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(Some Guy)   Meet the world's suingest atheist, 14 years of God-hating litigation and not one single victory   (christiancentury.org) divider line 416
    More: Dumbass, god, atheists  
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12366 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Dec 2010 at 4:17 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-12-23 05:53:14 PM  
Ashelth: DinghusKhan: My fellow atheists really need to take Phil Plait's advice: don't be a dick. I happily join the chorus chanting, Newdow STFU.

Its more fun to take the religious right's ideas to their utter (absurd) extreme.

Take abortion:

Assuming from the moment of conception that life has a soul, and would be murder to kill that soul. Then women who drink, smoke or in other ways act to willfully endanger their unborn children are guilty of attempted murder. And should be prosecuted.

But what, you might ask, about a woman who had sex the night before but was on oral birth contraceptives? Well those DO have a failure right especially when not taken correctly which means that they should be forced to submit to a pregnancy test when buy alcohol or cigarettes! Otherwise they could be attempting MURDER!

But wait! Some of those pregnancy tests won't be accurate until a few days/weeks after fertilization! Simple enough, just make it illegal for a woman to drink or smoke within 2 weeks of having sex, and they must submit to a pregnancy test before being sold booze or smokes!


Are you honestly unaware that smoking legislation has undergone (and continues to follow) a similar path? Why is it illegal to smoke in so many places if it is not for the safety of human beings? Do you think it is because they are tired of collecting the tax on a pack of cigarettes?

This was a good argument when they wrote Roe v. Wade but you need to update your examples.
 
2010-12-23 05:53:53 PM  
rpm: porkloin: I think you philosophers are missing the point and playing a game. I live in a world, in which about 5 billion people say that God does exist. And, I am just trying to suggest that, in all honesty, I do not know, for sure, either way. It starts a dialog, which is the point.

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of scientific articles self consistent without God.



So you're saying that science is God?

/Has garage
//Has never seen an invisible dragon
 
2010-12-23 05:54:05 PM  
MarkEC: Having "In God We Trust" on the money falls way short of Congress establishing an official federal religion.

By placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on currency, the government is explicitly stating 1) God exists, and 2) we should trust him.

Sounds like it violates the Establishment clause to me.
 
2010-12-23 05:54:14 PM  
give me doughnuts: I usually respond with "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, as well."

I enjoy the holidays, I just don't believe in any of the religious aspects.


I've always liked you, and I'm pretty sure it's because you're not an asshole.
 
2010-12-23 05:54:27 PM  
Burnt Rice: "While I agree that superstition in the face of scientific evidence is idiotic. I'm not making the connection."

A. Realize religion is fraudulent -> B. Take notice of endeavors undertaken by religious organizations which are unethical in light of A -> C. Take action against religious organizations and work to disconvince the religious of their mistaken beliefs.

Atheists are more concerned with religion because we're the ones at the forefront of the fight to resist its political intrusions.
 
2010-12-23 05:55:32 PM  
Zamboro: See? The moment you become offended, you're tempted to describe me as militant. Precisely what I was talking about.

Fair enough, you're right. "Primitive" is a completely valid descriptor of religion. It's been around for farking ages and hasn't evolved much.

You still haven't bothered to tell me why you're so bothered by something that doesn't describe you. If you didn't feel targeted, then why go through these elaborate hoops to denigrate what was for all intents and purposes is a cheap play on words?
 
2010-12-23 05:55:38 PM  
give me doughnuts: Makermook: I still like Stephen Colbert's take on it:

"Atheism is the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority."

---------------

Here's one I wonder about: When someone tells an atheist to have a "Merry Christmas", should the atheist cry that their right to not be subjected to unwanted Xtian propoganda is being infringed?

I usually respond with "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, as well."

I enjoy the holidays, I just don't believe in any of the religious aspects.



That's the right attitude.

Give this man a doughnut!
 
2010-12-23 05:56:52 PM  
whatshisname: Burnt Rice: Religion plays a much bigger part in the lives of people who renounce religion than those who practice it. A (noncrazy)fundie will actually leave you alone about religion/god if you tell them you don't care what they believe and that you have your own path.

What about those people who never had religion and haven't had to renounce it? The vast majority of atheists are quiet about it.


Then the mantle Atheist wouldn't apply. Giving something a name gives it substance, someone who doesn't care enough to even give the concept a name doesn't consider part of who they are. Those are my favorite kind of people because I never have to justify myself to them. They're also much more rare than you would think.

A national poll where the options are 1 Religions(most types), 2 Atheist, 3 don't care would have interesting results. If for no other reason than to see how many people feel the need to make actively denying something part of their lives.
 
2010-12-23 05:57:14 PM  
rpm: There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of scientific articles self consistent without God. Claiming you "don't know" is a cop out of a huge degree.

I count myself in the "don't know" crowd. The universe is vast and wondrous and I'm less than a gnat on an elephants ass in the grand scheme of things. I would consider it arrogant for me to proclaim certain knowledge that their isn't some sort of higher being or state of existence. I am pretty sure if such a being exists he's nothing like the description found in any religion I've ever heard of and has no direct interest in my life.
 
2010-12-23 05:59:15 PM  
proletarian: MarkEC: Having "In God We Trust" on the money falls way short of Congress establishing an official federal religion.

By placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on currency, the government is explicitly stating 1) God exists, and 2) we should trust him.

Sounds like it violates the Establishment clause to me.



Which religion(s) does that phrase establish and/or prohibit the free exercise of?
 
2010-12-23 05:59:48 PM  
Zamboro: XpathofpurityX: 'Last I checked, Athiest meant the person didn't believe in any higher power. When did it turn into "a person who is a ravenous hater of all things religious(specifically christian) with a devotion that puts religious zealots to shame"?

It may be confusing, but we don't hate gays the way you do. We consider them equal citizens deserving of equal rights. We also value stem cell research, a woman's right to choose, accurate science education and so on. As a consequence we've taken it upon ourselves to create political institutions devoted to these causes; to reversing the harm caused by Christianity in America today.

One such cause is preserving the separation of church and state, which is at the core of Newdow's campaign. By your opposition I can infer that you consider his claim invalid, that you don't value the separation of church and state the way atheists do. There are plenty like you out there, and it's why these institutions and even individual litigants are necessary.


I hope you meant general "you", not specific "you"(as in me). I'm not christian, but I can't help but notice modern "atheists" seem to have a hard-on for them(christians) similar, if not greater than, christians have toward the gays.
 
2010-12-23 06:00:00 PM  
EmployeeOfTheMinute: What's his Fark handle?

FlashHarry?
 
2010-12-23 06:00:17 PM  
Burnt Rice: Then the mantle Atheist wouldn't apply.

Yes it bloody well would. Again, words have meanings.

If you do not have knowledge of a god, knowledge of the CONCEPT of god, you are atheist BY DEFINITION. You do not have to ACTIVELY REFUTE the existence of a god to be considered an atheist.

Look it up in a farking dictionary. This is stupidly simple.
 
2010-12-23 06:00:29 PM  
img534.imageshack.us
 
2010-12-23 06:01:44 PM  
porkloin: Goliath - - I was not sure, thanks for the info. I think I am going to make my own law suit, and have that stuff removed. Did you actually read those documents? It has been a while for me. I remember when I last sat down and read both of those document, how pure and sweet the English language could sound. How clear the intentions.

So, by you count we have God, and higher power. I guess the foundling fathers were not perfect.


Thanks for not taking that as a personal attack. I teach firearms classes on the weekends, so we're kind of expected to be able to rattle that stuff off on the fly. You are correct about the Constitution, though.

I know what you mean about the degradation of the language. When I read Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address at the memorial, I got really depressed about our future as a people.

But hey, fark it, bring on the reality shows and pass me a Brawndo.
 
2010-12-23 06:03:06 PM  
Ringshadow: uncletogie: What if I were to use it to provide fairer laws for all?

Seems to ask me to do that in the bible... and I like the idea.

Yeah, except for that pesky "Separation of Church and State" thing and the whole Treaty of Tripoli thing.

Seriously. All religion out of government. Some of us want to buy beer on Sundays and not worry about our health care being farked with by old men, and have no interest in your definition of the word "fair".


You seem to be making some interesting assumptions:

I wholeheartedly believe in healthcare for all, don't care what you imbibe as long as you keep it to yourself {no impaired driving, thanks}, and think that as long as you're human, you should be able to marry whomever you like... or 4 people, for the polyamorous folks.

So how would my falling on my beliefs cause problems for you? Seriously, I'd love to hear how my choice of beliefs would make your life untenable.
 
2010-12-23 06:03:07 PM  
Pincy: DinghusKhan: My fellow atheists really need to take Phil Plait's advice: don't be a dick. I happily join the chorus chanting, Newdow STFU.

In other words, just keep quiet and put up with whatever the Christian majority wants.


Yeah, that's exactly what he's saying. Not live and let live, but convince people that there is no God by shouting that they're stupid for believing.
/Proselytizing atheism
//Still proselytizing.
 
2010-12-23 06:03:16 PM  
TsukasaK: "I wasn't making fun of you, now was I? But the fact that you've devoted a good three or four posts to defending yourself makes me wonder why you've chosen (emphasis on that word, CHOSEN) to hoist the banner here."

Possibly because of the posts preceding yours which contribute nothing besides shiatting indiscriminately on atheists. We have feelings too.

TsukasaK: "In its most extreme, yes. And I can point to examples of extreme atheists too... i.e. Stalin."

He was an extreme Communist. We are not Communists. The current atheistic movement is not in any way descended from or returning to Communism and the equivocation is offensive.

TsukasaK: "Can we agree that the folks down the word going to church every Sunday probably don't hate science or gays, probably don't want to remove anyone's rights to do anything, and probably don't want to cause harm either?"

If that were true, gay marriage would be legal in every state. It is currently legal in three. This necessarily means that a majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, and the majority of Americans are Christian. The inescapable conclusion is that a majority of American Christians oppose gay marriage.

TsukasaK: "In turn, let's also agree that the folks staying home from church that day probably don't want to kill, disenfranchise, marginalize, or otherwise bring harm to the people who don't share their beliefs."

Of course.

TsukasaK: "Seems fair."

Reality is not arrived at by compromise. It is a hard fact that the majority of states still prohibit gay marriage, and that a majority of Americans are Christian. That opposition isn't coming from atheists. The campaign for Prop 8 (the original) was famously funded almost entirely by the Mormon church, and NOM is an explicitly Christian organization. Every Christian organization involved in politics is opposed to gay marriage. The Vatican is opposed to gay marriage. I don't understand how you can suggest with a straight face that the average Christian isn't opposed to it when the facts plainly demonstrate otherwise.
 
2010-12-23 06:03:50 PM  
He can go to hell.
 
2010-12-23 06:04:58 PM  
Liberal_With_A-Gun: "Yeah, that's exactly what he's saying. Not live and let live, but convince people that there is no God by shouting that they're stupid for believing."

I like how you made it "shouting". Because "saying" didn't sound unreasonable enough. Nevermind that nobody's shouting, right?
 
2010-12-23 06:05:45 PM  
give me doughnuts: Makermook: I still like Stephen Colbert's take on it:

"Atheism is the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority."

---------------

Here's one I wonder about: When someone tells an atheist to have a "Merry Christmas", should the atheist cry that their right to not be subjected to unwanted Xtian propoganda is being infringed?

I usually respond with "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, as well."

I enjoy the holidays, I just don't believe in any of the religious aspects.


Exactly, everyone, whether you are a believer or not can have a good time over the Christmas season. This time of year, with the short days, is rather depressing on the psyche and any lift you get out of Christmas is a good thing.
A young girl with tattoos and multiple earrings working at my local gas station said "have a Merry Christmas" to me, and I automatically smiled and said "Merry Christmas to you" back to her. It felt good, no religious connotation even entered my mind, just strangers wishing each other well.
 
2010-12-23 06:06:39 PM  
Zamboro: TsukasaK: "In its most extreme, yes. And I can point to examples of extreme atheists too... i.e. Stalin."

He was an extreme Communist. We are not Communists. The current atheistic movement is not in any way descended from or returning to Communism and the equivocation is offensive.


I'll jus' leave this quote here:

"In 1939-11-11 Stalin canceled Lenin's instruction from May, 1st, 1919 for N 13666-2 "About struggle against priests and religion" and gave orders to People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) to release from custody already arrested priests "if activity of these citizens didn't harm the Soviet authority".
Stalin "hated" religion so much, that in 1951-06-27 he gaved "Stalin's Prize" to English clergyman Hewlett Johnson. Various prizes under Soviet authority received and other priests.
So the common claims that Stalin was an anti-theist is wrong, a deeper research into Russian history will give you a different percpective."
 
