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Bozell Column: Atheists Darken D.C.

Brent Bozell's picture

What if the atheists declared they were about to throw “the largest atheist event in world history” on a Saturday in Washington and few people showed up? “Reason Rally” organizer David Silverman estimated that "99 percent of all atheists are closeted.” The closet must still be full, because they sure weren’t in Washington.

The Washington Post story on Sunday guessed there were “several thousand” people in the intermittent rain. But Paul Fidalgo of the Center for Inquiry told the Post "We have the  numbers to be taken seriously…We're not just a tiny fringe group."

It’s interesting that our secular, religion-mocking media mostly skipped over this rally like one steps around a ranting homeless person. The networks were missing, as were the Associated Press, the New York Times, and others. Perhaps they didn’t think an atheist protest this explicit was worth getting behind. Their kind of secular, religion-mocking rally was 2010’s Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert “Rally to Restore Sanity.”

The pre-rally publicity was too ridiculous to believe. At National Public Radio – yes, they are interested – Barbara Bradley Hagerty explained the really was “not to tweak the faithful. It's to encourage closeted atheists to take heart.” How NPR-thoughtful. Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta complained “Every time you hear the word atheist in the media, you know, there's always, like, an adjective before it. It's always angry atheist, militant atheist, staunch atheist. It's never happy, smiling atheist.” There are also dumb atheists who don’t know “happy” is also an adjective.

On Saturday morning, as the rain began to pour on the atheists, NPR weekend anchor Scott Simon added more blather from his DC studio: “Rally organizers say they don't want to mock religion. A lot of nonbelievers I  know and hear from are eager for atheists to be seen as more than just scolds who point out absurdities and inconsistencies in religion, the kind of grumps who file lawsuits against shopping-mall Santa Clauses.”

This, from the man who cued up Christopher Hitchens to denounce Mother Teresa just after she died. Sadly for the atheist publicity team at NPR, reality came barging in. That lonely Post story explained that a Reason Rally attendee was confronting religious counter-protesters with a sign reading “So Many Christians, So Few Lions.” This is also a T-shirt that atheists sell each other.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League noted that hate also came from biologist Richard Dawkins at the podium. Dawkins insisted religious people must be “ridiculed with contempt.” Dawkins advised the cheering crowd to ask Catholics, “Do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them, ridicule them!”  

But they won’t “tweak the faithful.”

You didn’t have to wait for the rally to know it was going to be angry and militant. Their star speaker, Professor Dawkins, wrote for The Washington Post beforehand that people should not come if they weren’t wise enough to crawl “from the swamp of primitive superstition and supernatural gullibility.”

Or if they were idiotic religious conservatives who’d say “I don’t trust educated intellectuals, elitists who know more than I do. I’d prefer to vote for somebody like me, rather than somebody who is actually qualified to be president.” He added, “What other than this mentality accounts for the popularity of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum -- politicians who flaunt their ignorance as a vote-winning virtue?”

The media don’t want the atheists and the Obama Democrats to be too closely aligned in the minds of voters – even though atheist Congressman Pete Stark and Sen. Tom Harkin sent video messages.

The same media that regularly highlight nasty Tea Party signs and blamed the entire movement for them skipped the signs in the “Reason Rally” crowd. Donohue spotlighted a few. “Religion is Like a Penis,” one sign read, “It’s OK to have one…But it is NOT OK to whip it out in public, shove it in my face, or tell me what to do because you have one….” A woman held out a sign telling Christians, Jews, and Muslims to “Get Out of My Panties.” It should not be shocking to report this woman was in no danger of sexual harassment. 

Australian songwriter Tim Minchin thrilled the crowd with his jaunty piano ditty called “The Pope Song.” The expurgated lyrics included: “I don’t give a [F-bomb] if calling the pope a [MF-bomb] means…You see I don’t give a [F-bomb] what any other [MF-bomb] believes about Jesus and his [MF-bomb] mother.” The entire song would be silenced by a seven-second delay.

Let’s remember: atheists don’t want to be seen as angry, militant scolds who can’t be civil. Only NPR is foolish enough to bite.

Comments

#1 The worship of "reason"

Those clowns that recently released a scientific paper explaining how it's ethical to kill a newborn baby because "it's still not really a person yet" arrived at their conclusion using reason.

China's forced abortions: a conclusion arrived at by reason.

Eugenics? Reason.

Reason is not going to save civilization.

#2 Not Clowns, just unreasonable.

Ah, no. Reason is a tool (used to survive). It reaches only so far, and like any tool, it reaches only so far. Religion is a tool, too(used to reach God), and it also reaches only so far. But here is a case where it was in Reason's reach: Humans are humans. Okay?
Children are genetically Human, and the genetics don't change and become human when you are born. Okay?
So if it is okay to kill a Human who is unborn and completly innocent, why not a human who is born and completly innocent?
Human are human no matter how old they are and if you make a hunting season for a type of human, it makes it possible to hunt them all later down the road, since innocence is no longer a factor, Okay?

Now, a reasonable person, even a person who wanted to kill another human being, would say: Because I want to protect the lives of the humans I DO care about, I will not open a door to their deaths by making legal the killing of humans I DON'T care about.

And, if the whole world was bound by reason, no matter how evil they were, the world would be a better place. Grated, after they died they would all burn in hell (and that is NOT a better place.... Okay. Lets remove the evil part and just say if the whole world was bound by reason).

#3 Not Clowns, just unreasonable.

Ah, no. Reason is a tool (used to survive). It reaches only so far, and like any tool, it reaches only so far. Religion is a tool, too(used to reach God), and it also reaches only so far. But here is a case where it was in Reason's reach: Humans are humans. Okay?
Children are genetically Human, and the genetics don't change and become human when you are born. Okay?
So if it is okay to kill a Human who is unborn and completly innocent, why not a human who is born and completly innocent?
Human are human no matter how old they are and if you make a hunting season for a type of human, it makes it possible to hunt them all later down the road, since innocence is no longer a factor, Okay?

Now, a reasonable person, even a person who wanted to kill another human being, would say: Because I want to protect the lives of the humans I DO care about, I will not open a door to their deaths by making legal the killing of humans I DON'T care about.

And, if the whole world was bound by reason, no matter how evil they were, the world would be a better place. Grated, after they died they would all burn in hell (and that is NOT a better place.... Okay. Lets remove the evil part and just say if the whole world was bound by reason).

#4 Reasonable Genocide...

Hitler reasoned it was good to kill millions and start world war. Mao reasoned it was good to murder 30 million of his own people. Stalin reasoned it was good to murder and starve millions of his own people. Muslims in Africa reasoned it was good to kill Christians by the thousands. Muslims have reasoned that it is good to kill their daughters in the name of "honor." Need I go on?

I don't believe present day elitists are much different than those mentioned above, in terms of their being able to "reason" their way into advocating abortion which has killed millions worldwide, resulting in possibly more deaths of innocents than all of the 20th century atrocities combined.

Its not paranoia if they're really out to get you...

#5 I don't believe in atheism

If there is no Creator, why bother?

Atheism is merely nihilism.

Atheists do in fact have a belief system: if THEY cannot be G-D, there will be no G-D.

 

 

#6 isn't that redundant?

'I don't believe in atheism'?

#7 And speaking of the word "redundant"...

...doesn't it seem like that second "dant" is just unnecessary.

#8 I don't believe!

I don't believe in athieism! I like that! Your're thinking it is stupid because not believing in it dosen't mean it dosen't exist, but that is the point! Well, it dosen't unless your God.

I don't belive in athiests.

Athiests: "We're standing right here!

Oh? How do I know you people are athiests?

Athiests: "I don't believe in God!"

God: "Aw, gee! What a nice thing to say to the Guy Who made you and Who's Will keeps you in existance..... I wonder what would happen if I stopped believing in you....?"

#9 I don't believe!

I don't believe in athieism! I like that! Your're thinking it is stupid because not believing in it dosen't mean it dosen't exist, but that is the point! Well, it dosen't unless your God.

I don't belive in athiests.

Athiests: "We're standing right here!

Oh? How do I know you people are athiests?

Athiests: "I don't believe in God!"

God: "Aw, gee! What a nice thing to say to the Guy Who made you and Who's Will keeps you in existance..... I wonder what would happen if I stopped believing in you....?"

#10 I don't believe!

I don't believe in athieism! I like that! Your're thinking it is stupid because not believing in it dosen't mean it dosen't exist, but that is the point! Well, it dosen't unless your God.

I don't belive in athiests.

Athiests: "We're standing right here!

Oh? How do I know you people are athiests?

Athiests: "I don't believe in God!"

God: "Aw, gee! What a nice thing to say to the Guy Who made you and Who's Will keeps you in existance..... I wonder what would happen if I stopped believing in you....?"

#11 Is there an echo in here?

.

#12 Cogito ergo sum ... but

I don't believe in athiests so they're not there.

metaphorsbwithu

#13 Afraid

Atheists are terrified they could be wrong. Otherwise why do they spent so much of their life hysterically intent to makeing sure everyone understands that they do not believe in something that does not exist?

I am an "aUFOist". I don't give a tinkers cuss what believers in UFO's think or do, and I certainly do not object to them participating in the political process!!!

#14 Atheists are, for the most

Atheists are, for the most part, not afraid they are wrong. Not believing in a hell eliminates the worry over eternal torment. It seems to me that theists would be more worried about being wrong. How do you know you are worshiping the right god?

Again, generally speaking, believers in UFOs don't try to impose an arbitrary morality on others through government. Religious people do that very often. This is why atheists generally don't spend much time talking about Buddhism. Buddhists are not threatening the rights of non-Buddhists.

#16 You're quite right, pretty

You're quite right, pretty much every group has violent members. I was referring to atheist inattention to Buddhism in America. And there are probably some atheists that love to point out the flaws in Buddhism, but that definitely hasn't been the focus.

#17 eis, The focus of atheists has been attacking Christians

Atheists can't leave Christians alone, atheists have no vision no goals, with out dragging Christians into their story of hopelessness. Ever been to an atheist meeting where no Christian phrases or the mention of Jesus has never ,ever been uttered?
Your "nirvana" is to have Zero nativity scenes, God jack hammered off buildings, coinage re-minted. Go form your own country, with your vacant values... see how well that will work. 

D’Souza reveals:

Why Christianity explains the universe, and our origins, better than atheism does

Why Christianity and science are not irreconcilable, but science and atheism might be

Why the alleged sins of Christianity—the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair—are vastly overblown

Why atheism is a demonstrably dangerous creed—and a cowardly one

Why evolution does not threaten Christian belief

Why atheists fear the Big Bang theory

Why Christianity is the ultimate defense of man’s free will

Why ultimately you can’t have Western civilization—and all we value from it—without the Christianity that gave it birth
 

#18 Please don't assume what my

Please don't assume what my values are, what my desires for the world are, or really anything else about me. You're getting it wrong.

One doesn't need a god in order to have hope. Each person finds and/or creates meaning in their own life. Each person has their own vision and goals for their life and its impact.

For a response to D'Souza's book, feel free to read http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/What%27s_So_Great_About_Christianity and http://www.infidels.org/kiosk/article792.html

I haven't read his book, but if you have some particular part of it you would like to talk about that is not covered in the links above, I'd be happy to look into it more.

#19 eis, God knows why faith is thriving..

A group of leading atheists is puzzled by the continued existence and vitality of religion.

As biologist Richard Dawkins puts it in his new book "The God Delusion," faith is a form of irrationality, what he terms a "virus of the mind." Philosopher Daniel Dennett compares belief in God to belief in the Easter Bunny. Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith" and now "Letter to a Christian Nation," professes amazement that hundreds of millions of people worldwide profess religious beliefs when there is no rational evidence for any of those beliefs. Biologist E.O. Wilson says there must be some evolutionary explanation for the universality and pervasiveness of religious belief.

[...]Should evolutionists like Dennett, Dawkins, Harris and Wilson be surprised, then, to see that religious tribes are flourishing around the world? Across the globe, religious faith is thriving and religious people are having more children. By contrast, atheist conventions only draw a handful of embittered souls, and the atheist lifestyle seems to produce listless tribes that cannot even reproduce themselves.

[...]The United States is the richest and most technologically advanced society in the world, and religion shows no signs of disappearing on these shores. China and India are growing in affluence, and the Chinese government is not exactly hospitable to religion, yet religious belief and practice continue to be strong in both countries.

[...]My conclusion is that it is not religion but atheism that requires a Darwinian explanation. It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose.

 

#20 So who is gullible?

Isn't believing the universe was created by nothing, out of nothing, for no good reason, rather than by a superior being or force we call God, for a reason, the epitome of 'supernatural gullibility'?

Would you atheists believe your 16 year old child if they pulled up in a brand new Cadillac and said it 'just appeared' out of nowhere?

Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#21 Atheism does not entail a

Atheism does not entail a belief that the universe was created by nothing, out of nothing, or anything else. Atheism is merely the non-belief in gods. Many atheists do believe the Big Bang theory is most likely fairly accurate, but so do many members of other groups. As for what caused the Big Bang, it is not known, though there are a number of hypotheses out there, and potential tests are being planned. And that is key - tests are planned and beliefs altered based on the results. There are no tests being proposed for showing that God exists and/or created the universe.

#22 I'm an athiest

I don't need a support group to chum around and troll people who believe in what ever they want. I'm just happy when religious people don't preach to me or try and blow me up. Why would I do either to a religious person?

#23 Well, plenty of

athiests in the past have.
Hitler, Stalin, Mao, killed up into the millions.
And before you start on Christianity and "killing", let me remind you in past centuries, people have done many evil things in God's name, without the approval of God.

If you're not getting flak, you're not over the target.

#24 Indeed, the evil things done

Indeed, the evil things done in the name of God do not reflect the nature of God, should He exist. So, why do the actions of individuals (and it's not at all clear that Hitler was an atheist, and there's some doubt about Stalin) reflect the nature of atheism? There is nothing about atheism that implies immoral behavior. The immoral commands from God in the OT of the Bible are a different story....

#25 If you don't need a support

If you don't need a support group, then you are a lucky atheist. And I'm not saying you are necessarily part of a minority of atheists. However, there are many atheists that face severe societal consequences for their atheism: family members thinking they are suddenly evil, employers firing them, customers not patronizing their store, etc.

I agree that there is no reason to blow up religious people, but there is a reason to seek the end of unfounded religious beliefs. From the view of a skeptic, religious people are victims of faulty logic and/or indoctrination. Why would you not seek to show people the errors in their thinking? It's the entire point of this website, Media Matters, and countless other political sites, just in a different area, for the most part.

#26 We all need a support group,

and eis, we don't NEED religion. It is a choice to accept Jesus as savior, and all Christians have done so. If they truly haven't they're in the same shape as an atheist. Our faith is our strength, and it is what makes us strong in the face persecution. I respect your views, but there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, to seek the end of our chosen way of life. If you can prove to me that God is dead or nonexistent, I'll admit it publicly. But until then, allow me my faith, and I'll simply pray that you see, what I consider, as the error of YOUR ways.

#27 Personally, I have no problem

Personally, I have no problem with your faith. It's what people do in the name of their faith that concerns most atheists. It's also a bit worrisome that people willfully suspend their reason when it comes to religion. And once someone suspends their reason in order to believe in God, they quite often suspend their reason when it comes to moral issues and refer to an old book as their moral absolute. When you can't reason with someone as to what is right or wrong, it's rather scary in some cases.

If you really want to hear some arguments against the existence of your god, I would be happy to discuss it. First though, there is a difference between atheism and strong atheism. Atheism generally refers to a lack of belief in a god, whereas strong atheism is used to denote a belief that there is no god. I am an atheist, but not a strong atheist, although I find it highly unlikely that there is a god. Anyway, we can discuss that here, through direct messages, or we can save it for later. Whatever suits you!

#28 yikes!

These people see themselves as examples of superior human intelligence.......

#29 Pete Stark is still in

Pete Stark is still in Congress? How the hell did that happen? So many idiot voters, so few lions.

#30 Better way to say it

A better way to say it is: so many congress critters, but so few pitch forks and torches.

#31 Atheists...

angry, scared, lonely, and angry. You would think that they would be completely apathetic toward religion, much like a vegitarian is toward a fishing club. But, they are instead absolutley obsessed with making people believe what it is that they themselves so fervently want to beilive that they believe. What they really are is absolutely terrified that they are wrong, but they will feel better about it if they can make EVERYBODY wrong too.

You will never hear someone as evangelical about their beliefs as an atheist.

 

Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#32 NPR Fodder

That's no kidding that this was an even NPR loved. I think everyone who attended the rally - several hundred - have commented under the NPR stories on the event, telling us how wonderful it was. They are a loving bunch. They love to insult Christians.

#33 What is a "closet" atheist????

True atheism is not political nor is it judgmental. It is an individual conclusion that does not need support groups, money to operate or "missionaries" to gather "followers".

Yes, it is true that I do not believe in a God, but on the other hand, I do not believe in a Satan. There is no source code for atheism.

Atheism is realized by facts, and absence of facts. It is logical that there are billions of people in the world that need religion or sects of a religion to help them with the unanswerable questions of where did they come from, why they are here and where they are going and that is not a bad thing. The bad thing is when they rail against atheists. On the other hand, it is fake atheists that rail against religion believing that the religious are out to "convert" them.

In answer to the question, "what is a closet atheist", There is no such thing. True atheism is kept within a person because there is no need to proselyte logic based on facts and not faith. The need to proselyte others is not an ingredient because there is no money needed for ones personal conclusions.

#34 Amen!

Nicely stated.

#35 Atheists generally aren't

Atheists generally aren't worried about the religious trying to convert us. It's annoying, rude, and often boring, but not particularly worrisome. What is worrying is when the religious try to impose an arbitrary morality on others. And a closet atheist is one that does not admit to being an atheist because they face negative consequences of one sort or another. It doesn't really matter if they would try to convince others they are right or not.

#36 I'm curious

what is this arbitrary morality the religious are trying to impose on people?

