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(AlterNet)   Columnist attempts to debunk 10 myths about atheists, manages to prove 9 of them are true   (alternet.org) divider line 917
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38420 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2011 at 11:58 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-14 05:10:13 PM  

KiltedBastich: Actual homosexual men are not interested in women in the first place, and this can be demonstrated.


Yes, I heard they have those sorts of theatres in London.
 
2011-09-14 05:11:00 PM  

Satanicpuppy: Elemental79: vonster: t's curious that atheists feel compelled to evangelize just like the theists they loat

When group A believes that group B deserves to be tortured, then group B might just be a tad vocal.

Wait, now I'm confused, which is group A, and which is group B?

You know what's wrong with modern society? Everyone fights over who gets to be the one with the persecution complex. Get over yourselves.


Christians believe that non-Christians deserve to be tortured. Some people have a problem with this. Perhaps you didn't know, but Christians believe in a place called Hell. This is where anyone who didn't believe in Jesus will end up and it is basically an eternal torture chamber.

Glad I can clear things up.
 
2011-09-14 05:11:30 PM  

Satanicpuppy: KiltedBastich: impaler: Leeds: Resin33: Everyone is born an atheist.

I'm not 100% sure if that's true. There is ongoing research into determining the differences in the brains of theists. It is possible that believing in the gods (or feeling a need to) is a medical condition and if so, it is likely one you are born with.

// Not kidding, several articles have even been linked on Fark

Being susceptible to holding a believe, doesn't mean you're born with it.

This. Irrational belief is a function of the human mind. We really are not that rational, when you get right down to it. Everyone has a belief system of some kind that they will defend automatically and vehemently regardless of the actual truth of those beliefs - it's just that system doesn't always center around religion. It can be nationalism, an ideology of some kind, a philosophical credo, a profession, even a sports team. The best you can ever manage to do is decide what it is you will believe in, and even then it's not completely under your control; your socialization and culture have an enormous impact.

Evolutionary psychologists speculate that we developed this capacity because it is easier to simply assume something is true and go with it in terms of cognitive load than it is to work something out from first principles every time. In an ideal world, we would work something out properly once, and then just believe it from then on, but the two capacities are not causally linked, that is, it is not necessary to reason through a proposition carefullly before engaging the capacity for irrational belief in that proposition.

It remains that conceptually a newborn infant is an atheist, of the subset of atheist usually described as a non-theist, that is, one who has never been exposed and/or cannot understand the concept of theism. It can apply under other circumstances as well. For example, my younger brother has Down's syndrome and has been deaf since birth. He is literally unable to understand something as abstract as the concept of God, because he is physically unable to be taught the concept, and lacks the mental capacity to seek to learn it on his own. He's a non-theist, and thus an atheist - but he's never made any active choice in the matter.

I've seen variations on this assertion a million times, and I've never seen any of them with any actual citations or descriptions of the process. Yes, this is how it looks from the outside, but don't say what it is until you can trigger it with a probe.

/There is a reason Psychology is a liberal arts degree, eh?


Is this the same standard of proof you hold for believing in God?

Your hole is deep.
 
2011-09-14 05:12:23 PM  

Ant: jso2897: Shazam999: What's the one where you don't care if He's real or not?

That's the one I tend to be.

Atheists are douches.

There needs to be a name for us folks who just don't give a shiat whether "god" exists or not.
Apathists, maybe?

Apatheists is a term that has been used.


That's the term I've heard, too.

I confess that I don't quite understand apatheism. It seems to me that if a god did exist, that would be a fairly important fact about the universe and that it'd be something you'd want to know, if at all possible. At the very least, I think you'd want to investigate the claim.

Apatheists seem to be saying that they think that a god might exist, but that they don't care. To me, that signals a profound lack of curiosity that I guess I just don't get.
 
2011-09-14 05:13:08 PM  

Rent is too damn high: Satanicpuppy: Strawman. Religious ethics are nearly indistinguishable from secular ethics (e.g "laws") since both are the product of human behaviour.

Not a strawman because I didn't represent anyone else's opinion on the matter, I'm asking a question about their opinion. You're looking for false dichotomy, but anyways I agree that they are both the product of human behavior. But, religious values can differ greatly from humanistic/secular values. For instance, terrorism is unjustifiable by humanistic and secular values (unless you've found a secular humanist that believes terrorism is justified, and no, I don't find Robespierre to be particularly humanistic), but in religious contexts, terrorism is often considered justified.


