OccupyReality

Brattleboro, VT

#41 Jan 2, 2013
"Does God Exist - Things to Consider
Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:
• Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
• Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
• Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
• The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
• Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
• People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more? "
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#42 Jan 2, 2013
OccupyReality wrote:
<quoted text>
I have read about it in two books. Neither of which was from a "christian bookstore". What is a christian bookstore? I am not a christian except to the extent that Jesus had a life philosophy which even without the son of god stuff makes him worthy or respect and praise.
The first time I read it was in Norman Mailer's book "Oswald" and the second time was in "Killing Kennedy".
I think you will find that most mass murderers have a disbelief in the existence of god. That is differnt than no belief in god. Disbelief requires and act of faith.
Again you try to equate not beliving in god with murder.

Again with no evidence.

Is your faith so fragile that you have to resort to using lies to demonize a group of people who on the whole tend to observably murder less, commit fewer crimes, be less racist and generally enjoy a better quality of life the deluded believers?

Have a look around the world at the nations of theocracy and compare their lives to the lives of those who choose no god in the most secular nations. It is clear who is better off, better educated, better employed and generally better behaved.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#43 Jan 2, 2013
OccupyReality wrote:
"Does God Exist - Things to Consider
Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:
• Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
• Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
• Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
• The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
• Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
• People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more? "
No evidence here, just poor a understanding of science and empty speculation. Nothing but products of Ignorance.
OccupyReality

Brattleboro, VT

#44 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
Again you try to equate not beliving in god with murder.
Again with no evidence.
Is your faith so fragile that you have to resort to using lies to demonize a group of people who on the whole tend to observably murder less, commit fewer crimes, be less racist and generally enjoy a better quality of life the deluded believers?
Have a look around the world at the nations of theocracy and compare their lives to the lives of those who choose no god in the most secular nations. It is clear who is better off, better educated, better employed and generally better behaved.
Not really. I am merely identifying common characteristics of murderers and especially heinous murders. Atheism is a common characteristic. Not all I'm sure but there certainly is a huge percentage of mass murderers and assasins who are atheists. Maybe you can explain why.

You claim that believing in god does no one any good. Maybe that is not true.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#45 Jan 3, 2013
OccupyReality wrote:
<quoted text>
Not really. I am merely identifying common characteristics of murderers and especially heinous murders. Atheism is a common characteristic. Not all I'm sure but there certainly is a huge percentage of mass murderers and assasins who are atheists. Maybe you can explain why.
You claim that believing in god does no one any good. Maybe that is not true.
You clearly have no evidence to suggest that atheism is a common characteristic of murderers. There is no evidence to suggest that a "huge percentage of mass murderers and assasins" are atheists. You are just choosing to believe it in a transparent attempt to prop up your flawed god delusion.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
George Bernard Shaw
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#46 Jan 3, 2013
Atheism is in fact correlated with better science education, higher intelligence, lower poverty rates, higher literacy rates, higher average incomes, lower divorce rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, lower STD infection rates, lower crime rates and lower homicide rates.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#47 Jan 3, 2013
Misinformation and facts about secularism and religion
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-human...
Published on March 30, 2011 by David Niose

"Unfortunately, in his recent post, "Do we need religion to be ethical?" Thomas Plante, PhD, makes statements that perpetuate common misinformation with regard to religion and secularism. While I doubt that Plante intended the comments to be disparaging toward secular individuals, they most certainly are. In fact, considering that the statements come from an educated man and not some uniformed member of the general public, they are especially troubling.

Plante casually claims that religious people are "better citizens" and "behave better." And without citing any sources, he tells us: "Research has consistently found that religious people are less likely to engage in criminal behavior, marital infidelity, alcoholism, unprotected sexual activity..."

In other words, according to Plante, if you're not religious you might be a good person, but on average you are more likely to have these undesirable characteristics. This is a bold assertion that, of course, immediately puts secular individuals on the defensive.(Just imagine if the same claims were made against any other minority group.) It is precisely claims like these that lead to many Americans having an unfavorable view of atheists and other nonbelievers.

Fortunately for atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists, there is no factual basis for Plante's claim that "research has consistently found" secular individuals to be more prone to such antisocial behavior. Consider, for example, a March 2009 academic article in Sociology Compass that extensively researched the subjects raised by Plante. The article, by Phil Zuckerman of Pitzer College, is entitled "Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions" http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zucke...
and, unlike Plante's article, it cites detailed studies of the areas in question.

Zuckerman analyzed a wide array of data comparing religious nations to less religious nations and also, interestingly, religious states within the United States (i.e. "Bible-belt" states) to less religious states. While I encourage readers to examine the article directly through the link above, here are just a few of the highlights:
Criminal Behavior:

Citing four different studies, Zuckerman states: "Murder rates are actually lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is widespread." He also states: "Of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries."

Within the United States, we see the same pattern. Citing census data, he writes: "And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be the highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be the among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon."

And these findings are not limited to murder rates, as rates of all violent crime tend to be higher in "religious" states. Zuckerman also points out that atheists are very much under-represented in the American prison population (only 0.2%)." ...
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#48 Jan 3, 2013
continued from:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-human...

... "Marriage and Family:

Zuckerman cites a 1999 Barna study that finds that atheists and agnostics actually have lower divorce rates than religious Americans.

He also cites another study, in Canada, that found conservative Christian women experienced higher rates of domestic violence than non-affiliated women.
Unprotected Sex:

As for Plante's claim that studies have "consistently " found that religious people are less likely to engage in unprotected sex, that claim is directly refuted by a 2009 study that found the reverse - teens who make religion-inspired "virginity pledges" are not only just as likely as their non-pledging peers to engage in premarital sex, but more likely to engage in unprotected sex.
Other Findings of Interest:

Happiness: The most secular nations in the world report the highest levels of happiness among their population.

Altruism: Secular nations such as those in Scandinavia donate the most money and supportive aid, per capita, to poorer nations. Zuckerman also reports that two studies show that, during the Holocaust, "the more secular people were, the more likely they were to rescue and help persecuted Jews."

Outlooks and Values: Zuckerman, citing numerous studies, shows that atheists and agnostics, when compared to religious people, are actually less likely to be nationalistic, racist, anti-Semitic, dogmatic, ethnocentric, and authoritarian. Secularism also correlates to higher education levels. Atheists and other secular people are also much more likely to support women's rights and gender equality, as well as gay and lesbian rights. Religious individuals are more likely to support government use of torture.

Of course, studies can be cherry-picked to present religiosity in a better light than above, and the point of this article is not to prove the moral superiority of secularism. Nevertheless, whatever Plante wishes to cite, it is impossible to claim that studies "consistently" support his claims of positive social outcomes correlating to religion. To the contrary, the weight of most data seems to indicate that religiosity is a poor indicator of social health or personal virtue.

To Plante's credit, he acknowledges that religion is not necessary for ethical behavior. Still, the thrust of his message attempts to make a case for religion (and implicitly critical of secularism) that simply isn't supported by facts. Most secular individuals would not argue with him when he asserts that religion might help some to be good, and even when he argues that religious institutions can sometimes help toward that end, but such claims do nothing to justify the perpetuation of plain falsehoods regarding atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists, falsehoods that in turn perpetuate prejudice against them."
Agnostic

Bennington, VT

#49 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
Again you try to equate not beliving in god with murder.
Again with no evidence.
Is your faith so fragile that you have to resort to using lies to demonize a group of people who on the whole tend to observably murder less, commit fewer crimes, be less racist and generally enjoy a better quality of life the deluded believers?
Have a look around the world at the nations of theocracy and compare their lives to the lives of those who choose no god in the most secular nations. It is clear who is better off, better educated, better employed and generally better behaved.
What faith are you talking about? I have no faith to be fragile with. It is you that has the fragile faith. You are the one making the false act of faith to get to your religion.
Agnostic

Bennington, VT

#50 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
Atheism is in fact correlated with better science education, higher intelligence, lower poverty rates, higher literacy rates, higher average incomes, lower divorce rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, lower STD infection rates, lower crime rates and lower homicide rates.
You are making a chicken or the egg scenario. Which came first the education, success, and lower poverty or the loss of faith. I think it is obvious that affluence removes the need for people to examine their faith in god and so more people are inclined to conclude it is unnecessary. Send those same people into catastrophic calamity and the first thing they will do is think about prayer.

Atheism is another matter. It is for people who arrogantly decide that they know better than other people. That happens no matter what the level of affluence is.
Agnostic

Bennington, VT

#51 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
Again you try to equate not beliving in god with murder.
Again with no evidence.
Is your faith so fragile that you have to resort to using lies to demonize a group of people who on the whole tend to observably murder less, commit fewer crimes, be less racist and generally enjoy a better quality of life the deluded believers?
Have a look around the world at the nations of theocracy and compare their lives to the lives of those who choose no god in the most secular nations. It is clear who is better off, better educated, better employed and generally better behaved.
Saying that Lee Harvey Oswald was an atheist is not equating being an atheist with being a murderer. Is your faith so fragile that you can't handle the fact that murderers tend to be atheists?
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#52 Jan 3, 2013
Agnostic wrote:
<quoted text>
What faith are you talking about? I have no faith to be fragile with. It is you that has the fragile faith. You are the one making the false act of faith to get to your religion.
Your statement:
"I think you will find that most mass murderers have a disbelief in the existence of god. "

Could only be described as a faith based statement as it not supported by any actual evidence, it is you who is "making the false act of faith to get to your religion" of hating atheists, again without any supporting evidence.

