"Religion makes them act in a bad way"Are you sure? I'm
pretty sure that I see just the opposite when it comes to the members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and many other religions. Seems
like the atheist movement is more to stir up contention than anything else.
"Religion makes them act in a bad way."What is this
"bad" that Silverman speaks of, and by what objective standard does he
"It's not because we want to snub our faces at someone else's
religion; it's purely a business decision," he said. "We're
not going to avoid a weekend because of someone else's religion."That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. They are using Easter to
make noise and try to drown out people who worship God; it'd be obnoxious
to pretend otherwise, but no matter how obvious it is, it is against
Satan's nature to be entirely honest, and it is he who endorses such a
knowingly intolerant notion such as this.If I lived in Japan and I
felt "suffocated" by the non-American culture and surroundings, no one
would argue in favor of me parading there with the stars and stripes. If I
lived in some sort of community with a bunch of people who have sex with others
of the same sex, no one would argue in favor of me parading there with a
marriage protection sign.
"It's not JUST about bashing Mormonism..."Oh wow.
It's pretty sad when one of your convention's main purposes is to mock
the faith that millions worldwide hold sacred. Don't we as Americans
believe in freedom to worship as we choose? I'll give you the freedom to
be atheist if you like, and I'll respect that. I only ask that you respect
my right to believe in what I want. Personal beliefs should never be the target
of mockery. Holding a convention for the purpose (albeit not the only purpose)
of mocking (as opposed to logical discussion of) another's faith is
shameful."Religion makes them act in a bad way."Like teaching children to respect their elders? Like giving to the poor?
Like staying away from mind-altering substances? Like being faithful to your
spouse? Like centering your life around the premise "Do unto others as you
would have done unto you"?I think it's time you recognized
the good in the world. You can argue all you want about whether individuals
follow the above-mentioned premise, but the fact that the church teaches it has
to count for something.
Wow! A whole 600-900 people in SLC? Better watch the traffic cameras to make
sure I get around all of the extra traffic. Wouldn't even have known they
were here except for this article. A speck in the importance of humanity.
"How does religion make them act in a bad way?"We all know
that religion has its flaws. A person who looks back through history can easily
see that religion has a downside. Whether it be the crusades, the Salem witch
trials, polygamy, banning interracial marriage, holding back science etc, etc,
ect...It is easy to see that religion is not all good. Is there a
benefit to religion? Of course! I think they are just trying to point out that
there is a downside to faith and religion. Its not all good.P.S. I
like how the commenters above say how offended they are by these people mocking
them and then they proceed to mock the atheists. How ironic.
Opposition in ALL things...
To me, it is the strangest thing that people gather to say they don't
believe?? If you don't believe then what is the purpose to gather? Human
nature is to believe in God this was a gift God gave to all of us. The only
reason people meet to say we don't believe is to get others to go against
that gift God gave them, so they don't feel alone. If I didn't like
apples I wouldn't put together a conference of non apple eating people. Why
would I care if people eat apples just because I don't. My belief in God
has never caused me to do something bad, but my belief in God has caused me to
do something good. Too bad these guys just don't take the time to see what
is being taught.
Atheism is a religion, and they are here to convert. I find it ironic that
those coming to Salt Lake with their agenda driven movement state that religion
makes people act in a bad way. Hmmm..., and atheism produces so much good in
the world? Marx was an Atheist, his ideas have lead to the death and misery of
It is my opinion that the Atheists are wrong when they say that it is religion
that makes people behave in a bad way. They are under a delusion that belief in
God is responsible for much of the evil that has been done to others, because it
has been done in the name of God. It is not that we believe in God
that makes us mistreat others; it is that we believe in something. The world has
not lacked for godless men and women who have done their share of evil. It is
the gentle cynic and not the atheist who is the opposite of the true believer,
wrote Eric Hoffer. Often the godless are anything but irreligious.It
is certainty that has covered the world in blood; certainty in one's own
rightness and in the wrongness of others. Atheism, much like the religion it
decries, inhabits a world of absolute certainty, and thus its potential for
harming those with whom it disagrees is no less than that of any crusading
religion that has ever been.
"Religion makes them act in a bad way."Here in Salt Lake
City, we have the LDS Hospital, Deseret Industries, and Welfare Square. In the
city where I lived for most of my life, there was the Episcopal Hospital, the
St. Ann's Orphanage, and the St. Mary's Collection Center for the
Poor. All of these organizations - and similar places in every city in the
country - are run by religious organizations.I have never heard of
an Atheist Hospital. Or an Atheist Orphanage, or donation center or, for that
matter, any other privately funded charitable organization run by atheists.
