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.
Reading these boards depresses me. The reason is depresses me is because it shows just how Christians are perceived in the world today. And this is NOT the fault of those not of the faith. This is the Christian's fault! We have become known more for what we are AGAINST than what we are FOR.
What are we for, or at least, what SHOULD we be for? Patience, kindness, generosity, meekness of spirit, not prone to mockery or insults, loving speech, gentleness and humility. But what does the world see? Christians as bigoted, judgmental, hateful, angry, violent people who persecute others. This stands in stark contrast to what Jesus was for. He ate with sinners and tax collectors (i.e. thugs) and hung out with them! He loved on them. It is not a Christian's job to condemn others! Let's love people in whatever circu.mstance they are in, just like we were loved by God regardless of our circu.mstance when we came to Him.
To those who have been hurt by a Christian or the church, can I offer you an apology? What happened wasn't right and I think you have a reason to be skeptical of the Christian faith based on your experience. It saddens me to see so many hurt by people who claim to be followers of Christ.
So once again, I apologize. I hope some day that you can forgive the wounds that were created and that you won't hate all of us. Not all of us want to hurt you, but I can completely understand why your reluctance to accept that.
I am glad to see your post. And you do not have to apologise for others. Each one us is responsible for our actions and beliefs. I appreciate your spiritual journey and non-judgemental atti.tude. I hold nothing against the teachings of Jesus as well. I gues.s, we just need tolerance and harmony in this world.
You are an excellent example of what is good about many believers. Well said, but don't apologize for others who are too ignorant to apologize.
@ Damien. Your apology is accepted. I commend you for being an upright person. I respect that.
Thank you, but don't apologize if you are not one of those who is causing the hurt. However, you should teach your fellow Christians, more believers with your at.itude would be a great benefit to your religion.
Nicely wriiten but I think you are missing something...
I can't speak for all atheists but it is my experience that former christians did not leave the faith because we were hurt by the church or other christian, those were just some of the catalysts that had us take a closer look at the dogma and reject it. The philosophy you describe is admirable but the dogma does not match that philosophy. Eternal punishment and the fall of man contadicts that message. I rejected the foundation, it is absurd.
To me, your post is an excellent example of what is missing from this world. Empathy. Making an attempt to understand those with opposing ideals. Thank you for your apology. You don't have to apologize for them, but still, the gesture is well accepted, and it speaks volumes.
First of all, let me just say, I appreciate all of the kind responses. I make no excuses for the ills and hurts that those claiming the name of Christ have inflicted on others. There is no justification. I can't speak for the church itself or any other believer. It just hurts me that these stories are so wide-spread. So deep down, I am saddened by this.
Christ followers are called to a higher standard and this is self-imposed. We CHOSE to follow the teachings of Christ and to be more like him. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what people are doing, you are commanded to love them. Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." There is exception clause. He did not say, "Love your neighbor as yourself...as long as he isn't gay." or "Love your neighbor as yourself...as long as he believes in Christianity." The command is very simple in concept and yet difficult to put into practice. But that doesn't mean we should stop! That means we just have to try HARDER.
I can accept that many of you do not believe the same way I do. That doesn't allow me to judge you. If my Bible says, every person was made in God's image and fearfully and wonderfully made, who am I to judge God's creation? I don't have to like everything that everyone does, but that doesn't mean I get a free pass from loving them.
Whatever your religious beliefs, I just wanted to make it known, that not all of us condemn you and not all of us are going to come against you. Whether you think my beliefs are bronze-aged nonsense, or you are a believer, you are important. You all are special people, each with his or her own unique skills and talents that are to be cherished.
Damian, get some salt.
Why is it that non-believers are tasked with proving that the bible is false? I task all believers to prove it isn't, proof by definition is supported by fact. Its like me believing in Hades since there's written record mentioning this god since before Christianity. And claiming his existence is proven by your inability to prove otherwise. I'm going to write a book today, claiming that the spaghetti monster is real and omnipotent. Then in 2000 years, it will be fact based on the books existence not on any factual evidence of the creature, but only on a mere mention of it in a book. Believe what you want people, just don't force feed this fantasy make-believe fairy stuff into my government or my life. KEEP IT TO YOUR SELF!!
Why do people have to continually bash each other for personal belief? Frankly, if you want to believe in God, believe in the God of your choice. I personally believe every person is made in the image of God-our souls are that image. I don't care if you don't believe as I do-Whatever your personal believe system (or no system) just be the best person you can be. It is not for us to judge others-we will all know the truth at the end. Lets just live and let live and try to make where we are right now the best we can without dragging religion in as an excuse to do violence.
@ Stephanie. When your 'religion/beliefs' infringe on the rights of others, when it condemns another person for the life they live, when you try to have it enforced through political means, your religion/belifs are wrong, and dangerous. If you were quiet about it, fine. Proselyize it, make it public, you open yourself up for ridicule, and those who will point out the fallacies of said religion. In short, keep it to yourself.
Some people just need to read what our first president of the USA, George Washington said in his farewell address to the nation.
"Atheists spend more time acting like school-yard children making immature rants and comments baseless claims on faith and religion and do nothing to support their case"
"I am beginning to think that if all atheists IQs in America were summed, it would add to about 49 with you on the lower end."
lol. Classic! The ultimate HYPOCRITE.
Jesus wrote about the non-believers in the following scriptures:
I'll post one of my favorites about the non-believers of the world.
The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
Burning people at the stake for not following the local religious customs might be interpreted as "Petty and Vindictive" or possibly worse. A billboard, not so much.
@stan; Aww yes,,,using ancient outdated methodologies that are hundreds are years past. Good example there Stan. You just cost atheists more credibility to be dumped in the toilet. I won't worry about the end of atheists causes and propaganda by anyone because you'll do it to yourselves just fine.
@Scott – christianity is "ancient outdated methodologies that are hundreds are years past" (p.s. – I know you meant 'of' and 'in the past'.... don't worry)
But you can't use that argument against atheist. That's one of many reasons atheist are atheist. They way the 'flock' acts can be appalling at times. And these are the people God wants worshipping him?
"ancient outdated methodologies that are hundreds are years past"
Ummmm. . . the Bible has stories from THOUSANDS of years ago.
It's completely valid to play the Christian atrocity card, particularly when believers try to paint themselves as saints, and atheists as sinners.
Scott, in return, I'll dump every bible I see in the toiled, piece by piece. Thanks for your fine sentiments, not. You typical Christian.
Apparently Scott doesn't think much of using Chrisitan idiocy from 400 years ago as an example ofthe idiocy of religion. So Scott, how do you feel about using SBC nutters of 160 years ago who formed because they were sure your god wanted them to own thoos "colored" folks? Is that allowed?
Or how about the fundamentalist religious nutters of 60 years ago who said that your god didn't want those "colored" folks marrying us white folks? Is that allowed?
Or maybe the fundamentalist religious nutters in the 70's who fought against spousal ràpe laws, because your god told them a woman HAS to submit to her husband? Is that allowed?
Or how about the fundamentalist religious nutters of today who keep trying to pass laws and contîtutional amendments prohibiting folks who are born gay from having the same civil rights as the rest of us? Is that allowed Scott.
"using ancient outdated methodologies that are hundreds are years past"
You just described your entire religion.
Nice job, you dumb fvcking christard.
Scott was born too late. He would have made a fine Inquisitor General.
Read what George Washington, our first president of the USA said in his farewell address to the nation.
Especially note what he said about Religion, morality, and education.
Terryl Givens, a Mormon professor at the University of Richmond, called American Atheists "petty and vindictive."
