“Can’t You Atheists Keep Your Opinions To Yourselves?”—No I Cannot.

Reasons Why I am Vocal about my Atheism

The other day I received an email asking me why I am so vocal in my atheist and general anti-religion commentary.  It was a well meant email, in that it was not full of hate speech, religious rage, etc.  It concluded with the question, “From now on, why can’t we just keep our religious opinions to ourselves?”  Good question.  I thought I would tackle that one today.

Dear theists who want me to keep my religious/god opinions to myself,

I would be quite happy to keep my anti-religious/atheist opinions to myself.  In fact, I look forward to a world where I would not feel the need to share them with others.  I yearn for a day when my atheism is irrelevant, where my anti-religious statements would have no useful purpose.  However, that day is not today.  Today, in the U.S. we live in a society that is becoming ever more religious in some ways.  I understand that in some ways society is more secular.  What is permissible on television and in grocery store magazines on a minor scale and a general acceptance of things like homosexuality on larger scales.  Despite these things, religion, specifically Christianity, has become a major political force in our country.  This is predominantly where my problem with religion can be found.  I will be happy to keep my opinions to myself when theists manage to keep their opinions to themselves on many topics such as, but not limited to:       (Aside: I am going to keep this general for the sake of brevity)

  1. The separation of Church and State.  You can try to spin this however you choose but a few facts still remain.  We were not founded as a Christian nation.  Second, the only time religion is mentioned at all in our Constitution is when the founders were placing limits on it.  Stop trying to seek special treatment for religious institutions that secular groups would not receive.  Stop claiming “foul” whenever a law is passed that goes against your religious beliefs.  Stop trying to have your beliefs instituted as laws.  Your religion is not the concern of the government.  When you keep your religion out of politics, I will stop being vocal about it.
  2. Religion v. Science.  Stop arguing with tried and true science.  I realize that in order to accomplish this task, you will have to seriously question some aspects of your faith.  Religions have had problems with science from Galileo to Hawking.  Why do you think that is?  The answer is simple.  So many new scientific discoveries prove that parts of what you believe are highly improbably at best and flat out wrong at worst.  Again, that is not “science’s problem”.  Deal with the issues and problems that your religion faces in the light of reality on your own.  Stop trying to discredit facts with biblical data that has zero justification, and I will stop criticizing when you do so.
  3. Religion’s treatment of women.  Just about every religion that is represented in the U.S. (and most of the world for that matter) has an atrocious history towards women.  Women are not second class citizens.  The fact that your religion and holy books believe that they are is not reality.  Deal with your issues on your own and stop trying to force them into the public eye.  Stop trying to make the government support your archaic and misogynistic views.  Do that, and I will stop writing about the rampant sexism that enshrouds religion.
  4. Religion’s treatment of homosexuals.  Once again we find that just about all religions have a problem with homosexuality.  The arguments to support this are biblically based and have no scientific data support.  In fact, we know, without a doubt that homosexual is not a choice and is quite natural.  There is evidence to support this throughout the animal kingdom.  Your holy book is wrong.  Stop trying to force your ideas into public dialogue.  There is no room for it.  Start treating all people as equals and I will stop writing about your bigotry.
  5. Stop trying to kill each other.  I realize this is not a huge problem in the U.S.  However, it is a major problem around the world.  Stop claiming to be a religion of peace when so many wars have been fought and are currently being fought under a religious banner.  You have never seen nor are you likely to see a war fought to expand atheism.  Do not point to dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mao to combat this fact.  Those are old, tired, and already debunked arguments.   Stop killing people by the millions and I will stop commenting on how violent religions tend to be.
  6. Stop trying to move society backwards.  The goals of things such as creationism, women as nothing more than mothers, and biblical laws only serve to move our society back a few centuries.  This is not helpful.  Particularly when the remainder of the developed world is moving forward.  Destroying a generation’s knowledge of science will not only hurt the U.S., but will greatly impact the economy of the rest of world.  Put your incorrect holy book aside and get with reality or keep it to yourself.  Do not drag everyone else backwards with you.  Stop trying to retard the growth of society and I will stop pointing out how backwards you appear.
  7. Actually start caring about humanity.  Most religions have tenets in them that regard caring for the poor and other types of needy people.  In practice this is not always to be found.  The term “Christian Right” is laughable as a name.  How can so many “Christians” support the cutting of funding from the poor and “needy”?  It is hypocritical.  I am tired of the argument…”but look at all the good works religions do around the world…”  Yippee, there are just as many secular organizations doing the same work, and many of them do it better and more efficiently.  How can Catholicism still be against birth control when millions die of AIDS and overpopulation is a real problem?  How can they hold that opinion then still claim to care for the poor and needy?  Hypocrisy.  As long as the actions of religions continue to promote death and poverty I cannot hold my tongue.
  8. Stop saying that you will “pray for _____”.  It is damn offensive and it happens all around me every day.  There is no need that I have, or that any one person has that is more important than the needs of the greater good.  It is foolish to say that you will pray for me to feel better, for your team to win the game, for your political candidate to win an election, etc.  Prayer does not work.  If it did, why waste it on such stupidity?  Pray for something important, like cures to diseases.  I am tired that so many places open with a prayer “to look after the group”.  It is offensive to those of us who see it for what it is, it is arrogant, and it is so often misplaced.  Keep your prayers to yourself and I will stop complaining about them.
  9. Stop advertising your religion.  Stop with the bumper stickers on your cars, the billboards every few miles on the highway, the ads on television and the internet.  If you want non-believers to stop criticizing them, stop making appeals to non-believers.  It is not a difficult concept.
  10. Lastly, stop claiming a “moral high ground” all the time.  Religions have been guilty of the worst atrocities in humanity.  Religion today is still guilty of much “immoral” activity.  The Catholic Church shields child molesters and Evangelical Pastors preach hate and bigotry daily.  Religion does not have any moral authority.  In fact, it often deserves the most criticism.  I do not expect theists to be perfect, that would be unrealistic.   However, stop claiming that you are correct on moral issues because the bible justifies your beliefs.   That is foolishness and I cannot stay quiet so long as that continues.

This is a short list of reasons stating why I cannot keep my atheist and anti-religion comments to myself.  With ease, I could continue or go into greater detail.  However, I want to let my readers add to it.  Feel free to add a comment that discusses an agenda that I did not discuss.  You can of course comment on those that I wrote as well.  If you are interested in these topics I have written at length on most of them in other posts—check out the archives.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your comments.

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148 thoughts on ““Can’t You Atheists Keep Your Opinions To Yourselves?”—No I Cannot.

  1. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

    The christers out there would claim that they speak up because their savior told them to … to which my response is: "Groovy – do you do EVERYTHING someone tells you to do?!?" Sure, I've heard of the "Great Commission," but that doesn't mean I give it either credence or respect. For what I've seen, it deserves neither.

    Further, if we as atheists shut up while the believers continue their putsch, they have a clear field to do as they please, up to and including the goals of the New Apostolic Reformation, which steps on the constitution and steps on me. So big surprise, they'd LOVE it if we'd keep our atheism to ourselves … except that we won't. If I have to speak up to counter their efforts, I absolutely will, and I will cite the First Amendment's right to free speech as my justification, as surely as they want to lean on the bit about freedom of religion.

    Oh, and one other thing: freedom OF religion must contain within its concept the principle of freedom FROM religion. This is common courtesy – you don't step on my toes; I don't step on yours. Practice your beliefs as you please … BUT RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE DIFFERENTLY OR NOT AT ALL.

    Reply
      1. Ashmedai from White Sulphur Springs, WV, United States

        The Great Commission doesn't apply to them anyway. It's not meant for laypeople, but for clergy, apostles, etc.

        Reply
  2. Joe from Eugene, OR, United States

    Yeah, what a disturbing, silly question!

    I'd add to all this, i don't want to live in a world where people all keep their ideas to themselves! I want to live where people actively discuss and explore their ideas, compare notes with other people, and find ways to strengthen our models of the world. I think such a world leads to better ideas, better solutions, and just better living all around!

    I fully expect and appreciate when other people question the things i say if they sound fishy, and i will extend the same courtesy to others. Otherwise it's like just letting your friend walk around with their fly unzipped without ever telling them — kinda rude.

    Reply
  3. matt greenberg from Norristown, PA, United States

    as the number of Godless Americans grow, the backlash against Atheists will ramp up. i'm ok with this – that just means it's working.

    Reply
    1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

      I actually think we are seeing that now. The more Secular Humanism gets pushed into the light, the more xians try to push it down. That is why we have so many states trying to force their own version of Prop 8, when it clearly won't go anywhere. It is clearly and fully unconstitutional to prevent people from making a legal contract of marriage, and yet xians are thrashing to try to prevent it. Not going to happen. It's none of their business and the funny thing to me is that they are wasting a huge amount of money and resources to lose this battle. Imagine all the money it took to get Prop 8 in Cali to pass, all to get shot down because, in its core, it was unconstitutional. I love that.

      I also think that it's wonderful that, as you say, the number of "godless" in this country is growing. And it's growing out of our youth. So its not "de-conversion" as much as people growing up in the age of information and being able to see at a young enough age that xianity is just another bunch of fairy tales. That means far less parents in the next generation exposing their children to adult fairy tales. The number of "godless" will grow exponentially through the next few generations. I'm just sad that I am so old that I will probably not witness our first self-declared atheistic president. But it's coming, as pretty darned quickly, too. Someone else posted that they think it will take 100+ years. I don't think so. The more xians fight, the more people they attack (blacks, gays, women, free-thinkers), the more mindless, crazy-assed, mind-boggling BS they come up with, the more people they will drive from their pews and the faster they will bring on their own destruction. I have to say, I really enjoy watching those flames.

      Reply
  4. Derek Wearmouth from United States

    Correct me if im wrong but arent homosexuals and Christians similar?

    Gays: If they are fanatical enough they will try to "make you see the gay in yourself"
    Christians: If they are fanatical enough they will "try to make you see the truth"

    only diffrence is gay people are open about how they really feel and dont shroud it behind a book that was made to make people do as thier told. i personally am not gay and have no problems with homosexuals. I am tho harrassed weekly by people trying to get me to "see the truth" by trying to force me into a church by making me feel bad every week. when i was younger i was forced to go every week and listen to "the word" and one day when i was 14 i got up and walked out and told my parents i didnt believe in that crap and i wasent going back.
    i am stil harassed to this day by them to go to church every week but now i have people who i work with who dont believe in god but pretend like they do to make thier spouse or family happy. if it isnt what you believe why force yourself into that stuff every week?

    this may be a pointless rant but is it not true?

    Reply
    1. Spoon from Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

      I have never heard of or met any gay person who would actively attempt to 'convert' other people in the way you describe.
      Your sexuality is something you're born with and gay people know this possibly better than most.

      Reply
    2. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      Derek–I have yet to meet a gay person who has tried to "make me see the gay in myself". I also think that there are many homosexuals and Christians who are open about their feelings and many who are not. That said, you have some guts to walk out on religion at age 14 against the wishes of your parents. Kudos to you for that!

      Reply
    3. TruthBeTold from Valparaiso, IN, United States

      Seeing the self-righteous attacks, right here and now, against someone who merely SUGGESTS that they aren’t fully on-boat with homosexuals proves that atheists are just as militant and fundamentalist as christians (or ‘xians’ as you insultingly label them — yeah, real “intellectual” there *rolls eyes*).

      Maybe more people would take you seriously if you stopped with your own silly beliefs and worship of liberalism and merely going along with the moral fashions of the day? I mean I haven’t seen you sticking up for whites or men, which if you use your “intellectualism” and “logic and reason” and “evidence and proof” you would plainly see that those two groups are some of the most crapped-upon in today’s society. But no, you like every other leftard (I bet you’re itching to call me a hypocrite, except I’m not taking the militant atheist moral high ground and claiming to be intellectual and then flinging insults) can’t wait to be fashionably moral and only “stick up” for those groups that your atheist cosmo mags states are in-vogue to stick up for.

