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Atheist group apologizes for misquoting Palin, but defends billboard's intent
March 4th, 2013
04:06 PM ET

Atheist group apologizes for misquoting Palin, but defends billboard's intent

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist group that misquoted former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a billboard in Texas is apologizing to the Republican and correcting the mistake. But it continues to defend the “intent and context” of the effort.

CNN first reported on Sunday that American Atheists, a group known for its in-your-face tactics, was sponsoring a billboard calling out Palin for something she said while on Fox News.

“We should create law based on the God of the Bible,” the billboard reads.

The only problem: That isn’t what Palin said.

In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying of America's founding fathers “we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments,” not “should.”

Dave Muscato, the group’s public relations director, said in a release that because American Atheists holds itself “to the highest standards of accuracy,” it will “move the quotation marks at our expense, so they do not include the word ‘should.’”

Both Muscato and David Silverman, the group’s president, however, stand by the “intent and context” of the billboard.

“While I admit that the word 'should' should technically not be inside the quote, the meaning was correct,” Silverman said in a statement to CNN.

Silverman initially defended the misquotation, tweeting that “Sarah Palin was NOT Misquoted” and directing readers to a headline from a Huffington Post story. The story headline, however, was also incorrect and did not put quotes around should.

Silverman was critiqued for that double down. Hemant Mehta, an influential atheist blogger at Patheos, wrote that a mistake like this “sheds doubt on the whole idea that atheists are the ones who are being honest with you.”

Although Silverman said in an e-mail to CNN that he believes “Ms. Palin would stand by what we have quoted her as saying,” he said “all future quotes will be exactly as spoken.”

A spokeswoman for Palin failed to respond to CNN’s request for a comment and has not contacted American Atheists about the mistake.

Although Palin’s billboard is getting the most attention, it was one of seven ads going up around the Dallas and Austin, Texas, area. Also featured were: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus.

Santorum is condemned for when he told an Iowa crowd last November that, “our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God's law,” while Gingrich is criticized for a remark he made at a CNN debate on October 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. “How can I trust you with power if you don't pray,” Gingrich posited.

Virginia Davis, spokeswoman for Santorum, thanked American Atheists for the publicity.

“At a time when many are trying to remove God from the public square, the senator is appreciative of someone helping him very publicly express his strong belief that we are one nation under God,” Davis wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

The billboards cost the group $25,000 and will be up for the rest of the month.

American Atheists is used to controversy around their billboards.

Last March, the group targeted Muslims and Jews with billboards that called God a "myth" in both Arabic and Hebrew and the same group posted a billboard around the holiday season in 2010 that read, “You KNOW it's a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON.”

Both these billboard campaigns generated resistance and praise from the communities around them.

Silverman, who has been criticized for this brand of atheism, has long defended the tactic, saying confrontation is meant to “grow the cause and benefit the country.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics • Sarah Palin

soundoff (2,069 Responses)
  1. buddha

    Holding on to anger
    is like drinking poison
    and expecting the other person to die

    March 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • May

      good line buddha.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Ignorance is the root of fear and fear is the kindling of anger."
      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      "Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Anger leads to suffering."
      – Jedi Master Yoda

      March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • the AnViL

      “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
      - Gloria Steinem

      "cha cha cha"
      -the AnViL

      March 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • meifumado

      There's a time to f.uck and a time to cry,
      I smoke Elvis Presley's toenails when I want to get high.

      Butthole Surfers

      March 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Chad, rejecting your claim that the God of Israel is real (or is the real God, should there be a real God) is done simply by recognizing that you have nothing to compel anyone to accept your claim. The only reason to consider your claim is as a sort of favor to you since anyone can make a claim that something imaginary is real with no compelling evidence that it is.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  3. ME II

    What are the facts supporting the doctrine that Live4Him has stopped beating his/her spouse?

    March 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  4. lol??

    "Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein."

    The Most High is the One God. The worldly god is divided/2. When lying is cut off it dies in two parts, the deceiving part and the deceived part.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • HarryGP

      1 out of 3 believe Jesus died for sins and rose again the third day, that's an interesting verse.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ HarryGP

      When one person is delusional it's called insanity,
      When many are delusional it;s called religion.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • HarryGP

      Since nobody has ever seen nothing make a universe, or anything else for that matter, I think you're suggesting that science is a religion when it says God shouldn't or can't be given credit for his creation. I believe God, so I can only speculate what your point is in your reply.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • == o ==

      HarryGP: "I think you're suggesting that science is a religion when it says God shouldn't or can't be given credit for his creation."

      Looks like we have another flunkie from the Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. here today.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  5. Science

    Science kills mice.

    http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/21529613/scientists-focus-on-another-sandy-loss-lab-mice#axzz2MnGlIlIs

    March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Science

      Copy cat have to look at this >

      March 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  6. Doc Vestibule

    4 years ago, the Journal of Religion & Society published a study on religious belief and social well-being, comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand.
    #1 on the list in both atheism and good behaviour is Ja.pan. It is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. Over eighty percent of the population accept evolution.
    Last on the list is the U.S. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Ja.pan.
    Atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less numerous in the prison population (0.21%)
    Louisiana, with America's highest church attendance rate, has twice the national average murder rate.

    Just food for thought.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • meifumado

      gods wrath?

      lol

      March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Facts

      What is the racial make up of the US prison population? And for the victims and suspects of the Louisiana murders?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ja.pan also ranks 8th highest out of all the countries in the world in the number of suicides, might be something to having hope, peace, and joy.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Facts

      1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

      -–

      The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Hmmm

      @ Doc Vestibule

      Still feeling smug about your superior atheist beliefs?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Hmmm
      Just stating facts and citing references to back them up.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • clarity

      Sweden and the Netherlands seem on par with the U.S. regarding suicide rates and they seem to have more "nones" than the U.S., so I don't see that RB's note about that indicates a direct correlation.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • clarity

      (RB's note regarding Japan)

      March 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • meifumado

      @Robert Brown

      Learn about a culture before you post nonsense,
      For centuries suicide has been a honorable and noble thing to the Ja.panese.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  7. HarryGP

    To all the heretics on here denying God and Jesus dying for our sins and raising up again, I want to let you know that if God wanted you to believe, you would be drawn to him once you've been told his word and had time to think it over. The bible is the truth, but to heretics, it's foolishness. That is just how it is. I can't change you view of it, it's something you have to change within yourself. I don't hold it against you for making up your own mind at this point in time to go against God, he knows your heart, and he knows the end of all this, when ever that is. Only God knows that. If you like, put me on your ignore list, I love God, so it's a waste of your time to try to convince me otherwise, don't bother.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between one’s religious belief and intelligence/education level, all but 4 showed an inverse correlation. That is, the higher the education/intelligence level, the less one is likely to be religious or ‘hold’ any beliefs of any kind. (Source: Paul Bell, Mensa 2008)

      Just sayin' is all....

      March 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      Harry, you still haven't told us what it's like to go through life as a nutcase. Please share. Everyone knows the Flying Spaghetti Monster boiled for our sins, and is the mightiest God in existence, dwarfing your impotent also-rans godling. Sheesh, even Perseus did us the favor of ridding the world of Medusa while your god can't even stop a flood from happening. Of course they pale in comparison to the True god, FSM, the infini-une powerhouse Creator of the universe. If your wimpy triune godling behaves himself, FSM may let him run Pluto for a while.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • meifumado

      This where we differ, If you could prove to me without any doubts and provide evidence that there is a god(s) and or some type of supernatural being(s) , I would become a believer faced with the facts and proof.

      You say nothing will shake your faith, It's really sad and pathetic that you can't open your eye's.

      You are brainwashed and there is no point discussing anything with you.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • me_me_me

      What kind of evidence are you looking for? Are you willing to humble yourself?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @me_me_me
      Fact are sterile, neither vulgar nor sublime.
      Tangible, testable, repeatable evidence requires no humility – only the ability to reason.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • me_me_me

      Humility is the way to living in the presence of God.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • HarryGP

      Doc, really, I have read enough of God's word to realize he is the creator. I've read through a lot of the comments here too. Your questioning someone's smarts, heck, the dog before it died, it was eating pears I'd eaten thinking they might be good, when it saw me eating them, and the dog was atheist. At least I think it was. Talk to it and it would wag it's tail and slobber everywhere. You can't convince me it was smarter than I am.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Harry

      Comments like yours were what started attrocities like Inquisitions and Crusades. Then again, it seems like killing in the name of your god is something you'd approve of, it's certainly supported in your un-holy book.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • fintastic

      Harry didn't get that announcement about the brown acid...

      March 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ me_me_me

      I said what evidence I'm looking for, actual facts proof etc etc.

      Now that said If there is a god or gods I hope that it;s not a boring one like the Christians,Jews and Muslims have, I would want something more fun, sacrifice's org,ies etc etc

      March 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  8. lol??

    The A&A's have an undeveloped understanding of the nature of deception. It involves a suicidal component.

    "2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

    March 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Well. If anyone would be an expert in deception, that would be you – right, lol?? ?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Thoth

      So....believers and their God are better at deception....would never have guessed that.....

      March 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  9. The Truth

    When someone is nasty
    or treats you poorly,
    don't take it personally.

    It says nothing about you
    but a lot about them.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  10. P. Morgan

    The religion of Atheism, embraced by communist nations everywhere...

    March 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Nogallop

      Ha ha excellent post....you showed all them atheists by fabricating a connection to something you consider bad

      March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Thoth

      Religion of Atheism? oh boy....here we go.....

      March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      “Atheism as a denial of this unreality; has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation...”
      – Karl Marx

      March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Quote City

      The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism (Amen)

      —that’s the most dangerous type. (Lord have mercy)

      And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. (That’s right, Filled up with, Come on, Lord help him)

      And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t. (Yes)

      We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. (That’s right)

      That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism.

      MLK Jr.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • fintastic

      "And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

      March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      “At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before ... ”

      March 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  11. lol??

    Hitler a Christian???? The world was warned 2,000 years ago on this subject.

    "Luk 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them."....Anybody can say Jesus is the Christ.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    What are the facts supporting the doctrine of atheism?

    After asking this multiple times, I've finally gotten some responses that attempt to address the question posed. I'll address these below.

    ---------

    @K-switch : Fact 1: God has never appeared to me in any physical for. Fact 2: I have never seen any physical law broken. Fact 3: No one can prove to me they have witnessed the contrary to facts 1 or 2

    Have you ever seen a trillion dollars? No one has. Does this mean that a trillion dollars is fiction? Did you personally witness Osama's death? Did this actually happen?

    ---------

    @Chuckles : Is it the fact that things originally attributed to god can now be explained by science?

    So, what facts support the existence of man (from nothing to current state)?

