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Belief vs. Unbelief Slugfest!

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posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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I decided to start this thread because threads by both sides appear to get derailed now and again by . butting. I've seen complaints about it from theists, and I've seen it happen in a few atheist threads.

I figure, if something heats up in a thread and pulls away from the original post, people can move the argument over here. This can be a catch-all for all the heated off-topic religious topics that crop up.

If this is a bad idea, mods, feel free to delete the thread, but I personally think that having somewhere to blow off steam and posture if necessary might keep the other threads less hostile.

Worth a shot anyway.

Right! Who's got a beef? Put em up!




posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I decided to start this thread because threads by both sides appear to get derailed now and again by . butting. I've seen complaints about it from theists, and I've seen it happen in a few atheist threads.

I figure, if something heats up in a thread and pulls away from the original post, people can move the argument over here. This can be a catch-all for all the heated off-topic religious topics that crop up.

If this is a bad idea, mods, feel free to delete the thread, but I personally think that having somewhere to blow off steam and posture if necessary might keep the other threads less hostile.

Worth a shot anyway.

Right! Who's got a beef? Put em up!



Slugfests between believers and unbelievers is not hard to figure out.

There is another slugfest between real christians and those who claim to be a christian. This slugfest is because of the truth of how is one actually saved. Because some don't have the truth.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 08:47 PM
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Slug away, dbrandt, at whosoever you wisheth to slug.

I just ask that nobody draws blood or calls names, otherwise, this is the thread to discuss anything in opposition to another belief or nonbelief point of view.

I'll start it off, since it seems people are just a little tentative.

This question is for the hard-core creationists, that believe the bible is completely literal.

How much of a science education did you get? Was it from a secular school, or a religious one? I am asking because it seems that certain Christians cannot and will not accept science except when it makes their personal lives easier (car, computer, telephone, modern medicine, etc.) but reject it when it produces evidence that the bible should not be taken literally, but allegorically at best.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 10:00 PM
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Science vs Religion


Well as a believer in a higher power I must say that one doesnt exclude the other. Now some will say this is an effort to have things both ways in in some respects it may be.

If you take intellegent design for example, I can not discount the possibility that it is the case when you take into account how many things had to happen just so to get from cosmic dust floating around a star to a planet teeming with life in a myriad of forms. The planet we live on is such a delicate thing and any number of other things happening can wipe out life on this planet in an instant, hence we have the Artificially Induced Climate Change Debate. The planet is in a perfect position for life and with a moon and magnetic field to protect it, one could argue that these are not random occurances. that does not mean that the same conditions are not replicated elswhere in the universe, I would submit that they are but in extremely rare circumstances.

When it comes to humans you have a highly intelligent species of life,
(some would argue otherwise but bear with me), now this unusual lifeform has to come up with a reason for being and to top that off this lifeform also has to come up with a explanation for death.

Hence you come to religion which is an effort to explain the universe in term amenable to the human.

So know did an all knowing being create the universe and the lifeforms within. Religion theorizes yes and calls this force God ( or one of a various groups of Gods and Goddesses) its a leap of faith and could be true because we dont know what was before the scientific big bang theory.

Many creation stories are reasonably similar which means they may have a bit of truth to them, and to the ancient man who is just discovering the wheel and agriculture it works out well for reasons of self comfort and not so well because it become a way for one group of humans to control another in thought and in action.

Which raises a question for the science crowd does the human being have a soul or is the human no better than any animal. Now for sake of arguement here for a second if science were to argue that we have a soul
then you have granted religion a small but not insignificant victory because the existance of a human soul would presuppose that something has to happen to that soul when we die. Now if you argue that humans do not have a soul and that we are the same as any other animal then what keeps me a human for example from killing one of my fellow animals and taking his stuff, after all would this not be survival of the fittest and right in line with evolutionary theory, at that point you have to ask was it wrong for one human to kill another human, From a strictly evolutionary point of view no, I should be able to kill another take his stuff his mate or whatever and have no remorse about the event. Not many humans would be able to do this wether Athiest or not, that does tend to lend support to the idea that we are something more than common animals.