I know many great atheists who claim atheism simply because they don't
believe in a higher power. They, show respect for religion and do believe they
can do great things in the community. Seems like the organizers here are
not like this. Since joining the LDS church, I have increased the amount of
volunteer work, charity work, and general good deeds that I do throughout my
life. If that is "bad" then I don't want to be their definition of
good.Clearly they are missing something, and I hope they find it.
"As many as 13 million adults identify themselves as atheists or agnostics,
"There is a huge difference between atheists and agnostics.
Agnostics simply haven't found something they can believe in. Atheists are
determined not to believe in something, even if they find it.Since
the Light of Christ touches everyone who is born, then everyone is born an
agnostic. Some will later find God by how well they follow the guidance of this
divine influence. Finding something to believe in is a good thing.
For a man who claims to hold strong to rationality, and reason, he makes a lot
of inconsistent statements. To claim you are not attacking people, just
religion is a logical fallacy. If religion is a lie and a scam, it is because
there are people perpetrating the lie and/or scam. Religion is not an entity
that can perpetrate a scam. So, their position is attacking people
specifically. I think this is unfortunate, as I personally know atheists with
which I disagree, but there is mutual respect and the ability to have dialogue.
This group, or rather at least this group's leader, has demonstrated no
such desire. Its not a great wonder that his group is so small. I don't
think a lot of atheists really want to associate with this any more than they
want to come down and attend General Conference.
"Here in Salt Lake City, we have the LDS Hospital"----------------The LDS church has been out of the hospital
business for a long time. They gave away LDS Hospital in 1974, along with other
hospitals they were running.
@dansimp"To claim you are not attacking people, just religion is a
logical fallacy."Wouldn't that be the same as people saying
they don't attack/hate gay people, just homosexuality/same-sex marriages?
Hope we have lots of Books of Mormon on hand to distribute‼️
Those who abuse people deserve to be attacked & ridiculed. Religion can no
longer be an automatic shield, which keeps the spotlight of truth & accuracy
from shining in all places. Revisionist history is the key phrase of the day, at
the heart of "religious" Salt Lake.But, Salt Lake is not as
religious as it used to be. Provo & Orem, maybe. Bountiful, ok. But Salt
Lake? No. The hipsters have arrived en masse, and many home grown members of
"the Church" have now come to their senses & left the religion of
their youth.Not far from the Temple, one can buy a beer, or even buy
some sexy underwear at a Church coordinated shopping mall. And about 9 blocks
south and 9 blocks east, one finds the beginning of the heart of liberal Salt
Lake. But there's many liberal more-free-thinking patches &
neighborhoods. The old days are gone. Go to Utah County if you wish to return to
the bubble. But in Salt Lake the bubble has largely been broken, and it's
been broken open for some time now.
Gandhi nailed it when he said: "I like your Christ. I do not like your
Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
"Religion makes them act in a bad way"Lenin/Stalin
(athiests) - 20,000,000 dead RussiansNazi (Paganism its theological
underpinning) - 20,000,000 WWI deadMao (athiest) - 60,000,000 dead
ChinesePol Pot (athiest) - 3,000,000 dead CambodiansNorth Korea
(athiest) - 2,000,000 dead KoreansProgressive Liberals (athiest
underpinning) - 50,000,000 abortions in US only. I agree there is
bad people in any religion, but no religion ever founded can compare to the
athiests "acting in a bad way" over the past 100 years. The main
difference in the above groups is the methods used to kill their undesireable
I have no problem with people deciding to be atheist. I have no problem with
them gathering. Heck, I don't even have a problem with them trying to
convince other people to be atheist (that would be a little hypocritical of me
since I share my religion with others, hoping they will decide to convert to my
religion because I think it will bring them happiness, but I have never been
pushy about it). I do have a problem with them specifically choosing
dates that are related to or surrounding a religious holiday or other tradition,
especially when the reason is to create conflict or confrontation. Why
can't everyone just respect other people's beliefs? I respect your
right to be an atheist, even though atheism is highly illogical to me. Why
can't you respect my religion, even though it is illogical to you?
They are getting credit anytime we make comment about them. Just ignore it!
im a humanist and we dont believe in churchs but we do in right to any belief
others have and resepct it. if an idea keeps people peacefull there is no wrong.
jesus was a real person and spoke of peace and kindness. ther is no down side to
it so live and let live.
Since I happen to be LDS and a former atheist, could I put up a billboard that
says "Atheist, Former Atheist, Mormon"?
Using the tactics of bigoted, intolerant practitioners of certain religious
organizations against religious organizations themselves, including ones that
are innocent of such tactics, doesn’t accomplish anything except to win
over the already (un)converted and make the entire group look obnoxious and
hateful in the eyes of religious majority. Religion in America is not dying; it
is simply changing. Atheists are making a dramatic miscalculation that will
backfire against them severely in the end. But let them. Nothing discredits them
faster than allowing them to open their own mouths and revealing their true
colors. Also, they have nothing to offer anyone in the place of what
the Church has to offer, because their message tries to invalidate the very
things that the Church teaches to begin with. So their efforts to fill the void
that they create with something artificial and superficial in its place are
ultimately as futile as their efforts to lead astray those who have already
received a witness of the Holy Ghost.
Christianity's basis is, if ye have served the least of these my brethren,
ye have served God. The atheist message would have some credibility if they went
to Welfare Square, St. Vincent's, the Salt Lake Rescue Mission, Salvation
Army and other faith based charitable agencies and declared that the Atheists of
America were going to enter into services for the needy. As it is now, they are
only presenting a negative, self centered message. Negative and self centered
may be their most defining message.
Not sure what they mean by "Bad", but I act in a good way on account of
Response to the Oregonian: Blowing smoke distracts from the truth.
Meme set defense mechanisms which quickly kick in. The canard/red-herring
you've raised is a good example.Lenin & Stalin - creators
of a de facto Religion-Of-The-State. The state became a religion. The leaders of
the state could not be questioned, on pain of death.Nazi/Hitler/Mao/Pol Pot - dittoNorth Korea - ditto - one of the
most religious countries *ever*, where the dear leader is akin to a god.progressive liberals: There's plenty of spontaneous abortions.
Liberals can be stuck & wrong in various ways just as can conservatives.
Equating a weeks-old embryo to born-human is not a reasonable equivalence.
Banning abortion from the very first heart beat, or equaling all embryos to
successfully-born humans is not reasonable.How many Indians got
killed by the conquistadors? How many during the Middle Ages for apostasy?Bad elements of human nature are not removed either by religion or a
lack thereof. Religion is a natural phenomenon (ref. Daniel Dennett). But just
because something is natural that doesn't mean it's all that useful.
I'm baffled and somewhat amused. I'd be more amused if it wasn't
so sad that people think this way. Let me get this straight. Atheists
don't believe in God or any afterlife, is that correct? Am I missing
something? Therefore this life is basically pointless? We will all die
eventually and that's it. Illness, struggle, heartache, etc for no purpose
whatsoever. Do they think they are making this life better for others? And, if
so, why? Isn't it just pointless anyway? Why even bother? More proof
that misery loves company.
I love the part where these guys say something like we aren't negative to
Mormons, only the Mormon Church. Kind of like terrorists when they say they
don't hate Americans, only the American government. Anyway, these people
will spend their money staying in SLC and much of it will go to businesses that
are owned by LDS people, and therefore will end up in the Church as tithes or
offerings. Fine with me. Rather live in a place where people with this view
will be treated nice, than in a place that would protest against their speech.
Like would happen on many college campuses if a religious person tried to speak.
We are certainly all free to believe or not believe what we desire. Some
atheists believe all who are believing in God are of lesser intellegence. By
mans present scientific methods one can neither prove nor disprove the existence
of God.So as the atheists say "I don't believe in
God"I say to the atheist that's OK because, God beleives in you.
He will always love you.He will never foresake you. He will always be
there ready for you.
This article contains deceitful words like 'anti-religionists' and
'militants.' Not all Atheists are created equal just like the
religious don't believe in all the same things. 'American
Atheists' does not represent all Atheists and many non-religious have
varying beliefs. If you feel mocked by these people ask why the mockery? Many Christians are conservatives and they hold onto many archaic
beliefs. Non-believers are skeptics and question many of these outdated views.
The comments here represent many fallacious arguments made by the
Christian-right. So why should we not mock willful ignorance and intolerance?
You say you have the right to your beliefs and I agree that you do.
But you do not have the right to create your own facts. And it is a matter of
fact that Science is the method by which we comprehend the world around us and
" Atheists don't believe in God or any afterlife, is that correct? Am I
missing something? Therefore this life is basically pointless?"Why is life pointless just because there isn't another life afterwards?
That doesn't make any sense.
The basic concepts of religion promote many positive actions for individuals and
society in general. Yes, there has been alot of bad in the name of religion. I
also support the agency of others to believe as they want and to discuss their
philosophy in an open environment. It benefits all. Now, as a betting man, my
question to this group is do you really want to take the bet that there is no
God? I am going to take the bet that there is a God and will want to have a
front seat when this group stands before their maker (however you want to
believe) and provide a convincing aurgument.