    @Chuckles : Is it the fact that the bible is contradictory or just plain false on some areas?

    This does nothing for your cause. Eliminating one possible sulution never supports a given conclusion (ie.e. Zeus and Ra are still possible). You seem to be more of an anti-Christian than an atheist.

    March 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Timmy

      Atheists don't need any facts as all they are doing is rejecting your premise that there is a god due to the lack of facts to back it up.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • meifumado

      The onus of proof is with the believer.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      drink the 'magic' koolaid and die4him already.... you are such a tool...

      March 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      And yet, as I'm sure you're aware, those are not "atheist doctrines" because it is not a requirement of being atheist. When a doctrine is attempting to be used in the context of a perceived "belief system", it is something that is shared with the entirety. The fact remains that atheism is not a "belief system", and cannot have any doctrines.
      If all you're trying to do is shift the burden of proof, then I don't really expect you to actually address this post. If, amazingly, you actually want REAL DISCUSSION, then we'll all know.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Live4Him

      I am confused by your first question? Are you asking if we just literally popped up out of no where or is your question really asking how to life begin on Earth? If it's the former, the short answer is, of course, evolution. If it's the latter then the short answer to THAT is, I don't know, followed by pointing out that since no religious text (or deity for that matter) has shown a truely in depth understanding of evolution and how it meshes perfectly with their specific god the only conclusion you might be able to draw is that there could have been an external force that began the first spark of life on earth, but it in no way implies that that external agent needed supernatural powers to do so.

      As for your second part, "This does nothing for your cause. Eliminating one possible sulution never supports a given conclusion (ie.e. Zeus and Ra are still possible). You seem to be more of an anti-Christian than an atheist."
      - My "cause"? I'm pointing out why I don't believe in god and specifically the god fo the bible, that isn't a "cause". You are right that in this specific sentence I am singling out why I don't believe in the god of the bible and not any other deity, but it was because I was tailoring my message to you, a believer in the god of the bible and specifically a chrisitan. I can extend that statement to read that Not just the bible but every religious text has some contradiction and flat out lies in the text to make me believe that it isn't infallible and should not be treated as so. I wasn't being anti-christian I just see no point in discussing why another religion that neither you nor I follow is false, we both agree it is, albeit for different reasons, so what's the point of discussing other religions merits?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Live4Him,

      "So, what facts support the existence of man"

      Is it now your contention that we don't exist? Do we still have a choice between the red pill and the blue pill?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • .

      The question as you asked it is flawed. Using a dictionary definition that is inherently flawed as part of the flawed question is dishonest, and makes you look really, really silly. What is the purpose? You are not going to make anyone suddenly believe in any gods, let alone your chosen one, by asking the same stupid question over and over because your desired answer doesn't EXIST! Move ON already! OMG, are you a BORE!

      March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Timmy : Atheists don't need any facts

      So, we're in agreement. I posed this question to follow up on a conversation last night, whereby a Christian advanced the posit that atheism wasn't based upon facts. Almost all of the responses seem to justify that posit. I think we've reached our conclusion on this topic.

      meifumado : The onus of proof is with the believer.

      Exactly. The atheists believe in no deity and have no proof. It is a blind faith in 'no deity'.

      Well, I've offered plenty of time to address this question, so lets move on to a new topic.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Let's" means "let us." There's no "us," you dullard. Just you. Bugger off.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children nor any living thing

      Your extreme lack of logic and reason centers around the fact that Atheism makes NO claims nor presents any facts! We do not have any need nor any reason to prove anything at all! We merely lack any belief in mythical legends which have no supporting facts nor evidence! There is no need nor any reason to "prove" that something imaginary does not exist! The burden of proof is always on the people making the extraordinary claims of truth! It is the believers who have yet to provide one single shred of evidence nor any logic whatsoever to support such imaginary beings!

      March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Nogallop

      @Live4Him
      Ha ha i honestly dont think you have any real understanding of what youre saying. Reading your posts is like reading a kids attempt at logic

      March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      And you have now once again shown that you're not here for any real discussion. You merely come here to cherry pick responses.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Live4Him

      I'm confused, I answer your question and then you state the exact opposite and say we "agree" on it and then move on?......

      March 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • JMEF

      L4H
      What an amazingly pompous ass you are, you just beg everyone to shower you with ad hominem attacks, then complain about receiving them

      March 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Timmy

      No, No, No, No. My lack of belief is based on your lack of facts.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Chuckles : I am confused by your first question? Are you asking if we just literally popped up out of no where or is your question really asking how to life begin on Earth?

      I'm responding to your statement that science answers all the questions that were originally explained by god. So, I'm asking for the individual steps from nothing (i.e. no matter, energy or time) thru first life to modern man. If science has answered this, lets see the detailed facts (i.e not presumptions).

      @Chuckles : followed by pointing out that since no religious text (or deity for that matter) has shown a truely in depth understanding of evolution

      You've presumed evolution is a fact without evidence.

      @Chuckles : My "cause"? I'm pointing out why I don't believe in god

      You stated "that things originally attributed to god can now be explained by science", to justify your belief in no deity. So, your 'cause' is to justify that belief. I pointed out that eliminating one option doesn't support your beliefs. In short, we BOTH could be wrong – so prove your beliefs.

      @Chuckles : I wasn't being anti-christian I just see no point in discussing why another religion that neither you nor I follow is false

      Stating a broad conclusion without premises is not justification of atheism. So, you have two choices: 1) provide the step by step verifiable facts from nothing to known existance to support your conclusion that 'science answers it all' or eliminating every other religion out there. You've done neither. Instead, you simply attacked one specific alternative. So, it appears that your more 'anti-Christian' than have a true belief in atheism.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • meifumado

      The reason a lot of atheists here seem anti-christian is that all we get to argue with here are christians, give us some jews or muslims or any other religion to play with.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Correction: your more 'anti-Christian' than have a true belief in atheism.

      Should read: you're more 'anti-Christian' than have a true belief in atheism.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • meifumado

      You are the believer and the onus of proof is with you.

      You believe in something that there has never been any evidence of, therefore you must prove it to others.

      For me the mere fact that there have been thousands of religions over thousands of years and not one of them have ever had one tiny shred of evidence of there being any gods tells all, also the whole why is your religion right but the billion plus people in India are wrong and will burn in hell type of thing just shows how wrong you are.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Lie4him,

      There are reams of verifiable evidence in support of evolution, it has been peer reviewed and is considered a FACT as well as the cornerstone of modern biological science.

      Just because you are afraid of science is no reason not to look into it a little deeper.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      List the FACTS for why you reject each of the following gods:

      Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, and Zaramama.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Timmy

      Doc, now we will just get that stupid list of how the bible claims that god created matter, time, and energy and therefore Jesus died for our sins. This list makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Wake me up when the marionette troupe comes out – you know, those hysterical "scholars of the antiquities".

      March 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And now, unsurprisingly, when I point out exactly how Live is merely here to cherry pick and distort, he ignores my post. I wonder when he'll claim an ad hominem that's not actually an ad hominem.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Live4Him

      "I'm responding to your statement that science answers all the questions that were originally explained by god. So, I'm asking for the individual steps from nothing (i.e. no matter, energy or time) thru first life to modern man. If science has answered this, lets see the detailed facts (i.e not presumptions)."
      - I did not say science answers all questions. I said science has now answered questions that were originally attributed to god, not all the questions, but a lot of. I guess I should have been more clear.... To the second part of your statement there are individual steps with gaps that science as indeed explained with theory (Big Bang, Evolution, etc...). Obviously you are unswayed by these theories, but the great part about science is that it doesn't need your validation to be correct.

      "You've presumed evolution is a fact without evidence."
      –Actually is it with the evidence which has made me understand evolution and know it to be fact. LIke I stated above, you can believe that evolution is not a fact, but that does not deny the fossil record, and other dating method that allows us to track the different ways life has evolved on this planet.

      "You stated "that things originally attributed to god can now be explained by science", to justify your belief in no deity. So, your 'cause' is to justify that belief. I pointed out that eliminating one option doesn't support your beliefs. In short, we BOTH could be wrong – so prove your beliefs."
      - My quote was just one of a couple of justifications and that's not a "cause", it's just a justification, it's that simple. If my atheism were something more, a "cause" as you put it, I would actively go around and promote it, lobby for it and generally try and convert people to my cause. I do none of those things. You are right though, we both could be wrong, but considering I'm not the one taking an affirmative stance here, you are asking specifically about my disbelief. If you want me to prove my belief, you're going to have to get more specific. Would you like me to prove my belief in humanism? naturalism? nihlism? capitalism? etc....

      "Stating a broad conclusion without premises is not justification of atheism. So, you have two choices: 1) provide the step by step verifiable facts from nothing to known existance to support your conclusion that 'science answers it all' or eliminating every other religion out there. You've done neither. Instead, you simply attacked one specific alternative. So, it appears that your more 'anti-Christian' than have a true belief in atheism."
      - What broad conclusion are you referring to? That the bible is indeed fallible? Would you like me to get more specific? The next part is you giving me a fallacy by only giving me two options and not understanding that MY atheism is the sum of all its part and not one specific issue. I'm still confused why you think that my refuting the god of the bible specifically somehow invalidates why I'm not allowed to also not believe in the other gods out there? Would you really like to discuss on a god by god basis why I don't believe in them? Your slander that I am more "anti-christian" is your faux persecution complex rearing its ugly head. I A) pointed out that I was tailoring my message to you ( a christian) B) of the specific reasons I wrote, only one actually addressed the bible specifically C) Since I discussed the bible and god and said nothing about jesus, you still somehow jumped to me being "anti-christian" even though the bible is also 1/2 Jewish and also agreed upon that the god of the bible is the same as the one in the Koran, so why don't you think I'm anti-muslim or anti-jewish?

      March 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      The bible is fallible? Yes, please be specific.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      The earth is not held up immobile in space with four pillars. Blood of a bird is not the cure for leprosy. There was never a global flood.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert Brown

      I'd be more than happy to. I was simply answering Live4Him's initial question, but if you want me to go into depth, it would be my pleasure.

      The bible is supposed to be the perfect word of god and that everything in it must be 100% correct (Please let me know if you do not believe this and explain why not if that is the case). However the problems begin immediatey. Genesis in a few short chapters explains how the universe was created giving time periods (days) and orders of creations. We have witnessed how stars and planets are born and know from that that 1) creation of stars, solar systems, ect... take longer than 1 day. 2) we know that light comes directly from stars and so does not make sense that light somehow existed before the source 3) the order of animals created we know to be out of whack with the fossile record.

