I had an argument with a Facebook friend the other week that led to others joining in with her against my expressing my views about her beliefs, and the politics attached to them.

She is Catholic, and was expressing support for the bishops who are suing the US government to stop them "being forced to supply contraceptives".

I linked some article about the absurdity of people - particularly women - who allow their lives (and in particular reproductive lives) to be dictated to be a bunch of celibate men. She deleted my post, and a row ensued, whereby I said that the Catholic church was "founded on a lie which has been allowed to fester for the past 2000 years".

It subsequently lost me more Facebook friends who, I imagine, see me as some kind of "monster" for criticizing this woman's "beliefs". I think I'm just making the woman think.

Am I alone in thinking there are more ways than one of putting an atheist message across? And that although gentle discussion has its place, the occasional blast of "This is how it is" is necessary?

Personally, I'm tired of treading on eggshells around religion. I think it's time to let the Emperor know in no uncertain terms that his new clothes don't exist, and that he's making a fool of himself - even if it means losing friends doing so.

I'm of the opinion that religion isn't just some benign nonsense, but that it has political consequences, and it's an absurdity that causes a lot more problems than it fixes. And that it's about time we made more noise about it.

Opinions, please.

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It's false inner strength, that's all.

Religious people are like someone who's standing on a railroad track but they don't know what it is and don't bother to look at it. They're ignorant of the truth, and so they're perfectly content - until the train comes at the last minute.

The religious are happy sacrificing their entire lives to something meaningless because they'll never know how wrong they were. Since death is just death, they'll never experience the non existence of "afterlife".

They're just victims of a massive con, and don't dare look at how conned they've been for fear they just might be so angry it'll send them over the edge.

But the "strength" is mere denial. It's why they can't stand to hear the truth, and need all the rituals to feel OK about everything.

you are completely right Jack but completely missing the point.

It does not matter if it is false or not. Faith (by the very definition of the word) is only answerable to itself.

With faith a person has

  • direction
  • inner confidence
  • inner strength
  • structure
  • guidance
  • a constant companion
  • an answer to big questions
  • comfort
  • many friends/like-minds
  • and many more things that help one get through the trials of life.

All of it may be bullshit, fanciful claptrap, fantasy-fiction, a complete lie, but that does not matter in the slightest.

They don't want to listen to truth because the so-called truth will not empower them.

Religious empowering corrupts reality, absolute religious empowerment corrupts reality absolutely.

I agree with everything you say, just don't think it is quite as black and white.

Well maybe, but you also have to consider all the weakening effects of faith.

  • direction in the wrong direction
  • constant guilt
  • inner strength which in reality is pure weakness and angst
  • a prison ward constantly watching over you
  • less intelligence (yes, deal with it)
  • being surprised at your own helplessness in the face of actual threats (god's not going to help you out of a beating)
  • a crippled sense of judgement
  • boosted emotions, which correlates to the above point but is a huge weakness even in it's own right
  • being gullible
  • getting taken advantage of
  • waste of time
  • waste of money
  • waste of life
  • denial of your own happiness
  • the friends that you do get are just other indoctrinated plebeians such as yourself

I think I'll take the atheist deal man.

Hey, don't get me wrong, me too. At least I won't take nonsensical, attempts to modify my behaviour based on 2,000+ year old ignorance and/or fantasy.

I have been a part of a religion (not christian) and I miss very much certain aspects of it. Aspects that atheism will never offer. 

It was the difference between being anchored in a safe harbour and being tossed about on an angry open sea.

I hear what you're saying, diggerbanks, but then why did I change from a believer to a non believer? Why does anyone?

Truth is that people CAN be swayed, as was I. I know plenty of people who used to follow some religion or other (usually Christian) but now they don't.

So who exactly are "they" that don't listen to the truth?

Is there such a thing as a totally unshiftable position for some believers?

What makes some shift, and others not?

Speaking for myself, it was a gradual process, then a final avalanche of sense.

I reckon it is the ability for critical thinking. The old adage "ignorance is bliss"

You should come to lunaticoutpost for a bit of fun. It is quite incredible how middle america condones the medieval mindset.

Like...Scientific theory Vs the Ussher Chronology. Just unbelievable. 

Meet you there? I'm under the same moniker.

It's self-hypnosis really, all it boils down to.

Shit like "god never gives you more than you can handle," or the entire notion of an afterlife. Clearly these are the products of a prophet who wanted his subjects to stop bitching about their misery and giving their lives for him..

I was in debate with christian whose best argument was that science can't explain itself. Desperate stuff.

Self-hypnosis or mass-hypnosis? 

Well I think in part it's because a lot of people don't like to stand out from the crowd. There's safety in numbers, and many people think that because a lot of people think a certain way then they must be right.

And so they go along with the crowd.

After all, they are expected to be sheep: "The Lord is my Shepard" says it all...

And sure enough, they discard all responsibility for themselves and everything else, because "God" will take care of them.

No wonder they're happy!

Until, of course, the farmer takes them to market...

I like the arm swinging analogy.  Everybody has the right to swing their arms around, but that right ends at the noses of others.  If you swing your arm and hit my nose, be ready to have your arm broken.

Fighting intolerance does not mean you have to be a doormat.  We aren't Christians, and even Christians don't turn the other cheek.  We really don't have to do that.  If someone is starting to attack, the right thing to do is to defend.

Likewise when followers of ideology try to perpetuate what I feel is a primitive and inferior idea such as intolerance, through the method of shaming those with the superior principle of tolerance, I do not just sit there and let them get away with their attacks.  It is a strategic balancing, and at times you have to resort all the way to the level of humiliation if a really bad idea is viciously being perpetuated in order to balance out the nonsense.

The same goes with religion.  If someone perpetuates the oppression of others on account of it being a part of their faith, then I attack their faith.  I wouldn't need to do that, however, if tolerance was widespread.  It is a situational ethics lesser of the two evils decision.

The problem I have with the rabid antitheists is that they oppose religion because it causes harm, yet they don't oppose what makes religion mainly cause harm in the first place. Yes, religion causes harm, and it is wrong because it perpetuates a lie and the truth matters.

However, intolerance is something that causes more harm than religion ever has. That is a fact. Most of the harm caused by religion, has been on account of intolerance.

Rabid antitheists give intolerance a free pass in order to fight a lesser evil which is religion. It is undeniable that logic dictates intolerance is the greater harm. Yet they refuse to submit to logic. Not only that, they use the greater harm to bring about a better world? How dumb is that? It is bizarre, that you can make a better world by using the worst thing in the world.

Yes, religion without intolerance is still bad because it is a perpetuation of a lie that still leads to misconceptions. But the thing antitheists love to attack about religion is the intolerance within. Yet the fools continue to perpetuate it in the new and better system they are trying to create.

Logic dictates that intolerance is the greatest social cause of harm in history. They plug their ears about that.

It is one thing to resort to intolerance as a temporary means to an end, it is another to perpetuate it as a good value toward anything you disagree with in the better world you are trying to create.


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