Don't dictate beliefs

Sep 5, 2012 Full story: The Star Press 11,175

No one else can say otherwise? That is basically saying those who do "believe in God" are better? Hardly.

Full Story

Since: Apr 08

Nottingham, UK

#5640 Nov 10, 2012
Jehovah is God wrote:
Believe whatever makes you happy and makes you feel secure and confident.
But the truth is available to anyone who is looking for it, you have to decide if you want to believe it or not.
John 17:17
Don't quote statistics about Jehovah's witnesses tho, everyone knows they are not afraid to tell you about what they know is the truth, and they can prove it from the Bible.
It takes a humble and meek person to investigate what Jehovah's witnesses proclaim is the Good News of God's Kingdom or heavenly government with Jesus as our King.
Matthew 6:9,10 Matthew 23:14
There's nothing meek about the rage, hatred and bigotry we see in Christians.

What we do know is that you're all terrified of your imaginary sky pixie. Christianity is a religion of fear; even the Bible tells you to fear your god.

Since: Apr 08

Nottingham, UK

#5641 Nov 10, 2012
Givemeliberty wrote:
You cats said the world would end in 1914. Almost 100 years has passed and here we still are. Hey for laughs do tell us how you jokers came up with 1914 as the end of the world again?
Oh and nice picture in the book on revelation that shows a demon hand coming around Jesus to grab his staff! Google it up that is classic! Not to mention your founder's very unchristian headstone.
:))
<quoted text>
Ah yes, the JW cult.

They're batshit crazy

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#5642 Nov 10, 2012
Hello everyone -

This morning, I'd like to acknowledge Khatru in a special way:

Always nice to hear from you, Khatru. You have a gift for posting inadequate and irrelevant comments – which is one reason I still feel you are very special to the forum as an example of a failed athiest, lol.

Anyway, Khatru - I thank you again for your exhausting and irrelevant research and “ploughing through” so much material to complete that one post you contributed yesterday.

Oh, yes, and this reminder to all other forum participants: Should you have any issues regarding the content of any web pages I've posted, be aware that I'm not really interested in your screams, but always feel free to address them with the publisher at the link I provided. I know you would like the publishers to pervert and alter their information to meet with your approval.

[Fat chance – lol - but you can always try – after all, if you don't ask – you don't get anything, right? So give it a shot.........]

Have a good weekend.

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#5643 Nov 10, 2012
From Science Daily, April, 2012:

Death Anxiety Increases Atheists' Unconscious Belief in God

[from a scientific study.....most atheists like scientific studies, right?]

“New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to religious belief.

The Department of Psychology research also found that when religious people think about death, their religious beliefs appear to strengthen at both conscious and unconscious levels. The researchers believe the findings help explain why religion is such a durable feature of human society.

In three studies, which involved 265 university students in total, religious and nonreligious participants were randomly assigned to "death priming" and control groups. Priming involved asking participants to write about their own death or, in the control condition, about watching TV.

In the first study, researchers found that death-primed religious participants consciously reported greater belief in religious entities than similar participants who had not been death-primed. Non-religious participants who had been primed showed the opposite effect: they reported greater disbelief than their fellow non-religious participants in the control condition.

Study co-author Associate Professor Jamin Halberstadt says these results fit with the theory that fear of death prompts people to defend their own worldview, regardless of whether it is a religious or non-religious one.

"However, when we studied people's unconscious beliefs in the two later experiments, a different picture emerged. While death-priming made religious participants more certain about the reality of religious entities, non-religious participants showed less confidence in their disbelief," Associate Professor Halberstadt says.

The techniques used to study unconscious beliefs include measuring the speed with which participants can affirm or deny the existence of God and other religious entities. After being primed by thoughts of death, religious participants were faster to press a button to affirm God's existence, but non-religious participants were slower to press a button denying God's existence.

"These findings may help solve part of the puzzle of why religion is such a persistent and pervasive feature of society. Fear of death is a near-universal human experience and religious beliefs are suspected to play an important psychological role in warding off this anxiety. As we now show, these beliefs operate at both a conscious and unconscious level, allowing even avowed atheists to unconsciously take advantage of them."

The paper co-authors also included Jonathan Jong, currently at the University of Oxford, who undertook the experiments as part of his PhD thesis, and Matthias Bluemke, currently at the University of Heidelberg. Associate Professor Halberstadt was Jong's supervisor.

