Articles

Further thoughts on the subject of atheism

Written by Tim Sellers
 

This continues from Atheism : a definition and is a collection of my general thoughts on the subject rather than a structured essay. Comments (see below) are un-moderated (but obvious spam and trolling will be removed).

I am a strong atheist; I am as sure as I can be that no gods exist. I have been accused of being closed minded for not accepting the possibility of the existence of god, and have been told that I would need perfect knowledge of the universe to say without doubt that god does not exist. I don't agree.

The gods from specific religions are based entirely on ancient texts. The bible, to use one example, is nothing more than a self-contradicting collection of myths and legends. It makes absurd claims and doesn't even attempt to back them up with evidence. To state positively that the gods from these "holy books" do not exist is no more arrogant or closed minded than stating that Santa Claus does not exist.

Many people who do not follow a specific religion use the word god to refer to an un-defined universal creator. However, a definition of "universe" is "everything that exists anywhere" and the creator of the universe would have to already exist outside the universe he created . . . but there is nothing outside of everything that exists anywhere. Some people try to get around this problem with talk of other dimensions or different universes, but the question always expands to fill the gaps. If "our" universe was created by a god in another universe, what created that other universe?

I am sure that most people cling onto these god beliefs because they feel that the universe "needs" a creator. However, the first cause argument (the contradictory idea that everything that exists has a cause so there must have been an initial "uncaused cause" to start it all off) is clearly flawed in the same way that the argument from design is flawed - if complex life forms need a creator, surely the creator of these complex life forms would be significantly more complex and itself need a creator?
 

There are some arguments that I wish non believers would refrain from using though.

The fact that evil exists is not proof that god cannot exist. This would only be true if evil was a force in itself. Good and bad, right and wrong tend to be subjective rather than absolute.

I also wish that people wouldn't use apparently paradoxical arguments to attempt to disprove the existence of gods. A paradox is, more often than not, merely a complication of language. The most common example of this is the question "could god create a rock so heavy that he could not lift it?". Presumably a god could create a rock of infinite mass - the fact that he would still be able to lift it wouldn't mean that he had failed the omnipotence test! The question itself makes no sense. It is as meaningless as wondering if god would be able to create a "square circle" or make 2 + 2 = 5.
 

Finally, to clear up some misconceptions -
1. Atheism had no connection with any political viewpoint (I have been called a communist because of my atheism many times!)
2. Atheism has no connection with morals. Atheists can be good or bad (although I would argue that an atheist with morals is better than a theist who only does good things because he fears his gods wrath).
3. Atheists hate god (an atheist cannot hate something he does not believe exists!)
4. Atheists believe in god but pretend not to so as to carry on with their debauched lifestyle (that would be foolish - who would we be kidding? And why assume that an atheist will have a debauched lifestyle?)
 

Comments [ hide comments ]
Tim -

You are playing Humpty Dumpty with the language again. Just because the root derivation of a word is x does not mean that the meaning of the word is x - as you ought to know. So whatever the original Greek words mean is irrelevant to what the words mean now.

An agnostic is not a weak atheist. You are describing an agnostic with a bias to atheism. But you can equally have an agnostic with a bias towards theism (which roughly describes my own position).

Furthermore, words are about ideas. The fact that the words were coined in the last few hundred years is again irrelevant.

Just because people called post traumatic battle stress
by other words in the past does not mean there is not a single connected concept
being described by those various words. In the past people used other words to describe agnosticism - doubt would be one; scepticism another.

Your criticism of the analogy of the channel is misplaced. The idea of a NW passage COULD have been logically impossible e.g. if we knew that America was connected to Eurasia. The fact that it wasn't was because it was true.

I note that you suffer from the same problem you allege religious people do - you think you have won the argument before you start. Just because it is your opinion that the idea of god is logically impossible doesn't make it so. You haven't even said why you think it is logically impossible. I can't think of any reason why the idea offends logic. You may be confused and thinking about PARTICULAR ideas of gods which may of course be logically impossible.
field, 21.06.2006, 1:58pm #
Of course I am aware that words don't have absolute meanings, although to state that the original Greek is irrelevant is going a bit far. I gave my reasons for preferring "weak atheist" to "agnostic".

The idea of the NW passage would never be "logically" impossible - Mssrs A, B and C wouldn't be able to rule out all possibility of the passage existing as similar passages do exist in other places (the fact that the passage turns out not to exist has nothing to do with logic).

I was referring to PARTICULAR ideas of gods. That was the whole point I was making, which - as usual - you missed. If you have another definition of the word, let me know and I'll happily discuss it.
Tim, 22.06.2006, 12:20am #
Atheists are liars!! They know the bible is the word of God.
Atheists, most likely are card carrying communists, and/or radical socialists.

Atheists serve and worship Lucifer.
This website has his markings all over it.
RHF, 22.06.2006, 1:25am #
Predictably, RHF pops up to prove that he's nothing more than an idiot troll...
Tim, 22.06.2006, 1:30am #
Tim, I'm more open minded than you. I've gone to your beloved, talkorigins.com and learned some things about evolution.
Your closed minded ! How can you possibly know so much that you can 100% rule out the existence of a higher being?
The fact is you can't rule out the existence of God. I know this thought is in the back of your mind.

Your not a rational thinker and never will be.
RHF, 22.06.2006, 1:31am #
Tim -

I don't understand your point about logical impossibility. Are you saying ALL ideas about the existence of gods or a single God are logically impossible? Or only some?

Also, you have in no way mounted an effective defence of your position of the definitions of atheist and agnostic. Are you denying - in your terms - that an agnostic can be a weak theist as well as a weak atheist? If not, then it is entirely misleading to say that an agnostic is a weak atheist. One can only say an agnostic MAY be a weak atheist.

Those are your terms though. What is a "weak atheist"? Atheism as understood in common discourse means one who clearly rejects the validity of all beliefs in a God or gods. That's the minimal qualification for an atheist and an agnostic would never reject the validity of all such beliefs.
field, 22.06.2006, 8:40am #
Field, I'm pretty sure that every question you've asked I made clear in the original post. If you want me to clarify anything, stick to one question at a time. This may make me feel less like banging my head against a wall every time I go to respond to your comments.
Tim, 22.06.2006, 1:18pm #
Tim -

I've re-read your post and I can't see that you have even BEGUN to answer any of my points, so feel free to answer them now one by one.

Having looked carefully at the post, I am not surprised to find that your discussion of the universe=God equation is very weak. This is obviously one of the sources of your many errors.

The God concept is not, as you claim, part of causality. There is no logical objection to God standing outside causality and giving rise to causality (any more than because human beings gave rise to the rules of chess they have themselves to operate in accordance with the rules of chess - of course they don't). Your objection amounts to "because everything we see is causal, there can't be any non-causality". Of course, that would be fine if it weren't for the fact that science now relies on non-causal concepts eg. in quantum physics, where probability replaces causality.

I note you are careful to say that universe=everythin there is is A definitino. Yes - it is A definition - and a very stupid one. There are plenty of other, more sensible and rational definitions - I would say that primarily the universe is the realm of the
four dimensions of space and time.

Other people, including many scientists, are prepared to accept that one can talk meaningfully about a universe operating according to physical laws and appearing causal, whilst there is a reality outside that causal framework.
field, 24.06.2006, 12:10am #
Field, admittedly I didn't make myself clear. I wasn't myself saying that nothing can exist without a cause, just pointing out the flaw in the first cause argument. If nothing can exist without a cause, there cannot be an un-caused cause. If there can be an uncaused cause, we have to at least accept the possibility that anything - the universe as we know it for example - may be uncaused (therefore no "need" for a creator in the traditional sense). The intelligent design argument is flawed in the same self contradicting way: if the complexity of the universe means that there "must" be a creator, surely the creator itself must be complex ... and therefore need a creator?

Quantum physics probability is general given as the "cause" of the big bang - a singularity just popping into existence and all that. A singularity however is not an all powerful god type creature or something that most people would refer to as a "creator".

A tiny seed can grow into a massive tree. Two tiny cells, when fused, can go on to be a complex self aware life form. My personal view (based on the above) is that it makes sense to postulate that the universe started in a similar way. The idea of a omnipotent being who presumably suddenly popped into existence then decided to create the universe, along with inferior life forms, seems absurd.
Tim, 24.06.2006, 8:36pm #
You say: "If nothing can exist without a cause there can be no uncaused cause."

But that completely ignores my point, which is that causality as we know it may be restricted to the four dimensional universe, in which case there could quite easily be an uncaused cause, just as there is a "creator of chess rules which itself is not composed of chess rules".

You are confusing two things. You say that because there could be an uncaused cause of the universe, the universe could pop out of nothing i.e. be uncaused. That doesn't follow. You have jumped from a possible acceptance of an uncaused cause of the universe, to there being a whole class of uncaused causes which can create themselves.

I does not follow that because the universe is complex the creator is complex and must therefore have a creator. The creator may be more simple than the universe. Many authors of books admit that they don't fully understand their creations.

The creator does not need to "exist" as you suggest. The creator stands outside space and time and therefore does not need to exist.

The idea of " seed" for the universe is nonsensical. Where did the seed come from?

It is only once you get outside causality i.e. accept a creator force of some description (you don;t have to sign up to a personal deity) that you begin to make some progress,.
field, 25.06.2006, 12:33am #
Field: "You have jumped from a possible acceptance of an uncaused cause of the universe, to there being a whole class of uncaused causes which can create themselves."

- No, just pointing out that if you accept the possibility of one thing being uncaused you have to at least accept the POSSIBILITY of other things being uncaused, therefore the argument that there HAS TO BE an uncaused-caused is invalid.

Field: "I does not follow that because the universe is complex the creator is complex and must therefore have a creator. The creator may be more simple than the universe. Many authors of books admit that they don't fully understand their creations."

- Then it's not a "creator" in the accepted sense, like some omnipotent "being" (see below)

Field: "The creator does not need to 'exist' as you suggest. The creator stands outside space and time and therefore does not need to exist."

- 'Outside space and time' is an convenient expression to use in these matters. Can you fully define the expression?

Field: "The idea of 'seed' for the universe is nonsensical. Where did the seed come from?"

- This is the problem in arguing with you. I'm pretty sure that you are fully aware that I wasn't literally saying that the universe came from a seed. My point was that things tend to start simple and then expand and grow and become more complex. Entropy increases, if you like.

Field: "It is only once you get outside causality i.e. accept a creator force of some description (you don't have to sign up to a personal deity) that you begin to make some progress."

- Get 'outside causality' to accept a creator force - i.e. causality ...? WTF?

Creator force ... but not a personal deity. Fine. I have no problem with the POSSIBILITY of a creator force. I've been arguing against the idea of a creator as an omnipotent being, which is what most people mean when the use the word "god". BUT the arguments I've used I think prove that there doesn't HAVE to be a creator force, just that there is a possibility of one. And that this creator force is not a "God".
Tim, 25.06.2006, 1:56pm #
Your argument about the possibility of many uncaused causes does not follow. Firstly, you are not obeying Occam's razor. We have no evidence that there is anything other than this universe and, by extension (because we see the irrationality of believing this universe appeared out of nothing) its cause. Clearly it is not impossible that the creation chain is itself causal (as many Gnostic Christians suggested). But eventually one must arrive at the start of the causal chain. It is rational to think that this commencement point is an uncaused cause rather than absolute nothing.

Again, a creator can be more simple and yet omnipotent in a meaningful sense - an author for instance can decide to give up on creating a story or rewrite it. I think you mean the author is not omniscient. I would agree. I am not convinced that the "omniscience" of traditional theism could ever be absolute. But the analogy here may be between an actor in a film who plays various scenes but has no idea of the overall narrative, whereas the director, although not omniscient in any absolute sense, does have an overview of the narrative.

Outside space and time I think of as being like something like the way the notation of a chess game stands outside the chess game itself, or the way a mathematical equation stands outside the mechanical process of subtracting and adding. It's obviously a difficult concept to grasp - impossible really since we are in space and time. But people - artists - particularly do report feeling transported outside space and time. Standing outside space and time may be difficult to grasp but less difficult I suggest that space-time emerging from nothing.

Entropy is when things actually become LESS complex - back to the drawing board on that one I'm afraid.

I wasn't suggesting that you thought of teh beginning as literally a seed - I meant your "something smiple" must itself have a cause unless it is an uncaused cause. As for the WTF - I am talking about the creation of causality, in the same way that a human being could create the rules of chess without himself being governed by those rules.

If there is a creator force then one's relationship with that force become a legitimate source of creative endeavour.

I doubt you would criticise anyone for going on a walk in the countryside to "get close to nature". Most people would accept that was a healthy and rational activity even though someone's understanding of what "nature" is (organic chemistry, genes, ecology, evolutionary processes, energy transfers etc.)may be extremely
limited. So with the creator force - if this uncaused cause exists, then forming a relationship with it, even if the relationship is entirely the product of human imagination, is not necessarily unhealthy and can certainly be rational.
field, 26.06.2006, 9:20am #
Entropy - a measure of disorder or randomness in a closed system, which increases over time. I'm not an expert on the subject, but a quick look at the entry on wikipedia seems to back me up. Anyway, it's largely irrelevant at I wasn't using it to back up any arguments (interestingly though that many creationists use the second law of thermodynamics in an attempt to prove that evolution is not possible, without realising that the arguments they use (misunderstanding the concept) could also be used to make any form of growth or reproduction impossible).

Occam's razor is another convenient way to make a point. But it's not some kind of universal golden rule that applies whatever - and it's usually thought of as "the simplest answer is always right" rather than the more accurate "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity". If you take the simplest answer you might as well just say "God made everything" and be done with it. Although the idea that a singularity popped into existence and exploded giving birth to the universe seems simpler.

You mention the impossibility of grasping the concept of being outside space and time, yet still use it in your arguments. You also continue to insist that there must be a "creator force", yet all your points at best merely suggest the possibility of such a force. Still you go further and talk of a "relationship" with this force, "even if the relationship is entirely the product of human imagination". How can that be, as you state, rational?

I have a love of nature without wanting to get snuggly with some unknown creative force. Have you ever read Dawkins' "Unweaving the Rainbow"?
Tim, 26.06.2006, 5:29pm #
Tim -

No - you are completely wrong on entropy. Entropy is when complex systems break down into more simple systems and the Wikipedia entry cannot possibly back you up. Please at least accept you were wrong on that.

As for creationists, I am not one and of course the whole point of life is that it triumphs in the face of entropy (it doe sso by the trick of reproduction).

I agree that Occam's Razor isn't a count of three submission win but atheists are always quoting it against theists, so I thought I would turn tables.

Just because a concept is impossible to grasp doesn't mean it isn't true. It is impossible to grasp how big the universe is - we try but we are never going to fully appreciate its size because we are not of that size. It doesn't invalidate the concept of a huge universe.

I explained how the relationship can be rational by suggesting that although we don't REALLY (most of us) understand what nature is, we can still in our imaginations create a relationship with it - with walking in wild spaces, away from concentrated human habitation. Is that irrational.I don't think so.

The only issue is whether there is a creator force. If there is, then all attempts to form some sort of relationship with it are rational.

Dawkins is wrong about so many things I would never take him as a guide to anything, although I enjoy his relative fearlessness in dissing religions (relative in the sense that he is more aggressive towards Christianity and Judaism than Islam).

Anyway, if there is a creator force, he is quite wrong to say that there can be no joy in creation. Even in his own terms, joy would clearly have an evolutionary advantage, so it may well be that creatures go about their business - whether it be sucking on flowers or ripping the throats from gazelles in a joyful spirit.
field, 27.06.2006, 1:38am #
Um, I think all Tim did was ask you if you'd read a certain book. Where's the line about Dawkins saying there's no joy in creation?
Ben, 27.06.2006, 8:12am #
Field, maybe someone else can clarify the thing on entropy. If I'm wrong I humbly apologise but wish to point out once again that it was a passing comment and not actually used to back up any points I was attempting to make.
Are atheists always quoting Occam's Razor against theists? I certainly don't.
And why are you acting as if I've implied that you're a creationist?

You still seem to think that there MUST rather than MAY be a "creator force" and that it's totally rational to want a relationship with this force. I find gravitational force useful - amongst other things it conveniently prevents me from floating off into space. I don't see it as rational to want to have a relationship with gravity though.
Tim, 27.06.2006, 7:55pm #
Ben -

Heard that one from the horse's mouth - a lecture. He started with a homily about his young daughter talking about the beauty of some aspect of nature, and he said firmly there was no joy for the organism concerned - it was simply trying ot ensure it got replicated and bugger everyone else. It was a long time ago, but that was the essential message. He also claimed (I doubt he does now) that EVERY aspect of animal behaviour was fully explained by genes. I've read several Dawkins books and I am not convinced by them. I think the developing science of epigenetics shows that he is now demonstrably wrong about his previous claims that natural selection of genes explained all behaviour.

Tim -

You were definitely wrong on entropy but you seem to be having a problem with that. Look it up on the internet. No need for "ifs". You were wrong. I accept that it wasn't crucial to your thesis, although I suppose you were trying to suggest that the universe was somehow becoming more complex, and that this was natural and in line with the laws of physics, whereas - with the exception of organic life - it has been becoming LESS complex. Anyway, don't expect some physicist to come wandering in here - look it up on the internet. It's perfectly clear.

I wasn't saying you called me a creationist, but you said "you might aswell" believe that God created everything (instantaneously or in six days perhaps - though you weren't explicit on that).

I don't say there MUST be a creator force. I say it is more RATIONAL to believe that there is such a force.

Saying there is probably such a force is the first step.

You then have to ask what kind of
force it might be. Again I think reason guides us to the conclusion that it cannot be a completely anonymous "law of physics". It is something more than that, but equally I would say reason guides one to say it cannot be a truly "personal" God, of the type that some naive theists think might have a conversation in English with you while you pray.

However there is another big jigsaw piece missing: this is the question of our consciousness and how that fits in. Most people who have thought about this deeply come to the view that our consciousness must be intimately linked to this creator force and therein lies a clue as to its nature perhaps - and also an answer as to why we might wish to have a relationship with that force but not with gravity.

As for Occam's razor I am not a fan of the principle and am happy to leave it to one side and simply observe that as a matter of fact we have experience of only one universe and we should proceed on the basis of that experience.
field, 28.06.2006, 1:36am #
Ye gods, it's like that bloody Paxman interview. "Have you read Unweaving the Rainbow?" "I've read several Dawkins books". Tim, I think we're safe to assume he hasn't.

I'm not going to get into epigenetics with you here, this thread's about atheism. I think you're all kinds of wrong though, and may return to it some day.
Ben, 28.06.2006, 8:04am #
Ben -

I have read several Dawkins books over the last twenty years. Climbing Mount Improbable or something was one. I haven't got the greatest memory. But I did attend a lecture of his as well.

