Quantcast

Comments about ‘So what is the most Godless city in America?’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, Jan. 24 2014 9:57 a.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The arrogance of (American) Christians never ceases to amaze me – so now we’re equating people and even entire cities who are not “bible-minded” with Godless?

Kudos for the insult hurled at Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, the “spiritual but not religious” and anyone else who believes in God (or at least benevolent power greater than themselves) but is not particularly inspired by a Bronze Age book written by shepherds.

Nice…

Luke Nelson
West Valley City, UT

While I would agree with Tyler D that not believing in the Bible doesn't mean that someone is godless, I would like to point out that the page about the study on the American Bible Society's website doesn't say anything about people who don't believe in the Bible being godless. It appears that part is from Time.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Another "War on the Non-Religious" article.

See how easy it is to add "war" and create a non existent controversy?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I always thought that what thee very most important thing is God. Say I'm in a desert with no water. The necessities; food water shelter and companionship could be God.

brokenclay
Tempe, AZ

Luke does make a good point, Tyler. Perhaps you'd like to address it.

On the other hand, granting the truth of Christianity, there is nothing arrogant about dismissing other theistic traditions as godless; it is merely a truth statement that coheres with the worldview. It's no more arrogant than when science says the universe came from nothing, despite the fact that Mormons believe in the eternality of matter.

As far as the disparagement of the intelligence of animal herders and people who lived prior to 1200 BC-- this is not only an example of the genetic fallacy, but is in itself an example of the arrogance of modern westerners. We think we have it all figured out, and everyone else is culturally inferior-- but just wait until the next superpower comes along. Every world power in history indoctrinates its people into thinking they have arrived.

I would further point out that much of the Old Testament literature was composed in the Iron Age, for accuracy's sake.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@brokenclay – “Luke does make a good point, Tyler. Perhaps you'd like to address it.”

One way to define “arrogant” is to believe you’re right and others are wrong when there is no objective manner for deciding the issue. By that standard, what you say is a “truth statement” looks very arrogant. Would you think any different if a Muslim or Catholic asserted you are godless? Further, this has been used by religious groups throughout history to usually bad results and I see no reason to give it respect.

To you point about “animal herders” my comparison was relative, not absolute. I can well imagine a Universe populated with beings that, by comparison, would make us look like shepherds or worse (e.g., ants).

But keep in mind, compared to what we know today about the natural world, Bronze/Iron Age dwellers knew next to nothing. It was all a big mystery – everything from cosmology, seasons, disease, biology, physics, chemistry, electricity, computation… the list is huge. Heck, unless they saw someone impaled by a spear, they had no idea why people died.

It was all the work of the gods…

brokenclay
Tempe, AZ

Luke's point wasn't addressed.

Many Muslims and Catholics do assert Protestants to be godless. And I take no issue with it whatsoever, because from their worldview, it's true. It's not a statement of arrogance, it's a statement of coherence. In fact, I would be offended if a Muslim said Protestants worshiped the same god as them-- something, incidentally, which Mormons routinely say concerning Protestants, and yes, is indeed quite offensive.

That there are no standards to judge the veracity of religious claims is preposterous. If various religious claims can be falsified, which atheists claim is possible, then it is also possible for them to be verified.

The beauty of God's dealing with man is that He meets him where he's at. You don't have to be a Stephen Hawking or Bertrand Russell or able to understand a complex philosophical treatise to meet God-- thankfully! As someone who grew up on a farm, I can identify with those iron age shepherds. You don't need to know it all to know God.

"Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth."

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@brokenclay – “Luke's point wasn't addressed.”

Doesn’t need to be since we all know most Christians believe it (non-belief in Bible=godless).

And it’s magnanimous of you to not be offended (and as a casual statement I would agree), but I wonder if you would feel the same if statements like that were a prelude to political action – again, something we’ve seen ad nauseum throughout history and it’s usually followed by quite a lot of suffering for the “infidels.”

I’m curious if you can share some objective standards by which we could judge the veracity of religious claims. And since I’m fairly certain you do not believe they can be falsified, I’ll treat the atheist comment as a red herring.

But your reference to Bertrand Russell is appropriate here since he would say 1) religious claims can be neither verified nor falsified (by their nature); 2) it is a matter of evidence and reason (or faith for a believer), and 3) the burden of proof is entirely on the one making the claim and not the doubter – see the logic of Russell’s Teapot for why this is so.

brokenclay
Tempe, AZ

Tyler, unfortunately I will be unable to answer all of the points you raise in my last comment (one attempt was justly denied).

As far as the whole "presumption of atheism" goes, I'd recommend to you Craig's Q&A answer, "Definition of atheism," which reflects my opinion on the matter, prior to having even read Craig.

Ideally, and let me stress the word ideally, Christian doctrine teaches the acceptance of suffering for reasons pertaining to belief. See for instance Matt 5:38-42; John 15:20; 16:33; 1 Cor 4:12; 1 Peter 4:12-19-- along with a host of others.

The significance of this is that the Christian who is offended by persecution is not living in line with ideal Christian teaching. Am I the ideal Christian? Absolutely not-- but this is the standard. Is American Christianity awful whiney at this point in our country's history? You better believe it. The Church is not owed the privileges she has enjoyed here. Her rightful place is as the underdog, and we will reclaim that status before too long, even if most of us get dragged kicking and screaming.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments