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Thread: Atheists vs Theists: Champion Edition

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    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    Atheists vs Theists: Champion Edition

    Atheism? More like yaytheism!

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    Registered User UnobservantBastard's Avatar
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    I concur.

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    Registered User Commander Vimeseh's Avatar
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    Going to hell you bunch of godless heathens.

    Probably my fourth favorite thread from FoH. Carry on!

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    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    Balloon jesus has 6 boobs.

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    Registered User Elurin's Avatar
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    Do you think she tied those balloons with her tongue?

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    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    All I know is the joke's on her. Gingers have no souls to save.

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    Registered User Mikhail Bakunin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troll View Post
    Balloon jesus has 6 boobs.
    I think that's supposed to be showing off his divine physique.

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    Registered User Mallika's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed the Atheism thread on morenetz, too bad it couldn't be salvaged.

    I am one without belief, just posting as a show of support.

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    Former Zombie suineg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallika View Post
    Really enjoyed the Atheism thread on morenetz, too bad it couldn't be salvaged.

    I am one without belief, just posting as a show of support.
    Yeah I think we had a great discussion.

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    Am I allowed to hate organized religion more so than be atheist?

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    Registered User Commander Vimeseh's Avatar
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    Sure. Organized religion at least to the level of most large Christian denominations is responsible for most of the vile things that get blamed on Christianity as a whole.

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    Registered User Bigguy28's Avatar
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    Won't be the same without Lumie. Was entertaining watching people argue with him.

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    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigguy28 View Post
    Won't be the same without Lumie. Was entertaining watching people argue with him.
    Don't worry, we still have suineg.

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    The White Knight Izo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigguy28 View Post
    Won't be the same without Lumie. Was entertaining watching people argue with him.
    Who cares? It wont matter in another 13 days anyway! :P

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    Registered User Malakriss's Avatar
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    I find people who don't recognize the difference between atheists and anti-theists annoying.

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    That's a thing? wacky's Avatar
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    Some informative materials. The videos are lengthy, but worth it imo. I've only skimmed the paper, but will be returning to it for a full read soon.

    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/deb...ce-refutes-god

    http://youtu.be/4WwAQqWUkpI

    http://www.safarmer.com/neural.origins.of.religion.pdf

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    The White Knight Izo's Avatar
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    http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Also this part Atheist vs Agnostic should be stickied - You guys kept bringing it up
    http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.p...t_vs._agnostic

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    What? FleshStick's Avatar
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    I subscribe to the Amazing Atheist on YouTube. Although I do not agree with his religious views, TJ does have many valid criticisms of organized religion (and religion in general).

    And although I appreciate the fact that Atheism provides a rational, scientific approach to life, there are two major tenants Atheists hold that I disagree with:

    1.) Religion is no longer necessary. While technically true for the most part (since our understanding of science has exploded), there are still things in the universe we cannot adequately explain, and a divine being is just as valid an explanation as random, scientific occurrence. Also, why does religion have to be a question of necessity at all? A 60" TV or a Ferrari isn't necessary, but it still brings some people comfort and peace -- so why not let them have it?

    2.) The burden of proof is solely on those who say God exists. Actually no -- the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a claim to disprove something just as much as it is on someone who claims to prove that same thing. Can I prove God exists beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Can you prove God does not exist beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Some things are just currently unknowable.
    Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 02:11 AM. Reason: tightening sloppy grammar

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    I subscribe to the Amazing Atheist on YouTube. Although I do not agree with his religious views, TJ does have many valid criticisms of organized religion (and religion in general).

    And although I appreciate the fact that Atheism provides a rational, scientific approach to life, there are two major tenants Atheists hold that I disagree with:

    1.) Religion is no longer necessary. While technically true for the most part (since our understanding of science has exploded), there are still things in the universe we cannot adequately explain, and a divine being is just as valid an explanation as random, scientific occurrence. Also, why does religion have to be a question of necessity at all? A 60" TV or a Ferrari isn't necessary, but it still brings some people comfort and peace -- so why not let them have it?

    2.) The burden of proof is solely on those who say God exists. Actually no -- the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a claim to disprove something just as much as it is on someone who claims to prove that same thing. Can I prove God exists beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Can you prove God does not exist beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Some things are just currently unknowable.
    1) You cannot lump all atheists together on this position. The only common trait among atheists is the lack of belief in a god or gods.

    2) Atheism is the default position, it does not require a burden of proof because Atheism makes no claims. Atheism is the rejection of a claim, theism.