      This hypocrisy on your part and your laughably fashionable liberal morality (which is pretty much exactly as lunatic and not based on reality as the bible, except for the question of a supreme being [unless you count obama, which you probably do because it's morally fashionable to support blacks because... because liberals said so!]), not to mention the massive arrogance in calling yourselves “reasonable” and “intelligent” *rolls eyes* when taking the above into account, is why atheists as a group will always fail and will never be taken seriously.

      Go be an autistic manchild poindexter elsewhere.

      Reply
      1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        Okay, you lost me on the first sentence.

        First, I don't consider demanding that people stay the hell out of other people's business when it doesn't concern them as an "attack".

        Second, I didn't say "not fully on board". I said actively treating other people as sub-human. And that is what Prop 8 – type legislation does. It strips the common civil rights that everyone else enjoys away from people simply because you find their lifestyle "morally distasteful".

        Lastly, you really need to pick up a dictionary and find out what the term "fundamentalist" means. Until you learn what the terms that you are throwing around actually mean, you have no place inserting comments into a debate.

        Reply
      2. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        One other thing: You have the gall to assert that other people aren't taken seriously when you bombard a debate with nothing but ad hominem attacks? *rolls eyes* right back at ya. :)

        Reply
      3. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        LMFAO – I just read the rest of your rant. Just so you know, I'm a conservative republican. I'm just not a delusionally superstitious conservative republican. ROFLMAO

        Reply
      4. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        Just as I thought. Nothing but a blow-hard xian drive-by insultist. I am SO glad he didn't "claim to be an intellectual". LMAO I couldn't possibly assert that this person is a hypocrite, simply because he isn't making any points, just ranting and in-general being a dick. He apparently desperately needs a dictionary, since he uses several words that he obviously doesn't have a clue as to what they mean.

        Don't you just love these "non-intellectual" drive-bys? TOO FUNNY!!!!!

        Reply
      5. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

        First off, you need to read my post from yesterday. Please do so as it addresses much of what I think about your comment. Second, I have never used the word xians, I see no problem writing the word Christian. Third, not all atheists are liberal. Fourth, a reminder to read my post from yesterday. Fifth, your comment is so full of errors it is embarrassing.

        Reply
      6. randomguy from Austin, TX, United States

        @TruthBeTold: First, not all atheists are 'liberal'. Plenty are libertarian/conservative or independent, so your generalizations are kind of pointless. I actually agree with you on many 'liberal Democrats' taking popular 'progressive' opinion almost religiously. I also find some of your other statements to be a bit ignorant. Mainly the way you worded them. "Supporting black because…..liberals say so."

        I do think many on the left are afraid to critique Obama simply out of fear of being labeled 'racist'. Especially since ALL you hear is praise, when they ignore from him the same things they bashed the previous administration for. It's political correctness and self righteous blind partisanship to a sickening degree. They look at NONE of their guy's faults or none of the opposition's good points. it's all a childish game. However, the way you worded things "supporting the blackjavascript:%20postComment(1);s" sounds like it comes from a KKK mag. I would support a "black" politician if I actually thought they were honest, and a good candidate.

        Reply
        1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

          @randomguy – The funniest thing about TruthBeTold's rant is that is had absolutely nothing to do with anything I said. I don't know how people get in their heads that "freedom=liberalism=fascism=socialism=evil".

          Again, I think that is the biggest danger that religion brings to civilized society: TBT is throwing a horrible name and insult slinging, childish temper tantrum because I basically said that I believe that people should be free to live their lives as they see fit. If what they want to do doesn't directly effect you, why should you have a say in whether they are allowed to do it or not?

          Because I support the concept of the government staying out of my bed and women's wombs, (in other words, if I don't support the "right wing-nuts" for force their religion down everyone else's throats), that means I *must*, by definition, be a "liberal", however, I do have to admit that I support the constitution, democracy (in the form of a representative republic), free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, and the free exercise of religion (the general Liberalism percepts). Funny how people like TBT thinks that those values are "evil". However, the definition of "Conservatism" that I adhere to, and believe is best for a civilized society and wish to live in, is "To believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values [which are in NO WAY tied to "xian values"] and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems." Funny how people who want to strip civil liberties away from everyone who doesn't believe in their delusional superstition consider themselves "conservative".

          Reply
      7. Vincere from Philadelphia, PA, United States

        Since your on his blog it is you that needs to go “somewhere else”

        He did not in anyway try to hide his feelings (which is the very point of this entry) (try and stay focused on the topic at hand) And how does his albeit somewhat hostile approach make anything he said not true ?

        Not to mention you,yourself responded in a equally if not hostile manner making you the hypocrite to your own point ……..whatever that may have been

        Reply
  5. commenter from San Diego, CA, United States

    The only thing gay people are fanatical about is fashion. The idea that 'extremist' gays try to convert others to a gay lifestyle is simply ludicrous.

    Reply
  6. Derek wearmouth from United States

    "The idea that 'extremist' gays try to convert others to a gay lifestyle is simply ludicrous."

    You have obviously never been to dupont circle in washington dc on a saturday night then :_) but the comment wasent directed at gay people more at the christians.

    Reply
    1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

      So, you're saying that, because the gay community chooses to gather in a certain place that is well known to everyone in the area, and express themselves as they see fit and do so "in public", that means they are trying to "convert" everyone else to their "lifestyle"? So, your attitude is that it is fine for them to be gay, just as long as we put them all in a concentration camp so they can never offend your delicate sensibilities?

      If you know they gather there every Saturday night and you aren't gay, why do you go there and expose yourself to something that you find so distasteful? Are you looking for a boyfriend or just something to bitch about?

      Here's another question (actually two, and I really enjoy asking xians these): Since when is it required that everyone modify their lives so as to avoid offending you? What makes you so special that everyone else should walk on eggshells to avoid you feeling "offended"?

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Response to criticisms of “Can’t You Atheists Keep Your Opinions to Yourselves?”–No I Cannot.” | Reason Being from Columbus, OH, United States

  8. readyforthebacklash from Wahiawa, HI, United States

    The reason there are such imperfections in the Church is because it is made of broken human beings. No Christian is perfect, nor should they claim to be. Anybody that is Christian and claims to be better than somebody who isn't has missed the whole point of Christianity. Jesus came to heal the sick, not those who think they are well. I truly believe most Christians realize this and, dispite all their missteps, are genuinely trying to make the world a better place. I think you unfairly judge the many because of the failures of a few. I can't speak for other religions, but this is my view as a Christian. Interesting post, though, and it definately gave me a lot to think about.

    Reply
    1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

      @readyforthebacklash – I actually run into very few xians who claim to be perfect. However, they are extremely self-righteous in their claims to know something that is technically "unknowable" and they look down on those who don't profess to believe in fairy tales as somehow "untrustworthy". Somehow, because we are not delusionally superstitious, because we evaluate evidence in an intellectual way rather than an emotional way, because we don't allow xians to shove their religion down our throats through control of our legislation, because we believe in the *real* meaning of the First Amendment, we should be considered subversive and destructive to our secular nation. That's why, according to a 1999 Gallup Poll, 48% of the US population would *REFUSE* to vote for someone who is, by far, the MOST QUALIFIED PERSON to be president of the United States based on the fact that that person isn't delusionally superstitious (i.e. religious). 10% of those people WOULD vote for a gay president, but not an atheistic president. You, personally, may not be a bigoted hypocrite, but, as a xian, you SUPPORT bigoted hypocrites. If you give money to a church that supports in any way shape or form regulation of women's, gays', or atheists' rights, if you did (or would have) voted yes on Prop 8, if you support teaching fairy tales as alternatives to real science in school, or, more to the point, if you do not vote AGAINST these things, you are just as bad as the people who try to force them down everyone else's throats.

      My brother claims to love this country, love freedom, and support our troops. He's a geek and his personal "hero" is Captain America. And he claims that he would NEVER, EVER force his mormon religion down anyone else's throats. EVER. Except, of course, living in California, he thought it best to strip away someone else's rights to marry whom they wish and voted yes on Prop 8. In other words, he's a delusional hypocrite. Don't get me wrong, I love my brother dearly. He's a really great guy. But the truth is the truth and he is a hypocrite. And the worst part about it is that he doesn't even see the conflict. He claims there is no conflict. And I believe he is a typical xian, just like you.

      The mind boggles.

      Reply
    2. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. I also agree with you. There are many Christians who are not in the same category that I would call "fundamentalists". I have written my thoughts on those types of Christians as well. You can read one post on that here: http://reason-being.com/index.php/2012/04/05/reli… Your comment is one that is often addressed. Another good post on it can be found here: http://www.atheistrev.com/2012/04/taking-look-at-… That one is well worth reading. Thanks again for the comment.

      Reply
  9. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

    A couple of months ago, a couple of nice little mormon boys stopped riding their bikes when I was out checking my mail and asked if they could come in and talk to me about their fairy god father. I said sure, some on in. Once we got settled, they made the mistake of letting me start the conversation. We mostly talked about the logical fallacy of the "Great Flood". It was about the time that I started telling them what I thought about their "love of humanity" being inconsistent with their bigotry against same sex marriage that they decided that they "really needed to get going". It's great to have the religious go run for cover because they are so "uncomfortable" with having their beliefs being destroyed.

    Reply
      1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        What really got them is when they started to try to explain away the parts that didn't make sense with "god-magic", but I just kept explaining that they were digging themselves deeper into nonsense or asked them to show me in the bible where god magically created the water that covered the earth, even though it simply says "it rained". The only way to make any sense out of almost every single "supernatural" story in the bible is to add a whole bunch of god-magic to what is already there. One of them started to kind of lean toward my "hatred of god", but I quickly cut that off by asking why they "hated" Santa. If they must equate my disbelief to hate, then they must hate the Easter Bunny and Unicorns. Woops! Another non sequitur. LOL

        Reply
        1. Guest from Rochester, NY, United States

          So much of religion reminds me of the old cartoon of two scientists at the blackboard. It's covered with all sorts of scientific formulae, etc., purporting to explain the Big Bang (a theory which, interestingly enough, was proposed by a Catholic priest who was also a phsyicist). At the very end, down in a corner, is the conclusion: "And then a miracle happens."

          Faeries, unicorns, leprechauns, the Bane Sidhe…these are all magic. But they don't even pretend to be real, nor do they purport to explain why we're here, or how we got here. What makes religion think its magic is any more real than these?

          Reply
  10. anon from Saint Paul, MN, United States

    christianity and all religion is on the way out. anyone who can think on a higher level knows this. unfortunately for us on a human timescale it will take 100+ more years to break the hold it has on humans. if we are not destroyed by ourselves or the universe, there is hope. humans can escape. one day….

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      I agree anon, but I do not think that religion will "go quietly". I think that some Enlightenment thinkers and philosophers of late 19th century would have shared your opinion at those times! While I do think religion is facing an inevitable decline, we need to be vigilant in protecting our rights and freedoms in the process…

      Reply
      1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

        I agree somewhat, but the problem with the late 19th century was that science and the scientific method was only back on the rise (returning like the phoenix after the xian dark ages). Today we have a lot more evidence that the scientific method is valid and we have a lot more support (via this new-fangled interweb thingy) for "cloistered" youth that are growing up in xian families and communities, but can be exposed to rational educated people who share their doubts and skepticism. "Godlessness" is growing far faster than any other "religious" group in this country and almost all of it is being drained from the xian sects. Religion won't go quietly, but I think it's decline is accelerating.

        Reply
  11. rik from Ypsilanti, MI, United States

    there will be no more homosexuals as long as heterosexuals quit having gay babies….(not my statement but one I love.)

    Reply
  12. Uli from Portland, OR, United States

    Thank you for this wonderful essay.
    Once I was done reading I instantly bookmarked it.

