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CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference
David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, will not have a booth at CPAC.
February 25th, 2014
02:53 PM ET

CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington - Organizers for the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference will not allow American Atheists to have an exhibition booth at the conservative conference, the group's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The decision comes just hours after American Atheists, the outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, announced that it would have a booth at the event. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tells CNN that a groundswell of opposition from high-ranking members of CPAC compelled the group to pull the invite.

Meghan Snyder, a spokeswoman for CPAC, said in a statement to CNN that “American Atheists misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in positive dialogue and work together to promote limited government.”

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"I'm surprised and I'm saddened," Silverman said in response to the announcement.  "I think this is a very disappointing turn of events.  I was really looking forward to going."

Representatives of CPAC called Silverman Tuesday afternoon and said they would be returning the group's money, Silverman said.

"It is very obvious to me they were looking for a reason to say no," Silverman added.  "Christianity is bad for conservatism and they did not want that message out there."

In an interview with CNN on Monday night, Silverman said his group planned to use the booth to bring conservative atheists “out of the closest” and said he was not worried about making the Christian right angry because “the Christian right should be threatened by us.”

Snyder said CPAC spoke to Silverman about his divisive and inappropriate language.

“He pledged that he will attack the very idea that Christianity is an important element of conservatism.  People of any faith tradition should not be attacked for their beliefs, especially at our conference.  He has left us with no choice but to return his money,” she said.

When Snyder confirmed to CNN on Monday that American Atheists would be at CPAC, she said in a statement that they were allowed to display at the confab because “conservatives have always stood for freedom of religion and freedom of expression.”

“The folks we have been working with stand for many of the same liberty-oriented policies and principles we stand for,” Snyder said.

The Conservative Political Action Committee, the largest and oldest gathering of conservatives, is run by the American Conservative Union and will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland's National Harbor from March 6 to 8. Last year, the event brought together thousands of activists to listen to dozens of Republican leaders speak about everything from economics and foreign policy to social issues. The event has long been considered a required stop for Republican presidential hopefuls.

The decision to include American Atheists outraged some conservatives, with many taking to Twitter to voice their disapproval.

According to Silverman, Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, called him to talk about the group's inclusion in the event and the response from conservatives members.

In a statement to CNN on Monday night, Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative think-tank Family Research Council, expressed outrage at the decision, stating that the American Atheists did "not seek to add their voice to the chorus of freedom."

"CPAC's mission is to be an umbrella for conservative organizations that advance liberty, traditional values and our national defense," said Perkins, who spoke at CPAC in 2012. "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

"If this is where the ACU is headed, they will have to pack up and put away the 'C' in CPAC!" the social conservative leader added.

American Atheist is well known for its controversial billboards and media campaigns and is considered the in-your-face contingent in the world of atheist activists. The group’s members pride themselves as being the “Marines" of the atheist movement.

The atheist organization paid $3,000 for booth 439 in the event’s exhibition hall. That money will now be returned. Its booth was set to be right next to the Republican National Committee’s booth.

In explaining why the group decided to join CPAC on Monday, Silverman cited a 2012 Pew Research study that found 20% of self-identified conservatives consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. While that does not mean they are atheists, Silverman believes learning more about atheism will make it more likely conservatives will choose to identify with those who believe there is no God.

“Just as there are many closeted atheists in the church pews, I am extremely confident that there are many closeted atheists in the ranks of conservatives," Silverman said at the time. This “is really a serious outreach effort, and I am very pleased to be embarking on it.”

The group has long targeted Republican lawmakers, although Silverman considers the organization nonpartisan.

In 2013, American Atheists launched a billboard campaign against three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. All three Republicans have spoken at CPAC in the past.

On one billboard, Santorum is pictured to the left of a quote attributed to him. “Our civil laws have to comport with a higher law. God’s law,” the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tagline: "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

The group has also prided itself on trying to reach into religious communities and help "closeted atheists" come out, as it did in a 2012 billboard campaign aimed at Jews and Muslims.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (829 Responses)
  1. Reality

    For posting on the doors of the topic meeting:

    The Apostles' Creed 2014: (updated and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    February 26, 2014 at 8:06 am |
    • Austin

      I can tell you that through the word of God a supernatural person showed me his presence.

      This came after a plea with God for help cincerning truth. Even though i rejected the bible because of as.umptions i still pleaded my case to that God.

      I would recommend trusting God and taking your statements to Him and not out of disgust for any savior but rather helpless zeal and disgust for mankinds downfall.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:42 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        And we can tell you that you're a liar, a fraud and in need of serious psychiatric help!

        February 26, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  2. Doris

    "[..] not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots. It's anything but that.
    My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own. "

    -Same Harris

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWJfdRpHWuk

    February 26, 2014 at 8:02 am |
    • Doris

      (Sam Harris, not "Same Harris")

      February 26, 2014 at 8:02 am |
    • Dalahäst

      ~Lionel Tiger, author of God's Brain, 2010, wrote that religion can satisfy the most basic yearnings of human beings; which might explain why 80% of the world's adults are part of some religious system.

      As Dr. Tiger said, "You can't have a viable society in which 80% of adults are morons."

      The brain recognizes a problem and religion tells someone what to do about it. The two systems balance each other.~

      February 26, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "~Lionel Tiger, author of God's Brain, 2010, wrote that religion can satisfy the most basic yearnings of human beings; which might explain why 80% of the world's adults are part of some religious system. "

        I am more satisfied and comforted with the belief that there is 5 million dollars worth of gold buried in my back yard. That doesn't make it a good idea to behave like there is unless it is verified.

        February 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Good for you. That analogy doesn't work for me. I know God is real. That is why I'm not an atheist. Like most people. Not because I'm delusional and inferior to you and your rational thinking.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And there we go, not addressing the point or making an argument. Instead you make an unsubstantiated claim of truth (I know god is real) with nothing to support it, as with miracles you assert it can't be proven but still somehow maintain that it is justifyed. And then deflect the argument to me claiming to be superior, something I have addressed with you many times. Wash, rinse, repeat.

          I am not completely rational in all the positions I hold, no one is. But it IS my goal to hold as many rational positions as possible. And when I identify an irrational position I hold, to change my position. Depite your best efforts to argue to the contrary I don't caim to be perfectly rational, but it is a goal. And you have never offered anything to show why rationality shouldn't be strived for.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Apollo to Zeus

          @Dalahäst
          I know God is real.

          Wrong:
          You believe god is real, but you don't know.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And how do you know that?

          Or do you just believe it?

          February 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cheese

          Some people rationalize bad behavior and misunderstandings. That is a great goal. Good luck in your pursuit.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Being "rational"

          and "rationalization" in the form you are using it are not the same thing. You are conflating meanings and are doing so dishonestly.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala, "And how do you know that? Or do you just believe it?"

          We know that you cannot know because if you knew you'd have evidence to point to and you haven't done so; also that evidence would probably be well known if it existed.

          February 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
  3. colin31714

    Dalahast proposes a “truce” between science and religion. Of course he would. If I were a virulent disease, I would propose a truce with a new vaccine. If I were a coc.kroach who inhabited a dark and dank refuge, I would propose a truce with Edison and his light bulb.

    Unfortunately for him, the march of science and knowledge is inevitable and unstoppable. Knowledge expands and God contracts. The two are inversely proportional. There is no room for silly superst.itions in the 21st Century. They are a thing of yore. The gods, ghosts and goblins are in full retreat. They inhabit now only the few remaining dark orifices that the penetrating light of science and knowledge is yet to illuminate.

    The weak, unquestioning mind of the believer is probably the most obstinate.

    February 26, 2014 at 7:57 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      It is quite obvious that yours is a deep seeded, visceral hate of christians, perhaps even bordering on the pathological. My guess is some "christian' has seriously wounded you in the past , perhaps a rogue Sunday school teacher or over bearing, legalistic parent.? Whatever the case, I hope eventually you will find resolution and closure.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:05 am |
      • colin31714

        No, mine is a deep dislike of subordinating our common sense as a species to supernatural beliefs, however warm and comforting they might be.

        February 26, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          If it were just that, I honestly don't think your indignation would be so palpable. I think there's another dynamic at work here, and I imagine you realize it too. Sorry for the psychoanalysis.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • hotairace

          Hmmmm...

          If someone believes in the unproven, they are completely rational and something else, such as mental illness, cannot be at play.

          If someone does not believe in the unproven, they are not being rational and something else, such as past hurt by a believer, must be at play.

          What a twisted world we live in.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • colin31714

          No need to apologize, your invective was baseless and, therefore, worthless. You might as well have called me "fatty, fatty."

          February 26, 2014 at 8:41 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          hotair

          You may want to work on your reading within a context skills. "Proven" or "unproven" was never mentioned, it was about malevolence.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          C

          Sometimes "the proof" really is "in the pudding."

          February 26, 2014 at 9:22 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Colin dost protest too much.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:31 am |
    • Doris

      His whole post there was, I believe, a quote (wtih an embedded quote).

      Regardless, I'm not buying it.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:06 am |
      • colin31714

        Nonsense. But feel free to prove me wrong.