What if someone encountered four sticks leaning up against each other forming a
pyramid, or a pile stones balanced one on top of another, or a functioning
pocket watch? Did those structures simply fall together by sheer luck, or did
someone of intelligence, (utilizing the laws of physics), organize and build
them? Our solar system is a much larger version of those sticks and stones. The movement of structures within our solar system is precise. Man-made
timepieces testify of intelligent design as they mimic planet earth’s
regular movements. Some people might argue that the Earth and our solar system
were accidentally brought together by sheer dumb luck, without any intelligent
influence, and that the blind laws of physics left to their own devices are
responsible. Let’s go back to those hypothetical sticks and stones; . . .
yes, the laws of physics blindly exerted their effects on them, but it still
required an intelligence to organize material, and create complex structures.
Whether organizing a planet, a pyramid, a pocket watch or a person, . . .
intelligent influence and physics both become part of the equation.Your wristwatch documents intelligent design. Have faith.
The problem with your analogy is: who created God?You say it is
impossible for complex things (like a stopwatch) to just appear out of nowhere.
But then you expect people to just believe that God (more complex than a
stopwatch) appeared out of nowhere. It doesn't make much sense.
@EPJThe watchmaker is a false analogy for proof of a god because it
assumes that because two objects share one common quality, they must have
another quality in common. I.A watch is complex II.A watch has
a watchmaker III.The universe is also complex IV.Therefore the
universe has a watchmaker The last step is wrong, because it
concludes something that is not supported by the criteria. It is best clarified
by another example: I.Leaves are complex cellulose structures II.Leaves grow on trees III.Paper currency is also a complex cellulose
structure IV.Therefore money grows on trees (which, according to the
idiom, it doesn't) Your argument doesn't hold water. This
country needs more people that base their beliefs on reason and evidence and
maybe this convention will sway a few individuals to think about things a little
@Mountain BirdYou asked, "Therefore this life is basically
pointless?"Why? Can humans only do good things if there is a big
reward by a "supreme being" in the "afterlife?" That sounds more
like sucking up to the boss than respecting your fellow human beings. It has
also been shown that some think the afterlife is so much better that they will
fly airplanes into buildings to get there. You asked, "Do they
think they are making this life better for others?"My life has
real meaning. I focus on my family, the world around me, and treating others
with dignity and respect and I’m always looking for ways to help out in
the community. Ironically, some atheists have asked to team up with
"Christian" groups to assist in feeding the homeless only to be rebuffed
and told to stay away. And, I have had "Christians" tell me that my
charity work is meaningless because I am not doing it in "Christ's"
God's parents created God. Our finite understanding will never suffice when
addressing the infinite. Have faith.Complex things like a pocket
watch do not appear out of nowhere; . . .base elements are intelligently
organized into more complex things.
@EPJ"Your wristwatch documents intelligent design." If my wrist watch had one half of the face larger or smaller than the
other half it would not work. Hold a mirror perpendicular to your face and see
how imprecise your face is. If my wrist watch had meaningless parts thrown in to
it, it would likely not work nor not be very efficient. We all have appendixes
and tail bones and men have breasts with nipples. Why? If my watch was missing
half the teeth on one gear it would not function very well at all yet living
things get along fine with all kinds of internal and external structural flaws.
No, my wrist watch is a testament to the creativity of man and a condemnation of
the idea of an intelligent designer of life.
Most people of faith would concede there's no way for one person to
"prove" the existence of God to another person, although believers
understand that steps exist for a person to prove it to himself.For
the atheist, how do you "unprove" what a person has already experienced
and proven to oneself? How do you prove that God does not exist? To me it is
the pinnacle of arrogance to tell someone who has experienced spiritual
confirmation that his experience did not happen, just because it did not happen
for the atheist. I don't believe Australia exists because I've never
personally been there. I find it interesting to watch the Cosmos
series and see them try so hard to convince the viewers that people only believe
in God when they're too stupid to know anything else. Yet, they describe
unbelievably complex mechanisms at the smallest microbiological level that beg
the question "How is it possible these mechanisms formed by pure
chance?" They don't attempt to answer that one. To me, it seems far
more illogical to not believe in a designer.Believing or not
believing, both require a pretty big leap of faith.
"I love the part where these guys say something like we aren't negative
to Mormons, only the Mormon Church. Kind of like terrorists when they say they
don't hate Americans, only the American government."Or,
'I don't hate homosexual people, just homosexuality------"Atheists don't believe in God or any afterlife, is
that correct? Am I missing something? Therefore this life is basically
pointless?"Do you do everything solely for the purpose of
receiving some reward? And to extend your question, what would be the purpose
of the next life if there isn't another one after that one? Doesn't
the existence of an afterlife give this life meaning, but then that meaning is
completely lost once you're into your next life? I'm
faithful to my wife because I love and respect her, not because I'm afraid
of eternal punishment. --------------"God's
parents created God."And who created them? At some point, no
matter how far you go back, religion relies on the same assumption as science:
at some point everything seems to have appeared out of nothing, or at least at
present we can't understand where that something came from.
