Sunday, February 14, 2010

Big Brass Ones

There is a post on John Loftus' site titled "If Christianity doesn't matter why do you bother with it? I must agree, I still struggle with this. I'm not saying you don't have the right or even ideas that may constitute your unbelief, but why "bother" with it at all anyway?

I wish I could add a link for you all. But my computer skills are still very basic. But I did leave a comment if anyone's interested?

Bruce (author of post) makes a couple observations which may or may not be true but have very little to do with anything. I'll paraphrase but you can read it for yourself if you wish. But he doesn't mind Christianity as long as we don't offend anyone or cross some imaginary line. As long as we don't, then he lists a bunch of things that Christians do that are not pleasing to him and society in some cases as a whole. But he wont use the same logic and values on his lack of belief. Should we ban atheism because there are bad atheists who commit stupid acts. If an Atheist molests a child I believe we should punish him/her. But certainly not all Atheists. I guess he thinks if a Christian molests a child some how they get an out of jail free card?

If there is a group of Christians out there that deny their kid medical attention based upon their religious belief, I too would have a problem with that. Personally I think we should have laws that protect these kids. And why we don't is beyond me. (maybe we do, I don't know)?

I like to discuss religion and atheism and God or gods or no gods. It's all good. But when people start whining about Christians imposing their will on everyone, it's just not true. Some religions may hold a gun against your head, but not ours. Yeah, religion does influence each culture, that's just gonna happen. If your numbers were higher, we'd see a bigger atheist culture. Actually considering your low percentage rates, I think you should be proud of the progress you have made?

If you want to call yourself an Atheist, fine. Grow a pair and own up to it. (sorry Tink, just an expression). Don't act like Christianity made you do it.

Peace out, feeno

44 comments:

  1. Hang on, was he talking about banning Christianity in the first place?

    There are two billion Christians of various types, so it's almost impossible to come up with a general description or accusation which applies to all of them. Of course I agree that all Christians don't convert people or influence their behaviour by force or coercion.

    That doesn't change the fact that some Christians do. The imminent Ugandan law making homosexual activity punishable by death, or life in prison, was drafted by Christians in the interests of combating homosexuality for Scriptural reasons. Missionaries all over the world, though of course not all of them, have made material aid to the sick and starving contingent on conversion. Half the school boards in America have members or candidates who want Biblical creation aired alongside evolution in science classes (ostensibly as their idea of "academic freedom") and they legislate and mandate this every chance they get.

    I don't expect you to take personal responsibility for any of this, Feeno. You're not those Christians. But I would like to know what specifically you want all atheists to "grow a pair and own up to".

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  2. 'Sup LX?

    This may not be fair because that Bruce guy ain't here to defend himself, but sometimes I feel some Atheists have to demonize Christianity to make themselves feel better about their atheism. So when I say "Grow a pair", I simply mean own it. Christianity shoudln't have anything to do with your beliefs.

    Deuces,
    Feen

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  3. Okay, but 1. for those of us who used to be Christians, Christianity has had a great deal to do with the way our beliefs and positions have developed, and 2. some Christians literally demonise atheism for PR and profit.

    Linking 101: say you want to link the word Umbrella to Google, like Umbrella.
    Put in the following, but replace [ with < and ] with >:
    [a href="http://www.google.com.au/"]Umbrella[/a]

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  4. Actually, The Devil's Delusion isn't a great example of Christians demonising atheists because David Berlinski is perhaps the sole agnostic spokesperson at the Discovery Institute. So here's a different example.

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  5. I think "banning" Christianity in any conrete way is counter-productive and denies Christians the intellectual dignity that every individual deserves.

    Often the people whose children are victimized by faith are punished. I think some token display of disapproval is in order... but these people lost their children. They may be listening-to-transmissions-through-my-fingernails insane, but they lost a child. If this is not punishment enough, they may be beyond any help besides supervised care.

    It is rarely groups that are connected to these atrocities, but instead lone nuts or small, fringe congregations (Christian Scientists aside). I think one should be careful both when writing and reading posts about religion and medical skepticism. It is fair to say the overwhelming majority of Christians are more than happy with the general concept of Western medicine (though I'm sure they could do with shorter waits, kinder doctors, and/or better hospital food). One must not conflate (or interpret association) between medical skeptics and Christianity. Sometimes religion gets out of hand and people die, where is the atheist outrage over the luge, or NASCAR? Dying in the name of religion is dumber than dying in the name of seeing who can get the fastest time? I dunno... both corpses rot at the same speed.

    Sadly, feeno, religion held weapons against people's heads long before guns and well into the firearm era. Just be thankful you live in a time (however brief) where it happens so rarely it is seen by those on all sides (except the uber-douchebags) as the atrocity that it is.

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  6. Like many my interest in Christianity is two fold.

    First, I'm interested in it historically. And I think many Christians tend to ignore was is historically factual and instead paint an ahistorical view of the Christian tradition. There is something fundamentally troubling about this, because denying history simply when you disagree with it doesn't change the basic historical truths any.

    Also changing history by only allowing what can and cannot be discussed or shewn forces a one-sided perspective, not at all objective, even though the evidence is readily available to be consulted with the greatest effort of objectivity.

    And for this intellectual reason I feel a duty to correct those who think they are right about everything but, all too often, apparently don't have a clue. Not only this, but such ignorance has permeated deep into Christian thought, as a simple way to test it is to ask Christians why Jesus Birthday is on Dec. 25th; and most will tell you because that's when he was born. The level of incredulity is that jaw droppingly shocking! Don't think it's not.

    Personally, I want to see a resurgence of enlightenment values and thinking, but if you're to watch the Christian politics in American news you'd seem to be headed right towards the Dark Ages again... and that's something to advocate against no matter your beliefs!

    The second part is a moral concern. If Christianity sees itself as the single force behind morality, then there is nothing stopping it from making judgment calls on those who think differently, thereby forcing them to adhere to Christian terms of moral conduct, and this is not only a theocratic imposition but also a totalitarian one, it's a human rights disservice is what it is.

    Case in point: this sort of thinking has led to numerous debates in the public forum, such as the absurd Texas board of education laws dumbing down the science curriculum in public government education institutions (because it's somehow un-Christian to teach real science), all the way to the malevolent Prop. 8 law banning gays from enjoying the same civil rights as everyone else!

    As if to say marriage was equated to religion, when we all know the practice of marriage existed long before agricultural times whereas religious cultures such as Christianity surely did not. Marriage ritual at the advent of agriculture had to do mostly with land ownership and ascendancy, basic heredity, as anyone whose studied the ancient civilized nation of China will attest to. Buddhist countries also have strong traditions of monogamous marriage without the idea of God or Christian morality! So it exists apart from religion, and one can't just say it's quote unquote a "Christian" value.

    So religion has a way of butting in and speaking on the behalf of others when it has no right to, and that is horribly offensive. More than offensive, it's morally degrading, iniquitous, oppressive, abusive, inhumane, not to mention awfully closed-minded.

    Understandably it's not every Christian who is in the habit of making such dumbfounded fallacies, but it's enough to cause one to get online and start a blog for advocacy of free thinking secularism and oppose such religious subjugation!!!

    I think this video sums it up best, and I should know, I get this all the time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWKDOikIgIs

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  7. Good morning guys,

    Our whole town is being bombarded again by snow. I live in the 'burbs surrounding the Queen City. Beautiful Cincinnati Oh. Everything is shut down and I'm gonna chill here all day with a pot of coffee and my peeps.

    LX, Good points, I'll address some of what you mentioned.
    Geenks, excellent as usual. And funny.
    Tristan, I understand where your coming from, but my problem is that I can't articulate what I want to say. I have that problem when I talk. It's not as noticeable when I write. But I will try one last time.

    The Church has had, is having, and will have problems and done some bad things all in the name of religion. We will have that problem until His return.

    Let's look at one of LX's points. If a missionary wont give help to someone in need because they "wont convert" that missionary is a loser. And unfortunately, if he claims to be a "Christian" we to need to own up as well. But here's my point, whether your talking about dumb ass missionaries or the Crusades. These acts may be performed by Christians but they are not how Christ wanted us to live.

    Christians are in a battle. We are in a spiritual struggle with the world. But listen to the truth about what the Bible says, not zealous politically minded religious idiots.

    2nd Corinthians 9:4 "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world, on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds". Here's the weapons God wants us to use in this spiritual battle. You can find them in Galatians 5:22. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    Mans biggest problem is trying to do everything on their own. We rush God and try to do it ourselves. (Yes, that was for the Church, not you Atheists).

    2 quick things I'm thinking of, 1st, that might be one reason we have people leave the church. It can be tough inside the church if we are not being controlled by those things I mentioned from Galatians?

    And 2nd, I don't want to be to hard on the church. Christians have killed in the name of
    their God, but (imho) they do it out of their own selfish desires. Everyone should know as horrible as the Crusades were they were more political than religious.

    And on Peter's confession Christs says "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it".

    I think many of the Atheists that post on this blog would make great Christians. Think of all those good ideas you have that could help the church out. And ultimately the whole world.

    Dueces, feeno

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  8. Feeno- no issue with your choice of slang. My best friend is a boy... Thanks for the consideration though.