        February 26, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • Doris

          The post at February 26, 2014 at 1:19 am? That seems to start a large block then attributed to Sean McElwee. But maybe I misread his blocking intent.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • Doris

          And just to be clear, I'm not buying his "proposes a “truce” between science and religion" whether it be direct or indirect.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:23 am |
        • colin31714

          Sorry, I thought you were referring to my post. Yes, 99% of his posts are copy/paste of other's thoughts. All religion is, essentially, adopting unquestioningly, the thoughts of others – usually those from a few thousand years ago.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:35 am |
        • Doris

          "religion is, essentially, adopting unquestioningly, the thoughts of others – usually those from a few thousand years ago."

          yes – great point, Colin.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "religion is, essentially, adopting unquestioningly, the thoughts of others – usually those from a few thousand years ago."

          False. Attributing such an understanding to me is based simply the quoter's imagination. And is devoid of facts, but simply a hostile attempt to insult someone.

          Pretty much just a bigot spouting nonsense.

          I

          February 26, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "atheism for Colin is, essentially, adopting unquestioningly, the thoughts of Richard Dawkins – usually those from a few years ago."

          Works for me. Sound logic. Eh? 🙂

          February 26, 2014 at 9:36 am |
    • Dalahäst

      You are not a scientist. Science is not on your side. You would give your left nut to have the scientific knowledge of some Christians.

      February 26, 2014 at 9:20 am |
      • Doris

        Oh yes there are some.

        Then you have quite a number of Christian scientists who do more to harm and confuse understand of science.

        One only need search for "young earth geology" on youtube to get a plethora of videos from a Dr Snelling who was referenced a few times by Ham in the Ham-Nye debate. But what story is this Dr Snelling telling? Another geologist, Dr Alex Ritchie has some interesting insight.
        ==========

        Will the Real Dr Snelling Please Stand Up?

        Dr Alex Ritchie, The Skeptic, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp 12-15

        Dr Alex Ritchie received his BSc. (Hons) in Geology and a Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a palaeontologist at the Australian Museum from 1968 to 1995 where he is currently a Research Fellow.

        For several years, Australian creationists, representing the Creation Science Foundation Ltd, [now Answers in Genesis] have been publishing articles and addressing school and public groups on the topic of the age of the Earth. The theme of these articles and talks is that there is scientific evidence that the geological features of Australia are explicable within the context of an Earth which is only some 6-10,000 years old and that most such features can be attributed to a world-wide flood which occurred more recently still. The author of these claims made them with the authority of a BSc (Hons) in Geology and a PhD. However, in a recently published paper, this same author makes some very different claims about the age of geological features of the Australian landscape.

        These remarkably contradictory, and unexplained, claims by one of the very few Australian creation 'scientists' who has genuine scientific qualifications, calls into question whether anything said by this group on the subject can be taken seriously.

        Dr Alex Ritchie, palaeontologist at the Australian Museum, takes up the story.

        There appear to be two geologists living, working and publishing in Australia under the name of Dr Andrew A Snelling. Both have impressive (and identical) scientific qualifications – a BSc (Hons), in Geology (University of NSW) and a PhD, for research in uranium mineralisation (University of Sydney).

        Curiously, both Drs Snelling use the same address (PO Box 302, Sunnybank, Qld, 4109), which they share with an organisation called the Creation Science Foundation (CSF), the coordinating centre for fundamentalist creationism in Australia.

        But the really strange thing about this is that the views of these two Drs Snelling, on matters such as the age of the earth and its geological strata, are diametrically opposed. This article, the result of my extensive searches through the literature, highlights this remarkable coincidence and poses some serious questions of credibility for the Creation Science Foundation and for either or both of the Drs Andrew A Snelling.

        For convenience I refer to them below as follows:

        (a) Dr A A Snelling 1 – creationist geologist, a director of CSF and regular contributor to, and sometime editor of, the CSF's quarterly magazine, Ex Nihilo (now CREATION ex nihilo).

        (b) Dr A A Snelling 2 – consulting geologist who works on uranium mineralisation and publishes in refereed scientific journals.

        Snelling 1 seldom, if ever, cites articles written by Snelling 2 and Snelling 2 never cites articles written by Snelling 1.
        Snelling 1

        For the past ten years Dr Andrew Snelling BSc, PhD, the CSF's geological spokesman, has been the only prominent Australian creationist with geological qualifications. His credentials are not in question here, only his influence on science education in Australia.

        Snelling 1 writes articles for creationist journals and lectures throughout the country in schools, public meetings and churches. Although his geological credentials are usually highlighted in creationist publications it would be more accurate to describe Snelling 1 as a Protestant evangelist, not as a geologist. Some CSF literature openly refers to him as a 'missionary'.

        Why should Snelling 1's activities concern the scientific and educational communities? To appreciate this, one needs to analyse his published articles to see how geological data and discoveries are misused and reinterpreted from a Biblical perspective.

        CSF members subscribe to a lengthy, very specific Statement of Faith. Apart from purely religious clauses, not relevant here, several clauses carry serious implications for those in scientific and educational circles, especially for those in the Earth (and other historical) sciences. As the extracts below reveal, to a dedicated creationist, scientific evidence is always subservient to Biblical authority.

        "(A) PRIORITIES

        1. The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator and Redeemer.

        (B) BASICS

        3. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life.

        5. The great flood of Genesis was an actual historical event, worldwide in its extent and effect.

        (D) GENERAL

        The following attitudes are held by members of the Board to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture

        (i) The scripture teaches a recent origin for man and for the whole creation.

        (ii) The days in Genesis do not correspond to Geological ages, but are six
        (6) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour days of creation.

        (iii) The Noachian flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.

        (iv) The chronology of secular world history must conform to that of Biblical world history."

        These statements reveal 'creation science' to be an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, based on religious dogma (and a simple minded dogma at that). Despite its name, 'creation science' has little to do with real science and, in fact, represents the antithesis of science.

        Everything in his creationist writings and activities indicates that Snelling 1 subscribes fully to CSF's Statement of Faith. Where this clashes with scientific evidence, the latter is always secondary to the former and his message, although often cloaked in scientific jargon, is simple and unequivocal; indeed one of his favourite lecture topics is "Why, as a Geologist, I Believe in Noah's Flood".

        From the Gospel according to Snelling 1, the Earth is geologically young, created ex nihilo ("from nothing") by a supernatural being, during a short, well defined construction period of only six days. This miraculous creation event, usually dated some 6000 years ago (around 4004 BC), is not the end of the story. The Earth we live on today is not the same as the original created model, which was almost totally destroyed and remodelled some 1,600 years later (around 2345 BC) by an irate Creator who conjured up an unique, world-wide Flood to do the job.

        This Flood, lasting just over one year, tore down all previous land surfaces, rearranged the continents and thrust up all existing mountain chains. It also destroyed all pre-existing life forms, plant and animal – except for a chosen few saved on Noah's Ark. Thus all of the remarkably complex geology of the present day Earth's crust formed during the one year of Noah's Flood and all the innumerable fossil remains of former animals and plants were all buried and preserved by the same Flood.

        Snelling 1 (1983a) presented his views on Flood chronology in an article, Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. After reviewing mainstream views on geology and evolution, he remarked:

        "On the other hand, creationists interpret the majority of the fossiliferous sedimentary rocks of the Earth's crust as testimony to Noah's flood....Creationists do this because they regard the Genesis record as implying that there was no rain before Noah's flood, therefore no major erosion, and hence no significant sedimentation or fossilisation."

        "However the flood was global, erosional and its purpose was destruction. Therefore the first major fossilisation commenced at this time, and the majority of the fossils are regarded as having been formed rapidly during this event. Creationists therefore regard sedimentary strata as needing to be classified into those formed during the time of creation week, pre-flood, flood (early, middle and late), post-flood and recent" (p. 42)

        Snelling 1 then quoted one J C Dillow, a creationist writing on the Earth's supposed pre-Flood "vapour canopy":

        "It should be obvious that if the Earth is only 6000 years old, then all the geological designations are meaningless within that framework, and it is deceptive to continue to use them. If, as many creationist geologists believe, the majority of the geological column represents flood sediments and post-flood geophysical activity, then the mammoth, dinosaur and all humans existed simultaneously .... Some limited attempts have been made by creationist geologists to reclassify the entire geological column within this framework, but the task is immense." (Dillow 1981, "The Waters Above". Moody Press, 405-6)

        Snelling 1 criticised Dillow and other creationists for restricting Flood strata to Phanerozoic rocks (Cambrian and younger) and claimed that most Precambrian rocks are also Flood deposits:

        "It is my contention that those who do this have failed to study carefully the evidence for the flood deposition of many Precambrian strata and have therefore unwittingly fallen into the trap of lumping together the Precambrian strata to the creation week. The usual reason for doing this is that the evolutionists regard Precambrian as so different, so devoid of life in comparison with other rocks, that creationists have simply borrowed their description." (1983, 42).

        Snelling 1 thus pushes the earliest limits of Flood strata far back into the Early Precambrian (early Archaean) times , before even the first appearance of fossils resembling blue-green algae:

        "What I am contending here is that fossils, whether they be microscopic or macroscopic, plant or animal and the fossil counterpart of organic matter, along with its metamorphosed equivalent graphite, are the primary evidence which should distinguish flood rocks from pre-flood rocks, regardless of the evolutionary 'age'." (1983, 45).