Givens is spot on. Atheists spend more time acting like school-yard children making immature rants and comments baseless claims on faith and religion and do nothing to support their case. For instance like the guy that posted what words are being excluded from a CNN post. Who cares? This guy spents a lot of time for nothing explaing that CNN exempts posts because of certain words. So what! It is like watching a 7th grader on the playground throw a fit and hissy because he's not getting his way (think Pee Wee Herman). Also, I've noticed that rarely are females post comments although if there were one in this post it would be difficult if not impossible to prove the post came from a female. Atheists postings on sites such as CNN are laughable.
I meant to type, "CNN prevents posts"
Some atheist are petty and vindictive. That does not change the fact that their is no evidence for your god.
If people don't like having their ridiculous beliefs ridiculed, they shouldn't have such ridiculous beliefs.
@Huebert; Really? That is your comment? I am beginning to think that if all atheists IQs in America were summed, it would add to about 49 with you on the lower end.
'People' are petty and vindictive. Pettiness is not something solely associated to Atheists.
My point is that calling atheist petty and vindictive is a red herring that distracts from the argument at hand, much like the ad hominem attack you just leveled at me.
@Scott – If Huebert is wrong, then please give us this smoking gun evidence that God exists. Then I can ask some other questions and leave that one be. If you cannot, this infinite loop continues.
You said, "I am beginning to think ..."
Careful. Don't hurt yourself.
You said, "... that if all atheists IQs in America were summed, it would add to about 49"
Sure, if we would let the average believer do the adding.
Scott, the term you use, "baseless", describes your religious beliefs perfectly. And look in the mirror; you are throwing insults, whether you acknowledge it or not, and that and your bigotry is typically Christian of you.
And what do theists do here Scott? Have u read their posts as well?
And exaclty what is it that u want to discuss on this forum, bcoz I dont see any topic u raised for discussion – just another statement full of mockery and contempt! SO how r u any better?
"For instance like the guy that posted what words are being excluded from a CNN post. Who cares? This guy spents a lot of time for nothing explaing that CNN exempts posts because of certain words. So what! It is like watching a 7th grader on the playground throw a fit and hissy because he's not getting his way (think Pee Wee Herman)"
- The guy who posted that word filter list is one of the biggest Christian blatherers on these blogs! Click on his name.
(p.s. many of us will help out other posters if they are struggling with that word filter and can't get their posts to appear)
Scott: As opposed to the pompous claims of knowing the mind of god, or the absurd empty proxy threats coming out of believers?
Scott, you devil you. You know that's not my post.
I will post George Washington's link to his farewell address to the nation.
To you atheists, pay close attention what he said about Religion, morality, and education.
The nuclear bomb for the theists is the possible discovery of life on Mars. Should that occur, watch the scrambling that will occur among the believers. It will be better than a carnival to see the mental contortions they go through to explain away how god could have created life on a separate planet.
The end of the Bronze-Age myths is drawing nigh.
The fundamentalist mind is made of Jell-o. It will fit into whichever va.guely bible shaped mold it is poured.
36 And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Pearl of Great Price, Moses, Chapter 1)
Thank you for that wonderful example.
20 And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76)
The christards will answer that the same way they they answer everything for which they have no real answer...
"God did it"
@Confused face; yes you are confused. Having a singular or set of components that could make up life as on Earth does not mean that life ever existed on any other planet in which those components were found. Because planets are made up of simliar components such as ours, well, that is to be expected. And if there WERE life such as tiny microbes in the past on Mars, this does not mean much either. Microbes are not lions, tigers or bears. These animals are much more complex such as the complexity of the human being. If microbes are found I won't be jumping for joy with a har-d on. Frankly, the only thing that will get my jumping is if a picture happens to find someone walking in front of the camera. But even then, that will not negate the Bible but will only enhance what God has written. And that is the fundamental flawed reasonings with atheists; they think that anything not mentioned in the Bible shows that God does not exists when what it would do is prove that God exists based on the written Word. But of course atheists would not know this because none of them bother to study the Bible to find out what it really says.
I saw something like that once...of course I had just taken a heroic dose of magic mushrooms, so that might have had something to do with it.
@dot – They were simply referencing the stars.
(I swear, those ancient authors really did a good job..... they've had a best-seller for centuries.) ....AND THE PUBLICITY....omg. Any book writer would absolutely love the publicity. They really believed what they were writing is true. Infused with truth, yes. Complete, no.
There's so much more to learn. Don't stop at one book.
you are severely mistaken and have your logic inverted. Atheists do not believe in god because of what is NOT in the buy-bull. We do not believe exactly because of the ludicrous nonsense that IS in it. Combine that with the extraneous ramblings and justifications, not to mention the immoral acts of slavery, genocide, etc., that the theists perform in the name of the biblical god, and you have zero credibility. None.
New poll shows more than 5% of the US considers itself atheistic since the last poll was taken. These numbers will continue to rise until the scourge of religion is a relic of the infancy of our humanity, as it well should be.
I am a conservative christian...I have absolutely no problem with life in the universe other than on planet earth....why do you think it will devastate my faith whenever it is finally discovered out there? That won't dent my faith at all.
When God does something or makes something, it is always BIG. The garden of eden was from the river of egypt to the euphrates. That's a lot bigger than my window box garden. One of the ways of describing the milky way galaxy in ancient times was "the river of life" or "the tree of life". Sounds like a lot of life is up there to me....Jay
Confused face, scientists are always looking for God in the heavens. Your point again, is?
Stalin was educated to be a priest – as Hitler (he grew up where the actual Pope comes from .. deep katholik education) they both were NO atheists but had a deep believe which they later hid but never went against in public.. just to mention that ..
(may be getting that tough religious eductaion made them that evil?)
If they think what they trust in is so right why do they get so upset when someone will try and tell them something
different?I can tell you why they dont want to hear the truth.because satan never did that is why he was kicked
out of heaven he tryed to be boss then and now he will till he burns in hell to sorry but that is the truth live with
it. ps you cant lie about the truth and he does not like it.
"If they think what they trust in is so right why do they get so upset when someone will try and tell them something
At first I thought you were talking about religionists! The door swings both ways, my friend.
PS – Punctuation is your friend.
And you have "the truth", do you?
And how do you know it is the truth and not some fairy tale? And don't say the bible, you can't prove Humpty Dumpty was real by pointiing to a book on Mother Goose.
jan: You mention satan not hearing the truth. We do not believe in your imaginary friend god, what the hell makes you think we accept that its imaginary arch enemy satan matters?
You have to love these religiot rvcking dunces. Here is a glaring example of brainless christard.
"If they think what they trust in is so right why do they get so upset when someone will try and tell them something
Then christard follows that up with this demented diatribe...
"I can tell you why they dont want to hear the truth.because satan never did that is why he was kicked
out of heaven he tryed to be boss then and now he will till he burns in hell to sorry but that is the truth live with
it. ps you cant lie about the truth and he does not like it"
You can't make this stuff up.
These fvcking christards do more to advance the atheist cause than any billboard ever made.
All you atheists must hate George Washington, as well as all the founding fathers of this country too if you hate Christians and Jesus' truth.
Pay close attention to what our first president of the United States of America said about Religion, morality, and education.
• The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded “waiting for moderation” category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, “t-it” is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like “an-al” thereby flagging words like an-alysis and “c-um” flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also “r-a-pe”, “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, “s-ex”, and “hom-ose-xual”. You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge “of-fensive”.
• Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.
Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.
Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments “t-it” and “c-um”. To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on “Edit” on the Tool Bar and then “Find” on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the “Find” slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a “Waiting for Moderation”.
And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
Zeb’s alphabetical listing
o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN “awaiting moderation” filter:
Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the “offending” letter combinations.
ar-se…..as in Car-se, etc.
co-ck…..as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
co-on…..as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
cu-m……as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
cu-nt…..as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters…!
ef-fing…as in ef-fing filter
ft-w……as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
ho-mo…..as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
ho-rny….as in tho-rny, etc.
jacka-ss…yet “ass” is allowed by itself…..
ja-p……as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
koo-ch….as in koo-chie koo..!
pi-s……as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
pr-ick….as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
ra-pe…..as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
se-x……as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
sh-@t…..but shat is okay – don’t use the @ symbol there.
sp-ic…..as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
ti-t……as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
tw-at…..as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
va-g……as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
who-re….as in who’re you kidding / don’t forget to put in that apostrophe!