    It's very simple. Assume two religions with different gods are trying to assert their claims. Is it up to one side to "prove" their claim? No. Both sides are making claims. In this case, the default position is to assume both claims are false until evidence can be gathered to prove otherwise.

    3) The Amazing Atheist is an incredible cunt and not worth listening to. Why do people pick the worst in our community, like AA and Bill Mahr, to watch instead of pillars of excellence like the Four Horsemen, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bertrund Russle, Matt Dilahunty, etc?

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    Quoted >>>>"1) You cannot lump all atheists together on this position. The only common trait among atheists is the lack of belief in a god or gods."

    The only issue I see with this is it would essentially make everybody an atheist. Just by not believing in one particular flavor of deity might make you an Atheist, but I don't see how it's becomes a useful word / label as it doesn't provide any new information.

    At the end of the day, being labeled atheist or not doesn't change the way people feel on issues and the definition of Atheism you are asserting doesn't help clarify people's positions.

    The entire argument feels like people arguing over what it means to be a true christian or a true catholic.

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flunklesnarkin View Post
    Quoted >>>>"1) You cannot lump all atheists together on this position. The only common trait among atheists is the lack of belief in a god or gods."

    The only issue I see with this is it would essentially make everybody an atheist. Just by not believing in one particular flavor of deity might make you an Atheist, but I don't see how it's becomes a useful word / label as it doesn't provide any new information.

    At the end of the day, being labeled atheist or not doesn't change the way people feel on issues and the definition of Atheism you are asserting doesn't help clarify people's positions.

    The entire argument feels like people arguing over what it means to be a true christian or a true catholic.
    It's a useful distinction. Do you believe in a god or gods? If yes, you're a theist. The vast majority of people on this planet may be an atheist about most religions, but they are NOT an atheist about the one they prescribe to.

    Claiming it doesn't provide new information is a bogus criticism. Atheism isn't asserting anything.

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    While you might be able to categorize everybody on the planet as an atheist, I find descriptive words more useful when they create distinctions between various ideas.

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    You can't categorize everyone on the planet as an atheist because the bigger portion of the planet BELIEVES in a supernatural god or gods.

    I'm glad you agree with us that religious beliefs aren't important.

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    That's the thing though, whenever you point that out somebody ends up saying that's just being an anti-theist.

    Anti-Theist being active disbelief in all deities.

    Atheist being active disbelief in some deities.

    Anti-Theist is what most of the New Atheist Movement are. I'm not even sure why they are using the word Atheism to be honest, as I don't find it terribly descriptive when it comes to figuring out people's positions.

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flunklesnarkin View Post
    Anti-Theist being active disbelief in all deities.

    Atheist being active disbelief in some deities.
    See? Right here? This is your problem.

    Anti-Theists believe no gods exist.

    Atheists do not have beliefs about gods.

    Thiests believe gods exist.

    Now stop shitting up the thread.

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    This is what I was basing my definition of Atheism on.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

    "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5]"

    As I have mentioned it is poorly defined as Atheists can't agree on a common definition.

    Being poorly defined makes it not terribly descriptive.


    Looking through that article, this guy's quote seems to explain how I feel on the issue.

    Quote from some guy named Sam Harris

    "In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs"

    Anti-Theist is a word I can appreciate because there is no disagreement about what it means. They actively disbelieve in all forms of deities and God(s).
    Last edited by Flunklesnarkin; 12-09-2012 at 03:53 AM.

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    Yeah, everyone seems to have their own definition for atheism. If there's one thing I've learned from the millions of religious debates it's that this semantics battle will never end and is largely pointless. The dictionary definitions don't align each other or with the prominent theists/atheists.

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    Registered User UnobservantBastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Himeo View Post
    See? Right here? This is your problem.

    Anti-Theists believe no gods exist.

    Atheists do not have beliefs about gods.

    Thiests believe gods exist.

    Now stop shitting up the thread.
    Ummm no. Anti-theists are actively against religion. Your first two statements are functionally the same.

    Anti-theists can also be and often are atheists.

  32. #32
    SPERO IN - Eq Next
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    Quick question.

    I am a first year teacher and I was fairly surprised that my school has everyone recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. These kids are seniors in high school and they are forced (usually through peer-pressure) into doing the pledge every day. I was under the assumption that the 'under god' line had been taken out, but they still say it every day.

    I would have created a stink about it, but I find holding a steady job more important than bitching about 'under god' in the pledge.

