Don't dictate beliefs

Don't dictate beliefs

There are 11177 comments on the The Star Press story from Sep 5, 2012, titled Don't dictate beliefs. In it, The Star Press reports that:

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

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Star Press.

Since: Nov 11

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#6031 Nov 16, 2012
The big atheist lies: phony atheist social sciences

“A huge body of "work" if you will (lies) have sprung up by atheists attempting to play social scientist and trying to prove that so called "atheist nations" have better education and health care, and atheists go to prison less and so on.”
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread....

Since: Nov 11

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#6032 Nov 16, 2012
Atheist Convert: Jennifer Fulwiler

How the Search for Truth Led Me from Atheism to Catholicism

One thing I could never get on the same page with my fellow atheists about was the idea of meaning. The other atheists I knew seemed to feel like life was full of purpose despite the fact that we're all nothing more than chemical reactions. I could never get there. In fact, I thought that whole line of thinking was unscientific, and more than a little intellectually dishonest. If everything that we call heroism and glory, and all the significance of all great human achievements, can be reduced to some neurons firing in the human brain, then it's all destined to be extinguished at death. And considering that the entire span of homo sapiens' existence on earth wouldn't even amount to a blip on the radar screen of a 5-billion-year-old universe, it seemed silly to pretend like the 60-odd-year life of some random organism on one of trillions of planets was something special.(I was a blast at parties.)

By simply living my life, I felt like I was living a lie. I acknowledged the truth that life was meaningless, and yet I kept acting as if my own life had meaning, as if all the hope and love and joy I'd experienced was something real, something more than a mirage produced by the chemicals in my brain. Suicide had crossed my mind -- not because I was depressed in the common sense of the word, simply because it seemed like it was nothing more than speeding up the inevitable. A life multiplied by zero yields the same result, no matter when you do it.

Not knowing what else to do, I followed the well-worn path of people who are trying to run from something that haunts them: I worked too much. I drank too much. I was emotionally fragile. Many of my relationships with other people were toxic. I wrapped myself in a cocoon of distractions, trying to pretend like I didn't know what I knew.”
http://whyimcatholic.com/index.php/conversion...

[What a depressing, miserable, hopeless existence – the life of an atheist.]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6033 Nov 16, 2012
Aerobatty wrote:
<quoted text>
Ever see this one?
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Pretty funny.

http://www.mountlehmanllamas.com/dali-llama-t...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6034 Nov 16, 2012
Atheists and Humanists Lying ...

Lies, falsehoods, untruths are the foundation of the secular humanist doctrines which are foisted upon America. Two of the most harmful – and widely accepted – concern abortion, and separation of church and state. This article focuses upon one typical instance of the lie about Christianity and the United States. It reveals a typical operation of the humanist lie factory, and urges the best method to counter it.

A local California group called the Backyard Skeptics audaciously threw their lie right into the faces of their neighbors. They put up a billboard with a picture of Thomas Jefferson, and this supposed quote from the founding father:“I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology.” Leading humanists enthusiastically praised the lie. Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said of the billboard,“It’s uplifting to see Americans discussing the views of Jefferson and examining his influence on the secular nature of our constitution”

“Wait a minute,” thought I,“that’s not the Jefferson I know.” I have read over 1,500 dense pages of Jefferson’s own writings, in the Library of America’s “Jefferson: Writings.” I remembered nothing like that. On the one hand, Jefferson was not a member of any of the Christian denominations. And he didn’t like the professions of priests and pastors. But on the other hand, Jefferson strongly praised a pure Christianity, and called himself a Christian! He was nothing like an atheist.

I learned of the lying billboard from a reprint of an October 28 article out of Washington, D.C. The article featured a couple of even more astounding lies, made up by secular humanists, and falsely attributed to Jefferson. The article said the quotations were found on a website called “Monticello”. But to anyone acquainted with Jefferson, these ”quotations” are incredible:

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

“…those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame.”

