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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Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Never met an atheist without a huge complex of some sort. This article didn't help me to see them differently. Mr. Silverman's comments alone lead me to believe that he himself wouldn't believe God if he spoke to him.

liberty or ...?
Ogden, UT

The problem here is that people keep ascribing science and religion to 2 different fields one being fact and the other belief however when examined from the aspect of "truth" they actually co-relate more closely than anyone realizes. Their are people in the realm of science who ascribe blind faith to their theories and current level of knowledge and yet there are theologists who use scientific method to disect faith and fullfill their own ambitions. Just like one must use natural scientific methods to gain results in the fields of research the same methods apply to things pertaining to God. Like science must always be open to further discovery the same must be applied to God as well. For example I have conducted spirtitual experiments based on scientific theory through testing hypothesees, Example one God exists and that if any scriptural account is worth its salt or if there is a supreme architect at all he should be approchable or able to be communicated with I have tried this and found it to be true by fullfilling the qualifications and processes. I cannot count the times I have recieved direction, specific information, impressions and council that have always yielded results

Esquire
Springville, UT

I don't see the point of this meeting. It is held just to make the participants on both sides feel better about themselves, but nothing will be accomplished and no minds will be changed. I suppose if there can be civility on an ongoing basis, that's a good thing, but expanding civility to a wider audience is not likely to happen. In the end, I say whatever....

History Freak
Somewhere in Time, UT

I can't think of anything more unhealthy than atheism. Believing a total lie could never be healthy.

The fact is that most atheists are not atheists due to logic. Their position is actually based on emotional reasons--they were forced to go to church when they were a child, or they went to Catholic school and the nuns were mean, etc.,etc. The former head of American Atheists was one because her mother had spent "all her time" at church and she was angry about it. There is almost always an emotional reason.

Don't accept their protestations about it just being based in logic. It just isn't true no matter how much they make that claim.

1covey
Salt Lake City, UT

For those seeking truth, the process of faith is essential. Once, we recognize this, better discussion between groups can occur.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

From the article, it appears that there was little "discussion" of beliefs from Silverman and more attacks on the beliefs of others. Hard to have an open discussion of differences with a person who believes that your position will be eliminated from society.

Too bad that atheist groups like this are the "face" of atheism. I am sure there are those who are atheistic that love others and do much good for those around them. That should be what we see, not this.

Of course, the same can be said of my religion (LDS). Many do much good, but unfortunately there are those who do not show a good example of being LDS or Christian.

CougarColby
Fort Benning, GA

I've always had a hard time with "atheists" and this zero-sum thing they try and cram down your throat. "Either we evolved from single celled organisms, or there was a creation". There is no middle ground in their logic. If you believe in evolution, then God doesn't exist, if you believe in a creation, then God lives.

I think Mormonism, more than any other Christian sect, has the doctrine to support what science finds. IMO, God created the Laws of Nature. Because he created them, he must abide by them, or else cease to be God. We know through science how Earths are created and that it takes millions of years for that process. Why couldn't God set the plan in motion through the "big bang" for all of this to happen? Do species evolve, yes. Was that how we came about...I think science is still out on that one with a few missing links. But, if science proves we did evolve, then our understanding of God and his ways is only greatly enhanced. God created science, and I feel science proves God's existence. They are not mutually exclusive.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

My biggest problem with Atheism (a positive assertion of a negative, ie., that there is no God/s) is its complete irrationality. Especially when coupled with a simultaneous claim of complete rationality.

Agnosticism (an assertion that a knowledge of God is impossible) seems the only rational alternative to any form of Theism (a claim of knowledge of, or at least faith in the existence of God/s) which has at least a claim of some evidence, whether Scientific or not.

Ranch
Here, UT

History Freak says:

"I can't think of anything more unhealthy than atheism. Believing a total lie could never be healthy."

Oh, the irony.

I see a lot of "religious" people attacking the athiests in these comments and, all the while, your complaining about them attacking you. Oh ye hypocrites, you're so entertaining.

Candide
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Hawk

You can believe in unicorns, leprechauns, fairies or whatever you wish. I start caring when people try to legislate their unfounded beliefs into state secular law. If your unicorn says that he doesn't want gay people to marry or adults to be able to have a drink that's when we have a problem. I care because I want the world to be a better place for my children. I care because this is the only life I get; I am not waiting for better life after death. I care because I see the damage religious thinking has done to this planet.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

It's funny how worked up people are getting about this. Nobody's mind is going to be changed, none will be 'converted' one way or the other. Atheists have come here to tell the mormon world they're here, too, and have a right to be atheists. They'll spend some money in town and then leave, although there are always some among you, aren't there? It's a long weekend. Go to church, or a mattress sale, whichever you choose.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

Speaking of Science, to "YoungPuppy" who states, "It might take centuries or millennium but Science would come back exactly the same where religion would be completely different.", I suggest you take a look at the history of Science. The static model you seem to have is the complete opposite of fact.

Science's goal is the constant quest for truth, which necessarily means change. Among thousands of examples, two would be the current "knowledge" of plate tectonics, and an **accelerating** expansion of the universe, both revolutionary ideas that utterly overturned previous scientific "knowledge". In fact, **all** scientific "knowledge" rests on a rubble field of previous scientific "knowledge", and properly so. Constant skepticism is a hallmark of a true scientist.

Any scientist that claims absolute, complete and therefore unchangeable **knowledge** of.....anything, should hand in their science badge, cause they're done, when it comes to science. That's why I consider a true scientist to be, properly and necessarily, someone of faith.

dmcvey
Los Angeles, CA

atrulson, atheists "complain" because many religious people don't just choose their faith and the morality that goes along with it for themselves--they also try to enact laws that will force their morality onto others. For example--someone thinks gay marriage is immoral so they pass laws against it that prevent those who disagree with you from participating in the same rights as heterosexuals rather than just not marrying someone of the same sex themselves.

Also, great privileges are given to religion in this country. People are excused from having to follow the same laws as everyone else because they claim a religious privilege. Or, they think that their religious beliefs excuse them from the same society expected civility they expect of those who don't believe the same things they do.

antodav
TAMPA, FL

These people are precisely what they profess to oppose, in their entirety. And the more information becomes available, the more THEY will be discredited, not those who resist and challenge them.

Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT

Organized religion and atheism are both silly. God exists and we will ALL be surprised in the next life.

That said, I have found Deism & Taoism to be far more useful than christianity.

dmcvey
Los Angeles, CA

Cats, atheists aren't coming to SLC to "confront religion" they're going there to have a convention.

dmcvey
Los Angeles, CA

samhill, what is the evidence of theism? No one is doubting that people believe in these things. It's whether there is any proof of the truth of these things.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

When talking to a Christian, an atheist said, "you believe in Christ, but you don’t believe in Baal, Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Ah-Chun-Caan, Quetzalcoatl, Vishnu, or any of the other thousands of different gods people have believed in over the eons. As a Christian, there is a huge list of gods you don't believe in. The only difference between you and me is that the list of gods I don't believe in is one longer than yours."

In principle, both atheists and Mormons believe in science, in making the world a better place, in being good people, and in freedom of conscience. Further, both atheists and Mormons share disbelief in the existence of over 99.9% of the various gods that have been postulated. From that perspective, are atheists and Mormons really *that* different?

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Candide,

Every law or rule given us by God or nature has a physical and real consequence. It's when we ignore these consequences and attempt to codify behavior that is unhealthy to the citizenry at large that we people of faith act. Everyone legislates morality. It just depends on your point of view. And by the way, the damage done by the religious is far outweighed (not even close) by the irreligious. If Mao, Stalin, and a few others don't come to mind then you are not a very good student of history, or are being willingly obtuse.

Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT

to History Freak

"Believing a total lie could never be healthy."

What if you have faith in whatever your values/beliefs are?

"The fact is that most atheists are not atheists due to logic. Their position is actually based on emotional reasons"

Religion is based on subjectivity and feeling therefore the antithesis of logic.

"It just isn't true no matter how much they make that claim."

Agreed. The louder and longer you assert something doesn't make it true. i.e. the perpetual squawking about religion being under attrack

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