Your lie that "most mass murderers have a disbelief in the existence of god" is just a transparent attempt to slander atheists.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#53 Jan 3, 2013
Agnostic wrote:
<quoted text>
You are making a chicken or the egg scenario. Which came first the education, success, and lower poverty or the loss of faith. I think it is obvious that affluence removes the need for people to examine their faith in god and so more people are inclined to conclude it is unnecessary. Send those same people into catastrophic calamity and the first thing they will do is think about prayer.
Atheism is another matter. It is for people who arrogantly decide that they know better than other people. That happens no matter what the level of affluence is.
I pointed out the correlation, you are the one making now making the speculative claim "Send those same people into catastrophic calamity and the first thing they will do is think about prayer".

You clearly have little understanding of the rational mind, or the ridiculousness of your myopic speculation.

Again, your argument is not supported with any evidence whatsoever.

Your contention that atheism is "for people who arrogantly decide that they know better than other people" speaks volumes about your willingness to be intellectually dishonest in order to keep your foot in the superstitious door of a supernatural god and your desire to hate the atheist without any regard to evidence.

How absolutely arrogant of you to criticize people for having a perfectly rational opinion about the ridiculous superstitious claims of deluded believers, which are so clearly supported by reason and empirical evidence.

“We rely on faith only in the context of claims for which there is no sufficient sensory or logical evidence.”
Sam Harris
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#54 Jan 3, 2013
Agnostic wrote:
<quoted text>
What faith are you talking about? I have no faith to be fragile with. It is you that has the fragile faith. You are the one making the false act of faith to get to your religion.
You didn't read the unsupported statement I was relpying to, it was:

"I think you will find that most mass murderers have a disbelief in the existence of god"
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#55 Jan 3, 2013
Agnostic wrote:
<quoted text>
Saying that Lee Harvey Oswald was an atheist is not equating being an atheist with being a murderer. Is your faith so fragile that you can't handle the fact that murderers tend to be atheists?
And I might add, again, that there is no evidence to suggest that "murderers tend to be atheists", that is just another sad, unsupported lie.

You must be such a sad, small, lonely person to have faith in such hateful, distorted lies.
OccupyReality

Brattleboro, VT

#56 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
And I might add, again, that there is no evidence to suggest that "murderers tend to be atheists", that is just another sad, unsupported lie.
You must be such a sad, small, lonely person to have faith in such hateful, distorted lies.
When your response deteriorates to insults and name calling you are in effect admitting I am correct.
Agnostic

Brattleboro, VT

#57 Jan 3, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
I pointed out the correlation, you are the one making now making the speculative claim "Send those same people into catastrophic calamity and the first thing they will do is think about prayer".
You clearly have little understanding of the rational mind, or the ridiculousness of your myopic speculation.
Again, your argument is not supported with any evidence whatsoever.
Your contention that atheism is "for people who arrogantly decide that they know better than other people" speaks volumes about your willingness to be intellectually dishonest in order to keep your foot in the superstitious door of a supernatural god and your desire to hate the atheist without any regard to evidence.
How absolutely arrogant of you to criticize people for having a perfectly rational opinion about the ridiculous superstitious claims of deluded believers, which are so clearly supported by reason and empirical evidence.
“We rely on faith only in the context of claims for which there is no sufficient sensory or logical evidence.”
Sam Harris
There are very few atheists in fox holes. That is undisputed. Your claims of being rational disappear in the face of a lack of evidence for what your act of faith purports to believe.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#58 Jan 3, 2013
OccupyReality wrote:
<quoted text>
When your response deteriorates to insults and name calling you are in effect admitting I am correct.
No, I am expressing empathy for you. I actually do feel sorry for you, it must be awful to be so afraid of rationally minded atheists. Some of our greatest thinkers and most brilliant scientists are atheists.
Actual reality

Claremont, NH

#59 Jan 3, 2013
Agnostic wrote:
<quoted text>
There are very few atheists in fox holes. That is undisputed. Your claims of being rational disappear in the face of a lack of evidence for what your act of faith purports to believe.
There are plenty of atheists in foxholes and furthermore there is no evidence to support the assumption that atheists tend to throw away rationality and choose believe in god when things get bad.

Unlike your "beliefs", my understandings are indeed supported by evidence. The faithful make this mistake so often, I do not "believe", I understand why the evidence supports my position.

It is the opposite of faith.

Faith is independent of evidence and often in direct opposition to evidence.
Agnostic

Brattleboro, VT

#60 Jan 4, 2013
Actual reality wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I am expressing empathy for you. I actually do feel sorry for you, it must be awful to be so afraid of rationally minded atheists. Some of our greatest thinkers and most brilliant scientists are atheists.
Atheists aren't rationally minded they are continually irrational. Not all of them. Just the angry liberal ones like you and I Know More Than You and all his alts.

Anger like you have is irrational. You really should give up. You are backing a very weak position. From a logical perspective.

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