Even for those unfamiliar with Jefferson, there is a big clue that these statements are bogus: they do not cite their sources. Every writing of Jefferson can be checked by anyone if the source is identified.”
http://catholiclane.com/atheists-and-humanist...

Since: Nov 11

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#6035 Nov 16, 2012
“... while the atheists at Freedom From Religion Foundation want to claim the Declaration of Independence as their own, the inconvenient truth is that not even one of the signers of the nation’s founding document was a 'freethinker' or 'atheist' or 'agnostic' or 'skeptic.'

In fact, all 54 signers were men of faith. And nearly half actually were heads of Christian seminaries.

To maintain that the faith of the nation’s founders had no bearing whatsoever on the Declaration of Independence is to deliberately skew American history.

But that’s the kind of deceitfulness for which atheists are known.”
http://christiandiarist.com/2012/07/04/atheis...

Since: Nov 11

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#6036 Nov 16, 2012
[The Darwinism myth]

“The controversy over the origin of life was supposed to have been settled in the 1950s by the tidy doctrine of Darwinian evolution. Now, Darwin seems to be going the way of Marx and Freud... Far from supporting an atheistic, meaningless universe, the evidence supports a universe that is bursting with design.”
http://www.darwinism-watch.com/index.php...

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6037 Nov 16, 2012
Aerobatty wrote:
<quoted text>
Did you mean " global warming is NOT a real threat" above?
No. I meant that the perpetrators of the disinformation might not be government or the energy sector. Various links within the links provided such as
http://www.us-cap.org/USCAPCallForAction.pdf [PDF file] seem to let one or the other off the hook. Did you read the excerpt from it?

[1] From USCAP (US Carbon Action Partnership, which includes Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Ford, Chrysler, GM, GE, PGE, Dupont, and Dow Chemical,) the consortium of emission related corporations from which comes the following:

”In our view, the climate change challenge, like other challenges our country has confronted in the past, will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy,” including (paraphrasing) creating new markets, increased U.S. competitiveness, reduced reliance on energy from foreign sources, increased energy security, improved balance of trade, world leadership for the U.S.”[Google that and read about that statement]

Look at the name of those companies. They went on record here stating that not only is global climate change from anthropogenic carbon emissions a feasible threat worth taking seriously, but that it would not only not be too expensive to do. In fact, it would be economically sound, as in profitable and good for the nation, to pursue such an undertaking. If that's phony and insincere, it's pretty over the top. It's way more than they needed to say, or than you would expect them to say even in a disinformation statement, if that's what it is.

Isn't all of this just a little odd? If these guys aren't the ones funding and organizing the Manufactured Doubt, who is? Who else is possible?

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#6038 Nov 16, 2012
derek4, I revoke your trolling license, you are so bad at it no one should bother reading your linguine. Decent trolls don't through around pasta, or waste time with utter nonsense like you do. You're a failure as a troll, and a human, and a man, according to your mother.

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#6040 Nov 16, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Then you'll understand why we don't like subsidizing churches with taxes, and intend to remedy that as soon as we can muster the political clout to do so, which looks like about 2038 judging by the your present rate of hemorrhaging members and tithes.
If you don't want to pay taxes for fire service, then your churches should burn. I'm sure that Golden Rule people like you Christians will understand and support that.
I see you are still obsessed with the image of burning churches. Is that why you are hiding out in Mexico?

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#6041 Nov 16, 2012
KittenKoder wrote:
... You're a failure as a troll, and a human, and a man, according to your mother.
As are you, according to your own words.