2010-12-23 06:07:36 PM  
Zamboro: porkloin: "The only honest person just admits that he or she does not know if God exists, or if God does not exist. One cannot prove it either way. Atheism is a religion, just as Islam. Only agnostics are truly honest, and not FAITH BASED."

Do you think the atheists in this thread claim to know for certain that no gods exist?


If they don't, they're agnostics.
 
2010-12-23 06:08:50 PM  
TsukasaK: "Look it up in a farking dictionary. This is stupidly simple"

Do you go to the dictionary for your definition of Christian, or do you read the Bible? Would you abide by a definition of Christianity written by an atheist? What if you didn't recognize it as accurate? You might object, right?

Trying to forcibly define someone as something they don't recognize is no basis for mutual respect, although I expect you have no interest in that.
 
2010-12-23 06:08:52 PM  
MarkEC: The principles this country was founded on included where our rights come from: "Endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights"

Whether you believe in a god or not, this principle is very key to the rights we have in this country. Our rights precede government and they cannot be taken away. All the rights I every hear the left talk about are rights given by the government. This is dangerous, for any right given by government can be taken away by government. When the government starts taking away the government-given rights, the inalienable rights are not far behind.


There is also the fact that the founding fathers recognized that the republic they established would fail in the absence of a civil society. The foundation of the civil society was religion. Only by following the morals and virtue derived from religion could the passions and evils of man be tempered in order to maintain freedoms and liberties.

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation,
"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,
"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."

James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice,
"Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution.
"[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said.
"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen stating,
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
 
2010-12-23 06:08:53 PM  
Zamboro: Burnt Rice: "While I agree that superstition in the face of scientific evidence is idiotic. I'm not making the connection."

A. Realize religion is fraudulent -> B. Take notice of endeavors undertaken by religious organizations which are unethical in light of A -> C. Take action against religious organizations and work to disconvince the religious of their mistaken beliefs.

Atheists are more concerned with religion because we're the ones at the forefront of the fight to resist its political intrusions.



Fortunately, humanity continues to evolve away from the constraints of religion - in case you hadn't noticed. (Insert flies vs honey cliché).

Look at the change in the way that women's rights homosexuality have been viewed over the past several decades.

It didn't happen because militant feminists and gays were constantly attacking with in-your-face tactics. Those were in fact counterproductive.

I suggest you take a lesson from that experience. Show the world that you can be good friends and neighbors, decent, honest and respectful, and that God is not a prerequisite for these qualities.

And be patient. These things have to come around on their own. And it's already happening.

Not that Newdow and his ilk have helped.
 
2010-12-23 06:09:31 PM  
Amos Quito: proletarian: MarkEC: Having "In God We Trust" on the money falls way short of Congress establishing an official federal religion.

By placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on currency, the government is explicitly stating 1) God exists, and 2) we should trust him.

Sounds like it violates the Establishment clause to me.


Which religion(s) does that phrase establish and/or prohibit the free exercise of?


It establishes a "national religion" that is generally considered Christian or Judeo-Christian in practice, but is left intentionally vague in order to "accommodate" various other religions and their adherents. Basically the national religion fluctuates between meta-faith and Christian.

By asserting that this diety, god with a capital-G, exists, the Federal government is committing an establishing act. Taking just the currency claim that "we" trust this God and the Pledge's affirmation that we're "under" this god is ample proof of a constitutional violation.
 
2010-12-23 06:09:44 PM  
Nick Nostril: He can go to hell.

Which one?
 
2010-12-23 06:09:49 PM  
TsukasaK: Burnt Rice: Then the mantle Atheist wouldn't apply.

Yes it bloody well would. Again, words have meanings.

If you do not have knowledge of a god, knowledge of the CONCEPT of god, you are atheist BY DEFINITION. You do not have to ACTIVELY REFUTE the existence of a god to be considered an atheist.

Look it up in a farking dictionary. This is stupidly simple.


Let me rephrase with a sort of analogy. I don't care about the existence of the president's birth certificate. He won the election and seems an OK guy. If I cared I would be either a "birther" or their opposite, what ever that is. I prefer to not care. So what do you call those of us that don't care? Abirthers?

You derive part of WHO YOU ARE from the name Atheist and there's nothing wrong with that. Just understand that there are those that prefer not to play the game at all.
 
2010-12-23 06:12:08 PM  
Nick Nostril: He can go to hell.

Do you think he'll be able to find the place?
 
