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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1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

The problem with some atheists is they have a tendency to demand evidence for God or they arrogantly declare there is absolutely no evidence of God. However, evidence or signs that God exists is really the last thing they really want. If there is a God, that will imply atheists will have to change their ways and repent of various things. The issue, then, actually boils down to the intent of the heart and how sincere they are to know the truth.

Even then, there is ample evidence all around testifying of the existence of God. It is under everyone's noses but some atheists refuse to see it or decide to disregard it!

goosehuntr
Tooele, UT

My goodness the history of this world is ripe with people fighting for liberty and the right to use their agency as independent human beings. Where does this innate thirst come from? Order, civility, morality, freedom, and happiness flow from law. Who made those laws? Who gave them the right to make those laws and where did they come from? Evolution? A law is not a law nor can it be unless there are two ingredients. The reward of Freedom and it's opposite, Bondage. The 10 commandments allow one to choose Freedom or bondage. If there is no God, there is no one to be accountable to... It is easier to say there is no God and feel no accountability to anyone or anything. People have done that, and do that over and over again and find themselves in physical, emotional, and spiritual bondage bringing with it the collateral damage to others. If we kept the Ten Commandments alone, Freedom would reign. But that takes selflessness which is the very heart and soul of revealed religion and the pathway to ultimate freedom. Ironically, the pathway to ultimate freedom is surrender of self to the blessing of others.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Failure to observe the many evidences for the existence of Deity is the problem Atheists own. Just because they choose to not observe doesn't mean numerous others have actually personally witnessed God. Their experiences are written in Scripture. If they reject these witnesses, what witnesses do they have of their beliefs? Absence of evidence for them is not evidence of absence for millions of others!

mattrick78
Cedar City, UT

@FT

Unless the core tenets of the gospel and salvation have changed, then the changes you may be referencing are not significant.

YoungPuppy
west Jordan, UT

@samhill

I believe in almost everything you said. "Constant skepticism is a hallmark of a true scientist."

That is the beauty of Science is that it builds on previous knowledge and can forever be changed as new knowledge is understood. What I am saying that will never change is the absolute truths of cosmological and Mathematical Constants. Things like algebra and geometry and other such things will always continue to be the same and can be verified independently. But if changes are found they can be discussed and changed as needed.

Faith by definition is not truth. Faith is the belief in something without having evidence to its proof. You don't have to "believe" in facts. Challenges to and differences in religious beliefs is what we historically call War. So the fact that religions can not be independently verified means that it is not fact. Do you think I can go to a random person on the streets of Iran or India and they would say that Christianity is an absolute "truth"? There are hundreds of religions believing in thousands of deities. Please show me some proof that one and only one of them are the "truth".

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

The current atheist negative "evangelism" seems mean spirited in its intent. I wish them happiness in their personal lives, but they have very little that's positive to offer. It's a bit sad, really.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Here is what is funny about these Atheists. They have their issue with religion, but are establishing themselves as a religion.

Just look at what Atheists are doing. There are Atheist groups that meet on Sundays for mutual help and support. During their meetings they share messages of inspiration and enlightenment. Now, they are having a convention to unite the Atheists in a common cause.

They complain about religion while becoming a religion themselves. The difference between Atheists and mainstream religions is that rather believing in a God or other higher power, they belive that there is anot a God or other higher power.

BU52
Provo, ut

So the atheists feel a need to gather as a community of like minded individuals to find comfort and understanding among their fellow (non)believers. They have a desire to proselyte their beliefs and bring people to their version of the truth. Gosh that sounds like a religion, do you think they will produce some kind of creed or statement at their convention?

njpray
Polson, MT

Many comments state that a person cannot know if God exists......I say that we can. Faith is not without knowledge. We can have faith and know that God exists. I have lived long enough and seen, felt, and experienced many things that tell me there is a God. While dialogue can be good with an atheist.....I doubt that it will change anyone's view.....but we can always hope for some understanding.

Heidi T.
Farmington, UT

I never would have believed I would see the day when Atheists become an organized religion.

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

It seems to me that the very reasons that atheist are seen as mean-spirited, intolerant and unkind— things that are seen as acting badly— are things that are seen as virtues in religion.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks says: "Any philosophy or organization that opposes belief in God, must belong “to the church of the devil” = good.

Atheist say that a belief in God is irrational = not nice.

Religious say atheists promote immorality and evil in the name of non-belief = awesome.

Atheists say that many of things religion teaches are harmful = bad + intolerant.

I get that atheists are one the least liked groups in the US if not the world but what really is happening here is that they are finally just speaking up for themselves. This not some attack on religion anymore than religion is an attack on non-believers. Religion is just used to saying what they want without push back. Times have changed and views have shifted. Religion I think would be smart to use this long overdue critique as an opportunity to change for the better.

brotherJonathan
SLC, UT

Our constitution guarantees equality under all laws, freedom of speech, freedom of religion/beliefs. I am LDS, a follower of Christ. To me that means never forcing one's beliefs on another, tolerance of others beliefs and to be willing to use logic and use of the facts to convince others, who are interested, that there is a God, and Jesus Christ's gospel of how to live one's life is perfect.
I have had conversations with atheists and the strongest physical evidence of God or advanced intelligence that created life is now available to mankind.
We can't prove what God is, but using science we can prove that life did not create itself.
Hardwired instinctual behavior mechanism - sub-conscious mind are two terms that have no meaning.
Other than unknown force. This unknown force is brilliant beyond our technology and can adapt to changes in current reality for every living life form. It is Independent, Intelligent, Operations, Management doing the impossible: brains to run independent life forms.
The bottom line: trillion of lightning strikes will never ever create and intelligence program capable of self-duplication and operating DNA based life.
Probability of that ever happening is Zero.

viejogeezer
CARLSBAD, CA

Atheists within my experience tend to share much the same moral values as religious people and religious people sometimes behave as badly as anyone else, occasionally in the name of religion. My question is this-- Are moral behaviors influenced by religion or by culture? Does religion determine the moral standards of the culture? If by religion there may be an absolute good or evil and some logical basis for moral behavior. If by culture I can see no absolute evil, only cultural acceptance. If by culture is there anything wrong with Putin's annexation of Crimea, or with slavery, apartheid, or genocide, all of which were acceptable within the culture where there were employed? If each person chooses his own morality is there any such thing as morality? Is there anything such as evil, or good?

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

My two cents, and that is about all its worth. Personally, I think Atheist are mis-understood a bit. Many people and even myself, I am not sure completely what an atheist believes or thinks. As I understand it, an Atheist is not a non-believer, rather their belief system/ideology, what ever you want to call it is just different from those of us who believe in a God. I think even and someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think even some if not all may still believe in a God or Supreme Being? So like I said, and even the President of the group is right, we do not know enough.

With that said, and I know this is a DesNews article. But, the Atheist Pres, I thought in his quotes was very disrespectful to those who were there to have a discussion. If you don't want to be stereotyped as a bad or hateful person, then don't be so argumentative in a discussion of faith and values with your comments or questions. Be a little more open to learning as much as you want to teach yourself.

Bruce A. Frank
San Jose, CA

I am disturbed that the LDS church, or any religious faith for that matter,thinks there is a need for or that there is common ground for "understanding" or compromise with the faith of Atheism. Know with all you heart that "negotiations" such as this is much like Israel trying to compromise with Radical Islam. It is just a bit difficult to engage in talks when the first demand of Atheism is that religion cease to exist!

The Mormon Church is on a fools errand. Such conferences encourage and actually strengthen Atheism by creating the impression that the LDS faith can somehow be in error correctable with input from a group whose deepest desire is for you to disappear from the face of the earth.

1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

viejogeezer:

The Book of Mormon answers most of the questions you pose, I believe. In particular, 2 Nephi 2:13:

"13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away."

2 Nephi 2 is a very powerful chapter in the Book of Mormon and answers many of life's great questions.

Doklove
Quincy, IL

"information available on the Internet will lead more people to abandon their faith, making religion a “nonissue” in the future".

Should we call atheism "Church of the Internet"- Because after all, if it is on the internet it MUST be true.

I respect others rights to believe, or not believe, as they wish. I believe everyone has the right to proselyte their beliefs and seek converts. It would be nice if they will do it civilly, but likely not everyone will. That is not because they are atheists, but because they are human.

Religion has been the stated reason for many evils done since the beginning of time. Had religion not existed the evils would still have occurred, they would have just had different stated reasons.

As humans we like to pick others apart and look for reasons why "they" are bad. When we find (or invent) these reasons then we seek to marginalize and in some cases eliminate others because of the perceived differences. This happens in religion, sports, politics, etc.

I think this is a reason that Jesus taught to not focus on motes, but try to root out beams.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

wow this ought to be productive. Maybe instead they should just have a soft ball ball game and sloppy joes followed by a group hug.

I_Know_Utah
Mesquite, NV

I know I am going to be hated by everyone for my comment... First, I was raised Mormon, and was Ezra Taft Bensons Neighbor in Midway Utah. He bought property from my adoptive father, and was a close family friend.

I have a LOT of Disdain for Most Mormons. Not based on religion, but instead by there Attitudes. That also attributed to many "Christians" who Chastise Mormons for the way they believe...

Now for the Clincher... I am an Atheist now, And I despise "Atheists" who claim it is a Religion, or organization... An Atheist has no religious belief, and can believe in creationism or whatever they decide... FYI for all, the U.S. constitution states FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!!! That is to believe or Not believe whatever you want. There is a Cross on a Hill in California put up by an owner of the Property (Mount Helix) That went to court because of a Group of (Atheists) Or so they say. I look at it as this, They have 1 hill with a Cross. And Non believers have Millions more with no Cross... So to the Group of Atheist who cause problems for others... BACK OFF!

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations, “2 Nephi 2 is a very powerful chapter in”…?

2Nephi1:23,the armor of righteousness=(2Cor 6:7) ;2:5,by the law no flesh is justified=(Gal 2:16) ;2:6,full of grace and truth=(John 1:14) ;2:8,the first that should rise=(Acts 26:23); 2:9,the firstfruits unto God=(Rev 14:4); 2:18, that old serpent who is the devil=(Rev 20:2); 2:18,whois the father of all lies=(John 8:44) ...2:4, because ye ask not=(James 4:2)

KJV/3 Nephi Sermon on the Mount. LDS Scholar Stan Larson finds 12 examples where JS copied the 1769 KJV errors. E,g..,

3Nephi 13:13&Mt 6:13, Both have the doxology, For thine is he Kingdom and power and the glory forever amen. The KJV is based on 9th to 12th century texts. Earlier and better manuscripts do not contain the doxology.

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