Yea, see I believe it was this bit:


So tell me, if you believe your God commanded you to commit atrocities, like fly planes into skyscrapers, would you be morally justified in doing so? Yes or no.

If yes, then you sympathize with the 9/11 terrorists' position, and ultimately you would have to be commanded by your bible to stone adulterers and kill non-believers. Why aren't you doing so then?

If no, then congratulations! You share secularly defined morals and ethics, and you've made a moral determination without the input of a God or a holy book.


No holy book in the world condones that sort of behaviour. And, by implying they do, you set up a Strawman.
 
2011-09-14 05:15:09 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: mccallcl: Some 'Splainin' To Do: I'll be sure to let my apolitical friends know that they don't exist.

Go for it, although that is an odd conclusion to draw from what I posted! You may wish to tell them that "apoliticism" is not very useful to talk about instead, which is way closer.KiltedBastich: Show me an entity that can form beliefs, that does not hold a belief in a deity, and I will then show you an atheist.

I was snarking at your contention that the word atheism is unique in describing an absence of beliefs, which is why I provided a counter-example.

If you want to be serious, the reason that atheism gets talked about is simply because theism is simultaneously ubiquitous and it has a discernible impact on the lives of those who aren't part of it.

If history had never had an religious crusades (and I'm not limiting those to the Christian Crusades), if people weren't seriously trying to push Creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, if people weren't making policy decisions based on religious scriptures, and so forth and so on, then this really would only be a topic of academic interest.

But we don't live in a world where religion is irrelevant. Religion is such a prominent part of our culture that those of us who lack it do stand out and do, indeed, often find ourselves under attack for being apart from everyone else.

In the context of the real world, religion matters, and so does a lack of religion, and it's kind of silly to suppose that this is just because of some sort of semantic quirk.


pretty much. if live and let live was practiced, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
 
2011-09-14 05:17:07 PM  
I'll just put this here...

img215.imageshack.us

// The relationship between countries' belief in a god and average Intelligence Quotient, measured by Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
 
2011-09-14 05:17:22 PM  

PC LOAD LETTER: Bevets: C.S. Lewis

Fundamentalist Christian's opinions are Fundamentalist.

Bevets: We all believe, as an article of faith, that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did. ~ Harold Urey

He really said "article of faith"? What an idiot.

Christians worship their own people's words so heavily, they assume the other folks do the same for their own people. The difference between you and us is that we are comfortable calling folks on our side idiots when they prove themselves to be.

Science changes according to the facts.

Religion never changes, regardless of what the facts are.


So I'm assuming "your" people call you idiot quite often? Because if you think religion never changes you are one of the BIGGEST dipshiats ever. Why do you think there are so damn many different denominations? And what makes you think Christians don't call other Christians on their bullshiat? How many Christians do you REALLY see white knighting Westboro Baptist? Thanks for being the guy who makes other atheists look like idiots.
 
2011-09-14 05:18:04 PM  

Rent is too damn high: Satanicpuppy: Strawman. Religious ethics are nearly indistinguishable from secular ethics (e.g "laws") since both are the product of human behaviour.

Not a strawman because I didn't represent anyone else's opinion on the matter, I'm asking a question about their opinion. You're looking for false dichotomy, but anyways I agree that they are both the product of human behavior. But, religious values can differ greatly from humanistic/secular values. For instance, terrorism is unjustifiable by humanistic and secular values (unless you've found a secular humanist that believes terrorism is justified, and no, I don't find Robespierre to be particularly humanistic), but in religious contexts, terrorism is often considered justified.


In fairness, I think that you're verging on a No True Scotsman fallacy. A Christian could, just as easily, say that evil acts are definitionally unChristian, but it would be a poor argument.

I think that you're kind of doing the same thing with Robespierre.
 
2011-09-14 05:19:58 PM  

vonster: It's curious that atheists feel compelled to evangelize just like the theists they loath.


It's not curious at all. They are just the other side of the god/nogod spectrum. Doesn't mean they are silent about their beliefs.

