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Published: Sunday, Oct. 27 2013 10:05 p.m. MDT

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Breathe Deep
Eagle Rock, ID

jclifford,

Your claims are barely worthy of a response but here goes.

Do you have any idea how much we are tax payer have to pay every single year for lung disease and alcoholism? As a medical professional I can tell you it is Billons.Its just common sense that the law has to regulate these substances because people can control themselves. There is nothing religious about it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if you smoke or drink so long as I don’t have to pay the bill when you are disabled.

Skeptic Cash
Asheville, NC

Dear Albert Maslar,

I united with friends at the beach, are we too practicing a religion? Are the Dallas Cowboy fans practicing religion when they meet for a game?

Horrid logic.

Skeptic Cash
Asheville, NC

Dear DN Subscriber 2,

You state, "Therefore I ask that they declare that they will be "having fun at the expense of the Muslim faith" as well."

Why yes, we do. Google is your friend. Look it up. Regardless the religion, if they are violating others rights, you will find atheists standing in protest, defending, challenging and educating all.

“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.” - Thomas Jefferson

Al Thepal
Salt Lake City, UT

Good for them, it is their Constitutional right to gather and to not practice any religion (or practice whatever religion they please. Ironically, it is also their God-given right to worship how, where, or what they may, even if the "what" is nothing.

I would expect them to make fun of religion in general at their convention, as atheists are a very arrogant bunch who like to pretend that everyone who is not an atheist is completely unintelligent, but I don't get their rationale for singling out the LDS Church. The LDS Church does not actively control the politics in Utah. When one religion happens to make up more than 50% of the population of the state, then more than 50% of the government officials will be from that religion. These officials will happen to make decisions that go along with their religious beliefs. The LDS Church is one of the biggest advocates of freedom of religion, which includes the freedom to have no religion and not believe in God if that is what you so choose.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Skeptical Cash,

I am okay with your beach example. But when it comes to football and certain other sports, there are certainly those that take it like religion.

Roll Tide

Apostopheles
Jackson, OH

This comments section goes to show that atheists are misunderstood. Part of the reason we come together is to dispel these misconceptions. From this misunderstanding, we often face hardship in our families, our communities, and even at our jobs.

So we come together to fulfill a need of belonging. We come together so people can see that we're just everyday people: friendly, polite, moral, and reasonably attractive. :)

lqqk
pocatello, ID

If God doesn't believe in aetheists, do they really exist?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@gmlewis – “Modern revelation confirms… “

Modern science confirms that we evolved large brains and that our foundation for morality is a product of cooperation & our ability to feel empathy. As our social tendencies grew (i.e., we began to live in larger groups) these traits and their associated feelings became more complex and nuanced giving rise to what we now perceive as a conscience.

If we listen to our conscience and to those who show the greatest capacity to articulate and put it into practice (e.g., Jesus, Aristotle, etc…) we will generally lead happier more fulfilled lives. Of course we have the freedom to heed its promptings or not, but many of our moral intuitions have been codified into laws that will punish those who fail to do so at the expense of others.

If we ignore it in this life we will likely be lonely & miserable (people generally don’t like to play with others who can’t play nice) and after we’re gone the only thing we know for certain is we will have left the world a worse place.

JD Jones
Salt Lake City, UT

@foldart: "Prove to me there is no Vishnu. Prove to me there is no Thor. Prove to me there is no Zeus."

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

A few years ago the Baptists came to Salt Lake to save the Mormons. I think, for the most part, they had a good experience even though they didn't save very many Mormons.

That the Atheists are coming to town is great. Their money is as good as any Catholic's, Muslim or Baptist's. Every little bit helps the economy.

I suspect though, that they are not coming to enhance the economy but to pick a fight. Interesting how most of the intolerance in this world is generated in the hearts and hands of those who pretend to abhor it the most.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

Welcome Atheists to Salt Lake City, Utah!

