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Take the blasphemy challenge!


michaelhobson
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I still don't see why publicly declaring that one does not believe in Christianity is offensive, belittling, or anything like that.

I don't think that's insulting either but it might get insulting if you claim that you don't believe in God by reasons of rationality and reason. That would imply that people who believe were more irrational which is not true. Religion has and alway will be logically undecidable. Threfore it's not more rational to believe than to not believe.

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If children were allowed to think for themselves and were not brought up being told that questioning faith was a bad thing - well, we'd lose most religions in a single generation. The indoctrination starts at an early age out of necessity. Up to a certain age, children will believe everything that their parents and most adults tell them. What a shame that they later have no problem disposing of the Tooth Fairy myth but might go through tremendous guilt and even ostracization when they question their parents' religious beliefs.

 

Ironically, I remember to this day the exact moment when I was told "there isn't really a santa claus" because my exact words were - "so, there also isn't a tooth fairy or a god, right?" I grew up in a relatively progressive religous home and it was OK for me to question religion. I had what I believed to be an "out-of-body" experience when I was younger and I'm still not certain that I can identify my own sense of spirituality. There is no rational way for me to express my beliefs and I would ultimately consider myself an athiest above all other explicit "options". And, while it's a shame that it isn't the same for most kids, the santa/toothfairy myth was equated with the god myth for me as a kid.

 

I did the exact same thing, I questioned my mother about everything associated with holidays/myths, and asked about God last.

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Not being a believer yourself is no reason to denounce religion as idiotic or misguided.

 

Faith is very important in many people's lives.

 

I know, i was disagreeing with the general idea of saying that we're logically superior generally because faith has nothing to do with being logical or not, whether you have it or lack it.

 

I'm just tired of everyone thinking they're better than someone. Do i pretty much disagree with the whole idea of faith and organized religion? Yea. Do i want to rub it in other people's face that this is what i do and i think it makes me smarter and more logical? No. Quite frankly experience has proved to me for the most part I am but there are cases when Christians have been really excepting and cool and not locked in a box where they don't think for themselves at all.

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While believers may not be irrational in general (i.e. in other aspects of their lives), in the question of God they are being irrational. To take the tooth fairy example - if it's irrational to believe in the tooth fairy, then it is irrational to believe in God, for neither can be proved.

 

How about the Gods of other religions? A Christian certainly must believe that the God in other religions is a false one, and thus the believers in that God are being irrational in their belief. For example, a Christian must believe that a Muslim is being irrational in their beliefs and that they're going to Hell (in fact, the Bible says they should be put under the sword for their beliefs).

 

The ancient Greeks believed just as strongly in Zeus, yet modern believers look back on the ancient Greeks with smirking contempt. Then they go to their own "temples" and pray to their modern Gods. 2,000 years from now there could just as easily be a new religion with new believers looking back on today's believers with that same smirking contempt.

 

If God exists and is good, all-knowing etc. then why wouldn't he have warned people about the South Pacific tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina? Why doesn't he protect the victims of genocide, bring rain to drought-stricken areas? Why does he allow AIDS to decimate Africa (instead, his church doesn't allow education about condoms, apparently feeling that premarital sex is a bigger sin than allowing millions of people to be slowly ravaged by a painful disease)?

 

Belief in God is not only irrational, it's dangerous. From the Inquisition to the Holocaust to today's acts of terrorism, religions have provided the world with organized violence in the name of some unprovable supernatural being. If that's not irrational, then I don't know what is.

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Not being a believer yourself is no reason to denounce religion as idiotic or misguided.

 

Faith is very important in many people's lives.

 

I know, i was disagreeing with the general idea of saying that we're logically superior generally because faith has nothing to do with being logical or not, whether you have it or lack it.

