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(CNN)   The official Atheist church just launched last year, but there's already a schism in the congregation. That religion of yours is getting complicated, guys   (religion.blogs.cnn.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, Pippa Evans, Cat Stevens, Godless Revival, central planning, live better, house band, East London  
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7865 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jan 2014 at 4:28 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-06 10:39:43 AM  
Science be praised!
 
2014-01-06 10:40:26 AM  

omeganuepsilon: They can defer to factual information.
IE not teaching creationism(which debilitates the potential of the students, ie tomorrows leaders and workers).

That alone is worth pushing some boundaries, a better educated populace. Also, separation of church and state, and equal rights.

I love how undercover believers(or alternatively, anarchists) come in here and badmouth teh "smug" while denying and denigrating the factual legitimacy of atheism as a cultural/social movement. Damned uppity atheists trying to improve society!


Oh, you can try to improve society. I just don't see any basis to brag about how great your movement is, or to say it'll be a successful long term project.

On the other hand, the judeo-christian tradition has a few thousand years of history, and gave birth to the enlightenment, which gave non-believers footing to criticize religion to begin with.

Athiests love to preach about how religion is brainwashing and population control, (I know, I did the same.... when I was a teenager.), but when it comes time to replicating the positive functions religion performs, they come up rather dry. Or they make silly 'churches.'

My argument is that religion fulfills a basic human need, and that need doesn't go away when some athiests start yapping about sky wizard this and santa claus that. If Athiests cannot understand that need; and cannot fill it, they will only ever be a small segment of society; eternally frustated that they're not as important and prominent as they think they should be.

Maybe something good will come of all this Athiest 'church' turmoil, but right now it looks like a cargo plane cult.
 
2014-01-06 10:43:25 AM  

Egalitarian: Oi. Why did anybody think this would be a good idea?

My folks once joined something of an atheist club and they ended up splitting over politics (liberal vs. libertarian) and internal politics (which man got to talk the most). Knowing the kind of BS that goes on in Christian churches, I imagine it being ten times worse with atheists.


That sounds just like my local atheist group.
 
2014-01-06 10:44:36 AM  
SPLITTERS!!!
 
2014-01-06 10:44:44 AM  

Jim_Callahan: And some of the freemason lodges are going on two or three centuries old now... so, historically, the answer is also yes.


Freemasons are not, as an organization, atheist. Individual members might be, but shouldn't be. Believing in a higher power is a requirement for joining.

Jim_Callahan: Taoism, a religion four centuries older than Christianity, has a number of schools that are atheist.


Taoism is better described as apatheist. I don't know of any branch that actively denies a belief in god. The ones that aren't actively theist generally take a "We have more important shiat to do than worry if a god does or does not exist."
 
2014-01-06 10:45:18 AM  

Egoy3k: lordjupiter: Egoy3k: dfenstrate: As to whether atheists suffer from self-righteousness more than others- I refer only to the lecturing, smug self-satisfied atheists, many of whom have participated in this very thread.

I love it when someone accuses someone else of being 'smug' in the most condescending manner possible.  It's like calling out a typo with poor grammar.

Do you really love it?

Yes?


Do you love it as much as  dfenstrate did in regards to hatred of smug Atheists?   dfenstrate called out smugness and then you called him out for his smugness and then you get challenged by lordjupiter for a certain hypocrisy in your love of the situation and now here I am doing it to you...  I love calling out people who call out people whom call out people.  I love it for it's lunacy and circular logic.
 
2014-01-06 10:45:42 AM  

dfenstrate: omeganuepsilon: They can defer to factual information.
IE not teaching creationism(which debilitates the potential of the students, ie tomorrows leaders and workers).

That alone is worth pushing some boundaries, a better educated populace. Also, separation of church and state, and equal rights.

I love how undercover believers(or alternatively, anarchists) come in here and badmouth teh "smug" while denying and denigrating the factual legitimacy of atheism as a cultural/social movement. Damned uppity atheists trying to improve society!

Oh, you can try to improve society. I just don't see any basis to brag about how great your movement is, or to say it'll be a successful long term project.

On the other hand, the judeo-christian tradition has a few thousand years of history, and gave birth to the enlightenment, which gave non-believers footing to criticize religion to begin with.