    Reply
  13. Joe G from Chevy Chase, MD, United States

    When I was younger and hung around in gay clubs and bathhouses etc, I never ever came across any sort of person of the cloth attempting to give comfort to the very many lonely discouraged and confused people who are part of the community. I have to put up with churches that litter the landscape. Church goers park illegally and trespass on Sunday because the business is closed. Many churches reserve parking spaces on public streets for their clergy and faithful, property the do not own nor pay taxes for. Persons of the cloth expect reverence and deference as a matter of course, even though they are nothing more than con artists. They stick their noses and opinions where they do not belong. They have nothing to say about gay marriage or any other law of state. That includes liquor laws, prostitution laws, drug laws, science laws. Religion piously perpetrated the mutilation of baby boys and adolescent women. They misdirect tax free funds to defend child molesters, and to glorify them selves and their cons with expensive underused buildings clothes and fittings. They believe god gave them worthless pieces of desert and fight and kill to steal it and defend the theft and reach out for tax dollars extracted from secular governments to support them and their atrocities. They lie and they cheat. They have no concept of honor. They sin, and cynically beg forgiveness. They are almost all worthless hypocrites. Their loathsomeness demands that we speak out at last.

    Reply
  14. Alex from Norman, OK, United States

    I disagree with number 8. They do not have the right to tell us what to say, so why should we have the right to tell them what to say? But the rest of the article is interesting and correct.

    Reply
    1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

      Good point, but that also means we have the same right to laugh in their faces for asking their magic fairy to shower us with pixie dust to give us a good luck. ~snark~

      Reply
  15. @RickWhoever from United States

    You know there are a few things about religion that puzzle me. Maybe some theist can answer them for me.
    First is the whole idea of prayer. Why would you pray to an all knowing god? I mean he already knows what you are going to pray about because he put the thoughts in your head, correct? And don't tell me that it is to have a relationship with god. Everyday 27,000 children die around the world. And god is too busy having a relationship with some theist to save the sick children? Talk about Narcissistic.

    Second why do I get these Chain Emails asking me to pray for little Janey who has terminal hiccups and the doctors have given up all hope and MY prayer may just be the one that saves little Janey's life. WTF??? Does god hold prayer auctions? I mean he isn't going to heal little Janey if he doesn't get a minimum number of prayers? I bet the number of prayers required to heal an amputee must be some wheres north of 8 billion because I have never seen one healed by prayer. That is a sick and cruel god. One I could never worship.

    Third. So you don't "Believe" in The Theory of Evolution?? Who gave you a choice? If I came to you and said I don't believe in the Theory of Gravity does that mean Gravity ceases to exist and we all float away? Of course not!! To say that you don't "Believe" implies that you have a choice. I don't "Believe" in the Theory of Evolution, I understand it and accept it. Scientific Theories never become a fact. They are an analysis of a set of facts. Scientific Theories are not popularity contests and science is not a democracy. Einsteins Theory of Relativity is around 100 years old and has been proven many times yet it is still a Theory and will always be a theory. Then again do you think if we got enough Atheists together to sing hymns to Saint Hitchens then god would promote Einsteins Theory to Einsteins FACT of Relativity?

    Finally, Whenever a christian tells me god loves you or some other nonsense I reply; Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus. When they ask me what it means I tell them it means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon". When they tell me that is just plain silly and insulting I say; Of course it is. But hey, you started it.

    Reply
    1. Juniperberry17 from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      Nice – it still astounds me that we still even have these discussions – when will everyone just let it all go, accept the facts and keep their "hobbies" to themselves. I can't believe that some pockets of the world are still so entrenched in make believe – no offence to WWF but its like saying that is real, come on people we all know its a show, no different from the carnivals of religions still selling their wares to the lost/brainwashed/stupid/lonely and dependant within our society.

      Reply
  16. Phillip-part 1 from Grand Saline, TX, United States

    I am a scientist, so the entire concept of religion is different to me than it is to nonscientists. That is because scientists live their lives in search of truth and reality. The concept of "believing" carries no weight. Believing means accepting without question the authenticity of whatever someone might tell you. Occasionally, however we develop serious difficulties when we do that. What always comes to mind is Bigfoot. While there is no proof whatsoever, there are many who fiercely "believe" in Bigfoot. The inordinate touch to this is those who believe in Bigfoot are primarily ignorant, uneducated southern people. No, that is not a 'belief" on my part as it comes from empirical evidence, the results of numerous studies that were taken carefully through various locations of America, and the people of the southern states are indicated as uneducated, ignorant, and unlikely to change.

    Why is this? While you will hear jokes about rednecks and yes, many are valid realities, the factual causation appears to be a difference in thinking. Scientists like myself have broken this down to several rather distinct methodologies of thinking, or perhaps more definitely, problem solving. While there are many differences in thinking and even mixes of these two, these two appear to provide the bulk of the scientific consensus on this matter by people who spend their lives in realistic pursuit of factual answers to questions like this.

    The two basic thinking methods seem to be analytic and intuitive. If you were brought up quite strongly on religion, you are highly inclined to think intuitively, which means you are someone who can accept without question. Thus if you are religious, your basic method of thinking will not usually seek questions and answers covering what you have already accepted. You accept it and that is good enough.

    Analytical thinking, on the other hand allows the channels of information to remain open. Thus, when an analytical thinker is provided or notices information in conflict with or that seems abnormal or aberrant to previously learned or accepted information, is likely to consider it in terms of relative factual worth.

    What this may mean, and I lack factual information on this so it is simply a studied guess, is that there will always be something on the order of atheists and theists as the theists appear to think in an accepting manner and that is about all you should expect. They seem to either lack interest or perhaps lack the synaptic structures needed for analytic thinking. Mostly, they are not interested.

    Here is the unusual part, and something that was a part of my dissertation. The analytical thinkers almost always test higher in cognitive ability or IQ for a poorly used word. About 96% of the accredited scientists are atheist, as would be expected with an analytical mind. Yet that leaves a few who are analytical and religious. How do we explain this? This is a poor statement here as I cannot do this subject justice in a short essay, but it appears it may have much to do with the levels of fear introduced into these people as children, during their formative years. These fears are not always remembered fears, yet they do exist and they tend to have an effect on adult reactions. The concept of burning alive in a hell of fire and hot coals, suffering that intense pain for the rest of eternity is a frightening concept to a child. It's frightening to an adult as well. Additionally, those who are personally weak, easily frightened, lacking in self-esteem and self-confidence, and so on, will also tend to be religious as it is often strongly promoted through the family and peer influences.

    Reply
    1. Keith from Hillsboro, OR, United States

      I have said very similar things on several other blogs, but it is interesting to see it from a scientist's perspective. My hypothesis has been that when people are indoctrinated into a religion, it actually patterns their brains to evaluate evidence based on emotions (intuitive) rather than evidence (analytic). Once people have had their brains patterned to evaluate suppositions this way, it appears to be very hard to change. I believe that scientists who are religious (if they are any good at their job at all), must be extremely talented at compartmentalize their "spiritual" beliefs with the "physical world". I doubt that very many, even of the 4%, actually fully believe as most xians do, of a personal god that actually interacts with their lives on a daily basis. The few that do just simply can't be effective as real scientists. Anyone who would believe in something despite the mountains of evidence that disproves it just cannot be critical thinkers.

      I believe this is, by far, the biggest problem with our government. We are a country that votes for politicians based on our emotional reaction to their speeches and looks rather than actually evaluating their voting record and effectiveness. We are also a nation that votes for people based on their religiosity and effectiveness at forcing that religion onto others rather than their ability to uphold the constitution and the freedom of everyone. The two prevalent abrahamic religions (xianity just as much as islam, although not usually quite as violently), is a religion that abhors freedom, insisting that people need to be slaves to their fairy tales at any cost. This is something that Americans should be rejecting, not embracing.

      Luckily, the religious movement is rapidly decreasing in this country. With the advent of the internet, more and more young people are being exposed to the idiocy and ridiculousness of religion at a younger and younger age. Religion is dying out as these people become adults. The only thing we really need to work on now to is get the non-religious to start voting the religious theocrats out of our government so we can actually start working toward becoming a great, caring nation that is worthy of leading the world again.

      Reply
    2. Fred Williams from Lindale, TX, United States

      Thank you Phillip. I too am a scientist with a Ph.D in behavioral science from a Christian University in the eastern USA. As I have a strong psychological background based in the reality of behavior and less so in cognitive witchcraft, I can provide my understanding of why there are a few scientists who are also religious. Society and peer influence traps those who do not get a firm handle on reality and the closet door knob under the age of thirty-five. That age has been proven to be something of a cut off point for dropping the fallacy of religion. Beyond that you are often trapped by the acceptance of cognitive dissonance created between religion and reality and supported by social demands and the needs to continue well accepted peer groups. I will have a book coming out sometime next year, so I cannot say more or my publisher will have my ass–and my paycheck.

      The atheist movement is expected to exponentially explode with the rise of youth groups that do not accept religious. As it grows, it will go rapidly. The problems with religion are basically the continuing coercive persuasion implemented by the church, and the dramatic rise of the Islamic religions. They are often demanded by a countries law, and those male based religions allow a brutality that many people find fascinating. Recall how large a crowd hangings and gladiator events drew? As a skit by the comedian George Carlin addressed once, personal brutality to humans can be big business with international sponsorship.

      Reply
  17. Phillip-part 2 from Grand Saline, TX, United States

    So as much as the Christians parade around any scientist they find who supports religion should provide some indication that they are dealing from some reduction in self-value that those with analytical minds are not so bothered by. The analytical minds are not as concerned as Christians that others follow them. If Christians would simply leave the atheists alone, resist this continuous need to promote their "Beliefs" insisting that others also believe, and take their religion home where it belongs to practice it quietly and privately, the problems would stop.

    Then, I doubt the atheists would have all these web sites and there would not be a need to organize in a web of self-protection against those very dangerous Christians and their strangely demonic, jealous, and deeply narcissistic, "Loving God" who apparently is never satisfied unless his warlords claim every soul.

    Frankly, I am hoping to open the eyes of Christians not because I need to support my findings, but because I cannot stand to see people living in such horrid self-supported ignorance bound only by a simplistic and unnatural fear of things that is so deep that cannot bear the thought of even considering that this invisible God of theirs might be no more than a manmade superstition with no factual basis whatsoever.

    We all really need to drop this ridiculous and archaic notion of an invisible God that looks over us. There are far too many very reasonable reasons that this God is highly unlikely. So many that the more intelligent, and those are the ones who do not simply doubt, they know this concept of God is no more realistic than Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, Bigfoot, Flying Saucers from Mars, the Mexican Goat Sucker Chupacabra, the tooth fairy, and more than 30,000 different religions dating back to the start of recorded time and suspected before then through carbon dating of "Mother" deities. If you are intelligent at all and only a little bit self-confident, surely just that alone is enough factual evidence to let you know that humans have spent hundreds of thousands of years immersed in the manufacture of superstition. It's what we do. So now that we have become more intelligent than those comparatively stupid, filthy, Desert Tribesmen that probably invented the Jesus myth while huddling around a fire in a small town of mud huts in a lonely and very cold middle eastern desert near the end of the Stone Age, because they needed something to help them stop shaking. They needed that. We don't need it today. The world is a known place and monsters seldom exist in America. If they do they are usually Christians bent on a sort of lawlessness not much different than the lawlessness and insistence that drives the need to have their religion adopted by everyone–or you will kill them! Don't think that is not a serious concern. It has occurred many times.

    If that is not enough to convince you that the probability of a God is so extremely low that you can safely discount it, stem into your yard any cloudless night and consider the heavens. It helps to first know what science has found out there using the long range Hubble telescope. Science has found considerably more in the heavens than those ignorant goat herders in that desert 2000 years ago who lacked any vision and any intelligence. So far, science finds nothing Godlike! Nothing but interstellar particles, planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and other assorted particles, gasses, and liquids comprising generally well known elements. Sorry, but no God has been found. The factual place he is hiding—is in your imagination—and nowhere else.

    Reply
  18. Phillip-part 3 from Grand Saline, TX, United States

    Good God you Christians, please attempt to think for once instead of simply fear some bogyman. This is not a difficult concept, can't you see that people have made up all of this, just as you are now. You let any religious leader change the bible and the rules at will. They are not Gods, they are just people. If you actually prescribe to a factual and solid belief in the Bible, why is it that you deny what is commanded, and by so doing you act in resentment of the Holy Spirit? You claim the Bible is the word of a God, yet you deny the words of that God by allowing men to arbitrarily alter them at will and you accept that change. Then you take their word, not the word of this so called powerful God who inscribed those words in that Book for all to follow or be damned to hell forever. That's true blasphemy, and in your beliefs, that is a permanent ticket to HELL!