 

I'm just tired of everyone thinking they're better than someone. Do i pretty much disagree with the whole idea of faith and organized religion? Yea. Do i want to rub it in other people's face that this is what i do and i think it makes me smarter and more logical? No. Quite frankly experience has proved to me for the most part I am but there are cases when Christians have been really excepting and cool and not locked in a box where they don't think for themselves at all.

 

It has plenty to do with logic.

 

log·ic

 

–noun 1. the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.

2. a particular method of reasoning or argumentation: We were unable to follow his logic.

3. the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.

4. reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions: There wasn't much logic in her move.

5. convincing forcefulness; inexorable truth or persuasiveness: the irresistible logic of the facts.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/logic

 

I agree 100% with Formica. Religion is regularly "shoved" in the faces of athiests - from large and showy public holidays to ringing of church bells in small towns. Why is athiesm considered less of a valued "opinion"? Why should athiests be hush about their beliefs out of respect for "believers"?! ?!?!

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While believers may not be irrational in general (i.e. in other aspects of their lives), in the question of God they are being irrational. To take the tooth fairy example - if it's irrational to believe in the tooth fairy, then it is irrational to believe in God, for neither can be proved.

Both are equally rational or irrational. Neither can't be proven to exist or to not exist. You base your disbelief on gut-feeling as much as the one who believs in the tooth ferry.

How about the Gods of other religions? A Christian certainly must believe that the God in other religions is a false one, and thus the believers in that God are being irrational in their belief. For example, a Christian must believe that a Muslim is being irrational in their beliefs and that they're going to Hell (in fact, the Bible says they should be put under the sword for their beliefs).

Depends on how you read the Bible. Americans in the deep south has a way of reading it that makes me think they will go to hell (if there's such a place) long before alot of muslims or buddhists. Swedish priests that I know believs this too and some don't. I do believe in something and I don't know the Plan, which is stated in the Bible as out of my reach.

If God exists and is good, all-knowing etc. then why wouldn't he have warned people about the South Pacific tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina? Why doesn't he protect the victims of genocide, bring rain to drought-stricken areas? Why does he allow AIDS to decimate Africa (instead, his church doesn't allow education about condoms, apparently feeling that premarital sex is a bigger sin than allowing millions of people to be slowly ravaged by a painful disease)?

See, this argument would sturr up alot of anger in some redneck from the deep south in the US. It's not even an argument against my belief. I believe someone started it all and have have stayed out of our business since then (except for some tips here and there). If (s)he/it interfered with our business and took someones side (s)he/it wouldn't be fair. She/it might see life in a totally different way than we do (maybe as a part to a whole). Again, I don't know the Plan...

Belief in God is not only irrational, it's dangerous. From the Inquisition to the Holocaust to today's acts of terrorism, religions have provided the world with organized violence in the name of some unprovable supernatural being. If that's not irrational, then I don't know what is.

I don't consider myself to be dangerous. Most people on this planet are religious in one way or another and most of them do not kill other people and I would even say that most of them are against violence in most forms especially with God as an excuse.

I can agree with you though that the two most dangerous "groups" in the world right now are fundamental christians in the US and the fundamental muslims in the Middle East.

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Who cares, if God wanted to be famous ( if he existed ) he would write his name in the sky.

 

''READ THE BIBLE AND BE A CHRISTIAN! -GOD''

Something like that'd work.

 

If he exists ( i'm not sure ).. i don't really think he'd like fact that we ask things from him all the time, instead of just 'fighting' for it and stop being hypocrites..

We already have a brain, arms and legs.. and we also have paper and pen, and we can't forget how aggressive we can be... isn't that enough?

Edited by andgbr
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I still don't see why publicly declaring that one does not believe in Christianity is offensive, belittling, or anything like that.

I don't think that's insulting either but it might get insulting if you claim that you don't believe in God by reasons of rationality and reason. That would imply that people who believe were more irrational which is not true. Religion has and alway will be logically undecidable. Threfore it's not more rational to believe than to not believe.

