'Good without a god': Faces of atheis...

'Good without a god': Faces of atheism in Oklahoma

There are 7527 comments on the NewsOK.com story from Jul 5, 2013, titled 'Good without a god': Faces of atheism in Oklahoma. In it, NewsOK.com reports that:

Rebecca Vitsmun is shown during an interview with a CNN reporter shortly after the May 20 tornado that destroyed her Moore home.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NewsOK.com.

havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#6962 Apr 5, 2014
hi - glad to see you again. I have been too busy to get onto topix for quite a while, and am glad to find you still here. I don't see much point in arguing with non-thinkers, and am mostly glad to see the comments of thoughtful folks like you and thinker and the others. But can you ever find someone with an open mind? Do you ever watch the Ed Show in MSNBC. He changed his mind - from supporting to opposing the Keystone Pipeline - in a shorter time than I have ever seen a public person openly repudiate his past views and ardently oppose them. I was proud of him. I don't expect that of religious true believers or other rightwing types.
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
Those who have read my posts over the years know that I am very picky about statistics. Before accepting data as valid, I have to know what the original source is and details from the metadata such as how the subjects were selected and how the data was gathered and analyzed. The above comes from the Bureau of Prisons via a FOI request filed by Hermant Meht, who blogs as the Friendly Atheist.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/...
Mehta had the same reservations I've expressed about the Golumbaski data from 1997. This data isn't much better except that it is more recent. It also helps to confirm the older data in that it comes in exactly the same format. As Mehta puts it,
"Keep in mind that these numbers only cover prisoners who self-reported their religious identification. They don’t represent all prisoners in the system. We will likely never have perfect numbers… but neither did Rod Swift.
"We’re also only talking about prisoners in the federal prison system — about 218,000 people — not all prisoners in America.
"Prisoners can change religious affiliations, too. We don’t know if these numbers represent what they believed when they committed their crime(s) or what they believed after they went through some personal transformation.
"Finally, it’s also important to note that 17% of prisoners reported no religious preference. They’re not necessarily atheists and may even believe in a higher power. We really don’t know. 3% were “Other” and 3.44% were “Unknown.” We can’t assume these people are atheists or Christian or anything else. However, if you combined the Atheist/No Religious Preference groups and lumped them together as “Nones,” as some sociologists do, you’d get 17% of the prison population… I’m not sure that tells you anything useful, though, because of the murkiness of the labels."
If we are skeptical of statistical assertions that come from our adversaries, intellectual honesty demands that we be even more so with data that seems to favor our position. Mehta tries to meet that standard, as do I--note his criticisms of the Golumbaski data. For all its shortcomings, the newer data he's been able to extract does seem to support the assertion that avowed atheists are sent to federal prison at a lower rate than the general population. The problem is the methodology is unknown, so comparisons between this data and that of other studies is haphazard at best.
I'd like to believe that nonbelievers are less prone to criminal behavior, but I still don't see adequate statistical data to support the notion.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#6963 Apr 5, 2014
havent forgotten wrote:
hi - glad to see you again. I have been too busy to get onto topix for quite a while, and am glad to find you still here. I don't see much point in arguing with non-thinkers, and am mostly glad to see the comments of thoughtful folks like you and thinker and the others. But can you ever find someone with an open mind? Do you ever watch the Ed Show in MSNBC. He changed his mind - from supporting to opposing the Keystone Pipeline - in a shorter time than I have ever seen a public person openly repudiate his past views and ardently oppose them. I was proud of him. I don't expect that of religious true believers or other rightwing types.<quoted text>
Even the most open-minded people should require compelling evidence and logic before accepting new ideas or changing their minds about old ones. Witness my current struggle with jide oni on the two threads he began, "Introducing the Universal Religion" and "Atheism Destroyed At Last."

Oni insists that he has made his case, that the forum members are being unreasonably stubborn, and that my requirements for logic, reason and evidence have been met. But the shortcomings that I point out are quite real and I am arguing less that his assertions are not true than that he has failed to substantiate them.

I think it unlikely that he will persuade me or any of the other forum members that the religion he promotes is based on any reality, but I have not closed my mind to the possibility. But so far, his advocacy has been inadequate.

Yours is a good voice here. I especially appreciate your advocacy for kindness and courtesy, qualities sorely lacking in many of the posts here. Powerful arguments need not be hurtful.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#6965 Apr 5, 2014
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>...I'd like to believe that nonbelievers are less prone to criminal behavior, but I still don't see adequate statistical data to support the notion.
And even if it were true, it doesn't automatically follow that being religious causes criminal behavior, nor would it necessarily prove any cause/effect relationship.

“I beleave in reason not god”

Since: Jun 11

Location hidden

#6966 Apr 6, 2014
on avg conservtive give much more as a percentage of income. if you will notice that if you list states who give the most as percentage of income. the red states are all at the top the blue at the bottom. people like Bill Gates may give more in raw numbers, but it`s a mush smaller percent of there income. the lest chariable preident as far as personal income is concern is Obama. the most charible Dick chency giving away 50% of his income.
strangepeople

London, UK

#6967 Apr 6, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
<quoted text>
You are comparing apples to oranges. There are millions and millions more people who are religious so common sense tells you you can't compare that to 2.4% of the population. You are trying to make the point that Christians are worse people than atheists?
All religious people are liars with no evidence of god. Of course atheists are better people - they don't lie about made up creatures all the time.

They stand up and ask you fools to shaddap and stop lying, or prove this bullsh*t you think we're all stupid enough to believe.
antiatheist

Seminole, OK

#6968 Apr 6, 2014
strangepeople wrote:
<quoted text>
All religious people are liars with no evidence of god. Of course atheists are better people - they don't lie about made up creatures all the time.
They stand up and ask you fools to shaddap and stop lying, or prove this bullsh*t you think we're all stupid enough to believe.
This must be a joke right? Nobody can be as dumb as you appear to be. You almost had me there for a second

Since: Aug 13

Dallas, TX

#6969 Apr 7, 2014
I met some of the members of the Westborro baptist Church this weekend.

what I noticed was that it was just one or two loud, angry people preaching the "gospel" and the rest of them were young people quiet, withdrawn and hanging their heads or hiding behind their signs. it was as if they had no interest in being there and were forced by their family. Many have left their "church" and gone on to live happy lives. Their were only a handful of them this weekend at the protest.

It was positive to see that one of the most hateful groups in the country loses more and more of its members everyday.
WarForOil

Rowlett, TX

#6970 Apr 7, 2014
RHill wrote:
.

Had an Archeologist do a 'dig' on my belly button lint one time. Turns out there were actual artifacts from the 50's in there. Not to mention a radio-isotope enriched layer from our nation's nuclear test program.

.. My brother's HS class ring, some bits of broken glass, a transistor the size of a grapefruit, a section of track from my Lionel electric train set, a pair of 'X-Ray' sunglasses and a hub cap from a '57 Studebaker. I have no memory of how these objects got there.
In case you were curious.
Since you claim to be a Red Neck Philosopher, there's no
surprise contained therein. If you pass out on the bar floor,
you make a convenient trash can.

It's more surprising you haven't drown on piss.
Rev Fred Phelps

Luzern, Switzerland

#6971 Apr 7, 2014
AngelAngle wrote:
I met some of the members of the Westborro baptist Church this weekend.
what I noticed was that it was just one or two loud, angry people preaching the "gospel" and the rest of them were young people quiet, withdrawn and hanging their heads or hiding behind their signs. it was as if they had no interest in being there and were forced by their family. Many have left their "church" and gone on to live happy lives. Their were only a handful of them this weekend at the protest.
It was positive to see that one of the most hateful groups in the country loses more and more of its members everyday.
My church has as many followers as it ever had and they only looked sad because I had buttfcuked them all for 3 hours and they could not sit down.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#6972 Apr 7, 2014
WarForOil wrote:
<quoted text>
Since you claim to be a Red Neck Philosopher, there's no
surprise contained therein. If you pass out on the bar floor,
you make a convenient trash can.
It's more surprising you haven't drown on piss.
Mirror, mirror on the wall ... who's the FOULEST of them all? WarForOil, WARFOROIL!!
antiatheist

Seminole, OK

#6973 Apr 7, 2014
I would say you and war run a pretty close race.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#6974 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
I would say you and war run a pretty close race.
But ... he's a 'bot and I am NOT!