There are more, some of them considered “racist”, so do not assume that this list is complete.
Allowed words / not blocked at all:
raping (ra-pe is not ok)
shat (sh-@t is not ok)
The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those
I struggle with this in-your-face approach to atheism. It doesn't seem right to ridicule the beliefs of others.
Even if promoting rational thinking is goodness, there's something about this approach that doesn't seem right. Too negative isn't it? Can't there be positive ways to promote rational thinking?
It's tough to take the high road all the time. Some of us are extremely tired of ChikFilA's in-your-face faith, too. It's just another insult to our intelligence, like that ridiculous "design" nonsense they keep trying to ram down our students' throats.
I agree, Lisa. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
I blow my dog
I want Jesus to spray my face.
@AGuest9; how is it "in your face?" lol. Typical yet adolescent repsonse.
"how is it "in your face?"
The exact same way my dick is in your face
The atheists are loose on this site again (ROTFLOL).
Since they hate Jesus' truth and Christians, that means they hate our founding fathers of this country too. What's that make the atheists? Traitors !
For the traitor atheists of this country, pay close attention to Religion, morality, and education in George Washington's farewell address to the nation.
Love them. I see no issue with them at all. I also see no issue with faith based billboards. I enjoy seeing freedom of speech being used on both sides. It is one of the founding principals this country was founded on. I mean it IS the FIRST amendment.
Wow this billboard is so closed minded.
Not any more close minded than a belief in a deity.
As opposed to what? Having your mind so open to any conceivable possibility that your brains spill out? The rational mind is equipped with a healthy measure of skepticism.
Have you seen any faith-based billboards?
Plenty Lisa and if they are not posting billboards, they are handing out propaganda.
If there really is a God, we give him a good deal to laugh about. Live your lives people! Live as good humans beings who respect (you don't have to agree or understand) each others belief. Atheism, is the 21century's form of "religion". Whenever you feel the need to broadcast (or billboard) your "religion" to others you've just become what it is your fighting!
Yet another person who is clueless about what atheism is. Atheism is not a religion...it's a response to religion.
Check the dictionary definition of religion and what constitutes a religion.
Does atheism recognize a god or supernatural agency?.....NO
Does atheism require ritual or ceremony?...NO
Does atheism promote or define how one should live their lives?...NO
Does atheism have a guidebook?...NO
Atheism is one thing...and one thing only. The rejection of theist claims. That's it. Theists are trying to peddle a ludicrous idea and we simply ain't buying it.
Anything else, be it a secular humanist worldview, an acceptance of scientific methodology, critical thinking, skepticism or logical reasoning are completely separate and distinct from atheism.
Advertise on billboards!!!
Good argument there.
Just life "Women's suffrage" had to advertise their SUFFRAGE RELIGION ob billboards to get the right to vote in 1953.
Just like Anti Vietnam war supporters had to advertise their ANTI-WAR RELIGION on billboards.
Just like the Labor Reformist had to advertise their LABOR RELIGION.
Everything they put on billboards is not religion dear!!!
Supreme court states atheism is a religion Steve. No back peddling on this flop.
So a bunch of supreme court theists are idiots. What's your point?
Also an appeal to authority fallacy. Learn to argue without using fallacies and you might merit consideration....doubtful though.
Or better still I'll turn your own dumb argument back on you. The supreme court has determined that abortion is not murder. Are you backpedaling now? Or do you still maintain their decisions outrank all argument?
Atheist Steve – your faith in atheism is very strong and your preaching skills are quite impressive. But you are missing a very important piece of the equation... while atheism isn't a defined religion, many follow it as one.
By putting faith in science, you are in fact raising science above individuals. Since the vast majority of mankind cannot fully understand all the aspects of science being taught, they end up taking much of what they hear on faith. And even when science is proved wrong and theories are updated, those new teaching become science's dogma. So let's redo your list:
Does atheism recognize a god or supernatural agency?..... yes, science for many, politics and government for others
Does atheism require ritual or ceremony?... ironically no. Atheism requires a profound lack of any ritual or ceremony. In fact if you do participate in any, you may be ostracized. (But try to graduate with a science degree without believing in evolution... which is a ritual and a ceremony)
Does atheism promote or define how one should live their lives?... No, they just remove religion from the equation and then let's people pick from whatever self help guru is left. But since they usually borrow concepts from the bible, this option still works for me, though I prefer religion to doctor phil any day
Does atheism have a guidebook?... yes, anything written by Dawkins, anything anti-religion and the vast majority of scientific journals. You will never get published in any journal unless you are anti-religion.
But yes, Atheism is one thing...and one thing only. It is the refusal to accept the possibility that something higher than man may exist. It's just as hard headed as the most stubborn fundamentalists.
The joy of science is that is eschews faith, which be definition is belief in the absence of evidence.
Proper science is done in such a way that anybody can reproduce the experiments done to test a hypothesis and interpret the results themselves.
If an experiment yields the same results when performed by multiple groups of detached researchers, the hypothesis is considered to be sound.
Every step of every experiment is meticulously docu/mented with the express intent of encouraging others to try and disprove the hypothesis.
Proper application of the scientific method yields proof and belief WITH proof is the anti/thesis of faith.
Science, government, politics etc. are NOT SUPERNATURAL.
Science does not exist in a realm outside of the natural world – it is a method of understanding the world (the best one we have).
Concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. But those actions are not supernatural!
Science doesn't ask that anything be taken on faith. All accepted experimental results are published, along with instructions on how to replicate the experiment.
No one claims that science is a god or supernatural agent. It is a method of discovery and learning, nothing more.
Most atheist do participate in non-religious rituals, the college graduation ceremony, marriage, retirement ceremonies, no one gets ostracized for participating in these. As to evolution it is a theory not a ceremony, I hope I don't need to explain the difference to you.
Atheism does not have a guide book, personally i'm not a fan of either Dawkins I do love Carl Sagan though.
Additionally Journal submissions are peer reviewed anonymously, Your name is not attached to an article until after it is selected for publication, so I don't see how personal religious beliefs could affect your chances for publication.
Atheism dose not deny the possibility of gods existing, nor does it deny the possibility of flying unicorns that f@rt rainbows, it is simply the acceptance of the null hypothesis, and until theist provide some evidence for their position atheism is the most logical position.
Be More Specific:
The ruling was with regard to a prisoner (James J. Kaufman) who claimed that his First Amendment rights were violated when the warden refused to allow him to form a group of inmates to study and discuss atheism. Specifically, he cited the Free Exercise clause and the Establishment clause. The court, recognizing that the defendant "utterly failed" to demonstrate that his freedom to exercise his beliefs had been infringed, shot down the Free Exercise claim.
Despite the Court's reference to an atheist "code of ethics", it should be noted that atheism has only one requirement which would qualify under the Free Exercise clause – disbelief. Atheism isn't a religion in the conventional sense and there are no rituals associated with it. In order to violate an atheist's right to freely exercise their beliefs, you'd have to be able to reprogram someone's mind.
In a nutshell, Mr. Kaufman was just as free to exercise his lack of belief alone in his cell. As a prisoner he isn't necessarily afforded all of the other rights guaranteed to citizens of the United States. The right to speak freely and peaceably assemble, which atheists might choose to exercise, don't always apply to a prisoner.
The Court also considered his claim with regard to the Establishment Clause – a subject of much controversy in recent years. The Supreme Court and Circuit Courts have established a set of precedents with regard to the Establishment Clause, in an attempt to curtail religious favoritism. The "Lemon" test (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)) is a three-pronged test which the Courts have used on many occasions.
