Thursday, March 05, 2009

Really think about it

75 comments:

Coolkidsleadingtheway said...

I'm an atheist and it's stupid disrespectful things like this that give us a bad name. We shouldn't belittle other religions, it's a personal choice.

leogarg said...

What did religion do to deserve respect? And how is this disrespectful? It just states how it is.

Stardust said...

Cookkids with no profile, If you are really an atheist you would see the point of what the image states. In reality, that is exactly what it is. How can you have respect for a religion that is violent in nature? It is based on a war in heaven, a jealous and vengeful god that kills infants, and then he even creates a son for himself to torture and allow to die a most horrible death, and people believe that he came back to life...which would make him a zombie...look the word zombie up in Websters.

Yes, it's a personal choice and I am not advocating that people not be allowed to have that choice. But we all have freedom of speech. While these folks are free to go to their churches week after week praying for me, and believing I am a bad person, bad enough to burn in hell for eternity for simply exercising my free choice to not believe and state my viewpoints, then I am also free to dispute those things, and also free to express my criticisms of these barbaric and ancient Abrahamic religions.

Stardust said...

Also, cookkids, it would be disrespectful of me to post this on a religious person's site, or print it out and hand it out to god believers. I don't do that. This is my personal blog, for my personal views...you came here, and if you don't like what I have here, then there are a zillion other blogs to troll.

Stardust said...

leogarg, thanks for you comment. There are many of us who believe that religion does not deserve respect. While I respect people's right to believe it, and do not intentionally go out of my way to offend god believers, I will indeed state exactly how I see things here on my blog. Thanks for visiting, hope you come back.

(Your blog is great, by the way. Is there a way to translate the German posts into English?)

fanfic said...

Coolkids, Just what do mean "Other religions?" Atheism is not a religion. If Atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color - Mark Schnitzius

Stardust said...

fanfic, excellent quote. And you are correct. When coolkids says "other religions" he is showing us that he or she is probably a god believer and not an atheist at all. I really don't like it when they lie, but they do it often.

Loridae said...

Coolkids, they belittle us all the time. It's time atheist's fought back. Christianity is not the only religion in the world, far from it, but if the average Christian had their way, you and I would be clamped in chains and tortured until we admitted to giving up our beliefs. No, that's not extreme, trust me I know many GOOD Christians, you know, the ones who approve of bombing abortion clinics.

marduk-lok said...

@fanfic: with all respect (you are preaching to the choir here!) I would disagree with the statement that Atheism is not a religion. "Religion" is defined as a "a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practice." Other dictionaries define it as "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe." Either definition fits atheists well, as atheists believe there is no god and natural laws govern the Universe. I would go further to say that "a god" has nothing to do with atheism... but then I realized that without a god-concept, being an atheist is impossible. Remember, *I* am an atheist - it is my chosen religion. In my opinion, if more atheist approached it in this way, we could get national recognition which would constitutionally stop a lot of finger-pointing towards us. ;-D

Stardust said...

Loridae, thanks for the comment. I fixed the problem with the multiple comment. Blogger is quirky that way.

You make some good points about "good" Christians who would stand and watch as we are imprisoned or worse, burned at the stake because of our lack of belief. I once told an evangelical Christian that we can't just flick a switch and start believing. It's not that we are being spiteful or defiant, it's just that given the lack of evidence, and the fact that this god has never shown itself to me, I cannot believe it. The whole god thing is ludicrous to me. When studying ancient mythology alongside of Christianity, Islam, etc. they are all equally as absurd, and the gods of these religions are barbaric and vengeful and not happy with the creations they have made, especially the god of the Abrahamic religions...he is the most barbaric.

It was when I studied Mythology and Social anthropology and belief systems of the people of the world that I realized that humans are quite imaginative and make up all of these gods and fantasies for themselves. The heaven fantasy helps some cope with death and the fact that absolutely nothing lasts forever, not even the stars in the skies. Even the universe one day will contract and be no more.

Not even one scientist understands the things that happen, no one knows what goes on with the universe, what will happen. But to say goddidit is just creating a quick answer instead of seeking truth.

hartelby said...

I hate the idea of censorship, either everything can be made fun of or nothing can. Pointing out the absurdity of organized religion should be no different.

Stardust said...

marduk-lok , atheism is simply "without god beliefs". An atheist believes there is no evidence for the existence of a god. Simple as that. Most atheists resist even being called an atheist because we don't like labels.

However, after thinking about it a bit, after considering that most people want to label others, I understand your point that if maybe we would approached atheism as a religion we might be able to get national recognition and indeed would "constitutionally stop a lot of finger-pointing towards us."

spacebuffalo said...

marduk-lok, according to your logic chess is a religion, book-keeping is a religion, etc.

Most evangelicals also reject the phrase "religious." Actually shouldn't we just forget about the word "religion?"

And since we're getting all semantic & stuff, all christians belong to "cults," not just the ones that evangelical christians disappove of (i.e., mormons & jehovah witnesses).

Stardust said...

Actually shouldn't we just forget about the word "religion?"

spacebuffalo, I agree with you. Like I said in an above comment, atheism is not a religion. While "theism" means "god belief", atheism means "without god belief". It's not a word that describes any religion anymore than theist describes the religion of type of god believer.

Love your analogy of the chess and bookkeeping. According to Websters online, Religion is (1): the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices3archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

Atheism has no gods and no rites or rituals or practices. Atheists do not believe in supernatural entities. We do not have special devotions or observances of our lack of faith. We have no atheist temples where we create fantasies for ourselves about things in other imagined dimensions. Atheists are highly against conformity, and our devotions and causes pertain to things that we can do something about in this world...helping other humans, etc.

marduk-lok said...

@spacebuffalo: As long as you consider 'people who play chess' as a group of people who share a belief structure, then "yes", most dictionaries would agree with you. Please remember that I didn't logic into this idea - it is simply the definition of "religion."

marduk-lok said...

@stardust: it looks like it may have already happened. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45874
Now just to get the supreme court to go along with it. lol

Stardust said...

marduk-lok, I saw that article awhile back. It's just a away for atheists to play the game and get the god botherers to start being fair and using the constitution to back us up is a good way to be recognized and respected. To get respect, we must demand it. Play the game however it must be played. If that's the only thing they understand then that's what we have to do sometimes, whether we like it or not.

I don't like being pigeon-holed, but if we have to play the game this way sometimes, then so be it.

Loridae said...

I always say it's religion that made me a Darwinist. I decided to check out religion in my early twenties and joined a church. The more I read the more astounded I was, and of course the more I read trying to find anything to back up the bible. Well, I didn't find truth for the bible, but I did begin a life long love of science, history, books and knowledge. Now I'm 50 and my love is still strong and my convictions have never wavered. But the older I get the more absurd the Christians and many other religions become. And atheism? I like to think of atheism as a 'lack of religious or superstitious beliefs'.

ezguy said...

No, atheism is not a religion, but it is a belief system. To suggest otherwise is either disingenuous or not very thoughtful.

In an interesting bit of circular logic Loridae confirms this by imagining atheists being tortured in chains until they give up their beliefs. BTW has this ever happened? There is some debate on whether there has ever been an atheist martyr. There is no debate about Christian martyrs. There are thousands each year around the world.

Truth and reality are a couple of my favorite topics. Writing a few paragraphs about God's work on earth and calling it reality seems too ambitious to me. A lot of underlying theology just doesn't come through here. I don't think we can KNOW God exists any more than we can KNOW He doesn't. If God does exeist we can know that we experience a subsystem of reality and our ideas or thoughts about the supersystem are speculative at best.

...interesting stuff. keep up the discussion.

Stardust said...

Loridae, I know what you mean. I too find that the older I get, the more absurd Christianity and most religions are to me. And the older I get, the more puzzled I am that other people who are god believers cannot see what their religion actually is, which is made-up mythology like all the other thousands and thousands of mythologies humans have created. Cultures borrowed bits and pieces of other mythologies to add to their own. They toss in a bit of what is happening in the world at their time, and make their stories to suit their cultures and traditions along with whatever vengeance, prejudice, etc they hold against other people, or against women and children. Dietary restrictions were also written into their "guidebooks" in order to keep people from becoming sick with eating things that may be contaminated. And then much of what is written in the "holy texts" of religions is fear tactics to control the masses. Many of those in authority did not believe in the religions that they forced others to believe. Religion is a powerful way to keep fearful people in line.

Then, like in today's Islam for instance, threat of bodily harm is used when people start questioning whether their religion is true.

Stardust said...

In an interesting bit of circular logic Loridae confirms this by imagining atheists being tortured in chains until they give up their beliefs. BTW has this ever happened?

Um, yes, it has happened. It's called the Witch hunts and burnings which happened not only on U.S soil, but also throughout Europe and still continues today in parts of Africa.

Galileo was condemned by the Catholic church for simply disagreeing with their interpretations of the Bible. It wasn't until recently that the church "pardoned" Galileo long after he has been dead.

There are more atheists to die at the hands of Christians than you might imagine. Back in the days when people took the law into their own hands and distributed "justice" at will, they would not admit that these people did not believe in god, not even suggest at that idea. But they would say instead that these people were "heathens", "backsliders" or possessed by devils, etc. So it's difficult to attribute atheism to people who were "martyred".

Stardust said...

Has anyone got any comments about the copy written in the picture in this post? When one stops to really think about it, it's quite absurd and I can't understand how even intelligent human beings buy into it. Why would a god who is all-powerful go through such a gruesome and disgusting process to be used as a tool to "save" his creations from the flaws he made them with? It absolutely makes no sense at all.

The church instills fear and guilt, teaching from childhood that we are bad, bad enough for some god to create a son for himself to take his wrath out on...and then we must feel sorry for the son and guilty that we are the cause of his torturous and bloody death by merely existing. Even though this son rose up as a zombie from the dead and floated to magical never,never land in the sky to live in glory forever, humans must still be very guilty and bad for killing someone who is living forever.

Absurd!

Janne said...

I despise people that believe in christianity. I enjoy slaughtering their beliefs and countering their pathetic arguments, even excelling their knowledge of bible's content. Honestly yes, they are so dumb when it comes down to it. The only smart people are the priests and other public figures that enjoy the financial benefits of screwing the wealthy and stupid ones. (the US, anyone?) BTW I enjoy writing their important words like christianity, jesus and bible without the capital letter just to show my disrespect.

Stardust said...

Janne, while I can understand your despising the beliefs of these people and frustrated with the stupidity, what about family members and loved ones who hold these beliefs? Do you despise them, too? Most of my family hold some form of god beliefs, some lukewarm to some with very fundamentalist beliefs. I don't despise them, I don't think they are stupid in an academic sense, but when it comes to their religious convictions, I will never understand how smart people can believe dumb things.

The only issues I have in my family concerning religion are the fundamentalist Christian ones who have cut me out of their life based on their looney-ass beliefs, and then the ones who believe that a person like me would be deserving of an everlasting life in eternal flames because I can't believe that their imaginary friends are real. That sort of bothers me that they would go to church and pray for me because they think I am an awful person.

Loridae said...

stardust, bravo for Galileo! Forgot old Galileo, he certainly paid for his lack of belief. Nice of them to 'pardon' him....in the 21st century! Christianity is a conglomeration of so many old stories and parables that it's amazing the simplest child can't see whats going on. Many of these stories, virgin birth, floods, etc., etc., date from 7,000 to 10,000 years ago and come from the Sumerians and the Battle of Gilgamesh. Personally, I was mortified when all those years ago I first read about the Sumerians. I thought it was silly that I did not know this.
Janne, I hear how frustrated you can become with narrow Christian attitudes. But it is better to fight them with superior knowledge than anger. There are some people who truly need to believe in something 'after', and if they didn't they would have a miserable life. My sister is a devout Christan and I love her very much. She respects my beliefs, and I hers. She points out, that like Atheists, the bad ones give all Christians a bad rep. I am the biggest advocate of her right to believe what she wants, but by the same token, I too have that right.

james emmans said...