I work in an r&d facility with maybe around 80 people. There is one noticeably religious person, and maybe 15 or so very outspoken atheists. The rest, I don't know, because they simply don't evangelize their beliefs in the work environment.

The atheists are truly annoying at times. It is difficult to gather in any number of 3 or more, like in the breakroom, or at a lunch, without several of them making unprovoked offensive or derogatory remarks about religious people and religion. To be honest, they strike me as very unhappy people in general.
 
2011-09-14 05:22:24 PM  
If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle. There is no right and wrong, there are only results. If by killing and stealing you are able to succeed, then you win. The law of the tooth and claw. Survival of the fittest.
 
2011-09-14 05:22:55 PM  
I don't see why atheists are supposed to sit quietly while religion takes over our government, which is not supposed to promote any religions. Also, irrespective of government, what is wrong with chiming in with your opinion (regarding religion) when the conversation warrants it? If there is a national discussion on religion, why can't the atheists have their say? I find it ridiculous when atheists get angry at other atheists for speaking their mind.
 
rpm
2011-09-14 05:23:46 PM  

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: Riddle me this, Epicurus - would a just Creator allow hackers to obtain naked photos of Scarlett Johannsson? shiat yeah he would. (NSFW)

Theists - 1
Atheists - 0


Hackers that were enabled by a gay atheist.

Atheists - 1
Theists - 0
 
2011-09-14 05:24:14 PM  

Satanicpuppy: No holy book in the world condones that sort of behaviour. And, by implying they do, you set up a Strawman.


No holy book commands believers to kill non-believers/adulterers/homosexuals? Interesting.

Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Kill Witches
You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

Kill Homosexuals
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Kill Fortunetellers
A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

Death for Hitting Dad
Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

Death for Cursing Parents
1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

Death for Adultery
If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

Death for Fornication
A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

Death to Followers of Other Religions
Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

Kill Nonbelievers
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Kill False Prophets
If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

Kill Followers of Other Religions.
1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

Death for Blasphemy
One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

Kill False Prophets
1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, 'Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,' do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.' You may wonder, 'How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?' If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

Infidels and Gays Should Die
So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle
For the LORD had said to Moses, 'Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.' (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

Kill People for Working on the Sabbath
The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.' (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

The Quran:
Quran (2:191-193) - "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." There is a good case to be made that the textual context of this particular passage is defensive war, even if the historical context was not. However, there are also two worrisome pieces to this verse. The first is that the killing of others is authorized in the event of "persecution" (a qualification that is ambiguous at best). The second is that fighting may persist until "religion is for Allah." The example set by Muhammad is not reassuring.

Quran (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding caravans with this verse.

Quran (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority". This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be 'joining companions to Allah').

Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle, as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. Here is the theological basis for today's suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76) - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah..."

Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

Quran (4:95) - "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-" This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

Quran (4:104) - "And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain..." Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

Quran (8:15) - "O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end."

Quran (8:39) - "And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah" From the historical context we know that the "persecution" spoken of here was simply the refusal by the Meccans to allow Muhammad to enter their city and perform the Haj. Other Muslims were able to travel there, just not as an armed group, since Muhammad declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad's intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until "religion is only for Allah." According to Ibn Ishaq (324), Muhammad justified the violence further by explaining that "Allah must have no rivals."

Quran (8:57) - "If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember."

Quran (8:59-60) - "And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah's Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy."

Quran (8:65) - "O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight..."

Quran (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them." According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam. Prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religions Five Pillars.

Quran (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."

Quran (9:20) - "Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah's way are of much greater worth in Allah's sight. These are they who are triumphant." The "striving" spoken of here is Jihad.

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." "People of the Book" refers to Christians and Jews. This was one of the final "revelations" from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad's companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in just the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

Quran (9:38-39) - "O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place." This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41) - "Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew." See also the verse that follows (9:42) - "If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them" This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

Quran (9:73) - "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination." Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that they are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter. It also explains why today's devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

Quran (9:88) - "But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper."

Quran (9:111) - "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."
 
2011-09-14 05:24:18 PM  

Satanicpuppy: I didn't defend psychology, I attacked it! How can you said I defended an irrational belief? Prescribe yourself a valium man.


