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BS: Atheists

olddude 02 Apr 13 - 06:01 PM
Jeri 02 Apr 13 - 06:23 PM
bobad 02 Apr 13 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,olddude 02 Apr 13 - 07:18 PM
Bill D 02 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Apr 13 - 08:53 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 13 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,olddude 02 Apr 13 - 09:26 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Apr 13 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,olddude 02 Apr 13 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,olddude 02 Apr 13 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Apr 13 - 04:05 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 13 - 04:19 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 13 - 04:25 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Apr 13 - 04:33 AM
Joe Offer 03 Apr 13 - 05:15 AM
Jack the Sailor 03 Apr 13 - 05:43 AM
Jack the Sailor 03 Apr 13 - 05:52 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 13 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Apr 13 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Apr 13 - 06:00 AM
Jack the Sailor 03 Apr 13 - 06:12 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Apr 13 - 06:18 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 13 - 06:21 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Apr 13 - 06:24 AM
Jeri 03 Apr 13 - 10:28 AM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 13 - 11:20 AM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 13 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM
Doug Chadwick 03 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,olddude 03 Apr 13 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,olddude 03 Apr 13 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 03 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM
Ed T 03 Apr 13 - 03:18 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM
Amos 03 Apr 13 - 06:34 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM
Janie 03 Apr 13 - 11:29 PM
akenaton 04 Apr 13 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 04 Apr 13 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 11:21 AM
Stringsinger 04 Apr 13 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 04 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM
akenaton 04 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Apr 13 - 12:55 PM
Becca72 04 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM
Ed T 04 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Apr 13 - 05:30 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Apr 13 - 05:48 PM
Janie 04 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 07:55 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 08:04 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM
Ed T 04 Apr 13 - 08:42 PM
olddude 04 Apr 13 - 08:51 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM
Amos 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM
Don Firth 04 Apr 13 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 10:28 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Apr 13 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 10:53 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 13 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 13 - 01:21 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 13 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 05 Apr 13 - 07:40 AM
olddude 05 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 05 Apr 13 - 09:26 AM
olddude 05 Apr 13 - 09:35 AM
Stringsinger 05 Apr 13 - 09:56 AM
John P 05 Apr 13 - 10:09 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Apr 13 - 11:06 AM
Mrrzy 05 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 05 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,olddude 05 Apr 13 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,olddude 05 Apr 13 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,olddude 05 Apr 13 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,olddude 05 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Apr 13 - 06:04 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 13 - 09:24 PM
John P 05 Apr 13 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 06 Apr 13 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Apr 13 - 04:20 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 13 - 04:35 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 08:19 AM
akenaton 06 Apr 13 - 11:17 AM
Stringsinger 06 Apr 13 - 11:35 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 06 Apr 13 - 12:23 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Apr 13 - 01:23 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 01:24 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Apr 13 - 01:33 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Apr 13 - 01:52 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 02:00 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 02:07 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 13 - 02:24 PM
Ed T 06 Apr 13 - 03:01 PM
Ed T 06 Apr 13 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Apr 13 - 03:31 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 03:45 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Apr 13 - 05:09 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 05:51 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 13 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Apr 13 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 06 Apr 13 - 06:10 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 06:16 PM
akenaton 06 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM
Ed T 06 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM
John P 06 Apr 13 - 08:40 PM
akenaton 06 Apr 13 - 09:03 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 09:33 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 13 - 09:38 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Apr 13 - 09:50 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Apr 13 - 09:55 PM
Ed T 06 Apr 13 - 10:06 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Apr 13 - 01:03 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 07 Apr 13 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 07 Apr 13 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Apr 13 - 04:09 AM
akenaton 07 Apr 13 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 07 Apr 13 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 07 Apr 13 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 07 Apr 13 - 08:07 AM
Ed T 07 Apr 13 - 08:42 AM
Stu 07 Apr 13 - 09:03 AM
Ed T 07 Apr 13 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Apr 13 - 10:51 AM
Stu 07 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 01:53 PM
John P 07 Apr 13 - 02:42 PM
BrendanB 07 Apr 13 - 03:29 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 03:35 PM
BrendanB 07 Apr 13 - 03:39 PM
BrendanB 07 Apr 13 - 04:01 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 04:10 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 04:20 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 13 - 04:28 PM
BrendanB 07 Apr 13 - 04:44 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 06:29 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Apr 13 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 07 Apr 13 - 07:03 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 07:36 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Apr 13 - 07:40 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Apr 13 - 07:40 PM
John P 07 Apr 13 - 07:43 PM
John P 07 Apr 13 - 07:54 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Apr 13 - 08:02 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Apr 13 - 08:05 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 08:09 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 08:12 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 13 - 08:43 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Apr 13 - 08:56 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 08:57 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Apr 13 - 09:51 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 11:37 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 11:45 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Apr 13 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 08 Apr 13 - 01:23 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Apr 13 - 02:33 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 03:17 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 13 - 03:24 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 03:32 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 03:36 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Apr 13 - 04:38 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 04:45 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 04:54 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Apr 13 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Apr 13 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Apr 13 - 06:01 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Apr 13 - 06:13 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Apr 13 - 07:28 AM
Stringsinger 08 Apr 13 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Apr 13 - 10:45 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Apr 13 - 04:19 AM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 10:22 AM
Stringsinger 09 Apr 13 - 11:15 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Apr 13 - 11:26 AM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 12:08 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 12:10 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Apr 13 - 12:48 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 01:00 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Apr 13 - 01:11 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 01:29 PM
Stringsinger 09 Apr 13 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Apr 13 - 05:36 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 05:39 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 09 Apr 13 - 07:23 PM
John P 09 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM
Rob Naylor 09 Apr 13 - 09:48 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Apr 13 - 10:08 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Apr 13 - 03:30 AM
Howard Jones 10 Apr 13 - 03:55 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Apr 13 - 06:08 AM
Stringsinger 10 Apr 13 - 10:09 AM
Ebbie 10 Apr 13 - 12:10 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Apr 13 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 10 Apr 13 - 01:44 PM
Ebbie 10 Apr 13 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Apr 13 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 10 Apr 13 - 04:12 PM
Jack the Sailor 10 Apr 13 - 04:18 PM
Ebbie 11 Apr 13 - 02:46 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM
Jack the Sailor 11 Apr 13 - 04:28 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 13 - 06:12 AM
bobad 11 Apr 13 - 08:25 AM
Jack the Sailor 11 Apr 13 - 09:09 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 13 - 10:18 AM
Stringsinger 11 Apr 13 - 10:44 AM
bobad 11 Apr 13 - 11:16 AM

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Subject: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:01 PM

How many Atheists does it take to change a light bulb ? None
they don't believe it can be done

Why don't Atheists carry umbrellas ? They don't believe the weather man

Why do Atheists never use elevators ? They don't trust or believe the elevator floor lights

Why are Atheists always sick ? They don't believe their doctor

and ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:23 PM

Bullshit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: bobad
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 06:26 PM

"There is no polite way to suggest to someone that they have devoted their life to a folly"

    Daniel Dennett


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 07:18 PM

Why do Atheists have NO sense of humor ? Cause they believe the one scientist that said it cut off Oxygen to the brain


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM

I fail to see either the point of the thread or the weak metaphors used as examples of whatever the point is. Does my failure to get the 'humor' imply I am an atheist? ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 08:53 PM

Who do atheists call out to when they are having sex?

"OH! Not God!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:19 PM

Jaysus, this is the most corset-splitting thread I've seen in years. Not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:26 PM

sorry - Not


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:36 PM

What do you say to an atheist wearing a corset?


Hi Steve!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:42 PM

Where do atheists go when they die
No where, God don't want them and the devil as more than enough


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 02 Apr 13 - 09:49 PM

why do atheists feel the need to constantly attack others beliefs.
Answer: it is the only way they can get anyone to talk to them


Joe
you can close the thread now ... maybe I made my point


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:05 AM

Weird thread. I don't believe in god, but have no compulsion to attack anyone who does (or even have a conversation about it for that matter).

And those aren't jokes. Jokes are supposed to be funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:19 AM

The is an ongoing arrogance in all these arguments that those who don't agree with your beliefs have none of their own, which sums up most religious fundamentalism as I understand it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:25 AM

Olddude obviously doesn't believe in free speech, he want's a thread closing because he thinks he has made his point, git.

I'm an atheist, but I don't go around attacking those who believe in any religion.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 04:33 AM

The only 'point' that I can identify OD to have made is that he is more of a smartarse than previously suspected.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:15 AM

Yeah, I gotta say I don't get the point of the thread.
I'm not the one who closes such things any more, but I don't think I would have closed it Back In The Day. Still there's an element of meanness to the "jokes" that makes them Not Funny.

Hey, some of the people I respect most, are atheists. Be nice to them.
And no, I don't hope that some day they'll convert. One trait of most atheists I've known, is honesty. I appreciate that.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:43 AM

Free speech? Closing a thread interferes with free speech?

I gives me great pleasure that even in the event that this thread is closed, you will be able to post to others and even start your own. Most likely no one will call you a git for doing so.

"I'm an atheist, but I don't go around attacking those who believe in any religion."

In that case I find it unlikely that this thread was aimed at you.

I don't get the jokes either. But I don't think that good people call sane people delusional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:52 AM

I don't get all of there either, but I like the fly joke. Not everyone sees humor in the same way.

Atheist Jokes

Why did the atheist cross the road?
He thought there might be a street on the other side, but he wouldn't believe it until he tested his hypothesis.



Why did the atheist throw her watch out the window?
She wanted to see if it was designed intelligently enough to evolve into a bird.



A minister, a priest, a rabbi, and an atheist meet in a bar at 10:00 a.m. The bartender asks the minister what he'll have, and the minister orders a martini. The priest also orders a martini, as does the rabbi. When the bartender asks the atheist what he wants, the atheist says he'd like a cup of coffee. "Why aren't you having a martini like those guys?" asks the bartender. "Oh," says the atheist, "I don't believe in martinis before lunch."



Why does an atheist wear red suspenders?
To keep his pants from being taken up to heaven during the rapture.



A Jew, A Catholic, and an atheist are rowing in Lake Erie when their boat springs a huge leak. The Jew looks skyward, and says "Oh, Adonai, if you save me, I promise I'll sail to Israel and spend the rest of my days trying to reclaim the land you gave us." The Catholic looks skyward, and says, "Oh, Jesus, if you save me, I promise I'll fly to the Vatican and spend the rest of my days singing your praises." The atheist says, "Oh, guys, if you pass me that one life preserver, I promise I'll swim to Cleveland." "And how will you spend the rest of your days?" the Jew and the Catholic ask. "Well," says the atheist, "I'm not sure, but I can tell you one thing: I'll never go rowing with other atheists."



How many atheists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to actually change the bulb, and the other to videotape the job so fundamentalists won't claim that god did it.



An atheist goes to a Christian psychiatrist, who hands her an inkblot and says, "Tell me what you see." The atheist says, "I see Jesus on the cross." The psychiatrist hands her a second inkblot, and says, "Now tell me what you see." The atheist says, "I still see Jesus on the cross." The psychiatrist hands her a third inkblot, and says, "What do you see now?" The atheist says, "It's Jesus on the cross again." The psychiatrist says, "Hmmm. Obviously you've got Jesus on the brain." The atheist replies, "Me? I only read the captions you wrote."



Atheist: What's this fly doing in my soup?
Waiter: Praying.
Atheist: Very funny. I can't eat this. Take it back.
Waiter: You see? The fly's prayers were answered.



How can you tell if an atheist lives in your refrigerator?
You find a copy of The God Delusion hidden in the cream cheese.



An atheist buys an ancient lamp at an auction, takes it home, and begins to polish it. Suddenly, a genie appears, and says, "I'll grant you three wishes, Master." The atheist says, "I wish I could believe in you." The genie snaps his fingers, and suddenly the atheist believes in him. The atheist says, "Wow. I wish all atheists would believe this." The genie snaps his fingers again, and suddenly atheists all over the world begin to believe in genies. "What about your third wish?" asks the genie. "Well," says the atheist, "I wish for a billion dollars." The genie snaps his fingers for a third time, but nothing happens. "What's wrong?" asks the atheist. The genie shrugs and says, "Just because you believe in me, doesn't necessarily mean that I really exist."



Two cannibals are eating an atheist, and one says to the other, "Can you believe the way this guy tastes?"



Knock, knock.
Who's there?
God.
Who?
God.
Who?
God.
Must be the wind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:53 AM

Hey, some of the people I respect most, are atheists.

In that case, Joe, I thank God I'm an atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 05:55 AM

Atheism is a celebration of human inventiveness which recognises that God & religion only exist on account of those human beings who made it up in the first place and those who've seen fit (for whatever reason) to propagate it thereafter. There's a lot of fine things about religion - the music, the architecture, the fixtures & fittings, the scriptures &c. - which the Atheist appreciates in terms of aforementioned human inventiveness. Even I may stand before the Papyrus P52 exhibit in Manchester's Ryland's Library in a state of reverential awe, but that has nothing to do with belief in anything other than the immediate human reality & cultural history as manifest in the thing.

Atheism is an inclusive philosophy that allows for a more objective view of such matters entirely divorced from the superstition of belief, which is a quaintly folkloric delusion on the one hand, yet more than a tad provincial on the other given the diversity of human cultural / spiritual experience from which we may deduce the wellsprings & motives of organised religion, whatever the stripe. In many ways The God Concept is as much an achievement as Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Large Hadron Collider; God is born from a dynamic Myth Process which then becomes ossified by absolutism by those for whom stasis equates with Tradition and are prepared to kill or otherwise oppress for its preservation.      

We are all of us spiritual beings; our spirituality is as unique to us as our sexuality. That Religion seeks to exploit the former in the same way as Pornography seeks to exploit the latter is but one of the misfortunes of Human Culture (along with War, The Tory Party, UKIP, EDL, the Daily Mail, etc.) which, on the evidence hitherto, must always have a Dark Side. The nature of our subjective spirituality is experienced in terms of wonder, beauty, joy, awe, our capacity for music, art, poetry, howling at the moon, weeping over the the birth of our children and the death of loved ones and pondering the Fortean in terms of what might often allude simple explanation. This much is common to all, yet unique to each of us.

Atheism presupposes that we've outgrown the need for the comfort blanket of Belief, just as Anarchy presupposes we've outgrown the need for Government. Both are optimistic glimpses of future possibility that take a very happy view indeed of human potential, however so naive that may be to the reactionary detractors for whom such enlightenment is anathema to an arrogant self-centred world view born from both pig ignorance and the fear that death might just be the end of it after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:00 AM

Elude.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:12 AM

Spiritual Safety Tip


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:18 AM

""In that case I find it unlikely that this thread was aimed at you.""

A thread specifically debunking atheists wasn't aimed at an atheist? How does that follow?

""I don't get the jokes either. But I don't think that good people call sane people delusional.""

I'm not an atheist, but I wouldn't call religious fundamentalists or Creationists sane.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:21 AM

There are things we don't yet understand about the Universe and some of those things can appear to be dark, scary, dangerous and mysterious. Religion exploits this feeling of vulnerability that we have by proposing a deity who will shield us from the menace of the mysterious. It's a deity, though, who must be both comforting and menacing at the same time. He will protect us and, eventually, provide us with an eternal home away from all insecurity. It's a very alluring prospect. You don't need to have believer genes to be taken in by that, any more than I need money-lust genes to be excited by winning the lottery. But you mustn't reject him, as he then becomes far fiercer, more menacing and vengeful than those dark mysteries could ever manage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:24 AM

""Weird thread. I don't believe in god, but have no compulsion to attack anyone who does (or even have a conversation about it for that matter).""

One of the very few intelligent posts.

I do believe in God, but I'm more likely to be attacking extreme believers than atheists.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 10:28 AM

Dan, I thought you were better than this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:20 AM

Dan, this is not respectful or particularly funny or true. Why did you do this?

Don't you realize that a similar poking fun could be done at Christians or other religious sects? You've opened the door to this kind of deprecating humor and I know you're not really like this. You're a good guy.

You of all people don't need a lecture on tolerance, so I won't go there. We don't need a religious war on Mudcat.

Thank you Joe, you are also a good guy.

A discussion is one thing, an attack is another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:32 AM

In Dawkin's defense, he did not call people delusional. He called the notion of god delusional. That's different. Those that take umbrage at this might check their own belief systems as to their sincerity. If people are devoted to a belief system, then no criticism of it should make any difference to them.

You don't have to agree with Dawkins but to play a victim role here is silly. A large majority of the world believes in a god(s) and those that state otherwise are in the minority.

However, atheists have good reason to think of a notion of god as delusional since a large majority of fundamentalists have taken over and imposed their views on others.

There are intelligent people who are religious but comparatively few who have the "grace"
to understand those who are not. Unfortunately, these threads have been a launching pad for attacks rather than an illuminating sharing of different ideas.

Both science and religion are open to criticism in a pluralistic democracy. The difference is that in science, criticism is built in to the process. In religion, it's "my way or the highway."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM

I must confess to feeling a measure of disappointment when I encounter Christians who aren't fundamentalist right-wing bigoted xeno/homophobic creationists. I wonder what they're in it for - especially the members of the oxymoronic Christian Left who liberally co-opt scientific and socialist views which are, in truth, hard won heresies that are, in truth, anathema to the divinely appointed hierarchies of heaven & earth they otherwise claim to hold so dear.

One celebrated (erstwhile?) Christian Mudcatter is fond of pointing out that God created evolution too. I find that deeply offensive to my Atheist Sensitivities given that the Theory of Evolution was a significant cornerstone of Modern Popular Secularism & the Enlightenment of the Proletariat.

So I say to Christians : if you can believe in any of it, then why not believe in it all? From Adam 'n' Steve to The Book of Relaxation? Be proud of your heritage of All Inclusive Biblical Literalism for which millions of people have been put to the sword & entire cultures effaced from the globe - it is, after all, the revealed word o' God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM

Why don't Atheists carry umbrellas ? They don't believe the weather man

Surely no-one believes the weather man, do they? Experience should tell you that any similarity between the forecast and the actual weather is mere coinidence.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:27 PM

Here is the point, every day someone has cruel postings about others beliefs. Do I agree with free speech, I can assure you I put my life on the line for it a hell of a lot more than many here ever did.

Do I enjoy thoughtful debate .. YES I do .. Do I agree with cruel attacks, NO but it sure seems ya can dish it out but when someone gets pissed and turns the tables you whine.   Point made


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:39 PM

convert, I never once tried to convert anyone on anything other than old pocket watches. I am not some missionary .. far from it. don't care what other believe or don't believe. but when I bust my ass to help others only to read how I am classified as sub human with everyone else with beliefs it ssts me off. Free speech, the reason you have free speech is guys like me took the action to protect it. Respect is what is lacking here anymore. I was taught to treat others with respect, to be kind and helpful. My atheist friends are friend. I don't classify them as athiest or any other term cause I don't care. they walk the walk, My pissed off attitude is for a few. Rock on, I could care less


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

This thread seems as pointless and offensive as religion.

How many priests does it take to change a lightbulb?

Three.   One to change the light bulb, one to be enjoying the dark with an altar boy and one to deny knowledge of what is going on.

See? You open a right can of worms with this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM

"This thread seems as pointless and offensive as religion."
A quick shufti around all these threads shows an 'offensive' imbalance by the children of 'love and light', this nasty little thread being the hands down winner.
The only "cruel postings" here have come from those who would damn the rest of us to their hell.
As usual we are being told that to be prepared to question and to doubt is to be militantly anti, - certainly the age-old stance by the church I am most familiar with.
If ever I was tempted to try for a place upstairs by changing my ways, a pretty good disincentive would be the thought of the company you would have to keep for eternity....... brrrrrr....
Jim Carroll   
BTW
Came across this little gem while I was tidying up some of my discs:

To be read, until further notice, at the principal Masses, in all Churches on the first Sunday of each Quarter of the Ecclesiastical Year.

EVILS OF DANCING

Statement of the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland issued at their Meeting, held in Maynooth, on 6th October, 1925.

We have a word of entreaty, advice and instruction, to speak to our flocks on a very grave subject. There is danger of
losing the name which the chivalrous honour of Irish boys and the Christian reserve of Irish maidens had won for Ireland. If our people part with the character that gave rise to that name, we lose with it much of our national strength, and still more of the high rank we have held in the Kingdom of Christ.
Purity is strength, and purity and faith go together. Both virtues are in danger these times, but purity is more directly assailed than faith. The danger comes from pictures and papers and drink. It comes more from the keeping of improper company than from any other cause; and there is no worse fomenter of this great evil than the dancing hall. We know too well the fruits of these halls all over the country. It is nothing new, alas, to find Irish girls now and then brought to shame, and retiring to the refuge of institutions or the dens of great cities. 'But dancing halls, more especially, in the general uncontrol of recent years have deplorably aggravated the ruin of virtue due to ordinary human weakness. They have brought many a good, innocent girl into sin, shame and scandal, and set her unwary feet on the road that leads to perdition.
Given a few frivolous young people in a locality and a few careless parents, and the agents of the wicked one will come there to do the rest, once a dance is announced without proper control. They may lower or destroy the moral tone of the whole countryside.
Action has to be taken while the character of the people as a whole is still sound to stop the dangerous laxity that has been creeping into town and country.
Amusement is legitimate, though some of our people are overgiven to play. What, however, we condemn is sin and the dangerous occasions of sin. Wherever these exist, amusement is not legitimate. It does not deserve the name of amusement among Christians. It is the sport of the evil spirit for those who have no true self-respect. The occasions of sin and sin itself are the attendants of night dances in particular. There may be and are exceptions, but they are comparatively few.
To say nothing of the special danger of drink, imported dances of an evil kind, the surroundings of the dancing hall, withdrawal from the hall for intervals, and the dark ways home have been the destruction of virtue in every part of Ireland.
The dancing of dubious dances on Sunday, more particularly by persons dazed with drink, amounts to woeful desecration of the Lord's Day wherever it takes place.
Against such abuses, duty to God and love of our people compel us to speak out. And what we have to say each for his own diocese, is that we altogether condemn the dangerous occasions, the snares, the unchristian practices to which we have referred.
Very earnestly do we trust that it may not be necessary for us to go further.
Our young people can have plenty of worthy dancing with proper supervision, and return home at a reasonable hour. Only in special circumstances under most careful control, are all-night dances permissible.
It is no small commendation of Irish dances that they cannot be danced for long hours. That, however, is not their chief merit, and, while it is no part of our business to condemn any decent dance, Irish dances are not to be put out of the place, that is their due, in any educational establishment under our care. They may not be the fashion in London or Paris. They should be the fashion in Ireland. Irish dances do not make degenerates. We well know how so many of our people have of late been awaiting such a declaration as we now issue. Until otherwise arranged it is to be read at the principal Mass on the first Sunday of each Quarter of the Ecclesiastical Year. The priests will confer with responsible parishioners as regards the means by which it will be fully carried into effect. "And may the God of Peace Himself sanctify you in all things, that your whole spirit and soul and body may be blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Thess. V. 23).
(Signed),
Patrick O'Donnell, Archbishop of Armagh, Chairman.
Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne,
Thomas O'Doherty, Bishop of Galway Secretaries.
6* October, 1925.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:18 PM

Does Mudcat need another and another religious or athiest thread to say the same things that have been said before?

It would seem so, and I find the lack of long term memory here kinda amusing - not that there is anything wrong with that. maybe old folkies never die, as there is no actual "old folkie" heaven.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM

""If ever I was tempted to try for a place upstairs by changing my ways, a pretty good disincentive would be the thought of the company you would have to keep for eternity....... brrrrrr....""

I think you worry unnecessarily Jim.

If you find you are wrong and arrive at the gates of heaven, those whom you just described will certainly be missing. They'll be experiencing the massive impact of the knowledge that their way wasn't what he wanted.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:34 PM

Geeze, there are some really strange notions about atheism in some heads. I am an atheist by some definitions, in that I don't believe for a minute in an anthropomorphic, self-centered omnipotence poking His nose and fingers into human affairs. I don't believe in Zeus, either, for that matter, or Zarathustra's Ahura Mazda. But I am not insensitive to the inklings and whispers of primal Causation that find their way into the human imagination, and I honor the genuine efforts to listen to them wherever found. I just don't think any of the mainstream definitions of godhood, Lordhood, or deity have anything to do with the substance of the issue.

Furthermore I am not unhappy, crotchety or grumpy most of the time. I am more inclined toward levity and the celebration of consciousness and good spirit.

Just in case anyone wants to correct their stereotypes or something.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM

I consider myself a non-theist. I believe there is a spiritual or transcendent dimension to the universe and, while I have no idea exactly what its nature is, I seriously doubt it has much to do with the idea of "God" as espoused by western theistic religions. I have an affinity for Eastern non-theistic religions like Buddhism and Taoism, though I'm not a practitioner of either. This probably makes me just religious enough to disqualify myself from membership in The Dickie Dawkins Rabid Atheist Club.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:29 PM

Dan,

I am curious to know what your intent was and is in starting this thread.

My experience of you is that you value this community and you are certainly some one whose participation here as a builder and contributor to our cyberspace community, as well as to the music, is valued by many and not just by me.

Help me to understand.

All the best,

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:12 AM

We know nothing about the origin of the universe(if there is such a thing)....talking about the "universe is like talking about "equality", "freedom" etc.

A belief in "creation" is no more insane than a belief in the "big bang" or any other theory made up by science.

Oh by the way.....humanity will have long since destroyed itself and everything else on this tiny planet before the question can be answered....if it can be answered

That thought is rather religious for an atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:49 AM

seems to me that believers can expect dissing from the more militant atheists whether they believe all the bible or very little of it.some are so vague about God they seem to affirm next to nothing other than that he wont like those of us who do believe the bible.ah - the vaguries of the scientific method!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:21 AM

Doesn't mean anything Janie, I am just in a bad mood and taking it out on everyone .. apologies to all for starting it


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:34 AM

Dan, I've made some stupid mistakes myself on Mudcat so I accept your apology and hope others here will accept mine as well.

To everyone else: No one has talked much about the Militant Christians, Militant Islamists, Militant Jews, or militant anything else. Dogmatism doesn't choose favorites.

As for distancing yourself from Dawkins, B-W-L, you would be advised to read some of his books as I have instead hiding behind the veil of "religious" in your attacks on him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM

Did you notice that?

Akenaton said talking about the universe is like talking about equality.

Let me help you. The universe is as complicated as your post imagines it to be. Equality on the other hand is easy. It means taking people's diversity into account in ensuring our dealings treat them with equal respect. Just in case you have issues with that, you live in a country where the law ensures everybody understands that. It protects us from bigotry.

Out of interest, big bang is a working hypothesis based on evaluating the evidence. Creation is based on something someone read and has been defending ever since.

You really are a sad little fucker, aren't you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

If you say so Ian.....it must be right. :0)

Fortunately ,I have many friends who know that I am not an ignorant arrogant, big mouthed, fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 12:55 PM

"seems to me that believers can expect dissing from the more militant atheists whether they believe all the bible or very little of it.some are so vague about God they seem to affirm next to nothing other than that he wont like those of us who do believe the bible.ah - the vaguries of the scientific method!"

Well, pete, I think you'll probably find that most athiests can spell the word 'vagaries' and know that a vagary is a whimsical or extravagant notion. I see nothing whimsical or extravagant about the scientific method - just a calm, methodical pursuit of truth. Uncritical, unquestioning belief in the mythological, or possibly allegorical ramblings, in an old book of uncertain authorship however ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Becca72
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM

I always considered myself an agnostic but after reading BWL's post I have to say I align more with his beliefs.

And sorry, Dan, but more people have been killed in the name of "god" than for any other reason. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but so am I even if they don't agree. It has been my personal experience that atheists are far less likely to try to push me to their belief system. The same cannot be said for religious types. No atheist has ever knocked on my door to hand out leaflets on the nonexistence of god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM

Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM

RELIGION, well it is the curse of mankind, FAITH is the salvation.
For an atheist it is Faith in Humanity. Either way it is all about the footprints we leave behind in this life. I try to make mine straight as I can but sometimes I zig zig as I did starting this disagreeable thread but I sure ain't perfect either.

Frank you have been nothing but a good friend to me and a hero to me. I don't care a thing about beliefs, you walk the walk and that is all I ask for in a friend


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM

And on the eighth day God said, "Okay, Murphy, you're in charge!" ~Author Unknown


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM

This multiplication of "atheists" threads, has me confused. Somebody from an atheist perspective posted a very thoughtful message yesterday or the day before. I wanted to respond to it, but now I can't find it. The writer acknowledged that there are some religious people who fail to comply with the authoritarianism and doctrinaire positions that the writer sees as essential to religion. I get the impression that this writer doesn't see these nonconformist people as "really" religious. I was impressed by blandiver's "Atheism is a celebration of human inventiveness" post (above), although that's not the one I was looking for.

I wonder if we're using the wrong criteria to differentiate people. I'm a very religious Catholic, but it seems to me that I have far more in common with many atheists and agnostics, than I have with fundamentalist believers or what I call "absolutists" (whether or not those absolutists believe in a god).

As I look at the spectrum of people, I see some people who are what I would call "constructive." These are generally non-ideological people who think their own thoughts and don't tie themselves too tightly to any one ideology. They generally are open to a wide variety of schools of thought. They may believe in a god, or they may not. If they do believe, they see things within the context of a belief system - they use their belief system, traditions, and mythology as tools for exploring what they encounter. "Constructive" people who don't believe in a god aren't likely to use such tools - although I think most "constructive" nonbelievers tend to be respectful of rituals and mythologies and belief systems. Maybe "philosophical" would be a better word for this group. "Contemplative" would also fit, but that word has religious implications - and I think this group is not necessarily religious or irreligious.

On the other end of the spectrum are what I would call "destructive" people. These are the people who seem to be driven to attack, to destroy, to tear down. On the religious side, one prominent example would be the "Rev." Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, with their virulent anti-homosexuality. But there are many others, who seem hell-bent to destroy everything in their path - and they claim to have God on their side. And yes, there are certainly destructive people who are nonbelievers - they simply don't have a God they can call upon as an ally. "Destructive" people, both believers and nonbelievers, seem to me to be strongly ideology-driven.

And then there's the group in the center - I think I'd call them "defensive" people. They tend to be more comfortable with an ideology than they are with their own thoughts, but the ideologies they choose can sometimes be quite positive. They tend to be more fearful than the constructive or destructive types. They tend to follow gurus - either religious or non-religious leaders. I think the followers of Dawkins and Billy Graham and Pope John Paul II fall into this category. These can be very good, very functional people - but don't expect them to spend much time doing original thinking. These are the people in the middle, but I don't think it would be fair to call them "mediocre." Sometimes, these people can go far beyond mediocrity. But they feel more comfortable when they have a leader to follow. These people tend to be better employees than the "constructive" ones.

Now, I don't think there are clear lines dividing these three groups, but I think my general characterizations are fairly accurate.

And there lies my answer to the poster, whoever she/he was and wherever he/she posted. I may be a Catholic and my Catholic faith may play a big part in my life, but my religious beliefs must conform with who I am - I cannot be ideological. I have to think my own thoughts and make my own decisions. The Catholic Church is broad enough to allow me to do that. It's not always comfortable, but the fact of the matter is that my existence as a "freethinker" was encouraged during my 16 years of Catholic education - including 8 years in a seminary. Still, I feel more at home with most Unitarians, than I do with most Catholics.

So, that's my theory.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:30 PM

""I consider myself a non-theist. I believe there is a spiritual or transcendent dimension to the universe and, while I have no idea exactly what its nature is, I seriously doubt it has much to do with the idea of "God" as espoused by western theistic religions. I have an affinity for Eastern non-theistic religions like Buddhism and Taoism, though I'm not a practitioner of either. This probably makes me just religious enough to disqualify myself from membership in The Dickie Dawkins Rabid Atheist Club.""

I could subscribe to that BWL! Though I describe myself as a Theist, I cannot give any kind of form to that being, so it may be more akin to what Buddhism seems to suggest, or just a glimmer of a primal causation as Amos said.

One thing I can absolutely assert. Atheists don't bother me one jot.

Unfortunately for Pete's stated viewpoint, I am bothered, dissed and harassed frequently and persistently by evangelists knocking at my door to shove their views in my face.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM

I think that there has been the assumptions on the part of some that Atheists are atheists and "Godbotherers" are "Godbotherers" and that only atheists understand science and that "Godbotherers" need to have their superstitions slapped out of them. I regret having bickered those people. I didn't set out to bicker but I surely did.

I generally agree with what you said Joe. I don't think that Atheism or Religion is in any way monolithic. I think most look at the information available and make up their own minds. I know liberal baptists and conservatives who profess much more "liberal" beliefs.

I do have a couple of nits to pick, not with the general ideas but with specific classifications.

I think Billy Graham is a special case. He certainly was more interested in salvation than on ideological battles but his ministry, personified and run by his son Franklin has veered into the realm of destructiveness in very disturbing ways. I have read that churches he sponsored in Africa as a "bulwark" against Islam are literally waging war and committing atrocities in the name of God.

I think that Dawkins is a special case as well. I don't know that he has followers as such but his tactics of saying that Christians (and all those who believe in any God) are suffering from a delusion and being hyper-condescending when talking about the religious and debating them is certainly not winning him any friends among believers and seems to me in two ways to be more offensive than defensive. And of course his recent comments about Islam are not excusable. IMHO He ought to use the same "scientific rigor" on everyone or simply keep his baseless opinions to himself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:48 PM

""Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?""

Mr Dawkins is a scientist who has reached a conlusion based upon hard evidence and has formed opinions which he expresses.

He is fortunate enough to be well known and able to give voice to his opinions more widely than you or I.

Tell me Jack, do you believe (really BELIEVE) in free speech.

What is it that you object to, the fact that he expresses these opinions, or the fact that he can express them much more widely and reach more ears than you can?

When you see Richard Dawkins setting up a string of halls nationwide, and going on TV to advertise his "Church of the Wholly unbelieving", then you can shriek about him pushing his ideas and I'll stand at your side.

Think Billy Graham!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM

I really liked your post Joe. And I also really appreciate and admire the honesty of your response to my query, Dan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:55 PM

"Mr Dawkins is a scientist who has reached a conlusion based upon hard evidence and has formed opinions which he expresses."

Mr. Dawkins is a zoologist who became famous writing popular critiques supposedly applying the fields of cosmology and psychology to religious belief.

He is entitled to free speech. He is entitled to sell his mean spirited pseudo science books. He is entitled rent lecture halls in the deep south and engage in "cage match" style "debates" with "creation scientists" but since he is not inviting people to fill stadiums and be saved he is not pushing his opinions?

OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?

If you notice, over the years, Dawkins has become more strident or hard-nosed mainly in response to increased attempts by fundamentalists to hi-jack education systems in various jurisdictions in order to, eg, limit the teaching of evolution, or to give equal time to so-called "creation science" or "intelligent design".

We've had decades of "Dr Dino" , Woodmaroppe, Gish, and their ilk stridently "dissing" atheists at every opprotunity, usually with ill-thought out "jokes" and homilies such as the ones posted by OD at the beginning of this thread that go only to show how little understanding of atheism the maker of such has.

Atheists for years suffered these insults and put-downs without replying in kind, but trying to use logic, and knocking down the creationists' often deliberately disingenuous arguments with logic. This appears to have limited success....a loud voice and a snappy sound-bite seem to have more resonace with the public at large. So is it any wonder that after 3+ decades of "turning the other cheeck" a sub-set of atheists have become strident and vocal in turn?

For years we've put up with the religious viewpoint being the "default". Even in the (much less religious than the USA)UK, the BBC's "Thought For The Day" still ALWAYS features a religious presenter...Christian, Muslin, Jew, Hindu, Jain etc but NEVER an atheist and their programe "Beyond Belief" discusses religious issues with a panel made up of people from these religions, but again, as far as I know, never an atheist.

So in the last few years the fact that some atheists are at long last getting a "voice" in the media should be a welcome addition to the debate. The fact that several of those people have had to become strident and controversial merely to be heard at all shouldn't be a surprise.

Lookin gat the threads here on BS, I notice maybe 1 started by an atheist, and that started off trying to conduct a serious debate. I notice 4-5 started by religious people, all poking fun at or disrespecting atheists and atheism. In fact, the hatred and bile towards coming from some of the "religious" on here would, were I an uncommitted observer, I'm afraid drive me towards the atheist camp.

The religious have promulgated their views strongly for centuries, yet when atheists start to promulgate theirs strongly for not much over a decade, many "religionists" seem to feel so threatened by it that it seems they can't handle it at all in a sensible manner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

Now, Jack, don't get it in your head that I agreewith Dawkins, Graham, or John Paul II. All are/were ideologues, although generally I think they all are/were nice people. I have the feeling that if I were locked in a room with any or all of them, I would have to work really, really hard to be polite. And you're right - Franklin Graham comes closer to my description of "destructive."

As for Bee-dubya-ell, I agree with him almost all the time. He's one of several Mudcatters that I have absolute respect for.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:04 PM

"Now, Jack, don't get it in your head that I agreewith Dawkins, Graham, or John Paul II"

I never tried to say that. Sorry if I gave that impression. I was comment on whether I agreed that they an their current followers were current.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM

Hi, Rob -
I think I've noticed an increase in stridency in Dawkins, so I'd agree with you on that. I think that what might have happened to him, is that he attempted to do battle with the fundamentalists on their terms. And if you do that, you lose.

I found that out the hard way. I tried to do battle with fundamentalist Catholics, to prove my perspective right and to win them over to my side (or at least to get them to stop writing letters of complaint to the bishop about me). I found that if I expressed my think in their terms, I ended up with the same angry, doctrinaire tone that they had.

If you're able to see things with at least a good dose of doubt, and you tend to see issues from a variety of perspectives, you can't carry on a discussion with a fundamentalist. They are incapable of seeing anything from more than one perspective.

So, Richard Dawkins, who once had something to say that made sense to me, has become doctrinaire and angry in his presentations.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM

Thanks Janie, I had a lot of things happen lately and they are all bad, no biggies just common life stuff. Then I get frustrated and punch but I tend to punch hard. Probably all the training :-) Very bad behavior, need to chill out more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM

So, Richard Dawkins, who once had something to say that made sense to me, has become doctrinaire and angry in his presentations.

Really? So how has he changed, in your opinion? I haven't really noticed anything different. As for doctrinaire, Richard Dawkins, along with other genuine atheists, never speaks of his convictions in terms of certainties. Your word seems misplaced to me. The whole point of atheism, as he would no doubt agree, is that we have no evidence for the existence of God, that everything in the realms of evidence and sane intuition suggests that he does not exist, yet we cannot be certain. If you're telling me that he's so doctrinaire that he's shuffled along from 6.9 to 7.0 on his certainty scale, then I'm parting company with him. I think that the real situation is that it's his opponents who have changed and that he has remained steadfastly the same. Opposition from church leaders and sundry scared and animated believers (there's a shining example of one of those on these threads) has increased significantly as his message has become disseminated, and their ever more shrill voices, set against which he finds himself having to defend against more forcefully in consequence, may be giving the illusion that it's him who's changed. I'm afraid that falling into the trap of alleging that we atheists are getting more and more angry is a sign of religion getting very worried. Most of us are ice-cool. After all, we have, literally, nothing to get worked up about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:42 PM

I have a confession - no not the rc type of confession.

It's I don't like tapioca.

While that does not likely seem related to the topic, it is.

While I don't like tapioca (mainly because of texture, but, as a child it reminded me of fish eggs), I know others see things differently and like tapioca. But, I have learned to put these differences aside, and I do not judge people on the basis of whether they like tapioca or not.

While I know some pretty evil people probably like tapioca, I also know it has little bearing on whether they are good people, or not, in other aspects of their lives. I have learned to put these differences aside, and move on.

Now that I have that confession off my mind, I remain a bit uncertain about rhubarb....


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:51 PM

tapioca !!! well that is next to Jell-O so that we can completely agree with :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM

Mr. Naylor, I don't like absolutism, dogma, stridency from either side. I am sure that Mr. Dawkins condescending, insulting opposition to creationism, by stooping to the level of the creationists and school board grabbers he decreases the credibility of science. He should have stuck to the "knocking down the creationists' often deliberately disingenuous arguments with logic."

Our public radio has "this I believe" not "Thought For The Day" they often have Atheists expressing their beliefs. So maybe America is not as fundamentalist as many UK atheists think.

I am opposed to creationists and school board grabbers as much as you are. That is one reason I do not like Mr. Dawkins methods.

As far as this goes it is hard to know where to start.

"I notice maybe 1 started by an atheist, and that started off trying to conduct a serious debate. I notice 4-5 started by religious people, all poking fun at or disrespecting atheists and atheism."

I started two of them. One with an article by an atheist saying that three or four neo-atheists were becoming dogmatic. The other was a serious article about the demonstrated Islamophobia of that same small group. How you generalize that to all atheists how you call it poking fun of or disrespecting atheists and atheism is beyond my ability to reason.

The Heaven and Hell thread was about Heaven and Hell, the Atheists were not invited to come an mock those ideas.   So if it became about them, that is on them. The are Atheists really Atheists was a question about the definition of "atheist."

Are you sure that the atheists on those threads did not contribute their own share of the rancor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM

I haven't eaten a baby in years....


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM

Whether or not you like tapioca is no more than a matter of taste. I will eat everything on the planet except for apple sauce, which is utterly disgustingly sour, slimy and sloppy. That I hate apple sauce is a matter of taste, not of evidence. Now if you believe in God and you're a friend of mine (I have many such), it is very unlikely that either he or I will bring the matter to the fore. Actually, it's the same with my atheistic mates. There isn't an awful lot to discuss so we hardly ever do. I cannot respect my believer-friend's belief. I'd be an idiot to respect someone's delusion. It would serve me well to avoid telling him that I think that, in one small corner of his existence, he bears a delusion. That's quite a bit different, by the way, from saying that he's a deluded man, which he isn't. Any man who likes a good pint and with whom I can talk football is not a deluded man. But I do respect his right to hold his belief and I also respect his conviction in holding it. I don't really care that you hate tapioca. If you come to my house I won't serve you tapioca. I don't care if you believe in God. I won't bring it up if you don't. But don't tell me that you know tapioca is vile and no-one should eat it. Don't tell me that your belief is true and that I'm a charlatan for not getting my kids christened (that has actually happened to me). It isn't for me to tell you you should be an atheist. If you bring it up, I'll tell you that my convictions are based on nothing more than evidence, and that my bar for what counts as evidence is set quite high. That's all. No evangelising this end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 09:59 PM

This is a piece I wrote some time ago. I don't remember if I have posted it here before, but if so, here it is again. I have posted some of the information before, such as the course I took in college on "The Bible as Literature."
Okay, so, in the interest of full disclosure, where am I coming from?

My family was not particularly religiously oriented. Which is to say, although we did go to church from time to time, we didn't go that often, and we didn't belong to any particular church. My father never said much about religion. My mother was a bit of a questioner and seeker, and she read a fair amount about Eastern religion and philosophy. Standard sermons bored her spitless.

When I was about ten or so, I did attend a two week "summer Bible school" at a church a few blocks from where I lived. My sisters and I wanted to go mostly because a lot of other kids in the neighborhood were going, and getting us out of the house would give mom a few hours of peace and quiet. There, I learned to recite the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm and a few things like that. I believed in God (a vague sort of presence) about the same way I (a precocious ten-year-old) had previously believed in Santa Claus (a somewhat more specific image, perhaps).

In my first freshman philosophy course at the University of Washington, among many other things, we examined the various philosophers' arguments for and against the existence of God, or a "Prime Mover." This turned me into a hard-charging atheist. In later years, I mellowed a bit when it finally sank in that there is an incredible amount about the Universe (or "Creation," if anyone insists) that we don't know and probably never will know. But I definitely didn't become a believer. Agnostic, perhaps, but not a believer.

I know quite a bit about the Bible. Early on, when I was an English major at the University of Washington, I had room for an English elective in my class schedule. As I said, I'm not particularly religious, but just for kicks, I signed up for "The Bible as Literature." The father of a girl I went to high school with was teaching the course.

Professor Paul Trueblood made it quite plain from the start that this was a course in the Bible as a work of literature—and we would not—repeat, not—be discussing it as a religious text. We read the Bible as if it were an anthology of short stories, novelettes, essays, and poetry. We didn't skip around, reading a verse here and a verse there, we read it in whole chunks, right through, the way you read any literary work.

There were a few people in the class who tried to initiate religious interpretations and discussions. When this happened, Prof. Trueblood gently but firmly steered the discussion back to the literary aspects of whatever we had just read.

Having taken this course made me something of a reef on which a number of proselytizing Christian soul-savers foundered. When they would quote a verse or two from the Bible in an effort to prove the point they were trying to make, I was well equipped to interrupt them and say, "But that's not what that verse means. You're taking it out of context." At which point, I would lecture them on what the passage was really saying.

I was dangerous! I knew too much about the Bible!

Interesting to note that a few months after I told one of my tormentors that I had taken the "Bible as Literature" course in the U. of W. English Department, the fundamentalist church he belonged to filed suit against the University in an attempt to get the course removed from the catalog, claiming that the University was "teaching religion." The state Supreme Court eventually ruled that Prof Paul Trueblood, and subsequently, Prof. David C. Fowler, had scrupulously avoided religious discussion in class and that it qualified as a straightforward literature course. The fundamentalist church lost, and the course listing stayed in the catalog.

Taking this course also set me in good stead for discussions with clergy of various denominations, and I've enjoyed a number of good, interesting discussions and debates with them.

Thirty-six years ago, I married a woman who had been raised in the Lutheran Church (one of the more liberal branches). She was, and is, involved in a number of church activities. Although she was raised in the church and has been involved with it one way or another all her life, it seems our beliefs are very much alike. I tagged along with her to church, and also became active in church activities. So much so that I served for some six years as a member of the church council. And she and I find that we are not the only ones in our particular church who believe pretty much as we do. No one is dogmatic. And pretty much everyone is willing to question and discuss. I don't know anyone in the church who maintains that the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God." As Pastor Shannon said once, "The Bible is not The Boy Scout Manual. You're not necessarily going to find answers here. You're going to find questions!" She's cool!

Do I believe in God? Well, I certainly don't believe in the Cranky Old Man in the nightshirt and beard sitting up on Arturus 12 who hurls thunderbolts at sinners, marks the fall of every sparrow in His ledger book, and keeps a list of who's naughty and nice.

Do I "believe" in science? Yes. I've always been something of a science nut. I'm quite interested in all aspects of astronomy and cosmology, including the possibility, expounded by the latest speculations in String Theory, of parallel universes and multiple dimensions. Fascinating stuff! I believe the "theory" of evolution is the most reasonable explanation for how we all got here, and other biological phenomena. I am not in the least flummoxed when a scientist says, "I don't know." Or when a scientist says, "What we believed up until now is not quite accurate. In the light of new data. . . ." If scientists don't know, then who does!?? Certainly not someone (even if he or she does have a cable television show!) with no evidence whatsoever, who attributes all phenomena to a SuperSpook beyond the clouds whose will he or she claims to know.

But do I eschew all possibility of there being a spiritual dimension to Life, the Universe, and Everything? No. There may very well be.

I find it perfectly acceptable to say, "I don't know."

Or, as Iris Dement puts it, "Let the Mystery Be."
There are two sorts of people whom I find annoying in the extreme. One is the hard-charging fundamentalist Christian who, even though I go to church, he or she considers my church not "Christian" enough, and winds up hell-bent on saving my soul. That's when I rip them apart with the fact that, invariably, I know more about the Bible than they do. After they've given it the old college try, they wander off with their tail between their legs and mutter something about they will "pray for me." I find them pompous and full of the Sin of Pride. Talk about "holier than thou!!"

The other is the hard-charging, dedicated atheist who, come hell or high water, is going to save my soul from those brain-washing, mind-stealing Christians. SCIENCE, by God, says there IS no such thing as God (science says no such thing!!), and they will argue until Sunday breakfast over the issue, then nail your shoes to the floor in case you were planning to go to church.

Each is as bad as the other, and each is basing his or her beliefs as much on faith as the other (although the atheist will have a foaming-at-the-mouth fit at the word "faith.").

They don't know how alike they really are!

Neither of them KNOWS. NOBODY knows for sure.

But each will stomp, scream, throw things, and insist vociferously that they are absolute right.

As far as I'm concerned, "A pox on both their houses!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:28 PM

Just to be clear Steve, football is played with an odd shaped ball and lots of pads and a helmet. Now soccer is played with shorts and a round ball :-)

If you come to my house for dinner I promise you won't have to pray .. and the beer is cold


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:34 PM

I think what you're describing there, olddude, isn't "football", which OF COURSE is played with a round ball, but "Cissy Rugby"! Pads and helmets indeed!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:53 PM

Well LOL you are getting close, I mean real football like Pittsburgh Steelers :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 12:59 AM

Ed T., I was brought up to believe that tapioca was healthy for me, and all those other Jello-made puddings weren't (puddings not made by Jello are rare in the U.S.). So, I put a dollop of marmalade on my tapioca, and think I'm adding years to my life.

Works for me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:21 AM

Ed T: "I have a confession - no not the rc type of confession.
It's I don't like tapioca.
While that does not likely seem related to the topic, it is.
While I don't like tapioca (mainly because of texture, but, as a child it reminded me of fish eggs), I know others see things differently and like tapioca. But, I have learned to put these differences aside, and I do not judge people on the basis of whether they like tapioca or not."

More profound than many might see at first....STEVE, ARE you listening???

Maybe your childhood with Catholicism, reminds you of something you don't like, either!!! Does it mean you'll stop eating???

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:41 AM

A drift ~~ but one that has arisen naturally. I have always taken occasion when offered to denounce the now commonly made distinction between "football" and "rugby", when they are properly speaking called "Association football" and "Rugby football"; so the word "football" should in fact subsume them both [+ other forms like "American", "Gaelic", "Ozzie Rules", &c].

I suppose it too late now to beg and appeal for a return to the usages "rugger" & "soccer" to make the necessary distinction. But, unless & until that happens, the confusions and controversies inherent in the preceding posts will persist.

~M~

Worth a thread of its own, I think; so about to start one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 07:40 AM

Football is football is occasionally called soccer to remind us of its origins as association football. Sheffield Wednesday for instance has been a football club since 1867. If you need to have a term to distinguish it from American football, this is because you are American and I shall try to take that into consideration. If you need to have a term to distinguish it from rugby it is because you are weird and beyond help.

Right.

Dawkins.

When you observe and write up a hypothesis based on your observations you have every right to get pissed off when people dismiss your research on the basis of it contradicting fairy stories.

If he appears strident and forth right it doesn't help when people call his work pseudo science. If you compare it to superstition you run the risk of trying to give substance to said superstition. Which if memory serves me right, denies faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM

the only contradicting fairy stories I have in my life is the game of cricket, probably cause I don't understand it. I looked at a rule book once and it looked like the Oxford Dictionary. Lots of rules, but I may change my mind when I finally figure out what a googly is. Does look interesting .


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:26 AM

You need a few more hundred years of culture before you can begin to appreciate cricket. If you had bothered remaining a colony you may have stood a chance but you blew it in Boston Harbour.

Stick to rounders and running at each other wearing padding, there's a good chap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:35 AM

No thanks, I like things the way they are .. clearly you think you are in a better place in life ... good for you


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:56 AM

Religious folks are all ideologues since their belief system trumps any evidence to the contrary of that. Everything that religious folks accuse atheists of doing, they do themselves.
I do agree however that there are some atheists who are ideologues. When they become adamant about stuff such as does Hitchens or Harris, then they are no less ideologues than those they criticize. Dennett and Dawkins avoid that trap because they are genuinely open to new ideas, discovery and exploration. If you haven't read them then you wouldn't know that.

The Creationists are indeed delusional because their ideas run contrary to what science shows us for example having humans ride dinosaurs. I like to separate the actions of people from what they put out there to believe. If I see hostility, victimhood claimed by religious people,
particularly Christians who are in the majority in the U.S., name calling, phony umbrage by those whose faith is flimsy because it can't stand criticism then I know that we are in the land of hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 10:09 AM

I've been reading parts of all these atheism threads and have suddenly realized one of the things that bothers me about them: The reality is that, while I'm an atheist, it doesn't have any real impact on my life. I don't think about, talk about, or really care about it very much. Almost everyone I know is an atheist, and it's just not something that anyone is concerned about. We don't sit around comparing atheist ideas, we don't read atheist writings, we don't make judgements about other people based on whether or not they are atheists. It is just not a factor in day-to-day life. I pay more attention to my little toe than I do to my atheism, in that I clean and trim my toe from time to time. I certainly don't define myself as an atheist, except for the extremely rare occasions when I get into a religious conversation on Mudcat.

All the "atheists are this" or "atheists are that" or "this is what atheists believe" is a bunch of bigoted bullshit, whether it's being written by religious folks or by other atheists. It seems to be assuming that we can reach conclusions about individuals based on the fact that they are a member of a group. It makes as much sense as saying all black folks are lazy, all women are too emotional to be positions of authority, or all gay people are perverts.

Atheists don't believe in gods. Period. And, for a lot of us, the whole question just isn't very important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 11:06 AM

Sure, John, but as responsible citizens of this world we have to keep at least half an eye on what many misguided and irresponsible believers are imposing on many other people. It ill behoves us to remain permanently silent. I know that isn't exactly what you were saying, but it sort of explains why atheists of the type you describe (which is nearly all of 'em) occasionally feel the need to stick their heads above the parapet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM

Well, I just found this thread, and I think some of the jokes are funny.

-Lifelong out atheist


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM

i would beg to differ rob as to who gets most influence in media and education.thought for the day and songs of praise [is there anything else/] gets ,i suspect,much less time than the evolutionary programming of dawkins,attenborough type programs.the same is true in state schools.RI,assembly ,if at all religious anyway,is countered by the naturalistic viewpoint of so called science

don t - the church must be very evangelistic down your way.all i get calling is the watchtower.they came ages ago and i discussed with them.i agreed to them coming back but i,ve not seen them since.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 05:13 PM

completely agree with you Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 05:18 PM

What I also find of interest is the strong attempt to silence the religious. I suspect the term "Freedom of Speech" is not allowed to be applied to them because many atheists do not agree. Certainly seems that way here. You come back with and argument saying you take offense to the constant bombing of faith, and they come back with "freedom of speech, well I think freedom of speech applies to everyone. But I am just silly that way


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 05:41 PM

Interesting also how my real atheist friends all have mutual respect. We talk about music, we talk about watches. I would take a bullet for them. Then there are others here that like to insult and use their "fairy tale friends and such. I love the how enlighten they are when in fact exercising my right of free speech, they are in a very dark place in my honest opinion and I do have nothing but sadness for them as their only joy is to lash out at other. anyway to each their own .. I am done with this thread


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM

final final, I also get appalled at some of the political threads. A mudcat member like Bearded Bruce (sorry to name names) just has different political views. The guy gets crushed for just having an opposite viewpoint. now he and I do not have the same views but I can respect what he believes politically,. We need to think in this community and try to make it a community of friends not adversaries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 06:04 PM

John P, you are the way I imagine most atheists to be.

I can't imagine someone with your attitude going out of their way to mock a question about "Heaven and Hell" to say that

(Hell is)"that you foot is itching like crazy, or that you're on your last clean shirt"

or that (Heaven) is a sip of scotch.

Apparently some people "occasionally feel the need to stick their heads above the parapet." to say such things and they try to bring the idea of atheism into conversation so that they can pretend to be defending it.

I don't think that going out of ones way to mock people reflects anyone's views but the mocker's. I don't think that one will find a consensus among atheists that the wish to be "defended" in this way. I think that many do not agree with the parapet analogy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM

Many of the most irritating (and dangerous) people in the world are those who define themselves by a single belief, whether it be Atheism,
Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion, heterosexuality, homosexuality, race,or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:24 PM

But Stringsinger, if a person who chooses to be religious is able to see things from a variety of perspectives, then he's not much of an ideologue, is he? There are lots of people who practice religious traditions, who don't espouse any particular ideology. Religion is not necessarily ideological - it can also be philosophical.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 10:41 PM

Well, I have to say that I "stick my head above the parapet" when it comes to our government passing laws that are based on religion. But I don't think it's because I'm an atheist; I also speak out about gay rights, gender equality, fair employment, and socialism. I just don't like it when people impose themselves on others. I think most of us just want to be left alone. But we aren't, so we have to push back in order to not get trampled. A strict reading of the Constitution would be nice, but most of the Supreme Court Justices are religious ideologues and radical corporatists.

America will finally be the land of the free on the day that all laws based on religion, unilateral morality, inequality of any kind, money, and belief (as opposed to reason) are taken off the books. Instead, they keep passing more. Why can't they just leave us alone?

This is not to be taken as an indictment of religion. I have many religious friends and most of them also don't want people taking power over other people in these ways. The problem isn't religion -- it's the people who want to control others. Some of them use a religious theme to achieve this, some use money, some use socialism, some use physical force. There are people of good heart that are religious, atheist, capitalist, socialist, etc, etc. And there are people who are NOT of good heart who come from every group. When we draw conclusions about members of any group because there are people of bad heart who are also members of that group, we start to become people of bad heart ourselves.

The reason that power-hungry religious people get into positions where they can impose their beliefs on other people is because lots of otherwise good-hearted people vote for them on religious grounds. I would like it if everyone who claims to be religious turned away from any politician who wanted to pass laws based on religion. I would like it if everyone who talks about the Land of the Free stood up for real freedom, every time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 02:22 AM

Starry pete seems to call science so called science and bemoans the number of documentaries versus the number of religious programmes on the telly.

I fail to make the connection? is he saying that religion is a branch of science or even that science is a religion? A bit like comparing the number of comedies with the number of news programmes.

In any event, if you are interested in using the telly to explore religion, I suggest the many religious channels available on free view. 10 mins of watching any of them will be enough. Little wonder that snips from them are used on comedy quizzes to let people have a good laugh.   

You see, if the buggers are allowed to turn religious equality into their preferred religious privilege, it won't be the pragmatic thoughtful Joe Offers of this world running the show, it will be pete and his mates teaching children that dinosaur bones were put there by god yo tax our brains and that instead of advances in medical science, we should use prayer more.

Fook 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 04:20 AM

"i would beg to differ rob as to who gets most influence in media and education.thought for the day and songs of praise [is there anything else/] gets ,i suspect,much less time than the evolutionary programming of dawkins,attenborough type programs.the same is true in state schools.RI,assembly ,if at all religious anyway,is countered by the naturalistic viewpoint of so called science ..."

If I can make sense of that jumble, pete, I think you're saying that there are more factually based science programmes presented in the broadcast media than religious ones. Well hallelujah to that!! If you're right, then the balance is moving in the right direction - although you wouldn't have known that if you'd tuned in this Easter.

I notice that you never respond to my posts, pete. Why is that? Scientists are open to debate - religious fundamentalists obviously are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 04:35 AM

I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC a couple of years ago. I hadn't been there for at least twenty years, and the museum had changed a lot. It had a large and excellent exhibit telling the story of evolution. Although I agreed with the information in the exhibit completely, I kept wondering if the information could have been more diplomatically in a nation that has such a large population of evangelical Christians who probably hold a literally biblical view of the beginning of things.

Is there a way for us to be more diplomatic and tolerant without compromising our own views?

I hope that can be, but I have to admit that I have to work really hard to carry on a conversation with an evangelical Christian - which often means that he/she is also a Tea Party Republican. But I try to be polite, I really do.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 08:19 AM

Isn't there a museum across the river from Cinci that has exhibits of cave men riding dinosaurs? Not Flintstones, but portrayed as natural history?

Free speech has its consequences.

Of course every time they are publicly ridiculed, they get a few more dollars for their museum. Its run by an Aussie, he seems pretty smart. Frankly, I think he is just mocking us. I think he was in a bar in Melborne 20 years ago and one of his buddies said "I'll bet you can't get those Yankees to build a museum mocking their own intelligence..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:17 AM

"All the "atheists are this" or "atheists are that" or "this is what atheists believe" is a bunch of bigoted bullshit, whether it's being written by religious folks or by other atheists. It seems to be assuming that we can reach conclusions about individuals based on the fact that they are a member of a group. It makes as much sense as saying all black folks are lazy, all women are too emotional to be positions of authority, or all gay people are perverts."

All atheists, are far as I understand, do not believe in a "supreme being".
It is unreasonable to say that all black people are lazy.

There is no foundation for saying that women, who are perhaps in general slightly more "emotional" than men, are incapable of being in positions of authority.
Humans are naturally designed to have sex between man and woman....that is the norm, their sexual organs are set up for reproduction. How can anyone deny that male to male sexual orientation is not pervertion?
If a man is sexualy orientated to pre-pubescent children he is quite rightly deemed a pervert....and a criminal.

That is not to say that all pervertion is bad, some sexual pervertion is perfectly harmless, but we must be accurate in our use of language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:35 AM

Dan, I knew you are a good guy and I agree with you. Let's walk the walk together.

Jack, Dawkins doesn't push his belief on anyone. It's optional if one wants to attend his lectures. You are not going to hell if you don't go. (Talk about insanity!)

Joe, we're getting into semantics, here. Is religion an ideology, a philosophy or ?
I don't hold that it is necessarily a natural state of being in the DNA. I think it's an acquired trained response usually starting in childhood. However, with electrodes into some part of the brain something akin to a religious experience can be induced. I agree with you however that in other areas rather than the discussion of religion, a person who is religious can be intelligent, can see things from different perspectives and I agree also that to be religious is a choice. When I encounter intelligent religious people who are open to other perspectives, then I gravitate to Frans de Waal and become an "apathist" who doesn't give a damn if god exists and would rather make music instead.

I think I agree with Dick when he talks about limiting a self referent definition. Also, there's another semantic problem. I am positively "religious" about music. And that's in my DNA, though I don't attribute that to any god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM

WOW!!! Stringsinger you are right! Dawkins doesn't push his religion!

Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses! You don't have to answer the door!

Neither does Pat Robertson! You can change the channel.

IF YOU IGNORE THE CONTEXT OF THE CONVERSATION You are absolutely correct!

Use whatever word you want if you don't like the word "push." But Dawkins is surely doing, in his own way, the same sort of thing, the evangelicals are doing to recruit followers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 12:11 PM

>>>In my interactions with religious and nonreligious people alike, I now draw a sharp line, based not on what exactly they believe but on their level of dogmatism. I consider dogmatism a far greater threat than religion per se. I am particularly curious why anyone would drop religion while retaining the blinkers sometimes associated with it. Why are the "neo-atheists" of today so obsessed with God's nonexistence that they go on media rampages, wear T-shirts proclaiming their absence of belief, or call for a militant atheism? What does atheism have to offer that's worth fighting for?

As one philosopher put it, being a militant atheist is like "sleeping furiously."<<<

Frans de Waal


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 12:23 PM

What is worth fighting for?

Children being raised without fear of feeling guilty whenever they are having fun. No old men telling you how to be moral whilst secretly buggering your sons. Scientific discovery not being held back by superstition. One less excuse for hate. Women and gays feeling equal to heterosexual men (and closet gay priests.)

He may be an imaginary friend but his awful actions seem real enough.




By the way Akenaton. I did notice your comments above. Not just worried about the health of gay people after all then? Back in your hole worm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM

""Atheists don't believe in gods. Period. And, for a lot of us, the whole question just isn't very important.""

As I said earlier, ""There is no CHURCH OF THE WHOLLY UNBELIEVING!""

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:23 PM

""don t - the church must be very evangelistic down your way.all i get calling is the watchtower.they came ages ago and i discussed with them.i agreed to them coming back but i,ve not seen them since.""

If you talk the way you write Pete, I'm not at all surprised.

You're too way out for the JWs.

You're too off the wall for the Moonies.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:24 PM

"What is worth fighting for? "

Not having people who constantly insult and try to bully other people telling you how to raise your kids.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:33 PM

""well I think freedom of speech applies to everyone.""

Oh come on Dan. You must have noticed that religious evangelism goes much beyond free expression of views.

You are as entitled as anybody to speak of opponents delusional beliefs.

That is merely expressed opinion.

But when you try to coerce others into your beliefs, that is no longer free speech. It is attempted indocrination.

When you show me one comment from Dawkins which demands that anybody join his mindset, then and only then,you have anything remotely comparable to evangelism.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 01:52 PM

"Not having people who constantly insult and try to bully other people telling you how to raise your kids."
If I wanted to bring my children up in a non-denominational school I would have to send them 20 miles away and hope that the small Portacabin that passes for a school has room for them.
Failing that, I would have to send them a further 20 miles into the next county, again to a tiny building that might or might not have room for them.
Ironically, one of the pluses from the revelations of the clerical abuse scandal is that the church might soon have to relinquish its hold on all primary school education - amen to that.
The result of a survey announced last month revealed that over half the teachers teaching in primary schools in Ireland do not want to teach religion
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 02:00 PM

"But when you try to coerce others into your beliefs, that is no longer free speech. It is attempted indocrination.

When you show me one comment from Dawkins which demands that anybody join his mindset, then and only then,you have anything remotely comparable to evangelism."

Billy Graham used to invite people to his shows and speak about God and Salvation and tell you the benefits then invite you, if you were ready, to the front of the room to be "saved." That was what was called "evangelism" by most of the world. In fact Billy Graham is still called the world's greatest evangelist.

Dawkins goes on TV and says, in effect that you are delusional if you believe in God. He talks about "fairies at the end of the garden." He talks about the "tragedy" that so many people believe. He tries to change the definition of phrases and words like "Christian children" and "delusion." He is using ridicule and falsehoods to convince people of his views and a number of people on this forum repeat his dogma word for word. He surely is pushing his views a lot more than Billy Graham ever did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 02:07 PM

Jim I respect your right to that as much as I respect a young parent with values of Joe Offer is to be free from this.

""Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion "

AND may I please please please point out that this "Faith can be very very dangerous" is not a scientific conclusion. That it is his opinion expressed in a pseudo-scientific polemic book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 02:24 PM

Can you really, Jack, think of the Crusades or The Holy Office (the Spanish Inquisition which, notoriously, nobody expects!), and deny the proposition that "faith can be very dangerous" ['can be', note; NOT 'is']? He doesn't in any event claim anywhere that, because his arguments may be largely science-based, everything his book contains must be experimentally demonstrable fact, with no room for opinion. I think this a somewhat unconvincing point of yours.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 03:01 PM

Could the Yazidis,with elements of Zoroastrianism,Judaism, Christianity, Manicheism, and Islam, unite these major world religions under the Peacock Angel?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 03:03 PM

Yazidis [also Yezidi, Azidi, Zedi, or Izdi]


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 03:31 PM

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."
Wonderful - where do I sign?
The compulsory religious education of young children is little short of brainwashing and should be a criminal offence. The Jesuits were fully aware of this when they made their notorious boast, "Give me a child for for his first seven years and I'll give you the man".
Religion should NEVER be compulsory, and the right not to have your child religiously educated should be enshrined in law and should NEVER be influenced in any way by outside pressures (humiliation by the church was always an effective weapon when I was growing up). It should be a free and conscious decision of all parents to have their child religiously educated if they chose to do so, and even this must be carefully monitored. At a certain point in a child's life they should have a say in their religios upbringing. If a child receives religious education they should be made fully aware of all religions as philosophies and given the free choice to investigate; once you withdraw the right of free choice, you create automatons.
I grew up in Liverpool, a city sharply divided on religious lines, the consequence being a permanent undercurrent of tension and unrest,.
I worked on the docks, where, if the work was plentiful, you got on with everybody, but if the ships were few and far between, the Catholics or the Protestants were laid off, depending where you worked, and you went off to seek work among 'your own kind'.
Even our two football teams were religiously divided which, at certain times in the season, led to actual open violence (I know this also to be the case in Glasgow; a Celtic/Rangers match was the first place I saw men in cages, divided off into Catholic and Protestant).
The "Glorious Twelfth" was invariably open street warfare.
I have never seen anything resembling this between the church laity and non-believers - the clergy certainly, with their patronising pity and unspoken condemnation, but not from 'real people', whatever their beliefs and non-beliefs.
I really don't know what world you people occupy.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM

"Can you really, Jack, think of the Crusades or The Holy Office (the Spanish Inquisition which, notoriously, nobody expects!), and deny the proposition that "faith can be very dangerous" ['can be', note; NOT 'is']?"

Please do me the courtesy of addressing the entire quote.

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

I think "can be" is not nearly enough to justify this. "deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

Is he saying that Joe should not have sent his kids to Catholic school because they might have grown up to burn people as witches?

You think that maybe that your argument is a few hundred years too late?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 03:45 PM

Religion should NEVER be compulsory, and the right not to have your child religiously educated should be enshrined in law.

It is in this country in the public schools though some want to change that.

On the other hand

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

Mr. Dawkins appears to be arguing that in his ideal world anyone who chooses to have their children educated in the religious school of their choice ought to get a visit from the police and be charged as abusers.

The sensible ground is somewhere in between. Isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 05:09 PM

""Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.""

Two words Jack.

""Northern Ireland""

The place where generations of chldren grew up, if they were Catholic to hate Protestants, if they were Protestants to hate Catholics.

Hating enough to be killing each from 1969 till 1998, 29 years of very recent proof.

Would you deny that?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 05:51 PM

Don T, I don't think that conflict was JUST about religion. It was also about Colonization and class warfare as well. We had Orange parades in my home town in Canada. The were more about Empire than religion.

Since 1998 we have had 15 years of relative peace. I don't think the religious closed down in 1998.

I am not in any way saying that Christians have not done wrong. I am 100% certain that Mr. Dawkins has NOT made the case that Faith is the cause of these atrocities.

I think we need to see through Mr. Dawkins bait and switch. He says, look at me I am a "prominent" scientist. Look at my credentials. He wrote some biology books, evolution books, fair enough.

Then he says thinks this

"There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents."

His readers think that is science. A person on this forum argues it as if it his own words. It is not science it is propaganda aimed at the weak minded. Everyone of sound mind and strong mind on this planet knows that Children are not born with Christian beliefs. Mr. Dawkins uses the straw man that we do to sell this idea. Everyone outside of Mr. Dawkins cult would have no trouble calling Children being raised in Christian homes, going to Christian schools, attending Christian churches, Christian children. They don't do it to brainwash anyone. They do that because that is what such children have been called for 2,000 years. What are we going to call them? Children living in Christian homes with parents pumping crap into their brains?

He is implying that I am stupid if I say "Christian child" because "There is such thing as a Christian child." How can anyone who believes in Christian Children not be stupid? We have seen it argued on this thread that there is no such thing as "Christian Children."

Praise Lord Dawkins for miracle of the morphing definitions!

It is he who is changing the meaning of words. It is he who is pushing his ideas on me. And it is certain that with certain people on this forum, his evangelism is working.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 05:51 PM

I was aware, Jack, of the whole quote, & take your points. But I was responding to your own selective citation of part of it to make the point --

'"Faith can be very very dangerous" is not a scientific conclusion'

which you appear to think a nice knockdown point, to make in turn the counter-point that nobody had claimed that it was 'a scientific conclusion'; & that its truth as a general statement of a possibility was fully demonstrable from history.

"You think that maybe that your argument is a few hundred years too late?"

No ~~ you contradicted it as a general statement for not being what it had never set out to be: 'scientific'; science does not deal in 'can be's'. A bit desperate, isn't it?, to fall back on the age of my cogent examples to demonstrate the truth of the proposition, in an attempt to disprove its obvious truth; expressed as a conditional, I repeat: how 'enough' can a conditional be to support anything?


~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 06:01 PM

From Joe Offer's post further up the thread:

"I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC a couple of years ago. I hadn't been there for at least twenty years, and the museum had changed a lot. It had a large and excellent exhibit telling the story of evolution. Although I agreed with the information in the exhibit completely, I kept wondering if the information could have been more diplomatically in a nation that has such a large population of evangelical Christians who probably hold a literally biblical view of the beginning of things."

All I can say is: bravo to the staff of the Smithsonian! It probably goes without saying that if the boot was on the other foot, and the fundamentalists were in charge, there would be no compromise and no displays devoted to the theory of evolution. History teaches us that deluded fanatics are not known for their diplomacy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 06:10 PM

oh come off it shimrod.you know very well that if you post civilly that i usually answer you.if at any time i have not,perhaps i was not available.
actually i was making a direct comparison between religious/philosophical ideas.i regard evolutionism as a faith position.the details vary and may change but the dogma of materialistic causes dont.as a result they get science wrong,-think junk dna,vestigual organs,the eye wrongly wired etc.all predictions and assertions of evolutionists.
and since you mention dinos.i notice that darwinists now say that soft tissue can last millenia,not because its proven but because the paradigm is paramount.and how much dna will they need to find in dinos and diamonds [i can feel a song beginning!]before the claims of contamination cease.
i know i will get criticism from other religious here,but lets face it they get insulted too,even though they accomodate evolutionism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 06:16 PM

I was wondering if you would be that stubborn.

"Can be" is the present tense, have you proved that it can be or given some data that may or may not have been dangerous in the past.

More importantly, have you proved scientifically that "faith" was the one and only cause for the crusades or the inquisition?

There have been a lot of children raised in Christian homes in the meantime that have not tortured any heretics or sacked Jerusalem.

Have you proved scientifically that "Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong"? Of course not. The words "can be" (too vague) have no place in a scientific hypothesis. Nor do "very very dangerous" (not quantifiable), "grievous wrong"(moral judgement and not quantifiable), "implant" (loaded word, not scientifically applicable to ideas except in bad sci-fi movies) and of course "innocent child." (scientifically meaningless term used to evoke emotion.)

Come on MtheGM. You may think it is obviously true. But clearly you have not looked at it in the context of the debate.

It is a nonsense statement carefully constructed to make someone taking their kids to church seem like an act of child abuse that automatically creates the next Hitler. If people didn't take it seriously, I would think it was a Monty Python line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 08:25 PM

Ian, I am very worried about homoseual health issues.

As a matter of information for the "intellectually challenged", I was taking issue with Mr Peekstock's contention that to describe Black people as "lazy", women as too emotional to be in authority, and homosexuals to practice a perversion..... were equivalent.

They are quite obviously not so, the first two do not stand up to scrutiny,and the third, male to male sex, is a perversion of the original purpose of sexual intercourse.
Sometimes perversions become acceptable in certain areas or time spans.....the Roman Empire in decline came to accept many perversions, but this did not mean that they were no longer perversions


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM

""Homosexuality is a perversion of the original purpose of sexual intercourse""

How do we know that is so? Where is that accurately recorded and who amongst us were there to certify it as so?

All forms of sexual associated arousal may have morphed together and gone hand-in-hand from the beginning, for all we know? After all, there has long been activities associated with the sexual intercourse act. Many of these trancend species.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 08:40 PM

Jack, you seem to be purposefully misunderstanding what Dawkins meant. It is absolutely true that no child is born a Christian, or any other religion. While it may not be the intent, it is absolutely true that a religious upbringing is indoctrination.

But really, the question I can't avoid is: Why do you believe all this Christianity stuff? How do you manage to square religious claims with the observed universe around you? I really don't get how you manage to make it all add up. Is there any explanation that will make sense to a non-believer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:03 PM

Sorry Ed....Maybe I'm becoming "intectually challenged myself, or its just too late at night, but I just can understand this
"All forms of sexual associated arousal may have morphed together and gone hand-in-hand from the beginning, for all we know? After all, there has long been activities associated with the sexual intercourse act. Many of these trancend species."

It looks a little like Orwellian "newspeak" to me, but as you are the author, I'm sure it isn't   :0)

Just got back from the greyhound racing 150 mile round trip so I'm off to bed.....thanks for your response....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:33 PM

I am not missing his point. You are missing his deceit. You are choosing to abandon a 2,000 year old generally accepted definition for Mr. Dawkins.... paradigm. Your non-belief is not the problem, it is your apparent belief in Dawkinistic dogma. I don't try to deprogram Christian cults. I don't let them try to reprogram me. I am not a philosopher. I am not a theologian. I am certainly not a fan of Christian apologetics , in fact I find their arguing for God to be manipulative and I am not interested in the company of people who would be persuaded by that approach. So I will spare you that tedium. When you have released yourself from the Dawkins cult, I will be happy to talk to you about what I believe.

It is true that no child is born a Christian. But there certainly ARE Christian Children. I was way more observant than my parents when I was five. I used to beg my grandparents to take me to Church.

I was baptized into the United Church of Canada as an infant. To say there is no such thing as a Christian Child to me rings a little hollow. And contrary to Mr Dawkins assertion. There is a generally accepted definition of Christian child which is the child of Christian Parents.

Mr Dawkins takes issue with that definition. Good for him. Making up one's own definitions is a hoot. But when people on this forum treat people as stupid for not sharing Mr. Dawkins definition, there is a problem. IMHO


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:38 PM

Went to a wedding today. It was a thoroughly Christian wedding in a beautiful village church in south Devon (in fact, the two people met as a result of their church activities). I sat at the front, away from the rest, to video the ceremony for the couple. I even stood up and sat down at the appropriate points as the lady vicar instructed us (why did I have to say "lady" there? You decide!!). You can tell from the shaky bits of my recording when I was bobbing up or bobbing down. It was all lovely, there was a super choir, there was laughter when neither of the rings would go on, the sun beamed in through the stained glass and (just for once!) there was a really good organist. I have to video with my specs off as I can't see the little screen otherwise, but that means I can't see the real-life action except though that screen. I spotted two blokes who are avowed atheists, people just like me, singing the hymns and even intoning the awful Lord's Prayer! I really don't know why I'm telling you this. People like pete, Jacko and akenaton come on here and continually and dismally misrepresent themselves deliberately. It's pretty easy to inadvertently misrepresent yourself as a hard-faced, polemical bastard when, really, you're no such thing. I talked to dozens of thoroughly committed Christians today, and not a single one went away from those conversations thinking that I thought they were deluded. That is the difference between real life out there and the increasingly hysterical rantings of Jack, the crass and abysmal stupidity of pete and the dark-ages bigotry of achy-tony. I met a load of people today (admittedly on their best behaviour and dressed in their finery, though frequently fizz-fuelled, unlike me, with a 70-mile drive home ahead of me - grr) who laid far greater store by their friendly humanity that by any religious or otherwise convictions. I hate to tell you Christians this, but, bar the most ardent evangelists, being a Christian is actually a very small part of your life. You are a committed Christian, I am a committed atheist (I'm right and you're deluded, by the way ;-) )but we live our lives in exactly the same way. Unless you are divorced from worldly reality, you do not think of God every two minutes any more than I think of atheism every two minutes. Actually, I'm far too busy thinking about sex every six seconds myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:50 PM

Although I agreed with the information in the exhibit completely, I kept wondering if the information could have been more diplomatically in a nation that has such a large population of evangelical Christians who probably hold a literally biblical view of the beginning of things.

Is there a way for us to be more diplomatic and tolerant without compromising our own views?


The thing about information is that it is neutral. Information is tendentious only when it is presented partially (which, admittedly, happens a lot). Honest presentation of information need not be diplomatic. That implies dressing up so as not to offend. When it comes to good information, well out with it, I say. All of it. There is no reason why information, dispassionately presented, should offend anyone save those who are determined to be offended at all costs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:55 PM

A tripod with a quick release comes in handy for the bobby bits.