        Lest there remain any doubt, Snelling 1 (1983, 42) stated:

        "For creationists to be consistent the implications are clear; Precambrian sediments containing fossils and organic remains were laid down during Noah's flood. Creationist geologists need to completely abandon the evolutionist's geological column and associated terminology. It is necessary to start again, using the presence of fossils or organic matter as a classification criterion in the task of rebuilding our understanding of geological history within the Biblical framework."

        It is difficult to believe that the writer of the foregoing article has a BSc (Hons) and PhD in geology! However an examination of other articles by the same author in Ex Nihilo reveals that, to Snelling 1, everything geological (Ayers Rock, Mt Isa ore deposits, Bass Strait oil and gas, Queensland coal deposits, Great Barrier Reef, etc.,) can be explained as the result of Noah's year-long Flood.

        DOOLAN, ROBERT & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1987. Limestone caves ...a result of Noah's Flood? Limestone caves... a result of Noah's Flood? (4), 10-13.
        READ, PETER & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1985. How Old is Australia's Great Barrier Reef? Creation Ex Nihilo. 8(1), 6-9.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1982. The Recent Origin of Bass Strait Oil and Gas. Ex Nihilo 5 (2) 43-46.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. Ex Nihilo 6 (1), 42-46.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. What about Continental Drift? Have the continents really moved apart? Ex Nihilo 6 (2), 14-16.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The recent, rapid formation of the Mt Isa orebodies during Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo 6 (3) 40-46 (cf. also abstract 17-18).
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The Origin of Ayers Rock. Creation Ex Nihilo 7 (1).
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1986. Coal Beds and Noah's Flood. Creation Ex Nihilo 8 (3), 20-21.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A 1989. Is the Sun Shrinking? Creation Ex Nihilo (pt. 1) 11 (1), 14-19. (pt. 2) 11 (2), 30-34. – The Debate Continues. (pt. 3) 11 (3), 40-43 – The Unresolved Question.
        SNELLING, ANDREW A & John Mackay 1984. Coal, Volcanism and Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo Tech. J. 1, 11-29.
        SNELLING 2

        If we now turn to the scientific articles published by the other Dr A A Snelling, consulting geologist (also from PO Box 302, Sunnybank QLD, 4109), we find a remarkable contrast, both in approach and content. None of them mention the Creation or Creation Week, Flood geology or the need to revamp the classic geological timescale.

        The latest paper by Snelling 2 (1990, 807 -812) is a detailed technical account of the "Koongarra Uranium Deposits" in the Northern Territory. It appears in an authoritative two volume work on "Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea" (ed. F E Hughes), published by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne. The references list eight earlier papers by Snelling 2 in refereed journals (or symposium volumes) on aspects of uranium mineralisation; three as sole author and five as junior co-author.

        In discussing the regional geology (p. 807) and age (p. 811) of the Koongarra uranium deposits, Snelling 2 describes their geological history in fairly technical terms, however, to avoid the charge we lay against the creationists, of taking quotations out of context, I will quote Snelling 2 verbatim from the paper (p. 807):

        "The Archaean basement consists of domes of granitoids and granitic gneisses (the Nanambu Complex), the nearest outcrop being 5 km to the north. Some of the lowermost overlying Proterozoic metasediments were accreted to these domes during amphibolite grade regional metamorphism (5 to 8 kb and 550° to 630° C) at 1870 to 1800 Myr. Multiple isoclinal recumbent folding accompanied metamorphism."

        For the benefit of lay readers, this statement is summarised and simplified here:

        "The oldest rocks in the Koongarra area, domes of granitoids and granitic gneiss, are of Archaean age (ie to geologists this means they are older than 2500 million years). The Archaean rocks are mantled by Lower Proterozoic (younger than 2500 million years) metasediments: all were later buried deeply, heavily folded and, between 1870 and 1800 million years ago, were subjected to regional metamorphism at considerable temperatures and pressures."

        There is no question here of "abandoning the geological column and its associated terminology", and the term Myr refers unequivocally to millions of years.

        One further quotation (p.807), "A 150 Myr period of weathering and erosion followed metamorphism.", is self explanatory.

        There are several further references to ages of millions and thousands of millions of years, and to commonly accepted geological terminology, throughout the paper but, to spare the lay reader, I will only summarise them here:

        1. During Early Proterozoic times (from 1688-1600 million years ago) the area was covered by thick, flat-lying sandstones.

        2. At some later date (but after the reverse faulting) the Koongarra uranium mineral deposit forms, perhaps in several stages, first between 1650-1550 million years ago, and later around 870 and 420 million years.

        3. The last stage, the weathering of the primary ore to produce the secondary dispersion fan above the No 1 orebody seems to have begun only in the last 1-3 million years.

        Nowhere in this, or in any other article by Snelling 2 is there any reference to the creation week, to Noah's Flood or to a young age for the Earth. Nor is there any disclaimer, or the slightest hint, that this Dr Snelling has any reservations about using the standard geological column or time scale, accepted world-wide. The references above to hundreds and thousands of million of years are not interpolated by me. They appear in Dr Snelling 2's paper.

        The problem is obvious – the two Drs A A Snelling BSc (Hons), PhD (with the same address as the Creation Science Foundation) publish articles in separate journals and never cite each other's papers. Their views on earth history are diametrically opposed and quite incompatible.

        One Dr Snelling is a young-earth creationist missionary who follows the CSF's Statement of Faith to the letter. The other Dr Snelling writes scientific articles on rocks at least hundreds or thousand of millions of years old and openly contradicting the Statement of Faith. The CSF clearly has a credibility problem. Are they aware they have an apostate in their midst and have they informed their members?

        Of course there may well be a simple explanation, eg that the two Drs Snelling are one and the same. Perhaps the Board of the CSF has given Andrew Snelling a special dispensation to break his Statement of Faith. Why would they do this? Well, every creation 'scientist' needs to gain scientific credibility by publishing papers in refereed scientific journals and books and the sort of nonsense Dr Snelling publishes in Creation Ex Nihilo is unlikely to be accepted in any credible scientific journal.

        I think that both Dr Snelling and the CSF owe us all an explanation. WILL THE REAL DR ANDREW SNELLING PLEASE STAND UP?

        POSTSCRIPT

        Several years ago, in the Sydney Morning Herald, as one geologist to another, I publicly challenged Dr Snelling (the young-earth creationist version) to a public debate, before our geological peers, on a subject close to his heart – Noah's Flood – The Geological Case For and Against.

        I've repeated the challenge several times since then and it still stands.

        For reasons best known only to himself, Dr Snelling has declined to defend the creationist cause.

        In the light of the above I suggest the reason is obvious. In his heart, and as a trained geologist, he knows that the young-earth model is a load of old codswallop and is totally indefensible.

        February 26, 2014 at 9:26 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I'm not a YEC. Do I really need to read all that?

        February 26, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • Doris

          I didn't think you were.

          The second line needs a correction. It should read:

          "Then you have quite a number of Christian scientists who do more to harm and confuse the understanding of science."

          February 26, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, we do have that. We also have non-scientist atheists like Colin who don't speak for science.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:45 am |
  4. ddeevviinn

    Don't know about anyone else, but I for one have been thoroughly enjoying joeyy1s skydiving clip. Anxiously awaiting the sequel.

    February 26, 2014 at 7:55 am |
    • Doris

      joeyy1's video became a bore with the second post; the "music" with the first.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:08 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        Please don't make me explain sarcasm.

        February 26, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I put "sarcasm" through the scientific method. It is totally irrational and I must reject it as delusion.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I absolutely agree devin, it is really a masterpiece that adds to the issues at hand.

      Common ground devin!

      February 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Cheese my friend, the day you and I find even a snippet of common ground is a good day:)

        February 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
  5. Doris

    Poster guidedans wrote:

    "Everyone here should be a Christian.
    [..] why don't you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility?"

    Well Christianity does provide utility for a number of things – one being hate.

    Of course one needs to research to find the brand that allows them to fully utilize their potential to hate in a specific manner. I mean one wouldn't want to join an Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) for instance if you hate gays. Since the ELCA is gay-friendly, you're not likely to get the cooperation you're searching for there. Good luck there trying to organize an effort to contact Ugandan evangelicals to offer support for them in their ministry to lock up or rid their country of homosexuals. On the other hand, you might actually find the right church in something like the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod if you already hate the Pope and want a group who's there ready to hate him with you. You might even get lucky and be put on a committee that will find once again that the Pope is an Antichrist whenever they renew that position (I think the last time was in 2011).

    It's a tough task, but keep your head up, there supposedly over 40,000 different sects, so certainly one of them has the interpretation of God's Word that will fit perfectly with your view of the world – what you hate in it, what makes you feel icky and what makes you feel comfy.

    (eyeroll, with disgust)


    Poster Dalahäst quotes MLK, Jr with " Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. "

    Wisdom? Ha. And after what we've learned has transpired in the world recently, I'm not about to yield any control, via representation, to those who claim "wisdom" in the name of one type of hate or disenfranchisement or another, disguised, as righteousness.

    (just disgust)

    February 26, 2014 at 7:55 am |
  6. derado8

    I'm a late bloomer when it comes to politics but it is strange to me that people think at all as a "we" instead of an "I".

    February 26, 2014 at 7:15 am |
  7. bootyfunk

    no surprise that a club consisting of mostly christian members would be opposed to letting them set up an atheism booth. these people would love to have the country become a christian theocracy.

    February 26, 2014 at 5:13 am |
  8. Dalahäst

    I love atheists. I really do. I entrust my life in the hands of some. I would sacrifice what I have for them. Just like anyone else. But I think atheist bigots who blindly hate anything religious are, as one hostile atheist calls me, 'infantile idiots'. This is written by an atheist:

    quote

    When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying?

    Surely non-believers in God weren't always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today?

    Surely there was a time when you could say to someone "I am an atheist" without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, "Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?"

    Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I'm put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I'm a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes.

    So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, WHICH IS JUST NON-BELIEF, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an ident!ty, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism

    end quote

    B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

    So grateful I'm not the only one that cringes at them.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100230985/how-atheists-became-the-most-colossally-smug-and-annoying-people-on-the-planet/

    February 26, 2014 at 1:51 am |
    • bootyfunk

      you provide a very good example of 'smug' with your ad hominem attacks. you and other christians have bashed atheists just as much as atheists have bashed you, so get off your high horse.
      you found an atheist with a criticism about atheism? big deal. i've seen the same thing from christians.

      and btw, i love you, too, as i love all my brothers and sisters of this world.

      February 26, 2014 at 5:11 am |
    • derado8

      I may not be popular with this idea but to me looking at the world in terms of theists and atheists seems abstract to me.
      A deity in my eyes is a preponderance, an idea that floats around in my head. I'd liken it to a mood.

      Though I do like individuals I have an underlying fear groups that transcends even religion and politics.

      February 26, 2014 at 6:34 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dala

      you seem to want to conflate all (or at least many) atheists with anti-theists. Granted, anti-theists exist and will regularly show up on comment boards but I maintain that they remain a minority of a minority. They are but a mirror of the worst aspects of believers.

      Live and let live is an approach that most believers and non-believers are happy to adopt. Personally I am delighted for people to practise their religion so long as this respects the rights of others.

      Non-believers will get vocal when believers try to legislate articles of faith. The reason that many atheists (besides the anti-theists) have become vocal is the politicizing of religion in the electorate. Religion has no place in the politics of a secular government but it is used by politicians to seduce susecptible parts of the electorate.

      The manufacturing of "enemies" is a tactic used by such people. Shaping atheists into such "enemies" of by demonizing the worst aspects of the anti-theists is a deliberate manipulation and is disingenuous.

      February 26, 2014 at 11:20 am |
      • Dalahäst

        But I love atheists. They are not my enemy. Most don't make ridiculous and far-fetched claims about me.

        But, some on here do. So I call them out. It really is only like 10 that I oppose. And they don't represent any group I know in real life. Just silly guys and gals posting hostile things to me online.

        February 26, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Naturally, if you take issue with an opinion expressed by an individual, go ahead and have at it. It's nice to live in a free country where such things are possible.

          But my point was more related to your use of a manufactured label to identifiy a group with some presumed orthodoxy. What is it about "new atheism" that you object to? Ultimately these people are mere voices with an opinion. Do you fear their message spreading? Why manufacture an "enemy" from a relatively harmless minority?

          I completely understand why you would disagree with anti-theism, but as a favor, please be precise and avoid generalizations about atheism where possible. From your posts it is generalizations about religion and belief that is one of the things that seems to offend you the most. Behaving in like manner does not give your argument strength.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My problem is with 6 to 10 regular posters who happen to be atheists that express views that are popularized by the "New Atheist" movement.

          Not with atheism or atheists in general.

          Just the narrow-minded bigots who happen to parrot the viewpoints one would find in "New Atheist" literature and websites.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I get that. Individuals can be annoying.

          But for this topic you chose a quote that focused on "When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying?"

          I don't see any specificity there. It's a pretty sweeeping statement that you called "beautiful".

          I understand your opposition to bigoty and wanting to defend attacks against good aspects of religion, but there's also nothing wrong with someone expressing a reasoned point of view and the idea that there may not be a God is a reasoned point of view. Organized religion finds this viewpoint threatening and mobilizes to demonize this viewpoint. They don't really value truly free speech because it frightens them.

          I'll close with one of my favorite Einstein quotes:

          “The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.” – Albert Einstein

          February 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. I was sharing the opinion of an atheist on other atheists.

          I guess I'm frustrated by the "regulars" who continue to insist, as atheists, they are the voice of reason. I wanted to provide a viewpoint that was not religious, but opposed the nonsensical side of certain aspects of atheism that exists.

          I'm not so concerned with defending "organized religion" nor am I frightened by atheist viewpoints.

          I'm troubled by the regulars on here who claim to be "reasonable" but fail to demonstrate it.

          I like that quote, too. Whenever I post it, I get told I'm stupid for not realizing Einstein was a deist.

          What?

          February 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I guess I'm frustrated by the "regulars" who continue to insist, as atheists, they are the voice of reason. ...
          I'm troubled by the regulars on here who claim to be "reasonable" but fail to demonstrate it.

          I get that. They are that way because they mirror the constant stream of 'believe or burn" proxy threat sripture and creationist/biblical literalist posters we get here.

          I wanted to provide a viewpoint that ... opposed the nonsensical side of certain aspects of atheism that exists.

          If you refer to jealotry of posters I wouldn't argue, but don't agree that disbelief in God(s) is nonsensical. Disbelief is the only meaningful "aspect of atheism". They word doesn't imply anything beyond that. People who self-identify as atheists might hold nonsensical ideas separate from disbelief but that's a different kettle of fish.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          oops – zealotry.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I agree.

          I categorize the "Salero" like posters, the ones who post things like "all atheists are idiots" in the same category of the "regular" posters I take issue with.

          I really don't oppose "atheism" or atheists. They help define my understanding of the world.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I agree with you on practically every point non-GOPer. But I would identify as an anti-theist in that I don't think supersti.tion ever brings anything positive to our knowledge but actually inhibits it and our moral evolution. It think it is dishonest and divides us as humans, and I think it's very nature of making truth claims it can not justify makes it inherently dangerous and harmful. But I would never want it outlawed or infringed upon, I would like reason to win out as the better position, not because of power it obtained. I address this to you because I respect your position and opinion...your thoughts?

        February 26, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It's a good question.

          For the sake of discussion, let's stipulate that religion is a human invention. Like all human inventions religion has good and bad consequences.

          Our history is filled with examples of both.

          Western universities and hospitals are the product of religious establishments. Science, and medicine (it's constant companion), is the product of the value placed on knowledge by organized religion. Religious inst.tutions do good charitable works. The stablity of the 8th century Islamic world gave use algebra and zero. I could go on and on.

          Religious fundamentalism on the other hand is the death of science and is instrumental as an excuse for war. The Crusades, the Spanish Empire the wars of the reformation, religious genocides, etc are all examples. Neil De Grass Tyson's "Naming Rights" lecture is a great illustration of the impact of religious fundamentalism on the death of science in a culture. The politicizing of religion always has lots of bad consequences like McCarthyism, DOMA, the anti-abortion movement, ID/creationism brainwashing, Sharia-based autocracies etc.

          I don't embrace the anti-theist label for a number of reasons. There is so much ambiguity in the value and harm of religion. Religion helps people who can't deal with their fears of death or a sense of pointlessness without the crutch. It materially helps them strive to live a better life so I don't want to take it away from them. Besides it is an essential liberty to choose to believe whatever you want and I can't help but support that. Belief and unbelief could be considered like a Taoist yin/yang. Both need each other to have relevance and balance.

          Having said that, I resent any attempt to infringe my rights by legislating articles of faith, to politicize religion in the electorate or to establish any religion as having primacy in our country.

          My argument is that religion can be good for those who choose to embrace it but it must stay out of the public square. This was the wisdom of the founders of this country who saw the results of sectarianism in the minefield of different faiths in the colonies and recognized that to form a strong union they had to keep religion out of the mix.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Well said, and again I tend to agree with your points.

          I would never want any belief legislated for or against, not only does it contradict the very nature of freedom but as a practical endevor it is futile and tends to promote the very thing it tries to oppose.

          I do think religious people and insti.tutions have provided benefits to us, many of which you describe here. But I differentiate those from the actual supernatural belief, I don't think the supernatural beliefs benefit us in the long run, though i do think they had SOME benefit in the development and evolution of society. The one area I will agree that it does is in the comfort it at times brings to individuals that you addressed. Then it comes to the "Matrix" dicotomy. Would you rather live an uncomfortable truth or a comfortable delusion? Each has to answer that for themself. Personally I don't think the ends justify the means. And i don't think it even promotes comfort as well as it claims it does.

          I interact with and enjoy people of belief everday, in the former I have no choice, but I choose to be a part of organzations that are really secular in their objectives but because I live in a very religious part of the country, religion and prayer play a part. I only engage in debate with those who have shown they want to argue the points. I don't push my views on anyone who does not want to engage. I am far more aggressive on here than I am in life because people choose to engage in the discussion,

          February 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          At the end of the day, religion is shrinking, but given the thousands of years head start, it will take a long while yet.