Some chess player are violent, and they move imaginary peices around a board. Some groups of people even watch people play the game for pleasure, they must be delusional.

Stardust said...

Some chess player are violent, and they move imaginary peices around a board. Some groups of people even watch people play the game for pleasure, they must be delusional.

Chess is a game. People do not expect the chess pieces to talk back to them or grant them wishes or to walk along life with them. No one has ever killed in the name of chess or because the Chess king of queen told them to.

Flonkbob said...

I'm an atheist and it's smart insightful things like this that give us a good name. We should belittle all religions. It's a personal choice.

Do I respect religion? No.
Do I respect the religious? No.
Do I respect their right to choose? Yes.

I'm not going to pretend that irrational belief that attempts to limit my freedoms in the name of iron age 'morality' is respectable. I will fight any attempts of any religion to influence or control me. I don't care which invisible friend you follow, I think you're a dolt for doing so.

dirtprof said...

@ezguy: "...atheism is not a religion, but it is a belief system". No, it's not--at most, it's a constraint on belief systems (nothing supernatural, thank you). Raelians call themselves atheists, for example, but most atheists do not subscribe to the Raelian belief system. Does not believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy constitute a belief system? Would having an atheist-equivalent label (asantaism, afairyism) make any difference?

Nigel said...

Atheism is a word that tells people what you don't believe. It doesnt help that much in telling people what you actually, positively, think and believe. I like to use it [about myself] because of this negative, anti-religion connotation and hope it has a shock value. Actually I'm a Humanist but that isn't going to grab anyone.
I think my anger at religion is mostly justified. Just look at the violence in the world and consider the impossibility of beliefs ever having an objective benchmark to test their so-called truths.
As long as we remember that making gods out of man-made things [science, humanism, atheism, myths, pasta] is a regrettable, but common, human activity.
And, of course, remember that there are other dogmatists and irrationalists who are destructive too.

Matthew M said...

I think this all comes down to the word "believe".

One can "believe" anything they want.

For instance, someone, somewhere may believe that if they jump up and down 6 times first thing in the morning their day will be filled with good luck.

This jump up and down belief is really not all that different than the belief that you can telepathically send messages to an omniscient being who is actually listening to your messages.

The difference between what an atheist believes to be true and the two examples above is that atheists for the most part base their beliefs on empirical evidence.

For instance, I believe that when it is cloudy and overcast there is a good chance that it will rain. I also believe that if I jump off the top of a 25 story building, I will die.

There is a difference between what theists believe, and what atheist believe.

Stardust said...

Matthew M said The difference between what an atheist believes to be true and the two examples above is that atheists for the most part base their beliefs on empirical evidence.

Exactly! The god believers, leprechan believers, elf believers, believe with no evidence what-so-ever, except for that "feeling" they have that they say they cannot explain. They get sucked into the emotional aspect, the pretty songs they write that contain the fantasy.

Atheists, on the other hand base their beliefs like you said, on verifiable and reproducible evidence. Not feelings or suppositions, but on fact. As you stated, we know if we jump off a 25-story building we will splatter all over the place when we hit the ground. We have seen it happen, people jump off buildings to commit suicide every day. And we know from scientific examination and experiment the atmospheric conditions that will tell us when it is about to rain (barometric pressure, humidity levels in the air, and can see on radar the path of oncoming storms).

So far, there is no evidence that proves the existence of any supernatural beings or any other dimensions where they dwell.

Stardust said...

And, of course, remember that there are other dogmatists and irrationalists who are destructive too.

There most certainly are. And throughout history we have seen the destruction that they can bring via their quest for power and control of the masses...Hitler, Mao, Stalin...all made gods of themselves and religions based on themselves for people to live by.

Can't blame simple non-belief in gods for that, blame the power-hungry tyrants.

spacebuffalo said...

Stardust said:

"Atheists, on the other hand base their beliefs like you said, on verifiable and reproducible evidence. Not feelings or suppositions, but on fact."

That is what you would hope that atheists do, but there is nothing intrinsic to the idea of atheism that says an atheist must be a rationalist. I hope that an atheist would be a "physicist" (a believer in physics, the physical world) because it makes more sense, but there is no guarantee of that.

Stardust said...

there is nothing intrinsic to the idea of atheism that says an atheist must be a rationalist.

True, however it is less likely that an atheist would behave or act out of irrational beliefs, such as thinking they hear voices in their head telling them to do horrible things. Those atheists who do hear voices are schizophrenic, or on drugs that cause hallucinations. On the other hand, too many religious folks justify their hatred, bigotry and violent acts against other humans with the excuse that "god told me to". Just look at how many people in power use that excuse to justify invading other countries, for instance.

When was the last time you heard of an atheist committing a terrible act because the voices of an imaginary friend told him to.

Loridae said...

I used to be careful throwing around the 'atheist' word because I didn't want to get into a fight everywhere I went. Now? Not so much. I'm older and much more out spoken that I used to be. The more extreme the Christian right becomes the more important that we share our views and try to enlighten others, spread the word of non-belief as it were. If we do not speak up we will watch all our sciences fade away. The laws will start changing, prayer will be put back in school, and hell before we know it we'll be back in the dark ages, and people like us will be hunted by the new and improved Inquisition. It's downright spooky to see how far things have gone in the eight years that we had a god fearing president. I agree with Nigel, because when I say I'm an atheist I usually get a look of immediate interest. People still seem to be shocked that someone will actually admit to being a non-believer. I always hope this will give others the courage to question their beliefs, church and pastors.

Stardust said...