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#37 Oh dz, I got this one*

Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods, thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife.....

#38 Murder is illegal because a

Murder is illegal because a society without a prohibition on murder cannot thrive. It is perfectly reasonable to make it illegal. Note that stoning people for religious sins is illegal as part of this. Murder is not condoned just because it is in the name of God. Our laws are already secular, here.

Coveting thy neighbor's goods or wife is not currently illegal. It shouldn't be, and I think you agree with me. Making thoughts a crime is both unenforceable and a dangerous precedent. As for the act of stealing, again societies cannot thrive with rampant theft. Our society is increasingly based on coveting, though - hence our consumer-oriented culture.

Sexual morality is one of those things that religions routinely try and legislate. Sex ed is often abstinence-only, despite the numerous studies showing it is ineffective. Sodomy laws, banning homosexual marriage, and the efforts to restrict access to birth control are all religiously based. Censorship and various pornography laws also come to mind.

Again, there is some overlap between secular morality and religious morality. Pornography involving children should obviously be illegal, as children are below the age of consent and need protecting. Children also need protecting from religion in some cases. For example, http://abcnews.go.com/US/church-stages-fake-kidnapping-youth-group-stude... or http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=18&articleid=20110...

Now, I'm all in favor of any law you can convince me is favorable for reasons other than your religion.

#39 eis, Hmmmm....Sexual

eis,

Hmmmm....Sexual morality is one of those things that religions routinely try and legislate?

Really? That is why our current secular government is forcing Americans to pay for the birth control of others, right? Typical of secular and atheists, "...stay out of our bedroom and our sexual acts....well except when we want you to pay for our sex life!"

As for your studies, these usually come from groups who admit that they do not believe in abstinence.

I would check up on your facts about murder. Murder has been sactioned and made legal in all Atheist led governments, nations. France during and right after the French Revolution, USSR, China, N. Kora, Cuba, well of course as long as you murder the right type of human, or subhuman in the eyes of too many atheists, Christans, Jews and other religious people.

Rape was ok and sanctioned too in the aformentioned atheist nations.

#40 Lots of horrible things were

Lots of horrible things were legal in the past in lots of cultures, whether religious or not. What matters is the rationale for our laws today.

I will have to read more about abstinence only education. Reading further over the last 30 minutes or so has indicated there is more dissent than I was previously aware of. However, it looks more like all programs out there are not as effective as they could be, not that abstinence only programs are generally better. Feel free to send me relevant links. =)

As for birth control coverage in insurance, the government mandates payment for all sorts of things not everyone agrees with. We all have to pay for wars, social security, medicare, medicaid, and every other government program financed through taxes. There are other insurance benefit mandates too. The various birth control pills are used for things other than birth control in many cases. It's really not a desire for the government to fund anyone's sex life, it's a desire for health insurance to cover medicine that has been established as safe, effective, and versatile. Because of the problems with our current system (insurance tied to employers, for example), it is not always practical for people to shop around for insurance. Hence, there's a failure in the market that has to be corrected. And it's perfectly reasonable to ignore the religious views of the employer in this, as employees should not be subject to their boss's approval when it comes to medical treatment.

There's sometimes a conflict between a secular effort to reduce the special treatment of religions (i.e. no establishment of religion) and the free exercise clause. It requires balancing. As in my previous paragraph, I think the birth control coverage mandate is reasonable, since health insurance is subsidized by the federal government on many levels. I've actually not read the language, so I may not agree with everything in it. But, I hope that helps explain my reasoning on the subject. Again, it's about reason. Anyway, that also doesn't change the fact that my previous examples indicate religious motivations for many sexual morality laws.

(I will have to get back on your other comments after I babysit my niece and nephew. Have a great evening in the meantime!)

#41 You're right, the government does mandate payment

for a lot of things not everyone agrees with, but that's a poor excuse to add yet one more item to that tragically long list.

Since you're against religion imposing it's arbitrary morality on secular people, are you as equally against secularism (in particular, a secular government) imposing it's arbitrary morality on religion? Because that's what this birth control debate is about. The Roman Catholic Church refuses to cover birth control in the insurance it offers it's employees for religious reasons, however, it's my understanding that it does cover birth control pills that are perscribed by a doctor to treat a legitimate medical condition (and by legitimate medical condition, I do NOT mean preventing pregnancy). That aligns with the health care reasoning of this mandate. Using birth control for the purpose of contraception does not, and should not, fall under the category of health care. That argument is a trojan horse.
For your insurance to cover birth control, you should have a perscription from a doctor for the purpose of treating a medical condition, just as you should for your insurance to cover any drugs you receive for health care. If you want to have sex without worrying about pregnancy, buy your own contraceptives, and if you can't afford them then DON'T HAVE SEX! It's that simple.
Unfortunately, the left seems to want unconditional coverage of birth control, and is hysterically ranting that the right wants to block access to birth control, which is a lie. We simply don't want to pay for other peoples birth control, especially when they're not using it to treat any medical condition.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#42 eis, dze above said it well.

eis,

dze above said it well. I will repeate and add to what he said.

1) Just because it is already done and the government forces us to pay for all kinds of stupid mandates, it does not mean that we should add to it! Use reason, my atheist friend, use reason.

2) The Roman Catholic Church businesses cover contraceptive usage when these are needed for legitimate medical reasons when there is no other viable solution to a medical problem EVEN as contraceptives when getting pregnant can lead to death!!!

There is an incredible amount of misinformation out there which you seem to have fallen for.

The only time that the RCC will not cover contraceptives is when these are used with the sole purpose of blocking the possibility of getting pregnant when there is no medical reason for it.

3) It is more than reasonable for ANY employer to say what they will or not will pay for when it comes to an employee! Whether secular or religious business, no company, no business should be forced to cover for ANY medical needs of its employee.

Health insurance offered by a business came into existance as a perk, to attract well qualified employees. From this, now it has become a right which does not exist.

It is 100% unreasonable to demand that an employer goes against its religious beliefs!

It is 100% unreasonable to demand that an employer's religious beliefs be overidden by the personal believes of their employee!

No one is forcing the employee to stay with the business, they can always look for a company that matches his/her needs, moral beliefs, etc.

Why do you want to remove the Freedom of Religion from people? why?

why does the Left, Liberals, and so many atheists hate Freedom of Religion?

since when your need to have sex overide someone elses Freedom of Religion?

this is what the mandate demands! contraceptive coverage for sexual purposes since for medicinal purposes it is already covered.

So many lies from the Left, so much misinformation out there. How truly sad!

and it is shocking that anyone would suggest that someone's need, urge to have sex overides the Freedom of Religion of anyone. Scary stuff you are advocating.

By the way, if employers, if my taxes are going to go to the sexual acts of people, I have every single right to dictate which sexual acts should be carried out or not, right?

isn't that what Atheist always say about private colleges and schools which are religious, but receive Federal money? Atheist always say, "since Catholic and Protestant colleges receive Federal money we the tax payer can demand things from them!" If we can apply the atheist rule on the latter, why not the former?

Careful what you wish for!

Just imagine the power you are giving to a government run by.....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a Religious Right-winger. LOL

#43 Since the above two posts are

Since the above two posts are so closely related, I will respond to both dzejk113 and Liberallies here:

The thing about secular morality is that it is not arbitrary. It is based on logic and evidence, and open to debate.

In my discussion about shared expenses for programs not everyone agrees with, I was establishing precedent. I agree, in general, that fewer laws means more freedom and better government. So, let us discuss this one in more detail.

I couldn't readily find much information on the particulars of insurance plans offered by religious institutions, though I did find plenty of sites saying that birth control was not a sin if used without the intent to prevent pregnancy. That may not be true for all religions, though. Birth control does fall under the umbrella of medicine and medical conditions. Pregnancy is a medical condition, and birth control prevents said medical condition. Vaccines prevent diseases, aspirin can prevent heart attacks, fluoride prevents cavities, birth control prevents unwanted pregnancies. Now, should employers have veto power over any health decision? It just makes no sense, any way you look at it.

Are you suggesting an employee must take on an employer as a second doctor as part of the employment contract? If so, you run into some practicing medicine without a license concerns.... If not, why do you want anyone to come between a doctor and his or her patient? How is it not a violation of privacy rights for an employee to share their medical history (i.e. why they need a certain medicine) as a requirement for getting a prescribed drug? Is it OK for members of various Christian sects to refuse blood transfusion coverage, or all medicine entirely? Yes, employers can refuse to offer insurance coverage for their employees, but they get significant deductions for providing it. Part of the contract is that the insurance you provide must be useful before the costs can be deducted.

Especially in today's economy, but also in general, it is not always possible to shop around for a job. We seem to be in agreement that health insurance should not be tied to the employer. Now that it is, within that framework we need to protect the autonomy of the employees too. Why does an employer have the ability to impose their religious beliefs upon others? Especially when those religious beliefs restrict others' healthcare options, and thus amount to material harm.

As for the right not wanting to block access to birth control, I would refer you to the various personhood amendments that would block many forms of birth control, and the proposed FY2012 budget (http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FY_2012_Final_LHHSE.pdf) which eliminates funding for Title X.

Regarding public funds equaling a right to dictate how those funds are used, your analogy is flawed. Many atheists want federal money to be used in secular ways in accordance with the the Establishment Clause. Proposing that the birth control mandate gives the government the right to dictate sexual behavior is not the same thing. That is the government getting away from a secular position. Furthermore, it breaks established privacy laws and is unenforceable. It is also a law concerning the behavior of individuals as opposed to corporate entities - something that should always carry more scrutiny.

#44 Good morning eis

Your "secular morality" is based on the whims of man and man's whims change to suit whichever man is in control. Without moral absolutes man is subject to the evil excesses of power.

 

Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#45 Secular morality, being based

Secular morality, being based on reason and evidence, is not subject to the mere whims of Man. It is subject to debate. Where do your moral absolutes come from, may I ask? And how do you propose getting the US government to legislate them without violating the Establishment Clause?

#46 eis, Secular morlaity is

eis,

Secular morlaity is based on reason and evidence? WHOSE?! YOURS? MINE? whose?!

Secular morality is based on the mere emotions, the mere stupidity of humanity and of course it changes depending on what man/woman or group of men and women are in charge.

Reason, logic and historical FACT proves that secular morality IS subject to the mere and pathetic whims of man.

By the way, you may be shocked by this FACT, but religious morality is also subject to the debate! WOW!!! bet you didn't know that.

By the way, the Establishment Clause is about protecting the citizens from the government, not the government from the citizens. That is what the Bill of Rights is all about, protecting the citizens from the government.

#47 When it comes to evidence,

When it comes to evidence, all evidence should be considered. As for reason, as long as the reasoning is sound, why does it matter who it comes from? Arguments stand or fall based on their own merits.

So, I propose that morality should be based on reason and evidence. For some information on why I think reason and evidence can yield a good moral framework, might I suggest The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris (http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-moral-landscape) and/or this talk with Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm2Jrr0tRXk).

Please explain how religious morality is subject to debate? Debate morality with a Christian, and they will say "but the Bible says X, and the Bible is the Word of God, therefore I believe X." Debate morality with a Muslim, and they will say the same thing, but refer to the Quran. Oh, there may be some debate as to the interpretation of the religious book in question in many cases, but it all comes back to some old book. And when religious people disagree, they tend to form a new denomination. Or are you referring to debates between religions on which has the superior morality? Doesn't that imply a system for judging morality outside of those religious texts? What would that system be? Why, logic and evidence.

#48 eis, As long as the

eis,

As long as the reasoning is sound, it does not matter where it comes from? WHAT?!

So, who decides that the reasoning is sound? you, me, a group of people? who decides?

Why is your reasoning more sound than anothers? who decides what is sound or not?

Nazis believed that their reasoning was sound. The atheist running the French Revolution and mass murdering countless of Catholics believed their reasoning was sound.

Who decides what is sound and not sound reasoning?

Speak to an atheist and they will say, "but reasons says X, and logic states that, this is sound reasoning according to me, therefore I believe X"

By the way, I am NOT arguing that one can't use logic and evidence to debate morality, this is EXACTLY what countless of Christian religions do and as well as other religions. You seem to believe that it is impossible to combine religion, logic, and reasoning and use evidence to come to one's religious beliefs.

If you knew the Bible as well as you have claimed in this forum, you would know that morality has been debated using logic, reasoning and evidence by religious people. But as a good atheist, you know nothing about the Bible other than the propaganda you have chosen to believe.

You may want to look into the debates of Peter and Paul regarding morality. You may want to look into Vatican I, Vatican II and other such debates in the RCC and other religious where morality was debated using logic, evidence and reasoning.

Eh....you know next to nothing about Christianity. Please educated about the countless of debates within Christian religions, between Christian religions. As I told you and you confirmed it, you are clueless about religions other than the anti-religion propaganda that you have been sold and chosen to believe.

What you are proving is that you are so engrained in your atheist faith and beliefs that you are incapable of believing that religious people use reason, evidence, logic to debate morality and to come to a conclusion that leads them to their religious believes. Again, you are showing the typical atheist arrogance.

#49 There seems to be a lot of

There seems to be a lot of overlap between this post and your comment below (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/03/27/bozell-column-athei...), so I will answer this one in the response to the later one. I hope you don't mind.

#50 eis*

You do know of course that there is a difference between "morality" and "the law"? Morality is a standard of behavior within a society to offer order and civility. Laws are to protect society from those who have no concern for the value of life of others nor society.

#51 The problem with coveting

is that it doesn't drive consumerism, it's driving this redistribution mentality that has become so prevalent in our society.

Just to be clear on this, are you saying encouraging abstinence is ineffective, or that abstinence itself is ineffective? If it's the latter then please show me a case where someone got an STD or pregnant even though they abstained from sex. And encouraging abstinence doesn't have to be exclusively a religous policy, it just depends on what your goal for sex ed is. If your goal is to reduce STD's and teen pregnancies with this education, then abstinence would be the most effective way to do that. Perhaps not the most deisirable way, but certainly the most effective. Religion doesn't have to be a factor, and just because it tends to be the motivation behind a particular method for some people, doesn't mean you have to dimiss that method as purely religious.
Sodomy laws are all old, so it hardly seems fair to tag that to religious people today, and who cares because no one would know what you're doing anyways, unless you're engaging in such acts in public. The homosexual marriage argument is a fight over the word marriage. There is no effort to restrict access to birth control, that's a lie being told by the left to distract from the real issue. Just because we don't want to pay for someone else's birth control doesn't mean we're saying they can't have it or use it.

I'd say children need more protection from secularism and it's LEGALIZED MURDER of the most innocent among us. Saying an unborn child isn't really a person is the kind of dehumanizing of victims akin to what the nazis used to justify their murder of millions.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#52 Coveting is not driving the

Coveting is not driving the redistribution mentality, or at least not for anyone I've talked to or read. It's a question of equal opportunity vs. equal outcome, and very few people want to mandate an equal outcome.

I am saying that many studies have shown that only encouraging abstinence, and especially when done with moral overtones, is not as effective as comprehensive sex education. I think comprehensive sex education should stress the benefits of abstinence, and current programs likely do not do so enough. (HIV is an STD that has been transmitted through blood transfusions and needle sharing, though I know that's not what you meant. ;)

Many sodomy laws were only overturned by a 2003 Supreme Court decision. That's not terribly old.

The homosexual marriage argument might be a fight over the word marriage for you, but it is more than that to many. Regardless, if you are not opposed to the same rights being given to homosexual couples as to heterosexual couples, then what could possibly be your rationale for not expanding the definition of marriage, as defined by the state, to be more equal? The definition used within government does not need to have an effect on religious institutions and what types of marriages they will perform. The only issue left, then, is whether you want a separate-but-equal treatment, which has been shown to be flawed in the past.

Getting into abortion is likely to bog down this entire discussion. I propose debating it offline, if you want.

#53 eis, what is worrisome is

eis,

what is worrisome is when atheist try to impose an arbitrary morality on others as it has happened in Europe and there is a huge push for this to happen and is happening in the USA.

What is worrimose is what atheist did in France during the French Revolution when they imposed on all French men, women and children an arbitrary morality based on what atheist considered moral. And those who chose to not follow atheist reasoning were tortured and murdered in the most horrific.

Maybe you'll do what mamabear did when confronted with the historical facts and defend the horrific actions carried out by atheist against humanity by stating that religious people deserve it.

atheist are the most illogical, unreasonable, irrational human beings.

#54 As I said above (twice now,

As I said above (twice now, though both after this comment - not complaining), secular morality is not arbitrary, it is based on logic/reason and evidence.

There is a difference between an Atheist State and a Secular State. I'm not all that familiar with the French Revolution, but I have read quite a bit about it today. It seems that there was a deist group that also sought to de-Christianize France. It also seemed to be largely motivated by reducing the influence of the Vatican, though there undoubtedly were some that wanted all Christianity out. Regardless, I don't mean to defend all the past acts of all atheists. Just as no one has yet tried to defend all actions of all theists.

#55 well, I hope they are happy

because their happiness is limited to this earth, and right now they are as happy as they will ever be. But where there is life, there is hope. More than one atheist has come to Christ.

If you're not getting flak, you're not over the target.

#56 Another one here

Well said. I was going to post something similar but you covered the bases very well for TRUE atheist.

The people in the rally mentioned above are not true atheist. They are Liberals who use the term to gain attention and favor from their friends and sycophants. Someone who is a true atheist is not bothered by other people believing in a religion, since how can you be upset over something that you feel doesn’t exist. People are free to do as they see fit as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s ability to do the same. When you start trying to "force" others to stop doing something you disagree with then it puts them in the same category they are rallying against.

"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security."

#57 So funny

God rained on the Atheist parade!

The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away.
Fulton J. Sheen

#58 Where are mamabear and the

Where are mamabear and the rest of the atheists of NB who swear that atheists just don't want to be bothered by us "evil" Christians?