The Lemon Test:
"A government policy or practice violates the Establishment Clause if (1) it has no secular purpose, (2) its primary effect advances or inhibits religion, or (3) it fosters an excessive entanglement with religion."
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, referring to some of their previous decisions, stated:
"The Establishment Clause also prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another without a legitimate secular reason."
"('[T]he First Amendment does not allow a state to make it easier for adherents of one faith to practice their religion than for adherents of another faith to practice their religion, unless there is a secular justification for the difference in treatment.'); Berger v. Rensselaer Cent. Sch. Corp., 982 F.2d 1160, 1168-69 (7th Cir. 1993)"
Despite the controversy, this is just good law. It protects everyone equally, ensuring that favoritism is not afforded to any one set of beliefs at the expense of another – even if one group is a majority.
The Court, in this case, properly recognized that Mr. Kaufman's right to form a group with people who shared similar beliefs was a protected right. Unless the prison system had excluded all gatherings with regard to religion, prohibiting a group of atheists to gather is a violation of the Establishment Clause.
As we've seen, and despite the "shock" headlines to the contrary, they didn't declare that atheism was a religion, they declared that atheism was afforded equal protection with religions under the Establishment Clause.
In the end, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law and ensured that Religious Freedom is a concept that applies to everyone equally. Apart from the reference to an atheist "code of ethics", I don't think anyone could reasonably ask for a better decision.
As always HS is wrong. The Supreme court did not say it was a religion. However, as with her skewed version of what her book says she failed to grasp the reality.
""Atheism and the Law
by: Matt Dillahunty
Atheism and The Law
The legal definition of religion, with regard to the First Amendment, may be very different from the layperson's definition. The First Amendment, in order to be effective in protecting all beliefs must guarantee the freedom to hold no religious belief. This is fairly straightforward, especially if you consider – for example – that a Christian may be considered an atheist with respect to every religion except Christianity.
"Without venturing too far into the realm of the philosophical, we have suggested in the past that when a person sincerely holds beliefs dealing with issues of 'ultimate concern' that for her occupy a 'place parallel to that filled by . . . God in traditionally religious persons,' those beliefs represent her religion."
"We have already indicated that atheism may be considered, in this specialized sense, a religion. See Reed v. Great Lakes Cos., 330 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2003) ('If we think of religion as taking a position on divinity, then atheism is indeed a form of religion.')"
This is, essentially, the basis for their decision. They have, in the past, considered atheism to be a religion in the specialized sense that atheism, like theism, specifically addresses the concept of god for the individual. This definition is an attempt to address the implied protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.
"The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a 'religion' for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions"
They referred to another Supreme Court decision (Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985)), where the court said:
"At one time it was thought that this right [referring to the right to choose one’s own creed] merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all."
As we've seen, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals hasn't declared atheism to be a religion as the layperson might usually define it, they simply acknowledged that atheism hold equal standing with religions with regard to the First Amendment. I can live with that. That doesn't mean the Court got everything correct...
What the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals got wrong:
"Atheism is, among other things, a school of thought that takes a position on religion, the existence and importance of a supreme being, and a code of ethics."
Simran: Appears we were posting at the same time 🙂
"Supreme court states atheism is a religion Steve."
No they didn't, they said irreligion is to have to same rights and protections as religion. It is not the same thing.
It is interesting that theits like you are concerned about pulling atheists down to your level in claiming it is a religion. You shouldn't want it considered a religion.
o I fail to understand how Atheist Steve was preaching.
“Raising science above individuals” – well, science is above individuals. It is the constant search for knowledge and had it not been for science, we would not have found cure or treatment for several diseases.
The fact that people cannot understand science is the very reason why we need to ensure our schools educate our children about science, not religion (which u can teach at home).
Atheists will be ostracized if u participate in rituals.... Well, ostracized by whom, from where??? Do tell!
Well, u can graduate without BELIEVING in evolution, all u need to do is mug up the text and write it down if asked.
Atheism just removes religion from the equation – well again who comes to remove that part??? (Oh yes someone else said an evil germ or Satan!)
Does atheism have a guidebook? – Nope, never read Dawkins. And please read science journals, no one even mentions God or No God or anti-religious sentiments!!! They only write what they observed and then others review it before publication.
For the last one – Refusal to accept the possibility of something higher??? Well, scientists clearly believe we have evolved very late in the Universe, so how could we be higher. Yes, we definitely don’t believe we are the favourites of God though, unlike some religions!!!
Looks like u never attended a science class.
Indeed, many are being lead by their nose by lame science of man, who ever learning will never come to the knowledge of truth, because he has denied the One whose work he is supposed to be studying..
Do you think God of all creation will allow those who deny to give Him credit due and honor He deserves to find Him and figure Him out? NEVER!..... That's why they can study and spend the wealth of whole earth searching for answers, but every time they think they've got some, God will expose their lacking and prove them they are amiss! That's the wisdom of our God with whom we all have to do!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out...
He has hidden them from those who are wise in their own eyes, but revealed them to the humble and to those of broken and contrite hearts... But the proud, arrogant and wise-in- their-own-eyes He will leave EMPTY, and leave them to STUMBLE in darkness, till they come to the end of their lives, and then they will face Him whom they denied and spurned.
But consider this, you who mock God: it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of living God! (Hebrews 10:31)
So, you can label me a s a fundamentalist, but so long I know that God is the ultimate Fundamental-ist, according to the definition of the word "fundamental", Him being the Creator and sustainer of all that exists, the word fundamentalist is one of quite honorable meaning. It is the rebellious man that gives this word a tainted image. But then who is he to measure his word against God's?
Hello. Yups, looks like we were posting it at the same time. 🙂
While I can't speak for others I can address some of the points you raised.
Faith is belief without evidence. I don't have "faith" in anything. I have reasonable expectations based on previous experience or knowledge. The extent to which I will believe in something is directly proportional to my understanding. I do have a university education in science which is more than most lay persons. That said I don't automatically believe whatever new fringe science proposal comes along. For instance I know a great deal about evolution so I have no reservations about accepting it as fact. I understand very little about String Theory so I maintain a skeptical view about ts validity. Faith doesn't enter into it. If I so chose I could repeat the experiments and verify the results of scientific discoveries but that is for most totally impractical and generally a waste of effort. We stand on the shoulders of giants to coin a phrase. What point in rediscovering Newton's Laws of Motion when we can just apply them or Einstein's Theory of Relativity to discover new things. Would you have everyone construct their own television or design their own computer? I did purchase the individual components and assemble my own PC...case, motherboard, GPU, CPU, memory...etc but I don't have the resources or knowledge to have made these things from scratch
I consider myself a secular humanist. The concepts you claim come from the Bible are actually much older but here we probably disagree. As social animals morality is innate to us. You probably adhere to the idea that objective morality was authored by God. No point going down that path as we have no common ground.
Richard Dawkins isn't an authority figure...I didn't form my atheist views because of what he or anyone else said although I do agree with much of what he says.
Science does change and adapt too new information. That's what makes it so good for determining what is true. Rutherford and Bohr were off with their models of the atom but they did provide for better tools for experimentation. Most change in science isn't one of major overhaul but of refinement. What makes science so useful is that it is self-correcting. Newton was correct but without Einstein he was only partially correct in describing accurately the motion of the planets.
And to your final point I am not closed to the possibility that something greater than man might exist(whatever that means) but I see no credible evidence to suggest there is...thus I suspend belief. It really is that simple. If we discover something that could only be explained as transcendent or supernatural then I would believe.
"But consider this, you who mock God: it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of living God"
Wow, God is really a scary creature then!!! Why does he call himself God?
