Crowds assemble by the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool for the Reason Rally on June 4, 2016 in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Atheists gather on the Mall to demonstrate their political muscle

WASHINGTON (RNS) Atheists and other freethinkers gathered on the National Mall for their second “Reason Rally” in fewer numbers than organizers had hoped but with evidence of growing political acceptance.

Wearing T-shirts and carrying signs rejecting religion and supporting science, thousands cheered speeches from politicians, scientists and secular leaders about church-state separation and freedom from religion.

Among them were many returning to the Mall four years after the first Reason Rally. The event Saturday (June 4) was billed as a “voter bloc party” at the epicenter of political power and with a clear view of Congress.

Its main goal was to show that nonbelievers, who make up as much as 23 percent of the U.S. public by some estimates, are a voting bloc worth courting in the November election.

“We say to our families, our communities and ultimately our government, which meets just at the other end of this National Mall, that we exist, we are good without a god,” declared Lyz Liddell, executive director of the Reason Rally Coalition, in welcoming remarks. “We can bring about social change and we are a growing voter constituency.”


RELATED STORY: Politicians ignore Reason Rally at their peril


Organizers had hoped for an attendance of 30,000, higher than the estimated 20,000 at the first Reason Rally in 2012 -- when crowds contended with pouring rain. They estimated by mid-afternoon that 15,000 to 20,000 were in attendance on a warm, sunny day. But observers said the numbers seemed strikingly smaller in number than the previous event.

“The first time had the uniqueness factor, the historical factor, so that could be part of it,” said Amil Sibblies, 37, of Lanham, Md., a Jamaican-American who attended both events because secular gatherings are so rare. “This is still a good-sized crowd.”

The presence of politicians, including members of Congress and Maryland congressional candidate Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, was greeted with cheers and applause.

Raskin, a state senator who happens to be Jewish, noted that alliances between “progressive religious reformers of all faiths and secular humanists” have changed America by advancing justice and freedom in movements related to abolition, women’s suffrage, labor and environmentalism.

“Pragmatists all, they were not interested in interrogating each other’s private faith but in acting on a common public faith that America belongs to all of us and we should judge people not by their religious identities but by the character of their public actions,” he said, echoing a speech by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 53 years earlier near the same spot during the March on Washington.

Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin who is running for for U.S. Congress in Maryland's 8th District addresses the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. June 4, 2016. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin, who is running for U.S. Congress in Maryland's 8th District, addresses the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 2016. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Raskin said such coalitions need to continue even as “we face titanic forces of unreason and fanaticism blocking our path.”

Liddell said Raskin’s presence, in addition to that of Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, was significant.

“For a very long time we were sort of the third rail of politics and touching our demographic was suicide," Liddell said. "He’s showing that that’s changed.”


READ: Muhammad Ali: Boxing legend, pop icon, Muslim pathbreaker, dead at 74


Politics aside, many in the crowd were simply glad to be around like-minded people for a day, fellow nonbelievers to whom they did not need to explain or apologize for their views.

Laura Duncan, 57, of Taylor, Mich., came with her friends from Michigan Atheists, which claims to be the oldest atheist group in the nation.

“It’s just really nice seeing people who think the same way you do after being isolated for 50 years,” said the former computer programmer.

Other speakers included magician Penn Jillette, skeptic James Randi, Washington, D.C., councilman Dave Grosso, Robyn Blumner of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, scientist Carolyn Porco, comedian Lizz Winstead and Mexican diplomat Andres Roemer. Comedian Bill Maher delivered a video address. 

Although the rally included many middle-aged white people like Duncan, people of color and millennials filled out the crowd.

M.C. Brooks, a musician and former Catholic who described himself as a “black atheist,” said the number of outspoken black nonbelievers is increasing but he would like to see a more varied attendance at future gatherings.

“I do think there does need to be more done on the diversity front,” the 28-year-old said, including women, people of color and LGBT persons.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists and another key organizer of the event, took his turn at the mike to encourage people who do not believe in God to stick to one word to describe themselves instead of the many other terms that are used -- such as secularists, freethinkers and agnostics.

“We need to understand that we have a social responsibility to call ourselves atheists,” he urged, saying people should overcome “cowardice” and it would help others like them come out into the open. “When we hide behind euphemisms, we help nobody but religion.”

Sibblies, the second-time rally attender from Maryland, said that’s what he does.

“I call myself atheist because it’s the easiest thing for people to understand -- very clear, and no room for misunderstanding,” he said.

A woman raises her hand at Saturday's (June 4) Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. On the stage is American Atheist president David Silverman. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A woman raises her arm at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 2016. On the stage is American Atheists President David Silverman. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Not everyone welcomed the atheists to the National Mall. A small band of Christians with colorful signs about hell and sin stood across the street from the Lincoln Memorial and engaged those who were willing in theological debates as they passed by.

Marvin Richardson of Tysons, Va., said he merely spoke to the sign carriers for “some entertainment.”

But for Carlos Diaz, an assistant pastor who traveled from Fort Worth, Texas, to challenge ralliers, it was more serious business: “To tell the people the truth about Jesus Christ.”

Comments

  1. So being against other’s beliefs is being a free thinker? I frankly don’t care what atheists believe unless/until they try to push things that are wrong.

  2. I think you’ll find that most atheists don’t really care what other people believe, as long as they’re not trying to shoehorn creationism into science classes, prayer in public schools, and religion into government. There were religious people at the rally trying to convert atheists. How many atheists do you see outside of religious buildings trying to de-convert theists? None.

  3. Raussch creek, I have never had an atheist come to my door and try to covert me to their beliefs but I have slammed the door on MANY christians doing that exact thing.

  4. Jesus Christ is coming back! And we each will go to Heaven or He’ll! There both real! I pray for everyone I come across to find Christ if they have not before it’s to late!

  5. That may be true of most atheists. I have no idea. I can only draw from my experience with those I know in life, those I corresponded with on the internet, and information I’ve found otherwise on the internet. I find many of these atheists are like any other religious zealot. They outspoken in an uncomfortable fashion and seem quite intollerent of views that are different than their own much less views that stand in contrast to theirs.

  6. I love these folks gathering to show the strength and power of their views and beliefs regarding religion.

  7. Ahhh, religionists …alway ready to threaten “Hell” if you don’t conform to their frankly twisted simpleton belief structure, although the facts always fly right in their face. But, as stated numerous times here, it’s only the religionists who incessantly proselytize, as they panic when a human being exercises his or her reason, vs. the blind ignorance of their “faith”.

  8. You have a selection bias. The atheists you are most likely to have an argument with on the internet are exactly that subset of atheists who like having arguments about religion.

    Keep this in mind: most of us atheists came from religious backgrounds, have religious friends and family who we love and who love us in return.

  9. Not intolerant of views different from their own, when stated as “views.” Most truly religious people do not feel their views are anything other than facts. I’m personally Agnostic, and will only argue with those that claim their religion, faith, belief is the only means of salvation, and who can provide no proof to support what they believe to be fact. I find this mentality is one shared by most Atheist/Agnostic people.

  10. Really? Prove your statement is a fact.

  11. re:” You have a selection bias.” Quite likely, yes.

  12. Most theists respect nontheists’ beliefs; some don’t.
    Most nontheists respect theists’ beliefs; some don’t.
    See how much we have in common?

  13. Anyone for mutual respect? Oh… never mind.

  14. I’m sure Clovis4 was antagonizing, but there is merit to his statement. The letter J did not exist at the time of his life. If, in fact, he did exist. L, possibly could have served in the letter J’s place. That, fellow poster, is fact.

  15. The inability to acknowledge the limitations of belief vs fact is not exclusive to the discussion of religion and certainly not to those of faith. I find this to be a common issue within our society in general. It was absolutely a common issue when I’ve had discussions with atheists in the past.

  16. Well sure there are obnoxious atheists. That’s true of any group. But it appears that you’re not really dealing with a representative sample on which to base an opinion of the entire group.

  17. I can’t speak on any Atheists opinions, because as stated prior, am Agnostic. If provided tangible proof, I will immediately change my position. However, I find that truly religious people I have spoke with claim their faith to be unwavering. What evidence can you possibly provide someone so blinded by faith? According to those whose faith is “unwavering,” it’s none.

  18. Ever heard the expression, they’re always trying to force their non beliefs down my throat?………..Me neither.

  19. Thank you for covering this gathering as a straight news story. I’m not familiar with the Religion News Service — happened upon this story via Google News. I did not know there were publications covering religion (even atheism) that were not tied to specific religions. I’ll come back to learn more!

  20. Sure. Although to be precise, I don’t respect the beliefs themselves. I think religious beliefs have no credible evidence to support them. However I certainly respect people’s right to hold whatever religious beliefs they like.

  21. Actually it was more about an absence of religion, and a demonstration of support for secular values like maintaining a clear separation between church and state, and basing public policy on evidence-based data, not religious opinion.

  22. While the jury is still out, Dr Richard Carrier is one of a growing number of academics and qualified experts who have produced some significant recent work showing that the evidence for a historical Jesus is inadequate.

  23. Meanwhile, with nice sunny weather unlike last year, this year’s atheist “Reason Rally” garnered 5,000 or fewer attendees than 2015’s total, plus they still couldn’t come with a rationally agreed-upon platform to justify their label of “voter’s bloc party.”

    Not to mention the lack of diversity, as the article pointed out. Look carefully at the above photograph and tell me how many black or brown faces you see.

    It’s not even clear that these fair-weather atheists are going to help the atheistic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders survive the California Primary AT ALL, and that’s his very last chance to have any 2016 influence.

    So don’t you “Reason” extremists waste any more time quixotically trying to attack “titanic forces of unreason and fanaticism.” Instead, you better quickly show Hillary Clinton that SHE needs to worry about you, because if you can’t stop HER progress, nobody else is going to worry about you either.

