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Atheists are Searching for Self Definition. Even if it is More About Who They Are Against. That's why the Religion Forum attracts them. Also, they have more mixed feelings about religion and Christianity than they admit to. Hello Conflicted Atheists.


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Initial post: Dec 29, 2012 4:31:58 PM PST
DRM says:
We're here for you.

To help you Sort Things Out.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 4:39:44 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
The condescending tone of this post ought to bring out a reaction...

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 5:41:40 PM PST
I am an atheist and I visit religious forums for two reasons: interaction with others who have a strong interest in issues of importance to me and to drive a stake through the heart of religion. It is my opinion that religion's harm far out weights any good it does. Even tobacco companies have some positives; they create jobs and raise taxes, but at what cost? Since scribes started scratching records onto clay, countless millions have been killed in the name of one god or another. Religious beliefs have impeded medical science, adding more millions to the needless-deaths column. Money diverted to support the priesthood instead of medical research has delayed cures, sending far too many people to their graves far too soon, resulting in needless misery, suffering, and tears. Thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children have been literally sacrificed in the name of religion, and while social evolution has made human sacrifices more or less a thing of the past, mental health is still being sacrificed. Some religious protesters argue that the false morals of the Bible have hurt -- not helped -- society. The Bible is an enemy of the environment and makes solving our environmental problems exponentially harder. Positive relationships between nations and people are made more difficult by those who take the Bible's teachings literally. Divine approval of slavery caused unspeakable suffering and the deaths of millions. While social evolution has scooted society past the bloody milepost of formal slavery, it still condones unofficial slavery against women all over the world, and where they have won the struggle for civil rights in the court house, they still are fighting the priesthood and the God-approved label of "second-class citizen" around the globe. Religion puts democracy at risk. Belief in God and his laws foster acceptance of harsh social justice. And finally, belief in the Bible, by definition, makes us superstitious simpletons on par with those who prayed to and feared Zeus. So, is it possible the Bible does more harm than good? Unless you're a brain-dead zombie, the answer is yes. I'm an unrepentant antitheist. (But please be clear -- the concept, not against the practicer.)

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 5:48:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2012 5:51:03 PM PST
jpl says:
DRM says: We're here for you.

To help you Sort Things Out.

jpl: Thanks, DRM. I've been having horrible nightmares of demon possesion. I find myself springing into a sitting position in a sweat in the middle of the night. I swear I can feel the presence of something that sends shivers of fear up and down my spine - something evil.

I'm afraid. Please tell me what to do. How can I escape this insufferable madness?!

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 6:00:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2012 6:05:49 PM PST
As an atheist, I am far from conflicted. I see belief and religion clearly for what it is and what it has done over the course of history. I see clearly that none of the gods from the Christian god to Zeus have not a shred of supporting evidence to validate any particular brand of god. I can't fathom how an adult can endorse and accept some crazy story that has its origins in the Middle East. How this convoluted mixed up story can have such a hold on an adult mind is interesting.

I see things very clearly. No rituals. No strange diets. No mental abuse of myself or children by telling them they are sinners. No weekly indoctrination sessions in a place called a church. No single book to base my life upon. No 4th century and earlier thinking etc...to get in the way of thinking in a critical and clear headed manner.

Belief is basically "Come listen, accept and believe our crazy out of this world lunatic story over that other guy's crazy out of this world lunatic story." Belief in a nutshell.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:10:59 PM PST
MMX says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:14:35 PM PST
:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:18:06 PM PST
Bubba says:
Is your mother-in-law in the next room?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:23:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2012 6:24:23 PM PST
MMX says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:27:30 PM PST
MMX: [Stated as fact in MMX's ] "But, because an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God isn't testable in this way, then such a God is permanently unknowable."

Chuck: Oh but He is testable! He has clearly stated we will know the true believers by the signs that follow them. Are you a true believer?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 6:34:39 PM PST
MMX says:
Chuck: "He has clearly stated we will know the true believers by the signs that follow them. Are you a true believer?"

MMX: I'm an Agnostic.

When you say, "He has clearly stated we will know the true believers by the signs that follow them." - two questions emerge: (1) Did God clearly state such a thing, or was it merely a metaphor for something else? (2) How do you define those "signs that follow them"?

Furthermore, you never commented on my counter-arguments to your conclusions.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:15:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2013 11:51:16 AM PST
Chuck Ludikee: "It is my opinion that religion's harm far out weights any good it does."

MMX: In order to properly make your statement, you need objective access to ALL of religion's effects, ....

Chcuk: Sorry but the point you are trying to make is akin to saying we can't say how many stars are in the universe without counting each and every one or how significant a boll weevil problem the farmers have without catching and counting each and every boll weevil. Try again.
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Chuck: "Even tobacco companies have some positives; they create jobs and raise taxes, but at what cost? Since scribes started scratching records onto clay, countless millions have been killed in the name of one god or another."

MMX: Most killed-people have been killed for non-religious reasons ....

Chuck: That's not the point, and most of the things you listed also have a religious connection.
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Chuck: "Religious beliefs have impeded medical science, adding more millions to the needless-deaths column."

MMX: The majority of saved-lives have nothing to do with medical science.

Chuck: Reread my statement. I didn't say "majority," just millions, and I think that is a very low estimate. As for the other part of your comment, you've got to be kidding, and just what umbrella do you think public sanitation, nutrition, etc. fall under? If not medical then the connection is very strong. I think you're confused because the sciences have so many branches and overlap into each other's disciplines.

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Chuck: "Money diverted to support the priesthood instead of medical research has delayed cures, sending far too many people to their graves far too soon, resulting in needless misery, suffering, and tears."

MMX: This assumes that, "If we had no priesthood, we'd use the money on medical research." But we could just as easily use this money on beer, whores, education, fancy cars, or bigger houses.

Chuck: Are you aware of the Freudian slip concept? But having said that, you are right or course, but I think it is safe to say some of it would be, so medical science would be advanced faster.

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Chuck: "The Bible is an enemy of the environment and makes solving our environmental problems exponentially harder."

MMX: The majority of Christians support environmental improvements.

Chuck: But the Bible doesn't. The fact that some Christians have socially evolved is beside the point. Many Christians openly said they are unconcerned about environmental issues because God is coming the day after tomorrow.

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Chuck: "Positive relationships between nations and people are made more difficult by those who take the Bible's teachings literally."

MMX: Although your statement is true, the majority of Christians do NOT take 100% of the Bible literally, choosing instead to interpret most verses as metaphors.

Chuck: How interesting and revealing that "the majority of Christians do NOT take 100% of the Bible literally." Tell just how the Bible for those Christians than any other philosophy book? I'm an atheist I try to live by some of it just as I do with other writings.

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Chuck: "Divine approval of slavery caused unspeakable suffering and the deaths of millions. While social evolution has scooted society past the bloody milepost of formal slavery, it still condones unofficial slavery against women all over the world, and where they have won the struggle for civil rights in the court house, they still are fighting the priesthood and the God-approved label of "second-class citizen" around the globe."

MMX: Many economists argue two counter-points: (1) That there are more slaves now than ever before, and (2) That these slaves exist because of economic progress: specifically, the ascent of technology has rendered more-people-than-ever superfluous, which then forces them to be viewed as slaves.

Chuck: Let's assume for a moment that they are correct, which they are not, at least in the legal sense, what does that have to do with the Biblical support and the horrific treatment that flowed from it?

-------------

Chuck: "Religion puts democracy at risk. Belief in God and his laws foster acceptance of harsh social justice."

MMX: This notion equates Islamic fundamentalism (which does indeed threaten democracy) with Jain Buddhism (which does NOT threaten democracy). Furthermore, many threats to democracy, such as Stalin's interventions were anti-religion in their nature.