      That's specific things, which I'm sure you've read countless times, not to mention the quibbles that many have brought up with the Noah story (which does not appear in the fossil record), the idea that israelites were actually slaves in ancient egypt. How it's possible the sun could have stopped for a single day for the story of Jerhico or jumping to the NT where we know it to be impossible for someone to survive for 3 days in a giant fish, a man to walk on water or any other miracle attributed to jesus.

      Those are the physical impossibilties, but we also run into philisophical quandries as well that are left unanswered by the god of the bible and generally don't make sense, such as how could an omnipotent, omnipresent god somehow not see Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge and how could they hide from him afterwards? Why would a god put such temptation there in the first place before man even had knowledge of what temptation even was? If god is perfect why could he not make a perfect creation and why then drown the entirity of his imperfect creation except for a single family? Again, way more quibbles then what I provided, but those are some of the biggies.

      Robert, I understand you think that god is real and that the bible is infallible, but to get to either of those conclusions there are a great deal of mental gymnastics to go through as well as a good amount of blind faith in order to reconcile many ideas in the bible.

      I pointed out to Live4Him that this is not the only reason why I believe the god of the bible most likely does not exist, but it's definietly a biggie.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      RB,

      How about where the bible says that the Earth is a circle? WRONG!

      March 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      Thanks, We could spend a few years on your first objection, but I will be as brief as possible.
      I can understand how someone with a science background could have a problem with a literal interpretation of Genesis.
      It is obvious that the intention of the bible is not to give a detailed account of creation, a small portion of one
      of the 66 books. There are numerous speculations and I am not going to try and reconcile what you think science tells you
      and what the bible says. Are you willing to take what science currently thinks happened as fact? It seems to me unless
      someone can create their own universe or time travel that we will never know for sure.

      Noah, is it literal, local, a parable? There again all speculation. It is interesting that there are similar flood stories
      from other cultures.

      Egypt, you should google that, there has been a lot of evidence discovered in recent years, all of which I am sure is disputed.

      Miracles in general, if we imagine a being who could create everything we perceive, miracles would not be a problem.

      Jonah, you can go down the page a little, we covered that one earlier today and it is physically possible.

      Adam and Eve, could it be a parable about innocence lost?

      I understand your questions and have questioned some of those myself. The bible goes from creation to the flood in the first 11 or 12 chapters of the first book. A very small portion of scripture generates a lot of the questions.

      God is a spirit, not that I can tell you what that is, but maybe from a scientific perspective the spiritual realm is in another dimension or plane. We have the capability to contact this other dimension, but only in little brief fleeting bits of time.

      No one can force themselves to believe and I want you to know that I don't consider you, or any person who does not believe, an adversary. I wish I could answer the questions you have, but I don't have the answers, just more questions. I honestly believe there is a very important reason that Jesus told them to seek the kingdom of heaven, or God first. If God is a spirit, and I believe he is, then seeking him in a physical way is not the answer. If he is a spirit, we must seek him spiritually. Peace.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      Thank you, We could spend a few years on your first objection, but I will be as brief as possible. I can understand how someone with a science background could have a problem with a literal interpretation of Genesis.
      It is obvious that the intention of the bible is not to give a detailed account of creation, a small portion of one
      of the 66 books. There are numerous speculations and I am not going to try and reconcile what you think science tells you
      and what the bible says. Are you willing to take what science currently thinks happened as fact? It seems to me unless
      someone can create their own universe or time travel that we will never know for sure.

      Noah, is it literal, local, a parable? There again all speculation. It is interesting that there are similar flood stories
      from other cultures.

      Egypt, you should google that, there has been a lot of evidence discovered in recent years, all of which I am sure is disputed.

      Miracles in general, if we imagine a being who could create everything we perceive, miracles would not be a problem.

      Jonah, you can go down the page a little, we covered that one earlier today and it is physically possible.

      Adam and Eve, could it be a parable about innocence lost?

      I understand your questions and have questioned some of those myself. The bible goes from creation to the flood in the first 11 or 12 chapters of the first book. A very small portion of scripture generates a lot of the questions.

      God is a spirit, not that I can tell you what that is, but maybe from a scientific perspective the spiritual realm is in another dimension or plane. We have the capability to contact this other dimension, but only in little brief fleeting bits of time.

      No one can force themselves to believe and I want you to know that I don't consider you, or any person who does not believe, an adversary. I wish I could answer the questions you have, but I don't have the answers, just more questions. I honestly believe there is a very important reason that Jesus told them to seek the kingdom of heaven, or God first. If God is a spirit, and I believe he is, then seeking him in a physical way is not the answer. If he is a spirit, we must seek him spiritually. Peace.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      That was a lot of room to really say nothing.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sorry for the double post. Borrowed computer. User error. Lots of excuses, but sorry all the same.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      I'm not trying to actually insult you, I'm just trying to point out that you had a really long post that didn't really say anything.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert

      "Are you willing to take what science currently thinks happened as fact? It seems to me unless
      someone can create their own universe or time travel that we will never know for sure."
      - Sure, I will concede that what we know right now could possibly be proven wrong and a different series of events happened, the best we can do is take a stab at with educated guesses. I am willing however to put my faith in the conclusions drawn from the facts we know that science has discovered over the unsubstantiated claims made in the bible.

      "oah, is it literal, local, a parable? There again all speculation. It is interesting that there are similar flood stories
      from other cultures."
      –Careful, you tread on shakey ground the moment you start to discuss what is literal and what is figurative in the bible. Since the bible never spells out that any story is ficticious, when we start to talk about figurative things in the bible, who's to say what is real and what isn't?
      Sure, other cultures have flood stories, but that's also because all major cities are built around water sources that flood from time to time. It becomes less surprising that cultures would recognize the power of a flood once you realize that. Moreover, the biblical flood killed everyone, so who lived to record the flood on the otherside of the world?

      For the rest of your post, I'll take a gander at how it's possible to live inside a giant fish for 3 days, but in general I can agree that once you decide magic exists, anything is possible, but we have yet to discover "magic"

      As for the spirit of god. You are at perfect liberty to believe in a god, but it seems pointless trying to justify it in the real world. Relying on an invisible, other dimensional plane for god to exist in spirit is only setting yourself up to be proven that no such thing exists.

      I agree we aren't adversaries and to circle back to your original quesiton, the bible is indeed fallible for the reasons I stated above, I don't expect you to be able to answer them, either scientifically or dogmatically but I would urge you to understand that the bible is steeped in fishiness and relies on adherents to not question it validity in order to get away with its glaring errors.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      “no religious text (or deity for that matter) has shown a truely in depth understanding of evolution and how it meshes perfectly with their specific god “
      =>that is exactly why God stands out from the man made gods. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – this is the translated version of all known matter and energy i.e. baryonic matter. Then came the formation of the land and ecosystem followed by plants and animals. Now man was last on the chain and man was not created but made out of the dust. Note the difference in that man was made from that which existed. Be fruitful and multiply and govern. That is a summary of origin of life as we know it.
      =>God is defined existing in a state where our time and space does not apply. Laws of nature and patters we call laws are observable from our limited time line. Science observes the footprints of God so to speak and measures and tests these footprints to form predictable falsifiable models. This is the limits of mans knowledge or knowable existence due to our evolved history which we segment in terms sequentially of past present and future (i.e. we do not know how to visualize in 5 dimensional space outside of mathematical constructs).
      =>evolution, as observed, meshes perfectly with God as defined through creation and the Bible.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      There goes fred with the same bullshit. Poor pathetic little liar has nothing. Hmmm, isn't lying against one of those comandments? Oh wait that's right, fred thinks lying for jesus is a good thing.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • clarity

      I see fred is starting over again at the beginning.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • fred

      clarity
      If we don’t believe Moses and Prophets we will not believe Jesus even if he rose from the dead. Like math we need to start at the beginning then move on to the complicated.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      Pick the best "lie" you claim I made on this string so I can get an understanding of your use of the intransitive verb "lie".

      March 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      "=>evolution, as observed, meshes perfectly with God as defined through creation and the Bible."
      Complete and utter lie. You provide the evidence yourself. You state that only man was created from existing matter, yet we know that all animals alive today are a product of evolution from previous animals.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Austin

      Jesus crucifixion was on passover festival, he was resurrected on first fruits festival, and assented on feast of weeks festival. The secon two were then barley and wheat consecrations where they wave a sheaf and defecate the rest of harvest to god. Christ being the first fruit of the spirit and harvest of the seed of Abraham, was a
      The literal fulfillment to the Moses festival foreshadowing. Israel raising up out of bondage (unleavened bread festival) represents the freedom from sin. The blood of the lamb proves the reality of Moses, and Abraham.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Austin

      Dedicate the harvest. Dar n spell checker

      March 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Austin

      From Leviticus. 1400 bc
      Nisan 14 passover. Friday
      Nisan 15-21 unleavened bread
      Nisan 16 first fruits. Sunday
      49 days later. Festival of feast of weeks.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      Genesis:
      1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so
      1:24 “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds
      2:19 Now the Lord God had FORMED OUT OF THE GROUND all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man

      March 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      " Now man was last on the chain and man was not created but made out of the dust."
      Get your story straight, and at least stay consistent in your bullshit assertions. Or will you now say when you said "created" you meant "made"? You treat what you say the same way you treat the bible. It means what you want it to mean and is subject to change at your own convenience. Things mean something other than what it actually says. Truly sad.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiigust
      Put your reading glasses on and go back up and read it " Now man was last on the chain and man was NOT created but made out of the dust. Note the difference in that man was made from that which existed"

      March 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So now you're going back to your original post. Saying that there is a "difference", and that that difference is that man was made from existing things is a statement that everything else living was not created from existing things. So which is it? Was man the only thing made from existing things, or was everything living made from the ground? Unless you just plan on switching up what you're saying every post to be as dishonest as possible.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      You are correct, to question whether an OT story is parable or literal is a slippery slope. I was speculating which is all we can do, other than take it at face value, which is fine with me too. That line of speculation though comes from the teachings of Jesus, he taught them with parables, but at least he did say when he was relating a parable, Moses never did.

      God is a spirit, that is not my speculation, that is scriptural, of course if you don’t believe in God, then what is written in the bible, doesn’t have the same weight. The part about another plane or dimension is just me speculating, but the important point is, if God is a spirit and you limit your search to the physical world, or reality as you put it, then you could be looking in the wrong place.

      We have exchanged ideas before, so if I am repeating something you have previously rejected, I apologize. The reason that I don’t feel at odds with people who say they don’t believe is not just that I am a nice person, so to speak, it is also because I don’t find any fault in questioning and I firmly believe that faith is a gift from God. I was only one experience from being a non believer too. I don’t mean that like ha ha I have faith and you don’t, because I certainly don’t think I deserve the gift. I don’t mean that in a fatalistic way either, like it doesn’t matter what someone does, like God will either make the offer, or not. I believe it is a gift and I believe people can pursue it.