Since: Apr 08

Watford, UK

#6042 Nov 16, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Look at dishonest you are. What won't you say?
What could possibly be more hypocritical that a preacher that promotes the persecution of gays between clandestine dates snorting illicit powders off of the nut sack of his man-whore in a seedy motel? What is more hypocritical that that. Let's see what behavior from atheists you think makes that level of hypocrisy look pristine by comparison:
<quoted text>
Unbelievable. have you no shame? Have you no pride?
Your anti-atheist prejudice is so extreme that it blinds you to the point that you call atheists that feel that they have been discriminated against who are suing for that discrimination orders of magnitude more heinous than Haggard's.
That hypocrisy was so egregious, by the way, that the male escort in question outed himself on the national news, and confessed to illicit drug use just to expose his formerly incognito lover for that hypocrisy once he knew who it was.
You are a liar and a fraud. And you are a Christian.
<quoted text>
Therein lies OUR double talk? You are completely over the top. You have been so mismanaged by your handlers that you've lost your sense of proportion and your sense of decency. Your words sound insane to me.
Yet again Derek is exposed for the disingenuous hypocrite he is.

Looks like there are no depths to which this liar won't descend.

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#6043 Nov 17, 2012
I stopped wasting my time reading his posts long ago. How he can spam so many gets yet still have nothing to say? Lol!
Khatru wrote:
<quoted text>
Yet again Derek is exposed for the disingenuous hypocrite he is.
Looks like there are no depths to which this liar won't descend.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6044 Nov 17, 2012
derek4 wrote:
so called "atheist nations" have better education and health care, and atheists go to prison less and so on.
You sound like a rube.

A few posts back, you seemed to think that one could defraud a worm. Now you think a nation can be atheist. It can't. Nations neither believe in gods, nor disbelieve in them. People do. Even if every citizen in a nation were an atheist, the nation still would be no more an atheist than a car would be if every passenger in it were an unbeliever.

The correct language is that a nation's government is secular.

And the nations with secular governments are the best places in the world to live. From http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/10-best-countr... :

10. Luxembourg
9. New Zealand
8. Netherlands
7. Switzerland
6. Canada
5. Denmark
4. Sweden
3. United States
2. Norway
1. Australia

You don't see any theocracies on that list, do you? Iran and Saudi Arabia failed to make the cut again.

And yes, secularism is far superior to theocracy just as atheism is superior to theism. Everybody except the parasitic priestly class and demagogues benefits from less religion.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6045 Nov 17, 2012
derek4 wrote:
How the Search for Truth Led Me from Atheism to Catholicism ... One thing I could never get on the same page with my fellow atheists about was the idea of meaning. The other atheists I knew seemed to feel like life was full of purpose despite the fact that we're all nothing more than chemical reactions. I could never get there.
That's because you were lied to and couldn't see through it. That argument is fallacious (which is different from fellatious). It is a fallacy of scale presuming that an entity is completely described by its qualities at one of many scale. This is the same argument that says that Shakespeare can't be of any value because it's nothing but letters spaces and punctuation.

If you aren't smart enough to avoid the pitfalls in these specious arguments, then you are the rightful property of the priests, and you labor for them and their families just like you do, Derek.

If your life was meaningless even to yourself before religion, well, I'll be charitable here and say that it hasn't improved any with that change.
derek4 wrote:
In fact, I thought that whole line of thinking was unscientific, and more than a little intellectually dishonest.
It has nothing to do with science. It's philosophy - logical fallacies. What is intellectually dishonest is saying that man is "just" chemicals. So is a star. So is a mountain.[CONT]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6046 Nov 17, 2012
derek4 wrote:
If everything that we call heroism and glory, and all the significance of all great human achievements, can be reduced to some neurons firing in the human brain ...
Here we go again, but at the cellular scale rather than at the scale of biochemistry. Care to try at the tissue level, or the organ level? "Man is nothing but a sack of organs. There is no meaning in a gall bladder, a spleen or a pancreas, so how could there be value in a human being?"

We could also argue at smaller scales - man is nothing but a collection of quarks and leptons.