The findings from the three experiments will be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/...

[Looks like there were some great scientists participating in this study........isn't science research interesting?]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#5644 Nov 10, 2012
Yes, life without God can be bleak.

[from an atheist:]

“Atheists have to live with the knowledge that there is no salvation, no redemption, no second chances. Lives can go terribly wrong in ways that can never be put right. Can you really tell the parents who lost their child to a suicide after years of depression that they should stop worrying and enjoy life? Doesn't the appropriate response to 4,000 children dying everyday as a direct result of poor sanitation involve despair at the relentless misery of the world as well as some effort to improve things?”

continued:

“I think it's time we atheists 'fessed up and admitted that life without God can sometimes be pretty grim. Appropriating the label "heathen" is part of this. Heathens are unredeemed outcasts from heaven who roam the planet without hope of surviving the deaths of their bodies. They may have values but they are not secured by any divine source.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/...

[Since it's just an opinion piece, so it's not worth much – and he certainly can provide no proof atheism is credible - but I noticed how dreary the poor soul is – how sad and depressed. And yet, he still goes on to defend atheism, lol. Like most atheists, he can't see beyond the end of his beaked nose.]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#5645 Nov 10, 2012
“... consequences of scientific misconduct are far-ranging and the costs associated with their investigation are substantial. It is possible to estimate the cost (direct and indirect) of investigating a single case of scientific misconduct. For a specific investigation for which costs were estimated for all phases of the review process, direct cost estimates approached US $525,000. For an individual country, the total costs to associated with the review of all cases of scientific misconduct, both reported and not reported to the Office of Research Integrity, are likely to be exponentially higher.
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Ado...

[ACTUALLY THE COSTS OF SCINETIFIC MISCONDUCT ARE FAR GREATER THAN IT WOULD EVER BE POSSIBLE TO ESTIMATE.]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5646 Nov 10, 2012
Givemeliberty wrote:
I agree and as you say we are moving that way.
It is long past time churches start paying taxes.
<quoted text>
Or, when they are struck by lightning, like Touchdown Jesus was in 2010, they can just burn. http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/06/15/touchdown... [An adult book store across the street was spared. Presumably, it paid taxes.]

"The only church that illuminates is a burning church." - José Buenaventura Durruti

That quote remains as true and relevant today as it was when it was uttered nearly a century ago. The extinction of a church is always a win-win-win, as it not only removes one more indoctrination franchise from the neighborhood, it also frees the land so that something useful can be built, and returns nutrients to the soil. To paraphrase Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, the nearer the church, the further from authentic spirituality.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5647 Nov 10, 2012
Khatru wrote:
Ah well, we still get to laugh at [Derek's] ridiculous beliefs and the way he's been conned into subscribing to the primitive and barbaric world view of late Iron Age goat herders.
And, we get to spank Derek ad lib, sort of a Topix "Whack-A-Weasel." After all, spare the rod and spoil the child:

[Derek tantruming on Topix]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5648 Nov 10, 2012
Jehovah is God wrote:
John 17:17

Don't quote statistics about Jehovah's witnesses

Matthew 6:9,10 Matthew 23:14
Then don't cite your bible. We don't care what you think Jesus said.

But since you did, here are some statistics on Jehovah's Witnesses from "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Have Mental Problems" at http://www.seanet.com/~raines/mental.html :

"A scientific literature review found that the rate of mental illness among Jehovah's Witnesses is considerably above average ... Of the 135 randomly selected cases, fully 126 were Witnesses. Of these 126, Rylander diagnosed 51 as neurotic, 42 psychotic, 32 as mentally retarded, and 5 as brain-damaged (some overlap exists because some cases were in two or more categories). Diagnosis was made solely on the basis of behavior that was clearly pathological, such as irrational paranoia or severe long term depression.

"Rylander also concluded ... that the Watchtower's' influence was often detrimental to mental health, sometimes severely so. About four percent of the eligible armed service Swedish population were judged psychologically "unfit" for military services. The corresponding figure for Witnesses was twenty-one percent, or a rate five times greater."

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5649 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
“New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to religious belief.
How is this surprising? This is why your church threatens people with torture.
derek4 wrote:
The Department of Psychology research also found that when religious people think about death, their religious beliefs appear to strengthen at both conscious and unconscious levels. The researchers believe the findings help explain why religion is such a durable feature of human society.
Again, how is this a surprise? This is the exact same reaction, but in a believer - a tendency to cling to mythology under duress. For a atheist, this would be described as "unconsciously grow[ing] more receptive to religious belief." For a believer,it would be described as "their religious beliefs appear to strengthen."

