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GonzoTheGreat
07-09-2009, 10:55 AM
I haven't started a religion thread here for a while, so it was about time to do it again. Otherwise people might forget they're religious, and suddenly become atheists, or something. :p

My question is about the issue descibed in this article (http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/MI124870/). Basically, what it is about, is that some atheists have put up a sign, and Christians are protesting that it is offensive to them. I won't repeat the message here, to avoid offending anyone, but if you are interested then it can be found easily in the article. Though that version has a typo; the correct text can be seen on the picture of the sign which accompanies the article.

Anyway, my question is: why would that sign be offensive to anyone, be they Christian or not?

Verin Mathwin
07-09-2009, 11:10 AM
Well, if they are a Calvinist then they believe in Total Depravity which means that humans can do no good without God... That's the only reason I can think anyone would be offended an even that really isn't a good reason

Ivhon
07-09-2009, 11:11 AM
Well. We've been through this a million times.

But if you deny a tenet of any religion - including atheism - you offend them.

Therefore, if you say that good people...or anything...can exist without God, you are offending anyone who thinks that good people - or anything - can exist only through God. You are a threat to fundamental core values. As they are to you.

So nothing new here.

ShadowbaneX
07-09-2009, 11:12 AM
Actually, I approve of that sign, and, what's more, I find the opposite offensive. When someone calls me a good christian for being nice or doing something good, I get highly annoyed.

One does not need religion to be morally conscious or kind.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-09-2009, 11:16 AM
Frankly, logically speaking (yes, I'm aware of the irony), there shouldn't be any reason that billboard should have any effect on any of the businesses or the residents of that area. But then, I'm a broad minded, progressive Christian.

Ozymandias
07-09-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm a broad minded, progressive Christian.

Which means your no Christian at all. Christianity without the small minded bigotry, hate, and vehement denial of all progress that isn't directly from God isn't Christianity at all.


Being Christian and broad-minded are mutually exclusive

Davian93
07-09-2009, 11:29 AM
Which means your no Christian at all. Christianity without the small minded bigotry, hate, and vehement denial of all progress that isn't directly from God isn't Christianity at all.


Being Christian and broad-minded are mutually exclusive

~sighs~

And it begins...

GonzoTheGreat
07-09-2009, 11:35 AM
~sighs~

And it begins...Hey, it was only at post #6, and it is still possible that it will be ignored in favor of reason.
Though so far no one has managed to meet the actual challenge of this thread, I have to say.

DahLliA
07-09-2009, 11:41 AM
The billboard sponsors said they would like the community to show them the same tolerance they fought for during the civil rights era. "The women and blacks in this neighborhood, they've been discriminated before, in the recent past, as early as 30, 40 years ago," Loukinen said, "and yet, they have no problem discriminating against another group, whether it be gays or atheists."

pretty much sums it up...

Gilshalos Sedai
07-09-2009, 12:06 PM
~Ignores Ozy~


What, exactly, is your challenge, Gonzo? To see if we can translate the mind of the bigoted and narrow-minded who happen to share a belief with us and that only barely? Can YOU adequately explain any other type of fanatic's mind? Because, frankly, we can only guess at why these people think (if that's the word for it) the way they do.

GonzoTheGreat
07-09-2009, 12:25 PM
Well, yes, that's about it, Gil. All I'm asking you to do is perform a miracle, nothing more. A miracle of explanation, which should be the easiest type of miracles available, it would seem.
Is this really that much to ask?

Gilshalos Sedai
07-09-2009, 12:28 PM
Yes. Because God didn't make me psychic.

Brita
07-09-2009, 12:37 PM
Bah! If people have the right to put up a sign saying "Believe in God" then people have the right to put up a sign saying "Don't believe in God". What's wrong with these people?

If they want to dispute it, then put up your own sign- don't make them take down theirs.

This is just like the bus signs in the UK a few months ago that read:
There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

It's a clever statement. If Christians don't like the message, then we should come up with an equally clever response, instead of whining about it.

Sinistrum
07-09-2009, 01:18 PM
mmmm I love the smell of fresh bait in the morning.

Terez
07-09-2009, 01:19 PM
Gonzo, you just started the Jew thread a little while ago. That counts as a religion thread. :p

JSUCamel
07-09-2009, 01:37 PM
That's ridiculous. Judaism isn't a religion, it's money!

I just finished re-reading an L.E.Modesitt, Jr book (i'm an LEMJr kick right now) called "The Eternity Artifact". It's about an expedition by the Comity (thinly disguised progressive, liberal-minded, reason-based Americans) to a newly discovered planet just outside of the galactic rim. The planet represents the first positively identified alien structure in the history of mankind. Nearly 10k years of exploring the galaxy and no alien artifacts at all.

