Watching a discussion between Dawkins and Krauss (please watch the video on my Fun Media page) and in the Q and A section they talked about how to 'spread the message' so to speak (message of science and rationality as opposed to irrationality). However, there is a problem. A true believer cannot be convinced that their belief is wrong OR that science is right. They talked about a lack of scientific knowledge in schools across America, which is a great tragedy. The United States has the most citizens that DENY Evolution and Natural Selection in favor of Religion and put that in science class! If anyone else is as shocked and appalled about this as me you'll understand my feeling on the topic.
Let me be clear about one thing, personal belief is not my issue. In the US it is a constitutional right to believe in whatever you want. I would not try to take away someone's personal beliefs BUT when that belief is asserted as true instead of scientific evidence and that is taught to children we as a society are less better off. What do we do about this?

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I find that there is no logic in talking religion with them. I made the statement the other day that there is no difference between believing in Santa and God. My mother pleaded the blood of christ over "those" words and retracted them in the name of Jesus. My partner is between wanting to understand me and getting realy deffencive if I point things out that don't make sens. I have not once started a conversation on religion but they do and when I reply they are upset. They don't believe that the bible they read is the protestant bible, as it comes from the true scriptures that was found. This was after me explaining how the bible evolved to the what they read today. Science is not accurate, that science will do anything possable to debunk religion because if we don;t we have to admit that god does exist and that jesus is alive. That we keep changing things to suit us, as the new carbon dating method proofs that science proofs it self wrong. Even though the logic behind that would be like reasoning that the first car was wrong because we have new and improved models today. No matter how illogical there answers are to them it is logic and I know nothing.So my point is I came to the conclusion just shut up let them live in there ignorant world, if they start on me and religion just tell them I am not interested in discussing it with them, 

I agree with you, it is difficult to argue with these people. However, it is important to get these people do see rationality. These are the people who are using their beliefs to reconcile awful things (I'm sure you have seen what I am talking about). This is why I think that it is important to argue with the people.

The punishment for losing one's faith is eternal damnation in the fires of Hell, regardless of whether or not you ask for forgiveness.  In other words, it is an "unforgivable sin" because the interpretation is that you are denying the Holy Spirit, and the denial of the Holy Spirit is a blasphemy that God cannot forgive.  It is, if I remember correctly, only mentioned once in the New Testament.

If you ask me, I find that difficult - no, impossible - to reconcile with the idea of unconditional love as well as the parable of the prodigal son.  Most people, and tradition, like to focus on the actions of the son (emphasis on forgiveness of sins), but I think the real answer in that parable (displaying unconditional love regardless of the son's previous behavior) is the reaction of the father when the son returns home.

The Brits abolished hell in February 1864.

That is great!

Here in the States, the only theological doctrine that rejects Hell is universalism(which is not accepted by the majority of church denominations and "non-denominational churches").  The only major denomination known to support this doctrine is the Unitarian Universalist Church, however, this denomination is hardly accepted as Christian in any shape or form other than it's early history.  They are more or less a body of theists that believe all religions are correct - there being more than one way to gain salvation and ascend to heaven after death.  They accept even Buddhism, which denies a Deity.

They de-emphasize the deity of Jesus found within the orthodoxy of Christianity, and emphasize more the humanity.  They follow mostly the Christian holiday traditions and even hold communion as a sacrament of their church, however, in their tradition Jesus is just one way to reach God.

As for any other form of universalism within the body of Christianity there is what is called Christian Universalism, which accepts most all the traditional orthodoxy of the faith, but rejects ultimately the eternal punishment of Hell.  They believe all human beings are saved regardless of whether they believe in this life or not, and are able to support their doctrine of universalism with scripture.  In some forms Hell is a reality, but it is not eternal, and in others Hell does not exist at all. 

The roots of universalism can be found in the teachings and writing of the early Christian philosopher and father of the church, Origen.  Who, after death, was excommunicated as a heretic by the Catholic Church for his teachings.  It has not been until recently that some of his teachings have resurfaced and become more popular among the faithful.  However, most Christians who subscribe to universalism are closet universalists for fear of persecution by the church - few are out and accepted.

If you want me to cite sources, give me time.  Most of what I have said is all from memory during my time in seminary school.  I still have some of the books, but most of what I say I am sure you can find anywhere online concerning theology and it's and the church's history.

Sources not required and thank you for the information :)

This is a profoundly sad situation.  I can only deal with it one addled science teacher at a time.   A science teacher whom I've known well for many years refuses to teach evolution because it's "only a theory."  I told her it was because she didn't understand it.  She indignantly said she did; so I sent her a test consisting of 20 questions - simple, basic questions that your average 4th grader in most foreign countries could answer.  She, of course, couldn't.  I have never met anyone, including science teachers, who understand the Theory of Evolution in any but a superficial sense.   We are an ignorant country, proud of our "exceptionalism" at embracing our ignorance.

We can do nothing but wait for Americans to become enlightened over a period of many years, just as most of the rest of the world did.  As long as it's politically expedient for lawmakers to court religious extremists, there is not much that can be done proactively, I'm afraid.  

I agree that it will take quite some time for people to become enlightened, but we can do something to help that. We can try to fix education, we can use things like the internet to extend information and education. We can do what Krauss and Dawkins were doing, talking about science at a university. Having an expert come to a school (middle school, high school, college, etc.) to give a lecture on evolution, the big bang, etc. to help educate people.

Most of America's founding fathers were already enlightened.  They were Deists - a sort of proto modern atheist.  Thomas Jefferson is famously known for what is called the "Jefferson Bible."  The original copy being found in his estate Monticello in Virginia.  Basically, Jefferson took the Bible and literally cut all information regarding miracles and divine intervention out of the Bible - essentially calling inessential fluff and superstition.  Jefferson was a huge proponent of science, and only admired the values Christianity aspired to - though he also knew all too well it's dangers and is the author of America's legal doctrine and ethic of Separation of Church and State.

Many fundamentalist Christians and revisionist Christians like to deny this about American history, but that is the cost of the puritan influence on our society.

Yupp, the founding fathers knew the importance of keeping church and state separate. It seems ironic to me that religion is of such importance in the government. I doubt if a great politician, never did anything wrong, honest as they come, hard worker, great ideas, can fix the economy, all this, but is an Atheist. I don't find a high probability he will be elected as president if he ran.  


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