    And of course you realize what you have done by not reading the Bible, and all of it, for yourself, so you could be accurate? You have blasphemed!

    If you really follow the bible, you also realize that Jesus clearly says in that book, if you blaspheme, you have permanently and forever denied yourself entrance into heaven by proving your unclean spirit! There is no forgiveness for Blaspheming because Jesus will NEVER accept a tarnished spirit in his heaven! NONE! Read it yourself in Mark 3:22-30

    So, since about 99% of us won't make it, let’s all give up hatred and anger toward anyone who does not follow your silly game and get down to an enjoyable life that works best by being nice to each other. Let that evil and demanding myth go away forever; it's time to stop being ugly children. That strange old myth only benefits the religious leaders. While it has made the pope the wealthiest man in the world it hasn't done a thing for you.

    Look up tonight. Think a little and please attempt to see the world as it is, not simply as a product of your childish and unsubstantiated fears.

    OK, I tried, with solid logic and with convincing argument. However it will do no good. Why? Because they are not concerned with Logic and reality as long as they can be in the group that chases that invisible God. They really don't believe–not inside, to themselves, Christians are not stupid people, but they do want to be in the best group and they think their group is the biggest and the best, and that's all there is to it…
    The kids on the side with the most votes are the winners.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from United States Post author

      Phillip that is a great comment(s)…I think you do a great job of summing up how many atheists feel and why they feel the way they do. Thanks a ton for taking the time to write this comment. The post may be a month old or so, but still gets a few hundred reads a day. It is one of my more popular.

      Reply
    2. pretentiousjerk from Mexico

      no one read your long boring rant. Comment section, not write a book section. Longer than the original article itself. Pffft. 1 reply and no votes – what a surprise.

      Reply
    3. DLarre from Dunedin, FL, United States

      Completely agree. I would not argue a single point other than this- the world is still a scary place. It is a large cold world that many people face nearly alone. Religion gives them the courage to turn and look the thing in the face and push forward to live their lives. Not everyone needs that. Many people can find the strength from within. More power to us. For those that don't have that strength, use whatever works. If that is what they need to get up every day and contribute whatever it is that they they do, good on them. For those of us that feel the excitement in trusting ourselves to create our destiny, enjoy it. We don't have to waste that percentage of precious brainpower on guilt based on arbitrary boundaries, don't have to finance the religion industry, and we get to sleep in on the day of rest. Enjoy the religious traditions that bring family and friends together without feeling the need to correct another's belief. Your mom might need that comfort she gets from her belief. Let it go.

      Reply
      1. Bob from Lindale, TX, United States

        Wrong. Religion is dangerous. Anytime you can commit atrocities and cancel personal guilt with little more than winging a quick silent thought toward your imaginary deity, you produce a society based as much in dishonesty as it is in deception. Check the jails. They are filled with religious people and a few atheists. The ratios are far in excess of the actual social balance. Religious people are problematic in a society. Doubt me? Look to fundamental Islam.

        Reply
  19. debater456 from Los Angeles, CA, United States

    I'm personally still seeking myself, but i have a few objections to some things you say about religion.

    1. You can't generalize and say that every religion degrades women.
    2. While religion is used as an excuse to kill people, most religious people don't want to kill each other, and many times war has been blamed on religion when there's really some other political reason like gaining/protecting land.
    3. I honestly don't know how you can say that all people that are religious don't care about humanity. That is completely absurd. I seriously doubt that you have met every single religious person in the world and judged them all as not caring about each other. I'm not saying that every religious person is caring about there fellow human either, because I can't really know. Also, a large portion of Christians are poor, so I don't know how you can think that every Christian wants to cut funding for the poor. thats just ridiculous.
    4. How can you ask people to stop praying? It is an integral part of there religion, and it is your problem if you don't like it, not theirs.
    5. Finally, don't ask people to stop advertising their religion when you are making a f****** blog about it. You are advertising your beliefs as much as any religious person, so don't ask them to stop.

    Stop making generalizations about religions and people who believe in religions. We all need to respect each other, and anyone can believe anything they want as long is it doesn't affect somebody else. I agree with some of your points, but you have to understand that religion and it's people are neither all good nor all bad. It is a balance, a shade of gray, if you will, which you may find is the case many times in life.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      Sorry for the late response. I have been out of town. I appreciate your comment but disagree with most of what you write.
      1. I stated that the religions with large presences in the U.S. have an atrocious record when it comes to the treatment of women. That is a fact and I can state that, with confidence.
      2. Your second point is just false. Other than Jainism, find me a major world religion that has not been in the conquering business. Religions are very much in the business of killing each other…when they are allowed to do so.
      3. I did not say that every single religious person in the world does not care about humanity. I said that most religions have some humanitarian goals in their dogma/doctrine—I point out Christianity for failing to uphold those points. I do not blame individual Christians, but Christianity as a whole, particularly the leaders of those faiths. An example would be Pope Benedict (and his predecessor) should be on trial for crimes against humanity for the incredible amount of suffering they alone have caused in the third world.
      4. I will absolutely ask people to stop praying. It is a waste of time that should be spent actually fixing the problem that one is praying about. Ex: Tornado hits–people should not waste 1 second praying, they need to get out and help/do what they need to do. Praying will fix nothing and gives false hope.
      5. With your point number 5 you have a minor point–I do advertise my beliefs. People absolutely have a right to speak their mind—through blogs, bumper stickers, etc…The problem I have is not so much with the advertising, but with what happens from that point. People also have the right to criticize other beliefs or whatever. That is why you can post here…the problem is that "religion" is most often "off the table" when it comes to criticism. Do not put religion into public if it cannot be criticized. Ex: people will criticize a political billboard, bumper sticker, etc they do not agree with. The same courtesy is not applied to religion. It needs to be.

      Your last paragraph has some points that I agree with. We absolutely do need to respect each other. However, respecting people does not extend to respecting their beliefs. If I told you I believed all blondes should be put to death would you respect that belief? There is a difference. I do not make sweeping generalizations often—most of my posts have a very specific target. This post was more or less a summation of many. That said, there are generalizations that can be made regarding most religions and I stand by the ones I made in this post. I agree that not all religious people are bad. To think otherwise would be insane. However, I do hold that all religion, as a concept, is bad. Again, there is a difference.

      Thanks for your comment. You mentioned that you were "still searching"…I wish you the best of luck with that and a bit of advice if you wish to read it. When it comes to atheists you will find a very mixed bag of people. Do not forget that atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in a deity. After that things open up a bit. I consider myself a secular humanist, but also very anti-religion. Not all atheists are like me. My particular brand, may not be yours. I wish you luck and hope you stop by in the future.

      Reply
      1. Godrocks from Sylmar, CA, United States

        Hmm, I would not agree.

        1. While I agree that there has been terrible scandals with religious in the U.S., I would also point out that the public commits just as many if not more. The fact is that religion itself is not to blame, but humans. Religion's purpose is to elevate man beyond animalistic behavior. It is not Religion failing man, but rather man failing religion. (Speaking of Christians in general, Paganism I would argue is a completely different bag, and I would agree on this point concerning paganism. ) The point is that humanity has degenerated, and those that follow religion alongside with it. Let's hope that the future is brighter then what it appears to be. ;)

        2. I have to disagree here. While countries may be of various religions, it is not necessarily true that the religions go to war. Countries are in the business of conquering, not religion. (Once again I am speaking of Christians in general. ;) ) Take America in Iraq, let us say a Baptist soldier goes to fight there. Does this mean Baptists have gone to war against Iraq? No! It means Americans have gone to war. Also as a point of humor, if religions were in the conquering business, then I believe countries would have to be named in this method, "The Republic of Baptists".

        3. As I said earlier, they are human. Humans, as they have proven throughout history, are not perfect. Also, would you mind specifying what exactly has Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II done against third world nations? I think this accusation is somewhat absurd, if you will pardon my saying. Pope John Paul visited and aided third world countries more then many of his predecessors. Pope Benedict has also aided them. If you refer to perhaps his serving Germany during World War II in his youth, then I must also say that holding that against him is absurd. How many other Germans served and actually saw action? Thousands. Are any attacked over this? No. It is difficult to truly understand that time without having lived in it, and as most of us have not, I would not say we are capable of judging.

        4. I myself enjoy a good debate, provided it remains free of hate language. But I would say it is unfair to ask Christians to stop praying as it would be to ask you to give up your favorite hobby. ;) Christians like praying, and I'm sure you enjoy your hobby.

        5. I agree. Constructive Criticism is useful, and I personally accept it whenever it is given. When that criticism however, turns into hate language and a mixture of a few audible words drowning in curses, then I draw the line. People have a right to speak their mind this is true. One of the founding principles of this great country, but people do not have a right to purposely hurt others with their words. This can never be acceptable.

        There is however a difference with the Blondes being put to death comparison. People believe in God, and it does no harm to anyone. I might believe the sky is made of cheese, and this would be my right. However, if I believed something that was clearly evil, such as putting blondes to death, you have every right to not respect it. (And an obligation to stop me, on account of the poor blondes. ^_^ )

        - A God and human loving person wishing you the best of happiness!

        Reply
        1. Annabelle from Catonsville, MD, United States

          Do you realize that many poor 3rd world countries such as the ones in Africa (for example) were basically screwed over because "Christianity" decided to do their missionary trips and basically eradicated most of their religion and beliefs only to replace it with Christianity because it was the only right religion? THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED ONCE BUT MANYMANYMANY TIMES. Another example, Native Americans, once ruthlessly herded into reservations were FORCED to convert to Christianity, losing their identities and their beliefs. Unfortunately many of them are still suffering today. If you can't see that religion IS in the conquering business, then I pity you.

          Reply
  20. Jim Tuck from United States

    Re: Your "Share Your Atheist Story" forum; When I was young (so much younger than today… sorry, I couldn't resist), my mother, one of my brothers, and I (at the time, the only Jews in the family) wanted to attend the Yom Kippur services at our local synagogue, only to be told that we either had to be regular members of the congregation, or pay $25 a head for tickets. I don't know about Mom and my brother, but this showed me just how grasping, greedy, and money-hungry Jews (and all other "relgidiots") are. The next morning, I said "F this S!" and converted to atheism. I've never been happier (especially when I shoot some Jesus freak's pretzel logic down in screaming, irrefutable flames).

    Reply
  21. @TheDragonsRHere from Plano, TX, United States

    I am an atheist in the closet. My family all believe & although my spouse suspects (not all that religious, either, but still a believer), not concerned w/finding out. Once my mom dies, I will be open. She is elderly, very religious (along w/my abusive brothers–one's a bible-thumping RWRN, the other's just a bully and a sociopath), in bad health, and she can go ahead and believe I am going to "heaven". My SIL is RW religious, he & my daughter live w/us (economic reasons). She knows I don't believe, and he will be disappointed, but as long as they get into their own house, I will tolerate the disappointment.
    To keep the peace in the family, I am silent. It is hard sometimes. I don't find being a non-believer in Southern Baptist territory (TX) an easy thing, but once one sees the way things are, it's difficult, if not impossible, to go back to blind faith.
    Thank you for a clear, well-thought-out, logical explanation (well, polite rant, lol). Thoroughly enjoyable, & made me smile.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I lived in Texas for a few years (Houston), and you are correct, it is not always easy. I always tell people that family comes first and to not tell their families until they are prepared to deal with the consequences. I think that you are handling things quite intelligently.

      Reply
  22. raspberryblower from London, London, United Kingdom

    As a school child I was taught religion ( christianity) and excelled In class…until the day I' d learnt enough to reject it. Now I see religion as surrendering your free will and letting another imperfect human claim power over me, by claiming they know how to make responsible decisions better than me . They then prove this by quoting their imaginary friend to me….

    Reply
  23. Godrocks from Sylmar, CA, United States

    If you believe in God and he is not real. You lose nothing.

    If you believe in God and he is real, you gain everything.

    If you don't believe in God, and he isn't real, then you lose nothing.

