your concept of love, I feel sad that that is how you view it.
Something I don't get is the "Love Jesus because he died for you" etc. But people die everyday fighting for their countries and their loved ones. Even if I'm an anti war person I still think we should give our soldiers more love and respect than a guy whom we don't even know existed. What do you think?
I have a lot of respect for soldiers. There is a need for them and they do it so that we don’t have to. They get paid very little and their supplies are provided by the lowest bidder for a government contract. People often have a hard time keeping that in perspective.
In philosophy we've been studying the problem of evil and I think that people often miss the argument. To the person who asked about free will- the problem of evil stresses an inconsistant triad. If there is evil in the world, God can't be omipotent, omnibenevolent and omnicient. We've already established that with free will in the mix, God can no longer be omipotent because as long as you are free to act as you wish, he doesn't have power over you. (continued in next ask)
(continued) While the problem of evil doesn’t argue against the existance of God, it asks you to question the characteristics of God, particularly the characteristics of the christian God. The most powerful argument that I’ve come across against the problem of evil is that God makes up for the evil one has experience in the world, when that person goes on to the afterlife. However this is not a justification for evil, it is compensation for evil and many feel it is not satisfactory.
I agree that I don’t find it to be a satisfactory answer. By the guidelines of the Christian god it is not a requirement to suffer agony in life in order to get to the afterlife. It is unjust and if god is unjust, why would he be worthy of worship? It would make him an imperfect being. Some people have nothing but suffering nearly their entire life, but they are told by Christians to chin up because things will be all better when they die, that is vile and disgusting.
maybe i'm slow right now, but can you explain again why you have no leniency towards non-religious god believers like deists? people who don't cause any trouble for humanity because although they believe in a creator, they don't follow any rules or books or say that god demands/believes in anything right or wrong. you've said you don't accept people believing in god no matter what, so i was just curious. cause after dangers are taken away, doesn't it just become personal preference?
A deist is more than just someone who doesn’t believe in a religious based god, deists believe in an impersonal god, basically a god of no consequence. To the best I recall I don’t really remember spending a lot of time speaking out against deists. In many ways deists are nearly Atheists, they don’t believe in a personal god, they just believe in “something”. I have met some deists that hold the definition so loosely that they consider the big bang to be their “god”. I don’t deny the big bang happened, I just don’t think anything or anyone banged it. It’s a very thin line separating our views.
To turn it back for a moment though, a question for the “deist”, how did you invent your god? If it is not something from a tradition, or some book, or some prior idea, how and why did you create a god? Why do you take it upon yourself to interject this “being”? Just because it is a feeling or emotion? The deist has as much solid grounding to say that a nondescript god exists as the theist does, none. I don’t attempt to give deists a hard time, but it doesn’t mean that I think their belief is any more valid or nuanced.
To Christian who say that free will is why there is suffering. Is there free will in heaven? It is described as a paradise without suffering. So when you go to heaven do you give up all free will? If heaven exists and free will exists there, doesn’t it mean that it is possible to have a world with free will and no suffering? If that’s possible, why don’t we have that here? Just part of the logic that makes the “free will” answer to the problem of evil problematic.
Thank you, that was a valid answer! Though, you ask questions I know you already know the answer to - it's about faith. One answer you may not hear often is that - if He stopped bad things from happening, that could mean taking control of someone's free will, and He wouldn't do that, if He did, He wouldn't be the loving God that He is. God is Love, and we don't understand it! (That's what I believe.)
You’re welcome. I know that I know the answer in the Christian mindset but it is always illogical in some way. Why is this all powerful god always trumped by “free will” if he wanted something done? What is the use of prayer if he is unable to do anything? Isn’t he supposed to be all knowing and would have seen all actions prior to them happening so that if something was to displease him he could alter prior events that would lead to what displeased him? Does an all powerful, all knowing god, have the power to change his future mind?
The less you make god capable of doing the less reason there is to worry about him at all. Another question I know Christian always have a contrived answer to, but what makes you think he is love? If he was so loving wouldn’t he have done everything possible to eliminate future suffering of the being he cares for? No, if you read the god of the bible you’re reading of a literary monster, not a being of pure compassion and love that Christians often like to claim. I appreciate your message, but I can’t appreciate your version of what god is.
So, if it would only take proof, are you seeking it at all?! It would make sense that you wouldn't be because you believe there's nothing to seek. Though, if this is correct, than wouldn't that mean you are just as 'close minded' as the rest of us in claiming that you are correct that there is nothing when you aren't constantly seeking to prove yourself correct? Then again, you may also not seek to find because you don't want to... because what would happen then?!
I don’t understand how many religious people develop this condescending view that Atheist don’t believe because they just haven’t “found god” yet. Not found in any literal or real sense of course but in the metaphorical experience beyond our understanding in some way that people attribute it to a “higher power” kind of way. No one has ever found any real “proof” of god because the proof I am referring to is not subjective and not something that should be falsely attributed to a divine being without warrant. Christians really have not advanced beyond Thomas Aquinas’ “proofs” which are simply worthless points of argument.
If what Christians say is true, that god wants all people to know him, why doesn’t he reveal himself? From how he is described he clearly has the ability. If he is real, why doesn’t he stop bad things from happening? If I had the ability to, I would, am I more moral than god is? There are things that we can imagine that would settle this argument once and for all, yet still we have the discussion.
Like many non-believers I went through a time in my life when I did believe and a time when I had to reevaluate that belief. If proof was ever to be presented to me I would gladly look at it but it would have to meet what I feel to be an acceptable level of proof. More time and energy has been devoted to attempting to prove god than any other concept in the history of humanity, yet we have nothing to show for it. My mind isn’t “closed” to any information, but it is closed to pseudo-science and demagoguery.
I follow this blog because it always reminds me why I don't follow religion. Every time I feel myself softening up and feeling some sympathy in the name of religion, I always come here and remind myself why I left in the first place. thank you.
Thank you for the message and I know exactly how you feel because I go through the cycle myself at times. It is one of those things that can change fairly quickly at times. I do try to explore all aspects of religion so often times I can run in a long string of positive stories, a church funding a school some place in Africa, a family that lost their home in a fire being given charity to get back on their feet, sometimes after reading so many of them I can almost get drawn in to it. Then I take a moment to remind myself that these are stories of human and interest and charity, a reflection of the ability people have to do good and be good, not a reflection of the religion. Usually after that it will only take a few good Hitch rants or a few minutes of looking at international news to remind me of why religion is vile.
A video of a woman being publicly executed, supposedly for adultery, sparked outrage in Afghanistan—and now President Hamid Karzai has ordered the arrest of the Taliban involved. Officials actually believe the woman was killed—shot nine times as a throng of people cheered—because two Taliban commanders both had a relationship with her and ended up fighting over her; the adultery charge, they believe, was simply an attempt by the Taliban to safe face.
The two commanders “faked a court to decide the fate of this woman and in one hour, they executed the woman,” a provincial governor tells CNN. But both commanders were then killed by a third commander, he claims. Karzai ordered today that everyone involved be arrested and punished, and the commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan has offered the help of NATO troops. The video has sparked concern over the 2014 NATO withdrawal and the consequences it has on women in the country.
The above link also includes a CNN video related to the story where it mentions that dozens of men sit on a hillside nearby watching it all happen and chanting “God is great”. It is unfortunate to say but these stories will likely not stop anytime in the near future as troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
What do you gain from being an atheist? I mean, what difference makes to someone who doesn't believe?
Atheism does not provide anything of benefit because it is not in itself a belief system. Atheism is one single belief. Being able to accept Atheism for me personally has allowed a type of liberation that I feel would be impossible well still believing in a religion. In a way the only thing you could say Atheism provides is the freedom that is denied by religion. It is not something it gives directly but it is something that without it, you can not be entirely liberated.
It depends on the individual but it can make a lot of difference when contrasted to a religious belief. A non-believer has rejected the idea of eternity and has the ability to more clearly grasp the fleeting nature of life and how incredibly small that amount of time is on the grand scale of things. Non-believers do not tend to give up their destiny to “fate” and will realize that in order for something to happen they need to make some effort for it to come about. To sum it up non-believers have a much better scope of reality and with that are able to more fully enjoy, explore, and seek to understand that reality.
Athiests are generally more intelligent than theists , discuss. Further do you believe people jump on the athiesm "bandwaggon" simply in order to appear more intelligent.
I would say overall it requires more intelligence to be a non-believer than to be a believer. Being a believer is easy, it is part of why we see so much of it. To be a non-believer is to accept the uncomfortable reality of the world that we find ourselves in. It often requires a lot of evaluation of views and concepts. It requires constant questioning of the norms and is a view that is very often challenged.
Many of the most intelligent people currently alive are non-believers. The vast majority of scientists are non-believers. Non-believers are often able to better focus their time on reality, this world, and have a more realistic expectation and outlook of reality. A good scientist will never consider the irrational factors that the religious often believe in such as divine intervention or the power or prayer. Non-believers have a reality based view, it makes logical sense that non-believers should also have the most understanding of that reality.
I do think that in recent years there are some people that claim Atheism because of the popularity it is gaining. I often see tweets on Twitter where people will say people are becoming Atheist simply because of Odd Future, which would be one of the flimsiest reasons imaginable. Perhaps there are people that will claim to be non-believers for bad reasons but personally I feel that is better than claiming to be a believer for a bad reason. At least as a non-believer we do not have to assert special knowledge and special information. I’d take an uninformed non-believer over an ignorant believer convinced of the validity of their religion any day.
Proof or evidence. It isn’t that hard of a concept. The only real reason to believe in just about anything is because of some kind of proof or evidence. Of course by that I mean actual evidence of “god” not just proof we exist, that we think, that there is something rather than nothing, or any of the other non sequiturs people commonly use as proofs of god.