These atheists need to see the movie "God's Not Dead".It's all about An Atheist Professor in a college setting who gets
challenged in his Atheistic beliefs. Good movie that shows why some
people choose Atheism...And why some Don't.
I'm often surprised by the view from atheists that religion causes is the
primary cause of violence in the world. It is true that religion has
occasionally been exploited by evil men as a means to their ends and as a
justification for their deeds. But do my atheist friends really think that
those relative few who oppress or kill others in the name of religion would be
kind, considerate, helpful individuals if there were no religion on earth? The
bulk of religious persons treat others with kindness and respect. That's
what most religions are all about.I am more concerned about the
effects atheism has had on the world. Famous atheists of the past hundred years
include Stalin, Mao, and Fidel Castro. Collectively, these men have been
responsible for the deaths of over 100 million individuals as well as the
suffering and oppression of millions more. Neither world war was
fought over religious philosophy and there have been many many additional wars
with no religious overtones. While people do contend over religion, as we have
over all our differences, I fail to see how religious persons are some plague to
humanity while atheists occupy some moral high ground.
"These atheists need to see the movie "God's Not Dead".It's all about An Atheist Professor in a college setting whogets challenged in his Atheistic beliefs."They need to see a
fictionalized movie that presents the empty stereotype of a hostile atheist
professor as a strawman? What, exactly, is to be learned? I see the movie
certainly helping a lot of believers nurture and grow their persecution complex,
but I see nothing instructional for an atheist. Your advice is
essentially as useful as telling a Mormon to watch the Southpark episode about
Mormons in order to really understand why they're wrong.
@Kindred,You asked, "But do my atheist friends really think that
those relative few who oppress or kill others in the name of religion would be
kind, considerate, helpful individuals if there were no religion on
earth?"Maybe, maybe not, but they would definitely need another
excuse to do what they do."The bulk of religious persons treat
others with kindness and respect."Unless you happen to be gay,
of a different religion, or of no religion at all and you want your rights
respected by the religious. That is, after all, what this is all about."Famous atheists of the past hundred years include Stalin, Mao, and Fidel
Castro" Oh, please. Name one person or one group that has
murdered millions in the name of atheism; just one.
Excuse me, Oregonian, be careful of the name calling. I consider myself a
Progressive and am liberal on many subjects, abortion not being one of them. I
vote for a candidate for a wide variety of reasons, the least of which is party
affiliation. I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. My husband and I were married in the temple over three
decades ago, our sons served missions and our children marry in the temple. We
tithe. We actively serve in the Church. I believe that the best political
decisions are the ones that are made locally. Today you judged me, and
thousands like me, because of a prejudice. Your church did not tell you to do
this. Your bias does not contribute to this discussion. Instead, I submit that
such comments help to fuel the arguments of the anti-religious.Look
for the good in people. Work with that and you can build something.
Concentrate on the differences and all you will do is destroy. Please stop.
RE:“psittacus,”Banning abortion from the very first heart beat, or
equaling all embryos to successfully-born humans is not reasonable. Wrong,.”(Psalm139 :13-16 NLT) “ You made all the delicate, inner
parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for
making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how
well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I
was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born Every
day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a
single day had passed.You shall not murder”(Ex 20:13 NIV) The
verb (ratsakh) refers to the premeditated or accidental taking of the life of
another human being; it includes any unauthorized killing (it is used for the
punishment of a murderer, but that would not be included in the prohibition).
This commandment teaches the sanctity of all human life(abortion). VS
I love the head line. Athiest's gather for Easter!! Not sure if it was on
purpose but it's a good one.
Re: "We're not the old scary atheists who are trying to destroy
religion . . . ."Yeah, you are.Such a statement only
proves that neo-atheist groups are no different from thousands of other
historical iconoclastic "religious" movements. Its ranks are filled with
narcissistic, thumb-in-the-eye misanthropes and worried, desperate misfits,
hoping to find strength and relief in numbers, from an all-consuming cognitive
dissonance.Tiny activist atheist groups, like the one described in
the article, have adopted an article of faith to the effect that the higher the
number of adherents they gain to their comfortable, but preposterous,
counter-intuitive, unscientific, and thoroughly unprovable dogma, the more it is
validated.But, as climate "scientists" have so aptly proven,
consensus is not confirmation.