As the expedition heads toward the planet, they're attacked by the Covenanters (religious fanatics.. think radical Islam or fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptists) and the Chrysanthemum Worlds (more like Catholics). The reason they're attacked is that these people believe that the alien planet represents a threat to their very existence.

In other words, the existence of aliens posits a few things: 1) God created them, but since they're all dead, he clearly abandoned them.. which doesn't jive with the benevolent God type thing, or 2) God didn't create them, which means he's not all-powerful after all.

These reasons aren't explicitly stated by the opposition, but rather implied by the scientists and military aboard the expedition. The one known traitor whose POV we have says that it is his belief that the planet holds the Spear of Iblis, the Morning Star, or some other tool that Satan used to cause the Fall of Man, and that for that object to fall into the hands of the heathens would be incredibly bad for his people.

Anyway... point is... non-believers provide a threat to believers, whereas the other way around isn't exactly true. A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life. They might inconvenience them and annoy them, but the fact that someone else believes something doesn't invalidate your whole life.

On the other hand, the very fact that there are non-believers provides a threat to a believer, if only because the fact that they don't believe means that the belief in question isn't quite as infallible as they might wish it were.

And, of course, if a non-believer were to discover something like the existence of (extinct, sentient) aliens, then that would threaten the beliefs of the believer.

Crispin's Crispian
07-09-2009, 01:41 PM
A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life, but if a non-believer were to discover something like the existence of (extinct, sentient) aliens, then that would threaten the beliefs of the believer.
You sure about that first part? I mean, the existence of a believer doesn't threaten anyone's way of life, but the actions that might stem from those beliefs very well could.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-09-2009, 01:51 PM
Yeah, I'm sure the Spanish Inqusition threatened a lot non-believer's lives. ;)

JSUCamel
07-09-2009, 02:46 PM
Well, the act of believing doesn't threaten a non-believer. The act of not believing does, however, threaten a believer's stance.

Both sides are guilty of taking action based on their belief/non-belief in a higher power, but that's not what we're talking about in this thread. Right now we're talking about a billboard that implicitly implies that God isn't important.

A billboard that says "God loves you" does not in any way harm a non-believer; it simply annoys.

A billboard that says "God doesn't matter" threatens the very basis of a believer's beliefs.

Orc
07-09-2009, 03:08 PM
A billboard that says "God loves you" does not in any way harm a non-believer; it simply annoys.

A billboard that says "God doesn't matter" threatens the very basis of a believer's beliefs.

Yes, but if you allow the first to be put up, then you should allow the second to be put up with equal rights. If you don't want atheism on billboards, you should disallow all religious billboards. (the preceding yous were all generic and not representative of any particular person. Offer void in Quebec.)

Zanguini
07-09-2009, 03:39 PM
all offers are void in quebec, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico

JSUCamel
07-09-2009, 03:48 PM
Yes, but if you allow the first to be put up, then you should allow the second to be put up with equal rights. If you don't want atheism on billboards, you should disallow all religious billboards. (the preceding yous were all generic and not representative of any particular person. Offer void in Quebec.)

Agreed. I don't think anyone here is arguing that the religious ones are more valid than the atheist ones or that the atheist ones shouldn't be up.

Gonzo's question was about why the atheist sign might be offensive.

Ozymandias
07-09-2009, 05:11 PM
A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life. They might inconvenience them and annoy them, but the fact that someone else believes something doesn't invalidate your whole life.


Given that the overwhelmingly vast majority of murder, killing, and genocide in human history has been done in the name of religion, I'd say that believers pose a much more credible threat to the very lives of non-believers than the other way around.

JSUCamel
07-09-2009, 05:20 PM
Given that the overwhelmingly vast majority of murder, killing, and genocide in human history has been done in the name of religion, I'd say that believers pose a much more credible threat to the very lives of non-believers than the other way around.

Again, the act of believing doesn't affect the fundamental way of life for non-believers. The things that believers do in the name of their beliefs have affected and will continue to affect the lives of others. In the same vein, the expression of belief doesn't do anything but annoy non-believers.

The expression of non-belief poses a direct threat to the fundamental core of a believer's being, for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it shows that their God isn't infallible.

I'm not talking about physical life and death, I'm talking about the fundamental way a person approaches his life because of belief or non-belief.

For a believer, the idea that there is no afterlife, there is no God, there is nothing beyond this life, is an immensely terrifying idea that clashes with the core of their being and all the insecurities that are contained within that need to know that there is a purpose in life and beyond the grave.

For an atheist, if someone else wants to delude themselves by thinking that, big deal. So what? Who cares?

And again, I was answering Gonzo's question about why a believer would be offended by an atheistic statement.

Neilbert
07-09-2009, 05:34 PM
Anyway... point is... non-believers provide a threat to believers, whereas the other way around isn't exactly true. A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life. They might inconvenience them and annoy them, but the fact that someone else believes something doesn't invalidate your whole life.

That isn't true even a little bit.

Even if you ignore the obvious, the fact that I do not believe God is important does not affect your personal relationship with god.

However, a statement that God does not exist is slightly different, as it is both impossible to prove, and amounts to calling believers crazy.

On the inverse, the statement that you can not be a good person without God is every bit as much abrasive and offensive as the statement that God does not exist, because it amounts to saying you are a bad person, invalidating your whole way of life.. So yes, religion affects atheists as much as atheists affect religion.

Belazamon
07-09-2009, 05:54 PM
Neil, you're attacking an argument that Camel's already gone out of his way to elaborate upon, to address the perceived error in said argument. So, you know, kudos for keeping up.

A billboard that says "God loves you" does not in any way harm a non-believer; it simply annoys.

A billboard that says "God doesn't matter" threatens the very basis of a believer's beliefs.

This is pretty much it, Gonzo. Except I'd change "threatens" to "attacks."

For some (to me) indecipherable reason, believers seem more inclined to be outraged at perceived "attacks" on their belief. As opposed to nonbelievers, who seem to tend more toward not giving a shit if their nonbelief is challenged.

DahLliA
07-09-2009, 06:00 PM
For some (to me) indecipherable reason, believers seem more inclined to be outraged at perceived "attacks" on their belief. As opposed to nonbelievers, who seem to tend more toward not giving a shit if their nonbelief is challenged.

that's clearly because us atheists are better persons than believers :p

ShadowbaneX
07-09-2009, 06:01 PM
Given that the overwhelmingly vast majority of murder, killing, and genocide in human history has been done in the name of religion, I'd say that believers pose a much more credible threat to the very lives of non-believers than the other way around.
while your argument is somewhat valid in many cases what they believed was a perverted version of the original beliefs, ie the original message was corrupted to suit the current policital climate. Prime candidate: the Crusades. People were commanded to go out and secure the Holy Land, however the reason for doing this wasn't a religious one, it was a political one.

hippie-joe
07-09-2009, 06:18 PM
what i don't get are why ppl are so thin skinned...

uhhh, they said something i disagree with, i'm gonna sue you! shit i saw a sign that was all black and with white all caps letters it said, "GOT CHRIST" like the got milk adds. it made me laugh so hard as i was drinking and driving that i had to turn around and take a picture, it's a shame that phone crapped out on me b4 i could get it moved else where.

my point is, there is always going to be offensive things in this world, that is, as long as there are at least 2 ppl still alive.

i realise i'm prolly preaching to the choir, but i had to through that out

Neilbert
07-09-2009, 08:36 PM
Neil, you're attacking an argument that Camel's already gone out of his way to elaborate upon, to address the perceived error in said argument. So, you know, kudos for keeping up.

No, I'm not.

I'm talking about the fundamental way a person approaches his life because of belief or non-belief.

That they do the right thing simply because it is the right thing, thereby making them good people, is the fundamental way that many atheists approach their lives.

I'm sorry you have trouble understanding that, but it is quite irritating to many who don't see the importance of believing in God and every bit as much an attack as stating that God is not important or that you do not believe in God.

what i don't get are why ppl are so thin skinned...

Thin skinned, hypocritical, persecution complex. Truth is I don't care one iota about a sign, but don't pretend that the religious don't do the exact same thing that Camel is complaining about.

To answer Gonzo's question, there's nothing about the sign itself that Christians could find offensive without being brazenly hypocritical.

Neilbert
07-09-2009, 08:44 PM
while your argument is somewhat valid in many cases what they believed was a perverted version of the original beliefs, ie the original message was corrupted to suit the current policital climate. Prime candidate: the Crusades. People were commanded to go out and secure the Holy Land, however the reason for doing this wasn't a religious one, it was a political one.

It's not religion that's the bastard, it's organized religion. People who don't try to impose their beliefs on others are never a problem.

E: Saying it was for political reasons is just as flawed as saying it was for religious ones. While the Pope might have endorsed it for political reasons, it wasn't political reasons that motivated many to march on the Holy Land. There were true believers, and there were people exploiting true believers, that doesn't mean that true believers aren't dangerous.

Ozymandias
07-09-2009, 11:20 PM
while your argument is somewhat valid in many cases what they believed was a perverted version of the original beliefs, ie the original message was corrupted to suit the current policital climate. Prime candidate: the Crusades. People were commanded to go out and secure the Holy Land, however the reason for doing this wasn't a religious one, it was a political one.

No, thats the excuse believers give to dissociate themselves from the harsh reality that belief in a higher power usually only leads to death and misery.

The way a religion is practiced IS that religion. When the Pope says, "go take back Jerusalem, slaughter every inhabitant, and sing the praise of God while you wade ankle deep in blood," he represents the religion. Especially in Catholicism, where the word of the Papacy is literally defined as God's law.

Christian's have committed many, many atrocities beyond forgiveness and beyond redemption in their history. As have Muslims, potentially Jews, etc etc. When someone says, "I am a Christian" they tacitly support what their forebears have done. If you disagree, you are fundamentally no longer a Christian, because you have made a move to remove yourself from your community. And what is religion but a community of people held together by common ethics and laws?

Belazamon
07-10-2009, 12:11 AM
No, I'm not.
Oh! I'm glad you cleared that up, thanks.

I was only, y'know, referring to the part that you quoted and responded to in your post. But obviously I should be able to intuit your real argument despite what you actually typed. Clearly that's a failure on my part.

that's clearly because us atheists are better persons than believers
Well, duh! Q.E.D. and all that.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 12:41 AM
Clearly that's a failure on my part.

Nobody's perfect, but it's good that you are trying to learn from your mistakes.

The statement I bolded was the statement I was disagreeing with. I'm not sure what was hard to understand, or why it required clarification, but that's probably as much a failing on my part as it is yours.

On the inverse, the statement that you can not be a good person without God is every bit as much abrasive and offensive as the statement that God does not exist, because it amounts to saying you are a bad person, invalidating your whole way of life.. So yes, religion affects atheists as much as atheists affect religion.

That they do the right thing simply because it is the right thing, thereby making them good people, is the fundamental way that many atheists approach their lives.

I'm sorry you have trouble understanding that, but it is quite irritating to many who don't see the importance of believing in God and every bit as much an attack as stating that God is not important or that you do not believe in God.

Perhaps you could explain to me why these two statements are different to you. I would find it helpful.

I also don't understand how saying a person is a bad person for not believing in god is not threatening their way of life, or attacking the fundamental way a person approaches his life because of belief or non-belief. Could you explain that one to me?

In case you have forgotten, the part I originally responded to:

A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life.


Honestly I suspect you're just being an asshole, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt before I haul off and call you one.

Belazamon
07-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Anyway... point is... non-believers provide a threat to believers, whereas the other way around isn't exactly true. A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life. They might inconvenience them and annoy them, but the fact that someone else believes something doesn't invalidate your whole life.Again, the act of believing doesn't affect the fundamental way of life for non-believers. The things that believers do in the name of their beliefs have affected and will continue to affect the lives of others. In the same vein, the expression of belief doesn't do anything but annoy non-believers.Anyway... point is... non-believers provide a threat to believers, whereas the other way around isn't exactly true. A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life. They might inconvenience them and annoy them, but the fact that someone else believes something doesn't invalidate your whole life.That isn't true even a little bit...

On the inverse, the statement that you can not be a good person without God is every bit as much abrasive and offensive as the statement that God does not exist, because it amounts to saying you are a bad person, invalidating your whole way of life.. So yes, religion affects atheists as much as atheists affect religion.See, you appear to be arguing that believers can be offensive to non-believers. Camel's modified his argument to discuss actually threatening a system of belief. Argue all you want, but I don't think you'll convince anyone that the existence of believers is a fundamental challenge to the beliefs of an atheist.

Perhaps you could explain to me why these two statements are different to you. I would find it helpful.I don't recall saying anything about those quotes, let alone that they were different. But at a glance, they don't appear to be identical, no. The first talks about how believers can be seen as offensive to non-believers, and the second talks more about how many atheists view their own lives. Does that help you? I guess I'm not really sure where you got lost there.

I also don't understand how saying a person is a bad person for not believing in god is not threatening their way of life, or attacking the fundamental way a person approaches his life because of belief or non-belief. Could you explain that one to me?

In case you have forgotten, the part I was responding to:A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life.Well, I suppose I can try.

The existence of "believers" (really need a better term for this, but oh well) should in no way affect the belief system of an atheist. Atheist mindset: "Hmm, there's this guy who thinks I'm a bad person because I don't follow his God's rules. But why would I accept the judgement of a God whose rules I don't follow? In other words, why should I give a crap what he thinks of me?"

On the other hand, the existence of atheists appears to threaten the belief systems of some "believers." Religious mindset: "Hmm, there's this guy who doesn't believe in my God. But if it's self-evident that God exists, as I know He does, how could there possibly be anyone who doubts Him...?" There are, of course, other ways that this argument can run - the point is, the mere existence of nonbelievers seems to cause some believers to ask why that should be the case, and therefore begin to doubt. At least, that's how the theory seems to run.

In short, atheists (generally) don't care if someone's judging them by a set of Rules they don't personally follow. Of course, you equivocate "threatening their way of life" and "attacking the fundamental way a person approaches his life," which are pretty self-evidently two very different things.

Honestly I suspect you're just being an asshole, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt before I haul off and call you one.I've been called worse, and for less cause. In this particular case, your nitpicking of something that had already been addressed kind of annoyed me.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 01:51 AM
See, you appear to be arguing that believers can be offensive to non-believers.

I'm not. I don't know how I could possibly state it any more clearly, but that's not what I'm getting at at all.

because it amounts to saying you are a bad person, invalidating your whole way of life..

But why would I accept the judgement of a God whose rules I don't follow? In other words, why should I give a crap what he thinks of me?"

Why should a believer care what the unwashed heathen believes about his God? Why doesn't this work both ways. I don't see how this whole thing isn't a very clear double standard.

Of course, you equivocate "threatening their way of life" and "attacking the fundamental way a person approaches his life," which are pretty self-evidently two very different things.

It's so self evident you can't be arsed to explain the difference. How surprising.

I'll help you out. Threatening someone's way of life may not necessarily be attacking the fundamental way a person approaches their life (though I would be hard pressed to come up with an example, could you?) but attacking the fundamental way a person approaches their life is threatening their way of life.

On the other hand, the existence of atheists appears to threaten the belief systems of some "believers."

The existence of people who believe that it is impossible to be a good person without believing in god (IE: Damn near all of them) appears to threaten the belief systems of some atheists.

In short, atheists (generally) don't care if someone's judging them by a set of Rules they don't personally follow.

In short, the whole concept of faith means that the religious shouldn't be caring if other people don't believe god exists.

There are, of course, other ways that this argument can run - the point is, the mere existence of nonbelievers seems to cause some believers to ask why that should be the case, and therefore begin to doubt.

Without doubt faith is meaningless. The book of Job, for example, is God saying that he must be taken on faith, and that he isn't going to prove anything to anyone. It's a pretty fundamental part of belief, and being too ignorant to understand that doesn't mean atheists are hypocritically attacking you, it makes you ignorant.

Jesus Christ doubted: "My God, why have you forsaken me?". Bitching about being made to doubt your faith is retarded.

I've been called worse, and for less cause.

That should be a big hint.

tworiverswoman
07-10-2009, 03:58 AM
When someone says, "I am a Christian" they tacitly support what their forebears have done. If you disagree, you are fundamentally no longer a Christian, because you have made a move to remove yourself from your community. And what is religion but a community of people held together by common ethics and laws? So, when you say "I am an American," you personally are tacitly supporting whatever vile things your forebears have done in centuries past? And you know we have -- and not necessarily centuries ago, either. Now that we know it's disgusting to enslave someone, for instance, does that make us "non-American" to say so?

Your logic sucks, Ozy.

p.s. -- I may be an agnostic/atheist, but I'm not going to lay all the ills of the world at the feet of the faithful -- human motivations are murkier than that.

Bela, I think Neil is possibly stoned -- his rudeness appears to be intact, but his ability to communicate in clear terms seems to have gone "pfft." I can't make much sense out of his claims and retrenchments, either.

GonzoTheGreat
07-10-2009, 04:56 AM
Gonzo, you just started the Jew thread a little while ago. That counts as a religion thread. :pSilly Terez, you should know that facts are irrelevant when dealing with religion. Will she buy that, I wonder? Probably, I know that she goes to church on sundays. She's done so every sunday that I have evidence for.

A billboard that says "God loves you" does not in any way harm a non-believer; it simply annoys.

A billboard that says "God doesn't matter" threatens the very basis of a believer's beliefs.That makes more sense than I would wish it did.

On the inverse, the statement that you can not be a good person without God is every bit as much abrasive and offensive as the statement that God does not exist, because it amounts to saying you are a bad person, invalidating your whole way of life.. Why would saying that God does not exist be abrasive and offensive? Is the same true for other gods? If, for instance, I say that Zeus does not exist, is that abrasive and offensive too?
Even worse, how about Exodus|20:3 (Thou shalt have no other gods before me.)? It would seem as though the Bible itself is at least as abrasive and offensive as this sign is.

To answer Gonzo's question, there's nothing about the sign itself that Christians could find offensive without being brazenly hypocritical.Good answer, I think. Though probably an offensive and abrasive one. :p
I also don't understand how saying a person is a bad person for not believing in god is not threatening their way of life, or attacking the fundamental way a person approaches his life because of belief or non-belief. Could you explain that one to me?Well, a very important issue here seems to be: why should that person care about the opinion of that other person?
If (to name a likely example) Fred Phelps thinks that I'm a bad person because I do not believe in God, then I can simply totally ignore that idiot without considering it a threat to the way I approach life, simply because I don't care what he thinks about me.
Why should a believer care what the unwashed heathen believes about his God? Why doesn't this work both ways. I don't see how this whole thing isn't a very clear double standard.Because the believer really knows that the atheist is correct. But in order to hide that truth from himself he has invented an invisible friend who talks to him.
Compare this to the Rand & LTT debate: the atheist is comparable to Cadsuane who threatens Rand's view of reality, and thereby makes the believer insanely angry.
Now I'm starting to worry myself: do we have a real Semirhage walking around too?
Jesus Christ doubted: "My God, why have you forsaken me?".I'm not convinced that he really doubted at that stage. He may have done what numerous Jews at the point of death did: quote the appropriate Psalm.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 09:42 AM
I'm not convinced that he really doubted at that stage. He may have done what numerous Jews at the point of death did: quote the appropriate Psalm.

That's one interpretation.

Another that I've been taught is that Jesus tried to talk God out of the whole thing and then accepted his will and allowed himself to be taken, holding out hope that it was a test like Abraham's killing of his son Issac, and that God would rescue him from the cross, and not actually allow his son to be killed. When he came to the realization that him getting killed was God's plan, he decided to have faith that it was the right thing, and accepted God's will.

But in order to hide that truth from himself he has invented an invisible friend who talks to him.

This can be true without attacking christian beliefs even, if you accept the whole faith dealio God isn't talking to anyone but his prophets because he wants people to accept him on faith. So anyone that hears God in a non metaphorical sense is totally inventing an invisible friend to talk to. Or a Prophet, but let's see some miracles eh?

Well, a very important issue here seems to be: why should that person care about the opinion of that other person?

They shouldn't, but many christians take anything short of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior as attacking their beliefs. Not all, but I would imagine in similar proportion to the atheists that go around mocking an invisible sky man.

Now I'm starting to worry myself: do we have a real Semirhage walking around too?

Oh come on Gonzo, this one is an obvious yes.

Bela, I think Neil is possibly stoned -- his rudeness appears to be intact, but his ability to communicate in clear terms seems to have gone "pfft." I can't make much sense out of his claims and retrenchments, either.

Hey tru. Fuck you. Nobody asked you to jump in and be a bitch, and your lack of understanding is a failing on your part at this point. If you think how I responded to Bela was rudeness then you should stay out of the sunlight your skin is so thin.

Here, I'll put it in a blender and spoon feed it to you:

Claiming a person can't be a good person without god is equivalent to claiming a person who believes in god is crazy and irrational.

When someone says, "I am a Christian" they tacitly support what their forebears have done. If you disagree, you are funda mentally no longer a Christian, because you have made a move to remove yourself from your community.

If you replace Christian with Catholic, or Episcopalian, or whatever then it's true. You can disagree with the actions of your forebears and still follow the teachings of Christ, but calling yourself Catholic, for example, is accepting the One Holy Church and all that implies.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-10-2009, 09:56 AM
Hey, Neil, give the epithets a rest, would you? They're not necessary.


(Or at the very least, be a hell of a lot more creative.)

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 10:14 AM
If I creatively insulted someone so simple minded I'm not sure they would understand they were being insulted. But I suppose if I could pull it off it would be worth the effort.

JSUCamel
07-10-2009, 11:24 AM
Not entirely sure why you need to insult people at all. It certainly doesn't make us want to listen to you or be on your side or even remotely take you seriously.

Haven't I said this already?

There are plenty of people on this board that I consider to be hare-brained idiots, but I know that calling them out on it won't solve anything but make them angry at me (and then they'll keep spewing out idiocy).

If you're half as intelligent as you claim to be, then you'd realize what I'm saying is true.

Cut it out, please.

Sinistrum
07-10-2009, 02:19 PM
*shakes his head at people taking the bait*

I guess I should have used the Admirable Ackbar picture I used in the Palin Resigns thread too.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 03:15 PM
Not entirely sure why you need to insult people at all. It certainly doesn't make us want to listen to you or be on your side or even remotely take you seriously.

Comments like Tru's make it apparent that this will happen regardless.

If you're half as intelligent as you claim to be, then you'd realize what I'm saying is true.

I'm also an idiot, but I don't see the point in not telling snide bitches to fuck off, but if it makes you happy she's on my ignore list because this is a trend with her and she never says anything worth reading anyways.

JSUCamel
07-10-2009, 03:18 PM
Comments like Tru's make it apparent that this will happen regardless.

One could argue that your previous insults in this thread prompted tru's comment. Had you been civil in previous posts, tru wouldn't have even commented.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 03:29 PM
One could argue that your previous insults in this thread prompted tru's comment. Had you been civil in previous posts, tru wouldn't have even commented.

My previous insults?

Point them out to me please, because all I see that could possibly be taken as an insult prior to Tru's comment is

"I'm sorry you have trouble understanding that"

and

"Honestly I suspect you're just being an asshole, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt before I haul off and call you one."

Which is well on par with:

"But obviously I should be able to intuit your real argument despite what you actually typed. Clearly that's a failure on my part."

and

"So, you know, kudos for keeping up."

I don't see Tru calling Bela out.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-10-2009, 04:04 PM
It wasn't just this thread, Neil. You are rude and abrasive in general, and as I've pointed out, unoriginal in your rudeness and abrasiveness. If you're gonna be a large suppurating sore on the backside of a mule, at least be funny, creative or original.

Orc
07-10-2009, 04:23 PM
I gotta admit Neilbert, your first couple of posts didn't make much sense to me either.

Belazamon
07-10-2009, 04:44 PM
This post has been eaten twice already. I should probably take that as a sign. But, I don't wanna. :D

Why should a believer care what the unwashed heathen believes about his God? Why doesn't this work both ways. I don't see how this whole thing isn't a very clear double standard.It is a double standard. Congratulations for catching up to the rest of the class!

It's so self evident you can't be arsed to explain the difference. How surprising.... Wait. Are you actually calling me out for not explaining something that is self-evident? Are you not familiar with the definition of "self-evident," by some chance?

The existence of people who believe that it is impossible to be a good person without believing in god (IE: Damn near all of them) appears to threaten the belief systems of some atheists.I fail to see how the "belief system" of an atheist (i.e., there are no gods) is challenged, let alone "threatened," by the existence of people who do believe in a God. You're gonna have to explain that a little bit better.

In short, the whole concept of faith means that the religious shouldn't be caring if other people don't believe god exists.Apparently you are also unfamiliar with the concept of evangelical religions.

Why would saying that God does not exist be abrasive and offensive?Best guess? In my perception, people who are actually offended by the above statement interpret it to mean "There is no God, and you are stupid/ignorant/wasting your time to believe that there is." The second (unstated) part is the "offensive" aspect. And they assume that even if you didn't actually say the second part, that's what you meant regardless.

Well, a very important issue here seems to be: why should that person care about the opinion of that other person?Precisely. Unfortunately Neil is still arguing about the effects of people actually acting on those beliefs (i.e., persecution in all its myriad forms), while the rest of us are talking about the belief systems in and of themselves.

*shakes his head at people taking the bait*But it's such delicious and tempting bait!

Anyway I have to admit that I kinda enjoy arguments like this. I know, I know, I've shocked you all.

Davian93
07-10-2009, 04:55 PM
Given that the overwhelmingly vast majority of murder, killing, and genocide in human history has been done in the name of religion, I'd say that believers pose a much more credible threat to the very lives of non-believers than the other way around.

Stalin was an athiest...your move Jefe.

Neilbert
07-10-2009, 05:21 PM
Unfortunately Neil is still arguing about the effects of people actually acting on those beliefs (i.e., persecution in all its myriad forms), while the rest of us are talking about the belief systems in and of themselves.

No, I'm not. At no point did I ever bring up any action. You added that on your own.

... Wait. Are you actually calling me out for not explaining something that is self-evident? Are you not familiar with the definition of "self-evident," by some chance?

I'm saying it isn't self evident, and that you are using the phrase to weasel out of explaining something which, should, if it were truly self evident, be easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

I fail to see how the "belief system" of an atheist (i.e., there are no gods) is challenged, let alone "threatened," by the existence of people who do believe in a God. You're gonna have to explain that a little bit better.

Partially it's because you massively oversimplify atheist belief systems. The lack of gods does not mean a lack of belief in right and wrong, or good and evil.

It is not the existence of people that believe in god that is the problem, it is the common belief that it is impossible to be a good person without god, which is so entwined with the belief in god that for the most part it may well be the exact same thing. Just like belief in god is not attacked by non belief in god unless you believe that everyone has to believe in god, and ignore the concept of faith.

An atheist belief system that believes in doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing, making them "good", is attacked by the belief that is is impossible to be good without god.

This attack is comparable in scope to, as you put it, making someone doubt
their faith by not believing in god.

In both cases the parties being attacked are being oversensitive, but both attacks get at the fundamental core of a person's beliefs (being good because you do the right thing, or being good because of faith in god).

For atheists that believe in good, the fundamental belief that is being attacked is the belief that human beings have the capability to know good (in the biblical sense), without divine help.

If you don't understand how that is a fundamental belief to atheists, it's because you don't understand that there can be more to atheism than simple non belief in God.

Ever hear the argument that without god there can be no morality? Because I have, and from people who were supposedly well versed in theology.

For a believer, the idea that there is no afterlife, there is no God, there is nothing beyond this life, is an immensely terrifying idea that clashes with the core of their being and all the insecurities that are contained within that need to know that there is a purpose in life and beyond the grave.

Atheists can feel a need to be good, and an insecurity at failing that, especially if they believe that this life is all they get (which is not necessarily the case). Saying that human beings can't be good without divine help plays on those insecurities, the fear that humans are just animals, or that it is human nature to be evil.

tworiverswoman
07-10-2009, 05:44 PM
An alternate explanation for the "believer" to take such umbrage at this sign (or at atheism in general) is that, far from worrying about their own faith, they fear that atheists will use their damnable "logic" to lead others astray from the Path of Righteousness. ("Think of the children!") Those who believe in God in a deep-seated fashion aren't really going to pay a lot of attention to arguments against believing. They KNOW the 'truth' and don't listen to us any more than we listen to them. But someone who doesn't have that firm a commitment may be swayed. To a believer, that is anathema.



Neil, you're hilarious. Really. Also remarkably thin-skinned yourself.

Belazamon
07-10-2009, 06:37 PM
After this, I'll probably go find something to do. It's Friday night after all, I'm sure there's excitement somewhere!

At no point did I ever bring up any action. You added that on your own.Possibly this is a semantic difference. At different points in this thread you have referred to, quote,threatening their way of lifeandthreaten[ing] the belief systemsTo me, "way of life" and "belief systems" aren't the same thing. In terms of belief systems, I don't believe in a God. In terms of a way of life, I work for a living, use my spare time for reading and friends, and don't attend a church. Someone could easily threaten the way I live my life without threatening my belief systems.

The phrase you originally singled out to object to was "A believer doesn't threaten a non-believer's way of life." Possibly you use this phrase interchangeably with "belief system." If that is the case, then you are absolutely correct, I misinterpreted your meaning. I think it's a pretty understandable mistake, though.

I'm saying it isn't self evident, and that you are using the phrase to weasel out of explaining something which, should, if it were truly self evident, be easy as shooting fish in a barrel.Then you should probably just say that next time, instead of reacting with faux shock that I didn't explain something I considered self-explanatory. I can only respond to what you type. I haven't perfected mind-reading yet.

Partially it's because you massively oversimplify atheist belief systems...
If you don't understand how that is a fundamental belief to atheists, it's because you don't understand that there can be more to atheism than simple non belief in God.Nope, I'm afraid you misunderstand me completely. At no point have I ever taken issue with your assertion that atheists can be offended at the assertion that God is required for a good life. I've only taken issue with your assertion that this is actually "threatening" their belief system.

Brita
07-10-2009, 07:43 PM
Stalin was an athiest...your move Jefe.

So was Pol Pot.

Terez
07-10-2009, 07:45 PM
And don't forget Ayn Rand.

JSUCamel
07-10-2009, 08:04 PM
And don't forget Ayn Rand.

I heard they're making a movie of "Atlas Shrugged".

See? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/?fr=c2M9MXxsbT01MDB8ZmI9dXx4PTB8dHQ9MXxteD0yMHx5PT B8aHRtbD0xfGNoPTF8Y289MXxwbj0wfGZ0PTF8a3c9MXxxcz1h dGxhcyBzaHJ1Z2dlZHxzaXRlPWRmfHE9YXRsYXMgc2hydWdnZW R8bm09MQ__;fc=1;ft=4

Davian93
07-10-2009, 08:46 PM
I heard they're making a movie of "Atlas Shrugged".

See? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/?fr=c2M9MXxsbT01MDB8ZmI9dXx4PTB8dHQ9MXxteD0yMHx5PT B8aHRtbD0xfGNoPTF8Y289MXxwbj0wfGZ0PTF8a3c9MXxxcz1h dGxhcyBzaHJ1Z2dlZHxzaXRlPWRmfHE9YXRsYXMgc2hydWdnZW R8bm09MQ__;fc=1;ft=4

Terry Goodkind probably just went in his pants...


So was Pol Pot.

Exactly, the "religion kills more than anything else" argument is complete BS. Men have no problem coming up with reasons to kill other men without the need to resort to religion.