Comments about ‘Atheists, Mormon scholars talk religion’

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Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Sparks, NV

There are a few reasons why I can see there are Atheists in the world:

1-Strange things taught and promoted as truth (a 3-in-1 God without body, parts or passions?),
2-Terrible things people do in the name of religion (virgins for martyrs and honor killings?), and,
3-Those who don't want to believe in God and have to face the consequences of their actions.

When people are told to have faith in things that are not true or see the actions of those who claim to be "directed by God" it can lead to some not having any belief in God. We can hope that they will someday learn the truth and recognize where things went wrong.

But the last group is different and in reality they are as puppets doing whatever the adversary wants them to do. There is still hope for them but something drastic has to happen for them to want to repent.

In the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and there will be no atheists in the next life, but a lot of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I think this is so funny that the atheists are coming to Salt Lake to confront religion.

Do they actually think that the fact of having their convention here will cause people to suddenly stop believing in God?

They have absolutely nothing to offer anyone except despair and hopelessness. Christ offers love, hope and blessings for those who choose to follow. I have learned for myself that following Christ is the ONLY way to find truth and happiness.

Somewhere In, HI

Atheists are simply having a convention to mostly let other atheists know that they have support, in order to gain understanding, and to provide information. Religion has had a strong voice in the world for centuries while atheism's voice has often been silenced. 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. They want people to know that atheists are not the horrible people that are portrayed by many people who do not understand atheism. Atheists also wants others to realize atheists can still have high morals, live happy lives, have values, help others and other positive attributes and still be atheists. As an embattled minority that's frequently the target of prejudice, atheists benefit when they make their existence known to wider society. It shows the world that they're real people, and more to the point, that they're good citizens - friends, family, neighbors, coworkers - rather than a murky shadow onto which religious believers can project their worst untrue stereotypes.

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

I can only wish them the best, but the belligerence and lack of respect shown by atheists generally does not bode well for any reasonable relationship between atheists and any kind of religion.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

My Mom told me to look for the good in people. I think both are after the greater good. Desire, belief and expeditions makes the magic. Imagination, attitude and perseverance makes things happen.

cohoes, NY

"Atheists choose their morality, where religious people say they are moral because of their faith"

First: We can choose our faith.
Second: If faith instills morality, then what are they complaining about?

clearfield, UT

Why bother? Two athiest "experts". That really caught my eye. What, they are expert in not believing there is a God? How much expertise does one need for that? And, since they believe people will get their morals from the secular world, well, that just opens the door to "do your own thing man." Didn't we go through that back in the 60's?

Centerville, UT

He says Mormons are victims of brainwashing and then wonders why atheists are stereotyped as not being nice?

salt lake city, utah

"There are a few reasons why I can see there are Atheists in the world: "

Kelly you forgot one; they are right and there isn't a God.

Dave T in Ogden
Ogden, UT

Atheists and the religious people can come together to produce great things. It will take a village of Americans to create many new companies, thus new jobs.
There are those people who can write (attorneys, business plans developers), those good with the details (i.e. accountants, engineers, TEA party people), those who can finance new companies (Republicans) and those with lots of new ideas (Liberals, atheists), just to name a few. Though not all ideas will become winners.
If we can find what talents the atheists and the religious are strong in. We can create new teams of companies and greatly reduce our unemployment rate.
At the same time, I believe Newton's 3 Laws of physics dictate emotions. For example, if someone were to give you a nice smile or if someone lets you in traffic. It makes your day! Is it Newton's first Law of Emotions? "For every action there are like but opposite reaction." There is also the momentum affects. Emotions (both goodwill/hate) can be between individuals or groups of people.
Thus by us working together, this will create goodwill among us all according to Newton's laws. And we can all build a better tomorrow.

W Jordan, UT

Let's put aside the theology or the religious part of Christianity and look at it from a philosophical prospective.
What it teaches far supersedes anything any atheist can teach as moral.
Anyone who does not believe there's something greater, more loving than all of us has sense of grandeure, naecisistic, arrogant personality.
Yes there are people in religion who also have those character defficiencies but they're not what Christianity teaches and no one it's perfect even in religion.