2010-12-23 06:12:15 PM  
AcneVulgaris: If they don't, they're agnostics.

i.imgur.com

Long thread, this section needs this image again.
 
2010-12-23 06:12:16 PM  
Rodddxl: MarkEC: The principles this country was founded on included where our rights come from: "Endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights"

Whether you believe in a god or not, this principle is very key to the rights we have in this country. Our rights precede government and they cannot be taken away. All the rights I every hear the left talk about are rights given by the government. This is dangerous, for any right given by government can be taken away by government. When the government starts taking away the government-given rights, the inalienable rights are not far behind.

There is also the fact that the founding fathers recognized that the republic they established would fail in the absence of a civil society. The foundation of the civil society was religion. Only by following the morals and virtue derived from religion could the passions and evils of man be tempered in order to maintain freedoms and liberties.

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation,
"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,
"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."

James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice,
"Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution.
"[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said.
"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen stating,
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."


And yet, when these self same men sat down to form a government, what they said was...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

Now how come they didn't say something like..

"Congress shall base it's laws on this here magic book?"
 
2010-12-23 06:12:19 PM  
uncletogie: So how would my falling on my beliefs cause problems for you? Seriously, I'd love to hear how my choice of beliefs would make your life untenable.

So you have nontraditional religious beliefs? So what, they still don't belong in government! No religious beliefs do!

Separation of Church and State, man. I don't care what you believe, or whether I agree with it, I don't want it anywhere near legislation.
 
2010-12-23 06:14:13 PM  
Zamboro: Possibly because of the posts preceding yours which contribute nothing besides shiatting indiscriminately on atheists. We have feelings too.

Let me let you in on a little secret, buddy.. I'm atheist myself. Agnostic atheist, if you want to be specific. I'm not religious in any way shape or form.

I do, however, reserve the right to make fun of those with hyperbolic viewpoints.

Do me a favor. Right now.. scroll back up to that card image, and read the quote in italics at it's bottom. Think for a moment whether that stance applies to your views.

If it does? Well, then the conversation we've been having here doesn't make too much sense, you seem like a reasonably balanced person.

If it doesn't? Then stop being offended for an insult which I never made.

All I want to know is why you chose to take offense at "militant atheist" when you are not one. I don't take offense at "white trash" even though I'm white.

Why? Because it doesn't describe me. Simple.

WTF, man. Explain it for me.
 
2010-12-23 06:15:24 PM  
Lets suppose you're an atheist, and have a legitimate objection to the words "In God We Trust" printed on money. Further suppose that I'm a (reasonable) Christian, and do not object to these words. What's the best way to try to convince me that "In God We Trust" should be removed from our money?

A. Through rational, intelligent, and respectful arguments and reasoning, emphasizing that there should be a clear separation between religion and state?

OR

B. By attacking my deeply held beliefs, mocking what I hold most sacred ("Imaginary Sky Fairy, ROFL!"), and calling me stupid?
 
2010-12-23 06:15:30 PM  
AcneVulgaris: "If they don't, they're agnostics."

Agnostic atheists. And since this position describes essentially all who identify as atheists it would seem appropriate to change the dictionary definition one of these days.
 
2010-12-23 06:16:19 PM  
This clown is prime example for why we need "loser pays" in the legal system.
 
2010-12-23 06:16:39 PM  
Amos Quito: Which religion(s) does that phrase establish and/or prohibit the free exercise of?

A monotheistic one, at the very least, which does not include or describe many, possibly the majority, of the world's faiths.

If your God is so great, why does He need a government-granted PR monopoly?
 
2010-12-23 06:19:11 PM  
Zamboro: Do you go to the dictionary for your definition of Christian, or do you read the Bible?

Dictionary for Christian:
* a religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination

Is that somehow inaccurate? I think I could even get the Westboro Baptist Church to agree with that one.

Zamboro: Would you abide by a definition of Christianity written by an atheist?

I certainly would not. Again, is there anything loaded towards either extreme in the definition above? No. It's a very simple definition of fact. The dictionary isn't the place for politics (though some would like to make it that way)

Zamboro: What if you didn't recognize it as accurate? You might object, right?

Well, find me a definition of "christian" that is somehow inaccurate, and we'll go from there.

Zamboro: Trying to forcibly define someone as something they don't recognize is no basis for mutual respect,

Hey! You're absolutely correct!

