Don't dictate beliefs

Don't dictate beliefs

There are 11176 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.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6588 Nov 24, 2012
derek4 wrote:
there is an astonishing garrulousness to the comments made by Atheists to posts about religion that suggest not simply a lack of interest in, or even disdain for, religion but a competitive anger directed against persons of traditional religious faith.
Astonishing? Let's just sat that after all we've been through together, atheists have nothing to say to the religious apart from to get out of our way.
derek4 wrote:
Taken together, these four elements suggest that Atheists regularly demonstrate attributes -- desire for spiritual sustenance, the importance of self-identification, offering their worldview as an alternative to other religious systems, and an assertive if not competitive style of engagement with other religious points of view -- usually exhibited by religious folk of all persuasions.
FAIL. Religion involves faith in superstitious mumbo jumbo. We eschew faith for rational skepticism, the enemy of religion.
derek4 wrote:
While Atheism as a movement doesn't have the formal structure, celebrations, or creedal dogmas of organized religions, we might at least identify Atheism as it exists today as an increasingly vibrant faith tradition.
FAIL again. Yes, we have no church, no rituals, and no dogma. Also, no superstitions, mythology or magical thinking. We replace faith with reason and evidence.

Richardfs

“Formerly "Richard"”

Since: Mar 12

In the beginning e=mc^2

#6589 Nov 24, 2012
ARGUING with IDIOTS wrote:
<quoted text>
How cute, a puppy jumped off the porch and wants to play the big dogs...
Don't tell me, you are a chiwawa who thinks they are a timber wolf.
ARGUING with IDIOTS

Chico, CA

#6590 Nov 24, 2012
Richardfs wrote:
<quoted text>Don't tell me, you are a chiwawa who thinks they are a timber wolf.
So you are the brains in your family?

Richardfs

“Formerly "Richard"”

Since: Mar 12

In the beginning e=mc^2

#6591 Nov 24, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Astonishing? Let's just sat that after all we've been through together, atheists have nothing to say to the religious apart from to get out of our way.
<quoted text>
FAIL. Religion involves faith in superstitious mumbo jumbo. We eschew faith for rational skepticism, the enemy of religion.
<quoted text>
FAIL again. Yes, we have no church, no rituals, and no dogma. Also, no superstitions, mythology or magical thinking. We replace faith with reason and evidence.
Why do godbots think that just because they have to have a religion everybody does?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6592 Nov 24, 2012
KJV wrote:
"more likely to exist than a god" This of course is just your opinion that obviously carriers no weight with us.
Yet you are soliciting my opinion nevertheless.

And no, it is more than an opinion. It is an argument. Why don't you try to rebut it? My argument is that since there is existence, something either always existed or else came into existence uncaused from nothing.

Then I listed the competing candidates for that status - a singularity, an eternally banging and crunching universe, an amorphous and unconscious mother multiverse, and and your choice, an infinite, omnscient, omnipotent, immortal, and perfectly moral sentient life form.

Which of these is least likely to exist uncaused?

Also, what could possibly be harder to self-organize than a god? Name any concept more complex or more unlikely than a god, the most complex thing imaginable.
KJV wrote:
Question for you, do you believe in anything that cannot or does not exist in the universes?
For starters, I don't "believe in" anything. I believe much, but I don't believe in anything. That requires faith.

I suppose that you are asking if I believe that anything exists outside of the universe - i.e., whether there can be reality outside of space-time. The answer is that I don't see why not. I cannot rule it out. A god and a multiverse would be each be such a candidate,but a god seems infinitely less likely, since it needs to be sentient, omniscient, highly structured, and infinitely powerful, which seems exceedingly unlikely, not to mention unnecessarily complex since a multiverse budding off an infinite number of varying universes can account for everything we see just as well.

But each remains possible until it can be ruled out. I expect that it will eventually be possible to demonstrate that such a god is not just unlikely and unnecessary, but actually logically impossible.

You should try to understand what those words mean and try to formulate a cogent rebuttal that shows that you do, and which explains how the most unlikely thing possible could actually exist anyway, how you chose one of these hypotheses over the others, and why you chose the one that spits in the face of Occam's Razor.