    So my question is it legal to force kids to do the pledge along with 'under god'? I know the superintendent told us we have to do it every morning, not sure if it district policy or state wide mandate. To me it is pretty much white washing. If you take a pre-k kid and make them recite it once a day until they are seniors that is 14 years x 185 days of school = 2590 times they recite that shit before they graduate.
    Last edited by Fyro; 12-09-2012 at 04:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyro View Post
    Quick question.

    I am a first year teacher and I was fairly surprised that my school has everyone recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. These kids are seniors in high school and they are forced (usually through peer-pressure) into doing the pledge every day. I was under the assumption that the 'under god' line had been taken out, but they still say it every day.

    I would have created a stink about it, but I find holding a steady job more important than bitching about 'under god' in the pledge.

    I'm sure they have some sort of policy at your school. You'd think they would have something written down just to cover their asses.


    I know the way they did it at my high school was recite the pledge and then people who wanted to say "under God" could when that part came up.

    I never noticed any big push one direction or another but I didn't live in right wing culture war country either.

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    Flam Drag Fighter Pilot Off the Left's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foddon View Post
    Yeah, everyone seems to have their own definition for atheism. If there's one thing I've learned from the millions of religious debates it's that this semantics battle will never end and is largely pointless. The dictionary definitions don't align each other or with the prominent theists/atheists.
    Yes, it's very annoying to see pseudo intellectuals trying to sound smart by playing with words as if it totally flips the definitions around. "...it's the lack of a belief." "no, it's disbelief in a god." "actually it's the absence of belief..." Shut the fuck up. An atheist doesn't believe in the supernatural. That pretty much sums it up. A lack or absence of a belief would mean you just emerged from a cave after living your entire life there, never exposed to the concepts of magical sky wizards and the like.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off the Left View Post
    Yes, it's very annoying to see pseudo intellectuals trying to sound smart by playing with words as if it totally flips the definitions around. "...it's the lack of a belief." "no, it's disbelief in a god." "actually it's the absence of belief..." Shut the fuck up. An atheist doesn't believe in the supernatural. That pretty much sums it up. A lack or absence of a belief would mean you just emerged from a cave after living your entire life there, never exposed to the concepts of magical sky wizards and the like.
    Your definition rolls into the retarded debate that you now have a burden of proof if you "Believe" FUCK BELIEF. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STUPID INVISIBLE FRIEND WITH MAGICAL POWERS.

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    Well, at least you restrained yourself from going full on caps lock for the entire post.


    This is how a lot of self proclaimed atheists come across to me, they come up with a definition of what it means to be atheist then they go on a posting tirade to try and force others to agree with their definition.

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    Registered User UnobservantBastard's Avatar
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    Wow. Hung up much?

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    Registered User Himeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObservantBastard View Post
    Wow. Hung up much?
    It's kind of a thing. Yes.

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    Registered User UnobservantBastard's Avatar
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    Well then, carry on my friend.

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    Flam Drag Fighter Pilot Off the Left's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Himeo View Post
    Your definition rolls into the retarded debate that you now have a burden of proof if you "Believe" FUCK BELIEF. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STUPID INVISIBLE FRIEND WITH MAGICAL POWERS.
    This is coming from the point of view that the word "belief" always implies that what is being believed is a faith-based belief. That's not the case. Don't let these magic using assholes hijack the language. Also, this isn't a courtroom and there's no burden of proof. No one owes anyone any explanations. This works out great for religious nutjobs because the entire basis of their religions is that their beliefs are faith-based. Ours are based on common fucking sense.

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    Registered Retard Charles's Avatar
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    I'm an atheist, I don't believe in any God or gods, but I certainly respect religion as a whole and would be happy to defend aspects from all of the world's major religions. I'm an American and I believe in the First Amendment of our constitution in that we should all have religious freedom.

    I didn't participate in the FoH atheism thread so I don't know if you guys debate issues but I would be happy to participate in both sides of the debate if so, likely on the theistic side since I'm sure that it's going to be pretty barren.

  42. #42
    The White Knight Izo's Avatar
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    @Charles
    Do you not agree your freedom ends where mine begins?
    How can one respect anyone having or teaching bronze age beliefs and immoral behavior against better judgment?

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    >Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my child's throat.

    And I believe in the invisible pink unicorn. Everyone hails to our goddess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foop View Post
    >Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my child's throat.

    And I believe in the invisible pink unicorn. Everyone hails to our goddess.
    I understand that its the current social norm to "cover up" your sex organs but why is it so?

    What's so horrific about a penis or vag?

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    That Japan guy Chysamere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flunklesnarkin View Post
    I understand that its the current social norm to "cover up" your sex organs but why is it so?