    If you don't believe in God, and he IS real, you lose everything.

    I ask you, of those four options, which does common sense say is the most logical choice?

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      This argument is called Pascal's Wager…it is nothing more than a logical fallacy of false choices and your argument fails every time. You can Google criticisms of Pascal's Wager to learn more if you wish. However, here are a few failures of the wager…it only assumes Christianity. Today, on this planet alone, there are almost 3,000 gods being worshiped. What if YOU pick the wrong god? Second, you are asking someone to believe against their will for the chance of a reward—don't you think, if there was a god, he would see through this dishonesty?

      Anyway, check it out. It will certainly not sway you from leaving Christianity, but it should prevent you from using one of the most easily

      Reply
    2. Ian from Calgary, AB, Canada

      ive a good life.

      If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout
      you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.

      If there are gods but unjust, then you should not worship them.

      If there are no gods, then you will be gone but will have lived a noble life that
      will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

      Marcus Aurelius

      Reply
  24. @candraadiputra from Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    I am muslim in indonesia. I think your article is reaction for what happen in america and the world. that OK. i give you something what my prophet [mohammad] say..THAT MAKE YOU FEEL YOU RIGHT. ." someday in the future..there is no relegion, atheis will win…and there no one practise relegion anymore" …. in that time religion just a history. this is what my prophet said. so i still be muslim because the pattern is true… so you will win in this world atheis… yes I am really sure atheis will win. .but after you won the Apocalypse come and after that come the judgement day .
    Im sorry for my bad english.

    Reply
  25. Dan from Butler, MO, United States

    As a follower of Christ, I very much appreciate the honesty and thought put into this article, and would like to respond to it with as much honesty and thought. I don't necessarily mean to proselytize. I just hope to engage in meaningful dialogue, whereby we can come to an accepting attitude concerning people of other beliefs.

    Point 1: When I read the First Amendment, I see limitations imposed on the government with respect to laws concerning religion and its free exercise (among other things). This prohibits any specific religious views to become enforced, but I wonder, where does the Constitution place express and direct limitation upon religious institutions? Also, for clarification, to which laws do you refer that the religious cry "foul" concerning? While there have been efforts to legislate religious activity, I haven't seen anything passed which I would call out as unconstitutional, at least in the religious sphere.

    Point 2: What's wrong with arguing with tried and true science? Did not Galileo do the same, and end up on the right side of things? I realize that the scientific community has come to a consensus about certain things (evolution, for one) but shouldn't it be good and right to allow for alternate interpretations of the data? Such interpretations are out there and there are many noted scholars and scientists which stand behind them. No, they are not the majority by a long shot, but should they not be allowed to voice their reservations concerning the standing declaration of truth? Shouldn't the very nature of science and its method allow for dissent? After all, many most important discoveries were made by the minority within the scientific community.

    Point 3: Treatment of Women. Agreed, for the most part. Women are NOT second class citizens. I see in the Bible (I assume you disagree) that women are uplifted and honored as people with value below nobody else's, and it also has a view to roles that men and women are to fill, with allowance for exceptions. I see these roles echoed in nature; I mean anybody can see that men and women are built differently, think differently, and develop differently. Women and men, it seems, are perfectly suited to complement each-other and operate in different econo-societal positions from each other with neither being of more value than the other. For clarification: In which ways are people trying to make the government support archaic misogynistic views?

    Point 4: I do believe homosexuality is a sin, but no more so than any other sin. I think this is where true Biblical Christianity may offer you a fresh view of 'religion'. I hate when people treat gays as if they have the plague or something. When Christ came he loved everybody and died for everybody, so I should be willing to do the same. As a Christian, I am to treat a homosexual with as much dignity and respect as I do anyone else, because when you come right down to it, I am as much a sinner as any other person, regardless of specifics. The fact that homosexuality can be genetic or found in nature is no proof of morality, because any sin can carry genetic predisposition (lying, drinking, pride, for example) and because, at least according to the Bible, nature was corrupted at the fall of man. So, what we see in nature and genetics isn't inconsistent with the Biblical account, yet without excusing the morality of the issue. It is my hope that all who claim 'Christianity' would start behaving more lovingly and appropriately towards homosexuals. I wish they'd read their Bibles, really.

    point 5: Agreed, with exception (We need to stop killing each other!). The natural outcome of Atheism seems to be an attempt such as Hitler's to create a master race. I would like to know this: In a society where people are simply products of evolution and no more, and the only intrinsic value a person has is attached to how he may contribute, what protections can the weak or sickly, or genetically flawed or so-on have? Can it be expected that completely unbridled Atheism will not redefine morality to suit the 'survival of the fittest' model? What room is there for any morality besides this?

    Reply
  26. Dan from Butler, MO, United States

    further:

    Point 6:
    How does creationism move society backwards? The creationism I adhere to, at least, allows for things like natural selection and genetic mutation, but there are certain observations on the genetic and cellular level, which may indicate limitations within the evolutionary processes. I would like to carry on a discussion of these types of things, but the scope of this article and response is too large to get much more detailed, save to say that this viewpoint may not be as much a hindrance to science and development as you might believe. There have been some important advancements made by creationist biologists and geneticists. My point is this: if reality and my holy book can coexist with a coherent explanation, may I not keep it to myself? With respect to women and biblical laws: Agreed.

    Point 7: I really recommend you read this article by a confirmed Atheist: http://www.truthconduit.com/atheist-matthew-parri

    And, if you decide not to, he comes to the conclusion that Christianity is the very best thing for Africa to thrive. One can't deny the humanitarian contributions of the Christian community to the lost and hopeless and dying and war-weary people of the earth. Historically, religions (Christianity seemingly the most notable) have helped the poor and needy for hundreds of years, when there was no such thing as philanthropics and humanitarianism. From schools to hospitals to homeless shelters, Christianity has led the way in humanitarian efforts, and it is only very recently that secularism has seemed to care at all. I wonder if they wouldn't even care if there were no religious competition! If my response to point 5 is at all accurate, the only reason Atheists should really help, I mean morally, is to advance the race ,which is right in line with the premise of this 7th point. In fact, the fact that "overpopulation" is a supposed problem, in your view, almost gives the game away! What should be proposed then? killing the weak and flawed? or just the unborn ones? Why is the line drawn there, from a secular viewpoint? Yes, aids is a problem, but birth control is not the answer! (though certain types may help) Education and Abstinence is the answer and Kenya is proof. This article was enlightening for me: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/18/world/africa/18

    Point 8: There is much wisdom in what you have said here. Thank you.

    Point 9: So… would you legislate restrictions on bumper stickers and stuff, or you just don't like them? Or just the fact that the religious think they can share their faith, but get their undies in a bundle when you share your views?

    Point 10: Agreed. As a Christian, all I can claim is I am a sinner, but by God's grace, I may live and have victory. I am really no more moral than anyone else. But I wonder, how do you personally justify your views to morality? And, do you believe it is morally wrong to have an objective standard of morality?

    (These are all honest questions, I seek to learn about you and from you)

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Dan—thanks for the long comment, but I am not much for debating a post I wrote 30 weeks ago. Been there done that—a lot at the time. Seeing as how you took the time to write such a long post, I do want to briefly respond. I don’t have time to leave much detail, so these are really just incomplete thoughts to your comments. Please understand that ahead of time.

      Point 1: While the Constitution is as you say, the Courts have upheld numerous separation of church and state clauses. Look them up. As far as a recent piece of legislation where the religious cry foul—look no further than the HHS Mandate
      Point 2: There is nothing wrong with arguing with “tried and true” science, so long as it is being done with other science and not pseudo-science such as Creationism or with 2,000 yr old Bronze age thought. Ex: It is a fact that the earth is not 6-10,000 yrs old. Arguing along those lines holds back society and has zero credibility. If you disagree, I am sorry to hear that.
      Point 3: If you see woman as lifted up in the bible, you need to re-read it. Focus on the parts where Jesus is rude to his mother, where Yahweh allows and grants the raping of women in conquered cities, and also the books of Timothy. They are particularly toxic to women. To answer your question, the Right’s opposition to Lilly Leadbetter and its continued anti-choice stance on abortion.
      Point 4: I am tempted to disregard this based on your first sentence. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is the way some people are born. If you believe in god, and believe he can do no wrong, then you must believe he made people homosexuals. Any opinion that views homosexuality as a sin, immoral, etc is simply uneducated, bigoted, or brainwashed.
      Point 5: You are just wrong. The natural outcome of atheism would be something akin to humanism. The answer to your question is no. The only morality we have is evolved, and in case you haven’t noticed most atheists are pretty big supporters of social justice, so no need to worry about the sick and weak on our account. You may also have noticed that most atheists are liberal and support universal health care to support those same people. It would seem that the Christian Right are the ones who are lacking on this front.
      Point 6: I already sort of answered. When over 99% of evolutionary biologists over the past 150 years tell you that evolution is true and creationism is wrong—learn from it. It is not some grand conspiracy. Many of those biologists are theists, they do not all get along, and further their careers by proving their colleagues wrong—there is no consipiracy.
      Point 7: The opinion of one atheist means nothing to me. Look at the carnage that Christianity has left and is still leaving in the developing world. All you need to do is open your eyes.
      Point 8: Thanks
      Point 9: Of course I would not. For some reason theists completely missed my point here. Advertise all you want—but when you try to sway me to your opinion or convert me by any means, do not complain when I criticize the religion.

      Sorry I can’t go into more detail on this now. I have new posts to write and other things to do. I just felt that you deserved some attention from me after the effort you put into your comment.

      If you want to talk more, let me know. Perhaps it could be a topic for a new post…

      Reply
      1. Dan from Butler, MO, United States

        thanks for the response!
        I recognize the reasons for brevity in answering the specific questions i had, and will therefore not seek to pick apart details in any of those statements. And I realize this is an old thread, so, in the interest of fresh discussion, I would like to respond sparsely, and clarify only a couple of my statements, and then narrow focus on a couple points. (If you would like to carry the discussion elsewhere, name the place, i will be glad to follow)

        On Point 2: assuming that any serious interpretation of actual data is 'pseudo-science' seems to be precisely the kind of assumption that holds back scientific innovation. I have yet to see any serious atheist scientist consider with scrutiny the merits of the theory of ID (or Creationism) and come back with clear, concise, and thorough explanations (Scientific explanations) why it is wrong. All I see is people dismissing such theories as 'Bronze-age reasoning' and such, which of course automatically labels it as not worth investigating.

        On Point 3: I actually stand on the pro-life side, not because of my faith, but because of logic and reason. As a society we have decided that it is wrong to take a human life, so we have laws against murder. A fetus is, in actuality, a human life; It has 26 chromosomes(except in cases of down-syndrome), its own DNA separate from anyone else's, its own blood type, its own form, It can move and feel of its own volition very early in development. Why have we decided that it is acceptable to end that life? Because it is dependent? Because it is inconvenient? A baby which is 1 month old is both of these, yet we will protect its life. Why is the line of distinction drawn at birth?

        On point 4: I should have made it clearer: I believe in most cases regarding homosexuality, you are right; it is not a choice. It is something people are born with. This is not to say God makes people sin. All people are born (you and I and everyone on the planet) under bondage to sin. The Book of Romans says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are sinners by nature, and homosexuals are no different. This is neither God's fault (Thank Adam!), nor is he obligated to remedy our situation: but here is where Biblical Christianity is most unique as a religion. God doesn't ask you to work to make up for sin, or do right to pay it off, or whatever. Romans 4:5 says "To him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, to him it is credited as righteousness." Any person can come to faith in Christ: You or I or the homosexual or the bigot or mass murderer or drunkard or whatever, because we are all in the same boat, and the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for all of us, if we would trust in that. What is more accepting of people than that? I can see no bigotry there.

        On point 6: No i know there is no grand conspiracy, but i think it reasonable to maintain my position as long as none of these 99% of scientist have NOT actually come up with actual scientific invalidations of Creationist assertions, and they haven't.