Athiests love to preach about how religion is brainwashing and population control, (I know, I did the same.... when I was a teenager.), but when it comes time to replicating the positive functions religion performs, they come up rather dry. Or they make silly 'churches.'

My argument is that religion fulfills a basic human need, and that need doesn't go away when some athiests start yapping about sky wizard this and santa claus that. If Athiests cannot understand that need; and cannot fill it, they will only ever be a small segment of society; eternally frustated that they're not as important and prominent as they think they should be.

Maybe something good will come of all this Athiest 'church' turmoil, but right now it looks like a cargo plane cult.


You should understand that atheism is a lot more common in other countries, and it's the American atheists who usually have a rage-boner over religion.
 
2014-01-06 10:48:03 AM  

dfenstrate: On the other hand, the judeo-christian tradition has a few thousand years of history, and gave birth to the enlightenment, which gave non-believers footing to criticize religion to begin with.


img.fark.net


Athiests love to preach about how religion is brainwashing and population control, (I know, I did the same.... when I was a teenager.), but when it comes time to replicating the positive functions religion performs, they come up rather dry. Or they make silly 'churches.'

Any positive functions can be done without the religious component.

Nobody cares what you did as a teenager. Your attempts to equate the other people's application of logic and reason to your rebellious years is pathetic.

Only a tiny percentage of atheists have/are participating in these "silly churches". As a religious person, please explain why you thing churches are silly? I have my own opinions but I am curious about yours.
 
2014-01-06 10:48:11 AM  

RedTank: Perhaps you shouldn't base your opinions on Atheists from a small samples size of anonymity from the Internet. I've met plenty of smug self-satisfied people in my life and if I hated them for it I would undoubtedly hate everyone by now and I'd be living in a cave.


I don't base my opinion of Atheists on Internet commenters. I was calling out obnoxious behavior by some atheists, behavior I've seen in this thread in particular.

I can understand atheism as a lack of belief in a higher power. I'm sympathetic to it, actually.

I just don't see that Atheists (as some sort of guiding philosophy or movement) have any real ground to criticize what constructive religions have done for humanity, and they have precious little ground to say they can do better.
 
2014-01-06 10:48:12 AM  

dfenstrate: omeganuepsilon: They can defer to factual information.
IE not teaching creationism(which debilitates the potential of the students, ie tomorrows leaders and workers).

That alone is worth pushing some boundaries, a better educated populace. Also, separation of church and state, and equal rights.

I love how undercover believers(or alternatively, anarchists) come in here and badmouth teh "smug" while denying and denigrating the factual legitimacy of atheism as a cultural/social movement. Damned uppity atheists trying to improve society!

Oh, you can try to improve society. I just don't see any basis to brag about how great your movement is, or to say it'll be a successful long term project.

On the other hand, the judeo-christian tradition has a few thousand years of history, and gave birth to the enlightenment, which gave non-believers footing to criticize religion to begin with.

Athiests love to preach about how religion is brainwashing and population control, (I know, I did the same.... when I was a teenager.), but when it comes time to replicating the positive functions religion performs, they come up rather dry. Or they make silly 'churches.'

My argument is that religion fulfills a basic human need, and that need doesn't go away when some athiests start yapping about sky wizard this and santa claus that. If Athiests cannot understand that need; and cannot fill it, they will only ever be a small segment of society; eternally frustated that they're not as important and prominent as they think they should be.

Maybe something good will come of all this Athiest 'church' turmoil, but right now it looks like a cargo plane cult.


So your argument is that we should be grateful that the Church killed fewer thinkers and allowed them a little bit more freedom with respect to what they studied and wrote?  Thanks a lot!

You're not understanding that the Jesus-sized hole in your heart can be filled by lots of things.  Believing in a god because you think it must be real isn't exactly the most persuasive argument for the existence of a deity.
 
2014-01-06 10:48:39 AM  

Confabulat: I'm an atheist and these people are all assholes.

I don't need to join a damn club to be an atheist. Are you just lonely?

What awful human beings.


I'm an atheist, but also.an anthropologist. Religious communities are the basis for small scale community organization. And religion is hard-wired into us; we can see that in how LSD triggers religious euphoria. We have frigging chemical receptors in our neurons that trigger long term religious feelings.

To deny that religious participation is the human norm is an irrational ideological position that ignores scientific studies across many disciplines and through many methodologies.