I don't know--I do think that people do often arrive at atheism through reason. And I think that religious belief is not arrived at through reason. Many religious believers will say themselves that their belief is not a product of reason; it is a product of faith, and that faith, by definition, is outside of reason. Faith is believing in something even though there is no proof or strong evidence of it. Once something is demonstrated, faith is not needed in order to have belief in it.

 

Religion is a huge part of the human experience and it seems that there is a strong human desire to believe in something. That's makes religious belief understandable and perhaps "human" but it does not make it rational.

 

Regarding belief in the existence of god and belief in the non-existence of god being equally irrational, I disagree. I think that it's more reasonable to withhold belief in anything until sufficient evidence is provided to elicit belief in it. Otherwise, it would mean that it's rational and reasonable to never believe that anything does not exist. If I tell you that there is an invisible cat on my shoulder, do you think that it's just as rational to believe in that invisible cat as it is to believe that the invisible cat really doesn't exist? I could come up with 1,000 beings like that and you'd have to think that it's just as reasonable to believe in all 1,000 as it would be to not believe in them. To me the reasonable and logical default is not to believe in anything that there is no evidence for.

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I think Religion has a lot to do with fear. For instance hell, works off of people's fears. I believe strongly in the possibility of creation, but not Religion. Most people that follow religion, christianity at least, in my experience have been sad people looking for an escape and a way to get their troubles and sorrows off their shoulders so to speak, which is fine, if it makes life easier for them to deal with.

 

I don't think all religion is bad though, for instance, taoism, not even a god-centered religion. All religion has value and can teach you valuable things, but I think people take it too literally, which is where the problems start.

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@Formica:

You arrived at your standpoint not by using logic but by using statistics, flawed logic and/or gut-feeling since the existance of God cannot be proven or disproven. Either standpoint is therefore as rational or irrational as the other since nothing can be said about the existence of God, by default. Not believing in God is a belief just as much as believing in God is.

 

I hope I didn't sound rude, I'll put a smiley in just to be safe:

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I think Religion has a lot to do with fear. For instance hell, works off of people's fears. I believe strongly in the possibility of creation, but not Religion. Most people that follow religion, christianity at least, in my experience have been sad people looking for an escape and a way to get their troubles and sorrows off their shoulders so to speak, which is fine, if it makes life easier for them to deal with.

 

I don't think all religion is bad though, for instance, taoism, not even a god-centered religion. All religion has value and can teach you valuable things, but I think people take it too literally, which is where the problems start.

It can be fear but I think it is just as often just gut-feeling.

Again this is an issue in the US and middle east more than anywhere else. US religiousity is very different from Swedish for example. Most people here are religious, just as in the US but the churches are empty and we ususally don't talk about religion. It's more of a private thing.

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@Formica:

You arrived at your standpoint not by using logic but by using statistics, flawed logic and/or gut-feeling since the existance of God cannot be proven or disproven. Either standpoint is therefore as rational or irrational as the other since nothing can be said about the existence of God, by default. Not believing in God is a belief just as much as believing in God is.

 

I hope I didn't sound rude, I'll put a smiley in just to be safe:

I think you missed the point of my last post. Basically, I argue that when nothing can be known/proven about the existence or non-existence of something, the more reasonable and logical position to hold is that it does not exist. It doesn't make logical sense to hold that any being that could possibly be posited (which is an infinite number of beings) are just as likely to exist than to not exist. I don't think that not believing in unicorns, leprechauns, flying spaghetti monster, etc. is just as illogical as believing in them.

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I think you missed the point of my last post. Basically, I argue that when nothing can be known/proven about the existence or non-existence of something, the more reasonable and logical position to hold is that it does not exist. It doesn't make logical sense to hold that any being that could possibly be posited (which is an infinite number of beings) are just as likely to exist than to not exist. I don't think that not believing in unicorns, leprechauns, flying spaghetti monster, etc. is just as illogical as believing in them.