    What's so horrific about a penis or vag?
    I've seen some pretty horrific penises and vags. Camerous springs to mind.

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    Former Zombie suineg's Avatar
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    http://www.godtube.com

    Going to leave this here for the fun it will produce.

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    What? FleshStick's Avatar
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    As has been stated by others before: Atheism is just as much an active philosophy as it is a passive one. Thus I still stand by my original claim that there exists a burden of disproof just as much as a burden of proof. Simply stating that there is no God because He cannot be experienced by the senses is not proof beyond a shadow of a doubt if His non-existence.

    Also, not all theists subscribe to popular, suppressive dogma.
    Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 06:01 PM.

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    Registered User UnobservantBastard's Avatar
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    You don't know much about logic do you?

    Can't prove a negative. Logic101. Film at 11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flunklesnarkin View Post
    I understand that its the current social norm to "cover up" your sex organs but why is it so?

    What's so horrific about a penis or vag?
    Go to a nude beach and you'll understand why it's a good idea to hide these things...

  50. #50
    What? FleshStick's Avatar
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    ObservantBastard:
    Which goes back to one of my original points: attempting to prove or disprove a non-falsifiable hypothesis (or to know something that is unknowable) is ultimately pointless, yet people on both sides still attempt to do so regardless.
    Last edited by FleshStick; 12-09-2012 at 07:12 PM.

  51. #51
    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    Null hypothesis. Look it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    ObservantBastard:
    Which goes back to one of my original points: attempting to prove or disprove a non-falsifiable hypothesis (or to know something that is unknowable) is ultimately pointless, yet people on both sides still attempt to do so regardless.
    Yes. I am always boggled by religious folk who try to "prove" their beliefs. Why would you do that? In the first place, you simply can't prove it anyway. And secondly, if you did prove it then you have destroyed your faith completely. The entire basis of religion is having faith-based beliefs. To have proof of a god moves it from the realm of the supernatural into that of the natural, meaning it can be observed, studied, measured, etc. It becomes a matter of science at that point. If there is proof of a god, then saying "I believe in god' is an empty gesture, and about as profound as saying "I believe the sky is blue."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    ObservantBastard:
    Which goes back to one of my original points: attempting to prove or disprove a non-falsifiable hypothesis (or to know something that is unknowable) is ultimately pointless, yet people on both sides still attempt to do so regardless.
    So I'm sure you've done all the work in proving all gods that people believe in other than yours are non-existent, thus proving why yours is the true god? No? Thought not.

    Burden of proof is always on the one making the assertion.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObservantBastard View Post
    So I'm sure you've done all the work in proving all gods that people believe in other than yours are non-existent, thus proving why yours is the true god? No? Thought not.

    Burden of proof is always on the one making the assertion.
    No, why would I? As I said, trying to prove the unknowable is pointless. People will continue to believe and disbelieve what they will, so I guess the matter should rest there.

    Off the Left: You make a valid point in that religion by its nature is faith-based. Oddly enough, my belief in God stemmed from scientific understanding.

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    I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?

    The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.

    For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.

    I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.

    In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
    Last edited by aarkh; 12-09-2012 at 11:14 PM.

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    Treats objects like women Famm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aarkh View Post
    I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?

    The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.

    For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.

    I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.

    In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
    So you were born into a cult (redundant), and you still hold some Stockholm Syndrome towards your former captors. Or you could mince words, that's fine too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by aarkh View Post
    I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?

    The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.

    For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.

    I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.

    In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
    The underlined parts are the parts that scare me the most. That religion is some sort of shield against rational thought. And that engaging someone of religion with rational arugments based in logic and facts won't make them see the "light".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Famm View Post
    So you were born into a cult (redundant), and you still hold some Stockholm Syndrome towards your former captors. Or you could mince words, that's fine too.
    You misunderstand me :P I'm way beyond Stockholm Syndrome at this point, I think it's somehow hilarious and sad that people still feel the need to perpetuate myths from bronze age when we live in an era where science is just a google search away. I have no sympathy for religion, and I think it's not only desirable but important that all religions should go the way of Zeus and unicorns.

    I'm just curious about what the most effective way of converting religious people is. There's cultural differences too - I've no idea what fundie communities vs. non-religious ones are like in the US, but Finnish culture is uh, not very social. :P Religious communities otoh are very social, and for someone who thinks they just want to build a family and live a decent life without too many uncertainties, those communities offer a lot that, at least here, you don't readily find elsewhere.
    Last edited by aarkh; 12-10-2012 at 06:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aarkh View Post
    I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?