Since: Aug 13

Dallas, TX

#6975 Apr 7, 2014
Rev Fred Phelps wrote:
<quoted text>My church has as many followers as it ever had and they only looked sad because I had buttfcuked them all for 3 hours and they could not sit down.
Well Fred, it looked like there were only about 8 of them that showed up to picket.
antiatheist

Seminole, OK

#6976 Apr 7, 2014
no.........trust me. You are a bot. You are preprogrammed to regurgitate all the atheist talking points that I've heard time and time again. Heard one you've heard them all.

“BAS in Electrical Engineering”

Since: Jan 14

Location hidden

#6977 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
no.........trust me. You are a bot. You are preprogrammed to regurgitate all the atheist talking points that I've heard time and time again. Heard one you've heard them all.
Can say the exact same thing about religious folk. It goes both ways.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#6978 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
no.........trust me. You are a bot. You are preprogrammed to regurgitate all the atheist talking points that I've heard time and time again. Heard one you've heard them all.
There's only so many ways to whip a dead horse! I try to add a little humor, not in y'alls programming I guess.'Course, not much funny in your world I reckon, being a predetermined sinner waiting on Judgement Day. I'd be a little nervous myself. Why you don't just say "can't be no 'bots ... we all got a gift of Free Will". Then we go way off into the 'pre-determination vs free will' thing which is just a whole 'nother Dead Horse y'all can't seem to grasp. Oh well.
antiatheist

Seminole, OK

#6979 Apr 7, 2014
yes engineer but Christians believe in God and the bible so naturally we are going to reference it. Atheists, on the other hand, claim to be free thinkers, etc. yet they are far from it. They all say exactly the same things and there is no free thinking involved. I guess they worship atheism or some scientists. Not really sure but it is definitely a strong cult.

“BAS in Electrical Engineering”

Since: Jan 14

Location hidden

#6980 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
yes engineer but Christians believe in God and the bible so naturally we are going to reference it. Atheists, on the other hand, claim to be free thinkers, etc. yet they are far from it. They all say exactly the same things and there is no free thinking involved. I guess they worship atheism or some scientists. Not really sure but it is definitely a strong cult.
Atheism does not equal free thinker. Granted, most free thinkers associate with atheism although I know religious types that do think outside the bible. They don't immediately dismiss science just because their book says to.

Taking in facts and looking through evidence does not require you to be an atheist. It does however involve you to think outside the terms of your religious novel.
OKC

Oklahoma City, OK

#6981 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
Well duh....atheists only make up 2.4% of the population. Angel you always make yourself look dumb when you go out of your way to bash Christians.
Of course there are going to be less atheist but because of people like you that number is increasing. You are treading into "Westboro Baptist Church" Mentality with your vernacular. Thanks to people like you people are seeing religion for what it is... bullshit.

2011 your conservative queen got on TV requesting everyone pray for rain we had a hell of a drought, so please do not pray for rain again!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/09/12/3...

A massive tornado rips through Moore and destroys homes and lives. Mary Fallin wants everyone to send their thoughts and prayers. What if that's all that was done? it wouldn't have had any effect what so ever. Even an imbecile can see what these people needed. They needed WATER, FRESH AIR, FOOD, SLEEP, HOMEOSTASIS, A BATH AND A PLACE TO POOP. I am so thankful that there are those of us who don't just take the easy way out and say 'we prayed'.

You're not sally Kern by any chance are you?
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/insane-things-...
OKC

Oklahoma City, OK

#6982 Apr 7, 2014
antiatheist wrote:
yes engineer but Christians believe in God and the bible so naturally we are going to reference it. Atheists, on the other hand, claim to be free thinkers, etc. yet they are far from it. They all say exactly the same things and there is no free thinking involved. I guess they worship atheism or some scientists. Not really sure but it is definitely a strong cult.
So you are stating that atheism is some sort of religion as well? lol.

Would not collecting stamp be considered a hobby? You don't need a shovel do you?

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