      I believed there was a God, was convicted of my sin, and accepted Christ, which was all a very overwhelming supernatural experience, in my opinion. Time went by and I questioned my faith, then it was supernaturally reaffirmed. Answered prayer, experience, and visions have all built my faith over the years. The key here is that the result had nothing to do with what I did other than accepting Christ, and I don’t think I could have resisted, maybe someone else could have, but I don’t think I could. I didn’t make myself believe in God, convict myself of sin, or draw myself to accept Christ in such a powerful overwhelming way. I didn’t answer my prayers, provide myself with other spiritual experiences, or give myself visions. All these things were external, done by God, not me. He did all the work. At some of those points, if he hadn’t done the work, I wouldn’t believe either.

      This is found all through the bible, if you will seek God with all your heart and soul, you will find him. I don’t think you actually find him. I think when you seek with all your heart he comes to you. I am not saying that you haven’t already done this, but he doesn’t give a time limit on it. He didn’t say seek for a day or two, or a year or two, or ten or twenty years, he just said seek and he will do the rest. Peace.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Robert Brown' contains multiple instances of the fallacy of Circular Reasoning.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      March 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      You typed all of that to merely promote confirmatory bias again?

      March 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      1) God created the heavens and the earth (original baryonic matter you believe came from a loud noise)
      2)God created the earth, the land the waters
      3)The land brought forth vegetation
      4)God made the living things (animals)
      5)God made man in his image
      6)Man acquires the knowledge of good and evil
      7) Man realized he was naked (realization of morality immorality)
      8)Man develops stable culture and civilization to spread the Gospel of Christ
      9)Man now lives in the Spirit of Christ and can experience God without an arc, temple or priest
      10) Man becomes one with God

      March 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • John 15:26-27

      Delicate . And genuine.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So your response to me pointing out that you were changing what you were saying within the same thread to support whatever you wanted, holding contradictory positions, is to post a moronic list that shows absolutely nothing and has nothing to do with my post. Yup, pretty standard of you. Keep lying for Jesus you disingenuous little shit, it only works against you.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • John 15:26-27

      That testimony is for real. I will pray for that guys ministry and the receivers.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your God is a lot of things we are not, fred. In what way are we in its image?

      March 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chad

      Good posts Robert!

      March 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, Robert is usually honest about the basis of his very personal faith. That merits respect.

      March 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I was attempting to simplify my explanation that there is a difference between the creative aspects of God in creation. The foundations of matter were created, our known universe formed, then out of the ground vegetation followed by life (animals then man).
      I was attempting to avoid going through the detail difference between the creator and created things. When I lump everything into two categories it is creator and created things. The only things you can see and acknowledge relate to created things. Man was formed, made by God from the dust of the earth in contrast with vegetation that was produced by the land. I actually think you see the striking difference between vegetation that is produced by the land and man that later is made from the dust of the earth (greater term than simply ground) and just want to distract me so I stop replying.

      March 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom the Other one
      "Your God is a lot of things we are not, fred. In what way are we in its image?"

      =>Jesus was the full radiance of God and also said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. When Christ returns we will see Him because we will be like Him. When I piece all of that together it has more to do with the Spirit and nature that was in Jesus than the physical body of Jesus. No where are we given clarity of the physical form of Jesus. The best we have is out of a vision from Isaiah that says Jesus appearance was muddled (common non descript). This is where I get my take that it has little to do with physical form.
      We are not God who is eternal, infinite, omniscience, omnipresent etc. as we are more in the physical character of Adam and Eve. Made in our image would include the Spirit side, Father side and son side. Evil was separated in the Garden and will be in the End so evil is not a part of the image. Our image will be love and goodness. We have creative abilities and the capacity to worship out of joy appreciating wonder in quiet reflection of peace. The image of God was internal to Jesus and reflected outward like a lamp.
      We cannot be God because even the seraphim cover their eyes in His burning holiness. The image would be in that holiness but covered in Christ’s love.
      What separates us from the animal is we have capacity to worship and love that which cannot be seen without faith. It is greater than self awareness. Our expressions and appreciation of beauty as well as creative ability outside the box reflect the image of God.

      March 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      fred, I'm not sure that evil was ever separate from human beings. According to your story, we were perfectly able to believe that we could be like God and want to be like God and act on that desire. This seems to be common to stories about evil, a kind of hubris.

      March 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom the Other One
      Only thing I have to go on is from the Bible. In the center of the Garden were two trees one the tree of life and the other the tree of knowledge. The garden was created for Gods purpose which was to bring man into the likeness of Christ in eternal unity.
      Adam was within the will of God so he did not experience the presence of evil. Perhaps as you suggest this is not the same as being separated from evil or the absence of evil as the serpent did get out of its box.

      Adam had to take action outside of Gods will for his life in order to be in the presence of evil. In Christ we will once again be in Gods perfect will which is the purpose of creation. Gods perfect will which has the attributes of infinite love and goodness could not contain anything that was not in our best interest

      March 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      That was a pretty rambling way to avoid your constant change in position.

      March 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  13. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    =================================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    March 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Wow... I am being bored to tears on this topic... what happened to the good old days, when we fed christians to lions? *sigh*

    March 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What what are the facts to support your doctrine of boredom?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Define....oh, fvck it. Who cares.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hi Doc. The FACT is... it's a 1/4 to three, I have an analytical paper I need to be working on, i'm tired and don't wanna work on it, and I want to go home early so I can be well rested to watch Wheeler Dealers tonight.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • the AnViL

      I approve.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Thoth

    @Live – go figure; you ignore nearly everything I posted and pull out one sentence, which when pulled out of context doesn't even relate to YOUR question about some 'atheist doctrine'.....and you claim you want honest debate.

    For giggles I'll answer your second question though...and just to be clear, I will post it below, as you love to do so that there is no need to post additional summaries.

    Thoth : 'Atheism' in a broad sense is the rejection of claims about gods.

    L4H: "Are there any facts do you use to support your beliefs?"

    Thoth: Why do I need facts simply to reject a claim for which you have not provided any evidence? I could similarly claim that there is a pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, as many cultures did. Can you provide facts to support your atheist position on all these gods/goddesses, and that only your God exists?

    As many have told you, and you love to ignore, the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim.

    March 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Thoth : Why do I need facts simply to reject a claim for which you have not provided any evidence?

      This is a classic example of the logic fallacy called 'Fallacy of Presumptive Proof' – where the author states a conclusion without any premises and shifts the burden of proof to their opponent.

      In short, you have no facts to reject my posit in lieu of your apriori beliefs.

      I posed this question to follow up on a conversation last night, whereby a Christian advanced the posit that atheism wasn't based upon facts. Your (and others) responses seem to justify that posit. I think we've reached our conclusion on this topic. I need to tie off a few more loose ends and then move to a new topic.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would anyone need facts to support a lack of belief in something for which you've failed to show evidence?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What facts do you have that support your belief that there is a doctrine of atheism?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the definition of the 'Fallacy of Presumptive Proof"? I found no such term when I searched.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Thoth

      @Live – how ironic that you use the very fallacy claim that you so oft ignore....

      Ok, now we can proceed actually. You wish, based on your post, to know what an atheist bases their disbelief on. That is a far cry from a universal doctrine.

      I can't speak for other non-believers, but I base my disbelief on similar facts as another poster, and then some.

      Fact 1) No one has ever shown me any evidence of a God
      Fact 2) Prayer has never been demonstrated to work
      Fact 3) Innocent children die every day from disease, acts of nature, etc...- imo a loving god would not allow this
      Fact 4) Many of the religious texts, including those of the Abrahamic monotheists have been demonstrated to be inaccurate, false, se'xist, bigoted, and inhumane.
      Fact 5) Every religion that has ever been proposed was born of man, and favoring a particular group.

      ok, I'm get bored......

      I know you may come back with "have you ever seen a trillion dollars?"....no, but I have seen money and I can do math. I've never 'seen' gravity either but I can see it's effects quite easily.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie4him
      It is a priori...not apriori...
      If you are going to try to sound smart while being stupid, at least try to use the terms properly.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    What are the FACTS supporting the doctrine of supernaturalism?

    March 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Austin

    Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In common law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).[1]

    March 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Austin

      noun
      1.
      defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
      2.
      a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
      3.
      Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Are you still on this idiocy? Christianity is evil, get over it.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you figured out there's no such word as "defamate." Good for you.

      Apparently you concede that it's a legal term.

      What I really want to know, Austin/poe, is what you're going to do about it if I choose to say Hitler was a Christian? Stomp your foot? Quote the bible? Fuss and fume?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Austin

      Slanderous. Adjective
      Slanderingly. Adverb

      These uses of the word prove that the word is a loose term, a common word, having no necessary legal implication

      Not only did you fillabuster the word slander, But you also gave zero refrences to the new testament condoning war..

      Your assertions that Christianity condones war are unfounded.

      Your opinions are selective and deceitful. So is Adolfo hitler.

      Many of you trust in the word of hitler. Congratulations.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Akira

      None of the definition refute the fact that Hitler was Christian, albeit a terrible one, so I am unsure what the tenacious grasping at straws is supposed to prove.
      I suppose it is Austin's wish that I apologize for Hitler being a Christian. I cannot; he died long before I was born, and I had nothing to do with that.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww how cute. Austin wasnts to Cherry pick his bible. Well then, if the entire OT is no longer applicable, I guess witches, gay people, and worshipping other gods is okay. I guess we can all lie, steal, cheat and covet, be in unequally yoked relationships, etc.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Timmy

      Hitler was a Christian, he may have been a bad Christian, but he was Christian none the less.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Akira

      "Many of you trust in the word of hitler. Congratulations."

      Please present evidence to back up this statement.
      Otherwise, it falls under...slander and assumption.
      I base my opinions on written historical documentation, and as you state the Bible is historically based, so do you, Austin.
      You just poked a hole in your own theory. Congratulations.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We can observe that Christian beliefs have rightly or wrongly , doesn't really matter which, been used as justification for war. I'm sure Mark Twain had heard some actual prayers that inspired this one:

      "O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Thoth

      Austin, seriously, You are not going to convince any reasonable person of your position. In the words of your lone supporter (L4H) ..... time to move on.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • meifumado

      By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. ...

      – Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

      Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years.

      – Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

      I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.

      – Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

      March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Austin

      Leonid21. And I were discussing the old testament , and my point wa that the old testament is old Jewish history, and the Israel's affairs and past wars, are not a refrence for christian war. Does this nullify prophecy, no. But you do understand that those unfulfilled prophecies all concern the return of the savior lord.

      Trying to live according to the old testament law would be trying to add to grace. This topic is discussed in Romans at length. Exodus and Leviticus standards are done away with, The rest of the old testament prophecy is valid, and moral enrichment is an obvious blessing with the old testament.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And in typical fundie fashion, the chrry picking goes on and on and on. Truly pathetic.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      o A lot of the core prophecies "fulfilled" by Jesus are up for debate.
      For example: They say that Jesus being born of a virgin fulfills the Isaiah 7:14prophecy.
      However, the Hebrew term in Isaiah “almah” which means a “young woman”. "Virgin" is a mistranslation.
      Christians assert that Jesus is from David's line, but tribal line cannot be passed on through adoption. Jesus cannot be "son of David" through Joseph. A tribal line also does not pass through the mother, and even if it did, Mary was not descended of David through Solomon.
      Furthermore, did Jesus manage to:
      1) Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Kind of hard to do since the Temple still stood during Christ's lifetime.
      2) Re-establish Jewish law as the only law?
      3) Save Israel? Lessee – just after His death (and Zombification)the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Jerusalem was laid to waste, and the Jews went into exile to begin a 1900 year long night of persecution, — largely at the hands of Jesus' followers.
      4) Establish a world government run from Jerusalem?
      5) Return all the exiled Jews to Jerusalem?
      Don't forget that during that time, there were MANY claimaints to the Messiah role like Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Vespasian, Simon bar Kokhba, etc. ad nauseum.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Austin

      If Adolf hitler is in hell, was he a Christian. No. That means. I he was not a Christian. Akira, what is an apostate? What is a false teacher? What is an Antichrist deceiver? All of these negative terms taken from scripture describe someone who is satanically or demonically empowered deceivers who pose as Christians, who believe they are.

      Why can you not discern the authentic ministry of the holy spirit, or a deceiver, when it could not be any more obvious. You will never have a more obvious figure who you should judge for yourself. But you can't discern,and I believe that you choose not to, and that you are involved in ignorant defamation, willfully.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • clarity

      And to add to what Doc wrote, when confronted with charges that the unauthored gospels were plagiarizations, all several early Christian apologists could come up with was "the devil did it – he planned the fake stories in advance". ('Diabolical mimicry'.)

      March 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Austin

      Sudan, north Islamic , south Christian. My friend Abraham, from Sudan, told me the reason for conflict was the settling of white folk. He is Christian. Ok. Why is there a conflict and killing. Is it religion ? No, it is a regional conflict.
      I'm sure they pray about their battles. That does not mean it is holy war.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • clarity

      Adolf Hitler said he was a Christian. With every other Christian on the planet calling every other Christian 'not a Christian', it's no surprise to hear Austin make the same claim disassociating Hitler. But we know better, and we've known better for quite some time:

      Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And Austin is still unable to actually adress the subject, and instead insists on his irrelevant bullshit. How sad and pathetic for him. In a way I hope he's a poe, that means there isn't someone who is actually THAT fucking stupid in this world.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Austin
      Let's say that someone spends their entire life as a devout Christian of whatever denomination you consider to be the true one. While on their deathbed, they take the name of the Lord in vain and thus wind up in Hell for breaking a Commandment.
      Does that mean they weren't really Christian?
      Is someone who sins not a Christian?
      I thought that all Christians were sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,

      Mary was a descendant of David, see Luke chapter 3.

      The temple he was talking about rebuilding was his body. He was letting them know that he would rise from the dead.

      3 thru 5 are all in reference to the second coming of Christ.

      There are lots of good resources available on bible prophecy, if you’re really interested.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • meifumado

      Not only was Hitler a catholic but he was also a defender of the catholic and christian church, Gratz on your "shield"

      March 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Yes yes we all know that the bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice. When you can decide arbitrarily when something is literal, allegory, or metaphorical, it's easy to link things together.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Austin

      Doc, this is a pretty extreme case. What about a schitzophrenic who thinks he is JC. ? Yur other argument about a sin on a deathbed is silly in a discussion about Adolf hitler. What you all are saying, is that hitler was led by the holy spirit , when he was led by evil and a habitual sinful evil?

      A Christian is not involved in habitual sin, this was beyond habitual sin.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Austin

      Out of here.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robert Brown
      Ah the 2nd coming. Are we turning and turning in the widening gyre yet?
      Do you believe the prophecies in Revelation to be accurate?
      I'm sure entomologists the world over are waiting on tenterhooks for the chance to examine one of the armour clad locusts with the head of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion.

      Did you know that there are a whole host of prophecies made by Joseph Smith that the Mormons say have been fulfilled?
      They've got eye witness testimony regarding his miraculous healing powers not just from other LDS, but from skeptics as well. Do you believe the Book or Mormon is another Testsament of Jesus Christ?
      The testimony supporting Smith's miracles is less than 200 years old as opposed to 2,000 years for Jesus.
      Why accept one and not the other?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Austin
      So what of the average soldier in the Third Reich whose belt buckle proclaimed that God was with him?
      He would have undoubtedly performed many evil acts and likely believed he was acting in accordance with God's will.
      Was that soldier a Christian?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • .

      Austin, is it your position that Christians do not go to hell? That all Christians go to heaven?
      In that case, Hitler is in heaven.
      If Hitler is indeed in hell, prove it.
      Show me absolute, empiricle proof that ANYONE is in hell. Demonstratable facts. Undeniable facts. As in, "because the bible says so" facts. You can't. You're whole argument is flawed...

      March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      I believe the whole bible is accurate.

      You don’t have to go all the way to revelations to read of some wild beasts, check out Daniel.

      I don’t know much about the Mormons.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Austin

      I would you were cold or hot. 16So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • .

      That should read NOT as in "the bible tells me so."

      March 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Austin

      My point is that a soldier doing his job is a question mark, and a psycho killer unrepentant psycho killer is obviously not saved. Moany many people in the church on Sunday, are not saved, land are not truly a Christian. Being religious and going to church does not save you.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robert Brown
      Do you believe it is possible to survive a long weekend in the digestive tract of an aquatic creature?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Moany many people in the church on Sunday, are not saved, land are not truly a Christian. "
      Where ARE those true Scotsmen when ya need 'em ??

      March 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Austin:
      Yes, I know what those are. And...? So hitler stank as a Christian. We know he stanks as a human, as well, and good riddance to him.
      My state of grace is none of your business, nor will it ever be, so you speculating on it constantly is creepy, quite frankly. Knock it off.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      Sure, there have been 2 docu.mented cases of people being swallowed by large fish for two days and living. If 2 people can make it two days, Jonah could make it 3. Some bible commentators believe Jonah actually died and God raised him again, either way, no problem. One of the guys who survived 2 days, had a stain to his skin when he recovered, from the acid I guess, I bet Jonah looked wild when he was preaching in Nineveh, could be one reason why they listened to him.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • May

      Got a reliable reference for that Robert? How come your god makes it so hard to believe in him, with such tall tales, anyway?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robet Brown
      Now that is fascinating stuff!
      Have you got any links to those examples? I'd love to read up on the stories.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • ?

      Robert funny how your bible makes no mention of the person's skin color, because in the one case the person's skin was bleached pure white and never recovered. The other story the person wasn't in for very long before the whale vomited him out.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ?

      http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/evidences/8jonah.html

      March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • May

      The bible is full of "fish stories". And the big one just always gets away somehow.
      ...never delivers on its claims.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      May,

      I do, but not with me. Check back in about 2 hours and I will post them. Thanks.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      As I told May, check back in a couple of hours and I will give you the references.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ?,

      I thought it was stained yellow or green or something. It has been a while since I read it.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Austin

      Akira,
      No look, my only point is nothing about you personally. It is your refusal to take what you know the bible says about false teachers, apostates , and anti Christ deceivers, and apply these to the situation.. You can't be a Christian and an Antichrist deceiver. So then, where does hitler fall within these foot categories? As a Christian you say? Not an apostate? If hitler is not an Antichrist deceiver, then who would be an example of an antichrist deceiver?

      March 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Billy

      The Bible is authored by false teachers Austin. Get a clue.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc and May,

      http://www.reasonableanswers.org/52-Is-Jonah-a-big-fish-story.html

      March 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Robert Brown,

      Re: The Falkland Islands whale of a tale

      Here is a debunking of it (and an apology for asserting it) from one of your own folks:

      http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.net/teachings/books/the-laws-of-the-second-coming/appendix-the-jonah-story/

      March 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      p.s. The guy on that reasonableanswers site is a continuation school dropout and certainly has no credentials to back up this story, which he simply read or heard somewhere else..

      March 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      p.p.s. In fairness and completeness, I must include that unfortunately those "godskingdom" folks still do unaccountably believe in the Biblical Jonah tale.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • fred

      Afraidknot
      Sorry to say but the only proof this disbelieving generation will receive is the sign of Jonah. I imagine you know what that is

      March 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  18. Live4Him

    What are the facts supporting the doctrine of atheism?

    On the first posting of this question, all the posts were either mockery (6) or arguing against the dictionary definition of the word (13). On the second posting, the mockery continued (2), the argument against the definition continued (6) and others tried to side-track the issue (2). Maybe this third time will be a charm and we can have some honest debate – IF there are any facts to debate.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you won't provide a definition of the "doctrine of atheism," you have no basis for issuing any challenges to others.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tommy

      The doctrine is that atheist don't believe in gods, and that is all.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is Tommy correct, Lie4ever? If not, post the tenets of the doctrine of atheism.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Tommy

      I get the feeling that LIve4Him will claim that the doctrine comes from the Humanist Manifesto, though I don't know what the Humanist Manifesto is as today is the first time I have ever heard of it.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      Live4Him sure does love to create lists. Now it's listing categories of responses and how many are in each.

      I can't wait to see it cross-referenced with L4H's slam book.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It will stall and evade, lie and deflect and then pretend it's been at lunch and proclaim that it's "time to move on."

      March 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What are the facts of the biblical claims? A few places and people can be proven. Science shows that the creation myth is incorrect. There's no evidence for the Noah, Job, Moses, Lot, etc. stories. Atheism rejects gods without supporting evidence and you have none, so the focus should remain there until you provide some evidence.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Akira

      *settles in with a bowl of popcorn*

      March 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • JMEF

      You do not want an honest debate, never have, if so state your premise, what is the doctrine of atheism? No one can provide facts if they do not know what you are talking about, like most of your posts.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

      (Misattributed to Einstein)

      But that is Live4Him. How many times has Lie4Him posted the same question now and now expects not to be mocked?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      When your standard is to ignore certain responses and not actually clarify what you're even talking about, of course people are going to mock you. Just like I mocked you when you called "ad hominem" when there was none. You give new meaning to the phrase "I don't think that means what you think it means".

      March 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Topher

      In Santa we trust

      "Science shows that the creation myth is incorrect."