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#6593 Nov 24, 2012
Richardfs wrote:
<quoted text>
Why do godbots think that just because they have to have a religion everybody does?
Its their insecurity....

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6594 Nov 24, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Let's hear about an atheist's view of religion:
I’m a Religious Atheist
Sure. Here's one: you need to get out of our way. If you won't step aside, be prepared to be pushed aside.

[QUOTE who="derek4]"I’m an atheist because I believe religious ideas have great value"[/QUOTE]

No, that's an idiot.
derek4 wrote:
"I accept that the devotion of members of other faiths is just as genuine as mine was, and cannot be chalked up to delusion or insincerity."
Their sincerity is irrelevant. Their beliefs remain delusions.
derek4 wrote:
Because I agree to pursue truth – if God creates all truth – I accept similarities between Christian narratives and other religious traditions, and realize that how I approach the world is influenced by similar reasons which cause others to approach the world differently.
Like I said, this is an idiot. The way a rational skeptic approaches the world is radically different from religious faith.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6595 Nov 24, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Because I agree to seek what’s right, I accept the existence of common moral demands between all great religions
No. Because I seek what's right, I reject both Christianity's moral code, and the process by which it was derived: discompassionate, irrational, authoritarian decree.

For you, doing what's right means finding the courage to make the journey back from superstition:

"I know that I must do what's right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside,
frightened of this thing that I've become"

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6596 Nov 24, 2012
derek4 wrote:
“The lack of logic lies in the evil hearts of bad scientists."
There is no such thing as evil in the religious sense - a disembodied principle imbuing the universe, existing independently of man and other minds, and in conflict with an opposite force. There is just malice in the minds of some men, an indifferent and often brutal nature, and sometimes just bad luck to account for all that the superstitious call "evil."

"Evil" is merely another of several words invented by your priests that refer to nothing actual, like "sin" and "holy"

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6597 Nov 24, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Leading atheist publishes secular Bible
"Bible" means book, Dim. It's from the Greek word for book, "biblion."

And in the context above, the word isn't capitalized:

"(lowercase) any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable: He regarded that particular bird book as the birdwatchers' bible." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bible

A book lover is a bibliophile. A bibliography is "a list of the books referred to in a scholarly work, usually printed as an appendix." "Library" in Spanish is biblioteca.

Got it, Dim?

Since: Aug 12

Location hidden

#6598 Nov 24, 2012
jesus apparently died for all our sins...i do appreciate the gesture...dont get me wrong...but its not much of a sacrifice if your planning on coming back alive again a few days later
Nikki

Brecht, Belgium

#6599 Nov 24, 2012
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
You know you might have something there! Evolution is more of a cult.
Thanks for pointing that out.
This should be good.

Please, KJV, do explain to me in which ways the theory of evolution is like a cult.

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6600 Nov 24, 2012
Re-posting:[This really should be re-posted from time to time on a regular basis.]

From Richard Dawkins, atheist:

THE ILLOGIC OF ATHEISM

“Most people arriving here will assume I am a Christian or at least a theist. I am not. I am also not an agnostic. To be an agnostic is to be a doubter. But to doubt you must have a certain amount of information.”

continued:

“I do not even call myself a skeptic, since the word has been polluted by modern use. A modern skeptic is like an agnostic, and he or she is likely to lean to a “no” answer every time. Are there gods? Probably not. Are there unicorns? Probably not. Is there a Bigfoot? Probably not. And so on. I resist this “skeptic” tag because leaning toward a “no” answer is a prejudice itself. It is unscientific. Beyond that, the so-called skeptic societies are stiff with atheists and agnostics and cynics and other faux-scientists, and I prefer to remain as far away from all that as possible.

Of course, with the existence of Bigfoot and unicorns and so on we do have a great deal of information. We have made searches. The Earth is a limited environment and we have populated it widely and heavily and long. Even so, the mountain gorilla was not discovered until 1902, and huge populations of lowland gorillas were only recently discovered in the Congo (this very decade). Which is to say that we may lean a bit to a “no” answer for existence of larger beings in smaller areas we have scoured quite thoroughly, but even then we may be wrong.