    The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.

    For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.

    I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.

    In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
    This is a really good series of videos deconstructing an over the top religious person's faith. I've always been curious what a believer's reaction would be to these.


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    Quote Originally Posted by aarkh View Post
    You misunderstand me :P I'm way beyond Stockholm Syndrome at this point, I think it's somehow hilarious and sad that people still feel the need to perpetrate myths from bronze age when we live in an era where science is just a google search away. I have no sympathy for religion, and I think it's not only desirable but important that all religions should go the way of Zeus and unicorns.

    I'm just curious about what the most effective way of converting religious people is. There's cultural differences too - I've no idea what fundie communities vs. non-religious ones are like in the US, but Finnish culture is uh, not very social. :P Religious communities otoh are very social, and for someone who thinks they just want to build a family and live a decent life without too many uncertainties, those communities offer a lot that, at least here, you don't readily find elsewhere.
    I've just met and been friends with a number of people from ultra fundie sects like what you describe who later unplugged and either went atheist or moved to a more mainstream denomination. I always get this undercurrent to the discussion as if they still harbor some sympathy towards the whole thing and wish they could believe again like they did as indoctrinated children. Of course its not fair for me to ascribe that to your post when on the surface there's no evidence of it. I just get a vague impression in person most of the time and your post reminded me of that. Didn't really mean to attack you or anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Famm View Post
    I've just met and been friends with a number of people from ultra fundie sects like what you describe who later unplugged and either went atheist or moved to a more mainstream denomination. I always get this undercurrent to the discussion as if they still harbor some sympathy towards the whole thing and wish they could believe again like they did as indoctrinated children. Of course its not fair for me to ascribe that to your post when on the surface there's no evidence of it. I just get a vague impression in person most of the time and your post reminded me of that. Didn't really mean to attack you or anything.
    That's fair enough, I did partly feel that way years ago, and it's what drove some people I know back to the sect. Takes a while to fully grow out of being brainwashed. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felonius View Post
    The underlined parts are the parts that scare me the most. That religion is some sort of shield against rational thought. And that engaging someone of religion with rational arugments based in logic and facts won't make them see the "light".
    I'm sure this depends on the person you're trying to engage and what holds them to their faith. The vid foddon linked was actually very interesting, rational arguments are probably part of it but not even close to everything. My mom used to always say that you just can't think about it rationally, ie. even trying can be a sin - you just need to have faith.

    I've had some 'interesting' reactions when trying to talk rationally about faith with my family and friends. A common reaction is that they feel very offended that you'd try to talk them out of their ticket to heaven. One very smart guy "saw the light" again one year into his biochem degree and switched to pure maths, started attending church again etc. When I tried to talk to him he just refused to discuss it, said that it's his faith, and just seemed really guilty about the whole thing. Like he knows it's bullshit, but he got married to a religious girl and that's that.

    Last time I visited home years ago one of my sisters actually started crying and screaming I was corrupted by the devil just for asking her if she realized that had she been born in Turkey instead of Finland she'd believe just as fervently in Islam as she does in Christianity now. Was pretty freaked to see someone react that way at the time but it's somehow so hilarious in retrospect.
    Last edited by aarkh; 12-10-2012 at 12:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    No, why would I? As I said, trying to prove the unknowable is pointless. People will continue to believe and disbelieve what they will, so I guess the matter should rest there.

    Off the Left: You make a valid point in that religion by its nature is faith-based. Oddly enough, my belief in God stemmed from scientific understanding.
    Relevant
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    Quote Originally Posted by aarkh View Post
    I wonder how many atheists here were brought up heavily religious but turned atheist later, and what persuaded you?

    The reason I'm curious is that whenever I see atheists debate(bash is probably a better word) religion, it's almost always on the logical and factual fallacies of religion. But I've never actually met anyone who gave up their faith after some rational examination of their faith. I'm not sure how someone who's never been religious sees it, but if you're interested in converting religious people to atheism and helping them see religion for what it is, rational arguments aren't a very effective tactic at all.

    For my part, I grew up among a super-conservative Christian sect, whose core belief is probably best summed as "if it's fun, it'll make you like this life too much and distract you from your faith, therefore it's evil". That means no watching TV, no music aside from classical, no alcohol etc. If you're part of the group, they're genuinely some of the most honest and caring people you can hope to meet, but if you're an outsider you're dead to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism if someone is curious.