Allen C Christensen
American Fork, UT

Mortality is a testing ground, albeit a temporary state. A key part of character development is learning to make good decisions based on principle. Faith-based people see those principles as rooted in revealed or scriptural truth. Atheists do not accept the concept of revealed truth. There are those who think that science is the only basis on which to make decisions. Science has provided a great deal of technological advancement for which all should be grateful, but science is not the sole source of truth. For example, one cannot prove that he or she is married by science. They can only prove they are married or have been married by witnesses. Scriptural truths have been confirmed by witnesses, both those who were a party to the actual revelation, or by those who observed the results in the lives of those who attempted to live those revealed principles. It is not always easy to smile and turn away from those who have a different opinion, but such is necessary to achieve a civil society.

west Jordan, UT

I think that religious people and Atheists talking together is a good thing.

I was raised Mormon, my dad was even a bishop for 7 years. I even have pioneer ancestry. But now I am an Atheist. I have just seen no evidence at all that a supreme being of any kind exists or ever has existed. I think that our understanding of science has filled in enough of the answers to life's greatest questions that religion claims to answer with no evidence other than a book. You take that book and stories away and you have no true evidence that I have seen.

I believe that science is the truth and that it is constant and can be re-discovered. If you take a group of people that have no previous knowledge of anything that has been previously know of Science or religion both come back. They would comeback to try and describe how the world works and answer questions. It might take centuries or millennium but Science would come back exactly the same where religion would be completely different.

This is just my personal opinion others have the right to their own.

Wilf 55

What atheists and Mormons have in common is a lack of absolute certainty. We both walk in faith from different assumptions. Atheists, it is true, choose the easiest path, in particular if they are agnostics ("we do not know"). But many atheists are secret believers ("I hope it could be true, I have a desire to believe"), and many Mormons are hidden atheists ("I don't think it's true, but I belong to it and it is satisfying").

Bottomline: let's respect each other and work together for a better world.

Falconer, NY

"Atheists choose their morality, where religious people say they are moral because of their faith"

This struck me as another stereotype. While atheists think "people say they are moral because of their faith" (and perhaps some faithful people will actually say that) I think the reality is their religion (ie faith) makes them more moral by teaching them what is and what is not moral.

Some religions teach that honor killings are moral and some less religious (those with no fear of God, ie atheists, etc) tyrants kill millions, who is to say what morality is? Who is to say what is good or who are good people?

I am glad to hear atheists can choose to kill people as easily as faithful people can kill in the name of religion.

Perhaps this is where we need to differentiate the true religion from false beliefs.

Chester, 00

If we dont believe in God, does that not mean we believe we came from nowhere, are here for no purpose and are going soon to everlasting oblivion?

orem, UT

One of my good griends is an atheist. She is a moral person and very kind. She has been happily married for a long time. She is devoted to her children, her husband and is service oriented. I am a devout Mormon. I believe fervently in God and that morality is based on His instructions to us. I have been happily married for a long time and am devoted to my family and community as well.

Our friendship over the many years we've know each other is not based on my ability to convert her or her ability to draw me to her way of thinking. We're just friends. She represents the truth that athiests can be good, moral people. Do I hope some day she can find God? Yes, absolutely, but even if she never does we will still share a friendship.

The atheists coming to SLC to help make it a "healthier place" do not represent my friend, and I'm sorry they are here.

salt lake city, UT

Religons continue to change and evolve. Mormonism has had numerous, significant changes since it's conception 150 years ago. Joseph Smith would be stunned at how his original scriptures have been adapted by numerous leaders over the years.
We live in a great time, where one can freely choose what works for them. The only ones who may know the absolute truth are the dead, and they're not talking. In the mean time we all need to be respectful of the absolute truths that uniquely live in all of us.

Salt Lake City, UT

Atheists--and articles and comments about them--are boring. Celebrating the absence of belief--yawn. Sorry.

Littleton, CO

I have had a number of friends over the years who are avowed atheists, but our belief systems do not preclude finding common ground and maintaining a friendship. I have, however, also been associated with atheists who tend to be very confrontational and bent on tearing down other's belief in God.

That having been said, I must admit that I do not understand why atheists some are so concerned about the perceived "exclusive" nature of the LDS church's view of salvation -- if they have no belief in god, in an afterlife, in eternal salvation or progression, then why would they CARE what LDS doctrine states? Likewise, I don't understand why they are so determined to steer people away from their faith. Christians evangelize out of concern for "unbelievers" jeopardizing the eternal consignment of their soul. Without such a belief or concern, again, why do atheists CARE what Christians teach and believe?

Thanks for your concern; now if you don't mind, please let me worship "how, what or where (I) may"....

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