Features

Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists

Secular humanism is recovering from its Dawkinsite phase – and beginning a more interesting conversation

13 April 2013

9:00 AM

13 April 2013

9:00 AM

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day.

So what was all that about, then? We can see it a bit more clearly now. It was an outpouring of frustration at the fact that religion is maddeningly complicated and stubbornly irritating, even in largely secular Britain. This frustration had been building for decades: the secular intellectual is likely to feel somewhat bothered by religion, even if it is culturally weak. Oh, she finds it charming and interesting to a large extent, and loves a cosy carol service, but religion really ought to know its place. Instead it dares to accuse the secular world of being somehow -deficient.

The events of 9/11 were the main trigger for the explosion of this latent irritation. There was a desire to see Islamic terrorism as the symbolic synecdoche of all of religion. On one level this makes some sense: does not all religion place faith above reason? Isn’t this intrinsically dangerous? Don’t all religions jeopardise secular freedom, whether through holy wars or faith schools? On another level it is absurd: is the local vicar, struggling to build community and help smelly drunks stay alive, really a force for evil — even if she has some illiberal opinions? When such questions arise, a big bright ‘Complicated’ sign ought to flash in one’s brain. Instead, in the wake of 9/11, many otherwise thoughtful people opted for simplicity over complexity. They managed to convince themselves that religion is basically bad, and that the brave intellectual should talk against it. (This preference for seeming tough and clear over admitting difficult complexity is really cowardice, and believers are prone to it too.)

The success of five or six atheist authors, on both sides of the Atlantic, seemed to herald a strong new movement. It seemed that non-believers were tired of all the nuance surrounding religion, hungry for a tidy narrative that put them neatly in the right.

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Atheism is still with us. But the movement that threatened to form has petered out. Crucially, atheism’s younger advocates are reluctant to compete for the role of Dawkins’s disciple. They are more likely to bemoan the new atheist approach and call for large injections of nuance. A good example is the pop-philosopher Julian Baggini. He is a stalwart atheist who likes a bit of a scrap with believers, but he’s also able to admit that religion has its virtues, that humanism needs to learn from it. For example, he has observed that a sense of gratitude is problematically lacking in secular culture, and suggested that humanists should consider ritual practices such as fasting. This is also the approach of the pop-philosopher king, Alain de Botton. His recent book Religion for Atheists rejects the ‘boring’ question of religion’s truth or falsity, and calls for ‘a selective reverence for religious rituals and concepts’. If you can take his faux-earnest prose style, he has some interesting insights into religion’s basis in community, practice, habit.

And liberal punditry has softened. Polly Toynbee’s younger sisters, so to speak, are wary of seeing all of religion as a misogynist plot. When Zoe Williams attacks religious sexism or homophobia she resists the temptation to widen the attack and imply that all believers are dunces or traitors. Likewise Tanya Gold recently ridiculed the idea of religion as a force for evil. ‘The idea of my late church-going mother-in-law beating homosexuals or instituting a pogrom is obviously ridiculous, although she did help with jumble sales and occasionally church flowers.’

All these writers admirably refuse to lapse into a comfortably sweeping ideology that claims the moral high ground for unbelief. Life’s complicated, they admit. Institutional religion might be dubious, but plenty of its servants buck that trend with a flair that puts secular culture to shame. To adapt a Katharine Hepburn line, the time to make up your mind about religion is never.

In these pages Douglas Murray recently recounted debating alongside Richard Dawkins and being embarrassed by the crudity of his approach. Murray is not one of life’s fence-sitters: it must have occurred to him that atheism has polemical possibilities that would suit him rather well. But he has the sense to turn down the role of the new Christopher Hitchens. A polemical approach to religion has swung out of fashion. In fact, admitting that religion is complicated has become a mark of sophistication. Andrew Brown of the Guardian has played a role in this shift: he’s a theologically literate agnostic who is scornful of crude atheist crusading, and who sometimes ponders his own attraction to religion. On a more academic level, the philosopher John Gray has had an influence: he is sceptical of all relics of Enlightenment optimism, including the atheist’s faith in reason.

What, if anything, do these newer atheists have to say? In previous generations, the atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted. What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers. Rejecting religion is no sure path to virtue; it is more likely to lead to complacent self-regard, or ideological arrogance.

It might sound odd to cite Alain de Botton as a critic of complacent self-regard, but this is central to his stated purpose. Attending to the religious roots of humanism can prod us out of seeing secular humanism as natural, the default position, and incite us to ponder our need for discipline, structure, community, and so on. At one point he commends the Christian perspective, that we are ‘at heart desperate, fragile, vulnerable, sinful creatures, a good deal less wise than we are knowledgeable, always on the verge of anxiety, tortured by our relationships, terrified of death — and most of all in need of God’. Is this mere posturing at depth, for ultimately he does not affirm the idea of our need of God in a sustained, serious way? Yes and no: it is also a mark of the intelligent humanist’s desire to avoid simplistic ideologising and attempt some honesty about the human condition. The key novelty of the newer atheism, perhaps, is its attentiveness to human frailty.

The religious believer might say: we do not need humanism to tell us this. Indeed not, but it might not hurt non-believers, inoculated against all religious talk, to hear of it.

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Show comments
  • kelper

    you believe in god because to are too lazy to think. ‘God did it’ is the answer given by those who have not contemplated enough nor understood the joy that scientific reason brings to the appreciation of the wonders of our universe.

    • Meg Underdown

      I don’t know about anyone else but I believe in God because I have done 60 years of thinking and have seen what God has done in the lives of many people. There are plenty of proofs for the existence of Jesus and his resurrection – in well attested writings and in the lives of many Christians through 2 centuries. Yes, many so-called Christians have got it wrong but we do not believe out of fear but because of a loving relationship. Love is the focus of God in Jesus and when Christians begin to live in fear this sometimes gets lost. Jesus said that those who come to me I will not turn away and rebuked his disciples for turning away children.. Others who turn their back on any human being, whatever their way of living, would be similarly rebuked – especially those who peddle hate!

      • Eddie

        ‘ There are plenty of proofs for the existence of Jesus and his resurrection – in well attested writings and in the lives of many Christians through 2 centuries.’

        Well now, there is actually no evidence whatsoever for the resurrection, for virgin birth, for miracles of any kind, and quite a lot of evidence to show that they really are very unlikely indeed.

        However, if you want to provide realy evidence of the existence of gods of any kind, then I am sure the more rational beings amongst us will be prepared to change their mind (which religious people seem incapable of doing when presented with evidence that shows most religious beliefs over the centuries have been wrong, and thoroughly disproved by science and Reason, and knowledge, as with evolution)

        • http://www.facebook.com/denise.quickdunmire Denise Quick Dunmire

          There is proof in historical records and writings of Jesus and his death and resurrection. I think it’s the atheists who seem incapable of searching out the evidence for themselves. If they found out that there is indeed a God who we are accountable too, they might have to admit they are sinners in need of a savior.

          • Eugene

            Anecdotal evidence by uneducated men is not proof for the resurrection of JC. Try again.

          • Josh

            If you will deny the reliability of the NT then, according to the system of reason you have dramatically less reason to believe in the existence, or reliability of other antiquity writers, among whom are Plato, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Tacitus, Sophocles, Homer (iliad), Aristotle, Caesar, Eripides, Suetonius, Demosthenes and Pliny. All these are generally attested to be real historic figures (although i have participated in some discourse that Homer was not, which is even more ridiculous as after the writings of the NT, Homers Iliad is the next most reliable source of his own writings) there are 643 early, reliable copies of Homer, with only 500 years between the original writing and the earliest copies, there are 24,000 existing early reliable copies of the NT and only 40-70 years between the originals and the earliest known copies.

            This does not prove the resurrection but i would hope it moves against the completely non-objective pop-culture `scholarship` that seems to have won over people (mainly just internet goblins) because their scared of looking stupid to the masses.

            I have no desire to get into a forum argument based on ridicule, so if your going to reply with something narrow-minded, shallow and ridiculous then don`t bother.

          • caldous

            I would say that the obvious difference that you’re overlooking is that nobody reads Herodotus’ Histories and uses them as historical evidence for Pheidippides meeting Pan. Nobody then extrapolates that Pan hated this group or that group (homosexuals, for example) and that because of Herodotus’ writings, they deserve death or worse (say… A pit of eternal fire?). Not to mention that something that overturns the fundamental laws of biology and physics needs more evidence than us believing there was a war between this group and that group. Add to this that any serious scholar looks for corraborating pieces of writing for all of those writings and that if they can’t be found (which is often, considering their antiquity) they are regarded by serious scholars with extreme skepticism except in the most broad strokes (again, you may generally believe that war broke out around a certain time period named by said author, you probably won’t believe the invocations about their gods helping them in the battle, or even the numbers of fighters, etc.)

          • http://twitter.com/rgsamways Robin Samways

            Do you know ancient Aramaic, Denise? No? Well, then what historical proof is it that you think you have? And why would you believe allegorical myth stories written by terribly uneducated people nearly 100 years after the supposed events? You really have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=776968828 Roger Rabbitleg

            that’s not proof, it’s testimony…most of which was written 400 or more after the alleged resurrection…it ultimately amounts to nothing more than hearsay.

          • S Mason

            You need to think about those words “proof” and “evidence” a bit. Doing so what caused me to drop the whole charade… I eventually realised that my religion constantly used the terminology of evidence, without actually have a shred of it to hand! And when challenged on the specifics, got all ‘god works in mysterious ways’ and ‘you’ve got to read it in context’.
            Actually. It’s just nonsense. But it can be extremely painful admitting it.

          • Red Mann

            Care to show us?

        • Meg Underdown

          I am quite happy with God creating the world through evolution I did do 2 years of Geology at University! Science tells us how not why! You cannot prove that there is no God whereas I have met him! Science and reason do not disprove the existence of the creator God. He is beyond science and is knowable in other ways through revelation. reason, tradition and love.

          • http://twitter.com/rgsamways Robin Samways

            Which god, Meg?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Bassil/530811498 Allan Bassil

            Is he coming by for tea? Then I could meet him too. If he is not, then I’ve no reason to view your claim as factual.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aslan-T-Lion/100001448432225 Aslan T. Lion

          The fact that you think there is no evidence simply demonstrates your lack of knowledge regarding the plethora of evidence, and the tunnel vision regarding your own beliefs. Yes, Atheist often have tunnel vision. Unfortunately there are many, many people such as yourself who are sincere, yet unaware of credible evidence. I would encourage you to start with “Evidence that demands a verdict” by Josh McDowell. There’s much more than that in antiquity, but this is a good place to start for someone who is genuinely a truth seeker.

          • Red Mann

            Josh McDowell provided no evidence, just some anecdotes of believers.

        • Chris

          Rofl. “quite a lot of evidence to show that they really are very unlikely indeed”. Want to think that one again Eddie? How can there be evidence for something that doesn’t exist 😛 If it does not exist there can not be evidence against it.

          Also, you do realise you are talking about miracles right? Very unlikely is exactly what it is. In fact I would even go a step further and say it is all but impossible, or even a complete once in a lifetime experience. That’s kind of what makes it a miracle. I mean it wouldn’t be much of a miracle if it was entirely likely on an everyday occurrence.

          To think you have the gall to call us Christians irrational.

      • kelper

        Do you believe that people who worship other gods are mistaken? Islam and Christianity can’t both be true but they can both be false. It took me 20 years to reach a point where I was certain that no gods ever existed. I thank you for your courteous post when so many here are being rude to each other. I think you must be a kind person.

      • Red Mann

        You believe in belief. None of your observations actually support the existance of your god.

    • leo obannon

      Lazy? How rigorous is it to assert “nothing did it”? Modern science got a major push because Christian men of science labored (not lazily) to understand the workings of the universe. Newton certainly didn’t give up after discovering gravity, the inverse square law, etc, etc. Whether God did it or not is not a question that science can answer. This question belongs to philosophy/theology not science.

      • worldwidewookie

        He didn’t assert that ‘nothing did it’, it’s lazy to jump to your false dichotomy – It’s not a choice between ‘nothing did it’ and ‘god did it’, it’s a choice between countless different mutually exclusive god claims, other non-god-related spiritualist / new-age etc. claims, and a whole variety of evidence based hypotheses.

        Atheism is simply a rejection of claims that ‘deity x did it’ because the burden of proof is on the maker of the claim to demonstrate that their claim is true. Religions have yet to do so.

        • herbert walter

          What you describe sounds more like agnosticism.

          • worldwidewookie

            Most people who call themselves agnostic are also atheists – ie; they do not actively believe in any gods. If you reserve judgement then you are by definition not actively believing, ergo not a Theist – an A-Theist.

            It’s a common mistake to equate Atheism with a positive assertion that Gods do not exist.

            Good summary here: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/?title=Atheist_vs._agnostic

        • http://www.facebook.com/leo.obannion.3 Leo O’Bannon

          It’s not lazy to assert that “God did it” (bring the universe into being out of nothing.) No false dichotomy here. Based on the evidence it’s safe to say that “God did it.” This, of course, does not mean that we should put away our telescopes, etc and go home. As I mentioned before, just as Newton and other great Christian scientists made discoveries, they did not cease their experimentation. This really isn’t a question for science anyway. There are some things that are beyond the scope of science and as amazing as the discoveries of modern science are, the “God” question is beyond its scope.. Enter philosophy to help fill in where science is impotent.

          • worldwidewookie

            Of course it’s a false dichotomy. A false dichotomy is where you present limited options (God did it, or did not) as though those are the only ones available. If we’re considering bronze age mythologies to be valid, then why ignore the equally well founded Hindu creation myth, or the Aboriginal, or any of the myriad other religions? You are also jumping to conclusions about the need for a ‘beginning’ as such – we don’t know enough about time and causality to say for sure it’s even necessary. The only thing you can say with any certainty at the moment is ‘we don’t know’ – there’s simply not enough information. We can hypothesise based on evidence, but jumping straight to “a supernatural entity currently popular in my culture” is incontrovertibly lazy, quite apart from it being the option with the least supporting evidence.

            And the ‘this is out of the realm of science’ line is pure diversionary hokum. Science concerns itself with the examination of the universe. If it is claimed -and it is- that these supernatural ‘God’ entities have agency in the physical world (cause it, interact with it by way of miracles, visions, communicating with individuals, etc.) then those interactions would leave traces than can be observed, measured and examined. We do not find such evidence. Talking about the theoretical possibilities from a philosophical point of view is useful, but until something is scientifically demonstrated it is conjecture, nothing more.

            Finally, you do not start with the conclusion then seek to find ways to support it, you start with the observations and seek to find explanations for what is found. Inserting Gods as anything other than a hypothesis amongst others, to live and die by the evidence, is doing it wrong. To say that it is ‘safe to say that God did it’ but that we should continue to examine not only makes the whole endeavour pointless, but just goes to show you don’t seem to understand the basic principles of the scientific method.

          • http://www.facebook.com/leo.obannion.3 Leo O’Bannon

            I actually never presented this discussion with ONLY two options. Although, “God did it” / Something other than God did it – would be appropriate. Sure, we can, for kicks, say that another universe gave birth to our universe…but where’s the evidence? And, where did that universe come from? Got infinite regress? We only have access to our universe, which by the way had a beginning in which all matter, energy, physical space and time itself came into being, and this view has the overwhelming support of the scientific community. Nothing did it? God did it? The universe brought itself into being from non-being? It’s all an illusion?

            It’s as if you bet on a horse (let’s call him “Not God”) and you put all your money on “Not God” and you are really hoping science can bring your horse across the finish line. “God did it” in your view, shouldn’t be in the race, but sorry, God cannot be ruled out and in fact explains so much more about the universe than you would like to admit (The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. -Einstein

            Science, as it should be clear, cannot answer, using the scientific method, how the universe came into being. When scientists make claims about origins, it’s as philosophers, not scientists (and scientists make lousy philosophers).

            Your view of science is hopelessly outdated and died along with Hume.

            No, it doesn’t make it “pointless” just as Newton, Galileo, etc didn’t find it pointless to continue to discover the workings of the universe. Kepler believed he was “thinking God’s thoughts after him.” There is much more to discover about the universe and in the same spirit of these great Christian men of science we should continue to do so, but to flatter ourselves that we’ll find a natural cause for our universe is naive at best.

          • worldwidewookie

            So you’re happy to ask ‘where’s the evidence’ for the ‘something other than God did it’ position, but for the ‘God did it’ argument that’s not necessary? Your whole opening paragraph is one big argument from ignorance – “We don’t know, therefore; God”.

            Your ‘betting on a horse’ analogy illustrates nicely where you’re going wrong – you’re starting with the conclusion (God) and working back so you assume the folks in the other camp are also starting with a conclusion (not God) and working back. This is exactly _not_ what the other camp is doing.

            We have no bet on any horses, we’re not even in a contest – we’re just following where the evidence goes. At the moment all we have are observations that seem to show an expanding universe and a hypothesis that seems to fit the facts of this starting at some point. The theoretical physics can extrapolate back a long way but at some point we reach an impasse beyond which we can’t currently theorise. The ‘Big Bang’ is shorthand for the start of this period of expansion from a dense beginning – but nothing is known of a ‘creation’ at this point. There are competing ideas as to whether this was the result of a preceding big crunch or something else, maybe there was something that precedes it, maybe not.

            There’s not even any reason to presume that Time itself, the linear unfolding of events as we perceive them, extends back ‘all the way’ – the concept of ‘a beginning’ (another conclusion you’ve already jumped to, btw, stating it as a fact) may not even be required. And the idea of something existing eternally with no need for a cause I would assume you’re fine with, after all isn’t that a key attribute of the whole ‘God’ character?

            ‘God’ explains nothing more about the universe than ‘Thor’, or ‘Pixies’. It tells us zip about anything. What, exactly, does it explain that I’m afraid to admit? You repeat again your claim that science can’t tell us how the universe came into being, but again offer nothing to back up this statement. Repeating empty assertions and attempting to elevate philosophy above science so you can evade the issue of evidence entirely does nothing to bolster your argument.

            And, finally, just so I have this straight – it’s naive to ‘flatter ourselves’ that we’ll find a natural cause (when natural causes are the only sort of causes we’ve ever had any solid evidence for) – but not so to flatter ourselves that a supernatural entity dreamt up in mankind’s infancy by our ignorant and superstitious forebears is a plausible alternative? Seriously?

          • http://www.facebook.com/leo.obannion.3 Leo O’Bannon

            Are you agreeing that there is no evidence for another universe giving birth to ours? If so, you would be correct.

            It sounds like you understand what the argument from ignorance is, but you’ve misapplied it. Theists don’t posit God because of what we DON’T know, but because of what we DO know about the universe. The fine tuning, for instance, is balanced on a razor’s edge. What could account for the fine tuning of the universe? The multiverse makes for great science fiction, but again, since there is no evidence for it, we can safely rule it out. Furthermore, if there was such a thing as the multiverse, we would be observing a vastly different universe than we do now (according to Penrose). Why rule out God as an explanation?

            I don’t believe that philosophy is above science, but I do believe that it is equally valid. The view that science can answer everything is hopelessly naive. Hume’s philosophy is dead and yet you still cling to it. The cause of our universe points to the supernatural. The cause is spaceless,(to create physical space), timeless for what else but a timeless being (eternal) could bring time into existence? And the cause would have to unimaginably powerful. We can say “Gravity did it” but that would be absurd. Why not just follow the evidence where it leads?

          • worldwidewookie

            The fine-tuning canard has been dispensed with repeatedly, to save me typing: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument (spoiler: it’s a load of nonsense, we’ve created more ‘finely-tuned’ environments for life in the lab).

            To claim this relatively new argument is the reason Theists posit God is absurdly disingenuous. You might, but the overwhelming majority have never even heard of it.

            As to Atheists ruling out Gods as an explanation – most have not and are perfectly happy to consider all possibilities as possibilities, but some are so implausible as to be reasonably discounted (ie; Theistic claims) and others are based on the evidence and what we can demonstrate about the universe. The burden of proof is clearly on the side of those making a claim and while cosmologists can point to data for their hypothesis, Theists can only pull up the same dusty old self-contradictory mythologies. From the numerous Theistic creation myths it seems the rational Theist would have to concede the Hindu notion of a repeating cycle of creation and destruction over trillions of years would map most closely to observed reality, the ‘Big Bang’ marking the start of each cycle. I have no idea what particular religion you hold to but I’m guessing it’s not Hindu since you use ‘God’ in the singular – what rational choice was it that led you to your favoured position? I’m guessing there wasn’t one, you started with a conclusion and now defend it as fact – just as every other theist does of whatever they’ve been indoctrinated with.

            You keep asserting that Hume’s philosophy is dead as though this gives you licence to discount the scientific method in it’s entirety. If anything people like Karl Popper with that pesky empirical falsifiability and critical rationalism stuff have raised the bar higher, not given Theism any more leeway! You’re going to need to be more specific, there’s nothing in my position that wouldn’t sit right with far more recent philosophers of science – what specifically are you claiming is outdated and why?

            As to your closing statements – pure fantasy. You’re just making assertions that tie in with the conclusion you’ve already settled on – where on earth do you get the notion that space can only be created by something ‘spaceless’, time by something ‘eternal’, etc … it seems you’ve rejected Hume in favour of Tolkein.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Bassil/530811498 Allan Bassil

        How typical. Do some homework on “nothing did it”. Why in the world would we leave the answer to this question up to philosophy and theology? Theology in particular, with its tens of thousands of gods, hasn’t made a single discovery about the nature of the universe.

        • http://www.facebook.com/leo.obannion.3 Leo O’Bannon

          Done sauce, and it’s still true today as it was long ago: Nothing produces nothing. The fact that you would rule out other epistemologies is a little disconcerting. Science doesn’t give us the whole picture of ultimate reality, that’s why we need philosophy, etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.n.brown Patrick Nolan Brown

      “It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.” – Francis Bacon, “Of Atheism”

    • Brandy Miller

      You are an atheist because you are too shallow to dive into the deep waters of intellectual rigor. You have not yet pondered how science can exist without truth, or asked yourself what would really happen to science in a random chance universe. You like to pat yourself on the back as having the truth without even being certain of its existence. I feel terribly sorry for you. Someday I hope you’ll have the courage to ask yourself the tough questions that you’re right now avoiding.

      • worldwidewookie

        I think the tough question you’re avoiding right now is ‘what is science’, because it seems evident from this random collection of meaningless patronising platitudes you have yet to get around to finding out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Bassil/530811498 Allan Bassil

        Science is fact. And facts are as much truth as we’ll get. There are tens of thousands of religious ‘truths’ available. Most conflict with each other, even when grouped within their own creed. And please, investigate what science is before you try to define it.

      • kelper

        I was addressing the OP, not you. Do not insult or patronise me, please.

        “You have not yet pondered how science can exist without truth” – what does this mean?

        Please tell me “what would really happen to science in a random chance universe”

        Are you well educated? In what fields?

      • caldous

        Why do anti-science people always leap on this “random chance” thing? What scientist has ever said the universe and it’s laws are random chance? This is most commonly attributed (falsely) to the theory of natural selection, but it’s just as nonsensical here. This is both a false dichotomy (only two choices, “God did it” or “Random chance”) and a strawman, as no scientist I know is a proponent of the “Universal theory of random chance”.

    • http://twitter.com/rudytoots Carol Fights

      See there goes that typical atheistic response when it is very far from the truth. Atheists love to think that if one is Christian/Creationist, then one must be anti-reasoning, anti-science. That is intellectually dishonest and lazy.

      • kelper

        But creationists are anti-reason and anti-science. You can’t look at the Grand Canyon and believe that it is only 6,000 years old! (unless you don’t think much).

        • http://twitter.com/rudytoots Carol Fights

          And who are you, God? NOT!

          • kelper

            What is your point? No, I am not god. There is no god nor ever was.

          • http://twitter.com/rudytoots Carol Fights

            Just because you don’t believe, doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. And you will find out one day. Hope you’re on the right side of that one.

          • kelper

            True. But it saddens me to think that others believe in an afterlife and if they are wrong they will never know. We must do good in this life because it is the right thing to do and not to seek reward in a future life. Jesus was a dark-skinned man who probably spoke Aramaic yet the testaments were written in Greek and most people only get to read the translations. How can you live your life based on the creeds of relatively uneducated goat herds 2,000 years ago? I can’t prove that gods do not exist but will live my life on the assumption that a) they do not exist, or b) if they did, they would not be interested in my petty existence. The belief that a god cares what you do to tomorrow strikes me as vain. If gods exist I think they would prefer a thinking cynic to blind faith. If you are so sure that Jesus is god what do you think of Muslims and Jews or even Brahmists or Hindus? Are they all wrong? Or do you think it is OK to worship any gods in preference to being an atheist?
            I became an atheist at 18 when I realised that Christians and Muslims can’t both be right. More likely they are both wrong. If YOU were born in India you would be a Hindu. If you were born in Indonesia you would be a Muslim.

            but thanks for debating because you are intelligent and courteous. Do read some books by Richard Holloway, the erstwhile Bishop of Edinburgh as he expresses himself far better than I can.

            I am British, are you American? Just curious 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Dale/100001162947374 John Dale

    There’s as much wishful thinking in this article as there is in the authors belief in in his imaginary friend. Has the Spectator sunk this low now?

    • j_digby_wiseacre

      I agree. The author of the above nonsense has no idea that atheism is not new. Thinkers and scientists have been around for millenia. Young people today are uninterested in the superstition on which all religions are based. Religions are on their way out.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        And the sooner the better.

      • DGStuart

        Religions are on their way out? I doubt that. Where’s the evidence?

        • http://twitter.com/orrinward Orrin Ward

          UK Census on Religion: In 2001 14% identified as having no religion. In 2011 that increased to 24%.

          It’s only one point of reference but it’s evidence.

          • DS

            Ironically, Western Civilization is also on it’s way out. Total fertility rates have decreased dramatically in the past generation or so. Those statistics are useless.

          • Albert

            So a minority has grown, big deal. A quarter is not exactly a tipping point- the vast majority are still religious. 2001 to 2011 have been the times the Atheist books and authors have got a lot of coverage, although as the article accurately states no movement has appeared and it is losing momentum.

          • http://twitter.com/redmusic1 chad washington

            Not to mention the explosion in the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe that was DS’s point.

          • Zeromus

            The majority has to die, and is currently doing so. There hasn’t been evidence for a loss of momentum yet.

          • http://twitter.com/ColdDimSum Dark Star

            How long did it take Constantine to swap out Paganism for Christianity once the Pagans had largely backed Maxentius? Of course, back then Christians could murder their ideological opponents (such as Arius, Gnostics, etc), that surely made things go faster.

            But I promise you this, I oppose murdering Christians or Muslims and I oppose outlawing religion, I would rather the battle be one of ideas and words, however long it takes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lee.harrison.374 Lee Harrison

            “No movement has appeared” ? Seriously? I think you’re not paying attention. And the movement is not losing momentum – it’s diversifying. This is a healthy thing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

            A 10% increase in 10 years is not indicative of a loss in momentum. It’s indicative of a gain in momentum, as the number is increasing, not decreasing. You see, if a car accelerates, it gains momentum. If it decelerates, it loses momentum. Newtonian physics are new, I know…

          • Red Mann

            Can you show some reason to believe the move away from religion is losing momentum?

          • Pulseguy

            A lot of people don’t adhere to a subscribed set of beliefs as approved by a hierarchical authority somewhere, but they might have faith. Most of my friends think about God and faith a lot, none go to church, none would describe themselves as religious. But, they still believe in various versions/descriptions of God. They would be considered part of this moving away from religion by a pollster, but they are nowhere near moving towards atheism. As a matter of fact, I might argue their faith is stronger now the cognitive dissonance of trying to believe in a Pope or a priest is gone and they are now trying to make sense of it for themselves.

          • Pete

            I would identify myself as having no religion, yet I am a follower of Christ. Census’s are limited to the semantics of their questions.

          • Harry

            Believing in Christ is a religion its called Christianity.

          • Pete

            Christ spoke out AGAINST religion. If it really needs a label, then better to use the term “world view” or “belief system,” but the Richard Dawkins’s don’t like that because it makes it harder for them to keep a self righteous distance from the argument.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lee.harrison.374 Lee Harrison

            No, Christ did NOT speak out against religion – he spoke out against the posturing and legalism of the Pharisees. Modern day Christians have redefined ‘religion’ to mean ‘Pharisee-ism’ because religion as a word has gathered too many (deserved) negative connotations. Christianity is not a ‘philosophy’ or a ‘worldview’ – it is a belief in a dying-and-rising supernatural god-man; that’s a religion for anyone who cares about language and clear communication.

          • Alexei Raiu

            Look up a definition of what ‘religion’ means in a dictionary, Pete.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002842968100 Pabeto Pablo

            Christianity is a philosophy not a religion. Use this one next time you are challenged that Christianity is a religion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002842968100 Pabeto Pablo

            Christianity is not a religion, it is a philosophy.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            So why do its institutions get tax-exempt status?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

            Followers of Christ are called Christians. That’s basically the definition of Christianity.

          • Pete

            Yes, I am Christian. But if that label conjures up images of “God hates Fags” placard bearing loonies etc, then I will choose to use a different term, as it does not accurately represent who I am.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lee.harrison.374 Lee Harrison

            True, but at the same time words do have generally agreed meanings. It’s dishonest to simply substitute your own despite knowing how the word is generally understood.

          • Pete

            Dishonest? Really? In your own words ‘religion’ has gathered too many negative connotations, so how the word is ‘generally understood’ is therefore quite muddy. Knowing this, is it not more honest to offer a term which more closely defines the authors intention? At least you understood where I was coming from Lee; those who are directing me to a dictionary are completely missing my point.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lee.harrison.374 Lee Harrison

            No one missed your point – your point was actually dishonest. The word religion has gathered negative connotations – this does not muddy the meaning because those connotations are deserved.