I am not surprised that Dawkins called for the atogonizing, attacking, belittling and ridicule of Catholics. Again, where are the atheists who constantly defend Dawkins and the likes?

Not all atheists, but the vast majority of atheists that I know are pompous, selfish, angry, believe they know everything, think they are superior to every other human being individuals.

This sad display in Washington DC just confirmed everything I have lawys known about most atheists. They are angry liars who love to ignore history.

Atheism and Atheist nations, what these individuals call reason, have mass murdered many more 100s of millions of human beings than all religions combined!

the French Revolution was a revolution of reason. What the atheist did during this revolution is equivalent to what the Nazis did in Nazi Germany. What the Atheist did in the Spanish Civil War is no different than what the Nazis did in Nazi Germany. What the Atheist did in Russia, are doing in China, Cuba, N. Korea puts to shame Nazi Germany. This is what atheist reason leads to.

#59 I disagree with Dawkins when

I disagree with Dawkins when it comes to antagonizing in most cases. There should be civilized dialogue about various beliefs. But, if someone continues to believe in something despite all evidence to the contrary, or without evidence at all, or is purposefully avoiding learning what the evidence is, then that person deserves some ridicule. There's nothing wrong with ignorance, but there is something wrong with willful ignorance. And there's something to be said for controversy raising awareness and therefore getting people to think about things and seek that evidence.

As for history, you are attributing these various actions to atheism, when atheism has little or nothing to do with it. People do horrible things because they seek power/control - over what, varies from person to person. There is no "atheist reason." There is reason, either sound or unsound. Whether or not a god exists can enter into an argument, in which case either the atheist or the theist will have a more sound argument, depending on who is right. But being an atheist does not lead to immorality. Faulty reasoning can, as can refusing to reason in the first place.

#60 Well then you should turn in your membership card.

There is no "atheist reason"?

The whole militant atheist movement is 100% based on their claim that they are the only ones bestowed with the (non-God-given) ability to 'reason'.

#61 Anyone that thinks atheists

Anyone that thinks atheists are the only ones capable of reason is wrong. As can be shown by any theist that has tried to make an argument. Of course, being an atheist, I think all the arguments for the existence of a god are faulty, and those making those arguments are not reasoning properly in this case, but that doesn't mean they are unreasonable in everything. Still, there is no "atheist reason," only sound and unsound reasoning.

#62 eis, People deserve to be

eis,

People deserve to be ridiculed for willful ignorance? HAHAHAHA!!!

So, if I ridicule you right now, you will be ok with it, right? LOL

eis, use reason to prove there is no God. go for it. Prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist.

Atheist take a huge leap of faith into believing there is no God. Atheist are the most emotional, irrational, illogical beings on planet Earth. INdividuals who LOVE to deny history and the horrific actions carried out by atheists because of atheism against other human beings.

And sorry, Atheism led to horrific acts during the French Revolution. Atheist specifically and purposedly went after nuns who were virgins and raped them!!! It was done on purpose by atheist. Not because the atheist was human, but because the atheist was atheist and wanted to mock religion, Catholicism!

Atheist spat upon, stepped on the Eucharist in Catholic Church's through out France to offend and mock Catholics and their most Sacred things. Catholic Church's were closed and were forbidden to be entered and Catholic schools were closed, destroyed, etc throughout France by atheist because of atheism, not because of humanity.

Atheists rounded up Roman Catholic families, men, women and children and killed them specifically for being Roman Catholics.

Atheists forbade the practicing of ones Cahtolic faith in France, if caught, you were tortured and killed in horrific ways that put any and all Inquisitions to shame!!!

All Catholics throughout France were forbideen to carry out the Catholic Sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, etc, etc. key elements in the Catholic Faith which Catholics believe are need for ones Salvation. Atheist forbid this, why? because of Atheism.

Atheists in France fought for and were led by the goddess of Reason which they carved and put up in inside of Notre Dame Catholic Church.

All of the above were carried out in the name of atheism, in the name of reason by atheist.

You so called reasoning that there is no God led to horrific acts against religious people in France during the French Revolution.

The horrific actions carried out by Atheists against Catholics and the Roman Catholic Church in France was done because of Atheism, not because these were human.

Nazi Germany was led by Atheists. We know where that led 6 million Jews.

During the Spanish Civil War, same thing. Atheist raped Catholic women who were virigins saving themselves for God. yeah, nothing to do with Atheism.

Countless of priests were murdered at the hands of Atheists why? Because the Atheist hated the priests for being priests. It was because of atheism! Catholic Churches, Catholic schools destroyed, burnt to the ground.

I can go on and on how Atheists have carried out horrific acts because they were atheist, because of their Atheism.

The Cristero Wars in Mexico, it was Atheists vs. Catholics were Atheists murdered 10s of thousands of Catholics, why? because they were Catholics and atheist hated them and their religion! Countless of Churches, burnt to the ground by Atheists. AGain, nuns raped, Catholic women, girls raped by atheist, why? because of atheism. countless of priests murdered. Again, the atheist government forbade the practicing of Catholicism.

Atheist love to claim that religions lead to wars. Yet, they love to claim that the atrocities carried out by Atheist governments and atheist individuals throughout human history which put to shame anything done by any religion, have nothing to do with atheism. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Yeah, you atheist embrace reason....NOT! So, only religions lead to wars. the all "benevolent" atheism doesn't lead anyone to do the horrific things that atheist nations, athesit individuals have carried out against humanity.

I find it hypocritical how quick atheist claim that religions lead to wars, yet they are either willfully ignorant (according to you we can mock you then) or liars, and ignore the historical FACTS that atheists have mass murdered many more 100s of millions of human beings because of atheism, not because they were human.

#63 Repent now, LL, or you will be denied nothingness

in the Neverafter.

;)

#64 SickofLibs, It is stunning

SickofLibs,

It is stunning how these self proclaimed full of reason atheist ignore history, facts, REASON, logic, intellect when it suits their need.

I am still waiting for the day that an atheist is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no God. Yes, I will wait an eternity for this. LOL

#65 To steal from myself above:

To steal from myself above: There is a difference between atheism and strong atheism. Atheism generally refers to a lack of belief in a god, whereas strong atheism is used to denote a belief that there is no god. I am an atheist, but not a strong atheist, although I find it highly unlikely that there is a god.

#66 I like this comment. =)

I like this comment. =)

#67 Thanks! Enjoy... I think.

;)

#68 I have no problem with

I have no problem with ridicule in general, as I don't take it personally. I welcome ridicule when I have been shown to be willfully ignorant. But I haven't been shown to be willfully ignorant yet. Indeed, I actively seek out more knowledge when presented with new information and arguments.

See my other comment(s) regarding atheism and strong atheism. If you really want to talk about it, there are a number of arguments for why a god probably does not exist. It's not entirely relevant to this discussion, however, so I propose taking it offline.

I cannot defend the actions of those atheists. Just as no one can defend the horrible actions of anyone, whether theist or atheist. There being no god does not lead necessarily to murder and rape. The millions of atheists in the world today that do not murder, or rape shows that. There is some perverted reasoning beyond the existence or nonexistence of a god that led to the atrocities you mention. By all means, feel free to tell me how atheism logically implies violence, though.

Atheists were persecuted in Nazi Germany too. Hitler was not an atheist, though also not a practicing Christian.

Religion also does not necessarily lead to wars or persecution. Sure, it often has, and sure, the Bible is full of instances of God commanding genocide and slavery. But not all religions are full of so many immoral commands. Modern Christianity has gotten away from those passages, which is encouraging. There's hope for us all.

#69 eis, Oh, it finally comes

eis,

Oh, it finally comes out, your problem is against Christianity. How typical.

No doubt when I challange you on your Bible claim, you will cut and paste, out of context, all the passages tha tyou find reprehensible and evil.

Hitler, the SS members and most of Nazi Germany leaders were Atheists as well as plenty of them being homosexuals.

You haven't been shown to be willfully ignorant? So speaks the very arrogant atheist. LOL

There are countless of arguments used to prove that there is a God. what's your point. That you chose not to believe them is on you, but it doesn't make these wrong. And plenty of these are based on reason and logic.

So far, from your own words, you prove that you live in a small box surrounded by like minded people. How can you claim that there is no God or claim what atheism is all about when you know nothing about the French Revolution. How about the Cristero War? or how about the Spanish Civil War? all very relevant to this discussion and how atheism leads to murder, rape, violence and countless of horrific things carried out against humans.

I have never denied that religions have carried out horrible actions against humanity, but these are child's play compared to what atheists have done to humanity.

Millions of atheists? where do you get this number? Reason and logic?

The fact is that today's atheist governments and nations run by atheists have mass murdered countless of human beings. They are currently oppressing people and forcing them to do the will of the atheists.

The fact is that atheist ONLY believe in THEIR reason and logic and won't accept any evidence that proves them wrong.

Atheism is a faith and a blind faith at that. Unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no God, all you have is your mere human opinion. Oh I know, I know, you atheist believe that your personal opinion based on your personal biasis is reason and logic...proving again the arrogance of atheists.

#70 I have nothing particularly

I have nothing particularly against Christianity. I find it just as unconvincing as all the other religions. When it comes to the United States, of course I focus more on Christianity, as it has the most influence. If you do challenge me on my Bible claim, then yes, I will refer you to the quotes that most offend my sense of morality. I have read a lot on the subject, including most of the Bible. No one has provided me adequate context to make it morally good. You are welcome to try. Again, I don't think that discussion is central to this topic, and would propose taking it offline.

No one truly knows what Hitler's religious views are. See wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views), where it becomes obvious that there is uncertainty, but that he has spoken against atheism, and declared that he was a Catholic. Are you now also claiming that homosexuality leads to atrocities? That sounds absolutely absurd.

Arrogance does not equal ignorance. Nor do I consider myself all that arrogant in most ways.

Yes, there are lots of arguments that attempt to prove the existence of a god. There are logical flaws with all of them, or there would be far fewer atheists. Someone else making an unsound argument does not mean it is my fault that I don't believe them.

I am surrounded by religious people, in fact. Most everyone I know believes in the Christian God. I research religion and arguments for and against the existence of god(s) regularly. Atheism is not about the French Revolution or the Cristero War, any more than Christianity is about the Crusades or the Inquisition(s). It should be clear from history that people will eventually fight each other given the right (or wrong) circumstances, regardless of their religion.

The population of the US is over 300,000,000, and polls put the atheist population anywhere from 0.7% to 18%, depending on the assumptions made and questions asked. That means 2.1M - 54M people in the US, and many European countries have higher rates of atheism. So yes, millions. And yes, using reason and logic.

I don't think you understand how reason and logic work, or the motivations of skeptics. Skeptics actively seek new evidence and arguments. By and large, atheists process more claimed evidence for the existence of god(s) than do theists. The reason atheists don't accept evidence that proves them wrong is that there is no such evidence. There are significant problems with all claimed evidence to date. I look forward to evaluating more evidence as it becomes available.

I never claimed to be more than human. But yes, I think my opinion on this is based on sound logic and evidence. No one has been able to show otherwise. I don't see how that is arrogance.

#71 eis, you are so arrogant

eis,

You said, "The reason atheists don't accept evidence that proves them wrong is that there is no such evidence. There are significant problems with all claimed evidence to date." REALLY?!

you are so arrogant that you are incapable of seeing it. LOL

All evidence out there that proves there is a God hasn't convinced you? So you as well as every single atheists in the world has read every single book, every single essay, every single author, every single proof for the existance of God? really?! REALLY?!

So, no doubt you are VERY WELL VERSED on St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas More, St. Therese of Little Flower, John Paul II, the current Pope and the countless upon countless, upon countless of individuals (men and women much more learned AND much better read than you or I) who throughout human history have proven that there is a God? You have read ALL of the aformentioned writings, right? No way would atheists, who claim to use reason, logic, evidence claim that they reject all proofs of God without having read ALL of these.

I have zero doubt that you were probably laughing knowing how much you are lying to me when you typed the above. LOL No such evidence exists? gosh, no doubt you are incredibly well versed on all claimed evidence for the existance of God. Reason and logic friend, reason, evidence and logic which escapes atheists.

So go ahead, why don't you discuss here and now all of these individuals' proves that there is a God and tell us where all of them go wrong. Let's start with these and then will move on to countless others including scientists, priests, monks, rabbis, ex-atheist, etc.

Yes, you are arrogant because both you and I know that you haven't even scratched the surface of all of the proofs, reasonings, logics that show and prove there is a God. This is why atheist as yourself are arrogant because you come to the belief that there is no God without researching ALL of the evidence. It is called intellectual laziness.

You are basing your belief that there is no God on your mere opinion, nothing more and nothing less.

Wikipedia? really? HAHA!!! reason and logic? Hitler was an atheist as so were most of his henchmen in Nazi Germany and yes, most of Hitler's henchmen were also homosexuals. Yes, yes, these are historical facts that individuals like you CANNOT accept, must not accept. LOL History teachers and professors and the books you read have never given you this historical fact thus you can't accept it. Amazing how you atheists, Liberals and Leftists can so easily deny historical facts.

Of course atheism is the French Revolution, Cristero Wars, Spanish Civil War, USSR, China, Cuba, N. Korea as much as Christianity, in particular, the Roman Catholic Church is the Crusades, Inquistions, etc. I agree that human beings make mistakes throughout human history, but as history proves, atheist just don't learn and their horrors get worse and worse as history moves along.

Just think of it, by your own admission, you knew NOTHING of the French Revolution and horrors that your buddy atheists carried out in France. Imagine what else you are clueless about and you don't know. Thus, it would be much more accurate to say that you are an atheist based on your ignorance, not on the evidence that is out there.

You reasoning is based on what YOU believe to be sound logic. But who decided that your personal held opinions on what you consider sound is correct? oh you, I forgot. HA! yet you claim not to be arrogant. LOL

If you atheists are so full of reason, logic, evidence in the manner which you claim you guys are, why don't you just go ahead and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no God using reason, logic and evidence? why is this so hard for you to do and why do you keep on claiming this has no bearing on this exchange of ours?

if reason, evidence and logic have led you to believe there is no God, why are you running from showing this to all of us?

There is no reason or logic for atheism other than a blind faith that there is no God. An honest atheist, who are few and far between, would admit this. Just be honest and admit that you have blind faith, that you have taken a leap of faith into believing there is no God. Oh, I know, this is so hard for arrogant atheists to admit. LOL

I am not shocked by the fact that a person who knew NOTHING about the VERY important French Revolution is an atheist. If you knew nothing about the French Revolution until I brought it up, just imagine everything else you have been lied to by omission. Again, the vast majority of atheist I have debated are like you, clueless about history.

#72 I may have misinterpreted

I may have misinterpreted your question. I thought you were asking who should propose arguments, similar to what evidence should be considered.

If you don't know how to evaluate arguments, there's some good information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument and http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Evaluating_arguments. How to determine whether or not a logical argument is sound is fairly well understood at this point. As for the best evaluators of various arguments, it depends on the context. If it's in the field of cosmology, for example, I would expect cosmologists to be best able to understand and evaluate things. For existing laws, we have a court system already set up to evaluate the soundness of arguments. For new laws, we have representative democracies that debate the issues. It's not always a perfect system, of course. For general morality questions, everyone in a society has an interest and responsibility in learning about morality, as we are all part of that society and have to live together. Thus, the debate would be ongoing between all. And the system should be subject to change based on what works and what doesn't. And everything should be open to reevaluation at any time, but especially when new evidence or arguments come in.

I highly recommend, despite the poor resolution and sometimes-hard-to-hear audio, this talk on the superiority of secular morality. http://blip.tv/the-atheist-experience-tv-show/matt-dillahunty-the-superi...

OK, I was too general when I said religions can't debate their morality. Religions that hold that some god revealed absolute right and wrong cannot debate their core moral framework. As I said above, religions do have debates over the translation and/or interpretation of their holy books. Peter and Paul debated the morality of some of Peter's actions, but never the underlying morals or moral authority of the Bible as it existed at that time. Generally speaking, when some members of a religion disagree on some interpretation of their religious text, they split into separate religions. That's not much of a debate.

...
As for Wikipedia, it is a good place to go to find information. Not always directly, but they are increasingly well-sourced. You have asserted that Hitler was an atheist with no basis for that statement. I have provided a link that includes evidence and sources for that evidence. So, until you back up your claim, I will consider Wikipedia more reliable on this. Similarly for the claim Hitler was homosexual: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexuality_of_Adolf_Hitler

Regardless, it really doesn't matter. You have not shown that Hitler was a horrible person because he was an atheist. If he was an atheist, all you've shown is that he is a horrible person AND an atheist. As for people that have done horrible things in the name of atheism, that's also mostly irrelevant to the question of atheism. Whether or not a god exists has nothing to do with what the people do in the name of any god or none. It also has nothing to do with secular morality, other than as yet another example of why killing and raping people on the basis of their religion is a bad thing.
...

More accurately, a rational person will say "but reason says X, and logic states that, this is sound reasoning according to me, therefore I believe X." A rational person will also change their beliefs when presented with new evidence and/or arguments, or when their reasoning is otherwise shown to be flawed. Believing something based on sound reasoning is not restricted to atheists. Nor is believing something based on unsound reasoning restricted to theists. But, since every argument for the existence of a god or gods has been shown to be logically unsound, a belief in a god is not rationally justified.

How do I know all publicly released arguments to date are logically unsound? Because anyone with a sound argument for theistic belief would be widely published. Those arguments that are at first convincing, or even just proposed by influential people, have indeed been widely published. And all of them have had their logical flaws pointed out. It is not necessary to read all writings of all religious people, as not all those writings involve arguments for the existence of a god. It is also not necessary to analyze arguments that use already-refuted arguments as a premise. If the foundation of a building is crumbling, I don't need to inspect every floor before condemning it.

Part of refuting those arguments is pointing out problems with the evidence used to support it and/or the logical flaw in using some piece of evidence to support it in the first place. If some argument is missing from either http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Arguments_for_the_existence... or http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Apologetics_and_counter-apologetics and http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Arguments_for_the_existence_of_a_god, then do let me know. You can help contribute to the wikis!