Are you a militant atheist? No? AWESOME! Now you can stop being butthurt.
 
2010-12-23 06:19:50 PM  
Rent Party: And yet, when these self same men sat down to form a government, what they said was...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."


presumably because the constitution was drafted by statesmen and not priests. I am a Catholic but I don't want my priest/bishop/cardinal/Pope drafting everyone's laws. I'm pretty sure a lot of those quotes concern the governance of people under laws that would remain unwritten and would rely on the collective moral upbringing of the people not to need to.

plus the legislation of morality destroys religion. there shouldn't be an earthly penalty for things that do not harm anyone but are considered ungodly. the presence of immediate earthly penalties for such things robs you of the ability to abstain from such activity solely because it pleases God.
 
2010-12-23 06:20:56 PM  
Man On Pink Corner: If your God is so great, why does He need a government-granted PR monopoly?

If your god is so great, why does he need me to believe in him?
 
2010-12-23 06:22:28 PM  
Hyperbolic Hyperbole: Incredulous[,] you semantic wad of chimp spunk.

Oh, that was fun, H-H! Pleased to meet you. As elsewhere noted, you've lived up yo your moniker. Really enjoyed it. Thanks. Come again.


whatshisname: An atheist lacks a belief in God. Most of them don't claim to know for certain that no Gods exist.
bogey: I think my understanding of the difference between atheist and agnostic may be a little fuzzy.

It really not very complicated at all. An agnostic is simply someone who says, "I don't know." An atheist, however, has considered the issue and made the decision.
 
2010-12-23 06:22:54 PM  
Makermook: Here's one I wonder about: When someone tells an atheist to have a "Merry Christmas", should the atheist cry that their right to not be subjected to unwanted Xtian propoganda is being infringed?

no they don't because 12/25 is a federally recognized secular celebration *as well as the day christians celebrate the birth of their lord*. One does not need to be christian to celebrate christmas because there are two distinct and separate things going on. One is religious and involves going to church and the other involves a red suited man bringing gifts, a tree, mistletoe, holly and the like. If Christmas was singularly a religious celebration then by definition it could not be a federal holiday.

More often then not I say happy holidays from mid november till january 2 because it covers any and all celebrations that come up in that time frame. it's a conveience thing. As we get close to thanksgiving I say happy thanksgiving, and as we get close to xmas, I says Merry xmas. I also enjoyed being wished a merry christmas as much as anyone else.
 
2010-12-23 06:23:42 PM  
Amos Quito : "So you're saying that science is God?" Absolutely, not. Science is the opposite. Science is an enterprise in which everybody can prove the same thing, over and over.

I can try to explain myself, more clearly. "In God We Trust," is on our money, and, you and I use it, spend it, etc. You have a lock on your front door? No? So do I! I do not trust God. I trust a couple of dead bolts and an aggressive canine.

This is not philosophy! It is the frigging world we live in. I call it reality. When people start talking about religion, they are ignoring the reality of biology, and human life. Science is science. In this universe, my vote is science.
 
2010-12-23 06:24:35 PM  
proletarian: Amos Quito: proletarian: MarkEC: Having "In God We Trust" on the money falls way short of Congress establishing an official federal religion.

By placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on currency, the government is explicitly stating 1) God exists, and 2) we should trust him.

Sounds like it violates the Establishment clause to me.


Which religion(s) does that phrase establish and/or prohibit the free exercise of?

It establishes a "national religion" that is generally considered Christian or Judeo-Christian in practice, but is left intentionally vague in order to "accommodate" various other religions and their adherents. Basically the national religion fluctuates between meta-faith and Christian.

By asserting that this diety, god with a capital-G, exists, the Federal government is committing an establishing act. Taking just the currency claim that "we" trust this God and the Pledge's affirmation that we're "under" this god is ample proof of a constitutional violation.



I'm sorry that bugs you, but it kind of goes with the territory given the history of this nation and that of those countries from which our forebears emigrated.

Funny thing about religion. When you are exposed to it, especially as your identity is forming as a youngster, it becomes ingrained into your psyche - part of how you see yourself in relation to all things other than self. It usually sets in pretty hard, and even when you think you've moved past it, you often find that the thorns are still deeply embedded in your flesh.

As I said earlier, we are already evolving away from the superstitious belief systems that have been ingrained in our genes for countless generations.