        On point 7: Look, I agree. The worst thing that ever happened to Christianity was when Emperor Constantine claimed he was one, and 'conquered in his name.' All of this was done by people with either no knowledge of the Bible and God, or no desire to adhere to them. My eyes are open, and I am ashamed of these people who would claim Christ and do such things, but their actions shouldn't invalidate the real message of the Gospel.

        point 9: Okay, now i see your point, and I can't fault you for it.

        Reply
        1. djinn from Dallas, TX, United States

          the reason atheists dismiss ID is that it does not provide a falsifiable explanation for observed phenomena. “God made it that way” does not provide any insight into the deeper mechanics of how or why life came to be the way it is.

          The key tenant of any scientific theory is the null hypothesis, that what you have observed can be attributed to simple chance. A good scientific theory will reject the null hypothesis; demonstrate that the likelihood of the null-hypothesis being correct is very small, 0.5% probability is not unusual, and that an alternative theory must explain what we are seeing.

          ID does not have a null hypothesis, you cannot demonstrate that God did not do it, therefore it has no scientific value.

          Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      I disagree, technically, "real Christians" would be the extremists, they are the ones following things to the "letter", if you will. They do not seem all that interested in other people at all.

      Also: The link you sent me is completely ignorant of science. It is an attempt to discredit real science with pseudo-science, and is a great example of "real Christians caring more about preserving their myths rather than accepting modern science and helping move society forward". In short, there are no answers in genesis.

      Lastly, see the comment below yours to see "what most Christians are like" to non-Christians…

      Reply
  27. chris from Turlock, CA, United States

    I laugh at this article. The day is comming for jehovah will wipe out all you atheist people.

    Reply
    1. Dan from Butler, MO, United States

      You know, you are doing Christianity and Christians like me a disservice when you talk like this. the apostle Paul said to be ready to give a defense for the hope that is within us. If what you have to say is neither loving nor a reasoned out argument, then you should do us all a favor and stay silent.

      Reply
  28. Kronicali from Kingstown, Saint George, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    I live in the Caribbean ( lots of small islands) in country called St Vincent. I'm taking a wild guess but am sure 90% of my country is religious in some way with Christianity leading the front-lines. As you would expect I grew up amongst a christian family, very strong beliefs and had to abide by them as-well. I can remember at nights my mother would teach me the lords pray and scolded me if I forgot to say it, this is a norm in my country so I don't hate my mom for doing it. I was taught about the lord God from the time I could understand anything worth knowing, from home to school to church was a cycle.

    However, I was a curious boy. Never taking yes or no answers, I wanted to know why and how it worked, I believed this started about the time I developed a love for taking apart electronics and see their inner workings. My road to enlightenment go bright as i grew older and started to see the flaws in religion, my first hint was when i asked my mom "If God created Jesus then who created God?". My mom was surprised and gave me the only answer she knew, "You should not question God". I knew I had to get more information from someone else, but asking a pastor would probably lead to my damnation in hell. So i kept my thoughts to myself for fear of committing blasphemy and suffering eternally in hell. The thought of hell was more than enough to dampen my search for answers at the time.

    As I grew older I decided to stop attending church and do my own research on not only the christian religion but others as-well and found some interesting things. It took me awhile before i could realized that I wouldn't suffer in hell for asking these questions or finding the truth behind it. The Christian religion is a nasty practice in the fact that it cripples your thinking and binds you to it by using FEAR, this is a weapon for controlling people and if you do research it was used by the catholic churches centuries ago.

    There aren't alot of people in my country that are willing to accept the truth behind religion because they are afraid to go to hell and suffer for eternity and lack the proper education to understand the truth, most Christians don't even know that there are other planets in our galaxy some also think that our solar system is the universe. My mother knows that my thoughts about the church aren't favorable and i know she has been thought from as a child so convincing her wouldn't be practical, I do let her on some insights from time to time but I am not forcing her to change what she knows, if she is happy then so be it.

    I will leave Christians with this theory, well it should be fact since it is truth by the standards of the bible; So the bible states that Satan aka Lucifer was once a favored angel in heaven, (note am not quoting the bible I am just bringing the points together) he was God's Right-hand Man so he knew what God was going to do before all other angels. Now the thing that tickled my chin was, God = GOOD Satan =EVIL so now this means evil came from heaven or originated or possibly existed in heaven all along. Then that means there must have been free will in heaven since a percentage of angels sided with Lucifer during the war. How did Lucifer convinced these other angels to join his army? Wait an army in heaven you ask, a holy war. Did God see this coming? Now there is so much inconsistency about this event in heaven that It would need quite a writing to get it all straightened out.

    My main point is this, Evil existed in HEAVEN! IT CAME FROM THE SAME PLACE YOUR GOING BACK TO CHRISTIANS, and by your teachings since God created everything he created EVIL as well (he created Lucifer). Ask yourself why on earth would God create evil? He probably had a good reason, like to send the said evil on to the earth to dwell amongst his creations knowingly that Satan would then corrupt his creations. WTF? it makes no sense or probably he wanted to be entertained by us.

    I have come up with other theories aswell you can email me if you like to know more about my thoughts. kronicali24@gamil.com

    Reply
    1. Dan from Butler, MO, United States

      God did not create evil. The Bible says that Satan was cast out when iniquity was found in him, so we are not going to a place where evil exists. The underlying problem though seems to be this: (please forgive if I am setting up a straw-man)

      God created beings knowing they would sin, so is God responsible for their sin? Furthermore, can God claim perfection if his creation can disobey him?

      This is, to me, the most beautiful paradox of my faith. That's not to say there is no explanation, just that, on the surface it seems not to make sense. But here goes:

      If God created beings which could only ever do exactly what he wanted, they are no more than robots. "A gift that's demanded is no gift at all" (to quote veggie-tales). The option to choose rebellion must be present if a being is to be truly free, And God in his wisdom, created us (and angels) free. The eventuality of rebellion is necessary to prove that rebellion is wrong, though an option. The judgement of rebels is necessary to maintain order, lest the whole of eternity be reduced to never-ending war. The redemption of rebels who would receive it is proof of God's love, as well as his true desire that there in actuality be no sin. So He has chosen to judge angels, and redeem men. But not all men will receive it, because of their own free choice to rebel. This is not a complete explanation by any means, but I hope it clarifies the Biblical position.

      Reply
  29. bob hangguk from Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    You don't need proof that god exist. The christian belief that jesus is god is flawed itself. Jesus in his lifetime never declared that he is god. Some nut made it up just as they make everything up as they go. Donations thru religion is a quadrillion dollar industry. Any addition in the faithfuls is added money in the bank. No reverend in his right mind would agree to an athiest or any other religion for that matter. Unless he gets more money out of it. You'd need to be smart to be faithful. Blind faith is just stupid. Use your head. Think. Is someone getting something out of this? Eventually the true picture appears.

    Reply
  30. Dave pt1 from York, ON, Canada

    First of all, this seems to be quite an old post that's garnered a lot of attention from people in general. It's well thought out and pointed and has just about everything you need to make a good point and spark discussion and debate. I see myself as being in the middle and tend to argue either side to some extent but I think I lean more towards losing side of this debate judging from the comments I've read through. Not saying I'm over religious and go around shovelling my beliefs down others' throats, but I do enjoy a bit of a challenge. I won’t touch all the points you had, as it’s already quite late and I’ve got a long drive ahead of me, but I felt I’d add some fun stuff to talk about and see how it goes from there, because I’m tricksy’s like that.

    With that said I think that the majority of your point was that the theists should expect the same sort of treatment they give to others. I think you're absolutely correct in this sentiment. A friend of mine often said, a person is smart but people are stupid. I feel that describes most organized religion. Individuals can be very forward thinking and have all sorts of opinions but just as it is in any mob situation it’s easy to go with the flow of those around you. Especially when you arm the majority of your mob with half the information they need and they rarely have the inclination to go and find out more before pointing all sorts of pitchforks at Frankenstein’s monster.

    However fundamentally, the stakes are what seem to make the difference here. To theists, and I'll talk mostly about Christians here as that's what I'm most familiar with, the stakes are your soul. You who will go on without accepting, so on and so forth and various iterations of what ultimately amounts to the same thing, a creator of some sort and the ramifications that your “poor lost soul” will end up in the worst place possible, a place so bad that you can’t even begin to image it. On the other hand, the loss on the atheist side as I've come to understand it is living a life of stupidity, wasting your time (and others' time) and then ultimately leading to nothing. Ongoing torture for eternity vs. nothingness and if nothingness is the correct answer then it's going to happen either way right? To some of my more self-righteous and often misguided peers this is a fate that's worth bugging the crap out of you for. And to them they often mean well, but you the saying that the road to damnation is paved with good intention.

    I also am horrified at the so called love of one another that religion displays. Wars are caused by religion, true. However that's just a subset of the real issue here. Wars are caused by people who believe something. Whether it’s that your believe that your land was promised to you by divine right, or that the barbarians of the far distant lands need to be purged from the face of the world, to believing that the perpetrator of a horrible national crisis is hiding behind barrels of oil/gold/diamonds. Or that your race is the master race and that you deserve to rule because it’s your genetic right. Your correct in saying that Atheists probably won’t cause wars to spread their belief of nothing because that's really all there is nothing. I mean yes higher learning and intelligence and so on but seriously when was the last time you said you're too stupid for your own good come to school or I'll wage war on your nation and your family so that you won’t get a chance to procreate your stupid genes into the human gene pool? (For me I think it was my last D&D session, or at least it was pretty similar anyways.)

    Reply
    1. Dave pt 2 from York, ON, Canada

      I agree with your assessment about religious people failing to believe in the theory of something being rather ludicrous. I mean, seriously how can you say you disbelieve a theory? I mean you disbelieve in the findings that the theory points towards, which is probably what most of those theists are trying to indicate in most cases, but to disbelieve the theory itself. It'd be akin to disbelieving the grenade that dropped 5 feet away from you. It'd be far more likely if you were to disbelieve the grenade would deal lethal damage to you from that distance. Semantics aside though, it is true that religion is known for clinging to traditions and so on and are slow to accept change. It challenges their notion of a timeless and omnipotent deity. And it scares them. And being scared isn’t really an acceptable excuse for a large scale notion. It’s only marginally acceptable on small scale things like not wanting to bungee jump or fly in a plane.

      The issue is that many of the zealous types are the types that choose to pick and choose their arguments, and turn blind eyes towards their flaws. To keep a strong point in an essay, a marketing strategy, or a blog you need to be able to fudge the gray areas a bit. The sad thing is that, unfortunately religion tries to push this so called higher moral standard and that same standard when pushed back on themselves, shows them just how far the fall short of it. It’s my understanding the important part is not the ethical standard but rather the acceptance of their saviour that makes the difference. It’s said that all people fall short and nothing but grace gets you a pass. And yet they use these standards to judge others. I found this to be the same in schools. Some of the smartest people I met couldn’t get good grades on tests. The education system understands that this is how people are. Yet they continue to use tests as a standard because it’s easy to quantify, justify, analyse, and do so en masse. It’s just one measuring stick and unfortunately, just like some people judge me for my khakis and t-shirts when I walk into an expensive store like Wal-Mart, it’s just goes to show how observation of outwardly quantifiable traits is so ingrained in all of our minds.

      In fact it’s this nature of wanting to observe things that sparked the onset of modern science, and please correct me if I’m wrong on this. (And yes I’m aware science and so on has been around forever but I mean in the format we know it. You know with Newton and Galileo and so on and so forth, with the observation, hypothesis, experimentation, analysis etc stuff) I believe from my classes I recall that in a very religious era, scientists started out as individuals wanting to observe and understand the inner workings of the universe they knew. This naturally upset the church who at the time thought they knew it all and that they were trying to be more than human’s were supposed to know, essentially repeating the very mistake that got us in trouble. Mind you this time it didn’t come from some magical fruit, which doubly angered them thinking that they could gain insight into the universe without the aid of the one who created it. As if you could reverse engineer my computer virus, it took me a whole year of studying to make it perfect! Take that pentagon!