I think I understand his thesis well: it is that behaviour in animals is the product of selfish genes (selfish in the sense of wanting to propagate themselves) which are themselves the product of random mutation and natural selection. That is the pure Dawkins gospel and it is wrong. It is wrong because of what we now know. So it is pointless for you to simply assert that he is right when he isn't. The only way you can prove Dawkins is right is by proving epigenetics wrong and that you clearly can't do.
You tried before and I wiped the floor with you on that. If you want a re-run, please begin.
field, 29.06.2006, 12:55am #
if it needs adding - I should have said "physiology and behaviour" - not just "behaviour".
field, 29.06.2006, 12:58am #
So you've not read Unweaving the Rainbow.

I get it - this is the bit where you go "chicken! bwak bwak bwaaaaak!" and I get riled and go "right, I'll show him a thing or two" and then we get to have another dispiriting argument where you change the subject every time you're shown wrong on something. No ta, but I'm studying biology at the moment and if I can be bothered to knock something together at some point I'll be sure to email field@tiscali.co.uk to let you know you can come and wow us with your wrongheadedness.

A little tidbit to keep you going though - you don't need to disprove epigenetics to prove Dawkins right. Epigenetics is central to the selfish gene theory.
Ben, 29.06.2006, 7:04am #
Ben -

I may be central to A selfish gene theory. It is not central to the one that Dawkins used to propagate. If he's changed his mind then obviously I might not be commenting on his current writing.

I will take a look a what Dawkins is saying these days and let you know.
field, 30.06.2006, 12:44am #
The I at the beginning of my post should have been an it - don't think it was a Freudian slip.
field, 30.06.2006, 12:44am #
Provisional research findings re Ben's assertion that epigenetics is "central" to selfish gene theory.

It sounds to me like you have mistinterpreted some things he has said about meme formation (a cultural phenomenon) being influenced by epigenetics (which I don't think he has ever admitted involves inheritance of acquired characteristics i.e a neo-Lamarckian process).
field, 30.06.2006, 1:10am #
No, completely on the wrong path, now stop posting stuff about this on an atheism thread.
Ben, 30.06.2006, 1:12am #
Ben -

It's not v. credible if you can't say HOW I am wrong. And since you and others have prayed Darwin in aid of atheism, I can't see how it is wrong to challenge conventional neo-Darwinism on an atheist website. In any case it was you who raised the question again.
field, 01.07.2006, 2:03am #
"it was you who raised the question again". Did I? Where was that, pray? I'm fairly sure I was just trying to pin you down on whether or not you'd read a book, then said I wasn't going to get into a debate on a different topic. If you keep this up I'm going to assume you're trolling.
Ben, 01.07.2006, 8:20am #
Ben

This is what you said:

"I'm not going to get into epigenetics with you here, this thread's about atheism. I think you're all kinds of wrong though, and may return to it some day."

This was clearly designed to give the impression that we had had a debate on epigenetics previously and that you had somehow proved me wrong and would do so again.

It is clear therefore that you did raise the question again and I was perfectly jsutified to say I would be happy to revisit the debate. As for Dawkins, it seems you are not able to say what Dawkins is saying about epigenetics and I haven't found any quotes to suggest that it is central to his thesis. The truth is that epigenetics has developed tremendously over the last thirty years since Dawkins first started writing
(so any references to epigenetics in those early books will be highly misleading) and it is only in the last ten or so that it has become clear that
changes in the organism that occur during a lifetime in response to environmental influence can be inherited permanently (i.e. a neo-Lamarckian process, not a neo-Darwinian process).

What is trolling in your definition? Anyway I've absolutely no problem if you want to stop free debate on this site. Go ahead. Bring the shutters down. It will prove to any neutral observer who has won this particular debate.
field, 02.07.2006, 6:18pm #
Sweet zombie jesus.

To hell with it, I'll make one last effort, seeings as it's a lazy Sunday and there's cock all on telly. Sorry about this thread hijack, Tim, if he had the nads to supply a proper email address I'd send it to him direct.

This €œ the last few exchanges right here €œ is why no one wants to debate you after a while. It isn't, as you probably believe, your devastating arguments or irrefutable logic. Frankly you can't argue your way out of the proverbial paper bag and I've never seen someone wield logical fallacies with such gay abandon. It's that since you very first surfaced here, you've been an arrogant, dishonest, slippery prat. After a while, everyone comes to the conclusion that it's just not worth the effort. Look back at this thread. You were the first to bring up epigenetics, saying “I think the developing science of epigenetics shows that he is now demonstrably wrong, and I responded that I didn't want to get into that debate again, that I thought you were wrong, and that I might address it again some other time, BUT NOT ON THIS THREAD. It was a little hint that you should stick to the topic of the post. That's all, the total intent behind my statement. Then you have the cheek €œ after explicitly raising the subject yourself - to accuse me of doing so. It's beyond mind-boggling, it really is.

More pointers as to why no one enjoys engaging with you:

Statements like “it is pointless for you to simply assert that he is right when he isn't.€œ where did anyone say anything like that on this thread before then? You just have some bizarre scattergun approach that seems to bear no relation to the conversation in question.

You tried before and I wiped the floor with you on that and “This was clearly designed to give the impression that we had had a debate on epigenetics previously and that you had somehow proved me wrong these, I think, get to the nub of your main problem, something that Charlie Brooker highlighted a few weeks ago. You're not actually arguing with me, youÃ're playing to some dimly perceived €œlive audience. Why else the concern about what impression I'm giving, and the rush to assume that impression is that I won? (Can you not tell the difference between €œI think you're wrong and €œI kicked your ass'?)How different would it be if we were having a debate via email instead, so you didn'¢t have an audience to pander to and assure that you're winning and have won previously? I've noticed it before, and it's pretty pathetic. It's the same reason, I reckon, why you blither on about shutting down debate something else you've done before, despite the fact that you've NEVER been edited or deleted; if someone doesn't want to argue with you anymore because you're a cock, I really don't think that's any danger to the principle of free speech, but that's what you've accused me of before. I addressed it at the time too, and surprisingly enough you went quiet because you hadn't a leg to stand on. My theory about this is pretty well supported with your line It will prove to any neutral observer who has won€œ that's pretty much all you're bothered about, isn't it? Whether or not the crowd think you've won? And do you really think this hypothetical observer honestly gives a shit?

Now here's the final word on evolutionary theory on this thread: The science behind epigenetic inheritence is not something I fully grasp yet (but I do know damn well that you don't either) and I'm not about to rush my study or slap what incomplete knowledge I do have into a comment or post just because your ego thinks you deserve a reply. When I'm satisfied that I've fully understood the process, and assuming I can write something that is accurate and relevant to this blog, then I'll probably post something. But I'm sure as hell not going to do it just to satisfy your hankering for an argument, because you've consistently demonstrated a complete refusal to acknowledge even the simplest point if it contradicts something you said. Doing some feeble '€œresearch' by trying to find a quote regarding Dawkins and epigenetics (gawd bless Google, eh?), and even more laughably, hopefully posting your initial 'research' to see if you were on the right lines is bad enough. To then claim that I can't provide a reference just because I won't, well, that's just one more logical fallacy to the pile, isn't it?

I know you struggle with the definition of a troll (quote: “I thought trolling was where one assumed an identity. This is from the last time you tried to troll, and funnily enough do it by trying to get a response out of me regarding epigenetics again, by saying did do with Ben on the subject of evolution to show that naive neo-Darwinism is quite incapable of explaining evolutionary phenomena.). Why not toddle off back to Google and do some research, eh?

So, then, summing up. We have a comments policy. You're not abiding by it, you're trying to turn a debate about the nature of atheism into one about evolutionary theory, because it's a particular favourite topic of yours. But you don't get to supply the topic, and you don't get to steer it towards one you like. And don't start up about freedom of speech. You can say what the hell you want whenever the hell you want €œ just not here. By all means, start your own blog and wibble about epigenetics til the cows come home€œ just don't abuse our hospitality trying to find someone to argue about it here.

Now sort your attitude out, or fuck off.
Ben, 02.07.2006, 7:58pm #
Ben -

Untruths and distortions, personal attacks and obscenity. Your usual standards of debate.

1. It was Tim not I who introduced the subject of evolutionary theory by referring to intelligent design.

2. It was Tim who broadened the argument from logical concepts
and language to philosophical notions of the "impossibility" of God as a real phenomenon.

3. If someone introduces the topic of ID I am perfectly at liberty to refer to epigenetics.

4. If there is such a thing as epigenetic inheritance in my view it stands in clear contrast to the things that
Dawkins used to say (but he may have changed his tune because of the research).

5. It is clear that you don't have any quotes to back up your claim that epigenetics is CENTRAL to Dawkins' thesis.

My research in the limited spare time I have suggests it isn't.

6. As usual you end up with a threat to close down debate. Any objective observer can see that's what you do. As for an audience - if you are on a blog of course you assume there is an audience. You'd have to be a self-obssessed egotistical little shite not to.
field, 15.07.2007, 11:07am #
You have to be self-obsessed and egotistical to believe no one is reading your blog? Super logic there, just super.

Anyway, I could highlight all the usual crap but what's the point? I can't speak for Tim or JGJ, but you're not welcome on any of my threads any more, and will get the same treatment as RHF. Email me if you want to discuss anything any further.
Ben, 03.07.2006, 9:44am #
[EDIT: Please stick to the topic of the post. That's what got you banned in the first place]
field, 12.07.2006, 3:16pm #
The fact that evil in the christian sense exists is proof that a christian (ie, benevolent and omnipotent) god does not exist.

God would be able to create a rock so heavy that he couldnt lift it, but he would lift it anyway. He would also be able to make 2 + 2 = 5. If he couldnt, then he wouldnt be omnipotent.

God is not, technically, logically impossible, but he is logically redundant and infinitely improbable.

For the record, I am a strong Atheist and I love your website.
Voxx, 14.09.2006, 10:45pm #
Voxx

That is of course, assuming that God would be bound by the logic that our finite minds can understand?

If He is all surpassing, then wouldn't He be beyond logic? If He made the rules to the game, is He necessarily irrevocably bound to them?

btw, you may be interested to find out that there are already several answers to the Problem of Evil (as shown in your first sentence) which, although not accepted by everyone, make very good food for thought.
Matt, 17.09.2006, 2:50pm #
Matt,

As tim said in his original post, the "problem of evil" is an argument that most atheists would be better off not using...as it is mostly subjective and evil varies from person to person. Example, I think GW Bush is evil and toppled saddam's regime in iraq in order to secure our future oil interests. GW thinks that God told him he should spread freedom and democracy by destroying soverign governments that have nothing to do with terrorist attacks, and creating chaos in an already unstable region. See how that works?

In order for me to believe that god is all surpassing, i have to first belive that he exists. As in a court of law, innocent until proven guilty (unless you've been declared an enemy combatant) means that you have to prove i did something before you can lock me away. I don't have to bother proving i didn't until then. In other words, since you're telling me that a mythical creature exists, the burden of proving that rests squarely on your shoulders and because you can't...i don't have to prove the opposite as it would be quite the waste of energy attempting to prove that nonexistence doesn't exist. So either you charge me with something or this interview is over, detective (watches too much law and order) unless you'd rather take this before a grand jury.

And yes, god has to abide by the rules of the existence he was magically sitting outside of when he magically created all that exists.
theAntiBush, 17.09.2006, 9:52pm #
Tim,
Take a bow. If it was not for your article above, I could never have explained my friends what atheism means. I had been dying to explain them since months.

My view? Well, even if we ASSUME that God does exists, what benefit would it yield to believe in His existence anyhow?
Sagar, 18.09.2006, 7:33pm #
sagar,

i have had the same problem. i don't know if this is true in the rest of the world but here in the states, atheism means devil worship. i've actually been told before that i'm an atheist because the devil is playing with my head. the thing about devils is...they only influence you if you believe they exist, which means you're actually playing with your own head. Funny how what presents itself as a good case study in maddness is accepted as normal in our society as long as enough people suffer from the same illness.

i wonder sometimes if all this religious masquerading is done not to appease a wrathful god, but to please a potentially wrathful mob...should they find out you have the nerve to think differently.
theAntiBush, 19.09.2006, 4:15am #
Antibush,

You are right buddy. All this religion thing does not lead to anything worthy.

What I have learned is that when we humans can't understand a concept or something else, we use one of the following to explain it: God, Evil, Ghost, Luck.
Sagar, 19.09.2006, 5:45pm #
I'd like to add to my previous comment.

I haven't read the 'holy books' in detail but what I have come to observe is that the books seem to have many things in common. Example, in the Bible, there is a point where Jesus makes way for himself and the people behind him through the sea or water or whatever. In quite the same way, Lord Rama in the Ramayana makes way to Lanka by having stones placed on the sea water which floated on it since his name was written on them.

What I mean is that religion and holy books seems to be something like what website/blog templates do. There is a common template and everyone picked up one for himself/herself and made a few changes. That's it.

And as for the question that where did the original template came from, belief, imagination, bullshit, call it anything you like. :)
Sagar, 20.09.2006, 7:45pm #
Wow, don't some people get wound up over nothing.

Question- Does Atheism exist? I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god of any kind. But for 'Atheism' to exist there would have to be some form of belief based around it. As there is nothing to believe or disbelieve in (because it doesn't exist) how can we have an 'ism'?

I know there is no god but I accept that many people have difficulty grasping this concept and need a mythical higher being as a psychological crutch. I don't have any problem with this and I am quite happy to let anyone else who feels the need to continue with their god bothering unless the various 'beliefs' start to impose their views on the rest of us. I would be much happier if the god squad would stop their stupid wars that have continued for thousands of years and concentrate on humanity instead!
Dai, 21.09.2006, 9:58pm #
Matt, saying that "god is not bound by the logic of our finite minds" is a cop out, I would say.

People who break the 10 commandments on a regular basis, and then get sent to hell for it, would not exist if god was both benevolent and omnipotent, end of story. It doesnt mean that god doesnt exist, but if he does, we have no grounds to label him these things.

I am also quite aware that the common response to the problem of evil is the argument from free will, but absolute free will doesnt exist. After all, you couldnt, walk into a school and murder everyone, even if you are physically capable of it.
Voxx, 27.09.2006, 3:24am #
Matt-
To add to the comment made by Voxx and your arugument that God is not governed by the law he made:

See, if someone made a game, Chess as you say, he is not governed by those rules. But the problem is, a person who made chess had to play it with the rules to spread it to other people. Also, a person who is not the creator of the game but simple a player can also surpass such rules (as we do while playing chess with small children) right?

So, if you relate this to the creation of the world and existence of God, we must be as free from the laws as God himself is. So, well, why can't we jump right into space without caring for gravitation?

Small note>> Check out my post on my blog for more arguments. (Sorry for the selfish self-promotion, Tim. I'd appreciate if you read it too and tell me what you think :) ) Just click my name.:)
Sagar, 01.10.2006, 11:22pm #
Lol, give it up, religion is bs. People are so soft and impressionable it's ridiculous. Religion is just a tall tale that grew even bigger and bigger and out of proportion over the years and everyone is just so eager to believe what they're told with no form of proof whatsoever.
S, 10.10.2006, 12:03am #
GOd exists or not ,,,,damn it doesnt matter!!!wherever god is or it is not!!!i donno give it a thought.,...u knw why cause there are things in life the more u think more u got to think,,,,after years of givin thought to most insane matters in life i simply believe it doesnt matter cause wat matters is happiness,,mine n people around!!! give a damn food to a hungry person,give a hug to person who is crying!!!do ur bit and forget the rest cause it really doesnt matter!!!!
JK, 16.10.2006, 9:08am #
Hey, maybe this has nothing to do with what your saying, but i was looking at your introduction thingy. And you said it wasn't a hate site? Your saying religon is bullshit, that's hating in my book. I agree with what your saying but most christans would give up their relgion. Maybe there just closed minded, but i think what you are doing isn't going to change how they think. Most of them are just stuborn like that, oh well. I just wanted to get my point out.
Stephanie, 30.10.2006, 3:35am #
Not really - I hate the religion and what it stands for and causes people to do, not the people themselves.
Tim, 30.10.2006, 11:48am #
I'm kind of confused, christans say that you have to believe in god to go to heavan. But there are many gods not just one, if people don't believe in the christan god they automaticly go to hell? Is heaven only for christans?
aNonOmOuS, 03.11.2006, 1:17am #
Wow! I just had to keep reading these comments, even though they were killing me. Why don't you guys just get some boxing gloves and beat the hell out of each other? Have fun!
kevin, 12.11.2006, 5:32pm #
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/entropy
You are in a way both right on the whole entropy argument.
Locke, 08.12.2006, 10:24pm #
field-I explained how the relationship can be rational by suggesting that although we don't REALLY (most of us) understand what nature is, we can still in our imaginations create a relationship with it - with walking in wild spaces, away from concentrated human habitation. Is that irrational.I don't think so.


creating a connection in your imagination... that means it's an imaginative relationship, i.e. (you're dating a person doesn't even know who you are), which in a sense seems irrational to me
Locke, 08.12.2006, 7:49pm #
I rule out the existence of a supreme being as I rule out the existence of my imaginary friend.

Sources do not cite themselves.
Karl, 25.12.2006, 1:16am #
If there is a god, can it teach the "believers" some grammar and spelling? It is hard enough trying to follow flawed logic and Bullshit without all of the misspellings and mis-used words. If there was a god, they would be able to communicate better.

Just for the record, I am a long time strong atheist and have just come across this site. I am very interested to read more. I will post more on my views once I have come up to speed.

This site rocks!
jw, 08.01.2007, 7:30pm #
I've been an atheist ( See reason for even usingthis word) my entire life...53 years. I simply think calling oneself "Strong" or "weak" is, well, stupid. I never needed an adjective to the label I was given. See, I don't even really need the label but others seem to so that's the only reason I use it. Discussions like this make me laugh...the "let's get all cerebral" about atheism. I Prefer to do what I can to actually change things.. such as object to religions of any sort controlling my government and discuss atheism ( with live human beings) in a positive way and leave the arrogance behind. You may not think it's much but it beats laying around trying to figure out what weak vs strong atheism is.

Some of you that "blog" really are amusing. Find something more positive to do.
anyone, 10.01.2007, 8:00pm #
I think everyone just needs to mind their own damn business when it comes to what they beleive in. Personally I think some of the athiests out their are some of the most whiniest people and for what reason? You do not have any beleif system in God but yet you all get pissed off with "under god" in the pledge or a nativity scene on public land. Why are you pissed about it? Why are you offended in something that you dont even think exists. If it dosent exist what does it hurt to say under god in the pledge for example. Mr. jw writes above : " If there is a god, can it teach the "believers" some grammar and spelling? It is hard enough trying to follow flawed logic and Bullshit without all of the misspellings and mis-used words. If there was a god, they would be able to communicate better."

Why the hell do you think if there was a god that he would be able to control the hands of the "beleivers"? Thats where free will comes in. Not only that but by your logic it seems that we would all be flawless beings who are super intelligent.