I can support evolution as a theory because I can look at my German Shepard and know that 100,000 it was a wolf looking creature, and I can also look at the English Bulldog that my nieghbor has and know that 100,000 years ago it was that same wolf looking creature.

I can support Intellegent design because the planet we live on is so delicately balance that for example no moon no life no magnetic field no life 2 million miles closer or further from the sun no life.

Do I believe this world was created yes do I believe in science yes I do.

Most Creation vs Science Debate revolves around Christianity vs Science
because of a perceived assault by one upon another. Much of what is happening with with fundalmentalism in Christianity is more geared toward getting back some morals and decency in society and creationism is really a sideline. I come from a long line of Baptist preachers who while believing in God and Creation did not toss science out the window.

If you call someone ignorant or stupid because he/she believes in a creator/creators you are being just as closeminded and ignorant as you are accusing them of being and that works the other way also. Science hasnt explained everything and some of science theories do require a leap of faith. Religion is a leap of faith in its very inception that cannot explain everything because with religion many things are meant to be unknowable.

Key here is to believe what you want or have faith in what you want but tread carefully because I believe that once you demonize anothers faith or beliefs then you faith ot beliefs have no merit becase you are imposing you beliefs on someone else.

Can I prove Moses Jesus Abraham Noah existed no I dont have the bones, what I do have is faith and and a plethoera of religious texts.

Can I prove the existance of the missing link Hominid no I have some bones that show some evolution of species but no written record of such.

I choose to believe humans have souls and as such wrongs misdeeds and whatnot diminish that soul and makes us less human a being with a divine spark and high intellegence such as this world has never seen and may never see again.

Because I have this divine spark or soul I choose not to murder and prey upon my fellow humans. It makes me better than the other aimals yes and for that reason I choose to believe in a Creator/Creators, but being a highlly intellegent being i also choose not to ignore proven science.



[edit on 7/17/2007 by DarkStormCrow]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 10:40 PM
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In actuality, morality (or ethics as I prefer) are a function of biology, in particular, a function of our emotions. There is a short article about it here.

I am an atheist. I believe in no god, nor the soul, and I am a very ethical person. I know that I respect the laws of society because it's how we can all live together. A god being has no part in my choice to act in this manner. It is what is the right thing to do, which I know due to my emotions, and not because the sky fairy is watching me.

I don't understand how you are saying I'm demonizing someone's faith by asking a simple question. I am curious about people who live in this day and age, and still pick and choose which science is "good" and which is "bad." I am earnestly striving to understand this paradox in people like the ones that are trying to take control of America.

I do know that people who believe in creationism of any stripe do not have a solid grounding in biology or evolution, or they wouldn't believe in some of the things I've read here on this board.

It's like a scab I can't stop picking at. Why, why, why do people believe in something that there is just no real evidence for, other than religious texts usually written thousands of years ago by primitive men who still thought the earth was flat and that the sun went around it and assumptions of fact based on flawed understanding of how science actually works.

I don't get it. And I can't stop thinking about it. So here is a thread I can ask questions in, and so can anyone else.

It's a slugfest for the simple reason that it seems people need an outlet like this because all I ever see on the boards are clashing paradigms getting angrier and angrier as the thread grows. Why not try to confine it all in one place? Maybe then some of the other threads won't get all out of sorts.

Or maybe not. But when I have an idea, I try it out. So far, one person became indignant before we'd even really got started. So I would like to ask, DSC, did you assume that I was demonizing others because of the title of the thread or the content of the post? Not snide, not snippy, authentically curious.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 11:28 PM
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Major Malfunction I am not saying that you are demonizing. It was more of a statement of one belief demonizing another be athiest deist christians pagans or whatever. I respect your belief and would expect that you would respect mine, I am not a Christian by they way even though I do come from a line of preachers but thats another story.

Religion has been with humans for at least 6000 years change takes place slowly in another 1000 years they may be no religious people then again the Jesus thing could be true and some of us are in big trouble.

It is hard to discount someones faith experience because like you said morality is based on emotion and I believe to a certain degree that faith is one of those emotions.

