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Atheism On The Rise In America


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#91 Sharpshooter

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:45 AM

I suppose I misread your post then. My apologies. I guess in that case, we'll have to agree to disagree that deification of an ideal can negate atheism. The definition of a "god" is far from cut and dry.

Google "love is God". There is plenty of deification of it going on.


I'd have much preferred if that was the dogma that they pursued instead.

Although I don't know how they'd explain how love became a burning bush without a parable concerning STD's

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#92 Lockhart

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:48 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?


Why do you think "morals" are unique to religious people or even humans? frack, look at dogs.... last time I checked my black lab isn't going around raping,killing and stealing (except off the table).

Meaning of life? There isn't one. Enjoy yourself and hopefully be lucky enough to have good genes. You're born, you die and that's it.

Edited by Lockhart, 15 August 2012 - 12:51 AM.


#93 Sharpshooter

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:49 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?


Intrinsic and inherent altruistic and survival/adaptational motivations manifested through social and individualistic evolution.

No

That's for us each to define for our own lives.....and yes.

Edited by Sharpshooter, 15 August 2012 - 12:51 AM.

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#94 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:56 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?


Altruistic and moral behaviour in general is evolutionarily favourable. If we all lived in societies where we killed, raped, stole, etc. without restraint, we'd have gone extinct as a species long ago. Cooperative societies survive.

Define evil

We make our own meaning for life. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I'd like to end my life knowing I'd somehow made the world a better place than it was before I was born.
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#95 G.K. Chesterton

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:07 AM

I live as if atheism were true...so your statement in the opening part of that paragraph is crapola. I live my life everyday with not even a single thought that there may be a supreme being or an invisible man living in the sky. I find the bible to be a book of children's fairy tales adapted for adults, and I think heaven is just as Hawking said it was...a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.


You would obviously have to think about the absence of God in order to maintain your atheism. You think "there is no God" but in so doing you are still thinking about God.

But the real part is this: everyone has principles, ethics, morals, etc...and we feel angry when justice is violated, when innocents are punished, etc...but "if the evolutionary mechanism of natural selection depends on death, destruction and violence of the strong against the weak, then these things are perfectly natural".

Your posts are always good for a laugh or two.


A pleasure that they entertain you. But yawn.

What do you mean by the bolded part?

I disagree with Chesterton once again.....reason isn't a matter of faith....it's a matter of logic. Faith in extraordinary supernatural claims with the coupling of less than ordinary evidence is illogical and therefore unreasonable.

See? Logic!


I would argue that there are things we presuppose without being scientifically able to prove them, such as our thoughts having a relation to reality. Secondly, it's your presupposition that evidence for the supernatural is less than ordinary. In one instance you're correct - a miracle is extraordinary because it is divine; on the other hand, a miracle is easy for God to perform, so it is ordinary.

Thank you. So many apologists cling to Chesterton like he's a life raft in this type of discussion or something. He's just about as credible as Thomas Aquinas...which is to say, not credible at all.


Expand and explain. You're dismissive, without actually offering any criticism. Yawn.

Besides, Chesterton debated atheists that were actually coherent and savvy like Shaw and Russell. He would demolish Dawkins.
“Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.” - G.K. Chesterton

“Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn't require much of anything at all.” - Frederick Buechner

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” - Flannery O'Connor


“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” - C.S. Lewis

#96 Armada

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:18 AM

Religion.

The one topic that will never have an ending argument.

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#97 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:27 AM

You would obviously have to think about the absence of God in order to maintain your atheism. You think "there is no God" but in so doing you are still thinking about God.

But the real part is this: everyone has principles, ethics, morals, etc...and we feel angry when justice is violated, when innocents are punished, etc...but "if the evolutionary mechanism of natural selection depends on death, destruction and violence of the strong against the weak, then these things are perfectly natural".



Got up for a glass of chocolate milk, saw this and figured I'd clue you in on something before I fall asleep here. This part...this bolded part right here, is absolute hogwash. I do not have to "think about the absence of god". I used to, about five years ago, but I'm so thoroughly convinced it's all a money grubbing, intelligence sapping lie that I no longer have to think about the "absence" of something that never existed in the first place. The thoughts I used to waste wondering whether or not I may be wrong about this (I am not) have now transformed into far more useful, relevant, reality-based thoughts, such as retaining information I absorb through my physics textbooks, studying cosmology and astrophysics which I find ultra-useful because I can actually observe a planet, a moon, a star or a galaxy. The reason no one can observe "god" is because it is the product of an overactive imagination designed to explain away everything you and people who think like you don't understand. You rely on conjecture and speculation, I rely on facts and evidence, and that's the way it is. You choose to believe what you were programmed to believe.
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#98 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:33 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?



The Motivation and Morality in Enlightened Self-Interest

An Exposition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism




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John Stuart Mill, in his book Utilitarianism, establishes a theory of human motivation that leads to his code of morality. Within his theory, even a person raised in an "evil society" would eventually be able to become moral, despite social conditioning.
Mill believes humans are solely motivated by pleasure and pain-that is, the absence of pain and the augmentation of pleasure-and that actions should be judged only on the basis of whether they produce pleasure and diminish pain. As Mill states, "The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals utility, or the greatest happiness principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness" (Mill 16). However, this principle does not only apply to the self. Instead, Mill says that the goal should be to produce the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people (22).
But, if humans are only motivated by pleasure and pain and since a single human being can only feel her or his own pleasure/pain and nobody else's, then how are humans motivated to work towards the greatest happiness of everyone? Mill's answer is enlightened self-interest. In society, everyone is equal (45). When everyone's interests are treated equally, each individual must be conditioned over time to live cooperatively with other people, at least on a local level (45). In other words, in a society where everyone is equal, each person eventually learns that cooperation, at least over the long-run, will bring more pleasure to the individual than complete self-interest (since self-interest favors the interest of the individual over other equally as deserving people) (45). If people forget their place in society, sanctions provide reinforcement needed to help them remember.
Ideally for Mill, a person would belong to a just society where the laws reflect this system of morality that every person equally deserves happiness. That person would then be conditioned (as she or he internalized the laws) to live cooperatively in society. However, if the laws instead are partial to a certain group of people or for some other reason violate Mill' theory of universal moral law for all human beings (61-62), the person will be conditioned to those laws and his or her conscience will reflect it (and be immoral).
Nonetheless, the person would not be condemned to a life of immoral conscience. Instead, enlightened self-interest would step in again. Regardless of whether the law sanctions the equality of all, enlightened self-interest is basically an egotistical principle since in the end it promotes the interest of the individual. If a person repeatedly acts on the motives of immediate pleasure and pain, she will eventually be burned. For example, say a business owner repeatedly lies about the quality of her product to her customers to entice them to buy her product, but she sells the cheapest she can find, which quickly break. In the short term, she might gain a profit, increasing her pleasure. Eventually, though, word-of-mouth would slow down her business until it died out, definitely decreasing her pleasure in life. Had she, however, sold higher quality products and been truthful about them, her business most likely would have lasted, giving her the pleasure over time of a secure income. Therefore, acting for the whole is really in the interest of the individual. And, as Mill states repeatedly, people are motivated by self-interest in pleasure and pain.
For a person who belongs to an immoral society, he would, over time, begin to recognize that cooperation is really in his own interest and will be motivated to act accordingly. Even though it is self-interest that promotes working for the greater good, for Mill, this does not matter. It is the consequence of the action that matters. Therefore, a person, working in self-interest, who acts for the common good would be considered moral.
For Mill, morality is inextricably tied up with the idea of justice. Though Mill breaks justice into five practical applications, they can basically be summed up as: Justice is following the law (with a few exceptions, such as unjust laws), being impartial, and understanding it to be universal to all human beings (59-62). Laws supposedly should enforce these ideas, but if they do not, a person should still be able to learn justice (or feel justice) because justice is both the reasonable side of morality and the sentimental side. That is, justice can govern and critique laws through reason, but it also provides a sentiment, the feeling of justice. Mill contests that people have a tendency to believe that justice is a part of objective reality, almost an instinct (58). If justice has the emotional component, then it also makes sense that a person in an immoral society would have some idea of this sentiment.
In other words, a person who is raised in an immoral society, one whose laws do not work for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, that person, despite social conditioning will be able to become a moral person.


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#99 Bill Sikes

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:47 AM

Next thing you know, those heathens will be killing people in the streets en masse because there's no way for them to judge what's right and wrong without God.

Heathens are not Godless, and have a very good sense of right and wrong, in fact, Christians are closer to Atheists than we are, you are just one God away. ::D

Edited by Norman Clegg, 15 August 2012 - 04:54 AM.

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#100 JLumme

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:33 AM

Jesus & co are not going to be happy with the results of this poll. Quick, JC, get your face on a pancake to boost the numbers! Barring that, a maple syrup stain on a truck driver's shirt - we don't have time to be too picky.

#101 D-Money

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:36 AM

It seems I know a bunch of atheists and they all annoy me. They are on par, or worse, than self righteous christian right wing nut jobs.

Why can't everybody keep their beliefs to themselves or amongst their own group, it is really annoying. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong, beliefs are beliefs.


Sounds like a copout, just to keep everything safe and warm.

Personally, I find that stance more annoying than someone who tries to make a stand for what they believe to be right, and beneficial for all.

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#102 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:46 AM

I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to express my agreement with VICanucksfan. Atheism is a particular word with a particular definition that concerns itself with non-belief in god. It is not a word that deals with a state of being.

People can be moral and amoral, and while closely associated, it is still not the same as being ethical or unethical. Similarly, a Buddhist sect with no belief in a supreme being is atheist, but not a-dogmatic. In other words atheism =/= non-religious. It just means... non-theist. To redefine atheism, first one needs to redefine theism.

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?


My mom told me when I was a little boy that even trees have feelings and made me apologize to a tree for ripping off its leaf.

Nope

Life is what you make of it.


You would obviously have to think about the absence of God in order to maintain your atheism. You think "there is no God" but in so doing you are still thinking about God.

But the real part is this: everyone has principles, ethics, morals, etc...and we feel angry when justice is violated, when innocents are punished, etc...but "if the evolutionary mechanism of natural selection depends on death, destruction and violence of the strong against the weak, then these things are perfectly natural".



A pleasure that they entertain you. But yawn.



I would argue that there are things we presuppose without being scientifically able to prove them, such as our thoughts having a relation to reality. Secondly, it's your presupposition that evidence for the supernatural is less than ordinary. In one instance you're correct - a miracle is extraordinary because it is divine; on the other hand, a miracle is easy for God to perform, so it is ordinary.



Expand and explain. You're dismissive, without actually offering any criticism. Yawn.

Besides, Chesterton debated atheists that were actually coherent and savvy like Shaw and Russell. He would demolish Dawkins.


Entertain... not the word I'd have used.

Can you explain how the evolutionary mechanism of natural selection "depends on death, destruction and violence of the strong against the weak"? Sounds like a talking point, one not founded in understanding of evolution. Shocking.

Personally, I don't have to think about the absence of god to "maintain" my atheism. You're presenting atheism as a wind breaker to god's wind, which further shows your lack of understanding of the things you talk about. To "maintain" my atheism, I don't think "god doesn't exist" because that is a conclusion to the thought process, not the thought process itself.

I'm pretty sure there is scientific proof for thoughts and how they relate to reality. What does that even mean, "thoughts having a relation to reality"? Of course they have a relation to reality, you're not going to think "I need more sugar in my tea" if you're not drinking tea, are you? It is ordinary for acrobats to walk on ropes, but it is still extraordinary to anyone who can't do the same.

Yawn indeed.

Are there any atheists who have never read Dawkins, Hitchens, et al? I haven't heard of these guys until a couple of years ago, and it seems every theist now presupposes that these guys are the guiding light for atheism. They're mentioned in just about any discussion on the related subjects on this forum.

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


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#103 D-Money

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:47 AM

A mass exodus from religious institutions is prophecied in the Bible. It culminates in them suddenly being shut down by the world's governments, and stripped of their wealth. I believe this will happen soon.

Revelation chapter 17.

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#104 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:54 AM

A mass exodus from religious institutions is prophecied in the Bible. It culminates in them suddenly being shut down by the world's governments, and stripped of their wealth. I believe this will happen soon.

Revelation chapter 17.


I remember you said Glen believes this too. Such a step completely unnecessary. Religion will be destroyed by information, not governments.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, religion will not be banned, it will simply be useless, even insulting to the average person and be relegated to the dark corners of society.

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


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#105 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:59 AM

A mass exodus from religious institutions is prophecied in the Bible. It culminates in them suddenly being shut down by the world's governments, and stripped of their wealth. I believe this will happen soon.

Revelation chapter 17.

This is happening on people's own conscience, not by government. If anything, government remains far more religious in nature, especially in an evangelical sense, than the populace in North America.

Edited by zaibatsu, 15 August 2012 - 08:59 AM.


#106 Hobble

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:18 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from? Common sense and general respect for others. I learned Right vs. Wrong from my parents and others I interacted with, not from a 2000 year old book

Do you believe in evil? I believe that bad people can do bad things

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning? Reproduce (ie. sex)


Edited by Hobble, 15 August 2012 - 09:19 AM.


#107 D-Money

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:27 AM

I remember you said Glen believes this too. Such a step completely unnecessary. Religion will be destroyed by information, not governments.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, religion will not be banned, it will simply be useless, even insulting to the average person and be relegated to the dark corners of society.


Yes, on their current trajectory, religious institutions would likely mostly die out on their own. However, the scripture says other motivations will be at play: God puts the idea into the minds of the ruling authorities (Revelation 17:16-17).

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Now...I don't expect anyone to suddenly believe that, because of what some poster wrote on a message board. However, this is an example of why I am religious, and why I think it's important not to "keep beliefs to yourself".

Most people, including many religious, believe it doesn't really matter what you believe, because it doesn't really have an effect on anything but your own mental space. 'Whatever helps you make sense of the world, and gets you through your day'. Although personal understanding and fulfillment are important, that's only a small part of why I am religious.

The message of the Bible is that changes are coming - whether you believe them or not, and whether you accept them or not. The things that it says will happen will affect every person on the planet. And whether these changes are good for a person or not will completely depend on whether they are prepared for them.

Again, I don't expect people to believe because of a message board post...but I will always tell others the bible is definitely worth looking into. If they disagree - even vehemently - that's fine, that's their right. But I'm not going to stop believing, or letting others know. I feel I have a personal responsibility.

Edited by D-Money, 15 August 2012 - 09:33 AM.

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#108 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:34 AM

Yes, on its current trajectory, religion would likely die out on its own. However, the scripture says other motivations will be at play: God puts the idea into their minds (Revelation 17:16-17).

------------------------

Now...I don't expect anyone to suddenly believe that, because of what some poster wrote on a message board. However, this is an example of why I am religious, and why I think it's important not to "keep beliefs to yourself".

Most people, including many religious, believe it doesn't really matter what you believe, because it doesn't really have an affect on anything but your own mental space. 'Whatever helps you make sense of the world, and gets you through your day'. Although personal understanding and fulfillment are important, that's only a small part of why I am religious.

The message of the Bible is that changes are coming - whether you believe them or not, and whether you accept them or not. The things that it says will happen will affect every person on the planet. And whether these changes are good for a person or not will completely depend on whether they are prepared for them.

Again, I don't expect people to believe because of a message board post...but I will always tell others the bible is definitely worth looking into. If they disagree - even vehemently - that's fine, that's their right. But I'm not going to stop believing, or letting others know. I feel I have a personal responsibility.


I don't understand how anyone can maintain our beliefs affect nothing but ourselves.

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


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#109 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:43 AM

I don't understand how anyone can maintain our beliefs affect nothing but ourselves.

Because it takes either being repressed by those who have those beliefs or those who can empathize with those repressed to understand that beliefs affect far more than just the person with them.

At one point Christians here in North America will understand first hand exactly what blacks, women, and gays went through, and they'll want the same empathy and compassion.. and they'll be reminded of how hard they fought against aforementioned demographic's freedom and liberty. Too bad religious people here have to learn such an unnecessarily hard lesson.

Edited by zaibatsu, 15 August 2012 - 09:53 AM.


#110 Niloc009

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:51 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from? One life to live. Everyone gets one shot. That makes murder wrong. Also, theft because that person wasted valuable time to get those things. I won't explain every rule, but it provides a moral base.

Do you believe in evil? No. Just misguided people who believe that they're doing what's best for themselves.

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning? Further human race, make yourself and those you love happy, develop our shared human knowledge.


Coming from an agnostic (but 99% sure in my mind) atheist.

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#111 D-Money

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

I don't understand how anyone can maintain our beliefs affect nothing but ourselves.


Of course, when a person inflicts/forces their beliefs on the rest of society, through abuse, prejudice, etc...then it obviously affects others. But short of that, most people would say personal beliefs are simply personal. Yet, they affect motivations, goals, viewpoints, ideologies...basically everything.
The "hard-core athiests" understand this, and some try to influence people to change their beliefs to something that they see as better not only for a given individual, but for mankind in general.

For that, I respect them and their efforts. Even though our beliefs are obviously vastly different, we both expend effort and open ourselves up to criticism and personal attacks, all in an effort to help.

Edited by D-Money, 15 August 2012 - 10:00 AM.

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#112 GLASSJAW

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

atheists are so annoying, far worse than any christian i've ever met

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#113 GLASSJAW

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:56 AM

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i'm not alone; i'll never be
 


#114 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:57 AM

atheists are so annoying, far worse than any christian i've ever met

This is true, I've met so many annoying atheists, and this forum has a number of them as well.

You'd think for people that supposedly evolved their thinking they'd be smart enough to avoid the same pitfalls that beset religion. The more they try to differentiate themselves, the more they wind up looking the same.

Edited by zaibatsu, 15 August 2012 - 09:58 AM.


#115 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:02 AM

:sadno:

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


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#116 Niloc009

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:08 AM

atheists are so annoying, far worse than any christian i've ever met


Jehovah's Witnesses.


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#117 GLASSJAW

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:09 AM

Then give them this for me..... :picard:

And tell them to turn in their decoder ring....they're out.



If believing in god is just superstition, surely reincarnation--the idea that I, or you, may 'come back' as a dog--must be lumped in with those who get the dreaded internet facepalm and the a punishing from the iron fist of elitism?

I've never understood how Sam Harris can have all of his weird "eastern" beliefs in regards to the afterlife and spirituality, which rely just as much on superstition as any christian doctrine, imo

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#118 Tearloch7

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

In other words, someday "Christians" will feel much like "Atheists" do now? .. irony coupled with karma twisted round poetic justice!! .. and they claim "God" has no sense of humor .. :lol:

"To Thine Own Self Be True"

 

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#119 Tearloch7

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

This is true, I've met so many annoying atheists, and this forum has a number of them as well.

You'd think for people that supposedly evolved their thinking they'd be smart enough to avoid the same pitfalls that beset religion. The more they try to differentiate themselves, the more they wind up looking the same.


Pot ... meet kettle ..

"To Thine Own Self Be True"

 

"Always tell the Truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said"  ~ Mark Twain ~
 


#120 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

For all atheists, where do your morals come from?

Do you believe in evil?

What is the meaning of life? Or better, does life have meaning?


Two places: evolution and secular reasoning. Despite the notion that beasts behave bestially, scientists studying our primate relatives, such as chimpanzees, see evolutionary rudiments of morality: behaviors that look for all the world like altruism, sympathy, moral disapproval, sharing — even notions of fairness. This is exactly what we'd expect if human morality, like many other behaviors, is built partly on the genes of our ancestors.
And the conditions under which humans evolved are precisely those that would favor the evolution of moral codes: small social groups of big-brained animals. When individuals in a group can get to know, recognize and remember each other, this gives an advantage to genes that make you behave nicely towards others in the group, reward those who cooperate and punish those who cheat. That's how natural selection can build morality. Secular reason adds another layer atop these evolved behaviors, helping us extend our moral sentiments far beyond our small group of friends and relatives — even to animals.
Should we be afraid that a morality based on our genes and our brains is somehow inferior to one handed down from above? Not at all. In fact, it's far better, because secular morality has a flexibility and responsiveness to social change that no God-given morality could ever have. Secular morality is what pushes religion to improve its own dogma on issues such as slavery and the treatment of women. Secular morality is what prevents ethically irrelevant matters — what we eat, read or wear, when we work, or whom we have sex with — from being grouped with matters of genuine moral concern, like rape and child abuse. And really, isn't it better to be moral because you've worked out for yourself — in conjunction with your group — the right thing to do, rather than because you want to propitiate a god or avoid punishment in the hereafter?
Nor should we worry that a society based on secular morality will degenerate into lawlessness. That experiment has already been done — in countries such as Sweden and Denmark that are largely filled with non-believers and atheists. I can vouch from experience that secular European nations are full of well-behaved and well-meaning citizens, not criminals and sociopaths running amok. In fact, you can make a good case that those countries, with their liberal social views and extensive aid for the sick, old and disadvantaged, are even more moral than America.
Clearly, you can be good without God.
http://www.usatoday....-religion_n.htm


"good" and "evil" are relative terms, with no specific meaning or relevance in this conversation, they're only words.

The meaning of life is to gather as much information as you possibly can about yourself, the universe that surrounds you, the rich pageantry of the natural world, without having to ponder on the silliness of supernatural hokum and other unprovable phenomena. And for the last question, yes, in my opinion, human life is meaningless.

Edited by Slaytanic Wehrmacht, 15 August 2012 - 10:13 AM.

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