          Emphasis on equality and human rights is key. The self-evident inequality embedded in the message of a monopoly on truth in religiousity is what makes religion shrink.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  9. Dalahäst

    ~"As a poorly-practicing Christian who reads enough science to be functional at dinner parties, I would like to suggest a truce — one originally proposed by the Catholic church and promoted by the eminent Stephen J. Gould. Science, the study of the natural world, and religion, the inquiry into the meaning of life (or metaphysics, more broadly) const-tute non-overlapping magisteria. Neither can invalidate the theories of the other, if such theories are properly within their realm. Any theologian or scientist who steps out of their realm to speculate upon the other is free to do so, but must do so with an adequate understanding of the other’s realm.

    Religion (either secular or theological) does not poison all of society and science should not be feared, but rather embraced. Both can bring humanity to new heights of empathy, imagination and progress. To quote the greatest American reformer, “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

    “New Atheists” believe that religion threatens progress and breeds conflict and that were religion eliminated, we would begin to solve the world’s problems. But abolishing religion is not only unfeasible, it would ultimately leave us no closer to truth, love or peace. Rather, we need to embrace the deep philosophical and spiritual questions that arise from our shared existence and work toward a world without deprivation. That will require empathy and multiculturalism, not demagoguery. "~

    – Sean McElwee

    http://www.alternet.org/what-new-atheists-get-very-wrong-about-religion?page=0%2C0

    -
    "The fundamental error in the “New Atheist” dogma is one of logic. The basic premise is something like this:

    1. The cause of all human suffering is irrationality

    2. Religion is irrational

    3. Religion is the cause of all human suffering

    The “New Atheist” argument gives religion far, far too much credit for its ability to mold insti.tutions and shape politics, committing the classic logical error of post hoc ergo propter hoc — mistaking a cause for its effect."

    February 26, 2014 at 1:19 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Drivel, I know of no atheist that uses such "logic"

      And here is a retort

      "So religion is just like philosophy and literature, and philosophy and literature are just instances of this peculiarly va.gue monstrous amalgam McElwee wants to call “religion”? Do science, philosophy, and literature have at their heart an unevidenced concept that defies everything we know of reality, an elaborate and ultimately nonsensical premise around which theologians build intricate fantasies that contradict one another and all human experience?

      The man libels philosophy and literature, and puffs up myths and lies with a credibility they do not deserve. For shame."

      ~P.Z. Myers

      February 26, 2014 at 2:04 am |
      • Dalahäst

        And he retorts:
        ~Let me first concede something. I think my intro paragraph was too strong. I don’t think that “New Atheists” and their ilk believe that eliminating religion will solve all of the world’s problems. The main thrust of my argument, however, that the NA crowd often imputes to religion events that are caused by socio-political factors, I think, still stands.

        ....

        Good. Here is something we disagree on. I think it would fix nothing. Because religion exists to meet a demand. The fact that our lives generally suck and we don’t understand the world. Religion has also been co-opted by political figures to advance their agenda. As long as the political and economic truths remain, and as long as their is pain and suffering, there will be religion. I don’t think religion is inherently irrational. Is Gandhi irrational? MLK? Al-Afghani? Tolstoy? Chesterton? My argument is that true religion has been co-opted by political radicals.

        ....

        Again, let’s cut the bullsh.t and get to the point. Do I think that continental philosophy, literature and religion are all aimed at the same questions. Yes. That’s why Tolstoy’s philosophy, religion and literature were all combined. Religion is just people thinking deeply about the moral and ethical dilemmas we face. Science is about investigating the natural world.

        Below is a quote that was in the first draft that I think has a lot of power here. It’s from Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, and I think it helps us understand what drives the East toward religion,

        “When organized national selfishness, racial antipathy and commercial self-seeking begin to display their ugly deformities in all their nakedness, then it comes tie for a man to realize his salvation is… in a transformation of life, in the liberation of consciousness in love, in the realization of God in man.”~

        February 26, 2014 at 2:34 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Backpeddle much?

          His bs is still drivel...as is yours.

          Religion makes real world claims about the universe and it is completely talking out of its ass. Philosophy and literature doesn't claim "miracles come from god and break the laws of nature". Only religion can say that...and then with a straight face lie and claim that it is on the same level with philosohy and literature. Take the supernatural garbage out of religion and then you can claim it is equal to philosophy and literature....but then we wouldn't call it religion.... But we would be able to critically analyze the man made concepts that it contains without people like you getting butt hurt about it because....Jesus!

          February 26, 2014 at 3:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          But, Cheese, you talk out your ass, too. I wish you could demonstrate you are better than religion. And, basically, you do belong to a religion. One that imagines there is nothing supernatural and that belief in God is garbage.

          Get over yourself, man. You keep ranting and raving at me talking about things you don't know about. DOn't get so butt hurt at me because lots of people see aspects of atheism that is completely ridiculous.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:33 am |
        • bootyfunk

          "And, basically, you do belong to a religion. One that imagines there is nothing supernatural and that belief in God is garbage."
          +++ lamest argument ever. atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

          think of it this way, religion means the world was made by magic. god or some mystic force used divine magic to make or start the world. that is what ALL religion's have in common. a belief in magic. atheism is the only world view that goes by logic and reason, requires proof and evidence for beliefs. christianity says god wiggled his fingers and made the universe and wiggled them more to make people and animals and plants and so on. if you think atheism is a religion, you're purposely not thinking it through.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:17 am |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast said, "And, basically, you do belong to a religion. One that imagines there is nothing supernatural and that belief in God is garbage." Ever noticed that one of the favorite criticisms that the religious can muster about atheism is, effectively, "you're just as bad as us."

          February 26, 2014 at 7:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Colin,

          Ironically, somehow some people have carved something like a religion out of atheism.

          Is religion inherently bad? No.

          Do you say it is? Yes.

          Do most people think like you? No.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, booty

          That is not the only understanding of religion. And I'm not the only one that says atheism is like a religion for some.

          Other atheists agree with me.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "But, Cheese, you talk out your ass, too. I wish you could demonstrate you are better than religion. And, basically, you do belong to a religion. One that imagines there is nothing supernatural and that belief in God is garbage."

          Another "you do it too" BS post.

          I can demonstrate I am better than religion. I don't claim to know things I don't know. I don't claim supernatural nonsense really occurs. You can't give on reliable piece of evidence that there is a supernatural aspect to anything...so to continue to claim there actually is...is lying. You claim atheism is a religion and post articles that quote "The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, WHICH IS JUST NON-BELIEF, a nothing, a lack of something." which you put in bold to prove a point but then talk out of the otherside of your mouth when you calim that atheism is more than non-belief, it is a religion.

          I want to at least attemtp to be honest, you have to interest in trying to be honest, everything you post and argue is in an effort to justify your dishonestty. When you completely misrepresented Jefferson yesterday, your response was "you do it too" thereby attempting to divert the issue. When the proper response would have been to admit you were wrong and attack the website you obtained it from for lying to you. But like it said, your interest in honesty is only when it is self serving as a means to an end..... "honesty" as its own objective is of no interest to you.

          February 26, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You claim I'm "delusional".

          Yet I know I'm not. You are wrong. You are talking out your ass.

          Most of what you criticize me of, you turn around and do the same thing. People criticize religious people for doing that. You show me non-religious people can do that, too.

          I made a mistake arguing with someone who told me Jefferson was an atheist. I'm sorry.

          February 26, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No Dala,

          I think in most every aspect you are actually NOT delusional, I think you are for the most part as reasonable as anyone else.

          I think your religious belief is delusion, and I think you create straw man arguments to protect your religious delusion like when you frame atheists as being religious and justify your own dishonesty by pointing out dishonesty in others, it doesn't justify it so just stop.

          If you can show me where I am dishonest I swear I will change my postion....What I won't say is "you do it too".

          February 26, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Fine. You are absolutely right.

          Whatever you imagine about me is true.

          And the atheists I frame, the ones that post bigoted and small-minded claims about "religion" and "Christians", are victims of my dishonesty.

          I'm sorry to the 6 to 10 atheists on here I've offended.

          Now to the 20+ atheists I interact with very closely in day to day life – they don't seem to have a problem with me.

          So, at least it is not "all" atheists I frame. Just the ones I use to protect my religious delusions and imagine they are being bigots when they call me things like "infantile", "idiotic", "sky fairy believer", "bronze age reasoning", etc.

          Like 99.9999% of the population, I don't really think those people are quite as reasonable and rational as they like to self-describe themselves as.

          But, they do make me chuckle.

          February 26, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I also think you are at least a bit of a troll in that YOU started this thread, YOU posted the above article from an atheist that was itself dishonest. And then when it is refuted and your argument is attacked you now turn it around in an effort to portay yourself as the victim....

          Here are 4 possible responses to someone accusing you of dishonesty.

          1. Try and justify it by accusing the opposition of dishonesty in some other area.

          2. Claim the opposition is just persecuting you needlessly.

          3. Present a coherent rational argument as to why you are actually not dishonest.

          4. Analyze your postion and admit where you are wrong in an effort to no longer be wrong.

          You never get past the first 2.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, 6 to 10 regular posters on here treat me unfairly.

          Am I being persecuted? HELL NO.

          Do I think they are providing rational arguments? HELL NO.

          Does it really matter what they think of me?

          HELL NO.

          Is it fun to poke internet bullies with a stick and watch them get all huffy and puffy?

          YES!

          And giving them a taste of their own medicine? Now that is funny.

          We are just posting opinions on the message board of a belief blog. Not anything else, really.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Do I think they are providing rational arguments? HELL NO."

          Then engage the argument instead of using deflection as a tool to avoid it. I have made the point with you many times that I think supersti.tious belief is foundationally harmfull and dangerous. Tell me I am wrong and more importantly tell me why. Your response has never been to refute my point, it has always been to paint me as acting "superior" and being "arrogant". I don't think you want to directly address my point. You seem to think that if you portray the opposition as smug it therefore makes you humble (it doesn't) and somehow that validates your position.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I believe you hold those opinions. I disagree with you.

          You are wrong when you insist my religious beliefs are delusional. You have not experienced what I have experienced. You have not witnessed the things I have seen. You have not overcome my setbacks and difficulties. You have had the same irrational and illogical forces in this world knock you on your ass and kick you in your face.

          I have found a power that has helped me overcome evil and injustice in this world. And it works. If you ever find yourself facing setbacks and injustices like I've faced, don't fear turning to God.

          It will not make you irrational or delusional. You might find there really is a saving power present in this world.

          It is greater than anything you have offered me in replacement of such an awesome experience.

          So I'm fine. I'm not asking for your help. You are the one asking questions and expressing concern over me. So I'm sharing with you.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Jaymes

          "Is it fun to poke internet bullies with a stick and watch them get all huffy and puffy?

          YES!

          And giving them a taste of their own medicine? Now that is funny."

          I think this would qualify as part of the definition of a troll and bully too. You are just as bad as those you critize. It's funny how when our buttons get pushed the teachings of Christ go out the window.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know. I'm pretty new to the faith and struggle to carry out the teachings. Lord, have mercy on me.

          So, yes. Fair judgment. I should strive to take the high road. Some on here have demonstrated how to do that better than I.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Tell me I am wrong"

          OK, you did that

          "and more importantly tell me why."

          You gave personal experience, while I can't refute your personal experience I have no reason to accept it as rational evidence. Personal experience is by its very nature is unreliable to anyone else who has not experienced what you have. That is why the scientific method was established as a means to eliminate as much bias as possible, and while it is not perfect in its application, it is the most reliable way we have collectively as humans to ascertain our reality. And I don't consider personal experience as a way to establish the truth of a claim BECAUSE it is personal.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not a fan of 'scientism', or that the scientific method is the best way to determine what is true. But thanks for sharing your personal opinions with me. I'll try applying the scientific method to them and see what pops out.

          Most people haven't experienced what you have or trust your method of determining what is best for you. That is your personal choice. Not everyone else's.

          I don't view you as a rational being. No offense, nobody is. The ones that try to convince me are might as well try convincing me of a God I don't believe in.

          Here's a tip: if you don't agree with me, move on. No need to try and rationalize and explain it to me. I'm capable of doing that myself.

          It works. For me. And I know others who it works for. For them. And you do what works for you. If somebody approaches you and wants what you have, help them. If they don't, let the be.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "or that the scientific method is the best way to determine what is true."

          See, present an argument as to what is better than the scientific method as the way to establish what is true for us collectively. You make a statement and then provide NOTHING as an answer to what is better. And you provide NOTHING to substantiate that claim.

          Here is a tip, if you want to make empty claims you have every right to do it. And I have every right to point out they are empty.

          If "works for you" is the best you have you are the one that should just move on because you have nothing to offer to the discussion....just stop.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          .So far, the "scientific method" has not revealed anything that suggests God is not real, or that my beliefs are delusional.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "So far, the "scientific method" has not revealed anything that suggests God is not real, or that my beliefs are delusional. "

          And with that rational you have justified belief in anything and everything that science has not specifically ruled out. Good for you...and I hope that works for you personally.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. Did you just use the scientific method to come to that conclusion?

          February 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala,
          "... lots of people see aspects of atheism that is completely ridiculous."

          Such as?

          February 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • hotairace

          Dalahazz, with apologies if you've answered this before but do you agree that there is some possibility that your god does not exist?

          February 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are being a disengeuous troll. You are not honest and have no interest in a discussion. You claimed that science is not the best way to ascertain reality for humans collectively and offer nothing whan asked what would be a better solution.

          Give one example of something you can objectively demonstrate to be true regarding reality that has not been been proven scientifically.

          Don't worry, I know you won't. You avoid tough questions.

          February 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          For some things, science is necessary.

          For others, like non-scientific things like arts, love, compassion, music, charity, spirituality and expression, science is not necessary.

          Look, we are talking about philosophy and personal beliefs. You are not a scientist. And a scientist really is only qualified to be an expert in his discipline.

          The broad concept of "science" vs "religion"? You have offered your opinions on the matter. Not much else.

          February 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are right, oh well, I hope your Vishnu ceremony goes well!

          February 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • colin31714

      I like the rampant hypocrisy evident in Dalahast saying (well, copying and pasting – he appears incapable of articulating his own thoughts)

      "The “New Atheist” argument gives religion far, far too much credit for its ability to mold insti.tutions and shape politics, committing the classic logical error of post hoc ergo propter hoc".

      That from a guy who believes prayers are answered. Every now and then the outcome prayed for will, by simple statistical likelihood, occur. The simple believer takes that as evidence that his prayer was answered. A rooster might as well claim the sun rose because he crowed.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:09 am |
      • Dalahäst

        You would give your right nut to have as much scientific knowledge as some of the scientists who happen to pray.

        February 26, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • colin31714

          Well, I guess that's all I would have left, having, apparently surrendered my left one to, how did you put it, "have the scientific knowledge of some Christians."

          February 26, 2014 at 9:30 am |
  10. Doris

    Poster guidedans wrote:

    "Everyone here should be a Christian.

    [..] why don't you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility?"

    Well Christianity does provide utility for a number of things – one being hate.

    Of course one needs to research to find the brand that allows them to fully utilize their potential to hate in a specific manner. I mean one wouldn't want to join an Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) for instance if you hate gays and want to maximize that potential for that. You're probably not likely to get the cooperation you're searching for there, for instance, in organizing an effort to contact Ugandan evangelicals to offer support for them in their ministry to rid their country of homosexuals. On the other hand, you might actually find the right church in something like the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod if you already hate the Pope and want a group who's there ready to hate him with you. You might even get lucky and be put on a committee that will find once again that the Pope is an Antichrist whenever they renew that position (I think the last time was in 2011).

    It's a tough task, but keep your head up, there supposedly over 40,000 different sects, so certainly one of them has the interpretation of God's Word that will fit perfectly with your view of the world – what you hate in it, what makes you feel icky and what makes you feel comfy.

    February 26, 2014 at 12:27 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Because Utilitarianism is a slippery slope.
      Think about it.

      February 26, 2014 at 12:32 am |
      • Doris

        Huh?

        February 26, 2014 at 12:38 am |
  11. forestry616

    So why does money printed in the US have on it In GOD WE TRUST

    February 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
    • redzoa

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_we_trust

      February 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Cuz that's the way the engraving plates were designed to make it.
      Why were they made that way ?
      Cuz in the olden days, the old foggies thought it was cool to be hypocritical, and chose to ignore the part where the const'itution says "shall establish no religion".

      February 25, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
    • doobzz

      So why didn't you study American History in school?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Because Christians used politics to put it there.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
  12. joeyy1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w

    February 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
    • Doris

      Crappy music.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:10 am |
  13. caddr

    “He pledged that he will attack the very idea that Christianity is an important element of conservatism. People of any faith tradition should not be attacked for their beliefs….”

    Holy hypocrisy, Batman!

    How can this spokeswoman string these two sentences together and not see that in her second sentence, she says not to do what she implicitly does in the first sentence? Implicit in her first sentence is the argument that you can’t be conservative if you aren’t a Christian. But then she turns around and says that religious discrimination is a no-no.

    I am so sick and tired of this “You’re discriminating against my religion by not acknowledging that my religion is the only legitimate one” doublespeak from the religious right.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
  14. colin31714

    Unfortunately for Christians, one cannot hold back the wave of progress and enlightenment. They can do their best to silence us, but they might as well try and put a speed bump in the path of an approaching comet. History and demographics are on our side. Young people are asserting themselves in increasing numbers and refusing to be cowered into thinking they must believe what their parents and priests have taught them about Judeo-Christian mythology.

    If one squints one’s eyes and stares long enough and hard enough, away in the distance, over the top of countless churches, mosques and synagogues, one can see a future in which our youth is taught that we humans are ourselves responsible for our own future. I know my children will stand and face their problems in life like courageous and rational adults, relying on reason to solve their problems rather than kneeling and bowing in pathetic supplication to non-existent Judeo-Christian sky-fairies.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Of course reason will win out. But only if we raise up children with the tools to overcome religion. We will be opposed on that.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      This Christian can list hundreds of Christians that have contributed more to the wave of progress and enlightenment than you have.