People who think that image was trivializing domestic abuse have it backwards- the image is supposed to point out that religion is a legitimate form of domestic abuse. It's supposed to make people realize that religion is bad for your health, not to make them think that domestic abuse is any less serious than it is. In short, I think it just went over a lot of peoples' heads.
I agree and I think that a lot of people who think it detracts from the issue of domestic abuse may not realize that it could also be used as a way of raising awareness about domestic abuse. People who look at that image can see the real impact of religious abuse and if they are able to draw the parallel to domestic abuse it can again raise their consciousness on that issue as well. We shouldn’t attempt to play which abuse is worse than the other, so I will not in any way downplay the real issue of domestic abuse, I just wish people would return the favor in not downplaying the real issue of religious abuse.
I find it somewhat funny how many angry comments are getting added on to a recent picture post from the other day yet I have only had one message regarding it. No one else seems to want to ask about it but since there is so much uproar let me throw out my 2 cent anyways. People are mad that it seems to be trivializing domestic abuse, that is not the intent of course, I would think instead people would perhaps see the startling similarities between the two. I am not ignorant to the fact that the comparison could be easily drawn but in attempting to invalidate religious abuse as a real issue people are attempting to undermine religious abuse as invalid and cast it away with one swoop. All of the statements are completely apt to religious indoctrination, all of the statements are the type of things told to people about god and why they should believe in god. These statements are not exclusive to domestic abuse, they are not exclusive to religious abuse, they are both forms of horrible abuse and it should be no surprise to see some similarities between the two.
I know domestic abuse is a very serious issue and I would never attempt to say that it is not. I also think that religious abuse is a huge issue and that should not be undermined. Everyone that attempts to cast off the picture as being a worthless attempt to co-opt awareness away from another worthwhile cause completely misses the point. Religious abuse isn’t often considered abuse, people don’t jump to it as being obvious. That picture is attempting to raise that awareness and anyone who attempts to demonize it essentially saying that religious abuse is not as important as other abuses and should not be talked about. I do apologize to anyone that felt offended by it, that they feel offended by it, not that I posted the picture. Please don’t think I’m attempting to draw away attention from a real problem, but don’t be so foolish to cast away religious abuse as if it was never a problem at all.
I don't know what you have against "Zeitgeist" - Part 1 of the film about religion is 100% true (at least it confirmed what I had independently researched on my own Prior to seeing the movie). Though I'm a little Iffy on 9/11 and some of the later topics, there is such a thing as too many coincidences for it to be a coincidence. This is all a far cry from the far left-field paranoid assumptions of, say, David Icke and his shapeshifting alien lizards theories!
Apparently you looked at the same misinformed sources that Zeitgeist did because I can tell you the information is not correct, but to be fair they aren’t the first people to embellish these ideas. They took something that has some basis, some points, and some merit, and completely ruined it. That’s the perfect way to propagandize an idea, take a small bit of truth and twist it until it hardly resembles what it was. There certainly are many figures that share a lot of the characteristics attributed to Jesus but not to the extent or in the way that the movie Zeitgeist portrays it. I’m sorry if you have read the same bad sources but I can tell you with a great amount of confidence that it is not correct information.
How do you respond to the logic statement that Jesus speaks to Catholics and Satan speaks to Atheists? For that matter, that Atheists are Anti-'s: Anti-Christ, Anti-Love, Anti-Family, Anti-Life, Anti-Fulfillment, Anti-Soul...
It’s not a logic statement. It’s entirely illogical and because of that there would be no logical reason to respond to something so stupid. As for all of the other anti-whatevers it is not worth the time to go in to detail on each and every one. A few of them are ideas that just don’t exist in any real way, soul and “Christ”, a few Atheists generally care for more than religious people, life and family, the last are more intangible ideas that take time to even define exactly what they mean, love and fulfillment.
The smartest family I knew were brilliant people. Two doctors and their twin children; they were intelligent, quick-witted, very heavy into science. The kids were absolute shoe-ins for MIT and other ivory league schools. But somehow they were also Christian. Very, very Christian. Very into God and Jesus. Only now, years later and having not spoken to them in a while, am I completely baffled by how such smart people... could believe in something as ridiculous as religion?
With some religious people there is a complete disconnect between reality and faith. They will use tests and rigid standards in helping to develop their view of reality but will not use the same level of scrutiny in establishing their faith. Most of the more intelligent religious people will realize there is a disconnect and many of them even acknowledge it but they will say that is the difference between matters of faith and matters of reality. Faith doesn’t require proof, faith doesn’t require testing, and as a result to non-believers faith is essentially a worthless trait.
It would be interesting to know how they are able to reconcile their faith with science, personal experience seems to be most common answer. The story of Francis Collins is one I always find interesting and baffling. He came upon a waterfall frozen midstream in to three streams. He accepted it as a sign of the trinity. If there had been 4 waterfalls would he have kept walking as if nothing changed? It seems so illogical, but he has a brilliant mind and somehow to him it makes sense. It’s hard to find logical reasons for people to arrive at illogical beliefs.