Loridae, I've had several hospitalizations in the past couple of years and every time I am admitted they ask what my religion is and I say NONE and some look stunned, while others look well, uncomfortable and they try to act normal. And for those people they send around, the chaplains and nuns, well, I just tell them I am not interested and when they try to leave a pamphlet I ask them to please not leave me anything. The ones who say "I'll pray for you" I just say that I trust my doctors to take care of me. I say it nicely, and they smile and tell me to get well soon and leave and I know they are shaking their heads all the way down the hall because they couldn't win with me.

ezguy said...

Alright, I'm nearly convinced that atheists are an oppressed people. I hope the oppression doesn't come from the GOOD christians or adherents of any creed. I suspect the oppressors aren't close to the core beliefs of their own faiths. I think these discussions go better when examples come from the best representative of any position. While the bad behavior reflects poorly on the religious or non-religious beliefs, it rarely displays the essence of those beliefs.

If "belief system" doesn't fairly describe atheism, that's OK, but the word must have some belief implications about the natural or supernatural.

I like the points about verifiable and reproducible science. It's easy to agree on gravity, but the origin of life is hard to nail down that way. I don't agree there is some evidence supporting god's existence and other evidence against. There is only one body of evidence and it either successfully supports a belief in god or it fails to support that belief. I don't think it is true or productive to label either camp as a bunch of idiots. Of course, there will be idiots and geniuses in both groups.

Bertrand Russell is famously quoted as saying to god (if he finds himself in that position), "why didn't you make yourself more obvious?" Very clever, but I often wonder exactly how would god make himself more obvious. I think there is very little supernatural activity for which some people could not posit a perfectly believable natural explanation. Seems to me this happens all the time. What do you think god should be doing to make his presence truly KNOWN?

Stardust said...

What do you think god should be doing to make his presence truly KNOWN?

Well, first of all, we are talking figuratively about IF a god existed. And IF a god exists it would appear that he might show himself as a big gigantic man like the Green Giant and smile and say howdy to the world. How much more can an entity make its presence known?

If we are talking about in other ways, at least protect his followers and little innocent children from abuse, illness, suffering, etc. That would be a good place to start. But this god of the Christians, Muslims and Jews is a sadistic one and sits back and watches suffering happen. Believers say that "god is with them" when they suffer. That is absolutely absurd.

Son of Man said...

Very interesting discussion, I had no idea religion was still such a dominant force in US society, I don't pick that up from your movies & TV etc. On a practical note may I suggest that you use this forum (and others like it) to organize the petitioning of your government for the removal of the tax exempt status enjoyed by religious organizations.

Loridae said...

Son of Man, where are you from? I love to hear opinions of the US from other countries, well, sometimes! LOL. But yes, The US is still in the dark ages as far as superstition (i.e. religion) goes. I could always see where the need for religion came from, you know, Neanderthals needed to explain the forces of nature, etc., but the fact that religion is still such a force in this world, right along side of science which just tears holes all day long in their beliefs. I would have thought the average person would have given up their religious beliefs along with leprechauns, witches, fairies & sprites! Even the most educated people seem to be able to compartmentalize religion into a separate place.

Loridae said...

Also, Son of Man, I think the reason you don't see much about religion in our movies and TV is because people really do want to escape all the rules and boundaries in their everyday life. They like to see people getting away with extremes, language, sex, drugs, etc., without being made to pay for it! LOL.

Stardust said...

I love to hear opinions of the US from other countries, well, sometimes! LOL.

Loridae, I write to many penfriends around the world from about 28 different countries and they find it quite amusing, and disturbing at the same time that we have so many religious fantatics here. They look at us like they do Muslim countries as far as the religious fundamentalists and how "intense" and aggressive they can be. In most other western nations, people's religion is their own business and they aren't really going out there wearing it as some kind of a medal of self-righteousness. God believe is a private matter to them. However, the US missionaries would love to change that in their nations...they go over and start proseltyzing and wanting those god believers to be as crazy and pushy as they are. They just can't leave people be.

If they want to do some real good, start building houses for the homeless, give food to the hungry, teach birth control methods to overpopulated and disease-ridden areas...WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

ezguy said...

I like the idea of god manifesting as a large green giant, but I'm sure many people would not be convinced to accept or believe his authenticity. There are tons of things in the natural world science has not yet explained...what's all that junk DNA for anyway? Many people will be just as happy to live with a green giant and not see god.

The more serious concerns over god's care for people brings us back to the frustration we will always have as we try to understand a supersystem when the totality of our experience is within a subsystem. It's not easy for me to accept that god's ultimate concern must be for our eternal well-being not our earthly plight. But if the christian god is as described, that logic is inescapable. What's absurd to one may reasonably touch on the profound for others. It's not simple stuff.

Loridae has lots of pithy comments, but I see believers and non-believers as very much aligned on fairies, sprites and observable forces of nature. The differences arise when observable, repeatable scientific experiments can't be performed. Since a very small part our experience is subject to such testing, our species seemingly can't resist filling the knowledge gaps with the most plausible explanations the evidence can support. I don't see how believing there is a god creator is any more unreasonable than believing existence comes from nothing. Interestingly, the former is much easier to explain.

Stardust said...

There are tons of things in the natural world science has not yet explained

Again, just because it cannot be explained doesn't mean goddidit. That's the easy way out, to just make something up and believe it as truth.

What's absurd to one may reasonably touch on the profound for others. It's not simple stuff.

Because there are so many imaginings inside people's heads. Everyone makes this god how he or she wants him/her/it to be. Adults making up imaginary friends because they cannot accept the fact that we are alone in the universe is absurd to many of us. What makes god belief so complicated is because what we are really dealing with is psychology, and what people choose to believe in their own minds. Can't tell a person what is or isn't going on in their own mind.

Loridae has lots of pithy comments, but I see believers and non-believers as very much aligned on fairies, sprites and observable forces of nature.

I don't get what you are talking about here...non-believers do not believe in the fantasies, so they cannot be alike. Observable forces of nature are scientific. Verifiable and all people can see it.