Bifocals are handy for seeing screens and the action.

Sounds like a lovely day.

Lady vicar was a nice detail that added a bit of depth to your lovely description.

I don't talk about these issues in real life either. I also don't obsess about how others in real life are NOT talking about it.

But if you and I and Gnu were sitting around in a larger group and he asked a serious question about Heaven and Hell and you mocked the question saying "Hell is when you are on your last dirty shirt and Heaven is a bloody sip of scotch, and you didn't get a big enough rise out of that a you kept "prodding and ribbing" (your words) until you got a rise. I can see that it is possible that I might have something to say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 10:06 PM

It's a challenge, akenaton - drink (think) deeper and you will discover :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 01:03 AM

"Have you proved scientifically...?" you twice ask me rhetorically in your peculiarly convoluted response to my simple propositions, Jack, and use 'scientific[ally]' three or four more times in addition.

Can't you get it into your head that 'scientifically' doesn't come into it? I wasn't trying to be 'scientific', but just to give a few historic examples, that nobody claimed to be 'scientific', to show that Dawkins was making a general point which wasn't meant to be 'scientific' either. The more you go on replying contemptuously and contentiously to points that no-one has urged, the less convincingly you come over.

I am leaving this topic now, as my head is beginning to spin trying to make any sense of your illogical arguments. If you choose to reply, then that will give you the last word on the matter; and much good may it do you.

Best

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 03:22 AM

Hello Sailor!

Just been having a giggle over your recent contributions. . I would like to give you the opportunity to back pedal by summarising your waffle rather than quoting you.

1. Agreeing with something Dawkins wrote is 'following him.'

2. Sectarianism is only a small factor in the NI troubles. Apparently 20th century people were still Pissed off with Cromwell enough to segregate themselves a few hundred years later into two factions of something that reckons to be about love and peace and that was as convenient as say, what type of socks you wear. Never mind, you obviously understand the issues due to seeing Orange marches in Canada.

I'd get to three but it would do no more than reinforce how amazingly shallow you are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 03:22 AM

Hello Sailor!

Just been having a giggle over your recent contributions. . I would like to give you the opportunity to back pedal by summarising your waffle rather than quoting you.

1. Agreeing with something Dawkins wrote is 'following him.'

2. Sectarianism is only a small factor in the NI troubles. Apparently 20th century people were still Pissed off with Cromwell enough to segregate themselves a few hundred years later into two factions of something that reckons to be about love and peace and that was as convenient as say, what type of socks you wear. Never mind, you obviously understand the issues due to seeing Orange marches in Canada.

I'd get to three but it would do no more than reinforce how amazingly shallow you are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM

"The sensible ground is somewhere in between. Isn't it?"
Yes - try it sometime
In Ireland, it has taken the serial sexual abuse of generations of children to have the matter even discussed - it still has to be acted on.
Meanwhile the church still hangs on to its most effective point of influence - the minds of children (though they might just have conceded their bodies) - tooth and nail.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:09 AM

"i regard evolutionism as a faith position.the details vary and may change but the dogma of materialistic causes dont.as a result they get science wrong,-think junk dna,vestigual organs,the eye wrongly wired etc.all predictions and assertions of evolutionists."


pete, I'm not a biologist/palaeontologist myself so can't comment on those details. I have no doubt that some scientists may, on occasion, get the details wrong. And if one scientist should happen to disagree with the findings of another scientist, then the original findings will probably be challenged - that's one of the ways in which science progresses!Science is NOT dogmatic or faith based ... as is, for example, your religion.

You seem to think that any 'inconsistencies' in the evolutionary model, that you and your fundamentalist chums think that you've found, entitles you and your mates to shove God and the Bible into the gap - well, it doesn't! That is illogical and absurd.

To sum up:

1. Science and religion are not equivalent. Science is open-ended and not dogmatic. Religion (particularly of the fundamentalist type) IS dogmatic and brooks no arguments.

2. Picking holes in the scientific world-view and then asserting that that your religion fills the gaps is just plain silly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 06:15 AM

I think you may be right Ed, if I was pissed it would probaby be crystal clear.....unfortunately I'm teetotal! :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 06:25 AM

Evolution is a theory derived from evidence. The evidence is not complete so our knowledge is not certain, however on the available evidence evolution is the most persuasive explanation. The theory may have to be changed or refined as further evidence comes to light - that does not undermine the theory, on the contrary it is the essence of the scientific approach.

Scientists have to revise their thinking all the time in the face of new evidence. Some theories, such as the sun going around the earth, have to be entirely discarded. Others may have to be radically revised, such as the Newtonian view of physics after Einstein. This lack of certainty in science is a strength, not a weakness, as it leads us towards a better understanding of how the universe functions, albeit still an incomplete and imperfect one.

It seems to me that what religious people seem to crave is certainty, which science cannot deliver. Faith, by definition, depends on an absence of evidence. Religious beliefs about creation depend not on evidence but acceptance of a narrative which has been passed down the generations.

The difficulty is that different people may sincerely hold entirely different and inconsistent beliefs. One person may believe that the world was created by God in seven days; others may believe that it was created by the union of Earth and Sky, or emerged from chaos, or from an egg. No matter how sincere these beliefs, they cannot all be true, and crucially, there is no evidence to support them. On the contrary, there is evidence to show that they are wrong.

What really worries religions is the concern that if one part of their narrative is undermined, all of it is. The story of Genesis isn't really an important part of the Christian message, and it doesn't really matter what theories some middle-eastern nomads held about the creation of the world 4000 years ago. However if you have insisted that every word of the Bible is literal truth, it's going to cause problems when part of it is shown to be wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:54 AM

just to add to my previous post where my mind muddled my message,-and surprisingly no-one pulled me up on it
....diamonds supposedly millions of yrs old registering radio carbon.

your responces to my points are what i would expect despite even some evolutionists admitting that their position is philosophical rather than scientific.but thankyou for the civil responces.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:07 AM

Perhaps no one picked up your point because of its somewhat cryptic phrasing.

I assume you are referring to the research which carbon-dated natural diamonds to be younger than the surrounding geological formations in which they were found. However this can be explained by the inaccuracies inherent in the carbon-dating method. Beyond a certain point, the few remaining carbon atoms in the sample are obscured by background radiation and the results cannot be held to be reliable. Even over shorter time periods there will always be a range of uncertainty in the results. Science doesn't claim to give certain results, which is something the religious often seem to have a problem with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:42 AM

akenaton LOL

I know where you are coming from on that one. There things that will never become clearer over a good ol' slug of diet sprite.:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stu
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:03 AM

" . . . I kept wondering if the information could have been more diplomatically in a nation that has such a large population of evangelical Christians who probably hold a literally biblical view of the beginning of things."

But why should an institution dedicated to the pursuit of science have to accommodate any religious viewpoint, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or The Prince Phillip Movement? More to the point, what was undiplomatic about the way the information was presented?

The Smithsonian (I know people that work and volunteer there and are of the highest calibre) or any other museum shouldn't succumb to alter their presentation of current scientific understanding to placate those souls seeking solace and guidance in the supernatural. I would hope the Smithsonian might engage those whose beliefs eschew science for other explanations, so a mutual respect and understanding could be reached even if the fundamental positions of both parties cannot be reconciled.


"i regard evolutionism as a faith position"

Then you misunderstand what evolution is and why people believe in it. It's not a faith position, it's about evidence.


" . . . since you mention dinos.i notice that darwinists now say that soft tissue can last millenia,not because its proven but because the paradigm is paramount."

Er, pardon? I think you are confusing (or deliberately conflating) 'darwinists' with palaeontologists and palaeobiologists and geochemists etc etc

Let me ask you Pete, how does soft tissue preserve? Do you think there are little bits of muscle or whatever, emerging fresh from it's rocky tomb? Soft tissue preservation is not a process, but many processes and is comparatively rare, although advances in technology, cross-discipline collaborations and improved field and lab techniques mean we are finding and recognising more and more instances of soft tissue preservation (cadaver decay island, anyone?). I know a chap who found a dinosaur with the skin envelope preserved, in 3D down to cellular level but the taphonomic processes that led to this preservation are at least partly understood, although there is a long way to go in subject area. The soft tissues Shweitzer et al have apparently discovered within a T. rex bone are the subject of heated debate, although I attended her presentation at the SVP meeting in Raleigh last October and found her latest work and analysis persuasive that these structures are not bacterial mats.


". . .some evolutionists admitting that their position is philosophical rather than scientific."

Ack. Palaeontologists (like all scientists) engage in philosophy, it comes with the territory and it may surprise you to learn that it's often a subject for discussion over a few beers. In fact I would suggest it's essential as scientists as it helps us understand where our research fits in and relates to other subjects the mighty, incomplete jigsaw that is current human knowledge. However, to suggest that belief in evolution if a philosophical position in and of itself I personally would say is incorrect, but I am happy to be proved wrong, so please put up the links (and not to creationist websites - that's cheating!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:27 AM

Sorry, akenaton, I left a word out of my last post. It is inserted below.

""There are things that will never become clearer over a good ol' slug of diet sprite.:)""

BTY, a perspective on alcohol:

While alcohol does cause disinhibition and is disasterous for some, there is more in its favour than this negative aspect. Many people enjoy its effects to escape insecurities, minimize outside distractions to allow a focus that is free from negative peer-learned and social evaluations and "the intrusive minutiae of everyday life". The "attentional tunnel vision" provides a useful route to assist and focus thinking and discussion of many life issues. It frees one from social (and even religiously learned) distractions. This is likely why so many writers write with a glass of whisky at their side. It is fair to say that everyone would not agree with that alcohol, in moderation (not to ther point of being pissed, of course), is "a preferred cup of tea" for everyone.

As to the benefits of teetotaling, George W. Bush was a teetotaler for 20 years. This did not help him to exhibit "clear thinking,at all. It may have led to his era of "teetotatalitarianism" while in office.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 10:51 AM

"....diamonds supposedly millions of yrs old registering radio carbon."

Again, not heard of this so can't comment. Did you get it from a creationist source, pete? But even if it's true and even if it casts doubt on the science behind radio-carbon dating (which I doubt) then it says absolutely nothing about the validity of the creationist viewpoint. Again, for the umpteenth time, you can't just insert God into the gap that you think you've spotted!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stu
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM

I'd like to see a paper on the diamonds too - any chance of a ref pete?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 01:53 PM

"Can't you get it into your head that 'scientifically' doesn't come into it? I wasn't trying to be 'scientific'""

How condescending, how like Dawkins.

You do not appear to realize that my original point, the one you were countering when you brought up the inquisition, brought science into it. YOU ARE CHANGING THE SUBJECT AND IMPLYING THAT I AM THE STUPID ONE FOR STICKING TO IT.

When Dawkins writes his books he does so as a scientist when he spouts unscientific nonsense in his books, naive, uncritical people take that as science. Or at least as words from a scientist.

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

Maybe we can get Bill D to parse this sentence. He has the vocabulary to describe convoluted tricks of logic.

Here is what I see. "Faith can be very very dangerous" Has he proved that "faith" is the cause of the atrocities committed in the name of religion? Not to me that is for sure. I don't think that "faith" causes a priest to bugger a child. Do you? The Crusades were a lot more about European politics and treasure than they were about faith. If they were about faith those noble knights might have stayed after the spoils tapered off. The inquisition was about consolidating power.

Can people commit atrocities of the same level without faith? I think you can think of some examples.

"deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

I have talked about the emotional words of the second part. He is certainly appealing to your reptile brains rather than your scientific, reasoning parts. Certainly Musket has bought into the idea of religious education = rape, let me say at this time that I am sympathetic to the points made by Jim Carroll about the Irish system. But let me try t say this carefully. What the priests are doing is rape. No one, not even the pedophile priests consider what they "implant" into those kids to be "faith."

Everyone agrees that raping kids is wrong. A friend of mine was raped and abused by "Christian" "brothers" in an orphanage when he was a child in Canada. Now the orphanage and "Brothers" are monitored when dealing with children. That is the way it should be.

But Mr. Dawkins goes far beyond that, doesn't he. He is saying that people like Joe Offer and my Christian cousin when they share their faith with their kids are "Implanting" something evil and doing their own kids a "grievous wrong."

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

I have to say that if you believe that sentence as written, I don't have time to talk with you. I will take the time to have a serious conversation, or even a lighthearted one, but trying to reprogram that level of delusion is a too daunting a task.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 02:42 PM

Your non-belief is not the problem, it is your apparent belief in Dawkinistic dogma.

Jack, does it bother you at all that you are starting to sound like starry pete, and that you are being lumped together with akenaton as far as the sensibility of your posts is concerned?

"Evolutionism", "Dawkinistic dogma". Sheesh!

Because you pointed the above comment at me, I'll try, once again, to be very clear: I don't believe in anything and, after everything you've read here on the subject in the last few weeks, saying I do is just you being a bit of an asshole. I've never read anything by Dawkins, but the quote you've been obsessing over has a very obvious and basically innocuous meaning that you are apparently willfully ignoring. As I said before, and you disagreed with. Oh well.

I'm not really interested in what anyone who is not here has to say on the subject, and I don't think that legalistically parsing absent peoples' words will lead to any enlightenment. I'm really a lot more interested in what YOU think. I'm seriously hoping you'll answer the questions I asked earlier:

Why do you believe all this Christianity stuff? How do you manage to square religious claims with the observed universe around you? I really don't get how you manage to make it all add up. Is there any explanation that will make sense to a non-believer?

Perhaps I should get more specific with my questions so we can have a more specific set of concepts to talk about:

Do you believe that Jesus died and was mystically brought back to life three days later?

Do you believe that the only way to enlightenment is through Jesus?

What's the story on the whole three-in-one thing? What's that mean?

Do you believe that Mary produced a virgin birth?

Do you believe that God made the world in six days and that the Theory of Evolution is essentially incorrect?

Do you believe in life after death? What is heaven and hell within your belief system?

Do you believe in Satan?

Do you think God listens to and cares about prayers? Whose prayers get answered if equally good people ask for equally good but opposite results?

If God is omnipotent, why is there so much underserved suffering in the world? How is God not a complete schmuck in this regard?

I'm sure there are a lot more questions, but I'll stop now. I know this thread is supposed to be about atheism, but without belief in gods there is no atheism. Maybe in order to understand atheism we need to understand faith more completely. I'd like to hear anything you can say that springs from your personal experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: BrendanB
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 03:29 PM

OK, JtS is attracting quite bit of flak at the moment but because I honestly believe that his heart is in the right place let me see if I can divert some of it my way.   (There again, I may just succeed in alienating Jack.)
I am a Catholic who enjoys attending mass, not least because my wife and I are frequently asked to provide music (which is not the only reason but certainly adds something).
Why do I believe in God? I don't know but I know that I do and I value my faith. It somehow makes me complete. I do not believe that faith is of itself a danger to anyone. However, I have no doubt that many people, including many Catholic clerics, have abused their position and shat on my faith in many vile and loathsome ways. Does that devalue the faith? No. In exactly the same way as rape does not devalue the victim. The scumbags who commit such foul acts devalue only themselves.

I get tired of people denigrating Richard Dawkins. I really believe that he is a genuine human being and an extremely clever man who has very clear views based on a formidable logic. However, in my world, I recognise that reason is not the be all and end all. I admire Dawkin's intellectual rigour but he is a fallible human being and is as capable of error as the rest of us.

My faith is frequently mocked by fundamentalists who believe that the Bible is unerringly true (no I don't believe that). On the other hand I believe that anyone who believes in stoning adulters is a barbar


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 03:35 PM

"Jack, you seem to be purposefully misunderstanding what Dawkins meant.

" I've never read anything by Dawkins,"

I've read a lot about what he has said on this topic. To much really.

To me that means I am in a much better position it than what "he meant" than you are. Do you dispute that? Exactly how do you know what "he meant." without having read the underlying context? How do you know I am "deliberately" distorting?

And believe it or not I really do not care if you accuse me of sounding like pete. All that means is that your have made up your mind on these issues and refuse to listen.

Is that a result of Dawkinsistic dogma? I don't care.

"Dawkinsistic dogma" was a bit of a joke referring to earlier threads discussions about whether he uses dogma or not. Atheist and author Frans de Waal said so in an article. Apparently you have come into conversation very late. Apparently you took me literally. Not a problem. I'd still rather be compared to pete who knows where his dogma comes from than to be caught blindly defending the nonsense pseudo logic of the Cult of Dawkins.

It is absolutely true that no child is born a Christian, or any other religion.
(didn't I say this already? Didn't I say that the "straw man" he implied was that people of faith did not believe that?)

While it may not be the intent, it is absolutely true that a religious upbringing is indoctrination."

I could argue the point that while there is a degree of "indoctrination" that bringing up a child in your own faith is a lot more complex than just indoctrination. What child would not say "Why can't I go to Church with you mommy?" If parents waited until they were 18 to indoctrinate them?

And Dawkins said it was a lot worse than indoctrination didn't he?

He said it was a grievous wrong.

"deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

John P. if you think that religious upbringing is a grievous wrong, you and I have no reason to discuss, religion, or education or family ever again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: BrendanB
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 03:39 PM

Sorry,
To continue:
....A barbaric cretin who has no place in civilised society. (Check out Leviticus). As far as they are concerned I'm with Dawkins. But the fact is that most Christians that I know really do want and try to love their neighbours. In fact, that is what powers many people's belief. As far as I'm concerned that is what the Easter message is all about. Happy Easter! Feel the love!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: BrendanB
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:01 PM

Actually, Leviticus says 'put to death', not 'stoned'. Just thought I'd pre-empt any pinhead dancing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:10 PM

BrendanB

You have not alienated me. For that matter no one else but the few people who have deliberately tried to goad me into anger with deliberate insults have alienated me and I am happy to talk to them on any post of theirs that doesn't include a deliberate insult.

Thank you for the insight into your life as a Catholic and your opinions about faith.

"I get tired of people denigrating Richard Dawkins. I really believe that he is a genuine human being and an extremely clever man who has very clear views based on a formidable logic. However, in my world, I recognise that reason is not the be all and end all. I admire Dawkin's intellectual rigour but he is a fallible human being and is as capable of error as the rest of us."

I am sorry it makes you tired, but this is an important point I am trying to make.

Dawkins is clever and he has famously applied intellectual rigour and reason to the creationism vs evolution "debate".

But where is the intellectual rigour and reason is this statement? I don't see any, none at all. I see an emotionally worded polemic statement with NO basic in science and very little, very dubious basis in logic.

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong." R. Dawkins, The God delusion.

"is as capable of error as the rest of us."

Fair point. Dawkins is capable of error. I am too. But is that statement an error? I think is deliberate. It is a key premise of his book. If it were an error, would his editors have missed it?, His publisher? Himself when he repeats and reinforces the point as I have seen him do?

I don't think so.

This is a clear point we can make in this debate right now. Do you agree with this sentence, the whole sentence and the connection made between atrocities and religious upbringing or not?

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

Do you think that is based on reason and intellectual rigour and science, or not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:20 PM

"On the other hand I believe that anyone who believes in stoning adulters is a barbar "

I believe that adultery is much much worse than any sin having anything to do with homosexual sex, other than adultery.

You are hurting someone you promised to love when you commit adultery. If you don't love them, divorce them. If you do love them and want to commit adultery, get counseling.

But I don't believe in third parties treating it as a crime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:28 PM

Okay, John, let me take a whack at this.

"Do you believe that Jesus died and was mystically brought back to life three days later?"

No, I don't believe that. But that is a standard folkloric style of telling stories about important religious figures. Examine the other religions, and you will find that ALL important religious figures both entered and left the world in miraculous ways.

"Do you believe that the only way to enlightenment is through Jesus?"

No.

"What's the story on the whole three-in-one thing? What's that mean?"