If you can't think better than this, then you probably need to shake the scary chicken on the stick to give your life purpose: "Chicken arise! Arise chicken! Arise!"
[5 second video of Billy Witchdoctor DOT com giving his life a moral foundation by shaking the scary chicken on a stick]
derek4 wrote:
then it's all destined to be extinguished at death.
That appears to be the case. If that's too much for you to bear without a crutch, consider Jesus.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6047 Nov 17, 2012
derek4 wrote:
And considering that the entire span of homo sapiens' existence on earth wouldn't even amount to a blip on the radar screen of a 5-billion-year-old universe, it seemed silly to pretend like the 60-odd-year life of some random organism on one of trillions of planets was something special.
And here's the fallacy of scale again. We've only addressed the reductionist version of the fallacy - the microscopic scale - so far. That's only half of it.

We don't live on the scale of the entire universe over all time. At that scale, life itself is meaningless. Another form of the fallacy is that in five generations or less, our lives will be forgotten. That's true in most cases. But that's not the scale or address of our existence. We don't exist at the level of the grand scheme of things - just a few square miles of the surface of one planet for a few decades.

Why should my influence be expected to extend so far into time and space, or its failure to do so constitute the basis of an argument against it having meaning? It shouldn't and it doesn't. Yet there the argument is, like a huge pit in the earth, covered in thatching, waiting for the philosophically unsophisticated to fall into it.
derek4 wrote:
What a depressing, miserable, hopeless existence – the life of an atheist.
No, Derek. You're wrong. Now go shake your scarey chicken and get you some meaning to what you consider a meaningless existence without it.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6048 Nov 17, 2012
Religion has much to offer weak people like Derek :

BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN

[1] Perhaps you are terrified of dying. If so, consider Christianity. There's no need to face the likelihood that death is the end if it troubles you. Believe, and poof! All gone!

[2] Or perhaps you are afraid to walk down the street without a omniscient, omnipotent, magic protector watching over you 24/7. Consider Christianity.

[3] Or maybe you're lonely or feeling unloved, and just need to talk to somebody, but there's nobody there. Consider Christianity. You can mutter to the ceiling fan all day and believe that it's listening.

[4] Or maybe you're tired of being the universe's doormat, and you just need to feel special, as if the whole universe was made for you, and knows who you are and really, really, really cares. Consider Christianity.

[5] Christianity also offers you the ability to feel morally superior to nonbelievers by teaching that nonbeliever's lives have no meaning, purpose or moral basis. They will be flushed into a lake of fire for disagreeing with you. Thus, Christianity fulfills any revenge or snuff urges you might have.

[6] Or maybe you suffer from crushing guilt or shame. No need. Lay it at the cross. They have forgiveness on demand – just mutter to the ceiling fan and demand yours. How’s that for accountability?

[7] Or maybe you miss Aunt Esther terribly and you just can't adjust to the reality of her death. Consider Christianity. Oh look up in the clouds! There she is!

There is no reason why you should need to face reality if it frightens you, Derek. Just shake the scary chicken on a stick at it.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6049 Nov 17, 2012
Let's contrast that with the ...

OPPORTUNITY COST OF CHRISTIANIY

[1] Thousands of hours lost reading ancient goatherd fairy tales, muttering at the ceiling fan, and listening to mind numbing sermons every Sunday morning.

[2] Tens of thousands of dollars given to the parasitic priestly class.

[3] The opportunity cost of choosing a primitive and infantilizing system and missing the fullest and most authentic existence possible. Of caring without reward

[4] Self-loathing resulting from a misanthropic philosophy that sneeringly describes man in demeaning terms ("the flesh") and requires him to debase himself worshiping. The psychology of Christianity is deforming. It makes individuals that submit to its teaching subservient, guilty, self-loathing, and sexually constipated.

[5] An inferior intellectual system that despises science and erudition, and prevents the sense of mystery and grandeur that a scientific education entails.

[6] An inferior ethic that defines love in terms of torture and crucifixion, and a pardon from eternal torment by an infinitely evil devil. The moral structure is deformed: Faith, obedience, worship and piety are not virtues. Integrity, autonomy, responsibility, courage and compassion are.