Science isn't perfect, neither is religion. They both have contradictories that cant be explained.
Randall, 08.02.2007, 6:37pm #
Tim - "Not really - I hate the religion and what it stands for and causes people to do, not the people themselves."

I know that I am as likely to convince you of my position as you are to convince me but when it comes to hate, Please don't.
Almost all of the Bible cam be thrown out as superflous, all you need is two sentances, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. Love your neighbour as yourself.' Are these really so bad? Even if you don't believe in them, think that they are utter crap and think that we are stupid, ignorant,and in need of a crutch? I ask you to hate us, the people, who distort, misuse and abuse the Christian message to create war, suffering, injustice etc.etc.etc rather then the message itself.
Anyway, there's my two cents. Attack away!
p.s. to jw I'm sorry if I have made any spelling mistakes it's twenty past one in the morning and I'm rather tired!
P, 04.03.2007, 1:20am #
Tim

I am also a strong athiest and to see whats wrong with religion just watch the news any day of the week. The middle east conflict has been raging for 2000 years and they are all except Isreal basically the same religion. religion is just a tool for control and to justify ones evil actions end of story.
dave, 01.04.2007, 1:59pm #
Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.
JGJ, 01.04.2007, 8:12pm #
there is too much theory about these things.
I realise that you are trying to explain things just according to christianity.
I recommend you to read some other sources, some budist source some islamic source maybe even quran.

BTW, I really don't care if god exist or not, this is not a question to ask. I freed myself from that questions. in spite of my name :) (My name is abdullah and means "servant of GOD")


I realize my soul is builded in my body day by day with my growing up. My mind and soul also, And I realize if my body will stop my soul will stop, because my brain and hearth is source of my soul, if my heart and brain die completely my soul will die, and my soul will not ressurect. my soul will perish...
I mean there is no other world...
Im not in this body, this body is me...
If I will perish why is that god so important: not important for me as a person.
But important because community need justice concept...
community of the people needs justice always, justice is mandatory for community but the problem is "who will decide what is judicious what is not"
people realize common justice can build only by a metahuman or methumans (GOD or GODS) they was right about that because people dont trust each other but they can believe supreme power to build justice, people always begs for justice...

Even if god exist why he/she spare his/her atention to creatures like us? watching them, calculate their sins decide who will go to hell... annoying...
he/she doesn't give a f*ck for our situation... We need him/her bad but he/she doesn't need us! thats for sure! :)

and last words to christians :)
how could you so sure that bible is the word of GOD!?

even jesus himself did not wrote that bible!
if a supreme GOD exist I assure you his/her words can not translate to a mortal language!
consider yourself you are trying to explain GOD but your words are not sufficient...
abdullah, 10.06.2007, 12:08pm #
I lost my faith in god when I was 13 years old, and since that day have been an atheist. Religion just seems to get more and more ridiculous as the years go on to the point where it sounds just like the yammering drone of the multitude.

I salute Tim and Ben for their contributions to the collective knowledge of the human race. May you both live long and see your dreams flourish.

Make the most out of the life you have, because it is the only one you will ever have.

Life - the greatest chemical screwup of the cosmos.
Joshua, 19.06.2007, 6:01am #
at Joshua: Do we say a man come to you, who knows much about religion, much about the existence of God and you it ask would place about God and you were precisely answered, you in the existence of God would believe? and you determine God gift only at the Bible, you times with koran or with thora were occupied, which these state over the existence of God? I can understand you that you yours trust at God lost. aba you thought ever times seriously about which the sense of your life is? I wished you the sense of your life would have found, then you would not talk in such a way also.

i am german so you can understand me when you have problems to read. ( from Google Translated)
Serhat, 24.06.2007, 10:37pm #
Schoolgirls and zealots... They both use emotional arguments, and they're both ultimately whores just like the rest of us.
shemail, 25.06.2007, 2:28am #
Good work Tim. I like your style of thinking.
Zeb, 05.07.2007, 8:38am #
First of all, great site. I hope it helps some people open their minds.

I won't be drawn into proving that god(s) doesn't exist, because nobody can prove that god(s) exist. Statements like "God is beyond space and time so we can't realise him" can't convince me. In the same way I can state that byond space and time exists a farm with firebreathing winged cows with serpent tails. Of course nobody is supposed to believe this, and I'm not supposed to believe that god(s) exist.

However, let's assume that in a moment of madness I accept the fact that god(s) exist. Then which religion should I follow? My familys religion? The religon of my country? A random religion? This is just pointless. How can I be sure that my religion is the "right one"?

Religions were created by really clever people to serve some reason. Jesus created christianism to unite the people against the Romans. Moses used the same religion to free his people from the Egyptians, and later the catholics used it as a reason for the crusades. Muhammad created Islam to make his nations warriors strong and fearless. These are the facts. Either you accept it or not.

@cristians: Have you ever heard of Mithraism? If not, take a look -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithranism- and think.
Marios, 05.07.2007, 5:59pm #
This is a large subject, so in the present context some simplification will be necessary, but not so much, I think, as to seriously distort the main points.

Consider the following: sensations, emotions, music, the sky, a person's dispositions, chairs. We hardly ever, if at all, discuss the existence of these, but our everyday talk presupposes their existence in some sense of 'existence' that is appropriate in the particular case. So your headache (when you have one) does not exist in the same sort of way as either the sky or a chair and nor do my feelings about Schubert's last piano sonata exist in the way that the work does - or indeed this or that copy of the score or any particular CD. The word 'exists' is not uniform in sense across different discourses. There is no need to condense all these different senses into the one that's appropriate for dry goods.

Now, theists' talk of and thought about God presuppose the existence of such a being, and again we should not try to reduce this sense of 'existence' to either an everyday testable sense (the merely alleged existence of a lazy boy's homework) or even the more extended senses that scientists use for various subatomic particles.

But we don't all have to subscribe to the theist's way of speaking in our everyday lives. Those who never speak, think or behave (e.g. going to church) like theists can be called atheists. Of course, that 'never' is open to quibbling, but I mean the word to pick out adults with a settled disposition. And now there's a sense for the word 'agnostic' (though it departs from the sense Huxley originally gave it). I'd say an agnostic is one who - roughly speaking - does not yet have a settled disposition in relation to religious observances, praying and so on. Someone who at the age of eighty calls himself an agnostic is someone who has completely misunderstood the meaning of the word 'God'.

I would, by the way, call myself an atheist, having never felt any inclination to pray and so on. I do, however, enjoy seventeenth century religious poetry, the King James Bible and renaissance polyphony. But I'm an avid reader of fiction too and don't confuse it with biography. That's easy to say; it's much more difficult to say correctly just how my responses differ.

I wandered onto your site following a lead from Comment is Free (Guardian). Not having looked around properly yet, I don't know how much on the site I would endorse, but I should say that I don't think religion is bullshit.

(Horrid little box for writing in, by the way.)
Chris, 13.07.2007, 10:11am #
This is kind of going to go all over the place, so forgive me.
I think if any religion has the right idea, it is the Hindu. Or is it Hindi? Anyhu, most sects of Hinduism accept all incarnations of the idea of God as being just one of god's many faces. So it doesn't matter if you believe in Jehovah, Yahweh, Agwe, or the invisible pink unicorn since they are all manifestations of god. Currently there are about 33 million, yes million, in the Hindu religion. This type of religious tolerance puts others like Islam and Christianity to shame, shame, shame.

Personally, I think it is pointless to argue for or against a personal belief. The religious can only use personal experience or recite the personal experience of others. When there is no direct verifiable evidence for the existence or non-existence of a belief there is no point in debating it. It's personal. And people should be entitled to their personal beliefs when they do not harm others, interfere with other's freedoms, yada yada yada.

Even though I no longer debate the question of existences, I do still believe that "religion" is bullshit. Especially the commercialized, mass marketed, money and power hungry versions of Christianity and that pretty much covers every denomination and their leaders. I'm sure there are a few rural preacher men out there who honestly think they are doing good work and have yet to be sucked in to the sin they are preaching against, but they are few and far between.

Why bullshit? I just have this crazy itchy feeling whenever I think about the Bible. (Yes, I have read it and it is what made me an atheist.) Jesus, the main focus of the New Testament, never wrote a word of it. You would think that such an important book would have descended from heaven written on golden plates in a universal language that everyone could clearly understand. But, instead it was written by several men over a period of 300 years, 2000 years if you include all the editing/corrections/mistakes, etc. Now Christians have ended up with over 10,000 denominations of which many cannot agree on the basic tenants of faith.

God is not the author of confusion? Maybe not, but man sure has made a hash of Jesus' “preach only to the Jews idea and anything made or modified by man regarding the supernatural will most likely be bullshit.

Take for example Jesus' instruction to pray in private. How many Christians do you know who pray out loud? Even if they don't admit it, there are thoughts or feelings running through their minds that wonder things like, "I hope people think this is a good prayer" or "What should I say that will impress people about my faith?" There is a plethora of thoughts that could go through one's mind when praying aloud. That is not even mentioning the feelings, pride in your flowery praying ability, nervousness of its quality, etc. There is a reason Jesus wanted people to pray privately, and that is so the temptation or accidental sin does not occur. If I were a Christian, I wouldn't tell a soul. I wouldn't shout it on the mountain tops, or give anyone a hint of my faith, because by doing so I am trying to make a statement about myself. And that is just pride. It makes me chuckle though when I see some prideful kid running around in a “Got God? T-Shirt.

Hey! Like I said believe what you want! I don't care in the least. The only thing that gets me is when public policy and taxpayer money is dictated and used by non-tax paying religious doctrine and it violates the freedoms of those who do not follow that religion. I don't care if they post the 10 commandments in my courthouse or school. They are common moral truths to which I also believe. But things like forcing, or even optional, prayer in schools or prayer before class among those of other faiths does get on my nerves. There is nothing more annoying in adolescent life than peer-pressure. The Christians know this and this is why they want prayer in schools. So those who do not participate can feel left out, and kids, being mean little bastards, will rub it in hard.
JGJ, 15.08.2007, 7:37am #
OK, lets keep this simple, there is not freakin way you can prove the existance or impossibility of God. Both arguements hinge on finding proof of something unprovable or showing that something doesn't exist because it isn't there. You either believe or you don't. You either link atheism with lawlessness or god with crooked religion. I believe in god because i like the idea of having someone to thank for things that i think are neat. Thats it... not because the bible says this and that, or because some stupid archeological dig didn't find monkey DNA in a pile of caveman poo. It just seems like it makes sence. And other people for whatever reason seem to think that there is no god. Some of their reasons are good, but just like my side, most of their reasons are pretty stupid. But all of your reasons mean nothing to the other side, because all of your reasons mean nothing. There is no scientific evidence that can disprove god. The same way you can't positively say that an object is not in a room if you have no discription of the object. And the only way to prove god does exist is by the guy telling us personally.
eric, 08.09.2007, 9:27am #
You would make a reasonable atheist Eric. A rationalist who knows he has an irrational belief.
JGJ, 08.09.2007, 11:57pm #
I dont know what to call myself. I dont believe in God or any diety but i dont say that the possibility of a God is impossible. It is certainly illogical to me. Personally i do believe in evolution and a higher power than ourselves that makes the universe tick, but i dont think of it as a God in a religious form. Its more like a "thing" like explaining why is rains and why our planet is the only planet in our galaxy that has life(that we know of).I guess you can say im a man of science, also does being an atheist make u automatically a non believer of aliens, because in my eyes there is no possible way that there is no other life forms out there other than the ones on earth. Wether they are more intelligent than us(if u can call use intelligent) or creatures that arent intelligent. and the whole thing about people believing in religion, i think that it lowers the capacity for the human mind to explore other explainations.
Oscar, 26.09.2007, 7:12pm #
well, way I take religion is that it's a load of rubbish. I mean, if one believes the bible and all its fantastical stories, how can one NOT believe fiction stories??

Now, I know that we haven't proved the existence or non-existence of a higher-being, so I could be wrong. Fat chance I think, because science has been continually breaking down barriers and proved that many things aren't the feat of higher powers...so i think it will only be a matter of time...

that's my take anyway...
Moon, 26.09.2007, 11:34pm #
Moon, although there very well could be no higher power, dismissing one being possible because long dead people used superstitious means to controll a populous is not grounds that it doesn't exist. Also, i think people often confuse scientific discovery with something that can write off creationism. Yes, atoms are sub-atomic particles shifting in and out of time and space, held together by energy thus creating matter (to put it in my own terms). So? Yes mankind can reverce engineer the trajectories of the constalations to produce a relatively realistic timeline of cosmic events. Thats just great! That still has absolutely nothing to do with dispoving that a sentient (or otherwise) being set everything in motion. Nor will it ever. I ranted once about intellegent design vs evolution; the point being that we can never prove that life was created by accident, because if we could set up a suitable experement and presented all the neccissary conditions that were likely to have started our begginings, and succeeded in recreating it, that is in effect PROVING intelligent design. An intelligent being set up the conditions. The trick is by doing it by accident, and even observing it isn't possible.
Which limits it to encountering alien life, a living organism that was able to evolve independently with no outside influence. And STILL you can't rule out that a hand guided the events that created unrelated species. I know im leaning a little to one side, cuz the same aplies to the other guys. Let me close with a halmark moment: To state with authority and settle down comfortably on one side or another is to miss the intire point of wondering if there is really a loving knowing centre to the universe, and question whether how we face the trials of our mortal lives is a grand test of our worthyness by god, or a calling of oneself and proving to oneself what they are truely capable of doing. Being certain of the workings of those things is equal to being insubstantial nothingness.
Eric, 28.09.2007, 3:45am #
the universe, and us are part of this wonderful intelligence . our universe continues receiving information about itself from its constituent parts. not one god- but this parts were the initial atoms that were formed of quantum waves of electrons, protons and neutrons. the photon is considered a messenger particle, and carries information from one particle to another.
this atom sings vibratory notes of attraction and repulsion.

these ways of informations being true, seems logical that the increase in volume, energy, and movement of the universe can be a measure of increased awareness in itself .. i mean as an intelligent force in itself.. just like the rain is the cause of many intelligent events and not necessary one person doing it but many different sources.

this events do not prove that there is this individual (god) doing the work.. remember - we are part of this energy, it lives in us. therefore we are GOD - we are part of what god is..

You can ascribe as much intelligence to our universe as you like. It can be very basic, or it can be super intelligent

Our planet Earth in all that lives in it is part of this cosmic harmony as US. The quantum researchers are beginning to accept the theory that all entities are universally ONE...not one god, or such and such religion.
Quantum laws indicate that all particles are aware of the condition of each other. Quantum activity on one end of the universe is instantly recognized at the other.
Religion can't reconize this unity simply because they need to propagated their greedy power structures that has always been based on an interpretation of scripture (bible, coran) which created more conflicts, confusion, war than understanding.
clary, 07.10.2007, 8:13pm #
i think your general point could be helped if you accepted the possibilty of some creating or designing force (after all, there is so much about our universe we dont understand) and concentrated on the idea that even if such a force does exist, why would it be concerned with earth and human affairs, as is preached in bible, qu'ran etc? modern astronomy has shown us that earth is an irrelavent backwater, a spec of nothingness in the great expanse of reality. in my own opinion, religious belief is a result of brainwashing, ignorance or some desire to compensate for a gaping whole in our understanding of life with a leap of faith. as a student of european history, ive learned that christianity and islam began as personality cults, became communities, then, unfortunately armies that spread the general good intentions of their creators across the surface of the earth. i see no reason for religious belief in the new millenium, simply because one can seperate a moral life and a religious life - thereby preventing the world 'going to hell' as some religioous zealots might claim.
jimbob, 16.10.2007, 4:00pm #
I like the idea of separating a religious and moral life. Gets rid of Christians excuse for doing horrable shit, and gets rid of Athiests excuse for not giving a shit. Also, is anyone aware of american christian rightwingers ushering in the apoclypse? Sounds cheezy, I'll post the article when i find it.
Eric, 18.10.2007, 3:50pm #
Tim,
I respect what you say, and what you do.
It's typical that the majority of comments on here are from nonsensical, blind, moronic sheep.
Continue with the good work. We'll never be able to convince the "herd" that their strange fairytale isn't true, however it's nice to see I'm not the only sane person on the planet.
Martin, 23.01.2008, 3:43pm #
Hi. First to put my forthcoming comments in perspective. I consider myself an atheist. Although I have called myself agnostic for most of my life preceeding my current belief..or lack thereof. I agree with your basic definition of Atheism but the further qualifying statements on Agnoticism I have to disagree with. In fact, I may go so far to say that there may be no such thing as atheism as an absolute belief. While I agree it is highly unlikely there is god(s), intelligent design, and all things deist, I cannot say that it is an absolute that there is/was no God. Of course I'm not foolish enough to think that just because something cannot be proven to be non-existent that it must then exist. (Afterall, finding the evidence for something that doesn't exist is impossible.) Rather, my atheism is based on a scale. for example, on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the knowledge that someting doesn't exist, I would be a 9 w.r.t. theism. That is enough for me to say that I am MORE OF an atheist than an agnostic. But still cannot close my mind to any of the possibly infinite number of explanations for life, the universe, and generally things beyond human cognisance. I would consider it to be typical human arrogance that we even possess adequate senses to be aware of everything. We know that cats and dogs have senses we don't, for example. There is still a probability in "highly unlikely". It is just unreasonable to go with such odds. I say that agnoticism is a valid stance provided in is not from some underlying belief or fear of god. Rather, look at it in terms of mathematical probability. I think it is reasonable to use probability in making choices. We do it everyday.
Dan, 01.02.2008, 4:42pm #
Oh! I should have mentioned that despite my critique I am onboard with what you are doing here with this site. I think it is time for reason to be preached instead of mythology. Certainly, religion is the biggest attack on reason and lets start there. If you look at it from a "reason" standpoint you may find that agnostics can add much to that movement. Just something to think about in case you haven't pondered this already. Cheers.

Dan
Dan, 01.02.2008, 4:56pm #
'Agnostic' generally means 'without knowledge." So when asked whether there is a god., one answers, reasonably, "I don't know." Where is the confusion here?
Wayne, 10.02.2008, 5:40am #
Without wanting to get too deep into epistemology or start going on about brains in jars and stuff, we can't know anything with absolute certainty. But the human race wouldn't have developed very far if people had just shrugged and said "I don't know" to everything that didn't have a simple - or complete - explanation. Instead of just saying you don't know, why not, for example, perhaps have a bit of a think about it and see what you come up with?
Tim, 10.02.2008, 2:10pm #
I posted a comment earlier tody in reply to Wayne. It's not appeared, so here's the gist of it.

