Now in the Ring: Theist vs. Atheist

Following is a question that was asked on another blog …

Why is it that so many comment sections [on theist blogs] can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree?

I think I may have some answers.

Consider …

  • Most of the information Christians share has come from what they’ve been told by their church leaders — and it’s not always accurate. When called on it … they become angry.
  • Some Christians believe “God’s Word” is all it takes to win their case so the entire conversation revolves around scripture. When this approach doesn’t seem to have any effect … they become angry.
  • Many believers feel Christian apologists have all the answers. When a non-believer disputes this and offers opposing sources … they become angry.
  • Christian bloggers tend to use the same arguments over and over, believing this time it will “take.” When it doesn’t … they become angry.
  • There are some Christians who are simply not open to opposing information. It’s their way or the highway and if you disagree … they become angry.

Naturally, these aren’t the only reasons, but I feel they are the more common ones. Feel free to share your perspectives.

In closing, here is some advice I came across. It behooves ALL of us (on both sides) to keep it in mind when discussing religious matters in the blogosphere.

To win arguments, be prepared to use evidence to show why you’re right. When gathering this evidence, be sure to find credible sources that give you access to solid facts and relevant examples. Remember that getting emotional during an argument is a surefire way to lose! Always strive to keep your cool.

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234 thoughts on “Now in the Ring: Theist vs. Atheist

  1. We like to talk about evidence. But it turns out that what counts as evidence varies from person to person. In particular, Christians will accept apologetics arguments as evidence, while non-religious folk don’t find any evidence in most of those arguments.

    So, yes, I believe that their anger comes from frustration. They present what they would accept as evidence, and are frustrated when we find it unpersuasive.

    I guess that works the other way, too. We present solid scientific evidence, and a YEC creationist rejects it (on flimsy grounds). However, I don’t get frustrated over that, because it is the behavior that I have come to expect from YECs.

    Many of the Christians probably are sincere. They actually believe what they claim. And they may actually believe that they are doing us a favor by trying to “save” us.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Did I lose my cool? Lol. Sometimes the passion for fact does come through the writ. Sam Harris is a great example of keeping it together. I reread some of my comments to Gaylord and it reread like I was holding a hammer in the other hand. Thanks for the reminder Nan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim, don’t worry too much. Everyone has their epiphanies in different ways, different tones, different material, etc. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn’t. Be very happy about this though…. !!!…

      Most good-hearted Christians merely and kindly throw their mustard seeds when appropriate and “led by their God” and then let HIM do the rest. To me during my 11-years of Christian ministries THAT is called “faith” in your ministry and in your omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent God. Ahh but as always… there will always be those less-faithful Christian Warriors (ancient zealots/Sacarii) that want BLOOD, SUFFERING, and SCREAMING!!! Hahahaha 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  3. hi nan-

    Actually some good points you make, but I must say it is an unfair ‘fight.’ The battle which is as old as time, has long been won, and is long over before the atheist steps into the ring. The two are incompatible, and the bloodletting is visible long before the believer cites the first scripture.

    That said, as for me, there is no anger as many have falsely suggested; it is simply confidence and an unflappable position that God’s word always wins the day, and people simply cannot tolerate such absolute certainty, which many confuse as arrogance or anger. I have seen it a thousand times, and there is no anger or malice as sure as the day is long.

    For instance if I said quoting Paul: ‘God shall smite thee thou whited wall,’ this could be perceived as ‘anger,’ simply because one does not appreciate the reference. Just note that when I cite a truth from scripture, it is not my opinion, so take note of an ancillary connection regarding your last commenter to me, she is sooooo far out of touch with what I said, as to what she perceived, that this is a fine example of how too many create their own ‘nasty attacks.’

    I like when the baptist cited ‘you brood of vipers.’ Ouch. Surely he did not win friends, but he did tell the truth. Once more, some would, maybe even you, accuse him of creating anger. If truth does not reach deep, it is hardly valuable. But your garden variety anger, when it, and if it is seen, is out of place. In this we would agree.

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    • And yet you have no non-biblical evidence to even support the belief that there ever was someone called Paul, so why would anyone consider this argument or any other you try to present?

      Liked by 2 people

      • -ark

        It’s not fair to nan to clog up her post here with a link that will no doubt steer her thoughts in an unwanted direction, but it is called:
        ‘Marvel comics blowin in the wind.’

        It addresses your concern perfectly I believe, and something I have been saying for ages.

        ‘Non biblical evidence?’ Enjoy.

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          • I do hope both the host here, as well as any other bystander, takes the time to read the ANSWER regarding your concern about ‘non biblical evidence,’ and the complete ignoring by you of the answer to YOUR own question.

            Your caustic lame accusations are not new, and if I was a judge overseeing an impartial jury, the conclusion would be:

            You sir are completely unable to connect the dots of reality, and are incapable of reason. Get outta my courtroom.

            (and no nan, there is no anger expressed here)

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            • I do hope both the host here, as well as any other bystander, takes the time to read the ANSWER regarding your concern about ‘non biblical evidence,’ and the complete ignoring by you of the answer to YOUR own question.

              Done. Did it already with 110% earnesty in university, seminary, daily life, church, and 11-years of Xian ministry (around the globe) until there had been enough time to truly FIND those incongruent, problematic, and contradictory answers in the Bible. Worse still is that all during those 11-years Christians on 4 of the 6 inhabitable continents did NOT follow “canonical” Scriptures and Jesus’ teachings. The Church(es) however, has honestly been confused and lost for 2+ millenia anyway. And I am by NO MEANS the only deconverted Christian on these and similar biblical fallacies and major problems.

              So your suggestion CS is (grossly?) inadequate.

              Liked by 4 people

    • CS, appreciate your calm and reasoned response … even though (as you know) I find it riddled with holes. 🙂

      There is one thing I can say about you, CS … you most definitely believe “the scriptures” are the end-all, be-all to life. Yet many others have thoroughly read those same scriptures and come to an entirely different conclusion. It does make one wonder if you have skipped over some of them in your efforts to believe that “God’s word always wins the day.”

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      • Comprehensive historical context (including non-Christian sources!) of every single verse, passage, and book of “the Bible” is what is blantantly ignored by whichever Xian denomination/seminary you want to name. Pick one. 😉

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        • Blatantly ignored prof?

          No, how about ‘totally irrelevant.’ Glad to help.

          One day you just may get it, but please do read ‘Marvel comics blowin in the wind,’ to equally smash your short-sightedness as well.

          I could not give a whit what fools think of the scriptures.

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          • Depending on the topic and tone of the topic’s discussion, in my personal opinion (which certainly is not 100% effective all the time), requires a particular response that may or may not be effective DEPENDING ON WHO is measuring. And for objectivity’s sake, there should always be more than one measurer. 😉

            In my experiences, sometimes a cookie-cutter response 100% of the time is not as effective as a customized response depending on WHO the recipient would be. Isabella, for example (from Jim’s blog awhile back), does not require the same sort of response that some of the Theists you are referencing here or BrainYawn as I referenced. I guess what I am saying Nan is that not all opposition should always hear/read the exact same rebuttals in the exact same inflections, tones, or grammatical composition all the time. This is my personal opinion of course. My methods are not always effective as others.

            Thank you very much Nan for your candor. That’s why I enjoy your posts and comments Ma’am. 🙂

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            • Of course we need to respond according to the “circumstances.” And yes, I agree that “cookie-cutter responses” are generally not effective. However, in this post, I made a concerted effort NOT to mention names. I did this in an effort to keep the discussion as “neutral” as possible because too many blog participants immediately go on either the offensive or the defensive in any kind of religious discussion. And this is exactly why “comment sections can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree.”

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            • Agreed Nan. When I’m debating people that embrace hard “absolutism” or “monism” with unflinching deafness and pride, it usually and quickly devolves. That is why, IMO there is the real need for a Codes of Conduct or Etiquette Page on blogs with controversial topics. I think you and others will find that blogs who do not have nor enforce those types of decency policies and guidelines, their comments sections very quickly devolve and in the end prove useless. You, on the other hand, monitor well this sort of behavior/wording keeping your blog above such childishness.

              Regarding my comment(s) here to CS or to JB, I don’t find anything at all egregious in what I’ve said. Admittedly I do tip-toe that line sometimes, but ONLY for those blog characters that need to know they will not freely bully without being called on it. I do this only with blog-commenters who have a proven history of highly inappropriate conduct. For example, in real life I would do the exact same thing if I find a hyper-testosteroned male pushing and pushing a woman’s uninterestedness and not listening to her refusals (gender abuse). Yet he’ll continue on the woman for submission to his future plans of assault if he can get her alone unless someone (hopefully a man or men!) confronts him and stops him.

              Do I do this to all men? No, of course not. But I will not and do not backdown to any man that trys to showoff his peacock feathers in tRumpish style. If you feel I am being too (undeservedly) hard specifically on CS or JB… on your blog, then please always continue to tell me. 🙂 And for the record, I have noted your hint to me here. Thank you Ma’am. ❤

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  4. I think you’ve described the Christian mindset quite accurately. Although, I wonder about non-Christian stubbornness. I’ve encountered a lot of people from all walks of life who cling to their preconceived notions so tightly that they react to disagreement just as strongly as do Christians. For such people, and I do believe it is a big number, what does compel them? Why must we always be right? Why is it important for us to win arguments?

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    • Why is it important for us to win arguments?

      That’s a great point Robert! Ultimately in the end after this life it won’t matter one bit for ourselves. The question that does matter is what did you do with and for others (family, dear friends, & those in honest need) while on Earth. Are you leaving it or did you leave it better, wiser or worse, more ignorant, more in pain? 🙂

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      • And as I like to say to the rabid Evangelist, one day we will both be dead, and one of us will be right,

        But while I live it isn’t stubbornness that keeps me ticking, it’s knowing that I’m leaving an unlittered path behind me, and trying to do as little damage as I can. If someone wants to muck up their lives with guilt and suffering in the name of an invisible deity, that’s their problem.

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        • Yes and it’s always bothered me that the apologist won’t know how wrong they were and how much they possibly added to unfair judgement of others, cruelty in the world and destruction via wars and denial of climate change among others, of our world.

          It’s the simple fact that the world would have been and would be a better place without religion.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Barry I think the reality is that when both sides of an argument are convinced they are correct the discussion tends to go nowhere. And when peoples identity is associated with their beliefs then they will tend to see attacks on their belief as attacks on themselves, hence the emotion.

      I find that in most internet forums the dynamics of discussion seems to degenerate in the same matter regardless of the topic. The exception tends to be those forums which are echo chambers.

      If you want to see this effect on steroids have a bit of a look at twitter.

      So it seems it says more about human nature than any particular topic.

      Liked by 7 people

      • You’re probably right in that it says more about human nature than anything else. For want of a better description I could be described as a religious non-theist, and as such, both camps mostly see the two terms as being mutually exclusive. In other words there’s no such thing, and a person who claims so is worthy of attack.

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  5. To be fair, we need to also mention the nasty attacks of atheists. In any event, this type of behavior is usually the subconscious striking out in fear. The fear of being wrong.

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    • I agree the attacks clearly go both ways. It is just we tend to notice the attacks from the side of the argument that we disagree with.

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    • @Chicagoja

      Atheists go at theists largely because most were once theists themselves and thus refuse to acknowledge or credit any of the bullshit they were once forced to swallow and so dominated and in so many cases crippled their lives

      And this applies to every religion that has its foundations firmly in the supernatural.
      Any attempt to meld, blend, synthesize or marry religious belief with the naturalist world.

      Atheists generally do not have any fear of being wrong in this regard, and are open to genuine evidence to show exactly this – that they are wrong. It is often how we learn and move forward, by replacing old ideas with new ones.

      As Hitch once wrote – Religion poisons everything, and history bears this out.

      Liked by 5 people

      • And btw Ark, our community of atheists go at other atheists, agnostics, and humanists too. You have and can be my worst/best critic or support. This is a very beneficial dynamic among completely Free-thinkers! 🙂

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      • Since you’re against religion of any sort, you might explain why (in that context) you’re an atheist since atheism is a religion itself. That is, all atheists are evolutionists and, as Michael Ruse an atheist himself conceded, evolution is a religion. With respect to the discourse between theists and atheists, there can never be even a sliver of agreement between the two sides since the arguments of both sides are based on ideology, ideologies which by definition are not falsifiable.

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        • I assume your comment is directed to either Ark or the Professor, but I’m going to insert myself here by disagreeing with you about atheism being a “religion.” This has been discussed before on other blogs and most, if not all, atheists will vehemently disagree.

          Let’s look at the definition of religion: (1) A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; (2) An institution to express belief in a divine power. The keywords here, as I see them, are “supernatural power or powers” and “divine power” — both of which atheists disavow.

          Some try to insert that atheism is a “faith” or a “belief” in an attempt to identity it with two words commonly used with theism. Both are secondary definitions and do not carry the same weight as the primary.

          Further, what does an atheist have “faith” in? Usually himself … certainly not any “gods.” He may believe in naturalism, science, even magic. But this does not mean he.has a “belief” as the term is used when talking about supernatural entities. In fact, probably the primary thing an atheist “believes” in is …. himself.

          So no … atheism is NOT a religion.

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          • You’re right, it was addressed to Ark. I’m fine with you’re response although to answer your question as to what atheists have faith in, the answer is as follows: Atheists have faith that a creator god does not exist. That faith is not based on proof, nor could it ever be. It is based on a “belief”. It should be said that the same pretty much applies to theists as well.

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            • Wrong again. Atheists are atheists because gods do not exist, look around you do you see any? can you go and touch them, kick them or F—K them or can you produce one? NO, you and every religious person on Earth cannot. Do I need to go on? I will anyway, as you can see or not see in this case, gods do not and never have existed and it is supported by evidence and facts not faith.

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            • There are no facts, only beliefs based on our perception of reality. A God is not required to bless you with its presence. Besides, you can’t prove a negative. You should know that.

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            • There are facts, you cannot deny reality from what we have here and now on Earth is what you can touch, hear and see is it not?

              No god meets any of those identifiable criteria in the world of physical reality where it is the same for all of us and an undeniable experience.

              In your world of gods, demons and spirits it is your individual world and what you believe to be real but it is not the same world for everyone.

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            • You might be surprised to know that reality is far from what you believe it is, what you have been taught that it is or what your senses tell you it is. Even Einstein acknowledged that.

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        • See, it’s this kind of comment that is so purposefully and intentionally bent to suit only the rationalization by the theist (to define into being only that which s/he wishes to reject) that good reasoning is clearly unwanted and not sought or the commentator would have done so. The response to it – when good reasoning and what’s true has no place to be welcomed and a only the idiotic and dishonest fiction accepted by the commentator in its place – that it invites only invective. Chicagoja is trying to make a non-fish into another kind of fish and to do so has to intentionally warp an honest synonym (belief) into a false substitution (faith) in order for the fiction to seem reasonable when it so patently is not honest.

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            • So, chicagoja, there just may be such things as invisible beings which may have waved a magic wand?
              There’s a very good reason for disbelief, as well. Reality.

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            • See, chicagoja, this is just another rationalization. I sincerely doubt you have any interest at all finding out what atheists believe in and certainly zero interest in the significant difference in how they do so compared with theists. You intentionally conflate the term ‘belief’ adduced from evidence to be equivalent to the ‘belief’ imposed on reality by faith. You know these two senses of the term are very different but it’s a handy, if dishonest, way to create a false equivalency so that you then assume a completely bogus position of ‘insight’ on par with evidence-adduced beliefs. This rationalization then raises the question about your motivation and it is this that then earns the justified invective.

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            • That’s because, as far as I’m concerned, atheists are the same as theists. Both have ideologies that are not falsifiable. When the two sides converse they inevitably just shout invectives at each other. That was the whole point of Nan’s post. You people can’t take off your blinders and at last treat each other with some modicum of respect.

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            • But you know there is a difference between belief based on high levels of confidence adduced from reality and faith-based beliefs imported and then imposed on reality regardless of anything reality has to say about it. You don’t use faith of the religious kind to find where you parked your car or left your house keys or place one foot in front of the other based on gravity; you wouldn’t classify this confidence as equivalent faith to believing in Jesus Christ as your personal savior and you know this. Yet here you are pretending otherwise, as if evidence-adduced confidence and likelihood earned over time and demonstrated by practical benefit is an ideology when you in fact demonstrate to yourself every day that this claim is clearly wrong.

              You can pretend all you want to misrepresent religious faith in your public rationalizations but you know it’s qualitatively different that the false equivalency you are pretending to support here. Respecting reality’s arbitration of claims made about it is not an ideology, chicagoca: it’s how we produce knowledge that works for everyone everywhere all the time. Religious faith does not. Faith is a method used to rationalize that which cannot be adduced from reality but imposed on it and that why faith does not now, never has, and probably never shall produce any knowledge about or insight into reality.

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            • Not sure of the point you’re making, chicagoja, but here’s a quote from an article by Michael Ruse … “Humanism in its most virulent form tries to make science into a religion.” (Emphasis added.)

              He also says, “Call it a secular religion if you will, but the humanism I have been discussing in this piece does bear strong similarities to conventional religion. One finds the enthusiasm of the true believer.”

              What I’m interpreting here is the OVER-enthusiasm of atheism (e.g., Dawkins) sometimes mimics the ebullience of ardent believers … thus causing some to reference it as a “religion.”

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            • Dawkins? Over-enthusiasm for not believing? What might that even look like?

              I know many people who wish to try to find a middle ground with theists can sometimes go along with some negative portrayal of more famous atheists as a means to an end. But imagine yourself the soft-spoken and eloquent man who is castigated by these supposed ‘friends’ (philosophically aligned, that is to say) and foe alike not because you deserve it on merit but for their own convenience. Compared and contrasted with thousands and thousands and thousands of religious leaders and public speakers, Dawkins isn’t even the same ballpark of ardent ebullience over atheism… unless you’re talking about the awe-inspiring majesty of nature. That’s when the passion comes out and it’s all about science revealing nature.

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            • Here’s the quote from Michael Ruse, “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”

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            • That is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. It’s like claiming gravity is an ideology. It serves some purpose other than what is true, other than what is the case, other than what is justifiable on merit alone. Our understanding of evolution is a pinnacle of scientific achievement and, I would argue, its fines not because of ideology but because of its unequaled explanatory power to successfully fuel applications, therapies, and technologies based on it that work for everyone everywhere all the time. That’s not an ideology or a religious sentiment at work; it’s what is called a brute fact. That Ruse doesn’t or won’t grasp just how incorrect his assertion is demonstrates the scope of ignorance he utilizes to underscore his point. And that makes the point utterly useless. That you don’t see this is a similar mark against your understanding of what science is and what science does. And it the polar opposite of faith.

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            • When you can’t respond, just throw your own under the bus. Wow! So, you’re the expert and not Ruse. You’re the expert and not Einstein. Obviously, I have nothing further to add.

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            • My own? When it comes to science, I don’t turn to a philosopher and then use the philosopher’s opinion to substitute for the science. I don’t care what anyone’;s ideological camp is when it comes to understanding a pillar of modern biology, and Ruse makes a living pretending religion and science are compatible while waving away incompatible evidence for the claim. I don’t care if he’s a theist or atheist lettered or not who makes such a ridiculous claim as the one you quoted as if this represents some insight into the idiotic claim that evolution is (like) a religion any more than gravity is (like) an ideology. The claim is idiotic no matter who makes it. And Ruse calling himself an ‘evolutionist’ is like calling oneself a ‘gravitationalist’ if one just sdo happens to ‘believe’ in gravity; it is idiotic at every turn. If I need to explain this further to you outside of the analogy, it’s going to take a lot of words that no one else wants to read. Rest assured, if Dakwins or Hitchens or Harris or Dennett said such an idiotic thing, I would hold them to exactly the same terms I use to describe Ruse on this claim. It’s so wrong, it’s not even wrong.

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            • The point is, I guess, that you get to decide what’s wrong and who’s wrong. If an atheist declares that evolution is a theory, and not fact, I’m guessing you would vilify them, even if it’s a Stephen Gould. Right?
              If Einstein says that reality is an illusion you would vilify him too. Right?

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            • No, I let reality do that. I just happen to respect it enough to allow it to arbitrate my beliefs about it.

              And are you kidding me? Do you still not understand what the scientific term ‘theory’ means? Is this why you confuse theory vs fact rather than theory as the most likely explanation and fact as something so well established that you you are safe to assume it’s true? Seriously? Still? In spite of all efforts directed your way? You have some work ahead of you, chicagoja.

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            • Of course, reality is based on perception which is further based on inputs from your physical senses, none of which can truly perceive reality. Any good quantum physicist, beginning with Einstein, will confirm that. So, good luck with that approach.

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            • No, reality is not based on perception. Reality just is. How well or poorly anyone perceives it is a brain function and not sense-dependent. In other words, it’s not your eye that sees or your skin that feels; it’s your brain interpreting sensory input. That why some people- as weird as it may sound – can see with their skin and feel with their ears. It’s a brain function that interprets input and maps it for use. So, how well or poorly our brains perceive reality is a matter of degree measured against successful modeling, successful mapping. That’s why it’s a compare and contrast thing. And the modelling is tested – compared and contrasted – not by philosophical ideology but by successful application outwards into the real world. So, when an explanatory model successfully accounts for and explains all available evidence from the real world after testing AND is the basis for applications, therapies, and technologies that just so happen to work reliably and consistently for everyone everywhere all the time, then we infuse the model with the highest level of confidence we can justify and call this exalted status a theory. That’s what a scientific theory is. That’s why evolution is a theory… not because it’s an ideology shaped by people’s perception but because it is the most well supported explanatory model ever devised by humanity that operates completely independent of our perception, and because it is the basis for ongoing branches of acquiring new knowledge and successful application in all manner of fields, an explanatory model that regularly produces applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time reliably and consistently well.

              That’s not ideology, chicagoja: that is earned confidence by demonstration over time and retested daily in the accuracy of the explanatory model. That’s why the theory is far more powerful than just facts for which it accounts and for anyone to call this pinnacle of achievement demonstrated daily in a thousand different ways by billion and even trillion dollar industries an ideology – a personal perception – is a claim of such profound misunderstanding that the error is too large to simply call ‘wrong’; it’s idiotic because it requires an astounding and profound level of ignorance to accept as legitimate. For someone like Ruse to then promote this equivalent ideology idiocy regarding evolution demonstrates the same astounding and profound level of dishonesty and intentional deceit possible. It relies entirely on merit, not on scientific understanding, but the gullibility of those who do not understand that science is.

              Science is a successful method to gain practical and useful insight into how reality operates INDEPENDENTLY of us. Full stop. In contrast, an ideology requires our personal sanction to exist. To claim equivalency is so wrong it’s not even wrong; it’s an intentional deceit.

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            • Your quote:
              “Call it a secular religion if you will, but the humanism I have been discussing in this piece does bear strong similarities to conventional religion. One finds the enthusiasm of the true believer.”
              So. Ruse reiterated his belief that atheism, evolution and humanism are equivalent in some ways to a religion.

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            • First, it was my quote, chicagoja.

              Second, the impression I got from the article wasn’t that any of these were “equivalent in some ways” to religion, but rather the intensity of the arguments by non-believers could be interpreted as religious fervor … thus causing some (as you did) to say that atheism is a religion.

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            • You are correct. It doesn’t meet the traditional definition of a religion, however, its adherents act similar to the adherents of a religion. For me, at least, that was the point of your post. That people on both sides yell invectives at each other instead of allowing them the courtesy of expressing their views, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. Myself, I’m in the middle on this issue of theists vs. atheists and I get yelled at from both sides. So, be it. I have seen firsthand what Stuart Chase meant when he said that, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” When you have a belief that is not falsifiable (which applies to both theists and atheists), that’s exactly what you get…and that’s why, for all intent and purposes, atheism is a religion.

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        • No, chicagoja. Atheism is NOT a religion in itself. There may be some elements of Anti-theism that can function ideologically, but that doesn’t make atheism itself a religion.

          It is merely a statement about whether one believes in a deity or not. It deals with one question. I think you’re making it way more than it actually deals with.

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      • I would sooooooooo love for at least ONE person to recognize this obviously stupid, shallow, biased, deplorable, vapid, and myopic observation, and I dare ONE person to apologize for the so-called intellect of such a comment as:

        ‘Religion poisons everything.’ EVERYTHING kind of is the deal breaker, and I dare ONE atheist to take the challenge, and side with common sense, and God forbid, agree with me.

        Now allow me to offer ONE example WHY the commenter is so far out of touch with reality, as I have already proved that that he is incapable of reasoning.

        A man or woman spends ALL DAY Saturday in a nursing home at the bedside of a friend of a friend; one who he really does not know, being there because he read in the good book that ‘pure religion…….is to visit the fathers and widows in their affliction…………….’

        What lunatic could possibly find fault with virtue? What crazy man would bitch about a man tending to the loneliness of a man or woman whose own family may have forsaken him or her? What insane mind would moan that ‘religion poisons EVERYTHING’ when we have a fine example of how ‘pure religion’ is actually unselfish, honest, caring, demure, and full of mercy and empathy?’

        So Mr Hitch and his so called ‘smart quote?’ It is actually a shallow quote, and bears zero relationship to reality.

        Once more, ‘religion poisons EVERYTHING,’ so will ONE person agree with a Christian (me) and say how utterly foolish such a statement is. Next time you are bedridden, or are at life’s end, and all your family has forsaken you, just maybe you will thank God that a religious person came to your aid to help you relive the greatest gems of your life: your memories, but heck, Christians are a just a bunch a unthinking morons……..

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        • ‘Religion poisons everything.’

          I recognize it as rhetoric. So I expect it to overstate its case.

          A man or woman spends ALL DAY Saturday in a nursing home at the bedside of a friend of a friend; one who he really does not know, being there because he read in the good book that ‘pure religion…….

          Well great.

          But then this same man or woman spends the rest of the week attempting to destroy the opportunities of medical care for millions of his fellow citizens.

          That’s the contradiction, the hypocrisy, that we so often see.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hitch’s observation is that the same action can be done for better reasons than because it’s the religious thing to do. When the motivation is purely religious, it loses all its virtue because it becomes entirely selfish even if the action seems to produce something that is seen from afar as virtuous. That’s the inherent dishonesty that theists use to fool themselves all the time.

          I am well aware, CS, that you cannot wrap your head around that fact because you must see everything through the myopic lens of religious virtue first so I realize I am wasting my breath. This is what you do, rather than try to understand any contrary point, and then as surely as day follows night you simply use invective descriptors and assume the fault of not agreeing with you must lie with others because they are not religious. God forbid you spend a moment of thought on contrary views themselves and on their own merit. And that’s why you continue to promote and excuse the worst of religious poison in the name of your selfish piety and then assume you must be correct because God, you see. You’re not correct and you have no means in your method of thinking to realize it, that makes you quite foolish. I think that’s a shame.

          Liked by 3 people

        • @ Colorstorm.
          I stand by what I wrote: Religion poisons everything.

          Only the degree of poison varies, whether we are talking about raving fanatics such as you, Branyan, Mel Stefan, Torquemada. the High Priest of Quetzalcoatl or the local vicar at my old church, St. Mary’s.

          All require, no, demand some form of grovelling subservience to a make-believe supernatural deity in one form or another.

          Like

            • Really? Come on then, hotshot, please explain how a complete lack of belief in ALL gods poisons everything.
              Let’s see you put your money where your mouth is, if you are able to get your bloody great foot out of it of course.

              Like

            • I also have a complete lack of belief in all gods, who as I said before, can neither collectively count to three, or tie their shoes.

              The Creator of the whale, the dove, the locust, and man, has no competitor. Scripture, as well as your conscience, bears this out.

              You can fight for the rest of the life, and never win a single argument against scripture. That’s a verifiable and historical fact.

              Like

            • Then why the 1st commandment, CS, if as you say, “The Creator of the whale, the dove, the locust, and man, has no competitor?”

              After all, it’s your god supposedly warning off worshipers who might be tempted to pay homage to all those other ones your god recognizes as being worthy of His concern. In fact, being the first commandment seems to me a pretty good indication this is a cause of Great Worry, Great Insecurity, to your Dear Leader. And if you can’t believe your own god’s Word for these other gods existing, then I think your pantheon pantry is pretty empty. And I would hate to see you bereft of any gods at all because I don’t think you could cope with that. You’d have a brain seizure or something.

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            • Because sir Tildeb, the ‘other gods’ have all been proven to be idols.

              Ever heard of the golden calf? God has no competitors, and man must worship something, even if it is himself, or as I like to say for example, deGrasse worships his own pride and ego by saying ‘there is no God.’

              Simple really.

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    • Chicagoja, I’m fully aware that atheists can get pretty nasty themselves. However, in my experiences, the anger seems to fall heavily on the side of the believer. There are, of course, innumerable reasons for this. The ones I mentioned in my post seem to be the most common, but each person has their “sore spot.”

      I suppose fear of being wrong is also an element, but somehow I don’t think it’s “fear,” per se. I tend to think it’s more because we simply don’t want to admit we’re wrong. Our self-image is very important to us because it defines who we are, what we believe, and what we stand for. When someone questions any of these traits, it’s like a verbal attack on our psyche.

      In any case, it’s pretty obvious the blogosphere often illustrates who we really are..

      Liked by 2 people

        • I have no fear of being wrong. It is often how we learn.
          You are simply an arrogant, pig-headed little man who thinks he is fundamentally right – always, and yet , as with almost everyone of your ilk, you inevitably fail to produce evidence for your claims.
          Your disingenuous description of atheism is the perfect example.

          Like

          • Have you determined yet that all of the gods of the world’s religions, all 4,200 of them, or so, are not valid as you told me you were going to do? Didn’t think so. Still an atheist, though, right?

            Like

            • Based on the generally recognised criteria, yes, all the worlds gods are simply man made.
              I note without much surprise that you are still an idiot. Why is that I wonder?

              Like

            • However, since you have not examined those religions all you can do is take other people’s opinion on that matter. Of course, they haven’t studied all the world’s religions either. That’s how brainwashing in religions work.

              Like

            • No, Senor Dipshit, I don’t merely take other people’s opinions on the matter. I am of the view that if there was any veracity to such supernatural god claims the god in question would have made itself known by now.

              Obviously such an occurrence hasn’t happened to you yet, even though you may be sitting there, desperate for at least one of these gods to make an appearance, thus making your life complete. How sweet!
              I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you, and you also might want to take your thumb out your mouth and relinquish the tight grip you have on any other appendage.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Theoretically speaking: Why would a supernatural creature want to talk to you? It may not even want to talk to any human being. It may exist in another dimension, a parallel universe or otherwise beyond space and time. So, the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.

              Like

            • Based on evidence presented so far we can conclude that
              a) All (known)gods that have ever been worshiped throughout human history are man-made.

              b)There is no more evidence for gods than there is for the Tooth Fairy.

              Ergo: Based on evidence (including lack thereof) an atheist is one who has no belief gods.

              So, yes we can conclude that in this case, absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.

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            • Oh, and for the record, I don’t recall ever telling you that I was going to determine that all of the world’s religions were invalid ( Although I most certainly do think they are). Of course, my memory not being what it once was, I may be wrong, and thus, I would be ever so grateful if you would supply the exact quote and the link?
              Thanks, awfully.

              Like

            • It was a comment you left on one of my one of my posts where I stated that the vast majority of atheists have only rejected the Christian god (many of those being ex-Christians of course). I asked you how you could be so sure that God doesn’t exist and you said because the god of Christianity is a farce, or words to that effect (which I agree with you on that point by the way). Then, I said, well, that Christianity is only one of 4,200 religions and they all have their own god and to be fair an atheist should examine each and every god before declaring themselves to be an atheist. In the end, you agreed that you should at least examine the other 4,199 religions to make sure that a god of some religion does not exist. Hope that helps.

              Like

            • Yes, obviously it was on one of your posts. I asked you to quote me directly or link to the post in question.
              So until you actually provide the quote or the link then I am going to just have call ”foul” on your assertion that said I was: ” going to determine that all of the world’s religions were invalid”.

              Hope that helps.

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            • From my post “Who’s the Real Atheist.”

              Arkenaten said:

              Be this as it may, you are asserting that I cannot possibly be an atheist as I have not considered evidence of the other 4000 gods and I have already conceded this point and I shall in future adopt the title agnostic/atheist.

              Now, go cry foul.

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            • Yes, and where does it say I will be ” going to determine that all of the world’s religions were invalid”.

              You truly are a disingenuous little Dipshit.

              Like

  6. When I was a Christian, I did get emotionally involved in the debate. I believed, like Colorstorm above, that “God’s Word” settled it, and I became frustrated when others could not be convinced by Biblical arguments. Now that I no longer believe, I’m just not interested in the argument at all–even with my wife and those I love the most. As long as people let me be, I’m happy to let them believe what they want.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m happy to let them believe what they want too, but I resist when their beliefs are spilling over to control and restrict or indoctrinate every aspect of our life. That’s really the inly reason I write about it. Plus the fact that 80% of the population is deferring the problems at hand to a deity that is never coming to fix what we should be taking care of. Namely the earth and minorities.

      Liked by 8 people

  7. My immediate answer to your initial question Nan was John BrainYawn, with no hesitation whatsoever. LOL There are several others that are equally deserving, but from a maturity level of a child with outbursts and tantrums, BrainYawn takes the cake and everyone’s fun at the party. 😛

    Regarding our own perspectives on this problem of unwavering intolerance for anything non-Christian, I do have some personal thoughts.

    1. This intolerance has been going on since Constantine, Theodosius I, and II of the ancient Roman Empire. So Roman Catholicism (then eventually Protestantism) have been drilled deep into the Western psyche for some 1,638 years and differently Christian into the Eastern psyche (Constantinople/Istanbul, Orthodox Church) for some 1,688 years. Given how the human brain is so malleable by social assimilation (right or wrong), this reprogramming will not happen overnight.

    2. Given that every single human being on Earth comes to epiphanies in an infinite amount of ways, different approaches and life-events, some will work, and others won’t. It’s also relative to time.

    3. There are also those personality types that simply cannot or DO NOT want any sort of major change(s) in their life — ala the frog that won’t jump out of a cooking frying pan. Their fate is tied more to their arrogance, pride, or showmanship, than any Universal truth(s). But it is their right. LOL

    4. And then there are those that ALWAYS look for the path of least resistence. Thus, Christian one year, Jew the next. Or maybe Muslim one year, Atheist the next, or Mormon one year and Agnostic the next. Whatever benefits them in the present and foreseeable future is the path they take. Honestly, this is a huge amount of Americans because many/most Americans are much more concerned with their careers, wealth, and opulent lifestyles or getting to one. God and church is a waste of time, unless of course you are part of the new, trendy Christian Prosperity Movement/Theology sweeping the country and you can go thru the motions for that Kettle of Gold. LOL

    But anyway, these are just my puny, unintelligent thoughts. 😉 hehehe

    Liked by 4 people

    • There is often a sheen of fear over that, too. Fear of death, of hell, of God’s wrath, of making a wrong move and having a deity come down on them like a large rock…it’s Santa Claus for adults, when you think about it. “Have I been good? Will I get coal in my stocking this time?”

      Liked by 1 person

    • PT, I think you read the question incorrectly. There was nothing in it that indicated any particular individual. It was a very general question as to why the comment section on theist blogs often deteriorate into nasty attacks.

      And quite frankly, the individual you mentioned doesn’t generally “attack.” He just makes asinine, sarcastic comments that, in most case, have no substance.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was first addressing this question in the other blog-comments section:

        Why is it that so many comment sections [on theist blogs] can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree?

        Then I shared my thoughts/perspectives on your last question Nan:

        Feel free to share your perspectives.

        Apologies if I misunderstood. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. One can sympathize with a rabid animal, perhaps, but you wouldn’t likely invite it into your home to sit by the fire, now would you?
    Somehow I very much doubt any normal person here would welcome the likes of Branyan, Bruce or Colorstorm at their dinner table. *Shudders»

    However, contrary to what the likes of Mel, Branyan Colourstorm and their obnoxious ilk try to tell their slavering groupies, and not withstanding inevitable shifts that are largely dependent on social and economic stability, non-believers are very much in the ascendancy.

    No longer is it a matter of if. In in fact,the only real issue is when.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I do believe the theists become angrier than atheists even though many of them are controlled and basically do not get rude and personal.

    Consider that theists are defending the God they would give their lives for, sacrifice their children for, and who they adore most, suck up to, kiss arse, praise and love more than any human, but are also in constant pants wetting fear of this same potentially violent god.

    This therefore means theists are far more prone to emotional blow-ups and creating stacks of apologetic drivel to defend mythical twaddle as we know they do. Notwithstanding the fact they get really upset that theists have freedom and are not subservient and do not love any god or are not even remotely frightened of any god but simply declare with confidence and evidence that all gods do not exist.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When reason – along with respect for reality – has already left the discussion building, then what’s left? Frustration and anger and sadness.

    I haven’t met a deconverted believer yet who isn’t deeply angry at the betrayal by so many willing accomplices who claim to do so out of care and concern. I think criticizing the fundamental dishonesty that is religion – ie. authoritarian bullying and emotional manipulation presented by pious spokespeople as ‘divine love’ and offered as if a gift of value to the less sanctimonious – cannot help but reveal the scope of gullibility and the extent of culpability necessary to become a supporter of religious apologetics and then a shill for the divine con man in which their certainty of faux truthiness has been has been grossly misplaced.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I am with Barry on this issue. From personal experience, both groups can get emotional and degenerate into personal attacks.

    I try to always base my views on established research and actual studies on the issues, along with personal experience and sharp critical thinking skills, which is why many, although not all, of my posts contain links to said studies or broad perspectives. Indeed, one of the reasons I continue to read many atheist blogs is to broaden my perspective. This doesn’t, however, mean blind agreement with everything that comes out of any atheist or theists mouth. I like to think for myself and weigh the evidence or arguments for myself.

    Research also shows in general people overestimate how much they think they know about a topic. I’ve seen many comments that are just plain wrong and it’s painfully obvious the person didn’t do their research.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Research also shows in general people overestimate how much they think they know about a topic.

      CR, that is certainly true. I know that I’ve been guilty of “overestimating.”

      My biggest issue with the level and intensity of “research, studies,” and “critical-thinking skill sets,” that I know you put into much of your work is uncommon for mainstream bloggers, which might explain your infrequency on WordPress. Maybe? 😉 The type/level of work/research of which YOU refer honestly takes YEARS, like various department heads and their assistants/interns do over the course of 2-5 years! The quality and accuracy is exceptional, HOWEVER (and sadly I might add), it isn’t the domain of mainstream WordPress IMO, much less social-media like Facebook or Twitter. Hahahahaha!

      For me then, the question becomes “How much time and energy do I want to invest into a subject, blog-post, or blog-series (pro bono!) where the majority of readers are NOT going to be those academic or scientific experts?” There is some personal satisfaction for doing good work, yes. It is really just a question of available time for me, cost-effectiveness if you will. Therefore, I try to find middle-ground in my efforts that at LEAST causes — what few readers will honestly stumble across my work — to think, consider, and hopefully do THEIR OWN research, checking, studying, and utilizing (if they have them) their critical-thinking skills. That’s ultimately what it would boil down to anyway. Hopefully I’m helping that along with my pseudo-accuracy. LOL 😄

      I also want to add that I’ve always appreciated your feedback, knowledge, and level of professionalism on my blog whether we’ve agreed, disagreed, or were indifferent. It still needs the contrast. 👍

      Liked by 2 people

      • Speaking of time constraints, sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but I’ve been busy.

        Well, I’m certainly not an expert on everything either. I don’t think people should or need to be or even that it’s possible to be. There is simply too much information out there. I think instead it’s better to develop a good medium-size level of knowledge of lots of things and good knowledge on identify who is an expert to look up information as needed (what in my field we would call information literacy.)

        I was particularly thinking of the illusion of explanatory depth in my last post. (link)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahaha… yes, “time constraints” indeed CR.

          In the fall or winter of 2016 I stumbled across a term and scientific discipline of which I was unfamiliar — never heard anything about it. It was called Agnotology. I purchased some university books on it, one of them from Stanford University Press, and was utterly enthralled with the subject and new discipline. In May 2017 I started my 4-part blog-series on it — a condensed version of course — and one general classification of ignorance (out of four) is “Time and Mental Constraints.” Basically, that means “we cannot possibly study and understand all things. We must leave some alone, select what subjects deserve our needs and attention [and defer to acclaimed experts of the field]. As a result, this form of ignorance is a product of inattention and can be lost for a period of time or forever.

          Thus CR, I agree with everything you’ve stated. Your comment here and that excellent article are precisely on target.

          This powerful but inaccurate feeling of knowing is what Leonid Rozenblit and Frank Keil in 2002 termed, the illusion of explanatory depth (IOED), stating, “Most people feel they understand the world with far greater detail, coherence, and depth than they really do.”

          The way Rozenblit and Keil approached their multi-phased study is outstanding “asking participants to rate how well they understood artifacts such as a sewing machine, crossbow, or cell phone.” Then in a later phase asking the same participants to “write a detailed explanation of how each artifact works, and afterwards asked them re-rate how well they understand each one.” In other words, tell the actual mechanical and electronic engineers HOW exactly their product functions. HAH!

          In any domain of knowledge, often the most ignorant are the most overconfident in their understanding of that domain. Justin Kruger and David Dunning famously showed that the lowest performers on tests of logical reasoning, grammar, and humor are most likely to overestimate their test scores.

          There are only 4-5 domains of ‘knowledge and experience’ in life that I will admit I have an excellent, professional or (high?) level of expertise above the average or ignorant/naive on the street. And that is out of a grand total of how many in life? Hahahaha. Like you CR, I am “not an expert on everything.” I am certainly no Bart Ehrman, Robert Eisenman, Jonathan Sarna, or Bruce Zuckerman. That said, when it comes to the subjects of Christian theology (my seminary years @ RTS), canonical/Biblical history within Second Temple Judaism & Messianism (I’m still refining and learning these last 12-years), and earliest Church history thru the multi-centuries process of Hellenist Christology (Greco-Roman) versus the Eastern Orthodox Christology (the East-West 1054 Schism) combined within the context of the Roman Empire up to 395 CE when it split… I feel allows me some license to discuss/challenge subjects like Western Christianity and what Christians claim with more knowledge and understanding than ignorance.

          Furthermore, I was NOT born-into or raised in a religious home by religious parents. My Father was Agnostic and a mechanical engineer graduate from U.T. Austin, my Mom essentially submissive with only a H.S. diploma. I began my conversion into Christianity my sophomore year in university, then into seminary (3-yrs), then church ministry and missionary work abroad for an additional 4-plus years until 1991 when for me the 4th-century CE canonical New Testament completely fell apart. I found it not only patchy and amputated (to say the least), but not at all representative of the true nature of Yeshua/Jesus.

          Coming out of Fundamentalist (Reformed) Christianity as a deconvert gives me a certain degree of sympathy/empathy for inactive-moderate, soft-spoken or silent Christians, and a completely different perspective on a BROAD spectrum of Christendom than those born into a religious Christian home and lifetime of Christianity who perhaps (likely?) have never known, much less understand in any depth, anything else other than their homegrown Christianity. In fact, many fellow bloggers here would accuse me, and rightly so I think, of being quite pedantic and/or guilty of IOED.

          I scream, WHATEVER GAVE THEM THAT IDEA!? Hahaha. 😉

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    • CR, as I pointed out in a previous comment, yes … both sides CAN get nasty. But in my own experiences, I tend to see it much more on the believer’s side. I’m sure there are numerous reasons for this, some of which I listed in my post. And sometimes, it’s simply because of that person’s core personality.

      Speaking for myself, there are few “arguments” that a theist can put forth that would convince me their beliefs have merit. As I’ve said many times before, I’ve been there, done that and am extremely familiar with every “reason” a believer puts forth. Nevertheless, I see no value in “getting nasty” with each other. IMO, it accomplishes nothing … on either side.

      And yes! I totally agree that research is a very important factor in any discussion — religious or otherwise.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I suspect the whose nastier argument depends on perspective and one’s standpoint. I’ve been surprised at times when someone percieved a comment of mine as an attack when I didn’t mean it as such; likewise, I’ve seen people, atheists included, who post what they believe to be legitimate criticism and it seemed to me it was all a bunch of loaded statements and name-calling.

        It certainly has never been my goal or motivation to convince anyone a God exists or doesn’t exist. That’s for people to decide for themselves.

        Liked by 3 people

        • “It certainly has never been my goal or motivation to convince anyone a God exists or doesn’t exist. That’s for people to decide for themselves.”

          I’m glad we’re in agreement (if we actually are)… and realize at the same time just how incredibly rare is that breed of theist who is willing to stand up for this very reasonable sentiment. Very reasonable, in fact. So reasonable that I almost never, ever encounter it in action!

          I wish I could say how fortunate the world would be if almost no theists imposed their religious beliefs on their children or subjected them to such indoctrination, who stood up against the theists who try and try and try to insert their indoctrination into every nook and cranny of the public domain. But that’s not the case, is it? In fact, it is almost >never the case. The opposite is the case in fact.

          This puts the sentiment to the test: is it really meant when it is uttered or written by a theist?

          This raises the interesting question about what are you going to do about the billions of theists who do not share your sentiment but often pay it easy lip service to mollify those who would criticize theists for acting contrary to the sentiment? Are you going to tell them to stop indoctrinating their offspring with their personal religious beliefs? Are you going to explain why stopping this action is the reasonable one? Because if more theists did this, we wouldn’t need non believers to be the only ones stepping forward to defend and justify the sentiment you offer. That’s why I think your statement above is the same kind of meaningless pap theists love to throw out there to make themselves look and feel good, not to mention wanting to appear ever-so-reasonable, but without really meaning it for one second.

          Liked by 2 people

          • My actual words: ““It certainly has never been my goal or motivation to convince anyone a God exists or doesn’t exist. That’s for people to decide for themselves (emphasis mine.)”

            I’m not really sure how you jumped from me describing my personal motivation when interacting with others on the internet, which might best be described as a live-and-let-live philosophy (in general) to transforming this statement into meaning that I just declared I will combat any form of God belief everywhere and anywhere I find it, sort of the opposite of a live-and-live philosophy.

            Liked by 1 person

            • CR, I still hold to my positive (neutral?) sentiments about you above. Just a reminder. 🤩

              But to hopefully thrown in some clarity, maybe by using an inconspicious approach, for you and tildeb… maybe? If I think I’m understanding where tildeb might be coming from… what CR would be your thoughts to Martin Niemöller’s speech:

              When the Nazis came for the communists,
              I remained silent;
              I was not a communist.

              When they locked up the social democrats,
              I remained silent;
              I was not a social democrat.

              When they came for the trade unionists,
              I did not speak out;
              I was not a trade unionist.

              When they came for the Jews,
              I remained silent;
              I wasn’t a Jew.

              When they came for me,
              there was no one left to speak out.

              This could be a rhetorical question or purely open-ended and curious, but… Is passivity or live-n-let-live always the best posture?

              Liked by 2 people

            • “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.” – Elie Wiesel.

              “Two Jews, Three Opinions.” – famous Jewish quip.

              The first mistake that’s being made is conflating a mass genocide with someone teaching their child God exists. These are NOT remotely the same things. Responses should be proportional.

              The second mistake is assuming my postion is significantly different than when atheists claim they are fine with someone believing in God as long as they are not trying to thrust it into politics or government, and if they keep it private.

              The third mistake is the assumption I’ve never spoken out against religion (at least extreme forms; fundamentalism) in both real life and here and there on the internet, but especially when they attack gay rights, atheists as people, etc. I have.

              The fourth mistake is that the only way to combat such things is by typing responses on the internet or engaging in rancorous debates. I live in a Democracy; I also get to respond with my vote.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I wrote, “It’s the identical reasoning – not equivalent actions, of course, but identical reasoning – used by how many millions of Germans during the holocaust as a defense?” I am referring specifically to you saying that it’s not your goal to convince anyone whether a god exists, as if this makes your sentiment somehow an exercise of tolerance and respect rather than complicity.

              Look at what you do with this. You say, “The first mistake that’s being made is conflating a mass genocide with someone teaching their child God exists. These are NOT remotely the same things. Responses should be proportional.”

              You have either missed the mark of comprehension completely ( which I doubt) or you are avoiding my point by substituting this cartoonish version that comes only from you (which I think demonstrates a level of intentional dishonesty if the case). Accompanying your version is the sweetly sick stench of advice on how to improve the conversation. God forbid you do your part first.

              You then say, “The second mistake is assuming my postion (sic) is significantly different than when atheists claim they are fine with someone believing in God as long as they are not trying to thrust it into politics or government, and if they keep it private.”

              It is significantly different and this is not an assumption. But that’s another topic.

              You continue, “The third mistake is the assumption I’ve never spoken out against religion (at least extreme forms; fundamentalism) in both real life and here and there on the internet, but especially when they attack gay rights, atheists as people, etc. I have.”

              Again, look at the gross distortion at work here because the issue was strictly complicity through silence of going along with childhood religious indoctrination, which is what is contrary to the sentiment youclaim you hold and that I doubt you do. And also and again, either a remarkable lack of reading comprehension or an intentional and dishonest distortion.

              You conclude, “The fourth mistake is that the only way to combat such things is by typing responses on the internet or engaging in rancorous debates. I live in a Democracy; I also get to respond with my vote.”

              Nowhere did I say the only way to combat such things (I was speaking strictly of childhood religious indoctrination) was to type a response on the internet or engage in rancorous debates. What I did say was to stand against this practice in principle as well as action… whatever action best fit.

              My conclusion is that you’re not ready to have an open and honest discussion because you seem unable by choice to handle open and honest criticism. I think what you’ve done here is quite dishonest and you’ve done it intentionally I suspect to protect your sense of how you feel good about yourself as a reasonable, tolerant, and concerned person who has found some peaceful coexistence, some magical middle ground. Of course, I think you’ve just imagined this fictional middle ground into being by using dishonest tactics and so have fooled yourself into believing something is not the case, that there is a middle ground ‘extremsists’ refuse to share with you – aka those who not go along with your fiction – that you as a theist are therefore not complicit in an ongoing harm of indoctrination against children the world over in the name of piety. I think you are complicit and nothing you’ve said so far indicates my assessment might be wrong or might be willing to actually act on the sentiment you profess to have..

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s nice. As is typical of most your posts your responses are littered with strawmen and slippery slopes and have very little to do with anything I actually wrote.

              When you’re ready to act like a grownup and have an adult conversation you know by actually conversing with people (instead of pummeling them with rhetorical questions and drawing your own conclusions before the person has even responded to you) I am always here and would be happy to respond to you or anyone else who chooses to have a real conversation (within the reasonable limits of time constraints.)

              Like

            • I addressed each ‘mistake’ you pointed out and explained why they were not mistakes at all but either very poor comprehension on your part or willful deceit. You’ve made your choice. So my original criticism stands: you’re mouthing a sentiment you do not hold and fooling only yourself that you mean it. Expecting others to go along with a deceit is the hallmark of a con man.

              Liked by 1 person

            • And I’ve gone through your general point already and demonstrated why it has very little do with what I said or meant and that you’re projecting your own strawmen into the conversation and mostly just talking to yourself. The hallmark of a sophist.

              Like

            • Hmm, yes. And now we are really reaching the nuts-n-bolts of the issues here, and as you intelligently pointed out CR with that article on IOED above, when we are swimming in the tangible details things are not so cut and dry, eh? And now MY TIME constraints here are yelling and pushing at me. Hahaha 😄

              Good reply by the way. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks. I hope it was clear that what I was saying is that I believe it depends on the nature of the particular situation on what our response should be. The severity of different situations require different responses from us. We always have responsibility to others though.

              The original response I made to Nan was mostly a reply to her statement about people trying to convince her to change her mind and to reassure her that I basically don’t care one way or the other if she or any person believes in a God or not.

              Liked by 2 people

            • The severity of different situations require different responses from us. We always have responsibility to others though.

              Completely agree! I would add too that the internet is a whole different beast/beauty regarding touchy, controversial, or volatile opinions and beliefs — harder in several ways. Constant confirmation bias can in my opinion turn into an unhealthy addiction.

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            • Yes, between the tendency for most blogs to transform into echo chambers of like-minded people, the way research shows political and religious perspectives are tied up into our sense of self (identity) and we process facts with no ideological content differently than information attached to “touchy, controversial subjects,” and many people opine on all sorts of topics that they lack sufficient knowledge to have an educated opinion or viewpoint (see my early IOED), and the way that many people cannot follow basic rules of argumentation in which you’re essentially required to give the best possible spin on someone’s words (not the worst) and if someone corrects you on what they meant you’re supposed to accept their meaning and not impose your own upon the conversation, it’s not particularly surprising that many conversations go nowhere and very rarely does anyone change their mind.

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            • Well, that’s what I mean: it is thrown out there by you as if it’s a real and meaningful sentiment not to convince anyone of belief in some god, as if this makes you tolerant. I don’t think it is an honest sentiment or a meaningful sentiment for one second and I think you confuse this notion of tolerance with complicity.

              If its not your goal to indoctrinate, to force the most vulnerable to be subject to indoctrination, then isn’t it reasonable to think you’re against it? And isn’t it then reasonable to recognize complicity when you see it, when the most vulnerable are subject to it but you don’t do anything, don’t say anything, just wrap yourself in the sentiment that it’s not YOUR goal as a theist… as if that excuses your role in going along with it by claiming it’s done by others and so you’re exempt.

              Well, isn’t that handy for you.

              It’s the identical reasoning – not equivalent actions, of course, but identical reasoning – used by how many millions of Germans during the holocaust as a defense? It’s not as if it is they were the ones who whose goal was to eliminate Jews but, safely ensconced in the culture and not doing anything contrary to the sentiment, mouthed the same platitude that it’s not their personal goal (in this historical case to commit mass murder) and so they don’t have to act in any way contrary to it, you see, don’t have to stand up against it, don’t have to defend Jews, don’t have to see the Other in one’s self, to think well of themselves for the sentiment of not making mass murder their personal goal without recognizing the complicity this lack of action, this lack of criticism means, when one does nothing but go along.

              If doing this indoctrinating is not your personal goal, then surely you have reasons for that. And surely those reasons are worth acting on if the sentiment is one of principle and not just pap: surely acting on behalf of the most vulnerable like children subject to years of indoctrination and manipulation and fear might just be worth a passing criticism or two. But it seems to me all you’re really doing is waving away the complicity of going along with the contrary sentiment while claiming your goal is to not do it yourself and so, as a good little theist, like a nationalist from Nazi Germany, you are somehow exempt.

              I don’t think you are. I think your silent complicity is your action, is an action that reveals your true sentiment which is that you go along to get along without any real care or concern for the welfare of the Other and leave the needed criticism up to non believers to do that which you as a reasonable theist should be doing but aren’t. I’m just calling you on it.

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            • tildeb,

              Bear with me a minute here. I have often asked myself, deeply and brutally honestly, with regard to your complaint about vulnerable children or gullible (naive?) people and with my Niemöller speech that because I totally believe in our DoI, U.S. Constitution — from a Humanist standpoint only — and the general goodness of much of humanity, and I also know from modern science like genetics, embryology, endocrinology, and neurology, that Sexual Ambiguity and Orientation (e.g. intersexed births and 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency) is all… say 97% to 99% formed and developed early in the first trimester, perhaps some with the mother’s ovum and/or the father’s sperm, I will protect every human’s right to live under and within the guidelines and laws of said federal documents. Yes, that even includes protecting radical or eccentric non-violent Christians or theists who abide by the DoI/Constitution, as much as I may have to moan and grind my teeth to do it. Why? I am a Humanist and protector of Earth first, American citizen a distant second, and non-Abrahamic non-theist believer, and anti-Monist third.

              Would all American theists, anti-atheists, anti-LGBTQ’s, racists, and pseudo-militants do the same for me as an American?

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            • Absolutely not. And that list isn’t even close to complete. A large segment of the political Left would not do so, either.

              I read an interesting paper talking about systems of morality, that we live under the preeminent idea of individual autonomy in law and equality of shared rights and freedoms but there are others, like the honor code and various tribal codes. Against various metrics weighted for fairness, peace, order, prosperity, longevity, happiness (satisfaction), and so on, only one keeps rising to the top and that is classical liberalism where the individual as an autonomous unit reigns supreme as the source of legal authority including government that makes laws! Although this sounds rather chauvinistic and selfish, the practice awards the same to all individuals… right up until where conflict (or privilege in law) between the same rights arise and only then are the rights curtailed for all. This legal autonomy for the individual was the great breakthrough that impelled the secular state. It was first brought into being by the establishment of this revolutionary system by force of arms. That’s the US, followed not just by France and other revolutions but incorporated into hierarchical systems like monarchies through Constitutions that established the source of authority to be from individual autonomy in law but with the individual represented by the qua individual: the monarch. It’s a fascinating evolution of the secular state that must have this essential value as its core value. Without that, we are talking about something other than classical liberalism, something other than the secular state, something other than individual rights and freedoms, something other to grant authority to the state and its leadership. And none of this is superior in all those metrics mentioned earlier.

              Intentional subversion of this Enlightenment principle of individual autonomy in law is actually an attack against every individual who supports the rights and freedoms that comes with individual autonomy. The justification for the attack against respecting individual autonomy is almost always attached to assuming the preeminence of some other moral system than the one we have, the one that produces individual rights and freedoms in law, one that is defended from enemies foreign and domestic by military means… for example, the antebellum system of the American South that presumed an honor system outweighed individual authority especially in relation to slavery. It was incompatible with the founding value of individual authority encoded in the Constitution and I think would have led to inevitable armed conflict. Subverting the same value of individual authority in other guises – like religion or political correctness or whatever – will also inevitably lead to armed conflict… unless the subversion is stopped, is deflated, is diverted and thwarted and kept small enough to be tolerable without damaging the preeminence of individual autonomy.

              Religion in the States for the first 150 years, for example, was so much less than it is today and so the freedom for individuals to practice their version did not carry the kind of interference and risk to the preeminence of these secular values that we find today. When the religious try and try and try to insert an incompatible set of values into the framework of the secular state by reversing the authority away from the individual and into the nether regions of the supernatural to then be dispersed by some agency of Oogity Boogity!, this replacement system is actually treasonable because it threatens the tap root of our entire Western civilization that is built on individual autonomy in law and tries to supplant it with an obedience model, a model that is headed up by some version of a Dear Leader, which includes the hallowed and sanctified uber correctness of imposed tolerance and respect in law for inferior and more violent moral systems.

              I find the lack of education about the founding values of Western civilization as we know it today – starting with individual autonomy in law and its central role in justifying rights and freedoms we blithely expect to be enforced on our behalf busy as we are trying to reduce these in others – to be truly appalling. And that’s why so many would be and are unwilling to step forward on behalf of the Other when the individual legal autonomy of the Other is threatened. That is the duty of every citizen and it’s a duty far too often misunderstood and ignored.

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            • tildeb,

              What an outstanding elaboration on the tricky (fragile?) birth, evolution, maturation, and maintenance of the Secular State, or “Separation of Church and State” or as I sometimes parody, Separation of the Supernatural and State. 😉

              When the religious try and try and try to insert an incompatible set of values into the framework of the secular state by reversing the authority away from the individual and into the nether regions of the supernatural to then be dispersed by some agency of Oogity Boogity!, this replacement system is actually treasonable because it threatens the tap root of our entire Western civilization that is built on individual autonomy in law and tries to supplant it with an obedience model, a model that is headed up by some version of a Dear Leader, which includes the hallowed and sanctified uber correctness of imposed tolerance and respect in law for inferior and more violent moral systems.

              Excellent! Questions for you: 1) Are any absolute, egocentric, one-n-only religions (Monism), and the ideology of monotheism (Abrahamic religions especially) in direct opposition (enemy?) to the higher functioning “Classical Liberalism” democracy — as the U.S., France, and other 18th century nations shaped — and hence, be completely removed from all or most of the public and political segments of society? IOW, due to our 1st Amendment:

              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

              …and its daily application, 2) how does a people/nation separate out fairly/equally that Individual Autonomy within the framework of a larger institution? For me personally, the ONLY WAY I see that happening is that with one’s inherent, rightful Individual Autonomy, there would have to be a (major) revisioning of just how far that sphere of Autonomy should reach publicly. Privately and within immediate family on private property, knock yourself out! On PRIVATE property with other like-minded members, knock yourselves out! But on any public property or publicly-owned institution/property, dial it way, WAY back! This is most certainly tricky and slippery with “free speech” — hard to monitor and/or enforce — unless there is just insane amounts of surveillance-videoing going on EVERYWHERE like they are now doing in China!!! 😮

              Last paragraph? Appalling indeed!!! I’m way too embarrassed tildeb to tell you the stats for my home state of Texas for the last 20-30 years of how many, the low percentages of Texans, that have obtained just or barely a Bachelor’s degree (from a respected accredited university), much less any graduate work or degree. Texas ranks in the bottom third (or lower) consistently for higher public education (private educations are a radically different subject!) for under-grad degrees obtained for the last 20-30 years. What’s scarrier tildeb is that Texas is easily now 10% of the U.S.A.’s population, which means Texas will continue to influence national politics in bigger and bigger ways.

              And that’s why so many would be and are unwilling to step forward on behalf of the Other when the individual legal autonomy of the Other is threatened. That is the duty of every citizen and it’s a duty far too often misunderstood and ignored.

              Wow, you nailed it right there. I can’t remember tildeb if you are an American living here or not, but ONE reason (out of many) Texans are utterly HORRIBLE registered (Hispanic) voters that don’t vote (another historical fact) is the fact that many/most Texans (those ethnic citizens/voters) do not have more than a H.S. diploma, many/most are working TWO JOBS, maybe 3 to make ends meet, and the middle-class & lower-class caucasin Texans (Democrats?) are also working long, long hours with lower wages. This all contributes to most Texans having very, very little time to do anything other than FEED the big Republican machines and corporate institutions, e.g. all kinds of various (expensive) insurances one must have BY LAW, and simply put food on the table for their families!

              Your thoughts tildeb?

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            • I am Canadian but I have family all over the world and about half of them are in the States. I happen to hold a great deal of hope for Texas; did you know it almost leads the country in renewable energy production? And that’s Big Oil Texas we’re talking about. I also love the can-do attitude and independence of spirit I’ve encountered in Texas so sorely lacking from some of the more sophisticated and urbane and culturally sensitive centers.

              When I talk about education, I mean a good understanding of civics, which should be in place by Grade 5 and then extended into its historical context by Grade 8’s connection with Western Civ. I simply do not trust any degree to mean anything more than familiarity with the faculty’s goals from any one particular institution with the notable exception of STEM subjects – subjects that demand demonstration of shared expertise. There is no reason for anyone to not understand that the US is revolutionary because it is the City of Light on that Shining Hill, meaning it is the first secular state founded on Enlightenment principles of value for all people, by the people, for the people. It doesn’t get any more secular than that!

              But that is at the State level, meaning then public domain, meaning all the institutions and branches of public government by which a State becomes an entity, a legal enterprise that is given authority by the tacit consent of the governed to operate Constitutionally on their behalf. That means the authority for government comes from each individual within the nation but can act on behalf of the whole, the national interest. (To be clear, I don’t think any European country including France and Russia are nations in this sense of a unified and self-contained State. Yes, they are central powers but that power, that authority, is assumed to belong to the government – regardless of which flavour-of-the-month party temporarily rules – and not from the people who constitute their entire populations).

              The private domain is a beast altogether different and we protect this domain from the constraints that frame the public. So yes, I think anytime anyone grants permission to give away personal autonomy, this act is contrary to principle itself because it can no longer be considered personal autonomy. But if that is done within the private domain, then individuals have every right to do so. This principle is just as true for getting married as it is for, say, euthanasia: a personal decision to give away personal autonomy in this domain. I as an Other have no more right to tell you what to think or say or do in this domain as you have to tell me. The tremendous problem we face is when individuals then export this same principle to the public domain and that is a border that must remain inviolate in order for us to have personal autonomy. So when the same decision to give away personal autonomy in the public domain, then a very important boundary has been crossed, has been violated, where the value being subverted is the essential value needed that recognizes the authority to have autonomy. No one – including religious ideas – has the right to reduce your autonomy in the name of exercising his/her/its autonomy! It’s irrational. That’s why like minded people can get together and do whatever they want in the private domain right up until it tries to cross this border into the public in any way. I don;’ remember where I first encountered this saying but it goes something like, “You have the right to swing your fists right up until it threatens to connect with my chin… and I have the same right until your chin is in danger.” That’s why I recognize people have the right to believe whatever woo they want… right up until it threatens my chin. Consider vaccination, for example: people do not – NOT – have the right to threaten my chin and refuse inoculation if they also choose to enter the public domain.That border, that boundary is what determines rights and freedoms shared by all. Threatening my life with a preventable but contagious disease crosses that boundary and people who have an education in civics should understand. Most don’t… and that goes far, far beyond Texas and runs amok throughout Western civilization especially by illiberal liberals who should know better. if we wish to be responsible citizens, then it starts by recognizing our civic duty to the boundary between the public and private domains and respecting it because that respect is what defines our rights and freedoms in action , rights and freedoms that must be equally shared to be a right or freedom. And that boundary is what requires vigilance and defense to be a responsible and patriotic citizen of a secular state and a danger to everyone everywhere when we are the ones advocating to cross it.

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            • Every bit of that well-considered reply tildeb nicely disassembles the working parts of what it means to live as an autonomous individual privately and to some degrees publicly, as provided by our Secular DoI and Constitution, but responsibly and thoughtfully in the public domain — i.e. that revised, redrawn, rechecked public rights and non-rights. As I wrote in my May 2015 blog-post, The Mistaken Identity of the U.S., the (critical) problem are those poorly educated, irresponsible American citizens that insist on blurring the lines between private domain/rights and public domain/rights — i.e. God’s domain is everywhere and Carte Blanche is for His Chosen people to enforce publicly and privately ‘His righteouness and laws’ across the damn globe… cuz the Bible says so. LOL 🤪 😵

              Great discussion tildeb and very well expanded. I wish I had much more time to continue. This is how to have a significant comment session that encourages further learning and broadening of mind, something lacking in many pockets of the U.S. and world. Thank you Sir. 👏 Feel free to say more if you have the time.

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            • Ugh! Apologies! I just did it again. I assumed you were Sir/male… for a previous reason I can’t remember now. In my haste I should’ve addressed that as Sir/Ma’am. Sorry! 😬

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            • Thanks, Prof. It’s not a subject that can be summed up in a line or two but requires a thread to explain and room to explore. Here’s a money quote I’ve used forever: education is what you have left when you’ve forgotten everything you’ve ever been taught.So that idea can be brought to anyone regardless of how much formal education one has received. And this is why I often raise the issue that how one thinks very often determines what one thinks. That’s the ‘education’ component that is so often missing: many people don’t even get that far.

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  12. A fascinating irony, now that we atheists are being attacked for “attacking Christians and Christianity” is that no one ever persecuted Christians like other Christians. If you read about the history of “the church” in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, you will read about campaigns against other sects of Christianity rife with imprisonments, torture, mob actions, thuggery, beatings, forced communions, forced affirmations (up to an including forcing prelates to sign blank sheets of paper endorsing whatever they wanted to fill in later).

    Orthodox dogma was created as much through coercion and politics as through scriptural interpretation. Throughout this period, the “eastern Orthodox” version of Christianity was created by exclusion by the western version. They have their own histories, own martyrs, own beliefs that we in the west have little knowledge of … and it does not flatter the western church.

    Nobody persecutes like Christians but I don’t have to say that as they have persecuted atheists for millennia. My point here is that Christians have been persecuted tremendously … by other Christians, not so much by all other groups. They don’t have a persecution complex as much as a persecutor complex.

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  13. This discussion is fascinating. It touches on a variety of interwoven topics – religion, ego, interpersonal communication, social media, human nature, and the credibility of ideas and arguments. The latter, in particular, comes down to controversy over objective frames of reference.

    Christians typically assert that the Bible is the ultimate objective frame of reference, that it is the sole arbiter for every debate. On both rational and empirical grounds, such an assertion is preposterous. In order to plug that gaping hole of logic, Christians insert the “faith” argument.

    On the other side of the spectrum, there are a rather diverse group of people who reject all objective frames of reference including the best one we humans have – science. Such people can be atheist, naturalist, existentialist, libertarian or anarchist. To them, points of view are completely arbitrary – that objective truths are either beyond our reach or altogether nonexistent. Despite this belief, the vigor of their assertions are as forceful as any doctrinaire – Christian or otherwise.

    Somewhere between these two extremes lays the realm of rational thought. Empiricists make a clear distinction between what is known versus what is believed. Facts must be verified, and everything else is just speculation.

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    • Just to interject a different opinion in here, facts are only facts until they are disproved. How many times in the history of earth has truth been found to be false. The molecule was once thought to be the smallest piece of matter in existence, then it became the atom, then the electron, and on and on, to use as an example of something that is forever changing. I don’t even know if there is still a smallest particle, as I believe someone has proved matter is just condensed energy. What will energy eventually be found to be. Truth is always changing, and facts are forever becoming fiction.
      Science is only one branch of philosophy, the study of knowing. Philosophy started out as a mental process, and is still a mental process to this day. It does not depend on facts, rather it depends on imagination, and intuition. Mind you, philosophy itself is always changing, trying to encompass the changes brought about by current generations of facts and ideas.
      I myself rely more on my imagination than or science or any other field of study. Science cannot address most of the questions life asks me to answer. Neither does any religion, for that matter. The only things that answers those questions is my mind, and my imagination.
      I am not going to say my beliefs are right or wrong for anyone but me, I am not that egotistical. But until they are proven not to work for me, then I go with them. If they stop working for me I try to discover where I went wrong, or abandon them as tested and found wanting.
      This is my opinion: Science is just another religion…

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      • Oh my! I was going along with your comment and was all ready to click “Like” … until I read your last sentence. At least you qualify it by saying it’s “your opinion,” but sheesh! After all that’s been presented heretofore on this post (including the definition of the word religion) and you still have the “opinion” that science is a religion? SMH

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        • Yes, believers in Science also use faith for their beliefs, but I an not asking you or anyone to believe that, after all, it is my opinion, not yours. And I don’t think it takes anything away from what I said, but again the is in my opinion. So I am sorry if I disappointed you, Nan. My only intension when I say almost anything is to ask people to think, preferably outside the box. For me, science is a box, just like religion. For me…

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          • Many times these discussions, debates, empasses come down to language and what some words and syntax mean to one person — whether cumulatively and generally agreed on or not; exception dictionaries and thesauruses — and what it means to another in some other region, country, continent, and culture.

            However, like the Universal language of “love” or soccer/football, there is indeed a generally agreed upon definition of “faith,” and “beliefs,” and “science.” Taking the necessary time to understand all the varieties, fluctuations, and yes, imperfections and fallacies… I would suggest rawgod you EXPAND your linguistic knowledge-base. Your definition of “science with faith” would not fly with the majority of scientists, especially mathematicians! LOL 😛

            Just a friendly suggestion. You are entitled to your single opinion, otherwise.

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            • Science requires faith, PT: faith in the veracity of the experimenter, faith in the veracity of his or her sponsor, faith that the true results of the experiments are being released to the public, or even the entire scientific community. Or did you believe the science that tobacco was not harmful to your health? Did you believe Big Tobacco when they released studies that said tobacco was not harmful to your health. These studies were published in Scientific American, or whatever journals were paid to publish them. Oh, tobacco is harmful to your health? No one saw that one coming!
              Science is only as good as the honesty of its producers. If you believe everything you read you are being duped at least 10% of the time, on a low estimate.
              Science is like advertising, give the public what the scientists or their sponsors want the public to hear; Advertisers stretch the truth, or play with it, do whatever they like with it, but how often is that burger you buy at McDonald’s or Wendy’s the way they show it in the picture? Like, never! Science and advertising have a lot in common. Neither one can be trusted, not completely. I am glad you guys have so much trust in science. I choose to trust nothing… but me.

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            • I am glad you guys have so much trust in science. I choose to trust nothing… but me.

              Are you familiar with Agnotology? Nevermind. You missed my overall point rawgod, but that’s fine. You are more than welcome to be an island onto yourself. That is certainly NOT the best way to learn or be challenged or progress/adapt against extinction while in a constantly changing life, world, and existence where everything is either consuming (breaking down, killing) and/or creating in newer ways, but okay.

              Have a fun, safe Memorial Day Weekend.

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            • I have never heard of Agnotology, but it sounds like it might have something to do with agnosticism. Of what relevance is it to me, please?

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            • It has nothing at all to do with Agnosticism, no. I hope by now you’ve searched it extensively to find the correct definition. If you are truly interested or motivated in learning all the various definitions of “faith, belief, science, and language/linguistics” and venturing OFF your island and out of your bubble, I think you’ll find opportunities of significant impact in the world and with others to possibly consider your self-centered opinions. 🙂

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            • Ah, but why do you think my opinions are self-centered? Actually I’m betting my vision is way more inclusive than yours, but that is of no consequence. I am concerned about the welfare of all living beings in the universe and beyond, while you are possibly only concerned with humanity on Earth. I don’t know that of course, but I theorize that from you calling me self-centered. Meanwhile, you tell me how you want me to define your above list of words, so I can tell you if I agree with you or not. But then, why waste your time, chances are my definitions are more obscure than yours. There are many dictionaries in this world, and Merriam Webster is not close to being the best of the best. I do believe that is America’s most popular dictionary, or at least it once was.

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            • No, you have a fun, safe Memorial Day. If I celebrated memories of war, I would do that on Nov. 11. But thanks for the thought.
              Agnotology, in all its variations (see Wikipedia) could be an interesting subject, but I don’t need to study it. Aimed ignorance is already well within my grasp, which is one more reason why I don’t vote, I can see right through politicians. Should I ever meet one I cannot see t.hough, him or her I might vote for. But I doubt I will ever meet one.
              So, where do we go from here? You don’t think you can challenge me, do you? I have no idea what you do believe in, but chances are I went through that phase 40 or more years ago. And usually it was me challenging others’ worn out ideas and lack of imagination. Not to say you aren’t different, but most professors don’t know how to create. Do you?
              I created myself. I created my world around me. I created places few imaginations could go. I have created ideas I have never heard anyone else propound. I have created ideas only to hear others propounding them years later.
              And not to progress? My dear PT, you should not talk about things you know nothing about. Yet, on another level, in the 1970s I progressed Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs by doubling them from six to twelve. Last I heard he was up to nine, with his top three being exactly as I wrote them in the 70s. Is that not progress?
              By the way, do you know the root of the word professor? In English it comes from the word profess, which means to openly claim something,usually falsely? Okay, i’m just twisting words, but that IS the main dictionary definition of profess… and I think I had some university profs who did just that!

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            • Hi Carmen, welcome to this discussion. For starters the name is rawgod, without a capital. And you could never in a million years know wherefrom the inspiration for it comes. But feel welcome to advance your idea, I would love to hear it.

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            • Rawgod, grammar dictates that the first word in a sentence begin with a capital letter.

              Also, it seems fairly obvious that you believe yourself to be some sort of god; in the raw of course. 😉

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            • (yawns) 😴

              My dear PT, you should not talk about things you know nothing about.

              Hahahaha! And how would YOU know that, much less prove it?

              Seriously, have a fun, safe Memorial Day Weekend with your “I choose to trust nothing… but me” self. I was initially and in a friendly manner to better understand the endless diversity of language/linguistics. 😉

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            • Friendly? I must have missed that, but it could just be that I have been attacked from the religious side today, as well as the science side. I’m sorry if I misinterpreted the first comment you sent me, as you thought I missed your intention. But I was having too much fun at Robert Vella’s expense, and I probably projected his views onto you.
              Maybe if you want to restate your first comment, that might change my attitude. But I will give you this much, you put up a good fight, if not a compelling one. Maybe try reading some of my blogs, that might change your idea of whom I am.
              You can bet I will try reading some of yours in the morning. Look for my comments, I am sure I will have something to say.

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            • Maybe if you want to restate your first comment, that might change my attitude.

              After reviewing my first comment to you, I would change two things:

              I would suggest rawgod you EXPAND your linguistic knowledge-base. Your definition of “science with faith” would not fly with the majority of scientists, especially mathematicians! LOL 😛

              Just a friendly suggestion. You are entitled to your single opinion, otherwise.

              I honestly don’t see anything that would’ve or should’ve offended you. That wasn’t my intention. As an educator/teacher, alias Professor, it was merely a “suggestion,” friendly encouragement. Besides, even I can ALWAYS expand and refine my vocabulary and style of writing. In fact, that’s a big reason why I joined WordPress, to challenge myself and my lacking writing style.

              Maybe try reading some of my blogs, that might change your idea of whom I am.

              Much of the time that is a given, an unwritten/unspoken liberty for all bloggers first meeting someone. I do it 90% of the time usually going straight to the blogger’s About page. I did in fact go to your blog yesterday. Now I see that your entire blog is gone, WordPress says:

              rawgodsrantings.wordpress.com is no longer available. The authors have deleted this site.”

              Hmmm, what’s going on? What happened to you? 🤔

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        • That’s okay, your rational thought is my humour also. So we are even. But have no fear, I have no trouble with that. You see, the rational world exists only in this universe, its facts do not go beyond the grave. The Buddhists call it “samsara” for a reason, sensory trickery.
          As you can tell, I see life a whole lot different from you. You think this plane of existence is the be-all and end-all of life. I meanwhile, see it as a way station between life and death. I’m not asking you to believe anything I say, and it is up to you whether you want to even listen to anything I have to say. I read what you have to say, and I take out of it that which doesn’t diverge from my reality, the rest does what it does.
          I can’t remember what the present population of the world is, but I know that number is equal to the number of views in that world seen by humans. No two humans see the world exactly alike. You can break it down to the simplest facts you can see, but that will always be different from everyone else. Add to that whatever number of living beings there are in the world. No being has the same view of this world as any other being. Now multiply that by the number of worlds in this universe or any other universe you care to look at. And you will never find another being who sees the universe the same way as you, or anyone else. That’s just the way life is.
          I don’t know, but I will predict that you expect there to be a capital “T” Truth in this world, something that is immutable. What is immutable is change. Life always changes. It can never stay the same. No one being can ever find capital “T” Truth, because when you think you find it, someone else has already proved it wrong. That is life, simply put.
          So, while I think science is a better choice than religion, I will never expect it to find Truth. We humans have been searching for It for over 10,000 years. We still have not discovered It, though many have thought they have.
          But something always changes.
          I have no idea who first said it, but I was about 8 years old when I first heard the sentiment, “Change is the only constant.” Sixty years later, I have found no reason to dispute that. So does that make it capital “T” Truth? No, it predicts its own demise. But for now, it’s as close as I have ever come to truth. I’ll go to my death beliving it.

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          • Thanks again for demonstrating, quite elaborately, my point regarding people who reject all objective frames of reference including science. I had expected it would elicit such a response.

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            • Oh, but I am not rejecting science, only that it can be used to find Truth. It finds something, no doubt about that, but now you are demonstrating how boxed in you are by objectivity. Or is imagination objective? Is creativity objective? Yet where do most of humankind’s advances come from? Imagination and creativity. This is a fun conversation, but I don’t quite understand where you are trying to take it. Aside from telling me your way is superior to mine, which it is not, it doesn’t seem to have a purpose. Would you mind telling me what your purpose is?

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            • Your nonsensical blabberings deserve no respectful consideration. I suspect you are trolling this blog in an attempt to disrupt it and to serve some agenda of yours, or you are just an immature egomaniac who is craving attention. In either case, it won’t work.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Well, Robert, I happen to like Nan and most of her opinions. We do not see eye to eye on everything, but what two people do?
              What you suggest is very unpalatable, and definitely insulting. Your comments that I am immature and egomaniacal just go to show your ignorance. When you cannot carry on a discussion without turning to attacks on a person’s character, you sound amazingly like a politician.
              And what would you know about “nonsensical blabberings”? First, you show no respect for anyone who does not agree with you. Second, the correct term is “blathering.” Third, you don’t seem to know anything about understanding another person’s words before you reply to them.
              I will admit to having had a bad day yesterday, and saying some things I should not have said, but that did not give you the right to attack me in the first place. I have no idea if Nan will have anything to say about this, or if she even thinks she needs to say anything, but until she tells me she would prefer to not have me read or comment on her posts, I suggest you leave such decisions up to her. It is not your job to defend her site, especially when you are doing it for your own petty reasons.

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    • Maybe as non believers we simply ought to start calling a spade a spade and insist the bible is nothing but historical fiction. And revolting historical fiction at that.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. It seems to me that most believers have emotional reasons for believing their god of choice. So it would stand to reason that, when challenged, they resort to an emotional reaction – anger.

    Liked by 4 people

    • If you want the real low-down on that score ….. surely it is best to hear it from a deconvert?
      Someone like KIA or Prof will definitely tell it like it is and it brings much mirth to read how the believers come along and crucify the exs’ for not being True Christians
      As Steve pointed out – nobody persecutes Christians ( or exs’) like other Christians.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m not a deconvert. I’ve just never been religious in any way. I don’t see a rational reason or a need to be religious. I have one friend who is religious, but I let her occasional irrational comments go in one ear and out the other( even though some I want to scream how ridiculous they are) because I like her and value her friendship. I also go to a grief group where every single one of them believes in god and thinks they’re going to see their loved ones again. I say nothing because we are not there to argue religion, but my mind is aghast at times, in how otherwise reasonable people, can believe what they do.

    Sometimes I think the deconvert may be more emotional about their atheism because of what they’ve been through, than someone like me, although I can tell you, it utterly amazes me what they believe.

    But, when I see the religious in their condemnation of gays, minorities, other religions, women and particularly their anti science, anti climate change and this lust for the end times, that’s when I get really upset. This is beyond simply grandma going to church and singing hymns and serving a family lunch afterwards or sitting with a person who is dying. This stuff is in the territory of hatred, intolerance, control by keeping people uneducatedly stupid and wanting our very planet and all of it’s inhabitants destroyed ( so they can “go to a fictitious heaven and worship a murderer and a failure) when it is a perfectly beautiful paradise right here, for all. But religion, especially this type, does poison everything and it is dangerous to our very existence.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Yes, Mary, we all know religious people who are lovely and certainly try to make the world a better place. I contend that they are nice people because they are nice people — not because they are religious. I’m sure you feel the same way.

      On the news this morning, a fellow by the name of Phillip Wilson – an Archbishop, no less – was charged with covering up child abuse. It had been going on for 40 years and one of the statements was that children were ‘thrown to the wolves’. I am wondering how many good deeds it takes to offset that kind of depravity? . . . and how much higher up the chain of dignitaries one must go before someone takes responsibility for world-wide abuse of children in that rotten nest of vipers the Catholic Church has cultivated since time began.

      It’s stories such as these – and how many have there been? – that make me agree wholeheartedly with Christopher Hitchen’s ‘religion poisons everything’ statement.

      I don’t know if anyone reading has seen the movie ‘3 Billboards’ but there’s a scene where the mother confronts a priest in her home. It’s worth watching just for that powerful scene – in it, she suggests that every person who supports the Catholic Church is culpable .

      Indeed.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I agree totally it’s only because they are nice anyway. Niceness and kindness has NOTHING to do with religion. In fact it’s often the opposite.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Carmen, an hour or so ago I began watching “Three Billboards….”. Must be interesting. Now I just want to take advantage of an interruption, to add to your comment on that special scene, how impressed I feel by the mother ending her accusations, telling the priest why he is ALWAYS culpable of any Church members’ misdeeds although he really has nothing to do with it:

        …because you joined the gang, man….

        Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to watch the whole movie, thanks for the recommendation!
        .-.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ahh, Mary… you touch on some seriously poignant “buttons.” Hahaha. Well done. 😉

      Sometimes I think the deconvert may be more emotional about their atheism because of what they’ve been through…

      Although I am not an atheist — I am a Freethinking Humanist — I am thrilled to be a Xian deconvert (given my personal experiences with Christians, the church, and its bible/theology for 11-years) and I am unequivocally a non-Christian and/or non-Abrahamic faith-follower for too many reasons to list and explain here.

      Yes Mary, there are indeed a few very specific areas and behaviors of Christians and their theology that are ludicrous and will quickly prick/touch a “button” with me. Then I may respond. Depending on my mental, emotional, and physical condition at the moment. I most often assess my state before speaking/writing (not 100% of the time, 95%? 97%?), but I CAN… there’s a chance (usually small) that I will get a bit too emotional. I am very human. I am ALIVE and I CARE about this Earth, all species and eco-bio systems on it, my family and loved ones and dearest friends.

      I utterly LOATHE injustice, ignorance (Agnotology), and especially hyper-arrogance or megalomaniacs. Because I care about people and life in a much different way than most theists, most all Abrahamic faith-followers (especially militant extremists, e.g. ISIS, Zionists, radical Christian-Fundy Zealots, or any rude Monists-Absolutists)… I do have my limits of tolerance with the latter. Like many here and many others in pockets of the world, I too see hardcore discrimination, prejudice, divide-n-conquer ideologies (“faiths”), and their blatant, subtle, covert toxin fed primarily from the Abrahamic religions taught by their Bibles (i.e. intolerance and fear!). They are the WORST institutions for this planet’s and humanity’s future. The historical records and now scientific records speak to this dire problem MORE THAN adequately enough.

      But, when I see the religious in their condemnation of gays, minorities, other religions, women and particularly their anti science, anti climate change and this lust for the end times, that’s when I get really upset. […]

      But religion, especially this type, does poison everything and it is dangerous to our very existence.

      BINGO Mary! And as a deconvert myself (educated from seminary too), you are right on the mark!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. OH, and Nan –

    There’s a popular YouTube video by Greta Christina (I can’t link b/c I’m on my ipad — techno dummy I’m afraid) called, “Why Atheists are Angry” (or something to that effect). I think most people will agree with her – we have more reasons than believers, that’s for sure. Mary has mentioned some of them.

    Spoiler alert: she uses the ‘f’ bomb often (a woman after my heart). 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I totally agree with these comments, but what frustrates me the most is these indoctrinated fools, whoopsie sorry, I mean people of faith, is that they do not understand they are indoctrinated cannot see how it has affected their ability to rationalise, use common sense and pure logic, and in fact they will blatantly make up stories and use lies to defend their faith.

    It begs belief when you hear a Christian- know- it- all condemning science and statistics supported by evidence and facts that are made possible by only the most intelligent people on the planet. Then they will turn around and say that science and religion are compatible, God created science and extra weird stuff like humans existed with dinosaurs or the planet Earth is under 10,000 years old.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Last night I was watching the 2nd season of “Colony” on Netflix and someone made the following comment. As soon as I heard it, I said to myself BINGO!

      Faith is Belief without Evidence

      A certain blogger often claims that atheists have “faith” and will go into long, intense, and sometimes angry tirades to support his claim. Yet if one believes in science, which is supported totally by evidence, then it would seem to me that faith doesn’t enter the picture. Hmmmm???

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry nan, you are just exhibiting common wishful thinking.

        Faith is believing BECAUSE of evidence. Need proof? Sure, tks for asking.

        Read Hebrews chapter 11.

        ‘ SUBSTANCE. The EVIDENCE of things not seen.’ Gotta love God’s definition of things as opposed to the mindless guesswork of the godless.

        Do the words SUBSTANCE and EVIDENCE mean any thing to you?

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        • Sorry, CS … I don’t put any credibility in scripture. Although it’s claimed to be “God’s Word,” the “evidence” for that particular entity is far from convincing so, sorry, your efforts to counteract my comment are without merit. ❤

          Liked by 4 people

          • As you wish nan, but please do not say there are defects in scripture. You would be much more credible if you just said you do not like the messages of scripture, but rest assured, and much to your chagrin, it is provable, verifiable, historically accurate, and above all, truthful.

            Scripture is not dented in the least by ten thousand pseudo scholars who ssay there was no Exodus, or by a million atheists who say there is no God.

            But evidence? Yeah, we got that. Some people simply do not like the verdict. What else is new under the son?

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            • CS, This is a very simple, direct question with an even easier answer.

              Have you ever lived — for 4-6 months or more — anywhere else in the world, especially outside the Western Hemisphere, and embedded in their culture? If yes, please list those places and length-of-stay. If no, then please say where the majority of your life has been lived/spent. Thank you.

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            • Yes, I agree, simple and direct. Yay, common ground, but no, we do not have an accord, so in the words of another, I am respectfully disinclined to acquiesce to your request.

              Why? Because I am 10 steps ahead of you.

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            • Have you ever lived — for 4-6 months or more — anywhere else in the world, especially outside the Western Hemisphere, and embedded in their culture? If yes, please list those places and length-of-stay. If no, then please say where the majority of your life has been lived/spent. Thank you.

              Liked by 1 person

            • So you wouldn’t or haven’t been anywhere, not even to hug, say hi, and spend some time with other fellow believers? Wouldn’t they have much to teach you? After all, all Christians in the world have identical lifestyles, doctrines, theology, and practices — all their churches have the exact same identical names, right?

              Liked by 1 person

        • “Faith is believing BECAUSE of evidence.”

          Sorry CS you could not be more wrong.

          Evidence is the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. “the study finds little evidence of overt discrimination” synonyms: proof, confirmation, verification, substantiation, corroboration, affirmation, authentication, attestation, documentation.

          Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. “this restores one’s faith in politicians” synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence. A strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

          From these meanings faith is belief without evidence. Evidence and proof is way better than faith, and evidence cannot be gained from having faith or a belief.

          Looks like your God’s definition of things has been beaten by mindless and godless atheists. Good day to you.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Read Hebrews chapter 11 in the esteemed kjv 1611, where language is king, and consider for once in your life, for once in your life, for ONCE in your life, the utter futility of your claims.

            God’s word sets straight all things, especially the moanings and groanings of atheists. Btw, God and His word have never lost a single argument to cackles, jackals, rats, or even those most industrious of creatures, the ones ya know that have a work ethic second to none: ants.

            In addition, there is not one atheist on earth, I don’t care how famous, that has the intellect to dismiss one verse of scripture.

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            • Yeah real hard to believe; that Abraham had sons, that men fled for their lives and lived in caves, then others were killed…………

              Wake up already will do Of course its true. Since God created the sun and moon, He has no competitors, and He is reliable as to telling the truth, unlike the atheistic wordview, which specializes in depravity and guesses.

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            • No, CS. No. Since God created the sun and moon … That is your FAITH talking. You have absolutely NO proof of this except for the words in a several thousand year old book that you and others seem to think is the end-all, be-all to what goes on in this world and the vast, ever-expanding, mysterious UNIVERSE.

              It is YOUR turn to “wake up.”

              Liked by 2 people

            • Hi nan-

              No proof? Now that is a laff a minute.

              The scriptures nan, the scriptures. Historically accurate. (not my opinion) Scientifically provable. (not my opinion) Geographically accurate. ()not my opinion) Philosophically truthful. (not my opinion) Wisdom above all. (not my opinion) Spiritually above all others. (some may say this is opinion, but they are entitled to be wrong) Prophetically, 100% accurate)

              You see nan, your disappointments inn your Christian experience does nothing to the lustrous worth and weight of scripture.

              Should I tell you about your conscience which agrees with me?

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            • Oh CS … I simply love the way you think. *sarcasm*

              NO! The scriptures are none of the things you list (whether your opinion or not). The ONLY truth about the scriptures is they exist … and gullible people believe them. Wait. I will give you this … there is some wisdom as related to human nature scattered throughout, but the story, the fable, the myth behind their existence? Nope. No “lustrous worth or weight.”

              And, dear CS … my Christian experience has absolutely nothing to do with the scriptures. It was simply an awakening to the reality of life as it truly exists and not as promoted through an antiquated book.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Here ya go nan. Enjoy nan. Massive tonnage of water above us, sitting, waiting, just for the correct moment to be converted into rain drops, so you can be graced with cosmic serendipity, oops, I mean rain……..

              ……….courtesy of He who created water, but no, this is obviously above your intellectual pay grade, as you love the lesser idea: chaos. 😉

              Atheism is the epitome of chaos. Wake up will ya. But I love how the first ground was misted from the ground up; soooo like the Master Gardeners care for tender plants, and long before it ever rained.

              But you no doubt will laugh, that’s ok..

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            • Nan, please allow me one moment off-topic  On the use of English, which is not my first language, I would like to remark that a phrase like:

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            • Nan, this guy (CS) would definitely make a good study-case for a few different DSM-5 diagnoses, but primarily for Narcissitic Personality Disorder not excluding (Megalomaniac) Delusional Grandiosity. CS has never shown me anything in any of his comments OR on his own blog that would disqualify these initial symptoms.

              Anyway, something to consider and remember. 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

            • I quite understand CS that you are unable to refute what I said and set you off bragging and ranting again with more fact less illogical claims. Yawn.

              Why have you not become one of those monks or high priests who do nothing all day but in seclusion worship God and keep to themselves or better still become a self-flagellating devotee who has no contact with the outside world and takes a vow of silence because I believe this would suit you and the rest of us. Otherwise the intelligent thing to do would be to try to clear your head of your extremely brainwashed and illusional state of mind.

              Liked by 1 person

            • ‘Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools………’

              The word of God as stated in the book of Romans. Always spot on, in any age. God’s word is like that; always has the final say.

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  18. We humans argue about all kinds of things from child rearing, alternative medicine, gun control all the way to religion and politics. To me religion and politics can ultimately do the most damage to humanity and the earth.

    I’m always curious about how connected religion and politics are and that it appears most, but not all, religious people in the US are trump supporters and republicans. But that’s a whole other topic for another time.

    I think we argue so intensely about religion because it is so vital to our future and very existence. But I feel we are at an impasse and all has been said and the facts of science and the lack of facts of religion are all there for anyone to absorb, but one must be willing and open. The Christian mind has been closed for centuries by indoctrination, fear and need.

    At this point, only time will bring about truth, although never completely. If we don’t blow ourselves up or make our environment unlivable, science will prevail in the long run and religion will fade. I’m afraid we have many generations to go yet before this happens, but it will. I think we are in a phase of heightened religious belief because of their fear of losing control, realizing that there probably is no god- no afterlife ( although they won’t admit these doubts) and a glimmer of scientific truths that they cannot fathom or accept.

    It’s a slow process and none of us will see it’s fruition, but it will come as the truth is there whether it’s believed or not and doesn’t rely on little humans to believe it, unlike this fantasy god and his absolute demands of worship, laced with retributions and revenge.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Please forgive me, Mary, for hijacking your comment, but this is the first place I found to reply to an earlier comment from above. ColorStorm asked for any verse in the Bible to be countered. I doubt he will see this, but according to the Bible god created Adam and Eve, symbols of man and woman. They had two children, both sons. Cain killed Abel. That leaves Cain to be the true father of humanity, according to the Bible. Of course, we will not ask where Cain found a woman to become the mother of his children, but it certainly was not in the area of the garden of Eden. So, I guess he must have fooled around with his cousins: gorillas, apes, orangutans, and chimpanzees. I believe bestiality is a sin, and that would make it one of the first sins, after murder. No matter, since I cannot see eating a piece of fruit, any fruit, as a sin, and we were not born as a result of Cain murdering Abel, then ORIGINAL SIN is most likely the sin of bestiality, which did ultimately result in humanity being born, according to reading between the lines of the Bible.

      Just something to think about, I hope…

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  19. Chicagoja, I could not find the reply email to your comment, however you said
    “You might be surprised to know that reality is far from what you believe it is,”

    This is the point we do know what reality is until it is proven to be something else, therefore it pays to believe what you know is real and factual right now do you not agree?

    Liked by 2 people

  20. @chicagoja

    —Christianity is only one of 4,200 religions and they all have their own god and to be fair an atheist should examine each and every god before declaring themselves to be an atheist.—

    Have you examined each of the other 4.199 gods, in order to be sure that your choice is correct? I don’t have any knowledge about,them, because I don’t think that is necessary. Not believing in one god implies the unbelief in any other – religious – god, because by their nature, they are supernatural (playing of words not intended) beings, so they demand to be worshipped. In what aspect(s) could they be SIGNIFICANTLY different from the monotheistic Judeo/ChristianMuslim God?
    .-

    Liked by 1 person

    • It absolutely doesn’t imply that. How did you possibly rationalize that. And, of course, all the various religions have the same kind of god and so you can lump them in with the Judeo-Christian god. Trying telling that to a Hindu, for example, and see what kind of a reaction you get. How convenient for you that you can then dismiss the Christian god and declare that no gods exist.

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      • Where did I dismiss the Christian God and declare that no gods exist? Of course they exist! They evidently do! In the mind of whoever opts to believe in supernatural beings, that is.
        Exercising my “free will”, I choose not to believe in any of them because I don’t feel the urge for adoration.

        You did not reply to my question if, and what you know, about the other deities that makes them inferior to your god.

        The same (rhetorical) question goes for the followers of any religion. Surely, none of them will admit a better doctrine, otherwise they would be delighted to join forces.

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      • Please point to the sentence where koppie states that no gods exist. I don’t know one atheist that states, unequivocally, that no god(s) exist. We would certainly assert that, so far, there’s no evidence that any gods exist – which is why we suggest that there’s no such thing (after all, there’s very little difference between the invisible and the non-existent) – but I don’t know too many atheists who would make such a bold statement to that effect. I have read atheists who say they are 99% sure that there are no gods, though. 🙂
        Chicagoja, you are putting words in people’s mouths and colouring your own clouded perception of reality with assumptions.

        Liked by 2 people

        • What Koppie said was, ” Of course they exist! They evidently do! In the mind of whoever opts to believe in supernatural beings.” Obviously, the point that Koppie was making is that gods do not exist. Further, just on this post we have Sklyjd commenting as follows: “Atheists are atheists because gods do not exist.” Arkenaten said, “All the worlds gods are simply man made.” So, if you want to make a public statement and speak on behalf of all atheists that gods may possibly exist, go right ahead. However, if you do, I’m afraid that most atheists will not agree with you.

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          • @ chicagoja

            Based on all evidence so far, all gods are man made. In fact, no evidence has ever been produced to suggest otherwise.
            I reiterate. Complete lack of evidence.
            This is the major reason why atheists do not believe in gods. It is also probably the reason a disingenuous halfwit like you, Chicagoja doesn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy. Of course that may be a gross assumption on my part, so if you do, in fact, believe in the Tooth Fairy feel free to correct my ignorance.

            And of course, provide evidence that she/it exists.
            Pee Ess – Posting a photograph of your dentures will not be accepted as evidence, by the way.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks for your input, folks! 🙂 Hope that clears things up for you chicagoja – it did for me and I do love clarification!

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            • Never asked you why you didn’t believe in gods because (1) it’s patently obvious and (2) you have already told me so many times before. Strange how there you haven’t found any evidence of gods even though you haven’t explored the other 4,199 religions.

              P.S. Nan asked you to mind your manners and you obviously didn’t listen. The corner awaits.

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            • You seem you mistake good manners for mannerisms.
              Your level of disingenuous disrespect insinuates itself across the post …. and others … somewhat like fancy-coloured slime.

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    • I would like to claim and declare with hand on heart while saluting the atheist logo that there are definitely no gods that have ever existed, not today nor any day will they ever exist outside of peoples’ brains. Same for satans, devils, angels, fairies and ghosts and I am not so sure but maybe Leprechauns:)

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        • Yes, chicagoja my declaration is for all who are interested. No gods, zero gods, 0 gods, nada, zip, zilch, zippo gods in the past present or future. An alien spaceman may pop up sometime but nothing to get excited about.

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      • What the theist is trying to do is to turn non belief into a belief, into an equivalent kind of faith. This is why we encounter the accusation so often that atheism is a religion of a different kind. The difference is obvious: non belief is not a belief. Period. End of story. Framed as a matter of belief about gods, atheists do not have any. It is a conclusion and not a hypothesis. It is based on a lack of compelling evidence, a deduction, a reasonable decision.

        What many atheists do is try to poof into existence a magical middle ground by changing the framework away from belief and into a knowledge statement, where they can say to both the theist and atheist, “Oh, I don’t know…. nobody knows… I’d best pretend I have not reached any conclusion nor made a knowledge claim I cannot support so I’ll call myself an agnostic and raise myself above this argumentative arena because I’m much more tolerant and wise than either theist or atheist and have the deep insight that I don’t know what I don’t know, you see, and unlike you unpleasant types I have the strength of intellectual integrity to admit it.”

        This utter crap, of course, because in this framework everyone, including theist and atheist have no knowledge. But knowledge is not the framework here: belief is. We don’t believe a quadrillion things all the time… unless and until we have compelling reasons to alter that default. So it’s the agnostic who is being utterly false because we have to operate in the world based on what we think is the case – so we use the term ‘belief’ or ‘non belief’ to indicate our trust and confidence in religious claims, and agnostics operate exactly as if they do not believe in gods or a god; they just don’t want to or have the intellectual courage to admit it.

        So sure, in only this sense do atheists ‘believe’ there are no gods because that’s the language theists are trying to re-frame, but we know there is no compelling reason to believe otherwise. But that adduced belief about something is not equivalent to a projected belief in something – a non belief is not a belief – and so we always have to remember that having no belief in something is not a belief of a different kind; this is the trap theists try so very hard to establish. We should always keep in mind to thwart that dishonesty to misrepresent non belief to be a belief without compromising the integrity of our adduced conclusions.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Let me remind some of you of the comment that generated this post:

    Why is it that so many comment sections [on theist blogs] can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree?

    (I included “on theist posts” because wording of the original question indicated this was the person’s intent, but obviously it happens on both sides.)

    Why indeed!

    In case you haven’t noticed, the very thing the person asked about has once again happened. With the exception of a couple of people who tried to answer the actual question, the discussion has gradually devolved into the usual name-calling and snide remarks towards those who disagree.

    Therefore, I am closing comments. I do this regretfully because I had sincerely hoped I would get some feedback on the actual question.

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Comments are closed.