"Lots of atheists feel repressed by religion..."Everyone
feels repressed--Christians, atheists, Jews, Muslims, gays, conservatives,
Right on, Midwest Mom at 3:51. As far as the atheists are concerned, I say
"whatever." Not sure why they feel like they have to do this over
Easter weekend, but it's of no consequence to me. I'm not interested
in their message, and I could care less if they meet.
@The Deuce"Now, as a betting man, my question to this group is do you
really want to take the bet that there is no God? "I would bet
that God would prefer sincere lack of belief in him over insincere belief in
him. (This is basically the logic I used to leave a church except substitute God
with a particular denomination since I still consider myself Christian).
I can't think of a better place for people who don't believe in God to
be on Easter Weekend. Welcome! Hope you find what you're looking for.
Most religions, Christian and non-Christian, are based on belief in something
positive: a Deity who has created us and to whom we owe everything, the desire
to bring others closer to Deity, a creed by which to live, a higher purpose in
life, a set of ethics or morals, or all of the above. All it takes
to be an atheist is to deny the existence of any deity. I know of no religion
based solely on something negative, where all it takes to be part of that belief
system is the act of rejection. Not one single legitimate religion has as its
primary goal the destruction of other people's beliefs. Only atheism. It seems like a sad and negative way to utilize one's energy, but
if that makes some folks happy, let 'em enjoy themselves.
I'm glad the nonbelievers in the area are receiving this high profile
support. It's always good to know you're not alone.To
those who responded to the "religion leads people to do bad things"
comment with lists of good things done in the name of religion: How many of
those things actually require religion or a belief in a god to be good - or to
even be done?To those who accuse atheists of claiming certainty:
I'm CERTAIN that some do! Others - like me - are probably as certain that
your god doesn't exist as you are that Zeus or Thor don't exist.To those that complained of their beliefs being mocked/disrespected: I
am obligated to respect your right to belief whatever you choose. I am not
obligated to respect the belief itself. A few people have already
responded to the "life is pointless without God" comments. Those always
make me especially sad. How could your family and friends ever be
"pointless"? And how can you look upon this incredible Earth and this
wild Universe and ever think it can have meaning to you only if you look upon it
in a certain way?
"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates
of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship
how, where, or what they may."
Californian#1@94131 said, "All it takes to be an atheist is to deny the
existence of any deity."“I contend that we are both
atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why
you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss
yours.” -- Stephen Roberts.
If these people really don't believe, then move to a country where God has
been removed. In fact, why don't they go ask the people of former communist
countries their thoughts now that communism is gone and they can worship without
reprisals? Apparently, these atheists don't believe in tolerance and wish
to push their disbelief upon those who do. What arrogance and misguided thought.
@Psittacus...Absolutely brilliant post if I do say so myself. Many thanks. You
hit it dead on. Seriously. I'm shocked this intelligent well thought out
articulate comment made the light of day for all the masses to see.
Three pages of mostly hateful comments toward atheists who are simply having a
convention and are mostly letting other atheists know that they have support.
Religion has had a strong voice in the world for centuries while atheism's
voices has often been silenced. As shown by the comments...religions still wants
to stomp out the voices disagreeing with them by perpetuating myths and false
assumptions about atheism. They are having a gathering to celebrate their belief
in reason, science and the power of the human mind. They are discussing topics
of interest like separation of church and state, science education, equality,
rights for women and the influence of religion on politics, among them. People
who portray atheists in such a negative light do not understand atheism.
Atheists also want others to realize atheists can still have high morals, live
happy lives, be charitable, have values and still be atheists. They are just
regular people. But...anti-atheists would rather bash them than try to
understand them. It seems rather hypocritical for Mormons who send missionaries
out to gain converts to accuse atheists of doing the same like some have here.
@ sgHow do the efforts of atheists to let people know there is
another view differ from, say, sending people door to door, or on missions?@ DSB"...it is the pinnacle of arrogance to tell
someone...that his experience did not happen."Agreed. Religion was
imposed upon me when I was too young to do anything about it. But it was never
a good fit for me and I experienced a sense of liberation when I freed myself
from what felt like shackles. Countless well-intentioned people have told me,
"No, this is not what you experienced. It actually was (fill in their
religious-based view)." Only some did this with arrogance, but all were
misguided.I would also say that neither your experiences nor mine
prove anything except that we experienced something. And like you, I have the
right to share my experiences too.
my two cents worthOnly you miss that biological life is a million
time more complex than a wristwatch, or any other technology. Tin is a simple
element found everywhere. But a tin can? That suggest an intelligent designer.
No matter how long nature works it, it will not create tin cans by chance. Yet
we are to believe that the complex biology of life is by chance.