Personally I find that both Religion and Science are fascinating and I do not toss out either one of them. My post was not meant as an attack on yourself or atheism. I just pointed out my way of looking at things.

If for example lets say evolution is aboslutely true and the creation is a random series of events leading to a higher hominid, so we have the higher hominid hunting and gathering and then one day out of the blue literally a majick spaceship lands and these little grey guys get, out gather up a tribe of humans and run them them through a bunch of experiments which results in Homo Sapiens. Now to the new Homo Sapiens these little grey guys would seem to be god like and memory of the little grey creators would be the start of religion. Now I aint saying thats what happened but I cant discount the possibilty. Of course then comes the question of where the little grey guys came from which is a whole different group of threads.

Religion is faith cause by emotion which if picking at it like a scab it will make you do this :bnghd:.

The reason I brought up the fundalmentalist was because most arguments seem to revolve around thier beliefs and the perception that they want science out of the schools and only creation taught. Other than a few extreme nutters I do not find this to be the case among most Christians, what I do find is that Christians who are in public school are ridiculed and held in contempt because of thier beliefs and this is wrong. It is also the reason why they have taken to the ballot boxes in greater numbers in the last couple of decades.

You can not ever convince someone to come to your line of thinking while calling them stupid ignorant or whatever.(not directed at you just in general).

People could say Jesus is a myth and its all bunk, but if the guy shows up then what do you believe ?

I cant attack Atheism for the same reason I cannot attack Christianity Judaism or Islam because I believe that if I do so it diminishes my personal beliefs.

You can understand how science works, the intricacies of biology and physics without giving up faith which is a function of biology and emotions.



[edit on 7/18/2007 by DarkStormCrow]

[edit on 7/18/2007 by DarkStormCrow]



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I am an atheist. I believe in no god, nor the soul, and I am a very ethical person... A god being has no part in my choice to act in this manner. It is what is the right thing to do, which I know due to my emotions, and not because the sky fairy is watching me.

Are you sure that Christianity had nothing to do with your ethics? The morality of a country or region ultimately trickles down from its largest institution, Religion. A person's morality is ultimately based on the main religion of the area. Even if that person is a hardcore Atheist, they still carry over the morals taught by the majority religion. So what molds a person's morals... Novels, television, and basically the media determine what is and what isn't a social gaffe. And when the majority of a region is religions, you can assume that they affect the media since the media aims for the largest target audiences (as in largest amount of potential customers). So if the media determines what is acceptable in society, and it almost always aims for the largest target audience, and the largest target audience is religious (whatever that religion may be), then.... well you know where I'm going with this.

Besides this obvious fact, there is another. When I was a child, my family was atheistic. But whenever I did something bad, for example taking my sister's doll to play with, my mother would always say "Don't do that, that's wrong. Would you like your sister taking your things without telling you?" Sounds an awful lot like "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you," doesn't it? Isn't it strange how a quote from The Sermon on the Mount ended up in an atheistic household?





Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I don't understand how you are saying I'm demonizing someone's faith.

This is a wild guess, but perhaps it is because later you would go on to say this:

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
It is what is the right thing to do, which I know due to my emotions, and not because the sky fairy is watching me.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 08:52 AM
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I was mauling over a few things concerning the believers and non alike.

As far as humans are 'aware', we are probably the only creature that contemplates 'death'. Humans are animals, but as far as I can see right now, we are the only species here on this planet that 'outwardly show's our fear of death.

Every organism on this globe has a built in 'self preservation mode'. It's a good thing! I.e. : I touch fire, fire hurts, I yank my hand back.

What if...

Believers were more greedy than Non believers? Alright, let me try to explain.

Here's my loose assumption of Atheists: "When you're dead.. that's it..no more..game over. No hell, no heaven. Make your life the best it can be, because that's it folks." It sounds to me that there is an 'acceptance of death'. Almost like no fear/no reprisals. With an understanding that there will be 'no more', there aren't any future expectations. The line is drawn.

Now my assumption with Believers: "When you're dead...you will be punished or rewarded...the game continues. You go to heaven or hell. Make your life the best or worst it can be, because there is more folks. This tells me that believers are anticipating more. Always More.

This 'fear of death', and not continuing ourselves onward on a perpetual scale, bugs the crap out of people. Death is part of the cycle. However, if I use the term 'cycle', this indicates to me that it is part of a 'circle' - to which a circle has no end.

:bnghd: drives me nuts sometimes to think about it

And yet, it doesn't stop me from asking questions; striving to better myself. I picture ourselves holding hands on this journey. Some keep a tight grip right on through to our deaths, others will let go; mabey to return at a later time, mabey never.

Whether the goal in sight is heaven or hell, or eternal nothingness, all I know that RIGHT HERE AND NOW, this present time, the best we can offer ourselves and to each other is the best of what we are.

I included this little treasure from my profile page:

We are all Saints; some have fallen from grace, some have risen beyond expectations. The ones that live amongst us remind us of 'Who' we are, and 'What' we can be.
We have to differentiate between the both and live up to our OWN expectations. These descisions, give life its' TRUE meaning.


~TheDuckster~



[edit on 18-7-2007 by TheDuckster]



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier
Sounds an awful lot like "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you," doesn't it? Isn't it strange how a quote from The Sermon on the Mount ended up in an atheistic household?


Actually, the ethics of reciprocity are much older than Jesus. For one:



"This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you." — Mahabharata (5:15:17) (c. 500 B.C.E.)
"What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." — Confucius (ca. 551 - 479 B.C.E.)
Wikipedia


It's common sense. It comes from compassion, sympathy and plain old looking out for number one. The other side of this coin is that if I hurt him, he'll hurt me.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 09:50 AM
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Exactly, BH. Christianity takes the lesson of do unto others from the biological morality of emotion -- how would you feel if something was done to you? Christianity takes credit for something much older than the religion itself is.

And yes, I'm sure it isn't because of Christianity that I have morals. My home was completely secular.

Perhaps one of my main problems with Christianity is that it takes credit for everything, when even it's own book Ecclesiastes says something to the effect that there is nothing new under the sun.

Not even the Golden Rule.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 10:58 AM
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One more thing I wanted to address here:


Originally posted by TheDuckster
Here's my loose assumption of Atheists: "When you're dead.. that's it..no more..game over. No hell, no heaven.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't believe in God or a supreme being, but believes in a spiritual existence. It's understandable that people couple a belief in God to a belief in an afterlife or spiritual existence. However, it's a mistake to couple disbelief in God to a disbelief in an afterlife or spiritual existence. Because many who don't believe in God are very spiritual.

Atheism is simply a disbelief in God or a supreme being. Period. No statement is made of belief about an afterlife or spiritual existence. Many atheists don't believe in an afterlife, but that's NOT part of atheism.

Still, even though I believe in an afterlife, that's NOT why I operate under moral standards. I don't believe people are punished or rewarded in the afterlife. I behave with strict morals because it feels like the right thing to do.

Just wanted to throw that out there.
Thanks.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier
When I was a child, my family was atheistic. But whenever I did something bad, for example taking my sister's doll to play with, my mother would always say "Don't do that, that's wrong.


How did she know it was bad? If she was an atheist, what was her interest in teaching you morals? This is proof that the morals don't come from religion. The idea preceded Jesus and organized religion.

I'm bringing the following quote of yours from the Atheist Chat thread, because I think it applies here.


Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier
Religion set the standards for morality. If you look at the morals of America compared to the morals of Japan or India, they are very very different. And the differences are clearly outlined and mirrored by their religion.


Isn't "religion" really just man's thoughts and ideas about God? So, when you say that "religion" set the standards, that really means that man set the standards... Where did man get these standards? From God? From Jesus? Where did Jesus get them? Morality PRECEDES religion.