Jokes apart Prism, I don't mock you bcoz u want to believe in God, I just feel amused how u can take a book for its every word, literally, and not think beyond to try and understand that if there was really a loving God, as u say so, what would he/she be wanting to say there. How can God incite fear to demand devotion??? Looks like he created a bunch of idiots who could only feel devotion if they were made to be afraid of him.
No, I don't mock the Buddhists, Sikhs, or Jains. And even some Hindus make good sense to me. I dont mock the journey to spiritual salvation. I do feel amused by blind faith however.
". How can God incite fear to demand devotion??? Looks like he created a bunch of idiots who could only feel devotion if they were made to be afraid of him."
You must have never had parents to love you, discipline you and demand honor and respect from you.....either that , or you are 'the idiot' !
Science doesn't know everything......Religion doesn't KNOW anything.
"You must have never had parents to love you, discipline you and demand honor and respect from you.....either that , or you are 'the idiot' !'
My parents would not punish me for eternity no matter what I did, your god is more like an abusive parent who locks children in closets for years that we read about in the news occasionally.
Now now there, when did I bring ur family into discussion. But guess, when people begin to lose ground, they start to act like u do (now who is the kid on the playground?)
Well, Even though I dont need to tell u, I have great loving parents who do believe in their religion. And who fully accept and appreciate my atheism. And no, they do not instill fear, they do not demand respect, they command it. There are no conditions like if u do this, we will punish u. They have taught me to decide for my own self, with my own analytical mind. So, curiosity satisfied???
Now, like someone before said, those who love do so unconditionally.
re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
- this is a long one so lets break it down... cause, nature and purpose of the universe, YES. the rest NO, but then neither do Hindus
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
- YES, the fundamental set of beliefs that God does not exist, which just like the Christian or Buddhist must have faith to believe and can never prove.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
- Again set of beliefs YES, practices well there is the beginning of groups with membership
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
- no, but again Hindus would also not be a religion by this definition
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
- if you count swarming belief blogs to freely express their opinions... we'll call this a maybe.
So Atheism meets def 1 and 2
Mike from CT
Please tell us what the "set" of beliefs are defined by atheism?
You are simply mirroring the set of theist beliefs. Atheism could not exist in a vacuum. It is the rejection of theist beliefs....nothing more. You are conflating the term to imply that atheism is making a claim...it isn't. We are only rejecting one. The theist claims "God exists" so the atheist calls the bluff.
Example: If you came up to me and said you had a pink unicorn in your garage I would say you were full of BS. Then I would say prove it....show me. Of course you would then be stumped but at no point am I making the claim that a pink unicorn could not possibly exist anywhere in the universe. Same with your God. The burden of proof is yours alone as the claim is yours alone. Why is that concept so difficult to grasp?
You said "Now now there, when did I bring ur family into discussion. But guess, when people begin to lose ground, they start to act like u do (now who is the kid on the playground?)"
You're amiss in your presumption...that's not my intent, to throw little insults at other " kids on the playground"... My world is not a playground, I don't view it that way!
But God is our parent, and He gave us our own parents to teach us how to relate to Him.
If your parents have their religion and fully accept your atheism, that's something they have to deal with.
When the God I know and call my Father, sent His only begotten son to take upon Himself the sins of mankind so that all my be saved, and none left out, He did so because of His unconditional love. But if some of them reject what He did, refusing to accept His sacrifice as atonement for their sins, rejecting His gift of love, then, it is NOT HIM who sends them to that place of the damned where weeping and mourning never stops. It is THEM who send themselves into it, becaue they did not follow God, rejecting to be His children, and in it becomeing the children of satan, of whom God says that he is their father. This is very simple principle, and it should be easy to comprehend for anyone who has any ability to reason, and has any sense of justice in them. The problem is,they don'\t want to understand, becaue they want to JUSTIFY THEMSELVES and blame God! The uncoated, straightforward truth is not pleasant, but it goes straight to the heart of the matter. That's just how it is! There is really nothing else that needs to be said!
"cause, nature and purpose of the universe"
Atheism says nothing at all about the cause of the universe....that is a question of science and quite possibly unanswerable.
Atheism says nothing at all about the nature of the universe....this seems quite similar to the first but is still the realm of science...space, energy, matter, chemistry, biology etc.
Atheism says nothing at all about the purpose of the universe....there is no reason to expect that there is a purpose as that would imply that it was created with intent....no evidence to support it was created at all or that intelligence was behind its conception but much like the first it would in any case still be unanswerable.
So much for def. #1
As for #2 well if you wish to redefine disbelief to mean exactly the same as belief then OK. But then why would we have two different words for the same thing?
"A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."
Now please dont break things for your convenience – the other half of the definition is as important.
Even if we just look at the 1st half – Cause, nature and purpose of the Universe? No, science does not tell me the cause or the nature or the purpose of the Universe.
The second half obviously doesnot go in ur favor.
Now, exactly what set of beliefs or practices define atheism??? Please enlighten me, bcoz it looks like I am missing something here!
YOu forget one important thing, Jesus is accepted as God only by Christians. Not the rest of the 70% of the world's population. So, are u implying that God left them out too???
Now u dont seem to understand the difference bw DEMANDING AND COMMANDING??? I hope u dont demand love and respect from ur children, but command it.
When u stop proselytization – u can get some credence from me. 🙂
"The problem is,they don'\t want to understand, becaue they want to JUSTIFY THEMSELVES and blame God!"
Now, how can people who dont believe in God blame God??? Wont they first have to believe in God? Isn't that the whole dispute here that Atheists dont believe in God?
There is no God, not that there is maybe there is a God and he is unknow but, there is no God.
That is the claim
This is where your example falls apart
" but at no point am I making the claim that a pink unicorn could not possibly exist anywhere in the universe."
Atheist make the claim "you know it is a lie"
"burden of proof is yours alone"
That is western legal BS.
The burden is everyone's if you claim there is no God.
You still have the burden of proof of your world view and an honest attempt to live out nilism
Why is that concept so difficult to grasp?
This entire argument gets lost on theists because they view the question in terms of black and white. When the theist makes their claim of "black" they automatically think the atheist is taking a stand on "white".
In actuality when the theist says "black" the atheist is saying "not black". No counter claim is being made. We aren't proposing a different specific color, just rejecting the proposed one.
Does that clarify anything? Probably not. Well I tried...lol
"Atheism says nothing at all about the cause of the universe"
So where does morality come from?
Where does origin come from?
If you disbelieve Christianity, then you are not necessarly an Atheist.
Once you make the truth claim "there is no god" you have gone beyond the rejection of others and formed your own belief
Claims must always be in the positive. The claim is "god exist", atheist take the counter claim, also known as the null hypothesis, "god does not exist". It is impossible to prove a universal negative because that would require constant observation of every point in the universe. Thus the burden of proof is ALWAYS on the positive claim. The null hypothesis is the accepted position until the primary hypothesis, positive claim, is supported.
I have never made the claim "there is no god"...I simply don't believe it. Knowledge is a subset of belief. It is impossible to "know" whether or not a god exists. That is true for both of us. If you knew you wouldn't need faith. If I knew I would have evidence. We are both agnostic with regard to knowledge. But since I hold my beliefs to rigorous standards of evidence I am incapable of "believing" a god exists.
In simple plain language (what was already said about the null hypothesis) – now if Mr Y is accused of a murder by Mr X, the burden of proving it would be of Mr X. If Mr X fails to prove his claim, Mr Y cannot be held responsible for the crime.
Here's what I'll tell you. I don't believe in any way that our faith is a blind faith, and I find nowhere in
Scripture that God has asked us to detach our minds from how he reveals himself to be. But here's also
where I press on you. Don't pretend like you're not living in a grid of faith right now. Well, no. My reality is
defined by science. Science has a great deal of faith involved in it. Now if you want to talk about boiling
water, no. But if you want to talk about why we're here, where we came from, it's… The word in science for
faith is theory. That's faith in science: theory. "We can't prove it, but we think this is how it works."
