Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there. 


What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.

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Strega, I'm puzzled. Where in what I wrote did you see a shred of military or any other kind of patriotism? I long ago stopped pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth. Have you stopped? If not, why not?

Wrong? It's more than wrong. It might someday be illegal, but too many of us still accept as leaders people whose need for power exceeds the rational.

We Yanks might in a couple of weeks elect such a man.

Hi Tom.

1. I'm a Brit.  We don't pledge allegiance to flags.  I'm  fond of our Queen but she doesn't get involved in politics.

2. I read that you were in the armed forces.  I said quite clearly that I could not possibly understand what that was like.  I am sure that I phrased the possibility that you might have felt some patriotism quite carefully, as I could not possibly know what that was like.

3. The amount of profit made by American arms dealers NOT in respect of their own country's defense must be a source of dismay to some Americans... and yet there it is.

4. Your earlier post mentioned that one reason Hiroshima and Nagasaki's atom bombing might be acceptable was that "abombs guarantee that those who profit from war will be destroyed".  I am simply illustrating that there are some war profiteers who appear to be able to escape this enormity.

5. It is not in my nature to throw accusations at people on line.  I simply debate topics.  If I feel that the direction of a topic has moved from the post to the poster, I politely withdraw.

6. The American elections are watched with fear and trepidation outside the USA every four years.  At the federal level of government, America's playground is the world stage, and it is too powerful to be able to make even minor mistakes safely.

Well, we DID survive eight years of one, but there has to be a limit.

Even after over a century of Gidiots passing out the Greek / Roman Pagan mythology, the great majority of Xians never even read that book on which their faith is based.  Ridiculous !

When more people understand what an atheist is, there will be more atheists.

Another way to think about this point.

If more people actually understood the theism that they have signed onto, would there be more atheists?

Part of the reason I left the church, was that I could not fit my worldly experiece and growing understanding into the metaphysical commitments of the church. The best training I received for atheism, was started while still a mostly a theist. Sadly, I was mostly paying attention, while in my 6 year stint of time share catholic school. I think what I learned was that, belief in catholic dogma is maintained by early social conditioning, and closed social relationships. But my life was very open as I grew up. Nerdy friends, early science exposure, relationships with folks of different beliefs, minor debate experience, marginally commited parents, and early 'death in the family', created an environment that implyed a much larger universe that was believed by the church or its members. I thank the church for helping me see the stark contrasts between 'the shoebox' of the church, and the vast landscape of 'the universe/reality' around us.

Should we thank the church more than we do for what we have become? I remember a qoute out of the early Star Trek, something like 'should we wear an olive branch in memory?'. 

"When do you think people will finally start to understand atheism?"

When hell freezes over.

  " When hell freezes over "  is an understatement.

Strega and others, might there be a correlation between pledging allegiance to flags (rather than to laws) and religiosity? And between either of those and the immaturity of childhood?

A US Supreme Court decision (Minersville v. Gobitis, 1940) held the flag salute to bring children into the political culture. There followed record levels of violence against the Jehovah Witnesses, and even those who'd supported the 1940 decision (such as the jingoist American Legion) joined to get a reversal, which the Court gave us in 1943.

A book is about to be published (One Nation Under God, by Princeton history prof Kevin Kruse) that describes the 20-year-long effort to add "under God" to the Pledge. It began soon after an attempt by a few wealthy men (who admired Mussolini's fascism) to overthrow the Roosevelt admin failed. (Google Smedley Butler, the retired marine who reported the plot.) During the 1930s Depression, these wealthy men wanted to shore up capitalism, and hired ministers to talk up a connection between religion and patriotism. They found "under God" in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and brought it back to life. Many Yanks are still children, and angrily demand the right to remain so.

The book's full title may be "One Nation Under God: Corporations, Christianity, and the Rise of the Religious Right".


Terrific, Doug. Best argument against the Pledge and the best humor I've heard in a long time. Thanks.

For a while there, I thought he was channeling Carlin --


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