The differences arise when observable, repeatable scientific experiments can't be performed.

Yep...the theist jumps to the conclusion that then it must be a invisible magic man in another dimension who is responsible. The atheist says that we just don't know...period. And can accept that. The god believer cannot accept that reality that there are things we may never know.

our species seemingly can't resist filling the knowledge gaps with the most plausible explanations the evidence can support.

Actually, our species mainly fills in the gaps with whatever imaginary friends they choose to believe in. They don't want to leave any gaps unfilled. The scientific mind, however keeps searching for evidence and while they may come up with theories based on evidence, they are open to change when new evidence is presented. The god believer bases his beliefs on zero evidence, just a feeling, or nice imaginings.

I don't see how believing there is a god creator is any more unreasonable than believing existence comes from nothing.

Then you are misunderstanding science or do not understand science. Atheists do not believe we came from nothing. While Scientists can come up with evidence which suggests an evolutionary process by which we all came to be here on Planet Earth, we keep searching for more and more clues as to the origins of the universe.

The god believers simply make stuff up that a magical man in another dimension, whom never shows himself created everything. God belief is easier to explain because humans are quite imaginative and good at making stuff up.

Fertsek said...

We are at cultural war with religion. They are and have been persecuting us. We can't afford to ignore them

Jon said...

"belief" is a strange word to describe atheism. Since atheism is without belief I find it strange any of you are saying "atheists believe this and this", in fact atheism comes with NO beliefs, they have no set standards to anything else.

Stardust said...

We are at cultural war with religion. They are and have been persecuting us. We can't afford to ignore them

Fertsek, what you say is true. We do not want to harm people or take their right to believe away, but we would like them to just go about their business to their churches and whatever and stop trying to interject whatever their beliefs are into our lives and our secular government. The problem is mainly from the Abrahamic religions...pretty much Muslim or Christianity. Muslims are more "forceful" in their belief that we must convert...and the fundamentalists are bloodthirsty. The Christians could be bloodthirsty, as we have seen from many historical accounts, but we don't see many accounts of them going around slaughtering people in these times like we do Muslims. Jews...well, when was the last time anyone here was approached by a Jew with intentions to try to convert you? Or a Buddhist or Hindu? )Though in some countries certain sects can be very barbaric against non-Hindus.

Religion divides and gives people an excuse to oppress and murder others.

in fact atheism comes with NO beliefs, they have no set standards to anything else.

Jon, this is very true. Atheists in general have no one set of values or beliefs, and each individual has his or her own ideals, values, beliefs and opinions. God believers follow the "beliefs" of their individual group or sect and what their pastors tell them is the "true" interpretation of their "guidebook".

Stardust said...

Should add that while atheists read many books on atheism and religion along with science and many other subjects, we have no one "guidebook" or set of rules to follow.

There will come that question "where do you get your morals from?" Well, those come from set standards and values in place in our own society in order for us all to get along and live peacefully together. We learn much of how to get along in the world via our parents. Our parents teach us right from wrong, and guide us to do the right thing best as they can. Some parents aren't very good at it, or neglectful and then we have troubled people who go astray and learn right from wrong the hard way. Then there are those few people who are just downright evil or disturbed individuals who do bad things no matter how they are raised, god-fearing or atheist. (Though there are a majority of god believes in jail in numbers and statistic-wise. If god gives people morals then there would be far fewer god botherers committing crimes, engaging in child pornography, stealing, etc.)

Regardless of religion or not, we ALL live in a society of human laws. The god believers have their religious laws...they break both religious and societal laws at the same time all too often. The consequences for breaking the law in the religious realm is to say ten hail Mary's or confess and cry and pray to their imaginary friend and find imaginary forgiveness. Break the laws in real society and you will be tried in a court of your peers and be sentenced accordingly no matter how much you say you are sorry. Human justice is the only real justice.

jackofhearts00 said...

ok, take out the "makes perfect sense" part, and it ceases to be offensive. as leogarg said, this picture just states how it is. if religious people find it offensive, then maybe it's because subconciously they know their religion is crap.

ezguy said...

"Again, just because it cannot be explained doesn't mean goddidit."

I completely agree. It’s not my intention to say, no scientific explanation points to god, but neither does it point to atheism. Over time more science will provide more explanation and mounting evidence will increasingly point toward ultimate truth and reality. I just don’t see why atheists seem to think a missing explanation somehow aligns better with their position.

"I don't get what you are talking about here...non-believers do not believe in the fantasies, so they cannot be alike."

My lame humor got in the way. I really only want to consider the best, most serious thinkers on each end of the god – no-god spectrum and sincere believers are no more susceptible to fantasies than thoughtful atheists. Nor are they any less likely to accept verifiable science. So both groups really are very much alike up to the point where verifiable science ceases. Beyond this point theists are at least open to a godly explanation whereas atheists usually are not. I think that’s where a serious problem creeps into atheist thinking. In too many cases there is a failure to objectively evaluate the evidence and consider its implications. Instead there is often an apriori no-god assumption and the evidence is evaluated in that light. It’s a little like the inverse of jumping to the conclusion there must be a supernatural being.

"The god believers simply make stuff up that a magical man in another dimension, whom never shows himself created everything."

This raises another problem for the atheist point of view. If a pure rationalist places confidence only in math and science and we know the probability of our existence and that of the universe we experience is infinitesimally small given the likely natural occurrence of several physical constants, it seems quite irrational to suppose this happened without supernatural intervention.

"Atheists in general have no one set of values or beliefs, and each individual has his or her own ideals, values, beliefs and opinions."

Unfortunately, this seems to be true and it’s fairly obvious the problems that can result when no person or authority has a valid position from which to judge or restrict human actions. It might just work if everyone happens to be a nice person, but…

Theists believe absolute truth does exist and they really have no other goal than to seek that truth and help others find it too.

spacebuffalo said...

ezguy says:

"It’s not my intention to say, no scientific explanation points to god, but neither does it point to atheism."