          • Pulseguy

            You can have faith, and not believe in a religion. Religion implies adhering to a hierarchical structure, which you might or might not agree with. You’re trying to fit Pete into a category which he might not see himself in. The word is too restricted to cover where a lot of people are at, which is why a lot of people have faith, but would consider themselves non-religious. You can argue from a dictionary point of view, but your argument is just hair-splitting. If the word as it is commonly used does not remotely describe who I am, or what I believe, then the word is inappropriate to describe to me.

          • http://twitter.com/FlyingFree333 Flying Free

            “I would identify myself as having no religion, yet I am a follower of Christ.”

            Someone needs to buy a dictionary…and outgrow imaginary friends.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002842968100 Pabeto Pablo

            what is your imaginary friend? You? Science? Evolution? LMAO

          • http://www.facebook.com/mick.driver.73 Mick Driver

            re·li·gion
            /riˈlijən/
            Noun
            The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
            Details of belief as taught or discussed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mick.driver.73 Mick Driver

            Does being a follower of christ also involve belief in a god? You may like to check the meaning above, lifted from the OED

          • Hominid

            Polls are not ‘evidence’ in any scientific sense.

          • http://twitter.com/almdean Al Dean

            “In any scientific sense” doesn’t make any sense. Polls give a statistical correlation, which is evidence. It doesn’t PROVE anything, but it’s still meaningful.

          • Hominid

            LOL! And people wonder why we’re in so much trouble – it’s the stupid and ignorant such as you, Al.

          • http://twitter.com/FlyingFree333 Flying Free

            Yes they are, the human subjects in any study are polled. Census data is considered data. You clearly know nothing about science. Statistics ARE SCIENCE.

          • Hominid

            You’re an ignorant fool.

          • Pulseguy

            Social science polls are nearly meaningless. Census data might use the same techniques as polling people about their beliefs, but to suggest the accuracy or meaning is even remotely the same is foolish.

          • Scott

            This may be true, but the birth rates in very religion countries are much higher than in more enlightened countries like Canada, Britain or Scandinavia.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Blair/100001984010666 Jack Blair

        Yes, but we are talking about the gnu-atheism of Dawkins and Co., which is characterized by coarseness, ignorance, and triviality (H/T Petrarch).

        • http://twitter.com/DavinSoe Davin S

          Dawkins maybe biased but he is anything but ignorant.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=586533574 Ezme Green

            Biased or informed???If you have studied like he has and you are debated constantly by the ignorant I dont think you can be called biased….

          • Fergus Pickering

            He is not ignorant about everything, just religion. He is very ignorant about that.

        • S Mason

          If you claim that Dawkins is course, ignorant and trivial you align yourself with a vicious movement of smear, which seeks not to engage his arguments but to just take body blows. Those of us who have read his work and seen him speak do not recognise the Daily mail caricature so often and desperately portrayed as you have here.
          So the gnu-atheists are course, ignorant and trivial eh? It’s a pathetic – but widespread bit of easy writing that. Can’t you try a bit harder?

          • Zeromus

            @google-4b62efb4c2c505dfb1cc5274f48044f7:disqus classic ad hominem by the OP. Use logic or go home 😛

          • S Mason

            Well – it wasn’t polite Zeromus, but it was lots more than an adhom pure. And it is unbelievably irritating, all this cant about Dawkins which bears absolutely no relationship to the reality.

            You accuse me of illogic (without substantiation): I find a trend among people with a chip on their shoulder who repeat the same old BS about Dawkins, ad nauseam (look at that – I don’t speak Latin either) and I point it out. Perhaps you can find some problem with that trend or do you actually have nothing substantive to say here?

          • Zeromus

            OP (original post/poster)… Your reply wasn’t even necessary.

      • Albert

        You misunderstand, he is not saying Atheism is new, he is talking about modern atheism when is he talking about “the New Atheism”. Also it is modern that scientists have been associated with atheism and that is just a perception, in ages past they were happily religious or at least Deistic: sciences has to do with the natural world, religion is of the supernatural- you cannot put God under a microscope, its illogical. Lastly if religion was on the way out the Catholic Church and Islam would not be growing rapidly like they are.

        • Zeromus

          In point of fact, you cannot put god anywhere… There isn’t any evidence for one or for the spiritual. The catholic church is only increasing because of where they are expanding to lol. They are both on the decline in modern industrialized nations where the average person has access to education.

          Positive correlations exist between both IQ, education and not believing in a god.

          • bonehead41

            That is totally bias and incorrect. If you take the time to read the works of some of the scholars and theologians over the centuries and also contemporary ones such as CS Lewis, you will conclude just the opposite view about intelligence and education related to religion. . The worlds public education today is filled with radical Marxist who preach only atheism and indoctrinate their students with false information. A free mind needs to evaluate and challenge all options without prejudice in the attempt to reach the truth. God is real and does exist.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377173672 Bryan Richards

            Yet as knowledge over time increases, the knowledgable are less religious. Smart people in history did believe ( often at the edges of their knowledge). With what we know now, belief occurring with knowledge is much less likely.

            Marxism has nothing to do with atheism. If you want indoctrination with falsehoods look at creationism lol.

            As for your claim about god… provide evidence or I shall dismiss the claim as nonsense until then.

          • hornedfrog4500

            https://www.facebook.com/notes/eric-ellis/defending-god/439621488767

            Here you go, I wrote this a while ago (before I graduated from college). It’s a very basic understanding on how you can believe in God as proven by science.

          • Zeromus

            “That version sounds alot better and scientificy than just nothingness. However, think about the meaning of dimensionless space, nothing that is real can occupy space while being dimensionless. The phrase is a oxymoron implying nothingness.”

            – you won’t find a credible source that will state nothingness ever existed… you might also be surprised to learn that everything we do have can also be classified as having 0 energy, 0 spin, and 0 charge… or that everything is actually nothing.

            These aren’t simple concepts, and people and some scientists also invoke god at the edge of their understanding. This is called an argument from ignorance fallacy and this is your very first attempt in the paper to justify your belief… should I go on and dismantle the rest for you?

          • hornedfrog4500

            Well of course a credible source won’t say that nothingness existed, because that would lead to creation. Also your phrase ‘everything is actually nothing’ is self-defeating. Your phrase is something, yet also nothing, which is a contradiction and thus invalid argument. Something can have 0 energy, but it is still something, it just has no energy.

            But you are right they aren’t simple concepts, and I never invoked God to fill in any gaps anywhere. It makes you sound smart to invoke ‘ignorance fallacy’, but if you read the rest of my very basic note I don’t try to invoke God of the bible until I get to the history section. I just used basic reasoning and some scientific theories to paint a picture of something that could be God-like. It would then be a stretch for me to go and claim the God of the bible as creator of the universe. That is where history comes in. I believe that historically the bible and thus the God described therein is the only reasonable way to explain the world around us.

            And this wasn’t a paper, it’s just a fun note. Maybe you should read the whole thing and put it all together before you start with your destruction of it. I’m sure there are flaws in it, mainly because I don’t have my doctorate in Physics or anything close to it. I was a simple math major at the time of writing this. But the arguments that lie within are proven arguments that on there own don’t prove alot, but when put together form a very strong case.

          • Zeromus

            A credible source won’t say it because there is no evidence of nothing… Provide evidence for the assertion of nothing please.

            You invoke god to fill in what you don’t know/can’t understand about the big bang theory. God of the gaps defined. Basic reasoning…

            I did read the whole thing, but I started with the first bit of “evidence” or “proof.”

            Would you like me to continue?

          • S Mason

            Bonehead41: the west is now full of ex-religious who, having not liked what they saw, are pretty certain there is no god. To blame the fall of western religiosity on radical Marxism in public education is truly delusional. It’s a well noted phenomena: when people get more educated, richer and freer (not always the same thing, but it often is), they in large part reject religion.

            Wanting that not to be true doesn’t really change that it is.

            And there is a very well documented correlation between those who reject faith, and IQ. It’s not to say there aren’t some very intelligent believers there are. I know one. But on the whole the correlation is proven.

          • Edden

            “And there is a very well documented correlation between those who reject faith, and IQ.”….only you haven’t documented it! Take your porkies elsewhere Mr Mason.

          • S Mason

            Quick to the offensive there Edden. Funny that. The link is so well documented I’m not doing your googling for you. Why do you find it offensive? The best indicator that this is true if you like is that religion is so poorly represented among the academic elite.
            But believe what you like. Ad hom all you like. It doesn’t make you any less of an angry ranty man who needs some help…

          • Edden

            Mr Mason…..”I’m not doing your googling for you” …pathetic evasive excuse which I’ve heard before. Well documented but you give me no proof (again)! You are getting boring with your “need help” business. I could use that ploy myself but it is only a cheap phrase of a common nature used by people who have little to present in the way of argument.

          • Zeromus
          • hornedfrog4500

            No offense, but I could easily claim that the academic elite aren’t religious also because they don’t learn about religion. I mean think about it, they spend their time and energy learning about academics, they don’t spend their time and energy reading the bible or learning about Christianity. Of course there aren’t many who are Christians, they don’t really know anything about it or are trying to do so. BTW the man who is the head of the Human Genome Project is a brilliant person as well as an outspoken evangelical.

          • Pulseguy

            Quick to the offensive?!? You insulted him quite nastily. And, he responded in a comical manner.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            I’ve long wondered if there’s a correlation between those that buy into organised religion hook, line and rapture, and those that unquestioningly believe the Authorised versions of 9/11, 7/7 …
            Something about cognitive dissonance, perhaps? “You can’t handle the truth.” Basically, it’s wall-to-wall Muppet out there.

          • Zeromus

            Actually the official versions stack with the evidence… The truther movement is along the lines of most other conspiracy theories. The evidence has been stacked and it doesn’t favor the conspiracy ideas.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Explain molten steel being pulled from the basements of WTC1 and 2 some three months after the attacks.

          • zeromus

            1. Evidence cited? Source?
            2. What are you trying to support with this idea, and how would that (if it is fact) support your idea?

          • hornedfrog4500

            That’s fine, but the bible also says that this will happen. Those who place their faith in money and the world will tend to not believe in God (they won’t have any real reason too), it’s a pretty common theme throughout the NT. And it’s not a disproof of Christianity either, most Christians who are intelligent will tell you that when people rely on themselves for wealth and themselves for their own worldview, they will discard the worldview of God and thus not be religious. America has been steadily growing in wealthy people and college graduates. Thus America is growing in non-religious people. I wouldn’t say that’s a mark on Christianity though, it’s more a sign of America becoming more European. Besides Christianity is growing elsewhere in the world, like Asia and South America.

            I know the point your trying to make is that as education grows disbelief in God grows, but it’s not as simple as that. The main reason for disbelief in God is a lifestyle where you don’t need God for anything. You have to remember that Christianity brings a message of Love, hope, forgiveness, and ultimately salvation from sin. Christianity isn’t trying to outsmart you. However that doesn’t mean that intelligence and faith can’t go together. I got my BA in Math from a secular liberal university and consider myself fairly intelligent.

            I guess my main point is that your making knocks against religion in an area that religion isn’t concerned with, but can still cohabit with. I could easily start putting up posts about how atheists aren’t caring for the poor, needy, widows and orphans and say that’s why atheism is stupid and Christianity is supreme. Atheists aren’t really concerned with the poor and needy, and don’t meet together to plan ways to help them and travel throughout the world helping people in need. I could say you can have intelligence, but you’re not making the world a better place. But i’m not making those claims because they are stupid and and miss the point. And I also don’t believe them, because i think Christians can be intelligent and do help people.

          • S Mason

            Hornedfrog…so I think we can agree this one. As people educate themselves they become more godless, because they have no need for god. You rightly point out this does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of god. For that we would need some evidence. I was explicit that there are plenty of intelligent Christians. Some of my best friends are…

            But I’d disagree strongly about the ‘message of Christianity’ too but that’s personal opinion of course. I could point out a) that isn’t what’s actually in the bible unless you constrict your reading of it dramatically and b) that isn’t what most Christians are actually like… The evidence seems to be otherwise. Of course there are a few Christians who are like that quite a lot of the time. But it’s very rare. What is absolutely clear is that there is no transformative power in religion. Look at Edden! Better evidence against the existence of a transforming god you won’t find…

            There is a very big difference though between atheism and Christianity. Atheism mostly makes no claims to moral authority (there are some exceptions): but this isn’t a club you can be a member of. It’s a red herring to make a comparison between religion and atheism in this way. Atheists are so unalike in all other matters. remember that atheists come from all walks of life, and share no political allegiances at all. There is no common ground other than a view that there is insufficient evidence for god. So there really cannot be any comparison.

            Atheism just a position of rejecting the hypothesis of the existence of gods. That has some implications: it means you don’t have to treat homosexuals appallingly. You don’t have to try to convert people – with all the dishonesty that goes with it. You don’t have to hand over your cash to parasitic liars. You don’t have to oppress women or any other minorities. Though of course many still do all of these things.

            But the Christian faithful often make ownership type claims to morality. So there we can make judgements about a) the nature of those claims (ie do Christians themselves live up to their claims – in any significant degree?); b) are they factually accurate? ie Did Christians come up with this morality in the first place? and c) are the moral positions themselves actually moral?

            In all 3 cases, I am now well persuaded the answer is no. And therefore there is a very serious case to answer.

            As to your serious accusation that – to summarise – atheists don’t act humanely and altruistically, that really is just not true. It’s a lie, often repeated lie by Christians (why do you want to believe this of us?) but it truly is a disgusting slur. Your statements are truly inaccurate and therefore offensive. What we don’t do, is meet together to plan ways to help the poor in the name of atheism… But the fact that we don’t need a flag or imaginary being goading us on, does not mean we don’t do it. Please don’t repeat that lie. It is a malicious lie spread by the faithful – who I thought were not supposed to do that stuff?

            My point was not that Christians are all stupid (they aren’t): I made the point that intelligence and lack of faith have been correlated. That tells us nothing about the existence or not of gods. The massive want of evidence tells us that.

          • Pulseguy

            All the really intelligent people I know have some faith in something. None are religious. Thinking takes one away from any authority, whether it be a Pope, or a professor. I don’t see any evidence to suggest being educated or intelligent takes away some sort of belief, but lots to suggest you stop thinking of yourself as a member of a religion.

            On the other hand, most of the people I know who are atheist are incredibly dogmatic about pretty much everything. And, to a person they seem really egotistical.

            I’m not saying this is true of all atheists, just the ones I know.

          • Penn_Seive

            C.S.Lewis has been dead for half a century, scarcely contemporary.

          • Zeromus

            Of course theologians think the spiritual exists, otherwise they wouldn’t be in theology. The spiritual is a mental construct and there is evidence to support that fact.

            A free mind needs logic and standards of evidence to keep shitty ideas out… like spirituality, god, or ghosts. Some ideas are so unfounded that one need not consider them anymore.

          • bonehead41

            Analytical thought begins by examining each component of a theory to challenge It’s validity. Believers are just as unsure about beliefs as are non believers in the early stages of examination. The theologian I surmise, starts out as a skeptic and reaches a conclusion of spirituality by combining intensive academic study, analytical thought, life experience, fellowship with other believers, intuition, and other factors. Sometime its just the feeling and presence that whole spiritual thing is real and even then the individual will challenge that feeling. I am a logical person with a free mind and I believe in A spiritual God. What say you?

          • Zeromus

            “The theologian I surmise, starts out as a skeptic and reaches a conclusion of spirituality by combining intensive academic study, analytical thought, life experience, fellowship with other believers, intuition, and other factors.”

            You would imagine wrong. Theologians are usually indoctrinated into the specific faith they choose to study. You can be skeptical and be fooled if you fail to apply skepticism to religion.

            Intuition is not a valid path to truth.

          • bonehead41

            I disagree with your premise of indoctrination. There are some clergy I personally know who were not indoctrinated, who were mostly outside the faith to begin with. The non believers always use the “indoctrination” rationale to argue the reasoning for belief patterns.

            I also disagree with your statement that intuition is not a valid path to truth.
            Albert Eisenstein once said

            “The only real valuable thing is intuition.»

            And

            «There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.»

          • Zeromus

            It isn’t required, but it is overwhelmingly the case. Indoctrination is often how religions perpetuate themselves.

            Intuition leads people to propositions that are mutually exclusive, thus it is not a valid path to truth.

            As for einstein, his intuitions were later confirmed by evidence… So present some evidence or go back to the theoretical drawing board. Have foundations for your ideas.

          • hornedfrog4500

            https://www.facebook.com/notes/eric-ellis/defending-god/439621488767

            here you go, I wrote those a while ago while I was still in college. It’s a very basic way to use logic and reason to prove the existence of God and specifically the God of the bible.

          • hornedfrog4500

            that’s a presupposition you have that theologians are indoctrinated. Many are, that is true. But many of the greatest one’s weren’t. Like CS Lewis, Phil Fernandez, Mark Dever, and John Piper. Do you not realize that you are using generalities to think about those who are religious. Should I use generalities with all atheists I encounter? Do all atheists wish to partake in ethnic cleansing? Do all atheists wish to destroy all opposing viewpoints and have a world of one-mind like Mao of China? Now I will say that extremists tend to be indoctrinated, but they also aren’t theologians either, they are extremists.

          • Fergus Pickering

            You keep rumbling on about evidence but we are left with your assertion.

          • Zeromus

            My assertion is that I do not believe theists claims that a deity exists. I do not make the opposite claim that no deities exist. You are conflating a position of knowledge and position of belief as many believers do. Most people of faith have trouble grasping that very simple idea. I can post a link to a pretty picture if you need it better explained.

          • Fergus Pickering

            No they don’t. You made that up.

          • Zeromus

            I can provide references… or you could just google it. The correlation is clear and well established.

        • ethereal

          religion is not of the supernatural. In fact, ‘gods’ are personifications of natural phenomena. Hades and Tartarus personifications of places the greeks and romans believed to exist deep in the earth. cupid a personification of romantic love, eros personification of sexual love, etc. etc.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=586533574 Ezme Green

            And personifications arent supernatural????Sorry but omnipresent,omniscient forces who never communicate are the stuff of imagination and are supernatural

          • ethereal

            well that is exactly what I am saying Ezme. Ancient cultures made the personifications, based on natural phenomena (as far as they could comprehend as to what nature actually was). I said it’s not of the supernatural, because nothing ‘supernatural’ exists in reality (though religious people believe in the supernatural. Or at least nothing beyond the natural has been discovered by science. cultures before those of “the book” personified deities based on natural phenomena, then made statues of such deities, then abrahamic religion created a creator deity which was not a statue or idol, the “Living God” as they put it.

          • hornedfrog4500

            You realize you can’t use that argument right, it’s self-defeating. ‘or at least nothing beyond the natural has been discovered by science’. Science seeks to understand the natural universe. Supernatural is outside of the natural. Thus science will never know or prove anything about the supernatural. It is not it’s aim to do so and thus it will not do so. In other words, you are limiting what you can learn or experience if you will trust in science and science alone.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377173672 Bryan Richards

            Science has never discovered any supernatural cause. True. Every cause that has been claimed as supernatural thus far has been found otherwise. Ghosts.. debunked, afterlife… no evidence of one existing, spirits, debunked and fairly well explained as well, lightning? found that one out, earthquakes? not loki rattling the cage.

            Religion has a shitty track record with reality, you are merely holding on to the remnants of human explanation that are outdated.

            Do you have evidence of the supernatural… you claim it isn’t even possible. The invisible and your imaginary deity look a lot alike.

          • Zeromus

            The invisible and the supernatural look a lot alike.

          • Hominid

            And Jesus is the personification of the father figure – male, wise, powerful, authoritative, caring, protective. It holds great appeal for most humans whose intellectual development stalls out early.

          • hornedfrog4500

            How was Jesus powerful, he got crucified. He rode a donkey. He was a carpenter. It wasn’t like he ruled a kingdom. Now he had the powers of God, so thus was powerful in that sense. But Christians would not characterize Jesus as ‘powerful’. He could also hold appeal because he’s the only perfect person who ever lived.

      • http://twitter.com/redmusic1 chad washington

        Of course that’s if you refuse to admit that a lack of confidence in theism, confidence in human beings, and commitment to worship your own desires are in every way religious. It isn’t irreligious at all. Atheists are simply trading objects of worship with theists. It is simply chaotic and disorganized worship of the self that is the atheist’s religion. A Christian has confidence in theism, a lack of confidence in human beings, and a commitment to do the object of worship’s will instead of their own. At least be honest with yourself. Oh, wait. That’s the lie from the beginning that some people just can’t get past. The reality is that humans will worship something, that’s what we were made for. Religion is inescapable.

        • Hominid

          That’s true of some, perhaps many, atheists, but not all. Your point is well made that humans indeed have a predilection for dogmatic delusion of which classical religion is an example.

        • Dale Top

          Nope not even close. Atheists don’t believe in mythological deities. They believe that religion is a bunch of fairy tales and they have a lot of proof, to back up there belief. Where as religion has to continuously make stuff up to justify a belief in imaginary beings.

        • Ken C.

          “It is simply chaotic and disorganized worship of the self…”

          That’s basically the OPPOSITE of religion in so far as religion is an ORDERLY ORGANIZATION of rules and guidelines to be followed by it’s adherents. Saying that “chaotic and disorganized worship” is any type of religion is asinine.

        • http://twitter.com/DavinSoe Davin S

          Atheism- the lack of belief in the existence of god. Atheists worshiping self? What are you smoking, mate?

        • S Mason

          The old canard! So atheists are religious too, eh?
          Try harder. This is foolishness and in the extreme. And just yet another dose of theist wishful thinking.
          As has been pointed out a million times (why is the comment in the spectator so poor???), not believing in gods is a religion in the same way that not playing cricket is a sport. Or to quote an important voice in this, not collecting stamps is a hobby. (NonStampCollector on you tube is well worth watching for some clarity here which you badly need).
          So – nice to be lectured on being honest with ourselves. How about some of your own medicine?

      • Fergus Pickering

        So we are left with young people who know nothing at all that happened the day before they were spawned, jumping up and down singing ‘The Wicked Witch Is Dead’. What exactly is it they are interested in? I’ve forgotten.

        • Hominid

          Do you always attempt such irrational leaps?

        • Zeromus

          Not exactly like religious texts are the way to find out what happened before you were spawned either lol.

      • Hominid

        Talk about wishful thinking! The classical religions may be in decline, but religionist thinking (dogmatic delusion) is as widespread as ever. Grand conceptions of the supernatural remain prevalent in the human psyche.

        • Red Mann

          How depressingly true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leo.obannion.3 Leo O’Bannon

        Well, Christians, lock up your church doors, put away your bibles, shut down your soup kitchens, hospitals and universities, forget your care for the poor, the needy, etc, HQ, yes, the HQ is here to proclaim that religions are on their way out and he/she is as infallible as the Pope.

        • http://www.facebook.com/justin.crook.908 Justin Crook

          Sorry Leo, HQ _IS_ as infallible as the Pope.

        • agneau

          And err, give your money back.

      • Scott

        Indeed only when we throw off the yoke of religion will we even begin to come into our own. Until then, our species is just a primitive bunch of superstitious sheep.

        • Hominid

          When humans ‘throw off the yoke of religion,’ they will not be the same species anymore.

          • Scott

            Of course they will be, just a much more enlightened and sentient one. Species is defined by DNA, not mutable cultural practice.

          • Hominid

            You assumption that human evolution will lead to ‘a much more enlightened and sentient’ form shows your profound misunderstanding of the evolutionary process.

          • Scott

            That’s not what I said. I’m an evolutionary biologist, I think I know a little bit about human evolution. Nice try but epic fail there.

        • Pulseguy

          I certainly think that makes sense. I for one really enjoy your average avowed atheist. Charming, sensitive, seldom heavy into scotch by 8 o’clock at night. Nope. Really good all around guys.

      • http://twitter.com/DavinSoe Davin S

        So very true! Atheism is not a new idea, since even my great gandfather was an atheist

        • Fergus Pickering

          Good God, man. Voltaire was an atheist.

      • WillyTheFish

        The term ‘New Atheist’ doesn’t really mean that atheism is new. It is a journalistic shorthand for what would be more accurately described as ‘Celebrity Atheism’ as characterised by Dawkins et. al. It’s main characteristics are ignorance of the basics of theology and ill informed pseudo scientific sneering in support of their own non-beliefs.

        Anyone reading (say) ‘The God Delusion’ can see that it is basically underpinned by Dawkins’ neuroses about Christianity in his childhood, a wilful misunderstanding of even the basics of theology and – above all – greed. There’s an ego trip and easy money to be had – book royalties, appearance fees … A Nice Little Earner (as they say).

        • Hominid

          In fact, the term ‘new atheist’ doesn’t mean anything at all – it’s a bogus concept invented by religionists to create a target for their hostility.

        • S Mason

          How about engaging with some of the points in the God Delusion? I – like so many others – owe a massive debt to Dawkins for smashing religion so effectively in the God Delusion. To claim that Dawkins is ignorant is truly self indulgent. I nearly became a Catholic Priest. He knows a lot about Catholicism. It is stupid (and reveals your motives) to claim otherwise. I would take it therefore he is probably well informed on other religions, until someone who doesn’t have an obvious chip on their shoulder here (evidenced by the ridiculous smears) tells me otherwise.
          To accuse Dawkins of populism and greed is truly nasty – a malevolent smear if ever I read one. That is really shameful – and shame on you for such a slanderous assertion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

        Thinkers and scientists have obviously been aroud “for centuries”, and many of the best of them have had religion. But the implication of your post is entirely correct: there are sophisticated formulations of the atheist case. Which is precisely what makes Dawkins’ village version so laughable.

        • S Mason

          Andy Walsh: the stupidity of your first sentence tells us why you write the BS in the second. If you have some argument with Dawkins, then lets have the substance of it. If you just want to smear him – well – we can read the Daily Mail to get that. When will we get a serious and substantive engagement with Dawkins, rather than this puerile personal attack which so commonly seems to replace intelligent analysis and thought?
          Those of us who have read his stuff and heard him speak do not recognise the ridiculous caricature that you and so many others here have ignorantly indulged yourselves in.
          What are these “sophisticated formulations of the atheist case” I wonder? Are they defined as those produced by people who aren’t a threat to your world view? Hmmmm….I wonder now…
          How about the simplest of forumulations: produce your god and until then please shut up?

      • b1953

        How tiresome…another smug bigot mindlessly chanting the catechism of Atheism.

      • b1953

        How tiresome…another smug bigot mindlessly chanting the catechism of Atheism

      • b1953

        How tiresome…another smug bigot mindlessly chanting the catechism of Atheism.

        • S Mason

          How tiresome. Another theist mindlessly calling us bigots.
          That games is easy, eh? And you posted it three times too! Lovely.

      • hornedfrog4500

        You realize that most scientists and new thoughts and progresses have been by those who are religious right? There’s a reason why America is one of the most progressive countries, technologically advanced countries, richest countries, and also one of the most religious countries. Historically those all tend to go together, although maybe not progressive sometimes.

        Also your assertion that religions are on their way out are very inaccurate. In America Christianity might be in decline, but Mormonism and Islam is on the rise. Also Christianity is spreading massively in Asia and South America. As well as Africa but on a much smaller scale. You know which country has the most Christians in the world? China, 100 million. You know which country has the highest percentage of Christians? Iceland. America can’t even claim it’s the most Christian country.

      • Pulseguy

        Religions are on their way out? Wishful thinking. Good, or bad. That isn’t happening.

    • Edden

      John Dale ….Your pathetic reference to an “imaginary friend” just shows how bankrupt of proper argument the likes of you lot are. You are repetative, boring and anti intellectual. Try growing up rather than loading up these stupid phrases. It is only the small man that can do nothing but load up insults and nothing else. This is a big boys publication. It was a good article and you do not like it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/edella.smith Edella Smith

        “It is only the small man that can do nothing but load up insults and nothing else.”

        It seems you loaded up a bit of insults for John Dale yourself, and not much else.

        • Edden

          Edella…..John Dale is one of those serial offenders who regularly target articles on religion so he can post trite and juvenile insults against faith. I was replying to that. My comment was just and he must take responsibility for his actions. If you have anything substantial to ask then do so.

          • http://www.facebook.com/edella.smith Edella Smith

            “If you have anything substantial to ask then do so.”

            O.k. Why chastise a man for posting trite and juvenile insults with trite and juvenile insults of your own?

          • Edden

            I have not posted juvenile insults of my own Edella. Explain what is juvenile? I don’t deny I confronted John Dale strongly but it was not juvenile. He simply belongs to a group of online atheist bloggers who lacking subsytantial argument just wants to load up silly and childish insults. A favourite one is the unintelligent Skt Fairy business but there are variations. If someone does this then he can explain robust replies. And if you look below he has no answer of any value. You no doubt are just sympathetic to him!

          • http://www.facebook.com/edella.smith Edella Smith

            “I have not posted juvenile insults of my own Edella. Explain what is juvenile?”

            Yes you have. This is a big boys publication?

            I think your anger has got the best of you. You’re being trolled. I am not sympathetic to trolls. I ignore them. Consider doing the same Edden.

          • Edden

            No Edella and by the way it is not me that is angry. I suspect you are quite angry because you are a supporter of the chap I confronted and quite self righteous at it as well. Mr Dale came here to post up snide insults at the faith of other people. He gave no intelligent justification for his matter. It was just an insult for insults sake and he knows that there are folk on here that hold religious beliefs deeply. These folk do it often and I have seen Mr Dale before. It is moral cowardice. And he deserves my rebuke. My point was not trite. In any case he aggravated the matter and when one is so insulting it deserves a robust response.

            As I said you are just self righteous and hypocritical as well. I note quite a few have crawled out of the woodwork at my response Yes I know hypocrisy is a sore spot when its pointed out.

          • http://www.facebook.com/edella.smith Edella Smith

            “I suspect you are quite angry because you are a supporter of the chap I confronted and quite self righteous at it as well.”