At the end of the day most people desire communal rituals and ceremonies, need life skills counseling and mentorship and be sermonized to.

Why ignore those tendencies wired into most of us just because of a difference of opinion over the existence of a deity? Simply because you don't feel the need for such things does not invalidate the social needs and desires of most other people.

Plus call yourself a church and you can get away with so much more without IRS or SEC backlash. There are incentives built into the system to favor religions because of how valued they are to society.
 
2014-01-06 10:48:41 AM  

grumpfuff: Jim_Callahan: And some of the freemason lodges are going on two or three centuries old now... so, historically, the answer is also yes.

Freemasons are not, as an organization, atheist. Individual members might be, but shouldn't be. Believing in a higher power is a requirement for joining.

Jim_Callahan: Taoism, a religion four centuries older than Christianity, has a number of schools that are atheist.

Taoism is better described as apatheist. I don't know of any branch that actively denies a belief in god. The ones that aren't actively theist generally take a "We have more important shiat to do than worry if a god does or does not exist."


There are breakway mason lodges that accept atheists (Link)
 
2014-01-06 10:49:40 AM  

RedTank: Egoy3k: lordjupiter: Egoy3k: dfenstrate: As to whether atheists suffer from self-righteousness more than others- I refer only to the lecturing, smug self-satisfied atheists, many of whom have participated in this very thread.

I love it when someone accuses someone else of being 'smug' in the most condescending manner possible.  It's like calling out a typo with poor grammar.

Do you really love it?

Yes?

Do you love it as much as  dfenstrate did in regards to hatred of smug Atheists?   dfenstrate called out smugness and then you called him out for his smugness and then you get challenged by lordjupiter for a certain hypocrisy in your love of the situation and now here I am doing it to you...  I love calling out people who call out people whom call out people.  I love it for it's lunacy and circular logic.


To be fair I don't think I was being particularly smug.
 
2014-01-06 10:50:36 AM  
Thanks, Obama.
 
2014-01-06 10:50:50 AM  

verbaltoxin: You should understand that atheism is a lot more common in other countries, and it's the American atheists who usually have a rage-boner over religion.


Well, that is kind of how we Americans roll. Good to know though.
 
2014-01-06 10:50:56 AM  

Farking Canuck: Are you suggesting that people with "Mature Spirituality" start to believe in Santa again?


I'm suggesting it's possible to enjoy and appreciate Christmas without believing in Santa.
 
2014-01-06 10:51:17 AM  

dfenstrate: RedTank: Perhaps you shouldn't base your opinions on Atheists from a small samples size of anonymity from the Internet. I've met plenty of smug self-satisfied people in my life and if I hated them for it I would undoubtedly hate everyone by now and I'd be living in a cave.

I don't base my opinion of Atheists on Internet commenters. I was calling out obnoxious behavior by some atheists, behavior I've seen in this thread in particular.

I can understand atheism as a lack of belief in a higher power. I'm sympathetic to it, actually.

I just don't see that Atheists (as some sort of guiding philosophy or movement) have any real ground to criticize what  constructive religions have done for humanity, and they have precious little ground to say they can do better.


The Holocaust?  The Crusades?  Slavery?  Subjugation of women?  Of homosexuals?  The development of incredibly creative torture implements?  I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very constructive.

Here's something science did for us:

blog.zap2it.com

Amazing, innit?
 
2014-01-06 10:52:21 AM  
youredoingitwrong.jpg
 
2014-01-06 10:52:54 AM  

whatshisname: SPLITTERS!!!


fc09.deviantart.net
 
2014-01-06 10:53:44 AM  

Egoy3k: dfenstrate: As to whether atheists suffer from self-righteousness more than others- I refer only to the lecturing, smug self-satisfied atheists, many of whom have participated in this very thread.

I love it when someone accuses someone else of being 'smug' in the most condescending manner possible.  It's like calling out a typo with poor grammar.


Eh, takes one to know one. On that note, welcome to the club!
 
2014-01-06 10:54:02 AM  

BolloxReader: Confabulat: I'm an atheist and these people are all assholes.

I don't need to join a damn club to be an atheist. Are you just lonely?

What awful human beings.

I'm an atheist, but also.an anthropologist. Religious communities are the basis for small scale community organization. And religion is hard-wired into us; we can see that in how LSD triggers religious euphoria. We have frigging chemical receptors in our neurons that trigger long term religious feelings.