Again, I have never claimed that there is no god. I said that I do not believe a god exists, not that I believe no god exists. It is similar to Guilty/Not-guilty vs. Guilty/Innocent.

There are some arguments against the existence of a god, though: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Arguments_against_the_exist.... I still don't hold that there is certainly no god, thus it is not on me to prove that all gods don't exist. Some of the arguments listed in the previous link are why I think there probably isn't a god.

#73 eis, I can't have a debate

eis,

I can't have a debate with someone who quotes wikipedia and other wiki sources as accurate and real. Sorry. If you want to continue this debate, drop the wikipedia sourcing.    

Furthermore, hard to argue with someone who considers himself an expert on religion, rational debates, logic, evidence, etc. yet, he has no compunction in claiming that a Bible existed during the time of St. Peter and St. Paul. There was NO Bible, nothing even close to it, during the time of St. Peter and St. Paul. They had strong debates about morality which went a lot farther and deeper than merely arguing the translation of a holy book. WOW!!! just WOW!! 

Again, WRONG, religious people, you know us icky people, do not merely have debates about the various translations of our holy books. We debate morality. You are making ridiculous, based on your biases statements. You really need to stop. Stop telling a religious person that he only debates about the translation of his holy books, not about morality. WOW! Again, you ooze of arrogance. 

No, I haven't shown Hitler was a horrible person because he was an atheist. What has been proven to you and like a good irrational atheist can't stand or admit is that atheist nations, atheist governments leads to the mass murder of countless upon countless upon countless of the citizens under that atheist regime. The first ones to go under atheist governments are Believers, Jews, Christians, etc. 

And by the way, Hitler was an Atheist and so were the majority of his Nazi henchman. Hitler wasn't a homo, but most of his SS and top rank Nazis were. I could careless what some idiotic website says or does not say. LOL I know I have read many more books than you and I am much better versed in history than you as you admitted your complete and utter ignorance on the French Revolution, which was an atheist revolution based on reason. A reason that led to the death, persecution and death of countless French Catholics. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of the French Revolution. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of the Cristero Wars. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of the USSR. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of China. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of N. Korea. Sound atheist reason led to the horrors of Cuba. There have been many more wars fought over secular reasons than religious reasons. MANY MORE! Atheist have done much more harm to humanity than all religions combined. this is a historical fact that idiots like Dawkins, may he rest in peace Hitchens, moronic and poorly informed Bill Maher, and other like atheist refuse to believe and acknowledge. 

Hmmm...wow, again, more irrationality from you. So, you admit that in matters of the cosmos, cosmologist would be the experts to turn to. In matters of law, the courts and lawyers. Then, illogically, and not following with what you were saying, you claim that morality is evaluated by all members of that society. This latter statement by you does not follow your earlier logic. If we were to follow the logic that you first presented, you would admit that morality is debated by all those who are experts in morality, philosophers, religious leaders, etc. I wish all human beings were experts on morality, but that is like wishing all human beings were experts in math, science, history. It simply does not happen.

Honestly, I am still waiting for that reason, logic, evidence that you claim to base your beliefs on. All you have proven so far is that your beliefs are based on stereotypes, which you have easily fallen for, against religious people. Ignorance of history. The arrogant believe that only atheist debate morality. 

If you want to be taken seriously, drop your arrogance, your irrationality. Stop making ridiculous statements such as religious people don't debate morality, ,but just the translations of holy books. A statement based on stereotypes and complete ignorance 

#74 Again, there was some overlap

Again, there was some overlap between your last two posts, and my answers to same. This has been replied to below (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/03/27/bozell-column-athei...). Also, it resets the indentation, which is kind of nice.

#75 BLASPHEMY!!!

Or whatever you guys call it.

#76 So what you're saying is

you believe there should be civilized dialogue with people of faith, and it's only after you can't convince them to give up their beliefs and become an atheist that you should ridicule them.......
So your disagreement with Dawkins is that you should try to convert a person to atheism before you start antagonizing them, rather than just start with the antagonism right away.......

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#77 Well, yes, depending on their

Well, yes, depending on their attitude in the debate. Is it not reasonable to ridicule someone for believing the earth is flat, even after seeing photographs and video from space? Wouldn't you ridicule someone that insisted that leprechauns or fairies or pixies or invisible dragons or ... were real despite an utter lack of evidence?

#78 Normally I would happily continue the debate with you

on the issues above, however, this telling example of your "logic" and "reason" has convinced me that to do so would be a senseless waste of my time. I don't think it's ever reasonable to ridicule anyone, and I would think that a person who puts so much value in logic and reason would refrain from such a childish behavior under any circumstance.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#79 I'm sorry you feel that it

I'm sorry you feel that it would be a waste of time. Before you go, could you please explain where my logic is flawed? If someone absolutely refuses to accept evidence or consider logical arguments, what else is there to do but point out the ridiculousness of their thinking? I suppose just ignoring them? But that's not always possible. Sometimes people insist the world should conform to their unfounded beliefs.

#80 Pointing out a flaw in someone's thinking,

and ridiculing them for that thinking are two different things. One can be done in a mature, respectful manner, and the other is an immature response to someone who doesn't believe the way you think they should. If a person persists in refusing to accept evidence or consider logic, ridiculing them will accomplish nothing except to reveal to others your own immaturity. You could no more convince me that God does not exist by ridiculing me, than I could convince you that God does exist by ridiculing you. In one breath you condemn religion for trying to force people to conform to their views, and in the next breath you advocate ridiculing people who refuse to confrom to your views. And it is because of that advocacy of such a childish act that I will no longer debate with you.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#81 See, and just like that you

See, and just like that you convinced me. Oh, I may still get exasperated and be harsher with someone than I would otherwise intend, but you have a good point.

#82 Not a valid analogy

You cannot prove that God does not exist. There is no "photo from space". You have an "utter lack of evidence" problem there.

All you have, in the end, is your opinion. A belief, if you will.

#83 That is why I do not claim

That is why I do not claim that there is definitely not any god. But, there is a lot of evidence against various aspects of various proposed gods.

But, the burden of proof is not on me to disprove every god out there. If you want me to believe in your god, then it's up to you to provide evidence for your exceptional claim that there is something other than a universe following physical laws, because I haven't found any such evidence. And if you want the government to impose your religious beliefs on others, you'll have to justify your beliefs in a secular way so as to not violate the Establishment Clause, or prove that your religion is true and that the Establishment Clause should therefore be repealed.

#84 straw man

`

#85 Care to expand on that?

Care to expand on that?

#86 eis

Sorry for the late response; I just checked back in on this thread at the subliminal prodding of another poster. To answer you're question: "If you want me to believe in your god..." is a straw man.

#87 I'm still not seeing how that

I'm still not seeing how that is a straw man, unless you mean the assumption that the god in question exists outside of the physical laws of the universe. If God is subject to the physical laws of the universe, then my question would be, "Why call that God?" At that point, whatever we were talking about would be a natural part of the universe, it seems to me. I also wasn't setting up any argument in order to tear it down. I merely prompted for any specific claims that I should respond to in order to focus the conversation.

Also, no worries on any delay. I've been delayed on quite a lot of things recently. (Grrr, taxes!)

#88 ~It's a straw man

in that you assume that anyone has to prove anything to you.
God is subject to the physical laws of the universe like an author is subject to the plot of his own book.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#89 I've discussed the burden of

I've discussed the burden of proof in a couple of other places. Asking someone to present their case is not a straw man argument. By asking someone to make an argument, I specifically did NOT set up a straw man argument.

#90 ~"If you want me to believe in your god"

is a straw man.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#91 Thanks Bru

I guess eis isn't aware that when in the course of your debate, you begin to argue against a point that hasn't been raised, you're actually engaging in a straw man argument.

For eis: homework.

#92 I didn't argue against a

I didn't argue against a point that hadn't been raised. Blonde said that I could not prove God doesn't exist. I explained that I didn't have to because the burden of proof is on the claimant, and then invited a specific claim. I did bring up legislating based on religious beliefs, but that was merely an effort to focus any claim in that area, as it had come up elsewhere in this thread, and you don't seem to have a problem with that part. Are you objecting to me assuming Blonde had a motivation to make me a believer? If that's the case, then the solution is quite simple. I was using a generic "you," there. Perhaps I should have rephrased to use "one." Either way, it's not a straw man.

#94 I asked you about the legislative angle

almost two weeks ago. You didn't respond. I'm not reading through all of these comments to see if you answered my question so feel free to answer here, or not. I don't really care.

You're straw man was in assuming that Blonde wants you to believe in her God. I'm sure she doesn't care what you choose to worship.

#95 Yes, it's a complicated

Yes, it's a complicated question with a multi-part answer. I've been working on it from time to time, but other things have kept coming up. Since you don't care, I will further lower its priority in my queue, I guess.

As I said above, I was using the generic "you" and was not assuming Blonde was trying to convince me to believe. So, problem resolved, hopefully.

#96 eis, It falls upon you and

eis,

It falls upon you and atheist to prove how your logic and reason proves that God does not exist.

Do you honestly believe that simply saying, "No, you are wrong" gets you off the hook in any type of intellectual debate? Of course not.

The burden of proof falls on both sides of any argument of any debate. However, atheist have irrationally convinced themselves that they do not need to back up with sound and logical arguments and proofs their "God does not exist" statement.

As I answered to you at the bottom of this forum. If you present me with an argument for the existance of Santa Clause, Big Foot, Unicorns, etc., and I do not believe you, it falls upon me, not you, to show you and all of those who believe you why your argument is wrong. Now translate this to....

Presented with all arguments and proofs for the existance of God, and an atheist does not believe in the existance of God, it falls upon the atheist to show, with sound logic and reason in his counter argument, proof why, despite the arguments and proofs just given, God does not exist.

Please stop with the illogical, irrational and unreasonable statement that the burden of proof falls on theists. This is a sad, sad cop-out from atheist since they know that they can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God does not exist. In other words, atheist take a leap of faith believing that God does not exist. Any honest atheist, would admit this fact.

#97 Thank you for providing a

Thank you for providing a clear example of a straw man! I say "there is insufficient evidence (very close to zero, if not zero) to support a belief in God, therefore I do not believe in God." You keep arguing against the statement of "there is no God." =)

Once again, I did not simply assert that you are wrong; I provided links to counterarguments. You have rejected the sources based on it being a collaborative effort. Now, below, we are getting into specific arguments and counterarguments - with much duplication of effort, but we are at least finally evaluating arguments and counterarguments.

#98 ~Sheer ignorance

I'm going to go ahead and explain the blindingly obvious to you.
If God allowed there to be incontrovertible, empirical evidence of His existence, the entire concept of free will would become null and void. He would then become a de facto Dictator of Cosmic Proportions, From Whom There Is No Escape. If you spent any time making even a cursory perusal of the Bible, you'd know that's not what He wants.

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#99 It's not actually blindingly

It's not actually blindingly obvious we have free will in the first place. There's lots of debate about predestination and free will. See Calvinism. It's also not obvious that God making it absolutely clear He exists would negate free will. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God, yet still had the free will to eat the apple. Moses was in direct communication with God, yet still disobeyed.

Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden and all of humanity punished for their sin. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. The Old Testament is full of instances of God punishing those who exercise their free will whenever it runs counter to His own. There's plenty of Biblical evidence for a de facto dictator.

Having more information allows us to make a better choice; it does not take away the freedom of choice. Having information intentionally hidden from us actually takes away our freedom of choice. We no longer have informed consent in those cases.

#100 eis, I think you completely

eis,

I think you completely misunderstand what Free Will is. We can all exercise Free Will, but it does not mean that there isn't consequences, good or bad, to how we use our Free Will. 

There being bad, horrific, atrocious consequences to how we utilize our Free Will does not mean that it does not exist.

God informed the Israelites of the laws and rules and gave them the Free Will to follow these or not. They didn't have to follow anything God demanded, but it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences.

Just like my kids at home. My wife and I have set rules and laws in our home. My kids can choose to follow these or not. Depending on what they choose, there will be no consequences, good consequences, or bad consequences. But they have a choice. 

de factor dictator?  LOL give me a break!!! this is just pure silliness coming from you. I guess the United States government is a de facto dictator since it enforces laws, right?  Poor murderers, geez, they went against the laws of the land and the de facto dictator, Obama, Congress, policemen, State attorney punished the men and women who choose not to follow the laws of the land. 

The debate against the existence of Free Will exists due to the fact that people want to desperately believe that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions. How convenient.  

God doesn't punish us. We choose our paths and each paths has it ends. You completely misunderstand the Bible, eis and God's message to humanity.

I don't punish my children, my children choose the consequences of their actions, by the actions they choose to carry out. 

Moses doubted God because of his humanity, nothing to do with talking to God or not, knowing God or not. 

My children know me, they talk to me, they know the consequences of their actions, yet, they still disobey me at times. Using your logic, children would NEVER disobey their parents. 

#101 I think you misunderstood my

I think you misunderstood my comment. I did not claim that our actions, whether free or not, don't have consequences. I didn't even claim free will doesn't exist. I was responding to the claim that knowledge of the Bible makes it obvious that knowing without doubt that God exists would negate free will. To support that claim, I pointed to Calvinism. Calvinists claim that God chose who will be saved before creation, and thus that our actions actually don't have consequences in regards to salvation. At least some have gone on to say that God choosing who will be saved also means there is no free will. That's not to say that those that are saved don't usually act on the side of Good, and I don't think Calvinists view having no say in salvation as a reason to sin. But the existence of free will cannot be said to be obvious just from reading the Bible.

Dictator: a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dictator). So no, our government does not count as a dictatorship. Nor am I saying that enforcing laws is necessarily a bad thing. However, God is said to have absolute power over everything, including dictating governmental actions in the OT, and there's not succession of any kind so that part of the definition matches too. Seems like God meets the definition of a dictator. This is also a dictator that has ordered total war on and genocide of various tribes of His creation. This is also a dictator that has killed millions of His own chosen people. I think His methods of enforcement of those laws are reprehensible. An omnipotent, omniscient being, and war and slaughter and slavery is the best He can come up with? But that's another conversation.

I brought up the consequences of Adam, Eve, and Moses as evidence that free will, if it exists in the first place, still exists for those that know absolutely that God exists, Biblically speaking. I did not say that those consequences were a result of knowing God. I also don't know where you get anything close to children always obeying their parents from anything I said.

It's also not clear God doesn't punish us. I like C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, and the quote "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it." That version of Hell is not clearly Biblical, though. Punishment (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A46&version=NIV) and eternal fire (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A41&version=NIV) don't sound quite like C.S. Lewis' Hell of infinite housing and immaterial existence. I think your children probably consider any negative consequences as punishment. And rightly so (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/punishment). I assume you punish your children's misbehavior as part of promoting good behavior. Final judgement and eternal torment have no such teaching value. Their only value is as a deterrent, and making it clear that hell is an actual, real, existing consequence is necessary for them to maintain its value as a deterrent.

#102 eis, 1) I see my

eis,

1) I see my relationship with God as a loving Father, God, wanting a relationship with his son, child, me, a human being.

2) This relationship is no different than my relationship with my son or daughter. God uses the stick and the carrot to teach humanity how to behave.

I also use the stick a carrot to teach my children how to behave at home and eventually in society.

3) God caused the death of millions of human beings who are his creation? This is were we will never agree. God didn't cause their death. These human beings through their sins, disobedience, lust, lack of repetance, acceptance of God, etc, etc. caused their own deaths, not God.

Don't blame God for humanities evil doings!!

Yes, you can say, but, according to the Bible, God ordered the Israelites to wage war and kill other human beings. True, but these other tribes, human beings, had made the choice to stand against God! Thus, these human beings made the choice that led to their deaths.

Again, that is like you saying that my son breaking my home rules and then getting punished is my fault because me "evil dictator" of my home set up rules and laws for my house. No, it is 100% my son's fault when he gets in trouble, not mine.

4) Hmmmm...Final Judgement and Eternal Damnation. Hmmm...the first one will just be God Judging us all according to what we did here on Earth. Unsure how this is a bad thing. I judge my son and daughter on a daily basis. Eternal Damnation, this is the consequences of our poor behavior, of our bad behavior and more than th is, Eternal Damnation is the culmination of the consequences of someone's poor, bad, evil actions, omissions, etc.

There can be, one can say, eternal consequences, that I can dish out to my son and daughter. It would be very rare, but the most common one is cutting off a son or daughter from the family completely because they chose to ignore all advice, all punishment all the rules, laws, etc when they were older.

my punishments are as much of a deterrent as a teaching lesson. Hell is as much of a deterrent as a teaching lesson. Unsure how you can see this.

I am unsure how you can state that C.S. Lewis version of Hell is not in the Bible, this is what I have always been taught and know to be True as a Roman Catholic. When we choose our will over God's, yeap, we are choosing Hell. I have always been taught and truly believe and now I am teaching to my children, we must always make sure that God's Will is our will, if not, we will pay the ultimate price, a one way ticket to Eternal Hell.

5) Finally, I could be wrong since I am not in Brunette's mind, but after re-readiner her short post to you, I don't think that she said that ONLY the Bible will lead you know Free Will exists.

As for me, know you are debating a Roman Catholic, The Bible is a large part of where my Truths come from. I whole heartly believe everything in it, but we also use Holy Tradition, which as you probably know, Protestants deny. The vast majority of Protestants say Sola Scriptura, we Roman Catholics don't.

#103 You might attempt to be more polite

...and capitalize God.

And no, the burden of proof is not upon me. It's your choice to open your mind. Or not.

I do not care to have the government impose my beliefs on anyone, nor their beliefs upon me (hence my objection to paying for ABORTIONS, BIRTH CONTROL, etc. for another soul).

Nice try on the Establishment Clause. Total Fail, of course.