Remember, the god-believers are supposed to convince humanity of the validity of their god-belief. All atheists have to do is shoot down their crappy arguments.

"Over time more science will provide more explanation and mounting evidence will increasingly point toward ultimate truth and reality."

Isn't ultimate truth & reality just christian jargon for "god?" Just as there is no "ultimate number," there is no "ultimate truth." The idea of an "ultimate reality" is even more absurd. Reality is just the current "state of being." It is not graded along a number line. "OH this is 1.2 reality, but your reality is -0.75." Reality is binary, 0=non-real, 1=real. The same idea applies to truth, only more so.

"I just don’t see why atheists seem to think a missing explanation somehow aligns better with their position."

In a similar way, I don't see why missing explanations point to the existence of god(s). Example: (and to bring my comments around full circle) "Gee I cannot imagine how &/or blood pumps through a heart, therefore Jesus died for my sins on the cross for me and all I have to do is believe in the FATHER-SON-HOLY SPIRIT god and I will go to heaven, while all you people that don't believe that are going to burn in hell for an infinity of time.

Renee said...

BTW, the Catholics do not believe that it's symbolic cannibalism... that's the miracle of transubstantiation.

Stardust said...

It’s not my intention to say, no scientific explanation points to god, but neither does it point to atheism. Over time more science will provide more explanation and mounting evidence will increasingly point toward ultimate truth and reality. I just don’t see why atheists seem to think a missing explanation somehow aligns better with their position.

ezguy - it is not the atheists who think that a missing explanation somehow aligns better with our position, but we can just simply say "we don't know, we are still searching for answers and will probably be as long as humanity exists."

On the other hand, it is the god believers who have a problem with no explanation pointing to their beliefs. They will make up their own explanations, and will take it on faith that their imaginary friend made everything and set it all in motion based on zero evidence at all. Who needs evidence when you have imagination.

Stardust said...

Beyond this point theists are at least open to a godly explanation whereas atheists usually are not. I think that’s where a serious problem creeps into atheist thinking. In too many cases there is a failure to objectively evaluate the evidence and consider its implications. I

And this again is where you are not understanding that there is no failure on the part of the atheist to consider evidence in support of god existence, because there is NO evidence for the existence of god anymore than there is evidence for the existence of the schizophrenic's imaginary talking rabbit. Most god believers do not even want to consider the fact that they are simply talking to themselves when they pray.

Stardust said...

BTW, the Catholics do not believe that it's symbolic cannibalism... that's the miracle of transubstantiation.

Renee, no matter what they believe, the blood is still wine and the body is just a dull, tasteless, stale cracker.

Renee said...

My point was that it makes it even weirder

Renee said...

GODDAMNIT. Got the wrong link... TWICE.

I meant to post "Remember Crackergate?")

Stardust said...

Renee, gotcha. I knew what you meant, I had to clarify for the Cat-o-lick readers. ;)

jim said...

Religion is another name for politics. Its character is that of folk poetry cast in stone. While the latter has survival value, it now seems to have become more disadvantageous due to abuses and a faster changing polity. With some regret (for folk poetry) I think we should take a firm stand against this religious web of language.

Cole said...

I just can't help be think of how sick this God must be for Him to torture someone like this. I've done some pretty bad things in my life but nothing to deserve this kind of punishment. It's barbaric, cruel and unusual punishment. God the Father of evangelical Christianity is a freak.

the0wl said...

jim said... "Religion is another name for politics. Its character is that of folk poetry cast in stone."

I'd be one to say "organized religion," a concept I hadn't seen broached in this thread.

Being neither Abrahamist nor Atheist, I am a pagan/animist. Why? Not because it looks good on a resume, for sure, but, because its what gives me comfort.

That being said, I'm not out to witness, coerce, eschew, kill or "be seen in the right temple" to spread my way. It works for me, and that's often more than enough.

Now, if only the organized Abrahamists, and a few of the more violent Hindus could only adopt such a view, then your non-belief in any god-supernatural-figure would be a non-issue.

Would that all people could be free to believe or not believe whatever they wished, as they wished, without travail.

However, I'm not really sure most people, even your readers, understand the real core of an organized religion. It has little to do with the expressed aims of "salvation" or "spiritual enlightenment;" and much to do with keeping common folk under control while allowing those in power to do as they will.

Has any of you noticed that organized religions are inseparably paired with political systems? And, that the more conservative (favoring those with wealth or power before more common folk) a political system is, the more draconian is its paired religion?

Islam is a prime example, as are, to lesser degrees, Catholicism, Judaism, Church of England, and US Evangelical Christianity. Each of these, either directs or bonds with it's political mate to form a cohesive control structure. Take out religious control (including civil laws based in the paired religion), and the political structure as we presently know it becomes an unstable 2-legged table that cannot stand for long and would bear no weight.

And, that's where the anti-government, and/or apocalyptic religions come into play. These range from Mormons to Jehovah's Witnesses to Seventh Day Adventists, to survivalists, to snake cults, and even to pagans. Just as inseparably tied to their present political systems, they're also the antithesis of the "proper" paired religions. They're the ones who believe, for better or worse, that they can and will go on after the parent political culture collapses.

But, either way, they're indelibly linked to the parent political culture, and rise or fall depending on the strength and control of that culture.

Now, after all that, its rather easy to see why the "truly enlightened" tend to throw off religion, in any form, and go their own ways. Marx once said that "religion is the opiate of the masses," and he was right -- in as far as that out-of-context statement goes. Its definitely been employed to fog vision, obfuscate reality, or provide blinders wherein at least some vision is deemed necessary. But otherwise, what real purpose has it served (...besides being a legal defense for schizophrenics...)?

In conclusion, and given most of the above, I need to ask: Is "Atheism" "real," or a rebellion against the status quo? Not that I mind, or even have a right to mind, but this site witnesses for Atheism. To my mind, a good thing, but, if you will, please look at the context.

Cheers;
the0wl
(formerly "StarChild")

Stardust said...

Starchild or Owl...
This site is not a "witness for Atheism"...to "witness" one must go out and spread the "word". I don't do that. I do enjoy bringing to light the idiocies of religion in general, organized or not, it's all equally absurd beliefs.

This is my own little private blog, I don't advertise it, I don't troll theist blogs, etc. Probably wouldn't give a shit at all about religion if some family members didn't disown me over it, didn't try to interject it into our secular government, use it to control others and spread bigotry etc. My advocacy isn't to try to convert anyone or take away people's rights to believe, but to have them keep it to themselves and not force it on me, not to use it to perpetuate hate and bigotry and violence. Until they do keep it to themselves, there will be atheist blogs that write counterpoints and expose the ridiculous, cruel, hateful aspects of religion.

the0wl said...

Stardust said... "This is my own little private blog, I don't advertise it, I don't troll theist blogs, etc. Probably wouldn't give a shit at all about religion if some family members didn't disown me over it, didn't try to interject it into our secular government, use it to control others and spread bigotry etc."

Apologies if I gave offense. That was not my intent. And I don't troll any blogs. I landed here via StumbleUpon (Thumbs Up! BTW), and was intrigued by the thread. It looked to be going a bit hostile...

Stardust said... "My advocacy isn't to try to convert anyone or take away people's rights to believe, but to have them keep it to themselves and not force it on me, not to use it to perpetuate hate and bigotry and violence. Until they do keep it to themselves, there will be atheist blogs that write counterpoints and expose the ridiculous, cruel, hateful aspects of religion."

And that was my point. As long as there remains this unhealthy symbiosis between organized religions and political states, religion will continue to be used as a discriminator to foment hatred, injustice, cruelty and control -- granting access and protections for some; savagely curtailing or constricting them for others.

Its not an easy thing to go up against, either privately or publicly, but there will, I'm sure, need to be many more funerals before we "fallible humans" finally get the message...

the0wl

Stardust said...

Owl, I do appreciate you stopping by to read and comment and hope you continue to do so.

If some atheists seem to go a bit hostile about religion, it may mean that they have been offended or oppressed by the religious in some way, or very emotionally disturbed by the bad that religion causes in the world...911 for example.

the0wl said...

Boy! That was a fast reply!

Stardust said... "If some atheists seem to go a bit hostile about religion, it may mean that they have been offended or oppressed by the religious in some way, or very emotionally disturbed by the bad that religion causes in the world...911 for example."

And I couldn't agree more. Just don't get me started on 911 though... While religion played its public part in that debacle, even gave the "flag and cross crowd" something dark and sinester to rally to, there was a lot more going on than religion there...

Religion was the magician's hand waving in the air, holding our besotted attention while his back hand did things, out of sight, even more dastardly, again in the name of cross and flag... -sigh-

6p010536c60810970b said...

If a pure rationalist places confidence only in math and science and we know the probability of our existence and that of the universe we experience is infinitesimally small given the likely natural occurrence of several physical constants, it seems quite irrational to suppose this happened without supernatural intervention.Infinitesimally small? Methinks not. The probability of our existence is 1 by definition, since we already do exist.

There are 2 598 960 possible hands of 5 cards; but whichever one you were dealt, that's the one you've already got and because you've got it, it's not unlikely anymore.

The universe contains billions of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, most of whose light will never reach us because we'll have ceased to exist before it passes the place where we used to be. In a search space that vast, life isn't improbable -- it's more or less inevitable.

spacebuffalo said...

There are 2 598 960 possible hands of 5 cards; but whichever one you were dealt, that's the one you've already got and because you've got it, it's not unlikely anymore.

Thank you for explaining that. It needs to be spelled out to the Sunday morning crowd :)!

Stardust said...

Just don't get me started on 911 though... While religion played its public part in that debacle, even gave the "flag and cross crowd" something dark and sinester to rally to, there was a lot more going on than religion there...

Of course there was a lot more going on concerning the cause of 911, but religion was the vehicle used to carry out the horrendous acts. There is always "more" behind the horrible crap going on in this world, but it takes religion to provide the excuse to commit horrific acts. Diplomacy goes both ways, and those who are rooted deeply into a set or religious beliefs do not want to debate anything.

I don't buy into it that the USA deserved the horrible, unspeakable acts of 911 in any reasoning what-so-ever. While the USA has done its share of exploitation throughout the decades, many of these countries stand with their begging hands outstretched to us for help, to allow them to come here and pursue the American dream. Many of the people who came here to find freedom of expression, use that freedom to chant "Death to America" because they can, or because that is what they really want and I may have liberal political leanings, I cannot side with the terrorists ever in any situation. Other folks who are not Muslim do not resort to teaching their children to blow themselves up in protest of things they don't even yet understand. A society that does that is plain despicable.

However, I want to add that I do NOT agree with using the diversion of 911 to invade a country that had nothing to do with it. That is also despicable.

I have done posts on this before and there are those who want to blame America and defend the terrorists. Neither can be defended...which I think is what you are trying to say. But there are other countries being exploited by the USA and other powerful nations and they don't go teach their children to sacrifice themselves in the public marketplaces or to fly planes into buildings while chanting to their imaginary sky boss.

the0wl said...

6p010536c60810970b said...

"If a pure rationalist places confidence only in math and science, and we know the probability of our existence and that of the universe we experience is infinitesimally, small given the likely natural occurrence of several physical constants, it seems quite irrational to suppose this happened without supernatural intervention."

And it seems to me quite irrational to presume supernatural intervention without at least some proof, other than a few old and worn books, to validate your premise.

The equation: [((x+y)w ((sqrt)v) (then a miracle happens)((d-c)2) = 1] is NOT an equation.

Call it balderdash, poppycock, fscked-up, or whatever you will, but, like most "creation science," the "miracle" is neither provable nor reproduce-able. Nor is the supposition that, just because we don't understand a thing, right now, means that some deity must have divinely intervened to cause or continue it...

And, while perhaps comforting to you, why is it your meat that I or anyone else should believe in said miracle?

the0wl said...

Of course there was a lot more going on concerning the cause of 911, but religion was the vehicle used to carry out the horrendous acts.

And this supports my point about religion being paired to a political system, and carrying out dark acts for that political system. There's almost nothing spiritual about organized religion. Rather, its more of a political tool to do the bidding of very selfish, human masters... (note: Islam is NOT "just" a religion, but a life code that contains codes for government and commerce as well. That these "other" codes are being trashed by the extremists is just another example of human power gone awry...)

I don't buy into it that the USA deserved the horrible, unspeakable acts of 911 in any reasoning what-so-ever.

Deserved? Maybe not. I don't think anyone deserves terror on that scale -- or any scale for that matter. However, I think we, the US, were just as involved, and just as guilty as the "real" perps, whoever they were...

However, I want to add that I do NOT agree with using the diversion of 911 to invade a country that had nothing to do with it. That is also despicable.

Terror begets terror, and derangement begets derangement. Religion coddles both. How else can we explain the huge rally, in this country, around both cross and flag, when we shamelessly invaded a country that posed no physical threat to us? And wasn't involved with those who did?

...and they don't go teach their children to sacrifice themselves in the public marketplaces or to fly planes into buildings while chanting to their imaginary sky boss.

No... But they do teach them how to harass, meddle, preach, and snitch -- often right up to the point where you really feel like taking a baseball bat to them. That you/we don't engage in such retaliatory violence, if think, speaks better of us than of them...

water-singer said...

The simple fact of the matter is this: most religion gives the option of forgiveness without real punishment. Atheism does not.

It's not that all the bad apples go to religion or that religion will automatically make someone a bad person. The problem with religion is that it associates blame outside of the individual, removing responsibility and the need to learn and grow.

Look at it this way: you have two baskets. One you bury in the earth where worms and bugs can get in and one is kept in a sealed container. You put two apples from four different trees in each. Now, given reasonable chance, there will be one or two in each basket that are already bad or will turn bad very easily. But in the ground-basket, even the apples that aren't almost surely going to turn bad now have the chance of getting worms or bugs or something to turn them rotten. The sealed basket has no worms or bugs. Sure, there will be some apples in the ground-basket that will likely stay good, but the chances are far less than in the sealed basket.

Abrahmic religion is much like the ground basket. It has worms such as "forgiveness through confession" and "god's law" to allow people to pursue anti-social actions and beliefs without guilt and almost without repercussion. Sure, some Christians or Muslims will be good regardless, but the fact is that they are good DESPITE their religion, not because of it. The only "bad" things religion stops people from doing are things like being gay, or having pre-marital sex, which are only bad in their eyes.

The problem with religion is that blame can always be put elsewhere so people only have their questionable morals and logic to depend on. As it is very difficult to be religious AND logical, that only leaves "morals". Morals come out of social guilt and pressure, which are effaced by the "forgiveness" of God. Which means that religious people only have to act on their base instincts... which allow for murder, theft and worse in the name of survival.

The problem with religion is that instead of being a moral guidebook, it is instead an excuse for immorality. It is incredibly rare for someone to "become" good because of religious teachings. Instead, almost all "good" followers would be as good or better without their religion.

My problem with religion isn't that they have unprovable beliefs. That's their choice. I believe in a "force" (whether electromagnetism, resonance or whatever) that holds the basic natural rules and that's just as unprovable. No, my problem with religion is that not only odes it have unprovable beliefs but it tries to use those unprovable beliefs to violate social customs, norms and laws, as well as completely ignoring half the laws of it's own making (although the contradictory nature of a lot of the laws makes that a necessity sometimes). And not only that, but it is used to make up NEW laws and then to try and impose those on those who don't share the unproven belief. According to religion, you can break as many religious and societal laws as you like, as long as you're doing it "for God" and you later ask forgiveness. This sense of entitlement is what is dangerous and religion is the only thing that can mass produce it in millions of people. The problem with religion isn't that it's a belief, but it's a belief that can be used as a straw-man and scapegoat whenever someone raises a fuss. It's not a belief, it's an excuse.

Please note that when I say "religion" I am only really knowledgeable about and referring to Christianity, and maybe a bit of Judaism and Islam.

Stardust said...

most religion gives the option of forgiveness without real punishment. Atheism does not.

For the atheist there is still what there is for all, even believers -- human forgiveness. Punishment is apart from forgiveness. Lots of criminals are forgiven by their victims and victims families, but that doesn't mean the crime should go unpunished.

What the atheist believes is in human justice for crimes committed, that is the difference. We don't believe that an imaginary friend does the forgiving, but is up to the humans. The god thing is just a nice way to ease guilt in the mind of the believers, and religion also causes much unnecessary guilt over little things that do not matter.

Stardust said...

The problem with religion is that it associates blame outside of the individual, removing responsibility and the need to learn and grow.

Exactly, thanks for taking the time to read and posting such an intelligent comment.

Loridae said...

Stardust said: The problem with religion is that instead of being a moral guidebook, it is instead an excuse for immorality. It is incredibly rare for someone to "become" good because of religious teachings. Instead, almost all "good" followers would be as good or better without their religion.

Well spoken Stardust. My sister (whom I love dearly in spite of her being a die hard Christian and I an equally as die hard Atheist) once said to me, "I don't understand how you can be a lover of animals (I used to do Wild Animal Rehab), raise your children to be good people, be against the pain and suffering of so many people and yet still not know the love of God." Well, as soon as she said it she realized it was a very stupid comment, she is not a dumb person after all. I said, "Oh I see (quite sarcastically by the way), you can only be a 'good' person if you believe in God. If I'd known that I would have put aside all this caring for the earth and all her creatures stuff and just have become a crack whore. That would have been so much easier!" But the Christians really do believe they have a market on goodness. And like you state, most good people are better off without religion. No easy outs.