That's faith, so let's just… We can be friends. Let's just not pretend that I'm a man of faith and you're not
That's how it works itself out religiously, but man's gospel also works itself out irreligiously. So maybe
you're an atheist in here today or an agnostic. Here's what I'd contend to you. You are just as religious as
the religious people who bother you. You have dogma, you have doctrine, and you have faith, maybe even
more faith than we have. What you do is you say, "Here is heaven, and there's not a real God. So here's
what the purpose of life is. It's my own joy. It's happiness. It's comfort. Now here I am today. These are the
things I have to do to get to this."
Maybe it's a simple as you don't want to be the bum that your old man was, or maybe it's more complex
than that. Man's gospel, irreligiously works itself out in the control and manipulation of others, or just a
licentiousness that says, "I'm going to do whatever makes me happy regardless of the wake of destruction
I leave behind me." That's man's gospel. "This is what I do to get where I want to get." Paul says, "The
gospel I preached to you wasn't like that at all. In fact, the gospel I preached to you was so christocentric as
to make your role in any of it passive.
Now here is how I would encourage you. I think even those type of people need to be walked with for a
season. I try to very lovingly point out some of their own hypocrisy because the reality is if you're an atheist,
you have a ton of faith. You have a belief system, a grid, a doctrine. Most often what happens is the
accusation comes on the Christian that we are arrogant and closed-minded. I just want to put reality on the
So I'm arrogant for putting my trust in thousands of years of history and thought, and you're not arrogant
for being uppermost in your own intellect? I'm the arrogant one because I look at history and teachingacross every continent in the world and say, "I'm going to get underneath that," but you're not arrogant for
saying what I believe rooted in nothing but my understanding today is supreme? I'm the arrogant one?
@Tbay, you seem intelligent but you missed the point of atheism completely. I do NOT put my faith in science. I have no "faith" which by definition is a belief in something for which there is NOT PROOF. Science is the exact opposite of that. It is a knowledge based purely on PROOF. see the difference? Belief and faith are emotional decisions based on opinion and judgement without factual basis. I do not believe in science, I know science. I do not have faith in science, I gain knowledge from science. There are many things in the bible which in today's world are immoral and just plain wrong. Or do you still believe women are subservient to men, and that wearing certain cloths is wrong. Or the punishment by stoning is OK? Oh, yeah, right... those aren't the things to be taken literally, its only those other parts. Although I do not believe in any god what so ever, I respect your decision to do so. And i'll respect even more those who stick to the most pure and strict following of your said bible. If you believe, then there can be no picking and choosing of which of "gods" doctrines are to be followed. Be consistent otherwise you're just a hypocrite.
So prove to us this is not a dream you are having? At the end of the day, you must give an account for your world view, and your belief system.
It is impossible to "know" whether or not a god exists, then by definition you are agnostic.
The theory or belief that God does not exist.
Hence I already told you that only applies in Western Legal Bull.
In Iran if Mr X accuses mr Y of blasphemy, mr y needs to prove his innocence.
But since we are in the western hemisphere, and if you are an atheist by definition, you must defend The theory or belief that God does not exist.
Hue, Steve, Simran, ColoradoDad,
Let me appeal to you. I don’t want to make light of what
happened to you in your past that you use to justify your rebellion against God. I do want to push you in one area. Do
you know what got lost in all of that, “They’re hypocrites. . .they hurt people. . .they’re in it for money or power”? Your
shortcomings, your hypocrisy, your power play and your love for this world. So if you would bear the same judgment on
your own heart that you judged on the church, you will find yourself just as lacking if not more.
let me just say this for what happened in the past if it was around the church and was sinful. I’m
sorry. There are imperfect, broken men and women (I am one of them) leading the bride of Christ. Part of that is the
glory of God that He would use idiots like us. We make mistakes, and we say the wrong thing at the wrong time. As much
as we study, as much as we pray, we still make mistakes. There are wolves out there. There are those who are in pulpits
who are about money, about power and about taking advantage of, as the Bible tells us, from weak-willed women to
ignorant men. So if this is a legitimate wound, I’m sorry.
Here’s the good news of the gospel. Jesus will, by His cross, forgive them like He has you or He will rightfully and
justly judge them. So take the anger out of your heart. Vengeance is the Lord’s. If you’ve pledged allegiance to Christ
and you’ve pledged allegiance to the world, you’ll be miserable in both places. Come home. Don’t you know Luke 15?
Don’t you know the story of the prodigal? The father runs, throws the robe over his son, puts the ring on his finger and
celebrates that the wayward son came home. Quit running. Don’t let your life blow up to the point where there is serious
collateral damage around your surrender to the Lord. Come home.
You asked me to prove this world is not a dream. That is an impossible task. However if you want to claim that this world is a dream it is up to you, as the positive claimant, to prove that this world is a dream, until you do I will continue operate as though the world is not a dream. And I don't have to give you an account of anything if I choose not to.
Also I'm not mad at god or rebelling against him or any such nonsense, I simply do not see any reason to believe that a being such as god exist. If evidence for the existence of god appears i will change my beliefs.
Faith in science is based on evidence. Scientific theories have a mountian of proof to back them up. Gravity is a theory...one backed by evidence. There is no scientific theory that is only asserted. You are conflating 2 different meanings of the word "faith" in a dishonest way.
Religious faith has none of that, it is assertions and claims, faith is used in lue of evidence. Religious faith is pretending to know things you don't know.
The word in science for faith is theory. "We can't prove it, but we think this is how it works."
I disagree Mike, I dont believe that what science teaches me is absolute truth. And science does renew itself in wake of new evidence. When they clearly say "We think this is how it works"- that is what it is. No claim is attached to it. Someone comes along and disproves it, then that is accepted too. So there is no blind faith there.
And if I am in West, then onus of proof lies on the one who accuses. Am I the one confused here or you? We r not in Iran, are we?
Now, with the last post, u r being judgemental. Why do u simply presume that something had to happen to us to take us away from God??? See, u r just making as.sumpiton about me without even knowing who I am, where I live, how old I am... etc
"But if some of them reject what He did, refusing to accept His sacrifice as atonement for their sins, rejecting His gift of love, then, it is NOT HIM who sends them to that place of the damned where weeping and mourning never stops."
This is a rationalization. Unconditional love by definition has no conditions, we are required to accept the "gift" of forgiveness and believe Jesus is god. THAT is a condition, god would not have to require this (he is god after all). You have been feed this line of 'logic' as I was. It is fallacious. Belief is not a choice. Religion wants us to think belief is a choice because if they admit its not their whole worldview falls apart.
We really aren't getting anywhere here. You have completely misguided notions of what atheism is. Not surprising however. I get it. I was raised Catholic and understand how all encompassing a belief in God is. Everything you understand comes out of it. Let me ask you this. You believe God created the universe right? How did he accomplish this? What did he do to make it happen? In this case your ignorance is equal to mine. You are merely moving the goalpost.
When I was young I had many questions. Questions that had no answers. I still do. But I don't pretend to fill the gaps in my knowledge with extra mystery and then pretend that I've found an answer.
And this I must stress. Agnostic and atheist are not mutually exclusive terms. Any intelligent honest atheist is also agnostic. If I ask a person if they believe in God and they say they are agnostic they haven't answered the question. I didn't ask what they knew...I asked what they believe. Theist/atheist refers to belief...agnostic/gnostic refers to knowledge.
The big question is God exists or doesn't exist. But it isn't a 50/50 possibility. Man has conceived of 10s of thousands of gods and goddesses. Only one can be correct or none if all the ones thought of are the wrong one. Only 30% of the world is Christian and of those some 30,000 sects of Christianity all think the rest have it wrong. Have you chosen correctly? But in any case the evidence simply doesn't support any of them. You think morality is a gotcha question, but that's only because you can't conceive how morals and ethics could arise naturally. To me it makes perfect sense that we are innately moral as cooperative social animals. Even chimps display rudimentary moral behavior.
Just as you're convinced that my immortal soul is in jeopardy or that I've been led astray by Satan I'm convinced that you've been duped into a false set of beliefs that first make you believe that you're broken(a sinner) and then conveniently offered the cure(salvation).
If all that makes you sleep better at night then all the power to ya. I'll go ahead with enjoying this one brief existence without all that unnecessary baggage.
please stop playing the word game smoke screen
example I have to prove that this world is a dream (positive)
You don't have to prove that this world id not a dream(negative, double at that)
Fine, prove that this world is reality (the negative turned positive)
Prove that this world is a random cosmic accident (again same as above)
Here is the evidence (regardless of your approval as evidence)
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Prove the world is reality: That is impossible.
Prove the world is a random cosmic accident: Do that yourself, I have never made such a claim.
Your "evidence" is is merely begging the question, which is a logical fallacy similar to circular reasoning.
"Here is the evidence (regardless of your approval as evidence)"
So your 'evidence' is evidence because you say it is? You have to do better than that. And even if all the assertions and baseless claims you make following that circular statement were to be accepted as evidence of a god (and there is no reason it should) it says nothing about the christian god.
Mike from CT,
Whenever you refer to Bible in support of what you say, you forget a VERY IMPORTANT FACT –
70% OF THE WORLD's HUMAN POPULATION has never read your Bible.
So, your explanation of God, creation, morality etc holds true for only 30%, and that number too is dwindling down.
If you are so anti-Science, at least read a bit about the beliefs of other religions. Maybe, it will give you an idea of the vastness of human race, and the innumerable explanations of different people as to all these questions. That would be an OPEN MIND.
"Prove the world is reality: That is impossible."
Then why do you live your life as such?
"Prove the world is a random cosmic accident: Do that yourself, I have never made such a claim."
Others holding the same world view you ascribe to have made that claim
If you see the source and the other 15 chapters then you would understand that if the claim is true, then the argument is for the God and Jesus his incarnation
Simran. Please, come on, Read the text.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
How did you make the assumption that I am anti-Science?
Please stop yelling, there is no need
"If you see the source and the other 15 chapters then you would understand that if the claim is true, then the argument is for the God and Jesus his incarnation"
I see no reason to accept the claim as being true and certainly no reason to think Jesus was his incarnation. When the history, dogma, and known issues are looked at it would be unreasonable to think it is true. Ompare it to a jury decision, there is guilty (which requires overwhelming evidence), or not guilty. Not guilty does not mean the defendant is actually innocent, just that the prosecution have not proven their case. I find christianity "not guilty" as they have not proven their case.
Do you mean why do i live my life as though this world is reality even though I cannot prove it? (If that is not your question sorry for the misunderstanding)
I am living my life the way i believe is best. That is the only way I know how to live, to the best of my ability.
"Others holding the same world view you ascribe to have made that claim"(The claim being that the world was created by accident)
Well then ask others to defend it. I have never maid that claim nor have I seen any evidence to support it.
"If you see the source and the other 15 chapters then you would understand that if the claim is true, then the argument is for the God and Jesus his incarnation"
That is what i mean by begging the question. The evidence for your argument, that god exist, is based on the conclusion that god exist. Do you see how this is a faulty argument?
"That is what i mean by begging the question. The evidence for your argument, that god exist, is based on the conclusion that god exist. Do you see how this is a faulty argument?"
Sorry I worded that terribly let me try again.
You are arguing that god exist, unfortunately your evidence in support of said argument is based upon the as.sumption that god exist. Do you see how that is a faulty argument?
No, No Truth,
I haven't been "fed", as you call it... Those who are God's are taught by Him. That's what you fail to understand, because you don't know God. To you everything is interpreted by your natural senses.
But a spiritual man judges and discerns all things, yet he is judged by no one.
You can be "religious' all your life, and even be part of a Church, but you can be lost and spiritually dead as-a-doornail! That's what happens to many! And then – they fall away.... Christ spoke about this very thing... Read the parables of the seed and the sower in Matthew 13:1-23. See where it applies to you.
" For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. "
Mike, half of the human world has never looked at a Bible. And the overwhelming majority of this Universe is not human. What is eternal and divine to your eye, maynot be so to another's eye. So, who are you to condemn they are wrong or proselytize to them that THIS IS WHAT GOD SAYS.
I have never said – Look Mike, stop believing in God. Rather, you began with saying that "If you dont believe in God, God is going to punish you!" It doesn't scare me Mike, it only amuses me.
And of course Mike, I have at times read the Bible even though not the whole of it, bcoz I found it funny. And I also have read other scriptures and found they made much more sense (if you please, refer to Gautum Buddha's philosophy).
AtheistSteve, Jesus wrote this truth about you atheists.
2 Timothy 3:13-15
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (KJV)
This election is getting Crazy by the day! I cant wait for it to be over and we can get on with the Peoples Business once President Obama wins re-election in November.
I don't consider atheists any better than theists. They claim to know for certain whether or not there's a god. Anyone who claims to know it either way is close minded. Agnosticism is the way to go if you have an open mind.
dave: i don't think athiesm is belief in no god as much as it is no belief in a god.
No reasonable, educated atheist I know would assert that they knew for sure there is no god, and if they do so, I agree with your statement... But there is a large difference between atheism and agnosticism. Atheism is directly in reference to "theism" or belief in a god or gods. Agnosticism is in respect to a wide group of possible beliefs that aren't in reference to one particular thing. So people may say they are agnostic, but everyone is agnostic of something. You ask me if there's Alien life in the universe? I'm agnostic, because there is strong evidence that supports that theory, and the reason I am agnostic and I dont assert that there are aliens is because.... well nobody has seen any.. I differentiate between the two by looking at evidence. Atheism by definition is the lack of belief in any sort of god, or supernatural being, and unlike alien life in the universe, theism doesn't have a shred of tangible evidence and over the years has been proven wrong on many accounts, so I as an atheist can see that it is at least unlikely to be true, however I can not say that there is no god for sure.
We (at least the atheists I know) don't claim there is (are) no god(s). Logically, one or many may exist. Our contention is no credible, empirical proof exists to substantiate the theist's claim a god exists. We simply demand that any claim be substantiated. A piece of burnt toast doesn't cut it. Also, we don't hate god (see third sentence).
Sam, you're beginning to sound like a preacher using wordplay as a diversion. It seems to me that you can believe there is a God (or gods), that there is no God (or gods), or that you don't know (and perhaps don't care) whether there is a God (or gods). It also seems to me that atheists have a great deal to say about their belief in non-existence of God in the CNN blogs.
arvo: some do, some don't
Really, this is just a matter of language. A better understanding of language is needed accross the board in this country. George Carlin- "the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language."
Well, atheists do not become atheists bcoz they have read somewhere that God doesnot exist, nor does science say so. They start questioning the concept of worshipping dieties, of finding blind rituals and practices (at least that is what I think). Now, there is no common book to tell them what to and what not to think. So, you can see the differences.
By the extension that Atheists donot believe in existence of God, religions such as Buddhism and Jainism have also been considered atheistic.
There are no claims made by atheists, we are forever in search of knowledge. And yes, if at some point I find evidence enough to believe there is a God watching me from heaven, I will change. It is as simple as that. Till then, I am happy to live my life living in harmony with other everything that surrounds me.
Matt Dante, Just out of curiousity, how is it logical to think that a god may exist? I agree that it is illogical to assert absolute certainty that there is no god, but saying that logically there could be a god or gods seems like an appeal to theist's to me. I'm not saying it's not possible, but obviously to believe in such a thing, it requires a lack of logic and an abundance of faith regardless of whether its true or not. I mean they take pride in faith, when it is completely illogical (in my opinion) to believe something without evidence.
