Atheistic tolerance to religion in general.

87


Discussion by: aroundtown

We had a spirited discussion here at RDFRS recently regarding Jesus on another post.  The post was about a young girl in Texas and her opinions on a part of Jesus (via quip board) and his connection to her plight in a present day matter.  I found myself involved (more than usual) on the religious implications and the relevance of Jesus in general.  What did come out of it though was my wondering about the scope and width (percentages) of atheist tolerance to religion and the associated figures.  For me personally, I often find that I can be quite brash and negative because I came to my liberation from religion the hard way by having suffered under the boot of religion and eventually finding relief, but maybe for others who would call themselves atheist or non-believers, the consideration of religion might be rather benign and non-offensive.  I thought it would be intesting to see what others have to say on the subject and also give us a chance to discuss it without overly affecting another post.   

87 COMMENTS

  1. All we have to do is watch the daily news to see just how dangerous, negative, savage, and ignorant religion is. The time is now to shame adults in their beliefs on the make-believe. The belief in an invisible friend couldn’t be more embarrassing to humanity. It holds mankind back. There could be so many great minds with incredible answers to life’s most intriguing questions, but these minds are being held back because of religious brain-washing. This insanity has to be stopped.

    • *Sorry for writing “right off” instead of “write off”.Interesting slip of the fingers! You refer to “ignorant religion, and I am absolutely with you there, and suggest that it is this, and precisely this that is the problem and not religion itself, most of the adherents of which are as strongly opposed to all that is “dangerous, negative and ignorant”. Evidence the amazing case of Malala, the brave young Moslem, still totally committed to her faith but prepared to defy the crazies who nearly killed her for the sake of what? education, learning about the world, the real world which science has made clearer to us particularly the origins of life through the natural selection process of evolutionary biology. Most Moslems decry such ignorant fundamentalism as we do.

      In reply to #1 by Jigger:*

      All we have to do is watch the daily news to see just how dangerous, negative, savage, and ignorant religion is. The time is now to shame adults in their beliefs on the make-believe. The belief in an invisible friend couldn’t be more embarrassing to humanity. It holds mankind back. There could be so…

    • Religion is not “dangerous” or “savage”, religion is supposed to mean “belief in God” and therefore cannot be. People, however, can
      In reply to #1 by Jigger:

      All we have to do is watch the daily news to see just how dangerous, negative, savage, and ignorant religion is. The time is now to shame adults in their beliefs on the make-believe. The belief in an invisible friend couldn’t be more embarrassing to humanity. It holds mankind back. There could be so…

  2. I think I can help you, maybe. I have come from a strong believing position, as a Baptist Minister some decades ago, to an agnostic/atheistic one gradually and without bitterness, and have retained contact and friendship with liberal Christians, and indeed belong to a progressive Christian network called Free To Believe. I would commend a book by Brian Mountford titled Christian Atheist. Written by the chaplain at Oxford University for the last two decades, he is a friend I believe of Richard Dawkins and other sceptics and atheists some of whom attend some of the services he conducts for their aesthetic and uplifting value. There are many people who might not call themselves atheists but who sit lightly to dogma of any kind and have rejected the traditional interpretation of the church in place of a spirituality which is based on awe and wonder they would share with Richard Dawkins and other militant atheists, but have a transcendental and open minded attitude towards ‘something far more deeply interfused. Science in general and Dawkins in particular I view as a great ally of religion in that it sieves out and purges it of its dogmatic and fundamentalistic elements, leaving something precious and delightful. Quakers and Unitarians are good examples of organized groups which contain atheists and agnostics and yet are spiritual would describe themselves as religious

    • In reply to #2 by geoff newton:

      organized groups which contain atheists and agnostics and yet are spiritual…

      I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something, this is just a state of high emotions. That’s all. If we don’t consider the low LOW feeling of being utterly depressed as a spiritual state, then why would we consider the feeling of elation as a spiritual state? We are emotional beings. That’s all.

      • In reply to #3 by Jigger:

        I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something, this is just a state of high emotions…

        Certainly when we’re dealing with the usual monotheistic fundies that we come across “spirit” can be directly replaced by “emotion”.

        However if we interact with other cultures such as Shamanism “spirit” is used in an entirely different sense; when a tracker sees the paw print of a wolf he reads the “spirit” of the animal, ie; its behavioural characteristics, gender, weight, health, position in the social hierarchy, what it’s doing, what it has done, what it intends to do.

        That isn’t emotion and I would draw a definite distinction there.

      • In reply to #3 by Jigger:

        In reply to #2 by geoff newton:
        A native person on the radio explained that killing a white moose caused “bad luck”, so the hunter who had killed one, had to give them parts of the carcass so they could perform a four-day “spiritual” ceremony to break the curse. He explained that moose were magic because they formed the link from man to the creator. The hunter complied. What bothered me was the CBC treated this as literal truth. Everyone is being so sensitive to native sensibilities, they are pretending to believe twaddle.

      • I, too, see that there is uncertainty in how to define the word ‘spiritual’. Yes! you could see it as just an emotion and emotions gives us despair as well as wonder, but, if we take into account that element of doubt there is in all genuine scientific inquiry including the scientific pursuit of understanding the workings of the mind and of the brain, then according to a purely scientific approach the exalted feelings experienced by most people, including Richard Dawkins – in his case he does appear to almost define himself by his title Appetite for Wonder – could be interpreted as many do, including technical ‘atheists, in terms of transcendence with doubt, yes, about where that transcendence goes, but nonetheless a transcendence which logically does not rule out some unimaginable ‘super-natural’ entity we might loosely call ‘God’. What I do take issue with is your certainty. Lets give the obvious limitations of the human mind and the scientific process due consideration, and not right off the possibility at least, that beyond the further stretches of the universe and beyond and beneath the deeper fathoms of the irreducible particle, there is something far more deeply infused.

        In reply to #3 by Jigger:*

        In reply to #2 by geoff newton:

        organized groups which contain atheists and agnostics and yet are spiritual…

        I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something,…

        • In reply to #29 by geoff newton:

          that beyond the further stretches of the universe and beyond and beneath the deeper fathoms of the irreducible particle, there is something far more deeply infused…

          Sure, I have no problem with that except to say, “What’s the point?” No matter what we find at the deepest levels of the quantum world, or the god-like string that might be weaved into the fabric of our universe, we still have to get up and go to work in the morning. We still have to live out, and experience, this life by using the emotions that evolved naturally. It’s one thing to search for answers that broaden our minds, and it’s quite another to believe in unproven answers that control and oppress almost an entire species.

          It’s okay to experience a spirituality that comes from sitting on the back porch on a quiet sunny morning, watching the birds and the flowers and suddenly awakening to the realization that, “I am One with this world, with this universe, and I am connected to everything,” and then rip a loud fart and head on out to Denny’s for breakfast.

          What I find that is not okay is to turn that spiritual feeling into something that infects someone’s whole life, and the lives of those around them. “I am One with this world, with this universe, and I am connected to everything. So, I will pray fervently to a creator for an hour, after which I will join a protest against gays, and then I’ll honor kill that disobedient daughter of mine.”

      • In reply to #3 by Jigger:

        In reply to #2 by geoff newton:

        organized groups which contain atheists and agnostics and yet are spiritual…

        I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something,…

        I’m with Jigger on this one. Every time I hear the word “spiritual” I reach for my gun. It’s a weasel word, if ever there was one.

      • In reply to #3 by Jigger:

        In reply to #2 by geoff newton:

        organized groups which contain atheists and agnostics and yet are spiritual…

        I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something,…

        How do you know? Is this the final word on this subject, or your personal opinion?

        • In reply to #48 by Truth:
          I am even critical of the word ‘spiritual’. Look, we are human animals. We do what human animals do – nothing more, nothing less. When we feel a strong connection to someone or something,… How do you know? Is this the final word on this subject, or your personal opinion?

          Yes, it is the final word. All you have to do is look at humans in the same way you would open a book and read about bears, and eagles, and spiders. Each species does exactly what each species is capable of doing, nothing more, nothing less. Eagles can fly, but bears can’t. Does this make the eagle better than the bear? No. Spiders can make intricate webs, eagles can’t. Does this make the spider better than the eagle? No. Humans can think complicated thoughts. Does this make humans better than bears, eagles, or spiders? No. We are all evolved from the same DNA in different patterns. We all have muscle, eyes, a need to eat…

          So, why would the human animal have some spiritual connection to some higher consciousness simply because it has one trait that the other species don’t have, especially when the other species have traits that we don’t have. Why does the ability to think deep thoughts make us better than all the rest? It doesn’t. We are animals born of this earth just like every other animal. That’s it.