Wayne, you're right about the etymology of 'agnostic'. As glossed by you it is in accord with the definition given by Huxley, the coiner of the term. Unfortunately, the term as so glossed makes no sense, as I argue in my comment above at 13.02.07. Seee in particular paragraph four, but you'll need to read the whole comment to understand the argument.
Regards,
Chris
Chris, 10.02.2008, 7:21pm #
Many people who do not follow a specific religion use the word god to refer to an un-defined universal creator. However, a definition of "universe" is "everything that exists anywhere" and the creator of the universe would have to already exist outside the universe he created . . . but there is nothing outside of everything that exists anywhere. Some people try to get around this problem with talk of other dimensions or different universes, but the question always expands to fill the gaps. If "our" universe was created by a god in another universe, what created that other universe?

___________________

My belief on this is simple (and let me say that I am also an atheist). We live in an universe of time and space (and matter, but that is a product of time and space). As such, given the nature of a time/space universe it seems that it is impossible for us to comprehend an universe outside on time and space, so we speak of what came BEFORE the universe, if 'god' creted the universe, who created 'god' etc. We do this because as products of time/space, this is all we can do.

However, IF something did create our universe (and this is the key question for averyone) it was something outside of time and space, and therefore impossible for us to comprehend. This is probably why mathematics, so adept at explaing much of our universe and its behaviour can come close to the moment of 'creation' or the 'big bang', but cannot go beyond or before it, where other 'rules' might apply.

Then again they might not. How exactly do you have NO space and NO time? As you can see, it is well beyond our comprehension, I suspect this is as far as we will ever get.
I really hope I'm wrong, but I can live with it.
John J, 14.02.2008, 6:04am #
To put it simply John, it is like trying to explain the 3rd dimension to a shadow or trying to describe what a railroad track (if you never saw one before) looks like from orbit.
JGJ, 14.02.2008, 10:13pm #
I was just reading the comments from JOhn, just 2 above this one. Here is where embracing science can give you some great satisfaction. You made an assumption that whatever created our universe must not have been bound by the same rules of time and space. We don't know that. But just think about how much we learned about the earth and the universe over the last 100 years. Provided we don't snuff ourselves out from denying anthropogenic global warming, we may know a great deal in, say, a few hundred more years. Science is getting closer and closer to the real answers while religion seems to be moving furhter away.
dan, 25.02.2008, 6:24pm #
I'd argue a counter point that as we increase our understanding of science, we become more aware of our lack of scientific knowledge. 'The more you know, the less you know' and all that.
Eric, 26.02.2008, 6:04am #
I'll say this much for discussing atheism and god's existence. A waste of time, but an entertaining waste of time as it is. The are far more important things that you can eat each other over for. Whether god exist or not matters to who?

This was pretty entertaining nonetheless. Thanks

--JujU
juju, 09.09.2008, 9:36pm #
The thing about the entropy argument is that creationists often use it against atheists. Because of entropy, nothing complex should have arisen. Therefore, God organized life. However, the key is that entropy describes the behavior of a CLOSED system. The earth is NOT a closed system. It is constantly being irradiated by the sun. It is the sun that is increasing in entropy. The energy released from the sun that reaches earth is sufficient enough that it allows for the increasing complexity of life.
Rob, 18.09.2008, 6:00pm #
A religious type puts a lot of effort into believing. (S)He works hard on his faith. I think he resents those who don't have to work and justifies his own tiresome activities by belittling us.
jim, 24.09.2008, 5:26pm #
Chuck Norris can make a square cirle
Shane, 31.10.2008, 3:31pm #
gods wrath results from leaving out apostrophes. Well. Mine does. Good enough.
Michael, 23.12.2008, 3:46pm #
I have found that most people are atheist but are too scared because of their dogmatic conditioning to admit it. I was thinking today about the absurdity if religion. I find it funny how people think of their religions as the only true religion when in fact, through the history of human existence there have been various theistic cycles with different deities and doctrine. I mean, there are ancient religions that laid the foundation for Jewish thought and Christianity piggy backs on Judaism. Then you have eastern religions that have no real deity but rather a philosophy. So my point is, how can anyone's religion be the true religion when first of all, every religion is basically a copy of some older religion before it with different doctrine and sometimes even completely different gods (Islam shares characteristic of older middle eastern "pagan" religions) and second religion is archaic because people use to use it to explain why the sun was in the sky and why wind blew?
Alex, 26.02.2009, 2:24am #
Alex: The problem is that people often ignore truth, even if they know it's truth, when it's inconvenient.

Think about it; why do so many people ignore third world countries, and the problems there? I mean, its not as if people *dont believe* that people are suffering in third world countries, and they've never seen or heard any of the ads (everyone who goes to any third world country has no excuse). They just try to ignore it, because they'd prefer to spend the money on something apart from their conscience. [Dont shoot the messenger... Im just saying it as it is]

Same with religion. People feel accepted by their community more, and they don't have to worry about death, if they believe in christianity.
Numerous, 27.02.2009, 10:20am #
To some weak in faith christians,this may seem totally true. It seems what here is almost right. HOWEVER those who are athiest should first read and study the whole bible before making a judgement. It is just like deciding not to read a textbook on a particular subject while saying that this subject sucks or in this case full of bullshit if you havent even began to read the first page. ALSO when atheist use scriptures from the bible, they SELECTIVELY pick these verses. However, you should read in full CONTEXT and read all the series of verses before that single verse that has been taken.
bob, 01.03.2009, 10:55pm #
"To some weak in faith christians,this may seem totally true. It seems what here is almost right. HOWEVER those who are athiest should first read and study the whole bible before making a judgement. It is just like deciding not to read a textbook on a particular subject while saying that this subject sucks or in this case full of bullshit if you havent even began to read the first page. ALSO when atheist use scriptures from the bible, they SELECTIVELY pick these verses. However, you should read in full CONTEXT and read all the series of verses before that single verse that has been taken."
Bob, have you ever thought of actually using an example? It seems that you're just putting together a bunch of phrases that make someone feel inadequate, or indicate that somehow this is wrong.
Basically, I can't say you're wrong, because you've only used generalisations. It's like saying "atheists don't like eggs". I can't prove you wrong because there's an atheist that doesn't like eggs, and there's also an atheist somewhere that does like them.
You say "to some weak in faith christians this may seem totally true"
This indicates that if you believe this then you're just "weak in faith", which pretty much says "you're weak", in other areas too.
Then you say "it seems what is here is almost right." "It seems" indicates that you're saying it's an illusion, and somehow it's fake, and "is almost right" indicates it's fairly obvious that its false. Then you say "However, those who are atheist should first read and study the whole bible before making a judgement.", Which morer than implies, ASSUMES that atheists haven't read the bible. And the fact is, most christians haven't read the whole bible, so you can't talk (note: this is an opinion, and comes from personal experience). I myself have read the bible, and it isn't that different from various "holy books" which have been around before or after (and anytime in between). Basically, if I wanted to, I could sue you for slander, and if you actually said that, in public, I would probably win the court case. Not that I'd waste my time doing something like that.

"It is just like deciding not to read a textbook on a particular subject while saying that this subject sucks or in this case, is full of bullshit, when you haven't even started reading the first page" is dependant (the proper sentence would be it "entails" the first sentence, or something like that) on the first sentence, and by the way, you don't need to read the whole bible if logic itself proves that the god of the bible can't exist.
You then say "Also, when atheists use scriptures from the bible, they selectively pick these verses". That implies that because other verses might be correct (key word: might), then the bible is correct, regardless of those incorrect verses. This is obviously wrong, (reductio ad absurdum) because if that's true, than by the same logic, if a person ever "sins", then they're automatically a bad person, regardless of the good they do. Or the reverse is true (if a person does the slightest amount of good, then no matter how much evil they do, they're always a god person). Either way, there are serious flaws in both, and serious flaws in what you said.

"However, you should read [the bible] in full context, and read all the series of verses before that single verse has been taken." - The "context" is either completely literally or at least partly metaphorically (by definition), if it's to be taken completely literally, then we don't need the context, because if your god wrote the bible, he wouldn't make it ambiguous if he wanted people to listen and understand the message in it, and if it's to be taken metaphorically, then chances are there's a lot of other stuff to be taken metaphorically, not to mention it would be extremely ambiguous (as mentioned above), and if a god did write it, he would have at least clearly implied what was metaphoric and what was literal, so people wouldn't be mislead by the wrong interpretations.

You really should provide examples. I've shown how your post has been carefully though out to effectively slander atheists, and claim the post above is a lie, and generally decieve people who don't really think about what you actually said, without providing a shred of evidence or anything that could possibly be directly related to what Tim (the guy who wrote the whole post) actually said (or should I say what he typed).

And by the way, provide some examples of how this is wrong. Even though you never actually said it, you sure as hell HEAVILY IMPLIED IT.
Numerous, 02.03.2009, 7:01am #
Give please. Life is consciousness.
I am from Norway and learning to speak English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "We realize that most of the web shoppers are looking for a bargain, a cheap airline tickets."

:) Thanks in advance. Kennedy.
Kennedy, 05.04.2009, 4:09pm #
Kennedy. What you said makes no sense, relative to the topic, and sounds like spam.
Numerous, 08.04.2009, 12:41am #
As an atheist, I am so glad you have made this website. I live in the "Bible Belt" of the United States and I have been fired from jobs before because of my beliefs. In America, we are supposed to have the right to religious freedom. I am assuming that this also means that we have the right to abstain from religion also. Why are so many Christians afraid of people who have no faith? Are they really that insecure or are they seriously afraid that I'm going to hell? It makes no sense.
Betsy, 10.04.2009, 3:00pm #
Let me school you on something. Look at the word->Good now the word God. Now look at the word Evil, now the word dEVIL. The creators of religion are playing letter games and its all mind control bullshit. If not then; How was Mr. or Mrs. God created? HThe Devil and God are going to have to come down and slap me in my face to make me believe. Jesus was a skizophrenic just like me.
DON, 13.04.2009, 4:20am #
Actually, since church and state weren't separated till sometime past the 1600's, it could have been influenced by the church. Like "moon" and "month" (1 month is 1 "moonth").
A good tip on the christianity: the sooner you stop trying to make sense of it logically, the better. It's pretty dam obvious that it's outdated and flawed.
Numerous, 14.04.2009, 3:58am #
RHF you have a polluted mind and should open your eyes as soon as possible. I am not a liar, and i don't believe in fairy tales because my parents told me to.
RC, 17.04.2009, 7:24am #
Hell yeah, buddy. I'm with you all the way. I'll be following this site for quite a while.
Mr. Burnside, 18.04.2009, 8:48am #
i was watching one of those so called preachers sunday morning..when he started talking about non-believers..that they are lost ..they are stupid and are unhappy..right there,that is a bold face lie..i'm not lost stupid or unhappy..how can people sit there for hours listening to this?
james patrick nestor, 21.04.2009, 4:49pm #
Field: Attempting to argue the existence of something outside of our structure of causality is, at best, a logical paradox, and at worst illogical. It has an indeterminable truth value, and so has no use within rigorous logic. It is not a useful statement/assertion.

Your chess analogy, while suffering from the same flaw, does however provide for some interesting thought experiments about how the universe would work with some sort of "turn" system.
David, 03.05.2009, 11:29am #
I warmly recommend to all of you the book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, as well as ths video "Religion is bullshit" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o)
Metaspace, 07.05.2009, 10:09am #
Seconded.
Numerous, 07.05.2009, 10:56am #
Richard Dawkins is bullshit.
So is the God Delusion.
RHF, 08.05.2009, 2:44am #
Theists and atheists are two side of the same coin. Ask me why that coin, while politically expedient, intellectually unnecessary
jim, 08.05.2009, 5:59am #
By the way jim, it's intellectually necessary because if the god of the bible exists, then all the (illogical) "morals" in the bible should be followed.
Numerous, 10.05.2009, 8:15am #
Suppose it "exists". It doesn't matter.
In the big picture that entity is strictly a local phenomenon. Sort of a human village boss. It has its place but I am looking at much more permeating forces. Beyond monkey-human recipe books that need only common sense to conceive.
jim, 12.05.2009, 9:30am #
No, it DOES matter. Because if god X exists, then whatever X said is true, no matter what.
That means if the aztec god is real, we'd better start making sacrifices quick.
Homosexuality is a sin according to the bible, and if yahweh is real, then they should all be stoned to death. Apart from religion, theres only "it isn't natural" as a reason why being gay is wrong. Which is a really bad argument coming from anyone on the internet, because they're using a computer which is almost definitely using a satellite to aid communication (trans-continental communication often uses satellite, I think), or failing that, they're inside a house with a roof etc, quite possibly several storeys up in a high-rise building in a polluted city somewhere. It makes perfect sense, not.


So, YES it does matter. And regardless of what you say, some people try to follow the bible to the letter. This results in stoning gays to death (which, when you have a view unbiased by religion, is 100% murder).
Numerous, 13.05.2009, 6:51am #
why do you care about gays if you have no inclination yourself?
Or if you do why not more understanding?
jim, 13.05.2009, 5:35pm #
Replace "christians" with "the KKK", replace "gays" with blacks, and replace "stoning to death" with "lynching".
Same principle, different context.

Just because I'm not black, doesn't mean I don't object to blacks being lynched by the KKK.
Just because I'm not gay, doesn't mean I don't object to gays being stoned to death by religious nut christians.

If you don't understand this, you should read "to kill a mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_a_Mockingbird

EVERYONE who isn't biased should agree that it's wrong to lynch blacks to death because they're black. And seriously, no one should try to stop other people making choices if those choices don't affect anyone else. If I decide to clap my hands twice every friday at 8:30 PM, it doesn't hurt everyone, so you shouldn't put me in jail etc. Even if your religion says that clappng your hands at friday 8:30PM.

I'm pretty sure the only person here who would disagree with this is RHF, being the troll he always is.
Numerous, 14.05.2009, 6:16am #
The human masses and their "post animal natures" as it gets translated into societal action... I feel very sorry about that too. The larger brain size brings more madness too. Animals are not as likely to get quite as deranged as humans when the daily tribal madness hits them.
jim, 14.05.2009, 7:03am #
sooo, how does that relate to what I said?

By the way, in The God Delusion (you should know who its by) explains why it works so well, and i explains it very well. RHF says it's complete bullshit (without giving any reasons) and he OBVIOUSLY knows what he's talking about, so you shouldn't read it. Not.
Numerous, 14.05.2009, 10:07am #
well put thats all i have to say
Chalie, 03.06.2009, 3:16am #
Since RHF has given up (or has stopped trolling while he knows he's going to get beaten in any attempt to troll soon), I'm out. If anyone wants to debate, try www.antievolution.org forums.
Numerous, 04.06.2009, 7:25am #
There is no god so get over it. It's better known as the last great fairy tale.
Christopher Robinson, 15.06.2009, 7:57am #
Hey Fumerous, try the book The Dawkins Delusion, Atheist fundamentalism and the denial of the divine by Alister Mcgrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath. It
destroys Dawkins.
Sorry, I got a life and don't have time to come to websites like this.

Get lost loser.
RHF, 16.06.2009, 1:38am #
Attention Numerous and other atheists:
Bring it on. You don't scare me.
I've defeated tim, brother jeff, mark smith. Step aside, chumps.
RHF, 16.06.2009, 1:43am #
RhF, for proof that The Dawkins Delusion is a bunch of crap, try reading The Dawkins Delusion.
And by the way, NO ONE believes one bit of your crap. Scroll up, nobody has actually shown they agreed with your bullshhit (and all they had to do to show they agreed was type in one 4-character string), so you're the one who's been defeated. You just don't know when to cut your losses.
Still, you should keep it up.
Religion is a waste of time. It has no proof. At all. I can say that There's an invisible gremlin on your head that can phase through stuff, and can't be heard. You can't prove me wrong. Try to prove me wrong without simultaneously proving your own god wrong.
Now I'm going to get back to my level design, maybe this time you'll actually have some "proof" with more solidarity than a balloon in a vacuum.
Step aside, moron. If this website is wrong, how come your every single argument has been slaughtered?
Numerous, 16.06.2009, 8:45am #
You haven't refuted one argument, numerous (fumerous -- after smoking weed)
You have no proof of evolution, no proof that something comes from nothing.
Evolution is fiction, pure fantasy with no basis in reality.
There is not one legitimate shred of scientific evidence that proves evolution -- NONE, deal with it.
Get a life, you teenage idiot.
You are out of your league pea brain.
Come back when you know how to put together a logical argument.

Numerous, you are an atheist fundamentalist with a closed mind.
Just like Tim, Mark smith and brother jeff.
I don't see any atheists rising up to my challenge.

Numerous, I'm done with you. Your a waste of time and a first class LOSER.
RHF, 18.06.2009, 1:07am #
You havent GIVEN any evidence worth considering, all your arguments have already been refuted, and you shouldn't be the one to say that OTHER people havent refuted YOUR arguments (MASSIVE IRONY HERE).
Evolution has plenty of evidence, unless you close your eyes and completely ignore the world (HINT: read my comments first, and try to explain the stuff shown about chernobyl and referenced info, too bad you cant).
Also, there isn't one scrap of logical evidence to indicate creationism, since 2000-year-old self-contradictory desert scribblings don't count.
You might want to find out what evolution IS, by the way, because your mentioning of "something comes from nothing" indicates you don't know crap about evolution 101.
Oh, and when you mention logic, you're imitating the bible - A bunch of self-contradictory, rambling scribblings of a raving mad mind.
Can you keep posting please? You're a pretty good example of the lowest form of creationist evangelist. And a troll.
Numerous, 18.06.2009, 6:16am #
RHF -- atheist destroyer and defender of the truth.
RHF, 20.06.2009, 10:38pm #
RHF -- atheist destroyer and defender of the truth.
RHF, 20.06.2009, 10:39pm #
RHF -- atheist destroyer and defender of the truth.
RHF, 20.06.2009, 10:40pm #
RHF, you have a typo. You obviously mean "RHF -- Atheist annoyer and destroyer of the truth".
Numerous, 21.06.2009, 3:14am #
Except you can't "destroy" the truth. "ignorer of the truth" would make more sense.
So that would make it:
RHF -- Atheist annoyer and ignorer of the truth
Numerous, 22.06.2009, 12:12pm #
Nice to see this conversation still rolling. I'd like to point out that although we like saying we have the freedom to practice or avoid any religion we wish, we only respect people when they choose the outlook that we agree with; which is pretty sad when u consider that 98% of the time your opinion is given to you by your environment. Believing or not believing in god is no personal achievement in any way. That being said, i believe that u should be able to comprehend that the current understanding of evolution is woefully inadequate as Darwin's origional origins of theory, which most people choose to believe in without actually understanding. However, although you should be able to worship in peace, i believe that fundamental creationists have to understand that you are only becoming less numerous. The world generally views your customs and beliefs as backwater superstitions and hold them in the same regard as u hold the spiritual believes of a witch doctor.
eric, 29.06.2009, 7:16pm #
The WORSHIP IMPULSE is the problem. If encouraged it creates an object which is better than your neighbor's..etc
For some the Lottery is perfect for that. Emotions toward parents should be modified to cut out this dangerous worship impulse completely
jim, 30.06.2009, 5:29am #
Tim, I'm also a strong atheist and agree with you. I tossed away the Catholic religion in the 50's and have been a free thinker since then. I don't advertise but will never have any questions about my feelings. To cut to the truth, religion is without a doubt bullshit.