#104 I have capitalized God when I

I have capitalized God when I refer to a specific god, and left it uncapitalized when discussing a generic god. If I have mistyped anywhere, then I apologize.

The burden of proof is on anyone making a fantastical claim.

#105 eis, the burden of proof is

eis,

the burden of proof is on anyone making a fantastical claim? who decided this you? Nah, but you aren't arrogant.

Anyway, I'll bite, go ahead, proof that there is no God using reason, logic and evidence since you claim this is what atheist use and since you are the one making the fantastical claim that there is no God.

tic, toc, eis, tic, toc.....

Where is all the great evidence based on reason and logic that there is no God.

by the way, you never did answer, are you well versed in ALL of the writtings of ALL individuals who throughout human history have proven that there is a God?

I agree with you, the burden of proof is on anyone making a fantastical claim, so start proving that there is no God using reason, logic and evidence and stop running away from this.

OR

Are you willing to be one of the few atheists out there who is honest and admit that you have taken a blind leap of faith into believing there is no God?

#106 I'm sorry to repeat myself,

I'm sorry to repeat myself, but you repeated yourself, so I will answer in each place.

I have never claimed that there is no god. I said that I do not believe a god exists, not that I believe no god exists. Do you see the difference? It is similar to Guilty/Not-guilty vs. Guilty/Innocent.

You are also quite impatient. I answered the quick-to-answer posts last night before bed, and haven't gotten around to answering your rather long posts above. Have I failed to respond to a post yet? Also, asking the same question in multiple places fragments the conversation.

For a discussion on the burden of proof, and also how it relates to the existence of a god, I reccomend the following: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof and http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Shift_the_burden_of_proof

#107 eis,  wow...just wow!! Your

eis, 

wow...just wow!! Your first link, rationalwiki, is pathetic at best. It is insulting and moronic. It says in part, "Believers, however, are so sure of the existence of their gods (or, perhaps, fairies) that they claim that those who do not believe in their gods must somehow "prove" their god's non-existence - even in the absence of any evidence for them." 

Who decided that there is no evidence?  You atheists?  hahahaha!!! Again, no doubt that every single atheist on planet Earth who believes the ridiculous statement above has read AND understood every single essay, book, logic that has been written by all authors throughout human history proving the existence of God.

How insulting that the idiot who wrote this line would equate knowing that God exists to someone believing that fairies exist. It pretty much sums up the irrationality, emotionalism and lack of logic from most atheists.

It is also obvious that it was written by an atheist who was put in the conundrum I have put you in. That you atheist cannot prove that there is no God! You desperately attempt to rationalize away the FACT that you MUST present evidence of this by claiming that no, it is not up to you, radicals, to prove that there is no God, it is up to those who claim there is a God. 

Let me put it this way, my lack of reason and logic atheist just like most atheists. Einstein gave evidence of E=MC2, right?  YES! Then there were and are scientisst who claim that this is wrong, that there is no E=MC2. Guess what?  It is up to the scientists who claim that E=MC2 is not real to prove that Einstein was wrong and to present evidence that E=MC2 is wrong. 

A scientist would be laughed out of his career if he said, "Believers of EMC2, however, are so sure of the existence of E=MC2 that these scientists claim that those who do no believe in their theory must somehow "prove" their anti-E=MC2 theory- even in the absence of any evidence for it"  hahaha!!!!

Just because you do not agree or irrationally refuse to believe the evidence that has been presented to you, it doesn't mean it is wrong. It falls upon YOU, those who refuse to accept the evidence that there is a God to show how this evidence is wrong.  Just like it falls upon the scientists who do not believe in E=MC2 to prove that the evidence presented for the existance of E=MC2 is wrong. And you atheist honestly believe that you use reason and logic?  WOW!! Another fantastical claim by you atheists. 

You want to sit back scream from the top of your lungs that there is no God and then you stay quiet and tell someone else, now prove me wrong. I don't have to present any evidence of my belief, but you who oppose me do.  LOL Let me honest unlike you and most atheists. The burden of proof falls on BOTH sides of this argument. Typically, in an honest debate it would be point and counterpoint. Point and counterpoint with BOTH sides presenting evidence.

The problem that you atheist have is that you proclaim to the whole world that your beliefs are based on reason, logic and evidence, but asked to use these proving, leaving no doubt, that there is no God, you can't. If you were honest,  you would have already admitted to as much. 

Anyway, get back to me when you have done in-depth research on ALL the evidence written by ALL authors throughout human history who have proven that God exists. Because no way would an honest atheist who claims to base his/her beliefs on reason, logic and evidence claim that no evidence of God has been given to him, ever, without knowing AND understanding  every single proof that has been written throughout human history proving the existence of God.

I find it amusing that you want to define this debate by your terms, by your personal opinions and biases, by your lack of historical, philosophical, religious, etc.c knowledge and with ridiculous, moronic, irrational, illogical, lack evidence websites that was written to make atheist feel comfortable with their irrationality.

I am sorry, but I have very little patients for individuals who accuse others of making fantastical claims, yet they have been running around making ridiculous, irrational, illogical and fantastical claims and then turn around and demand that others prove their beliefs and he refuses to do the same. 

Atheists, the most irrational, illogical, emotional individuals on planet Earth. 

Believing that you base your beliefs on reason, logic and evidence and actually doing so, are two different things. Atheist fall in the former, not in the latter. 

#108 As mentioned in my previous

As mentioned in my previous comment (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/03/27/bozell-column-athei...), the evidence/arguments for a god have been refuted. If I/we missed one, just let me know, and I'll refute it. It's generally not hard to do. The purpose of equating a belief in god(s) to the belief in the existence of fairies or unicorns or invisible dragons is to show the inconsistent logic used by theists. Virtually all theists do not advocate belief in such supernatural creatures, but then assume a god exists because that supernatural being is magically different. It's also a reference to the fact that many arguments for the existence of a god - even if they were valid - would not prove the existence of a god, but merely the existence of some nebulous something.

Once again, I hate to repeat myself, but you keep maintaining that I am asserting the non-existence of a god. I have never claimed that there is no god. I said that I do not believe a god exists, not that I believe no god exists. Please acknowledge the difference. It is similar to Guilty/Not-guilty vs. Guilty/Innocent.

There are some arguments against the existence of a god, though. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Arguments_against_the_exist.... I still don't hold that there is certainly no god, thus it is not on me to prove that all gods don't exist. Some of the arguments listed in the previous link are why I think there probably isn't a god.

In the article on shifting the burden of proof, scientific theories are specifically mentioned. Once a hypothesis is so well established that it becomes a theory, then yes, the burden of proof shifts to someone claiming it is false. The burden is on them to show why all the evidence that supports it does not hold, or to show some evidence that reliably falsifies the scientific theory.

Does the existence of god count as a well-established theory? No, it is not at all well-established, hence the reliance on faith - belief in the absence of evidence. Do skeptics spend a lot of time refuting the supposed evidence and arguments used to support the existence of god anyway? Yes, we skeptics generally like to believe things that are true, so we tend to enjoy evaluating evidence and arguments. It's intellectually stimulating. That, and there is a respect for honest debate. It's fine to make an argument for X, but it's bad to still believe X after the argument has been shown to be flawed. By all means, try to refine your argument, or make another all together. You are right, that IS how a debate works. Point, counterpoint. I have now provided links to lots of arguments and counterarguments. If you have issues with one or more, I would be happy to work through them with you.

#109 eis, Wow... again with the

eis,

Wow... again with the ridiculous wiki sources. 

1) All arguments ever made proving the existence of God have been refuted? really? REALLY?! eh....care to back up this statement or should we simply take the word of atheists?  

2) You have conveniently failed to answer my question. Again I ask, have you read every single essay, book, proof that has ever been made throughout human history proving he existence of God? No way would an honest atheist who claims to base his beliefs about God make the statement that all arguments ever made proving the existence of God have been refuted without first reading AND understanding all of these proofs.

Why do you refuse to address this answer?  Have you read AND understood ALL authors, all proofs, all logics which prove the existence of God?

3) Sorry buddy, you need to prove your statement that there is no God. It falls upon you to back up your statement as much as it falls upon believers to prove theirs. Again, I could careless what some silly website which is written by atheist to make atheist feel comfortable on the fact that they can't prove that there is no God. To make atheist comfortable and not have to admit the fact that they have taken a blind leap faith into believing there is no God. 

If I state that your mother does not exist, it falls upon you to prove that your mother does exist?  HAHAHAHA! c'mon now. If I claim to the world love does not exist, it falls upon me to prove that love does not exist. It doesn't fall on those who believe in love to prove me wrong.

Again, you prove the lack of reason and complete irrationality of atheists. 

4) And your arrogance shows again. Yes, I agree, it is bad form to hold on to your beliefs when these have been proven to be full of flaws. So why do you still hold on to your atheist beliefs, to your line of debate on this forum?  

5) Do you honestly believe that it is only you atheist who are skeptics who find debate intellectually stimulating?  are you serious?  REALLY?! WOW! 

Again, your arrogance is showing buddy.

6) As long as you keep on using atheist irrational and illogical debates an arguments, you are an atheist. You can tell me all you want that you aren't an atheist, other than you telling me, your words prove you otherwise. 

7) Does the existence of God count as a well established theory?  No?  who said so, you? atheists?  hahaha!!! oh man, really?  again, more arrogance from you.

Why is it that so many like you, who love to claim reason, logic and evidence for your side, never use these? 

You are attempting to debate this from your personal biases point of view. Nothing of what you have said so far is based on any level of rationality, historical fact, logic or evidence. But it is full of your personal opinion and some wacky sites written by atheists to make atheist comfortable with their irrationality. 

8) Equating the belief that God exists to a belief that fairies, unicorns, etc. exist is insulting at best. But your atheist based arrogance blinds you to this fact. So, according to atheist, theist are rational when it comes to fairies, unicorns, but man are we irrational when it comes to God. 

9) If you wish to continue this, start being honest. Admit the fact that it is impossible for anyone to have read up on ALL the authors and ALL of their writings proving the existence of God.

Admit that it is a ridiculous for anyone to say that all evidence proving the existence of God have been proven wrong. If this is the case, you should have zero problem showing me, with your own words (which you have refused to do so far). 

that you have NOT read all of the authors throughout human history and understood ALL of their writings whicih prove the existence of God. 

admit that atheism is based on blind faith, a leap of faith. Far from reason, logic and evidence. 

admit that BOTH sides must prove their  side in a debate about the existence of God. Seriously, how convenient for atheist to state as fact, "God doesn't exist! Now you theist prove us wrong"  Laughable at best. You can attempt to rationalize this as much as you can. But this rational is only used by dishonest atheist. 

Finally, I want to read YOUR words and YOUR thoughts, not that of some irrational websites. What do YOU think, how do YOU rationalize it. Or are you so easily persuaded by the writings of others? Oh wait, it is ok for atheist to be persuaded by the writings of others, but geez, us irrational Christians, Jews, and other theist, how dare we be persuaded by the writings of others. LOL

If you can't do this, please don't bother anymore. This gets old and we will go in circles. 

Again, you have failed to show that atheist care for or base their beliefs about God on reason, logic and evidence. What you have proven is that atheist are arrogant, believe themselves to be superior and base their beliefs on stereotypes, irrationality and the writings of other atheist which make them comfortable in their atheism. 

#110 Again, there was some overlap

Again, there was some overlap between your last two posts, and my answers to same. This has been replied to below (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/03/27/bozell-column-athei...)

#111 Atheists are a lobbying group

just like homosexuals and Catholics and Jews and Muslims, etc. Not all, of course, are in it to lobby government to see their particular side of things, but organized efforts by atheists groups (or any of the other groups I mentioned) are an attempt to lobby. That's why they need money. However, there is a huge difference between religious organizations and secular organizations collecting money and that lies in morality.

How many homosexual groups are actively subsidizing homeless shelters? Or hospitals? Or AIDS patients? I guess there could be some, but you don't hear of any. When was the last time you saw a big NYT spread on GLAAD members working at a soup kitchen? When was the last time you saw MSNBC do a big story about Human Rights Campaign raising money for poor African nations?

The same can be said for atheist groups. They're almost entirely self-serving which -in some ways- indicates how morally bankrupt they are. Atheism, or the belief that mankind is capable of solving all of the worlds ills, is inherent in the progressive mindset. It is as much a political position as it is a statement on religion. It is designed as a means to acquire power, and to divide people into groups: those silly enough to need some ficticious, unprovable supernatural power, and those of us who know what's best for those silly "believers". Again, not all atheists are in it for this reason, but the organized groups are. Proof is the distinct lack of outrage among atheists over Congressman Bobby Rush quoting the Bible on the floor of Congress today. When I see atheists holding signs and protesting that ignorant fool on the basis of his invocation of religion within the State, then I'll take them for something else. Until then, they're nothing but progressives employing another angle. And as usual, taking the easy road.

#112 A quick Google search shows

A quick Google search shows the first two atheist organizations listed both have community service aspects:
http://www.atheist-community.org/community/
http://www.boulderatheists.org/service.html

The first link has multiple results due to the popularity of The Atheist Experience show, it would appear.

There's nothing wrong with quoting the Bible on the floor of Congress. It's a wonderful piece of literature in many ways. Showing that you believe the Bible is true, or even just that you are familiar with it, can be good politics. Showing that a proposed law is consistent with biblical teaching can also be good politics. The Bible is not a sound basis for a law, though.

#113 Ah, but reading verses from the Bible

in front of the DMV is cause for arrest.

Atheists scream bloody murder every year at Christmas over nativity scenes or 100 year old crosses on federal lands. As though these displays are somehow oppressing them, or making them feel so uncomfortable that they're unable to get through their day (I guess, they never say how they discomforted, only that they are discomforted). But a congressman invoking the word of God on the House Floor is of no concern and, according to you, a worthwhile exercise. The problem here is consistency. The reason for the consistency issue is entirely political. Which makes atheism more political than ideological.

And yes, it's commendable that some atheist organizations are trying to help their local communities, but by-and-large, this has not been a major function of atheist groups. Nor do your links indicate how successful any of the fundraising drives were. I have a website for my business; I could add a page aksing people for donations to help fund my local SPCA. Doesn't mean anyone will give or that I'll follow through with the drive. Not that I'm suggesting these groups didn't, but two links won't alter my position that atheists are not known for their charitable contributions.

I notice you didn't address the lobbying aspect; I'll assume that you concur that is a major element of their platform.

#114 Yeah, I don't know all the

Yeah, I don't know all the details on that story, but it sure looks like that was a stupid reason to arrest him. I could perhaps understand a noise or public nuisance ordinance, though.

As for religious displays on federal property, there is a concern about the implied endorsement of said religion(s). I generally have no problem with celebration of our American cultural history, which definitely includes many religious items. It should be decided on a case by case basis until clear guidelines are established (if there aren't any yet), which is a task the courts were designed for. I think you are attributing too much unity to atheists. Really, atheist describes one position on one question - namely whether or not one believes in a god or gods. Beyond that, there is nothing else all atheists have in common. Many are also secular humanists, but by no means all, as an example.

I didn't claim that atheists were well known for their charitable contributions. That's partially a result of being a minority. I do take issue with your claim that atheist groups are morally bankrupt.

Not all atheists are interested in lobbying, but most of the groups have definitely been advocating a concerted lobbying effort lately, primarily in response to the concerted effort of the religious Right.

#115 eis, another fantastical

eis,

another fantastical claim by you, that atheists groups are not morally bankrupt.

using your rules, you now must proof this.

I am still waiting also for you to answer if you have read all the books, all the essays, all of the writings of ALL of the countless human beings who throughout history have written proofs of God. Are you well versed with St. Augustine, St. Thomas More, with St. Therese of Little Flower, John Paul II, current Pope's writings? and I mean ALL of their writings and very well versed. And this merely scratches the surfaces.

no way would an atheist who claims that he/she basis his/her believe that there is no God on evidence, reason and logic claim this without first studying and becoming very well versed in every single book, essay, writing that is out there from the beginning of humanity proving that there is a God.

You made the fantastical claim that there is no writing, no essay, no evidence which has been written up until now proving the existance of God which has convinced you. NO way would you have made this claim without being incredibly well versed and read with all of the authors throughout human history and their writings proving that there is a God.

Fine, using your rule again, you made a fantastical claim, now prove it.

#116 You are horrible at

You are horrible at identifying fantastical claims. In the US, we have a presumption of innocence. No one needs to prove they are not a criminal, the State has to prove someone is a criminal. Assuming that people living in society have morals should be the default assumption. Claiming someone is morally bankrupt is a serious accusation, and thus the burden of proof is on that claim. Regardless, here I am, an atheist, and I have been debating morality with you for the past couple days. I linked to a book on morality by a prominent atheist, and linked to a long talk about morality. It should be obvious by now that atheists are often quite interested in morality.

You are also quite impatient. I answered the quick-to-answer posts last night before bed, and haven't gotten around to answering your rather long posts above. Have I failed to respond to a post yet? Also, asking the same question in multiple places fragments the conversation.

I have never claimed that there is no god. I said that I do not believe a god exists, not that I believe no god exists. Do you see the difference? It is similar to Guilty/Not-guilty vs. Guilty/Innocent.

I will get around to answering your other questions in response to your other post(s).

#117 eis, Hmmm....in the United

eis,

Hmmm....in the United States Federal level and most State level laws one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, at the municipal, city, village, town level most times you are considered guilty until you prove you are innocent.

When I am given a parking ticket and I am not in the car, even if I am, it falls upon me to show the city, town, village how I was not guilty and did not deserve to be given a parking ticket. In fact, the City of Chicago and most surrounding suburbs are very clear to specify that at their level, you ARE considered guilty when you break municipal level laws.

if my car is towed for breaking any type of law, it falls upon me to prove how I was not guilty and I did not deserve the car to be towed.