Conclusion: not surprisingly, fear makes people think irrationally. For Christians, this is a weakness to exploit, and the reason why you want access to our children in their schools. For humanists, it represents a reason to protect them from you. From the Affirmations of Humanism :

"We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear,... and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

"We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.

"We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence"

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5650 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Doesn't the appropriate response to 4,000 children dying everyday as a direct result of poor sanitation involve despair at the relentless misery of the world as well as some effort to improve things?”
It's certainly a reason to reject the claim that a powerful and loving god is watching over us.
derek4 wrote:
Can you really tell the parents who lost their child to a suicide after years of depression that they should stop worrying and enjoy life?
What do you tell the Christian parent whose child has killed himself? You tell her that it must have been her omniscient and omnipotent god's will that her child be dead, or it would be alive. Her god either ordered the death, or at a minimum, allowed it. From "Benefits Of Athiesm" http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/T... :

"When a cute little doe-eyed girl dies of leukemia sometime later today (and one will somewhere), you'll have the comfort of knowing that it was just rotten luck, and not caused by or allowed to happen by any ghost."

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#5651 Nov 10, 2012
Givemeliberty wrote:
I agree and as you say we are moving that way.
It is long past time churches start paying taxes.
<quoted text>
Hopefully they will be losing their special tax privileges soon:

FFRF contests bishops' electioneering

http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/16073...

FFRF sues over IRS ‘parish exemption’ allowance, Round II

http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-toda...

Not-So-Civil Disobedience: Pulpit Freedom Sunday and Voter Coercion

http://ffrf.org/news/blog/item/15929-not-so-c...

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5652 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
[ACTUALLY THE COSTS OF SCINETIFIC MISCONDUCT ARE FAR GREATER THAN IT WOULD EVER BE POSSIBLE TO ESTIMATE.]
The cost of your traitorous assault on science are difficult to assess. Here are three reasons why in three posts:

[1] The continuous undermining of the trust and respect for scientific opinion. That has significantly damaged America's scientific literacy, which is reflected in the photos of graduate departments in the technical departments of the leading American universities. A disproportionate fraction of those names and faces are foreign students, many of which will take their educations and skills back home.

As a result, American scientific competitiveness on the world stage is plummeting. From "Is America Losing Its Edge?" at http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/america-lo...

"The United States' global primacy depends in large part on its ability to develop new technologies and industries faster than anyone else. For the last five decades, U.S. scientific innovation and technological entrepreneurship have ensured the country's economic prosperity and military power. It was Americans who invented and commercialized the semiconductor, the personal computer, and the Internet; other countries merely followed the U.S. lead.

"Today, however, this technological edge-so long taken for granted-may be slipping, and the most serious challenge is coming from Asia. Through competitive tax policies, increased investment in research and development (R&D), and preferential policies for science and technology (S&T) personnel, Asian governments are improving the quality of their science and ensuring the exploitation of future innovations. The percentage of patents issued to and science journal articles published by scientists in China, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan is rising.

"Indian companies are quickly becoming the second-largest producers of application services in the world, developing, supplying, and managing database and other types of software for clients around the world.

"South Korea has rapidly eaten away at the U.S. advantage in the manufacture of computer chips and telecommunications software.

"And even China has made impressive gains in advanced technologies such as lasers, biotechnology, and advanced materials used in semiconductors, aerospace, and many other types of manufacturing."

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5653 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
[ACTUALLY THE COSTS OF SCINETIFIC MISCONDUCT ARE FAR GREATER THAN IT WOULD EVER BE POSSIBLE TO ESTIMATE.]
The cost of your traitorous assault on science are difficult to assess. Here are three reasons why in three posts:

[2] Besides severely damaging America's scientific competitiveness, the anti-scientism seems to be having a devastating effect in the area of climate science, and will likely cost us all dearly. Christian imposed ignorance of basic science while living in the 21st century puts us all at risk when millions of science rubes are voting on climate policy. We need our neighbors to be educated on these natters, whether they agree with us or not. Do I need to explain that further?

Were you aware that America is the only major player on the world scene that refused to sign onto the Kyoto Protocol? From Wiki:

"The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. Other United Nations member states which did not ratify the protocol are Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan. In December 2011, Canada withdrew from the Protocol."

How proud America must be to be in that elite group! Thank you Jesus! Although there are other elements at play, I blame the Christian echo chamber - which includes you - in large part for that damage. That can't be good or healthy for the nation.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5654 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
[ACTUALLY THE COSTS OF SCINETIFIC MISCONDUCT ARE FAR GREATER THAN IT WOULD EVER BE POSSIBLE TO ESTIMATE.]
The cost of your traitorous assault on science are difficult to assess. Here are three reasons why in three posts:

[3] And finally,the Christian anti-scientific perspective blights the "soul" and prevents a shot at authentic spirituality. This is an excerpt from a wonderful 7:48 video called "Science Saved My Soul" by philhellene at


He's describing an authentic spiritual experience that he was deprived of in his church years, but which an understanding of science later afforded him. Being deprived of this understanding, and of this degree of communion with nature, is damage just as surely as voting from ignorance is.[If you like what you read here, I recommend the whole video]:

"When I looked at the galaxy that night, I knew the faintest twinkle of starlight was a real connection between my comprehending eye along a narrow beam of light to the surface of another sun. The photons my eyes detect (the light I see, the energy with which my nerves interact) came from that star. I thought I could never touch it, yet something from it crosses the void and touches me. I might never have known. My eyes saw only a tiny point of light, but my mind saw so much more.

"If God exists, God made this [photo of a galaxy]. Look at it. Face it. Accept it. Adjust to it, because this is ... how God works. God would probably want you to look at it. To learn about it. To try to understand it. But if you can’t look — if you won’t even try to understand — what does that say about your religion?"

"To even partially comprehend the scale of a single galaxy is to almost disappear. And when you remember all the other galaxies, you shrink 100 billion times smaller still. But then you remember what you are. The same facts that made you feel so insignificant also tell you how you got here. It’s like you become more real, or maybe the universe becomes more real. You suddenly fit. You suddenly belong. You do not have to bow down. You do not have to look away. In such moments, all you have to do is remember to keep breathing."

"The body of a newborn baby is as old as the cosmos. The form is new and unique, but the materials are 13.7 billion years old, processed by nuclear fusion in stars, fashioned by electromagnetism. Cold words for amazing processes. And that baby was you. Is you. You’re amazing. Not only alive, but with a mind ... When I compare what scientific knowledge has done for me and what religion tried to do to me, I sometimes literally shiver."

"Religions tell children they might go to hell and they must believe, while science tells children they came from the stars and presents reasoning they can believe. I’ve told plenty of young kids about stars and atoms and galaxies and the Big Bang and I have never seen fear in their eyes, only amazement and curiosity. They want more."

"Why do kids swim in it and adults drown in it? What happens to reality between our youngest years and adulthood? Could it be that someone promised us something so beautiful that our universe seems dull, empty, even frightening by comparison? It might still be made by a Creator of some kind but religion has made it look ugly."

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#5655 Nov 10, 2012
Jehovah is God wrote:
Believe whatever makes you happy and makes you feel secure and confident.
But the truth is available to anyone who is looking for it, you have to decide if you want to believe it or not.
John 17:17
Don't quote statistics about Jehovah's witnesses tho, everyone knows they are not afraid to tell you about what they know is the truth, and they can prove it from the Bible.
It takes a humble and meek person to investigate what Jehovah's witnesses proclaim is the Good News of God's Kingdom or heavenly government with Jesus as our King.
Matthew 6:9,10 Matthew 23:14
We are free to discuss your Cult anytime we wish.

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#5656 Nov 10, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
"You stare into your high definition plasma screen monitor, type into your cordless keyboard then hit enter which causes your computer to convert all that visual data into a binary signal that’s processed by millions of precise circuits, which is then converted to a frequency modulated signal to reach you wireless router where it is then converted to light waves and sent along a large fiber optics cable to be processed by a super computer on a mass server which then sends that bit you typed to a satellite orbiting the earth that was put there through the greatest feats of engineering and science, all so it could go back through a similar pathway to make it all the way here to my computer monitor 15,000 miles away from you just so you could say,“Science is all a bunch of man made hogwash.”- anon.
The next time he gets seriously ill I'll bet he will go the best Doctor with the best medical technology. What a hypocrite!

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#5657 Nov 10, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Hello everyone -
This morning, I'd like to acknowledge Khatru in a special way:
Always nice to hear from you, Khatru. You have a gift for posting inadequate and irrelevant comments – which is one reason I still feel you are very special to the forum as an example of a failed athiest, lol.
Anyway, Khatru - I thank you again for your exhausting and irrelevant research and “ploughing through” so much material to complete that one post you contributed yesterday.
Oh, yes, and this reminder to all other forum participants: Should you have any issues regarding the content of any web pages I've posted, be aware that I'm not really interested in your screams, but always feel free to address them with the publisher at the link I provided. I know you would like the publishers to pervert and alter their information to meet with your approval.
[Fat chance – lol - but you can always try – after all, if you don't ask – you don't get anything, right? So give it a shot.........]
Have a good weekend.
In other words derek is just a mindless SPAMMER.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5658 Nov 10, 2012
MrDesoto1 wrote:
Hopefully they will be losing their special tax privileges soon:

FFRF contests bishops' electioneering
http://snipurl.com/25k76l3

FFRF sues over IRS ‘parish exemption’ allowance, Round II
http://snipurl.com/25k76bz

Not-So-Civil Disobedience: Pulpit Freedom Sunday and Voter Coercion
http://snipurl.com/25k7649
I received a few distressing emails from the local Freethinkers and Atheists society that I belong to:

"According to a story in the Washington Post, 1,400 pastors planned to break the law on Pulpit Freedom Sunday this past weekend. Sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom, the day is designed to challenge the Internal Revenue Code provisions that bar 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (including churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The IRS is unlikely to be able to respond with enforcement actions against offending churches because a 2009 court decision required the IRS to enact new regulations determining who can authorize church tax inquiries, and proposals issued by the agency in response have not yet been adopted."

==========

Dear Mr. Xxxxx

It is accurate that the IRS is presently unable to enforce the 501(c)(3) campaign prohibition against church politicking because of a regulatory snag. In 2009 the IRS lost a case in which a church successfully challenged the procedure the IRS uses to audit churches. Specifically, a court ruled that the wrong IRS official was authorizing the audits.

This is why we are continuing to keep this issue in the news. The IRS isn’t going to revise its procedures without public pressure, nor is it ever permitted to investigate a church without a complaint from the public. As a result, we hope that the IRS will eventually take up the business of auditing churches again, and when it does, it will have a stack of complaints to go through.

It is worth noting that despite problems with IRS enforcement, the letter of the law remains the same. Churches still can’t endorse or oppose candidates for office, and when they do so, they are taking a risk.

Sincerely,
Simon Brown
Communications Associate
Americans United

==========

Reply to the above:

Thanks very much for this information, which does not seem to be widely known, recognized, or publicized within the community of non-believers in religion. I am sharing your message with the members of the two organizations of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics, humanists, others who reject belief in the supernatural) that I founded and to which I belong, as well as to U.S. national organizations of atheists and freethinkers of which I am a member.

I knew that the IRS had lost a case in 2009 because a court had decided that the IRS official who approved the action was not sufficiently high in the IRS hierarchy, and I reported that in the paper on tax-exemption for churches that I delivered in July. But I did not know that an acceptable official had not yet been named, which would seem to indicate only a lack of desire to do so. That seems to me to be consistent with the steady movement of the U.S. toward becoming a Christian theocracy that, despite the growing number of U.S. citizens who report no religious affiliation and no religious belief, is being advanced by the government and both major political parties. I assume that, knowing that the IRS cannot revoke the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, pastors who blatantly violate the prohibition against endorsing political candidates recognize that they are actually not incurring any risk by doing so. And that indicates to me that those of us who are affiliated with organizations of non-believers in religion should intensify our efforts to oppose theocracy, though I think it likely that if a non-religious 501(c)(3) organization violated the prohibition against political endorsements, the IRS would try to enforce it."

==========

I have every confidence that we will rectify this.

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#5659 Nov 10, 2012
Givemeliberty wrote:
You cats said the world would end in 1914. Almost 100 years has passed and here we still are. Hey for laughs do tell us how you jokers came up with 1914 as the end of the world again?

<quoted text>
And after 1914 they were wrong again with 1925. Then it became "very shortly". What other Kook got rich predicting the End Of The World over and over, again and again? Harold Camping anyone?

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