Tom
Tom, 02.07.2009, 3:03pm #
I don't see the big deal about the existence of possibly more advanced creatures than us. Some may be quite a bit more advanced. Like Einstein to ants and on a number of dimensions other than consciousness. This is a scientific possibility or even probability.
I am sure however that none of "these" is concerned about my sexual habits or role models in the human tribes which is a small and distant, albeit remarkable, little branch on the larger whatshumIcallit.
jim, 04.07.2009, 7:59am #
English non-believer here: have tryed using various terms for it but think athiest or nonthiest work best as descriptors, I'm an ocasional a-unicornist and norse-athiest(you get better gods not to believe in).
This is going to be a bit allover the place, but here are some of my thoughts from reading these two pages and the comments.

The question "what's the point in arguing about god's existance" croped up in a copuple of forms above, the arguments against preaching non belief and attempting to 'destroy' faith rely on you acepting the person who believes (the one your talking to that is) is nice/good/moral etc. But we live in a world where the leading cause of the spread of Aids is Catholisom (spelling optional).

The arguments sorounding the posibility of an uncaused-cause outside of time and what was before the big bang may be equivilant to asking "what is north of the north pole".

Ben "Now sort your attitude out, or fuck off." sucinct and elequent, it's nice to read a justified and timly use of swearing, like the crashendo in a piece of music it summed up the logical points previously made but in an emotive mannor.

And to Tim, Bob and JCJ good work lads(probably?), your doing a sterling job!
Helm, 06.08.2009, 4:06pm #
The easiest thing to do is ask where their god came from. Whatever they say, you say. Or even better; when they asked what created the universe, say "whatever created your god".
Numerous, 07.08.2009, 6:17am #
Very well written. I couldn't agree with everything you've said more.

And like the last comment said:
"I note that you suffer from the same problem you allege religious people do - you think you have won the argument before you start"...
It looks like this person did exactly what he said you were doing.

He thought he won the argument before he began.

FAIL!

I, an atheist, don't hate "God" because I don't believe in "its" existence. I do however hate ignorance.

Therefore as a result, I hate religion by default... although I try to be tolerant of it since I don't like to just up and hate people I don't know.

Anyways... while religious people are out being ignorant, I'm going to continue looking for faults and flaws in everything so I can maybe one day save a life or save my own life from a preventable accident rather than waiting on an imaginary thing to do so for me.
Jason Payne of Crestview, FL, 05.09.2009, 3:19pm #
Sorry... I meant the first comment. Figured the comments were sorted newest to oldest.
Jason Payne, 05.09.2009, 3:20pm #
Jason, the problem is with WHY you should hate ignorance. As they say, ignorance is bliss.
Numerous, 09.09.2009, 9:53am #
Not that I support ignorance.
Numerous, 09.09.2009, 9:56am #
Your thoughts on this subject, which is in my opinion, deplorable, nonetheless instill in me a sense of respect for such a genuine act of reciprocity.

Here I would like to make a note of a fact, and assume its pretense to be both unequivocal, and inarguable.

As the individual ventures into his or her own philosophical domain, and is casually perturbed by daily interactions and physical experience, the rudiments of societal madness, though rather at the periphery of ones' life in the case fortune has been kind and fate not emphatically offending, an increasing lot of effort is required to be called forth on his or her part, to prevent the inevitable consumption by normative conflagration.

What has been presented in the previous statement, by many readers, will be interpreted as a rather arbitrary rudiment of our cultural advance. It is neither arbitrary to the discussion, nor has the postulate of certain existential advance - of our beloved mistress who poses unwillingly as the humanist interpretation - been ushered promptly to the gates of our institutions and given foray into the citizens hearts. All philosophical endeavors entail suffrage and great suffering; though, by their nature, fall upon ears so silenced in the past the echoes are only to be heard by our forefathers in their belated thoughts and penance. It is here we stumble upon the grand, immutable tragedy of mankind; the riddle remains, and the sole question we may pose is for what reason was the object of reason itself out of reach, so slightly? Uncountable lifetimes have attempted to make a mockery of this tragedy; we have become patently superfluous in providing an explanation.

It is true that all men taste the beauty of reason. There is no more fitting explanation for our thirst to devour it, ungracefully and unabridged in the callous after-effect of our motive. To question our motives, our divinity! “We are not animals!  We are, as a race of beings, are both tempting in remark and overzealous in conclusion. However, this is not an invitation to make a mockery of our state of affairs, and the due course with which the universe will enwrap us. There have been men who have delivered beauty to us unscathed. In fact, our world is ripe with an abundance that is not visible to those who pare the aforementioned deficit. In this offering alone lay the defining cost of a man, who has recognized a worthy object of pursuit.

Now, to clarify several of your points:

It is both a case of failed criticism and ignorant, though uncommon aphorism to claim facts about the universe, what it contains, what constitutes a proper definition, by using only a logical outlook that supersedes genuine experience. I value your opinion, and share the majority of your beliefs though you have not expunged your criticalities.

What constitutes inside, outside, and the numerous other containments or descriptions you have readily applied to the universe? Surely you understand these terms represent a parlay of man into the unknown, and form the basis for the fundamental constructs in topological mathematics? Their have no simple definitions, let alone one complex enough to represent a relationship with our existence that does not trivialize this miracle. Are you reducible to this idea, whether latent or expelled, that your circumstance is so absurd€œ that you can probe the nature of your being not through creative ends, but through juggernaut bylines? I, here, will not answer in the affirmative.

In conjunction with this matter, I find it overly trivial you define an anti-thesis, whether by negation or what have you, on the basis of a thesis you claim is immaterial. I have never understood that state where men find comfort in delegating to others what they believe, yet do not speak from experience what their existence entails. But as your fellow adversary, I renounce my postulates border the containment of the same triviality we are all apt to stumble upon. This was stated near the opening, though I aim to construct a general conception, as it is only the conception which forms a man's intellect, not his reception of a singular concept.

Although I forthrightly put this criticism to you, I do so with the best intentions. I am pleased to see engagement of the intellect, as opposed to misplaced rationale. I bid you to take this as a compliment, and know it is the highest of compliments I could provide.
Paul J, 25.09.2009, 4:28am #
We are, as a race of beings, are both**

I apologize for the repetition.
Paul J, 25.09.2009, 4:38am #
look, we didn't make ourselves. There are processes in the universe way above us. There may be billions of them. Hopefully we can connect with more of them as we evolve. But to make a tribal uncle of them and kill and torture in its name, excuse me, it's the height of bad taste.
jim, 25.09.2009, 8:11am #
There are obviously processes in the universe way above us, but to assume that they're necessarily conscious beings goes against everything indicated about the universe so far.
Numerous, 29.09.2009, 7:00am #
exactly
jim, 29.09.2009, 11:22am #
it looks like you were implying that there probably was a god/conscious higher being, [but that we shouldn't use it as an excuse to kill etc]
Numerous, 30.09.2009, 7:47am #
There could be any number of things like that including many beyond consciousness i.e. phenomenologically something else. The other problem with the folk version of this is simpler: who the hell would be caught dead playing "god" but someone quite retarded or like a child - playing with an ant heap.
jim, 30.09.2009, 8:07am #
Wait a sec... when you say there *could* be, do you mean it's theoretically possible, or it's theoretically likely?
Because it might be possible, but it definitely isn't likely.
Numerous, 06.10.2009, 1:04pm #
Why call it atheism? This is just setting the stage for faggots to go around saying "I'm an atheist" and thus the same thing will happen as with religion, people will group together around the fat that they call them selves atheists. Why not just say "I have no religion and do not believe in bullshit deities"?
Sasquatch, 14.10.2009, 2:20am #
You are absolutely right but...
and this is how somebody explained it to me why: political necessity.
The "theist" bastards and their idiots must be opposed on their battle field. In which case you need a "flag" called "Atheism". It has nothing to do with religion, everything to do with the weak minded and the bastards who exploit them.
jim, 14.10.2009, 7:01am #
I have a theory where this god thing comes from.
Imagine you next to an ant hill. No bullshit now. There is a difference. Now imagine a "creature" compared to whom you look like an anthill. Consider the capabilities when you go up a few more such rungs. This is where the god thing was born and later twisted into the ridiculous religions. We are the original god thing. Evolution perhaps subconsciously fired up our own imagination of our own species' travel through time. The church folk of course can't wait it out. They're trying to be already on the goal line and fantasize a finished product and call it whatever.
jim, 14.10.2009, 6:30pm #
you know....is there really a NEED to even discuss the possibility of anything "creating" or "evolution" ? If you're atheist....you're atheist, and personally, i don't give a shit about religion, much less the thought of wondering why we exist in the first place anyways. Since we CAN exist though, might as well spend our lives doing something productive before we hit our graves, eh? I could kill myself now since living my crappy life is somewhat tiring, and that would be a waste....though i am VERY curious about what happens after your death. My greatest fear about that is you somehow get stuck in an eternity of darkness. But that's just crap made up by me. It would be extremely ironic though if a heaven and hell really did exist, then i would laugh my ass out after admitting how wrong i was LOL.Who knows, looks like all of us gotta wait until we hit our deathbeds to find out. For me,in 50 years or so, still got a long and fucking shitty life to live out. *sigh*
somejackass, 30.10.2009, 5:34am #
It matters because if we don't work out what happened in the past, we can't predict hat happened in the future. The future being anywhere from in 5 seconds to 20000 years in the future.
And of course, there are people telling us that someone really powerful but unseeable will make our lives miserable if we don't do what they say, which for some strange reason almost always coincides with these people's beliefs. Not the other way around.
Numerous, 02.11.2009, 6:41am #
It seems to me we have already been where we are "going."
But what I enjoy most is a kind of mystery. It is big and it's got parts we never thought about - if we don't let the "folkways" get in the way. Those too have their place in everyday life but NOT in the imagination.
jim, 02.11.2009, 7:37am #
Some time, we should get a forum. By we, I mean (maybe) Tim, and everyone who posts comments here.
Scroll up and read how long the comments go on, compared to the actual post. Now, read the last 5 comments (they ones above this comment, i mean).Waaay off topic.
Numerous, 06.11.2009, 10:06am #
All religion is bullshit.There is no God.All the efforts and objectives of mankind are futile and pointless.Mankind sucks and will eventually destroy itself and put an end to all this verbal diarrhoea.
les irving, 06.11.2009, 9:55pm #
Whenever there is such clear cut conclusion about cosmic events it reminds me of religion or its direct opposite. Both cases seem to beg for a wider view. In this case I think a broader view of Time would help.
To see Time not so much as space rushing by through a window on a train but rather as a stage that makes things possible to happen.
jim, 07.11.2009, 8:41am #
Someone wrote:
"Why not just say "I have no religion and do not believe in bullshit deities?"

Because religious beliefs are the root of many issues in the world, people who lack religious faith (i.e are rational) should take an active stance against the keeping of irrational and limiting beliefs.

How, if at all, is beliefs in a higher spirit different from schizophrenic delusions (apart from the fact that the wording 'higher spirit' has inevitable positive connotations and being mentally deluded does not)?
Sofia, 07.11.2009, 9:44am #
"Why not just say "I have no religion and do not believe in bullshit deities?"

My answer: that goes without saying.
And that's the end of the entertainment?
jim, 07.11.2009, 10:19am #
Actually, no. It doesn't go without saying. go on, give us an answer that isn't quite so vague.
Numerous, 26.11.2009, 6:56am #
Love your site. Some people need to feel wanted and a part of something. A bad childhood with unattentive parents will do it every time. There is a mystery to the universe and religion is a sham to feed the weak minded, a money maker and most of all a control mechanisim. When a church collapses and kills everyone inside where is god? When a drunk driver kills a strickly religious person who always did good, never drank or did drugs where is god? I will tell you, or rather you would like to here it this way 'I had a vision' - he's in your pocket along with the paster who told you to pay. Suckers who want to be a part of something. That something is only the pocket of the beast. ooooooo hahahaha
Vaughan, 06.01.2010, 12:10pm #
I think that's a healthy attitude mainly because the other "side" is sooo sick.

Good medicine.
jim, 06.01.2010, 2:06pm #
There is not a god in my world. I agree with the humans that are atheist. Anyways religion is bullshit. I was born catholic and when i came to this country and grew a little more, i saw how much bullshits are the people that go to church so close minded and mean to others. I cannot believe that people hate non believers and the non believer don't hate at all believers... it's ridiculous and i wish someday is all equal like who cares who believes or not. As long as you're a good persona and with good moral ethics living everyday of your life to you and onto others than there is not a motive for anyone to have to believe.
ANOTHER thing about religion that I don't agree with and I think that people take it as motivation to continue life while they lie to their thoughts and minds and to what they actually make happen, is when people that believe do something in their lives whatever it may be, and then they repent from the mistake. But thinking realistically about their actions, they have a brain and a conscious state at every time. And people think before they do something, and anyways, lets say someone did something really wrong and they feel bad after the fact... the believer will go to church and say GOD FORGIVE ME, and they think that they will be forgiven by some sort of person living in the clowds, anyways, they feel better after they did something wrong , and the person may continue doing something wrong again and again, because they go back to "GOd" and say GOD FORGIVE ME, and then guess what? they get "forgiven" wow.. that's some belive and believing in that is so much bullshit.!
TO me, one time something happened, and I said oK i will speak to GOD and he will help me, guess what, he didn't , that's another bullshit, GOd wants this earth to be suffering, like AFRICA kids families, Haiti, CUBA.. No!
i MEAN come on.. knock it off already.
Another thing, what do you think of the i wake up with you and go to sleep with you. THE SUN.. the sun is the famous god...everyone believes it.. People that believe in the believing stage are sooo stupid!@
vivi, 22.02.2010, 5:04pm #
I LOVE YOUR SITE.
People that believe in god and hate atheist, so terrible. I think that people should keep their believes to themselves and not worries about others believing.
LEAVE ME ALONE JEHOVAH WITNESS.!!!!
I WAKE UP WITH THE SUN AND GO TO SLEEP WITH THE SUN.!! HE IS MY GOD!!! THAT'S what i mean in the previous mail..
Theres a saying on the bible book and it says something like that.. i rise with god and go to sleep with god. The Pharaohs and greeks used to say this about the sun and the sun was their god. Dont get confused ppl.
vivi, 22.02.2010, 5:10pm #
I agree with you that there are some arguments atheists use that they shouldn't. However, the omnipotence argument about building a rock is a good one. When I use it, I substitute rock with structure. Can God build a structure so massive he is incapable of moving? I can perform that feat. I can bring building materials in individually and slowly join them. When I am finished, I have constructed something I cannot move without disassembly. This argument is similar to the "evil" argument. If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able, then he is not omnipotent. If God is able to prevent evil, but now willing, then he is not omnibenevolent. If anyone considers that an oxymoron, it is undoubtedly an oxymoron created by the bible.
John, 23.02.2010, 6:13am #
Sorry about the typo. In the second to last sentence, now should be not.
John, 23.02.2010, 6:16am #
Generally, christians try to slip under the radar by saying "god will create a rock he can't lift but he'll lift it anyway", and when they do they've just admitted by their own statement that they believe god defies logic. And that means that since people try to use logic to prove god doesn't exists, they've won, and the christian MUST believe in something impossible.
If they say something like "magic", they're making a mistake. Everything follows some sort of logical rules, saying "magic" is just assuming "it just happens", and saying you don't know how. QED
Numerous, 28.02.2010, 6:04am #
There are so many reaches in the universe vastly larger and personal than the xtian god.
Get out of the mud, rise above this stone age fantasy of hunter-gatherer children! Use your consciousness shared by the cosmos (as everything is shared) and start using it in an open style, without programmed conclusions
jim, 28.02.2010, 6:22am #
god jesus and satan are the original 3 stooges
frank, 03.03.2010, 7:18pm #
I find it hard to understand how any human can deny the existence of something that is definitely beyond our understanding. If it were that simple than there wouldn't be so much debate for so many centuries.
A passage from ecclesiastes states (11 v5) "as you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things."
I do however, understand that people find it hard to accept one particular view point on the origin of the world - and one particular God. This is a personal decision that occurs because of a personal encounter/experience with God. I can't prove it.
I only feel sad because so many Christian people are such aweful examples of who God is & of the Role model that Jesus Christ provided (and tells us to demonstrate) of God's true love.
Being a doctor - I have the privilege of seeing people at their worst (and sometimes at their best)- but mostly when they are vulnerable. What it has taught me is that we are all innately selfish and self-serving. I also get to see arrogance/pride (particularly in other doctors, but also just in general)pretty much on a daily basis.
These are intrinsic human characteristics which lead to hurt, deciet, mistrust and destroy relationships.
There is arguments from every angle- and I know many learned people that have studied in detail the bible, and can come up with counter-arguements for all the mainstream discussion points - and at the end of the day it comes down to the fact that you have to take a step of faith (believing in the unseen).
The thing is, the principles in the bible (whilst I know you will point to all the horrible things in the old testament - it depends on the bias with which you read - because the old testament I believe was primarily written to display in a narrative view - how humans separated themseves from God and how God will protect & love the people that choose to accept and believe in him) - particularly the new testament - which is the start of a new covenant and shows how Christains should live - and I will highlight these points (because I am sure you cannot find any part of the new testament which disagrees with the basic principles by which christian people are guided to live):
- Loving your neighbour as yourself
- giving to poor, disadvantaged & widows - which does mean humanitarian efforts
- NOT JUDGING OTHERS (it is not our place)
- not pursuing self-serving ventures- but serving others (this gives us the greatest joy)
- Being a witness, by our actions and words to tell others of God/Jesus Christ
Unfortunately- this goes against the very nature of humans and therefore - humans (including me) fail to show the true example of who God is and unfortunately then put others off ever knowing the real truth.
Sorry - I studied science (not english) if this is hard to follow.
Becky, 07.03.2010, 6:28am #
Becky you are mixing up morality with superstition. This is typical of religious double talk although I think you are making an honest mistake. There is a science for people living together in groups and tribes and families. They solve their frictions by accepting rules to minimize it. They enjoy each others company as well by adapting various behaviors passed down from their elders. Sometimes even mythology is mixed into these proceedings to lend the more weight.
Now please note that there is no connection to satans, godzilla, angels and whatnots only the most incidental kind. It certainly does not prove anything.
Note, if you read science that it is not possible to disprove the existence of ANYTHING. Certainly not purple cows on the moon or an orbiting teacup in Mars's orbit. I would choose my mythology wisely and certainly uniquely to fit what I need not what 4000 years ago a desert tribe (with heavy male orientation) had put together. (Jews)
jim, 08.03.2010, 3:44pm #
Becky,

I agree with Jim and I'd like to add that this is a quote that you said that debunks yourself ----
(Another tedious example of how religious people are so 2 faced without even realizing it)

You: "so many Christian people are such awful examples of who God is & of the Role model that Jesus Christ provided (and tells us to demonstrate) of God's true love"
Are debunked: "- NOT JUDGING OTHERS (it is not our place)"


Becky, god is the thing in your head that you have created to answer questions that cannot be answered. But that does not mean it's real. It may be real to you and that's your prerogative, but it doesn't prove a thing. (By the way did you know there's green flies on Pluto. I know because john told me... and john walked with Jim!)