It's not an easy process. You can't just dump a bucket of ice water on some poor chap and scream THERE IS NO GOD in his face, and expect him to be 'cured'.

Use gentle persuasion. Don't condemn or attack*. That's their game.

/*unless you're trollin' for the LULs, of course
 
2010-12-23 06:24:45 PM  
Rodddxl: MarkEC: The principles this country was founded on included where our rights come from: "Endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights"

Whether you believe in a god or not, this principle is very key to the rights we have in this country. Our rights precede government and they cannot be taken away. All the rights I every hear the left talk about are rights given by the government. This is dangerous, for any right given by government can be taken away by government. When the government starts taking away the government-given rights, the inalienable rights are not far behind.

There is also the fact that the founding fathers recognized that the republic they established would fail in the absence of a civil society. The foundation of the civil society was religion. Only by following the morals and virtue derived from religion could the passions and evils of man be tempered in order to maintain freedoms and liberties.

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation,
"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,
"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."

James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice,
"Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution.
"[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said.
"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen stating,
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."


Rather than wall of text this I will just get a quote or two(or more).

John Adams -

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
-letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
-letter to Thomas Jefferson

"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."
- letter to John Taylor

Ben Franklin

"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity."
- Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
-in Poor Richard's Almanac
 
2010-12-23 06:26:26 PM  
Zamboro: AcneVulgaris: "If they don't, they're agnostics."

Agnostic atheists. And since this position describes essentially all who identify as atheists it would seem appropriate to change the dictionary definition one of these days.


I still don't think I have this straight. I even looked at the Wiki definitions. Would you mind breaking down atheist, agnostic, and agnostic atheist in terms a fifth grader can understand? Thanks.
 
2010-12-23 06:26:27 PM  
Ringshadow: uncletogie: So how would my falling on my beliefs cause problems for you? Seriously, I'd love to hear how my choice of beliefs would make your life untenable.

So you have nontraditional religious beliefs? So what, they still don't belong in government! No religious beliefs do!

Separation of Church and State, man. I don't care what you believe, or whether I agree with it, I don't want it anywhere near legislation.


Even if it mirrors secular concepts? Why would you throw the baby out with the bathwater?
 
2010-12-23 06:26:49 PM  
Burnt Rice: Let me rephrase with a sort of analogy. I don't care about the existence of the president's birth certificate. He won the election and seems an OK guy. If I cared I would be either a "birther" or their opposite, what ever that is. I prefer to not care. So what do you call those of us that don't care? Abirthers?


I don't think it's possible to "not have a position" on something like that, especially as a United States citizen. If a random person were to encounter you on the street one day were to ask if you if thought the election was legit, I bet you'd say yes it was.

Either you think the election was legitimate or you think it wasn't.

Much like theist-agnostic-atheist, it's not that simple. Look at the compass diagram posted a couple of times up thread. Every single living being on this planet can be plotted at some point on that graph.

An atheist, by definition, is someone who has no belief in god. Depending on the strength of that conviction, you can add another word such as gnostic or agnostic. Babies are implicitly atheist, because.... they don't believe in god by definition.

You derive part of WHO YOU ARE from the name Atheist and there's nothing wrong with that. Just understand that there are those that prefer not to play the game at all.

You are described by one of those words by virtue of existing. "not playing the game" is not an option.
 
2010-12-23 06:26:54 PM  
TsukasaK: "All I want to know is why you chose to take offense at "militant atheist" when you are not one. I don't take offense at "white trash" even though I'm white. Why? Because it doesn't describe me. Simple. WTF, man. Explain it for me."

It's like when you're arguing something out of a concern for factual accuracy, and the other fellow says "You just can't tolerate any opinion other than your own". What they've done is to completely dismiss the case you've been building against their position and deliberately misrepresent your motivations, making you out to be someone with no real argument, just a refusal to allow dissent.

It's someone sweeping aside what you actually think and telling you what your own thoughts are, a lot like people presuming to dictate what label you should go by. When someone misapplies the term "militant" and tells you you're no different from a religious fundie, they're doing so out of frustration with their own inability to argue effectively against you, and while angry they're unlikely to care whether or not it's a fair descriptor. It relieves their frustration, distracts from the points you were making and convinces them that they have no obligation to justify their position to you in the first place, as you're just a 'fundie'.

That's more or less why when I hear those words come out of someone's mouth, I write them off as deeply unreasonable.
 
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