@Joseph - And I would have to respectfully disagree. I don't believe that religion has ever had any good effects. I believe that you are confusing the acts of good people with the religion that they associate themselves with.The religion itself has little to do with it outside of having an organization to funnel money through.
I also don't believe that anyone has ever made an "informed", rational decision to start believing a religion. Those that have studied religion and still accept it as truth only study and accept evidence that supports the delusion and reject evidence that disproves it.
I have never heard of, nor can I imagine an atheist who studied religion and did not have a driving need to fill some sort of "spiritual" gap that they feel, but still bought into the nonsense that religions spew. Every single time I hear about someone getting sucked into a religion, it is because of emotional reasons, not rational, logical ones.
Your post also doesn't address what I claim is the biggest danger of religion: that of those that justify their religion despite the evidence proving it false, learn to evaluate evidence based on emotions rather than rationality, reality and logic. Religion teaches people to reach a conclusion and then search for evidence supporting that conclusion, rather than looking at the evidence and determining a conclusion that fits the evidence. And before someone extrapolates something from that that I'm not saying, I am NOT saying that it is impossible for religion people to think critically. What I'm saying is that religion teaching people that it's okay to ignore critical thinking when the conclusion goes against something that they *really* want to be true. This is reflected in the support of our government's actions that are actually detrimental to a free society, but that the religious support. A perfect example of this is the attempted enslavement of gay people to precepts that have nothing at all to do with governorship of the people. Religion teaches people that it's okay to deny other people civil rights and personal liberties if they are doing something that the religion doesn't "approve" of, when otherwise it would be an atrocity. My brother professes to believe in freedom, liberty, he highly respects our troops fighting for our freedom and the freedom of others and would be appalled and insulted if anyone accused him of repressing anyone else's rights. He would put himself in harms way to help an innocent person in a heartbeat. And he voted YES on Prop 8 because he is a mormon. He isn't a good person because he's a mormon, that is simply his nature. He's an asshole that is all for stripping away the rights of other people because of his religious belief that it is acceptable to impose his self-righteous morals on other people. All because the the "sanctity of marriage". Oh, and did I mention that he is divorced and remarried? Sanctity my ass!
I love mythology and find the meaning of the sign above facinating. In the absence of light is dark, therefore virtue requires far more energy than evil. I enjoy the metaphors, it's when people take them literally that the world falls apart. As for Kelly...
Why bother catering to Kelly as she and her christian friends don't like us and perhaps never will. Again...argument is a perfect way to affirm/reaffirm ones beliefs. Don't Christians love martyrs and strive to become martyrs? Beat up Kelly and let her go away happy to her friends "I fought the evil atheists and lived to tell the tale!" On the other hand perhaps she came to this site because she is a closet atheist? Best of luck Kelly; I'm still atheist.
@archaeopteryx - Yes, those are good examples of what I'm talking about. If not for atheists speaking out and them trying to defend their religion (whether externally or internally, it doesn't really matter), they probably would have never questioned their beliefs. You are absolutely right in that we are seldom able to deconvert anyone, we can only plant the seed that will get them to start questioning and start them on the path to rationality and freedom.
Oh sorry, I didn't realize I was dealing with the know it all angry atheist who accepts no other opinion other then his own.
Sounds like most of the irrational religosos I speak with.
I'll concede the argument on the basis that I am dealing with an irrational person. Just as I concede most arguments to religiosos once I realize they too are irrational.
Now go argue with yourself, or find another patsy to be angry with. I have better things to do
Propounding a multiplicity of magic immaterial "beings" of pure consciousness is not warranted because the materialist-reductionist paradigm of reality is securely in place. There is no need to violate Occam's Razor/Parsimony to posit magic because there is no a priori reason to think any of the gods real and certainly no empirical evidentiary trajectory to justification for thinking magic.
The issue at hand is what has metaphysical primacy, consciousness or existence. Everything we know says the later. Here is the strongest argument I know of against all gods and supernaturalism, The Argument From Existence.
Best Wishes and Have a Nice Day.
@archaeopteryx Hello Friend: Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you and all the good people who use ThinkAtheist for who you are rather than for whichever religious culture is or was imposed upon you due to accident of birth. If I had been born in Thailand, I'd most likely be a Buddhist, if in Bombay, a Hindu, if in Saudi Arabia, a Muslim, if in Israel, a Jew, if in Salt Lake City, a Mormon, and so on. Our religious cultures control us through peer pressure, belief indoctrination, and our social environments. For some really good stuff along those lines, read "The Christian Delusion" http://www.amazon.com/The-Christian-Delusion-Faith-Fails/dp/1616141... Its well worth the price.
I was very fortunate to have joined the US Navy as a young man. There I was isolated from religious culture and Church society and had time to think and question basal presuppositions that define doctrines, and so I was able to deprogram myself from Protestantism and eventually theism. Now I live a much happier life having deeper more meaningful family relations and friendships. I've replaced religious activities with meditation and proactive kindness, benevolence towards others and a relentless drive for self improvement.
Times up. Best Wishes and Regards
@Joseph - Wow! Angry much? What part of my post prompted you to start throwing around insults and strawman arguments at me? Where on this blog does it say that I am forbidden to express my beliefs, especially when I fully admit that they are simply assertions that I, personally hold, but that I have little scientific data to validate them? What part of my post was personally insulting to you?
Out of curiosity, did anyone else find my post to be irrational and emotionally driven? Did I somehow "over-react" to anything with my post? Should I not be allowed to express what I believe to be the dangers of religion to our society?
To the lovely Robert - Born good, born kind, and exactly, born in the wrong place. I guess, indoctrinated and brainwashed, so very difficult to get ones head out of that. This is the thing, most Atheists eventually question - and come to conclusions - Atheists research, and see good and see bad. The book xians follow is is innately bad, they just completely ignore that. If a xian disagrees with something in the book, for instance Mormons and Jehova Witness, they write their own. Robert had space, and time to think, also because he is uber intelligent :D
You were always good and kind, and it is people like you that xians love, 'cause they say it is because of religion - wrong - it is innate. To get rid of religion and find out just how deep love of your family is, without religion -brilliant. Go Robert.
Yeah - what archaeopteryx said :D archaeopteryx keeps sending me to the dictionary.
@Robert - Good for you! I joined the Marines young, myself, partly to separate myself from what I knew even at that early an age was a somewhat bigoted environment. I was fortunate enough to not have been indoctrinated most of my formative years. Not that the people around me didn't "believe", but we certainly didn't go to church each week, either. Isn't it a bit weird to be reading about how religion has infected and infested the services now-a-days? I sure didn't see any of that sort of thing 3 decades ago.
Anyway, the Christian Delusion is a very fun read so far. I think I'm about 1/3 the way through it. Very informative. I also highly recommend it if you plan to engage the religious in discussions about their faith.
@ Keith - I, very rarely, but sometimes, disagree with other Atheists, and I usually stay out of it. In this case I totally agree with Keith. Atheists have to speak out, when church and state are mingling.
One can never de-convert a xian when one comes onto this or any other Atheist site - they do have an agenda, and it must just make them feel good, to hit and run - haven't heard from Kelly again - funny that.
As Jeff said, Don't xians love martyrs and strive to become martyrs? Yep, and that about sums it up - will not listen, that is not the reason they come here. Just by knowing and seeing Atheists are around, just might lead some to question their belief system, and also realize there is a support system with like minded people, and realize it is a lot of codswallop, and then open their eyes to all the criminal, hateful, violent, misogynistic hypocrisy done in the name of religion.
You explained it, like I would like to :D
No, Keith, not irrational nor emotional - that is usually me.
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