On closing:
"also get to see arrogance/pride (particularly in other doctors, but also just in general)pretty much on a daily basis."
Becky you're "JUDGING OTHERS!!!!" again!

Your not even following what you quote from the thing you so call believe in. Come on, get real girl!
Vaughan, 10.03.2010, 11:48am #
Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I guess that by observing other people in their actions (e.g. noting that some people are particularly arrogant/rude) some may call that judging - however we all have to make judgement calls everyday - on what we think are the appropriate clothes to wear, which route we will travel and which people we will aspire to be like - and also the actions of others that we don not aspire to be like! I don't beleive there is a single person that has lived their life without making these sorts of judgements.
The type of judgement that I am talking about is when you judge someone, with your standards/ways of living - and expect them to live by them - and then go further, to make them feel bad/ outcast or small if they don't fit.
However - i did note at the end that I believe it is part of human nature to fail - and we all fall short (christians and non-christians) of the standards that Jesus Christ set us. Which i might add is why we need a God anyhow.
I think this arguement is just going to go round in circles - because quite clearly we believe different things - from reading your site I just felt there were quite a few statements against God - that most likely have been influenced by people acting on his behalf (christians) - who have got it wrong. Obviously, you will choose what you beleive about this anyhow.
becky, 11.03.2010, 12:37am #
Lets not for get the emotions! Whenever I hear bible, jc, gd, xtian I could scream!
It hasn't always been like that. For I while I thought I was missing something. Then it dawned on me: they who try to believe have a serious developmental issue.
jim, 11.03.2010, 6:51am #
I am sorry - but that seems far more judgemental than I am being - you haven't ever met me - and barely know the first thing about me -yet you are ready to say I have a 'serious developmental issue?'
Becky, 11.03.2010, 9:22am #
I am all for the use of imagination in the freest way possible.
Tradition does not do well in the spiritual area. That realm reflects the cosmic: changeable, contradictory, strange and awesome. I don't want to short change myself by wasting imagination on the products of the stone age - however much clarity they seem to have - they are traps. I have nothing against judgment as long as I can feel for both sides. Truth and certainty is a dream of the believer yearning for simplicity. Fairy tales?
jim, 11.03.2010, 10:17am #
Excellent article. The ignorance that we manufacture and label "religion" always has been and probably always will be around. I always ask "Christians" why they continue to believe in fairytales put forth in an antiquated book written by men. Before Christianity, a large percentage of humanity had pagan beliefs. Before that; a different belief system. My point is that all of these belief systems evolve and change as the world changes. To have a "Christian" tell me that they are right and I'm wrong borders on comical. As many atheists say, having the same belief in fairy tale intangibles in any other situation would get one laughted at. Why is religion any different? Religion is the worst thing to happen to this world and it was spawned by man's loss of appreciation of and fear for his natural environment.
Dave, 26.03.2010, 1:38am #
Interesting opinions you all have about believing and not believing. The fact of the matter is that it makes no difference if you believe or not because the truth is none of us know everything that is 100% without doubt. All we know is what we see and read but what about the things that aren't available to us; the things so far out of reach and the discoveries yet to be discovered. You either chose to believe in something you can't prove a fact or don't believe everything you are told or read just because it's popular belief. People can be so very intelligent or amazingly idiotic. You can be a simple man simple education and be more open minded than an extremely well educated man that is incapable of thinking outside the box that is his thick cranium. Human beings are hilarious creatures.
Walter, 28.03.2010, 12:47pm #
Religion is a set of irrational beliefs and laws, (some laws are reasonable), created before a civilized humanity early in our existence to Give the ones that wrote the "Rules to live by" (Bible) control over the mass of people whom at that time did what ever they wanted and everyone had equal power.
Walter, 28.03.2010, 12:58pm #
Allow me to first say that I am a fan of this site in general. I agree with many of the ideas stated by its creator. My personal opinion of religion is that it is a tool, nothing more nothing less. It was, and still is, a political and social tool used by those in power to manipulate and stimulate the masses. Before logic and education was so widely spread and available throughout society leaders often used quick slogans or "war" cries o attract the attention of the general public. Why? Because people were more willing to listen to a quick, inspiring tidbit than they were in learning the facts about a subject. Even in the modern age the general population is willing to stand behind a charismatic, inspiring, and even unjustified leader who will protect them from all the "bad" logic out there in the real world. Example include... well Hitler (Germany), Moa (China), Stalin (Soviet Union), and most recently [and unfortunately] Obama. Even though these leaders did not appeal to logic or fairness they empowered the people, even if most of the people are lower class, less intelligent individuals. And doesn't religion do the same thing? Even if your a slobbering moron if you follow what the religion says your granted a spot in heaven (Christianity) or a bunch of virgins (Islam). this wide reaching idea is what makes religion such a versatile tool in the hands of a political leader, a tool that can turn and manipulate a population to its controller's liking. It's not so much that the ideals of a religion are bad but that the way it is used is bad. Very few religions or belief systems have avoided this corruption. The only major one that comes to mind is Buddhism, which is not actually a religion (it is a set of moral and ethical beliefs). In conclusion, religion itself is not a bad idea, most even promote peace, but the uses and twisted interpretations that many believers attach to it outweighs any good said religion might do in the world.
Locke, 03.04.2010, 3:49am #
Human history through which our reflexes have been shaped is about 2million years old. 99% of which is hunting maybe 10% toolmaking.For 10-20 thousand years at a stretch NOTHING changed. Life expectancy 25 years. Number of generations through which experience and other "suppositions" had to be transmitted? Immense. Non-belief was not an option. Time too short, too much to take care of. "Belief" therefore had to be invented in the last few seconds of this history. I think it is rather a propaganda word than a real concept. Somebody should make a list of these propaganda words invented by church lawyers to keep their people in bread.
jim, 03.04.2010, 6:51am #
the god complex

Human evolution I think gives rise to a god "complex". Just look at
an anthill, or cat or a monkey and the space station.
Good, bad, it is there.
Now look at the traditional "God" of the universe. Just like us,
much more powerful and perhaps a little moodier. The throne we
put him on is our throne. Now this shmoe is there waiting for us to
take our place.
Every one of us will have a star, nay a personal solar system
for built in energy source with a convenient black hole for waste
disposal. Life span in the billions of years, brain size: a planet.
The rest I leave to your imagination.
jim, 05.04.2010, 8:42am #
Dear Tim,

I respect you for blurbing what you've come to find in terms of religion and atheism etc.
I really enjoy your website :)

There are a lot of criticisms here, and I want you to know that others do appreciate you for sharing your beliefs.

You stating your beliefs is no different than a christian stating his or hers, although some testy christian commenters aren't able to see it that way.

so,
Thank you.
Savanna, 07.04.2010, 2:28am #
It is politically correct to say one man one vote and everybody has a valid opinion to which entitled...etc.
Nevertheless I prefer Plato's opinions to those of Bush's (both dad and slightly retarded son) and Einstein's opinion to my uncle Julius's - although Einstein did make a big mistake. Why is that? Aren't they equally entitled?
jim, 07.04.2010, 1:58pm #
While I completely agree with you, I believe it is a public disservice to voice these opinions. Believing in god doesn't cause genocide- people do.
And if god does exist, you just sent people to hell. Therefore, this website can cause no good, only harm. I suggest you remove it immediately.
Salmoncrusher, 08.04.2010, 11:26pm #
Religion gives wars a lethal edge. It gives cohesiveness to the tribe and it also instigates same tribe to continue fighting while the other, "wrong" god has people left. Your call to remove this website is the first step toward burning the heretics - another religious custom this time within one's own tribe.
Suppression of thought is impractical especially in a mass world like this one.
jim, 09.04.2010, 5:48am #
Hi, I am not one to leave comments but I have been reading a lot of this website and I love it! I never think of myself as an aitheist because I grew up religous but I always thought religion was bullshit and I definitely don't believe in anything I was taught about it. There is some reason we are here but it is not what everyone thinks. Has anyone read "the 12th planet"? It was written by Zecharia sitchin. Great book and makes a lot of sense. Most people don't know about the sumarian people who were the oldest civilization discovered. Hope you all have a great day.
mars, 19.04.2010, 2:02am #
Atheism has no connection with morals. Atheists can be good or bad (although I would argue that an atheist with morals is better than a theist who only does good things because he fears his gods wrath).

I totally agree man! I'm a Christian but I sooo agree. Also it really annoys me cause I have this friend who's atheist and she's always walking about yelling how she hates Jesus. I just kinda laugh with her and don't say anything cause ya know its whatever, but still it doesnt make sense since she can't hate something she doesn't believe in right??! hahaah. I mean my best friend is atheist, she never says she hates God or Jesus she just has her reasons ya know! and whenever she's curious about christian art and the story behind it or the bible i tell her and that's that! no big deal ya know! for all agressive Christians out there- chill. you're not getting anywhere by screaming at people to believe and trying to answer their questions about God that we can't answer bc nobody knows! okayy?? Just live your life as a good christian and if people want to follow, they will.
Molly, 24.04.2010, 5:10pm #
I just read this from someone named "vivi"?

TO me, one time something happened, and I said oK i will speak to GOD and he will help me, guess what, he didn't , that's another bullshit, GOd wants this earth to be suffering, like AFRICA kids families, Haiti, CUBA.. No!
i MEAN come on.. knock it off already.

Girl, come on. ha im not hatin, and im not criticizing your beliefs you are very right to not believe it does sound like a bunch of bullshit when you put it the way you did, like so many others. but really? Just cause one time you "prayed" and you didn't get what you wanted you were like okay fuck that? I mean come on girl! now THATS bullshit. You dont pray to ask for favors honey. You pray to vent, or see if you can find some guidance deep down. It's a relief to pray. It's not hey God whazzup listen I want something give it to me ya know? Anyway, but personally you are very right to think that with the evidence you presented, that you think God does not exist. I disagree, but I have my own reasons too. Just remember not all Christians are crazy ass people who are conservative assholes throwing the bible in your face all the time. I don't like it when people give Christians that stereotype. I'm Christian, but more on the spiritual side of it. I took a year to re evaluate my life and belief system, and it was great for me. I've always been liberal and tolerant, but now I understand why I believe in God and I am comfortable with not having all my questions answered. Who cares right? hhahaa
Molly, 24.04.2010, 5:20pm #
"You pray to vent, or see if you can find some guidance deep down"
says Mollie and I can't find fault with that.
Consider the label Atheist or Xtian or Republican or Democrat etc. Take away the label and you find individuals choosing whatever makes them comfortable. When they start using labels we cannot use rational arguments anymore because as soon as one ducks out from under a label the game insists to apply another one. Unfortunately there are not enough labels around.
jim, 25.04.2010, 6:54am #
I used to be a spiritual person until my dad died out of the blue and my whole family were religious and god-loving or whatever so now I think if there is a god why would he do that? Why doesnt he stop suffering? If he has control over everything why doesnt he get rid of the bad people and keep the good. Most of all i think RELIGION IS BULLSHIT-Brainwashing, people dont ask questions cuz they are god fearing and if they do that would be doubting god. WTF I HATE IT!! I especially hate religious people telling me god did this for a reason...A REASON IM STILL WAITING TO HEAR
sonika, 12.05.2010, 9:17pm #
Christians see things that aren't there, they are so blinded by their religion and fear that they accuse anyone non-christian of being a devil worshipper/lucifer follower/evil.

Just more proof of their childlike, brainwashed minds.

Your article is very true, the definition on Atheism has been twisted by the deluded christians.
inyoureyes, 20.05.2010, 5:18pm #
I think it is time to do away with the "a" word. It is negative and was invented by the mentally disadvantaged. I suggest "Open Minded" to call those who without blocking themselves into prefab, limiting mental structures are open to new ideas (spiritual and otherwise) enjoying the unfolding of a gigantic and fascinating universe with its forces and secrets presented to their developing understanding.
jim, 21.05.2010, 5:59am #
Ah, what a nice way to spend a religion lesson.
Yazmin, 26.05.2010, 1:29am #
"religion is a crutch for the weak mind"
tom, 01.06.2010, 3:37pm #
people only beleive in religion because they're either scared of death and wanting to feel as though there is something more. They may have been brought up in to religion, so that they know no different, but you cant overlook the comlplete absurdities people believe.
tom, 01.06.2010, 3:43pm #
Seems to be there's some very well educated people discussing God in these comments. Would be great if they used their special gifts and talents to really learn the true interpretations of the letter from God (The Bible)to humanity and help spread the truth. It's such a waste to live life believing otherwise. There's really no point in debating the issue because both sides ever gain ground and only cause more anger towards each other. I read an interesting comment a few months ago that really made me understand that there is a difference between religious traditions and real christianity. It went something like this: Religion is mans attempt to reach God, and Christianity is Gods attempt to reach man. This is what made me come to this site and agree with the name of it. The only way we'll ever really know the truth is when God reveals himself to us, and he will, in his own time. There is a lot of things that happen in this world of ours that we don't understand, but remember that God set it up that man would have free will and that is what this life is all about. Absolute Freedom! It is coming, everyone will have the opertunity to choose their own path. You can live this carnal life running away from God or you can live it walking toward God, it's just a matter of choice. I have great hope that many will make the right choice when the final judgement is made. The spirit that God puts in us is our special connection with him. It is how we can have a one on one relationship with him. This is what God wants, is for us to Love him. It is the spirit that will have everlasting life. What a great thing that would be! Gods plan is not for us to have all this pain and suffering but to have peace and joy in this wonderful gift called Life! It is up to us to do the work that is neccessary to develop our own spirit. Everyone has that responsibility to themselves! There really is a lot to learn, we're not born into this world pre-programed with it in us but we do have the spirit within us, and we need to feed that spirit with an understanding of the word of God, because without our own special spirit from God we would'n be alive to have this conversation. The only way anyone can truly understand God is to seriously study his word. You see, in the beginning,God created a bieng that he Loved and gave him special gifts to help him with his work. That work is us. Well that particular being got greedy and wanted to overthrow God. In a nutshell, that's what this whole life on Earth is about right now. God only wants the people that chooses his Loving plan by free will to have everlasting life. People really need to take it apon themselves to learn the Truth.It's hard to find a place or teacher that teaches it chapter by chapter and verse by verse. It's the only way to really understand. Pastor Arnold Murray with the Shepards Chapel Ministry is the best one I've found to date. He's a no nonsense guy that teaches with common sense and doesn't put himself on a pedestal. Has a program on TV for one hour five days a week without comercials. God Bless!
In General, 28.06.2010, 6:26am #
Religion is most certainly bullshit. Its nothing more than a bunch of concocted stories that have no basis in reality. There is a reason why people must teach their children to believe in the same stories and fairy tales that they themselves believe in, because if people are not brought up on these foolish stories at an early age they will most likely not conform to them unless they get to a point of desperation in their life where they believe religion is the answer.
Atheist, 08.07.2010, 2:58am #
I cannot fathom the mind of a religious man. They must have slightly different organs in their heads. The "force" they're talking about I feel behind me, expressing me, holding me together for the time window. But these types are reshufling the relations and try to put the force over my head telling me what to do. The "satanic" trick is to take reality and stand it on its head and choose those for their army who accept this topsy turvy relationship.
jim, 14.07.2010, 7:41am #
Let me just begin by saying that I play for your team. I am an anti-theist who tends to think that religion is detrimental to society because it discourages scepticism and creates lazy minds.

However, I feel you have missed the mark in your discussion of agnosticism. Frankly, you DO NOT have perfect knowledge and you can't ever be sure of the existence of god. To say, flat out, that you are "as sure as possible" that gods do not exist is arrogant. Anyone who claims to have knowledge of or to believe in something that can never be proven is a zealot. And isn't zealotry what we atheists fear the most? Don't we want to discourage any kind of "faith?"
Frankly, I am often disturbed by my own abhorrence of religion. I used to think it was important to be militant in order to try to change the status quo and discourage theists. Now, though, I think that that is actually very dangerous. Why should I presume to kow any better than they? And when does my atheism cross the line into something ugly- something akin to faith and doctrine?
Sarah, 22.07.2010, 8:26pm #
Consider the nature of language itself. You cannot disprove ANYTING. You cannot disprove Russel'l teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars. It is impossible to do so with logic. That should have some bearing on above argument
jim, 23.07.2010, 7:30am #
i have always been a non believer in most part of my life. My fundamental argument is why would the so-called god create human beings and ask them to worship him, build magnificent churches / temples / mosques for him. Any body who is so self centric cannot be having the traits of godliness and hence cannot be a god.
ravi, 11.08.2010, 8:37am #
Science is in the process of replacing religion. Unfortunately it hasn't yet developed all the parts to do so to every one's satisfaction. ut that doesn't mean that religion isn't more harmful than good.
jim, 03.09.2010, 11:05am #
you should read the 7 habits of highly deficcent people... you may need that while you are finding your meaning and purpose in life. Oh, and if you want someone to care about what you write, do not spell "realizing" wrong in the first sentence... with "realising"...
micky, 26.10.2010, 1:21am #
as an agnostic this article kinda disappointed me because you said im irrelevant. As an agnostic i believe you cannot prove either side and therefore i cannot align with either side.
mike, 21.11.2010, 4:20am #
Let us say football doesn't interest me. Couldn't care less. Nor am I angry at the fans for being "hung" up on one or another team. What would they call my disinterest at the fan clubs? Nothing. No designation.
That's how I feel about "atheist" "agnostic" "nonbeliever" etc. Don't call me anything. I am not playing.
jim, 21.11.2010, 8:33am #
people have different interest, these days, is hard to said I am NOT ASIDE with ANYTHING or ANYBODY.

Money/Power/Religion (authority)flow in all human history, what the fk we learn? NOTHING!

people still stupid and never look forward to something that does not related them, profit is what being focused and merely ANYTHING can be priced, how much you think to put in the position of Arch Bishop? a lot I think but it can be done.

We not so different from ancient people, just different tool and way of living, your neighbor still an ass and there is still whore on the street and YES you still lose your wallet as that man lost his in pompeii and die in the volcano ash....