[7] The spiritual emptiness that derives from stripping this incredibly amazing universe of its grandeur and mystery, and sneeringly describing it as "the world," fit for apocalyptic destruction. Misplaced gratitude.

[8] Did you give the priests your children as well?

SOCIETAL COSTS

[9] The damage the church does is mostly to believers, women, gays, atheists, and Jews, but we all suffer from the societal strife, sexual prudery, lost taxes, and anti-scientism caused by the church

[10] Christians are easily manipulated by demagogues, which hurts us all. For example, Bush would not have been president had he not used his bible as a prop. I sincerely doubt that a president Gore would have overlooked the pre-9/11 intelligence, waged a cruel and irrational war of aggression thereafter, or given tax cuts principally to the wealthy. The total costs there alone are over seven trillion.

[11] Scientific illiteracy is costing the nation economically. America is falling behind in the world market for developing technology

[12] Scientific illiteracy and distrust is making us all much more vulnerable to a climate disaster

"Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific cooperation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion." - Bertrand Russell

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6050 Nov 17, 2012
Let's compare that with ...

BENEFITS OF IRRELIGIOSITY AND SKEPTICISM

[1] Hope for the world. When I was a Christian, I thought we were all goners. It was always the end times. Hal Lindsey was big then, too. But now, I know that it is possible that man can go on until he evolves into something better, and then again.

[2] Freedom from fear of damnation. Freedom from fear of hell. Freedom from fear of Satan. Freedom from fear of demons.

[3] Freedom from the infantilizing nanny god. a very prudish, judgmental, panty-sniffing, smiting god.

[4] 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.

[5] Hurry! If you act now, you'll also receive respect for mankind. Christianity teaches that man is unworthy, inherently flawed, retched and unworthy, and lucky as hell to be tolerated by the god. You can cast that gray crap off.

[6] But wait! That's not all. You also get respect for life, earth and the universe. Christianity teaches that animals are soulless meat bags to be exploited as man sees fit. Then it teaches that the whole material world, including earth, is made of a base substance - matter, which is only transitory. Christianity disesteems the material world enough to make the word "worldly" an insult.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6051 Nov 17, 2012
THE PRICE OF RELIGIOUS COWARDICE

One more huge benefit to a secular humanistic worldview: a shot at an authentic existence. Choosing the comforting swaddling of religion is spiritual cowardice. Here's what takes courage:

Try standing up like the bipedal ape you were born to be, and look out into the universe, which may be almost empty, and which may contain no gods at all. And then face and accept the very real possibility that we may be all there is for light years.

Accept that you may be vulnerable and not watched over.

Accept the likelihood of your own mortality and finititude.

Accept the reality of your insignificance everywhere but earth, and that you might be unloved except by those who know you - people, and maybe a few animals.

Because as far as we know, that's how it is.

It's unpleasant at first, but be brave! Religion is comforting, but at a great cost. It's infantilizing, and costs you your only shot at an authentic existence.

A theist can never know the ineffable joy of doing good for goodness sake, with no expectation that anyone will ever know what good you did or reward you for it.

When I pull over on a rural road to save a turtle crossing it, I know that nobody will ever know or care except me. Because there was nobody there in that corner of the universe to take responsibility for it, so I did.

That's as close to a godlike experience as you can get. It's not the same if a cosmic eye in the sky is always watching, judging, and tallying reward and punishment. You can't grow up if the baby sitter never leaves, or if the cop is always in the rear view mirror.

So, it's worth making the effort to learn to face reality without religion. Once you have faced the frightening, lonely, and bleak aspects of existence and learned to cope with them maturely, it doesn't feel nearly as frightening, lonely, or bleak any more.

Only then can you proceed to self-actualization, which is prevented by infantilizing dogma.

[I haven't even mentioned the spiritual journey made possible by a scientific understanding of nature covered so nicely in "Science Saved My Soul" which I alluded to a few days ago at http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/T... This could be included in the opportunity costs of an infantilizing religion]

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