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Old 07-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #441
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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If you start from a position of ackowledging that if you had been born in Saudi Arabia you would most likely be a Muslim, the idea of believing in one particular god is awfully hard to maintain.
Exactly.

I like the saying that "I just believe in one less god than you do."
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #442
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?? Jesus was in Calgary?
That would be a typo on my part...Calvary is what I thought I typed.

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Old 07-18-2010, 11:54 PM   #443
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That would be a typo on my part...Calvary is what I thought I typed.
We would just like to be left alone, thank you.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:30 PM   #444
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I think it is because those countries don't have talk radio. Those guys really scare me.

Seriously, why is it that America is becoming more religious and more politically religious than Canada or European countries? Why does the religious right feel the need to push back so strongly? They are a small percentage of the country yet are forcing their policies onto the political arena in ever louder voices (not more of them, just louder). When will the rational Christians push back?
I think there are folks who stand up to those who try to twist religion into a justification or excuse to hate people. Anne Lamott is a wonderful liberal Christian author who's really challenged the harsher side of where so much of American Christianity seems to be heading. Actually Anne Lamott came up with one of my favorite observations about Christianity, which is that 'you can be pretty sure you've created God in your own image when it turns out that He hates all the same people you do.'

I don't think one needs to be an agnostic or an athiest to find the judgmental, harshly dogmatic side of Christianity or contempt for other beliefs by some Christians disturbing, or to hope that compassion and treating others as we'd hope to be treated ourselves, might prevail.

But I guess those who'd debate the role of compassion in the gospels, or theological consistency probably don't get as much publicity as, say Westboro Baptist.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #445
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Actually Anne Lamott came up with one of my favorite observations about Christianity, which is that 'you can be pretty sure you've created God in your own image when it turns out that He hates all the same people you do.'

I don't think one needs to be an agnostic or an athiest to find the judgmental, harshly dogmatic side of Christianity or contempt for other beliefs by some Christians disturbing, or to hope that compassion and treating others as we'd hope to be treated ourselves, might prevail.
I love that quote of Lamott's as well.

I've met many kind, compassionate, non-threatening Christians, but those aren't the ones that one tends to remember. Bad, shocking, irrational behavior is just more memorable.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:08 PM   #446
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It may not be the ones that people remember but it's the ones that people count among their friends and love deeply and unconditionally.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:22 AM   #447
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Oooh, i LIKE that dinosaur eating the fish. I'm also a fan of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Great site!

I also get a kick out of this one:

http://www.evolvefish.com/fish/product563.html

I'm afraid to think of what would happen to me if I actually put one of these on my vehicle.
You and me both...it sucks living in the bible belt!
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #448
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Oooh, i LIKE that dinosaur eating the fish. I'm also a fan of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Great site!

I also get a kick out of this one:

http://www.evolvefish.com/fish/product563.html

I'm afraid to think of what would happen to me if I actually put one of these on my vehicle.
I haven't seen that one before. That's pretty funny! I don't live in the bible belt but it's a smaller somewhat conservative community. I rarely discuss my lack of religion with people. I'd kind of like to be more up front about it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #449
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It does kind of interest me when someone says they can't imagine not believing in God.

My advice would be - try it. See what happens.

I have had several friends tell me they feel sorry for me because I don't believe in life after death.

My response is "don't waste your pity. If you're right then I'll be pleasantly surprised. If I'm right I won't be the least bit disappointed".

They simply cannot imagine I question the existence of a any deity. I would probably be viewed better if I said I was a crack addict.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #450
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I have had several friends tell me they feel sorry for me because I don't believe in life after death.
My response is "don't waste your pity. If you're right then I'll be pleasantly surprised. If I'm right I won't be the least bit disappointed".
What an excellent response - I'll remember this!
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:37 PM   #451
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I have had several friends tell me they feel sorry for me because I don't believe in life after death.

My response is "don't waste your pity. If you're right then I'll be pleasantly surprised. If I'm right I won't be the least bit disappointed".

They simply cannot imagine I question the existence of a any deity. I would probably be viewed better if I said I was a crack addict.
It really was a bit of a jolt for me to get over the very pleasant idea that I would see my loved ones again in the hereafter. Would we all reside on the same cloud do you think? Or no, that couldn't be because our bodies would fall through the clouds. Wait! Our bodies won't really be flesh and blood bodies, they'll be "spiritual" bodies. What if we didn't get the best parents or family? Will I have to watch them suffering in hell?

Ok, too complicated! Non-existence just seems easier .
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:12 PM   #452
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It really was a bit of a jolt for me to get over the very pleasant idea that I would see my loved ones again in the hereafter. Would we all reside on the same cloud do you think? Or no, that couldn't be because our bodies would fall through the clouds. Wait! Our bodies won't really be flesh and blood bodies, they'll be "spiritual" bodies. What if we didn't get the best parents or family? Will I have to watch them suffering in hell?

Ok, too complicated! Non-existence just seems easier .
Yeah, I am unclear on how one can explain one being happy in Heaven at the same time knowing that non-believing loved ones are burning forever in hell.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:25 PM   #453
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Yeah, I am unclear on how one can explain one being happy in Heaven at the same time knowing that non-believing loved ones are burning forever in hell.
I never thought of it that way, but yuck. I also don't like the idea of spending eternity with most of my family members. I don't like them now, I sure won't want to spend my afterlife with them!!
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:01 AM   #454
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Yeah, I am unclear on how one can explain one being happy in Heaven at the same time knowing that non-believing loved ones are burning forever in hell.
Yeah really, would there be "fake" loved ones to make us happy while the "real" ones are getting pitchforked?

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Old 07-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #455
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See...this is precisely why my belief in hell evaporated long before I questioned the existence of god. I'm still comfortable with the idea that there may be something more, but there is no way that people are punished for eternity for temporary acts. The vengeful god of the old testament was written to scare commoners and keep them submissive.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #456
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Hmmm... Given the anti-homosexuality hysteria displayed by the Christians in my own life, I have NO TROUBLE at all thinking that if their God was actually real, he'd be more likely to be cruel and vengeful rather than loving.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:38 AM   #457
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Hmmm... I don't even like the idea of "something more" anymore. Even if it's not floating around on a cloud with my relatives, thinking of my mind floating around for eternity is somehow not comforting either.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:27 AM   #458
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Default Interesting Discussion

Here is an interesting discussion on coming out as atheist to family or co-workers. It features outspoken and not-so-outspoken atheists. It is long but if you have some free time....
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #459
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I guess some people just need 'something' to believe in, religion is it for them and I have no trouble with that, as long as they don't push their beliefs on me as I'm sure they wouldn't, like me pushing my non religious views on them, what's that do unto to others bit?

I once had a religion come to my door marketing their religion, when I compared them to door to door sales men they were not happy and said they didn't see the correlation. I said that's precisely what you are doing, selling your religion and I'm sorry I will go to the shop or church of my choice when I decide the product I need.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:03 PM   #460
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While I don't question the existence of God, I frequently find myself questioning the effect religion appears to have on so many people. At its best, religion--regardless of faith--seems to encourage its followers to live with a reflective, meditative and prayerful gratitude and reverence, and to behave with compassion towards others. At its worst, it seems to encourage believers to value orthodoxy over compassion and anger or contempt for those who see the world differently. If you not only don't believe in MY God, but express and practice that belief MY way, for all that I might protest that it's really God's way, I'm entitled to see you as less fully human.

I've always respected Judaism because it's one of the few religious traditions I've encountered that not only accepts doubt and questions as a natural and even essential part of being human, but sees following those doubts and questions honestly as essential to building a deeper faith. It seems to me that it takes a tremendous acceptance of our humanity to understand and respect the importance of free inquiry, and great compassion to encourage it.

I often wish Christianity had kept a more respectful awareness of that side of its Jewish heritage.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:47 PM   #461
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While I don't question the existence of God, I frequently find myself questioning the effect religion appears to have on so many people. At its best, religion--regardless of faith--seems to encourage its followers to live with a reflective, meditative and prayerful gratitude and reverence, and to behave with compassion towards others. At its worst, it seems to encourage believers to value orthodoxy over compassion and anger or contempt for those who see the world differently. If you not only don't believe in MY God, but express and practice that belief MY way, for all that I might protest that it's really God's way, I'm entitled to see you as less fully human.
Jane, the phrase religion is good for good people and bad for bad people comes to mind. I also was quite taken by Sam Harris' idea that liberal religious people essentially allow the fundamentalists to exist. They don't question them or protest their extreme practices. They pretty much support the status quo. I'm waiting for some religion (besides the Quakers)to stand up and say we won't allow our boys and girls to go to war any more. Then I might convert to that religion.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:48 PM   #462
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I'm very much enjoying Dan Barker's book, "godless." Yes people think you must be mad at god to be an atheist. What?

Or you present a logical argument and it's summarily dismissed. And reindeer fly round the world in one night, too. Yep.

I'm glad I can come here and chat with some who know how I'm feeling when I see this kind of stuff out there in the world. I think if "belief" was not brainwashed into us from birth, but presented as a choice later, most of us would not go blindly down that path.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:23 AM   #463
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I'm very much enjoying Dan Barker's book, "godless." Yes people think you must be mad at god to be an atheist. What?

Or you present a logical argument and it's summarily dismissed. And reindeer fly round the world in one night, too. Yep.

I'm glad I can come here and chat with some who know how I'm feeling when I see this kind of stuff out there in the world. I think if "belief" was not brainwashed into us from birth, but presented as a choice later, most of us would not go blindly down that path.
I watched Richard Dawkins speaking about evolution to a woman from some conservative group. She might as well have been sticking her fingers in her ears and shouting, "I can't hear you!" When he said there is fossil evidence she said there wasn't. Talk about DNA evidence - same thing.

I'm glad I came to my senses.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:24 PM   #464
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I watched Richard Dawkins speaking about evolution to a woman from some conservative group. She might as well have been sticking her fingers in her ears and shouting, "I can't hear you!" When he said there is fossil evidence she said there wasn't. Talk about DNA evidence - same thing.

I'm glad I came to my senses.
That is very much what seems to come from a lot of the fundamentalists. They have been taught NOT to think or question, and it's like the old comic, sticking fingers in ears and going, "la la la la la I can't hear you!" just like you said.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:05 AM   #465
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Hey Chickens! Why aren't the rest of you helping out on the Creationism in School thread on CE! Oh, well, they don't seem to like being challenged on the god-did-it hypothesis so I think it's going to end soon anyway.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:29 AM   #466
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Nice to see you freaks still chugging along......

*mwah*

(for those who don't know me, that's a total joke! I love so many of the women in this thread)
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:55 AM   #467
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Hey Chickens! Why aren't the rest of you helping out on the Creationism in School thread on CE! Oh, well, they don't seem to like being challenged on the god-did-it hypothesis so I think it's going to end soon anyway.
I was going to, and I did read the first page of it and then I noticed there were FOUR pages... <sigh>
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:30 AM   #468
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It's been interesting to be reading "godless" by Dan Barker, as I'm participating in that thread.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #469
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Wrose - I might have to check that book out.

I started reading the thread in CE and gave up! I loved studying Anthropology in college even though that isn't what I majored in - the joys of Liberal Arts Schools!!

I'm instead focusing on arguing with people over gay marriage.

Did any of you read the Tithing thread in Family Matters a little while ago? It was interesting to me. I was also baffled that people would not pay bills and let their credit be harmed but make sure they tithed. Just hard for me to get my arms around that since I wasn't raised in a household that tithed. We believed in giving to those less fortunate.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:17 PM   #470
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It's been interesting to be reading "godless" by Dan Barker, as I'm participating in that thread.
I bet it was. Still, the message doesn't change much does it? I should look on youtube. I don't know if I've ever seen him debate anyone. With his background, I bet he would be good. He wouldn't be as clueless about fundies as Hitchens or Dawkins.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:02 PM   #471
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I bet it was. Still, the message doesn't change much does it? I should look on youtube. I don't know if I've ever seen him debate anyone. With his background, I bet he would be good. He wouldn't be as clueless about fundies as Hitchens or Dawkins.
There is a lot on YouTube.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #472
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A lot of the videos of Barker are posted by JesusSavesAtCitibank

LOL That's the username.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:27 PM   #473
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LOL, you guys are reminding me of this quote - I have no idea who wrote it, but it is so apropos, so here it is (even though I'm sure I've shared it here before):

"Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeezing one's eyes shut and wailing 'does not!"

*Please note that this is my personal opinion, as well-represented by an anonymous poster on the internet. I love science and I am eternally fascinated by the accumulation of knowledge done by millions of scientists over the centuries. I look forward to every new discovery! I cannot understand those who shrug off the reproducible results of millions of scientists with a 2000-yo book.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:40 PM   #474
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I love science and I am eternally fascinated by the accumulation of knowledge done by millions of scientists over the centuries. I look forward to every new discovery!
I love you Alyson!!! I am a retired science technician, and I am thrilled to read your words. I realised that you can make a career out of science when I started watching Jacques Cousteau's "Underwater World..." series, and I have spent 24 years at the lab bench. I love science too, both its rigour, and its ability to predict further states of the world. No religion has these characteristics.
Stephanie
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:25 AM   #475
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Originally Posted by AlysonRR View Post
LOL, you guys are reminding me of this quote - I have no idea who wrote it, but it is so apropos, so here it is (even though I'm sure I've shared it here before):

"Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeezing one's eyes shut and wailing 'does not!"

*Please note that this is my personal opinion, as well-represented by an anonymous poster on the internet. I love science and I am eternally fascinated by the accumulation of knowledge done by millions of scientists over the centuries. I look forward to every new discovery! I cannot understand those who shrug off the reproducible results of millions of scientists with a 2000-yo book.
That quote is a keeper! That's exactly what a few people on the creationism in schools thread kept doing. The tired old, "where are the transitional fossils?" question kept cropping up and when you'd post links they'd just ignore them.

The phrase, "you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts" phrase also comes to mind. They don't seem to get that some of the stuff they're reading is straw man arguments where someone puts out their own (wrong) version of point of evolution and then knocks it down. That's where I've had to educate myself on evolution enough to know when at least some of their "logical" arguments aren't so logical. Philosophy 101 and logical fallacies to the rescue! And I learned it at a Jesuit University!
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:26 AM   #476
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A lot of the videos of Barker are posted by JesusSavesAtCitibank

LOL That's the username.
Great! Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:15 AM   #477
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A lot of the videos of Barker are posted by JesusSavesAtCitibank

LOL That's the username.
Spending a hot muggy Saturday on Youtube....
Barker vs. Dinesh D'Souza. Good stuff!
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:43 AM   #478
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I love how Barker discusses the "probability" theory - when theists say "but what are the odds that this earth would have developed this way" etc. He pointed out that it's like a lottery winner saying (and I quote from his book), "It was highly unlikely that out of the millions of entrants I could have picked the right ticket, therefore someone must have caused me to win."

Indeed while it is highly unlikely for any one person to win, it is not at all unlikely that nobody will win.

I'm really enjoying the book. It's making me exercise my brain.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:18 AM   #479
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Originally Posted by Stampin Wrose View Post
A lot of the videos of Barker are posted by JesusSavesAtCitibank

LOL That's the username.
Thanks for posting where to find them, they were very interesting!
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:17 PM   #480
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Yeah for the Olympics
SPEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I love ya V!
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