I wish I can feel that I was moving forward, unlike most of people, which they being push forward without knowing what is going on and die.
G.J, 30.01.2011, 1:35am #
Red Herring wheather there is or is not. Don't be side tracked into this dumb argument. Look around. That is the signature of what you're arguing so much about and miss what really matters: the result
jim, 30.01.2011, 5:18am #
What is a soul? I've never perceived one.... What is perfection? Omnipresence? That's impossible because multiple perspectives cannot even be conceptualized. Omnipotence? If unlimited power was given this extreme, why not unlimited weakness?
Omniscience? If that is the case, then I am omniscient, because there is nothing to be known beyond my own perceptions. There are no other bodies of perceptions because it is impossible for two perspectives to exist. Imagine being in two rooms, each one room apart, at once and able to perceive both separately. Impossible right? Any blending of the two is a perception that represents neither room. If I ask my friend what he sees, how can I trust what he says? His words are merely noises perceived, they only have meaning by how they sound. The words he says get their definitions because I imagine these definitions. I must arbitrarily imagine a definition for any word I perceive, even the ones i type right now.
leo, 08.04.2011, 4:34am #
Tim or whoever will answer,
What offends you about religion? And I have noticed, you are bashing all religions, but you are focused on Christianity. Is there a reason for this? What offends you about Christianity? God is offering a free gift of Eternal life to whoever wants it. Do you look a gift horse in the mouth?

You have not heard the last of me.
I am Superboy.
Defender of the Word.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Strengthened by Christ.
The Living and active word of God is my two edged sword. This is a battle, yes, though "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Superboy, 11.04.2011, 8:24pm #
dear TIM SELLERS

hi to you, tim sellers, or whatever name behind this name.. Actually, you are such like a typical bul-lshit UP students having a atheist mind like you... Did you exactly justified God did not exists? Then how come? well in your case "To seem is to believe" - agnostic view, it may sound good to you but.. To a man like you - having no chance to see a Kingdom of God.., just right after you die soon...
Agnostic and atheist can drink, eat, sex, sleep, could kill, could cheat, could deny Jesus Christ is Son the Living God, fucked, jerking out, taste the success of worldly life.. but in the end, you will badly realize that there's no second life (life after death) to you.. You are so miserably unfortunate, unlike other poorest people in the earth believed Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living GOD and the God thyself- (the father of all souls)truly exists. You caricature in your website homepage is really pathetic - making your holy Bile ( a word of God) placing to your tissue paper in your toilet.. May God kicked your ass (Yes, you atheist and agnostics!!) out of thy kingdom to hell.. Amen...
Iver Cute PH, 30.04.2011, 12:43pm #
TO superboy..


dont worry about Tim Seller and/or the name/s behind this name... he fu-cking focused on jerking out the rare and precious doctrine of true christianity because he is the Satan itself. and Satan likely lives in the beings like them in their cold hearts and close minded thoughts...
Iver Cute PH, 30.04.2011, 12:49pm #
This "discussion" reminds me of the medieval effort to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. While you are hard at work at coming up with a reasonable estimate I would say unfortunately there ain't no such thing as angel.
Here with big G there is a similar problem. Instead of is or isn't did it occur to you that the "discussion" itself is irrelevant to just about anything? Or if you want to think in that other key, the arguments are satanaic which means they lead nowhere besides airing childish prejudices in public.
jim, 30.04.2011, 1:10pm #
I do not beleive in god. However, i would never label myself as anything. Not beleiving is the baseline to it there really shouldnt be a name for it. Saying yeah im an athiest just sounds stupid to me. And.. yes like every other comment said.. saying there is no way no how that we were created in any way is ignorant. Other than that your website has entertained me for quite sometimes at work, and for that i thank you.
boredatwork, 12.05.2011, 12:32am #
Haha G.J. When i read your comment(which is very true) I think it of the voice of Kahn from King of the Hill. Most entertaining comment by far!
davepoopsinpants, 12.05.2011, 12:41am #
I had about 20 minutes to think since my last comment while i pounded down a fat ass cheeseburger. What good has religion ever done this world? All they've done is build churches and shrines to your god. That and kill masssssssssive amounts of people. All i can think of is the opiate of the masses idea. People are like hamsters
they want to
a. feel secure
b. do what everybody else is doing
Free your mind, Neo.
boredatwork, 12.05.2011, 12:57am #
from http://high-concepts.com/keep_the_reason/atheism1.htm:

Two men sit in a nicely furnished living room, chatting. Suddenly, and seemingly for no reason, the man in the lounge chair remarks, "That's a beautiful oak tree coming up from the living room floor."

The man on the sofa, puzzled, looks to the place where the first man is gazing. "I see no tree," the disbeliever says. The other man, let's call him a Treeist, is equally puzzled. "It's right there". The man on the sofa, let's call him an Atreeist, is at a loss for words.

Neither of these two men are evil. In fact, their dispute over the alleged existence of the oak tree is wholly unrelated to their moral dispositions; yet, unable to accept the others' claim, they part ways, their friendship at an end.

In this little scenario, the question arises: "Who is expected to offer proof for his claim, the Treeist, for stating the oak tree grows through the floor of the room, or the Atreeist, who denies the statement is true?" In the normal course of everyday events, it is of course the Treeist who must offer support for his claim --- if not, then we would have a world wherein anyone could make any sort of claim and expect to be believed, which would lead to tremendous chaos. No, we all agree that he who makes a claim of the existence of something also shoulders the responsibility of supporting that claim with some sort of proof. It is not up to those who are skeptical to prove the claim false (there is an interesting logical paradox if this method of disproof were to be allowed -- if an unsubstantiated claim carries with it full authority, then each side in any argument could easily never reach any conclusion. Example: "The oak tree exists. Prove that it does not." Since this statement, like all statements, are true simply by their assertion, an easy rejoinder would be: "I have proof that it does not --- prove that I don't have this proof." In kind, the first person could say, "I have proof that proves you don't have proof, prove that I don't." and so on, ad infinitum. Thus we see it is essential to accept the person making the claim as the one who carries the burden of proof, not for the rest of us to prove he is mistaken.)
Tosh, 12.05.2011, 1:23am #
This god thing is built into the genes. Not the 'Ÿomnipotent' one. That's dumb. We are aiming to live half a million years, brain size of a planet with partial galactic hookup, zipping around in the largest city (space) projecting energy to light year distances.
Close enough? We have a ways to go no doubt but we also come a long way.
This god thing is what WE are aiming for. All the gods we dreamt up are human shaped. We may not make it but we are heading there keeping the faith.
jim, 12.05.2011, 8:09am #
In reading some of these comments that people leave on this blog, I am somewhat disheartened by some of the misunderstandings that some people seem to have of The Lord and His Son. Christ came to save us and it says so in the Bible: John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." These words pack such a healthy and hopeful message to me that I wish that all may understand how it feels to read and fully comprehend what those words truly mean. I could never fully believe evolution and I still cannot. No species' DNA can ever be modified so much that it changes into a completely different species. It's almost impossible for me to think that we are descendants from ape-like "ancestors" just because our skeletal systems are similar. If we were truly descendants from these apes, then why are our internal organs closer to that of a swine? Evolution has never and will never be proven. Concerning adaptations, when you throw freshwater fish into a large body of saltwater, the fish don't take millions of years to adapt to that water.... they die! The Bible has been tested again and again by disbelievers and it has always stood tall and true. If you ever need assurance of that, read "The Case for Faith", "The Case for the Real Jesus", "The Case for a Creator" and "The Case for Christ" all by Lee Strobel. These books follow and document the author's doubts of the existence of God to his scientific, historic, and archeological research, and finally to his total belief and works as a pastor in the name of Christ. Another great book to read is "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper. Most importantly, read the Bible. Once upon a time, I wrote a sermon that closely relates to this topic. Here is a small cut from it.. "I have heard before the words that if you throw 100 theologians into one room with a Bible, you will get 100 different opinions. This is just not so. In the beginning, and talking about theologians, we must infer that everyone has separate ideas and opinions. Granted, everyone's mind is unique in the way that thoughts are processed, and so on. Most Christian theologians have similar ideas and conclusions in most instances. The way that they place emphasis on different things can differ by the way that they personally feel is true to themselves or the people that they are surrounded by. There is also a lot written in the Bible, making it possible to focus on certain things and take them out of context, than rather look at the picture as a whole. The important thing is to read the Bible for yourself and make inquiries for yourself. Pray to God and ask for guidance and He will help you if you really have faith that He will be there for you. Now, with that being said, I must say that Martin Luther, who began the Protestant Reformation, had no intention of starting an external reformation that would place the beginning of the Lutheran faith, or eventually even the Baptist faith. Luther only wanted to inwardly reform the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic leaders were keeping everything in Latin so that common man could not understand God's Word for themselves. They taught that true knowledge of God comes only from the Holy Father (another name for the Papal Authority = Pope) and cannot be felt within a common man. They taught that indulgences were necessary to release family members from Purgatory (Catholicism teaches of a place in-between Heaven and Hell) and the whole time they only wanted to use it to their personal gain. One, common citizens had to pay to perform indulgences and so the Catholic leaders were gaining monetary profit from it. Two, it gave the leaders more power to say what they wanted the people to understand, making it possible for them to use their followers to their own gain. Now, Martin Luther said that this was wrong. He believed that faith (sola fide = Latin for faith alone) must come from the scriptures of God and "sola scriptura" (scripture alone). This means that common man must read the Bible himself and without the knowledge of the Latin language, nor the resources to read it in their own language, this became impossible for the common man of the time and was totally unheard of. They had to rely on the Pope. They had to rely on the "modern revelations" and teachings that their church authorities taught, while possessing no real background thought on the matter, because they could not read scripture at all. Martin Luther felt that scripture taught that the common, unlearned men who had strong faith in Christ could understand just as well as church authorities and spoke his mind on it. Here are a couple verses from the Bible that say that anyone who trusts in the Lord can understand His ways: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
This is from Proverbs 3:5-6. Others that profess this are from James 1:5 and Matthew 11:28-30: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (and) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." None of these verses say that you can only gain knowledge or understanding from an authority of a church, but from God and His Word alone or "sola scriptura". This was impossible for the people of Luther's time to accomplish: there was no Bible written in the common languages! With this in mind, the Pope could speak his own will and not God's upon the people and they had to rely on it and trust that the teachings of guidance only by the papal authority and indulgences were based on the truth of God. They had no other options! Luther's reformation gave them a Bible to read: he gave them the power to read and believe for themselves, he gave them the possiblity of having hope, and he gave them liberty. His work was never finished and he was still pursuing the task of reforming the Catholic faith when he died. He, of course was not the first theologian to attempt all of this and he was not the last to carry on the work of reformation, but he was the man noted on his success and his voice for the common man (here I must also add that anyone who disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church was in danger of death by burning at the stake or the hangman's noose, so many people who disagreed did not attempt to reform). Luther was not a prophet, he was not a seer or a pope; he was a common man who wanted to grow up to become a Catholic priest and a man of God and he felt that those being taught by his fellow priests were not getting the fullness of God's Word and he took a risk. He made it possible for common man to interpret. With all of this history being said, I must add that men are men. We are sinful, we make mistakes, and we are accountable, but our faith in God and in Jesus Christ is a cleanser and a healer, and only through Him that is Holy and His Word, may we be saved. My favorite verse that is most comforting to me and that corresponds to this is, of course, John 3:16... Faith in Christ alone, guided by the scripture alone, which was written by man from the inspiration and mouth of God is what makes these words (John 3:16) sound so comforting. And to know what is God's Word and what is not is based upon common understanding and cross referencing throughout the Bible. If you want to understand something, look at it in the way that is spoken throughout the Bible by its true context. Do not break it down and try to say it contradicts another passage unless you really understand the context that it was written. This can be hard. I do not understand all of the Bible and I do not always do these things, but they are good habits to get into. Always look to your Bible for guidance. God wouldn't lead you astray with His own mouth and He doesn't speak in such a complicated manner so that you cannot understand; he speaks in a way that makes you contemplate and ponder and get to know and understand His Word better. It's a learning tool! Most of what Jesus spoke in parable fashion ended up being spoken of in more common terms later on in scripture. There are no contradictions in The Word, but, again, there are those who put their own ideas into their theology based on what they believe should be stressed for you to live a devoted Christian life and what concerns their time. God is God. He never changes according to time and circumstance and neither does His True Word. So saying that 100 theologians will come up with entirely different ideas is not true. If they understand God's Word and the rules of understanding by context and cross examination they cannot be entirely different. Man is sinful and can still use their own thoughts to create doctrine. All they have to do is change something to fit their benefit. Mainstream Protestant Christian religions, while having small differences, do not totally disagree on issues. Mostly, we are not too far off from our fellow mainstream denominations, they just have small things that focus on stressing one thing and not another or understanding one thing one way and not another. God wants you to read His Word and to ponder it and understand it, so He makes it so that you have to think about it and work hard to understand it so that you can create a basis for your faith, but not so much that you are totally confused if you are thinking correctly about it. Man creates the differences in beliefs, not God. The most important thing is your relationship with Christ and your faith. Sola fide. Understand the word for yourself and worship in the way that you feel corresponds with that. Don't go just with what you like. Sola scriptura. Sola fide."

I know that this is a lot for some to process, but Jesus wants us all to believe in Him, even through the hard times. God is a spiritual being and sometimes will not answer us in the way that we expect Him to, but He always will, and sometimes His answer will be "no" or "not yet" and sometimes it will be "yes". Never doubt Him because you cannot see Him or because He doesn't physically visit you. He will visit, but you have to know where to look for Him. "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His Glory, the Glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth." - John 1:14
Timothy L., 24.05.2011, 6:46am #
Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion!
Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier), 24.05.2011, 6:51am #
Amazing what the tribal oriented mind is capable of absorbing! So were the Babilonian goddesses and their entourages. So was Stone-henge and so is the Big Bang while the accelerator in Switzerland is almost finding the god particle: space and time - or whatever constitutes them
jim, 24.05.2011, 8:21am #
must say i love the santa clause reference i used that towards someone who said it was wrong to say there is no god without proof but i will say jesus must have been a reall smart man to have manipulated this many people for all theses year and how kids are brainwashed even generation into believing it if i took a new born taught it everyday that the toilet was god and thats where u came from they would believe it
mike, 03.06.2011, 1:10pm #
i for one am a strong athiest and i loath that people believe in such nonsence.i do not "hate god"(since i dont believe in him go figure) i merely hate the thought of it.i do not hate people who believe in "god" i hate that they beileve it.furthermore it is highly impossible for an almighty and powerful being to exist.if u dont beilieve in mythical/mystical creatures u shouldnt believe in "god" because they are the samething.


if you think about it the bible could have been wrote by anyone.a person from 2000 years ago could have wrote it and said "hey all u, u now hav to worship this powerful being who created everything and doesnt exist just for the hell of it.this book contains a bunch of bullshit that i just made up and u hav to believe its true."


and aside from the matter a place where you can have everything but you hav to be good and cannot "sin" to get in and if you sin you will go to hell where you get torchered and die everyday.i hate how people actually believe this load of crap i mean come on,someone who can do anything and everything yet why can he not come to earth and simply solve all the worlds problems in a snap.such a shame that he doesnt exist.
Zero, 26.06.2011, 1:36am #
Man was created in God's image... I wonder if God has a large penis? And what does he use it for?

The bible was penned by humans. It is a work of fiction- it is a fantasy. I am astounded people quote from the bible as if it actually had validity. Hearsay evidence is suspect.

Humans wrote the bible. The God concept is a result of the search for an explanation of the complex chemical, hormonal impulses that influence our behaviour. The traits that resulted from evolution.
Lucky, 16.07.2011, 5:24pm #
Let's not forget that people through the ages ate up that religious stuff like cotton candy and are eating it up to this day. There is a DEMAND for all those crackpot prophets and that written stuff.
What causes the demand?
I think it is the general fear of death and a fundamental disharmony between the conscious human animal, its environment and nature in general.
jim, 17.07.2011, 6:55am #
"Thou shall not hate".....ummmm why is that I'm seeing hate from all these comments. Not ones from the non-religious, the ones who are religious? Doesn't seem right to me, don't think these people are exactly religious. I'd say hypocrites.

Religion only causes hurt and misery. It should have been done away with a long time ago. We don't need it. We are capable of thinking on our own. So why dont we do that? Each time something comes up and it can't be explained. People use a god reference. Seriously, get a life. There are answers out there. If we spent more time looking for them instead of arguing stupid shit like this, our life on this planet would probably be easier.

I believe in evolution. Thats the only thing that has made sense since I've been living this life. But most religious people are against it cause it goes against their belief.

LOL Well get the fuck over it! When this so called "Jesus" was here, he claimed to be the son of god. When Romans got drift of the news, they got upset of course.Cause it went against their beliefs. Just like its happening now.

We all know the history of Romans. We know how ruthless and cruel they were. If you didn't succumb to law you payed the price. Which usually meant, being hung on a cross.

I do know that some facts of the bible have been proven and found by archaeologist. But those are only like wars moments and such. No proof of god. There isn't a way to prove god and never will be.

God only exists in the minds of those who believe. Some people claim to see god in their dreams. HELLO! We are able to control our dreams. You make your dreams, some seem real that is only cause you make it real. Dreams is a way for us to escape reality for bit to be in our own world.

Who the hell said atheists were Satan worshipers? Is everyone that doesn't follow your religion Satan worshipers? I think not. I have met alot of Atheists. They are just people like you and me. Very nice and friendly to I might add. God tells you love all creatures. Why in the hell aren't you religious people doing that? Maybe you should think about your beliefs a little bit.With all this hate in the world, there is no way possible we were created by gods image. Its a false image. In my opinion we're monsters. At least that is what religion has made most of us to be.

There's talk of a second life. Really? I'm happy just living this life and be done with it lol. I sure as hell don't want to be in a second life where there is still religion.

I'm sure I'll get some hateful comments. But oh well, most people only have a one-track mind and don't think outside the bubble lol
Don, 01.09.2011, 2:23am #
So athiest's can fuck, cheat, steal, kill, lie, etc. . . . did you know that christians can fuck, cheat, kill and lie, did you know that mexicans and blacks and whites can fuck cheat kill and lie. Oh and little kids can at least kill cheat and lie.
its best to say that HUMANS can cheat kill and lie. the only difference i see in religious people and athiests is that religious people are filled with more hate and misery, may existence be cruel to you dumb ass believeing peices of shit. Amen you fuckers. BTW im only 17, im glad to know that im smarter than over half of the population on this earth that was created by the natural causes of this universe.
Alex, 20.09.2011, 8:17pm #
Very, very interesting website. I am a physicist working in the power generation industry and have been an "a-theist" (as I correctly like to pronounce it) for as long as I can remember.

From a purely deterministic point of view, the reason for the non-existence of any kind of supreme being (apart from it being logically nonsensical) is the the universe, in any form that we currently know or can predict, does not need one to either have been created or to function. Although I stated this was a view arrived at through determinism, neither is there anything in quantum physics that supports the existence of gods (despite the myths surrounding Einstein and his beliefs!) More primitive views of the world and later the universe could not be explained by anything but the existence of a deity, but these ideas are now redundant.