    I have no issue with what people do in their home. I could not care less, that is what makes democracy great. However, I really hate when any religion uses public space to promote its agenda. Best summarized by Lisa Simpson;

    "I want you to know I respect your beliefs and I can see how deeply you feel about them. I just don't think religion should be taught in our schools anymore than you would want scientists teaching at the church."

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  9. Feeno-

    I think you forget that many of us atheist, myself included, were once Christians.

    And I know it's the common belief that it's the person who is the corrupted "sinner" and what not, but that's not always the case. Sometimes the philosophy is corrupted, or the institution, and other times... all of the above.

    Eventually you have to draw the line in the sand, and ask yourself, can I continue believing in such incredible things as that Christianity claims without the proper support and dependability we give to everyday truths. Can one's own convictions hold out against a never ending sea of new data which seems to complicate matters rather than do away with unanswered questions? At what point does it become so overwhelmingly apparent as to cause even the most pious person of faith to stop and pause to ask, "do I have to re-thinking things?"

    The bottom line is, it's harder to regain a belief in something you know to be erroneous than it is to stop believing in bogus things which happen to be largely erroneous.

    I feel that's why atheism is growing as fast as it is... with the spread of world wide access to information, such as the Internet, many people can fact check faith-based claims for themselves by just simply doing a GOOGLE search. They can get involved in the debate, by starting a blog like you have, and it's only a matter of time before reason wins out.

    As strong as religious indoctrination can be, I believe reason, the human intellect, has the advantage with the capacity to change where faith is more reluctant. That's why I feel I can confidently predict that Christianity is now going to go the way of all the other religions of antiquity. Because no religion has ever survived indefinitely. I don't see Christianity as being any different.

    To make a second prediction, I think in a few more years, you'll be changing your blog title from "If I became an atheist" to "Why I became an atheist."

    Peace!

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  10. TB 13, 'Sup girl, I could live with that.

    T-Vick, be careful on your predictions. Some cool cat named Voltaire made a similar prediction about the Bible. He said that the Bible would be outdated and extinct in a hundred years due to what we are learning from science.

    Every year over 150 million Bibles are printed. That's every year, the greatest selling book of all time is the "Narnia" stuff. Total to date they have sold 105 million copies. Again the Bible, 150 million every year.

    And since you brought up "learning" I'm trying to verify some new scientific discoveries for an upcoming post. It wont prove that Jesus is the Son of God, but it will certainly dismantle everything we have ever been taught about our world.

    I'm not that scientific minded and my only source so far is from my Christian friend. So before I write about it I want to check my facts.

    Thanks T,

    feen

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  11. Yes, Tristan, totally agree.

    And, to expand on that. You are right about the power of the Google. To maybe take it a little further, we are also living in an age where we are witnessing incredible advances in evolutionary theory. Our human genome project is unravelling the mysteries of life, and as this information continues to be tested and scientifically confirmed, more people will see the obvious and irrational flaws of religion and theism. And, I do think that human nature will win out in the end. I am optimistic for the future the more that we discover.

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  12. Hey Feeno.

    I know that the majority of Christians condemn the actions I listed above, and that the Bible is very high-minded about what the Church's methods and attitudes should be. That's why I wouldn't join in any condemnation of all Christians as anything worse than likely-to-be-wrong-about-God.

    The problem isn't simply that Christians aren't following all of Jesus' teachings now. The problem is that they never have. Christianity has inspired bloodshed, deception and tyranny, mistakenly or otherwise, not just occasionally but regularly since before the supposed date of the Crucifixion. Even Jesus' own followers apparently couldn't hold it together; Judas betrayed him, Peter went berserk in Gethsemane trying to defend him, and then he pretended not to know him.

    When Christians interpret the Bible with their heads on straight, they tend to treat others well. When they get it "wrong", they're not just deprived of that good influence but actively driven to harmful acts, usually to the detriment of minorities (the Ugandan anti-gay bill), non-Christians (ethnic cleansing in northeast India by Tripura Baptists) or different kinds of Christians (the Northern Ireland "troubles").

    While there are many other ways to encourage good behaviour besides religion, the logical paths people take from religion to these atrocities are very difficult to recreate without religion. This is as true of Christianity as any other faith.

    The utopian ideal of a truly Christ-following nation or world has never even been approached, let alone reached, and the pursuit of it has hurt and killed so many. Questions about God and Jesus aside, I think Christianity, like all religions, is ultimately more trouble than it's worth.

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  13. Ultimately, like I've said before, the biggest reason why I argue against Christianity is because I think it's false. I'm quite interested in truth, and I want truth to be known and spread.