      Reply
      1. Dave pt3 from York, ON, Canada

        Now I do think that it’s important to be mindful of the past and the traditions. I do think there’s a lot of merit to many of the religious tenants that exist, not that those tenants didn’t exist elsewhere before or after mind you. I personally do not like the idea of broken homes and an over 50% divorce rate. I think that if it were more ‘final’ and that it were not so easy to get in and out of the institution of marriage it would force people to try to think about it some more and maybe find that they’re too immature to handle the responsibility. And perhaps this might lead to a decline in population, though I doubt that since it’d probably be people would then not wait until marriage to be irresponsible. But sometimes a backwards step could have positive effects as well. I do think we need to keep moving forward and keep forging a path that will one day lead to a more advanced society. But I also think you need to look back and see how far you’ve come from time to time too. Otherwise you’re just blindly charging forward with no particular destination, don’t you think.

        I also think we need to focus on morals and ethical study on a global scale more though. And I don’t mean religion is The way to go. But it’s certainly A way to go about it. I think it’s better than letting the media orchestrate whatever morality they think will appeal to the most viewers, and spin any situation into something that is only right in their eyes, only to find it spiral into an infinite loop in which things need to be pumped up to the extreme in everything to actually impact people, in a constant game of trying to one up each other. Extreme sports, extreme details, extreme sex scenes, extreme wardrobe malfunctions, extreme sugar free gum.

        I mean can you imagine a day in the future where we are able to create a robot that doesn’t feel pain and only knows to kill with a heavy accent and a leather jacket? Now imagine if there were immoral people who were the ones to have pushed the on switch. Instead of someone who’s best interest is the preservation of humanity. Oh and I’ll also point out that war is also, in a purely inhuman scientific way of thinking, a pretty good form of population control. I mean who needs ‘a one child’ limit when you can just send them off to get mowed down in honour of whatever it is that they believe in. Perhaps we can go all animal farm and find a way to harvest parts to fuel the survivors who desperately need food. Yes it’s a stupid point but so was animal farm right?

        On the topic of homosexuality, since it seems to be popular amongst commenter, I too think that religion here has it backwards. The two things that often ring true with me are, the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner,” and the paraphrase, -committing one sin is the same as breaking any other, one is no worse than the other.- Yet these religious folks go around doing the exact opposite, acting like the Pharisees that they so detest, yet denying that they’re doing just that. I mean homosexuals were around back then too. And just because none of them went up to them and were like it’s okay we still love you in their book doesn’t mean they were excluded from the command to love each other. I think it’s again, they’re just afraid. They don’t get it, there’s still that negative emotion that relates to back when people thought AIDS started and ended with homosexuals. And really it’s just they can’t separate compassion and sex. Actually in North America we’re really bad about that. A little nudity is automatically associated with sex and that makes all sorts of activists raise hell. Oh no there was a nipple in the super bowl. Won’t someone please think of the children who have been sucking on that for food not 5 years ago. As developed as we are sometimes we really need to grow up. I mean in Europe and Asia you can go topless to a beach/bath/etc. and people are like oh, that’s normal and natural, a great bonding experience. Here it’s like, hey their naked I bet they want to have sex.

        Reply
        1. Dave pt 4 - final from York, ON, Canada

          Sexism, yup that’s all over the place in Christianity. But wasn’t it supposed to be a trade off? Guy works the hard dead land to try to scrape by some food, while girl has to go through labour and having a kid clinging to their boob and let’s not even mention PMS. And now you want to fight to be able to go through all that and be able to toil the land too? Masochistic much? It’s not like us guys like us can currently go through the labour part for you. Personally if I were a woman I’d demand that we get paid to bear children, and to do the domestic things that my stupidly bull headed hubby probably will screw up anyways. Ok sorry that was a bit sexist, I should have said, something more like, women should get paid on the basis that their day typically doesn’t end after they go home and while men and women should share in these responsibilities, some of those responsibility just can’t be shared. Again, giving birth, and producing milk (usually), and going through post-partum, etc. Meh there is a cold hard fact that men and women are different, and sometimes I find that extremists on the women’s rights movements want to pretend to ignore that fact. Kind of the same way I want to ignore that grenade from earlier. Yes it’s true that they should be treated equally and so on but you ever find those ones who want their cake and have their door held open for them too? Pick a side! Anyways, until the day where men can give birth and suffer the mood swings and bleed randomly from their sensitive parts on a regular and annoying basis… Oh wait I think I just solved the whole homosexual argument there, we should just all become androgynous. Then there’ll be no here nor there.

          Sigh why do we have to have differences in things like gender, skin colour, beliefs and opinions. I mean if we were all like Agent Smith, then we’d all get along and no one would have to worry about hurting another person’s feelings.

          I’ll end on that note and I know I’ll probably get down votes from both sides from this rather wishy washy comment, but really it was me wanting to do this for me. I hope you at least got a chuckle out of some of jokes. Life is short, it’s better to enjoy what we got, rather than worry about what other say or try to make you think. Your beliefs are your own and if you think that your beliefs are so shaky that one person ranting to you about it day in and day out is enough to make you change your mind, then your beliefs just aren’t strong enough. And that’s my opinion on this matter.

          Reply
  31. Janice Sauce from Rutherford, NJ, United States

    Thanks for writing such a good article! I found it on stumbleupon and shared it on my google+ page yesterday and the post absolutely exploded. I had a lot of great contributions to the conversation and some clearly… defensive christians. I had to turn off comments because it was becoming a very noisy discussion! https://plus.google.com/u/1/106270003065357450219

    But again, this article is great and is being saved in my bookmarks for future reference.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Haha. Thanks. This post blows up about once a month—though your explosion is the second largest since the day I posted it—over 6k visits to that post in last 24 hours…Sorry that so many dissenters bombarded your page, they should have left the comments for me…Thanks for the support. I very much appreciate it.

      Reply
  32. Pingback: Skepticism, Credibility, and Popularity | Reason Being from Columbus, OH, United States

  33. ssgoku129 from Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

    Meanwhile in Africa, "You still starving?"
    "Yup."

    Meanwhile in America, "We should all be concerned whether or not God exist.. I'm an atheist, I strive for change and good, AS SOON AS WE DECIDE GOD DOESN'T EXIST, The sooner we can start helping other countries"

    Reply
  34. Kate from Wakefield, RI, United States

    Intolerance and arrogance don't get anybody anywhere. Thrusting your beliefs on others does nothing but create more hate. It's not about us and them. It's about humanity.

    -Spoken by a true atheist and human being.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Kate—thanks for commenting. Your comment was unclear to me, are you implying that I am out to foster hate and do not care about humanity? Also, I am quite intolerant of intolerance and would argue that is a positive thing. Lastly, as my regular readers could assure you, I am hardly arrogant…most of my posts are discussions and pontifications. Another point I wanted to add—to me there is a huge difference between respecting people and respecting ideas or beliefs. I believe that we should respect all of our fellow humans, and I do not wish ill upon anyone. However, that does not mean that we need to respect all of their ideas. Lastly, what is a “true atheist”? I really do not understand that term. Thanks–John

      Reply
  35. Delaney from Chatsworth, GA, United States

    I am a Christian and I agree with 99%of this wholeheartedly. The problem here isn't religion, rather the way people practice it. Thumbs-up on StumbleUpon.

    Reply
  36. Paul Silvan from Warrenton, VA, United States

    To the religious reading this blog, I'm an atheist. Although I disagree with your beliefs, I respect your freedom to believe whatever you want and will not try to convince you to change them. Please do the same for me. Stop trying to do "god's" work and allow "him" to do it himself. After all, "he" is all powerful and perfectly capable of doling out and enforcing "his" own punishments and will discipline me if I have sinned in "his" eyes.

    Reply
  37. Michael J from Delray Beach, FL, United States

    Gee, I hope you don't wake up one day to the Announcement from one of your children that he or she is gay……….

    Reply
    1. Paul Silvan from Warrenton, VA, United States

      No, I hope I don't because of the way he/she would be treated by the religious right.

      Reply
  38. Melissa from Portland, TX, United States

    No one's asking you to keep your opinion to yourself..just asking that you don't shove it down everyone else's throat and criticize people for their beliefs. Grow up.

    Reply
  39. Rodney from Long Beach, CA, United States

    The unfortunate circumstance — to no fault of your own — is that the only religions an atheist like yourself can use or have really experienced are your garden variety Western religions/applications. Which, to say the least, are highly unphilosophical, obnoxiously dogmatic, and dramatically sentimental. There are definitely a few points I would have to disagree with in your statements/opinions which are not philosophical arguments for the existence or non-existence of God. However, for the sake of time, I will just stick with number two. Science is just as faith-based as religion — if not more because they claim to be based on facts. And the fact of the matter is, there are so many things that Science claims to know, and because the faith in Science has become so strong that they are no longer able to see past their blind spots. Science only makes theories, and the process by which a theory is proven is to disprove all opposing theories. However, it never is actually is able to prove the main theory that is in place factually using the very method they claim religions don't acquire knowledge. The "scientific" method is to formulate a question, hypothesis, prediction, TEST, RESULT. How many of these so called scientific facts (evolution, abiogensis, big bang, etc.) have actually been proven by a repeatable experiment in a laboratory. The answer is absolutely 100% zero. Science says they can create life from matter. How many times has that happened? 100% zero. However, everything a scientist beliefs in is fact and not based on faith.

    So then you ask the sincere honest question, well how does that prove a God or Intelligent Designer? It completely doesn't, but that is not what I am arguing to prove. That would be a different discussion. I merely want people to see that Science does not have it figured out, and garden variety Western religions are merely sentimentalist philosophies to make people feel good. Btw, just in case you were wondering what the definition of a theory was: A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be…: "Darwin's theory of evolution"

    I could go on and on, however, I think that you should take time to reflect, and not be a garden variety Atheist with no philosophical understanding of empiricism, atheism, or naturalism. And then, go on to understand the limitations of holding such views. Because in a very big way, atheism today and so -called scientists are just as philosophically diminished and sentimental as the religions they argue against.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Rodney—I find your comment quite interesting and to be honest, typical apologetic styled silliness. First you patronize me pretty well with the 'unfortunate circumstances, no fault of my own" stuff, then proceed to be pedantic and condescending throughout the rest of your comment. It is typical, but not going to work here, particularly when you are either dishonest in your statements or clueless as to what you are talking about. Your statement about atheists "like me" only having a use for Western religions is pure nonsense. I dislike all religion, but write mostly on the religion that is dominant in my country–Christianity. In no way does that fact imply that I dislike them any more than I dislike some Eastern religions. Further your selecting the word "use" is quite interesting, and even implies something sinister. Probably, through "no fault of your own" of course….see how nasty that little phrase can be?

      Your treatment of science is what most concerns me. You either have no idea how science works or are dishonest in your presentation of it. To even write the phrase, "science is just as faith-based as relgion–if not more…" is perhaps the most ignorant statement that has been left on this blog. However, it is a common argument among the seasoned apologist. You go on to give a nonsensical justification for that statement full of logical fallacies, and then use the absurd statement, "science only makes theories". Again you either do not know what a scientific theory entails or are are misrepresenting it. You then interject some god stuff into the middle and a foolish attempt to justify your previous statement on theories. You then mostly accurately quote, probably from a dictionary, part of the real definition of a scientific theory. Very interesting and either quite ignorant of your own mistake or quite a devious and quick slight of hand apologetic trick. You create a straw man version of science, attack it to shreds (which is fine because your portrayal of it in no reflects how science works), then you come in at the end and imply two things a) that I do not know what I am talking about and b) a fairly comprehensive definition of a theory, but you leave out the fact that once something is at the level of a theory, it is basically factual. It can and must make predictions.

      Lastly, you go back to the patronizing nonsense. In short Rodney, I think–though cannot prove, that you just wrote a comment that would make the likes of William Lane Craig or Lee Strobel proud. It sounded intelligent, sounded sincere, but really was nothing more than a dishonest slight of hand trick to discredit atheism and science in one fell swoop. That won't work here.

      Reply
      1. Rodney Bowles from New York, NY, United States

        I apologize. You are right my statement was very condescending. My intent is not to completely discredit science or atheism, but merely to express the limitations of holding such philosophies in an absolute way. My sentiment is that Science has become a very broad overarching term that has come to incapsulate all reason or reasoning, therefore; everything a Scientist has said is somehow conclusively proven or should be believed with an extremely high regard while anything a religious person (not your garden-variety Christians or confused Catholics) says, is completely false and faith-based. There is a lot of faith that exists within a Scientific philosophy as well, and really just to live life in general. This is not apologetics. This is fact. And to quote the godfather of naturalism/athiesm himself.
        "With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" – Charles Darwin

        Reply
        1. Rodney Bowles from New York, NY, United States

          Therefore, with that said, please conclusively show me a few things that would make me a complete naturalistic athiest and resolve my doubts.
          1. Show me an instance where Science has created life (consciousness) from chemicals.
          2. Show me conclusively proof for macroevolution and how it started with a single-celled organism and evolved to the very beings that we are today
          3. Show me the principle of falsifiability for a natuarlistic philosophy
          My personal belief is that since Science claims to have it all figured out, atleast to the extent that they feel the neccessity to discredit any sort of notion of God (this is different than religion or practical application), these questions should be easy. Otherwise, my contention is that if you can not answer these questions, then you hold a philosophy about the origins of these things that are just contenders to make sense of natural world.

          Reply
          1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

            Rodney–I am really tied up today, was not going to write a blog post, and may not have time to respond to your points. I took the liberty of re-posting our discussion (to this point) as a post for today. You seem like the kind of person who really values discussions of this nature. It is my hope that some of my regular readers will provide you with that. I will try to get on here later tonight to respond to your points as well. In the meantime enjoy. The link for today's post (which is largely written by you) is: http://reason-being.com/index.php/2013/01/23/scie… Thanks Rodney. I look forward to continuing this later. –John

          2. Paul Silvan from Purcellville, VA, United States

            Rodney, all of your questions assume that the universe and life had a beginning. Christians seem to have no problem assuming an eternal future with a never-ending blissful afterlife in heaven. Why then can't they believe that there was never a creation and that eternity goes as far backward as it does forward? If one logically assumes that every effect had to have had a cause, then life in some form has always existed somewhere in the infinite space-time that is the universe.  If not, what created the god that created the universe? Or has that god himself existed for an eternity? If that is the case then where was he physically before the universe existed?  Science does not claim to have all of it figured out. There are far far more scientific mysteries than there are proven discoveries, but the more discoveries that are made by science, the less the existence of a god who can be petitioned by prayer makes sense.
            Your question 1, consider this analogy,  The universe is a pond in which a little fish is wondering how all the teeming life in the pond was created. After all, was the pond not once just a hole filled with water?  Now consider the wind which blows some microscopic life forms into the pond. The single celled life forms will evolve to adapt to the individual conditions of his pond. Is the wind god? Consider the duck who, in his travels, visits another pond which already contains fish and unknowingly picks up some fish, reptile,amphibian, or insect eggs on hes feet then lands in the newly formed pond where the eggs hatch and the life created then evolves to be better suited to life in the new pond.  Is the Duck god? For me it is much easier to believe in this sort of a creation than in an all-powerful, all-seeing magical being who blinked everything and everyone into existance in his own image.
            As for question 2, it is a well proven scientific fact that life adapts to its environment through natural selection.  A life form exists, and after a period of time there is a natural genetic mutation.  Mutations in most cases are not beneficial to the survival of the species and the mutated genes will not be passed to future generations. But consider a genetic mutation which allows the species to be stronger or better in some way.  This mutation is more likely to be passed to offspring and that improvement is likely to carry on to future generations.  Over billions upon billions of generations there are bound to be enough of these genetic mutations to cause the present species to be unrecognizable in respect to its ancestors. This difference is the definition of a new species.
            Question 3, one must consider the infinite immensity of the universe.  Consider that there are more stars in only our own relatively tiny galaxy than there are grains of sand on all of the beaches and deserts on our planet. Then consider that there are billions of galaxies in our percievable section of the infinite universe.  We can only see what is visible to us or effects us by manifesting itsself in a measurable way.  What is beyond our perception does not exist in a meaningful way to us but the more science discovers the wider our perception becomes. Consider again the fish in the pond.  He can see no farther than the surface and bank of the pond and a small portion of the sky. He logically assumes that what he can perceive is the total extent of his universe, but that does not mean that other places do exist and can effect his universe whether he can perceive it or not. The amount of time required for the evolution of a new species is a mere blink of an eye in terms of an infinite past.
            I would be happy to discuss this in more detail if you would like.

          3. Rodney Bowles from Long Beach, CA, United States

            Paul, I think there a few assumptions that you have made. I will address a few:

            1. Christianity is not really a philosophical doctrine. It is a historical one. A true holistic theology does three things: It explains who we are, our relationship to the world/universe, and our relationship with God. Christianity's primary focus is understanding the nature of our relationship with God. And in my humble opinion, does a mediocre job at best for that. They do not really have an elaborate understanding of nature, our relationship, who is God, what is life, etc… The philosophy is incomplete, and that is why its so easily attacked. It is more sentimental.

            2. When you speak about Creation Ex Nihilo or the universe from nothing, and then it going on for ever. That is a purely Christian ideology, and since I also think it is philosophically flawed ideology especially with the amount of scientific evidence available. Its a hard one to defend. Therefore, I agree. When you ask the question " If that is the case then where was he physically before the universe existed?" I do not agree with your perception of the natural world because an idea of a heaven or spiritual reality would be outside of the natural world/laws as a soul or God would be. Therefore, your assumption that a spiritual platform of existence would need to abide by natural laws or scientific laws doesn't apply. In fact, scientific laws breakdown even in the natural world at times. (e.g. black holes, consciousness, etc.)

          4. Rodney Bowles from Long Beach, CA, United States

            3. I do believe that a theologian as well as a scientist has a right to chose their first principle to argue from. An argument can not infinitely regress. Therefore, it would be philosophically juvenile of me to ask you where the laws of science come from. I can ask you what the qualities of these laws are, but that is your first principle and therefore, in a sense, complete. Therefore, when I speak about God, there is no necessity for me to argue where go came from. That truth is self evident for my philosophy as natural law is for science, and if I can effectively argue back to it, then as someone defending the position have done my job.

            As far as some of the other stuff you said, I am not exactly sure how it applies, and still does not conclusively solve any of my doubts.

  40. Pingback: Science and Religion | Reason Being from Columbus, OH, United States

  41. Oliver from Allentown, PA, United States

    I so agree with this.
    Even though I am a Christian. (In their eyes.)
    I do believe in god/Jesus.
    But I do not agree with religious aspects and notions.
    They treat others like crap, to put themselves in a higher position to control others.
    They belittle people just for having a differentiation on what they believe in or do not believe.
    They "claim" to love god, but all I see is hatred among everyone who doesn't want to believe in god.

    Why can't they just treat people with respect instead of treating everyone like dog doodoo.

    Though I myself believe in Christ.
    I refuse to conform myself to human being who are full of malevolence and deceit.
    I refuse to die a puppet to their antics on how to go about talking or treating people if they "do not believe."
    And I most certainly refuse to read a manipulated bible.
    I will love and worship god my way. Without anyone telling me how to go about it.

    Everything you say is true.
    I cannot deny.

    Thanks for putting this up.
    And yes I know it is an old post, but still.
    I'm glad you stood up and defended your rights.

    See ya. :)

    Reply
  42. Hope from Milwaukee, WI, United States

    This whole post sounds very hypocritical on your part. You obviously have pent up issues with religion, and care enough to write this post on issues you can't control. You are clumping people that believe in God in one big pile when every person is different and the way people worship and act on what they believe is different. One could say that all atheist are insensitive prideful know it alls, but that would be very judgmental now wouldn't it? I know many Christians and have traveled A LOT meeting all kinds of people. One thing I have learned is not one person is the same. Yeah of course there are radicals but they are so many good people that love God and show that love to people without shoving it down ones throat. I am neutral when it comes to religion, still trying to figure out what I believe in and why so I am not following blindly, but who am I to shoot down what someone believes just because I don't agree or can't understand? This post is rather arrogant and although some* of your points are valid, its nonetheless an opinion and not a fact. Appreciate you taking advantage of the freedom of speech in the USA but maybe you could try to respect the freedom to practice religion since this country was founded on people that were trying to get away from religious persecution and find freedom in their work….

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Thanks for commenting. This post is almost a year old, so I am not looking to get into another long discussion on it. However, a few points should be made clear. I fully realize that there are many wonderful people out there who identify as Christian. My issue is not with them per se, but rather with many of the tenets of Christianity and those who hold to those tenets firmly. They are often the people in the "headlines" attempting legislation etc that affects us all. No idea or belief is entitled to automatic respect in the market place of ideas. So, by all means, believe what you wish, and practice what you wish. No one is trying to remove the "freedom of religion". However, when the ideas/beliefs of others (religious or not) have the potential to affect all members of society, those ideas are fair game for criticism.

      I was not writing from a place of 'arrogance". I was very much responding to the Christians who wish to silence all criticism of their religion, which is something that people like me often encounter.

      Reply
  43. Ava J from Orem, UT, United States

    I was born and raised Mormon, now a seventeen year old closeted atheist. Attending church only ever serves to make me feel numb, hopeless, and angry, yet I cannot escape yet. So long as I live with my mother, I have to pretend, but it hurts. I wish I could be open about it. Does anyone have any advice?

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Ava—Thanks for reading and commenting. It seems as though you are in a tough spot. I have heard from many people your age who have been or are in similar situations. The advice I give is always the same….so long as you are a minor and dependent upon your parents, it is often best to "play by their rules". Too many times we have heard stories of kids being abused or kicked out of their home because of their atheism. I always recommend that minors "stay in the closet" until they are emotionally and financially ready to face any possible consequences of their coming forward about their atheism. I realize that this may not be what you want to hear, however, I think it is realistic. Take comfort in the fact that you are 17, and within a few years, will have the opportunity to strike out your own. At that point, you may feel more comfortable telling your family about your atheism. Also, take comfort in the many of us who are online and are always here to listen and dialogue with you.

      Reply
  44. BSG from Duluth, MN, United States

    I'm an atheist, but I have to say that being an atheist and being in favor of separation of church and state are two different things. They aren't wrong because their beliefs are wrong, they're wrong because they are forgetting the dangers of letting dogma rule. This nation was founded on principles, not dogmas. This nation was founded on leaving the beliefs of others alone, and governing the relationships between people by the people. This is not a nation of kings but individuals. There is no reason the word atheism needs to be brought up, nor the believability of a god to make this indivisible point.

    Reply
  45. Jerry Sneirson from Seabrook, NH, United States

    The most common ingredients in bomb making are a mixture of politics and religion.

    Reply
  46. Jerry Sneirson from Seabrook, NH, United States

    "To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." Thomas Paine

    Reply
  47. AthiestAmanda from Santa Rita, 00, Guam

    I think when it comes to religion, my biggest issue is the fact that most people only practice what is convenient for them.
    If you are going to "believe" in something, believe in it all. Not just parts because it's easy and effortless.

    If you look in "The Good Book" (gosh, I just get a laugh every time I say/type that), not only do you find a set of guidelines or rules that if you don't follow, you are sure to go to Hell (which, can you HONESTLY think of one of your Christian friends who has TRULY followed all ten?), but you also find such things as in the book of Numbers (5:27-31), saying that if a woman cheats on her husband, she is to be executed by the priest. However, now a days, please show me when that commonly happens in the US? Also, the way to figure out if she has cheated, LITERALLY sounds like something you would have done to a witch in the 1700's. Make her drink Holy Water, if she's fine, she didn't cheat, if she reacts, CHEATER.

    Seriously. If you want to do a bit of research, download the PDF version of the King James Bible (It's free) and type in a common word such as "sheep," or husband," "woman," etc. and just read a bit. You will be astonished what you find.

    Reply
  48. James Smith from Paraíba, Brazil

    Well done! If I had a dollar for every time a religious person told me to "just shut up" I'd be a very wealthy man today. Of course, the do not mean they will stop pushing for their beliefs to be the law of the land. They only want to be free to play the persecution card any time they are prevented from persecuting others.

    Reply
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