Religion is a matter of faith, and faith is a personal thing. It will never be
proved nor disproved. People, please keep it in perspective, whether you
believe or don't believe. I guess it proves "missionary" work is
being done by every side.
@StandAloneAtheist advertising doesn't even begin to compare to the
continuous advertising religion does. Religion is constantly trying to convince
people that a God actually exists through advertising and prothylizing and has
been a dominant force in society much more than atheism has....yet it's alright
for religion to advertise, but not atheism? Really? Religion isn't being
rejected because atheists are working hard to convince people religion is
hogwash. Religion is being rejected because people examine the logical,
reasonable, probable, and physical reasons or evidence and come to the
conclusion that it isn't true. Rather than the cliche of the angry, nihilistic
atheist who works to destroy religion....they are life-affirming, courageous,
highly intelligent and inquisitive. The trend toward nonbelief will likely
continue and the sooner we recognize that religion is frequently and freely
rejected by all sorts of people for a variety of well_thought_out reasons, the
sooner our understanding of the human condition will improve. Religion can
destroy "God" belief on its own without the help of atheists or
atheist advertising. As knowledge progresses and rids society of supertitious
myths based on religious dogma so will the decline of religion proceed. Atheism
just helps the realization, but is_not_the_cause!
"Mr. Spring's comment is typical of those religionists who for some bazaar
reason, think they can (and should) guilt, shame, intimidate, and browbeat
others into belief and religious "joining"."If you
want to talk about intimidating and browbeating others into a belief system,
let's talk about the anti-Christmas, anti-God messages popping up everywhere,
courtesy of atheist activists. I really enjoy this one at the
Washington State Capitol building- "At this season of the Winter Solstice
may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that
hardens hearts and enslaves minds."Or how about this one on 200
Washington D.C metro buses- "Why believe in God? Just be good for goodness
sake"Not to mention the billboard that states- " Don't
believe in God? You're not alone"We are now calling Christmas
"Winter Solstice" and proclaiming there is no God.Religion
is being rejected because atheists are hard at work trying to convince people
they are alone in an uncaring universe. It's the epitome of deception.
@WindsorWhy are atheists angry? Is it because we are more persecuted by
"christians" than any christian group claiming to be persecuted is? Is
it because what we believe is considered a curse word by any good christian and
most "christians" have no problem expressing it to you how you are
going to hell for not beliving in their truths? Or is it because of the
irritating, ineffective guilt trips that we get for what we belive. Maybe it's
because we are constantly accused of attacking religion when religious people
when most atheists I know feel that you should do what makes you happy,
including religion if that works for you? Na probably not any of that stuff.
1. Joseph Smith wasn't killed because of his beliefs. He was killed because he
ordered the destruction of the printing office of a newspaper that was exposing
his practice of polygamy.2. The building referred to in the BoM
could just as easily been the mounds throughout Ohio and the surrounding region,
which were a great focus of speculation at the time and many postulated as
Hebraic in origin. The discovery of the Mayan ruins was coincidental and
beneficial for shifting the focus to a less researched area.3. The
witnesses are suspect because they a) were all friends and family of Joseph
Smith, b) signed a prepared statement, c) told uncorroborated narratives after
Theism is an un-natural ficticious invention by man. Atheism is just the lack of
theism. A better definition would be a free thinker. Man's invented theism has
grown into the biggest world commercial business of religion and church
influence, sales and profiteering. Man is indeed afraid of the dark.
The truth,They keep denying my responses.You are wrong.
Religion is at core a personal affair and politics is at core a public affair.
We need to get that concept. Especially here.
RE: The AtheistThomas Jefferson was neither an atheist nor a
deist. Deist believe in a God that does not interfere in men's
affairs,Jefferson and Founding Fathers did not believe that, they
certainly belived that God was helping them.Jefferson even did a
theological study on the pure doctrines of Christ, which some try to
characterize differently. --It is questionable
whether Payne really was an atheist. His writing contain the mention of
"providence", "providnece" in definition is strongly
connected to the devine.Merriam-Webster:1a divine
guidance or care 1b God conceived as the power sustaining and
guiding human destiny So I strongly doubt any of the founding
fathers were atheist or deist.They all seem to be men of faith who
belived in God actively involved himself in their affairs.
atl134 | 3:35You claim that there is insufficient evidence to
support the fact that what Joseph Smith claimed to have happened actually did
happen. You also claim that there is insufficient evidence to support the Book
of Mormon.Have you ever read Hugh B. Brown's 1939 defense of the
very points that Mike Richards made today? Hugh B. Brown was a former member of
the First Presidency of the LDS Church and a highly regarded lawyer.That aside, how do you account for the fact that eleven men testified that
they had either held the "golden plates" from which the Book of Mormon
was translated, or had been in the presence of an angel who told them that the
plates had been translated into the Book of Mormon? Even though several of
those "witnesses" left the church NOT ONE of them ever denied his
testimony of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.No evidence of
the Nephites? How would Joseph Smith, an uneducated farm boy living in rural
New York State, know anything about the vast UNDISCOVERED ruins, including huge
temples in Central and South America?The facts support Joseph Smith
and his testimony of God.
@J Thompson"Prove that Joseph Smith did not see God the Father and
Jesus Christ. "You can't prove negatives, you can only
establish that there is 'insufficient evidence to support the notion
that...'.If I told you that I saw God the Father last night and ask
you to prove that I didn't you'd have no way of doing that; but you could very
easily say there is insufficient evidence to support the notion that I did. So for example..."Prove that Alma did not see the premortal
Jesus Christ."I can't prove that, but in my opinion there is a
severe lack of evidence that a Nephite civilization even existed, let alone the
parts that this statement contains."That's pretty strong
evidence that they had experienced what they said that they had experienced.
"Joseph Smith shot a few people before he was killed by that
mob. He was going to die no matter what he said. And what if he recanted and
somehow lived through that then his followers would kill him for lying to them.
Re: John Charity Spring | 9:15 a.m. Dec. 18, 2011 The Cult of Self
ignores organized religion and preaches that the only goal in life should be
immediate gratification without regard to the consequences.As
opposed to the true believers mindset; It does not matter what we do on Mon
through Sat as long we are there on Sunday going through the motions. @ Mike Richards | 11:43 a.m. Dec. 19, 2011 - Joseph Smith, 1920,
New York, USADont you mean 1820?
The article states: "We need a Steve Jobs of religion. Someone (or ones)
who can invent not a new religion but, rather, a new way of being
religious." For many years I thought Joseph Smith have done
precisely that and he might have. Obviously millions of people believe that is
the case and that is why the LDS church continues to grow. However,
Muslims are also a fast growing group in The United States. Therefore, many
people are finding that Mohammad is a new way for them.Many Jews are
exploring Buddhism. Looking for a spirituality lacking in their tradition.I'm sure the fundamentalist will say this is a sign of the times before
the end.However, I find that people who move away from religion not
necessarily move away from God. Most I would venture say are choosing to leave
"certainty and security" to be able to find for themselves the truth
and communion with that creator and/ or the universe.These are bold
and brave spirits who refuse to act against the dictate of their reasoning and
conscience.One of my favorite aphorism is "The Glory of God is
Intelligence". I'm sure God is there.
@ RanchHand,Mike Richards made his case using historical evidence.
You used your opinion to refute him. I believe it is you who failed to prove
your point. Prove that Joseph Smith did not see God the Father and Jesus
Christ. Prove that Saul (Paul) did not see and hear the resurrected Jesus
Christ. Prove that Alma did not see the premortal Jesus Christ. Prove that
Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and other disciples did not see the resurrected
Christ. Prove that Peter, James and John did not see the transfiguration of
Christ.Unless you can PROVE that all those people lied, then their
accounts stand.By the way, Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob when
he refused to recant his testimony. Peter was crucified upside down when he
refused to recant. Paul was beheaded when he refused to recant. That's pretty
strong evidence that they had experienced what they said that they had
experienced. They knew that they would answer to God if they denied their
testimony. They chose to be put to death rather than to deny those
experiences.They were not undecided about God . . .
@Mike Richards;- Joseph Smith, 1920, New York, USA (hearsay)- Saul of Tarsus, about 34 A.D., on the road to Damacus (hearsay)- Alma, about 100 B.C., the Americas (fiction)- Those
Nephites gathered at the temple site, about 34 A.C., the Americas (more
fiction)- Peter, James and John, about 32 A.D., on the mount of
transfiguration (hearsay)- Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, and
many others, about 33 A.D. after the crucifixion, Jerusalem (hearsay)---You failed to prove your point.
@Mike RichardsMost of your examples are still from 2 thousand years ago.
The lone exception, Joseph Smith's, is an account I don't believe personally,
which also would eliminate Alma's and that of the Nephites because Joseph
Smith's vision can't possibly be false without the other two being false too.
I do believe in Christ though; I am a Christian after all. Just that
it may not take much for someone to go through that list and not recognize any
of those examples.
Dennis | 7:57 a.m. Dec. 18, 2011You wrote: "If somebody would
has seen the person "God" please let us know. He's been absent for
about a billion years now."How many examples do you want? Here
are just a few:- Joseph Smith, 1920, New York, USA- Saul
of Tarsus, about 34 A.D., on the road to Damacus- Alma, about 100
B.C., the Americas- Those Nephites gathered at the temple site,
about 34 A.C., the Americas- Peter, James and John, about 32 A.D.,
on the mount of transfiguration- Mary Magdalene and the other Mary,
and many others, about 33 A.D. after the crucifixion, Jerusalem ----One example would have been sufficient. Many examples show
that the "heavens are open" and that God has revealed himself to man
throughout earth's history. You just have to be willing to look for those
examples - with an eyes that are willing to see, ears that are willing to hear,
and a heart that is willing to accept.
Hank Pyn,Paine was definitely an atheist, and those we call Deists
today were advocates of a very broadly-defined (or undefined) "natural
religion" that was indistinguishable from what today we call atheism. For
what were then "politically correct" reasons in appealing to a
believing citizenry, these brave nonbelievers employed the language of vague
euphemism and obtuse allusion in many of their writings and the founding
documents, but, like Albert Einstein over a century later, as a group, these men
professed little if any belief in a personal god.But that still does
not alter my point, which is demonstrated by most of these comments:
religionists/believers continue to think they can and SHOULD try to belittle,
shame, guilt, and berate people into "believing", despite the fact
that professions so motivated are not genuine and are, in fact, precisely what
Jesus condemned (to be seen of men).
Windsor,Perhaps we come across as "angry" because we are
treated as a hiss and a byword by the religious preachers of so-called
"love" and "tolerance".Perhaps it does not sit
well with us when, despite our numbers being as much as three times larger than
Mormons or Jews, and our growth being five times faster than the fastest growing
religions in America, yet the religious hegemony so dominates the citizenry that
the last person Americans would vote for as USPresident is an atheist.Maybe we are a bit miffed because religions hypocritically preach love for all
mankind, and give lip service to all people being "equal" as children
of god, but we nonbelievers are shunned, ostracized, ignored, neglected,
overlooked, and persecuted, including horrible mischaracterizations in official
religious scriptures, such as Psalms 14:1 that unfairly calls us
"fools" and "corrupt" and guilty of "abominable
works" and that no atheists do good.Perhaps instead of further
attacking nonbelievers and calling us "angry", self-proclaimed
Christians should ask themselves why they tend to provoke us to wrath?
I thought it was maybe just my experiences. But here's a New York
times writer linking these two words: Angry Atheists.I have yet to
meet a self described atheist who is expressing that persuasion and point of
view--with anything other than anger.I posed this very question last
evening to the Atheist with whom I live, and who is near and dear to my heart.
Whats with the anger?? Why can I hear opinions, view
programs, hear reports, read articles--on a myriad of subjects with which I
seriously and strongly disagree and totally oppose, and can do so without this
vehement flash anger? Why do atheists (at least those I know) have
such anger about believers, or belief??Even my resident Atheist had
no answer. "I don't know. But I do get angry don't I?" Understatement
of all time.
@ The Atheist | 3:55 p.m. Dec. 18, 2011Agreed. If its not JCS's
exemplifying the use of guilt, fear, & shame then its Mike R's overwhelming
need to jump on his high horse and patronize those who do not comply w/ his
philosophical interpretation of whatever topic he feels he he's an expert on.Religion is a group of people following another persons version of
'truth'Jefferson & Paine were Deists.FWIW; I believe
in God... the rest is a bit fuzzy.
God knows we exist and most of us believe He does.
The Christmas Lights are popping up on homes and yards across America, reminding
us once again that God and his Christ Jesus is the light of the world, when
times get tough Americans strengthen each other by showing solidarity to our
national values. It was for the grace of God that we became a nation, and lest
we forget, Christmas is a time to remember what America is really all about in
If atheists were honest they would be agnostics. One cannot prove the absence of
God. Faith or lack of faith in God is strictly personal, as it should be. When
someone makes a statement about God they are expressing their own status, not
mine. Religionists are no more offensive than anti-religionists. Spectatus
proboscum! Mind your nose.
The truth,Sad the judgments and pronouncements "the left"
make?I have been a conservative republican my entire life.When did the religious fanatics hijack my GOP?Where are my fellow
atheists, Thomas Jefferson and Payne when we need them?
They won't be undecided on judgement day.
It is sad and hilarious the pronoucements and judgements the secular left makes
of the religious.And shows how little they understand religion and
Mr. Spring's comment is typical of those religionists who for some bazaar
reason, think they can (and should) guilt, shame, intimidate, and browbeat
others into belief and religious "joining".Hate to break
it to you, Mr. Springs, but that is precisely why religion is being rejected by
the fastest growing group: nonbelievers!
Too many people focus on what they think their church teaches and too little on
what Christ teaches. Often, the doctrine differs.If Christ were a
scout leader, he would say, "Follow me, boys". Therein lies the
problem. For too many people, the act of following means that they have to
choose between what they want to do and what Christ would have them do. They
make the easier choice. They choose to do what they want to do and hope that
Christ doesn't mind them playing games with religion.Christ told us
that straight is the gate and narrow the way, but many teach just the opposite.
They teach us that all who profess Christ have found the true path to
happiness.Oh, that it were that simple.We have religion
in our lives to change us from what we now are into better people; people who
act like Christ in all situations. If we resist that change, then we have
simply redefined the word "religion" to mean something far less
important than what Christ meant it to be.Thinking that something is
true or false is irrelevant. Accepting his doctrine and LIVING his commandments
@John Charity Springs"If they are honest, they must admit that they
claim organized religions are not true because they do not want to live by the
religious tenets of revealed truth."No, and I'll use
myself as an example. I left the LDS church due to a lack of belief in several
aspects of core doctrine so significant that it would be dishonest to keep my
name attached to a covenant I don't believe in (since I don't believe in the
Book of Mormon, nor that there are modern day prophets). I know your statement
applies to very very few "nones" and here's the reason why. Even if
the particular denomination they were part of has their religious tenets based
on revealed truth... if they don't believe that it is based on truth... then
they can't be leaving due to not wanting to live by the true tenets since that
would require them to have the opposite belief as to whether or not the church
tenets are true. In other words... if I thought the LDS tenets were true... I
wouldn't have left but I don't so you can't say I'm leaving due to not wanting
to practice truth.
When people's circle of friends/family now includes more religions than ever
before since the world is more interconnected, it makes one seriously consider
"okay is this one denomination really the only one that'll be saved?".
Eventually many like myself conclude that no denomination has sole authority on
truth and if they end up somewhere it just ends up being wherever they feel most
comfortable. I know I'm a Christian... but I don't believe in the trinity
doctrine, I believe in eternal marriage, I don't believe in the Book of Mormon,
I believe everyone will get to learn the whole truth before final judgment, I do
not believe there are prophets today... add up all my beliefs and you get
something that doesn't really fit into any denomination. So... I'll probably
just make things easy whenever I get married and just take her religion
(assuming she's part of a denomination... otherwise we might both be going
around trying random ones out).
This letter is fully representative of what is unfortunately the fastest growing
cult in modern society: the Cult of Self.Adherents to the Cult of
Self claim that there is no truth, religious or otherwise. Indeed, they claim
that it is up to every man to decide for himself what is true, and if he does
not want to believe it is true because it may hamper his life style, he is free
to ignore the truth. If they are honest, they must admit that they claim
organized religions are not true because they do not want to live by the
religious tenets of revealed truth.The Cult of Self ignores
organized religion and preaches that the only goal in life should be immediate
gratification without regard to the consequences. Because organized religions
generally frown upon selfishness, addiction, and unrestrained sexuality, members
of the Cult of Self claim that organized religion is untrue, or at least
unnecessary. It will be a sad day for these folks when they realize that truth
exists whether they recognize it or not. There are consequences for choices,
and these consequences cannot be escaped by pretending that they dont exist.
"(T)he sad state of our national conversation about God..."Oh how I wish this were true. The reality is that we are _not_ having such a
conversation. Having one, with clarity, evidence and honesty, would be
enormously valuable to us."We Nones may not believe in God, but
we hope to one day."That wasn't included in the study. That's
your personal hope, an unsupported generalization. "We need a
Steve Jobs of religion. Someone (or ones) who can invent not a new religion but,
rather, a new way of being religious."You're missing the point
- people worldwide are increasingly finding that the very act of "being
religious" makes it impossible to be honest with themselves and each other.
The Information Age has made it possible to honestly and thoroughly
investigate religion, and people are disturbed by what they learn.Religion's demand for control over peoples lives without objective supporting
evidence, and in the face of objective, real-world evidence disproving the
claims of religion, is fundamentally an act of dishonesty that a growing number
of people cannot abide.
We really need religions to update their attitudes towards science. I know
fundamentalist Christians who believe in "New Earth Creationism",
which basically invalidates biology, physics, geology, and most other branches
of science. Couple this with their alignment with conservative political
beliefs and it takes a lot denial to become a believer.
The characterization of the camps as "True Believers" and "Angry
Atheists" is a pretty broad generalization. What is it that makes atheists
"angry"? I doubt that is the character of atheists, at least it
doesn't describe those whom I know.The author also fails to go into
depth, though it is briefly covered, about how theists are always judging and
condemning others ("angry atheists" is rather a condemnation in
itself). That is one of the most unappealing things about religionists in the
end; their outright holier than thouness. They don't live the talk themselves.
Not to mention their constant in-your-face attitude about how THEIR religion is
the ONLY correct one and that of everyone else is evil.Organized
religion has become a money tree for those who lead. That applies to all
organized religions; they're far more focused on making money than taking care
If somebody would has seen the person "God" please let us know. He's
been absent for about a billion years now.
Conservative churches will be the death knell of religion if they are not
careful. The teachings of Christ are not conservative principles, and they are
definitely not intended to form the basis for political beliefs and practices.
Listen carefully, Baptists, Mormons and Evangelicals.