    However, I do have a problem with Christianity as an ideology. I know this is somewhat Marxist of me, but if we look at history, it seems like ideologies are often the cause of many horrendous acts of evil. Whether that is a religious ideology or a political ideology or something else, it often allows people to hide behind a set of ideas. It takes the burden off of them to determine what's right and wrong - they can just point to the system of beliefs and be done with it. So when Christianity becomes an ideology that can inspire people to blind acts of devotion, it worries me.

    But at the same time, I don't mean that as a blanket statement. For some Christians, their religion does not act as an ideology. It's simply a path that gives their life some sort of purpose or meaning, or a way to help them through tough times, or whatever. I wouldn't want to take that away from them. But when Christianity goes into the public sphere and attempts to influence policy and such, I think it's pretty clear that the instigators are working with it as an ideology.

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  14. Feeno-

    The difference between my prediction and Voltaire's is simply the fact that we are living in completely different times.

    Voltaire was hounded and excommunicated and even exiled by the Christian church for writing critically about it! His travels and worldliness led him to believe the world was advancing so fast that religion would lose ground to reason and science, true, but this is pre-Darwinian, pre-Internet, and before the dawn of modern physics.

    Voltaire didn't know of the germ theory of disease, or know of the abundance of evidence for Natural Selection, he was unaware of DNA, the human genome, and how all living things are related, the trees and the bees and people too. Certainly he was unaware of the modern laws of physics, of the vastness of the cosmos, of the big bang, and there was no quantum theory to haunt his imagination as it did Einstein, specifically because God does not play dice! If so, then what reason for God?

    And certainly Voltaire's day was pre-tech, no computers to store vasts amount of data and no Internet to check up on all these scientific facts to see which carry weight and which still need more proving?

    Now that we have all this information at our finger tips, the prediction can be made that more accurately! I give Christianity a shelf life of 150 years at most. I'm guessing, if England and larger Europe are any indication, the secularization and dwindling of faith will be a worldwide phenomenon in as little as 50 years time.

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  15. That is to say, when my daughter turns 50, I am predicting, that Christianity in America will resemble Christianity in Europe today. Who knows what Christianity in Europe will be like then? Probably not very influential.

    Islam will likely be at it's height globally in 50 years, as scary as a thought that is. Still, what Islam fails on all accounts is to modernize itself. So I'm not perceiving it will be that much of a threat, no more than it already is at any rate.

    And beyond that, who knows what newfangled religions will capture the imaginations of millions? Mormonism seems to be doing pretty good for itself. :p

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  16. Feeno-

    Your comment about Voltaire motivated me to write this:

    http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.com/2010/02/future-of-christianity-through-eyes-of.html

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  17. "The utopian ideal of a truly Christ-following nation or world has never even been approached, let alone reached, and the pursuit of it has hurt and killed so many. Questions about God and Jesus aside, I think Christianity, like all religions, is ultimately more trouble than it's worth."

    SmartLX, are you talking about theocratic Christians who think it's their duty to establish the kingdom of God on earth?

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  18. the biggest reason why I argue against Christianity is because I think it's false. I'm quite interested in truth, and I want truth to be known and spread

    And what exactly is "false" about Christianity in your opinion Jeff? By the same token, if the Christian faith turned out to be true, would you want it "to be known and spread"?

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  19. Hi Ross. No, I'm not talking specifically about Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists who want to impose Christianity on politics and society until it rules them.

    As far as I understand, it's the God-given duty of all Christians to spread the Word and try to make more Christians in their own ways, even if they're not all obliged to flat out evangelise. The ultimate goal, as many Christian public figures have stated explicitly, is to Save(tm) the whole world for Christ.

    Even JD's many articles on improvements to human morality engineered by Christians imply that life would be better if there were more, or only, Christians (of the right type). I have to assume that he sees that as a long-term goal for the faithful.

    More generally, in all my experiences of Christianity as a believer and then a non-believer, it's really never shown a "live and let live" attitude. While few Christians go the way of force and coercion, most or all are in the business of dissemination and persuasion when they see opportunities. As long as preaching and proselytising are such a priority, there will be people who go about it the wrong way and cause harm. The existence of that minority of aggressive Dominionism, Indian ethnic cleansing and all the other stuff I listed supports this.

    JD, Jeff may answer for himself but I really think he refers to the basic truth claims of Christianity as "false", including the existence of God and the divinity of Jesus. Personally, if I knew they were true, I would want it to be known and spread. So we come back to the big question: how do you know they're true?

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  20. Tink quotes Lisa Simpson:

    "I want you to know I respect your beliefs and I can see how deeply you feel about them. I just don't think religion should be taught in our schools anymore than you would want scientists teaching at the church."

    That reminds me of the bumper sticker that says "Don't pray in my school, I won't think in your church"

    Not sure which one came first.

    I went to a Catholic school where we studied and compared several religions. Of course there was a slight slant in favor of Catholicism. The point is, I was OK with that class because the religions presented were mostly all on the same footing and allocated the same about of study time.

    I know they were trying to show that Catholicism was the best choice, but me and a bunch of other kids came out of that class thinking "Wow, Buddhism is pretty cool." Probably not the result they wanted, but oh well. If your religion has value, people will come to it of their own free will. No one likes a pushy salesman.

    That said, let's not forget that the father of modern science, Sir Isaac Newton, was a DEVOUT Christian. He is remembered for his scientific work, but he actually wrote more about theology than he did about science. So I know that Christians can and do excel at science. I know that many of them are very smart. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with their religious views.

    Part of being an adult is being able to have a debate with someone who holds a different point of view and remain civil. One wins people to his cause more by finding common ground than by resorting to insults and provocation.

    A Christian called me a 'retarded moron' a few weeks ago for simply saying that the US military should be 100% secular. Let's just say that all he achieved was pissing me off a whole lot.

    I don't want to prevent anyone from praying or believing what they want to believe. I just don't want to be tax funding a religious crusade in the Middle East against an imaginary Muslim conspiracy.

    Worship as you please, but think twice about using government as a tool to enforce your religious views.

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  21. I agree with you his Lordship on this one.

    Late, feeno

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  22. It obvious even many faithful agree we honestly cant really afford to have any "freedom of faith",with words they will say shit like any... "Christians out there that deny their kid medical attention based upon their religious belief, I too would have a problem with that"

    Indeed meaning these fellows shouldnt have that "freedom of faith" !.

    Which in effect in any real honesty suggests, we need to have some more (laws and boundarys) surrounding matters of faith.IE :we cant have "freedom of faith"

    Yet many/most of our countries do indeed have these special extra laws of "freedoms of faith",that these very types of specialist faithful groups use to hide behind to cause abuse by "deny their kid medical attention based upon their religious belief,"

    Others use abusive manipulative methods of total excommunication and shunning,and fear tactics even psychological abusing children with a very threatening nature about matters of hell etc.Many of these extremely bad experiences effect people for life,some relive these traumas in ongoing nightmares .Some unlucky to end up in the johnstown type cults,end in suicide and death.Some kids in places like Africa still even get hunted and accused and even killed,through faithful superstition of witches.

    .......................

    So the sitution is,long ago the forefathers of faithful folks voted for laws of special "faith freedoms",which then allowed for the faith abuse to take place.

    Modern faithful tell us with their "words",that they supposedly care and suggest they dont think faith should be allowed these special "rights" to abuse.

    But yet none/not many of them ever bother with any "real action" in group of caring christians approaching governments to get the laws surrouding "faith freedoms" ammended.

    To the mind of the theist stuck fast in the dark ages,any thoughts of atheist or freethinkers with regards to matters of "laws and boundarys" surrouding faith, could only ever be thought to be about "banning faith".The penny doesnt drop! for the faithful mind blissfully soaked the wine of sunday commuinion,that maybe having "boundarys and laws" doesnt actually need to mean anythings being banned.....Crikey we ever have road codes for cripes sake,yet strangely we still manage to drive cars !.


    The best advice the honest liberal "caring" christian of today has to offer the kid over in Africa, whos getting hunted down by some faithful anciently ignorant superstitious barbarian git,is to suggest maybe he/she might best "Grow a pair and own up to it. "

    Theist then steps back scratching the back of he`s head..Says a few hallelujahs! or hail marys! depending on faithful preferred cuppa tea..Starts wondering and pondering in such depth of confusion! about just what reasons there might ever be?? that people might ever find?? to feel they might have some reason??? to ever.....> "bother" with it at all anyway"

    Do some people need to grow balls, or do some folks need to "evolve a little" and grow some more modern brain matter.

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  23. Tristan D. Vick said... "That is to say, when my daughter turns 50, I am predicting, that Christianity in America will resemble Christianity in Europe today. Who knows what Christianity in Europe will be like then? Probably not very influential."

    Yup i agree with you Tristan ,thanks to the internet the widespread ignorance within faith is slowly being unmasked.The very presence of the internet even allows for far more greater coverage of advertisement for faithful to publically display all their attitudes.

    Faithful folks sure can say some folks suffering from faith abuse needs to gow balls,but the whole world gets to read it also!.This is the type of testimony they offer us,is what the youth of today get to ponder.

    Through use of the internet non faithful free thinking folks, can start amassing a very very strong case they can make far more! publically available, than was ever possible before in the whole of our past history.It wont cost free thinkers much to expose this to the whole world.

    That faith is actually been fraudulent on many more than one front.

    And thankfully most likely, many faithful will still be quite happy to continue to try to do their best, to even help us free thinkers prove it.

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  24. His Lordship The Gun-Toting Atheist said... "A Christian called me a 'retarded moron' a few weeks ago for simply saying that the US military should be 100% secular. Let's just say that all he achieved was pissing me off a whole lot."

    Mostly unfounded names dont really bother me much,for me its the truth that tends to hurt.If things bother me so easily,i start wondering why.

    Pissing folks off can sometimes be a very good thing,atleast it gets people thinking!.Peace can sometimes breed to much Complacency.

    "One wins people to his cause more by finding common ground than by resorting to insults and provocation"

    I personally feel differently,but then each to his/her own thoughts.

    But i cant see that final freedom from longstanding big matters of abuse like slavery or segregation etc, was really found and brought forward by humans simply remaining in civil debate.

    It took a whole lot more! than civil debate, to drive a wedge to finally start to shift such ancient stubborn ignorance.

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  25. I'm not talking specifically about Dominionists

    Does dominionism even appear in a single dictionary? I'm not even sure that it does.

    JD's many articles on improvements to human morality engineered by Christians imply that life would be better if there were more, or only, Christians (of the right type). I have to assume that he sees that as a long-term goal for the faithful

    This is inaccurate. Any entries thus far have been historical and confined to 2 such subjects, cannibalism and infanticide and how Christianity has made concrete efforts to reduce both. Of all of the argumentive techniques employed by skeptics who wish to offer anything closely resembling a "counter argument", the one method that is explicitly not employed is one in which another major, world religion is offered on a comparative basis and a side by side analysis is performed comparing the effect of the other religion on society in reference to the pertinent metric as compared to Christianity. I wonder why that is not done...

    A Christian called me a 'retarded moron' a few weeks ago for simply saying that the US military should be 100% secular. Let's just say that all he achieved was pissing me off a whole lot

    I don't understand how the military is not secular. If our military is a reflection of our society, then a certain percentage of it's personell are going to be religious and desire a chaplaincy to provide religious services. That's where it ends. I would warn anyone who entertains the idea that one should abandon their Christian religion in order to serve their country need only rememeber the practices f an organization in 1930's-40's Germany. "The SS were particularly anti-Christian, and officers and men were encouraged to leave the Church, although those that refused to renounce their Christian faith were not visibly punished, perhaps because their otherwise faithful adherence to SS codes of behaviour gave the lie to any claim of true Christian affiliation. The SS also brought in its own neo-pagan rituals for marriage ceremonies and baptisms." Link



    That is, unless you can cite for me the official US Army policy in reference to "unbelievers".

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  26. Feeno it was this thread on DC, https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=21219785&postID=2730905857404250908

    I just left a reply there to what you wrote.

    JD said...."I don't understand how the military is not secular. If our military is a reflection of our society, then a certain percentage of it's personell are going to be religious and desire a chaplaincy to provide religious services"

    Simple test JD..Do you think you can please show me the same abuse of equivilant "atheism quotes" on US military issue scopes?

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/01/
    manufacturer_backs_down_on_bib.php

    If not, surely this suggests the military likely does have religious bias running within its very foundations.

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  27. The military is saturated with aggressive evangelism. I recommend any who have an interest in American religion and it's impact on the military to read this essay from the US Air Force Academy website. It also briefly explains how the Religious Right completely ruined the once reliable Republican party.

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  28. JD, apparently "dominionism" isn't used as often as "dominion theology", on which there is much more material.

    You ignored the point of my comments on your articles. Why did you write them? Do you want more people (and people in power) to be Christians or don't you?

    And exactly why would non-religious skeptics bother to compare Christianity to another religion they don't believe in either? There's never been an officially atheist nation which wasn't forced to be that way by a dictatorship for its own reasons, so there's no decent comparison to make there.

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  29. You ignored the point of my comments on your articles. Why did you write them? Do you want more people (and people in power) to be Christians or don't you?

    I think there is alot of misinformation out there re: Christianity. I just wanted to clear some of it up and offer up a bit of history as well. I've only begun BTW and will advance other topics for discussion.

    why would non-religious skeptics bother to compare Christianity to another religion they don't believe in either?

    Certainly I would agree that they don't believe in any particular religion, but there's a prevailing attitude amongst unbelievers to lump all religions in together as if they were all of equal merit and nothing could be further from the truth. The Introduction to the book goes like this...

    ""Christian-bashing is a popular indoor sport." But the truth is this: Had Jesus never been born, this world would be far more miserable than it is. In fact, many of man's noblest and kindest deeds find their motivation in love or Jesus Christ; and some of the greatest accomplishments also have their origin in service rendered to the humble carpenter of Nazereth. To prove that truth is the purpose of this book."

    There's never been an officially atheist nation which wasn't forced to be that way by a dictatorship for its own reasons, so there's no decent comparison to make there

    The comparison could be made between nations that are irreligious (not forced to be that way) and the major world religions.

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  30. Gandolf, how does it qualify as "abuse"?

    Did the military request such wording on the rifle sights or did the manufacturer put them there unbeknownst to the military?

    I'm not aare of any prostelyzing by the military. My brother is career military and I remember him teling me that there are atheists among the people he works with.

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  31. Is this the same AFA that invited Christopher Hitchins to speak Ginx?

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  32. Gandolf, or anyone else that's truly interested in the "Bible verses on gun sights" contraversy. I highly recommend checking out this Link and read the first entry at the top of the page from Fr. Dwight Longenecker about it. It was truly the best article I ever read on that topic. The guy is really smart. Here's a teaser....

    "The issue of Jesus guns reminds me of the sniper in the film Saving Private Ryan. The boy is from the deep South and quotes verses from the psalms as he pulls the trigger. "Bless the Lord my Rock, who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight."Click. Bang. Pop goes the weasel.

    It has been suggested that gun sights should not feature Bible verses and weapons should not carry religious encouragement. The gospel, we are told, is all about love. That's right, and at the end the loving person gets tortured and crucified naked in public, while his buddies deny him, run away and one hangs himself. I'm afraid the the gospel is not all puppies and kittens and Jesus carried me on the beach when I only saw one set of footprints."

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  33. ...there's a prevailing attitude amongst unbelievers to lump all religions in together as if they were all of equal merit and nothing could be further from the truth.

    I agree with you there, religions are very different from one another. That doesn't stop them from having a great deal in common, extremist minorities for example. Christianity, though it has had its benefits, has not escaped any of the usual pitfalls of religion in general.

    Had Jesus never been born, this world would be far more miserable than it is.

    I'd amend that to "Had the story of Jesus never been written..." but I would basically agree. Jesus as described in the NT preached a code of ethics which generally encourages people to be good to each other (most of the time), and it's been widely adopted. You don't have to believe he was God or even said much that was original in order to respect that.

    If only this wonderful advice hadn't carried with it all the standard religious baggage that has regularly brought people to murder each other in direct violation of Jesus' most basic principles, the world might be an even happier place.

    The comparison could be made between nations that are irreligious (not forced to be that way) and the major world religions.

    Yes it could be, and has been.

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  34. Jeez, I don't have time to read through all these comments (man, feeno, you seem to be igniting a firestorm of arguments lately! :) but I'll answer JD's questions since he asked. Even though I think they're pretty stupid and self-evident.

    "And what exactly is 'false' about Christianity in your opinion Jeff?"

    Well, considering I'm an atheist, I would say that God not existing would be a start. Then, from there, it would follow that Jesus isn't the son of God, and that miracles don't occur, and that we aren't going to a place with golden sidewalks or else fiery lakes when we die...do I really need to go on? Of course, you are free to disagree with all of that. I'm just saying that that's the position I hold on these things.

    "By the same token, if the Christian faith turned out to be true, would you want it 'to be known and spread'?"

    I think that follows pretty easily from the "I want truth to be known and spread." But to answer your question more explicitly...yes. I would. Now, I may still not advocate some form of aggressive proselytizing, but I would at least try to share it with others when the subject comes up - just like I do with my atheism. I don't try to force what I think is "the truth" down anyone's throat, but if they want to discuss it, I'm more than happy to oblige.

    The real thing you're trying to get at is whether I'm just some evil angry atheist who's mad at God...isn't it? Like, even if Christianity was true I would still choose not to believe it, blah blah blah. Well...no. That's not true. I had something else written, but you did seem to ask nicely so I'll restrain myself. That's just a misconception that Christians love to spread around, and while I'm sure it's probably true of some atheists out there, there are plenty more of us who are genuinely interested in seeking truth. And if you don't believe that, well...that's your problem, not mine.

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  35. The real thing you're trying to get at is whether I'm just some evil angry atheist who's mad at God...isn't it? Like, even if Christianity was true I would still choose not to believe it, blah blah blah. Well...no. That's not true..there are plenty more of us who are genuinely interested in seeking truth. And if you don't believe that, well...that's your problem, not mine

    What is this? Intro to How to be a Drama Queen 101? I thought you would focus on one aspect, like doubting the Resurrection and we could have a civil discussion on it but I guess you wanted to play Gish Gallop and instead hit me with 4 things at once.

    If you like, pick A (SINGULAR) topic and we can discuss it. None of these things are simple and short.

    Thank you for your frank answers LX.