But in looking for proof of gods, our search is pathetically limited. By definition, a god is a being whose powers are far greater than ours, who we cannot comprehend, and whose form we cannot predict. This would make our failure to locate a god quite understandable. A very large or small god would be above or below our notice, and a distant god would also evade our sensors. Not to mention we only have five senses. If we are manipulated by gods, as the hypothesis goes, then it would be quite easy for them to deny us the eyes to see them. Only a god of near-human size in the near environs would be possible to detect.

Again, this does not mean I believe in gods, any more than I believe in aliens or unicorns. I only point out that, as a matter of logic and science, a hypothesis that has not been proved is not the same as a hypothesis that has been disproved. I agree with the atheists and agnostics that the existence of gods has not been proved, but I do not agree that the existence of gods has been disproved. It would require a much more thorough search of the universe than has so far been completed to even begin to lean. As it is, our data is near-zero.

For this reason, I find atheists to be just as sanctimonious, illogical, and tiresome as the deists and theists, if not moreso. Because the atheists are often more highly educated [highly debatable, lol] and often better able to argue (in limited ways), they use this education and argument to prop themselves up in the ugliest ways. They blow apart the beliefs of religious people and imagine this solidifies their own beliefs in some way. But it never does.”[continued here:]
http://mileswmathis.com/atheism.html

BEST PART:
“I find atheists to be just as sanctimonious, illogical, and tiresome as the deists and theists, if not moreso. Because the atheists are often more highly educated [highly debatable, lol] and often better able to argue (in limited ways), they use this education and argument to prop themselves up in the ugliest ways. They blow apart the beliefs of religious people and imagine this solidifies their own beliefs in some way. But it never does.”

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6601 Nov 24, 2012
In his book The Gospel in Brief, Leo Tolstoy wrote about a personal crisis he underwent around the age of fifty. It was a crisis that nearly claimed his life:

'Fifty years after my birth, having asked myself and all the wise ones in my circle who I am and what the purpose of my life is, I received the answer that I am an accidental clutter of parts that there is no purpose in life... I fell into despair and wanted to kill myself.'

Tolstoy's long season of despair was one the great trials of his life. Things became so dire that he stopped going hunting for fear he could not resist the urge to shoot himself while out in the woods.

The root cause of Tolstoy's anguish could be easily pinpointed – his predicament was brought on by his atheism. It could not have been otherwise, because despair is the inevitable destiny of every clear-thinking person who subscribes to this worldview.”

continued:
http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighb...

[Tolstoy:“I am an accidental clutter of parts that there is no purpose in life... I fell into despair and wanted to kill myself.”- Can you imagine a more depressing life than that?]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6602 Nov 24, 2012
Here is how Richard Dawkins explains suffering:

“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

To summarize: our suffering comes from our genetics, our environment, a social equilibrium that tends towards misery, and random accidents.

How do we put this explanation together with the haunting, nagging realization,‘I myself am responsible for great suffering in someone else’s life’? Well, we can recall that “The natural state” is one of “starvation and misery.” So, in the big scheme of things, the suffering we caused is pretty ordinary, pedestrian, unremarkable. We can blame our selfish genes. We can notice that the universe itself exhibits a “pitiless indifference” and choose to imitate its unconcern for our hurting neighbor. We can remember that morality is merely a social convention, relative and adjustable as we see fit, and lower our standards until we no longer feel guilty about anything.

Does this work? Aren’t we still left with the very real feeling of great guilt? Don’t we still experience a deep-seated shame that sticks to us no matter how long we shower, or sleep, or drink, or see a counselor? And don’t we still find ourselves helpless and frustrated beyond understanding that, sometimes, we keep doing things that we know to be really wrong, really hurtful to others? Don’t the attempts to explain it away feel false and empty?

I think one of the most agonizing components of atheism is the hopelessness: no hope for avoiding personal selfishness, no hope for our guilt and shame, no hope for a reduction in the amount of suffering in the world, no hope for justice, no hope for an explanation. When it comes to our own, very personal acquaintance with evil, atheism can only offer us despair.”
http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2011/05/atheism-...