  24. Y’shua is the proper English form of the Jewish name, comparable to the English Joshua. As to His historicity, the evidence for many in the scholastic community, even among non-theists.

  25. insert “is sufficient” between “evidence’ and “for”.

  26. Yes, you are correct…
    “The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous, from which, through the Latin Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus. The Hebrew spelling Yeshua (ישוע) appears in some later books of the Hebrew Bible.”
    Yeshua – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Peter’s name (and pretty much everyone else mention in the Bible also have non-english names…
    “Peter is a common masculine given name. It is derived, via Latin “petra”, from the Greek word πέτρος (petros) meaning “stone” or “rock”. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave Saint Peter (whose given name was Simon) the name Kephas or Cephas meaning ‘stone’ in Aramaic.”
    Peter (given name) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    My point is it tells us nothing about the existence or not of a man called Jesus. When God walked the earth it wasn’t a big enough event for 99.9999999% of humanity to notice. Says a lot about us humans.

  27. right before Jesus died,He asked God to for give them…”for they know not what they do”…i think He was talking about all of us….

  28. This seems to be the way He wanted it. There will NEVER be enough evidence (much less proof) that God walked the earth some 2000 years for atheist to believe. You believe based on Faith (not blind faith) that it happened. You see it over and over again in the Bible (such as Abraham and his son).

  29. My friend who was there reported “…there were still many dozens of openly secular persons of color in attendance who belonged to some great organizations and who engaged with the many evangelicals and street preachers who saw fit to make an
    appearance.” There were also people of color on stage and a good mix of men and women. The first Reason Rally in 2012 was indeed a blockbuster and had a stellar line up of speakers and entertainers. It was also an historic “first”, which contributed to the turn out. This was a more low-key event, which is fine as it settles down into a regular event held every few years. It seems to bother you a lot that some freethinkers and atheists got together for a fun afternoon on the mall. I wonder why?

  30. Well actually, the jury’s still out. Check out Dr Richard Carrier. He’s one of a growing number of academics who find the historicity evidence to be lacking.

  31. The few discussions I’ve had with true believers are discussions with them stating how wrong I am. Seriously people, if I have to believe in an Invisible Being and I tell you I have no reason to believe there is one except for those humans just telling me there is one, there is no reason for me to believe in it. Is it really that hard for you to understand? You find a way to make this god visible, I’ll tell you I will believe in a VISIBLE thing. NO problemo. There’s no discussion needed. SHOW ME the god.

  32. The wonderful thing about being a human being is that we have a mind and free will and we can use these gifts in the manner that suits us. May all beings be wise, joyful and blessed………

  33. I am Jewish, according to you I’m going to Hell too, because I don’t believe in the right God. Frankly, I don’t much care if Jesus existed or not. Since I don’t believe that he is the Messiah or the son of God. I don’t believe that you have to Jewish to go to Heaven. You just have to do your best job of being a good person whether you believe in God or not.

    I don’t need you t pray for me to find Christ. Christ means Messiah. Messiah mean anointed one. Jews have never believed that the Messiah was personal savior. Since you can’t accept Jesus as your personal savior, what you are attempting to do is to reduce the number of Jews on the planet to zero.

  34. Everybody is okay with a “fun afternoon on the mall.” No problems there. I think it’s when a rally tries to portray itself as something more serious (such as a rising political force or something), that questions and issues arise.

    I have no reason to doubt your friend’s report, but it might be a good idea to have him or her bring along a camera next year, as I still do not see any persons of color on the above photographs.

  35. Can Science solve everything? Science can build an atom bomb, but can it tell us if and when to use one? Some of those signs in that picture look anti-Jewish.

    Voltaire was an antisemite. Atheists are not immune to anti-Judaism and antisemitism.

  36. Of course you likely embrace the Congressional Prayer Caucus made up entirely of conservative evangelicals working to push the ridiculous myth that America is a Christian nation. Why so focused on race?

  37. “Reason Rally?” How quaint – and false on its face. Indeed, it is the exact opposite of reason; it is a denial of reason. And, though they don’t like to hear it, the Bible captures their kind of thinking exactly:

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH [they deny reason] in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is MANIFEST IN THEM [they actually know God as a part of their constitutional nature given by God in their creation] for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are CLEARLY SEEN, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are WITHOUT EXCUSE.”

    An atheist is one who denies his own soul’s knowledge! They are a kind of mental freaks who can deny what their own consciousness tells them is true. Atheism is not just another idea, but an act of rebellion against nature and the Creator God.

    Stop trying to clean up your ignorance by using the word “reason.” Reason and science are NOT the same things. We Christians believe in science, but we also accept that the Author of science is God.

  38. Because they would likely commit homosexual acts in public, perhaps? When people deny reason in their soul, they condemn themselves to eternal darkness, or as the Lord Jesus Christ described it, “…outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, where the worm [of decay] does not die and the fire is never quenched.”

    Good luck with that.

  39. And just how did we come to have that mind and “free will?” I suspect that you are somehow religious at some level, for you believe that your will is “free” somehow, which could not happen on an atheistic and naturalistic world view. That would be unreasonable to believe. So is spontaneous creation in which the universe creates itself.

    The rally should have been rightly called “The Rally for Unreason.”

  40. Faith is not blind, as you seem to want it to be, but based in reason and evidence. You are just so blind to your own soul that you want to limit knowledge to only physical science [which itself is actually God’s own], denying your own consciousness that there are other ways of achieving knowledge. In my own experience, the Holy Spirit of God within me communicates that knowledge, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

    “But the natural man [unbelieving and/or atheist] does NOT receive the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him; nor CAN he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    You have a stunted and handicapped epistemology, dude.

  41. No, you are not being entirely honest. You don’t believe that religion has any credible SCIENTIFIC evidence, because in your stunted epistemology you believe that the only way to gain knowledge is by scientific inquiry. If you have a child, how did you come to love that child? Through science?

  42. But why is there love at all? That doesn’t compute on an atheistic, naturalistic worldview, where everything is on the basis of chance. You are being dishonest. That is expressed in my own faith as the commandment “Thou shalt no lie… bear false witness.” How did YOU arrive at your understanding of love?

  43. Once again, you are not looking for mere proof, for that is plentiful. What you are doing is insisting on only one kind of “proof;” scientific. Again, your epistemology is stunted and handicapped. We Christians [you have no beef with Muslim, or Buddhists, or a myriad of other false religions, but only Christianity – and there is a reason for that, of course.

  44. But mostly they hate Christ, for He claims to own them and to have the right to judge them and send their soul to hell. That is entirely in keeping with the words of Jesus Christ himself:

    “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear HIM who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.” [Jesus Christ, at Matthew 10:28]

  45. You have seen quarks?

    Not really. Neither has any scientist. They believe there are quarks but have never seen one.

    God is Spirit. He chose to reveal himself in human history as Jesus Christ. Believe that in the same way you believe in quarks – on the testimony of others who themselves have never “seen” quarks.

  46. And why not believe rather that Christians really have the eternal interests and welfare of the atheists in mind? Why must you go negative all the time? Oh…you are an atheist. Nevermind.

  47. You seem to have some prejudices against Christians. We too support the notion of a separation of church and state. But right now the balance has been reversed from what you suspect. it is the government that is forcing its views on the church, not the opposite.

    And where in the Constitution does it say that religion is not allowed in the public square? YOU seem to be the one wanting to limit the input of religion, not religion trying to limit you. At the moment, you have a great atheistic representative in Obama, who comes with the mantle of Christianity but is in reality a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Abortion, for instance, is an atheistic belief, as is homosexuality and all the other sexual perversions. You go, atheists. Do YOUR thing.

  48. Hopefully the only people who go to hell are those who threaten other people with hell. I wish you no luck with that.

  49. But a Prime Mover just magically appeared and made himself and everything… and that’s believable? Someone doth protest too much.

  50. “Because they would likely commit homosexual acts in public…” Well. That’s certainly a fascinating viewpoint. Thanks for sharing.

  51. If you need a deity to know to love your child, you’re a sad parent indeed.

  52. So your Jewish faith is based on works of righteousness? How sad that you can’t see the handwriting on the wall, Susan. Abraham was saved not by works of righteousness but by faith and faith alone. “He believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” So says your own Scriptures.

    What is the problem is that it is right in front of your face, but for whatever reason, you deny it. Jesus is the Messiah promised to Israel, and it was He who enabled us to believe in Him that we not be trusting in our own righteousness, which you apparently do.

    In every way, this Messiah fulfills all that the Scriptures claimed. It is not the law that is the problem but your sinful soul that has lost its ability to rightly think about your own Scriptures.

    But I see why you have to vehemently deny that Jesus is the Christ, for he said this:

    “He who believes in Him [Jesus Christ, that is, the Son of God] is not condemned; but he who does NOT believe is condemned already [exactly because] he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    That would include you, dear lady, as attested by your own words engraved here.

  53. Are you ignorantly arguing about the English language, which indeed did not exist in the first century? The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek primarily, with a few spots of Aramaic. But debating over an English letter is indeed pure silliness.

  54. Supply this proof, please. Let’s hear it. And pointing to verse is empty. Any religious person can point to their supposedly holy text.

  55. I don’t hate Jesus, but I completely disagree with what Christians have done with him. I believe in God, but I don’t think that Jesus owns me, nor do I think that Jesus has the right to judge me and send my soul to Hell. I don’t think that anyone can do that except God. I don’t believe that Jesus is God, the son of “God or the Messiah.

    Christ is not Jesus’s last name. Christ means Messiah in Greek, and Messiah means Anointed One. Jews were not waiting for a Messiah who was a personal savior.