 

I agree with this. This is the same stance I take. I switch between telling people I am agnostic and atheist because really I am a mix of both. I don't think it is possible to prove the existence or non-existence of a god or gods, etc. but I believe, by the evidence that man has come up with, the way people treat eachother, catastrophes, that there most likely is not a god. If there is a god, I believe it is most likely the kind of god Deists believe in. I do have a slighty odd belief that a sort of "spiritual" realm MAY have evolved like our corporal realm has. With all the fascinating evidence about black holes and other celestial wonders, it is hard not to entertain these thoughts.

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I don't understand the point of saying that the existence of God can't be disproven, when the fact itself that you can't prove it disproves it. I can't disprove the existence of the tooth fairy or leprachauns, but would any rational person therefore argue that they must exist? I hope not, as to do so could land one in an asylum.

 

Furthermore, if a Christian believes in only one God that can't be disproven, yet the religions of the world contain many different Gods, then the Christian can't possibly disprove any of those other Gods, lest they be open to the same process. But that presents a dilemma as the Bible says that there is only one God and that believers in other Gods should be killed (along with homosexuals, adulterers, atheists, women who aren't virgins on their wedding nights, etc...). So then either all Gods exist or no Gods exist. Alas, it comes down to a game of "my God exists but your's doesn't" which sounds as silly as 2 schoolboys fighting over whose dad can beat up the other.

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I don't think that not believing in unicorns, leprechauns, flying spaghetti monster, etc. is just as illogical as believing in them.

 

Exactly! Then you throw the "god" out there and that fairy tale has to be respected more than others? No way!

 

The christian idea of god is by far the most delusional I have encountered. The simple ideas of a "higher power" etc. simply do not apply. The christian god is much more complicated, after all he make all sort of rediculous claims in his bible.

 

Here is an example from godisimaginary.com Why doesn't god heal amputees?

If possible, get millions of people all over the planet to join the prayer circle and pray their most fervent prayers. Get millions of people praying in unison for a single miracle for this one deserving amputee. Then stand back and watch.

 

What is going to happen? Jesus clearly says that if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. He does not say it once -- he says it many times in many ways in the Bible.

 

And yet, even with millions of people praying, nothing will happen.

 

No matter how many people pray. No matter how sincere those people are. No matter how much they believe. No matter how devout and deserving the recipient. Nothing will happen. The legs will not regenerate. Prayer does not restore the severed limbs of amputees. You can electronically search through all the medical journals ever written -- there is no documented case of an amputated leg being restored spontaneously. And we know that God ignores the prayers of amputees through our own observations of the world around us. If God were answering the prayers of amputees to regenerate their lost limbs, we would be seeing amputated legs growing back every day.

 

Isn't that odd? The situation becomes even more peculiar when you look at who God is. According to the Standard Model of God:

 

* God is all-powerful. Therefore, God can do anything, and regenerating a leg is trivial.

 

* God is perfect, and he created the Bible, which is his perfect book. In the Bible, Jesus makes very specific statements about the power of prayer. Since Jesus is God, and God and the Bible are perfect, those statements should be true and accurate.

 

* God is all-knowing and all-loving. He certainly knows about the plight of the amputee, and he loves this amputee very much.

 

* God is ready and willing to answer your prayers no matter how big or small. All that you have to do is believe. He says it in multiple places in the Bible. Surely, with millions of people in the prayer circle, at least one of them will believe and the prayer will be answered.

 

* God has no reason to discriminate against amputees. If he is answering millions of other prayers like Jeanna's every day, God should be answering the prayers of amputees too.

 

Nonetheless, the amputated legs are not going to regenerate.

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If there is no evidence for something, then the logical thing to do is not to believe in it, and to be open to any evidence which might happen.