Some interesting reading:

Morality and Religion



For the believer, what is right and wrong is very simple: whatever God says is right is right, and whatever God says is wrong is wrong. And the scriptures or the prophets can tell you what God says. So, the believer does not steal simply because it is a sin; he does not lie because it is a sin; he does not work on the Sabbath because it is a sin; he does not eat pork because it is a sin, etc. There is no examining why some of these things are bad or wrong, they just are, because someone in authority says so. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in treating all wrongs as equal: it is a sin to drink a glass of wine; it is also a sin to kill someone. This results from the fact that such morality simply means: Obey. The believer has no need to ask for reasons; in fact, the believer is usually discouraged from asking such questions, because that would sound as though the believer is questioning divine authority.
...
Truly moral behavior is reasoned behavior. Whatever the beneficent result of an act may be, the act itself cannot be considered truly moral if the motive or the intention is not fundamentally moral. If I give a beggar a dollar for the sole reason that God has promised to reward me personally a thousandfold for such acts, my gift to the beggar was not, in my view, a moral act, but a completely selfish one.
...
For example, they have determined that the very young child is by nature empathetic, and feels the emotions of another child who is hurt or sad. It seems to be instinctive. The child then develops under the influence of the kind of environment it has, whether filled with conflict or with love. It learns by imitating what it sees.


Morality in the Bible



ABRAHAM: married his sister (Gen 12:13), lied and denied her
twice to save himself (Gen 12:11-19, 20:2-5), seduced her
handmaid (Gen 16:1-4), drove one child and its mother into
the desert to starve (Gen 21:14), drove out his other
children and their mothers (Gen 25:6), was willing to but-
cher his other child to please God (Gen 22). He was counted
righteous because he believed (Gen 15:6).


There are morals in the bible, but there's a LOT of amoral behavior in there as well. There is a connection between religion and morals for believers, in that religion dictates morals to the followers.

But morals ALSO exist outside of religion. They did not come from religion. Religion uses morals as a means of control.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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I dont think we can rule out that religion in various forms has not conditioned our emotional response to certain things.

Also you cannot rule out that the evolution of religion plays a part. Yes even religion evolves the Abrahamic faiths descend from the Sumerian, Akkadian, Mesopotamian etc.

For at least 10,000 years I would submit that humans have had some sort of religion from the primitive tribal shamans to the evolution of the highly structured Roman Catholic church most trace themselves to the same roots.

With 10,000 years of evolution I would expect that religion would play some part in our emotional reactions to certain things. Even if you are Atheist because of the social construct you were raised in religion will imprint itself on you emotions to some degree.

While most people would not murder based on the emotions that it creates religion reinforces the said emotion.

I see faith and religion as to seperate entities, faith is an inner feeling that come from inside the individual, Religion is a group social construct for those of like mind to congregate and have thier rules and ceremony and trappings. Faith is for the individual but religion has become a social construct for control.

Society evolves also, in the 1800s it was fairly common for older men in western society to marry girls as young as 14-15 years of age. Today we would consider such men as paedophiles and child rapists. I am not passing judgement on those men they were a product of thier times.
In the ancient world it was common for a King to marry his half sister in order to keep the kingship all in the family today that would be reguarded as incest.

Marraige may become a thing of the past as society continues breaking down and more people engage in serial monogamy, divorce is so common now that I would submit that we are already in the serial monogamy phase.

Society at the present dictates that a man should have only one wife, because that is the religious construct we have helt for 200 plus years.
If a man for example is capable of loving and caring for 2 or more wives and providing for the offspring of such an arrangement is it immoral?
I would submit it is more moral than having a child out of wedlock and walking away from the woman and child.

Is there a scientific reason that man should have only one partner or mate?

Can I tell you exactly what happens to my soul or conciousness when I die no I cant because it is unknowable, I have a faith construct that explains what happens to that part of my being. For the Atheist it is the same, you can only define what happens to the body at death.

If you have believe in no soul the your just worm food.
If you believe that you have a soul either it dies with the body or something happens after death and what happens is unknowable.

Thousands of years ago it may have been decided amoungst a tribe of primitive man that that it was no longer acceptable to kill members within the tribe.