Prayer changes things ,
apart from dopamine levels
One day, Joe, Bob and Dave were hiking in a wilderness area when they came upon a large, raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so.
Joe prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river."
Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, although he almost drowned a couple of times.
Seeing this, Dave prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river."
Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.
Bob had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools, and the intelligence, to cross this river."
Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge
Here goes another one – Prayer really changes things!!! I must start to believe.
A country preacher decided to skip services one Sunday and head to the hills to do some bear hunting. As he rounded the corner on a perilous twist in the trail, he and a bear collided, sending him and his rifle tumbling down the mountainside.
Before he knew it, his rifle went one way and he went the other, landing on a rock and breaking both legs. That was the good news. The bad news was the ferocious bear charging at him from a distance, and he couldn't move.
"Oh Lord," the preacher prayed, "I'm so sorry for skipping services today to come out here and hunt. Please forgive me and grant me just one wish.... please make a Christian out of that bear that's coming at me. Please, Lord!"
That very instant, the bear skidded to a halt, fell to its knees, clasped its paws together and began to pray aloud right at the preacher's feet.
"Dear Lord, bless this food I am about to receive... in Jesus' name... Amen."
Thanks for the laughs.
Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~
niknak...Here is my reply to you on post page 44 in asnwer to your comment regarding my sister who is gay, whom I love dearly:
niknak..."Religion" has hi-jacked the Jesus of the Bible and in many cases simply turned Him into a good moral teacher who set the example for us...or...a Guru who simply came to teach us the way to peace and oneness BUT HE HIMSELF IS NOT THE WAY TO THIS SALVATION. Jesus could not have said the things He said about Himself and still be called a "stand up guy", to quote your psot. So here is really something to think about (and I truly hope you will): Jesus was not executed for the wonderful healing miracles He did or for teaching & obeying the "golden rule" (i.e. Love your neighbor as yourself). He was was crucified for WHO He claimed to "be"; God, the Lord & Savior. Here are 5 quick (but profound) verses for you to consider: 1) Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (All of our best efforts frommALL OF US best fall short of perfectly reflecting the glory and truth of God)...
2) Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are you saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS so that no one can boast." 3) Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace (gift) of God, for if being in a right relationship with God could be gained through our own efforts (i.e. The Law--working for it) then Jesus died in vain."
4) Romans 6:23 "For the payment of sin is death (context "hell"), but the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus our Lord."
5) 1 Peter 3:18 "For Jesus also suffered ONCE for sins (not many times as He is offered up in the Mass), the righteous (Jesus) for the unrighteous (all of mankind), to BRING you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit."...BOTTOM LINE: Just as it is impossible to swim from California to Hawaii no matter how hard we try, or practice/train/work hard enough to broad jump the Grand Canyon (though some may get further than me) we can NOT WORK OUR WAY TO HEAVEN – WE HAVE TO BE TAKEN THERE. God sent His Son, Jesus, to do for man on the Cross what none of us could do for ourselves. If you've never heard that Biblical "gospel" truth before and still reject it now, then at least you know for sure the "Biblical Truth" that you are rejecting. It's about a PERSON not a Denomination or Religion. Jesus asked this 'heaven or hell' question (depending on the answer): "Who do YOU say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15)...Who do YOU say that he is niknak? JesusNotReligion can be received by faith right now by anyone who desires Him – just like the one thief on the cross did – no matter how far beyond saving you might think you are...Come to JesusNotReligion...Come to a saving Relationship not a dead ritual! For the sake of your own soul...COME! "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"
"Observer...About "Divorce"...There are Biblical grounds for divorce. There are also variables like: Were they a believer or unbeliever when they got divorced (i.e. Did they get divorced before experiencing the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit, and then truly came to saving faith and re-married "in Christ"?) Was one a believer and the other not? It is not as clear cut as you might want it to be......'
Nope. Jesus said the only allowable reason to avoid being an adulterer for divorcing and remarrying was if your spouse had already committed adultery.
Since you are concerned about your sister because she was born a lesbian, I'll ask this question again. Do you tell all your Christian friends who have divorced and remarried that they must divorce and get out of the adulterous lives they are living?
Jesus claimed to be god. And so did David Koresh and a mult.itude of other people. How come you reject their claims?
No Truth, Just Claims
By their birth, life and death (and resurrection). The same way we accept Jesus.
"By their birth, life and death (and resurrection)."
There are several Gods that were born a virgin, lived, died and resurrected. Your Jesus wasn't the first one, which is why the writers of the bible stole many pagan dates to make their religion.
There is nothing that should have you convinced that Jesus was bodily ressurected. The gospels are contradictory with known falsehoods and therefore can in no way be trusted on such an extraordinary claim.
Huh, name them,
please note if you go down the path of Krishna,Buddha,Horus,Zoroaster,Mithras,Attis,Dionysus-Bacchus
these differences and the lies that some of these even come from a virgin and crucified have been explained and dismissed.
No Truth, (which is funny by the way)
Please explain said contradictions and prove all falsehoods please.
What is funny is you want proof of what I am saying but you don't require proof of what men who wrote the bible 2000 years ago said, you just accept their claims UNLESS someone can prove it wrong. You put the cart before the horse.
Biblical scholars (including many who are believers) have already proven the additions (falshoods) by finding earlier manuscripts that did not have some stories included. Read Bart Ehrman, he is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a textual critic.
Here are some examples from the resurrection story and how the gospels differ.
Who discovered the empty tomb, what was discovered, who Jesus appeared to, where he went after.... are just some of the facts that the gospels contradict each other on.
Mark 16:9-20 is generally accepted to be a later addition by scholars, it is well doc.umented and you can look it up yourself.
No Truth, your name is funny because the statement is always false. If it was true that there is no truth, then the statement would contradict itself. So the statement "there is no truth" is always false. Hence funny.
"What is funny is you want proof of what I am saying but you don't require proof of what men who wrote the bible 2000 years ago said, you just accept their claims UNLESS someone can prove it wrong. You put the cart before the horse."
Not true at all, much proof was required to believe the historical account of Jesus and the early church.
Correct Mark 16 and maybe John 8 are believed to be additions later on.
Now Mark 16 is not a problem because if you exclude that conversation it can be found in other context, especially Matthew.
John 8, I think there were 2 version found in the oldest text, then it went missing then added again.
But here is the question, if you take John 8 out, how does that falsify the rest of the account, mostly luke's 2 accounts Luke and Acts.
See theEhrmanProject for more on the subject.
If you need me to say "religion has no truth, just claims" I will, but I think most people get it and you are just being picky and obtuse..
The point is if a collection of writings are to be used as proof that a man was god, and those writing are claimed to be divinely inspired I expect them to be beyond reproach. If not, than the exceptional claims are automatically called into question and should be rejected until overwhelming cooborating evidence can verify the claims.
Any god worth his salt would know this and the fact that he has not fixed or addressed these issues can be used as evidence that he either does not exist or does not care. If I use my logic to reject the claims based on the questionable nature of the bible and am punished for it that just makes your god an immoral monster.
"I would have done it different" is not a logical defense
As for the " beyond reproach" have you read the 5000 or so manuscripts?
Also " beyond reproach" begs the question since the bibles accuracy and evidence surpasses any other historical documents do you dismiss all of history?
The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
"it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre"
Yes like history, poetry, and wisdom.
"Even biblical history is edited history: "
If that is so, why not make the edits that show the first Church leaders to be weak edits. Or my favorite Matthew 28:17
17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
"The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history"
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
(Luke 1:1-4 ESV)
"not an historical document." - incorrect conclusion
Smith, please tell us how does one go by the " means of checking its historical accuracy. "?.
""not an historical document." – incorrect conclusion "
No it's not. The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex.