August 13th, 2012
10:03 AM ET
First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) - A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.
"Religion is silly and religion has components that are inherently divisive. … There is no place for any of that in the political system,” he said.
The billboards go up Monday in Charlotte and will stay up for a month at a cost of roughly $15,000. The Democratic convention runs September 3-6.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
The billboard targeting Christianity features an image of Jesus Christ on toast and this description of the faith: "Sadistic God; Useless Savior, 30,000+ Versions of ‘Truth,’ Promotes Hates, Calls it ‘Love.’ ”
The billboard targeting Mormonism lambastes - and, Mormons would say, distorts - specific Mormon doctrines: "God is a Space Alien, Baptizes Dead People, Big Money, Big Bigotry.”
The Mormon billboard features a man in white underwear, a reference to special Mormon garments.
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Both billboards feature the line "Atheism: Simply Reasonable."
American Atheists had wanted to put the anti-Mormon billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there later this month. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon. When no billboard company in the city would lease the group space for such a sign, Silverman said the organization decided to focus solely on the Democrats in Charlotte.
“Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology - platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.”
CNN Belief Blog: Atheist leader hopes to mobilize closeted nonbelievers
Some religious leaders said the billboards showed a misunderstanding of how faith works.
"That billboard makes the most common high-school error when it comes to atheism," wrote the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, in an e-mail to CNN. "It's not arguing against the existence of God, but against religion. The American Atheists need to go back to school on this one."
Martin also questioned the language used on the billboard: "And as for 'promoting hate' they're doing a bang-up job themselves with that billboard."
Terryl Givens, a Mormon professor at the University of Richmond, called American Atheists "petty and vindictive."
“If this example of adolescent silliness is what atheists mean by being reasonable, then neither Mormons nor other Christians have much to worry about," he said of the billboards. "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."
CNN Belief Blog: Unbelieving preachers 'come out' as atheists
It's not the first time the American Atheists group has released in-your-face billboards. Earlier this year, the group put up two billboards in heavily Muslim and Jewish enclaves in New Jersey and New York bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.
“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards said. At the time, Silverman said the signs were intended to reach atheists in Muslim and Jewish areas who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.
In addition to the billboards, Silverman said his group plans to stage protests at both conventions.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
polemicist, I think that you put this in the wrong place.
“Allow me to point some out: Christianity has a "sadistic God" and "promotes hate" while Mormonism has "Big Bigotry" and you think these descriptions come out of love or tolerance?”
Have you never read the bible? Your god orders the death of every man, woman, child, and animal on many different occasions in the bible. You don’t think that this is sadistic? You don’t think that stating that ho mose xuals should be put to death is promoting hate?
Every statement on both of those billboards is completely accurate with respect to the religions that they are about. If you don’t like what it says then maybe you should investigate your religion more closely.
I'm sure that you're talking about the bible. I'm sure that you havent read it.
Truth, in your case it's 'too dumb, didn't read'.
Yes, I have read the bible.
(waits for the 'bible, the greatest fiction book ever written' joke)
....we mean the whole thing, not parts.
Here's the ultimate question for atheists:
you believe that when you die, nothing happens, right? you just see blackness.
why do you bother living? don't say to make the earth a better place, to make my kids life better, etc ,etc
if you just die and NOTHING happens what is the point of living? answer that atheists. why? why bother with anything? its cause you're scared. SCARED.
....so you don't find it scarier to believe there's nothing, than to have a nice afterlife waiting?
How many pretzels did you have to look at before trying that logic on for size?
Why do you go on living if you think that you will go to paradise when you die? It is you who should off yourself if you truly believe in what you do.
if you believe that when you die, you just die, why are you wasting your time living life, getting old, getting health problems, etc?
if there is no god, no afterlife, why do you even bother living?
CAUSE YOURE SCARED. SCARED THAT THERE MIGHT BE A GOD
Which god TS? Maybe it is you who should be scared. If you die and meet allah then you are F#&KED.
You are an idiot. We live because it is our existance. You live for fear of an afterlife. One is more substantial than the other. You dont have to believe in an imaginary being to be a good person who helps the communitty. When we die we do not SEE anything. Do you eprsonally remember what life was like before you were born...no.....then you wont remember after. Stop being a child and grow up.
Oh, I forgot. God is super scary and will punish us sooooo hard after we die, for not doing his bidding.
If that's the case, I'll happily meet the guy, and tell him I'd rather burn for eternity than follow the tyrannical BS he's apparently full of.
hey karl sounds like you're scary. youre a grown man but inside you're a little boy who is scared.
Here is the ultimate question for theists. If you are so sure that when you die, you are going to be the arms of a loving god forever, why bother with this life? Why not wander in front of a speeding truck and be with Jesus immediately?
If nothing we do matters, than all that matter si what we do.
Ugh, children again.
Truth, the big kids are trying to talk. Go hang out in the treehouse until dinnertime.
yeah i got the most comments didn't i? LOL rustled some jimmies
Pointless troll hour. Can't wait for school to start up again...
I just hang around to knock up Christian chicks behind their husbands backs!
I really dig it when the call me God in the hay!
"why do you bother living? don't say to make the earth a better place, to make my kids life better, etc ,etc"
But that is my answer, well half of it. I LIKE making the lives of those I care about better, I like solving problems and improving things, I enjoy it; it makes me feel good. That is most of the reason that is my point in life. Is that not enough for you? Why would you not accept that as an answer.
The other half if s3x and food. Those two things make life well worth living.
Sorry, it is not fear. I personally live to experience life and enjoy the time that I have on this earth. If my time in existence is finite, why wouldn't I do my best to live it fully and happily? It is a fear of admitting that your time is limited that drives people to make up fantasies about the immortality of the soul.
And for the agnostic billboard:
The Apostles'?/Agnostics' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)
I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used in this update are available upon written request)
Its clear that atheists need better educations. They need to understand what a bigot is and what a hypocrite is. This is why people laugh at them.
Is that why you also gas them and burn them at the stake and beat them up and murder them?
Johnny, you're so smart and persuasive. You always know just what to say. Everyone wants to be you.
Atheists are one of the best educated groups in the country. Most every genuine in the last 50 years is/was an atheist.
I wonder if Johnny America is occasionally Captain America.
but according to "Surveys" atheists are the smartest group of people! so smart they are sheep.
Of course atheists want to be out, loud and in-your-face. The flood of ideas coming from them is intriguing and often exciting. Coming forward in something as visible as the contest for the presidency is an excellent way to be seen and heard. Maybe next time around there will a candidate whose views on religion they can support. Then there might be debate, not just billboards. Something to look forward to.
We have been waiting a long time to hold these parasites accountable.
We are gonna do to them what they have done to us for centuries.
We shall make their hell REAL.
I understand fundementally, that you cannot begin a civil conversation with insults. How can you ever expect to win hearts and minds to your cause (or way of life..... whatever) if you begin with ridicule? It was a waste of someone's money, although it will get the chuckles it's looking for from the audience it seeks. AND.... offend everybody else. It gives atheists a bad name, and that shouldn't have been the goal. Who's in charge there..... an eleven year old? Atheist can make themselves more attractive by just making simple statements that spark thinking. Not spark anger. They should've thought this out better.
Religious minds arent really changeable, enlightened people can only wait for religious people to grow old and die.
How do you have a civil conversation when one party explicitly accepts faith over reason?
We want war, not another 2000 years of peace negotiations.
We have killed 3000 Gods before this one, and we shall kill all the future ones as well.
Christ, like Apoollo and Bachus and Odin, shall fall before our blade, for no irrational nonesense can withstand the scrutiny of science for long.
@John – You're right, but I guess an effort has to be put forth either way. You know when you can move onto the next sentence from the crease in their forehead. If it's too much – stop. No crease – keep talking. Lol
Idk, I'm drawing straws here....
Atheists ignorance of what the Great Religions actually teach is PROFOUND.
According to Pew Research the people who know most about religion are the least likely to believe.
Most people who no longer believe are those who delved into the scriptures and their history the hardest.
How can there be a sadistic God if there's no God?
To take any politician's claims of faith or anything else as truth shows a lot of naivety or just an opportunity to forward ones' own agenda.
atheists probably had something bad happen in their lives, got mad and blamed god when they couldn't find anyone to blame. relative died of heart attack? MUST HAVE BEEN GOD – not their terrible diet and lack of exercise.
No, it's that we realized the same reasons you don't believe in any of the other gods applies to the one you do believe in. Not to difficult.
I don't believe in a God because I'm a good person without it AND I have a good diet and exercise. Do you always come to such general conclusions?
We should all respect religions based on middle-eastern, illiterate, bronze-age morality
The type of Atheist who is posting here is just unhappy, probably lacking social skills and thus alienated from the mainstream of society. Pity them.
... in other words, a strawman?
Bob, posts like that sound bitter, and make it seem as if you are lacking in social skills. That can't be true, can it?
Actually, posts like that are hoping for attention. I know it's lonely out there, Bob. You can talk to us.
Atheists can thank God they are here and are allowed to be part of this great Christian nation. We are more tolertant than any other religion on earth. Even more tolerant than atheists!
Idiot, we were here before this was a country, and we shall fly our flag upon the corpses of a billion dead Christians if need be.
Yeah this isnt a christian nation as it is a free nation devoid of a specific religious model and please enlighten me on how the Crusades were because from my memory every religion has killed off people who dont believe what they do.... Ive yet to see an Atheist slaughter....
We atheists, agnostics, and other non-monotheists are Americans born of Americans born of Americans. This land is OUR land, not YOUR land.
I have some questions for the aetheists... Who are you trying to convince? What does a cross in a national park that sparked so much debate a couple of years ago do to you? Do you feel it burning you from up there on the mountain? I don't get it. I could see your point of view if you would be treated any differently in a court of law or something like that, but I have never heard or seen proof of that. I have no issue with someone being aetheist. From my point of view you know our beliefs and you made a decision. God gave us all free will and you can do what you like. I am happy and I am a believer. The beauty of being a Christian is that you don't have to worry. Worrying is the devil's way of making life difficult.. . Only non believers worry. That is their fault and a part of the free will experience. Don't tell me aetheism is not a religion either. It is. In my opinion you are wrong, but that is just my opinon and I will not force feed it on you.. We will all find out one day.
What do atheists worry about ?
"I have some questions for the aetheists... Who are you trying to convince?"
the people on the fence. the christians that know deep inside religion is a sham, that they're being lied to, misled. most atheists were religious at one point - before we decided to think for ourselves. this is for our brothers and sisters that want to be led by logic and reason instead of magic and superst.ition, to let them know there's other freethinkers like them out there.
Why do you need a cross on government property?
Is your faith so weak that you need government support?
Sorry JWT that was in reference to the London bus ads. They said don't worry there probably is not a God, so be happy. Something along those lines...
Real answer to your question. It's not the specific cross being a park that's a terrible thing. Two pieces of wood stapled perpendicular to each other doesn't both me in the slightest. It's the larger issue here which is that christians (and jews and muslims etc...) toe the line, they try to see how far they can take putting up crosses, and ten commandments and all that other hogwash in the public square. If there isn't at least someone pointing out that this nation doesn't cater specifically to christians, it's only a matter of time before a small problem becomes a bigger one.
And give me a break, christians worry just as much as anyone else. There is literally nothing different in the christian community than there is in the atheist one, or jewish one or muslim one. If anything the only thing christians seem to contribute more to than any other community is the amount of criminals in jail.
ME II.. I asked the question first. Why does it bother you so... Of course it will ruffle some feathers if it is taken down. Is there anything in your life you actually truly hold dear? Let's say you have a child and they win some sort of award in school... The school says they are taking down all pictures and recognition of your child because it offended some other children that did not have an award. Would that bother you? It would me.
British bus ad actually said, "There is probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
"Why does it bother you so... "
Simply because, as I implied in my response, it is government endorsement of a religion, which is prohibited by the consti.tution.
Now, why do you feel enti.tled to government support of your religion?
Science... Good point but the cross in question had been there since the 40s or 50s or maybe longer. It was a long long time.. I remember that.. It is not like someone recently threw it up there in defiance of the aetheists. So what envelope was being pushed? I just wish the "open minded" aetheists would be the bigger people here. The bottom line is most Christians don't like change. Changing their money, pledge of allegiance etc... is not going to help our country. It will tear the country further a part. I honestly think that is one of the biggest reasons everyone has become so extreme. Just one not all the reason though.
Your analogy is moronic. I'm not meaning to offend, but it is. A child winning a school award is completely different from ere.cting a symbol of worship. If my child wins something, I can still be proud of them regardless of showcasing him/her around the school, however it would be one thing to have say, a wall that shows all winners past and present. it's another to make each child sit at their desk with a picture of my kid on it with a message under it reading, "this kid is better than you".
"...the cross in question had been there since the 40s or 50s or maybe longer."
"The bottom line is most Christians don't like change. Changing their money, pledge of allegiance etc... is not going to help our country. "
Do you realize that "God" wasn't in the nation motto and anthem until Christians changed them in the 1950's?
Sorry, meant pledge not anthem.
It's only been very recently that atheists have even gotten the voice to start speaking out about these things without being completely castigated by their communities. Times they are a changin whether you agree with them or not, but me and others won't sit idly by and say, "well it's been there for 50 years so I guess we'll let sleeping dogs lie". It has no need to be there, and it's only there to create barriers between people. Again though, the larger issue at hand is simply, atheists now more than ever have a voice and are willing to speak out against the status quo in a healthy, non-violent manner. Appeasement only leads to bad things happening (as seen with Chamberlain in WWII), atheists, among others, won't keep appeasing the christians just because it doesn't seem worth it.
Science.. I do see your point, but was just trying to get you into someone else's shoes. That was the whole point. It was a quick albeit "moronic" analogy. Whatever. I could care less anyway. I really quit wanting my religion associated with this government a long time ago. Now if you want to talk about the economy, let's do that. Tricky dems keep refocusing on bumper sticker issues that have such little relevance. Nice one CNN!
If you believe that religion has absolutely no place in politics then we are in agreement. It's ridiculous that candidates in this day and age still face a type of litmus test to be president if they have the "right" faith, whatever it may be.
Now if want to talk economy and us "tricky deems" that's a horse of a different color. I seem to remember a) since the Obama presidency took effect, the economy is up 74%, I also keep seeing that on economic issues alone, Ryan wants to somehow cut taxes and trim the deficit by literally gutting social security and medicare and leaving a huge segment of the population left out to dry. I also see that Romney wants to make more tax cuts for his wealthy buddies because for some reason the onus of the out of control spending should be placed on the people that can't pay for it while the people who can pay less and can move their assets over seas (like Romney) and pay little to no taxes at all. If you're talking bumper sticker issues hows about the fact that the right are still wringing their hands over Roe V. Wade and are angry because Obama supports marriage for everyone.
"...the economy is up 74%"
I saw this before, but where is it coming from?
"For 2008–2011, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 0.3 percent;" -(http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm)
That's hardly a 75% increase.
Read what you cited. "average annual rate" is a) an average, b) measuring only a per year scale. The 74% rise is literally from where the dow was in 2008 (below 8,000) to where it is now (hovering at 13,100). See the increase?
Ah, finally, the DOW, thank you. That's been bugging me. Not exactly "the economy", but okay.
My apologies, the Dow is a good way to measure the pulse of the economy and is a fine tool, I guess if you look at total GDP increases, it's obviously way lower.
MAO. STALIN. LENIN. Etc. Etc. are the greatest mass murderers of ALL TIME. (innocent women, children, men) Genocide of MILLIONS and MILLIONS. Exponentially greater than all world religions combined throughout all of known world history of ALL TIME.
THESE GUYS WERE ALL ATHEISTS (and militant anti-christians) !!!! EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM !!!!
(and all the soldier-minions who did all their dirty work, the millions of them, also, ALL ATHEISTS)
So are all these mass-murderers – REASONABLE ????
Didn't God wipe out nearly every living thing on the planet?
... or was that just a story?
Because they did not kill in the name of atheism.. Because they wanted something else rather than spreading atheism.. because, what they did had nothing do do with atheism..
try this, if Hitler, Pol pot and Lenin all loved eating boiled eggs for breakfast, would you say that any person eating boiled eggs for breakfast is a mass murderer too?
Try using that *reasonable* head of yours a bit more..
Good for you cytwo. You can boast that your religion (christianity) didn't kill as many people in the Crusades, witch hunting, Spanish Inquisition, etc, etc, etc. than the atheist you mentioned. You must be so proud to be a believer in a religion created by and for LOSERS.
They absolutely were not atheists. They made themselves supreme leaders and were made to be worshipped themselves. It's another religion, not atheism. Not to mention, the Orthodox Church fell right in line with the Nazis and Russians.
In my opinion 'ATHEISM' is a worse kind of arrogance. What can a person actually know, using just their own logic ? If you took all 'ATHEISTS' and calculated their average IQ what would it be ? Maybe 110, maybe 112 ? I mean 'ATHEISTS' claim 'SELF-KNOWLEDGE' about the mysteries of life having fewer brain cells than the amount of DNA in a speck of ear wax. A good start for an ATHEIST to rehabilitate their uhhhh, 'REASONABLE' faculties may be with King David's Psalm "The Beginning of Wisdom starts with Fear in the Lord" if I have that one correctly, I am pretty sure thats it.
@ SNOW: you are wrong. Eating boiled eggs is eating boiled eggs. Atheism was at the core of the belief system those tyrants had. Of course not all people of any belief system are going to be evil in their lives and their acts however with 'atheism' as the 'belief' and/or 'religion' or 'ideology' underlying their shall we say 'policies' (?) Ok, we see in history what the end result came to be and that was genocide of unprecedented scale. Communism and Atheism are the same coin. To some of the others .. don't judge God, you're not going to win that one.
Both Christians and Mormons worship a deity (yahweh) that has mass-murdered babies and infants several times.
Thank God for our Christian nation!
I would thank your founding forefathers and then all the great people who succeeded them. After you do that, score a touchdown and then you can go thank god
Athiests are full of nothing but hate and prejudice for religion and people who have faith in God,I never see any real reasonable arguments against it, all they do is bash and insult people's faith, mainly Christinity because they don't know anything about any other religion, and they don't even know what they are talking about most of the time, they totally misinterpret everything from the Bible and use a 12 year old mentality to attack it all with no real sound/concrete arguments...all they complain and make fun of is imaginary people in the sky and act like children to mock and spit on anyone's faith, if they don't believe in a God why do they spend all their time attacking others who do? And yes it's mainly young people who have nothing better to do really, if they were reasonable like they claim they would quit blindly attacking people's faith and live and let live. Ever since 911 happened all these internet losers have taken it upon themselves to attack religion with a furry of hate and immaturity. Get a life Athiests.
I, myself, am not an atheist, but I can certainly understand why they need to push back against the relentless religiosity of this society. I believe that our government should be secular and that the U.S. Catholic bishops and other religious groups should be made to follow the laws. I do not believe that this government should pander to churches in the way that it does. Have a religion ( I do), but keep it to yourself–it doesn't belong in public discourse.
And let's not forget that they know deep in their hearts that there is a God. They have a conscience telling them so.
"They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, whilee their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." Roman 2:15-16
I know it looks bad, Matt. But all atheist aren't like this. Many atheist have families who're faithful; our mothers, sisters, aunts, bros, etc.... that they love dearly, and would NEVER want to hurt. The internet is just the freedom to express what it seems no one wants to talk about (so far as our friends /families of faith).
I have no one to talk to about this stuff. Everyone closes their ears when you make sense. Or they just have no rebuttal. It's fustrating. So we say things on the internet, and sometimes it's harsh. But these thoughts have been waiting forever to be expressed. Mine are not to harm anyone. I just call it like I see it.
"thiests are full of nothing but hate and prejudice for religion and people who have faith in God"
Question, then.. do you love the hindu god as much as your own god? do you think hindus lead a good life and will go to heaven for that, as they believe..
if you answer no, they you are full of the same prejudice and hatred you accuse others of..
Im not full of hate and.........more violence is committed in the name of religion than anything else......sounds like good reason to advoid it.
Question to atheist? Of the Ten Commandments that you hate so much which ones do you think are a bad idea or wrong. Of course I know you don't agree with the whole "no gods before me". But which ones do you have the most problem with?
Thou shall not kill, Steal, Lie, Adultery.... Which one is so offensive to you?
Christians often like to claim that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, which is simply not true. The handful (about 3-4) of them that are applicable are common-sense concepts that don't need to be arrived at via Christianity and undoubtedly existed in society before Christianity.
Really the only commandments that have any bearing on our legal system are:
6 – Thou shalt not kill
8 – Thou shalt not steal
9 – Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (perjury?)
The rest of them aren't applicable to our legal system, and though there are 1-2 that are also reasonable (not committing adultery, honoring thy father and mother), these are not "laws".
Also, 10 – thou shalt not covet they neighbor's house. Ummmm, why are there so many Christian capitalists?
Stupid a$$ argument.. Nobody said what is written in those commendments is wrong..
atheists follow the same rules, because they want to follow those rules and not be a pain for others around
theists follow those rules not because it is the right way, but because their god commanded them, and will punish them for not following them.
Logic dictates that during the time that god takes a break to not monitor every person in the universe 24/7, atheists will remain the same law abiding people.. while theists will go bat-s*hit crazy with sin.. whadaya make of that!
Human beings are capable of determining for themselves that lying, murder, adultery, etc. are not beneficial to society as a whole. I imagine that the atheist objection to the ten commandments is that it presupposes that a god had to give them to human beings. If the ten commandments had included, "boil babies in oil and eat them," "cut the noses off of blue-eyed people," etc., and religious people believed that God had given them these commandments, would they be good and right? Fact is that human beings wrote the ten commandments and that we are capable of making our own rules using "reason."
Atheists have a problem with the fact that each of those Commandments, which appear in the Bible, are then broken by
[characters? people?] in the Bible. Your book is full of hypocrisy, and those living lives based on a book may as well read Fight Club and follow the rules written on the inside cover.
"Atheists have a problem with the fact that each of those Commandments, which appear in the Bible, are then broken by
[characters? people?] in the Bible."
You are absolutely right. We break all the rules. But that just lends more credibility to the Bible. It says none of us are good, no not one. We all have broken gods laws (the 10 Commandments) and deserve to go to Hell. But God doesn't wish any to perish and that is why he came to earth "to be a ransom for many." What happened on the cross was God taking the punishment you and I deserve so we don't have to go to Hell. What an amazingly kind gift! All we have to do to receive this gift is repent (not just say sorry, but turn from those sins) and trust in the Savior.
" We break all the rules. But that just lends more credibility to the Bible."
Funniest thing I read today.. thanks for that topher..
Sure, we can see some of the morality tales in the Bible as showing examples of what people should NOT do; but in many, many instances "God" instructs people to kill and lie (often on his behalf) and even okays stealing.
I don't need anyone to tell me what I can't do to be a good person. How did we get as far as we did as a race before the Commandments? Being good to one another is inherent. It is how we succeed. Confuscious had the golden rule well before the Christians existed. Why do Christians think they hold the key to morality?
Yes, God commanded large groups of people be killed, but they deserved what they got. But I can't think of when God said it is OK to lie and steal. Help me out?
"Confuscious had the golden rule well before the Christians existed. Why do Christians think they hold the key to morality?"
Interesting you bring this up. I was just reading about it in my Bible study. I don't know anything about Confuscious, but I do know the Golden Rule existed before Jesus said it. For instance, it was used in rabbinic writings, in Hinduism and Buddhism. But notice how those used it in a negative light. Rabbi Hillel's version ... "What is hateful to yourself do not to someone else." Jesus turned it into a positive command, enriched its meaning, and showed how this one line summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets. (Notes from the John MacArthur Study Bible.)
Read the page I listed. Here's just one small section:
God commands Moses to deceive Pharaoh (Ex. 3:18), he rewards the midwives for their deception (Ex. 1:15-20), and instructs Samuel to deceive Saul (1 Sam. 16:2). "And the Lord said unto Samuel, . . . fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord."
to start, i don't intend to tell anyone that they are wrong. however, atheists and the ultra-religious have one commonality that is always over looked. Their beliefs (or the reasoning for a lack of belief) are equally provable and knowable. you may have no eveidence to support a belief, but that does not mean a higher power doesn't exsist. flying spaghetti monters, man in the sky, blah, blah, blah. when push comes to shove, people are afraid to admit that they simply do not, or cannot know. the premise of the exsistence of a higher power, or the non-exsistence of a higher power, are equally provable and knowable, which is to say they simply aren't. why twist your mind up with concepts that you aren't meant to understand? there is so much more to life, like living.unless you consider living arguing about the exsistence of a higher power.
And since when is "I don't believe in a god" equal to, "I know there are no gods"?
'And since when is "I don't believe in a god" equal to, "I know there are no gods"?'
they are equal in that the basis of each 'belief' is equally knowable and provable. which is again to say they aren't.
Funny... when I first read your name I saw it as, rutabagalism, and expected a pitch for a vegan offshoot of Pastafarianism 🙂
The two are not equal. One is a lack of belief, and the other is a claim of knowledge. If you can't see the difference, then it's a sad time for you.
Here's the issue. They aren't on equal footing. Equating both sides makes your decision look a lot more sane and rational but in truth is a disbelief in something is wholly different than having a belief in something. I am neither afraid nor embarrassed to admit that I have no idea if god or God or Zeus or any other diety to every grace mankind exists. I live my life content with knowing it's probably not the case and I'm fine with it. I will not however allow my disbelief to be held up as the same type of "faith" and "belief" that you currently espouse just because you don't want to admit that you honestly believe some crazy things in the bible that are just outright lies.
'One is a lack of belief, and the other is a claim of knowledge'
and the basis for the lack of belief and the claim of knowledge are rooted in one simple concept: they are both equally provable and equally knowable. your lack of belief is what? it's a GUESS based on what you see as probability. if you can't understand these concepts, it's not really a sad day for you, because what you think is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. doesn't really matter to me. be in denial.
'I live my life content with knowing it's probably not the case'
you have no way of knowing if it's the case or not, and i'm fine with that too.
'faith" and "belief" that you currently espouse just because you don't want to admit that you honestly believe some crazy things in the bible that are just outright lies.'
way to put words on one's mouth. i'm sad to say that you have some reading comprehension issues. i don't agree with you or the ultra-religious and that is exactly what i said – i get that this is hard to understand. you are trying to make it a black and white issue. vis a vis, if i don't agree with you, then i must believe in the bible. hardly. it's not a black and white concept, it's an unknowable concept.
I am the first person that will tell anyone that none of us knows. As soon as more people can admit that we can forget about the whole thing, discard religion, and get on with our evolution as a species.