This would be one of the first steps in morality and it would also be the first step into a religion because since that it has been decided that killing memebrs of ones tribe was wrong , it would soon after be decided that other things were wrong giving rise to a new type of member in the tribe the judge or priest and in some cased this would be the chief or king of the tribe fulfilling all roles.

Society has revolved around religion for atleast 10,000 years and I expect that it will be along with humans for a few thousand years more at least.
Religion and society evolve and one day it may become extinct but it isnt going to happen in a century. I realize there have been Atheist throughout history but they were always the minority today they are a growing minority.

Assaulting someones belief system will not make them give up thier belief if the beliefs are truly and faithfully held, in most cases it will harden their belief and make them less prone to accept other outside ideas.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 04:25 PM
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DarkStormCrow, You said:


Assaulting someones belief system will not make them give up thier belief if the beliefs are truly and faithfully held, in most cases it will harden their belief and make them less prone to accept other outside ideas.



I haven't seen yet where this has happened in this thread.

If anything, this thread has been pretty much courteous to all who post.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Slug away, dbrandt, at whosoever you wisheth to slug.



I already expose lies when I come across them. With regard to salvation, a person isn't half-saved, 3/4 saved or 82% saved. A person is either saved or they are not. So when salvation is based on anything other then a conscious decision to accept/receive/trust/believe/have faith in what Jesus Christ alone has done, I cannot not say something, because people are going to an eternity without God if they don't know the truth.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 05:18 PM
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I haven't seen yet where this has happened in this thread.

If anything, this thread has been pretty much courteous to all who post.


It was just a statement not an attack on any individual in the thread.


If I were an atheist and disbelived in religion or the soul or the afterlife then what someone else believed should become irrelevant unless it impacts upon my rights or life in some way. If it becomes my duty to rid society of anything religious in nature the I would become more than just Atheist. I will have become anti Religion which to me is a whole different ball of wax.

Are athiests compelled to change the belivers to unbelievers?

Does having "In God We Trust " on money really affect your life?

Does a Cross in a Military Cemetary affect you?

Does a carving of Moses on the Supreme Court building affect you.

If you are on a jury and a witness swears on a bible do you believe the witness is less reliable than someone who merely affirms he is telling the truth?

Does the phrase God Bless America offend you?

Does the acknowledgement of a Creator in the Declaration of Independence offend you?

All these things are the product of 200 plus years of the Society construct in America, while many of our founding fathers may not have been Christians in the strictest sense the were at least Deists and believed in a Creator of some sort. Does thier belief in a Creator make thier ideas on freedom and government less valid?

I am what is called today a recronstructionist pagan, Your belief or non belief does not affect me. If beliefs are truly held then nothing should be able to destroy those beliefs. I dont care what is written on money or where a Cross stands or what is on a building because I realize it is part of the Social Construct that will evolve over time.
I dont have any Christians trying to convert me and I am still in good relations with my Christian Baptist relatives, I am from Georgia in the bible belt and the only Christian that has ever tried to bring me to Christ were a couple of Mormon missionaries. (offer them a beer they tend not to come back)

It should be noted that I would in no way want a government sponsored church, but I must realize that Christians are going to vote thier morals on certain issues and it is their right to do so, and I am gonna vote based on my morals and the Atheist will vote on thier morals.

If we live in the West we live in a Christian Religious Society construct we must learn to accept that until society evolves and changes.

Actually the Western Christian Society construct isnt so bad I dont see any burnings at the stake or the like and you are pretty much allowed to believe or disbelieve as you like.

Now someone will bring up abortion clinic bombings are shooting I am sure while these incidents have occured they are rare and like any other terror acts you cannot stop a lone nutter or small determined group of nutters.

Then you can get into the Creation Museum personally I might find it interesting being I like to explore alternative theories. Presenting all sides might be a good thing and might inspire critical thought on the Creationist believer, many of your staunchest Atheist come from a religious background if I recall correctly so maybe such a museum might eventually change thier belief.

What makes a Christian I dont know I dont have the emotional and moral experience much in the same way I dont have the emotional moral experince of the Athiest.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 08:58 PM
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DSC, your comment about the West being a Christian construct isn't exactly true. A great deal of the West is moving towards complete secularism. Most of Europe thinks we're nuts to have Evangelicals in the White House. It's just America that is in this state. And I find it abhorrent.