" . . . (Religion) makes them act in a bad way." Well,
yeah, sometimes. Muslims wouldn't don suicide vests if not for their
religion, and true believers in Southern Utah wouldn't have murdered an
entire wagon train of non-believers.But for the most part, religion
is a positive force, especially Christianity.
DSBSo the COSMOS series negates intelligent design possibility and even
runs down religious believers? I've recorded all of the series and have
yet to watch them. Maybe I'll just delete it since apparantly the
producers are trying to put in their own form of a religious dogma. Funny
isn't it, that we are supposed to limit the idea of God in the public
arena, but when it comes to secular humanism or Godlessness, that is OK to
promote all one wants. Anyway, thanks for the heads up on Cosmos and the PC
agenda they are trying to work in. I'm sure Carl Sagan would be proud.
P.S. It occurs to me that at least with a religious belief it can
have a wide variety of belief systems. With atheism or secular humanist
philosophy, there is only ONE. "Don't believe in a God." Not much
variety of life in that.
RE: two_cents_worth:1) Bad people have never had trouble finding
excuses for their bad behavior. Religion may have been an excuse in some cases,
but certainly not all.2) Treating others with kindness and respect
is not the same and condoning or celebrating their lifestyle. I love my gay
friends and treat them with kindness, but I do not support all of their choices.
It is possible to disagree respectfully, and most religious people do just
that. 3) Stalin killed millions indirectly in the name of atheism.
To deny that atheism is used to justify evil just as much as religion is
disengenuous at best....
@Karen R - it's arrogant to tell those who experienced anything, that they
didn't experience it. Maybe you arrived at atheism by logic, but I
question those who say they arrived there by a feeling akin to the spiritual
experience of a believer. What would be the source of the feeling?We both could use our experience with logic and facts to debate God's
existence. If you have never experienced a spiritual feeling, how could you
begin to debate that kind of knowledge with someone who has? Spiritual
knowledge is not something you can disprove, or that I can prove to you. Only
you can prove it to yourself. If you sincerely followed the steps to gain your
own spiritual experience, and experienced nothing, it would be rather arrogant
for me to make a judgment on your efforts, but it certainly does not disprove
the spiritual confirmation experienced by me and billions of other people.Whereas an agnostic can reasonably express skepticism about the
spiritual experiences of others, an atheist has boxed himself into a position of
certitude that necessarily concludes all believers are either liars or deluded
fools. The pinnacle of arrogance.
Silverman claims it's religion is a lie. That is his belief. I just
happen to believe differently. His antagonistic approach won't win him any
friends, except from the disgruntled Mormon crowd, who are always looking to
grind an axe.
@ DSBYou misunderstand. I am not disputing the experience itself.
I am saying that it proves only that a) a person had this experience; and b)
that they attributed it to a transcendent power.And perhaps I was
unclear about my experience when I let go of religion: It felt as
"spiritual" as any I'd experienced as a believer. In fact it felt
even more powerful. But I do not claim that this experience of mine should
prove anything to you. It cannot, nor can others' experiences serve as
proof for me.@ SCFan and DSB re: CosmosI watched Episode
3 first, mistakenly thinking it was Episode 1. I was dismayed at the constant
references to religion and thought much as you: It was neither a tribute to Carl
Sagan nor anything I cared to watch. Show us the science, please, and leave the
personal agendas for another venue. But some friends told me of my error and
assured me that the tone of the other episodes is different. FYI, I have found
this to be true.
Hey Joggle, I believe in reason, science, and the power of the human mind. The
difference that I have is, my belief in my religion complements reason, science
and the power of the human mind. Until it can be emperically proven that there
is no God, I'll still continue to believe in him. I believe that some day,
we will know enough to accept that there is a God, and science and reason will
point to that fact.
@SCfan - I continue watching COSMOS because it's a treasure trove of
mankind's breathtaking accumulation of scientific knowledge. The amount of
stuff we know is incredible, and how we come to know it testifies to me of a
divine intelligence within the human race.But, they do infuse the
show with an underlying assertion that it all happened by chance, that belief in
God is a gap-filler for uninformed feeble minds, and that religion only serves
to stifle scientific enlightenment. And, that's not just the 3rd episode.
That part is disappointing, because despite having some merit, that premise is
not universally accurate. All believers in God are not science deniers as
they'd have you believe. At times, the show asserts as settled fact that
which cannot be fully explained by proven science. Still, that which is
scientifically sound is staggering and impressive.@Karen R - it
seems we're on the same page. You seem to me to be more of an agnostic and
not rigidly atheist. A confirmed atheist could make no logical judgment of me
other than being a liar or a deluded person. I appreciate your respectful tone.