    I became atheist because of porn. To elaborate, as a teen I had non-religious buddies, and learned from them that the finer things in life included shit like porn, alcohol and violent video games, all of which were very much a no-no in my family. In exchange, I had to commit social suicide, but it was a choice between family or friends and I went with friends. Some of my friends in a similar situation, and most of my brothers, made the other choice and did the whole prodigal son thing, turned back to religion and are now happily married and pumping out kids every couple years. On my part, most of the people I grew up with refuse to talk to me.

    In short, in my experience it's a social thing - there's a lot of very smart people who are religious because their families, their friends, everyone they know and love are religious. There's a lot of positive in their faith as well - as said, I'll happily admit that at least in the case of the group I grew up with, they're more caring and honest towards one another than most non-religious people I know, and that appeals to people. Rational inquiry into the foundation of their faith doesn't really enter it, and isn't likely to persuade anyone.
    For me it never made any sense or felt right. As a kid I'd go to church with friends, bow my head and pray, etc. I never really felt anything. Then I started paying attention to what they were saying, saw contradiction after contradiction, and actually felt something was wrong with all of it. Mine was a steady march toward disbelief. Logic and reason made sense to me, faith and prayer did not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    Off the Left: You make a valid point in that religion by its nature is faith-based. Oddly enough, my belief in God stemmed from scientific understanding.
    Explain yourself because this statement makes about as much sense as a platypus.

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    The most effective way of converting religious people? As in how to get them to question their faith, etc? As an avowed atheist I often enter into discussions of this nature, from those just curious to the orthodox trying to determine what my goals as a demon on earth are. ( Living on 'Church Street' in a small town till recently, no doubt ).

    Simply, fairly, and truthfully is how I treat these things. They ask what church I or my wife/kids go to, I say "We don't". "What, why not?" "No reason really, just don't feel the need so we don't". Whether they choose to go in a moral direction, one of the afterlife, one of community/socialization, or of charity, I can respond in kind; I lead a good life, work for my family, support what charity I can, try to comport myself in a reasonable fashion, I will deal with the afterlife when and if I get there, and feel no need to worship.

    If the response is a reasonable one, we go from there and talk about whatever. If they hint that I am somehow inferior or making poor choices for my family's future, the best way to get those folk to question their OWN ideology is to keep them talking. Again the premise is that I have been told essentially I am a bad person for not conforming to a given type of worship, so I then ask, "Well, why?"

    I've been told "you're going to hell and I'm not--UNLESS you believe in [____]!" every way you can possibly imagine. One of my favorite retorts in that situation is to point out that until I volunteered information about myself they would have believed me either way. A close second is asking how can they be so certain of my fate, does such knowledge extend to subjects other than my immortal soul?

    At times I meet fair minded people that follow their faith because they draw strength from it, those that do not need to satisfy themselves belittling non-believers and we merely agree to disagree on the smallest of points. Theist and atheist alike can co-exist and in fact be indistinguishable other than their private thoughts or practice. We agree it is the behaviour of a man that reveals his character, which I would guess is a conversation similar to theists of different faiths respecting one another, only that in this case one party is devoid of divine faith completely. These more reasonable religious people, in my experiences, are often the only ones that can soundly defend their beliefs, hence the agreement--to disagree =D

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    Low Information Janitor chaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVIRUS View Post
    The most effective way of converting religious people? As in how to get them to question their faith, etc?
    I don't believe there is, really. Either they will come to the realization on their own or they just won't.

    Storytime: a guy I work with is devoutly religious, a leader in his church, all that shit. But he has only been into it for probably 15 or so years. Prior to that he was in the Army, and prior to that he was a banger on the streets of North Philly. We're talking about religion one day and he mentions that he believes the word of the bible, verbatim. It is the word of god. I ask him the obvious question, which is "Which version?" And he says King James, but it doesn't really matter because the word of god can't be changed by man, and so all version are equally correct. So we get into some other stuff, Council of Trent, Catholic church or whoever editing and changing the bible, and he says that doesn't matter. And that again man cannot change the word of god. And so even if it has been edited, it is still the word of god.

    This is a smart guy, he sees the cognitive dissonance. He just doesn't care. He has decided that this is who he is and this is what he believes, he is not interested in questioning that.

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    thread needs more mockery of religion

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    did someone say mockery?








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    nobody does it better

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    This is a smart guy, he sees the cognitive dissonance. He just doesn't care. He has decided that this is who he is and this is what he believes, he is not interested in questioning that.
    Admittedly some beliefs require more cognitive dissonance than others. Although I don't think there's necessarily much cognitive dissonance involved in just believing in a higher power. It just depends what you believe along with it.