No. Your irrational belief is that not everyone has irrational beliefs, first presented here in response to my comment about the nature of irrational beliefs in humans:

Satanicpuppy: I've seen variations on this assertion a million times, and I've never seen any of them with any actual citations or descriptions of the process. Yes, this is how it looks from the outside, but don't say what it is until you can trigger it with a probe.

/There is a reason Psychology is a liberal arts degree, eh?


You basically asserted that you do not agree that everyone has irrational beliefs that use the same mechanisms because you personally think Psychology is bunk. That is not an argument, it's an assertion of personal incredulity. It is an irrational belief, which I then called you on, and pointed out that a) the research is available for you to find if you want to look, and b) that your assertion is itself an irrational belief that works by the mechanisms I described.

You then used an extremely flawed argument about taking a single psych class while doing a degree in cognitive science as the ground for your entire opinion about psychology. I pointed out that this was not a valid argument and represented irrational thinking for two reasons; small sample size and confirmation bias (probably combined with hindsight bias, now that I think about it).

In short, your reasons for discounting the position I presented are irrational. You are asserting that your incredulity is somehow more valid than the entire discipline of psychology and all the related disciplines that support and agree with it, including sociology, anthropology and neurobiology. That makes your position an irrational belief, and is in fact a perfect example of the phenomenon I was first describing.

You could have said, when I suggested to you that I have read literature supporting the claims I made, and that you can find them on Google scholar, something like, "Hmm, really? Well, that does not match what my experience leads me to believe, but maybe I should go read what the literature has to say". Instead you said what amounts to "Pfft, fark psychology, what do those posers know anyways? I took one class so I know it's all hogwash".

So tell me again, which of those two statements would you characterize as rational?
 
2011-09-14 05:25:11 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: vonster: It's curious that atheists feel compelled to evangelize just like the theists they loath.

It's not curious at all. They are just the other side of the god/nogod spectrum. Doesn't mean they are silent about their beliefs.

I work in an r&d facility with maybe around 80 people. There is one noticeably religious person, and maybe 15 or so very outspoken atheists. The rest, I don't know, because they simply don't evangelize their beliefs in the work environment.

The atheists are truly annoying at times. It is difficult to gather in any number of 3 or more, like in the breakroom, or at a lunch, without several of them making unprovoked offensive or derogatory remarks about religious people and religion. To be honest, they strike me as very unhappy people in general.


And, once again, we're right back to stereotyping an entire group on the basis of a limited set of interactions with a small sub-set of that group.

Whee.

/I'm also kind of curious where you work. A 20% population of self-described atheists is well out of the norm. That sort of concentration is very much an outlier and makes me think that your situation is atypical in more ways that one.
 
2011-09-14 05:25:27 PM  

Leeds: Resin33: Everyone is born an atheist.

I'm not 100% sure if that's true. There is ongoing research into determining the differences in the brains of theists. It is possible that believing in the gods (or feeling a need to) is a medical condition and if so, it is likely one you are born with.

// Not kidding, several articles have even been linked on Fark


So...

The people without it... They evolved that way?
 
2011-09-14 05:26:34 PM  

justtray:

Is this the same standard of proof you hold for believing in God?

Your hole is deep.


Yea, it is actually. If I can touch god, or reproduce him in a lab, then I'll believe. Psychology says, "Well, 60% of people act this way, so we'll call it a theory." I think that's a bad practice.

And you? What have you contributed here? How about a list of your greatest hits?

"What a moron."
"It should, but if he even had to ask, it won't."
"Are you really this damn ignorant? Stop posting and go back to school."
"When you dont have a point, argue semantics. Never fails."
"You just can't stop digging huh. After the last backpedal on how ignorant you are about debate and logic, I woulda thought you would have the smarts to simply disappear. Instead, you're doubling down on the dumbz."
"The fact that you interpret it the other way is very telling of your actual beliefs."
"Since you don't understand even basic logic and debate, I don't expect you to understand that either."

You pretty much just shiat ad hominems and strawmen all over the thread. It's really pretty unpleasant. And you didn't contribute anything worth a damn. So, you know, bye.
 
2011-09-14 05:27:55 PM  

letrole: If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle.


I'm pretty sure there are at least two words in that sentence you really don't know the definition of. I might be low balling it though.
 
2011-09-14 05:28:29 PM  

letrole: If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle. There is no right and wrong, there are only results. If by killing and stealing you are able to succeed, then you win. The law of the tooth and claw. Survival of the fittest.


This is half true, but only because I believe that it's morally wrong to blow out candles. It's especially wrong to snuff out a candle before it's ever been lit.

/Am I doing it right?
 
2011-09-14 05:28:36 PM  

letrole: There is no right and wrong, there are only results. If by killing and stealing you are able to succeed, then you win



Those aren't atheists - those are Republican capitalists...
 
2011-09-14 05:28:39 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: You're standing in the middle of a huge debate about the very subject, and you wonder where this is happening?


This is theists "coming" in your mind? TFA that I read (OK, skimmed) was written by an atheist. I haven't read a single post making a positive assertion as to the existence of God (skimmed the thread, too, maybe there's one buried somewhere).

Some 'Splainin' To Do: However, it's equally true that quite a few people seem to get upset by the mere fact that someone is an atheist because they take the simple fact of their atheism as an implied rebuke.


In what context? Again: where the F is this actually happening to people? Am I unaware of evangelizing to the unwilling just by having made good choices and living in a relatively cosmopolitan area (in the American South, even!)?

I've said this before: if you find yourself bothered by believers because of your unexpressed religious thoughts- farkING MOVE. Get a new job, stop dating that chick, tell your mom and dad to fark off. How is this any different from racists or anime fans that bother you?

Some 'Splainin' To Do: If you think about that, it's kind of remarkably rude. No polite person would ever respond to someone who said they were Jewish by immediately asking them why they don't believe in Christ, but it's considered perfectly normal and acceptable to interrogate someone when they say that they don't believe in God.


As opposed to a Jew, who you could ask hundreds of questions, the only thing you can ask an atheist is "how come [one thing I know about you]?" maybe they're just trying to understand you, maybe they are just stumped for conversation! In any event, they are not aware they are being rude, cut them some slack.

Some 'Splainin' To Do: If you want to be serious, the reason that atheism gets talked about is simply because theism is simultaneously ubiquitous and it has a discernible impact on the lives of those who aren't part of it.


Ubiquitous? Then why does it have no effect on me at the office right now? When I go home? No effect. Tomorrow? No effect.

The branch of theism that has an effect on me (liquor laws, cabaret laws, Chik-Fil-A being closed) is decidedly Protestant. It is as much outside of my belief system as it is yours. Yet somehow I manage to get through life without defining myself as not-Protestant and railing against Protestantism whenever I detect it brushing against my arm.

Mike Chewbacca: Ever been on Facebook?


Perhaps this is the problem: instead of screening your peers for non-idiots, you've decided the thing to do is hang out with idiots and get ticked about it.
 
2011-09-14 05:29:09 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: You don't say?

t1.gstatic.com

/realizes liberal and atheist aren't the same thing


Jesus was a liberal, fighting for change.
 
2011-09-14 05:29:59 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: mccallcl: In what scenario are theists doing this? How often does someone come and say God exists to you?

Ever been on Facebook? It happens. All. The. Time. Usually it's just some ninny posting something about "let's pray for this urban legend child to recover from his traumatic brain injury/illness" but sometimes it's "I got in a minor fender bender yesterday" and someone responds with "Praying for you!" Gee, farking thanks. How about you take me to the car place instead and you know, actually do something helpful?


a high school friend's mother is on facebook and posted just yesterday a complaint about non-religious people: here's her post: You can always tell the nonreligious people by their attitudes on life. They are so unhappy. Always complaining about everything. If you don't like it in this country, go to Mexico, they need people!!!!

her son is still my friend, so it took every fiber of my being to not point out that she was the one 'complaining' about other people on FB. and the total disconnect of relating religion to 'America, love it or leave it'.
 
2011-09-14 05:30:16 PM  
Fitting

i53.tinypic.com
 
2011-09-14 05:31:51 PM  

mithras_angel: Leeds: Resin33: Everyone is born an atheist.

I'm not 100% sure if that's true. There is ongoing research into determining the differences in the brains of theists. It is possible that believing in the gods (or feeling a need to) is a medical condition and if so, it is likely one you are born with.

// Not kidding, several articles have even been linked on Fark

So...

The people without it... They evolved that way?


It's way to early to tell which came first. But it is damn fascinating stuff.

// And assuming that a theists brain might be different from mine allows me some wiggle room when I'm dismayed by loved ones who just don't understand all this. It's possible that their brains simply can't grasp the awesomeness of the universe without some sort of god crutch.
 
2011-09-14 05:32:58 PM  

letrole: If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle. There is no right and wrong, there are only results. If by killing and stealing you are able to succeed, then you win. The law of the tooth and claw. Survival of the fittest.


Except that we are social animals that need groups of like entities to best survive, and so have a profound and necessary reason to be able to get along, and thus develop morality with no recourse to God whatsoever. Lone outcasts usually do very poorly; this is why shunning and banishment was so common as punishments in tribal societies.

Many animals demonstrate the basics of moral behaviours to a greater or lesser degree, including most birds and mammals. It is not the case that religions create morality, rather, religion was an invention to try and explain why we are moral.

And this doesn't even begin to cover how wrong your construction of survival of the fittest is. In evolutionary terms, fitness relates to number of successful offspring proximately, and the frequency of your genes in the population more ultimately. "The law of tooth and claw" is the skewed understanding of the social darwinists, a reprehensible and selfish bunch who did not actually understand the point of Darwin's work.

Again, not that I expect you to be anything other than a narrow-minded troll / ideologue unable to grasp why your wildly distorted perceptions are so abjectly wrong. That would require the ability to learn from error, and that in turn requires the humility to first recognize that you have made such, which you have never to my knowledge ever demonstrated.
 
2011-09-14 05:33:25 PM  
Ahh... now it all makes sense!
 
2011-09-14 05:36:03 PM  

letrole: If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle. There is no right and wrong, there are only results. If by killing and stealing you are able to succeed, then you win. The law of the tooth and claw. Survival of the fittest.



As an atheist, I'd kill you, but that is wrong, so I'll let you live.

In other words, your "argument" fails the test.
 
2011-09-14 05:36:13 PM  
Typical Fark Religious thread.... Meandering and stupid arguments that miss every
point they are aimed at.
 
2011-09-14 05:36:38 PM  

Satanicpuppy: Wow, so, in your world, possibility and truth are the same thing! You must spend a lot of money on lottery tickets!

Do I believe in a god espoused by some traditional religion? No. Do I accept the possibility that there may be some external physical basis for the shared belief of the vast majority of humanity? Yes. Science has dug into it before, and found little, but its possible with better tools, we might find something that would increase our understanding of ourselves or the world.


I never said that. All you're doing is taking the concept of truth by consensus and adding a shade of gray to it. Doesn't make it any less stupid.
 
2011-09-14 05:38:16 PM  

Leeds: mithras_angel: Leeds: Resin33: Everyone is born an atheist.

I'm not 100% sure if that's true. There is ongoing research into determining the differences in the brains of theists. It is possible that believing in the gods (or feeling a need to) is a medical condition and if so, it is likely one you are born with.

// Not kidding, several articles have even been linked on Fark

So...

The people without it... They evolved that way?

It's way to early to tell which came first. But it is damn fascinating stuff.

// And assuming that a theists brain might be different from mine allows me some wiggle room when I'm dismayed by loved ones who just don't understand all this. It's possible that their brains simply can't grasp the awesomeness of the universe without some sort of god crutch.



If you think about it, we live in a world not well suited to how our brains function. Humans are a mess of psychological "problems" which were either directly helpful to us 70,000 years ago or are side effects of other behaviors.
 
2011-09-14 05:39:11 PM  

letrole: If you're an Atheist, then for you there is no moral difference between killing a man and blowing out a candle.


Biggest pile of DERP I've head all day. At least your handle is fitting.
 
2011-09-14 05:39:15 PM  
@athiests
www.freeimagehosting.net
 
2011-09-14 05:39:46 PM  

KiltedBastich:
So tell me again, which of those two statements would you characterize as rational?


So, because I disagree with the methods, and many of the conclusions of psychology, a discipline more noted historically for its quacks than anything else, I am therefore stating that I don't believe people are irrational? Really? I think the study of behaviourism proves people are irrational.

Asserting that the mechanisms at work in my brain must be pretty much the same as the mechanisms at work in other peoples brains isn't crazy. It's not even a little weird. It's common sense. Psychologists make many grandiose claims about how the brain works, but the simple truth is they have very little idea of how the brain works. All they can assert with any confidence is how people act, because that's damn near all they study.

Psychologists since Jaynes have been claiming with a very high degree of certainty that religious experience is an artifact of brain evolution. But they have not one single shred of evidence that is backed up by even the most basic neuroscience.

So I say again, don't make any assertion about how the brain works until you can trigger it with a probe. Or a pill. I'm not picky. You give me a pill, or stimulate some neurons with a neural probe, and it triggers, not some trivial dopamine rush, but an authentic religious experience, then you can tell me that it's how the brain works.
 
2011-09-14 05:39:47 PM  

Satanicpuppy: justtray:

Is this the same standard of proof you hold for believing in God?

Your hole is deep.

Yea, it is actually. If I can touch god, or reproduce him in a lab, then I'll believe. Psychology says, "Well, 60% of people act this way, so we'll call it a theory." I think that's a bad practice.

And you? What have you contributed here? How about a list of your greatest hits?

"What a moron."
"It should, but if he even had to ask, it won't."
"Are you really this damn ignorant? Stop posting and go back to school."
"When you dont have a point, argue semantics. Never fails."
"You just can't stop digging huh. After the last backpedal on how ignorant you are about debate and logic, I woulda thought you would have the smarts to simply disappear. Instead, you're doubling down on the dumbz."
"The fact that you interpret it the other way is very telling of your actual beliefs."
"Since you don't understand even basic logic and debate, I don't expect you to understand that either."

You pretty much just shiat ad hominems and strawmen all over the thread. It's really pretty unpleasant. And you didn't contribute anything worth a damn. So, you know, bye.


Ah yes, out of context cherry picked quotes. The last line of defense for someone with no actual argument. Glad you agree that by your own standard, you cannot believe in God. You are indeed an atheist.
 
2011-09-14 05:39:51 PM  

letrole: Atheism is a Religion.


In the same sense that "OFF" is a TV channel, yes.
 
2011-09-14 05:41:08 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: And, once again, we're right back to stereotyping an entire group on the basis of a limited set of interactions with a small sub-set of that group.


I didn't say all atheists are like this. I suspect that many of the silent majority are non-religious of some flavor.


Some 'Splainin' To Do: I'm also kind of curious where you work. A 20% population of self-described atheists is well out of the norm. That sort of concentration is very much an outlier and makes me think that your situation is atypical in more ways that one.


If the sample is a corporate division dealing mainly with the hard sciences, I suspect that many trends seen in the general population would be contraindicated. Such as IQ, level of education, etc. It's not only not surprising, but seems rather expected.
 
2011-09-14 05:43:15 PM  

MrEricSir: Satanicpuppy: Wow, so, in your world, possibility and truth are the same thing! You must spend a lot of money on lottery tickets!

Do I believe in a god espoused by some traditional religion? No. Do I accept the possibility that there may be some external physical basis for the shared belief of the vast majority of humanity? Yes. Science has dug into it before, and found little, but its possible with better tools, we might find something that would increase our understanding of ourselves or the world.

I never said that. All you're doing is taking the concept of truth by consensus and adding a shade of gray to it. Doesn't make it any less stupid.


Whereas you, with zero evidence, are 100% certain that billions of people are just flat wrong? Being willing to entertain the possibility that you don't know everything is a hallmark of intelligence.
 
2011-09-14 05:43:37 PM  

deltersmelter: @athiests
[www.freeimagehosting.net image 150x145]


If dismissing fairy tales as fairy tales makes me "smug" in your mind, I can only accept that as a compliment.
 
2011-09-14 05:43:52 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: roncofooddehydrator: I'm an agnostic. That's the only logically tenable position.

/Militant agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.

I'm glad that it works for you, but I find agnosticism to be as logically unassailable and philosophically interesting as solipsism.

If your standard is to refuse to take a stance unless you ave absolute knowledge, the only things you can believe are statements of mathematical proof (and not even that if you won't accept certain basic axioms as true). Much like Cartesian solipsism, it doesn't really leave any room to believe anything at all... never mind the question of whether or not there's a god.

Yes, you can't go wrong by refusing to take a stance, but I always find it curious that people think that it's a virtue, especially when they don't apply that same principle of logical unassailability to such topics as ghosts, leprechauns, sasquatches, and whether or not the people around them are sentient.


There's a difference between what you can truly know and what you use to functionally operate. I don't see why it is necessary to take a stance on the existence or lack thereof of any deity in order to live my life. Same as most of the other things you listed, barring sentience. You kind of need to work on the assumption others are sentient in order to get along. I cannot however prove that anyone else really is.
 
2011-09-14 05:44:36 PM  

Satanicpuppy: Whereas you, with zero evidence, are 100% certain that billions of people are just flat wrong? Being willing to entertain the possibility that you don't know everything is a hallmark of intelligence.


Ironic response is ironic.
 
2011-09-14 05:45:38 PM  

t3knomanser: roncofooddehydrator: I'm an agnostic. That's the only logically tenable position.

/Militant agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.

Which also means you're an atheist. A-theist- that which is not a theist.

//Internet Agnostics are far more annoying that Internet Atheists.


A- means anti, which would be the opposite. Atheists deny the exist of a god. Try using a dictionary instead of making things up.
 
2011-09-14 05:46:12 PM  
I am about to starting believing in god just to make these threads go away.
 
2011-09-14 05:48:45 PM  

MrEricSir: Satanicpuppy: Whereas you, with zero evidence, are 100% certain that billions of people are just flat wrong? Being willing to entertain the possibility that you don't know everything is a hallmark of intelligence.

Ironic response is ironic.


Yep, that's me, a complete idiot because I entertain the idea that I might not know all there is to know. I wish I could be like you, where I knew everything, and I never for a moment doubted that I could be anything less than 100% right! I wonder how much a lobotomy costs?
 
2011-09-14 05:50:52 PM  
I'm gonna go with #6? It's 6 isn't it? The myth that he did disprove. Because honestly religious people who say things like that really do kinda scare the shiat out of me.

I fully support atheism. That said, I have my own set of superstitions and delusions that I believe in. No, I'm not going to explain them to you. A core tenant of my belief system is that I have absolutely no obligation to explain it to you.

/Too bad other people with superstitious beliefs don't feel the same way.
 
2011-09-14 05:51:57 PM  
"Yea, it is actually. If I can touch god, or reproduce him in a lab, then I'll believe. Psychology says, "Well, 60% of people act this way, so we'll call it a theory." I think that's a bad practice."

"Whereas you, with zero evidence, are 100% certain that billions of people are just flat wrong? Being willing to entertain the possibility that you don't know everything is a hallmark of intelligence."

Awesome cognitive dissonance. I like how he can't stop being wrong.
 
2011-09-14 05:52:22 PM  

Ant: roncofooddehydrator: I'm an agnostic. That's the only logically tenable position.

/Militant agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.

I'm not 100% certain of the non-existence of leprechauns, but I wouldn't call myself an agnostic about leprechauns.

Theist = Believes in a god or gods
A = not

Not a theist? You're an atheist, regardless of what you do or do not know.


Try looking up atheist in the dictionary. Atheists specifically deny the existence of a god or gods.
 
2011-09-14 05:53:56 PM  

KiltedBastich: Many animals demonstrate the basics of moral behaviours to a greater or lesser degree, including most birds and mammals.


Birds have no concept of Right and Wrong.
 
2011-09-14 05:53:57 PM  

The First Four Black Sabbath Albums: I don't see why atheists are supposed to sit quietly while religion takes over our government, which is not supposed to promote any religions. Also, irrespective of government, what is wrong with chiming in with your opinion (regarding religion) when the conversation warrants it? If there is a national discussion on religion, why can't the atheists have their say? I find it ridiculous when atheists get angry at other atheists for speaking their mind.


They don't. They get angry at atheists that can't discuss the issue without phrases like "invisible sky wizard" and "imaginary friend in the sky" etc. Those people are most often the most vocal on their side of the debate, just as the "no moral compass" and "atheism IS a belief" are for the opposing side. And all BOTH types do is make it harder for anyone with a rational well thought out position.
 
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