Supposed triune aspect of the Deity:   Father, God, presumably the father of us all, as well as the father of Jesus, the Son, who tells us directly of God's will, and the Holy Spirit, the word of God as enunciated by Jesus. Again, it's a simile, a way of telling the story.

"Do you believe that Mary produced a virgin birth?"

Refer to my response to the first question about the folkloric aspects of stories about important religious figures. Side note: a pastor friend of mine, when confronted with this question, responded by saying, "What matters is what Jesus said, not the gynecological and obstetric details of His conception and birth." Yup.

"Do you believe that God made the world in six days and that the Theory of Evolution is essentially incorrect?"

Absolutely NOT!

"Do you believe in life after death? What is heaven and hell within your belief system?"

I don't know, nor does anyone else. The subjective fact is that a) I know that one day I'm going to die; that I cannot imagine myself NOT existing in one form or another (I am rather fond of the Eastern belief in reincarnation, and that living many lives is like going to school and passing from one grade to the next), but—let's put it this way: if there is an afterlife, it will be a whole new adventure, if there is not, I will no longer have a consciousness with which to be disappointed.

"Do you believe in Satan?"

No.

"Do you think God listens to and cares about prayers? Whose prayers get answered if equally good people ask for equally good but opposite results?"

Since I don't even know if there IS a Supreme Being, I don't have a lot of confidence in prayers being answered. I think prayer works on the person doing the praying.

"If God is omnipotent, why is there so much underserved suffering in the world? How is God not a complete schmuck in this regard?"

That is subsumed under my answer to the question directly above this one.

My state of agnosticism does not prevent me from going to the church I go to, which is a quite liberal church. The words of Jesus are what they consider important (with little attention paid to such things as virgin birth and resurrection and ascension in the body other than celebrating the usual religious holidays like Christmas and Easter), and this translates into trying to find housing for the homeless, providing a program of free meals for the hungry, and generally taking what Jesus is alleged to have said seriously in the form of action, rather than proselytizing.

I wish more churches would do that instead of making themselves a pain in the ass.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: BrendanB
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:44 PM

I would say that abuse of faith is very very dangerous. Faith is entirely personal and any attempt to to impose it on those who actively reject it is unacceptable.   I think that is what Dawkins is focussing on. In my experience children who have been educated in Catholic schools are well able to question Catholic doctrine. ( I have worked in Catholic schools and know that to be true). In fact, I have encouraged young people to question religious teaching because faith that is not arrived at freely is no faith at all.

Sexuality and relationships between adults are complex and challenge the understanding of those not directly involved. I hope that I will never sit in judgement on others in this (or any other) matter. We must all answer for our own behaviour not that of others. The fact that I have not committed adultery is probably down to luck as much as anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 06:29 PM

Sorry Brendan, I guess we are going to disagree on this. Honestly I don't see how it is debatable. When Dawkins said this

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

He meant exactly this

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

He has had editors and publishers and and debates and defenses of it. The words are NOT accidental.

He does not SAY "the abuse of faith" can be very very dangerous He is saying that to implant it (faith) into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.

Its a simple question to you Brendan and to you and to everyone who cares to defend Mr. Dawkins, well two questions really do you think that he believes this "to implant it (faith) into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong." Do YOU believe it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 06:56 PM

""Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.""

Niki Lauda, twice Formula One World Champion, shortly after the birth of his son, was asked by a journalist if he could take some photos of the boy.

Lauda pointed out that he couldn't answer for the son, but if the boy agreed, it was alright with him.

The reporter said "But he's only six months old, and and can't talk, so he can't give permission".

"So", said Lauda, "You'll have to wait tll he can". End of conversation.

Maybe Dawkins feels that making faith choices for a child which hasn't any conception of faith or any capacity to choose, is equally wrong.

Not saying I agree, especially with the wording, but the idea.......?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:03 PM

If Dawkins wrote it he presumably believes it. Why shouldn't he?

If you think faith is a good thing, then clearly you will want to pass that on to others especially your children, and will view his statement as outrageous. However if you believe that faith is a bad thing, then you'll see indoctrinating young and impressionable children as bad thing. It's not really surprising that opposing views come to opposite conclusions

Religious people are often ready to take a very similar tone against things they disapprove of.

I can understand that Jack disagrees with both the statement and the underlying assertion, but that's his point of view and I can't see why he's surprised that someone with a different point of view should think differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:36 PM

Howard and Don, thanks for the feed back. But I still think that "and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong"

Goes beyond what you both said. I am saying that Dawkins is just as dogmatic and extreme in his views as many of the religious people he condemns.

I think his views are much more polarizing than mine or Joe's or Brendan's Or even Rick Warren's, Billy Graham's and Charles Stanley's

I'm puzzled that no one agrees, but maybe my attempts at humor (the Cult of Dawkins etc) have made agreement with me too high a hill to climb.

Then again, repeating the same points to make a seemingly simple and self-evident argument is kinda boring. I have to entertain myself somehow.

Or did y'all think that I actually thought there was a cult?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:40 PM

The issue with implanting "faith" into children so young that they can't possibly understand the consequences is, in my opinion, the greatest of all the evils of religion (one or two popes and Mother Teresa come a very close second). Let us remember that faith is the unquestioning acceptance of doctrine in the face of all contrary evidence. "Giving" children faith at a very early stage flies in the face of everything we believe about what one of the main aims of true education should be: the imparting of the skills to children that will enable them to seek, assess and criticise information, and to require evidence for any assertions that that are not based on self-evident truth. We are unjustifiably gentle on religion when it comes to this. We indulge all those seriously misguided people, many of whom are very nice people of course, who send their children to faith schools with the excuse that they "mean well". They are doing their children a serious disservice whilst doing their organised religion of choice a hell of a big favour (if you don't catch 'em young you don't catch 'em at all). I'm never going to excuse people who think in their heart of hearts that, because they think faith is a good thing, it's fine to force-feed that faith into young children. My view is that the concept of a God who breaks all the rules of nature is a far more complex notion than anything science has ever thrown up, and, as such, children probably shouldn't even hear about God at least until they can vote or join the army. God-bothering is not a trivial matter. You'd think I was a lunatic if I suggested that seven-year-olds should be taught string theory, yet we allow them to be taught about God, an infinitely more complex matter than string theory, and a chap to whom we are supposed to bow down our heads without question. Yes, we certainly let the faith-school/Sunday school brigade off far too lightly. The people who run them are manipulative scumbags and the people who send their kids to them are seriously deluded. It's the kids I feel sorry for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:40 PM

The issue with implanting "faith" into children so young that they can't possibly understand the consequences is, in my opinion, the greatest of all the evils of religion (one or two popes and Mother Teresa come a very close second). Let us remember that faith is the unquestioning acceptance of doctrine in the face of all contrary evidence. "Giving" children faith at a very early stage flies in the face of everything we believe about what one of the main aims of true education should be: the imparting of the skills to children that will enable them to seek, assess and criticise information, and to require evidence for any assertions that that are not based on self-evident truth. We are unjustifiably gentle on religion when it comes to this. We indulge all those seriously misguided people, many of whom are very nice people of course, who send their children to faith schools with the excuse that they "mean well". They are doing their children a serious disservice whilst doing their organised religion of choice a hell of a big favour (if you don't catch 'em young you don't catch 'em at all). I'm never going to excuse people who think in their heart of hearts that, because they think faith is a good thing, it's fine to force-feed that faith into young children. My view is that the concept of a God who breaks all the rules of nature is a far more complex notion than anything science has ever thrown up, and, as such, children probably shouldn't even hear about God at least until they can vote or join the army. God-bothering is not a trivial matter. You'd think I was a lunatic if I suggested that seven-year-olds should be taught string theory, yet we allow them to be taught about God, an infinitely more complex matter than string theory, and a chap to whom we are supposed to bow down our heads without question. Yes, we certainly let the faith-school/Sunday school brigade off far too lightly. The people who run them are manipulative scumbags and the people who send their kids to them are seriously deluded. It's the kids I feel sorry for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:43 PM

Jack -- I wasn't defending anything that Dawkins said. I was questioning your insistence that he was speaking scientifically when he said that, and I was questioning your apparent blaming of anyone who likes Dawkins for any reason for his words, or at least assuming that other people agree with everything he ever said. You seem to be clumping all atheists together sometimes, and it sometimes makes it hard to know who you are talking about -- it becomes easy to think you are getting angry at all of us. And I'd still much rather find out what you think about these issues than what you think Dawkins thinks about it.

As for whether or not a religious upbringing is desirable, I'm actually on both sides of the question. For the most part, I think it depends on the specific situation. For most Christians I know, their faith manifests as a desire to feel love for their fellow man, to live their lives with honesty and integrity, and to do good works. I support those types of values being instilled in our young people. I don't like kids being told that fantastical events are the literal truth. I think it's bad for the moral fiber. I see that many kids naturally question the faith of their parents and reach their own conclusions. I also see that many don't, and the ones that don't are often the ones who want to tell other people how to live their lives. I really don't like the idea of telling parents how to raise their children, and I really don't think parents should get to do whatever they like to their kids. I guess I'll go figure out how to play "Both Sides Now".


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 07:54 PM

♫ I've looked at life from both sides now . . . ♫


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:02 PM

Pete From 7 Stars: i would beg to differ rob as to who gets most influence in media and education.thought for the day and songs of praise [is there anything else/] gets ,i suspect,much less time than the evolutionary programming of dawkins,attenborough type programs.the same is true in state schools.RI,assembly ,if at all religious anyway,is countered by the naturalistic viewpoint of so called science

Pete, you're comparing apples with oranges here. The vast majority of Christians and Jews, and a significant number of less fundamentalist Muslims are accepting of science, the scientific method and the strong evidence for evolution. So science-based programmes are NOT in opposition to religious ones. They're just entirely separate. However, the ones discussing religion in UK tend not to include atheism or agnosticism as part of their spectrum of discussion. I find it difficult to understand why a programme such as "Beyond Belief" simply never includes an atheist or agnostic viewpoint. You have an issue examined from a Muslim, Catholic, Anglican, Sikh and Jewish viewpoint but it's never even raised that an atheist may have something valuable to add to the issue under discussion.

And Pete: .as a result they get science wrong,-think junk dna,vestigual organs,the eye wrongly wired etc.all predictions and assertions of evolutionists.

I think you'll find it's creationists who've constantly (and knowingly) mis-represented science on their websites and in their publications. Sometimes they've continued (as in the case of moon dust, leap seconds, "the vertical whale" etc) to use their discredited arguments for years, decades even, after they were proved to be wrong, until the inability to keep those discredited arguments going has forced them to make anodyne comments such as "we don't recommend using that argument any more"....without at any point admitting that they were deliberately continuing to promulgate said arguments for years after they were discredited and *known by creationist leades to have been discredited*. In most spheres of endeavour this is called "deliberately lying" to your followers.

Pete: just to add to my previous post where my mind muddled my message,-and surprisingly no-one pulled me up on it
....diamonds supposedly millions of yrs old registering radio carbon.


The problems seems to be, Pete, that you get all your "knowledge" of science from snippets on creationist websites and show little evidence of having made any *independent* efforts to follow the real evidence, so to someone who's had a more in-depth scientific education, *most* of your posts mentioning science seem quite muddled.

With regard to the diamond point in particular. AiG says:

There are two main applications for radiometric dating. One is for potentially dating fossils (once-living things) using carbon-14 dating, and the other is for dating rocks and the age of the earth using uranium, potassium and other radioactive atoms.

Which is plain wrong. Fossils as such are generally NOT dated using carbon-dating, as fossilised material millions of years old usually no longer contains organic carbon...the carbon having been replaced with inorganic materials over time. Carbon dating *is* used to date once-living things, as long as they've not been subject to permineralisation and as long as they're sufficiently young (ie younger than about 50,000 years) that there is still a reasonably accurately measurable C12/C14 ratio left in the material.

Carbon dating has been subject to cross-checking against dates from dendrochronology, varves, ice cores, coral growth rings etc and in all cases the curves match where they overlap, giving a strong indication that the utility of carbon dating *within its applicable band* is correct. For it to be otherwise physical laws would have had to be different in the past....something which we can rightfully be *very* skeptical of in the light of information gleaned from geology, astrophysics and cosmology (all different subjects to evolution/ biology, but which dovetail nicely where they overlap).

AiG then states: Carbon-14 (14C), also referred to as radiocarbon, is claimed to be a reliable dating method for determining the age of fossils up to 50,000 to 60,000 years. If this claim is true, the biblical account of a young earth (about 6,000 years) is in question, since 14C dates of tens of thousands of years are common....When a scientist's interpretation of data does not match the clear meaning of the text in the Bible, we should never reinterpret the Bible.

So it's *very* important for creationists to cast doubt on carbon dating....if they don't then their whole edifice of literal belief comes tumbling down. AiG's further comments on carbon dating are a farrago of wrong assumptions and conclusions which are well de-bunked on several sites.

The RATE diamond experiments are critiqued here:

RATE Critique

And the publication "Perspectives On Science And Christian Faith, March 2008, pages 35-39, concludes:

The RATE team has honestly acknowledged that even if their technical claims were accurate, there remain unsolved problems that cannot be reconciled with any known scientific process. In his summary at the RATE conference in Denver on Sept. 15, 2007, Don DeYoung noted the need to invoke divine intervention in order to circumvent these problems. However, the oft-stated summary by the RATE team, that their results provide assurance of the biblical interpretation of a young earth, leaves the average listener with the mistaken impression that these problems are nonexistent, trivial, or soon to be resolved. Rather, the RATE team acknowledged overwhelming evidence for hundreds of millions of year's worth of radioactivity12 and admitted that compressing this activity into a few thousand years would generate more than enough heat to vaporize all granitic rock.13 They state that no known thermodynamic process could dissipate such a large amount of heat.14 Their expressed hope in solving heat dissipation by cooling via enhanced cosmological expansion15 has not been realized and is not consistent with our knowledge of the expanding universe.16 Thus, the RATE team has provided solid evidence that, scientifically, the earth cannot be thousands but must be billions of years old.

In fact, carbon dating isn't the main thing that should concern fundamentalist creationists. It's the fact that it complements and agrees with dates from varves, ice-cores, tree-ring dating and coral growth, all combining to form a coherent picture. We have varve records going back unbroken for 40,000 years and ice cores going back 700,000 years.

Pete, if you'd actually learn some real science as opposed to getting snippets from AiG and elsewhere, you'd do yourself a big favour. The evidence for an old earth and an even older universe is both overwhelming and very consistent. There are still unknowns, and a few (a *very* few in the big scheme of things) inconsistencies, but to try and leverage young earth creationist dogma into explanations for such inconsistencies is a disservice to those with truly enquiring minds who are willing to follow the evidence where it actually leads, rather than trying to shoe-horn such inconsistencies into a world-view which refuses to accept evidence when it contradicts its pre-suppositions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:05 PM

As for whether or not a religious upbringing is desirable, I'm actually on both sides of the question. For the most part, I think it depends on the specific situation. For most Christians I know, their faith manifests as a desire to feel love for their fellow man, to live their lives with honesty and integrity, and to do good works. I support those types of values being instilled in our young people.

Those desirables are, as you know, fully achievable without even a hint of religious indoctrination. It's perfectly possible to support those types of values without so much of a sniff of religion. Your post is one of those excuses I mentioned used by deluded Christians to send their unfortunate offspring to those indoctrination camps we call faith schools. Faith schools may well pretend to preach love for fellow men, but they also instil the benefits of keeping away from the riffraff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:09 PM

"Jack, you seem to be purposefully misunderstanding what Dawkins meant"


Jack -- I wasn't defending anything that Dawkins said.

I am sorry that I thought you were defending Dawkins. Can you see why I might have thought that.

" You seem to be clumping all atheists together sometimes"

I don't think that, I have been talking about Dawkins and his followers the whole time. I have been clear about what I don't like. I have been specific in my criticisms.

Considering the post before you, which vividly displays the attitude I was trying to counter, I don't even think I have been very harsh.

I think that Dawkins is trying to stir up that kind of thing and I think he believes the statement fully, without qualification.

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."

I am happy to see that you don't. I count you on the side of reason. Steve and Mr. Dawkins, not so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:12 PM

Nice post Rob. Seriously.

Good luck getting though. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM

Jack: I'm not holding my breath. Seriously. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:43 PM

From the standpoint of a child learning to think for him/herself without outside indoctrination, "faith" can be interpreted as a means of indoctrination. If a child is old enough to determine whether he/she should have "faith" then that's a different story. Then "faith" is not dangerous but chosen unless it is a kind of "faith" that wreaks havoc on those who don't have it. Dawkins point is clear, here. Indoctrination (faith) without the framework of questioning and decision is dangerous.

The Taliban have faith and they instill it into the minds of young suicide bombers who are not mature enough to understand what it happening to them. They have "faith" and are dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:56 PM

Some creationists do eventually modify their ideas based on where the evidence leads:

Glenn Morton Statement

But it tends to take quite a while, and they need to get quite a good understanding of real science and real evidence before they change their ideas.

I interacted with Glenn in religious discussions quite a bit on various newsgroups and forums many years ago, and then later slightly from a professional viewpoint (I'm in seismic surveying too) when he was based for a while in the UK and got the impression of a very honest and open individual who wrestled with his conscience for years before finally breaking with his original indoctrination. I think he was quite bewildered when his creationist (soon to be former) colleagues reacted in such a vicious and personal way to his last paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 08:57 PM

A soldier in Stalin's, security forces has no religion and was dangerous. A child soldier 10 years old with nothing to believe in but his gun and an AK 47 is dangerous.

Billions of people have faith in religion are not dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 09:51 PM

If your only justification for indoctrinating children with your faith of choice is that the kids might not actually turn out to be dangerous, then I think you have a little more thinking to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 11:37 PM

"If your only justification for indoctrinating children with your faith of choice is that the kids might not actually turn out to be dangerous, then I think you have a little more thinking to do. "

Steve that is the dumbest thing that you have said so far.

I'm saying it is not dangerous for children to be raised in their parent's faith. You know, the status quo.

Do you think parents should be separated from their parents to prevent indoctrination? You know, to prevent this grievous wrong.

Steve has been telling us all that he is the reasonable one who relies on science and logic. He's telling us that I am the one who has to prove that "Inserting" "Faith" into the "vulnerable mind of an innocent child" is not dangerous. Are Steve and Mr. Dawkins planning to hang out at churches and pick up the children as they walk out the door?

(That was a joke everyone else. I am not attacking atheists, I am mocking Steve's (and Mr. Dawkin's) wild assertions and implications.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 11:45 PM

Ooops!

Do you think parents should be separated from their parents to prevent indoctrination?

Do you think children should be separated from their parents to prevent indoctrination?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 11:57 PM

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong."
R. Dawkins

I guess that is true for Atheism as well!

I am not attacking Atheism here. I am simply showing Steve Shaw that any dogmatic true believer, including the most famous atheist in the United States at the time can damage her kids by not letting them think for themselves.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20076618,00.html

As Murray tells it, his atheism was enforced from childhood by a tyrannical, explosive and indifferent matriarch. Growing up in a household run by his mother and maternal grandmother (his father left when he was an infant), Bill says it was clear to him that his mother wanted only girl children: "One of her favorite stories—I've heard her repeat it many times—is that when I was born and the doctor told her, 'It's a boy,' she asked him if there wasn't some way he could put it back." Bill says he remembers her cruelties all too well: Once, in a fit of temper, she shattered a model airplane he had been working on for months—and another time she bit him so severely he still recalls the pain. "As a kid I won a baseball trophy," he says. "Two years later when she came across it she asked where I had bought it. I told her I'd won it, but since she didn't know or care that I played baseball, she didn't believe me. Her attitude was that if she couldn't see it or touch it or feel it, it didn't exist."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 01:23 AM

Hello Sailor!

I note that above you state that adultery is a worse sin than homosexuality.

Sin?

Oh, of course. You have 'religion' so bigotry is acceptable eh?

Possibly the strongest argument about a shallow belief system is Sailor Boy's sense of morality exhibited above.

Not much more to add really.   I am not gay and cannot see myself falling into a relationship with a man in the way I have done with women, but for Clapton's sake, I don't look down on people and call them sinners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 02:33 AM

"I guess that is true for Atheism as well!"
Not really Sailor Boy - Atheism comes with argument and discussion and not with "the fear of god" and the threat of "eternal damnation".
"I am not attacking Atheism here"!
Yes you most certainly are, and you are carefully avoiding all the brainwashing features of all religions, the threats, the humiliation, the "Give me a child for for his first seven years and I'll give you the man" aspects that is part and parcel of what your religion brings with it.
A few weeks ago there I heard part of a radio interview with two ex-Magdalene nuns (who wisely chose who be identifies as "sisters X and Y) who talked of their victims, who as young women, had been put into their care for "getting into trouble". The nuns described the girls as "prostitutes" and proudly declared that by taking them in they were "cleaning up the streets of such people". When asked did they apologise for the horrific treatment now known to have been meted out to these unfortunates, they replied "for what?".
Last night I watched an interview with some of their victims; constant humiliation, crippling beatings, sexual assaults by priests, including an appalling description of one priest who would regularly sexually assault one girl then masturbate over her.
The the total and lifelong destruction of these womens' lives was a common feature of the interviews.
One interviewee, not a Laundry Girl but of an orphan in a Magdalene-run home, described how she attempted to make contact with one of these 'slaves', was discovered talking to her and was taken to the Mother Superior's office, beaten with a purpose-made rubber belt and had her hair sheared off and her head shaved bald, leaving her scalp covered with bleeding cuts. She was then forced to stand in front of a mirror for hours to witness the "results of her sinning".
Far from being "a thing of the past," the troubles of the church in Ireland have only just begun.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 03:17 AM

Do think that I would be bigot if I said that said that homosexuality is a sin? Mr. Musket.

I am really not qualified to judge that. But the point is moot.

It did not say that it was a sin. I implied that homosexual adultery is a sin. But then I think that all adultery is sin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 03:24 AM

Jack is not a true Christian. Real Christians are so busy contemplating their own sins that they have no time to worry about the sins of strangers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 03:32 AM

"I am not attacking Atheism here"!

Jim, I'm simply saying that this particular atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Inserted Atheism into her son the same way that Dawkins and Steve claim that people of faith insert their faith into their children.

I'm not attacking that woman. I'm passing on a report of what her child said was inserted into his innocent mind. If anyone attacked atheism, it was her. But that is not the case is it? She was just raising her kids in her own belief system.

I'm attacking Steve's claim but I am not attacking Atheism. Atheists are people just like everyone else. They have baggage and deserve to be left alone to raise their own kids as they see fit. Just as people of faith do.

Every now and then child services services have to step in and protect children. I don't think that they should be protecting them from being taken to Sunday school.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 03:36 AM

"Jack is not a true Christian. Real Christians are so busy contemplating their own sins that they have no time to worry about the sins of strangers. "

I've not talked about a single person as a sinner. I've accused no one of sin. Nor do I do so now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 04:38 AM

"Inserted Atheism into her son the same way that Dawkins and Steve claim that people of faith insert their faith into their children."
And has had Christianity inserted into her by an education system that ruled by brute force and enforced ignorance, possibly by thuggish nuns an sexually abusive priests as described above.
Atheism isn't "inserted" into anybody, it is rationally argued in order to give an alternative to the myths, tales and fairy stories we all took in with our mother's milk due to generations of brainwashing - that is what compulsory religious teaching is - brainwashing by fear.
Arguing against the expression of rationally argued ides is extreme censorship.
My parents were fed their religion by fear - my mother went to her grave in fear of the church ind in terror of the threat of eternal damnation.
My father was excommunicated for fighting Fascism in Spain; once removed from a regime based on fear and enforced ignorance he began to think for himself and developed a fine mind eager to learn everything that had been forbidden to him during his Catholic education.
Most of the literature he introduced me to were on the Catholic "index" of banned books (including the wonderful Irish classic 'The Tailor and Ansty' - a high point of my life).
I don't know of an atheist list of banned books - do you?
Writers like Dawkins are arguing for freedom of access to all knowledge; the Church is suppressing that knowledge just as the Nazis burned books.
If you want to find deliberate suppression of thought and ideas, you would do well to look nearer home.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 04:45 AM

Jim Did you read the article?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 04:54 AM

I'm really sorry you and your family were mistreated. My experience was very different. Some religious people have committed crimes.

According to article it was not beatings by nuns that caused Mrs. O'Hair to abuse her sons.

He traces her atheism to that self-absorption and hubris and to an aggressive antiestablishment streak that led her (with her two sons) into a variety of left-wing causes—even, he claims, to the Soviet embassy in Paris in search of exile. Rejected by Moscow, she retreated angrily back home to Baltimore where, as he puts it, "The rebel found a cause in prayer at school."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 05:04 AM

"According to article it was not beatings by nuns that caused Mrs. O'Hair to abuse her sons."

Oh, well that's all right then!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 05:54 AM

"I'm really sorry you and your family were mistreated."
My family were not mistreated - unless you call brainwashing ill-treatment - my father was grateful to have got out from under the oppressive influence of religion and the church, and I am eternally grateful to hve never been sucked into that fairy-world.
You avoid the point - religion is the result of centuries - even millenia of brainwashing and compulsion - atheism is not, yet you make yourselves out to be victims.
None of us had the choice of opting out of religion, we only had the choice of what brand of religion we were fed.
I can can still remember vividly my first encounter with religion.
My father, as well as being excommunicated, had come to the attention of the security services and had been blacklisted from his work - he was a skilled cabinet-maker. Unable to find alternative work he had taken to the roads as a navvy and spent mots of the time away from home.
When it came time for me to be enrolled in school, my mother, being half under the Iron-Heel of the church, couldn't really decide where to put me so, one day a well meaning aunt, under the pretence of taking me for a walk, whipped me around to the local RC school, St Sebastian's.
We stood in this long, gloomy, browny/yellow corridor populated by floating black-robed and hooded creatures floating from room to room, apparently without the aid of feet. We were standing next to a larger than life statue of a half naked man shot through with arrows and streaming with blood - I was petrified and we had only been standing there for a matter of minutes - god alone knows what years in such an environment would have done to me.
Luckily the school was full to capacity, so I was finally enrolled in a somewhat wishy-washy religiouswise C of E school a mile away full of human beings and without any S & M statues - lucky escape eh?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 06:01 AM

Dawkins presumably uses extreme language because he's challenging extremists.

Most religious people I know are not extremists. They just get on with living their lives the best they can and trying to be good people – just like most non-religious people I know. They accept science and education, and decide for themselves which parts of their religious scriptures hold what they consider to be fundamental truths, and what should be regarded as metaphor. So far as I am concerned, that is absolutely fine – it is no concern to me what they choose to believe in. To me, it's like having an interest in stamp-collecting or golf – I don't see the attraction myself but understand that some people do.

However some religious people want to impose their views on the rest of us. Even moderate religious organisations seem to believe that their views should receive special consideration when public policy is being considered. The more extreme insist that their views should receive special treatment – for example, those who insist on creationism being taught in schools (but only their version of creationism of course). At its worst, religion is hostile, even violently so, to education and free thought, not mention personal freedom.

Of course it's not just religion which can be oppressive, intolerant and restrictive. However religion exercises enormous influence over millions of people. For the most part, that influence is benign, even positive – I don't undervalue the good things done in the name of religion, but repeat the point that religion is not a prerequisite of doing good things. However, all too often that influence is malign, oppressive, violent and dangerous. You may say that's the fault of the people interpreting it rather than of religion itself but the effect is the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 06:13 AM

I am not attacking Atheism here. I am simply showing Steve Shaw that any dogmatic true believer, including the most famous atheist in the United States at the time can damage her kids by not letting them think for themselves.

If you tell your kids you're an atheist you will have to explain to them why, in a world saturated with religion-by-default, you have rejected religion. Gone completely against the flow. Contrary to what you say, that conversation is actually a very good tool for showing children how to think for themselves (the very opposite of what faith requires). You will be telling them that you have looked in vain for evidence for God's existence and found none. You will tell them that it's up to them to consider evidence and come to their own conclusion, free of pressure. That's what every atheist I know has done. I've done it with my own two kids. No atheist I've ever known insists that you follow his convictions. That can hardly be said to be true for faith, can it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 07:28 AM

>>My father, as well as being excommunicated, had come to the attention of the security services and had been blacklisted from his work - he was a skilled cabinet-maker. Unable to find alternative work he had taken to the roads as a navvy and spent mots of the time away from home.<<

That seems like your dad was mistreated to me.

It also seems that you don't have nearly the beef with the C of E as the Catholic Church.

Are you saying the school did or didn't brainwash you. If they did, they certainly didn't do it well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 09:57 AM

Indoctrinating children before they have the intellectual capacity for making choices about what "faith" they desire is wrong. Any attempt at religious brainwashing is no different than any other kind, political or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Apr 13 - 10:45 AM

I recall that Religious Education classes were in the curricula of the various (C of E) schools that I attended - but, curiously, I can remember very, very little about them. All that I really recall is that the Bible is in two halves: the first half is full of begatting and slaying and people living in the desert with dishcloths on their heads (that's how my infant brain pictured it anyway); the second half is about someone called Jesus (or,as he's referred to these days, "this man Jesus".). I probably couldn't tell you a lot more about Christianity now! So school didn't succeed in brainwashing me. I suspect that I probably found it all pretty unconvincing then. On the other hand, school did force a lot of useful stuff about reading, writing, arithmetic and science into my thick head.

Still, I'm glad that I wasn't born into a Catholic or Protestant fundamentalist family.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 04:19 AM

"That seems like your dad was mistreated to me."
He thought so at the time; he came to believe his break with the church opened up the world that had been denied to him by his religious education.
It wasn't just the excommunication that affected him initially.
He was wounded and taken prisoner in Spain - I have already described how he was put before a mock firing squad over a number of months; I don't think I mentioned that he was given mock last rights by the same priest throughout that period who was well aware that what was happening was deliberate mental torture.
The only time I ever saw my father weep was when he told me a story of an event that took place when the result of the war hung in the balance.
A young Spanish lad still of school age was taken prisoner for being a runner (messenger) for the Republicans. The Italian commander of the prison questioned the lad and decided he was harmless and instructed that he be detained along with the rest of the prisoners.
The priest (he of the last-rites), was from the same village as the lad, and, should the war have gone the 'wrong' way, was apparently worried that he would been identified as having supported the fascists so he demanded that the boy be executed - he was.
"It also seems that you don't have nearly the beef with the C of E as the Catholic Church."
I found there to be far less compulsion and attempt at mind-control than with my relatives who followed the faith.
"Are you saying the school did or didn't brainwash you"
They didn't attempt to - they simply put their case. Ironically the highest exam mark I ever received in school was in the Religious Education class - 95%.
This was due to my love of literature and my ability to remember the poetry of the psalms and the beautiful prose that we were taught - all gone now when they abandoned the King James Bible.
You still ignore the main point of these arguments - the bullying compulsion that accompanies religion - THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH ATHEISM.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:22 AM

Jim,

All I have been saying is that some atheists are bullies and having faith in religion does not automatically make a person dangerous.

You and you family seem to have good reason to be angry with certain people in authority in the Irish Catholic Church. It is fair to say that they had too much of the wrong kind of power in your society at the time and that they abused it.

Did they think that they were protecting the world from communism or some other evil? I think so. But I think it was a grievous wrong for them to try to use your families faith as a political tool.

I think it is important for societies not to give any one group too much influence or power.

I like the principle of separation of Church and State in the US system. I am willing to fight for it politically. Your story provides a valuable cautionary tale.

But I don't see militant atheism as a viable tool in that fight. I want to see all of the name calling and semantic distortion come from the other side and for the side of reason to remain civil and reasonable.

Moderate loving Christians and reasonable non-believers are natural allies. Militants of all types cause more trouble than they are worth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 11:15 AM

In accusing so-called "militant athests" as bullies, you are missing the point. Atheists have every right to present their views as do evangelical Christians, Islamists or Jews (the latter not being particularly evangelical). The so-called "militant atheists" have every right to criticize religion without Christians feeling victimized. The thing that bothers them the most is that today more atheists are becoming articulate and so-called "moderate Christians" can't stand that so they call atheists "bullies" when in fact the reverse is true.

Christians and non-believers can become allies on social causes or even get along together as long as atheists such as Dawkins can present his views without being called a "bully".

Christians and non-believers are never allies in their thinking, however. Without "militant types" such as civil rights activists, environmental activists, women's rights activists, peace activists, this country would never progress to anything more than a soporific stupor and social improvements would never be made. This so-called "reasoned" view is pernicious in that it suppresses social activism.

It is incumbent upon Christians and other religious people to understand the atheist position without getting their back up and calling names such as "bully".


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 11:26 AM

"All I have been saying is that some atheists are bullies"
I would say outspoken and articulate - I don't see any atheists picketing family planning clinics or terrorising young women when they are at their most vulnerable.
I've never come across atheist suggesting that those those who don't share their views "don't believe in anything" or are really "closet atheists (whole thread devoted to that one), or are to be "pitied and prayed for"   
I don't see any atheists pulling the strings of government in order that they observe "god's law" - what the hell is "militant atheism" anyway?.
The history of any church with any degree of influence is to abuse that influence - the history of any church with power is one of bullying militancy, often to the extent of going to war. The British, and many other Empires was launched on "God and Country - if you ever gat a chance read Mark Twain's brilliant 'King Leopold's Soliloquy.
The Church of England, while having to some degree the ear of the government, is little more than a figurehead to be wheeled out at coronations, royal weddings and state funerals - too much influence as far as I'm concerned but it will do to be going on with.
The Catholic church, certainly in Ireland, wielded enormous power, as a result the laws here remain fixed somewhere in the early part of the twentieth century - I wonder if you are following the Halappanarva inquest - now that's what I call being militantly aggressive.
The grip of the church here has loosened somewhat due to the revelations of the clerical abuse affair, and will probably relax again when the Magdalene Laundries cases come into the open.
the church's favourite preoccupation seems to have been going into people's bedrooms and telling them how they should be doing 'it' - celibate old men (supposedly) telling us about "the birds and the bees".
Nowhere in my experience has this happened anywhere with atheism, those who have no spiritual belief are now free to express their views openly, and this appears to be what you are describing as "bullying".
I don't know what "reasonable non-believers are - those who don't talk about it, those who only don't believe on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - what?
As far as I'm concerned things will only be put right when Church and State are totally separated and when people's beliefs are their own and not implanted from an age when it is virtually impossible to be removed.
You realise I suppose that such discussions as this would have the 'thought police' banging on our doors at midnight, well within my lifetime anyway?
"....angry with certain people in authority in the Irish Catholic Church"
A clarification - I was born in Liverpool and lived in the UK until my retirement, my father and mother were born in Glasgow and Liverpool respectively, my grandparents were both Liverpudlians.... Our experiences were of the English Church - nothing to do with Ireland - but than again, Catholic means "Universal".
"civil and reasonable."
Can't think of anything less "civil or reasonable" than the behaviour of the church down the centuries - far more evil than "communism or some other evil".
By the way, the number of anti- atheist threads that have been on-the-go recently (a number of them being started by you) falls well within my description of "bullying".
Must go - god seems to have abandoned our garden and left me to clear up the mess.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:08 PM

Jim,

I've said all I have to say to you on this topic. If you want to say that no atheists ever are bullies with your evidence being that the Churches bully more, I have no useful response.

I sincerely hope that you work out your issues with the Irish Catholic Church.

"Christians and non-believers can become allies on social causes or even get along together as long as atheists such as Dawkins can present his views without being called a "bully"."

I am tired of talking with you Stringsinger. You don't read what is said. You simply make half-assed pronouncements about the word or two that you do read. Have a nice life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:10 PM

I follow Carlos Santana in my Facebook. He posted this today.

Carlos Santana
I made a request to the audience
When we were in Melbourne, Australia
I asked-
if you are or consider yourself to be an atheist
Please stand up
Many of you did stand up !!!
Well - I LOVE respect honor
and salute your courage- conviction
And your honesty
Thank you for being YOU
I DO believe in a SUPREME being
We are given the freedom
of free will and choice
Live long healthy and prosperous
My sisters and brothers
Of all beliefs and faiths
Peace


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 12:48 PM

"If you want to say that no atheists ever are bullies "
Never said anything of the sort - atheists can be bullies, left handed, vegetarians, wife beaters, like Bob Dylan music..... just like believers can. What I am saying is what they are has nothing to do with their atheism.
I am also suggesting that bullying is part and parcel of most religious teaching and has been down the ages.
A major part of that bullying is spiritual blackmail; "if you don't go to church you'll...." and this from the point when a child begins to think and understand what is being said to it.
I've yet to hear an atheist say "if you go to church you'll spend eternity living in Milton Keynes listening to Daniel O'Donnell records" - thence the difference.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 01:00 PM

"I am also suggesting that bullying is part and parcel of most religious teaching and has been down the ages."

It wasn't for me. Not at all. But a lot of my upbringing did involve bullying.

I have seen Atheists say that if you believe in God you are stupid and mentally ill. Not blackmail perhaps, but still bullying.

I think "lets work together in peace" is the best approach.

Did the C of E say "if you don't go to church you'll. (go to Hell or whatever?)"

My Mom's family and my Grandmother on my Dad's side were all Anglican. I never once heard that from them.

I empathize with your experiences. But they are far from universal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 01:11 PM

I'm sorry, Jack. I know it was all long ago, and all that. But I revert to the Crusades and the Holy Office: violence and cruelty committed explicitly in the name of religion. These are history in Christian terms; but is not Sharia Law, with some of the appalling details of its imposition [teenage girls caned 100 strokes on the bare buttocks for the enormity of conceiving after rape; 'adultresses' buried to the neck in sand and stoned to death ~~ well documented recent instances], a contemporary instance of the same syndrome in a present-day setting involving another faith?

As Jim has been at pains to point out, you cannot point to any such enormities committed explicitly in the name of atheism.

No-one is saying these are an inevitable outcome of all manifestations of religious faith. But you cannot wish their existence, historical or contemporary, away, in relation to some.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 01:29 PM

MtheGM,

I am not about to ever call the Crusades and inquisition bullying.

They were far worse than that. But as I have pointed out before that the Crusades was about looting and the inquisition about the consolidation of political power.

Also, I have never said that the bullying of SOME current atheists was as bad as some Christians of the past and of SOME current Christians. I have taken great pains to say that politically, bullies like Dawkins and Harris and for that matter Musket and Shaw, hurt in the fight against religious fanatics imposing their will on society more than they help.

I am not the enemy. People like Joe Offer and Brendanb are not the enemy. Creationists taking over school boards and people trying to impose things like sharia law and Sunday laws on non-believers are the problem. People claiming to represent reason engaging in name calling make it seem as though the fight is between different sides of the same coin rather than reason and fundamentalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:09 PM

Jack your posts, I've read them all and found them not particularly illuminating. You don't have to talk to me directly. I will respond when I read something that is off the wall.

There is no enemy, here. Just an attempt to have an adult conversation about an important issue. Your going after Dawkins is as a Christian Ahab going after the white whale of atheism. Dawkins is not an enemy of anyone. Remember, this is not a bar fight here. It's a difference of opinion to be treated respectfully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:36 PM

It's not surprising that some religious people see themselves as victims of bullies. After all, there they were all nice and snug under their comfort blankets and then along came all of those nasty old atheists, backed by reason, logic and science, and whipped their blankets away! Now they're exposed to the icy cold of reality.

Not only that, but they've no longer got any reason to declare themselves superior to, or more enlightened than, anyone else and have no justification for browbeating, brainwashing and bullying others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:39 PM

Your going after Dawkins is as a Christian Ahab going after the white whale of atheism.

You have obviously not read my posts you self-righteous lying ass!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 05:44 PM

Stringsinger.