 

In some instances, you can have some very small amount of evidence which can hint that something might be true, but you can't find out for sure. In which case you can think about it, but again, you can't believe in it because there isn't very much evidence. IE, life on other planets. There is life on this planet, and in all the universe, it seems rational to think there would be other life. But as we have no evidence of it, you can't actually believe it, or say anything specific about it.

 

With Christianity, you have a holy book, and that's all. If the holy book is to be used as evidence, it really is contradictory and fairly ridiculous. People always make excuses for the bits they don't like. If the bible isn't even used as evidence, then there is absolutely no evidence. All there is, is a 'feeling' that one is right in their belief, and nothing specific at all.

 

I don't think it's just a huge coincidence that religions are different from culture to culture. It's because in each culture, a particular religion is applied to young people, and so a large quantity of them believe in it, in that area / country. It isn't because all other countries besides your own are irrational, or because all other teachings are irrational besides your own. Anything relying on blind faith is illogical. It's just because they are in a different place, and had a different religion applied to them.

 

Christianity isn't something that you learn to be true, and then apply and see actual results. Mathematics and science can be learned and applied, and the results and evidence are plain to see. Christianity is taught in such a way that the believer doesn't question it, and assumes everyone else to be wrong regardless of evidence - any evidence contrary to Christian teachings must be a test which you have to ignore in order to pass etc. I mean, it's just so illogical.

 

To have a rational belief in something, you must first put forward the hypothesis, then test for proof that it is true, and also search for proof that it is false. If you don't find evidence that it's false, and only find evidence that it is true, then for the time being it can be assumed to be true - believed in. If you find evidence that it is false, then it disproves the hypothesis, then for the time being, you cannot believe it or assume it to be true because there is proof that it is not.

 

If you assume something to be correct, and only search for things which support the belief, and ignore things which disprove it, then what's the point in that belief? It's just based on delusion - ignoring facts which you don't want to believe in

 

I am agnostic, and open to evidence either way. Some atheists tell me that I should just admit that I am an atheist, or accept that because there is no evidence of the supernatural, that I should believe it not to be true. But, you can't utterly dismiss something completely just because there isn't evidence right now. I don't believe in the supernatural, but that's not the same as believing that it's not true. It's just, not having evidence. And so the default is to not believe.

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I think the issue is that religion can be very dangerous as we're seeing all over the world, causing more deaths from religion-driven wars than probably anything else. Although heart disease is becoming the new #1 killer.

 

I stay out of the religion conversations, but I do think that it can be very dangerous and lead to a terrible amount of world problems.

 

I agree to some extent with the "who cares what people do" thing but only in a small town type of setting. Globally, it's just a disaster and causes a lot of problems throughout the world.

 

I don't care what my friends or neighbors believe in, but whe we're talking about millions and millions of people who believe in something and have issues with millions and millions of other people who believe in something different, and become violent over it, then we have problems and I don't know if that will ever go away.

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... All religion has value and can teach you valuable things, but I think people take it too literally, which is where the problems start.

 

Thats common from believers and non-believers. If you ask me, if you dont take ur holy book as literal, then there is no integrity in whatever it is.

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Who cares if god exists or not. If religion makes people happy, then I'm happy they found religion. And if being an atheist makes other people happy, then I'm glad they found atheism.

 

From what I've seen, religion rarely makes anyone happy, at least not for long.

 

Depends what religion I think. I'd agree with you as far as western religions go, but eastern religions I think are a totally different thing, they deal more with life. Christianity and stuff I think is an escape for unhappy people...

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Who cares if god exists or not. If religion makes people happy, then I'm happy they found religion. And if being an atheist makes other people happy, then I'm glad they found atheism.

 

From what I've seen, religion rarely makes anyone happy, at least not for long.

 

Depends what religion I think. I'd agree with you as far as western religions go, but eastern religions I think are a totally different thing, they deal more with life. Christianity and stuff I think is an escape for unhappy people...

 

Actually, most of my experience with religion is with eastern religion. It's about the same, just with much more interesting fairy tales.

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