Mr. Silverman is quoted as saying the reason he has animosity towards religion
is “it’s a lie, a scam, it hurts people. (Religion) makes them act
in a bad way.” I would remind Mr. Silverman that most, if not all,
over-broad, absolute statements are often incorrect. A more reasonable and
perhaps more accurate rephrasing of his statement might be, “Religion can
sometimes be not totally correct, or not totally used correctly, or turned by
some into a scam, or used by some to hurt others or to induce others to act in a
bad way.” The truth of the matter is that all seemingly good things can
sometimes be somewhat incorrect, adulterated, misused or misapplied, turned into
a scam, used to hurt people, or used to motivate people to act in a bad way....
...The word “Religion” in the rephrasing of Mr. Silverman’s
statement above could be replaced with such words as Marketing, Advertising,
Dieting, Exercise, Medicine, Science, Progress, Technology, Charitable
Endeavors, Education, Politics, Patriotism, Government, World-views, or even
Atheism. These words describe what many would believe can be good things, but
nevertheless can be turned into bad. Their potential for misuse does not in and
of itself make them false. Mr. Silverman might assert there is no truth to the
revised version of his statement above, but I would assert there is much
inaccuracy in the way he stated it.
I've seen a few, "If only they would do some research" sorts of
replies from the religiously affiliated in this comment thread. It is possible
that us atheists have actually done more research than our peers in the areas of
religions and spirituality. Actually, it's not just possible, it is a fact:
Check out the Pew Forum's religious knowledge survey. I scored 29. Turns
out I don't know much about Judaism.
Can believers please stop perpetuating the lies?"Stalin killed
millions indirectly in the name of atheism. To deny that atheism is used to
justify evil just as much as religion is disingenuous at best".While there IS evidence of some Muslims yelling "Allahu Akbar(God is
greatest)" as they killed others, and there IS evidence of Christians
killing others "in the name of the Lord" (e.g., the Crusades), there is
NO evidence of anyone yelling "in the name of atheism, I kill you!"
There is NO evidence of any atheist killing other people and claiming that
"atheism told me to do it".The fact that a person who
professed no belief in god did something does NOT mean they did it "in the
name of atheism". It does not mean atheism was the motivating, compelling
force behind the action.Similarly, just because a Christian does
something bad does not mean Christianity was the motivating cause of the
action.But that is not what we are talking about.When we
cite examples of religion leading to bad acts, they are acts done explicitly and
deliberately "in the name of god and religion".
@mmccandless11 - There's a big difference between accumulating knowledge
about God, and knowing God.@The Scientist - despots and rulers kill
to gain territory and power. Some cloak it in the name of religion, others
cloak it in the name of the "greater good," but it's all the same
lust for power. None of them are following the tenets of any religion.
Therefore, anyone who claims they are doing it for God is a blasphemer and
heretic, not a true adherent, and all good religions reject them. Religion is not the basis or cause of their misguided power grabs, and
attempts to pin their atrocities on religion, while claiming that godlessness
has not been an equal or greater force of atrocity in this world, is
intellectually shallow at best.
@ MrPlateYour reply to The Scientist seems to say, "If it was
done in the name of religion and the result was good, it was religion. If it
was done in the name of religion and the result was bad, it was not
religion."It is indisputable that more than one religion exists
and that each is open to interpretation. There is disagreement of
interpretation even within those religions that claim to be "the one and
only."So it is false to claim that religion is a single thing.
This clearly is not the case. Religions are as diverse as humanity and the
human minds that create and interpret them. And because humans are capable of
both good and bad, it follows that religions can be used in the service of both
good and bad. Human history bears this out.The Scientist's
point is valid and I for one would feel a lot easier if more religious people
were willing to acknowledge this. Denial and side-stepping responsibility do
not induce confidence or trust.
@ Karen R - I was being kind to suggest atheists are equal or greater than the
religious in terms of historic atrocities. Actually, I would say that nearly
all atrocities have been committed by people who did not believe in God, but
I'll admit some exploited people's believe in God and religion to
control the masses and wield power. I don't think many of the world's
cruel despots ever really considered whether they were accomplishing God's
will, or whether their heinous acts were satisfying to God. Selfishness, greed,
and godlessness are the hallmarks of despots from the beginning of time.The Scientist's point is not a valid one, and I for one would feel
a lot easier if atheists were willing to acknowledge that godlessness and
unwillingness to adhere to the lofty principles of most religions leads to most
of society's ills. I agree - denial and side-stepping responsibility do
not induce confidence or trust. I challenge you to name one cruel
despot whose atrocities reflect the teaching of Jesus Christ.