[“I think one of the most agonizing components of atheism is the hopelessness.”]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6603 Nov 24, 2012
Nikki wrote:
<quoted text>
This should be good.
Please, KJV, do explain to me in which ways the theory of evolution is like a cult.
Aren't you a teacher? At least you're still trying to learn, lol.

“Evolutionism uses many deceptive techniques, even using two different meanings for the word, Evolution, in the same argument. Evolutionists prey on the young and on the inexperienced in schools and through entertainment.

Evolution is a doctrine of several false religions, but it also can be a stand-alone religious idea.

The ungodly religions desire to show that human beings are not obligated to obey God. Christian religions desire to show that human beings are obligated to obey God. In the USA, these liberal religions, including Evolutionism, have become the state sponsored religions.

Evolutionism disguises itself as science, but evolutionism is not science. Evolutionism doesn't pass the smell test. Depending on how you define the word, cult, Evolutionism could be called a cult. It is definitely a religious concept. Yet, many true scientists are deceived by this false religion. Many pay homage out of fear of losing their jobs, and this is not an unwarranted fear.”
http://www.seekfind.net/The_Cult_Evolutionism...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6604 Nov 24, 2012
The Positives of Atheism (by an atheist)

[Poster's criticisms are in brackets within the text]

“I have heard it time and time again from theists that belief in a divine entity is necessary to prevent one from lapsing into permanent despair over the state of the universe.

They claim this for several reasons. First, they say that unless there is a final arbiter of right and wrong meting out punishments to those whose did evil (however one defines that) on Earth, then there is no guarantee of justice, and we must lose hope that such evil will punished and thus discouraged. Additionally, they claim that without a creator who gave our universe meaning and purpose, we must despair at the futility of our existence. Lastly, they feel that the nurturing parental figure of a caring god is needed to provide comfort.”

[No, those are only some of the reasons theists believe in God. You have not summarized theist belief in a nutshell, nor do you comprehend the Christian belief.]

“I, on the other hand, feel that the belief in a God should cause despair instead, and that atheism is an uplifting, empowering alternative.”

[Belief in God causes Christians no despair, regardless of how you may “feel”. Likewise, Christians see nothing uplifting or empowering about atheism, so you have made no points for or against God; you've simply expressed your opinion on atheism.]

“While it is true that without some supernatural judge catching up to all criminals at some point beyond the grave there is no guarantee of justice, the existence of one does not necessarily grant it either. Since this judge must make judgements, it must have some set of standards against which to judge. These standards need not be our own. I would find it far more depressing to be ruthlessly held to a set of standards which I considered patently unfair.”

[Fairness would only be executed if YOU set the standard?- YOU would be the judge instead of holy God? And who says YOU would guarantee justice? If not YOU, then who? Just a judge who meets with YOUR approval, lol?]

“If this judge had as part of its set of standards that one must acknowledge its presence and pay homage to it, then all those who had behaved during their lives in a just manner, helping fellow humans while avoiding harming even those who attempted to cause harm, would still be condemned. This does not seem like justice but rather tyranny.”

[So our Creator is due no acknowledgment?]

“Even if there were a clear and unambiguous way to determine the identity of this judge (and each of our thousands upon thousands of religions claims that it is the correct one), I feel that it is one of our fundamental rights to not have to bow down to anyone, regardless of how much more powerful they are than us. Those with greater power should not abuse it, but rather have an increased measure of responsibility for those less fortunate.”

[Your feelings and opinions. God has no obligation to abide by your feelings. He needs no consent from you.]

“Even if this judge is also responsible for our existence, it has no more right to abuse us than a parent has to abuse its child.”

[So God is abusive by giving you life and promising you eternal life if you simply obey his teachings?]

“In the absence of this judge, it is up to us humans to use temporal means to enforce our communally agreed-upon standards of justice. While far from perfect, we do seem to be doing a good enough job to have kept civilization from collapsing for several thousand years, and our track record with respect to overall justice does seem to be improving slightly over time; another few millenia, and we should be living in a nice, equitable society.”

[Atheism gets no credit for civilizations remaining intact. In fact, many past civilizations have fallen when they rejected God.]

[Stopped due to space limitations. Continued here:]
http://santiago.mapache.org/nonfiction/essays...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6605 Nov 24, 2012
The Atheist's Option

“I BELIEVE IN GOD - this is the first confession of almost all religions. But when asked the next questions, it leads to as many answers as there are religions. Which God? How many? How do we know Him? To take the stance of non-committal to any religions claim, there are those who assert that there is no way we can answer questions about God. As a matter of fact, they are so certain of this! Then, there are others who also make no commitment to any religious confessions who, however, claim certainty in their stance. They believe that there is no God. They are called Atheists. In many ways, Atheism is more consistent than Agnosticism. The Agnostic's approach is plain cop-out. The Atheist makes a chilling dare to any God who is supposed to be there and he asserts, "You are nothing!"

On the level of conduct, practical atheists, those who live like there is no God even if they confess to believing in one, always outnumber serious theists (believers in one God). But there was a time when to believe in God - with th(e capital) G - was the natural thing. An Atheist became one for reasons that probably did not occur to the normal mind. But the last century going into this new one saw the development of Atheism as something acceptably natural. There are now more Atheists as a matter of philosophical conviction than there ever was in the past. Communism needed the premise of Atheism for its own ideas to flourish. In 1925, the American association for the Advancement of Atheism was established, later succeeded by the League of Militant Atheists. The avowed intent is to propagate Atheism through literature and influence placements. This writer recently watched a documentary report on TV concerning the active campaign of Atheists in campuses. One leader of an Atheistic organization said flatly, "We are committed to no God but ourselves!"

continued:

Atheism is the option for the mental sloth who, in despair, refuses to think through the issues of truth-claims. It is also the option of the proud who thinks science is the new omniscience (all-knowing). But over-all this is the option of the selfish sinner who wants to make a free trip of his sinfulness without the cargo of conscience.

Beyond the sophisticated arguments, Atheism is really, in the final analysis, dehumanizing. It is not what a self-respecting man is expected to opt for.”
http://sgbc-cebu.com/atheism.htm

[Atheism:“the option of the proud who thinks science is the new omniscience.”]

[Science: The cornerstone of the godless religion - Atheism]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#6606 Nov 24, 2012
"While Atheism as a movement doesn't have the formal structure, celebrations, or creedal dogmas of organized religions, we might at least identify Atheism as it exists today as an increasingly vibrant faith tradition."

[However, atheists are working on more organization to their religion, as demonstrated by this re-posted invitation to become an ordained atheist minister:]

“With the First Church of Atheism you can become ordained quickly, easily, and at no cost.”

“As a legally ordained minister, you will be able to perform weddings, funerals, commitment ceremonies, and other functions that are reserved for members of clergy.”

“Get Ordained”

“Since its inception, the First Church of Atheism has amassed quite a following around the world. FCA ministers come from all walks of life. They are every race, ethnicity, age, and creed. The one thing binding every FCA minister is his or her belief in science, reason, and reality.”

“The First Church of Atheism wants you to pursue and cherish your realistic beliefs without interference from any outside agency, including government or church authority. We provide our service for free, as we believe it is every atheists right to perform these clergy functions.

You may become a legally ordained minister for life, without cost, and without question.

Donations are accepted but not expected. If we can raise enough money we can buy an actual church! Even a donation of $1 helps.”

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/

[GET INVOLVED IN YOUR ATHEIST RELIGION TODAY!!!]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6607 Nov 24, 2012
KJV wrote:
A cubit is not a fixed length. It can vary by inches and you think it's important that the .14 had to be included. Ridicules! The human culture only known fraction at the time was one half.
Fractions and decimals are not the issue. The biblical proportions given are "ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and...a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

The circumference would have been over 31 cubits. That can be noted without the use of a fraction.

Furthermore, it doesn't matter whose version of a cubit you use, Andre the Giant's or Billy Barty's. If one dimension is thirty units, and the other is ten, their ratio is three.

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