If you want to avoid any religious themed buildings during your time here, may I recommend the museums located on the University of Utah campus. Red Butte Gardens is a nice spot to visit, along with the State Capital building, Ensign Peak and the International Peace Gardens.

If any of you are baseball fans, I just read the Salt Lake Bees have home games scheduled the evening of April 19th and 20th.

Those of us who live here need to make these people feel as welcome as possible. Lets blow them away with kindness.

Bear With Me
Orem, UT

Mountanman
Hayden, ID
Are they doing this to try to bring some relevance and meaning to their cause?

Are conferences about "doing this to try to bring some relevance and meaning to their cause"?

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA
For me this atheist group is no different than any other religion.

Like OFF is a TV station?

USAlover
Salt Lake City, UT
My guess all the kindness in the world from believers would only be met with the angst and bitterness that probably makes one an atheist to begin with.

Your guess is wrong. Love ya!

Can someone tell me specifically what rights, not self proclaimed Christian privilege, have been taken away? I see secularism being eroded away. Thanks!

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

@ Aposthoheles:

Maybe if some in the atheist group would stop trying to shock and offend those who are not atheist, you would face less hardship.

Respect and tolerance are a two-way street. I know many atheists, and it does not bother me in and of itself. But when they begin to offend me by stating their opinion as fact, and act as though I am unintelligent because I believe in God, then I lose respect for them.

Everyone has the right to believe what they choose to. Respecting that and not seeking to offend is the basis for a truly tolerant society.

pierzyna
Glen Ellyn, IL

I support the American Atheists in their decision to have their conference in Salt Lake City and I think people from all backgrounds should attend to find out more about the organization.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

@ Skeptic Cash:

YOu do realize that Jefferson was speaking aginst the doctrine of the trinity, and not against God, right? Jefferson was not an atheist. He was opposed to the overly beaureacratic make up of religion in his day. He did not speak out against Christ or His Teachings.

I woudl bet that Jefferson would have openly embraced the simple, restored doctrines of the LDS Faith had he learned of them.

Then again, maybe he already has......

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Skeptical Cash,

That partial quote from Jefferson is one in which he is showing his opposition to Trinitarianism.

And when you say they make fun of Islam - do you mean they make pictures of Mohammed or do nasty things to the Quran? Or are there limits?

Skeptic Cash
Asheville, NC

Dear Mark from Montana,

You ask how one proves God does not exist? Prove to me that Vishnu doesn't exist.

It's impossible to prove a negative. The burden of proof is on the one who posits a claim. The claim is "God Exists."

It's not up to you or I to prove that invisible pink unicorns don't exist, it would be up to the person stating that they do.

Belief in proposition X is justified because you can't prove it's not true is at very least a shifting of the burden of proof, it's a logical fallacy.

John in St. Pete, FL
St. Pete, FL

@ulvegaard -- You mean like nearly every war over the entirety of human history being the product of an "our god is better than your god" mentality.

@foldart -- The burden of proof is on the side of those who claim absolute knowledge. Not the other way around. I will also lack a belief in Alma until I see some peer-reviewed scientific proof of his existence.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

@ Tyler D:

Thank you for your post. Regardless of religious belief, we can all agree that there are moral and immoral behaviors. Those are what society - and government - should be concerned with. As to beliefs, that is a man's own business.

Alma 30:11 states; "For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds."

I do not oppose any man's belief, even the atheist. However, I do stand up for my right under the same principles when I believe it is being attacked.

sharrona
layton, UT

Twin Lights, We (the LDS) would all do well to emulate our leaders more.

The 1850s through 1870s, when Mormonism was led by It was a time when apostasy from Mormonism could be a capital crime, and when sermons were preached from Mormon pulpits, and the people shuddered in their pews. It was a time when the Francher party, a group of Arkansas emigrants on their way through Utah to California, were slaughtered by Mormons hiding behind Indian guise.

You brought up Origen as authoritative? No, I didn’t. but,“Ignatius” of Antioch, “Eusebius,” “Clement” of Rome, and “Polycarp”.."

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