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    Just believing in a general "higher power"? Maybe not. But the mental gymnastics required to believe that the bible is literal truth, or the verbatim word of god, it is just crazy.

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    Yup and I think many Christians would even agree with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blide View Post
    Yup and I think many Christians would even agree with that.
    So then why are they christian instead of privately spiritual?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Famm View Post
    So then why are they christian instead of privately spiritual?
    It just depends on how they want to interpret the Bible. Like with any religion, there's always going to be those who are more hardlined than others. People with more liberal beliefs aren't going to necessarily denounce those hardline views but they're not going to support them either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Off the Left View Post
    Yes. I am always boggled by religious folk who try to "prove" their beliefs. Why would you do that? In the first place, you simply can't prove it anyway. And secondly, if you did prove it then you have destroyed your faith completely. The entire basis of religion is having faith-based beliefs. To have proof of a god moves it from the realm of the supernatural into that of the natural, meaning it can be observed, studied, measured, etc. It becomes a matter of science at that point. If there is proof of a god, then saying "I believe in god' is an empty gesture, and about as profound as saying "I believe the sky is blue."
    Nah, that is just justification for god/supernatural never actually doing anything. This is under the category of "shit the church clearly made up to enslave the masses".
    Even the apostles needed proof, and were given it.
    When Jesus was born. Angels LITERALLY came down and sung, according to the book.

    So if that was true, then there was a time, when god did show proof. Its just silly to now say, you need to believe on just words now. But yeah... reason..
    Last edited by Caliane; 12-10-2012 at 02:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    there are still things in the universe we cannot adequately explain, and a divine being is just as valid an explanation as random, scientific occurrence.
    No it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    Also, why does religion have to be a question of necessity at all? A 60" TV or a Ferrari isn't necessary, but it still brings some people comfort and peace -- so why not let them have it?
    Because it leads them to other stupid conclusions (like a distinction between a collection of human cells and a human being that isn't predicated on the presence of a human mind) that cause a lot of harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    The burden of proof is solely on those who say God exists. Actually no -- the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a claim to disprove something just as much as it is on someone who claims to prove that same thing. Can I prove God exists beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Can you prove God does not exist beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. Some things are just currently unknowable.
    Do you believe that leprechauns exist (or even might exist)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FleshStick View Post
    As has been stated by others before: Atheism is just as much an active philosophy as it is a passive one. Thus I still stand by my original claim that there exists a burden of disproof just as much as a burden of proof. Simply stating that there is no God because He cannot be experienced by the senses is not proof beyond a shadow of a doubt if His non-existence.
    There is no burden of disproof, nor is the suggestion of one up for debate. This is just basic logic.

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    I got lucky. I grew up in the south but my parents were only weakly religious. The worst I had to endure was Episcopal sunday school. No religion forcefed into my psyche to unwire. I knew by the age of 10 that I didn't believe. The whole thing is so ludicrous. Even as a child it was easy to see that none of it made any sense. I remember telling my mother in the car that I didn't believe in god. She was shocked but just sort of dismissed it with a 'one day you'll get it.' Sorry mom, never got it.

    lovecraft-religion-young.jpeg
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    Both sides of my family are very religious, but my parents aren't as much. As I got older and it became more obvious that I just wasn't buying the whole church thing, my mom started feeling like she had failed to raise me right because I didn't believe. She took it as a personal fault that she didn't make me go more often. I've had to explain to her several times that the choice was mine and not hers, and that even had she insisted on sending me to church more often it had altered the outcome then it would have been tantamount to brainwashing. That's not very comforting for her, but I have to take a hard line on it or else she just falls back on the "why not believe just in case?" argument.

    Basically, it's just guilt from her own upbringing.

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    I assume none of you atheist 'truth finders' has a Christmas Tree.

    I do find it interesting that I see a reoccurring theme that religion is no longer necessary in our 'enlightened' technological society. I believe the complete opposite, especially with people becoming less interpersonal and less responsible for their own actions.

    If anyone really wants a good theological discussion, I'd suggest a Jesuit over an ex banger or working man.

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    What the fuck has a Christmas tree got to do with it?

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    Christmas tree is kinda ridiculous as christmas itself is, to the best of my knowledge, a stolen pagan holiday, that happens to share many similarities with what people do at christmas time.

    Realistically christmas has more to do with family, then jesus. My entire family besides myself are religous, but i still make the time to see them that time of year, because it's one of the few times we can actually all get together. And there more then fine with me not partaking in any of there religous nonsense. It's a small sacrafice for me to tolerate it for 1 day if i can see everyone and enjoy time with people who are a major part of my life, and always will be, religous inclinations aside.

  86. #86
    Mike Wazowski Gecko's Avatar
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    Actually the 'Christmas Tree' history is from the story of St Boniface who cut down the Pagans tree back in the eighth century. The 'tree' actually represents a win over the Pagans who were a tad different, and sacrificed people under the tree for the winter solstice. Not exactly the same thing, ya know.

    Anyways, the Christmas Tree is about the birth of Christ. I have friends who supposedly hate 'Christianity' but have a Christmas Tree. I just find it amusing that those who rail against a religion follow traditions from it.

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    That's because it really means nothing more to people than seasonal decoration and presents. Now if you find people that rail against religion with a manger I'd agree with you.

  88. #88
    Registered User Mikhail Bakunin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    Actually the 'Christmas Tree' history is from the story of St Boniface who cut down the Pagans tree back in the eighth century.
    No, that's retarded.

    According to the Encyclopędia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.

  89. #89
    Mike Wazowski Gecko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foddon View Post
    That's because it really means nothing more to people than seasonal decoration and presents. Now if you find people that rail against religion with a manger I'd agree with you.
    Just to be fair, most of my friends who are atheists/agnostic have no issues with religion. Many of them even occasionally attend church with family/friends. I think it's like anything else in that there are a fringe vocal few still mad about Sunday School or whatever. I had a girl I worked with who just hated religion and was 'offended' by me being Catholic. I did find it amusing one Black Friday when she was chatting about buying Christmas present's for her daughter.

    Anyways, militant Atheists are an odd bunch, but give me 100 of them over a Seventh Day Adventist any day, plz.

  90. #90
    Registered User Mikhail Bakunin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    I did find it amusing one Black Friday when she was chatting about buying Christmas present's for her daughter.
    There's nothing to be amused about there unless you're dumb.

  91. #91
    Flam Drag Fighter Pilot Off the Left's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heylel View Post
    There is no burden of disproof, nor is the suggestion of one up for debate. This is just basic logic.
    Yes, "burden of disproof" is pretty ridiculous. This is just fence-sitting nonsense. I can't disprove that there's a semi-liquid squirrel named Frederick P. Mcgilicutty who lives on Mars and rules over a kingdom of talking cyclops artichokes, therefore I am supposed to pretend that the belief has credibility?

  92. #92
    Mike Wazowski Gecko's Avatar
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    I'm cool with anyone having family traditions. In regards to the Tree, this is my source:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/chistory/xmastree.htm

    I'm seeing a reoccurring theme in your posts, dude. You obviously lack Christmas Spirit.
    Mikhail.jpg

  93. #93
    Registered User Mikhail Bakunin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    I think we've uncovered the root of the problem.

  94. #94
    Registered User shishare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
    I'm cool with anyone having family traditions. In regards to the Tree, this is my source:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/chistory/xmastree.htm

    I'm seeing a reoccurring theme in your posts, dude. You obviously lack Christmas Spirit.
    Mikhail.jpg
    so your source for the information about christmas trees is a christian website. No way there could be any bias there huh?

    Your trying to back up your argument with documentation from a site that activly tries to make everything fit with it's defenition of "truth", and you think this makes your argument superior to anyone who uses actual facts?

  95. #95
    Mike Wazowski Gecko's Avatar
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    Did you actually read the article? It gives good background information on the 'Christmas Tree'. It also rightly points out regional customs that have nothing to do with Christianity. Cutting the tree down was going against the Pagans, as noted.

    I'll take EWTN for matters of Advent personally. It's pretty well respected even academically. I'm not where there are any 'superior argument' accusations being made. Just a whole lot of anger about something from Mike and you there.

  96. #96
    Registered Dragonlord Deathwing's Avatar
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    Got any other traditions from by-gone eras that no longer apply to the modern day, American practice of "Christmas"?

    Or in other words, troll some more.

  97. #97
    Numbers Numbers's Avatar
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    Atheists and skeptics threatened around the world. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8B900520121210

    The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

    But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

    The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012", said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."

    Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNvZqpa-7Q

    A great song to show those who ask, "why do you celebrate Christmas if you are an atheist".

  99. #99
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    I know I have a christmas tree because, well, sparkly.... Soooo sparkly....

  100. #100
    Spittin mad rhymes Troll's Avatar
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    And where else are you going to put the presents? Not under the Hanukkah bush, I can tell you.

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