Chuck: Can you say "theocracy"? The fact that our language needed such a word shows its historical place and resulting threat to other forms of government, including democracy. As for harsh social justice, we I believe we are the last industrial country that still has capital punishment and one of the few countries that still executes children. And just what were those verses about "sparing the rod" all about?

MMX: So, ultimately, your belief is extremely simplistic. Offensively so.

Chuck: No, what is simplistic is an educated adult still believing in superstition, and what is offensive is that same adult telling others, including children, they are sinners and will burn in Hell unless they repent and believe in a three-headed sadistic spook that lives in the clouds.

--------------

Chuck: "And finally, belief in the Bible, by definition, makes us superstitious simpletons on par with those who prayed to and feared Zeus."

MMX: Given your highly simplistic analysis, you shouldn't be calling religious people "simpletons".

Chuck: May I suggest you stand in front of a mirror and read that sentence?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:18:22 PM PST
As you see I did. I was busy helping my daughter draft a business letter and didn't see your post. Sorry for the delay.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 7:25:04 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
I notice that DRM hasn't added any more to the discussion since his opening post 3 hours ago. Looks like a "hit and run" thread. This suggests to me that he's not a serious person.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:27:31 PM PST
Chuck: "He has clearly stated we will know the true believers by the signs that follow them. Are you a true believer?"

MMX: When you say, "He has clearly stated we will know the true believers by the signs that follow them." - two questions emerge:
(1) Did God clearly state such a thing, or was it merely a metaphor for something else? (2) How do you define those "signs that follow them"?

Chuck: Point (1): He clearly said it, if one can believe the Bible is the word of God. As for defining those signs, God did it for us.

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

MMX: I'm an Agnostic.

Chuck: Now that was a pleasant surprise. Based on how you argued both sides I had you mislabeled. Sorry about that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:42:02 PM PST
MMX says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:43:22 PM PST
Amy Hall says:
I just want to say that, I as an atheist, am searching for self definition because it is more about who I am against. That's why religion forum attracts me.

Also, I have more mixed feelings about religion and Xtianity than I admit to.

Hello,

Conflicted Atheist.

;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 7:44:32 PM PST
MMX says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 8:31:27 PM PST
MMX says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 9:27:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2012 9:31:29 PM PST
Chuck: "That's not the point, and most of the things you listed also have a religious connection."

MMX: The moment you reference "a religious connection", is the moment you confuse correlation with causality.

After all, smoking and lung cancer "are connected to each other" because smoking causes lung cancer. However, intelligence and wealth acquisition "are also connected to each other" - but NOT BECAUSE intelligence causes wealth acquisition.

Chuck: You make a valid point, but it does not invalidate my point. What is debatable is the strength of the connection. A correlation may or may not point us in the direction of a provable cause.

-----------

Chuck: " But the Bible doesn't. The fact that some Christians have socially evolved is beside the point."

MMX: The most stupid argument possible is "The Bible supports X" or "The Bible doesn't support X."

Chuck: No, the most stupid argument possible is the one you just made. It either supports X or it does not based on the printed words contained in it, or it the case of the Bible it might made contradictory statements that lend support to both arguments.

MMX: If I make you read Mein Kampf, will you automatically become a Nazi? Or is it quite possible to read an argument, and then reject it?

Chuck: I fail to see your point. Did I say "some" or "all" Christians, and where did I say just reading the Bible makes a person a Christian?

MMX: Hence, because the majority of Christians both read the Bible and support environmental improvements, it's more logical to conclude that the Bible supports environmentalism....

Chuck: Not at all. It is an argument for religious evolution. It is just one more area where the "Christians" have turned their back on God's words because they no longer are socially accepted.

---------

Chuck: "Let's assume for a moment that they are correct, which they are not, at least in the legal sense, what does that have to do with the Biblical support and the horrific treatment that flowed from it?"

MMX: It shows that the Biblical support of slavery is irrelevant to slavery's existence.

Chuck: History tells a different story.

MMX: It also suggests that of you REALLY CARED about helping slaves, then you would welcome this new piece of information.