In fact, about five years ago, a town policeman and woman wrongfuly arrested me. I was taken to the police station holding cell. My car was impounded by the police. After I proved my innocence in court and showed how the policemen had wrongfuly arrested me and imprisoned me, I had to then prove to the city, which had impounded my car and fined me for the impound and other violations that the policemen claimed I had made, that I was innocent of the charges since the city always assumes you are guilty of what the policemen charged you with. This is what happens in the vast majority of cities, towns, villages across America.

i am so sick and tired of Americans from all walk of lifes and every political leaning who claim that in the USA we are innocent until proven guilty. This is factually so incredibly wrong!!

So, this argument that we aren't considered guilty until proven so in a cout of law, simply does not fly!!

and being interested in morality and being a moral individual are completely two different thing

#118 There is still a presumption

There is still a presumption of innocence in those cases. The burden of proof may not always be "beyond a reasonable doubt" but may instead be a "preponderance of evidence" or some other standard. It is also usually the case that the word of an officer arresting someone for jaywalking or whatever is sufficient evidence. There are also corrupt, incompetent, and/or tired police officers and other public servants. Do we do enough to avoid those types of hazards? Almost certainly not. Is it often more expensive to have an actual trial with the presumption of innocence rather than pleading guilty? Of course. And car towing is definitely a racket. But, the presumption of innocence is still supposed to be there. For example, local red light cameras have been struck down in at least two places for going against the presumption of innocence: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1688.asp, http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/31/3177.asp. Not that red light cameras aren't good evidence, or can't be compatible with the presumption of innocence, but that these localities did not have a procedure that was compatible.

Again, someone living in society should be assumed to have morals. Otherwise, it's quite likely they wouldn't be living in society but instead be in jail, or something similar.

#119 Couple clarifications and reiterations eis

I've tried to make clear that I'm not painting with too broad a brush here- certainly there are atheists who just go about their lives like everyone else. They see a cross on a hillside and have no conscious thought about it. They give gifts on Christmas and enjoy an Easter egg hunt as much as the next guy. They're not militant and don't go around with a "I don't believe in God" t-shirt on every day. Which, is pretty much my point; atheists aren't oppressed and can live quite a fulfilling life here in America. My brother is an atheist and I, personally, practice no religion but wouldn't go so far as to definitively say God doesn't exist. (I don't presume to be omnipotent.)

But it's the groups that are in the news, making headlines, protesting in DC. Protesting what? These people are morally bankrupt. They are in it for selfish reasons only. They march for the chance of gaining some notoriety, even if it's only among friends and family by being able to say "I was there." It is the organized groups who buy ads on billboards doing exactly what they claim is so wrong about religion: forcing their will upon others. It is these groups who profess this outrage over the way they're treated when it's an entirely manufactured condition meant to achieve a selfish goal.

I had a knock on the door the other day and when I answered, a guy in a nice suit was standing there. He handed me a one-page pamphlet and invited me to a dinner over Easter at a nearby meeting hall. Yes, he was from the local chapter of the Jehovah's Witness. He was kind, not pushy, extended the invitation to a dinner they were having, noted it was no cost, and said "I hope to see you there." I thanked him and he left. That's a far cry from the typical atheist response to such an act, as if a response is required at all. It was only after I looked at the pamphlet that I knew which organization this guy represented and, while I have no intention of joining them at their dinner, I had also no cause to be alarmed, offended, or rude to the guy. But to virtually every atheist marching in DC last weekend, this guy was a simpleton, hoodwinked into believing some fantastical story by a bunch of controlling cult-leaders. Why can't he just be a nice guy who finds comfort in a belief system that allows him to live happy within our overall society?

What bothers me most about the image atheists put forth is the narcissistic, "we know better than you" attitude and the "we stand for science" as if science wasn't a construct of human understanding. As I said, atheists aren't oppressed, they're held to no wage ceiling, aren't forced to drink from different water fountains or use separate entrances, yet their constant noise-making is like the excruciating sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. They attempt to indoctrinate and they do it by claiming superiority over those who don't share their view. As a response to the "religious Right", it's maddeningly juvenile.

By the way, why would you say "religious Right"? Is there no religious Left, or is religion to an atheist entirely political?

#120 There is some discrimination

There is some discrimination against atheists in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States). I don't think it's as big of a deal as some, but then I haven't experienced it first hand. Other than online, I suppose. ;)

A bit out of order, but I need to use a sentence of this paragraph later (or earlier, depending on perspective). I say religious Right because the Left in general, including the religious Left, is not trying to base governmental policy on religious beliefs. Thus, there is nothing to lobby against on that front. Atheists are not unified on anything other than the non-belief in any and all gods. There are large sub-groups that are unified on individual issues, of course, and they are free to lobby based on those beliefs.

The vast majority of atheists, and as I say, we are not a unified group, don't want to force their will on others. It's more that we don't want others' wills imposed on us. If that restricts their freedom to practice religious beliefs, that's really fine. Because my right to swing my arm freely end where your nose begins, to mangle a phrase. As a society, we don't allow honor killings, human sacrifice, or any number of other activities some might hold dear to their religion. I have not seen evidence of moral bankruptcy at atheist rallies. Many are incredibly interested in improving society, in large part through education and an improved moral basis. But sure, in a capitalist society, people will be partially motivated by fame and fortune, and the desire to belong to a group is part of being a social animal. I don't see these motivations as immoral, though. I'll admit that some individuals will have done some immoral things are atheist gatherings, but that's true of any group of humans, really.

Mostly, I'm OK with people having their own fantasies. The only problem is that beliefs inform actions. It makes no difference if a person believes people spending money drives an economy, or if they believe people with products/services drives people to work so they can get those products. That is, until we start to enact policies based on those beliefs, in which case it matters a great deal. It's a false dichotomy in the economics case, but following one set of policies is going to be economically better than the other. That is why people are interested in correcting flawed logic, reevaluating evidence, and trying to find true explanations - and then convince others. Because it does have an effect on every member of society.

Everyone that believes something believes they are right, by definition. Otherwise, they wouldn't believe it. Of course science is a construct of human understanding - there's nothing wrong with that, as that's all we have. We are humans, trying to understand our world.

#121 Which specific policies are you most

afraid of? Which religious right politicians that are proposing laws under which you, as an atheist, would be less free?

#122 eis

So y'all sponsor a blood drive four times a year, Eight of you go around picking up trash from time to time and one of you gives us the finger. Not bad for a nationwide effort.

 

Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#123 The point is that atheists

The point is that atheists generally aren't organized into many groups. A quick Google search showed that those groups that exist do have community service efforts.

#124 I only have one thing

to say to Atheists. PROVE to me I'm wrong. They can't, and that's why it's called FAITH.

#125 Poor Little Fellers...

If Christianity is the delusion that atheists claim then atheists have absolutely nothing to fear from it or its adherents. Why must atheist leaders dedicate so much time and energy to tearing down what they themselves say is a myth? Aren't atheists wasting their valuable time trying to "reason" with simple myth-believers?

The fact of the matter is that today atheism is about nothing else than to try to tear down and destroy thousands of years of belief in a logical, historical, and good religion, Christianity.

I cannot fathom what it must be like to be someone whose life's goal is to ruin other people's faith.

IMHO it's another one of The Adversary's schemes.

P.S. - Any historian will tell you that it is beyond dispute that someone by the name of Jesus of Nazareth lived in the 1st century and was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

There is something seriously wrong when "intellectuals" start to deny history...

Its not paranoia if they're really out to get you...

#126 I've never understood how atheists are

oppressed in this country. I don't know how their freedom to not embrace religion is impinged upon by our judeo-Christian society. In this very thread several atheists have come out, in front of God and everyone, to proclaim their belief. Isn't that what makes this country great?

#127 Re: Wiki,7) Please explain

Re: Wiki,7) Please explain why Wikipedia is a bad place to start. As I said, Wikipedia is increasingly well-sourced. Your assertions are not. Do I think Wikipedia is infallible? Of course not, but no source is. NewsBusters is dedicated to pointing out liberal media bias and misinformation. MediaMatters is dedicated to pointing out conservative media bias and misinformation. Journalism in general has gotten away from fact checking. It's rarely long after a book is published that another book comes out in response to it. Peer-reviewed journals are dedicated to finding out and publishing the truth in their subject, but many of those papers are introducing new hypotheses and evidence that contradict previously published papers. Bias is part of being human; the best we can do is to try and be aware of it and minimize its impact. Being incorrect is a part of being human; the best we can do is try to correct ourselves and each other. A wiki actually seems very well suited to that. But what is an acceptable source for you? Once again, an argument stands on its own merits. You've not provided a source for anything - at least I'm giving you a starting point.

RationalWiki and IronChariots are not to help atheists feel good about themselves. They are a product of being asked the same questions and offered the same supposed proofs for a god over and over again, as evidenced by the number of times I've heard the first/uncaused cause argument and the argument from design. The sites are meant to be a place to which one can conveniently refer people in order to save time, and/or to explore. Let's say you actually read a counterargument and had a new and/or valid criticism. Then, being a wiki, I could go include that criticism, and everyone benefits. And then it gets peer-reviewed, too. Dismissing an argument simply because it comes from a given source is not a valid reason. Applying more skepticism and scrutiny to something coming from a source you consider untrustworthy is rational, but entirely discounting it because of the source is not valid.

Re: 7,9) You are allowed to refer to others' work in a general sense, but I am not allowed to refer to a communal effort to respond to those works? You have not provided an argument for the existence of a god, in your own words or even just specifically named, but I have to rephrase every refutation myself? There's a bit of a double standard. It's fine to be persuaded by others' writings, so long as those writings include sound reasoning. And you have not shown any of the relevant arguments or counterarguments in RationalWiki or IronChariots to be irrational/unsound, though a couple quite probably are.

I have not refused to answer the question. I explained why I did not need to read all works on the subject. I readily admit that it is impossible for anyone to read all works on virtually any subject. That doesn't mean reasonable conclusions cannot be reached. In a topic such as the existence of a god or gods, where those that believe make concerted efforts to convince others, it's not terribly difficult to become familiar with all supposed proofs. Those arguments that work at all are widely published. They have all been shown to contain fallacies. The same goes for evidence, whether part of a larger argument or not. It generally falls into classes that can be responded to. For example, anecdotal evidence is not very strong when it comes to a claim as exceptional as the existence of something outside of the natural universe. It's not even very strong evidence in a court of law, which deals with relatively unexceptional claims. If you have evidence you think I am not aware of, by all means, please share.

Re: 3) Secular does not equal atheist. Secular things are those things not related to religion. Wanting a secular government is not the same thing as wanting an atheist government. Yes, scarcity of resources is a secular thing to go to war over (though you could argue that if God created the earth for humans, then the scarcity of resources might be a failing on the part of God). The desire for power and control is not a motivation stemming from atheism, nor religion (unless it's a means to an end, such as the spread of your [non] beliefs). In that way, secular reasons for war might very well have caused more harm than religious wars. But most of the deaths you attribute to atheism are more accurately attributed to economic/political factors. I don't agree that any atheists committing atrocities had sound reasoning for doing so. Also, "care less" is two words, and if you could care less, then you do care now. I think you mean "couldn't care less."

Re: religious morality debate) When I was being raised Catholic, our Sunday School activities included learning about right and wrong by exploring what the Bible said. When I was seeking God as a young adult, I kept hearing that we should change to match what the Bible says, and not try to justify what we believe by picking Bible passages out. That is, God, through the Bible, is the supreme authority on morality. What if we have a feeling, or even a vision of God, that tells us to do something contrary to what is in the Bible? The Bible is inerrant, and God is unchanging, so if it contradicts the Bible, that feeling and/or vision must be planted by the Devil. So, no new revelation is allowed. Where's the room for debate or evolving morality there, other than debate over what the Bible means?

As to your point about secular morality and experts, you are quite right. Those skilled in rational thought would quickly be identified, and their opinion would inevitably carry more weight. But anyone capable of a rational argument could participate constructively. The same is true in other fields. Being a lawyer is not a strict requirement for being a judge in at least some courts. People are allowed to represent themselves. Our various levels of government include ways in which the people can be directly involved.

Re: 3) The existence of my mom is not an exceptional claim. A person born (or "born") without a mother would be an exceptional claim, so the burden of proof would be on that claim. Love is a well-documented feeling that almost everyone experiences at one point or another. You can point to many examples of people in love, and show the effects of love. There are studies that show various biochemical changes related to love. Again, the claim that it does not exist is an exceptional claim, and therefore the burden of proof is on that claim. You got that one right. Good for you! Although, if you claim love has roots in some transcendent plane of existence, the soul, or some other supernatural thing, then that becomes the exceptional claim. Incidentally, there are some parallels between the evidence for love, above, and the evidence related to people believing in one god or another. That belief has been shown to have biochemical changes; to light up certain parts of the brain. You can point to many people that believe, and the effects of that belief. The fact that belief has documented effects does not indicate that what is believed is true, any more than the documented effects of love indicate it has some origin other than the biochemistry of the physical humans involved.

Re: 4,6) You claim to know what I believe (or don't) better than I do. Can you read minds? If you can demonstrate that, you can win a million dollars (http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html). Just an FYI.

I still do not believe in the supernatural because no one has shown me to be incorrect in that non-belief.

Note again that this is different than someone believing in the existence of a god because no one has shown you to be wrong. This is because one is an affirmative claim, and one is basically equivalent to "I don't know." To claim that God definitely exists is an exceptional claim. To claim that God probably exists is a bit less of an exceptional claim, but also exceptional. Claiming there probably isn't a god is a bit of an exceptional claim, which is why I provided a link to a few arguments. Not that you care, but the more specifically a god is defined, the more unlikely I find it that those traits coexist in the proposed god. (This is a clarification of my above statement that a god probably doesn't exist. There, I was referring to the common use of the term god; i.e. a personal god that is actively involved in the universe.)

If someone were to say simply that there is some force outside our universe that created it, I would have to respond with "there is no evidence for that." Indeed, we have no way of studying anything outside of our universe at this time, so I currently think it is unknowable. Hence, I am agnostic. Do I believe the Big Bang happened? Again, I have to say that I don't know, but mostly because I don't have the mathematical and/or physics background to properly evaluate all the evidence. I think it is potentially knowable, and I trust (note the difference from faith) that cosmologists know what they're talking about enough to take their word for it until new evidence comes along. I hope that helps you understand the difference between my lack of belief, your belief in God, and strong atheists' belief there are no gods at all.

Re: 5) Saying that atheists and/or skeptics find debate intellectually stimulating in no way implies no one else does. So no, I don't believe that.

Re: 7,8) Yes, I believe the belief in any god is irrational, given the lack of evidence. I am sorry you feel insulted for having that pointed out. I might have more sympathy if you didn't take such a combative tone in your posts.

I agree we are likely to talk in circles at this point. You don't seem interested in providing sources for your claims, and you assume all atheist (counter)arguments are not worth reading because they are on atheist websites. Well, it's been fun. Sort of.

#128 A little tip

People might not take such a combative tone in their posts if you didn't take such a condescending tone in your posts. You claim you're not arrogant, but you're providing lots of evidence to the contrary.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#129 Rereading some of my posts, I

Rereading some of my posts, I did not see many examples of a condescending tone, and those I noticed were in response to deliberate misrepresentations of my previous statements, or in response to statements that we can't ever conclude anything because some people might disagree. There was definitely a wisecrack here and there. Generally, I've been stating my opinion and backing it up when challenged. If it sounds like I think I'm right, then that is to be expected. As I stated above, everyone that believes something also believes they are right to believe that, or they wouldn't believe it in the first place. Stating my beliefs from the perspective that I am right is not condescending. Any more than your posts above, in which you schooled me on resorting to ridicule, were condescending. If you meant to be condescending, then I apologize for having missed it.

#130 Go away

You're boring us all to death.

#131 ~You ain't kiddin'

I've read the first few sentences of two of it's comments and stopped there. Not worth it. *yawn*

Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#132 No, I didn't mean to be condescending in those posts

and I'm glad they didn't come off as being condescending. I believe you don't intend to come off that way, and it may not seem to you that you are, but to others your posts do seem a bit arrogant. Granted, it can be difficult to tell through writing, without being able to hear the tone of voice you would use if we were speaking. As someone who has been misinterpreted before, I just think you should be aware that though you may not intend to sound condescending, and you may not think you're being condescending, it doesn't mean that's not how it's being received by others. And on the flip side, keep in mind that some of those who are coming across as combative to you, may not be intending to. Or maybe they are. Communication is a tricky thing, especially with such a hot topic like religion.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least" . . . Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all" -Henry David Thoreau

#133 eis, My point was NEVER to

eis,

My point was NEVER to prove to you God exists. Like a good atheist, you will not accept any proof regardless of how logical, reasonable and sound it is. Atheism=Irrational.

You said it well, a sound argument stands on its own. You seem to be desperate to prove your points through outside sources because you know that the arguments you are making can't stand on their own, thus you are attempting to give them credibility by sourcing them. Why? why source your supposed logical and reasonable arguments? Because they do not stand on their own, they can't.

I don't need to source anything I have said, I have the confidence and enough knowledge, reason and logic to know that my arguments don't need to be given credence by sourcing someone else's words. My arguments stand on their own merits. Yours, that of atheits like you don't and can't thus the desperate need you feel to use outside sources.

My point was to show what an arrogant, condescending, poorly informed atheist like you are, no different the vast majority of atheists out there. I still can't believe that someone who attempts to sound superior to Believers was clueless about the French Revolution. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Your atheism is based on ignorance and arrogance. As you have proven with each one of your posts, it is not based on reason, logic, sound arguments or anything coming close to it.

I am not looking for your sympathy, I was looking for you to act like all atheist act when pin against the wall, arrogantly and condescending. You didn't disappoint. Show the respect that you seek.

The day an atheist can prove without leaving any doubt that God does not exist, it is the day that I will take the irrational, illogical, unreasonable atheism seriously. Until that day, you and I both know, but you aren't an honest individual to admit this, your lack of believing in God, like that of ALL atheist, is based on blind faith, a leap of faith. This is a logical and sound argument that kills atheist who love to claim that they are logical and reasonable. Don't worry, like a good irrational atheist, I don't expect you to admit to this fact.