    • In reply to #2 by geoff newton:

      I think I can help you, maybe. I have come from a strong believing position, as a Baptist Minister some decades ago, to an agnostic/atheistic one gradually and without bitterness, and have retained contact and friendship with liberal Christians, and indeed belong to a progressive Christian network c…

      Again I have to say I don’t see the point. For example these justifications of the existence of god are just more of the same. ” I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I stand on a mountain top.” Newsflash – we all do. It’s not god. It is just a result of the way the brain works. Transcendental or numinous feelings are a well known side effect of certain situations or mental practices like meditation. Sam Harris talks about this here. Another poster here pointed out that even the Pope, who you might think would be a keen prayer, seems to actually meditate.

      Of course people should be free to do what they like if it harms no-one else. Meditation, trainspotting, birdwatching, druidism, Religion free Christianity.

      Michael

  3. I dislike Jesus for four main reasons:

    1. he is the excuse people use for beating up and killing gays like myself. I have had about 3000 death threats from these loons.
    2. he is the excuse people use to meddle in my end of life decisions.
    3. he is the excuse people use to breed without limit and to force others too.
    4. All manner of grandiose and false claims are made about him and his dad.

    I don’t think Christians are away of how obnoxious they are at pushing their superstitions on others. They are so used to seeing themselves as god’s chosen people, that they don’t notice when they interfere with others’ lives. Why should anyone tolerate such bad behaviour?

    • In reply to #4 by Roedy:

      I dislike Jesus for four main reasons:

      he is the excuse people use for beating up and killing gays like myself. I have had about 3000 death threats from these loons.
      he is the excuse people use to meddle in my end of life decisions.
      he is the excuse people use to breed without limit and to force o…

      hi roedy your dislike for jesus is absolutely justified but seriously request you that not hate anyone even those loonies why to waste time thinking of this people .this is hypocrisy in the part of so called believers of god as he taught them to be compassionate to the beings around them.

      • In reply to #38 by akrikan:

        In reply to #4 by Roedy:

        I dislike Jesus for four main reasons:

        seriously request you that not hate anyone …

        As one of the users who was sufficiently impressed by Roedy’s #4 to ‘like’ it, I can’t imagine why you are so worried he would hate anyone. I usually read Roedy’s notes and I can’t recall hatred ever being expressed. What prompted your heart-felt plea?

        With respect to the OP I agree with Roedy’s sentiments.

        I think hatred is the single feature I most dislike about religious people. Fear and hatred characterize Abrahamic mindsets. Christians and Muslims are indistinguishable. Moderate people of the book(s) imagine that their counterparts are considerably worse than they are. And curiously enough, atheists raised amongst theists frequently believe that their family’s holy book is better than that of others.

        …hypocrisy in the part of so called believers of god as he taught them to be compassionate to the beings around them.

        I appreciate arikan, you possibly didn’t mean to be offensive with that ridiculous statement. Your god supports child abuse to this day. Your god is the prototype for Xian bigotry, hatred and killing his mythical son’s followers perpetrate today. You deny that by claiming that they’re not authentic believers, while fretting over Roedy’s emotional stability. Being offended by your behaviour doesn’t imply hatred.
        It’s barely dislike.

        • In reply to #40 by Len Walsh:

          In reply to #38 by akrikan:

          In reply to #4 by Roedy:

          I dislike Jesus for four main reasons:

          seriously request you that not hate anyone …

          As one of the users who was sufficiently impressed by Roedy’s #4, I can’t imagine why you are so worried Roedy would hate anyone. I usually read Roedy’s note…

          i too read roedy’s comments i said it because hatred is strong word to use . god is not mine religious books were not written by god.as a believer i just meant to say that people who think that they believe in god have changed the perception of his true nature and they themselves never got the hold of it. in my opinion these believers are also atheists but dishonest and hypocrites ,i do know who an atheist is but for me an atheist is the person who never truly understood the necessity as well as the need to other than that of his existence, i was not worried about him i am just saying what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

          • In reply to #42 by akrikan:

            In reply to #40 by Len Walsh:
            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Why you are so worried Roedy would hate anyone?
            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred, as I just said. If Roedy hated anyone that would be uncharacteristic. Same for me. If I ever expressed or felt hatred towards anyone I would describe my feelings as “religious” and apologise immediately. If atheists hated like religious people do, they’d be indistinguishable from religious folk.

            …in my opinion these believers are also atheists…

            Yes, you pretend that they’re not true Christians, but you’re badly mistaken. They’re just as authentic as you are.

            an atheist is the person who never truly understood …

            No, that’s incorrect. Atheists usually understand the gods fairly well. Most atheists know your god a lot better than you do.

          • In reply to #43 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #42 by akrikan:

            In reply to #40 by Len Walsh:
            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Why you are so worried Roedy would hate anyone?
            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred, as I just said. If Roedy hated.

            How am I authentic ,answer if it’s not bothering you.

          • In reply to #45 by akrikan:

            In reply to #43 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #40 by Len Walsh:
            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred,…

            How am I authentic ,answer if it’s not bothering you.

            No bother at all. Here to help.

            Authentic theists channel their god with true fidelity. Like you they know what it wants of them, and how they should behave. When others who claim to be affiliated to the same god behave badly, a true believer can channel a god to be able to recognize bad or evil behaviour. You claim to know what your god wants, magically.

            Mel Gibson is a true Xian who knows who to hate properly.

            Timothy McVeigh was an authentic Christian too. He could channel the Catholic version of your god perfectly. He knew who god hated.

            Can you nominate an atheist who hates anyone? Not an atheist you imagine hates anyone, but one who has declared hatred for another?

          • In reply to #46 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #45 by akrikan:

            In reply to #43 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #40 by Len Walsh:
            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred,…

            How am I authentic ,answer if it’s not both…

            god doesn’t hate anyone.and i believe god wants nothing except loving him. i dont know either of what he wants except the love of his beloveds. hatred is a human emotion and not of religious people. hate is extreme dislike which any human being including atheists could go through.i said in the first place to reody or any human being for that matter not to hate god as we believe because believers of god have put a wrong perception,its not worry or fear that god could or can or will punish him ,and i dont believe in an external judge to punish me or any other human being and i believe we are ourselves are responsible for our actions. see atheists take name of scientists and other great reasonable person because they believed what you believe but no one has the right to criticize any other religion on this basis. its an extreme emotion and not logical. belief is a personal choice and i think no one has forced you to take up atheism you took up because no one was able to answer your questions reasonably. i believe even god himself if had come down to explain that he is god even that wouldn’t be sufficient even for me because if i will see him i will see him in a human form and i would take him to be another person who’s trying to convince and if he comes in any other form i will say he is an alien .i dont say my fellow believers to be good or bad, i think even atheists now what is written in the bible or any other religious scripture is not completely false or absurd there are things that are quite good for the society, now there can be question why dont people do only what is good in the books as you said you know more about god than me it would be true or absolutely true so you will agree that people what they want to believe that is to say they misinterpreted is original purpose and the same is what i am saying.i believe in reason as much as you do but right now god is liability i have because i wish to love him for his mere existence, there would be no difference in reality if god exists or doesn’t except of this feeling i have. and i also stand the need of atheism because it will help to decrease the sufferings that people are doing in the name of god and religion.

          • In reply to #49 by akrikan:

            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred,…

            i wish to love him for his mere existence…

            You avoided my questions which challenged you to name an atheist who hates religious people.

            As you can see the main difference between religious people and atheists is the absence of fear and hatred amongst atheists. You couldn’t even think of one atheist who hates. The best you’ve offered is your suspicion that Roedy may hate in the future.

            i believe god wants nothing except loving him.

            That’s because you don’t understand gods. Your gods are evil and jealous. They pretend to love you just so you will hate the same people that It does.

            no one has forced you to take up atheism you took up because no one was able to answer your questions reasonably.

            I was born an atheist just as you were. You adopted theism out of fear. I’m made of sterner stuff.

