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.
Many points to reply to here, but I'll take just one on, that's perhaps the easiest to counter. I should state that I'm not actually taking a position on this, just pointing out a fact, and possible a correlation.
You infer that, since Christians make up 98.6% of the population, claiming that Atheism is a more intellegent stance is tantamount to claiming to be 'smarter than 98.6% of all Americans'. Perhaps that wasn't what the asker is getting at, but isn't it empically true that there must be a 'smartest 3.4%' of the population? I doubt such a thing could ever be measured accurately, but it does theoretically exist, a fact you must accept if you believe there is such a thing as intelligence and that it varies among the population. Now, if this is all true, then there could, in principle, be a correlation established (or shown not to exist) between athiesm and intelligence.
As I've already said, this is too complex and issue to conduct any sort of accurate study on, but I leave it to you now to look up just one example of something that might border on proving what I've asserted: check statistics on the percentage of Ph.D.-holding scientists are religious, compared to the percentage of the general population. To be clear, I'm certainly not claiming that having a Ph.D. in the sciences in any way ensures that one is intelligent, but the correlation exists.
P.S. I look forward to your meteoric rise to fame when you reveal the evidence showing that Jesus Christ was a historical figure.
Jesus was a historical figure..his real name was Titus Flavius :P
What the hell, sounds good to me. I mean if they can believe in a god why shouldn't I believe I'm smarter than 98.6% of the population...I'm might even be a freaking genius!
Deleted...didn't display the number of responses already made when first loaded.
Stalin again! Yes, Stalin was an atheist - one who used the Russian Orthodox Church to get the believing and faithful herd to do as it was told - and the ROC was right there at Stalin's side, all the way, just as it had been beside the tsars - who were dictatorial monsters of the theistic sort. And let's not forget that both catholic and protestant churches in Nazi Germany made sure that they sent Hitler official birthday greetings every year during the war. Sure, some did the right thing and hid Jews - but most did not. Indeed, many eagerly shoved Jews on trains "headed east" - after all, Jews were Christ killers. W/the long and ugly history of torture and murder that belongs to the Christian plague, you've got the crust to tap on your computer keyboard about the love that such a disease has spread on the face of this earth? The millions of battered, broken bodies that can be heaped up in evidence against your faith should be more than enough to turn anyone away from it! The one and only reason that Christians are presently trying to present a "kinder and gentler" face to the world is because the world will no longer take their crap! Great HUMAN BEINGS like Voltaire and Diderot and Locke and Hume and Paine pulled the teeth and fangs that Christianity had so gleefully used on all and sundry for more than 1000 years, so now you've all got to gum it!
Are you a world famous scholar w/a long trail of impressive initials behind your name? If that is what one needs to open his mouth in this world, then perhaps your mouth should have stayed shut!
I don't know if I'm smarter than 98.6% of all Americans, but I'm smart enough to realize that 9 to 1, even if that were true (it's not) isn't 98.6%.
From my understanding USA was founded as, and still is, a secular nation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States
Most of the major founding fathers were deists, who believe that yes God created the world and set it in motion, but then stepped back to let it run on its own. Roughly the same belief as many of the God Is Dead movement who felt it obvious that God, for some reason, was no longer active in the world.
Aram, the wikipedia page you cite is very l-o-n-g. Please indicate where on the page you see evidence for your understanding.
Or, you might cite the Tripoli Treaty with the "Musselmen" (the name used in those times). As I recall, it's in Section Eleven that the treaty said the then-new nation was in no way an Xian nation
The "religious wrong" here in the US of A are being lied to by their leaders, and those leaders don't care that they are lying. Somewhat sociopathic.
Our understandings mean nothing to them; only voting matters.
Smarter? Hmmm, I don't believe in an all powerful, all knowing invisible magic man in the sky or talking snakes simply because someone convinced me of such, (at least not since i was 4) so at the very least I'm most likely wiser..lol.
Being a baptized Lutheran, I spent the younger part of my life searching for god but he never apparently had the time to answer my pleas, sad excuse for a heavenly father if you ask me. If he had just taken a split second out of his eternal life to pay me a visit I wouldn't be typing this... Fortunately his lack of enthusiasm, and my skepticism brought me out of the darkness and into a mindset to never stop asking questions, even if didn't like the answers.
People can believe whatever they like, I prefer to live my life using reason and logic, not an emotional faith indoctrinated upon me.
You might want to ask yourself what kind of person you would be without your god and see if you scare yourself.
Good luck to you Colt.
I have read the bible, word for word, cover to cover. It is one of the most poorly written, scientifically ignorant, and morally repugnant things that I have ever read. That 'deciphering' that you talk about is something the media refers to as 'spin'.
Another 9 to 1 ratio that is interesting, is that 9 out of 10 Christians haven't even bothered to read the bible in it's entirety. I'm willing to bet that if more did, there would be a lot less of them.
@Colt Browning Smith/Wesson - RE: "it is a historical fact that someone named Jesus Christ did live, was crucified, was said to have healing powers, and the earth did quake at his death."
And dead people rose up out of their graves and as rotting corpses, walked the streets of Jerusalem dripping a trail of worms, right? No, there is no evidence whatever that an historical Yeshua (his real name - "Jesus" is the Greek translation of the Hebrew) ever lived.
Imagine yourself in court, attempting to prove Yeshua was historical - of course all of the witnesses are long since dead and can't testify, but imagine that I, as attorney for the opposition, was being my usual magnanimous self and decided to take their words as truth under the "dying declaration" premise.
So you trot out the Gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke," and "John" as testimony. Four people testify that Yeshua lived, performed miracles, was crucified, and arose from the dead! Wow, heavy stuff, four witnesses, how ever can I overcome that?
So I point out that, granted, "Matthew" was in fact the Greek translation of the New Testament name of Levi, the tax collector, mentioned in the NT, and that John, along with his brother James, both sons of Zebedee the fisherman, were also featured in the NT. But Luke and Mark were NOT disciples, were never mentioned ANYwhere as having been there, and so, are excluded from testimony - two of the only four witnesses you thought you had, are gone.
It is known by biblical scholars that "Mark," whoever that was, copied much of his material from an unknown, unnamed source, that has come to be known as "Q" - and no, not James Bond's gadget guy - and yet "Matthew's" gospel is almost word for word, the gospel of "Mark," in fact he often DOES use the exact same word or phrase - if the "Matthew" who wrote that Gospel were really there, he would have had his own story to tell, not a clone of Mark's, whom we've proven wasn't even there! So Matthew's testimony is discredited as well.
Then we come to John, the son of Zebedee. "Matthew," "Mark," and "Luke" all tell of how Yeshuah was strolling along the beach of the Sea of Galilee, when he independently encountered Peter and brother Andrew and John and brother James, and promised to make them "fishers of men" - "John," who according to the NT, was one of those four, in his Gospel, said, "No, it didn't happen that way at all! James and I were following John the Baptist, when I saw Yeshua walking on the other side of the Jordan, and waded over to talk to him. He invited me to spend the night with him at the home of a friend, so I did, and the next day, I went back and introduced him to my brother, James, and we began following Yeshua."
Now THAT story sounds far more credible (no great sound byte like, "fishers of men," but more sincere), and I would grant you that you have finally found the one and only witness who could actually tell us that Yeshua was indeed a genuine, historical person - except for one minor detail.
The Gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John" were written entirely anonymously, and it was only forty to fifty years later that names were ever assigned to the writers, names that were only assumed to be accurate. We have no idea who wrote those Gospels, how honest they were, or whether they were even there, or only concocting stories.
So sorry, Colt Browning Luger Remington Smith/Wesson, there is no historical evidence that your Yeshua ever existed. In fact, a number of others throughout history have also been said to have been born of a virgin, performed miracles, and been executed on a cross or a tree. The great mathematician, Pythagoras, was said to have been born of a virgin, performed miracles, and ascended to heaven 300 years before Yehshua was ever issued an Ascension ticket.
So I must say to you, "don’t make such bold statements with so many holes in them its as though you do know nothing of Christianity."