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  36. JD......"Did the military request such wording on the rifle sights or did the manufacturer put them there unbeknownst to the military?

    I'm not aare of any prostelyzing by the military."

    Hi JD,well its my opinion that maybe faiths would all be best be kept away from having to do with any matters of "forces".Im quite happy folks chosing to be faithful,but its when that faith gets involved in any factors of force,that it becomes ideology.And can often become abusive and dangerous.

    I think maybe the US government actually didnt know about these inscriptions,feel im hoping for the best! that this proves to be correct.It will make matter so much worse if its not.

    But even so the government should have been more aware! of this stuff,after all they are supposed to be in the know about matters! and so prove to actually be in control?.Yet this is not at all the first instance of proselytizing!,there was also the "freedom packages" of bibles from fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up who had also planned a troop entertainment tour called “military crusade”.And lets not forget George Bush called the war from some church pulpit or something.

    But im not interested in suggesting this abuse is only connected to the faith of Christianity side,Islam is atleast as bad! if maybe not even worse.Islam extremists are certainly no better than Christians.

    But im not really so concerned or even so interested about who was supposedly proved to be the worst kid in the courtyard for throwing stones,im much more interested in whos keen now to be involved in starting being some sort of role model! so maybe at some stage it all stops.This bullshit of faiths subtle involvement in countries disturbances and wars has gone on for far to long in human history now

    Whether the US government knew about the scope quotes or not,the company supplying the military issue scopes certainly knew they were there!,and they knew where the scopes were headed.The company web site proudly made claim to its christian faith connections.This to me helps suggest it to be extremely likely that faith really actually has been deeply ingrain in military forces.

    Matters of hope for world peace surely cannot be well served when militarys are ingrained with such vivid overtones of particular faiths,what would we reasonably really expect the reaction should likely be?, when Islam extremists feed the knowledge out that the coalition forces kill Muslims! with Jesus guns?

    Isnt the likely reaction a bit of a no brainer?

    Here is a American Muslims opinion of this matter http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/bible_verses_on_rifle_scopes/0017861

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  37. Jeff said to JD...."The real thing you're trying to get at is whether I'm just some evil angry atheist who's mad at God...isn't it? Like, even if Christianity was true I would still choose not to believe it, blah blah blah. Well...no. That's not true."


    But Jeff off JDs link he provided, a person named john said...
    "It's time that Europeans and Americans wake up and realise that this IS a crusade against Islam. Islam is no different than German National Socialism or Communism and belongs where they belong, in the garbage dump of history. The sooner Islam is wiped off the face of the Earth the better of the whole world will be. I strong disagree with Vatican 2 and the Vatican 2 Church, Moslems DO NOR worship the same God as Christians and Jews do, their God "Allah"is a savage barbarous blood thirsty psychopath with no morals.The Muslim god is really the Father of Lies, the devil"

    Jeff if you dont have faith in Christianity you surely will simply have need to be! some complete lawless totally immoral person.

    Your reason for disbelief could only be through having signed a contract with devils

    :)

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  38. On that link JD provided,noticed some folks there were QUICK of reminding everyone, how the muslims were the ones! chosing the battle.

    Can JD or somebody please explain why out of most everyone else in the world,so happens Muslims chose to attack the USA?.

    They just felt like it for absolutely no reason?

    Why not bother first choosing to be attacking Sweden or Norway or NZ or Australia?

    As ive already stated before, im not really so interested in who`s proved as the worst offender.

    My interest is more about what causes the problems and how they can be better avoided more often in future.

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  39. Well why didn't Japan attack Canada instead of the US?

    Because Canada wasn't the country embargoing their oil.

    Why didn't the 9/11 hijackers attack Canada? Well, who pisses of Middle Easterners on a daily basis?

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  40. Dear Tristan D. Vick,

    Christianity is not going anywhere. It will be thriving just fine in 50, 100, even 200 years.

    Peace and mirth.

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  41. Dear Gandolf,

    Muslims attacked the United States for several reasons. First, they attacked the United States because of America's continued abuse of Iraq under the Clinton administration (Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa during Clinton's second term; bin Laden berated America for abusing Iraq; Clinton bombed the hell out of Iraq throughout his time in office; both Clinton and Gore campaigned against George Bush the First, claiming he was coddling terrorists by not being more aggressive with Saddam Hussein).

    Second, Muslims attacked America because of its ties with Israel.

    Third, they attacked America because it appeared to be the center of the economic world. Please note: (Some) Muslims attacked the "World Trade Center." In so doing, they intended to trade one world for another. There was no other obvious symbol of Western financial supremacy than the WTC. And it was, indeed, an attack that had international and not merely American victims.

    Peace to you,

    BG

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