          • In reply to #50 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #49 by akrikan:

            what would the difference between him and so called religious if they have same thing common called hatred

            Religious people are distinguished by fear and hatred,…

            i wish to love him for his mere existence…

            You avoided my questions which challenged you to name an a…

            answering your question , i would never ever hate an atheist because he doesn’t believe neither would i pity because he is not able to understand , because from logical point of view atheists are much more honest and reasonable than religious people, they would speak only after reading the scriptures and all the religious stuff. i am a believer because it tells one truth that nothing is permanent in this world and to consider the whole universe even without god this statement could be got even from scientific point of view . yes and i agree there is no atheist who hates they are only asking for evidence which as a believer i say will never be achieved could be ever given. from this i will also say that god is a blind belief , but i ask why not take a leap of faith in believing when as single person its never going to do any harm its much more like believing a beautiful problem of abstract mathematics except with no hope of proof. as well as you dont believe so it would be right to say i can make definition which all the religions of world hold to the core that god is eternal and one more thing what will god achieve by hating and being jealous of an atheist at last the life of a believer and an atheist would end in the same way death leaving everything behind.i am not here to convince that god exists or to believe in him that would be futile and unreasonable argument but just to state you being logical ,morality is one thing that should be kept in mind if that is lost even existence of god is meaningless and pointless

          • In reply to #50 by Len Walsh:

            In reply to #49 by akrikan:
            You avoided my questions which challenged you to name an atheist who hates religious people.

            Agree. I HATE religions. I HATE illegal drugs. But I don’t hate the people that are addicted to either of this crap. I want them cured, not harmed.

          • In reply to #49 by akrikan:

            god doesn’t hate anyone….

            Unfortunately for you, the not-so-good-book does isn’t all supportive of that assertion.

            …and i believe god wants nothing except loving him.

            The not-so-good-book certainly supports that assertion. A lot of smote being dished out for those that don’t love him. A kind of love under duress. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent, creator God want such a thing? And if that is the case as you say, why not just create his creation with an inherent love for him? It’s always a him btw. God wants your love and he doesn’t hate you, but if he doesn’t get his way, he’s sending you to Hell. Not very omnipotent in my opinion, but there ya go.

          • In reply to #54 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #49 by akrikan:

            god doesn’t hate anyone….

            Unfortunately for you, the not-so-good-book does isn’t all supportive of that assertion.

            …and i believe god wants nothing except loving him.

            The not-so-good-book certainly supports that assertion. A lot of smote being dished out for those…

            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title

          • In reply to #55 by akrikan:

            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,

            Oh dear…a polytheist, that’s even worse.

            i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title

            I’ll check it out.

          • In reply to #58 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #55 by akrikan:

            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,

            Oh dear…a polytheist, that’s even worse.

            i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title

            I’ll check it out.

            sir god is only one under different religious names , religions are different threads of the same rug.and i dont practice all religions customs rituals etc so as to call me a polytheist i believe the god thats it ,

          • In reply to #61 by akrikan:

            In reply to #58 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #55 by akrikan:

            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,

            Oh dear…a polytheist, that’s even worse.

            i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title

            I’ll check it…

            in Hinduism there are 33 million gods question could be asked was one god not enough people in india will even believe if you say that you are god and speak of something extremely good for their ears and these could be also the reason for these 33 million gods but the major part of this religion is vedas which states as god to be only one and other being his forms. because of these there was benifit during earlier period as people use to think twice before killing an animal or cutting a tree etc this also gave rise to fear of being punished which made the people of this religion sound absurd

          • In reply to #62 by akrikan:

            in Hinduism there are 33 million gods question could be asked was one god not enough people in india will even believe if you say that you are god and speak of something extremely good for their ears and these could be also the reason for these 33 million gods but the major part of this religion is vedas which states as god to be only one and other being his forms. because of these there was benifit during earlier period as people use to think twice before killing an animal or cutting a tree etc this also gave rise to fear of being punished which made the people of this religion sound absurd

            Sound absurd? Surely not. Of course it doesn’t sound at all absurd today in these modern times does it?

            With 33 million gods watching ones every action, I’d be afraid to go for a pish. Is there really any need for it? Christianity is bonkers enough and those ones have just the one god. Granted, they’ve got three for the price of one , in one, but still 33 million. I wonder what their names all are?

            It’s all about the Veda’s then is it? No nonsense Vedas is it? No ignorant Bibles or Qu’rans for you, it’s the knowledgeable Veda’s all the way.

            “And yet Vedic apologists perform such feats of intellectual masturbation to paint scientific legitimacy on Vedic scriptures, that it would be hard not to laugh at if it were not for the sad fact that many people actually believe such nonsense. The main reason for such gullibility is ignorance about science. These people have no qualms in beatifically pontificating about how the true goal in life is the attaining of knowledge while at the same time willfully choosing not to make any effort to learn about science which is the best tool we have to know about the Universe.”

            Pardon me for the ridicule, but there are those that would accuse me of favoritism if I let it go. I’m an all religion ridicule advocate.

            It is not my intention to belittle the achievements of ancient Indians. They did some really great stuff. But my intent is to show how stupid it is to show some outdated science in ancient texts and use it to make broad sweeping claims like Vedic scriptures knew everything about everything or about how scientific they are.”

            Do You Know? gives some of the claims. Muslims do the same thing.

            BTW, I like a nice Veda myself, when I can get my hands on one.

          • In reply to #64 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #62 by akrikan:

            in Hinduism there are 33 million gods question could be asked was one god not enough people in india will even believe if you say that you are god and speak of something extremely good for their ears and these could be also the reason for these 33 million gods but the ma…

            sir i doubt that in vedas especially the upanishads( vedanta- end of vedas) talked about science or how people should live but talked about the truth of god , there are extremely few people who would have read this in such a huge country.And its only a matter belief over this scripture because they don’t speak of anything beneficial to humans from materialistic point of view.its fine to ridicule religion and god its not going make any difference to who truly believe and neither would they oppose to your intentions and also will instead support whats truth physical as well as of they dont know,the people who get angered frustrated are those who know only the partial and even if they claim they know and get angered they have failed to do so.they are ignorant in their own senses and i don’t you can reason with such a person

          • In reply to #72 by akrikan:

            sir i doubt that in vedas especially the upanishads( vedanta- end of vedas) talked about science or how people should live but talked about the truth of god ,

            It’s all about interpretation and the scriptures as a whole. Cherry picking the true word of god to suit your own beliefs is very, very, common. What exactly does the truth of god mean?

            …there are extremely few people who would have read this in such a huge country.

            Yep, that is ‘par for the course’ in most religions. Follow the what the clerics say is the norm. Scriptures are too difficult for the average Joe to read, comprehend, understand and follow.

            And its only a matter belief over this scripture because they don’t speak of anything beneficial to humans from materialistic point of view.

            In your opinion. But your opinion is not THEE opinion. Like all religious scriptures there are many interpretations and messages from the same passages gleaned. That’s why, whatever else those scriptures are, they are not divinely inspired. Given they are the work of men from antiquity, why would any sane human being live their lives according to said nonsense?

            …its fine to ridicule religion and god its not going make any difference to who truly believe…

            Well we know that that is erroneous. Many one time true believers have abandoned their religions for a number of reasons…I don’t doubt ridicule and mockery are among those reasons.

            …and neither would they oppose to your intentions and also will instead support whats truth physical as well as of they dont know,

            Again, the evidence is not there to support your assertion. Believers are tantamount in opposing my intentions as they are in asserting they know what they can’t possibly know..

            …the people who get angered frustrated are those who know only the partial and even if they claim they know and get angered they have failed to do so.they are ignorant in their own senses and i don’t you can reason with such a person

            I must agree with you on that point. The problem is, you are talking about the majority.

            I like you akrikan, your heart is in the right place and I believe you believe in the stuff you believe in. I also believe you believe you are a “true Scotsman” of religion. No real preaching in your posts, just an attempt to clarify your position. I look forward to a more in depth critique of any future comments.

            Regards

          • In reply to #76 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #72 by akrikan:

            sir i doubt that in vedas especially the upanishads( vedanta- end of vedas) talked about science or how people should live but talked about the truth of god ,

            It’s all about interpretation and the scriptures as a whole. Cherry picking the true word of god to suit your o…

            truth of god i meant to say the reason god was introduced

          • In reply to #77 by akrikan:

            truth of god i meant to say the reason god was introduced

            Now we are talking. Why was god “introduced” in the first place then?

            I can offer a thought for you to ponder?

            The concept of god was “introduced” as an explanation for all those things that were at the time, unexplainable. Hence the reason we are now faced with the god of the gaps theological reasoning.

            Gods in antiquity used to be big Major League hitters. These days gods find it hard to get swing for a Minor. God’s are all just wishy washy comfort blanket stuff. No gods required for promotion anymore.

          • In reply to #78 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #77 by akrikan:

            truth of god i meant to say the reason god was introduced

            Now we are talking. Why was god “introduced” in the first place then?

            I can offer a thought for you to ponder?

            The concept of god was “introduced” as an explanation for all those things that were at the time, u…

            you are right but for the people who believe without ever questioning or having doubt having a blind faith.i also have a blind faith in the matter of existence of god but not as that of so called believers.Vedanta is the scripture that i refer to,in this even literally as i said earlier never affected or tried to affect about the way of life. if you read my post on deity or dogma ,or the posts earlier i mentioned a story about a person being born in an isolated place with no living things he questions his identity no one is there to make him realize that he exists he keeps on questioning his conscious living .same is the case with god but here he asks the same question to himself but he doesnt know about the question because he doesnt think he exists a paradox, out of these question the creation came into being now this thing doesnt defy science because here it as science states it started automatically something had triggered for the big bang to happen not god necessarily as well as intentionally in this form god is in the state of infinite unconsciousness , search BRAHMAN on Wikipedia you will see a drop of water falling into a continuous water body it symbolizes a soul merged into the the unlimited consciousness ,this is the purpose of a human being in his life and this theory gave the answer and god was the reason, if i never introduced god question of purposelessness would create a total chaos ,when a human body dies his physical nature gets destroyed but the soul enters into a new body( the reason for ghost to exist is as the soul gets trapped into the physical world) , the world we live in is of duality , there is called law of causality karma , a person is responsible for his own actions and this actions have an imprint on the soul the soul in order clear this imprints it has to do the exact opposite of the actions he committed -reason for duality to be mentioned earlier .if the soul comes clean completely then its as pure as when it comes into existence ready for it be dissolved or merge into this infinite consciousness because now here no soul is assumed to be pure in two or three reincarnations because there are imprints from evolution now i will explain with the help of darwin’s theory but lets start with a rock , rock is a nonliving thing its unconscious of its being as well as its existence now lets come to plants they are conscious but not of its existence if it was then it would have tried to survive not talking about adaptation but hunting etc like animals , living beings are the first thing we are introducing consciousness to .as darwin said it started with the smallest thing keeping it simple it transformed into a human being , human being is the apex of all tables present on earth( i think). animals are conscious but they cannot carry out any actions independently i mean to say they follow their instincts,but due to their actions that is their instincts the soul has an imprint , as he evolves the soul it has human body ,thinking comes and the whole process of liberation .in this the way the souls have to go millions of reincarnations considering mathematical probability it has to come to an end at some point and it realizes the infinite consciousness , the real reason why god was introduced as he later realized his existence and he himself being the infinite unconsciousness. he thought of bringing the soul merge into his consciousness as they were his part , the shortest way possible was to love him so much that a person forgets about himself the ‘I’ the ego can compare it to sigmund freud’s ‘I’ helping him realize the infinite consciousness. all the actions that happen are because of the identity the ego of that person. seven sins Christianity and of all religions were there because they were hindrance to the progress. this path of the soul to achieve moksha (permanent liberation from this material world )this path is called spiritual path even this is misunderstood. the original unconsciousness was becoming this consciousness. both are infinite in there nature and would keep on going forever except for the soul till it realizes .if god had not been there the soul would have no shortcut morality could have been lost for different eras. all of what i said could be a fictional story to be precise it is a fictional story but i took the leap of faith of believing in it.billions of years later this world wouldnt exist as sun will turn into a white dwarf , probability is there new planet would be formed same thing will repeat it self same questions same beliefs with only hope. i tried to explain as short as possible but there are things written in this scriptures that yet not have been read or correctly interpreted, i could be falling short , out of all this we can learn that prophets(the people who have realized this consciousness as i said earlier that if god had come to convince even i would not believe thats why he is said to be beyond understanding) this all would give only intellectual satisfaction and nothing else understanding this and believing without doubt are entirely two different things.i don’t say you to believe this stuff you are right much more than those so called believers of god and would be more than me ,to be honest understanding all these makes no sense belief is at last differentiating me from so called believers.

          • In reply to #55 by akrikan:
            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title…


            Why is there such a desperate need for people to belong to an exclusive club? Doesn’t matter whether it’s god-based or flower-based, all organizations and group ideals only serve to divide us. It’s Americans against North Koreans, Catholics against Muslims, Muslims against Jews, straight people against gays…

            If we get back to the one very special club that we all belong to, that club being the Human race, then we would come to understand that if we want to be protected from wrong-doers, then we need to stand up for all of our fellow human beings. In reverse, we all need to understand that if I steal from you, then I am setting the rules that make it okay for others to steal from me. This stuff isn’t hard to comprehend. We belong to one club, and it falls apart only when we endear ourselves to other beliefs that tear us apart.

          • In reply to #69 by Jigger:

            In reply to #55 by akrikan:
            i am a hindu our scrpitures especially the upanishads speak of something else ,i wish you to read the post by me on religion without deity or dogma under religion fourth title…

            Why is there such a desperate need for people to belong to an exclusive club? Doesn’t matt…

            there is no need of following exclusive club and i also believe that only single club called human race, i later stated that i dont follow their customs etc

          • In reply to #54 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #49 by akrikan:

            god doesn’t hate anyone….

            Unfortunately for you, the not-so-good-book does isn’t all supportive of that assertion.

            …and i believe god wants nothing except loving him.

            The not-so-good-book certainly supports that assertion. A lot of smote being dished out for those…

            i believe god also has to be reasonable in his own sense hell and heaven both are experienced because if i get punished for doing something wrong then i should also be rewarded doing right

          • @ akrikan

            As far as the Hindu religion is concerned in general, it is to be commended for a lot of it’s peace advocating tenets. The problem is that the philosophy is weighed down by all the supernatural woo woo. Given there isn’t one clear Hinduism, you are in the same boat as all the other religions. Nonsense built on older nonsense. Hinduism being the oldest nonsense of all and has not impressed enough to be the overall leader of woo woo says a lot.

            i also believe the theory of evolution by darwin.

            How does that work with reincarnation of the soul then? More reinterpretation of the scriptures and its more Theological evolution I suspect.

            Cheery picking scripture is the religious norm. Hindu scriptures are a cherry pickers dream.

            “According to Hindu creationism all species on earth including humans have “devolved” or come down from a high state of pure consciousness. Hindu creationists claim that species of plants and animals are material forms adopted by pure consciousness which live an endless cycle of births and rebirths. Ronald Numbers says that: “Hindu Creationists have insisted on the antiquity of humans, who they believe appeared fully formed as long, perhaps, as trillions of years ago.” Hindu creationism is a form of old earth creationism, according to Hindu creationists the universe may even be older than billions of years. These views are based on the Vedas which depict an extreme antiquity of the universe and history of the earth.”

            Even the nutters exist in your lot…

            “In 2010 the ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Book Trust published an intelligent design book titled Rethinking Darwin: A Vedic Study of Darwinism and Intelligent Design chapters included contributions from Intelligent design advocates William Dembski, Jonathan Wells and Michael Behe as well as from Hindu creationists Leif A. Jansen and Michael Cremo.”

            In reply to #56 by akrikan:

            i believe god also has to be reasonable in his own sense…

            Brahman I take it? What about the other gods? Reasonable in his own sense? They all are “reasonable in their own sense” according to the adherents of the various religions, they are omnipotent after all. Go to Naraka/Hell to be tormented if one sins…how can that possibly be unreasonable? It makes sense to the supreme being according to the believers. The problem is, what is sinning, how do you know and who decides?

            hell and heaven both are experienced because if i get punished for doing something wrong then i should also be rewarded doing right

            That is just a lot of woo woo. Naraka is as diverse a place in Hinduism as Hell is in Christianity and it is a nasty concept. The bottom line is that they are places of torment after death invented to shackle the living in the here and now. It is emotional blackmail. I also have no time for the caste system in Hinduism.

            Anyway, I thought it was reincarnation until karma is resolved and then moksha is attained? Where does that leave a place of hell in Hinduism?

            For those reading and wondering…101 Hinduism can be found at, “BASICS OF HINDUISM”. If you think 3,000 years of Judaism, 1,900 years of Christianity and 1,400 years of Islam was enough to make those belief systems the mess they are today, just think how messed up Hinduism with 5,000 years to get all buggered up.

          • In reply to #46 by Len Walsh:

            Can you nominate an atheist who hates anyone? Not an atheist you imagine hates anyone, but one who has declared hatred for another?

            Me. and it is fairly safe to say, Christopher Hitchens…I believe he hated Henry Kissenger, and perhaps Mother Theresa…he definitely hated the Taliban….talking about cluster bombs

            “But when they are dropped on identifiable concentrations of Taliban troops, they do have a heartening effect.”

            I’ll eat my hat if there are no other atheists on this site that have no hatred for a certain religious individual or group.

            William Lane Craig would be a good candidate….Fred Phelps might be a contender for hate…Charles Manson anybody…

            At the moment I have a particular hatred for Edwin Potts, a complete and utter fuckwit that is stealing the oxygen from those around him more worthy….

            Edwin Poots’ ban on gay men giving blood irrational, says judge

            Parents hit out at Edwin Poots over gay adoption ban

            Pressure grows on Edwin Poots for swift review of abortion law in Northern Ireland

            Archaic abortion laws that caused the trauma to the poor young lady in this Nolan Show programme this week. For those that can view it and have the stomach for it, look out for the two pro-lifers being interviewed and see the feckers squirm…I hate those two too by the way.

            BTW, for those not interested in following the links, this creotard is the Health Minister for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

          • In reply to #53 by Ignorant Amos:
            I’ll eat my hat if there are no other atheists on this site that have no hatred for a certain religious individual or group.

            No way. If these religious individuals suddenly woke up to the fact that there is no god, then would atheists continue to hate them? Of course not. They are cured. I HATE killing in the name of a Muslim god. I HATE the spread of AIDS in Africa because the catholic church frowns on condoms. I HATE over-population in depressed areas of the world because the church frowns on birth control. I HATE the belief that natural catastrophes occur because of the wrath of a god. I guess I’m saying that I HATE ignorance. But, I don’t hate the people. Take these false beliefs away and the people become normal again.

          • In reply to #68 by Jigger:

            While I respect your opinion, the fact remains that the monstrous crimes have already been committed. In other words, it is too late. Furthermore, many of these individuals, like the psychotic in our jails, are beyond cure.

          • In reply to #43 by Len Walsh:

            If atheists hated like religious people do, they’d be indistinguishable from religious folk.

            RUBBISH!

            I hate Roman Catholic priests that raped children and abused children.

            I hate those Roman Catholics that do not condemn such atrocious acts and are apologists for such debauchery and give succor to the perpetrators of such heinous goings on.

            I hate those Roman Catholic clerics that covered up such atrocities enabling those that carried out said to continue to ruin other wee children.

            I hate those of other religions that are comparative to the three previous points.

            I hate followers of Islam that stone people to death…for whatever reason.

            I hate followers of Islam for the murdering, raping and torturing of human beings in the name of Allah.

            I hate Islamic clerics that indoctrinate those followers of Islam to carry out all the atrocities, too numerous to mention, that are carried out in the name of Allah.

            I hate Jews for cutting the foreskin of baby boys in the name of God.

            I could go on for a while, but I guess you get the picture.

            Hate:
            a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
            b : extreme dislike or antipathy

            This is one of the reasons I believe the “Golden Rule” has limited appeal. Even the Bible states there is a…

            “time to love, and a time to hate;…” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:8

    • In reply to #4 by Roedy:

      I dislike Jesus for four main reasons:

      he is the excuse people use for beating up and killing gays like myself. I have had about 3000 death threats from these loons.

      I dont wish to say you are wrong in that but I do wonder what these people say to make you believe that thugs are beating people up in the name of religion, there are plenty of atheist thugs who do the same thing. I dont think its fair to say that gays are targeted by religious nuts specifically when the newspapers will show that plenty of people who profess no religion do the same thing.

  4. Scientifically, socially, rationally, morally I think religion is at best weak and can be often destructive.

    However, there is I think a serious political issue here, as in working in the real world towards achievable goals. Religion, as an influential part of the present reality must then be engaged with in any project, such as towards a more rationally and scientifically based society.

    If it is the case that religion is inherently and invariably opposed to every aspect of the goal science and reason, then any engagement can only be as opponents, since religion would then hinder every step towards that goal. But suppose there are some aspects of religion that are not utterly opposed to the goals here? Would the messy political world of compromise have something to offer.

    Consider how one deals with religiously inspired terrorism. are cruise missiles, targeted assassinations etc the only effective route or is there a case to meet at the ‘negotiating table’? Atheists might then concede state support for fundamentalist faith schools, but agree they would be subject to monitoring for radicalisation. This is a real issue where I live, in Bradford UK, where freedoms in setting up schools can clash with secularism and in extreme cases, security.

    I think the real dangers from religion, especially fundamentalism, demand action: but realistically that will mean workable compromise, however personally distasteful.

  5. I would say I have a pretty low tolerance to religion, not to be confused with religious people whom I have no general disrespect for, but I wouldn’t say I was liberated from religion the hard way either, and I feel that justifies my position even more. (not to say yours isn’t justified)

    My family never really spoke about religion, my father was christian and my mother was just ‘not-christian’ not outspoken or anti-religious in the slightest, I went to church and sunday school as a child but that was about it. I found atheism gradually throughout my secondary school years and my position has only strengthened over the years reading the likes of Sagan, Dawkins, etc.

    My ‘intolerance’ to religion is through observation and experience in the adult world. As a homosexual I may harber a little emotional resentment, but I haven’t exactly felt the brunt of religious homophobia personally, my devout father who now attends every sunday service with his new equally devout wife has never had a problem with me, and I get on just fine with both of them, and unlike Roedy I’ve never once faced a single death threat, so I guess I’m kind of lucky. But I have witnessed and heard of those, like Roedy, who have suffered at the hands of the religious, and I’ve witnessed the damage the catholic church has wrecked across Africa, and the hatred the evangelical churches of America have propagated, and the anti-science the US republican party have backed, and the sheer vitriol and violence of Islam that has made life a living hell for countless people living in Africa, Arab and Middle Eastern coutries.

    When faced with all that blatant “evil” that has it’s roots in fearful superstition, you cannot help but harber some form of intollerance, and so I recognise that religion is not a force for good in the world.

    And so I don’t think it has so much to do with the way you were brought up, or the way you escaped religion, or your emotional baggage on the subject, but merely a justified, rational recognition of the impact religion has had in the world to date. I think this is the only logical position one can take when you have evalutated the evidence for yourself.

    But as I said, this is about intollerance of religion. I would never be intollerant of any religious people unless they gave me an overt reason to do so, and I would urge everyone to be as courteous as possible when encountering a religious conflict, it’s the only way some of these people will be able to see that Atheists aren’t evil devil worshippers and that life without a god can be just fine.

    • In reply to #8 by Seraphor:
      The reason I have had so many death threats from Christians is in the 70s I was the only out gay person in BC. I wrote a booklet A Guide For The Naive Homosexual stating that gay people were just fine. The problem was getting taken in by Christian superstition. I was pretty much the only source pleading the gay cause, so I was like a lightning rod for the opposition. In more recent years I have maintained a website that among other things collected outrageous bible quotations, bible errors, bible contradictions. I also take a dim view of American imperialism which oddly in many minds is conflated with Christianity. There are still death threats but considerably less frequent. I think people are more aware that calls and emails can be traced.

      • In reply to #24 by Roedy:

        The reason I have had so many death threats from Christians is in the 70s I was the only out gay person in BC. I wrote a booklet A Guide For The Naive Homosexual stating that gay people were just fine. The problem was getting taken in by Christian superstition. I was pretty much the only source pleading the gay cause, so I was like a lightning rod for the opposition.

        You’re a trailblazer. How cool is that. One of my brothers is gay and in the 1970s he was bouncing around Vancouver and Calgary. He may have read your booklet and it may have helped him feel connected.

  6. There’s a difference between deistic beliefs and large institutionalized faith and doctrine. The first aspect is more often than not mild and inconsequential, the second aspect of religion is deeply harmful. Especially when routed in ignorance, superstitions, blind faith, false promises, and more importantly mingling with public policies and education. Which includes pretty much any major religious group on the planet.

  7. Mr Greene:

    That isn’t emotion and I would draw a definite distinction there.

    But neither is this an exaple of ‘spirit’ as we know it from a culture influenced by abrahamic faith, and so I think this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

    This definition of ‘spirit’ is more akin to the notion of ‘Jizz’ in bird watching, it’s not really anything to do with the supernatural, it’s about observation and informed assumptions. So I would say these two definitions of the word ‘spirit’ are really two different words, homonyms, bringing this up in this context is a little like someone saying “A bow is just a harmless way to tie a knot” and responding with “Ah! but when a bow fires an arrow it’s a deadly weapon!”

    The only thing these two ‘spirit’s have in common is that they both describe something intangible. One is an inferred description of an animal, the other is an ethereal energy form that allows someone to speak to god and live after death.

    • In reply to #11 by Seraphor:

      But neither is this an exaple of ‘spirit’ as we know it from a culture influenced by abrahamic faith, and so I think this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

      This definition of ‘spirit’ is more akin to the notion of ‘Jizz’ in bi…

      Which is precisely the point, ( I had pointed out the definition of “spirit” as observed in monotheism as being distinct) monotheism has tainted our language so when we hear someone say the word “spirit” the immediate reaction is to go onto the alert for fundie style self-gratification etc. Of course there is overlap of the two definitions as we get more into the tribal cultures and shamanic practices, so I would tend towards a position of respect at least until the context becomes clear.

  8. my tollerence forever goes down. as more people leave the church, the church has a lower percentage of people who just do it because its what everyone does, increasing the concentration of people who actually believe that crap and will be vocal in defending it.

    add to that lazy knee-jerk accomodationist attitude of faux-liberals jumping on the “don’t blame religion” bandwaggon making it virtually impossible to have an open debate about the atrocities carried out in its name or under its protection without being engulfed in a wave of bile and ad-hominem attacks and accusations of “islamophobia”, releaved no doubt at the chance to stop facing the reality of what’s going on and have someone to blame who won’t threaten them.

    I am losing tolerance of culture of “not offending” where the vigour of protection from offence is directly proportional to the level of antisocial and threatening rhetoric associated with the offended.

    I lose tolerence with any philosophy that demands i respect it and those who claim to speak for it while being told I am incapable of understanding it, and am even more intolerant of those who gladly submit to these demands in desperate attempt to appear right-on in the eyes of others.

    I am intolerent of religion. I am intolerant of the religious. I am intolerant of tolerance to religion.I am intolerant of the suggestion that my intolerance which I express verbally and in no other way, is in any way comparable to the intolerance that must be backed up with threats of violence no matter how thickly veiled and dressed up as concern.

    and yet, I am able to go about my day keeping this to myself. after all it’s no good shouting at a crying baby

    • In reply to #12 by SaganTheCat:

      my tollerence forever goes down. as more people leave the church, the church has a lower percentage of people who just do it because its what everyone does, increasing the concentration of people who actually believe that crap and will be vocal in defending it.

      add to that lazy knee-jerk accomodati…

      Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil-Thomas Mann

      Guess it depends just how ‘evil’ a particular religion is?

  9. There are very few hard core religious believers in my part of the world (Vancouver , BC) so it is easy to tolerate the mild, polite religious people you bump into. I still don’t try to persuade anyone from their religion unless they bring up the subject, and it has generally been a polite exchange. The only time I would be forceful is if someone’s religious belief was going to cause harm, for example denying a child a blood transfusion, but again, that is very unlikely here.

    I imagine if you live in a part of the world where most people are fervent believers you might have to be forceful to get your point of view across, and there are parts of the world where you have to hide your atheism for your own safety.

  10. The effects of religion cover a wide spectrum from almost benign to murerously barbaric.

    I don’t think the effects of religion can ever be truly positive, because even when good deeds are done in the name of religion there is always a catch (e.g. the spread of ignorant ideas), and because (as Hitchens said) there is no good deed that can only be done in the name of religion.

    What is important to recognise, is that the vast majority of religious people are simply religious because they were brought up within the religion of their parents and they had little or no choice in the matter. The greatest harm done by any religion is towards people who are brought up within that particular faith. So sometimes it is necessary to be intolerant of religion, but it is mainly for the sake of those trapped within the religion, not for the sake of atheists.

  11. I was raised religious and honestly I have no complaints about the time I spent in religion. I eventually, however, came to the conclusion that god wasn’t real and that this meant that the religion I was in was false. Most of the time I find religion non-offensive and even defend religion sometimes. The only times I find it offensive is when they go about trying to change what is written in science textbooks or try to get creation taught alongside evolution.

  12. Jigger comment 1
    All we have to do is watch the daily news to see just how dangerous, negative, savage, and ignorant religion is

    Hmm tho we need here to make a distinction between religion and the religious. Many of whom are intelligent, tolerant and positive forces for good. After all on a another thread we are discussing Malala and her incredibly positive contributions.

    Secondly we have to look at whether it is religion or just people. Religion at its worst and its best merely reflects the culture it is being practised in. Hence in South America RCism is sexist and brutal, in the UK it is benign and giving to the poor. And without RCism I suspect South America would still be sexist and brutal.

    In Afghanistan Islam is horrendous and misogyinistic, in the school I work in the Muslim girls are the most feminist and ambitious and their fathers equally so. I would imagine without Islam Afghanistan would be exactly the same.

    And there are brutal atheist regimes and good and bad atheists. So what are we referring to?

    • In Afghanistan Islam is horrendous and misogyinistic, in the school I work in the Muslim girls are the most feminist and ambitious and their fathers equally so. I would imagine without Islam Afghanistan would be exactly the same.

      And there are brutal atheist regimes and good and bad atheists. So what are we referring to?

      Imagine you are forced to emigrate. The name of the country you move to will be drawn from a hat, but you have two choices of hat to draw from – one hat contains the names of the 10 countries with the highest religiosity and the other contains the names of the 10 countries with the lowest religiosity (most atheists). Which hat would you choose?

      In reply to #18 by PG:

      Jigger comment 1
      All we have to do is watch the daily news to see just how dangerous, negative, savage, and ignorant religion is

      Hmm tho we need here to make a distinction between religion and the religious. Many of whom are intelligent, tolerant and positive forces for good. After all on a another…

  13. I’m an atheist but I don’t really begrudge people their faiths if it gives them some comfort – with the big proviso that they are not fundamentalist, not science- or evidence-deniers, not violent, and don’t try to shove it down the throats of my children.

    I am for the sake of argument willing to concede Jesus was some sort of drop-out hippie type preacher who got up the noses of the Romans, but he was simply a man. No virgin birth. No walking on water. No raising the dead. No resurrection. Etc. That’s all artistic license. It does not mean he was not a good man with some good ideas. What’s so funny about peace and love and understanding?

    Like Geoff Newton above, I also have a huge amount of time for Quakers and Unitarians, and also most Buddhists I encounter. There is also a very ancient atheist strand of Hinduism that one day I’d like to learn more about.

    Like Roedy, I strongly resent the intermingling of church and state in many parts of the world (and this is perhaps especially true in America despite the First Amendment!), and the very idea that “because they are religious”, and for no other reason, people have some special claim to decide what laws should govern us.

    I want to live and let live. But some of these people don’t want to reciprocate, and that makes me angry.

    • In reply to #19 by Stevehill:

      I am for the sake of argument willing to concede Jesus was some sort of drop-out hippie type preacher who got up the noses of
      the Romans, but he was simply a man. No virgin birth. No walking on water. No raising the dead. No resurrection. Etc. That’s all artistic
      license. It does not mean he was not a good man with some good ideas. What’s so funny about peace and love and understanding?

      But that is something of a cherry-picked version. I’ve read a lot of Geza Vermes and Paula Fredriksen historically. As far as I can make out, the guy was a builder in the throes of an apocalyptic mid-life crisis, who believed the world was about to end, and wanted his followers to abandon their families and follow him in typical ‘End of the world is nigh’ cult-leader mode. He didn’t like Gentiles at all, and his entire ideology depends on swallowing the underlying Jewish monotheism and notion of ‘messiah’. It’s not something I can identify with at all, and as per Paul and also Islam, my postion is: avoid Middle-Eastern tradesmen having mid-life crises.

      I’m far more comfortable with Classical philosophers, who had a healthier attitude towards myth (not trying to pin it to ‘real-world’ history), and had no notion of heresy. I recommend John Gaskin’s Traveller’s Guide to Classical Philosophy as a vade mecum. And as for my ‘WWJD?’ user icon: the ‘J’ in question was taken from us 1650 years ago, too young and too soon, before he’d managed to put the Christians back in the box as just one among many religions in the Empire… The trick is to live as if they didn’t win.

  14. I find that I have to reserve judgement for people’s actions, rather than making a blanket statement about tolerating religion. I find there are religious people who are quite private about their faith. I find it hard to fault someone who is knowingly clinging to a myth in order to avoid coming to terms with mortality. It may embarrassing, but I don’t think it malicious.

    However, I do find fault in the actions of those who would teach lies to children and to the poor. Unfortunately, the two groups overlap.

    No one has a right to dictate truth. Truth is discovered, not granted.

    The following are “truths” taught to me by my 10th grade religion teacher:

    1. Women are incapable of sexual joy. They use the act of sex only to manipulate men to procreate.
    2. When I was born, I was evil. I was not good until a man in a dress poured water on me. I can’t maintain that good unless I show up at the clubhouse once a week, and pay my dues.
    3. The end of the world will come on November 1, 1994.
    4. AIDS is punishment from above, for the ‘sin’ of homosexuality.

    The school administration, parents, and the governing diocese were all aware of what was being taught, and endorsed these lessons. They condoned the showing of videos in class that depicted actual abortions, as a fear tactic. Also, they allowed this teacher to grant extra credit for those willing to spend a Saturday berating women at Planned Parenthood.

    Why should I tolerate that kind of deliberate ignorance.? What good does it serve? Denying scientific truth is stupid; replacing it with your own fear-tactics is evil.

    Polite I can do, tolerant . . . not so much.

  15. I am finding it very difficult to see religion as any sort of positive thing.

    However we have a distinction between those who think their religious group should have political power and influence merely by appeal to the invisible (the Catholic church, dominionists, islamists even the Anglican church) and those who see a clear separation between Church and the World (ahem state). The former must be opposed politically. The latter we need only disagree with philosophically.

    At an individual level we must learn to be civilized and to see the religious as civilized human beings. Once one has tasted the holy water and lost one’s temper in finding it full of crap, it can be difficult to retain those desirable qualities.

    It is essential to study how the world appears to the religious – or more generally one needs to understand the world from the point of view of those we disagree with. They, obviously, see things differently from us.

  16. Not being tolerant with religion, means you’re radical just like any other religious people, that means you have a religion, if it’s not “Atheism” …it’s radicalism.
    Personally, I pity religious people, and this helps me to tolerate, but when in debates, I tend to stop it when I feel uncomfortable with the other person’s false reasoning.

    Richard Dawkins is the best example… why didn’t he accept a debate with Harun Yahya, it’s because Richard knows that this person is not a scientist, and every claim by Harun Yahya will be based on false facts… that’s why the debate will be a waste of time. And is a lesson we must learn, if you feel you’re nervous in a debate, that means either you or your opponent is wasting his time.

    I think, stop useless debates … and avoid burning your neurons with unreasonable people.

    And for jesus, I don’t know more than these points:

    1. He’s a myth, based on Egyptian, Hindu and other mythologies
    2. He’s naive and stupid, who makes his believers naive and stupid.
    3. He’s the God, son of Himself, and The father of his Mother !!! (Another Oedipus I guess :)) )
    4. That he loves me and will burn me in hell .

    thanks

  17. There are two kinds of tolerance. One is non-intrusive such as the insistence on special costumes. This is a minor nuisance to others, but not that big an intrusion. Then there is something like killing gay people. They are not just killing their own. The are out imposing their beliefs on others. Here I think you must put your foot down. I include in this abortion, contraception and euthanasia

  18. Religion really is something that is inherently dangerous, so to be honest i treat it like i treat a disease, if i think someone can be cured of it, i do my best but if it seems to be terminal then it is something to really be avoided. I think this is sort of the model worth taking by most atheists simply because anything that might glorify or give extra respect to religion is inherently dangerous because it will lead to the allowing of miseducation and missinformation to many people, I think the biggest shame is highlighted by richard dawkins quote in that “there are no muslim babies” this highlights the tragedy that no one is willing to actully talk to young people and open their mind into a world their parents tried to hide from them. I am glad My high school teacher actually would have intelligent discusiion with me all of those years ago, i honestly think he is responsible for most of who i am today, i think that exposing young people is the most important but unfortunately seems to be mostly taboo, because parents “have a right to raise their own children the way they want” to be honest i think it is more the other way around, children have a right to be raised in a way that they need, not what the parent wants. Religion in this contxt is equivilant to child abuse. And so a religios adult can be tolerated to a point but the idea of religious children should offend you as a human being.

  19. Tricky one, this. My own deeply religious sister is a role model of goodness and tolerance with, as they say “Not a bad word to say of anyone”, including her brutish ignoramus of a husband! Loving her without reserve I cannot do anything to upset her delusion.

    BUT… is this benign example of religion at work the thin end of the wedge? I feel it is in some cases, Islam being the perfect example. Muslims, no matter how benevolent (moderate?) are so ignorant of the teachings of the prophet that they are that ‘thin end’.
    I notice that despite the daily atrocities of Islam’s holy warriors, these moderates don’t see fit to oppose them. Insult the prophet, mass rioting and murder all over the Dar al-Muslim; kill and torture thousands of ‘kuffar’ and…. NOTHING. Do they actually silently approve?
    Why do they (in the great majority) choose not to read their koran? Could it be they know it is all B/S and fear ‘losing their faith’?

    • In reply to #33 by Billy Joe:

      Muslims, no matter how benevolent (moderate?) are so ignorant of the teachings of the prophet that they are that ‘thin end’. I notice that despite the daily atrocities of Islam’s holy warriors, these moderates don’t see fit to oppose them. Insult the prophet, mass rioting and murder all over the Dar al-Muslim; kill and torture thousands of ‘kuffar’ and…. NOTHING. Do they actually silently approve? Why do they (in the great majority)…

      This is what scares me most of all in this life. Our tolerance of this religion allows it to spread throughout the world. At some point (I’m thinking around the year 2076) there will be a majority of these benign Muslims in the U.S. And when non-Muslim candidates run for political office against radical Muslim Clerics, these ‘nice’ Muslims will still vote for the clerics, no matter how deranged they are. Though I find our government to be severely lacking right now, I would NEVER want a Muslim government for my children and their children.

  20. For me personally, I often find that I can be quite brash and negative because I came to my liberation from religion the hard way by having suffered under the boot of religion and eventually finding relief…

    I’m in the same boat as you, having spent much of my life indoctrinated in a very fundamental faith and, having since been liberated, feeling extremely critical about religion in general as a result. I have to remind myself, however, that not all religious people are “the enemy.”

    Case in point, I recently started wearing a t-shirt I created in response to a fundamentalist who claimed that atheists are “arrogant” in their [supposedly] sure knowledge that the whole universe could be understood via science and that there is no God. The shirt reads as follows:

    Atheism is the arrogant belief that the entire, unimaginably vast, universe was not actually created just for our benefit.

    The other night I was proudly wearing it at a social gathering where I knew that nobody was a fundamentalist Christian and I just assumed that everybody would get a chuckle out of it. Instead, a number of my friends told me they found it offensive because it assumed that all “non-atheists” believed the way fundamentalist Christians believe and that they, as moderate/liberal Christians had no trouble accepting that humanity is but a small part of God’s entire creation.

    Some may feel that religion literally “poisons everything” and that it is impossible for people who hold any religious beliefs whatsoever to lead good, productive lives without hurting others in the process. The truth is, I believe, much more nuanced than that, however. I may think that a belief in an invisible sky god is silly and juvenile, but I have to accept that this belief, in and of itself, is not necessarily harmful. If such a belief gives somebody comfort in the face of tragedy and actually inspires them to get involved in social causes to help the needy, it’s hard for me to be too brash and negative to that person or his belief.

    • How do you guys feel about the Baha’i Faith? Seems benign and non-offensive to me.

      From Wikipedia:

      In the Bahá’í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Abrahamic figures as well as Dharmic ones – Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. For Bahá’ís, the most recent messengers are the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. In Bahá’í belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá’u’lláh’s life and teachings fulfilled the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.[7]

      • In reply to #35 by BipolarAltruist:

        How do you guys feel about the Baha’i Faith? Seems benign and non-offensive to me…

        Even here there is a tendency towards pseudo-science, in particular claims that “Quantum Mechanics” mean you can wish for stuff from the universe and expect to get it. Also notions that you can “Literally change your genetic code just by meditating about it”. That’s before we start considering those that advocate “faith healing” over actual medical advice.

    • In reply to #34 by godzillatemple:

      I may think that a belief in an invisible sky god is silly and juvenile, but I have to accept that this belief, in and of itself, is not necessarily harmful. If such a belief gives somebody comfort in the face of tragedy and actually inspires them to get involved in social causes to help the needy, it’s hard for me to be too brash and negative to that person or his belief…

      If there is anything inherently evil in the world it is that people find some comfort in believing in a sky god. Take these people and stand them next to a Muslim about to be beheaded because he converted to Christianity, next to a Muslim woman being stoned to death for owning a cell phone, next to a 14 year old Muslim girl about to be killed for being raped, next to the multitude of Africans dying of AIDS because the Catholic church opposes the use of condoms, and then let’s hear these people say, “Well, just because all of you aren’t finding any comfort in believing in a sky god, I still do.”

      If these comforted people don’t find the existence of a god to be a plague upon mankind, then I don’t want to know these people.

    • In reply to #34 by godzillatemple:

      If such a belief gives somebody comfort in the face of tragedy and actually inspires them to get involved in social causes to help the
      needy, it’s hard for me to be too brash and negative to that person or his belief…

      But that doesn’t make the belief true, any more than it would if they’d taken ‘Doctor Who’ as a role-model… The question is, do you prefer a ‘socially useful lie’ to truth?

  21. I disagree RELIGION is dangerous in and of itself. I believe HUMANS are, whether religious or not. Remember “religions” aren’t just the judeo-christian ones, with their scientific inaccuracies etc. There is as much fanaticism in atheists as in religious people. Atheism is as much faith based as religion is. Because it takes as much faith to deny something unknown (god, or the source, whatever) as it takes to affirm the existence of it. So, let’s not equate the righteous scientific virtues like veracity, experiment, etc with the possession of absolute truth. All I ever see is criticism against the mainstream religions (and rightly so) but little do I see knowledge of more sophisticated spiritual models, which by definition have to agree with science and physical reality, but transcends and expands upon it. Theosophy (which is no religioin) should be quite interesting to atheists. Blavatsky’s “Absolute” has NOTHING in common with the anthropomorphic character people call god. You should investigate more.

    • In reply to #47 by Truth:

      Atheism is as much faith based as religion is. Because it takes as much faith to deny something unknown (god, or the source, whatever) as it takes to affirm the existence of it.

      How can you even think that way? What you’re saying is that it takes great faith to deny unicorns and leprechauns. It takes no faith at all. They just don’t exist, along with a biblical god.

  22. believers have the same freedom as an atheist has until he truly gets the meaning of it ,believers contradict themselves by saying that they understand about god but in reality it is to be understood by definition of god that he cannot be be understood. things that are common between a religious person who thinks he understands and an atheist is that both talk about god through reason one fails other succeeds and eventually states that he doesn’t exist , the so called believer gets frustrated because he didn’t get answer but at the same time wants to believe as he feels something good is going to happen etc much more of his own selfishness and fear hence he ends believing in god and criticizing those who don’t believe and having hatred because atheists are living a life of reason and more meaning than theirs jealousy its called.here not criticizing but to say god is happy with these atheists than those who believe in god because they want something ,fearing him , fulfillment of desires etc.

  23. and one more thing if you would have observed or gone through history of religion each new religion is formed with a gap of 450 years to 500, each religion was not formed by a prophet but by the people who had nothing else to believe.people started taking the written scriptures to be absolute, bible to say was written by his disciples there could have been among them that if they didn’t write they way they wrote it no one would have believed him, necessity of belief was never in question atrocities committed by any religion came only after 200 to 300 years of the new religion formed till then this people lived a nice life and contented life ,atheists were well accepted in society of hinduism, there is part by madhvacharya who was a major proponent of atheism of course he was met with critics but only from who were capable of criticizing such as true believers of vedas because of some flaws it concerned talk was amongst people of intelligentsia,people i think didnt beat the hell out of him because he didnt believe.time changes and people should change the believers think if the world around will change then they will change but in reality its the other way round.god doesn’t need scriptures to be believed he only needs believers to love him no scriptures are completely true but they were neither wrong because the time when they were written it helped them think less as you think less you tend to have less worry but it has changed offcourse but for now, as in evolution i think even maturity of human race develops over time and it should be understood why what happened

  24. AS a non-atheist Christian who chose to be one….I would be happy to debate many of the issues raised in this forum. True religions preach tolerance, love and acceptance. Anything else you see is human interference not the work of genuine followers.

    • In reply to #73 by Lazarusisback:

      AS a non-atheist Christian who chose to be one….I would be happy to debate many of the issues raised in this forum. True religions preach tolerance, love and acceptance. Anything else you see is human interference not the work of genuine followers.

      We don’t need religion for this. As a species we would have wiped ourselves out if we hadn’t developed tolerance, love and acceptance. Just as you claim human interference as being not the work of genuine followers, it is the same with the brotherhood of man. There are people that will spread hate, greed, and confusion to those around them.

      The only difference is, religion gives man one more reason to kill, and that’s to kill in the name of a god.

    • ” Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
      For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
      And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
      He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. “

      It seems Jesus was not always preaching tolerance, love and acceptance. Do you think these were really the words of Jesus? Perhaps Matthew was not a genuine follower and made up these verses to make Jesus look bad?

      Do you have an imaginative interpretation which allows you to see these verses as preaching tolerance and love or do you prefer to just ignore the parts of the New Testament that don’t seem very ‘Christian’? I have heard Christians defend bible passages that preach intolerance and hate by saying that if Jesus (or God) said it then it must be good, however bad it sounds!

      In reply to #73 by Lazarusisback:

      AS a non-atheist Christian who chose to be one….I would be happy to debate many of the issues raised in this forum. True religions preach tolerance, love and acceptance. Anything else you see is human interference not the work of genuine followers.

  25. I was educated at a Cof E school and found religion to be very difficult to understand as a child. Even as young as 6 years old I just felt something was wrong with the whole christian story. Infact I am pretty certain I stopped believing in that god had an influence on us way before I stopped believing in Father Christmas. (I think I shouted a swear word out to see if god would tell me off or kill me). Anyway even if I didnt believe in their god I thought I would let them get on with believing what they want. Nobody at the school stopped me from questioning their belief in god and I did not want to hurt their feelings. This has carried on into my adult life. I would not dare to tell a committed believer they are wrong unless they have some authority within the church that is greater than an ordinary clergyman.
    It would be ignorant of me to tell somebody that they are wrong and I hate everything they believe in. It isnt ordinary peoples beliefs I am attacking it is the laws based on those beliefs that I attack and the people who seem to be profiting from wrapping people in those beliefs such as titled bishops and religious leaders. It is their hardsell tactics and sharp practice that I attack

  26. Well, sir/madam, seeing you ask: as a believer, I find you generally (as atheists), blind, not open to debate or reason (though you claim it), rude, incredibly offensive in your comments, and, as ever, never listening, and lacking any evidence at all, other than, I can’t see him. Does that help? You were brought to religion by your parents, I guess, but your heart was not right, so you were cast out. (you would see that as freeing yourself no doubt. All is perspective, is it not) There will be a time when things are right for All. I cannot explain it all, as much as I try, atheist’s minds are already made up. I guess that is why you are ‘atheists’, eh.

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