      Who is "us"? Anti-theists who post silly logical fallacies on religious blogs? No. Sorry, cowboy, you are disillusioned if you imagine you are on the side of progress and enlightenment. A guy who spreads nothing but bigotry and hostility toward anything he doesn't understand?

      Any idiot can say there is no God. That doesn't make you enlightened or an intellectual.

      February 26, 2014 at 1:30 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Right just as any idiot can say there is a God. That doesn't make you enlightened or an intellectual.

        February 26, 2014 at 7:24 am |
      • colin31714

        Still smarting because I laid bare your belief. That, when you pray, a being powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13,720,000,000 years ago reads your mind and, if it is so inclined, will intervene to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to answer your prayer.

        Once again, if you believe childish things, don't be surprised if people call you childish. Copying and pasting Bengali poets won't change that fact.

        February 26, 2014 at 7:36 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You really didn't do what you are simply imagining you did. Your "infantile" like misunderstanding of my belief isn't worrying me. Your lame attempts at "logic" is amusing. Your deep seeded resentments are mostly just harming yourself.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • hotairace

      Well said Colin! If I remember correctly, you are Australian. I'll be there next week and it will be great to be in a more enlightened country for a while. With any luck Canada will soon be dumping Babble Humper Harper.

      February 26, 2014 at 7:52 am |
      • colin31714

        Where will you be?

        February 26, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • hotairace

          Canberra.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:17 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        1 year and counting. Trudeau mania, here we come!

        February 26, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        • hotairace

          Here we come – again, for us old folks.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          A younger, more open minded version. I think he may be what is needed to bring us back to the 21st century.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:36 am |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I'm a bit of a socialist, but I would enjoy seeing a solid atheist, rational to the core, and conservative, stand up to the tools who say that liberties that people have died for come from God. Silverman's small beer.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
    • derado8

      From my perspective saying my rights came from Barbie and Ken is preferable to saying that they came from my fellow man because Barbie and Ken (or a deity) will never show up to take them away.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Someone will show up to take them away. Likely as not in the name of God.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
        • derado8

          We are all imposed upon by one another and it's a shame too.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        They don't come "from your fellow man". The US is a signator of the UN Charter of Humans Rights. Your rights come from being human. Not from any deity.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • derado8

          They don't come from a deity or your fellow man they exist because you exist. Your fellow man is just here to take them away from you, some to a lesser extent than others.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:54 am |
    • derado8

      Here is the thing, the minute rights are stated to be given by people they will stop being unalienable, because if man gave them man can take them away again. It's legal jargon I know, but in order to keep rights unalienable they have to be listed in some way that isn't subject to philosophical madness.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        No Creator is evident and nothing has endowed anyone with unalienable rights. You have what enough people of enough power have agreed that you should have – for now.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • derado8

          There is the problem. What rights I have should not be dictated by people who were fortunate enough to have power or money. Having my rights backed by an invisible being isn't ideal either.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Here is the thing, the minute rights are stated to be given by a diety they will stop being unalienable, because if a diety gave them the diety's followers can claim spiritual authority take them away again. The Consti.tution doesn't reference a god for it's authority for the rights granted within it and does a decent job. I don't see how appealing to a god would help.

        From the article Tony Perkins (a person who would be happy to change our gov't to a CHristian theocracy) said...

        "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

        Of course the God he is referring to isn't some generic diety...it is HIS god, not just the general Christian god either, the god he refers to agrees with his positions. And Tony Perkins' "god" isn't going to give a rats ass if gays, Muslims, Pagans, Mormons, atheists or anyone has their freedom taken. After all they are just heathens anyway...and are not deserving of freedom his god gave them.

        Religion as a whole has never paid anything more than lip service to equal rights.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • derado8

          A fair concern. If it were worded another way for example

          "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they EXIST with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

          February 26, 2014 at 5:44 am |
        • derado8

          What if it were considered legally false due to wording, that is another worry.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:49 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Rights have always been granted by people collectively when you break it down. It is the group getting together and reaizing that if an invividual does not have rights no one really has them. Rights will always be taken away by people too. That was the genius of the founders, creating a docu.ment all the states got behind because it did not give individual states, nor individuals, advantages over the others with proper checks and balances to make sure the majority couldn't just vote to change it. It is far from perfect though.

          February 26, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • derado8

          Are you saying you don't believe in natural rights? To quote Not a GOP..." The natural rights are inherent. They are not the gift of anyone, including God."

          Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness would all be mine if I were alone on an Island somewhere. Liberties are lost because of interacting with other members of my species not gained by this interaction.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Let's be fair on this topic of natural rights.

          The concept that rights are inherent is a philosophical one. Humans build systems of governments that respect those rights and systems of government that disrespect those rights.

          In the United States we the people grant authority to govern and create laws based on a philospohical principle that we each have inherent rights that must be respected by that government.

          The ability to limit and exercise those rights is a power we do collectively grant to the government on a de-facto basis – which (I think) is BAC's point.

          February 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          ^^ yes ^^

          per usual GOP articulates the point better than I.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
  16. guidedans

    Everyone here should be a Christian.

    Here's why: No one can prove anything. We can't even prove that we exist. If you really understand that, then you realize that everything you believe is actually just a choice between the various possibilities. No belief can be proven, even the most fundamental (e.g., you say that there are laws of thermodynamics, and I say that we might be in some very intelligent monster's dream and that all the 'laws' here are made up by this monster. Then you give me a hug for bringing up such a good point).

    Anyhow, if nothing can be proven, then why don't you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility? If you really think about it, Christianity provides the most utility, both in life and in the potential for an afterlife.

    Now that I have demonstrated why you should all be Christians, I know you will agree with me.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • LinCA

      Everyone should believe in the Tooth Fairy. There is equal evidence for her as there is for the christian god and she isn't nearly as nasty. On top of that she provides quarters.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
      • guidedans

        I believe you are comparing apples to oranges here, LinCA. I understand that you are trying to make the comparison between God, whom you hold to be mythological, and the Tooth Fairy, whom you also hold to be mythological, but the two concepts are really far apart. The Tooth Fairy is a creature who gives coins for teeth while God is the creator and maintainer of the entire universe. Furthermore, belief in the Tooth Fairy does not impact your eternal salvation, while belief in God might. I think that, while you make light of the issue here, you may want to give it more consideration as there are potentially very heavy consequences at stake here.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • LinCA

          @guidedans

          You said, "I believe you are comparing apples to oranges here"
          Nope. Both are made up creatures. They are fundamentally the same.

          You said, "The Tooth Fairy is a creature who gives coins for teeth while God is the creator and maintainer of the entire universe."
          Only in your fairy tale is there a difference. Only per your mythology is there a creature like your god. But since both are fictional, the differences are only in the details.

          You said, "Furthermore, belief in the Tooth Fairy does not impact your eternal salvation, while belief in God might."
          Neither does a belief in your god.

          You said, "I think that, while you make light of the issue here, you may want to give it more consideration as there are potentially very heavy consequences at stake here."
          What consequences? Will Odin strike me dead? Will Zeus banish me from Valhalla?

          May I suggest you look up Pascal's Wager?

          February 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "as there are potentially very heavy consequences at stake here."

          Oh Jeez, another "if you reject my god he will hurt you" argument. Grow up.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Prove it.

          February 26, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Apart from your whole Pascal's Wager gambit, why is the Christain approach the one with the most 'utility'?

      Perhaps I'd prefer the Jannah to sitting around on a cloud with a harp, or being reincarnated until I reach Nirvana.

      Perhaps people prefer the 72 virgins for a martyr's death, or the FSM paradise of a beer volcano has having more "utility".

      February 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
      • guidedans

        You raise a good point about the various forms of heaven. I ask you this question though: How can someone prefer disappearing from existence upon death (the atheist view) over some form of eternal bliss?

        Pascal's wager may not be a great reason to believe a specific religion but it raises serious questions about believing a religion (like atheism) with a demonstrably lower utility than other religions.

        February 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • Madtown

      Christianity provides the most utility, both in life and in the potential for an afterlife
      ---
      Not for everyone, because there are many of your human brothers/sisters who have never heard of christianity, and have no concept of it's existence. They may follow other spiritual/religious ideas. In fact, their ideas may hold more promise than the ones you prefer, perhaps you should convert to their religion. Too bad you've never heard of it.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The only thing you have proven is you are at base level a solipsist...and a baffoon

      February 26, 2014 at 12:10 am |
      • guidedans

        Cheesemaker, I am not arguing that nothing exists but myself, I am arguing that no one can PROVE that anything exists, including myself. So many people are atheists because you can't prove the God exists. That is not a reason to believe anything because nothing can be proven. If you are really basing your standard of belief on "prove it and I will believe it," then you are not understanding that we live in a world where nothing is provable.

        How about this, you prove that you exist and then I will prove that God exists.

        I look forward to your proof.

        February 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I am arguing that no one can PROVE that anything exists"

          Apparently to you it is futile. Unless we are going to agree that we live in a shared reality the argument would go nowhere.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • guidedans

          Yes, Cheesemaker. That and all arguments about what is "true" are futile in this realm. If you are going to ask for a proof of God's existence, I am going to ask you to prove your own first.