      Why should I believe anything science says about the origins of the universe?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • meifumado

      You know there's a reason he is doing this, He is trying to set something up but he is not getting the answer he wants.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Thoth

      @Live – 'Atheism' in a broad sense is the rejection of claims about gods. There are also subsets within atheism such as implicit and explicit 'atheism'. The problem imo with your question is that there is no universal 'atheist doctrine'. Sure there are atheist groups, or even Richard Dawkins that conjure up doctrines based on their perspectives but to my (granted limited) knowledge there is no official universal atheist doctrine. Perhaps that is why people are asking you to define or clarify your request. As to the ridicule, well you sort of bring that on yourself....

      March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • meifumado

      Trust facts not fiction.

      Science = facts

      Religion = fiction

      March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Live4Him

      I guess to directly answer your question, the doctrine of atheism is you have a disbelief in god .... and that's it. I don't even know if that can be considered a doctrine though considering a doctrine is something that you do and this is simply something that people are not doing. Other than that, each atheist is different and has different beliefs and ideas on how the world works or should work.

      Does that answer your quesiton?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Exactly, meifumado. In that, Lie4ever is very like Chad/Rachel.

      It thinks it's setting some sort of semantic trap that it will delight in snapping shut. There's no intent to have any 'debate.'

      March 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son : If you won't provide a definition of the "doctrine of atheism," you have no basis for issuing any challenges to others

      I'm only using the definition from the dictionary. I'm not an atheist, and don't want to limit any atheists in their response. But, looking at these posts, it doesn't appear that there are any facts to support that belief.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Austin

      Akira, too bad you can't down load some choir tunes! That would be relaxing and entertaining.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look. The Liar said I was on its Famous Ignore List. I guess convenience trumps ethical behavior for it.

      Either define what you mean by it or continue to be mocked. You demand the same of everyone here, so suck on that.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Lie4Him,

      "But, looking at these posts, it doesn't appear that there are any facts to support that belief.

      IT'S .. NOT ... A ... BELIEF.

      It is disbelief. It is the null hypothesis, which does not require facts to substantiate it. Faith is the positive hypothesis which requires substantiating facts, for which there are none that can be independently verified.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Which "definition"? Be specific.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Austin

      Squirming around all over the place.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, we see you doing that, Austin. Do you have pinworms or piles?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      WHAT BELIEFS! WHAT DOCTRINES!
      Jeez people have been asking you this all god damned day! You keep saying "atheist doctrine, atheist doctrine, people are mocking me WAHHHHHHH". There's a reason! What "doctrine" are you talking about, what teachings, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Chuckles : I guess to directly answer your question, the doctrine of atheism is you have a disbelief in god .... and that's it. ... Does that answer your quesiton?

      No facts to support that belief?

      @meifumado : Trust facts not fiction.

      Which facts do you use to support your beliefs?

      @Thoth : 'Atheism' in a broad sense is the rejection of claims about gods.

      Are there any facts do you use to support your beliefs?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Akira

      Austin, who says I haven't/can't/won't? See, there's that assumption thingy again.
      Too bad you do that.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      That's healthy skepticism and the answer is you shouldn't just believe in science because other people tell you to. Check it out for yourself, look at some basic theory or experiments and try and do the experiment yourself and see if you get the same result. Science works because it's repeatable and it doesn't rely on faith to keep it's existance going. For instance, we understand the origins of the universe because we have pictures of the earliest moments of the universe taken with telescopes. Whether you want to believe those telescopes or not but have you have used a telescope yourself to look at the moon? We've also used math and equations to determine what happened before what we're seeing, and could determine a point in which everything is moving away from.

      Whether you want to believe it or not does not really matter, but being skepticle is valuable as long as you apply it to EVERYTHING, even science. Are you as skepticle about the bible? Are events in the bible or your feelings about the bible repeatable for anyone?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh fuck is this what Live4Him was trying to do all day? A Shifting of the Burden of Proof fallacy? How fucking pathetic can you get Live.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What facts do you have to support the belief there's an atheist doctrine, Lie4ever?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, it's the same sh!t, different day. Chard/Rachel/Lie4ever just want to play word games.

      The usual boring stuff.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • K-switch

      Fact 1: God has never appeared to me in any physical for.
      Fact 2: I have never seen any physical law broken.
      Fact 3: No one can prove to me they have witnessed the contrary to facts 1 or 2

      These are just my personal experiences. Just as I have never seen a unicorn, I will say "I do not believe in unicorns." until i have seen evidence to the contrary.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Live4Him

      I guess to answer "What facts support that belief" I'll have to taylor it for you, but what would you consider a "fact" of disbelief? Is it the fact that things originally attributed to god can now be explained by science? Is it the fact that the bible is contradictory or just plain false on some areas? Is it the fact that for a book and religion trying to unite the world with a perfect word of god we are more split up than ever?

      I think what you are having an issue with is that I don't actively, every day, 24/7 disbelieve in god. I don't go around talking about my view points about the unbelievabilty to my friends and I certainly don't take part in anything that is solely just for atheists. My disbelief comes from my inaction and that's it.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Timmy

      I assume that most atheists base their NON Belief in gods on the FACT that they see no proof of god anywhere.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Doh!

      It's supposed to be "tailor"

      Stupid ho.mophones

      March 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @hawaiiguest : WHAT BELIEFS! WHAT DOCTRINES! Jeez people have been asking you this all god damned day!

      I'm only using the dictionary's definition. This is a fact, not my opinion. Anything more would be my opinion. If you can address the question, define if as you want and we'll move on from there.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • What a Paean

      Austin,
      "...down load some choir tunes! That would be relaxing and entertaining."

      "Anything too stupid to be said is sung.”

      ― Voltaire

      March 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're the one who contends a doctrine of atheism exists. Where are your facts to support this belief?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "Perhaps they have more insight than Iron Age man."

      Insight has nothing to do with it. The fact is, science won't ever be able to say how it all began because we weren't there to observe it (though Christianity says we have God's word on how it happened ... He observed it.) Science can't know, but it still makes the claim it does. And we see over and over how it is proven wrong when it comes to that kind of thing. It's historical science. The Bible, on the other hand, has had it's science right since the beginning.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Scientists do no such thing, Gopher. Why do you lie?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      I see not much has changed here. Both sides still arguing and mocking each other.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • JMEF

      L4H
      What is the doctrine of atheism, when did it evolve, who practices this doctrine, where can I find this doctrine explained,what are you talking about, does this doctrine exist only in your own mind? Help us help you to find the facts you seek.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "I see not much has changed here. Both sides still arguing and mocking each other."

      And thus it is ever so.

      Occasionally people are willing to listen.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      Holy shit. I'm asking you, WHAT FUCKING DOCTRINES OF ATHEISM DO YOU THINK THERE IS!
      Fucking shiit just answer the fucking question before I call you a bad name and you run away with your "ad hominem" that's not an ad hominem crap!

      March 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Hello!

      Correct! doesn't it make you feel good to know at least some things never change?

      PS You are totally right, California is AWESOME.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Toldja. 🙂

      We should meet up some time, go get some Aussie Cheese Fries and discuss how good or bad the new Star Wars flicks are gonna be.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Indeed, I personally think we're stuck in this weird paralell universe where JJ Abrams has directed a Star Trek movie (Which was super good) and is now at the helm of the new Star Wars movie which could be pretty good. I just don't know what to think about having a 70's trilogy lodged in the middle of a trilogy in the 2000's and another trilogy that will span the late teens and early 20's. Watching them in a row is going to completely throw off the random viewer.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I only want one thing. The first scene, we see Jar Jar Binks get killed in some brutal manner. If the movie does that, I'd nominate it for an Oscar.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Now THAT is something I can get behind, though does Jar Jar even live to a new hope? Maybe they'll do it in flashback form. Give Darth a moment to be like, "You've annoyed me for the last time Jar Jar" and then slowly saw off his arms with a light saber. It would be pretty awesome.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Oh and have Han shoot someone FIRST.

      That would make me happy.

      So whereabouts in CA are you living?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Well Harrison Ford did sign on to be in the next movie, I have a feeling he'll shoot someone first this time.

      I'm in SF in the city but working in San Mateo. The commute's a killer.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Oh yeah. That is brutal. I'm right outside SF in the East Bay. I used to commute from Dublin to SF every day. On BART at 5:00 AM, got home around 4:30 PM. Gotta love it.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children nor any living thing

      There will be NO FACTS if YOU do not present any! So far, you have not presented a single solitary fact to support the existence of god! So, we will continue our lack of belief since there is NO KNOWN reason nor any logic for this "belief"!

      March 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  19. Tommy

    If swindlers don't get into heaven then every priest in the entire history of the world is going to go to hell as religion is nothing but a giant swindle.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tommy:
      "The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he doesn't exist." – Charles Baudelaire

      March 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Russ, The devil does not exist – same as god does not exist. They're the product of primitive, uneducated minds and unfortunately the superstitions linger to this day.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Santa: you said "the devil does not exist – the same as God does not exist."
      those are your *beliefs* – not empirically verifiable statements. they are faith-based.

      in other words, you are offering your own faith-based assertions while claiming other faith-based assertions are "primitive & uneducated" – why? because they are faith-based? that is self-refuting.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      And yet you do the exact same thing you just called Santa out on. Using your faith-based assertions to reject every other faith-based assertions.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:
      let's be clear: so you are conceding my point – that atheism is a faith-based endeavor?

      and directly on the contrary: unlike 'Santa', I was not claiming my position was purely empirical. i agree that this is a metaphysical debate. what i called him out on was falsely claiming his position was an empirically-based one (as distinct from mine). I have admitted from the outset that my position is faith-based.

      my critique was not that he would make a faith-based assertion (at all or even at the exclusion of other such assertions), but rather that he falsely assumed his faith-based assertion was empirically-based (thereby coming to the illogical & self-defeating conclusion that all faith-based assertions are 'primitive' & 'uneducated').

      because he wrongly excluded himself from the very category he was criticizing, he thought the critique did not apply to him. i, on the other hand, readily admit my position is faith-based – so I am not making the same critique. which goes to my first point: what about you? do you agree atheism is a faith-based endeavor?