"and the basis for the lack of belief and the claim of knowledge are rooted in one simple concept: they are both equally provable and equally knowable."
Ummm, actually the lack of belief is the inability of the positive claim to provide the evidence of their side. Your simple reassertion is simply wrong, and having explained it twice now, it seems that you will once again reassert and show your unwillingness to be intellectually honest.
thank you kent! as long as we dicscard atheism along with it! they are both crap.
'Ummm, actually the lack of belief is the inability of the positive claim to provide the evidence of their side. Your simple reassertion is simply wrong, and having explained it twice now, it seems that you will once again reassert and show your unwillingness to be intellectually honest.'
there is ZERO evidence either way – they've got none, you've got none. i am saying this an unknowable, it's information that simply cannot be obtained – how is that wrong on any level? it's reality. talk about being intellectually dishonest? how can you possibly discern 'right and wrong' here? you can't. but, keep on thinking you can. denial is alwasy fun to poke at.
"having explained it twice now"
trying to explain the unexplainable has to be one of the biggest excercise in futility ever attempted.
Wow you really are intellectually dishonest. Non-belief is not a positive claim, and I'm not claiming I have evidence for no god! I'm saying that the theist has not met their burden of proof! How you can be so dishonest as to equivocate belief and knowledge is completely beyond me.
'Wow you really are intellectually dishonest. Non-belief is not a positive claim, and I'm not claiming I have evidence for no god! I'm saying that the theist has not met their burden of proof! How you can be so dishonest as to equivocate belief and knowledge is completely beyond me.'
and i agree with you 100%. you are correct: 'the theist has not met their burden of proof'. any belief, non-belief or assertion of knowlegde when it comes to the exsistence of a higher power have one thing in common – they are all equally baseless.
relax man – life is short.
Non-belief has a basis, that being the inability for the positive claim to meet the burden of proof. How is that so hard to grasp?
"'Non-belief has a basis, that being the inability for the positive claim to meet the burden of proof'"
non-belief does not have a basis. why you ask? because there was never a burden of proof to begin with. there can be no burden of proof when talking about a concept that is unprovable. you are basing a non-belief on something that cannot be proven which makes your non-belief baseless. you assume the negative in the very same way the religious assume the positive.
@hawaiiguest – that last one spun your noodle, aye?. c'mon – tell me how wrong i am. the arogance is nothing if not entertaining.
Not all concepts of god would be unprovable. For instance, if a concept of god includes the intervention in this world, then we would definitely expect evidence to be left behind. An unfalsifiable concept would have no reason to be believed in, so a basis for non-belief would be purposelessness behind the concept itself.
Why should I make responding to you any kind of priority? Taking silence as anything other than silence is just you attempting, in your own arrogance, to make it seem like I'm stumped.
'if a concept of god includes the intervention in this world, then we would definitely expect evidence to be left behind'
would we? maybe you would. you assume that someone who doesn't discount the possibility of a higher power assumes that a higher power would intervene in this world and that there would be evidence left behind. doesn't make it so.
'An unfalsifiable concept would have no reason to be believed in, so a basis for non-belief would be purposelessness behind the concept itself.'
an unfalsifiable concept is something that is outrightly known to be false. you have know way of knowing if it's false or not. there is no burden of proof in the realm of that which is unprovable.
Congrats with not knowing what unfalsifiable means.
get this – i made a mistake. no problem admitting that. but i'll stick with the last part of my statement which is that you have no way of knowing whether any of these concepts are false, or not. if it makes you feel better to think you do, great! i think the same thing of the relgious – live and let live hoss. who cares what they think? if the pacification of religion makes life easier on another, why do you care so long as they don't push it on you?
you are no more correct, or incorrect, than any other human who has ever lived. like mine, your opinion is no more than that.
When did I claim that I am more correct that any other human? That was a nice red herring to pull out. I also find it hilarious that your entire argument is based on a very weird line of logic where one would need some other kind of basis for not accepting a claim that has no evidence, other than the fact that it has no evidence.