            Are you under the impression that I am an atheist or supporter of trolls, Edden?

          • rationalobservations?

            Oh dear Edd,

            Still the same sound and fury that signifies nothing.

            Still no evidence and no answers.
            Still nothing to write in defense of the nonsense you espouse.
            Still nothing to write regarding the ridiculous nature and content of the nonsense you constantly fail to even attempt to defend.

            Don’t you ever get tired of exposing your immaturity, ignorance and the depth of your indoctrinated childish delusions?

          • Edden

            What on earth are you talking about evidence? I plainly provided clear evidence that My John Dale was posting up insults if you even bothered to read what was before you. You probably didn’t even bother to read it. More egg on your face Rational! You are just showing how poor you are at any debating. Why are you trying to change the subject? I hope we are not going to see more reams and reams of diahorrea that you have gained from your recent web surfing. The subject was about trivial insults. Stop deflecting.

            Now if you can address the subject at hand then fine but don’t come back with anything else. You are tiring me out.

          • rationalobservations?

            You were challenged many times in the past to produce any 1st century evidence for the ridiculous legends to be found within modern bibles and merely back dated to the 1st century.

            You have always failed to answer that challenge and until you do, your endless meaningless nonsensical denial, angry abuse and obfuscation merely tires out all who read your posts….

          • Edden

            RO Stop trying to “Educate” folk on here about your past obsessions. You are just self righteous. You were the one who failed not me because you were the one who made the claims. Please do NOT take up these issues on here OK and don’t waffle either.

          • rationalobservations?

            Oh dear little Edd!

            If only you had the wits to see yourself as others see you, you may find the wisdom take your own advice.

            I have asked you in the past to point out any claims I make or have ever made. I assert that there is no evidence that supports the later written fables of “jesus the god-man” that are exclusive to one long spun and endlessly embellished work of human fiction called the NT Bible. That is not a “claim” but and observation regarding the total and utter historical wall of historical silence surrounding the biblical stories set in the 1st century but of which no 1st century text, artifact or archeology exists.

            To confound my assertion and support your own baseless claims that the fiction you recycle is based in fact, you merely need to produce the evidence. You have dodged that challenge many times in the past and will no doubt attempt t make some feeble and childish excuse to do so again now.

            Exceptional claims require exceptional proof. The onus is on those who claim some historical “truth” within the myths and legends they espouse to provide evidence and proof of those claims. Go ahead son, give it your best shot. But please don’t merely bluster, prevaricate, obfuscate and run away.., YET AGAIN!

          • Edden

            RO I asked you not to change the subject but you still persist. You are totally unprofessional. You are trying the “educate” the readers about your past obsessions which you are too self righteous to let go. You never proved a thing. Here you have made false claims of “myth” but evidence not supplied. OK . No, you have not got it but I hope others have. Just opinion only. That’s you. And I told you I am not interested in taking up your obsessive failed points. Not on here.

            One other thing which is most obvious of all. You talk about “exceptional claims needing exceptional proof”. Now point out to me in this article blog where I made any exceptional claims? Point out to me where I put forward a directly religious or supernatural argument? Point out to me where I propagated faith in God here in this article? You can’t because I did no such thing. Now stop being so down right unintelligent and bringing up these things that you are desperate to bring up. I could not care less about all the many hours you have wasted in the British museum looking at ancient texts. Clear off with this stuff.
            All you can do is throw out bland claims about the Bible being a myth which is only opinionated and evidence free. No RO I am not interested in your nonsense. Take it to someone else.

            Once again I came here to take to task someone who thought it right to load up insults without being able to justify himself. If you want to talk about this fine, but if not, just clear off.

          • rationalobservations?

            Same old same old Edd! Denial and obfuscation. Egomania and the attempt to ignore every issue, every question and every challenge.
            You remain utterly predictable and your petulant and childish demands to “clear off” once again demonstrate your immaturity and your inability to answer all that confounds you.

            You make claims you fail to EVER attempt to justify.

            The onus is on you to put up…, or shut up. (I wonder just how many times have you read that, but never once attempted to put up anything but meaningless expressions of denial and your own delusions wrapped up in your personal indoctrinated idiocy and egomania?)

            I will be happy to quit challenging you and exposing your vacuous nonsense when you provide some evidence and some answers to the 100s of questions you have dodged and run away from in the past. A practice you continue within every comment column you infect with your banal and childish fury at all who confound and contradict you. You respond with nothing but empty expressions of meaningless denial in response to anyone who attempts to engage in meaningful discussion or debate within any comment column.

            You have nothing to say but different versions that all boil down to; “I believe because I believe and all who do not believe are evil and sub human”. That is the only thing that anyone can take from your endless empty rhetoric.

          • Edden

            RO I have denied nothing that I said on this article and you have just vomited forth more repetitive rubbish. Just bland accusations with no proof. As I said I stick by what I said concerning insults which was originally addressed to the post by John Dale. Prove to me where I have denied that? Go away with the cods wallop that you are obsessed with. We took many days on it in the DT. You are not listening are you? I have denied nothing on my initial post and you are just trying to deflect onto some neurotic debate about ancient texts ancient villages and all manner of things that take up all your time in life. You are pathetic. If you really believed what you say about me you would in no way incessantly stalk me over these things online.

          • rationalobservations?

            The fraudulent human origins of the politico-corporate institutions of religion have long been revealed.

            The myths and legends of religions have all been well and truly busted.

            The murderous, evil and barbaric history of the christian religion is a historical fact.

            The psychosis of religious mania now has effective treatment available.

            You find yourself within a small and rapidly shrinking minority of the gullible and the deluded.

            You have my sincere sympathy.., but try to be a little less venomously aggressive and furious about your pitiful and sad plight.

          • Jose Barrios

            What really impresses me is EDs inability to critically analyze his own responses, retorts, and criticisms…Seriously, is this real life? I guess when you get caught up arguing about these things you forget that the argument is logically bankrupt LONG before it reaches that point….and to continue to entertain his empty claims dressed in self evident rhetoric, is just a colossal waste of time.

          • Edden

            Jose….Again I have someone is is spouting opinions and nothing else. You make a negative claim against me without any attempt to demonstrate with evidence or reference why your claims are true. Of course you are quite entitled to opinions as long as you recognise that that is all they are. My coming here to draw attention to hypocrisy and rudeness has offended a lot more than the person I originally addressed!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

            You have no idea how the burden of proof works, do you?

          • Edden

            Jake….I have a fairly good understanding of folk who love to operate double standards. Folk who don’t want to live by rules they insists applies to their opponents. Folk who adopt ploys and tacts that enables them to ask questions but not have to answer questions. That adopt construed “rules” that lets them sometimes target articles about religion to load up snide remarks against religion without accepting criticism. Yes I have a very good idea Jake. It is down right hypocritical and anti intellectual. Welcome to the blogs.

          • S Mason

            You got caught with your trousers down here posting an angry and amusing rant (in that the irony was so huge). Why not just apologise?

          • Edden

            Mr Mason……Stop bluffing. You are not amused at all and please don’t say that you are. You do not find what I say funny. On the contrary you are offended by it.
            Apologise for what?

          • Zeromus

            Well if you don’t have any evidence then don’t expect people to take your claims of the dead walking or any other biblical reference seriously until then.

          • Edden

            Mr or Mrs Zeromus. You said: “Well if you don’t have any evidence then don’t expect people to take your claims of the dead walking or any other biblical reference seriously until then.”

            My Claims? First of all please point out to me where I made this claim about dead walking in this article.

          • Zeromus

            I was making an offhand guesture about most biblical claims, not necessarily meaning the claim of the dead walking that you could find in the bible. I wasn’t referring to a claim you made specifically.

            If you don’t have evidence for any theistic/deistic perspective then don’t expect to be taken seriously.

          • Dale Top

            When people start insisting there is some rational justification for believing in fairy tales. They deserve to be mocked and insulted.

          • Edden

            Dale Top…You addressed this to me. Point out where I have started to insist that there is rational justification for fairy tales? After that, if you are referring to the Christian faith as “fairy tales”, prove your point. You have referred to the major historial faith of billions as a fairy tale. Lets see the evidence for your bold remark. After all your comment infers that you think you are very rational.

          • Ellendar

            To be fair, historically there have probably been as many people who have believed in Zeus, or AmonRa, as have believed in the christian god. Does that give them the ability to exceed fairy tale status to those who don’t believe in them? Not trying to be an ass, but that’s terrible logic, a whole lot of people can be wrong the same way that one person can be wrong.

          • Zeromus

            Burden of proof backwards, prove yours isn’t a fairy tale. We aren’t the ones that believe you. Provide positive evidence or be dismissed according to hitchens razor.

          • Edden

            And what is “mine” Mr or Mrs Zeromus? If you followed the discussion you will find that I initially came on here to point out the error of a person who thought he could subject something to ridicule without giving any reason why it can be subject to ridicule. He does it often in the blogs. Then Mr Dale Top also started ridiculing something without giving any justification. . I did not come propagating faith or theology myself under this article. More
            immediately look immediately above with regard to my question to Dale Top. He has been unable to answer my first sentence after 7 days. Then he made a rash claim about “myths”. He gave no evidence for his claim. Can you? I will be interested to see. Will you be evasive like a lot of other folk?

            As for “Hitchens razor”, I do not know what it is and could not
            care less. This Hitchens has not created any laws.

          • Zeromus

            You don’t need to falsify myths to dispel beliefs. You have the burden of proof backwards yet again. You have to provide positive evidence before belief should be granted to an idea. It is a basic logical precept that theists/deists often fail to understand.

          • Edden

            I suggested that you might be evasive. And you have been! Again you have failed to specify what my claims are. You obviously seem to
            know! You said to me: “prove yours isn’t a fairytale.” Now once more, what is “mine” Mr Zeromus? You really need to read the discussion
            before. What have I propagated?

            If you are saying the Christian faith is a myth i.e. untrue then you are going to have to prove that claim. Just because you say something is myth doesn’t make it one does it?. That might be your limited opinion. However you need to answer the question in my first paragraph first and I will wait for this..

          • Zeromus

            If you have a positive belief or belief system in a god or gods that would be “yours.” The christian myth is likely that unless you have positive proof and demonstrate actually understanding the burden of proof. Given this statement…
            “If you are saying the Christian faith is a myth i.e.. untrue then you are going to have to prove that claim.”
            It would seem that you haven’t the first idea how that works. The wiki has a great beginner level explanation of this concept.

            As for not having an answer, I need none in that I play the role of the skeptic within the burden of proof. I suggest you read that concept and try to understand it.

          • Edden

            Zeromus….You are trying to engage me into some sort of argument about religion or theology though I did not bring up that subject in the first instance. I demanded that someone should load up his justification for subjecting a major belief to insult and accusations of falsehood and give the reasons why. He did not do this nor did others that replied. Neither did you! I recognise folk always like to avoid subjects that give them problems and to get onto something else. Indeed you are no doubt spoiling for a fight motivated by an anti Christian view though you may well to deny this.

            “It would seem that you haven’t the first idea how that works.” What do you mean? I suppose you want to define how something
            works! You no doubt want to say where the goal posts ought to be. I’ve seen it all before so often. You have avoided what I said. If you were to say some major thing is false and untrue you would need to justify yourself and say why.

            “As for not having an answer”…You love to not want to answer. This is what I continually encounter from “atheists” so called. It makes things so easy.

            I have in the past on other articles often specified “proof” for
            Christian belief as I have dealt with Scripture, testimony/witness and many other things but opponents normally only try to rule them out of court. Indeed that is what your mentality is heading to and what I have explained in most of this comment demonstrates that. You
            want to define what is proof and what is not and please don’t refer me to some wiki thing!

            Perhaps you could do as I have challenged others. If they are going to say that the faith of billions is a myth and untrue you might want to prove how that is the case?

          • Zeromus

            I bring up that the major belief should be subject to ridicule because of the burden of proof I mentioned before, and likely will again until you actually learn how to use it.

            Goal post, learn the burden of proof and how to apply it to christianity, then attempt to use it. “If you were to say some major thing is false and untrue you would need to justify yourself and say why.” This shows you still don’t understand it.

            I would like an answer, but realize that one might not be forthcoming ( and probably least of all from religions or christianity).

            Burden of proof backwards again in the last paragraph. You really should look this up.

          • Edden

            Zeromus…I have not seen ridicule from you when replying to
            me yet. However if you do subject the Christian faith to ridicule, the reason is because you are a troll. That is if you cannot justify yourself for explaining that something is foolish. You need to give evidence why. You have not done so. Indeed you have been avoiding that point just as I suspected you would. The reason no doubt is because you have no confidence in trying to produce any sort of “rebuttal” therefore you do not even try but instead attempt to hide behind ploys and construed “rules.” If you are so interested in “rules” then try looking up the rules on defamation with regard to claims. Some good principles there even though we are not using them legally in this blog.

            The term Goal Post was just a metaphor as how it is often used in this context. You are just saying I don’t understand something which I am not even subject to. You have simply invented or perhaps rather adopted an excuse to try and avoid answering questions yourself and remain unchallenged. I find that in this media, atheists always regard themselves as people of reason, thinking and evidence but when actually challenged about specifics spend all their time saying why they ought not to answer! It leaves one feeling very unchallenged and that your opponents have very little substantial matter at all. Mind you basing something on a negative
            is rather depressing anyway.

          • Zeromus

            The christian faith has failed to meet its burden of proof just like any other faith and deserves ridicule for the nonsense it inspires.

            You need to give evidence for, not shirk the burden of proof. Each time you get this wrong I am going to type burden of proof. Burden of proof. Burden of proof. Burden of proof. You seem to do this an awful lot…

            Burden of proofX5

            Ok look, in order for you to actually continue this on a rational basis, you need to actually understand and properly use the burden of proof. You mess it up a ton in your posts.

            I don’t really need to believe anything until there is good reason or evidence to do so. Thinking that you are somehow not subject to providing evidence is quite interesting.

            Attempt to provide positive proof or be subject to hitchens razor ( this one you will want to look up before you reply so you know how it applies… just like the burden of proof that you continually ignore and also manage to keep showing how ignorant you are of it).

          • Edden

            You are just repeating yourself with increasing irritation because you are unable to provide convincing answers to what I have said in various posts above. You can type “burden of proof” all you like! It proves nothing to me and does not make you right. Perhaps a silence argument is your “ace card” and I have exposed that?
            Look at your post. You have nothing else. I am completely
            unchallenged indeed you have no substantial arguments at all and I do not expect I will find anything from you on this. Who said I was subject to this burden of proof notion as you have construed it?

            Now you seem to be claiming the right to insult the world’s largest religion. So you have claimed it is foolish and wrong. If you are going to claim something is utterly foolish and that people who believe it are utterly foolish you would at least have to explain why it is foolish. You have not done so and seem quite unable. If I was to claim Peter Sutcliffe was a murderer then that would indeed would be a defamatory claim against Peter Sutcliffe. If I could not produce evidence then it would be slander. However I would have no difficulty producing evidence of Peter Sutcliffe being a murderer! If however I claimed Mr Zeromus (or his real name) was a murderer then that would be defamatory as well. I would need to produce evidence. It I didn’t have it, it would be slander. In that case I would no doubt be a slanderer. Now though we are not dealing with the legal aspect here the principle is simple. If you come on here saying the Christian faith is ridiculous, utterly foolish, worthy of insulting and equally its adherents too then I would expect you to demonstrate why. Don’t hide behind silence Mr Zeromus.

          • Zeromus

            No it just means that you can’t and refuse to understand why your argument isn’t taken seriously by anyone that knows even a little about logic.

            I don’t need to bother explaining and you are now subject to hitchens razor, and thus dismissed.

          • Edden

            Are you claiming to be in the majority then Mr Zeromus? What I think you mean is I will not be taken seriously by the small number of folk who think they have the right to rubbish a thiing without having to prove why.
            Hitchens razor. And what is that? Couldn’t care less. This Hitchens you mention did not make any rules.

          • Zeromus

            Oh yes, tell me what my reasons are. That isn’t trolling someone at all. You also still misunderstand how evidence and reasoning work, christianity is not true by default, you are the one that needs to provide evidence that it is true, not ask others to disprove it. Your reasoning could not be more backwards.

            That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          • Edden

            Your repetitiveness is now become parrot style. You have most evidently failed. You have no confidence at all in providing any type of rebuttal. Yes you are a troll for the simple reason you come on here claiming to have the right to subject someone’s belief to ridicule without proving why it should be ridiculed. You have not even tried. I have challenged you enough. You have just chickened out, been evasive and posted up lame excuses. That is troll behaviour. You have not provided evidence or reason in terms of argument. If you had attempted to offer a case, even if I disagreed with you, I might not have called you a troll. But you don’t even try. You seem to be very lacking in confidence with regard to your belief or non belief.

            “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”…Stop repeating phrases that you have copied from your cronies Mr Zeromus. I’ve seen it too many times. And most of all stop operating double standards.
            Come on. Prove to me why the Christian faith is worthy of being mocked and insulted? Prove to me it is a myth and untrue? After all it would seem to be the case you are saying this. Have you going to display evidence? No silence arguments now. Are you going to surprise me? You have had long enough. No, you will no doubt retreat..

          • Zeromus

            It is because I don’t need a rebuttal when there isn’t evidence to believe. I think your repeating shitty logic is a tactic to inflame conversation so you can just point and say look at the irrationality and anger. That is troll behavior.

            There is a reason you’ve seen that phrase so often, you are a moron.

            You have the burden of proof backwards again too. Christianity is not true by default, there need to be reasons for believing it, and I have seen none furnished.

          • Edden

            Believe what? You haven’t even said. I have asked a very
            simple and very reasonable question haven’t I? I have spelt out for you in simple language so you can understand. I gave you are very simple illustration concerning defamation and the case of a murderer where it was put in plain language to help you. You are making defamatory claims. But you are simply failing to produce evidence that is all. You have none. You are not confident in trying to defend yourself with reasonable argument. Indeed you are defending the right to load up insults without giving any justification or even trying. Now that definitely is troll behaviour and your use of profane language only confirms this. It is anti intellectual and small
            minded.

            The fact is you cannot do it. If I were to describe some philosophy etc as stupid I would at least try and explain why I think it is stupid and hopefully provide evidence. That would be reasonable to expect. In your case it is obvious that you hate something but have no ability to say why it is wrong.

          • Zeromus

            It would appear that you believe in christianity, unless I am mistaken. There is no defaming a position that doesn’t have evidence to support it, or where the person supporting that belief won’t bring about evidence. If you want to prosecute but have no evidence that god (christian or w/e deity you want) did it… you don’t have a case to convince anyone anywhere.

            It is stupid because you cannot or will not provide supporting evidence. It is wrong by default because there isn’t evidence to support the claim made. Prove me wrong.

          • Edden

            Please don’t use words like default Mr Zeromus I am not a computer and neither are you. You may not have realised but the truth is a
            have a lot of experience of seeing atheists in this sort of media and am very familiar with the likes of those that log in via the NSS links. You numerous times have been using terms and phraseology that completely betray your source reasoning. You lot just copy each other in these things and after a lot of experience it does look pathetic from my viewpoint.

            I am very familiar with evasive techniques and yours is so obvious.
            Adopting the “burden of truth” bore which is just a technique that allows a person to load up insults and snide remarks with out wanting to be challenged at all. It is actually down right hypocritical and non intellectual. I have done a bit to try and expose that ploy with you and at the end of it have proved that folk like you have really got nothing to offer of substance. You pride pushes you on with me. You are in fact very opinionated, you hate Christianity, and that is what motivates you.

            If I came across a cult for example that had very terrible abusive practices, I might well use very negative and defamatory remarks when describing it. But then I would at least recognise I would have the duty to explain why it was a terrible cult and give evidence of those terrible practices or the terrible nature of their beliefs. It would not be good enough just to fire off ridicule and insult. This is most
            obvious to fair minded folk. But you have claimed that you can do this to the faith of many millions without even trying to prove yourself! You are just a fraud if you do that.

            And then what do you do? Your starting point in argument is
            you say to me Christianity is wrong so I cannot argue in favour of it at least that appears to be your reasoning. No evidence supplied.. You just want to decide what is wrong, make or adopt your own rules, say everyone else is subject to those rules etc etc! What an easy thing to do in a debate. No thinking needed!

            In any case there are many millions of human testimonies that verify Christianity. In a court two or three testimonies would establish a fact and I don’t think you would deny that. But it seems you totally rubbish the testimony of millions just because you do not like what they believe because of your ignorant bland claim there is no evidence. You are not motivated by proof or evidence at all. Just prejudice and opinions.

          • Zeromus

            Is it evasive to ask for proof of christianity or to continuously ask for disproof. This is why the burden of proof exists, to keep people like you from spreading nonsense and shirking/shifting the burden of proof.

            Pathetic is resorting to ad hominems instead of addressing the logic of the argument being made. I see no such attempt here.

            You also attempt to disguise my logic by strawmanning my motivations, which as far as I know have not been stated.

            Christianity has terrible and abusive practices and deserves the derision.

            Christianity may not be wrong, that is why I keep asking you to actually provide evidence for that idea. Likely also the reason you continue to shift the burden of proof, a classic theistic tactic. Present proof. I don’t need proof to disbelieve claims, I need proof in order to accept them. You really seem to enjoy dodging as often as possible.

            Argument ad populum, the number of people that believe a statement or idea does not make it valid. Present good evidence instead of fallacies please.

          • Edden

            Ad hominem…Another word you have copied from your cronies. Yet you are justifying insulting others!! You just want others to live by rules that you do not live by.

            “Burden of proof” as you see it has just been adopted and construed by you to let you go unchallenged and to insult the faith of others and yet not say why. You have been totally unable to load up anything substantial to justify yourself. Just hide behind silence arguments. “Christianity has terrible and abusive practices and deserves the derision”. This is just a bland claim you have loaded without evidence.

            Shifting burden of proof? No you are the one doing the shifting! You are justifying defamation without giving evidence. And you are shifting because you are constantly trying to change the subject. It was you that tried to get to subject onto religion more generally but I did not come here spouting religion in the first instance.

            Straw man? Where? Constant accusations without even specifying the matter.

            “Argument ad populum”, the number of people that believe a statement or idea does not make it valid.”……… Mr Zeromus. You are just like a clone. The times before I have heard this repeated.
            And please point out to me where I said numbers proves a belief right? Come on. Show me where I said that? What a bore this is. Numbers do not prove something right or wrong. However numbers do have some relevance especially when atheists are forever quoting statistics. When it suits them that is!

            Fallacies? What fallacies. Christianity? You made the claim. Prove it and stop being evasive.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377173672 Bryan Richards

            Ad hominem is a logical fallacy you learn in a logic 101 class or from learning just a little on your own.

            Burden of proof is also a simple logical construct that you fail to understand because you haven’t even bothered to look that up either. The trend of this conversation is a shifting of the burden of proof and disinterest in learning simple logic. Logic doesn’t do faith any favors, so I can’t really blame you.

            The evidence for christian nations and violence is in practice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdtwTeBPYQA&list=PLF60A5D03078E03A5&index=5

            Defamation would indicate that there is a proven concept to be defamed. Present proof and quit shifting the burden that you clearly don’t understand. You can’t claim I am shifting it when almost every sentence you use shows that you don’t understand the idea.

            Strawmanning is when you misrepresent my position, since you keep showing me that you have no idea what that is… that is strawmanning.

            Pretty much each of your sentences shows that you do not understand the very base levels of logic. This conversation is over.

          • Edden

            Hold on Mr Bryan Richards. Are you Mr Zeromus on a
            different profile? And are you addressing this post to me? It is
            somewhat confusing what you are saying. Then at the end you put “This conversation is over”. What conversation?

            Are you a dictionary Mr Richards? You seem to think you are. So what actually is your point?

            “Strawmanning is when you misrepresent my position, since you keep showing me that you have no idea what that is… that is strawmanning.” …Did I say that to you? In any case if you say I am loading up straw arguments then please show me where? This is my constant problem. Meeting folk who make accusations and claims
            but they don’t specify or prove those claims. Let’s hear you mate?

            “You can’t claim I am shifting it when almost every sentence you use shows that you don’t understand the idea.” … Are you trying to rule me out off court? If so demonstrate why? Come on? Every sentence? Prove your case man? Show where? I am being deceitful according to you. Prove it? Will you chicken off? Will you avoid the issue like Mr Zeromus? All it is, is opinion Mr Richards, that’s all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/justin.crook.908 Justin Crook

            Sorry Edden. Your comment about this being a big boy’s publication is not only juvenile, but sexist as well. And, before you jump to your point that I must be an atheist, I assure you, I am not.

          • http://www.facebook.com/george.wilson.3517 George Wilson

            Hi Edden, here’s another atheist’s response: This article contains very little truth in it. Do some reading on atheism and the history of Humanism, and also watch a few videos of Dawkins explaining his thought process on youtube. You’ll soon realise that much of what is levelled at the “new atheists” (a misnomer in many respects) is at best misleading and factually incorrect, and at worst slander. Also: Stop insulting people and generally missing the point. All the best, a nasty mean atheist.

          • Edden

            George…I have noted whenever Dawkins gets criticised it touches a lot of raw nerves and produces much self righteousness. I’ve see it too often. As for myself I did not initially come to this article with any criticism of Dawkins, notwithstanding the fact he has been responsible in the past for very insulting comments directed at others. I referred to folk who target articles like this only for the reason of insulting faith without producing any evidence why it is worthy of being insulted. At the best such folk argue from silence but more accurately they are trolls.

          • Dale Top

            It is not so much touching raw nerves as it is people don’t like to hear lies. It is especially irritating when those lies are said/written about men of science and backed with no factual evidence.

          • Edden

            Dale Top…….I am not sure what you are saying is lies. Are you saying that the Christian faith is lies? If you are saying that then please prove your defamatory claim. Lets see your evidence for your remark that Christianity is lies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

            “Only for the reason of insulting faith without producing any evidence why it is worthy of being insulted.”

            Quickly then, here are a few…

            1) Creationism/ID being taught in schools.
            2) Muslim women being murdered in so-called “honor killings,” being forced to cover themselves from head to toe, being forced to become one of multiple wives to men at an inhumanely young age, being forced to remain uneducated…
            3) Suicide bombers actually blowing themselves up partly because they believe that there are virgins waiting for them in paradise.
            4) Religion influencing politics. Recent example can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/11/republican-biblical-flood-climate-change

            5) Westboro Baptist Church…
            6) Priests raping children…
            7) Lack of people going into science fields due to their beliefs.

            Is that enough?

          • Edden

            Jake….I was writing to Mr Top above in response to the Christian faith. Therefore your point 2 and 3 are out of my remit.

            1) What schools? You mean tiny number of fee paying schools. In any case again I have a person saying something is worth insulting without even trying to give the reason why. All you really do is mention the word “creationism”.

            5) This is a cult. By all means criticize it.
            6) This is criminal behaviour not motivated by faith.
            4) Very vague. For security reasons I’m not accessing links.

          • caldous

            You missed a few… Despite that, let me add the killing of homosexuals in countries like Uganda, and the lies from church organisations going as far as teaching people in AIDS-torn Africa that condoms *increase* the risk of HIV infection…

          • jheljah

            hey jake, has an atheist ever murder someone? rapped someone? or been part of sexism or racism? just bundle every individual together thats fair.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            rapped someone…,
            “We got it wrong
            I will admit
            Papal infallabilty
            Dropped us in the *hit

            The celibate bed
            It really sucks
            When everyone else
            Is getting a *uck
            So cut me some slack
            You hear me JC?
            Make with fringe bennies
            For little old me”

          • jheljah

            what? i don’t get it.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            rapped -> raped
            When you have to explain it…

          • jheljah

            yea, i got that bit. what’s that poem/song about? and why did you use it as a response to my comment. have you realised the pointlessness of your original comment?

          • http://www.facebook.com/Ericos95 Erica Abernethy

            These “online atheists” you speak of have plenty of “substantial” evidence Edden. We’ve just gotten to the point where trying to explain the entire process of evolution and how much damage religion has caused the world etc, has become so FUCKING repetitive and tedious it’s like talking to a brick wall. We’re reduced to making comments like “Sky Fairies” and making up religions like “pastafarianism” because we feel like it’s the only way ignoramus theists will understand where we’re coming from… We dish out “silly and childish insults” because online God warriors still DO believe in the fairy-tales we were force-feed as children….

          • Edden

            No Erica, you have done absolutely nothing of what you have claimed. You have certainly not explained the entire process of evolution! You are in fact just a foul mouthed troll who has proved big time the reason why I entered this article discussion in the first place. And you don’t speak for others anyway. There are some atheists who would be ashamed of you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

            You really are that dull aren’t you? Since you missed it the first time, I’ll explain it to you.

            She did not claim to do anything. She did not try to explain evolution. She explicitly stated that she is no longer does so because it’s “repetitive and tedious.”

            Do you understand?

          • Edden

            Jake…Stop waffling and stop being down right evasive. She did not claim anything!! Give over and read it again. And stop defending foul mouthed trolls. Are you another self righteous bod who is upset because I happen to point out the rudeness of one of your fellow cronies?
            I note two things on here. One is the sensitivity of Dawkins devotees whenever he gets criticism. He does criticize others himself. The other is the amazing “feed back” I get just because I originally took someone to task for loading up insults without giving reasons.
            As for evolution perhaps you could tell me where it all began? Prove to me how something originated out of nothing without a creator? Don’t say it is not evolution. “Evolution” demands and answer here. Lets here what you have got to say.

          • Guest

            because trite and juvenile is where Mr. Dale lives of course!

          • http://veesblog.wordpress.com/ VeroniqueD

            Edden – you would have to be one of the better offenders at posting trite and extremely juvenile and mainly nonsensical insults against anyone who isn’t a religite.