Chuck: Simply because you call it "new" information doesn't make it true.

MMX: ... by rejecting that new piece of information, to return to your anti-religious argument, you show BOTH a stubborn resistance to new information AND a stubborn refusal to help slaves.

Chuck: The problem with your "new piece of information" is it simply isn't true. Please find me one country on the face of our planet where slavery is still legal by the letter of their law as it was just a century and a half ago in this country. What you are talking about in "slave wages" of third world countries or the illegal imprisonment of people to make them do your bidding. They are no more slaves than those poor souls who where exploited during the industrial revolution.

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Chuck: "No, what is simplistic is an educated adult still believing in superstition"

MMX: All of your arguments are superstitious in nature.

Chuck: You seriously typed that for all to see? May I suggest you look up the definition of "superstitious."

MMX: As if, by abolishing religion, the majority of conflicts will vanish.

Chuck: Where did I say or imply that? It would however remove one are area of social conflict and allow society to be more focused on those that remain.

MMX: Meanwhile, during pre-history, when religion hasn't been invented yet - there were conflicts.

Chuck: And always will be, but mankind has slowly moved forward in social justice. Regardless of your contention and the Bible's teachings, slavery is no longer legal anywhere on our planet; women have greater political freedom; children are no longer stoned for disrespect; and we don't burn witches. We are moving forward ... just not fast enough.

MMX: And meanwhile, during modern times, Atheists are no less likely to avoid these conflicts than are believers.

Chuck: While I can't prove it, I think you are wrong. I know it doesn't fit your stereotype, but all the atheists I know are very caring, concerned people that want only the best for this planet and their neighbors.

MMX: Worse, your anti-religious position creates conflict.

Chuck: A time-worn argument used against all the people who struggled against social injustice over the centuries.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 9:35:17 PM PST
Chuck: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

MMX: That argument isn't a sign that God exists ....

Chuck: It is from the Christian perspective ... if there was a god to actually heal the sick.

MMX: ... it's a suggestion that certain "true believers" will be able to do certain things.

Chuck: Not "certain" true believers, ALL of them. God's words were all inclusive.

MMX: If a series of people who claim to be "true believers" fail to perform those actions, then the only conclusion supported by those verses is that those people aren't really "true believers".

Chuck: That and a little more. Every time a true believer lays hands on a sick person that person will recover as per contract between man and the All Mighty.

MMX: In short, neither the ability, nor lack, to perform those actions can be used to prove or disprove God's existence.

Chuck: Wrong. It means one of two things -- either there are no true believers on the whole planet or there is no God of Abraham. It is clearly stated that they will do these things, "In my name SHALL they" do these things. When "shall" is used it is non-permissive. God didn't use the word "MAY" which makes it optional.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 9:39:35 PM PST
Susie Derkins: I just want to say that, I as an atheist, am searching for self definition because it is more about who I am against. That's why religion forum attracts me.

Chuck: Take the next step and fight the good fight against superstition and acknowledge you're an antitheist. There, you have your self-definition ;-)

Susie Derkins: Also, I have more mixed feelings about religion and Xtianity than I admit to.

Chuck: I think that is true of most people.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 10:49:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2012 10:50:30 PM PST
Amy Hall says:
I'm sorry; I was being cynical. After reading the thread's title, the cynical part of me rose up like thunder, and over took my mind. Statements like this title are just... I think they're just hooks to get folks in a discussion; I can't accept someone actually believes that crap.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 11:15:07 PM PST
AxeGrrl says:
Chuck asked: "Are you a true believer?"

MMX replied: "I'm an Agnostic."
~~~~

That doesn't actually answer his question, since a person can be an agnostic theist (a person who believes but doesn't claim to _know_).

Once again, these aren't mutually exclusive terms because they pertain to _different_ things ~ a/gnosticism to knowledge and a/theism to belief.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2012 5:21:39 AM PST
Good point.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  60
Total posts:  760
Initial post:  Dec 29, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 2, 2013

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