          I think you should become a Christian. In the Bible, it talks about how faith is a virtue. If you understand that, then you understand that faith is something you work for, not something you are given outright. Faith is a choice, and a reason why someone can choose to love God. God offers His love to you. He doesn't force it. It sounds like the people on this thread are expecting God to just come down to Earth, show Himself to everyone, then demand they love Him. You should read the Bible with an open heart. It will make more sense to you then.

          February 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • Doris

      Poster guidedans wrote:

      "Everyone here should be a Christian.

      [..] why don't you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility?"

      Well Christianity does provide utility for a number of things – one being hate.

      Of course one needs to research to find the brand that allows them to fully utilize their potential to hate in a specific manner. I mean one wouldn't want to join an Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) for instance if you hate gays and want to maximize that potential for that. You're probably not likely to get the cooperation you're searching for there, for instance, in organizing an effort to contact Ugandan evangelicals to offer support for them in their ministry to rid their country of homosexuals. On the other hand, you might actually find the right church in something like the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod if you already hate the Pope and want a group who's there ready to hate him with you. You might even get lucky and be put on a committee that will find once again that the Pope is an Antichrist whenever they renew that position (I think the last time was in 2011).

      It's a tough task, but keep your head up, there supposedly over 40,000 different sects, so certainly one of them has the interpretation of God's Word that will fit perfectly with your view of the world – what you hate in it, what makes you feel icky and what makes you feel comfy.

      February 26, 2014 at 12:27 am |
      • Doris

        (sorry – I have reposted – this was meant to be an original post)

        February 26, 2014 at 12:28 am |
    • hotairace

      If selecting a god is not based on the god actually existing but merely what it can do for us then we may as well just hold a "Design The God With The Most Utility" contest and declare the winner our new god. Oh, that's what they did about 4,000 years, according to their definition of utility then. I suppose it is time for an update, although proving an actual god actually exists would be more interesting and a better use of time and effort.

      February 26, 2014 at 1:09 am |
      • guidedans

        Hotairrace, Here's the thing about God: He is the best possible thing imaginable. There is no way to "Design The God With The Most Utility" because God already has the most, i.e., infinite. I understand what you are saying though and of course, you shouldn't believe in something ONLY because of the utility it provides, but here me out.

        You talk about proving God's existence. I am trying to make the point that you can't even prove your own existence, let alone God's. If you need something to be proven for you to believe it, then you won't end up believing anything because everything is not provable. Believe in God because, if He doesn't exist, then nothing really matters and the rest of existence is silly.

        February 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you are tlking about the god of the bible I can imagine something much better.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • guidedans

          Cheesemaker,

          Clearly you don't understand the God of the Bible. Read Job 38 in the Old Testament. It is basically saying that no one understand's God's motivations and it is foolish to try to. I am not sure if you ever thought about this, but we are the first animals with a brain powerful enough to think complex thoughts. The First! If you look at the first evolution of ANY other organ, it is junk (e.g., the first eye was just a light sensor). How are you expecting to understand something as complex as God with a brain that just barely evolved enough to become self aware?

          February 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Number one reason why I am not a christian: There is no evidence that the christian god, or any god for that matter, actually exists. All your misinterpreted science and misinformed rhetoric does not change that simple fact.

      I cannot be a christian because I do not believe that your god exists and I am an honest person.

      February 26, 2014 at 1:12 am |
      • guidedans

        Is there any evidence that you or I exist? Really think of some. Let me know what you find.

        February 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      believe is a choice?

      okay, for argument's sake, try to believe, REALLY BELIEVE, that there is an invisible squirrel driving an invisible 1954 buick among the rings of saturn, while humming "does your chewing gum loses it flavor on the bedpost overnigh?t".
      can you get yourself to believe it you try really, really hard?

      February 26, 2014 at 5:35 am |
  17. Austin

    Michel Aflaq for president.

    A smart christian.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
  18. Austin

    Hillary clinton is going to permanently enrage the entire world. If she can let go of her present position.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
  19. Austin

    I bet russia is really impressed with our cia amd our hezbollah like protests that have made a b line all the way to their south door.

    Yall better get ready for a new era and economy.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
  20. Vic

    [
    I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Living in the United States, where does your "liberty" come from?

    February 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    ]

    [
    United States Declaration of Independence
    July 4, 1776

    Preamble

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
    ]

    The Constitution of the United States is based on "Natural Law" which the Founders believed is from "Nature's God."

    The Founders of the United States believed that the government does not grant the citizens their rights, rather, the government protects the "Unalienable Rights" of the citizens which are endowed by their Creator.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • derado8

      Some want to argue that the word "Creator" means a sentient deity It could also mean planet earth, or our parents, or the universe.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Vic,

      that is nonsense. The law of the United States is the Const.itution and is granted by "we the people". The Declaration of Indepedence was a doc.ument designed to enourage people to revolt against the King. The DOI is material to the revolution but it is not a foundation of our government or law.

      It's time that people in the David Barton school of historical revisionism realized that just because Franklin (presumably) added the word "Creator" to Jefferson's draft of the DOI (it is clear that Jefferson didn't put that word there) doesn't mean that the laws of the United States are based on divinely inspired rights. They are not. Our rights, like all our laws, are based on the collective will of the governed – the people.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
      • Vic

        "We The People" in the Constitution of the United States have always been predominantly Christians, including David Barton and William Federer.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Treaty of Tripoli 1796, Article II begins
          As the government of the United States of Americais not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion .....

          Note the date – contemporaneous with the Founding Fathers.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "We The People" in the Consti.tution of the United States have always been predominantly Christians"

          So What? What point does that supposedly make Vic?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
      • derado8

        GOPer, here is the point.

        The United States, or any country for that matter is an idea, made up by people. I am part of the natural world. You are part of the natural world. Both of us have an existence that is not mandated by other human beings. We are, like it or not forced upon by the existence of other human beings.

        Therefore I would feel more comfortable with someone having it in their psychology that my existence was not there specifically for the purpose of pleasing their agenda.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
      • derado8

        What you are saying in this is that you do not believe in unalienable rights. It is as though you are saying all there is to you is your present position in your current society. You are more than that.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        No, I am not saying that there cannot be a concept of "unalienable" [sic] rights. My point is that they are not divinely inspired.

        Call them inherent rights or fundamental rights or what have you. I will stipulate that these are very material in the minds of the founders. Their take was that it was the only the people, not a hereditary monarch, who could grant the authority to govern the people – because of these inherent rights. It is an important distinction (and the one that I think you are trying to make) is that the rights of the individual do not derive from the government but they are already inherent in the individual.

        Conflating them with religion is just as much revisionism as trying to paint the founders as atheists.

        The natural rights are inherent. They are not the gift of anyone, including God.

        You can find all kinds of quotes from Jefferson (probably depending on with whom he is conversing) referencing these rights as being from "God" from a deist interpretation like the "Author of nature" (whatever that means) and simply as "natural".

        February 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • derado8

          Thank you that is what I was wanting to express.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        No discussion on the concept of an understanding of "natural rights" in the late 18th century can be complete without considering John Locke, the English philosopher who conceptualized rights as natural and inalienable, and other enlightenment thinkers.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
      Treaty with Tripoli. Signed by the Founding Fathers, Authored during Washington's administration, read out in congress, and passed unanimously.

      February 26, 2014 at 12:03 am |
    • redzoa

      I believe an important concept in the DoI is found in the statement that "We hold these truths to be self-evident . . ." In other words, the "truths" are derived via experience and reason; they are not the product of divine revelation.

      February 26, 2014 at 12:12 am |
    • Vic

      The United States of America is a de facto Christian country by the vast majority of its people and not by the form of government. The Founding Fathers were brilliant inspired individuals who created a quasi-secular system—based on "Natural Law" they believed is from "Nature's God"—that protects both church and state by the wall of separation, i.e. "Separation of Church and State," while they themselves believed in God. Even though the government of the United States establishes no religion—hence the "Treaty of Tripoli," which was a brilliant political tactic, BTW, it is made up of "elected officials" who are predominantly Christians, on both sides of the isle, "of the people, for the people, and by the people."

      "Unalienable Rights" can ONLY come from God; human CANNOT grant human "Unalienable Rights."

      February 26, 2014 at 6:21 am |
      • lewcypher

        which god?

        February 26, 2014 at 7:36 am |
      • hotairace

        Everyone has rights but not everyone has a god therefore no god is required to have rights, unalienable or otherwise.

        February 26, 2014 at 7:41 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @Vic,

        we don't have a quasi-secular government. We have a secular government and this has been the case since 1787.

        Certainly the vast majority of the population is Christian, but to protect the rights of all the people to worship (or not worship freely) our system of federal government is purely secular.

        Please accept this fact.

        February 26, 2014 at 10:55 am |
      • Apollo to Zeus

        @Vic
        "Unalienable Rights" can ONLY come from God; human CANNOT grant human "Unalienable Rights."

        Incorrect:
        The term ‘unalienable rights’ is a construct of man. That is why basic rights differ from country to country.

        February 26, 2014 at 11:21 am |
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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.