            As you have nothing substantial to add to this comment thread, neither do I. Theo is much the same, far too insubstantial an article writer to be of any benefit to anyone. Just stirring the pot methinks. As do you all the time! and as do I right now.

          • Edden

            No Veronique. One of the biggest reasons that bring me here is to confront insults of a trivial nature. I do not normally load them up in the first instance. Nevertheless, I will confront them when they appear and not mince my words.

          • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.wren Joseph C Wren

            So what you’re saying is that it’s ok for YOU to be insulting and juvenile. Gotcha.

          • Edden

            Joseph. And where have I been juvenile? Point it out? Its no use simply referring to the force of my reply. Anybody posting negative opinions can expect opposition. Thats what this is about. My reply was just.

          • http://twitter.com/Hitchslap_82 Andy M

            Your entire schpeel reads as juvenile. You are also a hypocrite, as almost everything you berate others for you are actually guilty of ten-fold. Your reply is simply an angry knee-jerk reaction to seeing somebody write a flippant, yet completely apt comment. You might not like it, but that doesn’t change anything.

            God can only be imaginary and mythical, like all the other myths and legends, until proof is provided. If you make an exception for God, then you set a precedent whereby anyone can claim anything as the truth, without a shred of evidence. Literature such as the Bible is no more proof than any other literature that has been written, such as that written on Greek Gods. That doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for it to be proven, just as there is a potential for me to be made Prime Minister tomorrow morning, but it is HIGHLY unlikely. What you are doing is placing all your chips on the highly improbable. Infact you’d actually probably be more likely to win a bet if you were betting on me becoming PM tomorrow morning.

          • Edden

            Andy…Prove to me where I am hypocritical? Come on. Demonstrate it. You did not. You have just posted your opinion and it is very knee jerk indeed. How am I guilty of hypocrisy tenfold? Don’t be ridiculous. You are just upset that is all. Indeed I have exposed the hypocrisy of folk that load up insults without giving any evidence for their right to do that and you know it.

            God can only be imaginary! A myth. Prove your claim mate? You have made a defamatory comment. Let’s see your evidence for that. Prove to me how many millions are resting their lives on a mere figment of imagination? Come on prove your defamatory claim against these milions or against their faith? Not only will you not do it but I suspect you will chicken out and refuse to do it and load up some pathetic excuse. Stop defending insulting behaviour.

            Literature like the Bible is no proof? I can see you want to play on an uneven field. You just want to say where the goal posts should be.

            What you have loaded up is your own thing and it’s called OPINION.

          • Glenn Colley

            The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim that god exists, not the person who disagrees. Plus you can’t use the millions of believers as a serious argument for god, once again it just doesn’t prove anything. And there is no defamatory claim here, religion can no longer bully people into silence. Religious people can no longer claim to be insulted when their blind faith is questioned.

            Enough is enough, there is ZERO evidence for anything in religion, which is the very definition of faith, and every new major scientific discovery takes another chip out of religion’s obsolete explanations for everything. It is only a matter of time.

          • Edden

            Glenn, Burden of proof aye…. if you could give me a pound for everytime I have heard this excuse I would be a very very rich man. Anyway where did I make such claims on this article? Show me? I certainly challenged defamatory claims by others but they have not answered OK.
            ZERO evidence for faith? You just want to define where the goal posts should be. If I did load up what I regard as proof then you would no doubt reject it. And please don’t claim to be a scientist. It is the biggest profession represented on here. It is also the biggest profession represented at Hyde Park Corner!
            Bye the way where did I say numbers prove an argument right? I never actually said that. Nevertheless numbers do have some point of interest.

          • caldous

            If you define what “faith” is, wouldn’t it often be fair to say there is “Zero evidence for faith”? In most definitions, if there was evidence for it, would your belief still be faith?

          • JustMe

            I find it interesting that there is “zero” evidence for anything in religion. How do you suppose? I could make as trite a statement by saying “there is no evidence for atheism.” After all, saying that “there is no god,” or that “I’m absolutely certain god doesn’t exist” is in a way creating an anomaly of sorts. For anyone to have true knowledge, they must have gathered all evidence pertaining to the knowledge at hand. If someone told me there was a mouse in the room, the only way for me to know that there is or isn’t a mouse in the room is for me to gather all evidence. Thus, a completely thorough search is in order. Only after every corner is searched can I make the claim that there isn’t a mouse in the room. For someone to say “there is no god,” they must have searched every fragment of evidence possible; however, after that person has gathered all evidence, it could be said that person is all-knowing, and therefore placed on the same plain as a god, and by first saying that “there is no god,” that person is in turn denying their own divinity. No, certainty is no guarantee of truth or knowledge, I know. On both sides of the argument there is evidence present. The way that you interpret that evidence is what finalizes your faith/beliefs, be it atheism, creationism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. To say that there is ZERO evidence for religion is to say that “I’m blind.”

          • Hominid

            How ’bout this – YOU spend YOUR time searching for god & I’ll spend my time doing something productive?

          • JustMe

            Uh huh, like replying to my comment? Will do. I could respond with the fact that I firmly believe in God, and that I have already found what I’m looking for, but that would be useless. From that fact flows all of my productivity. If you think what you’re doing is productive, go for it! Being that the end result doesn’t have any repercussions, correct?

          • caldous

            I do think there would be a huge benefit for people arguing like this to take a science course (even just a math course like introductory statistics) that goes over what a “null hypothesis” is. It would give you a good idea why someone might say “There is no god” based on current evidence.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Quibbleknott Stephen Hughes

            ‘It is only a matter of time’

            Your notion on the progress of reason is an anthropocentric fairy tale. The current secular of water boarding and the reason used to justify it use comes from rational principles and an application of scientific methods (I am not saying you agree with this but using it only an example of how ‘progress of reason’ is sometimes an idea that can be false.) The ‘burden of proof’ lies with Jermey Kyles audience.It’s logical conclusion can only descend into a rabble. A more measured and considered approach is what the article elucidates and the Atheism of Dawkins et al is badly in need of reality check(are memes not an ontological leap of faith).

          • http://twitter.com/Hitchslap_82 Andy M

            You are clearly behaving in a way in which you have chastised others over. You will disagree, because you won’t accept criticism, but it doesn’t make it any less true. You cannot be relied upon to remain impartial, as you are emotional and have an agenda. As a passing observer to your flame war with others, I stopped to offer an impartial view. It doesn’t matter to me if you accept that or not.

            God can indeed only be imaginary until those who have the burden of proof (believers) prove it. Otherwise, I can tell you now that I have an old text that tells me that actually there are several Gods, including one named Zeus. If there is no burden of proof, I can make such claims and you have no way of proving me wrong. Infact, why not? I believe in Zeus. My claim is backed up in literature, as is yours. Let’s wait to see where you ‘move the goalposts’ on this one…

            What is truly hilarious, is that your anger and emotionally-volatile state prevented you from even understanding what I was saying properly. You clearly did not understand that I was actually slightly leaning towards defending your right to believe, when I said that the fact you can’t prove it doesn’t actually mean it can’t be proven. What it does mean, for those of us who value a modicum of calm, reasoned thinking, is that it is unlikely, or improbable. As a result, we can only approach this they way we approach anything in life – ask for evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Unfortunately, you can’t. If you can, please do so now. This is the trouble when people become emotionally involved in the way you have – you make mistakes and rationality goes out the window.

            You ask if literature like the Bible is no proof. Well, that’s an easy question to answer: no, of course it’s not proof. It is written by man, for man. There is no proof of anything other than humans wrote it, making the claim that they were passing on the word of God. If you want to believe this that is fine, but it is purely FAITH – a word that is even used by your religious brethren. Faith is not evidence, it is not proof – it is, infact, a direct announcement that you are giving your trust to someone or something. Trust, once more, is something you give without any guarantee that it will be earned or kept.

            Let me put it like this – when you start living a life that is devoid of scientific assistance, and stop making decisions in everyday life based on tangible, visible and testable proof which you seek in advance, then I will be more open to considering the same approach here.

            The biggest issue you face is balance. As someone who understands the atheist argument I can relay it here to you easily, as I have done above with one aspect of it. However, I can also relay the religious opinion back to atheists. I understand both. You have not yet written anything which states you even understand the atheist argument. Would you like to explain what you understand of the arguement?

          • Edden

            Andy M I came here to point out the infantile behaviour of a serial atheist troll who posts insults upon people and their faith without any attempt to justify himself. He does this in other blogs and his tactics are not uncommon. And you do not like that! I did not come here to this article preaching religion. I did not come here propagating faith in God. You cannot point out from me where I have tried to spout theology to others because I did not do that in this article.

            You accused me of hypocrisy. It was a sweeping bland claim because you did not even try to explain why. In other words it was just an insult. As for your bit about being an impartial observer, this is just a porkie. You simply did not like me pointing out the cheap behaviour of an atheist troll that is all.

            It seemsthat you have a hatred for Christianity and faith and though I did not propagate these things on this blog, you are desperate to engage me on them. Your extreme prejudice has brought this about. You Impartial? Do you really think I am stupid enough to believe that? You are trying to look intelligent but it has not fooled me Mr Andy M. Your phraseology has betrayed you straight away. I am not new to this media and you are simply repeating the same very boring and very predictable excuse laden arguments that all the other atheists do when they log in from the links on the NSS links page. “Burden of Proof” and all that. Yes I know, I have heard it all before. Basically you are using a ploy so like all the others you can avoid answering the difficult problems of life. Great isn’t it. You can fire all the questions bit not answer them. You accused me of hypocrisy! You are the one. You have nothing substantial really.

            Zeus. I am getting bored of this Zeuis business with you lot. You lot are all the same. You are so limited aren’t you? You are just repeating the empty ploys of others. I’m sure all the billions of
            Zeus followers today will be offended! Stop using empty useless arguments.

            “What is truly hilarious”….stop bluffing Mr Andy M. You do not find this funny at all. You are not amused. In fact you are quite offended. You are just referring to it as humorous as a cheap attempt the try and rubbish the opposition but it won’t fool me. Don’t hate your enemy. It is certainly affecting our judgement.

            What you have posted about the Bible is just your own opinion that is all. For your part you have not proved the Bible is not proof. All you did was say it is not proof. Well I’m sorry to disappoint you but many millions of folk don’t agree with you on that one.

            You appear to say that I do not understand atheist arguments. Well you have not produced any real arguments have you? All you have done above if reiterate a tactic that lets you off the hook with regard to answering some of the difficult questions in life as I said above. Like some others, you hate faith and religion and though I did not spout these things you have been desperate to bring them up but have done a very bad job in the process.

          • http://twitter.com/Hitchslap_82 Andy M

            Your thought process is simply that anything you believe is correct, whereas anything anyone else believes is not, despite obvious flaws which you prefer to ignore rather than address. It is funny, simply because your approach is so martyrish yet your cause and practice so comedic. Comedy is so difficult to write successfully, so in that regards, sir, I applaud you on doing a fanastic job. If you ever feel the need to make a break into the stand-up circuit, you have my full support. Until then, I will continue to laugh at your efforts here.

            You can continue to project your own desperation onto me if you wish, writing in a tone which comes across as indignant, angry and greatly emotional. Nobody can be trusted to remain impartial all the time, but the emotional fellows like you can be trusted even less as your judgement is always clouded by the mists of rage and passion evoked by people saying things you don’t want to hear, but ultimately can’t form a coherent rebuttal against. Once again, you are a fantastic humourist. Unfortunately logical thinking is not your strong point.

            Here is one of the things I found most laughable from your last aggrieved offering:

            “Basically you are using a ploy so like all the others you can avoid answering the difficult problems of life.”

            This is where your arguement loses its last stitch and comes apart like a poorly-crafted doll from a third-world sweatshop (a ‘God’ is certainly looking out for their best interests, eh?!) Almost all atheists, particularly ones who speak publicly on this issue, never claim to have answers to all the problems or to know how how the Universe began (beyond the Big Bang theory). All they do is state what is proven through scientific research and testing and state that anything else is sheer hypothetical belief, with no evidence to support it. Your stance is that nothing that offers an answer should be questioned, no matter how unbelievable or illogical it is, nor how many flaws there are in the consistency of the claims made or evidence cited in support of said theory. This logic, applied to anything else, would be laughed out the room. I’m afraid extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There doesn’t have to be an explanation for everything – our minds may well be too undeveloped to even contemplate an accurate explanation for every single process that led to the existence of everything.

            The tragic irony is that in a way, religious people are on a quest for the ultimate explanation – they want everything to have sense to it and have a narrative story to explain things in a way our minds can understand. The tragic irony part is that although they want an explanation and the quest to understand can only be a good thing, they are happy for the explanation to be anything at any given time. Before the Bible was written there were other religions, all trying to do the same.

            The Bible is not and never will be evidence of anything other than the fact that human beings are able to write. No supernatural being took pen to paper, men did. You can believe as much as you want to that they were inspired by a God to write it and that it is the word of a God channeled through them, but it is still written by men – flawed beings like all of us. This is therefore simply another piece of literature and there is nothing you can say or do to prove otherwise, other than get a little huffy and blustery and make outlandish claims that your belief (which I defend your freedom to hold) is indisputable fact.

            If you want to open that can of worms that belief trumps fact, then quite rightly Zeus and every other God known throughout history can be brought up, not to mention the fact that the Abrahamic religions are all pre-dated by equally as legitimate religions, with no more or less proof supporting them than your own, or Islam, or Judaism. You and the millions around the world can continue to believe – but it is just that – a belief. Not a fact, not proven and ultimately not something anyone concerned with evidence has any regard for.

            To live in this world and actually compete for jobs, day-to-day living, etc. with those of us who value evidence, ultimately, you too have to use scientific logic in all other areas of life. So I simply repeat what I said before: when you start living a life that is devoid of scientific assistance, and stop making decisions in everyday life based on tangible, visible and testable proof which you seek in advance, then I will be more open to considering the same approach here. The fact you and everyone else does this in all areas, then you conveniently drop this approach when it comes to a religion, says it all really.

          • Jose Barrios

            Edden is pure comedy at this point. He has a very eloquent manner of acting a certain way and convincing himself that he is not, while the rest of the members of this forum see it very clearly displayed. I truly find it humorous that he is guilty of doing all the things he ‘rebuked’ earlier: Ad Hominem attacks, hypocrisy, using ‘self-righteous’ logic, relying on ‘ancient texts’, making unsupported claims with no factual evidence, and the list goes on.
            I am truly sorry for people like you, who subscribe to an ideology and want to be right at all cost, usually at the cost where you will attempt to contest the facts…
            I was once one of those people, a militant catholic for almost 20 years. I just want to say that i sympathize with you, and i will not attempt to insult you any further, i just hope that you can sit down with your philosophies one day, and ground them to reality. Perhaps one day you will stumble back to this forum and have a good laugh at what you used to think.

          • Edden

            Jose….First stop the porkies. You are not one bit amused at my reply here. You do not find it funny. In fact your self righteousness has no doubt caused you to be angry at it. You only refer to it as comedy as a cheap attempt to rubbish your opposition.

            Ad Hominem. I use the language of the laity. In any case I initially came here to draw attention to a blogger who regularly thinks he can insult the beliefs of others without even attempt to explain why those beliefs are foolish so your term is somewhat hypocritical.

            Where did I say I rely on ancient texts? Please note this is not a denial. But I did not come here spouting religion on this article. Can you show me where I did? Actually it is you who have brought up these things only demonstrating your prejudice against them.

            You are not sorry for me. Stop bluffing (again).

            I was not once a militant RC and never will be. Take your past hang ups elsewhere and get over them.

            You refer to my philosophies. Please can you now explain to me what my philosophies are? You obviously know them. Let me here them?

          • Chris Bordeman

            I think Edden’s real name might be “Russ Eggen.” He is a Scientologist, and Christian. :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000134791115 Tom McLachlin

            The bible is proof that humanity has mastered reading, writing, story telling, and the use of printing presses.

            The bible is not proof that any supernatural being exists, nor that such a being created the universe, our solar system, all life on earth. The bible does not prove that a god supervises all activity or perhaps controls everything, Neither does the bible prove that any god makes rules for humanity to follow – which would seem pointless if that god controls everything anyway.

            The bible is an interesting collection of ancient stories, but we have much better explanations for the origins of the universe, earth, and life on earth now. . There is nothing which can only be explained by “God did it.”

          • Edden

            Thanks Tom. You are fair-minded but your post simply demonstrates that you are not a Christian believer.

          • Chris Bordeman

            It’s an honor to meet you, Mr. Prime Min…

            😀

          • http://veesblog.wordpress.com/ VeroniqueD

            Oh come on Edden. Admit it. As soon as you see a headline on Google online news that relates to Dawkins or religion, your wee fingers just itch to comment some frothy, crossy stuffski. Doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?

          • ow lafaye

            @Edden…when you start off with an insult to a fine figure in history, you reduce yourself and your credibility significantly.

          • Edden

            Amen.

          • Dale Top

            I believe he is mocking your silly belief system. That isn’t really insulting, it is pointing out how silly you sound to informed people.

          • Edden

            Dale Top….And you are just a non intelligent person who is unable to provide any proof for your idea that my beliefs are silly, not that I’ve written much about my beliefs anyway. The short nature of your item just shows that you have very little to offer and very little to respond to. You might even be John Dale under another profile.

          • Zutti

            Edden simply must be a poe.

            Nobody could be this obtuse and still possess the ability to read, write and operate a computer.

            Right?

          • Chris Bordeman

            “non intelligent person who is unable to provide any proof for your idea that my beliefs are silly”

            But you do so, so well on you your own.

          • Edden

            Mr Bordeman……Here I have to face another person who is only able to load up one sentence of his own yet he questions my intelligence! If you can’t post anything substantial then clear off.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Dale/100001162947374 John Dale

        Nice of you to notice me Edden sweetie. Now please explain what you are doing reading this “big boys publication”.

        • Edden

          Stop being evasive John Dale.

          • rationalobservations?

            “Evasive”?

            Oh the irony of your use of that word after you have evaded, avoided and ignored every issue, every point, every item of evidence and every question asked of you within every comment column you have written nothing but furious denial, ad hominem and endlessly delusional assertions regarding your own indoctrinated “faith” in fictional “gods” and ridiculous human authored fiction.

          • Edden

            RO Yet again you are making claims without proof or evidence but please please read my post above to you. STOP CHANGING THE SUBJECT OK. I don’t want to get involved in anymore denial post by you about your very faulty views on ancient texts or discoveries!! It is enough to do ones head in. I challenged a chap about childish remarks.

          • rationalobservations?

            Any reader masochistic enough to trawl through your Disqus history and look for both sides of previous exchanges you have had with me and many others, will reveal the proof and evidence you have denied or ignored and the absolute absence of any evidence produced by you.

            You always merely, impotently and vacuously rage against that which you fail to comprehend, blindly deny, or choose to ignore while you endlessly make childish accusations against those who repeatedly reveal your nonsense and constantly confound you..

            Get a life young man…..

      • http://twitter.com/RoyalT45 RTAJFDT

        I’d like to know how we are boring and anti intellectual? And it wasn’t a good article, it was based on opinions rather than facts and tries to force that view on the reader. I believe you as well as most people have forgotten what journalism is, even on the internet, this is a lazy article. The fact remains that more and more people are turning away from religion and people like Dawkins, if you really pay attention to what he believes, are just trying to show people that religion/superstition is not necessary, it certainly does good but those goods could have been done out of love, not religion. In fact, doing a good deed in the name of god rather in.the name of humanity or the person you’re helping, is far more disturbing. God is an imaginary friend, if he wasn’t then there would be proof, everything has proof, and you would think after thousands upon thousands of years and specific stories that there would be proof but there is nothing.

        • ow lafaye

          Yes Edden, be good for goodness sake….this is good and it removes all the complications associated with being good out of fear.
          If you are bad, you are bad…religion won’t help you.
          There is no evidence whatsoever that religion makes you better than non-believers…none whatsoever. We are all human and act out our lives according to those innate traits that bring us pleasure or satisfaction. Religion does not temper these traits any more than non-religion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wilsophilip Philip Wilson

            Oh please, don’t be such a derr. be good for goodness sake? under atheism, “good” is just a social construction, a product of random evolution- it is illusory. Haven’t you read Richard Dawkins enough to hear him concede that? And yes- religion does make a difference. Of course, showing you stats wouldn’t help shift your mind which isn’t really interested in “evidence”.

          • Glenn Colley

            Please show the stats. Evidence is everything. Morality comes from being self aware which leads to empathy. Your so called illusion is fact. It is witnessed in the more intelligent animals on this planet, not just humans. For you to think you can’t be good without god is insulting to not just atheists but all human beings. What you are saying is you need a fear of god to have morality, yet a chimpanzee needs no god or religion to show empathy towards another chimpanzee.

          • S Mason

            When you say Dawkins ‘concedes’ something…you tell us again what your personal prejudices are. That you go onto lecture us on evidence and closed mindedness just blows the irony meter.

        • Edden

          RTAJFDT….I am afraid your comment is very opinionated. No proof supplied. Yes, of course you are entitled to opinions. And as for journalists, of course they load up opinions!

        • Meg Underdown

          That everything is provable is provably untrue!

          • Hominid

            Does that mean it’s OK to replace ‘I don’t know’ with make-believe?

      • http://veesblog.wordpress.com/ VeroniqueD

        Grammar Edden, grammar. You always seem to lose your grammar when you froth. :-)

      • Georginafs

        “the small man that can do nothing but load up insults”
        Such as repetative, boring and anti intellectual?

        But your are right, it should be “imaginary father”, not friend. ‘Cos neithe allah nor Jahwe are particularly friendly.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Insults? Are you kidding? I haven’t even got my trousers off yet.
        Religion is violent superstition for sad losers that can’t handle mortality. When you draw your last breath it’s Game Over. No glorious after live. This is all there is. So make the most of it.

        • Edden

          Jack…..And I suppose you can prove all that can you? Didn’t think so.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            I don’t have to. You’re the one sell the after life insurance. I’m just saying, “Not today, thank you”.

          • Edden

            Jack Yes you do have to. You loaded up negative and defamatory claims about other peeople and their beliefs. Present you evidence man. What do you mean by saying I am selling life insurance? Even if this is a metaphor for something else, explain yourself man. Where on this article am I pushing some point or view? I will await you answer but I doubt if I can expect much..

          • Guest

            Do ignore this obvious troll of the Internet. He used to lurk and crawl under the Catholic and religious blogs of the site for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, then under the name “Terry Wrist”, first back in the year 2007. So much for being an atheist. What kind of an atheist would still sniff around religious blogs the way he did?

          • Edden

            Thanks. Another thing about atheist trolls is that some use multiple profiles. In reality this sort of atheism is a very small minority of the population. If you don’t believe that, try checking the NSS membership figures. They are not easy to find by the way. Most of the atheist trolls come here via the link on the NSS news page.

          • Guest

            No, this one is different. I don’t think that the NSS is desperate enough and that desperate to have to enlist an obvious loon from Japan who struggles with certain basic words of English and who also uses some made-up words of his own. Still, you would be unpleasantly surprised as to the number of the ones in Limbo, those who are unbaptised and who are baptised agnostics and spiritualists in this Country.

          • S Mason

            Edden – do you actually believe the stuff you post? If so, perhaps seek some medical help? Your posts are angry, ranty, above all just straight out of the mould. You engage in every dishonest debating technique from the straw man to the gish gallop.. Your goalposts move every time you’re challenged.

            But the one I like most in your repertoire is the faux-I don’t understand. That’s a cracker – and you do like to use it!

            I honestly suspect you have some serious issues you need to deal with – and posting this stuff here is unlikely a surrogate for some proper attention? Throwing the troll accusation here is more than just desperate… Seriously, maybe just step back a bit and perhaps chat to someone about life and how you’re feeling?

          • Edden

            You are not a psychiatrist or a doctor Mr Mason. You are just a quack. There are many “psychiatrists” and “doctors” hanging out at Hyde Park Corner and you might be one of them. You are also very self righteous like a lot of your cronies. I came here simply highlighting a serial atheist troll who loads up insults without providing any evidence for why the items are worthy of insulting. That is all and you do not like that. Can you do any better?

            I am not the one who moves goal posts but on the contrary I have highlighted the hypocrisy of those who think they can fire questions but not have to answer them. I have not been dishonest and you have not provided evidence for this defamatory claim. Stop going on about me having issues to deal with. Again you have hardly backed up your claims with proof but are just loading bland accusations. You post is pretty useless because you have not actually dealt with issues.
            I am famliar to these blogs. I know what makes folk really angry. Disagreeing with someone can make them angry. Insulting and mocking someone can make them a bit more angry. But what really make someone exceptionally angry is when the hypocrisy and double standards are highlighted. That is what I have done and this has caused you to come here now.

          • S Mason

            That’s wonderful Edden. Keep it up chap. I’ll check back in later for some more of your pearls. Terrific stuff.

            I do really seriously think you ought to see a professional though about that anger and delusion thing you’ve got going.

          • Edden

            Mr Mason…Your first paragraph is useless. I have already commented about your professional medical expertise! However your reply shows that you have absolutely nothing to offer in reply. I thought atheists were supposed to be “rational” people who dealt with evidence and reasoned argument. They certainly say that is true of themselves. But when challenged I see you have none. You really are avoiding items altogether but just displaying what is really troll like behaviour by posting up stuff of an insult nature, questioning my mental health and avoiding facts altogether. I come here this morning and do I find something to challenge me? Nothing at all.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Meet Jock McNutter: The deranged racist bigot that has told me at least 100 times that I’m Japanese. This is hate speech with racist overtones. When anyone disagrees with Jock here, he instantly assigns them another race and nationality. But that’s a BNP racist zealot for you. The broadsheets facilitate his ravings because he loosely falls into the category of patriot. So much for moral standards and ethical integrity. Only obeying orders, right Spectator?

          • Guest

            I don’t go around and mock your foolish small little pink penile adoration ceremonies (Kanamara Matsuri) in Shinto Temples in Japan, so why do you constantly come and have a go at the “British religion”, so to speak? You are not strictly speaking even an atheist, just an anti-christian and an anti-moslem. Your old comments confirm that.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Talk of the Devil and he’s sure to appear.
            And now another pointless comment from Jock McNutter. The mad stalker of cyber space.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Prove a negative? Gimme a break. Oh, and it was after life insurance.
            “What a deal I’ve got for you. All you have to do is go through the motions. If there really is no God, after-life you’ve lost nothing, but is there is … What have you got to lose?”
            Only your integrity.

          • towhichofthewitches

            Not to mention that it’s a strange God, one at odds with at the very least most protestant theology, that actually grants salvation on the basis of going through the motions rather than actually believing in Him. If faith is really required for salvation, then salvation is simply closed off to the one who finds the claims of religion incoherent – even if it were true, I cannot honestly believe in something which appears ridiculous to me, however hard I try.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wilsophilip Philip Wilson

        Precisely. THe “old” atheist mantra of “we are smart, they are dumb, believing in spaghetti monsters and imaginary friends”- is not only avoiding rational discussion, but it is just so boring.

        • Edden

          I think what has caused a lot of folk coming here is the bit about “Dawkins has lost”. His devotees are so devout. It always happens when he is challenged!

          • S Mason

            You’re right Edden (take note: I don’t think it happens often). Many of us are irritated by all this sheeplike slander against Dawkins. Now you just demean yourself by calling us his devotees – but then you don’t have much problem with public humiliation, clearly. If folks picked up on his real faults – he’s an old white, privileged guy, and sometimes that really shows: then fine. But all this stuff about him being angry, ignorant, militant etc. It’s a load of BS – and anyone who’s had any small interaction with him would know that.

          • Edden

            What public humiliation? A bit vague. Dawkins humiliate folk? William Lane Craig didn’t get a chance or the people in Oxford a few months back when Dawkins chickened out. . Me humiliated? Where? You have not specified it. Again no evidence Mr Mason

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          “When you’re got faith you don’t need proof.”

      • Chris Morriss

        It was a reasoned article, though Dawkins is so easy to parody. He’s just our home-grown version of some bigoted, ranting, fundamentalist preacher. Other intellectual atheists argue their case in a much more considered manner.

        • S Mason

          Why is it all these ‘its easy to knock Dawkins back’ folks never actually do it substantively?

          I wonder why that can possibly be?

          Just more Daily Mail anti-Dawkins ranting here. how about engaging with his arguments say? (I know the author didn’t in his big old ad hom but that’s not a standard perhaps we should aim for?)

          • Edden

            I think Mr Mason this article has knocked Dawkins very substantively. I’ll quote the first paragraph of it:

            “The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day.”

            Seems a very good description and you don’t like it do you?
            I wonder if I will hear more from you after my three other replies to you or will you chicken off like all your other cronies? Do you get the email notifications. You wouldn’t be using multiple profiles would you by any chance?

          • S Mason

            Edden – paranoia too? Seriously man. Get. Some. Help.

          • Edden

            Mr Mason….Not very “serious” at all. Just another attempt to practice your amateur skills in psychiatry showing you have no answer of substance.

      • Ed

        It’s not a good article. It talks a lot more anecdotally about people than it actually addresses arguments. There are sophisticated theists, but this really doesn’t make a good case for them.

        And I’m afraid the Spectator long since ceased to be ‘a big boys’ publication’, to use your vernacular.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=776968828 Roger Rabbitleg

        from the OED…Imagination: The faculty or action of forming ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses

        since you cannot smell, see, touch, taste or hear “him”, “he” is in fact not present to the senses…and is indeed only present in yourimagination…therefore to refer to god as imaginary is appropriate use of the word.

        You could call what he said “blasphemy”, but that is a victimless crime.

      • Hominid

        No hypocrisy in your rant, Edden – none at all.

        • Edden

          Thank you but I wouldn’t call it a rant. Try reading Mr Rational’s posts and assessing those.

      • S Mason

        The irony! The flood of irony! I’m drowning in the flood of special pleading and privileged irony…

        • Edden

          S Mason…This post is just waffle and meaningless. What on earth are you on about? Is it that I used the word “intellectual” that bothers you? I’m not surprised. Try some other blog.

    • Guest

      This is not the New Statesman, boyo!

    • Albert

      Just like the author said, it is unintelligent comments like this that made Richard Dawkins a joke

  • Narwhale

    This what the god-botherers are reduced to – ad hominem and trendspotting.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “it’s so last season” is the expression you’re reaching for.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1174860069 Jake West

      I was thinking along the same lines.

    • Eddie

      Surely people like Dawkins are just a reaction to the aggressive, proselytising, backwards, literatlist versions of Christianity, Islam etc which have reintroduced zealous religiosity to the UK (and specifically England) with immigration from Africa and Asia, as well as US evangelicals?
      This is made more complex by the multiculturalist muddle of the Left and anyone who sees themselves as ‘liberal’ siding with anyone with a dark skin and a religion (even if they are fascists in all but name) against those who would challenge their cultures. Native English people tend to be vague and relaxed about religion and those who don’t believe in it. This has been something in which England is superior to Scotland and Northern Ireland whose mindset is still wallowing in the17th century.

      • James McLaren

        “people like Dawkins are just a reaction” – And behold: the abused becomes the abuser, and the wheel just rolls on, round and round.

        What would it take to produce someone who could break that cycle? Someone bigger than Dawkins, certainly.

        • Eddie

          Bearing in mind the aggressive, offensive, abusive, dishonest, fabricated carp that comes from the world’s religions (with lots of funds and lots of campaigners against rationalism), I think we need forceful atheists like Dawkins.
          In fact, we need more of them – as well as a whole range of non-religiou opinion. After all, we constantly get religion shoved at us – and then religious people throw tantrums when an atheist disproves their silly creationist views and exposes just how vile religion is!
          Gee – I guess they must be so insecure about their faith if one rational man can make them so angry and scared.

          • bonehead41

            What do you find offensive, abusive and dishonest in Christianity? I find that atheism irrational. You are delusional if you believe atheism disproves creation. I will argue successfully the opposite view. Christians secure in their faith are not angered nor scared of non believers. Who is feeding you this propaganda?

          • therhetorician

            Atheism doesn’t disprove creation, i just don’t believe in a higher being. I don’t oush it onto others, but i spiritually and historically back up my standing points. Just like you do with why you believe in what you believe in

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            We’d be out there colonizing the inner planets by now if organised religion hadn’t run interference for so long. The great astronomers’ progress was greatly impeded because they couldn’t shake off the pernicious influence of religious teachings, essentially Catholicism. Newton really moved things forward, but even he was a religious fanatic and spent far too much time on alchemy, recording his discoveries an elaborate code, as what he was doing was illegal. And in the pre-Christian era, astronomers were led astray by their own illogical religions. Hard to understand why Aristotle is still so respected, because with respect to astronomy, he literally couldn’t have been more wrong. “Aristotle, Aristotle was a *ugger for the bottle.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/alden.smith.50 Alden Smith

            Christianity isnt not illogical why dont you talk to Francis Collins or William Lane Craig and see if they think its illogical

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            Yes it is. Every last peice of it is utterly illogical?

            Virgin births? Walking on water? Restoring eye site? Raising from the dead? Ascending into heaven…WTF does that even mean?

            You say it’s logical? Hell no. You are illogical if you believe that.

          • http://profiles.google.com/hazelmay64 Hazel May Lebrun

            Ah, I guess utter fools like Dr. Francis Collins should get educated then. And CS Lewis? Oh what a vapid twit! And Isaac Newton… oh! Isaac Newton, you complete and utter moron. What did you ever do for us? Hmm…

          • John Border

            Yes, fools .

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            If God exists, then all these things are easy. Your problem is that you begin with axioms that do not allow you to think outside your little atheist box.

          • John Border

            Babbling nonsense.

            Why do churches have lightning conductors?

          • Nathan Giles

            but in all likely hood god does not exist i think its a little hypocritical to say atheists are in a box when you base your world view on a book that was originally written 3000 years ago and has been subsequently edited hundred of times to suit those in power at the time

          • kelper

            Nathan, you are too late! This topic was started in April and the interesting people stopped commenting two months ago. I suggest you move on.

          • Grizzly Adams

            Most boxes are indeed bigger than that book

          • bonehead41

            I guess billions over thousands of years are the dumb ones for believing all of this, including most of our Presidents and founders. I guess your genius is to overwhelming.

          • John Border

            Yes.

          • Nathan Giles

            so you are a sheep if everyone starts raping children you would join in? And most of the earth was not Christian until the 1500’s, it was only Europe and the middle east and the population of both places was a lot lower than it is now. Africa the Americas Asia none were christian until the Europeans spread the word.Your “God” didn’t bother delivering his message for all mankind to the only educated and literate people at the time of Abraham’s epileptic visions the Chinese who had written language and were light-years ahead in terms of civilisations he forgot the Mayans and the native Americans oh and the aborigines of Australia oh and the Asians

          • Wayne

            You say it’s logical? Hell no. You are illogical if you believe that.

            I reject your claim that Christians are illogical for believing that. However, for the sake of the argument, why is it wrong to be illogical and irrational?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=778004266 Stephen Tighe

            francis collins became a christian because he saw a three-streamed frozen waterfall. give me the rational form of that inference. “I see a 3-pronged frozen waterfall, therefore the bible is true, god exists, and jesus is our saviour”. Rational? English must be your second…or 20th…language (ranking by competence). And william lane craig peddles arguments refuted since the enlightenment …with no acknowledgement that philosophers from Hume and Kant have buried them beyond resurrection. What you MEANT to say was that collins and craig pretend to offer reasons, which is more than most religious people do, so …PRESTO! …religion is rational.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Dawkins refused to debate William Lane Craig about a year or so back. Remember that? And atheist Daniel Came from Oxford University called Dawkins a COWARD for refusing to debate.

          • John Border

            Personal attacks dont help. Dawkins has destroyed you lot and you cant take it.

          • bonehead41

            Yes. One misguided idiot like Dawkins has destroyed centuries of belief, study and reflection. Wise up.

          • Nathan Giles

            its true I am glad you agree

          • Scott McGreal

            William Lane Craig has stated on the one hand that religious beliefs should be examined in a logical manner and yet on the other hand has otherwise stated plainly that no amount of evidence would ever dissuade him from his religious beliefs. This is a hypocritical stance. Additionally, whenever he debates someone he insists upon debating conditions that are favourable to himself then afterwards claims that he “won” the debate. If I recall correctly Richard Dawkins stated that he does not want to share a stage with someone who insists that genocidal acts described in the Old Testament, including the slaughter of children, are morally justifiable because God ordered them. (So presumably if I heard a voice in my head claiming to be Yahweh and demanding that I kill people, that would be OK with Craig?) Craig later went on to “debate” an empty chair, pretending it was Dawkins! I think that Professor Dawkins, who has already debated many a theologian has better things to do with his time than waste his breath on someone as foolish and hypocritical as Craig.

          • Nathan Giles

            because it would be pointless not through fear

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Appropriate user name.

          • Eddie

            Just what I was thinking! Evidence proves evolution, of course, not ‘atheism’ which is only a lack of belief in an imaginery being.
            Religious books (based on legends over centuries and incorporating already created human developments and laws for living) argue that the world is 6000 years old and human beings started when Adam turned one of his ribs into a woman. Does anyone really believe this carp? If not, and these are merely metaphors, then what exactly isn’t a metaphor in religion?

          • http://twitter.com/SteveMcAleer1 Steve McAleer

            @Eddie. Your statement ‘Evidence proves evolution’ is not based on science. There is no archaeological evidence that fish evolved into other species or monkeys into donkeys. There is evidence of evolution within a species, but certainly no evidence of evolution of a species into another species. There is more proof each month across the sciences of intentional / intelligent design everywhere in the universe. Just weeks ago it was discovered that radiation levels at either ends of the known universe are the same; proving again the Big Bang theory and that the universe was created in a fraction of a second. There was ‘NOTHING’ and then in a fraction of a second there was our universe billions of light years in expanse. Fibonacci numbers, Irreducible complexity. To be an atheist is to deny God exists. It requires more faith to be an atheist based on the mountains of evidence (astro-biology, microbiology, physics …) than it does to acknowledge their is an intelligent being / Creator. This creates a problem for the atheist, because the human conditions natural inclination is to reject someone who is sovereign over them. May I suggest you study up on ‘Election’ (Doctrine of Election), because as an atheist this will help defend your position.

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.rozycki.18 David Rozycki

            Dumb ass

          • http://www.facebook.com/ian.irwin.31 Ian Irwin

            Woeful is the day that ‘Dumb ass’ can get a person 18 upvotes.. when did we stop judging arguments based on their merits and simply according to our own (un)intellectual bias? And you’re trying to argue that humans are getting smarter and more rational? Our species is a joke…

          • Edden

            Thanks for this interesting one Steve. I note so many of the atheists on here, though they claim to be men of reason and evidence, just behave as troll like whenever they are challenged.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            Nope we are just here to silence your brand of ignorance. BTW I’m not an athiest. I allow for the possibility of God, but not your god. Your god is bs.

          • Edden

            Mr Furr. And what is my “god”? You obviously seem to know. Explain to me what you know about my God and my faith? And then back it up with evidence from this particular article blog. Maybe you have met me prviously under a different profile?

            Who is the “We” of your first sentence?

          • S Mason

            Steve McAteer – I’m no biologist. But I know that most biologists disagree with your conclusions. Are they dishonest? Are they deluded? Do they have some atheist agenda to deny the truth?

            Your suggestion that the theory of evolution suggests that monkeys evolved into donkeys is odd… can you cite for that one? I’ve not found any evolutionist who claimed anything likes this. In fact…I am pretty sure they find no lineage from monkeys to donkeys.

            If you have to make stuff up, does it tell you anything about yourself?

            And if we tell you that it takes no faith not to believe in god, can you not just accept that? Believe me: I used to believe in god. Now I don’t. I know which position requires faith. I know which presents the cognitive dissonance. To be an atheist is not to deny god exists for the very large majority of us. Why are you telling these lies? We say we don’t believe in a god because there is insufficient evidence. It’s a very different premise. Again, if you have to make stuff up, doesn’t that concern you at all?

            And lastly thanks for your “suggestions”. In turn may I suggest you stop quoting from Answers in Genesis or the like? That isn’t science…its just embarrassing.

          • MrClaw

            “There is no archaeological evidence that fish evolved into other species or monkeys into donkeys.”

            Well, first of all monkeys would not have evolved into donkeys as primates branched away from ungulates a looooong time ago. The Primates (lemurs, monkeys, apes, etc) last had a common ancestor with the Perissodactyla (horses, donkeys, etc) in the Late Cretaceous (~100M years ago). That ancestor would’ve been more like a shrew than anything else.

            Fish into other species? Ever heard of the ‘fishapod’ Tiktaalik? Or the lobe-finned Eusthenopteron?

            Perhaps, rather than just boldly make the claim, it might be worth *reading* some palaeontology. I can recommend this book by Don Prothero (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolution-What-Fossils-Say-Matters/dp/0231139624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366373470&sr=8-1&keywords=evolution+what+the+fossils+say+and+why+it+matters), or even just this list on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

          • Baron

            There ain’t a scrap of archeological evidence to prove fish evolved into amphibians these into reptiles these into mammals whatever Prothero or others like him may say.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            Yes there is. You are wrong and you are defending an ignorant position that you clearly no nothing about. Did you get your education in Texas per chance?

          • parthenogene

            You’re absolutely right. Archeology is the study of the history of mankind through man’s material remains; archeologists aren’t concerned about proving evolution…

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Prothero and Mr Skeptic USA got owned in the debate with Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg. See also: http://darwinsdoubt.com — yes the books the Darwinists have already reviewed and dismissed even though it has not yet been released into the wild.

          • John Border

            Your Tooth Fairy God is debunked. Suck it up or bring him on stage so we can pelt him with dung.

          • Nathan Giles

            but you agree with it before it is released into the wild?

          • Nathan Giles

            sorry are you a biologist? or an archaeologist?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620222966 Neil Saunders

            David Hume settled this question a long time ago (in his “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”): who designed the Designer?

          • Baron

            matter and energy are supposed to have no beginning no end. In existence forever. Why not the designer?

          • http://twitter.com/heraclesblack Heracles Black

            Because that would mean that nothing is created – making biscuits, giving birth to children, making a painting would not exist.

          • Nathan Giles

            oh right you believe it when is suits you

          • Pulseguy

            Wow! Then it is settled.

          • ThirdSection

            Of course there is no archaeological evidence that fish evolved into other species or monkeys into donkeys. Archaeology is not a study of evolution. It would be like me saying that there is no biological evidence that stars over a certain size collapse into black holes once they’ve run out of fissionable material. Technically I would be correct, also utterly clueless.

          • Jeremy Ferguson

            as much as what you say is correct, you are not answering his point, as much as he is incorrect in saying archaeology, his point still stands, you have responded to his point with a technicality on word usage. if we look at the point from a mutual point, his point still stands.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.Karstens Kevin Karstens

            “There is no archaeological evidence that fish evolved into other species or monkeys into donkeys”

            Evolution is PROVEN science.

            Try observing the obvious changes from single cell level to fully formed fetus/child in a pregnancy, and deny to me that evolution is not PROVABLE and OBVIOUS.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Please define “evolution” It is a slippery slimy word.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            Yes there is. Plenty of it. Go to the museum of Natural History i NYC and see the fossils for your self. PLENTY of evidence.

          • tornado

            The entire premise of your post is false. There’s TONS of archaeological evidence. And none of the people that actually understand microbiology, physics, or astro-biology believe that is evidence for god. rather, the contrary…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            wow you can disprove evolution? I will be watching the news closely to see when you receive your Nobel Prizes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Evolution (change of time) is an observable fact. Macro evolution, from molecules to man, is a scientifically unsupported cultural fairy story for atheists.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            ok ill accept your position, you just have to do one thing. Prove your claim is right

          • Nathan Giles

            you are just plain wrong do a little honest research

          • Nathan Giles

            you have clearly misunderstood evolution monkeys didn’t evolve into donkeys they did however have a common ancestor

            define “nothing “

          • Wayne

            Evidence proves evolution, of course, not ‘atheism’ which is only a lack of belief in an imaginery being.

            Evidence proves evolution? Please, do you mean common descent, or do you mean genetic mutation over time? Creationists believe in genetic mutation over time, while rejecting outright the fantasy of common descent. There simply is no proof for the transitional forms, and many paleontologists and archaeologists agree. (Secular ones, I might add.)

            Secondly, I utterly reject your statement that Genesis is metaphor. But just for the sake of the argument, could you please explain to me how you know that the laws of nature will be the same tomorrow as they have been under your limited experience? Furthermore, could you explain to me how you know that even in other parts of the universe (at this very moment) the laws of nature do not operate in a completely different way than they do here?

          • Nathan Giles

            the thing is you don’t understand evolution you look at like a transformer changing from one thing to another I just doesn’t work like that look at African and Indian elephants both are elephants but they have subtle differences which they have evolved to suit the different environments they inhabit

          • John Border

            You still around ? Thought you’d been drowned long ago.

          • agneau

            This must be ironic. You nearly had me there.

          • Eddie

            ‘What do you find offensive, abusive and dishonest in Christianity?’
            How long have you got?
            Try reading some history, silly.

          • bonehead41

            No. I would rather you tell me. Give me an example or two.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            Crusades. Period. Your religion is completely and utter bullshit. No one here should waste even a single moment explaining it to you.

            You literally belive God created us, then made a rule that he couldn’t bring us to heaven when we died, so he then incarnated down here on the planet and subjected himself to a brutal death on the cross all so he could then let our pathetic souls (which he created) back into heaven? I call BullCrap. Prove it. Prove even a single iota of your beliefs? Oh you can’t? THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE BS and any rational mind knows this to be true.

            How dare you even consider challenging someone elses thoughts. You believe the most asinine ingorant crap of any of the major religions. Islam makes 100X more sense than Christianity…and no I’m not defending that peice of crap religion either. Abraham was the worst thing that ever happened to this planet. Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all utterly irrational and completely bound by ignorance.

            Your religion is violent. It elects leaders to power that are money hungry war mongers…and no they aren’t christians, but because christians are so easy to fool they tell you want you want to hear and you elect them.

            Your religion is vile and disgusting.

          • bonehead41

            I will not spend the time to argue with an ignorant fool. . But I will ask you why are you so angry about Christianity, something you consider to be a myth? . Do you get this angry when disgusting the adventures of Sherlock Holmes or little red riding hood? Ill bet Snow White really ticks you off?

          • tornado

            What a perfect handle tis bonehead has picked for himself…

          • tornado

            What a perfect handle this bonehead has picked for himself…

          • bonehead41

            So if its a just myth why all the anger? Can you answer that or are you just content to mouth off with sarcasm and name calling?

          • John Border

            Bonehead by name and nature. He has nothing to say in defence of his fairy tale beliefs.

          • bonehead41

            I have plenty to say but you seem to dumb and obstinate to understand it all.

          • Nathan Giles

            anger because the human race has been retarded by a myth started in the dessert 3000 years ago by uneducated illiterate tribesmen .If you want to base you life on this fine ,but you do know the earth is not flat? or the centre of the universe nor does the sun rotate around the earth?~ you do realise that there is no evidence of Jews ever being slaves of Egyptians? as acknowledged by every Jewish scholar in Israel.you do realise that you have basically picked sides in a tribal dispute that has been raging for 3000 years and the reason you are a christian is because your ancestors were forced to be at pain of death ?if you fine with that carry on propagating the myth, just keep your voice down because less and less people take this twaddle seriously:-)

          • bonehead41

            I read your opinion and forgive me but it is a laugh a minute. Your rant is so delusional, so misdirected and irrational and untrue, that I could never find a common ground in which to debate you in a reasonable fashion. Sorry to inform you that your analysis does not rise, even remotely to a level associated with great or even mediocre thinkers and scholars both religious and non religious, in the current age or past. My advice for you is to pick another subject to debate to save yourself from the severe punishment of humiliation and embarrassment awaiting you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            No one tries to take away my rights because of Sherlock Holmes

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            If atheism grasped the upper hand, it would be far LESS tolerant than Christianity. Just look at your high priest — he would likely follow his darwinist mate Mr. Hitler and put us all in gas chambers. And unlike Christians who believe that humans have intrinsic worth because we are made in God’s image, atheism reduces us to bags of chemicals, worth about $10 as blood and bone at the local garden store.

          • John Border

            Bollocks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            strawman, strawman, gowdins, strawman, unproven claim and another strawman.

            I find it amusing that you attack the non-belief in gods by calling it a religion

          • Wayne

            It actually is a religion, by definition!

            It is: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. (Merriam Webster, religion)

            Faith : something that is believed especially with strong conviction. (Merriam Webster, faith)

            So Secular Humanism/Atheism is a religion that is believed based on faith!

          • Jools

            no faith is required for atheism.

          • Wayne

            Faith: something that is believed especially with strong conviction. (Merriam-Webster, Faith)

            So if you do not have faith in naturalism/atheism… or fail to have a strong conviction about it, that means that you do not believe that naturalism/atheism is true.

          • Jools

            I have no idea what is true, without proof / evidence I cannot tell. I just believe god(s) are unlikely to exist per se.

          • Wayne

            Here is the thing, in order to say “I believe/I know ‘X'” you must have a belief or a conviction about what it is that you are saying. (you even said, I believe). In so saying you admitted that you have faith in your position.

          • Simon Michael Sience Kimberley

            Do you realise how absurd you sound? You’ve presented a flimsy catch all definition of “faith” which basically attempts to reduce philosophical first principles to an equivalence with religious faith. That, sir, is absurd and dishonest. Put the dictionary down and stop the mental gymnastics. Playing with words like this is unbecoming, and completely without merit.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Sorry. You’ve gone beyond me. I do not understand what philosophical first principles are? Can you tell me? Perhaps quote them. I take it they are things you believe without proof. .

          • Nathan Giles

            semantics dude your struggling now :-)

          • Fergus Pickering

            What do you mean semantics? You appear to think a word is an argument? I THINK you mean that he is talking balls but that is pure assertion.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What do you mean per se?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            and according to him, a-naturalism is a religion

          • Nathan Giles

            no atheist would ever say it is true we would say this is what the evidence shows us so this is most probable

          • Wayne

            However, if you believe in or have a conviction about the truthful nature of Atheism/Naturalism, it follows that,(by definition), you have faith in atheism/naturalism. (Hence, it is a religion by definition)

          • Nathan Giles

            what there is no faith involved only scientific knowledge you can have no “Faith-(Faith : something that is believed especially with strong conviction)” in science just what can be proven

          • Hector Coe

            Exactly in science what can be proven you said, well in science so far it cannot be proven that there is a God or that there is not a God, so once you make up your mind with out the proof it becomes faith.

          • LoggerheadShrike

            Science can’t disprove that leprechauns are real, or that all our lost socks are orbiting a planet in the Andromeda system … that doesn’t mean that believing these things is reasonable. But they’re probably a little more likely than the idea of an all-powerful sky-daddy who loves you and talks to you. That’s just wishful thinking, and it’s completely ludicrous to pretend that believing in leprechauns, gods, or orbiting socks is equally reasonable as lacking belief in these things.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Many gods do not love you at all. Many gods hate you and wish to drink your blood.

          • JasonLx

            Almost anything is a religion by that definition. I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow. Hence, I follow the Sun Religion? Right? Similarly I might not know the exact causation of the creation of the universe, but I know enough to know all the “book” religions out there are bollocks. Each religion will go on at length about how all the *other* religions are bollocks. Ok, I’ll accept those arguments ;P You’re all correct. Which means it’s all rubbish.

          • Alexis Snider

            You require faith that consciousness arose out of unconscious material.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            theres that other lovely thing called evidence.

            Try Evidence, now with no faith

          • Alexis Snider

            Evidence only gets you the unconscious material. Faith is simply a belief in anything. When science tend to use the nomenal(faith based, intuition based) instead of the phenomenal (material, physical, that which can be assessed by the senses) then it also becomes an area of belief as well. For instance science presupposes certain conditions such as the world is logical and rational and that reality can be know and that nature is uniform through out time and space.
            It presupposes mathematics which is a man made system. All of these things are supported by evidence that science presupposes (believes to be the nature of things)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            the difference between faith and science. Science will adjust its views based on the observation, faith is the denial of the observation so that the belief can be preserved

          • Nathan Giles

            all the evidence points to the universe operating in an observable way the difference between science and religion is that science changes its conclusions with new evidence religion thinks it has all the answers already

          • Wayne

            How can you believe that the evidence is true without having faith that the evidence is true?

            Faith:something that is believed especially with strong conviction

            By that definition, faith is required to “know” anything.

            So, evidence apart from faith does nobody any good, because you wouldn’t believe it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            If you can provide verifiable evidence for the existence of your supreme being, I will spin on a fucking dime and change my mind in a instant.

            I wonder if they had faith or evidence for atomic theorybefore they evaporated tens of thousands or if they just chucked together some uranium and metal and hoped it worked

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            so do i need faith to know the Earth is a obulate sphereroid? I have an idea, lets send up some satillites and get it to take photos of the Earth *gasp* but that would be evidence and not faith

          • Nathan Giles

            experimentation and observation proves evidence no faith required

          • Callie Poole

            Where’s the logic in your belief? You exploded and spawned from nothing. Ok. Trying to imagine nothing….. This is harder than I imagined. Hmm..is nothing clear or black? Well that is just mind boggling and downright illogical! Now tell me, which is really faith? To believe that ‘GOD’ created something out of nothing or that ‘NOTHING’ created something out of nothing?!!

          • Wayne

            Religion:a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith (Merriam-Webster)

            Naturalism is the belief that all things we observe have a naturalistic explanation and origin. (Religion)

            Secular Humanism by the definition above also qualifies.

            You must have a LOT of faith in your position, Edan!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edan-Burg/1376892010 Edan Burg

            yeh your totally right i never saw it before. A= No, Theism= belief in god/s. Yes i can totally see how a rejection of a idea is a religion without any central dogma or structure

          • EricRC

            “A= No, Theism= belief in god/s.”

            When Socrates was accused of being an atheist, he was accused of *denying* the existence of the gods, not of merely lacking belief in them. If you reduce atheism to a lack of belief in gods, then atheism can’t be, say, true (a lack of belief can’t be true), or more probably true than theism (same reason), or more rational than theism (a lack of belief simpliciter is neither rational nor irrational), and so on. Now, if on the other hand you want to claim that you lack belief *for some reason or set of reasons*, then atheism can indeed be rational — but then it’s not merely a lack of belief. Further, since it’s now something that you provide reasons for, it’s something that you’re obligated to defend, by defending those reasons. See how that all works?

          • Nathan Giles

            no you are falling into the trap of logical fallacies there is no proof of god no evidence

          • Hector Coe

            There is no proof but there is evidence. The fine tuning of the universe is evidence but not proof, the philosophical arguments of cause and effect are also seen as evidence but not proof. Evidence can be found in the observer effect of taking measurements in the subatomic world, again evidence but not proof. People like you always claim there is no evidence, but the only way you would know that is if you were on top of all the arguments read them all, and found no evidence, and I seriously doubt that you have.

          • Magicmaninthesky Nothanks

            Bollocks.

          • Fergus Pickering

            There is no proof of the big bang theory of the Universe either. It is conjecture.As Hume argued, there is no proof of cause and effect. The belief in it is faith. I suggest you read Hume. He did not believe in God but he was not silly. He did not believe in anything. Except the ordinary person’s comon sense..

          • Nathan Giles

            Naturalism is the belief that all things we observe have a naturalistic explanation and origin. (Religion) not a belief but a conclusion after the evidence has been properly studied

          • Luiz Fernando Zadra

            It is rather amusing to see superstitious people like you trying to undermine the position of others by saying that their belief require faith, in a clear suggestion that faith is a bad thing that is not able to justify beliefs. If this is true, stop believing in God. It requires faith.
            Conscious arises from brains, and brains are product of biological evolution. Unfortunately for you, no faith is required to know this, just evidence. And we have tons of it.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What exactly is consciousness. How does consciousness arise? Does it arise by small degrees. Do all humans have the same amount of consciousness of do some have more? Do all mammals have the same degree of consciousness or do some have more. How much consciousness has a tree? Is a stone conscious in any way? How do you know any of these things? Did you read them in a book or did someone tell you.

          • Luiz Fernando Zadra

            “What exactly is consciousness. ”

            We don’t know. Not knowing how to explain something is not evidence that your imaginary friend did it, it is evidence that we don’t know how to explain it.

          • Fergus Pickering

            So you are telling me things about something but you don’t know what it is or what it does. But it is something. Oh well.

          • Luiz Fernando Zadra

            We don’t need to know something fully in order to talk about the thing or some aspects of the thing we know. I don’t know everything about you, but I know you are a human, you are interacting with me in this forum, you are a theist, have problems understanding how to think logically, just to name a few thing I know about you.

          • Nathan Giles

            no you need evidence

          • JasonLx

            So does religion. What made God? If God came from nowhere, why do we need God to explain where other consciousness came from?

          • AK

            Do you even…science?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Why are you an atheist?. Whence comes your proof? If you do not know one way or the other then you are not an atheist. Atheists know. It is their faith. A faith that fails to remove mountains. Or even molehills.

          • Richie Tipsy Kariuki

            Ok, so we’ve established that you have no idea what an atheist is.

          • Fergus Pickering

            An atheist believe there is no god, a belief that cannot be susceptible to proof. It uis therefore a faith. A said faith.

          • Nathan Giles

            faith in what? atheism is not a cause it is a NON belief

          • HandsoffSolo

            But its not just a non-belief it has matured as a conviction. Conviction is faith.

          • AK

            This has been debunked a million times. What is so hard about understanding that there is no faith in lack of faith?

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            1. Um. there is not system ob beliefs. It’s a lack of belief.
            2. Nope. We do not have faith. For me I have resonable expectations visa vi trial and error and experimentation.
            Secular humanis and atheism(small a moron) are mutually exclusive.

          • Jeremy

            No it’s not retard.

          • Nathan Giles

            And unlike Christians who believe that humans have intrinsic worth because we are made in God’s image?why chop of baby boys penis skins and smash off baby girls clitorises with stones then? was his image not good enough

            atheism reduces us to bags of chemicals, worth about $10 as blood and bone at the local garden store. kidneys go for more than that

          • HandsoffSolo

            funnily enough WHO advises that all males should be circumcised. As for chopping off baby girls clitorises, that has nothing to do with any religion, its an indigenous ethnic practice.

          • LoggerheadShrike

            Hitler was a practicing Catholic all his life. He condemned atheism – in fact, he made it a crime. Atheists were given the black star for “anti-social” and put in concentration camps.

          • Fergus Pickering

            He could practise all he liked but he was not a Christian.

          • Jeremy

            He was baptized you dolt.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Ah! So that’s what the argument is about. Was not Stalin also baptised? And maybe even the great Dawkins?

            Dolt is uncalled for, twat.

          • Daidragon

            Atheism is the absence of belief in a supernatural deity. That’s it. Nazism, Maoism etc were state religions. The rest of your post is risible. Christianity has existed for a mere fraction of the time humans have walked the earth. You didn’t invent morality or the concept of intrinsic worth. Faith or Belief without evidence or challenge is what causes one group to put another group in gas chambers.

          • Jeremy

            Not to mention Christianity is made up of ideas that other religions put forth first. Christians are not the only religions with stories of great floods wiping out humanity for example.
            Christian holidays were really Pagan holidays as another example.

          • John Border

            You backed off quick didnt you? You have no case to make and you are a debating coward.

          • Nathan Giles

            the burden of proof is on the one who makes a claim you claim there is a god? you have to prove it

          • Fergus Pickering

            Some people believe in human love. In fact there is an enormous literature about it. But no proof at all.Some people believe all men were created equal. There is no proof that this is true. None of the things that matter to us are susceptible to proof. Stick to making my car go laddie. But I don’t suppose you can do that..

          • LoggerheadShrike

            If you lot kept your fantasies to yourselves, instead of trampling the rights of other people by forcing discriminatory legislation, running pedophile centers, calling for wars, etc, maybe it’d be different. It’d probably help if religious tax breaks were revoked too and only actual charities qualified. Also, if the televangelists stopped scamming Grandma.

            And finally, if you took responsibility for these things, rather than try to evade it as a group.

          • Craggy old conservative

            Another stupid comment from an atheist. It never ends. Dumb and dumber.

          • LoggerheadShrike

            The man who can’t make a counterpoint but just calls names, calls others stupid. Surprising? Not in your case. It is expected by all. It is the typical way of your kind.

          • Craggy old conservative

            I don’t address irrational,false and delusional comments.
            For example” running ped centers” as if intentional by the church or ” calling for wars”. Wise up. You are an extreme leftist atheist. There is no hope for you unless you change your evil ways.

          • LoggerheadShrike

            Hmm. Well you did address my comment. So either you think it was rational, true, and real or you’re a liar.

            I think you should read your magic book, especially the part about knowing a thing by its fruits. The widespread pedophilia is neither an accident, nor new. It is also widespread in conservative circles.

            You are a far right fascist. Your hopes for me are disgusting, and I am glad to disappoint.

          • William Weaver

            The question was “What do you find offensive, abusive and dishonest in Christianity?”. I will readily admit and proclaim that the Crusades are probably the worst thing that Christians have done. However, is it really fair to generalize an entire group of people by their worst example? If I picked the most evil atheist I could find, and said that he represents the true atheism, you would be upset. Likewise, Christians are upset when you generalize us by our worst example.

            There are a lot of theological generalizations and over-simplifications in your comment, too many to counter them all. Instead I would suggest that you seek to truly understand that which you criticize before you criticize it. Christianity is complicated because it claims to be reality, and we know that reality is complicated. If religion is reality, then the one thing we should expect it to be is complicated and messy, since that’s the pattern that reality sets.

            “How dare you even consider challenging someone else’s thoughts.” This is a statement you make while challenging someone else’s thoughts. You have declared all Christians unfit to challenge someone else’s thoughts while you attack their thoughts, and that is a hefty generalization to make. Over half of US scientists are Christians. Some of the greatest mathematicians, writers, and scientists of all time have been Christians. Surely they applied a critical eye to their own religion and deemed it credible. Or are declaring that you are obviously vastly more intelligent than the likes of Leonard Euler, Galileo, Pascal, and Maxwell? Similarly, there are many very intelligent Christians alive today that have very credible evidence to support their beliefs. If you go honestly and openly inquiring about that evidence, you will find it. However, if your method of finding good intellectual discussions is posting angry, accusatory comments on the internet, you will likely never encounter anything resembling an intelligent faith-defending argument.

          • Edden

            William Weaver….Interested in your well thought out comment. I’m quite experienced in this media with regard to this subject. I thought I’d list some inconsistencies and hypocrisy true of on line atheists in this sort of media. I stress this in general terms and might not involve all atheists everywhere:

            1) Often using the “burden of proof” notion. This is nothing but an evasive technique construed to allow them to ask questions but
            not have to answer questions, thus displaying they have nothing really substantial.

            2) Following on from point one a continuous ability to load up defamatory claims without offering any evidence to support those claims (ie the claim that Christianity is a myth and false) even though rules on defamation demand evidence.

            3) The hypocrisy of insulting their opponents but whenever they receive personal opposition it becomes “Ad Hominem”.

            4) Referring to certain bad things in the history of the Church but not accepting bad things in the history of atheism and giving deceitful and duff excuses to deny this.

            5) Constantly referring to statistics to propagate their cause
            but when their opponents make any mention of numbers it becomes “Argument ad poplulum” thus a hypocritical attempt to rule it out of court.

            6) Not thinking for themselves but copying one and other for the
            notions already mentioned

            7) Saying that they find their opponents posts amusing when they
            don’t find them amusing at all but are offended by them.

            8) Pretending to be psychiatrists and diagnosing their opponents
            mental state when they simply cannot answer what is put to them.

            9) An incessant practice of trying to define what the word
            “atheism” means whenever an opponent uses the term but then showing that they often differ amongst themselves and differ with dictionaries, as to the meaning.

            10) Pretending to be scientists without really having any interest in the subject at all, but rather targeting articles about religion to attack faith and load up snide remarks against people of faith.

            11) A tendency to display two opposing reactions. One brand tends to start as a troll but when challenged try to look intelligent. The other brand start by trying to look intelligent but when challenged the troll soon comes out!

            I might think of some more

          • Amergin

            While I accept that there are abusive atheists out there on the internet I find your ‘list’ totally unfair and untrue.

            Anyway that apart, I am an atheist. I was brought up in the protestant piece of Christianity. They were good kind people who ministered to me and I still hold their memory with respect. However, as I grew up I realised the many difficulties presented by the faith and did some comparative religion reading and found the same contradictions, anamolies and difficulties arising and became convinced personally that they were in error. I went very quickly from being an agnostic to Atheism.but it was personal and devoid of confrontation..
            There were probably many like me who got on with our lives quietly and without broadcasting our opinions. Then some fanatics flew an aeroplane into the WTC and the new( same old same old) atheism was born and all religions were challenged for bringing the world to this pass.
            I advise alll people to get on with their lives, respect and tolerate their neighbours, offend no one and keep your religious beliefs to yourselves.

          • AK

            What you advise is unrealistic! You advise we sing kumbaya while madrasas are opening all around us breeding the next terrorists and while the two main religious clamor to take over almost every country – which I guarantee you, will not bode well for free speech, advances in science (and life) and liberty

          • humanati

            9/11 & 7/7 were false flag terror events & not the work of Muslims

          • Spelunker4Plato

            it’s so obvious, too.

          • sharon taylor

            I had to chuckle the whole way through this…it was so, so accurate and everything I have experienced with atheists online. I would add to the favourite Ad Hominem lingo……nuance….and ….let me explain hominids….LOL

          • CoffeeH

            Awesome list, Edden. I’d follow you just for this list. :) And, I will love to reuse, if I may.

          • Hamsa Rosenberg

            Very Nice.

          • Nikola Tesla

            Nope, the worst thing is the inquisition.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            Who can say? What’s certain is that we could surely rack up quite a few unspeakables on a list of religious atrocities….

          • Nikola Tesla

            We all have our own top 10 list.

          • abiel matterns

            Firstly Christianity is not complicated in itself but when related with science, religion as a whole creates confusion. The bible was written in 5000 BC which is quite close to the date when civilizations were first established in 10000 BC. So it comes from a time when nobody had any idea what was going on. Also 7% of the total scientists believe in god while 20% are agnostic and 73% are non believers, that is atheist.

            Secondly, the people who believed in religion in the old days only did that so that they were not hanged or harmed by the church. You can see how the church burned Giordano Bruno for challenging religion and the way Galileo was almost hanged for proving Bruno’s model of the universe and disproving the Aristotle model of universe which was accepted by religion. All these men lived in fear of religion and therefore declared themselves religious to avoid death,

            Thirdly whether there is a god or not, if tomorrow science proves that there is now god, your current problems and obstacles would not be any different and you just have to deal with them. I am an agnostic and do not take sides but agree with truth and reason

          • Fergus Pickering

            If Science proved that there is God…. how would Science do that? Or disprove it, come to that. Science is irrelevant to this debate. It should stick to making my car go.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            If Religion was to prove that there is God…how would Religion do that? Especially since unlike Science, Religion has no history of proving anything. Hence it is actually Religion that is irrelevant to this debate, and consequently should stick to trying to fool people in to merely believing the whole range of anachronisms that come with it, instead of going in to a debate with Science over the veracity and provenance of those anachronisms. Where reason and rationality are concerned, Religion will always be on the losing side.

          • Fergus Pickering

            You don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you? Never mind, just don’t poke your nose in here you have nothing to contribute.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            I do understand you have no leg to stand on and either out of shear stupidity or desperation have attempted, unsuccessfully, to formulate a thought, of some description. I simply turned it on its head, so it actually makes sense, which btw makes mine a much better contribution here than you’ve thus far mastered. I guess you must try harder.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Deerie me.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            That’s what everyone who dislikes/cannot understand/disagrees with another’s opinion says when they don’t have a sound response: ‘you have nothing to contribute here. Move on….’ Talk about arrogance….

          • uranophobiac

            I understand every word you’re saying. It’s when you put them all together, into sentences, that they make no sense.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            Eh? Science is fundamental to this debate! If science could do that – and, who knows, it may be possible in the future -, then there would be no basis to believe in ‘God’ at all. At the moment, it’s ‘probable’ there is no ‘God’, so people will still believe, but surely some would change their mind if concrete proof were laid on the table (one way or the other).

          • Antony Aleksiev

            The Bible was not written 5,000 yrs BC, but rather more than a 100 years AD, i.e. after the alleged events it describes. Then also, there is quite some difference between 10,000 BC, and the state of the human species then, and 5,000 BC when civilisation was emerging. After all, this is a difference of a magnitude of 2.

          • pearlsandoysters

            Right on! The contemporary atheists are somehow in denial of the part religion (Christianity) played in the lives of their pantheon of “heroes”.

          • Daniel Sternhagen

            So give an example of the most evil atheist you can find..

          • JPC

            I’m interested in your data- over half of all US scientists are religious? I’d not heard that before.

            However, let me clarify, perhaps. The only unifying thing about most Atheists as a group is that we, in general, posit that “I find there to be insufficient evidence for a supreme being/God/Gods”. That’s about it, and is akin to you saying “I see insufficient evidence for the existence of Zeus”.

            I’ve first-hand experience with the damage caused by religious zeal, even in the First World. My lovely wife opened a Yoga Studio. The pastor in the Anglican church in which we were married advised her flock to avoid the place… it’s anti-Christian, she claimed… after all, Yoga comes from India and they aren’t Christian there.

            This is in Canada. And a number of her (now fairly small) flock believed her.

            A friend lost her 8 year old son to a degenerative brain disease. She’s a yoga practitioner and like my wife, embraces some of the spiritual Sanskrit chanting occasionally integrated with a yoga practice, and asked for a healing chant to be said at his funeral. The pastor at the evangelical Christian church in which the funeral was held, cautioned his flock and felt the need to ask for tolerance and respect for other religious traditions, explicitly, before the service. Surprising.

            More to the point, these online comments and critiques have frequently resulted in enmity, vitriol and insult to me, personally, from Christians. Not always, granted but often enough that it’s unsurprising anymore. So I don’t at all feel any party to this discussion necessarily has the high road, morally.

            My whole issue with religion is the harm done in its name. That’s a smaller subset of believers, however the “live and let live” concept when applied to religious faith does all of us a disservice. Tolerance and respect for religious moderates’ belief systems provides protection of a sort for the more extreme views. Ken Ham for instance, would and should be ridiculed for the nonsense he keeps coming up with- but some protection is afforded him as one of the Christian tribe. Worse yet, his ideas actually spread, somewhat, potentially limiting the intellectual development of others.

            It’s certainly a tough discussion and some very sincerely held, intransigent positions, which frankly make it interesting.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Not true that over half of US scientists are Christians, in fact over 93% of US scientists declare lack of belief. Fact is, no evidence exists for the God hypothesis, no evidence has been presented so far (and let’s not use the Bible as proof of anything, especially as we – and you should also – know how it was assembled), and to my knowledge, no evidence is being sought. And the reason evidence is important, in this as with any other case of a philosophical debate, is that in every other area of life outside of art, drama and fictional literature we humans seek and need evidence for the existence, viability and the workings of something. You need examples of the vileness of Christianity? There you go: Its espoused and proselytised attitudes towards contraceptives and family planning, homosexuality, non-Christian beliefs and atheism, misogyny, and the resultant from those aberrations such as sprawling pedophilia in the clergy (and its cover-up). Frankly, for me this is and should be about the truth as opposed to the history of it: Is there a god (or gods? after all Christianity arose on the basis of many a polytheistic religions that came before it)? The proponents of the ‘God’ hypothesis better start researching the provenance of it, and fast. Until then, please do attempt at showing some humility for pushing forth your unproven and thus far seemingly unprovable view of the world as the one and all of it. Oh yes, and I hope quite sincerely the above was not too challenging a ‘statement’ to contribute to the discussion.

          • jlb7777

            Mostly biologist are non-believers. Astronomers are mostly believers. There’s a definite reason for this.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            There’s a difference: it’s difficult to think of an atheist doing bad, wicked, immoral things ‘in the name of atheism’; it is very easy to find people of religion who do precisely that, whether it be an attack on but one e.g. Salman Rushdie or an attack on a nation or group of people e.g. the 9/11 hijacks or the Crusades, as noted above.

          • sharon taylor

            I don’t think your statement is accurate in definition. When people do bad things , whether atheist or christian , they don’t necessarily do it in the name of their belief. I know atheists that try to live very moral lives but they still do bad things. I know Christians who try to live Godly lives, yet they still do bad things. It is not very difficult to me to see that evolutionary beliefs have led many people to do very bad things…ie Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin etc. On a closer note…abortion. I agree that Muslim Jihadists do evil in the name of their religion. I think trying to disassociate oneself from doing wrong is rather dishonest.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            I’m sorry but you have totally misrepresented my comment. My point is not that atheists never do bad things – of course we do. It is that we do not (to my knowledge) do evil acts specifically because we are atheists and because our way of thinking tells us to do these things.

            Has any atheist ever gone on a suicide-bombing mission to kill believers (and even those who are not)? That kind of thing, I’m talking about.

            As for atheism and evolution, they are not at all the same thing, so to talk about one – evolution – where I did not is not relevant if you are addressing my specific arguments.

            “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
            ― Steven Weinberg

            “Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
            But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
            ― Steven Weinberg

          • CHRIS OWENS

            P.S. – Regarding abortion, I’m not sure what your point is, because you don’t make one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Don’t you realise that what you find “offensive” is just a lot of complicated chemical reactions going on in your brain. Atheism has reduced humans to chemico-animals while Christianity proclaims that we are made in God’s image. That is probably too hard for you atheists to understand, and anyway why trust the chemical reactions in your heads that you call thinking since they were only evolved to make you survive, not to bring you to truth.

          • John Border

            Tosh; Pish and tosh.

          • Alexis Snider

            Not only is Atheism limiting all of our existence to a meaninglessness based on pure naturalistic or a materialist viewpoint that in my mind is nothing but circular logic for they fail to understand the importance of the consciousness that has taken place to arise at any philosophy. They misunderstand that even science after it starts to base some of its foundations in the area Kant would refer to as the noumenal or the unobservable data it requires faith as well.

            When people mention the Crusades they fail to understand that many sects of Christians were killed by a certain doctrine of men who were following what other men believed the bible said. The Crusades are by no means a reflection of true Christianity at all. If people want to be skeptics about things in life I think that is a very rational thing to be however being skeptical and judgmental about something they might not even have truly familiarized themselves with ie. the actually religious scriptures they are doing themselves an injustice and propagating hatred out of hearsay.

            Fanaticism on any side is what is truly terrible. Wrongs of both certain Atheism and certain Theology can be seen throughout history. It is most important for people to understand the mistakes of history and not repeat them.

            I think when people do not understand philosophy and history they find it truly difficult to understand any other institution. Many people cannot remember their history be it the nations or the worlds or they are not interested enough in it to realize it’s importance nor do enough people take the time to understand philosophy and render themselves helpless to almost any abstract concept.

          • kelper

            Please remember that punctuation is a courtesy to your reader! Your sentences are so long and meandering I can’t see what point you are trying to make! You say that Atheism makes our lives meaningless? Bur religion gives our lives a meaningless meaning if it based on a falsehood – that gods exist. Just live to the full and be kind to others, especially strangers. Why this search for meaning??? You can’t find meaning by inventing gods and an afterlife. Well, maybe *you* can but I think you are kidding yourself as are all god-botherers.

          • Alexis Snider

            Sorry about my punctuation. I was simply saying that by definition the atheist that says the material is all that exists renders our lives meaningless all the way up to our consciousness which they say arose out of unconscious material. I agree you don’t need to have a meaningless meaning but I am talking about the abstract concept of God in the sense that it is the highest consciousness. Perhaps better explained as in two ways. 1) either it is an entity on it’s own or 2) it is the collective entity of all created life (collected consciousness). Does that make sense.

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            here is the point you fail to realize. Show where consciousness exists outside and not a by product of a physical brain.
            So no, u make no sense

          • John Furr

            Show a single experiment that ties consciousness solely to the human brain? You see every experiment that suggest the brain is a generator of consciousness can also be explained by the brain as a receiver of consciousness…

          • Hamsa Rosenberg

            “You’re sentences are so long…I can’t see [your] point.” Haha, you must be from the South. I’ve noticed almost all of you have this same problem…

          • kelper

            The South of where? USA? wrong!

          • Steven Uggen

            God is real. You can meet Him if you humble yourself.

          • Fergus Pickering

            How do you know all this? Who told you?

          • kelper

            You talking to me?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Do you know, I’ve completely forgotten?.

          • Damon

            Ha – well said. I notice that in the (interestingly hysterical) comments from the atheists on here, there’s plenty of reference to religion’s historic ‘crimes’ – but little mention of those well-known Christians Hitler, Stalin or Mao Tse Dong. (Oh hang on, they were atheists, so presumably not *that* bad, eh?)

            Atheists: I’m always willing to have a civilised, friendly discussion with you, but when you resort to blanket abuse of all religion, you simply make yourselves look silly and desperate. Have the humility to admit, first off, that you *might* be wrong, and I’ll be happy to do the same.

          • Amergin

            Hitler was not an atheist, who told you that? Stalin began his adult life in a seminary. .Including Mao was just silly. Do you honestly think that being a christian precludes men from being evil? Are the child abusers of the Catholic faith good or evil?
            Was the nun who held the child down while the priest raped her was good or evil? Was the priest who tortured in the dark cellars of the Inquisition good or evil? When Moses gave the children the laws that said Thou shallt not kill, the same one who had just drowned the Egyptian pursuing army and slain the first born of every Egyptian. Hitler was rightly condemned for the Holocaust but Joshua wiped out many of the People of the Plain The Canaanites, man woman and child and no stone on top of another at the bidding of his god.. I do not know of any atheist who has done any of that catalogue of religious criminality and did it in the name of his atheism

          • Hamsa Rosenberg

            Mao was a Buddhist (that means atheist). The rest of your rant is just silly…

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            get non answer!! lol

          • triangle whip

            I think the Dal Lama will disagree. Mao trie to kill him.

          • John Furr

            AH… No it doesn’t. Plenty of Buddhist believe in God. Buddha made a point to go silent on issues about God because it was not related to his message which was that there is suffering and there is an end to suffering.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Buddhism is as far from atheism as is Christianity – assertions like yours are, I am afraid, the silly ones. Do read about the Japanese Buddhist leaders around WWII, for example, and their role in shaping the downright fascist external politics of Japan at the time. And btw,

          • Jeremy

            Can someone really be this obtuse?

          • triangle whip

            The pope that created the crusades was no Christian. The Roman catholic church was 1/2 pagan.. Where in the New Testament say go and slaughter soo many. But many Christians were killed under Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mao, and Kim Ill.. All under the cause of Atheism..

          • Grizzly Adams

            …not atheism, dogmatic marxism

          • triangle whip

            Dogmatic Marxism is Atheism. All other religions there were persecuted too..

          • Grizzly Adams

            IF that were true, I’d be a dogmatic marxist…to be clear, I’m not

          • CHRIS OWENS

            Exactly! I’m an atheist, but I’m certainly not Marxist!

            Stupid argument put forward by ‘triangle whip’!!

          • rampant

            Hitler was a devout Catholic. Every speech invoked God and Country, he was quoted many times as saying the Nazi cause was a Christian cause, and just with God.

            Whoever told you Hitler was an atheist was lying to you.

            Don’t believe me? Google some direct quotes from Hitler, and the rest of the Nazi Cabinet, who were also Christian.

          • triangle whip

            I never said Hitler was an atheist. But if you think he was a Christian, you are as dumb as a box of hammers. Obama was a catholic and a so called Christian. Hitler killed many Christians including Catholics themselves. The Nazi party was rooted on the viking occult. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ4bUZO1gQ8&index=2&list=PLADEAE7839FD0474A BTW The COMMUNISTS were the Atheists.. They persecuted not only Christians, but Buddhists, Hindus, and even Muslims..

          • triangle whip

            BTW Got Mit Uns was there on the Army sleeve, before Hitler.

          • John

            Wrong. Hitler was an atheist who knew how to manipulate people. He tried to create the “Church of Germany” and appoint himself head of it. Hitler repeatedly stated that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on
            science, which in the long run could not “co-exist with religion”. That is according to his own biographer. Himmler persecuted Churches with Hitlers approval.

          • OfficerGallo

            You do realise christians do not have a monopoly on religion? ‘Nazis’ included Pagans, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, Confucianists, and yes – even ex-Jews who rejected their own faith. Look any of this up, you can get Nazis of all races and religions. Hitler had quite the secular movement.

            By the way, Hitler described himself as a Deist before death, not as a Christian. Goebbels and Gorring were atheists. Himmler and Rosenberg were Heathens/Pagans. Hess was an agnostic. Speer was a Christian that fused pre-Christian German religion into his faith (he considered Belenus/Baldur/Jesus to be the same, as well as Lugh/Odin/God).

            Catholic movement my ass.

          • John

            Haven’t you ever heard of the Cristero war in Mexico? The Mexican govt systematically tried to shut down the Catholic Church. There is your example of Atheist killing in the name of Atheism. They were bloody too. Stalin and Castro were both Atheists too and happy to kill their fellow men especially those that believed differently from them. To say that their killing had nothing to do with their belief system is ignorant. Before you call Hitler a Christian remember that Dawkins was a Christian too at one time.

          • Nathan Giles

            do some research Hitler was a catholic (hence his hate for the Jews) his first act as leader was to sign a treaty with the Vatican turning education over to them ,and the catholic church celebrated his birthday every year German soldiers all had “god with us” on their belts

          • HandsoffSolo

            Hitler was a catholic (hence his hate for the Jews)

            and the reasoning for Stalins pogrom was?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Hitler was a Catholic eh? Didn’t the Nazis invent a religion of their own? Or had Hitler nothing to do with that.

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            Hitler
            I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.
            – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2
            Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.
            Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5
            I had so often sung ‘Deutschland über Alles’ and shouted ‘Heil’ at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction.
            – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5
            Should we go on here? I don’t think we need to.
            Stalin
            ~Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953)
            Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953.
            While formally the office of the General Secretary was elective and was not initially regarded as the top position in the Soviet state, after Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin managed to consolidate more and more power in his hands, gradually putting down all opposition groups within the party. This included Leon Trotsky, the Red Army organizer, proponent of world revolution, and principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders, who was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929
            Stalin “denied categorically to prescribe atheistic literature to his personal library, fastidiously calling it “”antireligious waste-paper (junk)””.

            Stalin: “May god give you New Year every day.” (p. 434)

            Stalin: Certainly, we are not very good Christians, but to deny a progressive role of Christianity at a certain stage it is impossible. This event had very large value, because it was a turn of Russian state to merge with the West, instead of orientation to the East. (p. 435)

            Conversation comes to an end, when Stalin wishes success and speaks: “May god help you!” (p. 440)
            Source: I.V.Stalin “Works”; Volume 18; Tver: Information-publishing center “Union”, 2006, p. 433–440

            Man, that must suck for a man’s own words to come and smack the uneducated in the face.
            Pol Pot
            I honestly don’t have much on him. Although I would state, that Cambodia during the 70’s wasn’t very Christian to begin with. Actually, they are predominately buddhist. This in itself is atheistic, but I have yet to hear anyone say, “I kill you in the name of AHTEISM” Just doesn’t happen.
            now that you have been throughly flogged dear sir. Go learn something.

          • Steven Uggen

            someone claiming to be a Christian doesn’t make them one. the true test is do they follow the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said you would know a tree by its fruit. by the fruit of all of these they were never true followers of Christ.

          • Grizzly Adams

            You’d do better to trash bad christians instead of good atheists

          • rampant

            That’s called the No True Scottsman fallacy.

          • Demetris Manolopoulos

            was Judas a Christian? Is Roman Catholicism (ism) really representing all Christians in its historical acts and ways? This is a sweeping generalization. We need to look deeper. Christianity focuses on the “me” and not the “you”. When one man changes inside himself, he does not look to moralize others, but instead looks to clean his own house and love thy neighbor, praise those who curse you, etc. Christian is as Christian does. As to Hitler as a Christian… Hitler used propaganda and changed his message to please his audience. So he was Christian when talking to a large Christian host, and when it pleased him, he changed his message to the crowd he was addressing. He told folks what they need to hear.
            The Christian life is not to be a moralist or let the law become your god, but to rise above these things and fix yourself, for the old way of the old testament was Law, but it pointed to the fulfillment of the Law in Christ.

          • Jeremy

            Hitler was babtized just so you know.

          • Damon

            Oh yawn. We can all copy and paste from Wikipedia, my colonial friend. But since you’re so smug…

            Stalin – “Raised in the Georgian Orthodox faith, Stalin became an atheist. He followed the position that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. His government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, anti-religious propaganda, the anti-religious work of public institutions (Society of the Godless),
            discriminatory laws, and a terror campaign against religious believers. By the late 1930s, it had become dangerous to be publicly associated with religion.” If he occasionally said things like “God help you” – so what? Plenty of atheists do the same, reflexively. His daughter Svetlana, who probably knew him better than you, considered him to be irreligious.

            Pol Pot – I never mentioned him. I did refer to Mao Tse Dong, who isn’t the same person.

            Adolf Hitler – well, I sort of knew he wasn’t an atheist. More a half-arsed Deist, like his hero Frederick the Great. However, his intense dislike of Christianity (you prawn) is well known. For example, the American journalist William Shirer spent several years in Nazi Germany, and thus knew more about this matter than you. He wrote, “Under the leadership of Rosenberg, Bormann and Himmler—backed by Hitler—the Nazi regime intended to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists.”
            (William L. Shirer; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; Secker & Warburg; London; 1960; p. 240)

          • Antony Aleksiev

            I guess reading with comprehension is not among the Christian (or yours, at least) skills set. Firstly, there never was ‘special anti-religion’ anything in the schools in the USSR or other countries under the communist regime. Religion simply was not in the curriculum, except in History classes. Stalin’s problem was not strictly with religion itself, it was rather political and aimed at punishing any opponents. Fact is, the Russian Orthodox Church, while not wielding the same political clout, retained its riches. Little nationalisation affected it. Mao was a buddhist who espoused a marxist view of organised religion, like Lenin. Hitler never, and I repeat, never expressed a dislike for Christianity, and worked closely with the Catholic Church throughout his rule. He became obsessed with the occult, not just pagan, but remained staunchly religious till the end.

          • Damon

            “Hitler never, and I repeat, never expressed a dislike for Christianity.”
            Oh really?

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Really. Here’s Hitler, in his own words (unlike God and its purported words in the Bible): http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/tp/AdolfHitlerChristian.htm

          • Damon

            Oh, you dummy. So Hitler sometimes said a few positive words about Christianity, in a political speech, in a Christian country? Well, he WOULD, wouldn’t he?

            He also frequently declared his passionate longing for peace. Does that mean that he passionately longed for peace? It’s called politics.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            I suggest you use the ‘dummy’ address for the likes of you. Then, I am yet to see your piece of proof of your assertion of Hitler’s stance on Christianity. Does such (proof) exist or do I need to take your assertion at face value, e.g. blind faith and all that? ‘Cause I can tell you straightway, ain’t gonna happen that faith-ie thing, doesn’t come naturally to me. So, in conclusion, do try harder, ‘dummy’.

          • Damon

            The proof exists in extensive quotations, documents and references, cited in the books which I’ve already mentioned, Antony. Once again, if you’d been polite to me, I would have been polite to you.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Then cite it, like I did. Cite where in those extensive quotations, documents and references, cited in those books you keep mentioning quite so mysteriously, does it say, in Hitler’s words, anything that approximates your claim about Hitler’s beliefs. Frankly, I neither require nor request courtesy here, a mere scrap of proof would provide a suitable substitute for that.

          • Damon

            Delighted, old chap:

            “The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science.
            Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that’s left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that
            the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.”
            From Hitler’s Table Talk, his own words as recorded by his intimate, Martin Bormann, (1941-44).

            Still think Adolf was a Christian?

          • Antony Aleksiev

            There you go on the subject of the Table Talks and Hitler’s purported anti-Christian stance: http://www.nobeliefs.com/HitlerSources.htm; Might I bring to your attention the following, below, which testifies to two things: 1) it was not Bormann who took notes, as you claim; and 2) the original notes were altered by Bormann. As I have evidenced previously, there’s plenty documented proof of Hitler’s self-proclaimed sympathy for Christianity, including self-description of himself as Christian. What you come counter with instead is not only a second-hand record, but a disputed one at that.

            ‘Two scribes recorded Hitler’s conversations at the appointment of Martin Bormann. One was recorded by a civil servant in the Reich Ministry of Justice, Heinrich Heim from 5th July 1941 to 20th March 1942. Later, from 21st March 1942 until 31st July 1942, it was taken by Dr. Henry Piker. The record, whether taken by Heim or Picker, was passed to Bormann. Bormann made two copies of his record. One of these was kept in the Fuhererbau in Munich
            and was burnt at the end of the war; the other was sent to the Berghof at Berchtesgaden and came ultimately into the hands of Genoud. It is this second copy of which the volume of Hitler’s table talk was translated. [Trevor-Roper, p.viii]
            Moreover, Dr. Picker regarded his own recording as authentic and insisted that “no confidence can be placed in Bormann’s editing of it.” Indeed, he writes, rather testily, of “Bormann’s alterations, not authorised by me.” [Trevor-Roper, p.viii].’

          • Jeremy

            Hey dummy, Hitler was baptized.

          • untrue

            Untrue. In Yugoslavia, you would get ostracized or even fired from a company for attending church service

          • CHRIS OWENS

            That’s a cracking post, mate. Nothing better than words ‘from the horse’s mouth’ to support your argument. Nice one!

          • Grizzly Adams

            Those men (not all atheists by the way) did not act in the name of “Atheism”…We’re not a club, just saying

          • John Furr

            This isn’t about atheism. It’s about facts, science, and logic. Your religion fails across the board. There could be a god I suppose, but I’m certain he isn’t the god of the desert… ignorant hateful as god.. .what raining hell fire and brim stone down on people for having anal sex… Or asking fathers to kill their sons… Or just forget it. You want to believe that mindless non-sense then go ahead.

            There is a real spirituality that is you damn birth right but you refuse to accept it because you can’t fathom that some bronze age literature could have managed to get the big picture completely wrong. Walk out side on a clear night. Look up. Then remember science, ponder the immensity of it all. You are completely connected to every single one of those stars. ALL OF THEM. You were not born into this world, you were born out of it… You are not separate from this world. You aren the environment are the same thing… That is true spirituality my friend. Yes you damn ego dies… But life and the universe continues on. Your ego is a small wave that will return tot he ocean. No need to interject any make believe prophets or other non sense into this. Science has given us enough answers to build a solid foundation on…and it’s opened up enough new questions to keep the mystery alive.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Hitler was not an atheist, he was very much a Christian. Stalin was most definitely not an atheist. Similarly for Mao and Pol Pot (http://exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com/post/37691432001). Truly, the level of ignorance and incapacity for a reasoned debate exhibited by the religious can be quite astonishing.

          • Damon

            Thanks for your helpful link to an atheist blog. For links to actual books, written by actual historians, see my post above. Again, if you’d had the decency to be polite, I would have replied to you courteously.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            I am certain to have provided you a link to quotes from Hitler himself – much better than a historian’s take on what said quotes might mean. Don’t seem to find your alleged links to the authoritative opinions on the, again, alleged atheism of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot (wait, you didn’t mention the latter, apologies). Still, those have been written about enough and the facts around their worldviews are splashed all overt the web, and thankfully for you, not just on ‘atheist’ sites, so do kindly go and explore. Hope that’s polite enough for you.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            Same fallacy as ever: the afore-mentioned may have been atheist or not (Hitler was apparently Catholic), but they were merely terrible humans – that’s what humans are. We all have the capacity to do awful deeds. They did not do their evil in the name of atheism, though. They were not driven to their malevolence as a result of being atheists, rather by their warped sense of how to bring ‘progress’ to their nation, their people, and to their world.

          • Damon

            “Hitler was apparently Catholic.”
            No, he wasn’t. He despised Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Yes, he was BAPTISED as a Catholic, but so what?
            However, I agree with the general point you make. Terrible people do terrible things because they’re ar__holes, not because they’re Christians, Hindus or atheists. No great revelation there.

          • untrue

            Just because certain individuals commit terrible acts in the name of religion doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with religion itself, as long it is not condoning those acts. John could murder a person in the name of science, would that make science intrinsically bad? No.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            Science does not say that the believers of one hypothesis are better (or worse) than another; science does not say that there is ‘one, true science’ and that all others are false; science does not state that you ought to be stoned to death (for example) if you change your opinion and start believing another hypothesis; science does not give reward ‘points’ or punishment ‘demerits’ for doing good or bad things in your life, nor does it stipulate you’ll go to ‘Heaven’ or ‘Hell’ for the above.

            People – some – truly believe that their religion, and their holy book(s), is/are the inerrant word of ‘God’, and when these words/ideas/books are wrong, or mention such horrific punishments, then this is intrinsically dangerous and bad.

          • Nathan Giles

            made in gods image then why do you genitally mutilate children?

          • Fergus Pickering

            I thought it was muslim savages that do this.

          • Daydreamer1

            Step into any university department and you’ll find people don’t trust them. A great deal of effort is put in precisely for the reason you say.

            Science reveals this, but it is pretty obvious throughout history as well.

            It doesn’t matter what atheists or theists say, we are built out of chemicals either way. Always have been. If there is a God then that God decided to build us out of chemicals and give us squishy fallible brains.

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            Actually, atheism does not of that. It is simply the stance that we do not beleive your god claims. Science has not reduced, but uplifted mankind. We may be nothing more than Chemico-animals (whatever that means) but we are the best of the best. In opposition where your theology makes you a slave and destroys self esteem.
            John 15:5 —
            I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing

            As far as “trusting” the chems in your head. Really? SMH. You do realize we don’t deal on the molecular level for everyday life. correct.
            At the end of the day, the Abrahamic belief systems divide and destroy. Just because the Xians of this country have ben dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century is all the proof one needs of it’s static degenerative stance.

          • pearlsandoysters

            That’s exactly the reductionism of the human being as such that bothers me so much about the contemporary held views. The reliance on so called chemical determinism renders too many things meaningless. Atheism was well-known in the Antiquity, now we see to have revival of this very debate.

          • Daidragon

            Made in Gods image and sharing 99% of our dna with chimpanzees. We are primates who share a common ancestor with every other primate on the planet. We aren’t even uniquely human. There have been other hominids.

          • John Furr

            Those brain chemical are reality. You religion is make believe.

          • Antony Aleksiev

            Firstly, those chemical reactions you point at in a palpably gleeful attempt to denigrate reasoned thinking in the shape of atheism, also cause (presumably yours too) religious and other irrational beliefs. There’s plenty of research on this topic. And just so you know, the religious, yourself included, are just as ‘chemico-animals’ as atheists, whether you accept the natural way in which humans came in to being, i.e. evolution, or prefer to stick to your deisticly bent fairy tale, in which, if my memory serves me well, God created humans from clay, which of course comprises clay minerals, metal oxides and organic matter – all qualified ‘chemicals’. Then also, seeking the ‘truth’ by us as a species has everything to do with our own survival, precisely because of those chemical reactions in our heads we call ‘thinking’ (should try it sometime) and the competitive advantage it gives us against other species. That’s how evolution and natural selection in particular work, no mystery there.

          • CHRIS OWENS

            What’s wrong with being an assortment of chemical reactions? I don’t mind! No matter what I am, it doesn’t change anything about how I see, feel, experience the world. And how fascinating that these billions of electrical impulses can be formulated and processed into….thoughts, ideas, feelings, memories….

            Science rocks!

          • John Border

            Well said John.

          • Wayne

            “Crusades. Period. Your religion is completely and utter bullshit. No one here should waste even a single moment explaining it to you.”

            Yes, the Crusades are a very bleak period of the world. But it is a hasty generalization fallacy to suggest that all Christians are the same.

            “You literally belive God created us”

            I think you are putting words into his mouth. But yes, I will offer that I certainly believe those things! Science in fact confirms it!

            “then made a rule that he couldn’t bring us to heaven when we died”

            That is a misunderstanding of Christianity. God gave man only one rule, and man broke that rule. Is it wrong to punish someone for disobedience?

            “so he then incarnated down here on the planet and subjected himself to a brutal death on the cross all so he could then let our pathetic souls (which he created) back into heaven”

            Again, that is a misunderstanding. God incarnated down here to save us from the fact that we rebelled. You have to punish someone for disobedience, otherwise they will keep disobeying. However, God desired all to be saved and that none should perish. (John 3:16)

            Just a question, in your worldview why is brutality wrong?

            “THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE BS and any rational mind knows this to be true.”

            I completely reject your claim that Christianity is a “load of **.” But for the sake of the argument, why in your worldview is it wrong to be irrational?

            Furthermore, how do you know that you yourself are rational?

            “How dare you even consider challenging someone elses thoughts.”

            Is that not what you are doing just now, friend?

            “Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all utterly irrational and completely bound by ignorance.”

            I completely reject your claim that Christians are irrational and ignorant. But for the sake of the argument, why in your worldview is irrationality and ignorance wrong?

            “Your religion is violent.”

            Hasty generalization. (And easily reversible) The religion of atheism is vile and disgusting!

            Quick question, in your worldview, why is violence wrong? God tells us that we are not to kill one another, but man does. (That is man’s imperfection, not God’s. Be careful not to forecast.) But why in your worldview is it wrong for one person to kill another person?

            “Your religion is vile and disgusting.”

            Reversible “the religion of Atheism is vile and disgusting!”

          • Nathan Giles

            right this is fun atheism can not be called a religion like not collecting stamps can be called a hobby how does science confirm that god made us? right god made one rule and we broke it well that’s a massive fail surly if he made us he would have hard wired the rules into us and why hasn’t he killed everyone like the Noah flood? The religion of atheism is violent! what atheism is not a religion what proof do you have ? genitally mutilating children and dehumanising women is vile and disgusting! stoning your kids to death is vile and disgusting! genocide of the Canaanites is vile and disgusting! ordering your followers to kill women and children is vile and disgusting!

          • Hector Coe

            God did not hard wire rules into us because God wants true believers who follow and obey because they choose to,not because they have too! God does not want his followers to be robots! God gave us free will, and we freely decide to act in evil ways or good ways its up to us. All the wars on earth can be blamed on man not God. Agnosticism is truly the only rational approach if one does not want to base his/her beliefs on faith. Once you make up your mind that there is or is not a God, you have done so on faith since there is no 100% proof one way or the other.

          • Jeremy

            Atheism is a religion, like off is a TV channel, it’s not.

          • Foritn

            Atheism has become a religion since you mindless drones feel the need to preach about it constantly.

          • http://twitter.com/FancyLads FancyLad

            The Twentieth Century from Scientific Racism, to Himmler, to the Khemer Rouge killing fields. Period.
            Atheism is ignorant, callow bullshit. No one here should waste even a single moment explaining it to you.

            How dare you rail against challenges to your thoughts. Are you a new Cardinal Ximenes? Hypocrite!
            You new atheists
            believe the most asinine ignorant crap about all of the major religions, wearing your profound ignorance like a badge of merit.
            Have
            you ever read about the lead up to the Crusades? Who the combatants
            were? What actually occurred? Even a quick browse of the Wikipedia
            article beforehand would have shown you how alarmingly ignorant you
            are.

            Atheists like you John Furr, are soaked in the blood of millions. You are the most evil idealouges to ever exist.
            Atheists, the most hypocritical, bigoted buffoons alive.

            I’m agnostic BTW so don’t even try to go there.

          • Nathan Giles

            you need to read more and make shit up less

          • Fergus Pickering

            Reading more will not help. Suppose the books are full of lies. Socrates never read books. For that reason. Be careful you do not make books your God.

          • StOoPiD_MoNkEy

            So your stance is you are too stpuid to ever find out, so let’s be lazy and not even worry about it because my brain can’t take it. Your a mentally stagnant pool of meaningless jabber.
            since you have such a high regard for wikipedia.
            The Crusades were religious conflicts during the High Middle Ages through to the end of the Late Middle Ages, conducted under the sanction of the Latin Catholic Church. Pope Urban II proclaimed the first crusade in 1095 with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem. There followed a further six major Crusades against Muslim territories in the east and numerous minor ones as part of an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy Land that ended in failure. After the fall of Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land, in 1291, Catholic Europe mounted no further coherent response in the east. Many historians and medieval contemporaries, such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, give equal precedence to comparable, Papal-blessed military campaigns against pagans, heretics, and people under the ban of excommunication, undertaken for a variety of religious, economic, and political reasons, such as the Albigensian Crusade, the Aragonese Crusade, the Reconquista, and the Northern Crusades.[1]
            Let’s continue your history lession.

            Persian rule
            539: Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers Babylon and allows Jews to return from captivity.
            515: Second Temple is completed.
            444: Nehemiah rebuilds city walls of Jerusalem.
            Hellenistic rule
            332: Alexander the Great conquers Persian Empire, including all of Palestine.
            323: Alexander dies and his kingdom is divided into four parts; Palestine falls under Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, then under Seleucid Empire of Syria.
            175: King Antiochus IV of Syria bans traditional Jewish practices and desecrates Temple.
            167: Judas Maccabeus leads successful revolt against Seleucid Empire, rededicates Temple and restores religious freedom.
            Hasmonean rule
            140: Simon Maccabeus, a brother of Judas, establishes Hasmonean Dynasty, which rules an independent Jewish kingdom for 103 years.
            63: Rivalry between Simon Maccabeus’ great-grandsons, Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, brings civil war that ends with Roman general Pompey controlling the kingdom.
            37: Rome proclaims Herod as King of Israel, now a Roman client state, ending the Hasmonean Dynasty.
            Roman rule
            20: Herod expands Temple Mount and rebuilds Temple.
            c. 6: Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem.
            4: Herod dies and his kingdom is divided among his sons, Philip, Antipas and Archelaus.
            __________________________________________________________________________
            AD
            26: Pontius Pilate becomes procurator of Roman province of Judea.
            c. 27: Jesus is baptised by his cousin John the Baptist and begins his public ministry.
            c. 30: Jesus is condemned to death and crucified.
            c. 32: Stephen, first Christian martyr, is stoned to death.
            c. 34: Paul is converted on the way to Damascus.
            41-44: Jerusalem’s “Third Wall” is built by King Agrippa I.
            c. 50: Council of Jerusalem, first recorded council of Christian leaders, is held.
            c. 45-120: Books of the New Testament are written.
            67: During First Jewish-Roman War, Christians in Palestine flee to Pella in Jordan.
            70: Romans destroy Jerusalem and Second Temple.
            73: Masada falls to Romans.
            130: Emperor Hadrian rebuilds Jerusalem, renaming it Aelia Capitolina, and puts pagan temple over site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
            135: Hadrian crushes Second Jewish Revolt and expels Jews from Palestine.
            301: Armenia becomes first nation to make Christianity its state religion.
            313: Emperor Constantine I legalises Christianity.
            325: At Council of Nicaea, Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem asks Constantine to reclaim site of crucifixion and Resurrection and build a church there.
            326-7: Constantine’s mother, Helena, visits Holy Land, finds True Cross and orders churches built on sacred sites; large-scale pilgrimages begin.
            Byzantine rule
            330: Constantine moves his capital from Nicomedia to Byzantium (renamed Constantinople, now Istanbul).
            335: Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated.
            380: Emperor Theodosius I makes Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire.
            386-420: Jerome produces Vulgate translation of Bible in his Bethlehem cave.
            395: Roman Empire splits into East and West.
            c. 500: Jerusalem Talmud completed by rabbinic schools in Galilee.
            570: Birth of Muhammad.
            614: Persians capture Jerusalem, destroying many churches and burning Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
            622: Muhammad escapes assassination in Mecca and flees to Medina, his flight marking first year of Islamic calendar.
            629: Emperor Heraclius I re-establishes Byzantine rule in Jerusalem and recovers True Cross stolen by Persians
            Obviously I did not include every civilization that has ruled the holy land. But the point is, the jews got it back. The christians stole it via Roman Rule.. The muslims came and kicked christian ass. Christians came back and got their butts again. Then the Ottomans moved in.
            Youre title fits you well, you are indeed, agnostic (without knowledge). lmmfao.

          • leenb

            Not to hijack your post, but this is what bothers me about Atheists. Insisting that Abraham is the root of all evil.. which means other religions get a pass. Buddhists can just be as vile (have you not heard about the ethnic cleansing that is going on in Burma?). Don’t even get me started on Hinduism, one only has to glance at the news to find in the last months, god knows how many little girls were raped because of its patriarchal culture that stems from religion.
            I’m an agnostic secular myself, but since I believe religion is man-made, I thus attribute the ‘bad things’ that come from religion … to man. If there was no religion, no God, no nothing, you can bet man will invent something one way or another.

            Which is why I guess I don’t ‘get’ the ‘religion is evil and bad’ argument. It doesn’t make sense. Surely if you believe that religion is man-made, everything in the holy books written by man, everything carried out by man, then it is man that is evil? That man has cleverly created a tool that he can control the masses for self-interest? Surely if religion disappears, there will be another ‘tool’ that fills in the void? (And as we know, money is a pretty good contender for that ‘control tool’ as well).

          • Nathan Giles

            religion is a tool of man to instil fear and hold power as is money as is sex .man will always find a way to control other men as we are animals and that is what we do the alpha male gets the most rewards

          • David Marshall

            It is amusing, but pathetic, than anyone in the West is so historically ignorant as to think the mere word “Crusades” is some kind of rebuttal to Christianity.

            The Crusades are one reason we speak English, not Arabic, and drive our own cars, not our masters’ oxcarts. They were also preceded by 400 years of jihad that had conquered half of “Christendom.” The fact that Westerners are so brainwashed we hear the very word and hang our heads in disgrace, is truly pathetic:

            http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2012/01/hector-avalos-does-violence-to-crusades.html

            But Furr’s comments are generally hysterical, in both senses of the word.

          • Nathan Giles

            both believed in the same god it was a war completely lead by believe in a god show me a war anywhere in history with both sides fighting against a belief in god

          • Fergus Pickering

            No they did not belive in the same God. Who told you that? I suppose you think all gods are the same. Who told you that? Or did it just come to you in a vision?

          • Daidragon

            Barking

          • http://twitter.com/ChristopherRed6 AllSeeingOracle

            You say “Your religion is completely and utter bullshit. No one here should waste even a single moment explaining it to you.”

            You then state “How dare you even consider challenging someone elses thoughts.”

            Please at least tell me you can see the hopeless contradiction and hypocrisy of your argument?

          • Got It Right

            Shouldn’t you be out on a ledge somewhere?

          • AJ Bernard

            Regarding the Crusades… they’re not what you think they are.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y

          • Dylan Berndt

            Your circle of influence is slipping, losing ground, and that’s why you’re so angry.

          • Stéphane Blouin

            What makes you think that you are unfoolable ? Everyone is easy to fool. Even scientists and people with phds are easy to fool. Everyone went to school and learned what to think from the big blue book and that this was Law.

            But everyone comes from Nature (Life, or God or w/e) and nature always takes the path of least resistance, and so when it suits us, we suit the cracks in the wall that the builders have made, but if it suits us, then we won’t see them.

            Everybody thinks they are free thinkers, don’t fool yourself with confirmation biases and stuff…

          • John Furr

            I am fooled all the time friend. I sit in meditation on a daily basis and examine each though and belief as it arises. When I discover a false belief I toss it aside like a piece of rotten meat.

            Give you an analogy. When I get up and flick a light switch I expect that state of luminosity in the room to change. If that luminosity in the room doesn’t change I don’t keep flicking the light hoping it will work. I get on with changing the bulb, checking the switch, or the wiring. I update my beliefs based on new evidence.

            I adopt this very simply philosophy.

            Believe nothing. Meaning I hold no belief so dear I won’t question it.

            Allow for anything: I simply allow for all possibilities.

            Question Everything. EVERYTHING. Especially deep seated beliefs.

            So yes I do still hold beliefs and undoubtable many of them are wrong. When I get a better explanation I will update my beliefs.

            So back to Christians… Do they do this? When science shows evolution to be bona fide fact..do the update their belief that the universe wasn’t created in 7 day’s? Now do you see the difference?

          • paulagain

            I suppose that is why Obama was elected…because he claims to be Christian?

          • LessGovernment76

            You are a very uninformed person. You didn’t bother looking into anything for yourself. Your view is completely lacking and made up of pure assumptions. Jesus in fact existed the historic record proves that. Jesus also was not God himself as you so ignorantly profess to know. Truth is we don’t know enough to totally discredit it. You do not even have the facts involved in the Crusades you think you do but saying period after it shows you don’t it was about more than just religion. What is Bullshit is people like yourself. You have not stopped to consider that even with the debate of evolution vs. creationism… they can both be part of the same truth. Our world is a perfect storm that allowed for all this diversity of life to exist… to discount a creator or creators is arrogance and truly ignorant!!

          • John Furr

            “Jesus in fact existed the historic record proves that. ”

            PROVE THAT.

            “Truth is we don’t know enough to totally discredit it.”

            WHICH IS THE DEAD OPPOSITE OF TRUTH.

            “You do not even have the facts …”

            BS. I have studied this religion my entire life. It is repugnant and it breeds ignorance which shines brightly through in your post.

            “You have not stopped to consider that even with the debate of evolution vs. creationism… t”

            Your right. Growing up with religion shoved down my throat (creationism) and then getting a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry didn’t expose me to both sides of the argument. (whatever)

            BTW There is no real argument to intelligent rational people. Your view is steeped in pure ignorance. You don’t even understand how to look at the evidence much less the evidence that stands dead against you and your view.

            BTW I don’t discount a ‘creator’ or creative force.. I discount YOUR version of a so called creator. You know that god that rains down hell fire and brim stone, the God that chooses a single race of people above all. A god that creates a ‘perfect’ creation and then realizes he has to incarnate down here to die a brutal death at his creations hands so he can let their pathetic souls back into his supremely perfect heaven. THAT I DENY.

            Your religion is repugnant and so are all religions descended from Abraham. Just ignorant fear based non sense.

          • LessGovernment76

            I never expressed my personal beliefs you assumed them though. I was pointing out that in your bitterness about having one view of religion crammed down your throat. You have actually closed your mind completely to any possibility some of it may have truth to it. You have closed out the fact that historians have found records of Jesus and his existence for one…not very open minded. You and “Scientists” like you are why science is rightfully going to take a huge negative blow to it’s credibility much as religion has over the centuries. You have turned Science into a religion with omnipotent status. I’m sorry but academic accomplishment doesn’t mean you are more intelligent. Most intellectual innovators especially in the scientific world didn’t have a degree just an open mind to possibilities. Your specialized profession creates drugs that have side effects longer and a lot of times, more serious than the drug is even taken to treat. You are not more intelligent you just believe yourself superior which is sad. What is repugnant is your hate and ignorance. I saw you mention Islam is better than Christianity all you are hating on Christianity about is in it’s history Islam is doing these things now still to this day…so to make that statement discredits you all together.

          • John Furr

            Mindless drivel. Prove the things you said and I’ll humbly shut up and apologize to you and THEN I will take up the evangelical flag myself. You did nothing with this post however, but dodge the fact that you have no FACTS at all.

            “You have closed out the fact that historians have found records of Jesus and his existence for one…not very open minded.”

            BULLSHIT. WHERE? Where is this information.

            You know what. You are to ignorant for me to be having a conversation with. Seriously.

          • LessGovernment76

            You are the one that has the deficiency. You have such a closed mind like most scientists blowhards today. So full of yourself and your academia you can’t think past your own ego. To deny the historians accounts of the crucifixion is pure ignorance. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2485615/posts The accounts from historians match the bibles accounts. I never said it was all truth but Jesus did in fact exist. He was put to death by the Romans to maintain order. I have no way of knowing if the other claims are true and either do you none of us do. We have learned rudimentary science that could explain much of those things they believed to be miracles. You are so full of bitterness and arrogance you won’t acknowledge or realize there may be truths within it. I never pulled out the aspects that you use to ridicule and dismiss it all together. I am not sure… wasn’t there can’t explain it and either can you but you viciously discount it all together. What about it do you hate so much the ten commandments…treat others as you would like to be treated. The overall get along or choose to agree to disagree. I choose to disagree with your small minded hatred that silences something that has great worth to humanity. Your sway to Islam being truth is humorous though. Seeing how they still practice in large these things you slam Christianity for stoning, oppression, castrating women, raping their enemy, beheading etc etc. these are all active practice in Muslim controlled nations. You’re the one that is a waste of time until you get over your own ego.

          • Foritn

            Tactius, Pliny the Younger, Thallus, Josephus, the list goes on. There’s lots of historical evidence for Jesus. Just because you can’t be bothered to do your research doesn’t mean the proof doesn’t exist. Historical records are evidence whether you like it or not and the only one preaching anything here is you with your constant preaching of your disgusting atheism.

          • Jeremy

            Not one shred of proof of that exists.

          • Foritn

            Tactius, Pliny the Younger, Thallus, Josephus, the list goes on. Just because you can’t be bothered to do your research doesn’t mean the proof doesn’t exist. Historical records are evidence whether you like it or not Jeremy you atheist retard.

          • Tweck

            And your hatred comes to light. Not to mention your near-complete ignorance about religion as a whole.

          • Gatambia N.J.

            there goes the aggression of the insecure. All the best, purporting that Christianity is not without enough credentials because of the Crusades is like disregarding all of the maritime travel just because the Titanic sank. At the heart of Christianity there is the indelible and deep truth that most atheist see and all they can do is fight to self-preserve.

          • CoffeeH

            Why is it we’re in 2015, and all anyone ever brings up in the Catholic crusades and witch trials? Roughly 2 million and 20 people died.

            Remember, the following guys were NOT Christian and probably not truly believing in any higher power.

            -Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) 49-78,000,00 people murdered
            -Jozef Stalin (USSR 1932-39 only) 15,000,000 people murdered
            -Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79) 1,700,000 people murdered
            -Kim II Sung (North Korea 1948-94) 1.6 million people murdered
            -Tito (Yugoslavia 1945-1987) 570,000 people murdered
            -Suharto (Communists 1967-66) 500,000 people murdered
            -Ante Pavelic (Croatia 1941-45) 359,000 people murdered
            -Ho Chi Min (Vietnam 1953-56) 200,000 people murdered
            -Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20) 30,000 people murdered
            -Adolf Hitler (Germany 1939-1945) 12,000,000 people murdered

          • John Furr

            I think the reason it is continuously brought up is because the crusades led to the destruction of countless civilizations…and the Judeo-christian mentality is still by and large intolerant of almost all other people. And while I certainly agree that I don’t think a figure such as Jesus, if he was even real, would have ben involved in the crusaded. However, I don’t see very many Christians that are even remotely approaching Christ like behavior. What I see are guns and bibles baby. Keep out the immigrants and Islam has to go…or even worse we need to go on the offense and kill the Muslims before they take over and force us all into Sharia law…. blah blah blah.

            And yes to be fair I do know some ‘level’ headed Christians. Though anyone believing that God had to incarnate down on earth so his creation could crucify him, thus removing the need for animal sacrifice, ALL so he could let our pathetic souls into heaven is hardly what I would consider level headed. Seriously out of every religion I have studied Christianity is the most asinine of the all… I was raised southern Baptist and spent considerable time in Bible school as a child.. And yes I have a fair amount of disdain towards my parents and grandparants for this indoctrination into make believe BS.

          • CoffeeH

            Understood. But, it spanned a couple hundred years starting 1000 years ago. It’s ancient.

            As for Jesus, there aren’t too many real, even secular, historians who don’t agree that he lived. They may disagree with who he said he was and what he was capable of, but historically, his existence is not disputed amongst historians. (Interestingly enough, Josephus was emperor Titus’s historian. Titus destroyed Jerusalem and all its records or most in 70 a.d.)

            I think the Christian “person” seem to take a pretty bad rap due to the people calling themselves Christians and doing bad things and the bad ones that seem to get all the media.

            I also think many human beings don’t know how to separate their human feelings and wants from their Christian duties. So, some lump together both sides and decide it’s ok to “hate gay people”. It’s not correct. Or, somehow in the U.S., the idea of Republicans and guns, like you said, gets confused and weaved in Christianity somehow (and needs to be unwoven). And more…

            Yes, as for immigrants, God said often to HELP immigrants and foreigners, and we seem to be lumping together our fear of them and our laws and the economy and our security and somehow justifying that with Christian beliefs, which just ain’t the truth.

            I like to say we have a people problem, not a God problem.

            I also grew up in a Baptist home (in the north). I left the church at 16 (not God) and came back around 28 after I was married, though not to a Baptist church. I hung out in atheist groups in college, and really, all that strengthened my faith.

            To me, it’s about WANTING to believe, WANTING a great hope. I’m a strong guy now, but some day, I’m going to be weak and vulnerable and frail, and that hope is going to get me through it. I WANT that hope, and that’s why I’ve chosen to have it.

            That’s all for now. Thanks for sharing.

          • John Furr

            You seem like a descent man…er excuse me a descent person as I don’t know your sex. I would be curious why your desire to believe would lead you to such an irrational faith? I mean look at the majority of the people in this country that share your faith?

            You seem to agree that it’s hard to imagine an immigrant problem from the POV of Jesus. I mean would Jesus close a border? Would Jesus think that people in country A deserved their wealth while people in country B deserved their poverty? Would Jesus have supported the American revolutionary war? Would Jesus have supported the rutheless killing of Indians… would Jesus have supported the building of a nation with Slaves from African (Actually there is some evidence in the bible that he may have supported this). I think you would agree with me that Jesus would want none of this.

            So why align your self with a group of people that spout this? If you are looking for a more tolerant religion they certainly exist. Personally I feel like the real Jesus (I do believe he existed) has been lost to history. In fact I’d go so far as to say his character was essentially assassinated by Paul. Remember Paul decided to set up a church around Jesus… and Jesus was the guy that walked into a temple, called out the Pharasees of the day and then led people into nature to speak from the heart… Paul in effect undermined everything Jesus was about..

            Furthermore I’m curious how you reconcile your faith with the history of the Bible. Mark was written 50-70 years after Jesus died. Both the virgin birth and resurrection were added in later… and the other 3 gospels are obvious plagiarisation? Without a virgin birth and resserectoin Jesus becomes a human teacher.. and a DAMN great one at that. Personally I give more merit to a real Jesus than a God that has to let his creation kill him so we can go to heaven… Just my take though.

            Anyway let me be blunt. It’s not Jesus I’m scared of. In fact if there was a genuine Christ like figure alive today I’d probably drop everything and follow them. I am however deeply scared of the Christian right in our country. You know the ones freaking out about healthcare for the people (and yeah the AHC is a disaster..but only because it doesn’t go far enough to be true universal healthcare).