  56. How convenient. Well my God made your god and science. Praise C-689!!

  57. Why do you run from C-689? It loves you so.

  58. Indeed! You are the first here to make that factual claim. Historians admit, even those who do not believe, that Jesus Christ existed. The debate is not about his existence, but about where he came from and to whence he has gone, and the claims of the resurrection from the dead. This is what puts off the unbeliever and the so-called atheists [there really are none of those] and skeptics who base their objection on lack of one kind of evidence: scientific. But there are many other ways of obtaining knowledge, and that is the problem with the atheistic worldview. Its epistemology is bogus.

  59. you’re so cute. 48 percent of LGB Americans identify as Christian, up from 42 percent in 2013.

  60. Well, if you read the 2014 Pew Poll, you’ll find that atheists and “nones” (those who identify with no particular religion, and may or may not believe in deities) are the fastest growing demographic in the faith (or in this case non-faith) communities. Atheists vote at higher rates than the general population. So while it may not be of interest to you, it is of interest to those who run political campaigns. And it’s nice that you’re concerned about the diversity of the attendees, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  61. …and there will be a worldwide crusade by the atheists to try and make one writer true and ten thousand false. Bah!

  62. Experiments verify the existence of many flavors of quark. If new experiments proved otherwise, quark theory would be abandoned. It’s clear you do not understand science and wish to usurp it to satisfy your dogma, on which you’ve built your entire life. Hopefully your blindness can be cured. But that’s brilliantly doubtful.

  63. Exactly. There is plenty of evidence, but when you add the qualifier of “sufficient,” what the writer is claiming is that HE/SHE has the autonomy to judge facts. That is a fundamental flaw in the atheistic worldview.

  64. So you whine about gay people going to hell, in this very comment section, and then accuse others of being negative? More of that religious consistency, I see.

  65. I don’t believe I said anything about Christians. But thanks for sharing your, uh, “unique” perspective.

  66. Ok, mammal. I’m so scared by your magical threats. Enjoy oblivion.

  67. Actually, I think you’ll find “crusades” are traditionally a Christian pursuit.

  68. You should be on TV. After all that you could easily command to viewers: Now send us your seed $$$$$$ for a great harvest!

    Charlatan.

  69. And Noah’s story is a ripoff from Gilgamesh.

  70. I don’t have a problem with that. So anyone, including all Jews, have sinful souls, who doesn’t accept Jesus?

    The Scriptures, at least what you call the “Old” Testament”. do not prophecy Jesus. You are the one who has misunderstood the Prophets. It only works if you already believe in Jesus and you read the Prophets backward. If Jesus were the Messiah, we would be living in a world of peace love and understanding. Don’t quote the “New” Testament at me. I don’t accept it and it’s filled with anti-Judaism and antisemitism.

  71. Pretending everything falls under a Christian umbrella, and your warped version in particular, is bogus.

  72. You seem to be confused about what science does, and does not offer. Science is a method. Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. It is also the body of knowledge accumulated through the discoveries about all the things in the universe. No, parents do not come to love their children through science, as I suspect you already know, but science can tell us something about how parental/child attachment bonds are formed, and how healthy, strong parent/child relationships are developed, which is certainly an interesting field of study, and worthwhile for those who are committed to the health and welfare of children and families.

  73. Please explain your proof is plentiful idea please. And, no I mean proof, and not solely scientific proof. Second matter calling anything about me stunted and handicapped is probably not a good way to keep a healthy, open dialogue alive, but I’ll try to overcome your typical judgmental statements and trudge on. Third matter, it is All religions I have beef with. The mere fact you refer to them as false is the exact nature of my beef. All religions feel that way. Do Muslims not feel Christians are false. At the very least, Hindus will agree with tangible evidence proving their religion is “false.” So, I suppose I have the least “beef” with the Hindu religion. What, exactly, from my earlier statements, led you to believe it was solely Christianity my beef lied with? Please sir, take off your blinders.

  74. Sources please. You’ve got one. Generally science requires multiple.

  75. We are the fastest growing group in America! There really is life after religious fairy tales, folks. Science takes time and patience, whereas religion takes only minutes. This is the path that few people have taken but if there is a God, atheists/humanist who do good will probably be the only ones “rewarded.” No wars, not exclusions, no hate (because we’re too busy learning!).

  76. Atheists aren’t afraid of an imaginary place made up by iron-age goat herders who couldn’t read or write. Nothing those people had to say merits any reason for us to be in fear all of our lives just because we don’t believe some unsubstantiated stories. If there is a God, or gods, Christians will be the ones having to face being on the naughty list for their wars, abuses, exclusions, and purposeful ignorance of evidence.

  77. “Mental freaks”, huh? Charming! Thanks for sharing.

  78. Mr.Longmire, my only question I can pose, that has any chance of showing you just how unrealistic you are, is this…………What, if any, proof can be shown that would make you waver in your religious convictions? I detest assuming, but this assumption is fairly safe when I say it’s none. No amount of evidence could possibly have you waver, because you already state your beliefs as fact. You previously stated humans were Christians from the beginning of time. How could they worship a man who didn’t exist for several thousand more years? You have a lot of beliefs sir, but very few answers.

  79. For the last time, Agnostic is the word used best to describe my beliefs sir. I believe in far more loving creators than the one you worship. I don’t believe evil men of great faith will be granted membership to “Heaven” for merely believing in something. And, yes I said creators. That is plural sir. Meaning mother and father. Just like all of us needed in order to be created.

  80. But he certainly is very entertaining. From a safe distance. 😉

  81. From a safe distance it what changes entertaining to annoying! Actually, I feel sad for him, and those like him that feel the need to even comment on a board where he truly doesn’t belong. I believe whatever religion he would have been raised with, he would have become radicalized. Sad, an equal parts scary. Thank you for your views, although different from my own, being posted on here respectfully. It’s refreshing, and honestly vastly different from most interactions we have both experienced in similar scenarios.

  82. Well, he certainly appears to have a great deal of conviction. If not much else. 😉

  83. Absolutely. And, I apologize CP, after reading your posts, you and I are quite alike. I mistook you for another poster.

  84. “If you have a child, how did you come to love that child? Through science?”
    No, through evolution . . . as discovered through science.

  85. Thank you for demonstrating so clearly what motivates the far right of religious thought…

    An unwavering, but completely unwarranted faith on your wholly imaginary superiority as a Christian and a human being.

  86. Knock knock!
    Who’s there?
    It’s Jesus! Let me in!
    Why?
    So I can save you!
    From what?
    From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in!

    Keep it up, Mr. longmire. every time you say something like this, a little atheist angel gets his wings.

  87. As opposed to a God who creates himself.

  88. Billions of adherents since the beginning of human history? And you accuse atheists of ignoring evidence?

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  89. Prove a negative? Sorry but the burden of proof is on those who claim he existed.

  90. “We Christians believe in science, but we also accept that the Author of science is God.”

    And yet His Holy Word was authored by ignorant people who didn’t even know the earth is a sphere revolving around the sun. And they knew nothing about bacteria, viruses, or anything else in the realm of medical science . . . which brings up another question . . .

    Why did God allow people to suffer horribly for so many thousands of years before He finally decided to “author” science, especially medical science? As with so many other rational questions, the only rational answer is that your god does not exist.

  91. Atheism is about what gods we DO NOT believe in. It’s a clue to others that atheism is about NOT playing mind games with each other. It’s about getting it through the other person’s addled brain that just because they want to play magician card games and sleight of hand tricks, we’re not willing to play along with them. Understand? Capisce? Comprende amigo???

  92. The 3 card monty is a good metaphor. Sleight of hand card tricks. They say OK you can’t prove there’s a god, then they add on more gods for you to disprove, like the JC character, then the saints. Then the miracles. It never ends. Just one long con game.

  93. My experience is that most people to whom religion is of little or no importance don’t think much about religion and aren’t drawn to political events supporting militant atheism.

    Renowned scientist that he is, Richard Dawkins has a certain (Big Bang Theory lead)) Sheldon Cooperish quality that wears thin when he goes out of his way to engage religious zealots in staged “dog and pony show” events. I’ve no problem with Dawkin’s scientific research but his opinions on religion aren’t scientific, they’re just opinions.

    Of course YMMV, but my opinion is that religion is a completely separate phenomenon from god. God is a much more probable explanation for observed scientific phenomena than any other, but god is neither anthropocentric nor supernatural.

    Belief or nonbelief in god has no effect on the existence of god. Although the processes of god created the world and life, humanity has no special place in god’s processes other than being aware of the processes.

    Prayer is inappropriate when dealing with a process like god, but can be of real benefit to a person who’s made the easy to make mistake of believing in an anthropocentric supernatural god.

    .

  94. And all those are liars. In the case of Christianity, it is NOT what you “identify as,” but a new creature in Christ Jesus by the new birth.

  95. Its amazing how much ultra-conservative belief seems to exist only to feed the egos of the adherents. Its sole purpose appears to be to give someone confidence to tell others, “I am better than you. You will suffer if you don’t take me seriously”. So pathetic.

  96. Nope. I have multiple. I have an inborn conscience which tells me there is a God, I have natural revelation that illustrates and instructs me about God and his nature, and I have a written revelation directly from that God. That is not to mention a long history that involves millions of believers and their additional testimony about their faith in God.

    Now, why did you say we have only one?

  97. That you see it not as humility [it is; I am but the fortunate recipient of the grace of God] tells us more about yourself than you would like. See what we mean that those who are not spiritual cannot receive that which is spiritually discerned? Your response is a perfect expression of that fact.

  98. Your professed religious belief appears to is merely a way to feel good about about expressing pride, arrogance and malice towards others with a straight face. Keep posting. The more sane people read this stuff, the better atheism looks. 🙂

  99. Well, a complex question that requires a complex answer. First, let me deal with the last of your questions and then deal with the first.

    How could those who existed thousands of years before Christ be believers in Christ?, you ask. That one is easy. God revealed himself to them in numbers of ways, each one predicting and teaching that one would come to redeem a lost humanity, and that by faith in him one could find forgiveness of sin and redemption, to restore a right relationship between the sinner and God.

    Indeed, theologians believe that even Adam and Eve [you, of course, likely do not believe in either] believed on the future coming redeemer, when God said directly to them:

    “And I will put enmity between you and the woman [he said to Satan], and between her seed [meaning Christ, of course]. He shall bruise your head,, and you shall bruise his heel.”

    On that same hope, it is said that Abraham, nearly 2,000 years before Christ, “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” What did he believe about? The future Messiah who would work redemption for mankind. That would be no other than Jesus Christ the Lord.

  100. That is what secularism is meant for. To be able to respect beliefs in this sort of thing without the worry of the power of the state to attack those whose ideas differ.

  101. So non-believers don’t love their children?

  102. Actually I find religions people are far more likely than atheists to lie in service of their beliefs, deny evidence or engage in spurious canned arguments rather than change their opinions. Such behavior is far more encouraged as a sign of faith among religious folks of a certain stripe than what one sees with non-belief.

    Also lets face it non-believers are not even close to organized culturally n the way religious folks are. Making them less likely to rely on unquestioned authority from few sources.

  103. Militant atheism is a lot like reverse racism, misandrony, political correctness and liberal bigotry. Something whose existence appears far more in negative opposition to than sees actual real world examples of.

    The reaction to Dawkins, Hitchens and the like is far more vociferous than those who actually would consider such people authority/ideological figures. I joke constantly that believers should worry about the passing of Dawkins. Because they would be left with atheists who are far more aware of social media and less likely to suffer “foot in mouth” syndrome.

  104. Now, for the first question about what it would take for me to recant my faith. Good question.

    If it were dependent upon me as a human being, it would take very little. I am [or was, to be more exact] skeptical by nature. But thanks be unto God, it does NOT depend on me. It is God who saves, not me. I did not arrive at faith by a process of reasoning and logical syllogisms; I was born again, and thus ENABLED to believe. And when I believed I was “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

    Thus, if I am to lose my faith, you will have to overcome God, not me. I am easy. God? Not so much.

    So, whether I “lose my faith” or recant under the purposeful deception of such people of you, God is faithful and I will arrive in heaven to be with him.

    But what you really want is for me to accept your sophomoric belief [that is what it is] that science is the final authority. But, alas, it is not. Even science depends on God and on the presuppositions of Christianity. Indeed, without the Christian faith and its principles, rational thought is impossible. If random chance is the rule, my next thought might be totally irrational.

    But I believe that God is the author and ruler of all things, including the mind and all of nature, so we can expect our thoughts to be rational, since He created us in his “image and likeness.” That is why you can “do science,” really, and without it, on the naturalistic worldview it would be irrational to expect nature to be predictable, thus rendering science impossible.

    So, you will have to overcome God to get me to recant my faith. Good luck with that. I am reminded by such arrogance from a passage of Scripture [as you may well have expected from me!]:

    “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ “

  105. Did you mean misandry? Dictionary.com went there when I entered misandrony.

  106. I have known people who are better and happier people because of religion. Religion can’t solve problems like global warming by itself, but there are people who work to improve the environment for religious reasons.

  107. The separation of church and state has been good for religion too. There are more religious people in America than in Europe where there has been no separation of church and state.

    I know lots of religious homosexuals. Homosexuality is not an atheist belief. I could point out a Gay couple who are now married, who keep kosher and observe the Sabbath. There are Catholic and Protestant homosexuals too.

  108. I have never mentioned nor endorsed any CPC. Why did you bring them up?

  109. I am sure there are some files on your hard drive you could cite too…

  110. Conversely we see how religion divides people and can enable bad behavior. There are people who vehemently oppose working to help the environment because they think God is going to bring end times.

    10,000 years of religious belief and we are the same people we have always been. Some good, some bad. It’s at best a tool for humanity. It’s effect depends on who is using it and for what purpose.

  111. Mr. Shifty, every single atheist I have read from or talked with uses this definition of atheism, or the equivalent: I don’t believe there is a god. Note the word “believe”, and for every single atheist I know it means it is a reasoned belief, one which they would abandon if reason indicated belief was justified more than not. Try this experiment: ask 100 religious people if there is anything which will make them disbelieve and a goodly percentage will say nothing that could make them change their minds. Ask 100 atheists and they will all give some scenarios where they would have to change their beliefs.

    Unfortunately, most people think of a linear scale: true believers, believers, agnostics, atheists, where true believers are 100% sure god exists and atheists are 100% god doesn’t exist. But atheists don’t see it that way at all. In fact, most atheists see agnosticism as a question of knowledge, and (a)theism as a question of belief.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of atheists who will unsparingly declare that a particular deity doesn’t exist. But since many Christians see their God is the only possible god, denying their particular God is equated with the claim that no god exists.

  112. You’re right, homosexuality is not an atheist belief. It is a sexual orientation. Catholic and Protestant atheists? Did you mean gay people? Because I’m pretty sure being an atheist means you’re not a member of a major religion.

  113. I’ve never denied that it can divide people. Certainly as a Jew, am well aware of that. I’ve said elsewhere that separation of church and state is good for religion too. It keep the state from using religion to control people. It’s just that I’ve met too many atheists who think that religion can never have a good effect on anyone or anything at any time.

  114. I did mean homosexuals. I just edited my comment. Although, Jews are an ethnic group too. You can be a Jewish atheist.

  115. Walt, that you can’t figure out why an atheist can love someone is really very damning indication of your lack of empathy and humanity.

    I doubt many atheists would be willing to subject themselves to your overbearing attitude for long enough to make a difference. Perhaps you can find a Christian friend who actually has a relationship with and likes atheists and they can explain it to you.

  116. Weak. You are not the arbiter of what is or isn’t spiritual, mammal.

  117. Yes you can be a Jewish atheist, and I enjoyed a wonderful Passover Seder dinner with some of my Jewish atheist pals in April! (I’m crazy for maror and haroseth. Can’t get enough! So utterly delicious!!)

  118. Exactly. Humans are obviously extremely simple creatures compared to a god with the intelligence, power, and skills to create the entire universe and its contents. But, Christianity “teaches” us that humans required a creator while God did not require a creator!

  119. It is silly when you say that a god is a more probable explanation for scientific (reality) phenomena, and in the next line you assume that a god did do it. If you have an open mind, doubt is the better path until evidence is taken in. The evidence for a natural universe is widely available, whereas evidence for a risen Jesus is an empty tomb, and some non-eyewitnesses writing what others believed..

  120. A dip in the stream imparts no wisdom.

  121. Even the evolution of the brain toward more rational reasoning ability carried some compromises, or trade-offs. But with knowledge of our natural world, and an understanding of the brain itself, we can overcome that nonsense. Freedom of thought can be taken as a reward for doing so. Or you may find other benefits for your efforts to become more logically sound in your thinking.

  122. A free mind is impossible while holding belief in a god, who will burn you for eternity should you ever lose that belief. That belief also precludes one from having a free will. This is a rational application of logic.

  123. If a god is real, science should be able to detect it. Outside of space and time is non-existence. There is no “outside”.

  124. It doesn’t actually preclude free will. It just tells you that if you choose to exercise it, you will burn in hell in eternal torment. You always have the choice. ??????????

  125. The gods of men are like fairies. They operate on the wishes of the believer.

  126. It is coercion to maintain belief, even against the will. It is the horse’s head in the bed.

  127. Frightened and insecure men adopt punitive gods, and who but royalty and priests were not frightened and insecure, when gods were invented?

  128. This is why I worship Koschei the Deathless, Who Made Things As They Are.

    Thus sayeth Koschei: what are your beliefs to me, who made things as they are?

    I have often said that atheism as it is practiced isn’t a statement about God, it’s a statement about religion. Though I call myself an atheist, I’m strictly speaking an it-doesn’t-matterist, as in, the existence or non of this Thing we are calling God simply does not matter.

    It is very clear that religion is not an answer to God. And that’s we have it on the best authority– Religion X– that every other religion but X is a false one. They’re selling the Real Tinsel, not the fake stuff.

  129. Should you lose your belief in the need to repay the bookie, he has some muscle to collect your fingers and thumbs. That is when the bookie becomes your god.

  130. “Indeed, with the Christian faith and its principles, rational thought is impossible.”
    You said it, not me,

    “If random chance is the rule, my next thought might be totally irrational.” Thereby, in that statement, proving it.

    Rationally.

    Channeling CS Lewis is not an argument. No one claims that everything is random, except the occasional, random theist.

  131. There are such atheists in the world, but I don’t think they are in a majority of atheists.

  132. I bet he can just see those homosexuals, committ those acts out in public.and see them. And see them. And see them.

  133. I believe that you believe you have my best interests in mind.

    Is what you believe those interests are, and the measures you take to implement them, your justifications for doing so, and your total disregard for what I might think about it, that scare me.

  134. Wil there is a difference between calling a spade a spade respectfully, and calling a spade a spade by hitting someone with it.

    I think the majority of the responses have been respectful. Except for the gentleman who sees homosexuals committing sexual acts in public. Him, not so much, but it’s nothing a good oculist can’t fix.

  135. But still one has free will, but one just doesn’t like the consequences.

    BTW, I agree with you 100%.

  136. Having only 2 choices, with a claim of eternal torture for choosing one of them, is in no way freewill. It is coercion and forced slavery to an idea. This is why many christians can not give up faith, even once they know it is silly.

  137. “It’s just that I’ve met too many atheists who think that religion can never have a good effect on anyone or anything at any time.”

    IMO religion is a tool. Something which enables or provides a shorthand for certain actions and ideas. But it is never really the real cause of things. Religious conflicts tend to have other reasons behind them. Religion doesn’t make people moral or more charitable. It provides a structure for people to express such sentiments. Religion doesn’t make people hateful and controlling. It just provides a platform for people to express such sentiments.

  138. How powerful is faith? If the odds of obtaining a particular card combination is 36%, precisely how much does it raise the odds by having faith that you will indeed obtain that card hand? Do the odds increase to 100%?

    Faith is based on reason and evidence? Whoa.. Hold on there. That’s an equivocation fallacy you are attempting to foist upon us. Look up faith in the dictionary. There are always at least two definitions. The first is confidence base on reason and evidence. The second one is the one under discussion, that of strong belief in God and the doctrines of a religion, based not on reason, but on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Faith is a very bad

    How powerful is faith? If the odds of obtaining a particular card combination is 36%, precisely how much does it raise the odds by having faith that you will indeed obtain that card hand? Do the odds increase to 100%?

    Faith is based on reason and evidence? Whoa.. Hold on there. That’s an equivocation fallacy you are attempting to foist upon us. Look up faith in the dictionary. There are always at least two definitions. The first on is confidence base on reason and evidence. The second one is the one under discussion, one of strong belief in God and the doctrines of a religion, based not on reason, but on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

    How powerful is faith? If the odds of obtaining a particular card combination is 36%, precisely how much does it raise the odds by having faith that you will indeed obtain that card hand? Do the odds increase to 100%?

    Faith is based on reason and evidence? Whoa.. Hold on there. That’s an equivocation fallacy you are attempting to foist upon us. Look up faith in the dictionary. There are always at least two definitions. The first on is confidence base on reason and evidence. The second one is the one under discussion, one of strong belief in God and the doctrines of a religion, based not on reason, but on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Faith is a very bad epistemology, dude. It can be used to arrive at any god or no god, it’s therefore of no value.

  139. The evidence for a “natural universe” is paramount.

    What do you think a “natural universe” is? What causes a nutural universe to exist? How many natural universes exist? For how long?

    Does anything exist beyond a natural universe? Does the term “universe” mean the same as reality to you?

    I’m not talking about religion but rather the definition of reality and the proceesses that cause reality to operate according to scientifically observable laws of physics and laws of nature.

    The processes can be called whatever a person chooses to call them. I choose the term god. YMMV.

  140. I replied a few hours ago but employed an actual link which I believe is causing the post to be suspended in a “pending” state.

    Here is the question I asked:
    “Did you intend to use the word “misandry”? Dictionary dot com led me there when I entered “misandrony?”

    I agree with your joke.

  141. I’ve heard Buddhism called a religion outside the belief of supernatura god(s). Perhaps there are others?

    Otherwise, I agree wholeheatedly with you, with but a single exception:

    IMHO using the term “god” for processes that govern reality is helpful in understanding reality. (“Random” comprises a significant part of the observable laws of nature and physics.) OTOH the term “nothing” is confusing and not helpful.

  142. How they must haunt his dreams. Although to be fair, I bet he’s thinking of the republican men’s restroom. And that’s on Capitol Hill. 😉

  143. “Outside spacetime” hypotheses exist from notable scientific sources. Renowned scientists are considering the possibility that non-existence and spacetime both exist in a neverending but not infinite “foam”.

    Humans don’t know what or how much they don’t know about reality but most creditable scientists believe it’s overwhelmingly probable that there’s a great deal yet to be observed that’s not yet possible to observe.

  144. walt, you honestly believe we’ve never heard your words before? like ur the first person who ever wagged a bible at us or told us it’s a science book? we laugh at you and walk around you like you’re a crazy person asking for money on the street. at the end of the day when we’re comparing the craziest stories of the day, your name comes up.

    most of us grew up christian, in christian families, and became atheists after many years studying religion outside of the bible (because the bible is just a sales brochure). we’ve looked at both sides, had a good cry, and burnt our bibles in the back yard.

    please go find some illiterate rice farmer in backwoods china to sell to. you seem to be doing pretty well with them.

  145. I suppose forthrightness and respect are like Fred and Ginger.

    That “gentleman” has a bad case of myopia when it comes to making up stories about strangers and mistreating them accordingly. Confusing moral superiority with elitist ignorance wreaks havoc on the retinas. But how do you convince someone they need glasses?

  146. One skeptical scholar, are a handful, hardly qualifies as authorative, or a consensus.

  147. So you ARE claiming something more than a mere “fun afternoon on the mall” after all. In fact, a lot more.
    Which is fine. It’s just that people get to critique it, question it, even criticize it if desired, since it’s on the public table.

  148. “Why must you go negative all the time? Oh…you are an atheist. Nevermind.”

    Mirror, mirror, Mr Longmire.

    BTW, neither theists nor atheists have a monopoly on morality, respect, empathy…
    And when you convey the most important information with hostility, the most important information you convey is hostility.

  149. This is all totally weird: what on earth does metaphysics have to to with politics? I grant that some people, in particular, conservative Evangelicals think that their metaphysical views commit them to a socially conservative agenda—anti-gay, anti-feminist, etc.—and to a range anti-scientific views, e.g. creationism and climate-change denial.

    But they’re wrong. And the problem isn’t their metaphysics, i.e. their belief that there exists an incorporeal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being but their crazy ethical views and their politics. Those ethical and political views are the problem and everyone should do their best to thwart them in promoting their ethical and political agenda.

    Metaphysics is harmless. As Jefferson says, it makes no difference whether one believes in one God or 100 gods or no gods at all: it neither picks my pocket not breaks my leg. So, for goodness sake, atheists, go after the real problem—not the metaphysics. And in that seems to me you’d be more effective if you collaborated with the rest of us, including mainline Christians.

  150. Who’s asking you “prove a negative”? I’m demanding you prove a statement. If you can’t prove your opinion, why do you have such opinion?

  151. Then you have chosen a terrible term. Generally, we all try to use the same language, so as to know what each other is talking about. The system tends to fall apart when one or the other doesn’t know what he himself is talking about.

  152. Name one, and I will look into it. Until then, the existence of non-existence must remain non- existent.

  153. “In fact, most atheists see agnosticism as a question of knowledge, and (a)theism as a question of belief.”

    I’d never thought of it that way, Jim, but it makes perfect sense to me. I believe there is no God, and I acknowledge that there is no way to know.

    My devout Christian mom once emphatically told me, in words I’ll never forget, “Our dear loving God would never abandon his children just because they didn’t believe in him! Those are not God’s words, those are the words of a man after power and other men’s money!”

    So, the way I see it, if Mom was right, then God and I will have a nice, long, morally commiserating, spiritually enlightening, emotionally healing, and mutually rewarding talk. And if Mom was wrong, then God and I wouldn’t have much in common, anyway.

  154. “calling anything about me stunted and handicapped is probably not a good way to keep a healthy, open dialogue alive”
    – and –
    “Please sir, take off your blinders.”

    Perfectly put (and repeat)!

  155. I read “Not everyone welcomed the atheists to the National Mall. A small band of Christians with colorful signs about hell and sin stood across the street”. I suggest you call these St. Boniface Christians. He is often rembered by the painting of his bible impaled shut by his sword. He hated thoughtful discourse and preferred murder to impose the will of your nasty God.

  156. Thanks for your opinion.

    Who’s “we”? What’s “the system’?

  157. Lawrence Krauss, multiple references. The reference on page 126 (in a hardback edition of A Universe from Nothing I own) is as good as any.

  158. I agree Susan — at the very least, that anti-Decalogue sign is inappropriate and insensitive, and can easily be taken to be anti-Semitic, even grossly so.

    Neither theists nor nontheists have a monopoly on disrespect, otherizing, immorality, or rank immaturity.

  159. I think spiritual and existential beliefs tend to magnify whatever is in the human heart.

  160. My hardbound copy of Krauss’s book has no reference to the existence of “non-existence” on p126. Perhaps you misunderstood to what I referred.

  161. RU intentionally being obtuse.

    “…–Regions that have always been and always will be causually disconnected from ours…”

    “…It turns out that the theoretical situation is actually stronger than simply a possibility…”

  162. Because outside of the bible there is no documented record of the guy. The Romans were very good at keeping records and there is nothing on the guy. Again, Christians claim he was the son of god, I only ask of proof the guy ever existed. I won’t even bother asking for proof of some god.

  163. Since you have been so kind as to use the bible to warn us about hell, something we clearly never thought about, let me use Harry Potter to warn you about Voldemort.

  164. Someone with a delusion disorder would say basically the same thing when explaining his delusions. How can we discern your faith from a mental disorder?

  165. Prove that your religion is the right one. Prove that you aren’t actually taking people to hell with you because you picked the wrong fairy tale to worship.

  166. Respect the believers, but not the belief. Ridiculous ideas are by definition deserving of ridicule.

  167. Religion is actively harmful to society. The items you compared it to are prejudices against things that are not actively harmful. The analogy is not a good one.

  168. You said that god is a more probable explanation, then when you were called out on it you redefined god as natural processes(by the by, everything that happens happens within nature, even if we found proof of pixies that would just expand our understanding of nature, so calling something natural is vacuous and calling it supernatural is silly in most cases). This makes your argument absurd. It would be like if I said I am a millionaire and when pressed for evidence I said that millionaire means “broke as f**k” to me.

  169. You miss my point. Militant Atheism is largely fictional. Something which more people discuss in the negative than can show actual examples of. Mostly used to create a strawman position for people who are looking to denigrate atheists.

    Militant atheists are closer in nature to your average Yelp reviewer in terms of “danger” to society as opposed to militant religious believers who so things like crusades, jihads, genocides….

  170. Thanks for your opinion.

    If you’re serious regarding an exchange of ideas (or at the very least, opinions) please answer the questions asked in the post you replied to.

    (Most) religion(s) is (are) based on the supernatural. God has nothing to do with religions based on supernatural anthropocentric beliefs. God in the first word in the sentence preceding this one, and for that reason only, is capitalized.

  171. I replied 10 hours ago but the reply is “pending”.

    To expidite matters, here is what I quoted from page 126, however without quotation marks:

    …–Regions that have always been and always will be causually disconnected from ours…

    …It turns out that the theoretical situation is actually stronger than simply a possibility…

  172. Probably, by removing the bible in their eyes rather than the pamphlet in someone else’s.

  173. “I suppose I have the least “beef” with the Hindu religion.”
    nice one! They have the least beef with their religion too.

  174. You must go to the website on the sign held by the man in the anti-10 Commandments photograph. It is run by a man, apparently the same in the picture, by the name of Phineas Jehovah (gut feeling, not his given name) who says he is a Jewish Buddhist Atheist and the Antichrist. If you missed the Reason Rally, don’t worry, he has plans to be at both the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer, simulated-crucified on a cross.

  175. Abraham wasn’t “saved.” The verse you’re quoting has nothing to do with the Christian view of salvation, even on its face. It states that Abram, who complained to God that he was childless, had faith in God’s promise that he would make Abram’s descendants like the uncountable stars of the sky.

  176. No, they just try to convert your mouth, actions, and what you’re allowed to see or hear on government property though litigation and courts.

  177. Well, good for the atheists. If they get in the habit of speaking their minds, maybe they’ll join us in the fight to protect free speech on the college campuses. My one piece of advice: you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, if you know what I mean.

  178. Buddhism in theory has no gods. But in practice,it has a great many.

  179. Actually I was there at the event and there was mix races there. But I’m not understanding why that’s important since the event was never a focus of race at all. Is it important to you in some way? Or was it more to slam the event in some way?
    Telling numbers is going to be hard to do with a reflection pool right down the middle of the event, which caused the crowd to be split in half. Added to the fact that it started getting hot and people either moved to shade or took at break from the action. Keep in mind this started early in the AM and didn’t get done til almost 7 PM….makes for a very long day and people need to eat etc….

    Overall it was a good event, I hope the next one isn’t in the same location but I understand why it was down there (the mall is under construction currently).

    “lack of diversity, as the article pointed out.” – floydless
    You mean this part? ” Although the crowd included many middle-aged white people like Duncan, people of color and millennials filled out the crowd.”

  180. Of the 23% of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated (the “nones”) only about 1/3 identify as humanists or atheists or agnostics. Further, in the 2014 elections the exit polls showed that only 12% of voters were “nones.”

  181. I wonder if you have not misinterpreted Mr. Krauss. He is speaking of hypothetical multiverses, which may be disconnected from us, and always will be. That is not non-existence, that is possible existence.

  182. Again, you are now speaking of other possible universes. My original comment objected to your claim that something can be non-existent.

  183. You answered your question in your first paragraph. So long as they think they are doing the will of their hoodoo, they will continue to enact hateful laws. It is the same for Muslims. All religious people need to become more educated on superstitions of our past. It is the only way for all to see the silliness of their beliefs and rituals.

  184. To the natural unregenerate mind, atheism ALWAYS looks better.

  185. Harry Potter is not the very words of the Creator God. It is He that I quoted.

  186. Your extreme bitterness and hatred of holy things is palpable, dude. You did NOT “grow up a Christian.” No one does. One is not a Christian by merely “identifying” with the Christian church. A person becomes a Christian because of something done TO him, that is, a supernatural new birth. The natural birth produces natural children; the spiritually born produces spiritual.

    You, sir, are illiterate in your understanding of Christianity. You cannot tell white from black when it comes to spiritual things. You are perfectly blind in that regard. All that in spite of the fact that God graciously speaks to you in the natural revelation which you call nature. He also speaks clearly to you as to His existence and Godhead. It is not that you do not “know” God in some since: you do, actually.

    But the point is that you suppress the truth of God’s revelation in you and believe the lie that there is no God speaking to you, when you know that there is. It is that “free will choosing” to deny God that makes you culpable, so that according to God, you “have no excuse.”

  187. Not really doing much to refute my statement. 🙂

  188. “Better than you?” How so? Where have I said that, for instance? It is not about you and me, but it is about God, the Creator, with whom you actually have a beef. It is He that you accuse, and that will not go well for you, Spud.

    Every believing person knows full well that were it not for the work of God in us to make us new creatures that we both were and would continue to be just like you. Here is how that is described in the words of the Apostle Paul:

    [Speaking to believers] “And you He made alive, who were [formerly] dead in trespasses and sins [your condition now], in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also WE ALL once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, just like the others.”

    Sounds pretty desperate, doesn’t it? And each of us must come to see our awful sinful condition and our total inability to deliver ourselves from it. But there is good news [Gospel, they call that]. Paul then says,

    “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, MADE US ALIVE together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.”

    We are not boasting at our superiority to you, but we are boasting of the grace of God through Christ Jesus, for people such as you. Our hope is that you might be born again from death in sin and join the worshipers around the throne of Christ.

  189. In its object. We have faith whose object is the person and work of Jesus Christ. Mental illness expresses itself as atheism. It has no object.

  190. Who are ‘they’? They are not me, or the majority of religious believers in the US. You might have tried reading past the first paragraph.

    Most of us are not Evangelicals and do not support their social or political agendas.

  191. But it is you that have decided that faith is without “confidence based on reason and evidence.” We claim exactly that faith is based on reason and evidence. What you are unable to do is to envision that there are ways of knowing truth that is not so narrow as mere science, which is always changeable.

    But be sure that we do not “reason” in the sense you seem to understand it, up to God. No, He, by a supernatural work “makes us alive” and enables us to put our faith in Jesus Christ, a thing eminently reasonable in light of the evidence that God has granted us.

    Rethink your idea of “evidence.” Has science proven in the lab that there is no God? Not hardly, for one must assume some decidedly Christian presuppositions in order to do science! Spirit is not the province of science. Science is a narrow sliver of reality, and it has no permanency. It will change tomorrow. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Now THAT is confidence!

  192. Unfortunately, you are mistaken. You see the universe was really created by Dumbledore and he gave people the idea for the bible as a practical joke in his youth. Dumbledore also gave JK Rowling the idea for the Harry Potter series which is based on Dumbledore’s real life.

  193. The sentence should have read “without the Christian faith and principles,” not “with.” I edited my original comment to reflect that change.

    By the way, CS Lewis was spot on. But I was not quoting him, but paraphrasing Greg Bahnsen, with some due credit to William Lane Craig. You can visit Craigs website called “Reasonable Faith,” the exact issue we are discussing.

  194. A person with a delusion disorder really believes the delusion. How can we tell the difference between your belief that Jesus was real and/or magical and a delusion?

  195. I just call Him “Person.” 🙂 He is spirit that took the form of human flesh [yet without sin] in the human and divine person of Jesus Christ.

  196. But only on the worldview of Christianity do the words “morality, respect, empathy” have meaning. Without objective criteria, such words would be the mere choice at the moment of those who believe that they are relative, and each person has their own.

    By the way, what are the objective bases for your morality? On what are they based? From where did your meanings arise?

  197. I do not have to prove anything. I am but the messenger. If you want to take up the cudgel with God, go for it. I am just a mere messenger.

    But you are going to lose this one…

  198. Somehow you have elevated your opinion to god’s own. You picked fights with atheists for the sheer pleasure of satisfying your ego and self righteousness. Your entire posting here have been a glorified way to say “Christianity is #1 woo-hoo” and “atheists blow!” With all the substantive discussion that entails. The only thing I know for certain is in the future it’s best to just skip over your posts.

  199. Is “possible existence” scientific? Seems more of a mere ideology based on nothing but speculation.

  200. That is a cop out. You have no justification for your claims, and Christianity is actively harmful. If you are promoting something harmful, then the onus is on you to explain why anyone should listen.

  201. “We claim exactly that faith is based on reason and evidence.” Yes, Christians sometimes do make this false claim, then they follow that claim with logical fallacies and no evidence.

    “What you are unable to do is to envision that there are ways of knowing truth that is not so narrow as mere science, which is always changeable.” You envision ways of knowing which consistently fail any test. Even Christian morals change with the times and Christian “science” has given us nothing while real science has produced a better life while secular morals and the enlightenment have force Christians kicking and screaming to re-interpret scripture in order to do the right thing.

    “But be sure that we do not “reason” in the sense you seem to understand it.” Boy, that’s worth repeating over and over!

    Rethink your idea of “evidence.” If by “evidence” you mean “no evidence?”

    “Has science proven in the lab that there is no God?” No. Doesn’t have to. That’s the job of someone who says that there is a god. So get into the lab and start testing. Science has shown us a universe that has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Einstein predicted light would be bent by a star. The absence of bending would have proven Einstein wrong. We we looked we saw bending of light. When we look for verifiable evidence of the supernatural, we find no evidence. The default position, until evidence is produced, is that the supernatural presupposition is false.

    “Not hardly, for one must assume some decidedly Christian presuppositions in order to do science!” News flash, to all scientists. I’m still laughing.

    Spirit is not the province of science. Define “spirit.” I would suppose that’s right if you define it as something which is unfalsifiable.

    “Science is a narrow sliver of reality, and it has no permanency. It will change tomorrow.” Science isn’t perfect, nor does it arrive at truth the first time every time, but it is really the only reliable tool we have at our disposal. Revealed “Truth” and gut feel have never been reproducible, accurate or reliable. It produces tens of thousands of “Truths,” all contradictory. Sure it’s tempting to just assume that everything you want to believe is real, until proven otherwise. Science is counterintuitive. It’s a lot of work and it’s results can and do make us very uncomfortable. Science has been the primary way man has improved since the brutal and primitive times of the Bible.

    “God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Now THAT is a false claim!

  202. Catholics especially, serve their hoodoo by pushing for laws which harm others. Their anti abortion stance comes to mind. Baptists and other Protestants yammer against Gays, because they think erroneously, that they are supporting their great hoodoo.

  203. Your god might possibly exist, but I’m quite certain he doesn’t.

  204. Key words in your reply, “on government property”, therefore, protected by the constitution guarantee of separation of church and state. “American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State”. Thomas Jefferson.

  205. But why is there logic? Why does logic work? From where does logic arise on an atheistic worldview?

  206. Send me a box of it, and I will investigate it’s origins.

  207. “…the existence of non-existence must remain non-existent…”

    Non-existence cannot be either proved or disproved. Non-existence is at least possible, if not probable.

    (What in your opinion was your state of being 9+ months before birth.

    What in your opinion was your state of consciouness between 9+ months before birth and the interval between that time and the time that evidence of consciousness is detectable by scientific observations?)

    I previously asked these question which you didn’t answer:

    What causes a nutural universe to exist? How many natural universes exist? For how long? Does anything exist beyond a natural universe? Does the term “universe” mean the same as reality to you?

  208. I just posted:

    Non-existence cannot be either proved or disproved. Non-existence is at least possible, if not probable.

    (What in your opinion was your state of being 9+ months before birth.

    What in your opinion was your state of consciouness between 9+ months before
    birth and the interval between that time and the time that evidence of
    consciousness is detectable by scientific observations?)

  209. Can’t you see that you have changed the definitional context of non-existence now?

  210. Thanks for your opinion.

    I disagree.

  211. RU a religious believer who also believes in a progressive agendum, perhaps akin to the Catholic Worker Movement?

    How do you determine the boundaries of ethical and political views? Do you accept pragmatism as an acceptable component of a progressive agendum.

    Do you support Clinton or Sanders or eschew electoral politics in favor of activism?

  212. It’s impossible to prove a negative.

    I’ve answered your questions. You’ve ignored mine.

    If you won’t answer questions our exchange is pointless.

  213. “But only on the worldview of Christianity do the words ‘morality, respect, empathy’ have meaning.”

    I assume you forgot to begin your reply with “I believe”, Mr Longmire. Otherwise, how would you know? You’re not an atheist.

    You asked me, “By the way, what are the objective bases for your morality? On what are they based? From where did your meanings arise?” That is a very good and very promising question! As I’m sure you can imagine, my answer is necessarily a long one:

    In 2009, I found out that the previous 42 years of my life had been a mistake (due to a misdiagnosis and rather extreme and counterproductive treatments ever since 1967). Of course, I was devastated, but realized that I had an opportunity to start a new life (damaged goods notwithstanding), which included the opportunity to choose my own values and moral code.

    So, firstly, I acknowledged that I’d never believed in God, and that it was dishonest to pretend otherwise. Secondly, although I’d long ago learned from my parents to respect other people and their personal, spiritual, existential boundaries — because, as a matter of free will and human coexistence, faith is fundamentally subject to personal boundaries — I realized that I needed a more comprehensive moral compass.

    I experimented briefly with selecting different guiding values, but the ones I picked were kind of disjointed, and didn’t produce the coherent and growth-promoting compass I sought. I concluded that I needed a foundation, a basis for choosing values; and that the basis would be found by answering, “What’s the most important thing in life to me — what do I care about more than anything else?” Given my past, plus what I’d observed about other people, and what I paid most attention to in the news reports, the answer was simple: I care more about how people treat each other than about anything else.

    From there, I focused on how I thought people should be treated, how I wanted to think of others vis-à-vis myself, and what values would support those considerations most effectively. Noting that I am most bothered by (1) seeing people treat others as their inferiors, (2) seeing those same people dismiss others’ proprietary rights (privacy, beliefs, choices, etc.), and (3) seeing those same people deliberately yet mindlessly obstruct, insult, emotionally abuse, and even act violently against others — i.e., I’m most disturbed by inequality, trespass, and cruelty — I decided to choose three counteractive guiding values: Equality, Respect, and Empathy.

    Those values soon led me to realize how important it is for “Us” to get to know “Them”, because, contrary to the old and odd saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”, familiarity actually breeds understanding, and solutions.

    Lastly, I revisited what I admire most about Christianity — The Golden Rule — and embraced it with the belief that it means I should respect other people’s boundaries, beliefs, belongings, bodies, bedrooms and business, along with their rights, freedoms, privacy, and equality, as I would have others respect my own. And I recognized that my beliefs, values, and morality are mine and mine alone: they bind me, not my neighbors.

    I value humanity. As an atheist, I believe we’re all we’ve got, and that alone makes us valuable. And I believe that, although each of us as living persons will cease to exist, each of us will leave behind what we have done in our lives, and with our lives, for better and/or for worse, alone and/or with others.

    I personally place great value on making positive contributions to society. Because of my past, I rarely leave my apartment, so my options for contributing are limited; but I seem to have two “no-how knacks” that let me contribute what I can. One is for composing music. (I can’t functionally read or play, but I make music up in my head without thinking about it; so I spend my time “downloading” [“uploading”?] compositions, note-by-note, instrument-by-instrument, from my head into a music notation program, which plays the music, prints the scores, and makes CDs so other people can hear what I hear). And the other “knack” is what I am doing right now: writing social commentaries, both in postings and more formally on paper.

    I’m going to move on now, Mr. Longmire. I sincerely hope you reconsider what you think about the moralities of strangers.

  214. Because I feel it in my bones is not sound science.

  215. I should point out that I am not saying that religious people are automatically mentally ill for being religious. I am only pointing out that I see no way to differentiate faith in gods from a delusion which is defined in medical terms as a fixed false belief that will not be changed even in the face of clear evidence of its falsity. To call the religious mentally ill for being religious is a bridge too far.

  216. I don’t know how many atheistic websites you’ve read of late,Spuddie,but I can assure you: it would be difficult to find a group that expresses more…”pride,arrogance and malice towards others with a straight face”…than atheists.Their overweening hubris is superceded only by their incredibly boring presumption that they know everything,and that if they can’t discover it with their little microscopes, dig it out of the soil of this tiny planet,or bring about some sort of chemical reaction that can perhaps explain it all, then there you go—it isn’t real!! How sadly pathetic man is; he simply cannot resist the urge to declare him the center of his tiny,finite world!! Sad.

  217. The problem is, “ridiculous” is in the eye of the beholder.

    I’m atheist, but I support religion. I’m gratefully comforted knowing that my parents had their heartfelt Christianity to carry them both through a terrible final year. And I think it’s wonderful that people who share the same beliefs can congregate to celebrate their shared beliefs together.

    The only part of “beliefs” that I object to — and it applies to nontheists as well as theists — is what people do with their beliefs to subordinate other people, traipse across their personal/spiritual/existential boundaries, and hold them accountable (sometimes more that they hold themselves) to their own personally chosen beliefs.

    People who believe the same things sometimes respond with different, and occasionally entirely opposite, behaviors (including their choices of words). Most Christians are respectful, but a few aren’t. The same is true for atheists. Beliefs tend to magnify whatever’s in a person’s heart, for better or for worse. But it’s what we do with our beliefs — especially to others or for others — that matters.

  218. When was the last time you saw atheists using political power to ban religious people from public office?

    How many politicians are scared to support religious people?

    Show me where atheists support discrimination against certain groups?

    Show me one atheist poster who claims, I am a,better human being than you because I believe. ..

    The religious posters here are largely just here to fling insults at atheists to boost their own egos.

  219. Although I disagree with you, the only part of your belief that’s intrinsically annoying to me is that your belief intrinsically requires you to preach to people incessantly.

    That’s a bummer!

  220. I’m just a regular political liberal. I’d like to see a cradle-to-grave socialist welfare state, as in Sweden—and other civilized countries. And I’d like to see both the program of the religious right and Trump’s insane populism stopped! This is probably the position of most educated members of mainline denominations.

    I don’t think much of the Catholic Worker or other church-based or religiously-affiliated political-action or do-good schemes. The best way to work for improved human well-being and a better world is through secular non-profits and political organizations—like the Democratic party.

    As for the current election, Hilliary is now over the top. And I, like a lot of other Yellow Dogs, am biting my nails for fear that disgruntled Bernie supporters will throw the election to Trump.

  221. The only thing a person must do is die. (In the future death may no longer be part of the human condition, but that future appears improbable right now.)

    If people didn’t have to die probably most wouldn’t be religious. Many, as I do now, might define god as being the non-supernatural process behind reality.

    In fact the processes of nature and reality don’t depend on what they’re called; just on what scientific observation is able to detect.

    The only reward for appreciating god as the process behind reality is that doing so describes nature and reality better than nothing does.

    As always, YMMV!

  222. Nonsense?

    “Freedom of thought can be taken as a reward… Or you may find other benefits…(from) becom(ing) more logicallly sound.”

    Only the names have been changed, (perhaps) to protect the innocent. (Dum, da DUM, dum)

  223. You didn’t invent gobbledygook, but you speak it well.

  224. RU nonreligious or agnostic and not a member of a mainline religious denomination?

    I’m not much of a party animal (a punning attempt at humor) but instead am pragmatic and occasionally bigoted.

    I’ve had a problem with the Clintons ever since WJC got caught lying. The’re geniuses yet didn’t have the savvy to know how not to get caught lying.

    I won’t vote for Clinton under any circumstances. I wouldn’t have voted for Cruz if he had been the Republican nominee under any circumstances either. Until recently, I’d have voted for Trump in quiet desperation unless Clinton showed she was confident in her ability to beat Trump by asking Sanders to be her running mate.

    Recently Trump proved he’s a kook, so, in quiet desperation, I’ll abstain from voting in this years election for POTUS. (I never liked Trump, but really hoped for a change from business as usual.

    It doesn’t matter much because Trump has about the same chance of becoming POTUS as Sanders has of becoming the Democratic nominee. This year is a real bummer!

    Although as you see we differ markedly in our views, you still are a breath of fresh air in this smoke filled back room!

  225. “You remind me of a man.”

    “What man?”

    “The man with the power.”

    “What power?”

    “The power of hoo-doo.”

    “Hoo-doo?”

    “You do.”

    “I do what?”

    “Remind me of a man…”

    Actually, you remind me of a man of bad faith acting inauthentically.

  226. I’m a religious believer and member of a mainline denomination—I’m Episcopalian.

    As to politics, I’m pragmatic and thoroughly cynical. C’mon: Hillary couldn’t have Bernie as VP—she’s in her 60s and he’s 74. My politics anyway are narrowly focused on economic issues and civil rights, and on foreign policy I’m a hawk, so Hillary suits me just fine.

    Enjoyed our conversation—thanks!

  227. Sanders is old, true, but if he agreed to accept the VEEP spot he’d be a great symbol for at least the appearance of a thoughtful shift to the left within the Democratic Party.

    Still, you’ve made a valid point and pragmatic center/left business-as-usual will probably remain in place for the next 4 or 8 years.

  228. Now you parrot Cary Grant. Like I said, “You did not invent it.”

  229. I knew the routine came from somewhere but didn’t know the source. Thanks to your yadda-yadda, Cary Grant, youtube and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer I do now!

    (Psst: There’s a sh-t-pot of food (oops I meant “good”, but food too) stuff on youtube and other (more challenging) sources about inauthenticity and bad faith, including Dillan who used to be “gender queer” but now isn’t.)

  230. Well done Americans! I know the day will come when Atheists in South Africa will also start showing muscle. Well done!

  231. Maybe, they were just a little lazy to go. Or maybe their are just fewer Black and Brown Atheists than White Atheists? Why don’t you try and find out the reason if it bothers you so much? It appears that it is not only in South Africa where everything has to come in colour but also in America. For goodness sake!

  232. I went to Sunday School, but I was never threatened with Hell. I’m Jewish and Jews don’t focus on Hell. Although, was I was in 3rd Grade, we saw a graphic and realistic movie about the Auschwitz and the Holocaust which gave me nightmares for a very long time.

  233. I am actually glad to see the old practice of personal house to house evangelism is still alive. I don’t know who they are, but God bless them all.

  234. There is nothing wrong with a tool. We all need them. Anything that can provide a structure where people can express such sentiments is a good thing. Have you ever read Andrew Newberg?

  235. No. In the judgement of God’s Word, not mine.

  236. I prayed when my mother had cancer. Did I think that God would save her? No I did not. Yet, I found prayer offered comfort and consolation.

  237. Of course you do. You suppress the truth of God that is in you.

  238. You said,

    “…the answer was simple: I care more about how people treat each other than about anything else.”

    You have apparently misunderstood. WHY is it good to care about other people? On a naturalistic world view, there is simply no reason to make that judgment. You are simply being dishonest and not being truly atheistic or naturalistic. You are borrowing from Christianity, really, for God has put that awareness in all men for their basic preservation. But there is no REASON, outside your own opinion, to believe that.

    You have not said from whence it came; you are just giving your opinion, a thing you accused me of doing.

  239. Without Christ, you will perish. It is pretty simple. I do not wish for you to perish.

  240. Not it is not. The Bible is self attesting and the highest authority in the universe. I do not try to prove it or explain it to those who cannot hear. God has to do that part.

  241. The proverbial “closed system” of naturalism. It is profoundly ignorant of reality.

  242. I know He exists. Gee, I know something that you don’t. You are a poor atheist and are supposed to know all things.

  243. How can a brain “understand itself?” You are talking nonsense, and arguing circularly. That is a bit sophomoric.

  244. Reminds me of God’s description of man: “…, ever learning but unable to come to the truth.”

    Your brain is defective because of sin, and no amount of learning will deliver you from your condition. Only God can.

    God has chose to “save some” through the “foolishness of preaching.” Sinful natural man sees Christ as foolishness until God transforms his mind and enables it to see truth.

  245. Right. He is self-existent. You [and I] are not.

  246. He is not a created being; he is God who created all things for his good pleasure, even the wicked for the day of judgment.

  247. Have you seen quarks? No. Have scientists seen quarks? No. They have some reason to believe there are quarks, but they have not seen them. I have more than enough reasons to believe there is a God even if I have not “seen” him in Person yet. I have “seen him” by faith, however.

    You believe there are quarks because someone reported to you that quarks exist. Why is that not true for religion?

  248. You did not give a reason for why you love your child. Why? Love is meaningless unless it is God’s definition.

  249. I think we have found common ground here.

    I do not find anything wrong with religion per se. I find fault with people who use it for ends that are less than beneficent. Unfortunately it is much easier to find people who use religion to excuse their bad behavior than to find those who credit it for their good deeds. But then again that is true of anyone. It is much easier to find people willing to act badly than not in any given situation. 🙂

  250. So, you are saying it pleases God to create people that he can damn to hell and watch them burn for eternity.

    Wow. Just wow. No exclamation point.

    Thank you for being the best argument against Christianity that I have ever seen, bar none.

  251. You question whether I, as an atheist, can care about people?
    And you think I need a reason? Walt, you don’t know me at all.
    And you’re certainly not competent to judge me.
    Read on, as I answer each of your closed-minded non-questions:

    “You have apparently misunderstood.”
    Nope. You have apparently rejected my honest answers.
    “WHY is it good to care about other people?”
    Why would it be good NOT to care about other people?

    “On a naturalistic world view,
    There is simply no reason to make that judgment.”
    Maybe there’s no reason that you can see and/or admit to.
    Claim doth not a fact make, and opinion doth not the truth make.

    “You are simply being dishonest and not being truly atheistic or naturalistic.”
    You’re actually accusing me of being “No True Atheist”? And dishonest? Because I don’t fit your preconceived idea of what atheists are like?
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but your bubble needs bursting. Big time.

    “You are borrowing from Christianity, really, for God has put that
    Awareness in all men for their basic preservation.”
    Who says I can’t borrow? But that “God” part is belief, not fact.
    BTW, the Golden Rule predates Christ. Borrowing is good!

    “But there is no REASON, outside your own opinion,
    To believe that.” Hey, I’m just a good guy. Isn’t that enough?
    Believing there is no God doesn’t take away my free will.
    And if I want to care about others, you can’t stop me! 88-)>>>

    “You have not said from whence it came”
    See my above reply to “You are borrowing from Christianity…”
    Are you really having that much trouble processing my answers?
    Or are you still stuck on your “atheists can’t care” hang-up?

    “You are just giving your opinion”
    You’re referring to your previous post’s question, aren’t you? —
    “What are the objective bases for your morality?”
    I never said my morality is objective. That’s on you, not me.

    But if you NEED a reason, try this: “Us vs. Them” doesn’t work.
    It’s wasteful. It’s distracting. It’s artificial. And it fixes nothing.
    We need each other to fix the big stuff; that means “Getting to
    Know You”, sharing resources, mutual trust, and, Yes, caring.

    That is the best reason I can think of. But when I considered what I
    Care about most (see previous post), my goal was to answer not Why,
    But What: What would I give up everything else for — even my life?
    So I got my What answer back then. I got your Why reason just now.

    I wonder if you think I’m against religion. I support religion!
    I’m gratefully comforted knowing that my parents had their
    Christianity to carry them both through a terrible final year.
    But I believe in coexistence. That requires respecting boundaries.

    I believe it is wholly wrongful, and holistically harmful, for any spiritual/
    Existential belief system or believer to disrespect another’s boundaries.
    I believe it is blasphemous to claim rights to another’s blessed pasture.
    And I believe such ungodly trespass leads to inhuman cruelty.

  252. So if the voice in your head said to hate your child, you would? Compulsory love is meaningless, mammal.

  253. “Faith is not blind,…but based in reason and evidence.”

    Faith is believing in something that has no proof, no evidence. If there were evidence, faith wouldn’t be necessary. A “Holy Spirit of God” in your head, talking to you, is not proof of anything, except possible schizophrenia.

  254. Have you seen an atom? I guess nuclear bombs and reactors are magic. Have you seen electrons? I guess electricity is magic. Your computer must operate by faith.

    Thousands of gods have been invented. Why don’t you have faith in Allah? He loves you. Or C-689, who made your god?? He’s the God of gods. Wake up!!

    Religion is make-believe tied to arrogance.

  255. Psychosis accomplishes exactly the same result.

  256. Earning a living while selling smoke and mirrors.

  257. I haven’t seen you, either. But I have seen enough evidence to be pretty sure you exist.

  258. God is indeed great, just different than what religion teaches god is. I doubt your view of god and mine will ever be in phase but go wiith god.

    Please however, don’t preach to me. We’re on different jouneys.

  259. Oprah wrote an interesting article in this month’s edition of her magazine by the same name. She was calling for a return to civility. She cited several rules for a civil society going back to the 19th century. I believe those rules address being respectful of others’ religion or lack thereof.

  260. Well, if Oprah says so…

    Wow.

    Nonsense such as “faith is based on reason and evidence” is absolutely Orwellian in it’s disconnect.

    faith: firm belief in something For Which There Is NO Proof.
    *Merriam-Webster (emphasis added)

    But we wouldn’t want to point out when someone is completely wrong because that’s simply not genteel.

    And, if someone hears voices in their head, they need to seek care from a physician. This is a medical issue.

    Sounds like Oprah would rather not have such impolite discussions about possible mental illness issues, these days. I miss the old Oprah.

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