      March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      I don't even know what you mean "faith-based endeavor". As far as the faith based part, anyone who makes a positive claim about the factual existence or non-existence of any "god" has no evidentiary basis for it, but could have a logical basis for it. I'd say it's more probable that a god does not exist.
      Empirically, there's nothing to prove nor disprove say, the god of the bible. Logically, the god of the bible can't exist. Perhaps that was what Santa was talking about? It is not faith-based when something is logically contradictory with itself, as the god of the bible is.
      Now, are you talking about agnostic atheism faith-based, or are you talking about gnostic atheism being faith-based? Or are you unaware of the difference?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:
      if the empirical evidence isn't there (for the absence of God), what logical basis do you have for your faith leap?

      agnostic = "no knowledge" or w/o kn
      gnostic = "knowledge" or w/

      I haven't heard those particular terms used. but i'm assuming you mean "strong" vs. "weak" atheism? but honestly, I don't think those terms are needed. an agnostic is something entirely different than an atheist. the etymology there should say it all.

      an agnostic claims not to know – unless one is claiming *we cannot know* (which requires knowing everything).
      an atheist claims outright that there is no god.

      people try to make shades of gray, but there is the baseline difference per the definition. so which are you?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      Who could've guessed Russ was a complete idiot?
      theist: believes in a god(s)
      atheist: believes in no god(s)
      gnostic: is certain a god(s) exist(s)
      agnostic: is not certain if a god(s) exist(s)

      March 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hi Russ,

      Here's a thought experiment. Let's consider a random character string that's pronounceable and not a word. It has all the attributes of God, I assert, plus another attribute. Do you have a basis on which to reject its existence and that it is, at least, real?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: look up the etymology. then cross reference your definitions with mine.

      don't try to dodge the point here with a grammatical or lexical end run.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: I appreciate the thought, but I would want to push back on the presuppositions.

      an anthropocentric projection of 'god' (or this new god-like thing/being) as a concept will be only that. it fails to understand "the infinite qualitative difference between humanity and God" (Kierkegaard). so, as ludwig feuerbach said: all such talk about God is really just anthropology – human self-projection.

      i think karl barth was correct when he said of such pursuits of theology: "only God can speak for himself." that's why, as a Christian, the Bible is so central to our understanding of God. or to put it as Calvin did: God 'accommodated' our understanding – speaking faithfully about himself in 'baby-talk.'

      otherwise, as many 'search for the historical Jesus' scholars have discovered, all we have is our own self-projections. we have the Jesus of the earliest sources (the Bible) or we have some other hybrid self-projection. either God comes to us & accurately represents himself, or we have nothing but the pooling of our collective ignorance.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. The atheist position is not "I know that no god/gods exist", and it does not become that just because you say so. You cite etymology, yet ignore the etymology of atheism.
      Something isn't true until proven wrong, that's just a shifting of the burden of proof. The absence of a "disproof of god" is completely irrelevant. Unless you are prepared to hold multiple, contradictory positions because they haven't been disproven, all you're doing is special pleading for your pet belief.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • May

      Russ, you are the one making the "faith leap" with your claims of the existence of an uberbeing. Present your evidence if you can, or take a big leap away. Put up or shut up, as they say.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:
      atheism = "no god" literally. that is the etymology.
      agnostic = "not knowing" literally.

      either you know there is no god & so assert that position, or you don't know and cannot assert that position. sure, you can guess, but at that point – again, the agnostic loses the "humility" of not knowing to making a faith-based claim. and therein falls prey to his own critique.

      "There is a gap between the probable and the proved. How was I to cross it? If I were to stake my whole life on the risen Christ, I wanted proof – I wanted certainty. I wanted to see him eat a bit of fish. I wanted letters of fire across the sky. I got none of these. And I continued to hang about on the edge of the gap... it was a question of whether I was going to accept him or reject him... My God, there was a gap behind me as well. Perhaps the leap to acceptance was a horrifying gamble, but what of the leap to rejection! There might be no absolute certainty that Christ was God, but there was no certainty that he was not. This was not to be borne. I could not reject Jesus. There was only one thing to do once I had seen the gap behind me. I turned away from it, and flung myself over the gap towards Jesus."
      – Sheldon Vanauken

      March 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      No, you're wrong. Theism is literally belief in a god/gods. A theist is one who believes in a god/gods. The prefix a- is literally without, or no.
      Atheism is without, or no, belief in a god/gods. Belief and knowledge are two very different things. Theism is not just "god", it's "belief in god".
      And tell me, why should I care what Sheldon Vanauken has to say about anything.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Russ, that sounds like the ineffable qualities of God are such that we can only accept that God is at least real, and not address its reality through any form of argument. But God may not be real at all, and there may be no argument that can suffice to show that it is not real because of those same ineffable qualities you require of God. I should believe because you have made God sufficiently elusive?

      March 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: yes, you *believe* certain things about what undergirds physics. these are NOT empirically verifiable things. they are faith-based. it requires a leap of faith. atheism is the *belief* that god does not exist – though this is NOT empirically verifiable.

      that's sheldon vanauken's point – as a former "non-believer" in Jesus, he was yet *believing* in things that equally required a LEAP of faith. that's the "gap behind me." either way, it's a leap. unless of course you are simply claiming utter agnosticism (feet planted firmly in the air)...

      March 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      Mankind has progressed far enough to be able to use sign language and iPads to communicate with gorillas and yet we cannot teach Russ 4 definitions.... *sigh*

      March 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: good question. but no, that's exactly the opposite point from what I'm making.
      yes, God would be unknowable UNLESS he so chose to make himself known.

      as a Christian, I obviously believe the Incarnation definitively addressed that issue.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: though it's tempting simply to start copying & pasting Webster's here, it's clear you'd rather dodge the issue with semantics than have a discussion.

      do you *believe* there is no God? on what basis do you hold that *belief*? and on what basis do you so ardently hold that belief that you would mock others for not believing that... and yet claim you just don't *know*?

      March 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Wow. Are you just unwilling to actually stick to what the definition actually is? Without a belief in a god/gods is not the same as believing there is no god/gods.

      March 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Russ, the Incarnation has not made God known. The Incarnation, if it occurred, is now represented only by writings people can easily reject. We don't know what the author of 1 John claimed to know: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—".

      March 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: you seem to be assuming that is merely empirically realized. and yet – according the same Scriptures – many who *saw* Jesus' miracles did not believe. as Jesus said to Peter: "this was not revealed to you by flesh & blood, but my Father who is in heaven." Jesus says as much about us in John 20 when talking to "Doubting Thomas." And Paul himself points out that it is by God's Spirit that people will *realize* the truth (1 Cor.2:6-16) – which IS empirically demonstrated, but in and of itself does not change anyone (James: "even the demons believe and shudder").

      the broader, more troubling assumption here seems to be that only what is empirically verifiable is true. but that statement fails its own standard: it is not empirically verifiable.

      yes, I do think the incarnation, the source material & the plethora of it (especially in comparison with other ancient events taken as historical 'givens'), the testimony & explosion of Christianity are all themselves empirical evidences of what happened 2000 years ago.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: much to the contrary, i'm sticking with my definition. the difference is that you believe you can withhold a belief in one thing without active belief in some alternative thing. that is where our disagreement lies. it is "without belief in gods" that i am objecting to, but the notion that one can be "without belief" categorically or in general. that fails to understand one's functional reality.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Russ

      clarification: it is NOT "without belief in gods"...

      March 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Russ, I brought up that part of 1 John to underline the fact that we have much less now than that man, the author, said he had known of the Incarnation. You point out out that even with that, people still did not believe, and when they did believe, they did not necessarily become God's. We have so much less, and your God is unwilling or unable to work in so many of us. And, if I understand your theology correctly, it is impossible for us as spiritually dead individuals to do anything about it ourselves.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ

      "the difference is that you believe you can withhold a belief in one thing without active belief in some alternative thing."

      Do you believe that I can withold belief in the superiority of the New Zealand All Blacks without believing in an altternative (their lack of superiority or the superiority of another team)? Keep in mind that I know nothing about Rugby.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: careful, I am not taking a position of fatalism.

      yes, we cannot save ourselves. but no, we are not robots. we actively respond to God's grace as he works it in us. the mere fact that someone would be actually looking into these things is a potential sign that God is at work in that person.

      and we do not have "so much less." as Jesus made clear at his ascension, he was sending his Spirit to live IN us. it's not that we get *less* of Jesus, but *more* of him. that's the point of Jn.14-16, where Jesus is explaining the Trinity. per your previous question, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would come & "guide us into all truth" & that Jesus himself is "the way, the truth and the life." As Acts 16:6-7 says, the Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of Jesus. In other words, the person of the Holy Spirit is purposefully anonymous as He guides us toward Jesus – belief in him and a relationship with him. As Paul said: "Do you not know that you yourselves are the temple of the Holy Spirit?" (1 Cor.3:15-16).

      Point being: no, in that regard we are *closer* to Jesus than they were when they walked with him. but i recognize that probably sounds like a lot of mystical mumbo jumbo on this blog...

      March 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Saraswati: good question. i think it's more foundational, though.

      you don't have to know about rugby to have underlying beliefs/assumptions about what makes one thing superior to another... and hence this entire discussion. somewhere underneath this whole thing is the categorical pursuit of "Reality", the Truth/truth, actual nature of existence, etc.

      in that regard, yes – i believe you have a definitive thought about what is superior, though you may not know enough about something as trivial (at least to you) as rugby. but even that is – in and of itself – a belief about what matters & what does not.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • clarity

      Russ [ "yes, I do think the incarnation, the source material & the plethora of it (especially in comparison with other ancient events taken as historical 'givens'), the testimony & explosion of Christianity are all themselves empirical evidences of what happened 2000 years ago." ]

      Exactly what kind of evidence are you suggesting here, Russ? What kind of testimony -exactly written by whom? What kind of historical givens? When asked about the gospels looked like obvious copies of previous stories, several early Christian apologists could only come up with was this kookie notion of 'diabolical mimicry' – that the devil did it. So I'm curious exactly what kind of evidence beyond hearsay (i.e., Josephus Flavius for instance) that you subscribe to or consider "empirical" evidence.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • clarity

      should be *looking* like . .