By the way, MediaMatters is a pathetic joke that doesn't even come close to what Newsbusters does. MediaMatters has been caught editing videos, words of conservatives to change the meaning of things that were said. Just a few weeks ago, O'Reilly caught them doing this. He put side by side what MediaMatters claimed he had said with what he had actually said. Much like NBC editing Zimmerman word's and that of a police dispatcher to make Zimmerman sound racist.

Atheist and Liberals, 99.9% of these are incredibly dishonest individuals.

#134 I believe you, and my point

I believe you, and my point was never to prove to you that God doesn't exist. I was merely trying to point out that your claim that atheism is irrational has not been demonstrated. I am a rational human being, so I would gladly accept a logical, reasonable, and sound argument on the existence of God. No one has been able to show one to me, nor have I found one in my own reading.

I did not refer you to RationalWiki and IronChariots as an appeal to authority. It was merely a matter of convenience. Complete counterarguments are already explained there, so there is no reason for me to rephrase it all again. I did say that I found Wikipedia to be a more trustworthy source than your assertions, but I did not say that X was true just because it is listed on Wikipedia.

In an informal discussion such as ours, one does not necessarily need to source everything. But, if the other party says "I don't believe you," (which may not be an accusation of lying; it might just be a "you haven't convinced me yet") and you want to convince the other person, then you do need to provide some sort of evidence. In those situations, it is important to cite the source of that evidence so that it can be verified. That's where Wikipedia citing sources for their various claims comes in. I'm very happy that you are confident in your knowledge and reasoning skills. That confidence is not a sound basis for me to believe you. As I've said, everyone thinks they are right, so the conviction behind their claims is not an indication they are correct. If you want to convince anyone else you are right, you need to present your case.

I am ashamed of plenty of things, but ignorance is not one of them. Everyone is ignorant on something from time to time, for we are not omniscient. What is important is what you do when it is pointed out that you don't know something. When it's relevant, or reasonably might be, I read about it. Atheism is not universally based on anything. The most common atheist, the skeptical atheist, decidedly does not base atheism on ignorance. The skeptical atheist acknowledges atheism is a product of a lack of solid evidence.

Once again, the entire point of the discussion on the burden of proof is that the atheist doesn't need to disprove god in order to justify a lack of belief. Just as those that don't believe in Santa Clause, Bigfoot, or fairies don't have to justify that lack of belief. And just as those that believe in the Christian God don't have to disprove the existence of all the other gods that have made appearances in stories throughout human history. Again as mentioned before, evidence presented for the existence of God needs to be evaluated and responded to. Perhaps one day that will involve solid evidence, but thus far it does not, and I provided links to information on why that evidence is not adequate to prove the existence of anything supernatural. Where is the irrationality, or dishonesty, there?

Did you see MediaMatters' response to Bill O'Reilly? See http://mediamatters.org/blog/201203150005 - which includes a link to the original article as well. After looking at it, it seems clear that MediaMatters did not deceptively edit the video. They included all portions of the segment that were relevant to the point they were making - namely that Fox used to report the truth that the President has very little influence on gas prices. O'Reilly then claimed MediaMatters was accusing him of not bashing Bush for high gas prices, which it was not commenting on in the original article. I used to read MediaMatters almost exclusively, as far as political blogs went. In a conscious effort to combat confirmation bias, I went searching for the conservative equivalent, which is how I found NewsBusters. One thing MediaMatters does very well is cite sources for their claims. At least in their research articles - their regular blog posts tend not to be quite as well supported. But, even the blog posts have lots of links to prior posts, which in turn have links to prior posts, and almost all of these links have links to various studies and CBO reports and statements from relevant experts. It's one thing I wish NewsBusters did a better job of. But then, I tend to be a numbers person, and appreciate links to spreadsheets and budgets and things.

#135 eis, If you are going to

eis,

If you are going to challange the logical and reasonable arguments, which are countless upon countless, proving the existance of God, merely saying these are wrong doesn't cut it, well with rational, reasonable and logical people, I don't know with atheists. You must prove every single one of these wrong. But in order to do this, you must first be well versed in all of these, which you admit you are not. Again, proving that your atheism is based on ignorance. oh, I know, I know, you have excused yourself, like most atheists, that you don't have to do this. You know why? because it is impossible to prove all of these wrong.

How can you say, "The skeptical atheist acknowledges atheism is a product of a lack of solid evidence."? by your own admissions, you don't know the vast majority of the proofs proving the existance of God? Again, have you read and understood St. Augustine, St. Thomas More, St. Therese of Little Flower, John Paul II, the current Pope and the countless upon countless of authors who have provided proof of God? Are you well versed with the solid evidence which prove God exist? by your own admission, NO! Until you are well versed in all of these all you are basing your atheism, which you are so desperate to defend, is on ignorance.

Yes, the burden to show that ALL arguments for the existance of God are wrong falls on those who claim these are wrong.

If someone gives me an argument which proves the existance of Bigfoot, Santa Clause, etc. and I don't agree with the argument, it is up to me to prove how the argument presented for the existance of Bigfoot, Santa Clause, etc. is wrong. Get it yet? Since you are an atheist. Point, counterpoint...which you claimed in an earlier post to get, but you still do not get it!

A theist will give logical and reasonable argument proving the existance of God. Then an honest Atheist would say, "Fine and here is my counterargument and my proof against your argument" C'mon now, I know I am not talking to a 5 year old kid.

Oh and by the way, there IS solid evidence for the existance of God. Again, you prove how little you know and that your atheism is based on ignorance.

You know, you might want to look up ex-atheists. There is a great story I read of a full blown atheist who used to go into blogs to bother the heck out of Christians, until one day he was challanged to read St. Augustine, St. Thomas More, and other authors, geniouses, who proved the existance of God. It took him a while to read all of these books, but he was an honest atheist, so he did it. By the end of his readings, he had become a Roman Catholic priest. I am not saying this will happen to you, but I challange you to pick up St. Augustine and read all of his writings. I challange you to pick up St. Thomas Aquinas read all of his writings and then detail why both of these men, geniouses with flawless logic and reason, are wrong. Will you accept my challange? Prove me wrong and show that you are an honest atheist and that your atheist beliefs are truly based on logic and reason. Pick up these authors and read them. I will be MORE than happy to then have a good and delightful debate on how you think these authors went wrong and how their arguments are either flawed or not.

Happy Easter!! And no, I do not hate you in anyway shape or form. I love you and I hope with all my heart and soul that you go to Heaven. I pray daily for you. I do apologize for coming on so strong, it is my nature, but believe me, I don't' mean any harm or wish any harm to come upon you.

May you and your family have a wonderful and awesome Easter.

#136 I find it funny that you

I find it funny that you accuse me of not presenting my case right after I say the same about your previous posts. ;) I didn't merely say the proofs of God(s) were wrong. I provided links to the counterarguments. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I'm not familiar with those arguments and counterarguments. I was trying to explain why it was not necessary to read all original works, and/or interview all people that claim to be in contact with God, for example. However, I will go ahead and list some of the arguments you allude to for discussion.

St. Augustine had a very primitive form of the transcendental argument (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Transcendental_argument) and/or natural-law argument (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Natural-law_argument), roughly equal to math being valid outside of our own reasoning, therefore something higher than our reasoning must exist. In summary, the problem is that math was discovered by humans because it is useful in describing things in the real world. Integers exist because there a finite number of some things. Pi stems from properties of the shape 'circle,' which requires space in which to exist. That is, math is fundamentally linked to the physical universe and thus does not imply anything transcendental. We don't know if any of our current understanding of math is applicable outside of our universe, let alone that it was/is generated by some other mind we call God.

I'm not aware of any arguments for the existence of God by St. Thomas More. If you want to point me to it/them, I'd be happy to look into it. Similarly for St. Therese of Lisieux.

-----------------
John Paul II had the following to say: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud1...

Many of those arguments go back to St. Thomas Aquinas. In section 1, he says there can be no scientific proof for God, but that there are still reasons for believing. The reasons he outlines are not particularly good reasons, though:

In section 2 is a brief discussion of the first cause argument (for more complete refutations, see http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Cosmological_Arguments, http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Cosmological_argument, http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Kalam, and http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=First_cause). Specific to John Paul II's text, there is nothing that leads from "first cause" to "Being" to "God." By this argument, the first cause can be absolutely anything. Perhaps more importantly, there is nothing that requires a first cause. Space and time are thought to have been created by the Big Bang, in which case causality may not have any meaning outside of the framework of the universe. Our universe may have formed spontaneously, be a small part of a larger universe, or any number of other currently (and quite possibly always) untestable hypotheses. Thus, it is a big fat Unknown. "The human mind can receive a response to its questions only by admitting a Being who has created the world with all its dynamism, and who continues to maintain it in existence." It is not clear that we should expect a response to the question of where the universe came from. That doesn't mean it's not fun to ask and ponder, though.

The second paragraph moves on to an argument from design (see http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Argument_from_design). Science is continually explaining how various aspects of the world around us can naturally have the appearance of design upon first glance. Ordered patterns are quite common in nature. It is unnecessary to introduce a god into the works. "In face of the marvel of what can be called the immensely small world of the atom, and the immensely great world of the cosmos, the human mind feels itself completely surpassed in its possibilities of creation and even of imagination. It understands that a work of such quality and of such proportions demands a Creator whose wisdom is beyond all measure and whose power is infinite." This is a perfect example of an argument from ignorance: "I cannot explain this, so it must be God." An "I don't know why/how this happens" followed by an optional "yet" is the appropriate answer.

In section 3, we move on to a strange combination of argument from design regarding evolution, another argument from ignorance, and asserting beauty is transcendent. Nothing about evolution "obliges one to suppose a Mind which is its inventor, its creator." Evolution explains the diversity and complexity of life all on its own. The second argument from ignorance is found with "Certainly, man cannot explain to himself the meaning of all that happens to him, and therefore he must recognize that he is not the master of his own destiny." Just because we can't explain everything that happens to us doesn't mean God did it or is directing it. Feeling a sense of destiny also does not imply a destiny exists. As for beauty, it is generally not universal, it can be appreciated by theists and atheists alike, and there is no basis for asserting "He discovers and admires it fully only when he recognizes its source, the transcendent beauty of God."

Section 4 is mostly a summary referring back to the argument from design. However, it makes the assertion that "To speak of chance for a universe which presents such a complex organization in its elements, and such a marvelous finality in its life would be equivalent to giving up the search for an explanation of the world as it appears to us." Recognizing the universe is complex does not cause people to give up the search for an explanation. It inspires people to push the boundaries of knowledge as part of discovery. Declaring that you have the answer, i.e. "God did it," causes people to stop searching for the answer. After all, why search for an answer you already have? Apparently in order to better understand God, according to the last paragraph. Why is it such a stretch to believe people would want to better understand the universe without a God, too?

As for the arguments of St. Thomas Aquinas, there are five primary ones.

The first three are all basically the same. Whether talking about a first cause, an uncaused cause, or a self-existing thing, the counterargument is similar, and already referenced/discussed above.

The fourth argument is the argument from degree (see http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Argument_from_goodness#The_...). It remains to be shown that there exists something perfect at being, a perfectly good/noble anything, or any other "maximum" Aquinas mentions as implying the existence of God. His analogy of a maximum heat breaks down since there is no known maximum temperature. There is for sure no maximum number. So, it's not at all clear there is a maximum that we should think of as God.

The fifth argument is again the argument from design.
-----------------
Any other proofs you would like to discuss?

I don't recall thinking that you hate me, but thanks for saying you explicitly do not. I had a downright decent Easter, thank you! Just in case you were curious, a porch covered in yellow pollen should never be swept. That much pollen completely overwhelms loratadine. But, there was a lot of family time, extended family time, and it was my niece and nephew's first Easter. I hope your Easter was hypoallergenic and at least as enjoyable otherwise!

#137 Good morning eis

Wiki Wiki Wiki = BS BS BS written by atheists. That's your proof?

 

Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#138 Good morning! I've been over

Good morning! I've been over the issue of sources. You haven't shown anything to be BS, and it's not at all surprising that many counterarguments are written by atheists. Atheists are the ones that find the arguments unconvincing. Those that do not see any logical flaws will not write counterarguments. You'll notice that I did not dismiss any arguments simply because they were made by theists. I pointed out the logical flaws and/or leaps in logic, and provided links for further reading.

#139 eis, hmmmm...WRONG!!! There

eis,

hmmmm...WRONG!!! There have been counterarguments written to St. Thomas Aquinas proofs by God fearing Christians, including Catholics!!!! What are you talking about that only atheists would find logical flaws in St. Thomas Aquinas proofs? This is the type of stuff that makes you come across as incredibly condescending, maybe you are not, and we put into people's written words our own feelings, but it is very silly to claim only atheist would find logical flaws to anyone's arguments attempting to prove the existance of God.

By the way, you did dismiss my arguments because they were not sourced. I am still waiting to read your personal arguments which are not going to be based on anyon else's words. You seem to be very fund of having support from another person. It is as if you believe your arguments can't stand on their own merits without being backed up by an outside source, and a incredibly biased one at that.

I have had countless of arguments with God loving people who did not find St. Thomas Aquinas logics that persuasive and these have included Catholics. Please stop stereotyping Christians and making silly claims that it is only possible for atheist to find logical flaws to anyone's pro-God arguments. Thanks

#140 This comment was not marked

This comment was not marked as new when both of us were posting at roughly the same time, and so I missed it. Sorry about that. I already apologized below for my poor phrasing that implied only atheists debate various proofs of God. I apologize again.

I didn't dismiss your argument, I disagreed with you over a fact - namely that Hitler was an atheist. Wikipedia had sources to back up the claim that Hitler was not an atheist, such as his own writings in Mein Kampf, and some other public statements. Backing up a claim with facts is not a sign of weakness in an argument. It shows the claim is based on evidence. It's also a sign of research. It makes the foundation of the argument more solid. As to the rest of your argument, I disagreed that atheism leads necessarily to atrocity, but I didn't just dismiss it.

#141 eis, Let me be as forward as

eis,

Let me be as forward as I know how to be. PLEASE stop using wiki as any type of source, PLEASE!!

I will NOT debate anything which comes from ANY type of Wiki, deal?

I will debate from the ORIGINAL books written by the authors. I will not debate the interpretation of the words by someone else.

Sorry, I regard ALL Wikis to be a pathetic fantasy land which can be edited, added to, misinterpreted by anyone including my 15 year old niece, 12 year old nephew, etc., etc. And Believe I KNOW they have gone into WIKI pages and made changes in order to prove a point AND the changes have remained for months, upon months.

Of everything that you source, the only thing that I find worthy of read is the vatican link.

Take a drive or walk to your local library and pick up the original works, if not, order these from Amazon and read the ORIGINAL!!! As I have found in my life, countless of authors are constantly taken out of context either on purpose or by ignorance and counterarguments are then based on these distortions

Until then, as someone else already pointed out, WIKI, WIKI, WIKI.... is an unacceptable source to debate from. Thanks!

I do have a question to ask you, do you believe the universe has been around for an infinite amount of time?

AND by the way, Thomas Aquinas' proofs have been argued, disected, debated by Christinas as much as by non-Christians. Please don't assume that we Christians aren't also curious as to where the Universe comes from and how to answer this question. By the way, did you notice how Aquinas as well as John Paul II don't always use the Bible to prove the existance of God?

Man, I remember a few pots up how you claim that for us Christians we debate from the Bible only. I hope you take this back rather quickly. (A step forward into proving your misconceptions wrong).

Anyway, move away from WIKI, any of the WIKIs, if you want to debate. Read the ORIGINAL works. Tell me which one you are interested in, I will read the same books and same chapters you read and MORE than willing to engage you in the debate based on the ORIGINAL authors.

#142 I have no belief as to the

I have no belief as to the nature of the universe. I simply do not know enough about it to believe one way or the other. My best understanding is that the universe as we know it started in a Big Bang. As to whether the universe has been cycling between expansions and contractions with potentially infinite Big Bangs, or the Big Bang sprang spontaneously out of an unstable "nothing," or any number of other hypotheses, the answer is a simple "I don't know."

As for the wikis, I did not intend those to be a source for my arguments - just links to relevant reading if anyone cares to read more about it. I also did not intend to imply only atheists debate proofs of God. I meant only to indicate that it is not surprising that counterarguments commonly have atheist authors, and that the author(s) being atheist is not grounds for dismissing the counterargument. My phrasing was poor, and I apologize.

I claimed many religions will debate morality only in terms of the Bible, or other religious text as applies to that religion. I did not claim that Christians only debate the existence of God using the Bible.

From a conversation above, I have a feeling that if I pick our reading material, I will be accused of choosing the easiest to refute argument(s). Would you mind picking something? Perhaps something you find particularly convincing?

#143 eis, Well, if you do not

eis,

Well, if you do not know...how can you claim that atheist are right and God loving people wrong?

If you do not know, it is then impossible for you to make any arguments for or against God. Anything that you assert, either way, well, you simple are unsure of, right?

Then, you aren't an atheist, but rather an agnostic.

Using reasong and logic and human curiousity, one must go back to, what created the universe. You'll answer the Big Ban, I will ask, what caused the so called big ban to go off, you'll answer, you don't know or something bigger. I will ask you, well if you don't know, you can't be an atheist and if something bigger, what?

Just think about this one, if the world is infinite, as many atheist claim. If the Big Bang happens and happens and happens over and over and over again. The world, the universe, everything in nature has had an infinite amount of time to become perfect, thus nature should be perfect without flaws. We do not need to be a scientist to know that nature is FAR from perfect, thus, there had to be a beginning, the world is not infinite. What is this beginning and what or who started it?

I believe saying, "we do not know..." is an easy cop out.

As for the reading, I think the letter that you found in the Vatican website from John Paul II is a great starting point! It will lead to other readings and authors.