I do think that references to god should be left out of state affairs. Not everyone has the same god. Is a naturalized Hindu any less equal than any other American? Why is their god not on the money? Why do we not say, "One nation, under Vishnu ..."?

Religion is personal. And it's OK by me if people want to be religious even though I personally think it's a delusion. However, the Christian Right are threatening my unbelief by trying to put prayer in schools, and trying to get intelligent design taught next to evolution, and by claiming that only a man and a woman can marry because it's god's law, ad nauseum. There are certain ethics that do have a place in society's rules, such as not killing each other. But when religious extremists stick their noses into the personal affairs of adults of sound minds and say they can't do something because the extremists find it offensive, I find THAT to be offensive.

As an atheist in this country I feel very threatened by the religious moralizing of people all around me. I've been attacked on this board just for arguing against the god concept in a very rational tone -- I never start the name calling, but I get called names quite a lot. I also get censored -- leave this thread! Nobody wants to hear your view and lack of belief, etc.

It's this inability and unwillingness to allow for any point of view other than the Christian one that offends me and makes me question why people believe this stuff that I personally find to be nonsensical and superstitious.

The separation of church and state has become extremely blurred of late, because of the actions of the Christian Right, and it threatens my Constitutional right to be free of religion. Evangelicals are all for the freedom of religion, so long as it is THEIR religion. Those of us who want to be free from religion are told to butt out, and shut up.

So, yeah, I have a big problem with Christianity in general. I do have Christian friends, I've even got some on my Friends list here. Why? Because they are open minded, don't tell me I'm going to hell, listen to what I have to say about my non-belief and accept it without trying to change me or call me names. When I speak ill of Christians, I don't mean all of them. In my experience, however, the open minded, accepting Christians are the exception to the rule.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 09:48 PM
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I am actually on the internet trying to find illustrations for a lesson involving belief vs. unbelief in God. I'm a devout Christian, and I'm actually Worship Leader at my church. I think a large problem with today's Christians is that some of us are very abrasive. We push God on people until it makes them hate Him (and us), and we end up with boards like these (although this one is extremely mild-mannered). There IS no reason to argue about religion. None. We are all entitled to our own beliefs...that's what makes America great. Is Christianity pushed? You better believe it. Do I tell people about God's saving grace and love? Absolutely. My experiences with it are amazing, and there's nothing in the world that I would trade my relationship with Him for. It just hurts me to see the damage that some Christians have actually done by TRYING to tell people about God. My viewpoint is that I hope the people I talk to will listen. If they do, it's an opportunity. If they don't, it's their choice and it's my obligation to respect their requests. They didn't ask for me to talk to them about Jesus. If they don't want to hear it, they have that right. I just hope this board doesn't turn into a God-basher being a Christian doesn't mean shoving God down someone's throat. It means setting an example through the way you live. Then, people ask questions about why you're so optimistic in bad situations, or how you can smile when you just lost your wife. God's been amazing to me, and I know some of you don't even believe in God...and that's okay. It's not my decision to choose your beliefs. I do pray that your eyes will be opened to the awesomeness that I've been given, but if that doesn't happen, I am not entitled to shove it down your throat until you do.

God bless all of you. I will probably only get back on this board to see what kind of comments I get back, but more than likely, I won't reply.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
DSC, your comment about the West being a Christian construct isn't exactly true. A great deal of the West is moving towards complete secularism. Most of Europe thinks we're nuts to have Evangelicals in the White House. It's just America that is in this state. And I find it abhorrent.


Yes the West is moving toward Secularism but this is really a recent say last 100 years movement. Western Society since the time of Charlemagne has been a Christian construct.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I do think that references to god should be left out of state affairs. Not everyone has the same god. Is a naturalized Hindu any less equal than any other American? Why is their god not on the money? Why do we not say, "One nation, under Vishnu ..."?


The Hindu is not less of an American but he must realize that America is a Christian/Deist Society Construct. God was on the money before we had this Evangelical Uprising spends the same for me God or not.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Religion is personal. And it's OK by me if people want to be religious even though I personally think it's a delusion. However, the Christian Right are threatening my unbelief by trying to put prayer in schools, and trying to get intelligent design taught next to evolution, and by claiming that only a man and a woman can marry because it's god's law, ad nauseum. There are certain ethics that do have a place in society's rules, such as not killing each other. But when religious extremists stick their noses into the personal affairs of adults of sound minds and say they can't do something because the extremists find it offensive, I find THAT to be offensive.


From the Christian perspective you would look at the systematic elimination of God and Religion from the public sphere prayer in schools used to be a common thing and now its been forced out. Marraige is a religious institution once could argue that the government shoudnt be involved at all. I note that the big push for Gay/Lesbian marraige only came about in full force once the marraige penalty tax was eliminated.
Now that married couples pay the same tax as two folks just shacking up the Gays/Lesbians want to be married. What I have never understood about some folks is the desire to be part of an organization that is morally opposed to thier practices in life.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
As an atheist in this country I feel very threatened by the religious moralizing of people all around me. I've been attacked on this board just for arguing against the god concept in a very rational tone -- I never start the name calling, but I get called names quite a lot. I also get censored -- leave this thread! Nobody wants to hear your view and lack of belief, etc.


For me as a pagan it is not much different, I dont meet many in my personal life who try to convert me or condemn me.Your situation may be different I dont know what you deal with on a day to day basis. I hope you do not feel that I am attacking you or trying to censor you in some way because that is not my intention I am here to discuss only. If folks are unwilling to hear a different point of view they really need to stay away from discussion boards cause they are gonna get offended at some point.



Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
It's this inability and unwillingness to allow for any point of view other than the Christian one that offends me and makes me question why people believe this stuff that I personally find to be nonsensical and superstitious.


For me it would depend on what the circumstances of the discussion are. for example if a group of people are discussing the life of Jesus in a thread and I hop in the thread and start spouting how jesus is a myth and they are stupid and superstitious the I would expect to get bounced from the thread. Recently I believe you started a thread called Atheist chat I will stay out of that thread unless I have a questions say, What happens to an Atheist when they die? for example otherwise I am going to leave you Atheist to your own devices.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
The separation of church and state has become extremely blurred of late, because of the actions of the Christian Right, and it threatens my Constitutional right to be free of religion. Evangelicals are all for the freedom of religion, so long as it is THEIR religion. Those of us who want to be free from religion are told to butt out, and shut up.


The only way you loose your constitutional rights is if you do not exercise them. Evangelicals may find that there support is only so deep many of there allies of other denominations will probably break from them because as hard as Evangelicals are on Atheist they are just as hard on members of other denominations.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
So, yeah, I have a big problem with Christianity in general. I do have Christian friends, I've even got some on my Friends list here. Why? Because they are open minded, don't tell me I'm going to hell, listen to what I have to say about my non-belief and accept it without trying to change me or call me names. When I speak ill of Christians, I don't mean all of them. In my experience, however, the open minded, accepting Christians are the exception to the rule.


I think you will find that most Christians are pretty open and accepting, The problem you have is with the dogmatic type that judge everybody including other Christians these are the types that say Catholics and Mormons arent Christians .

From my point of view if ya got Jesus you be Christian, you cant convince me that Catholics and Mormons dont believe in Jesus just because they dont do things your way.

Much has been made of the habit of southerners to ask what church do you go to upon meeting someone new. And lots of folks find this insulting the southerner isnt trying to insult you, he is in my experience trying to find out if you Baptist, Church of Christ, or non demoninational or whatever and most likely his question is not seeking to condemn you but to invite you to meeting on sunday at his church and its nothing more than that. Normally just saying you dont go to church will be enough to drop the subject in my experience.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by aarbrock
I will probably only get back on this board to see what kind of comments I get back, but more than likely, I won't reply.


aarbrock, welcome! And I do hope you come back and join some of the other discussions we're having as well as adding to this one. You have some important thoughts and ideas to share.



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