Science doesn't know everything, in fact that is its very raison d'etre, but compare that with religious fanatics that claim to have all the answers.
Sean, 28.09.2011, 1:56pm #
Ok friends we all know we find the supposition of a supreme being patterned after a jelous,illogical old man somewhat ridiculous. What fascinates me is the other side of this "market". The masses of "believers" in this folk dance. I have no answer why they fall for this shit in droves. Sometimes I try to imagine a monkey in the tree trying to make out a tiger in the bush which isn't there. And this is the monkey who survived?
jim, 28.10.2011, 7:06am #
Tim, I agree with you one hundered percent. Your vocabulary is at a higher level than mine so there are some terms that I don't fully understand but other than that I understand everything that you are saying. I do not beleive in any religion or god and understand that science provides all the answers to the life's mysteries. I label myself as an Atheist, but I also perform spirtitual practices. Now most people associate spiritual practices to religions and gods but that's not what I'm referring to. My spirtual practices involve Psychology (a science). For example: I meditate, which allows me to relieve stress and increase my concentration. I practice Lucid Dreaming and reach different levels of awareness. Also, if I have an addiction or a habit that I want to break, I pray. I don't pray to a god, since gods don't exist, but I pray to my Subconscience to allow me to break this habit or addiction. Now since I perform these spiritual practices am I still considered an Atheist or am I a special kind of Atheist? On another note, I believe in the Big Bang Theory. I believe that all matter and energy existed in a clump the size of a pin head and a reaction occured that caused the clump to explode and essentially create the universe. Now you said that everything that exists had a cause in order to bring that thing into existence, which I agree with. But since there was nothing that caused the pin head size clump of matter and energy to come into existence, does that mean that that clump had ALWAYS existed?
Darren, 17.11.2011, 1:54am #
"ALWAYS" refers to time. Time is probably nor like a river or train although it has a similar component with the "forward" moving thing. Some say time is like space. Lately they suspect time maybe not one but more concepts. But to try to answer your question: that big NOTHING from which the big bangs shoot out like fire crackers cannot be said to be "empty". It is bigger than us so we can't say what all it contains ut I at least cannot imagine it "empty".
jim, 17.11.2011, 7:31am #
- god is a pervert, he created adam and eve just to watch them having sex
- jesus is a liar, cause he say hes son of god, or maybe he just want to denied that his mother having an affair with other man

I dont believe in god, but i do believe jesus exist, and his teaching is good enuff to make human to become a better being. So its ok to follow his way, but dont force me to follow your way
O.o, 21.11.2011, 7:37pm #
Just a quick question about your "Atheism: A Definition" article (http://www.religionisbullshit.net/articles/atheism.php). You wrote, "they often define an atheist as "One who denies the existence of God" - clearly absurd as one would have to believe in God in the first place to be able to then deny his existence." And later you wrote, "many atheists go further than this and make positive statements like "there is no God". Such people are generally referred to as "strong" rather than "weak" atheists." ... Could you clarify for me what the difference is between "denying the existence of God", and saying "there is no God".. ?
Elisabeth Khadijah, 27.11.2011, 8:42am #
Happy new year to everyone here. Thabk you for this aeticle Tim, it was a good read and I agree with what you have said.
Anthropomorphic, 01.01.2012, 1:17am #
I am sorry, I did not catch your name. I am a "strong" atheist but I don't say anything. All the people at my school are strong christian, given for living in the mountains. For some reason every one thinks its a good idea to check if everyone at their table is christian. Well, people think that they can change my mind by explaining everything through to me. the smart people give up, the smarter people don't say anything. When they say "The Earth is 6,000 years old" I argue with; "Carbon dating is proven by hundreds of scientific facts proven by other scientific facts." Then when they say "your wrong.' I sigh and say "Well, Hindu people think your wrong and the same thing with Islams,Jewish, and etc. All the different gods cancel each other out until there are only atheist standing there." That was not an accurate statement, but I don't really give a shit. I agree with everything you said. I just stand back and watch all the religions go at each other, I don't say anything, I'm pretty much a liberal. which is strange, I am a 12 year old atheist liberal.
Sean, 15.01.2012, 10:07pm #
I googled "Christianity is bullshit" because that's how I honestly think / feel, and this site popped up. After reading a couple of the original author's essays, I read some of the comments, some of which were exactly why I googled in the first place. How can so many people be so short sighted and downright stupid? I guess the world is destined to be run by insanity and the lack of reason & logic for another 50 years or so, when these ignorant people finally die off. Any free thinker who looks at life on this planet objectively, in the past and present tense, will logically conclude that religion is bullshit. It's superstition personified and it's the root cause of most problems in the world. Because no one can really follow a religion with all its impossible rules and interpretations, they are forced to be hypocrite. Hypocrisy leads to acting without reason and also leads to the ability to commit crimes against other people without taking any responsibility for one's actions. That's all for now, but I could go on and on all day. Fortunately, I have other things to do.
Stuart, 07.02.2012, 10:21pm #
So let me see if I follow:

Out of all of the eternal knowledge and understanding of everything that ever was, is, and will be...you have managed to successfully penetrate and infiltrate it all and have come to the conclusion that there absolutely, unequivocally cannot be a "God" that exists beyond our own understanding?

Wow...what will you do with all of your infinite wisdom?

"The finite cannot grasp the infinite..."

P.s.
Atheism is absolutely a religion. Although it is a very "limited" and "restricted" belief...it most definitely is a belief. To say that you believe in "nothing" would suggest that you are either extremely lazy or just empty headed. You do believe in something: you believe in the non existence of a creator.

Why? Again we're back to the whole infinite knowledge thing.

Just because a 20 page, double spaced essay in 12pt times new roman explaining the absolute existence of God hasn't magically dropped onto your doorstep doesn't mean God isn't real. Your logic is like that of a foster child saying "I don't believe in mom and dad..." because he was abandoned at an early age. Of course he has a mom and dad...he's just never met them...but I'm sure someone else has and has probably tried to tell him about them...I guess hell just have to find out for himself...
Indecent, 03.03.2012, 9:08am #
I am not denying the possibility of very powerful beings here and there and things we cannot even imagine. Why not? What it seems to come down to: do I have a buddy among them who will assist me in getting this or that? Or none of them cares even to reveal themselves.
jim, 04.03.2012, 5:06pm #
You seem to be confused on the general definition of "god".

Because what you just said clearly implies "intelligent design" which is really the antithesis of atheism.

Atheism suggests that the universe is one giant washing machine and the different atoms and molecules etc are all random pieces to a Rolex watch. The washing machine is somehow by chance turned on and magically all of the pieces of the unsuspecting watch fit together to form...a watch.

Intelligent design on the other hand suggests that the pieces themselves were designed and were intentionally put into the washing machine which was also intentionally turned on.

I'm not a Christian who vehemently denies "evolution". My argument is not the "how" but the "why".

You just said you're not denying the possibility of very powerful and intelligent beings here and there...

It sounds to me like you need to clearly define your definition of a "god" before you commit to the notion that there is no "god".

Because if the universe is in fact nothing but a giant Rolex watch then you have to wonder who or what created the individual pieces and how/why do they all perfectly fit together?

The Rolex watch argument is absurd when you think about it. Because with it you're assuming the pieces and the washing machine already exist. But atheism suggests otherwise: something was born from nothing. So to accurately compare atheism to putting the pieces of a Rolex watch into a washing machine, then you have to take away every piece of that equation and start the sentence off by simply saying: "there was nothing...and then suddenly for no reason there was something..."

It would seem that it would take much more faith to believe in "nothing" than the idea of an intelligent being who set eternity into motion...
Indecent, 05.03.2012, 6:39am #
@Stuart- so you're saying that only "religious" people commit crimes in our society?

That seems a pretty close minded statement coming from an alleged "free thinker"...

Again: clearly define what it is you actually believe in; you might be surprised to find out you're just as judgmental and hypocritical as the "religious" fools you're openly bashing...
Indecent, 05.03.2012, 6:45am #
You remind me of the quandary the monkey found himself while coming off the tree: is there a tiger in that bush or just seems that way to me? So our great grand father started reasoning: if I say there isn't and there is, trouble. I'd rather say there is. I'd rather be wrong than dead. Next week ask me about the forest fire and how grand dad handled that.
jim, 05.03.2012, 10:57am #
Whats all this rhetoric? It is funny to me that this whole argument is being fought with attempted absolutes of science. Nothing is absolute. Everything that envelopes your life is always changing. Mathmatics may always equal something but organic life doesnt follow mans rules. It does not wait on us nor care what the fuck we think. It changes, moves and re-creates as it wants. The funny thing about Athiests is that their main problem is ignorance and the fact that they see themselves as god. To denounce with complete resolve that there is NO possibility that a God exists is literally saying that they are infinite in knowledge and are beyond time and space. Think about it. Somehow your supreme wisdom and this knowledge of a non-existant nature of a creator came from you and your ability to completely figure out the DNA of the whole universe even though the universe gave birth to you?

Is it really easier for you to say or think that you came from nothing and just existed over the possibility that God came from nothing? If you think you came from something, than probable thinking says you have to trace it all the way back until the beginning. The elements which made up the Universe had to have a beginning. What is it? I dont have all the answers but I will tell you that is is much more wise to believe in a God who made them than a foolish thought that they all accidentally became!

Bottom line is that you Athiest have an inability to get your head out of your asses to see all the wonders around you and give thanks to the One who gave it to you. To know at any moment, your last life can cease to exist. I believe there is a God and not our of some scientific probability nor out of a complete ignorance. But by personal examples that accidental life could never conceive. Another thing...you don't know the answers because you have NEVER asked the right questions. Most people never want to know the answer because once they receive it as truth, they become morally obligated to act on that truth thus admitting that all their philosophies and resolve they have lived by all these years in ignorance is now been proven wrong.
dontclaimtoknow, 06.03.2012, 6:26am #
My friend you are like the cockroach who's imagining the refrigerator was created for him by some super cockroach and the little spilt milk on the floor is a special dispensation for him alone for his special understanding and awe for this magnificent giant bug who will some day enlighten him where the refrigerator really came from
jim, 06.03.2012, 8:37am #
Very nice, I like this. Religious people get far to much respect for thier insane beliefs. If they would keep it to themselves, I wouldn't care, but most don't. The mosk I live by here in Indonesia certainly doesn't. They love to blast thier prayers through the loudspeakers up high on the walls of it day and night. Waking me at 5am everyday, reminding me once again that indeed the world is doomed eventually. No matter how much you scream and yell, kill people, knock on doors and bother people, what you believe in is still a FAIRY TALE.
Pope, 20.03.2012, 9:05pm #
Interesting ideas. My personal opinion is that I can resolve myself to be a strong Atheist due to the fact that I have a limited brain and am unable to fully comprehend limitlessness. I can no more comprehend God than a dog can comprehend 1 + 1 = 2. Our brain has limits. Now as to whether their is an interactive God that really gives a crap what I do from a day to day basis, is another thing all together.
Gabe, 09.04.2012, 5:17am #
the bible is nothing more than a jumble of myths and legends, i couldn't have said it better myself and you're right Tim i do not hate gods because i know they don't exist because they themselves would need a creator. but i hate fundamentalists though because they're homophobic, sexist, and discriminatory to left handed people, i am left handed, autistic, and believe in equality for men and women, and i believe that men (or women) who love each other should have the right to have sex because love is love. I can't be called racist for hating muslims and christians; islam is not a race for science's sake! and how can this idiot RHF say that atheists worship satan as it doesn't exist. Tim, please could you deal with RHF as he really gets on my nerves. I think he should pay more atention in biology , physics and chemistry. science is about making mistakes (and correcting them of course), you don't learn if you don't make mistakes. that's why religious people make rubbish scientists because if you ask them "why is hemoglobin red?" he would answer every time "because my god made it that way" and would get an F and quite rightly so too. I like evolution because I wonder what the future humans will look like will they divide into two different species or perhaps 3? will they have hypertrophic pancreases to cope with all the sugar their ancestors ate. will they have detoxification pouches after all the pollution wiped out the homo-sapiens? will they have no appendix? will their brains be more intelligent will they use logic rather than emotion? will they venture to distant galaxies or will they have limited technology due to their predecessors' ravaging of the earths resources? it's an amazing concept. i hope you find it interesting Tim. I like the cartoon on the home page with the bible being used as bog roll! You're a nice man, Tim. me and my brother both agree with your statements and there is no need to disprove something that has no scientific evidence of it's existence. in other words you don't need to disprove something that doesn't exist.
ED Slipper, 21.07.2012, 6:31pm #
Allow me to illustrate the "virtues" of religion:

The Spanish Inquisition
Victimization of all who opposed the Christian faith. Torture and murder of untold numbers of people.

The Holocaust
The Nazis did what they did out of their hatred for minorities. Hitler himself was a Christian (of Jewish decent) who rallied the masses with promises of a better Germany and a duty to God.

The War on Terror
Basically the U.S. saying, "Because some people who are the rednacks of middle eastern society bombed a building out of a religion that wasn't ours, let's go bomb some brown people!" May I remind you that before this war the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden promising him the presidency of Afghanistan for his services.

Hell
Most religions beleive in a paradise after death. They also beleive in an opposite place where one endures eternal torture. With the Christian faith, that is Hell. A place where God sends you if you do anything to piss him off . . . Yet he loves you.

Human Sacrifice
Now, let me tell you that this practise is mostly common in extinct religions. This dos not mean it is not present in early Christianity. The bible tells us that Abraham was perfectly willing to sacrifice his own son to his God. Evidence shows us that this sort of practise was common at the time. Other civilizations with religion that contained it were:
Ancient Roman
Ancient Greek
Aztec
Maya
Numerous Tribs Both Today And In the Past

I do not deny that religion helps people live better lives in some cases, but as an individual who was brought up on Christianity and ended up converting my own parents to Atheism through my useless facts and understanding of COMMON SENSE (or "uncommon sense" as I like to call it), I feel that most religion is obsolite (Except mabe certain aspects of Buddhism. The ones that aren't complete poppycock).
T, 27.07.2012, 3:38pm #
Also, any religion is both disprovable and unable to be disproved. Hence, you saying God exists is like me saying I have an invisible Tyrannosaurus rex in my backyard that emmits no heat,smell, or sound, doesn't eat, is unable to be touched, and leaces no other evidence of it's exsistance whatsoever . . . and it created the first human using it's snot.
T, 27.07.2012, 3:49pm #
What we need to be satisfied with our place in the world is a good STORY where all the parts fit together and support each other internally consistently.
This story should also go well beyond what we want to know so we can say at one point WHOA I had enough more I don't want to know.
We are linquistic machines and this is our programming.
jim, 29.07.2012, 11:40am #
For me I need and see no God or Gods. The universe is infinite in time and goes backwards as far as it goes forward. Life has no meaning or purpose nor does it need one. Great site by the way.
Paul K, 06.10.2012, 12:18pm #
As a freethinker who has actually lost a teaching position because of my tendency to admit that I find the contention there there is a celestial dictator who speaks to guys with names such as Adam, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed - among others - ridiculous. Even more off-putting is the idea that this dictator demands ritual human sacrifice and cannibalistic ceremonies.
Paralabagne, 06.10.2012, 4:33pm #
Allow that I try this again: As a freethinker...I find the previous ideas as a cause of concern.
Paralabagne, 06.10.2012, 4:37pm #
Maybe my earlier memories have become somewhat sugar-coated but it seems to me that theists, particularly christians have become more deluded and disconnected from rational thinking in the last few decades.

I became atheist at age 13 and have never had the least reason to reconsider that journey into truth.

In the intervening decades, the more I have studied religion and rational thinking, the more I see that all religions are nothing more than a means for a small group of scam artists to control the thoughts, speech, and actions of a larger group of the gullible and willfully ignorant.
James Smith, 06.10.2012, 11:51pm #
I'm in total agreement with James Smith, the last blogger. Well said!

It continues to amaze me that the discussion of religion, in the year 2013, continues to be controversial. If you’re a Christian, chances are about 99% that your parents were, too. If you’re a Hindu, your parents were Hindu. If you’re a Moslem, so were your parents. People are born into their religion and with that acculturation, come a whole litany of beliefs.

As with James Smith, at age 13, I had to wonder: “Because my parents are Christians, and I guess I am one, too, does that mean that the other 3-4 billion people on earth are going to hell?” The whole idea sounded so ridiculous that I soon came to realize that all institutionalized religions were at worst, scams, and at best, no more real than the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy. Nice stories, but fairy tales nonetheless.

Doing my best to strip away my inherited religion, (something that theists find challenging), I came to believe that man has, for want of another term, a “religion gene.” There’s something in our genetic makeup, something in our evolutionary development that favored a belief in the supernatural.

Other primates’ brains didn’t develop to a level whereby they could ponder their being – or fear their death. But Homo sapiens’ increased brain size not only allowed them to figure out survival strategies (bows and arrows, fire, irrigation, etc.), it also introduced a new, hugely important, but challenging concept: mortality. No other animal on earth is aware of its ultimate doom, but we are, and it certainly didn’t sit well with us.

Our survival instincts evolved to allow us to manipulate and control our environment and we’ve been highly successful at that. But we’re mortal, and in dealing with that otherwise morose subject, we’ve cleverly developed a strategy whereby even our lives can live eternally: religion. Every culture has developed a religion that promises longevity for its strict adherents. It’s yet another “survival technique” and it’s so pervasive that it may well be somehow built into our DNA.

So, we develop religions – not only as aids in finding order in our universe, but as a means to promise our eternal existence within it. However, as our foundation of knowledge has continued to grow, we have realized that thunder isn’t the noise of angry gods; lightning isn’t their weapons being cast about in the skies. Thunder and lightning are meteorological phenomena that most 8th Graders can explain. Miracles become suspect; “virgin” births are doubted; Noah and his Ark join Santa and his sleigh. All but the hopelessly ignorant believe earth is over 4 billion years old.

So today, religion struggles – and continually fails – to answer questions about our physical universe. Science has properly taken on that role. Yet we are having a devilishly hard time shedding our needs to believe in something – anything – that can claim to promise us our cherished immortality.

My answer: accept it. Like every other living entity on earth, we die. We don’t join 100 virgins in the sky, there is no heaven, there is no hell (imagine!), we don’t spend a winged eternity floating in the clouds with our loved ones and former pets. We die. They die. We all die.

So let’s make our finite time on earth as wonderful an experience as possible. Let’s work to improve our time here, let’s work to enable others to enjoy their lives, let’s laugh, let’s cry, let’s be sad and let’s have fun. But let’s not continue to make up fairy tales and belief systems that attempt to provide us immortality. We’re smarter than that.
ScottSays, 07.03.2013, 10:15pm #
Very well done, if overly kind, to probably the most destructive force in our lives.
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