#144 Theist - one who believes in

Theist - one who believes in the existence of a god or gods.
Atheist - not a theist; one who does not believe in the existence of a god or gods.

Some atheists go further and believe there is definitely no god of any type. I am not in this subset and have never argued that it is a reasonable position. Agnostic refers to the know-ability of the question. Here's an article with charts that I find helpful: http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/. I'm in the agnostic atheist box.

One does not need to be certain of the answer in order to argue one or more sides in an argument. Some things are clearly wrong and can be pointed out as such. Other things are clearly right and can be pointed out as well. Hopefully we'll agree on an increasing number of these respective things. =)

The origin and nature of the universe is definitely a big question and one that sparks my curiosity consistently. Strictly speaking, I wouldn't classify the Big Bang as what created the universe. It's our best explanation for how the universe existed and changed starting at time t0, but has no explanatory power (or claims) as to what, if anything, created the universe. And what that thing is or isn't? I don't know, nor do I think anyone else really does.

Even if time is infinite, it does not follow that we currently exist at a time in which the universe is perfect (nor do I know there is a clear definition of what a perfect universe would be). Also, a cyclical universe in which the Big Bang happens over and over does not mean any iteration will ever achieve perfection. A sine wave oscillates between -1 and 1, never reaching 2, 3, or whatever number outside [-1,1] that happens to be perfect in this scenario (I like phi - http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoldenRatio.html).

I have no problem with "we don't know." It is an accurate representation of our state of knowledge on an infinite number of questions. It doesn't strike me as a cop out, either. I'm not saying "we don't know, so why bother finding out?" I find it to be a driving force. I don't know, but I want to!

#145 And some things you may never know

Such is the limits of science, and human understanding.

You're correct. Some things "we don't know" and some things we will never know, unless you have Faith.

You see, God has promised that in time, all things will be known. I look forward to that, and feel pity for those that let their pride keep them from ever knowing.

"I don't like repeat offenders, I like dead offenders". - Ted Nugent

#146 I don't see how it's about

I don't see how it's about pride. For me, at least, it's about wanting to believe things that are true, and not believe things that are false. Rather than just pick something as true and say it is a matter of faith, I gladly say "I don't know."

#148 upcountry, excellent video!

upcountry,

excellent video! saw it the other day and ment to write this, but busy with work.

If only atheist put aside their pride....

#149 upcountry, excellent video!

upcountry,

excellent video! saw it the other day and ment to write this, but busy with work.

If only atheist put aside their pride....

#150 eis, You said, "Science is

eis,

You said, "Science is continually explaining how various aspects of the world around us can naturally have the appearance of design upon first glance. Ordered patterns are quite common in nature. It is unnecessary to introduce a god into the works."

This makes absolutely no sense.

Who said that because ordered patterns are quite common in nature it is unnecessary that these came from God? you?! so because you state this it is true?

Have you ever stopped to think and ponder that it is God who made these patterns which are so common in nature? I fail to see the logic that you attempt to use here. Saying that because patterns are quite common in nature does not in any way negate the existance of God.

Where do these patterns, which you admit are quite common in nature, come from? These just happened?

Who or what created the laws of nature that govern these patterns? The Big Bang? Where does the Big Bang come from? Who or what started it? Something bigger than the our universe, we are just part of something much, much larger? like what, Men in Black locker room scene? LOL Fine, then what created that much larger universe which we are merely a tiny part of?

For seeking logical answers which are reasonable, too many atheists seem to be satisfied, as you said above, "we just don't know..." This is what you call logical and reasonable?

I find it amazing how so many atheist put so much faith in science, a science which in countless of occassions is based on guess work, misconceptions, experiments which were done wrong, etc., etc. Science is fallible and to put any type of faith in it is so incredibly dangerous.

I begin with the fact that for countless of years science taught, until recently, that the Neanderthal man was hunched back until it was found out that the poor guy had arthritis!! Science is constantly attempting to guess and constantly revicing the dinosours, how they look, didn't look. Bones are constantly switched from one dinasour to another, even heads!

One day we are told that coffee is great for you, the next that it is so bad, next good, next bad. One day drinking wine is great, the next it is bad, then good again, than bad again. This is what you put your faith on?

The egg and cholesterol. Because a science misplaced a decimal point in his calculations, the poor egg has been so maligned.

Autisim, it was just recently found out that the person who did the autisim as related to vaccines lied! and every scientist who helped him was in on the lie!

And these are merely the things that have been found to be wrong.

Science is fallible, but people have made Science their religion and scientists their gods. How incredibly sad.

#151 First, I have never stated

First, I have never stated that because I say something it is objectively true. If you don't believe my claim, simply ask for me to back up that claim and/or provide a counterargument. I'm not saying that patterns existing in nature negates the existence of God, but they definitely aren't evidence FOR the existence of God. Any time there is something complex that we cannot fully explain, "I don't know" is a much better answer than assuming something without evidence. When God is thrown in as an explanation for something currently unexplained, that is a God of the gaps, which many religious leaders have claimed is a poor place to put God. Anyway, the patterns we find seem to stem from the way the universe works. Heat moves from hot things to cold things, gravity attracts things together, etc. These natural laws describe how things behave, and they have been repeatedly verified through observations. When there are repeated behaviors we recognize patterns. With complex interactions between repeated behaviors, you get increasingly complex interference patterns (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BbkDTrYVhM). Sometimes this results in things appearing disordered, and sometimes it results in things appearing spectacularly designed. Even simple things can result in amazing complexity. Fractals, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jGaio87u3A. I particularly enjoyed this (rather old) Arthur C. Clarke special (part 1; see parts 2-6 in the related video sidebar): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB8m85p7GsU.

We see things around us that follow natural laws, and we keep discovering natural laws that describe more and more things. Simple induction leads us to believe the universe as a whole follows natural laws. Even without induction implying a universe ordered by natural laws, you have explained phenomenon and unexplained phenomenon, not explained-by-natural-law phenomenon and explained-by-God phenomenon. Arbitrarily introducing something which doesn't follow the natural laws, either as the creator of the universe, the creator of a meta-universe, or even just to "explain" things in our own universe that we don't yet understand, is unfounded.

There are great mysteries in the universe. Old mysteries have been explained, new ones (and possibly greater ones!) have been added. That is the nature of discovery. And yes, acknowledging mysteries and the unknown is logical and reasonable. Asserting knowledge without evidence - i.e. that God exists and magically explains x, y, and z - is not logical. It is entirely reasonable to say that some god or gods existing is one of many possibilities, but believing that God does in fact exist is not supported by the evidence, at least not yet.

Yes, science can be, and sometimes is, wrong. But it is the best method we have for consistently determining the truth. We rely on the results of science all the time - I found this comic funny, for example: http://dustinland.com/archives/archives537.html. (And I try to reference xkcd whenever possible: http://xkcd.com/836/) As new evidence comes in, theories are revised and refined. That is not a weakness of science. The state of our knowledge is ever evolving. Experiments are rerun to validate results, and new experiments are thought up in an effort to improve our understanding of everything around us. Sometimes those new results disprove old theories, but they also lead to new ones that better explain the evidence. It's this history of providing a better understanding of our world, coupled with falsifiability and peer review, that establishes trust, not faith, in science and the scientific method. If there is a better method out there, I'm open to it.

#152 eis, 1) I do not prescribe

eis,

1) I do not prescribe to, "we can't explain it, thus God exists..." However, just because there are mysteries in the Universe which we can't explain does not mean that God does exist.

2) Who or what created natural laws? Why does gravity work like it does and why is gravity so important? who or what made this relations? these just happened?

3) Thanks for admitting that the existance of patterns does not mean in any way shape or form God does not exist. To me, these are just part of of proving God does exist. True, these patterns on their own may not prove the existance of God, but these along with other things do start proving the existance of something greater than human beings.

4) I don't remember the episode, but I remember watching NOVA a while back and one of the scientists admitting that the chances that the correct atmospheric gases mixed in the right amounts to allow humans to breath and plants to survive was next to nill!

Again, who or what decided that the right amount of oxygen, nitrogen, CO2, etc, etc were needed in our atmosphere for humans and other living things to survive? It just happened by chance? Now that is taking a leap of blind faith.

5) It has been proven scientifically through DNA that all human beings are descendants one woman. Hmmm...conicendence?

6) Peer review? this used to mean something, today is just a tool to push a political agenda. I know enough scientists to know that peer review means siding with the right people to obtain prestige, money, grant research money, etc., etc.

I must ask, why is it that for thousands of years science and religion went hand on hand without countless scientific discoveries coming from religious people. Now, in modern time, the cool thing to believe and the cultural meme is to claim that science and religion don't go hand in hand?

and I must add one more thing. How God decided create the World, the Universe is a pointless debate to me. How He decided to create the World does not change how I must act towards others, does it? Creationism or Evolution or he decided to sneeze, none of these change the fact of how I must treat others and how I must behave, does it?

to me, one of the BEST proves that God exists is how the majority of Believers behave, when truly following God's laws, to how those who deny God exist. This is why I find it so important to cover history and show the great atrocities that ALL atheist nations have committed against humanity versus that of nations led by Believers. True, there have been leaders who claimed to be Christians that carried out horrific actions. however, these are not all and in fact not most of Christian leaders. However, every single nation, throughout human history, which is or was led by an atheist, the atheist nation has carried out horrific acts against all of its inhabitants and against its neighboring countries. I am still waiting for an atheist Utopia. It has never existed and it will never exist.

Atheist values, as proven by history, do lead to atrocities and horrific ones at this, against humanity. This is is a fact supported by history.

7) More and more as archeology gets better Bible stories are proven to be real and not just mere imaginations handed down, but rather at minimum true historical facts.

#153 1) Sounds like we agree,

1) Sounds like we agree, then.

2) In one sense, we created the natural laws. We observed the universe and described its behavior. As for the cause of the behavior we are describing via natural laws, we basically don't know, again. Since the natural laws appear to be a product of and/or are natural properties of the universe, who or what made things the way they are is the same answer as what, if anything, caused the universe to exist the way it does. Maybe it just happened, maybe there is a god, maybe those two aren't mutually exclusive (maybe God sneezed and here we happen to be, as you say in #6).

4) The composition of our atmosphere is the result of many factors. Plants convert CO2 into O2, and animals convert O2 into CO2. There is some stabilizing feedback there. However, if it were substantially different such that we could not survive, then we would not be here. Some other form of life capable of existing in that environment could be there, or it might not have arisen. Similarly, we do NOT live underwater, at very high altitudes, or in deserts (without substantial ingenuity on our part), but there's no talk of these places being designed to be inhospitable to us. It's called the anthropic principal. Douglas Adams had a relevant quote: "This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in - an interesting hole I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for." (from http://www.biota.org/people/douglasadams/index.html, which I highly recommend reading in full [or listening to]).

5) I'm not sure what you mean by this being a coincidence. Our best estimate is that this mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam existed at wildly different times, and both much before our collective most recent common ancestor. Going back far enough, we all shared a common mammalian ancestor, a common bacterial ancestor, and a common chemical origin of life, theoretically. Nothing coincidental about it.

6) I agree that there is corruption in basically every human system. It's still the case, however, that the main way to make a name for yourself in science is to find something new and exciting, but that the best way is to disprove something old and established. It's this general system of peer review that has been shown to consistently arrive at a better understanding of the truth.

There's some debate about the religious beliefs of a lot of scientists in the past. For a number of centuries, the Church punished anything that conflicted with their teaching as heresy. So, it's not surprising that new discoveries would be presented in a way that was palatable. Nor is it surprising that anyone would say "Of course I believe!" in order to avoid persecution, or to make scientific ideas yet more palatable. I am not implying that all science is carried out by nonbelievers.

I don't think science and religion are incompatible, as I said below. Many theist scientists explore the mysteries of the universe as a way to better understand God's creation, and thus get a glimpse of the mind behind it all. I think science holds that same sense of wonder, just without the God part. I also think belief in a god is unjustified and therefore irrational. That's where the only conflict comes in, for me - how a person can study everything from the viewpoint of rationality, then make the wild leap into believing in the supernatural.

6b) I agree that the origin of the universe, our world, our species, does not affect the way we should behave. Evolution vs. creation is entirely separate from morality. Complete agreement there.

What does it mean to truly follow God's laws? Everyone's interpretation is different, and it depends on the god. The behavior of a group does not reflect the truth behind that group's beliefs. It sounds more like you're saying you like people that have a good moral system and follow it. It's not clear that religious people have better behavior on average. See the following study: http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf. And I've already talked a bit about how I think religions generally do not have a good foundation for their moral frameworks.

There are no "atheist values." Atheism refers only to the belief or non-belief in god(s). All other values are separate from that question. In many religions, various values are said to be given to us by God, or valued by God, or otherwise godlike. Atheists don't have that same basis, but that doesn't mean atheists don't have the same values. The various religions have different values, and it similarly varies from atheist to atheist. It's hard to enumerate both sides because the range is enormous, but there's definitely a lot of overlap. In other words, atheism alters the basis of morality, but doesn't mean there are no moral values for atheists.

As for your examples of atheist nations, you basically have the French Revolution, the Cristero War, and communist states. Communism doesn't arise from atheism. Atheism is often a major part of communist states because religion creates conflicting loyalties, which is incompatible with hardcore communism. Incidentally, Gorbachev, an atheist, started to promote religious freedom and otherwise undo some of the harm Stalin had inflicted upon the Soviet Union. Not all atheist leaders are horrible. In general, history does show that forced atheism is a bad thing. It also shows that forced religion is a bad thing. It also shows that forced collectivization is a bad thing. So, I am not in favor of an atheist state. I'm not in favor of a theocracy. I'm not in favor of communism. I am in favor of a secular state with religious freedoms. Basically, forcing ideas on people is a bad thing. It should be a war of ideas, not a war over ideas. And I don't think any idea, religious or otherwise, should be above criticism.

It's not surprising there hasn't been an atheist utopia, but primarily because I don't think anything will lead to a utopia. For one, one person's utopia may well be another persons' hell.

7) Some stories in the Bible have been shown to be somewhat accurate in their history. I saw a History Channel program about Sodom and Gomorrah and tracing the destruction to an asteroid (much of the same information is at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343674,00.html, and not interspersed throughout a two-hour program). I saw another program that mentioned the Great Flood could have been caused by a natural dam bursting. And then you have all the various wars in which God intervened and allowed one side or the other to win, depending on how faithful or righteous they were. All this strikes me as very similar to Pat Robertson and the like saying that Katrina was punishment for abortion in the U.S., the Haiti quake was punishment for their pact with the devil to throw out the French, and that some Japanese economic turmoil was punishment for their emperor sleeping with some god or other. It makes a lot more sense if viewed as people trying to explain horrible tragedies with superstition, rather than as literal fact.

#154 You make a good point

Trust in science is not a bad thing, but if the science is corrupted by outside factors, like say funding, then how much can you trust it? (see global warming. AGW has done more to hurt trust in science than religion ever could).

Also, it seems, that science has an inevitable ending, meaning that it can describe how and why things happen, but not why the laws that govern these happenings exist. That is and always will be beyond the abilities of science.

Just like the supernatural will never be science, origins will never be scientific. Just how many times can you divide an entity by half until you get to zero?

"I don't like repeat offenders, I like dead offenders". - Ted Nugent

#155 Copying from above: I agree

Copying from above: I agree that there is corruption in basically every human system. It's still the case, however, that the main way to make a name for yourself in science is to find something new and exciting, but that the best way is to disprove something old and established. It's this general system of peer review that has been shown to consistently arrive at a progressively better understanding of the truth.

I don't think global warming, or climate change science in general, has done much of anything to hurt the trust in science. There was a lot of media coverage of climategate, but eight investigations since then have found no fraud or misconduct. There are some openness/transparency changes being implemented in response in order to avoid even the appearance of misconduct. That is how it should be - the process evolves in response to new evidence and challenges. The science behind AGW is fairly well established.

I am wary of saying something will always be beyond science. Again, something being beyond science, either currently or forever, does not mean you can reasonably claim whatever you want in that area as True. It remains unknown.

#156 eis, A couple of more things

eis,

A couple of more things about science. I am unsure if you prescribe to the wrong belief that science and religion are incompatible. If you do, let me quickly debunk this cultural meme...

1) It was the Roman Catholic Church the institutions which created the first universities, as we know them today, in human history.

2) It is the Roman Catholic Church, NOT secular nor atheist institutions, which teaches the most numbers of human beings how to read, write, do math, learn science, history, etc. It has been the Roman Catholic Church which has been a driving force of education in third world nations. Not atheist groups nor secular ones.

3) It was practicing Roman Catholics who created the scientific method.

4) Some of the most devout Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, etc whom I know are geniouses in their scientific field. In fact, if I am not mistaken, the man who mapped out the human genome back in the 1990s, which was an incredible discovery and thing to do, a huge advacement in science, converted to Christianity thanks to this discoveries!!!

Einstein, a deist. Although, sadly, too many Atheist during his time and after his death have attempted to claim him on the atheist camp. He was a deist who believed that there is a God, a Creator, he just didn't believe in a personal God who is involve in the daily life of human beings.

Thomas Jefferson was also a deist.

To claim that somehow that reason and logic only belongs to atheist is kind of silly and honestly, dumb to say.

#157 I don't think science and

I don't think science and religion are inherently incompatible, no. At the same time, I don't think any scientific evidence currently supports a belief in God.

I'm pretty sure the scientist you're referring to in #4 is Francis S. Collins. I actually recommend his book, The Language of God (http://www.amazon.com/The-Language-God-Scientist-Presents/dp/0743286391). He talks a lot about science and faith coexisting, specifically mentions the perils of a God of the gaps, and provides a lot of evidence for evolution. I don't recall him saying it was the human genome project or anything related to genetics that convinced him there was a god. It's been a couple years since I read it, though. I actually just lent it to my mom, and so I will ask her if I remember to. But, I remember his argument for god being (a variation of) the moral argument, similar to C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.

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