      March 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Russ

      @ clarity: your question is worthwhile, but would take our string in a whole different direction. so instead of a rather lengthy treatise, i'll give you a few resources:

      two rather exhaustive scholarly works on those questions:
      Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" (especially good on the evidences you are asking for)
      NT Wright, "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (he treats the question of the resurrection from multiple angles: historical, philosophical, theological, practical, etc.)

      for a shorter reference on the exponentially greater resources available compared to other ancient texts, here's a good article with a few helpful charts:
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      the evidence is plentiful for those actually willing to engage the scholarship.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • clarity

      I have read some of N.T. Wright's works, but not sure about that one – I will look into it, Russ. Now Russ, you are similar to Chad in that you gloss over the gray areas of belief as if they were not important as you try to pigeon-hole people into these black and white buckets. I assure you that there are people who do not have their feet in the air, who I believe would be categorized as agnostic atheists who do not reject the possibility of a deity should one present itself and become knowable, but who have found the argument for a belief in the Abrahamic God insufficient, and therefore do not possess a belief for that particular deity.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      On the contrary, it is the default to not hold a belief in a proposition until it has either been proven true or false. A good analogy is a jury trial. The jury is told to decide guilt. They decide whether they think the defendant is guilty, or not guilty, not guilty or innocent. Those who decide on not guilty are not necessarily saying they believe the person is innocent, although that's well within the realm of that position, it merely shows that they have not been convinced of guilt.
      You're creating a false dichotomy.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ clarity: that is demonstrating Vanauken's point. there is a gap in belief EITHER way. to believe one or the other requires a leap of faith. and clearly, the assertion that Jesus is not who he said he was requires belief in certain things contrary to a broad array of evidences. and that is why i'm pushing here: we feign humility when we say "i just don't know" as a cover for ardent belief in (not to mention, daily practical living into) another set of 'truths'.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: the jury is not a good analogy because it presumes you aren't already taking action on the "case" at hand.

      i would say breathing is a better analogy. if you don't believe air exists, why do you keep breathing it? the action of breathing already dictates your stance on the matter on a daily basis.

      also, the jury analogy fails to recognize bias. the fact is: if Jesus was who he said he was, everything about one's life can & must change as a result of realizing that fact – because now he sets the agenda, not my daily prerogatives. if not, one continues on the default path: doing whatever i want whenever & however i see fit.

      to fail to see that the 'deliberator' has a vested interest is the reason you like the jury analogy. they've already been paid off. there is no neutrality here.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • clarity

      In additional to what hawaii just wrote, I disagree that it takes a giant leap of faith to not believe in the Abrahamic God. From my point of view it is exactly because there has been no broad spectrum of credible evidence ever presented that would make the gospel stories any more believable than the earlierstories they mimic.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Russ. I was away and I see it has already been said but you, in effect, claim that all other gods do not exist. So while I cannot prove that god doesn't exist, I'm not the one making extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Sorry to say, but that was a pretty huge fail on your part.

      "i would say breathing is a better analogy. if you don't believe air exists, why do you keep breathing it? the action of breathing already dictates your stance on the matter on a daily basis."
      You're not even talking about positions anymore.

      "also, the jury analogy fails to recognize bias. the fact is: if Jesus was who he said he was, everything about one's life can & must change as a result of realizing that fact – because now he sets the agenda, not my daily prerogatives. if not, one continues on the default path: doing whatever i want whenever & however i see fit."
      Still not talking about positions. You also make the erroneous claim that people can only change when they believe in Jesus, which is completely and demonstrably false.

      "to fail to see that the 'deliberator' has a vested interest is the reason you like the jury analogy. they've already been paid off. there is no neutrality here."
      Still not talking about positions. Did you really not understand the analogy, or did you just feel like changing the entire scope of what was being talked about?

      March 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ,

      Belief is a mental state and can only, so far, be investigated by individual reporting of people’s own mental states, much as we conditions of pain or happiness. If we accept such individual reporting as evidence we already have to accept that some people do exist for whom it is true that no belief in god exists, just as in the case of the All Blacks.

      I have myself at times fallen into the category of have no belief regarding god. You are then in the position of classifying me as either misunderstanding my own mental state or not telling the truth – much as you would be when asking someone to report on their own level of pain when you stuck them with a pin (or some other stimulus). Sure, you might yourself feel pain when a pin is pushed with a certain level of pressure, but that won’t be the same for everyone, and a few folk feel no pain at all.

      I'm going to guess that your belief about beliefs is based on your own personal mental states when approaching the question of God. I understand that you think it impossible to not have belief on such issues, but I at least am not familiar with any research to support that (I would be interested if you have any). It’s a big leap to assume that because your own mental states regarding belief work one way others do as well.

      March 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Russ

      @ clarity:

      1) you are failing to recognize what you *already* are presuming. that's Vanauken's point. he became aware of his own metaphysical presuppositions and the giant leap of faith necessary for ANY position.

      at no point does science itself claim to give you truth, ethics, an explanation for the purpose of existence, etc. you have inferred ALL those things *behind* or *before* you took up the DATA that science gives you. for example, to approach scientific research with methodological naturalism (as so many openly admit they do) is not an unbiased approach to the data. it presumes David Hume's argument that the miraculous is improbable & therefore should be ruled out – despite that fact that the last 20 years of scientific data itself contradicts that assumption (chaos theory, entropy, etc.).

      yes, you are equally making a leap of faith. Nietzsche recognized this over 100 years ago: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science." failing to see that is why you are using critiques that equally apply to your own position while falsely assuming your position is exempt from that same criticism. in short, you are continuing to make a leap of faith yet have become so accustomed to it that you no longer perceive it.

      again: science is wonderful. it is a human discipline of observation.
      scientism is putting metaphysical faith in that discipline – something the history of science itself should warn you against.

      2) I gave you over 1000 pages of scholarly interaction with evidence to consider. since that might have been too much, i gave you a one page article as an starter. It's not that "there is no evidence," but rather you refuse to explore it.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Russ

      @ Santa: read what I just wrote to clarity – esp #1.
      it is an extraordinary (metaphysical) claim to *assume* the nature of existence WITHOUT evidence.

      as i've said before: physics cannot speak to metaphysics. and you are conflating the two.
      that is not science but scientism. you are putting faith in presuppositions you made BEFORE the evidence.
      that is not empirical.

      to be direct: if you assume "the only things that are true & real is what can be empirically proven", that statement ITSELF is not empirically verifiable. it fails its own standard. to trust a standard that fails itself is an ENORMOUS leap of faith.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: so you can use analogies but i can't? that seems pretty hypocritical.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: so you divide belief utterly from action? you don't think a belief is a necessary pre-requisite for an action?

      at what point does subjective existence intersect with objective reality? do you think that objective reality is merely a subjective construct? it sounds like you are making a distinction that would invalidate ALL 'truth' outside your own experience... and that calls virtually all of history into question.

      March 7, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Where did I say you couldn't use analogies? I merely pointed out that you completely changed the scope of what was being talked about from positions on a claim to whether the claim is actually true. You did not actually address anything relevant, and you are continuing to fail to grasp what is even being discussed.

      March 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: i just answered this same general objection on the other thread/conversation we've been having today, so i'll refer you to there...

      March 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Actually, the other thread has nothing to do with this one. It's not even in the same ballpark. If you just don't want to admit that you were dishonest in changing the scope of what was being talked about, then it just shows more about you.

      March 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: let's retread the last exchange then...
      you use an analogy to argue your point. i respond in kind.
      the underlying point i am making: you are avoiding a presupposed bias, a point of departure, your metaphysical presuppositions (hence my objection to your jury analogy)... which is exactly the same root discussion we are having on the other page.

      March 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      THIS thread I'm talking about the fact that atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive. I'm talking about the difference beetween belief and knowledge.
      I'm arguing the meaning of words, and you're just chugging alone with your "presupposition" arguments.

      March 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Saraswati,

      apparently you know two things about Rugby.

      1. The New Zealand All Blacks are a Rugby team,
      2. They're usually pretty good.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @GOP,

      Everything I know about the All Blacks comes from the comic strip Get Fuzzy. 🙂

      March 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      so today's topic seems to be "truth".

      Absolute truth is unknowable. There can be no monopoly on truth.

      There are facts:
      We breathe oxygen. There are 7 billion humans living today. We will all die. George Washington was the first President of the United States, etc.

      There are proofs:
      The sum of two even numbers is even. Any number subtracted from itself equals zero. Any number divided by itself equals one.

      There are natural laws:
      Bodies in motion remain in motion. Bodies at rest remain at rest. F=ma. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The absolute pressure and volume of a given mass of confined gas at constant temperature are inversely proportional. PV = nRT. Matter cannot be created or destroyed. E=mc²

      There are theories, backed up by evidence.
      Our universe began with the big bang, 13.8 billion years ago. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. Humans evolved from primates. The end of the dinosaurs was coincident with a meteorite collision 65 million years ago.

      There are opinions:
      Raising tax revenue from the richest 1% will help reduce the deficit. The French Navy won the American War of Independence. Banning semi-automatic rifles will reduce mass killings.

      There are morals:
      Killing, lying and stealing are wrong.

      There are beliefs:
      There is one God – the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is one God – Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet. If one sows goodness, one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil.

      Each of these will be considered as ‘true’ by a great number of people, but the search for “truth” belongs in the philosophy department.

      None of these are absolute – except perhaps for death and taxes.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @ Tommy,

      "so you divide belief utterly from action?"

      No.

      "you don't think a belief is a necessary pre-requisite for an action?"

      No. (sorry too sleepy to write long answers right now)

      "at what point does subjective existence intersect with objective reality?"

      haha...really too sleepy for that one...that's an essay...

      "do you think that objective reality is merely a subjective construct?"

      No.

      "it sounds like you are making a distinction that would invalidate ALL 'truth' outside your own experience... and that calls virtually all of history into question."

      No. You've already agreed to the All Blacks scenario...I'm just saying it's not necessarily that different.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Fideism – was this Russ? Someone maintained that there are truths, or at least true beliefs, that can only be arrived at by spiritual apprehension. I tried to explore what that might be and in the end could only conclude that it's a bit like arriving at belief by imprinting, the way ducklings will just choose something and follow it with unwavering faith. It is true belief when the ducklings choose to follow a duck and it's the right duck.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  20. Austin

    1 Corinthians 6:10
    New International Version (NIV)
    10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • OTOH

      Austin,

      What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special?

      March 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Austin

      Romans 1:29-30
      New International Version (NIV)
      29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

      March 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, and you think those descriptions don't fit the majority of Christians?

      March 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Austin

      Leviticus 19:16
      New International Version (NIV)
      16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Austin

      No the definition of slander is not necessarily a legal term.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      Hello again Poe. Still trolling around I see.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a legal term, Austin. You're just too stupid to know that. It's also spoken. Nothing here is being spoken, despite the voices you are hearing in your brain.

      But I didn't expect much better from somebody who thinks defamate is a word.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • .

      How very nice. None of it is applicable to atheists, so WHAT is your point?? That you are free to slander people is they don't believe exactly as you do? Fuck off, Austin, you stupid troll.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Austin

      Ti?tus 3:2
      New International Version (NIV)
      2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

      March 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • fintastic

      @austin.............. "You don't frighten us, christian pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at your, so-called "god" you and all your silly christian K-nig-hts."

      March 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I'll show my naughty bits to your auntie." "I'll faahhhht in your general direction."

      March 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Akira

      It is ALWAYS the right time for Monty Python.
      That has GOT to be one of the funniest movies of all time...

      March 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Akira, I know. I saw your post and started scrolling up to see if anyone had posted more quotes, and for a nanosecond I thought sam's post was one!

      March 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
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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.