Lying about what I have said is not treating me respectfully. Lying about reading it isn't any better. You are a real piece of work. Please excuse me if I don't address you anymore. I have little interest in the words of liars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:23 PM

that was a lot to go through rob,,and your greater learning is evident.however even reading it twice i,m not convinced that you actually tackled my points.is it not true that radio carbon can only go back so far before it becomes undetectable.is it not also true that it has been detected where other scientific disciplines claim millenia older.are not diamonds claimed to be in the latter category .

sugarjack - i have on previous threads provided quotes and sources.i am not about to do it all again.i am quite busy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: John P
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 08:30 PM

Wow, Jack! I've just read again all of Stringsinger's posts on this thread and none of them should have elicited anything like the flame you just directed at him. You are proving his Moby Dick point, you know. If you want to see some bullying, you should look in a mirror.

Why are the opinions of atheists pissing you off so much? It doesn't seem like you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 09:48 PM

Pete, yes, it's true as I actually stated in my post, that radio-carbon dating is only valid back to an age of 50,000 years or so. It's not that it becomes "undetectable" but that the C12/C13/C14 ratio error bars, when the C14 proportion becomes very small, in effect swamp the precision of the measurement, making attempts to date beyond this increasingly inaccurate.

The fact that Carbon 14 has been detected in diamonds is irrelevant. Unlike living entities, diamonds are not made from atmospheric carbon, but are formed deep within the Earth. They naturally contain some traces of nitrogen that can be altered by decay of radioactive elements present in the diamond into C14.

Radiocarbon dating is based on the measured ratio of unstable C14 to stable C12 and C13 in atmospheric carbon dioxide...but the original ratio of these two non-atmospheric isotopes in a newly-created diamond is unknown. So any attempt to use isotope ratios in diamonds as a dating tool is a ridiculous use of the technique. The creationists at RATE who did this work KNOW that it's a ridiculous thing to do, and of no value whatsoever except in planting entirely spurious "seeds of doubt" into those of their followers who have insufficient knowledge of the true physical processes to understand themselves that they are being sold a complete "red herring".

It's a blatant attempt to deceive followers into doubting the efficacy of carbon dating of *organic* matter, because if they don't it drives a big nail into the coffin of YEC-ism. Your leaders are LYING to you and they KNOW they're doing it!

If someone wants a "get out" by saying that radioactive decay rates may have changed over the years, they need to be aware as I also said in the post above, that comparison with varve and ice core samples shows no such occurence over at least the last 40,000 years, and other calibrations take us back much further. But also look again at my last italicised paragraph in the other post. If radioactive decay had been significantly different in the past, RATE's own work shows that the required heat dissipation over a mere 6000 years would have been enough to vaporize all granite rock on earth. We'd be (not) living on a molten slag-heap if it were true!

So I've directly tackled your points in this post (though I had tackled them in the previous one somewhat less directly). Your diamond point has been refuted to its originators many times yet they continue to propagate it as evidence.

Pete...PLEASE start educating yourself rather than culling snippets of long-discredited information from publications of those who have a strong vested interest in lying to you on the (seemingly accurate) assumption that you don't actually know enough real science to understand the snake oil they're selling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 10:08 PM

"Wow, Jack! I've just read again all of Stringsinger's posts on this thread and none of them should have elicited anything like the flame you just directed at him. "

Well John, he's been doing this for 5 threads now. This is his mildest.

I'll admit that I could have and should have been kinder


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 03:30 AM

"I have seen Atheists say that if you believe in God you are stupid and mentally ill."
Pretty small stuff compared to a lifelong of brainwashing from the day you begin to think and speak. Some sort of hard words are to be expected by somebody who climbs into the minds of our children and, using fear and coercion implants an irrational doctrine there that has been passed down the millenia.
"I think "lets work together in peace"
With who exactly, Atheists and believers, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, all Christians....?
Inter-religious dispute has been and continues to be one of the great causes of hatred and a major threat to world peace on this planet - not much signs of lions lying down with lambs there.
Sounds to me as if you are mustering your forces for a 'last battle' in a war you are losing.
In my lifetime Christian churches have climbed into bed with some of the greatest monsters in history, Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, Salazar, Franco, Papandreou, Videla, Massera, Agosti......
"Did the C of E say "if you don't go to church you'll. (go to Hell or whatever?)"
Now your talking brand-names - the threat of hell and eternal damnation is part and parcel of every religion - sometimes it comes wrapped in a velvet glove, sometimes it is presented in all its magnificence.
"You are a real piece of work."
Not a bad "piece of work" yourself.
Evasion is the most common form of lying on all these threads and you have proved yourself a master of the art. You have not addressed once the effect of implanting myths and legends as facts into the minds of children, you have skirted around the behaviour of the church towards the faithful, particularly and most horrifically children, (hinting darkly 'it was them wot dunnit' "Did the C of E say....") - a form of inter-religious one-upmanship that continues to infest our lives, and you have whined at being called a few names at a time when the world is torn apart and threatened with extinction by inter-religious disputes.
You are not the victims here, and to claim you are is the greatest lie of all.
Whatever failings they may have, Dawkins and co have my gratitude for their robust attempts they are making to break the stranglehold of religion - I hope I live to see it, but I'll probably toasting my feet on the hobs of hell you have invented to terrorise people into submissive obedience.
Why not surprise us and answer some of the serious aspects of religion rather than dodging behind unfounded accusations of 'bullying' and 'persecution'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 03:55 AM

My home town has a monument to mark the spot where in the 16th century a 15-year old boy was tied to a tree and burnt to death for the crime of reading the bible in English. This was far from being an isolated incident during the Reformation. The school I went to was founded some years later by the man responsible out of remorse - or perhaps because with a change from a Catholic to a Protestant monarch he felt it expedient to move with the times.

Now this was a long time ago. However Christianity claims 2000 years of heritage, so you can't just wipe away the last 1950 or so years and say they are no longer relevant. Equally horrific things are happening today all round the world in the name of religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 06:08 AM

On the road coming into this town there is a somewhat knocked-about Georgian building, now half tyre repair place, half car showroom; it is referred to by the locals as "Ball's school".
During the famine, which hit this area pretty badly, both with starvation and eviction by English absentee landlords for failure to pay rent, it was occupied by an English clergyman named Ball who ran a school which supplied soup to the children on condition that they changed their religion to Protestant.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 10:09 AM

"You have obviously not read my posts you self-righteous lying ass!"

Spoken like a true Christian and follower of Jesus. It makes your "god bless you" seem hollow. But I understand your anger because many of the ideas that you present are challenged and are defended by accusing me of not reading them.

One of the reasons I keep these posts going is that Mudcat is one of the few places left where new ideas that run counter to the prevailing bureaucratic mantras can be expressed with the hope that a dialogue will ensue that would be enlightening. it's one of the few places on the internet that suggest a return to democratic values. Of course, when you express a point of view that runs counter to the accepted shibboleths of our politicians and religious leaders and their adherents, you can expect vituperative ad-hominems and curses.

Still, I think the discussion is worth it, since it presents other ideas rather than the smug prevailing ones that are taken for granted.

A discussion of what atheists are or are not is valuable since there are different definitions and points of view held by them. Sam Harris, Dan Dennet, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins do not always agree in their views. Still, they see the importance of information and dialogue. Having read some of their works, I have been presented with new ideas that are worthy of consideration.

When Dawkins suggests that god is a delusion, he is not accusing religious people of being deluded in every part of their lives. Obviously, to be a good sailor, you can't be deluded to run a tight ship in perilous oceans. He is talking about religion in general, how it is applied to a majority of people who believe. He has been open and sincerely interested in how they have come to their conclusions and I recommend that before we talk about Dawkins, some familiarity with his point of view which comes from reading his books would enhance this conversation.

Demonization of any point of view doesn't enlighten anyone. As I have mentioned before, I don't demonize Christians and having been one myself years ago,I think I understand where they are coming from. It's easy to push their buttons unintentionally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 12:10 PM

I am nowhere as high-powered on this subject as most of the posters on this thread are: I am not as well educated nor as clear thinking nor even as interested in the subject as most of the posters on this thread are.

However, having been reared as I was (in a fundamentalistic, don't-ask-too-many questions- being disrespectful to God is a sin- church and family) it is hard for me to take any church or any dogma too seriously.

But again: my daughter felt the need for religious certainty. By the age of 12, she was getting herself out of bed on Sunday mornings to go alone to church. I respected her for that, and still do. When she was 15 or so, I told her that I kind of envied people who were so sure of their beliefs but that it just was not me.

She is very bright and went to college on scholarships based on her grades and areas of interest. Today she is a pastor's wife and deeply involved not only in her church but in many causes from battling homelessness to combating domestic violence to providing access to higher education.

She writes essays for her church's website and sounds as though she has a personal relationship with her 'savior'. Maybe she has- I don't know, because I don't understand such certainty.

My point is that, agnostic as I assuredly am, I raised a child quite different from me. Did I 'brainwash' her to think as she does? I don't think so. My main virtue, to way of thinking, is that I taught her to think for herself. The fact that she doesn't think as I do makes me smile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:35 PM

""My point is that, agnostic as I assuredly am, I raised a child quite different from me. Did I 'brainwash' her to think as she does? I don't think so. My main virtue, to way of thinking, is that I taught her to think for herself. The fact that she doesn't think as I do makes me smile.""

You are absolutely right Ebbie.

Your daughter was taught how to think, and then made a decision at a stage in life when she was more than capable of making an "informed" decision.

That can happen in either direction and is equally acceptable, whichever path is chosen.

It is the very antithesis of the approach which tells children what to think from the day that they start to talk.

I find it strange that parents should do that, while waiting until the teens before discussing careers.

If one, why not the other. And please, nobody try to say that an understanding of right and wrong is dependent upon religious education. That wild goose got away long ago.

And it is probably a good idea at this point to re-iterate that I am NOT an atheist, lest anyone get the wrong idea.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:44 PM

that was a very fair post ebbie.

thankyou rob for expanding on answer re diamonds.i am afraid that i would probably need an explanation of the explanation.you are quite right that lesser intelligent like myself could be decieved.the question is who is doing the decieving.i can only decide that by how much is understandable to me and the creationist position makes most sense to me.i freely admit that my starting assumption is the truth of the biblical narrative.the "leaders" whom you accuse of lying,are not here to defend themselves.but as i have said before they have [ i believe] publicly invited evolutionist leaders to debate.it seems dawkins ,and probably others have not taken the opportunity of exposing the "lies" of creationism where creationist scientists can defend themselves publicly.
you may have covered it but as far as the diamond carbon is concerned the detection was much greater than any residue reading .


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 02:40 PM

I have a question for you, pete: Had I written that I am a devout Christian with few reservations about creationism but that my daughter, try as I might have to bring her up 'right', has abandoned the faith and is today doing her best to set creationists straight, would you still think of my post as being "fair"? Or would you judge me deficient in my faith, inconsistent in my lifestyle and a bad mother?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 03:31 PM

"i freely admit that my starting assumption is the truth of the biblical narrative."

Well you see, pete, that's exactly where you're going wrong!It's a bit like trying to get from London to Glasgow using a map of Narnia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 04:12 PM

fair question ebbie. i have 3 daughters ,only one of which is regularly in church.i cannot imagine being negative about a devout parent whose children choose otherwise in life and belief.how beit i was actually complimenting yourself for being fairminded about christian life and faith as exemplified by your daughter,despite being unpersuaded of it yourself.i hope that satisfied your query, and that i have not missed the import of it.    pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 04:18 PM

OK Jim,

You've posted a new accusation so I will try to respond to that. I did not start new threads to avoid anything but the rancor.

I started them, I had found new articles, new to me at least, with interesting ideas, interesting to me at least. I thought and still think each thread I started was a separate and interesting topic. The first was Dr. de Waal's talk about Dogmatism of both Christians and "the new atheists", the second was about Islamophobia and the new atheists. The third was about how Ronald Reagan and Chris Hitchens were treated after they died and I thought it had some bearing on the discussion about Thatcher. The fact that Hitchens was the controversial figure used as an example had much more to do with the timing of his death.

None of the atheists wanted to talk about the Dogma. They wanted to talk about how "scientific" Dawkins was. Oh yeah and how much smarter Steve Shaw is than Beethoven was. No one wanted to talk about the Islamophobia. They wanted to talk about how evil I was for posting the article, as if I had written it all myself. And when I posted the article saying that we should not canonize controversial figures and said myself that we should not whitewash the past once they die, Stringsinger accused me of doing that by posting that very article.

This thread was not started by me, nor were three others what all the threads once they reach a certain number of posts, have in common is the Mudcat atheists using on of two tactics on each and every one, talk about the evils of religion treating all religious people the same, or completely change the subject.

So no I did not start threads to avoid answering questions. I did get tired of trying to answer the same question as people would just read the tread title, decide what it meant and pull criticisms out of their butts, not you Jim, Other people, Stringsinger did it several times and was caught red handed in a lie about having read the thread. I have answered all of your other questions on these few threads. I don't feel the need to defend the deeds of every person who ever did a cruel of misguided thing under the cloak of religion. I concede there have been many. If you will concede that there are some good people, like Ebbie's daughter, and Joe then we can walk away from this unfortunate thread with something of a consensus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 02:46 AM

Thank you, pete. That was nicely answered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM

"You've posted a new accusation"
Sorry Jack, you know this is not true - I said exactly the same thing earlier on another thread and you described it as a "conspiracy theory".
"They wanted to talk about how "scientific" Dawkins was".
Again, not true - I and others have consistently written on the effect that the church has had on our lives - I think I have mentioned Dawkins once, in passing.
"I did get tired of trying to answer the same question"
You haven't answered one of mine, in fact, you have studiously avoided them in order to present believers as 'the persecuted ones - using a few limp-wristed insults to prove your case.
Personally, I see no signs of atheists persecuting believers, rather I see them objecting to the malign influence the church has had and continues to have on our lives.
Religious persecution appears to be very much a sect-versus-sect affair that blights all our lives, whatever we believe or don't believe - atheist persecution of the religious is the only "conspiracy theory" here.
As has been said often here and elsewhere, people are entitled to believe what they wish, it is vital for a free society that this is not interfered with. But it is equally important that these beliefs are not imposed on us all, as they have been for far too many centuries.
Deal with that one rather than puttling down straw men of your own making.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 04:28 AM

Jim.

You saying something is so, does not make it so.
And just so you are clear on this. You are not the Spanish Inquisition. You do not get to keep asking me questions until you get the answer you want.

You are accusing me of lying in that last post.

Since you feel that way. I don't want to continue this discussion with you. I hope you work out your obvious issues with the Irish Catholic Church. But you have dumped them on me for the last time. Goodbye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 06:12 AM

Sailor Boy
"You saying something is so, does not make it so."
The same goes for your pronouncements – that's why we hasve these little tete-a-tetes
"until you get the answer you want. "
I'd settle for an answer – haven't had any yet, please don't claim I have unless you are prepared to show that you have.
"You are accusing me of lying in that last post."
You accused Stringsinger of lying – are you reserving a right for yourself that you would deprive the rest of us of? Not so long ago a bunch of us were called "******* liars and bigots" by one of you guys for expressing views on religion he didn't agree with – so what; it's all part of robust debate.
Who the hell do you people think you are – you'll be telling us you can walk on water next.
"I don't want to continue this discussion with you"
Didn't think for a moment you would, I shall continue to respond to what you have to say - your silence is answer enough – no change there.
"I hope you work out your obvious issues with the Irish Catholic Church."
Further distortions (lies) – I have made it quite clear that my "issues" are with all organised religion and the effects it is having on our lives – "Catholic" doesn't come into it – just the one I have had most experience in.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: bobad
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:25 AM

This should hearten some of our posters: Russia moves to introduce jail sentences for insulting believers' feelings


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:09 AM

Jim, Stringsinger told me that he had read the opening post of a thread and the article posted. He told me this more than once. He told me this because it was clear to me that he had not been reading the thread and I had said so. Then he posted THE same article I had posted, not once, but twice that It contained important information about the topic of the thread, which was true because it was the topic of the thread nad strindsinger would have known that had he actually read the opening post.

He was caught in a lie. He lied to me.

Perhaps you can catch me in a lie? You could go through these threads and give us all links to the things you accuse me of. If you are right they are all still there. I am particularly interested in the "conspiracy theory" quote you keep referring to.

"The same goes for your pronouncements – that's why we hasve these little tete-a-tetes "

We are having these "tete-a-tetes" because the raw pain an emotion you show is palpable and I have been trying to show some compassion. It is seems very clear to me that you have emotional baggage about the Catholic Church. I thought you might have been raped or something the way you were acting. If that is not true if you are just acting this way to be an asshole. Please tell me. It will make me feel better.

"Not so long ago a bunch of us were called "******* liars and bigots" by one of you guys" Grow up. I'm not going to take crap for something someone else did.

"I have made it quite clear that my "issues" are with all organised religion and the effects it is having on our lives "

Then boo freaking hoo about your "issues" I haven't been talking about that I have been talking about several people who are rude. You want to critique religion as a whole start your own danged thread.

So in summary, I have not tried to denigrate anyone but a couple of "new atheists and two members of this forum, you know who they are, who have been denigrating me. If you think I am lying. Grow a spine and prove it rather than whining about it. I am not going to spend any more time on your hate filled spews about religion. If someone else has called you names don't take it out on me grow a pair and take it out on them, or grow up and just get over it.

I hope it is not news to you that people say mean things on the Internet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:18 AM

"He was caught in a lie. He lied to me."
Evasion is as much a pert of lying as is straightforward porkies.
Continuing evasion is continuing dishonesty
Claiming my issue with the Church is Catholic is straightforward lying
- dismissing those issues is as downright insulting as my dismissing yours would be.
" I hope it is not news to you that people say mean things on the Internet."
It isn't - then why are you whingeing about being calloed a liar.
"You want to critique religion as a whole start your own danged thread"
You mean we can't talk about religion here - only atheists?
If you can't handle the subjects you pontificate on, don't pontificate, or at least, be honest enough to say you can't - and don't thow thread drift at me - it's a popular ploy with somebody equally eveasive as you seem to be - It just don't work.
As I said I am going to continue posting and I am aware that you are going to continue evading the points I raised - your refusal to respond will be answer enough and am happy to take it to the other thread - no new one necessary
Thank you for reminding me why I find religious people who defend the indefensible so dishonestly distasteful
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:44 AM

I'm sorry that we have to throw epithets at each other although I understand that this topic creates passion. When Dan created this thread, I don't think he knew the rancor that it would cause. But this rancor might be an important step toward our ultimate understanding of one another. So I'm grateful that Dan brought it up.

Aside from the personalities and brickbats, name-calling and righteous indignation, we can conclude that out of these disagreements that there is the potential of learning something valuable.

As for my own conduct, I didn't willfully lie to anyone. There would be no point in it.
I thought I had read something when I hadn't. I made a mistake. But it wasn't done willfully. I apologized for my error.

I did however react to the knee-jerk response to Dawkins whom I admire for his honesty, clarity and scientific observations. His books are an important read for anyone who attempts to criticize his views.

I think he and Ingersoll remain important critics of organized religion and shed the light on
the all too human negative behavior of some in the various churches. As to the other so-called (fallaciously I might add) "new atheists", each one has something of value to offer, even the vituperative Hitchens.

Having read some of the works of theologians, there have been redeeming ideas there that although I accept that they differ from my own, I find informative.

Religion is a fascinating subject for studying. It's an index into how the human brain functions and absorbs information. Some of the references of religion offer an insight into the language, lexicon and mores of various cultures. For this reason, comparative religion courses in college can be edifying if the student is allowed to think for him/herself.

Indoctrination and dogmatism are the enemies of clear thinking. They are the cause of needless battle lines being drawn. Understanding views other than our own is a help to ending the rancor and conflict.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: bobad
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 11:16 AM

As an adjunct to this thread:

A sign of the times - a church being put to an alternate use: Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen: 700-year-old Church Could be World's Most Beautiful Bookshop


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