To deny that religious participation is the human norm is an irrational ideological position that ignores scientific studies across many disciplines and through many methodologies.

At the end of the day most people desire communal rituals and ceremonies, need life skills counseling and mentorship and be sermonized to.

Why ignore those tendencies wired into most of us just because of a difference of opinion over the existence of a deity? Simply because you don't feel the need for such things does not invalidate the social needs and desires of most other people.

Plus call yourself a church and you can get away with so much more without IRS or SEC backlash. There are incentives built into the system to favor religions because of how valued they are to society.


You make a really good point.  Groups like the FFRF and American Atheists need to follow all kinds of rules and stuff when it comes to taxes.

If you call yourself a "church," you pay no taxes, don't have to tell anyone where your money goes and you can ignore the few rules anyway.
 
2014-01-06 10:56:04 AM  

gimmegimme: ey have precious little ground to say they can do better.

The Holocaust?  The Crusades?  Slavery?  Subjugation of women?  Of homosexuals?  The development of incredibly creative torture implements?  I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very co


And when are those ungrateful injuns going to thank the Spanish Missionaries for converting their heathen butts to Christianity (even if it involved a little torture)?  Religion is willful ignorance.  Something like 60% of Republicans don't believe in evolution anymore.  They don't believe in evolution ... just let that sink in.
 
2014-01-06 10:56:11 AM  

Egoy3k: RedTank: Egoy3k: lordjupiter: Egoy3k: dfenstrate: As to whether atheists suffer from self-righteousness more than others- I refer only to the lecturing, smug self-satisfied atheists, many of whom have participated in this very thread.

I love it when someone accuses someone else of being 'smug' in the most condescending manner possible.  It's like calling out a typo with poor grammar.

Do you really love it?

Yes?

Do you love it as much as  dfenstrate did in regards to hatred of smug Atheists?   dfenstrate called out smugness and then you called him out for his smugness and then you get challenged by lordjupiter for a certain hypocrisy in your love of the situation and now here I am doing it to you...  I love calling out people who call out people whom call out people.  I love it for it's lunacy and circular logic.

To be fair I don't think I was being particularly smug.


Well the deeper we go the less smug we all are.
 
2014-01-06 10:58:47 AM  

gimmegimme: The Holocaust? The Crusades? Slavery? Subjugation of women? Of homosexuals? The development of incredibly creative torture implements? I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very constructive.


Bibles for disaster relief obviously.  Because everyone being handed a blanket after a natural disaster wants to be told that it was their lack of faith that caused the disaster to start with.

I kid!  It's only a small percentage of religious extremists that pull that crap.
 
2014-01-06 11:00:30 AM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Farking Canuck: Are you suggesting that people with "Mature Spirituality" start to believe in Santa again?

I'm suggesting it's possible to enjoy and appreciate Christmas without believing in Santa.


Does anyone not enjoy christmas because of their belief / non-belief in Santa or Jesus?
 
2014-01-06 11:00:59 AM  
gimmegimme:
The Holocaust?  The Crusades?  Slavery?  Subjugation of women?  Of homosexuals?  The development of incredibly creative torture implements?  I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very constructive.

Given a timeline of centuries to millenia, what is your basis for saying that athiests would consructed  better societies? You do know that Godless commies have murdered a few hundred million people within the last hundred years, don't you?

Here's something science did for us:

(picture of moon landing.)

Amazing, innit?


How did you arrive at the premise science and religion is an either/or choice?

I bet if you took a poll of the engineers who made that happen, a great many of them were faithful.

I suppose you might have started out with young-earth creationists as your model for all religious people, but that would be rather silly. For the record, I think they're morons, too.
 
2014-01-06 11:04:39 AM  
Because the meanings of words change, yes, it is. It's deity is the importance of ridding society of the notion of deities. Atheists gather, organize, and proselytize.

You may not be a religious atheist, but plenty are. Just like someone can believe in god and not be religious, someone can not believe in god, and be religious.

Atheism is a religion, because some atheists practice it like one.

Convincing someone of anything that has no proof is brainwashing.


You're equivocating the literal and metaphorical meanings of the word "deity" here. When you say the more common "his god is money" you don't literally mean that the person worships money as a literal god. What you mean is that the person holds money in as high regard as someone would a god.

Addressing your other points, the Sierra Club gathers, organizes, and proselytizes. So does your local union. Or HOA. None of these are religions.
 
2014-01-06 11:05:38 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: I'm an atheist and a determinist. Nothing is an accident. Everything happens the only way it can happen.


Even your belief system?
 
2014-01-06 11:06:05 AM  

dfenstrate: gimmegimme:
The Holocaust?  The Crusades?  Slavery?  Subjugation of women?  Of homosexuals?  The development of incredibly creative torture implements?  I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very constructive.

Given a timeline of centuries to millenia, what is your basis for saying that athiests would consructed  better societies? You do know that Godless commies have murdered a few hundred million people within the last hundred years, don't you?

Here's something science did for us:

(picture of moon landing.)

Amazing, innit?

How did you arrive at the premise science and religion is an either/or choice?


Well they aren't mutually exclusive but only if you consider religion as useful for ritual and don't actually believe in any of the claims that it makes.

I bet if you took a poll of the engineers who made that happen, a great many of them were faithful.

Yeah but they sure as hell didn't design it using religion.  They didn't leave the return trip in the hands of god for example.

I suppose you might have started out with young-earth creationists as your model for all religious people, but that would be rather silly. For the record, I think they're morons, too.

How are they any more moronic than any religious person?  They simply believe more unfounded nonsense than a less literal theist, but at the end of the day both mainstream theists and young earth creationists both believe in magic.
 
2014-01-06 11:08:42 AM  

hardinparamedic: Confabulat: I'm an atheist and these people are all assholes.

I don't need to join a damn club to be an atheist. Are you just lonely?

What awful human beings.

They're assholes, but the important thing is that people can realize just why they might be assholes.

Given the way the areligious and non-Christians have been treated in the United States ever since McCarthy launched his witch hunts, and even before, I think they have every right to be assholes if they choose to do so.


This.
 
2014-01-06 11:10:01 AM  

Epicedion: You're equivocating the literal and metaphorical meanings of the word "deity" here. When you say the more common "his god is money" you don't literally mean that the person worships money as a literal god. What you mean is that the person holds money in as high regard as someone would a god.

Addressing your other points, the Sierra Club gathers, organizes, and proselytizes. So does your local union. Or HOA. None of these are religions.


I know I am equivocating, because the only real difference is in interpretation. If I believe that a relationship with god is of utmost importance, and there is no god, it's not actually different than believing I can save the world from catastrophic climate change.

Religion is practice. Religion is not belief. I believe in some sort of higher intelligence to the universe(kinda like what Einstein said), but I am not at all religious.
 
2014-01-06 11:13:57 AM  

Egoy3k: They simply believe more unfounded nonsense than a less literal theist, but at the end of the day both mainstream theists and young earth creationists both believe in magic.


Is the science settled on whether or not something can live outside of our known reality, aka, The Supernatural?
 
2014-01-06 11:15:13 AM  

dfenstrate: gimmegimme:
The Holocaust?  The Crusades?  Slavery?  Subjugation of women?  Of homosexuals?  The development of incredibly creative torture implements?  I'm not sure those gifts of religion are very constructive.

Given a timeline of centuries to millenia, what is your basis for saying that athiests would consructed  better societies? You do know that Godless commies have murdered a few hundred million people within the last hundred years, don't you?

Here's something science did for us:

(picture of moon landing.)

Amazing, innit?

How did you arrive at the premise science and religion is an either/or choice?

I bet if you took a poll of the engineers who made that happen, a great many of them were faithful.

I suppose you might have started out with young-earth creationists as your model for all religious people, but that would be rather silly. For the record, I think they're morons, too.


Here's what you're not understanding.  Someone believing in a god and being happy has no effect on whether or not their god is real.  Guess who else was an extremely devout believer in Christ?

archive.theamericanview.com

As Hitchens points out, religion makes otherwise decent people do terrible things.  Think of all of the otherwise faithful and decent Germans who became complicit in the Holocaust...they thought God was with them.  W. went into Iraq partially because he hallucinated a deity telling him to do so.

The biggest thing that you don't get is that ideas are more important than people and that respect must be earned.  You shouldn't think a person is good because he's a Christian...it should be for the things he does and says.  Engineers don't believe that a rocket is going to get to space because an invisible sky god is helping them out; they've done countless calculations and experiments and used logic and reason.
 
2014-01-06 11:15:39 AM  
I learned long ago that it's pointless to use logic and debating techniques in any kind of faith based discussion.  If a person is going to make the leap of faith to believe in a god, then they're going to use the same thought process to disagree with anyone who doesn't hold their beliefs.

It's like arguing with a stoner, they'll never get it.  Let them be happy as long as they don't harm you.
 
2014-01-06 11:16:34 AM  

verbaltoxin: grumpfuff: Jim_Callahan: And some of the freemason lodges are going on two or three centuries old now... so, historically, the answer is also yes.

Freemasons are not, as an organization, atheist. Individual members might be, but shouldn't be. Believing in a higher power is a requirement for joining.

Jim_Callahan: Taoism, a religion four centuries older than Christianity, has a number of schools that are atheist.

Taoism is better described as apatheist. I don't know of any branch that actively denies a belief in god. The ones that aren't actively theist generally take a "We have more important shiat to do than worry if a god does or does not exist."

There are breakway mason lodges that accept atheists (Link)


Huh. Learn something new every day.
 
2014-01-06 11:18:01 AM  

dfenstrate: Given a timeline of centuries to millenia, what is your basis for saying that athiests would consructed  better societies? You do know that Godless commies have murdered a few hundred million people within the last hundred years, don't you?


Ahhh the old "commies murdered because of atheism" canard. Show me where in atheist writings, teachings, or words of the atheist leaders that violence or any other actions are suggested. Difficulty: these things don't exist. P.S. You really should use a browser with spell check.

dfenstrate: How did you arrive at the premise science and religion is an either/or choice?

I bet if you took a poll of the engineers who made that happen, a great many of them were faithful.


You are mis-representing his conclusion. It was that the moon landings were enabled by science. Praying did not build any of that technology. If any of the scientists or engineers were religious they did not take their value of Pi from the bible when they did their calculations or the astronauts would have died on the launchpad.
 
2014-01-06 11:19:02 AM  

s2s2s2: Egoy3k: They simply believe more unfounded nonsense than a less literal theist, but at the end of the day both mainstream theists and young earth creationists both believe in magic.

Is the science settled on whether or not something can live outside of our known reality, aka, The Supernatural?


Here's the great thing about science.  When science doesn't have an answer or, in this case, simply can't provide an answer, they don't make something up.  That's what religion does.

The whole idea of proving the existence of the supernatural is silly.  Did you know that I have a unicorn in my living room?  Sure, I do.  Oh, you want proof?  The unicorn is invisible and can't be detected by any known means...but it's totally there.  Now excuse me while I pass around the plate.
 
2014-01-06 11:19:03 AM  

Felgraf: "It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."
― Jingo


By the power vested in me as a psychology professor, I hereby award Terry Pratchett an honorary PhD in Social Psychology.  That was beautiful.
 
2014-01-06 11:19:39 AM  

gimmegimme: As Hitchens points out, religion makes otherwise decent people do terrible things.


No it doesn't. Mental illness does. Now, you can say that someone who is religious has a mental illness, but scientifically speaking, the mental illness allows for the religion, not the other way around. That dude has no religious basis for his bombing a building. He may have had a political one.

That dude wasn't "otherwise decent".
 
2014-01-06 11:19:49 AM  

dfenstrate: I don't base my opinion of Atheists on Internet commenters. I was calling out obnoxious behavior by some atheists, behavior I've seen in this thread in particular.


Well, fair enough but to what ends?

dfenstrate: I can understand atheism as a lack of belief in a higher power. I'm sympathetic to it, actually.


I actually think many religious people can understand that as many grapple with their faith which is sort of part of the religious experience and almost the entire point really.  Although I am making the assumption that you're religious...

dfenstrate: I just don't see that Atheists (as some sort of guiding philosophy or movement) have any real ground to criticize what constructive religions have done for humanity, and they have precious little ground to say they can do better.


I'll admit to the fact that religion has helped humanity in at least one way.  Historically together people are stronger and more civilized (to their own at least) and religion expedited that coming together of people.  But that processes didn't come without a cost which may or may not have been worth it. I'm not going to be one of those people that quotes all the horrible things religions have done, you seem smart enough so you should know the horrible things people have done in Gods name.
 
2014-01-06 11:20:02 AM  

Farking Canuck: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Farking Canuck: Are you suggesting that people with "Mature Spirituality" start to believe in Santa again?

I'm suggesting it's possible to enjoy and appreciate Christmas without believing in Santa.

Does anyone not enjoy christmas because of their belief / non-belief in Santa or Jesus?


Anyone? Ever?

Almost certainly.
 
2014-01-06 11:22:42 AM  

on the road: Lenny_da_Hog: I'm an atheist and a determinist. Nothing is an accident. Everything happens the only way it can happen.

Even your belief system?


Yes. It's the result of my physical brain working on physical principles, reacting to sensory input that works on physical principles in a physical universe. Just because it's too complex for anyone to predict doesn't mean it becomes magic.
 
2014-01-06 11:23:21 AM  

gimmegimme: Here's the great thing about science.  When science doesn't have an answer or, in this case, simply can't provide an answer, they don't make something up.


Not out of whole cloth, perhaps, but they make guesses, then set about proving it. Of course, science doesn't do anything. People do, with science. I have no problem with science. Science has helped me understand a lot about what the bible actually means.

The natural world is the world we live in. Science is currently asking questions about the existence of a world we don't live in. That is the supernatural. Nothing that happens in this world is supernatural, whether or not a god does it.
 
2014-01-06 11:23:38 AM  

s2s2s2: gimmegimme: As Hitchens points out, religion makes otherwise decent people do terrible things.

No it doesn't. Mental illness does. Now, you can say that someone who is religious has a mental illness, but scientifically speaking, the mental illness allows for the religion, not the other way around. That dude has no religious basis for his bombing a building. He may have had a political one.

That dude wasn't "otherwise decent".


How dare you doubt his faith?  He did what he believed a deity told him.  If you believe he's mistaken, how do you know he wasn't really talking to a god?  (Show your work.)  What's the difference between McVeigh's religious conviction and Bush's?  (Aside from body count.)
 
2014-01-06 11:23:48 AM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The major churches should be starting up "membership not required" activities for just this purpose. Let college kids do volunteer work instead of attending services and just wait out their rebelliousness until their spirituality matures beyond the "I don't believe in Santa Claus" phase.

Does anyone already do this?


Every church I've ever been in does this.  I've never once seen any young person booted from an activity because they didn't show up last Sunday.
 
2014-01-06 11:27:52 AM  

s2s2s2: gimmegimme: Here's the great thing about science.  When science doesn't have an answer or, in this case, simply can't provide an answer, they don't make something up.

Not out of whole cloth, perhaps, but they make guesses, then set about proving it. Of course, science doesn't do anything. People do, with science. I have no problem with science. Science has helped me understand a lot about what the bible actually means.

The natural world is the world we live in. Science is currently asking questions about the existence of a world we don't live in. That is the supernatural. Nothing that happens in this world is supernatural, whether or not a god does it.


How, pray tell, is science exploring a world that exists outside of science and doesn't adhere to any of the other constants seen in the universe and can't be explained using science or understood by human beings?
 
2014-01-06 11:31:42 AM  

Son of Thunder: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The major churches should be starting up "membership not required" activities for just this purpose. Let college kids do volunteer work instead of attending services and just wait out their rebelliousness until their spirituality matures beyond the "I don't believe in Santa Claus" phase.

Does anyone already do this?

Every church I've ever been in does this.  I've never once seen any young person booted from an activity because they didn't show up last Sunday.


Pfft. I was booted from a Presbyterian church in 4th grade because I was asking the wrong questions -- like questioning the Noah's ark fable.They told me I was too disruptive to the rest of the class.
 
2014-01-06 11:43:00 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Pfft. I was booted from a Presbyterian church in 4th grade because I was asking the wrong questions -- like questioning the Noah's ark fable.They told me I was too disruptive to the rest of the class.


Not denying your experience.  Just saying that I've been in churches from coast to coast in the US and Canada and never experienced it.
 
2014-01-06 11:44:12 AM  
The Sunday Assembly was riding high.

Stopped reading there
 
2014-01-06 11:45:00 AM  

s2s2s2: Science is currently asking questions about the existence of a world we don't live in.


What?

Do you mean you have a problem with the Mars rovers?

Or science on a smaller scale like electronics on down to quantum mechanics?

Science does not really question religion, it ignores it as much as other unfounded irrelevant fictional nonsense.
 
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