            Anyway I mean no offense (my words on this thread are quite old now and I wouldn’t take this approach with folks any longer).

          • CoffeeH

            :) I certainly don’t judge the religion I’ve chosen by the other people who’ve chosen it in the U.S. 2.5 billion have chosen it around the world, but still, that’s not why I choose it.

            I know atheists and religious alike who are not logical, rational people. I know religious people are ARE logical and rational too.

            I agree that Jesus and God the Father would not close a border. The Bible even says this. Human beings, whether religious or not, act out of fear when it comes to borders and influx of immigrants. I digress.

            I do NOT align myself with those people or anyone who misconstrues what the Bible appears to be clearly saying. I don’t like to mix politics and religion. Those lines are not clear, like some would make them out to be (not you).

            You’d have to tell me more about how you see Paul undermining Jesus. I haven’t heard that line of thought.

            As for age of the gospels, I was just talking to atheists months ago who agreed it was 30-50 years. I asked them if I could write about my late father 30 years after his death. I could. I have notes. It was good discussion.

            Where do you get that the virgin birth and resurrection were added later?

            Jesus did claim to be God, so I don’t believe he can just be a good person without being a liar if he wasn’t. I don’t think Jesus left that open to us.

            I understand. You’re right about Christians getting their priorities mixed up and playing partisan (Republican conservative) politics and believing it’s Christianity. A lot about Jesus was NOT Republican. :) My own facebook friends think voting for Cruz is somehow Christian. This is all wrong. They are not getting it.

            Then again, take away religion, and there will still be conservatives vs liberals. There will still be division. Humans innately WANT division. It sucks. Jesus tells us to stop the division. Be unified. Be peaceful. Love others.

            I’ve got young earth creationists telling me I can’t be saved if I don’t believe the earth is 6000 years old. I have Baptists saying I need to wear a suit to church to be in tune with God. (Long time ago.) I’ve had friends leave my GOOD church, because there’s 4 guitars on stage. It’s immaturity.

            Jesus is beyond all that. We can’t have faith in people. I agree with Gandhi that we have to “be the change we want to see”. I’m trying to do that.

            Anyway, gotta run for now. Later.

          • John Furr

            “be the change we want to see”

            ^This. I don’t care if you worship Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Krishna or what ever name one chooses. We all need to be the change we wish to see in the world…well assuming that change is based on kindness, empathy, compassion, and tolerance for others. I’ll pass on the arguments about Paul.. this is after all an internet thread. But It certainly wasn’t something I arrived at idly. But just remember this, Paul never met Jesus and yet he is essentially the founder of the religion (as you currently know it). Jesus didn’t found a religion. Paul did.

            BTW Google suggetss the earliest estimates for Mark at 70 A.D.. My reading suggests 50-70 years. And for arguments purpose say Mark knew Jesus at 20.. then he was 70 when he wrote the book. Yes I think he would remember the big picture items. The fact that he doesn’t mention a virgin birth or a resurrection speaks volumes doesn’t it? Either way most historians don’t actually think any of the 4 gospel writes knew Jesus.

            BTW Lots of people have claimed to be god.. Jesus also said, “Is it not written that I have said ye are all gods..children of the most high”

            More importantly Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is within you” Jesus didn’t want people to profess a faith in him (That was all made up as part of the religion). Jesus wanted people to walk the path to truth just as he did. Jesus was awake and wanted others to wake up to the same thing.

          • CoffeeH

            Paul’s conversion is dated about 33-36 AD. Of course, the Bible says he DID meet Jesus, hence his conversion. He did have interactions with Jesus’ disciples afterwward too and learned from them.

            I understand seculars don’t want to believe that Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, but they don’t believe much of the Bible, so I can’t give them any credit for creating their own theories about Paul’s meeting with Christ (like due to drugs or whatever) if they don’t believe it.

            Paul’s conversion is MAJOR, given his previous history of persecuting Christians. We know CHRIST founded Christianity and NOT Paul, because Paul persecuted Christ’s followers. Obviously, God was right about Paul being a perfect catalyst for converting others given his past.

            Acts says the men travelling with Paul heard the voice speaking to Paul but did not see anyone, so it wasn’t all in Paul’s head.

          • John Furr

            Dude seeing Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus isn’t seeing Christ. If I claim to have a vision of Christ and my buddies claim to hear it and I set up a church will you come pay me? I just almost can’t have this conversation it’s like talking to children that believe in the tooth fairy or santa clause.. because they have ‘faith’.

            Also quite trying to divide between believers and secularists. You claim to be rational then exercise some rationality. If you want to have ‘faith’ against reason then give up claims of rational thought..because you are not using it.

            Point blank, you literally believe God, created a perfect world.. ALMOST.. but then to fix it he told humans to make burnt offerings in the form of animal sacrifice… then that wasn’t quite working so he made a son… who then had to incarnate on earth so that humans could sacrifice him as the sacrificial LAMB of GOD so YOUR pathetic soul could get into heaven. Read that until it sinks in. That is your beliefs. No matter how you try to spin off of that..this is what the Bible teaches.

            NO offense (well maybe some) but your beliefs are down right ignorant. Believe what you want, but don’t claim to be rational and sill hold these ignorant views….or well claim what you want, but don’t expect real rational people to take you seriously.

            And NO. Jesus did not start Christianity. Jesus was the anti religion of the day. That is what made him great. Not some make believe quote that he was God… cause he clearly wasn’t as he died on a cross.. and NO he absolutely did not rise three day’s latter… though the winter equinox certain follows that story to a T.

            Respond if you want, but I’m completely done with this. I have better things to do like educate myself.

          • CoffeeH

            Right now, I think you feel like a strong, young buck. Someday, you won’t. All the “education” in the world isn’t going to give you the hope that is going to get you through the toughest times or your endgame. I wish you the best.

            If nothing else, I hope you help make the world a better place in your time here, and that ain’t got nothing to do with trying to unconvert people with bad learning and faulty logic.

          • Derpy Hooves

            The Spanish Inquisition,
            The Crusades,
            Witch Burning,
            banning the dissecting of cadavers for medical research, banning scientific publications which disagreed with their dogma,
            the whole of the “Dark Ages”,
            Pedophile priests,
            homophobia,
            the justification of racism and slavery on the basis that god would intervene if he had objection,
            the conflict in Northern Ireland and elsewhere around the world in which people with the same god murder each other over differences in interpretation of holy scripture,
            American “good news” clubs.

            That’s all just off the top of my head.

          • Guest

            I just happen to be viewing older articles & I came across this post. This is so wrong & inaccurate that I had to comment.

            Over half of those are myths.

            The “Dark Ages” crap is one. Atheist blogger Tim O’Neil explains it better than I can.(He’s the 1st & longest answer) http://www.quora.com/Why-did-science-make-little-real-progress-in-Europe-in-the-Middle-Ages

            Witch burning? Again, I say Tim does the job better than I ever hope to. http://www.quora.com/What-are-examples-of-things-that-are-common-knowledge-about-history-that-historians-almost-universally-consider-incorrect

            Pedo priests? Do some homework & see how many more are molested by family & family friends. Priests aren’t a bleep on the radar.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Try reading some yourself. Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Then there is the modern atheist existentialist crisis: meaning, purpose, morality. And don’t give me some crapline that atheism holds the high moral ground. According to Dawkins, at rock bottom there is no right and wrong, just pitiless indifference. Meanwhile across the ditch atheist Will Provine tells us there is no such thing as free will.

          • John Border

            Why dont you go out and stop priests raping kids?

          • bonehead41

            That has stopped or are you sorry it has.

          • Wayne

            Sir, I realize that you are trying to help. But the next time someone asks you a question like that, politely respond to them and explain that they are committing the logical fallacy called the “complex question”. It is in reality asking two questions at once, and is akin to asking “have you stopped beating your wife?” It is tricky, because on the one hand it is asking “have you ever beaten your wife?” and on the other hand “if you have, have you since stopped doing so?”

            If/when someone asks you a question like that, it is entirely appropriate to point out their fallacy and say “that is the fallacy of the complex question. But for the sake of the argument, why is raping someone wrong in your worldview?”

            God Bless

          • bonehead41

            Very profound.

          • Wayne

            Why dont you go out and stop priests raping kids?

            That is the fallacy of the complicated question.

            But just for the sake of the argument, why in your worldview is it wrong to rape someone? If we are only chemical accidents brought about by mindless mutations, why is it wrong for one chemical bag to violently react with another chemical bag. You would not get upset with Potassium for reacting with Water, would you?

          • Nathan Giles

            ah the justification of child rape a religious certainty in any debate!! things are seen as wrong if it hinders our chance of survival like rape murder we wouldn’t be here if people thought those things were right as we would have killed each other why do animals live in groups ? it is a better way to survive. how do you account for the survival of the human race for the lets say the 247,000 years of our existence before god was invented?

          • benb96

            Hitler was Catholic… LOL.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000155662700 Green Pack

            Religion is manageable. Most agnostics realize that. Some atheists realize it to. “Some”

          • Anthony Neilsen

            “Try reading some history, silly.” You’re confusing what evil men have done in the name of Christ, with what the Bible teaches is true Christianity. TOTAL FAIL. Chrsitianity is defined by the Bible, NOT men’s actions.

          • BryanCUFF

            Troll

          • momo

            Try listening to the arguments of young-earth or young-life creationists — offensive, abusive and (especially) dishonest.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.Karstens Kevin Karstens

            “What do you find offensive, abusive and dishonest in Christianity?”

            Anti gay, anti women, pro slavery, pro war…the Inquisition, child rape covered up, indoctrination of children…need I go on?

            ” I find that atheism irrational”

            Yes, it’s so ‘irrational’ to rely on evidence, proof and solid facts, rather than a single, easy to disprove, ancient book written by goat herders…

            Are you KIDDING me?

          • Ed

            … bronze-age goat herders at that!

          • http://www.facebook.com/christian.apologetics.31 Christian Apologetics

            Atheists should realise that their blabber about morality is worthless when coming from their atheist worldview. If we are just chemicals, reacting and overreacting, then whence morality? That is NOT to say atheists are all immoral, but it is so say that the atheist system provides no basis for moral values other than whatever their chemical reactions dictate to them.

          • John Border

            Lover of the Tooth Fairy!

          • bonehead41

            “What both Darwinism and environmentalism also derive from the vision laid down by Comte and Bacon, who reduced everything to a materialist worldview, is their ruthless subordination of evidence to a prior unchallengeable idea. All are ideologies, and as such they block the path to true enlightenment. Environmentalism uses science to betray science, by putting forward bogus “research” that wrenches the facts about the natural world to support an idea for which there is scant persuasive evidence—that man’s activities are altering the climate. Darwinism, meanwhile, is not so much science as materialism applied to biology. The belief that Creation was false did not derive from Darwinism. Darwinism derived from the belief that Creation was false. In trying to fit the natural world to a prior belief, and claiming to be the •
            ultimate explanation of the origin of life, it overreaches and therefore fails to adhere to its own scientific principles.

            number of scientists, however, have accepted that the real lesson of quantum theory is that science alone cannot answer all the questions of the universe. Shahn Majid, a mathematics professor at London University, has written that scientists don’t know whether the universe had a beginning or not because they still don’t understand the basic notions of space and time—and don’t even have a theory to test about this deepest layer of physics. Here, he suggests, science has to enlist the help of philosophy and theology, as well as art and life itself”

          • Nathan Giles

            you are now resorting to quoting a mathematician on physics evolution can be observed in fruit flies explain that!!

          • Wayne

            Irrelevant thesis. (fallacy)

          • Nathan Giles

            are animals moral? what is moral? is the bible moral ? we do things which give us the maximum chance of reproducing to pass on our genes killing each other does not propagate our genes very well hence we look at killing people for no good reason as wrong it so simple

          • dongn

            You’ll be amazed, but moral values seem to have appeared through biological evolution. It has been shown that humans are not the only animals who have morals.

            http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html

            FYI, all the animals presented in that video are atheists.

          • Wayne

            Yes, it’s so ‘irrational’ to rely on evidence, proof and solid facts, rather than a single, easy to disprove, ancient book written by goat herders…

            The evidence supports Creation. I take it then that you mean you believe in the interpretation of the evidence?

            How do you know that your facts and your “proof” is solid? Isn’t that presupposing the reliability of your senses to perceive facts and truth? Why do you believe that your senses are reliable in your worldview?

            easy to disprove

            If it was so easy to disprove, you would have done so in your post. Not so easy then?

            I also completely reject your claim that it is irrational to believe in God. But just for the sake of the argument, why is it wrong to be irrational in your worldview?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Williams/1461151208 Andy Williams

            please supply evidence for creation??…..i dont see any….at all !

          • Wayne

            I notice that you answered none of the questions that I posed to you, so I will ask them again.

            With respect to your remarks that the evidence is on your side, I will again ask “I take it then that you mean you believe in the interpretation of the evidence?”

            Secondly, you presuppose that evidence has only one interpretation. In reality the evidence that is being evaluated is the same, it simply is a matter of opposing worldviews which are used to interpret the evidence. For an evolutionist, the evidence supports evolution. For a creationist, the evidence supports creation. Since each party has a positive (each claims to be an accurate descriptor of how life came to be on this planet, and to establish the origin of the universe itself) but opposing worldview, it becomes less about the evidence and more about the interpretation of said evidence. Therefore the evidence that you could claim, I could claim just as easily, albeit with a different interpretation of said evidence.

            thirdly, I will again state:

            I also completely reject your claim that it is irrational to believe in God. But just for the sake of the argument, why is it wrong to be irrational in your worldview?

          • Wayne

            i dont see any….at all !

            Well, perhaps that is simply caused by the fact that your senses are unreliable? According to evolution and naturalism there is no reason to believe that our senses (should) be reliable, is there? You simply illustrated my point.

          • Nathan Giles

            “I take it then that you mean you believe in the interpretation of the evidence?”

            experimentation ,repetition of observations help us come to conclusions

            Secondly, you presuppose that evidence has only one interpretation. In
            reality the evidence that is being evaluated is the same, it simply is a
            matter of opposing worldviews which are used to interpret the evidence.
            For an evolutionist, the evidence supports evolution. For a
            creationist, the evidence supports creation.

            There is no evidence that supports creation

            why is it wrong to be irrational in your worldview?

            it is not wrong just stupid look up the word irrational

          • Wayne

            Last question that you did not respond to:

            How do you know that your facts and your “proof” are solid? Isn’t that presupposing the reliability of your senses to perceive facts and truth? Why do you believe that your senses are reliable in your worldview?

          • Nathan Giles

            why do you believe your are wrong ? experimentation ,repetition of observations help us come to conclusions

          • Wayne

            Just for arguments sake, I will supply the evidence. The Laws of Logic, Uniformity in Nature, and the Basic Reliability of the Senses. How can Naturalism/Evolution explain any of these things?

          • max

            please supply evidence for for the( theory) of evolution

          • Nathan Giles
          • max

            you could say I will put foward my evidence,and you put foward yours.We could argue for weeks and months and some more and in the end we would each propably stand on what we believe by faith,so the question is what is the out come of my faith. If there is no real purpose to my faith ,eat ,drink and be merry for tommorrow we die. But what if there is a purpose in this life we live, does that mean we live for our own selfish desires, do as we please. In the old testament God gave them the ten commandments and laws show to them the way to live, and the truth is we need to be shown how to live , even an athiest will show his children how to live,and all need God for no matter what rules you put in place you will break them and that is why Jesus Christ came into this world,not to make rules,not for religions sake ,but for mans sake to change his heart and I know that in my faith he is working in my heart ,and changing whats inside me

          • Nathan Giles

            what evidence supports creation? if you really believe that please send me any gold and diamonds you have as they take millions of years to form you obviously don’t believe they exist

          • Asmodeus Belial

            Start with ‘belief in patent nonsense and the desire to impose your personal mythological stupidities on others.’ When you’ve worked on that a bit, let me know and we’ll move on the next thing.

          • parthenogene

            Atheism doesn’t disprove Creation. Science does…

          • http://twitter.com/Hal_Duncan Hal Duncan

            “What do you find offensive, abusive and dishonest in Christianity?”

            The fact that the man said, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” and then had two thousand years of Roman apologists casting his murder as the most awesome sacrifice ever, a ritual ablution in his blood, which they claim washes all believers clean and stains the hands of the Jewish people forever.

          • bonehead41

            As a Christian all my life, I have to say that in your short response, you have no knowledge, experience or understanding of the christian faith. You are completely ill informed or misinformed .

            I feel somewhat embarrassed for you, that you venture into an area of discussion on such a dynamic topic, knowing nothing, projecting complete ignorance, yet you do so with such hubris.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000155662700 Green Pack

            You believe creation has to be fixed in order for it to exist. Amusing.

          • Daydreamer1

            Atheism doesn’t disprove creation, or anything else. Science is what does that.

            It depends on the version though. It is more factual to say that intelligent design has not proved itself rather than it has been disproved since its claims are not really designed very well – it isn’t very good science at the moment.

            Creation stories like noahs flood are very easily disproved with only a small bit of science and fieldwork.

          • bonehead41

            I find that Science provides evidence of creation not the other way around.

            If you can prove the existence of the person you live with or have lunch with or whatever and you can prove to me that the grass is green and the earth is round then maybe we can. Start a conversation on creation.

          • Daydreamer1

            Are you saying that to accept creation you have to deny that grass is green and that the Earth is roughly spherical.

            Science obviously says such things – measures such things, but your problems here are philosophical my friend. What is knowledge if you have to deny what is right in front of everyone only to assert what you imagine?

            Your game here should be obvious to yourself. Go around your most conservative Creationist friends and ask them very quickly what colour grass is. Then think about what the question even means. What is a colour? How do we ‘see’ it? What is a sphere? What does it mean to say that the Earth is a triangle or a cube or a sphere? If your friends measured the Earth are you surrounded by people what would come back and say it is a triangle?

            Of course you are not. Your friends will say the grass is green? But why do all of them agree?

            Not only would all your friends say the grass is green, they would agree – if they were here – that the diesel fuel tank outside is too. That is because it is not a trick, it is a green diesel fuel tank.

            Or, if you are still struggling. Take a red object and put it in a box. Get 10,000 people and ask them if it is red, green, blue or purple. If we cannot measure the colour then you will get about 2500 per colour, if we can expect to get close to 100% agreeing.

            What does it mean for the object to be red if not that that is what we all agree on when we look at it, or use tools to measure it? Sure, we measure it and we find that it is a wavelength of light, we measure that and find what that is, we find how our eyes work, we find what colourblind means (we also start to find how to fix being colourblind).
            So… What does it mean? Not what does grass mean, or what does green mean, but what does it mean to you? That is the first question I would ask, because until that is answered your battle against green grass will not end.

          • bonehead41

            I’m saying that before you move to prove the existence of God you need first to prove the existence of most other things. That is near impossible because the senses are fallible and the result is not absolute but just probable.

          • Daydreamer1

            Yep exactly, so we build and weigh probabilities. That is all anything is. Each time you go home, or see your kids or wife or parents it is only a probability that that is what you are doing, but they key is to weigh probabilities.
            You agree that these probabilities are important, no? They are our whole lives.
            Back to the grass being green we must assess every evidence we can, build and study it in as much detail as we can because we are aiming for the highest probability of being correct. That is all we will ever achieve.
            With respect, what we sometimes see is that people use these to cheat. Rather than treat everything equally and weigh all probabilities fairly against each other they take the best probabilities and point out that they are still just probabilities.
            There are two errors in that thinking. If something has a probability of 99.9% and something has a probability of 1% then if is very bad maths to say that the 0.1% actually increases the probability of the 1%. It doesn’t.
            Secondly it confuses a hypothetical with an actual. If every blade of grass ever seen is green and it is understood that the reason is the physics behind chlorophyll there remains a hypothetical possibility it is wrong. That hypothetical becomes actual the first time a measurement is made of non-green grass etc. This isn’t just a philosophical stance, it is the reason why we can discover truths, but must still recognise the hypothetical that it is a falsehood – no matter the evidence.
            So, your parents are your parents. You can have a DNA test performed, and another. That should put the odds on them not being your parents at million to one. Get another test and it is billions to one. Keep going and you reduce the odds, but they never disappear. However, that says nothing about whether they are your parents or not. They most likely are – someone has to be. But knowledge cannot be infinite.
            Accepting that it all becomes about being honest with the probabilities and the evidence.
            For example, in my degree geology fieldwork we mapped an area of about 25km/sq. Taking all the rock data you have to work backwards in time and unfold it all – reverse its history until you get to its original deposition. I did this for my area and saw it done for many others. The reconstruction necessary for a flood deposit is quite different from non-flood deposits (obviously) so I can honestly say there was no flood in my area or my reconstruction would have required one. The same for all my friends that mapped over the UK, Ireland and bits of Europe. Ergo, there was no global flood.
            There remains a possibility we were all wrong. However, that is a hypothetical possibility and is tested against the actual evidence for and against both ideas. After all the hypothetical doesn’t just point in one direction – it points in all directions equally.

          • AK

            Atheism doesn’t disprove creation, science does! And as it has been in history, religions will probably adjust to what science says and then make up some new nutty story – a new interpretation!

          • bonehead41

            Science does not disprove anything. Its impossible to disprove a negative.

            Christianity hasn’t changed. It’s been the same for 4000 years. No new intrepretation.

            “All science begins with myths and the criticism of myths”
            Karl Popper. 19th century philosopher.

          • AK

            I stand corrected! That was at attempt at saying that science contradicts a lot of tenets holding up creationism e.g., NO, the world isn’t a few thousand years old, etc etc.
            Completely disagree on Christianity never changing over the last 4000 years old. New sects (Jehovah’s witnesses, SDAs, and other new branches of Christianity pop up everyday. They all differ on interpretation! Hell, even the Pope is trying to redefine Catholicism),and focus areas (e.g. it’s no longer kosher to kill folks who aren’t believers,etc). You could make that argument on Islam, because this morphosis is happening too slowly…ergo they are the “hot” religion right now.

          • bonehead41

            You know not what you speak. You have no idea or learned knowledge or experience in this theology. With due respect you are ignorant on these matters. So ignorant you should not be opining.

            Jehovah’s are not Christian. The core belief of Christians is that Jesus is God. The Jehovah’s believe him just a human son of God. That is a huge fundamental difference.
            Christians sects are not popping up all over. You really need to be specific.

            The pope is not redefining anything. He is an orthodox Christian. He is just more tolerant.

            The Muslims do kill non believers. Its in the Koran. Christians believe in love and good works.

          • AK

            Wow! For a second I thought were having a conversation with a difference in opinion. I didn’t know you were so knowledgeable on my ignorance god!

            Jehovah’s witnesses “are not Christians”? You mean this because their interpretation of the bible (probably one you find acceptable) is different from “mainstream Christians”? Even if I was to grant you that, what of SDAs (an interpretation from the 1800s)? Or does their translation of the sabbath day as different also make them not Christians as per what bonehead has decided? I almost married a JW. To claim I am ignorant because you want to play semantics to keep “Christianity” unchanged is ignorant in itself.

            “Pope is more tolerant.” So he isn’t redefining Catholicism at all? Umm..sure.

            And to claim Christians believe in love and yaddi yaddi yadda….sounds same as Muslims who claim and probably abide by the fact that to them, Islam is a “religion of peace”. Moreover, it’s to have no clue about your history. There was a time in history, you were the murderous nutjobs…it’s just their turn now.

          • AK

            *of course, my comment won’t post*
            Incredibly ignorant and arrogant of you to decide how much I know on anything. But I’ll indulge you.
            Are you deciding that JW’s aren’t Christian because they interpret a version of the bible (that is probably acceptable to whatever “sect” you belong to) differently than “mainstream Christianity”? I guess this is also true of SDAs because of some other “fundamental different in Sunday vs Saturday”? PLEASE!! I almost married a JW, but of course, I know nothing about this.
            “The Pope is just more tolerant.” but of course not redefining anything. Umm..sure!
            And your Islam – Christian juxtaposition is ridiculous and ignorant. Love and good works? Do you know anything about the history of your loving Christians? Christians have had a run at being violent, intolerant, murderers, it’s just the turn of Muslims now.

          • bonehead41

            It’s not just a matter of interpretation with JW. They have a different belief and bible if you want to call it that.
            I don’t know what SDA IS.

            The pope has never changed his beliefs. This is a fact.
            I have studied my faith since a child. Christians are good people.

          • AK

            JW – the NWT bible is an interpretation of the bible according to them. Unlike other denominations, they just went ahead and translated their bible into a new bible. Other choose to use the same bible but discuss it differently. They arise from the bible study movement of the 1800s. This is also a fact.

            SDAs are Seventh Day Adventists. Read about them if you’ve never heard of them. Same bible with an interpretation of the Sabbath as being on a Saturday and emphasis on items other denoms don’t seem to care too much about (like diet and exercise).

            One of the most knowledgeable people (a close friend) on the bible I’ve ever met is a rastafarian. And his interpretations will amaze you! To claim religion isn’t a matter of interpretation is at best sheer folly. (even for Muslims – who probably have the best control of the message from their holy book)

            I never said the Pope changed his beliefs, I said that he’s redefining things about the Catholic church – the utterance that Atheists can go to heaven is a stark contrast from a Church that used to kill and torture people for having “thoughts” against the church. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last. My bet is over the next few popes,the anti-contraceptives stance will greatly diminish if not completely disappear….ergo changing the message once society deems it unacceptable.

            Since those are your qualifications, here are mine: I was raised both Catholic and protestant. My mother, whom I love deeply, IS a preacher. My best friends (growing up and to today) are Christians from different sects, Muslims, and Hindus. I have almost been married to a Muslim woman and a JW. I am fascinated by religion and have had a chance to immerse myself at some level in all of them. Goodness is not an exclusive domain of religion (let alone Christianity),and neither is evil – which makes religion neither necessary nor sufficient to be a good doer. To believe otherwise as a Christian is foolish and ignorant of your well documented history!

          • AK

            JW – the NWT bible is an interpretation of the bible according to them. Unlike other denominations, they just went ahead and translated their bible into a new bible. Other choose to use the same bible but discuss it differently. They arise from the bible study movement of the 1800s. This is also a fact.

            SDAs are Seventh Day Adventists. Read about them if you’ve never heard of them. Same bible with an interpretation of the Sabbath as being on a Saturday and emphasis on items other denoms don’t seem to care too much about (like diet and exercise).

            One of the most knowledgeable people (a close friend) on the bible I’ve ever met is a rastafarian. And his interpretations will amaze you! To claim religion isn’t a matter of interpretation is at best sheer folly. (even for Muslims – who probably have the best control of the message from their holy book)

            I never said the Pope changed his beliefs, I said that he’s redefining things about the Catholic church – the utterance that Atheists can go to heaven is a stark contrast from a Church that used to kill and torture people for having “thoughts” against the church. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last. My bet is over the next few popes,the anti-contraceptives stance will greatly diminish if not completely disappear….ergo changing the message once society deems it unacceptable.

            Since those are your qualifications, here are mine: I was raised both Catholic and protestant. My mother, whom I love deeply, IS a preacher. My best friends (growing up and to today) are Christians from different sects, Muslims, and Hindus. I have almost been married to a Muslim woman and a JW. I am fascinated by religion and have had a chance to immerse myself at some level in all of them. Goodness is not an exclusive domain of religion (let alone Christianity),and neither is evil – which makes religion neither necessary nor sufficient to be a good doer. To believe otherwise as a Christian is foolish and ignorant of your well documented history!

          • AK

            JW – the NWT bible is an interpretation of the bible according to them. Unlike other denominations, they just went ahead and translated their bible into a new bible. Other choose to use the same bible but discuss it differently. They arise from the bible study movement of the 1800s. This is also a fact.

            SDAs are Seventh Day Adventists. Read about them if you’ve never heard of them. Same bible with an interpretation of the Sabbath as being on a Saturday and emphasis on items other denoms don’t seem to care too much about (like diet and exercise).

            One of the most knowledgeable people (a close friend) on the bible I’ve ever met is a rastafarian. And his interpretations will amaze you! To claim religion isn’t a matter of interpretation is at best sheer folly. (even for Muslims – who probably have the best control of the message from their holy book)

            I never said the Pope changed his beliefs, I said that he’s redefining things about the Catholic church – the utterance that Atheists can go to heaven is a stark contrast from a Church that used to kill and torture people for having “thoughts” against the church. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last. My bet is over the next few popes,the anti-contraceptives stance will greatly diminish if not completely disappear….ergo changing the message once society deems it unacceptable.

            Since those are your qualifications, here are mine: I was raised both Catholic and protestant. My mother, whom I love deeply, IS a preacher. My best friends (growing up and to today) are Christians from different sects, Muslims, and Hindus. I have almost been married to a Muslim woman and a JW. I am fascinated by religion and have had a chance to immerse myself at some level in all of them. Goodness is not an exclusive domain of religion (let alone Christianity),and neither is evil – which makes religion neither necessary nor sufficient to be a good doer. To believe otherwise as a Christian is foolish and ignorant of your well documented history!

          • bonehead41

            Religion is not usually a subject for debate. Each of us is hard fast in our opinions and get easily upset when challenged.
            No ones opinion is ever changed as a result of debate.
            I have substantial information and knowledge about my religion and other sects as you call them, from a lifetime of study and experience and I am not a young man. I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the road I choose is the right one.

            I can debate this interpretation thing with you for hours but it won’t change anything.

            Suffice it to say that the core fundamental belief of a TRUE Christian, interpretation and the bible put aside for a moment,
            Is that Jesus is God himself and rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. if there is a sect that believes differently they are not true Christians.

          • AK

            “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so belief can be preserved.”

            Speak for yourself, with “our” in how ‘hard fast we are in our opinions’ – and that’s the difference between us. First science/evidence out with…”oh, wait. god X and/or Y actually created us and here’s that evidence”, vetted and reviewed by peers, my reaction would be…”oh shoot, praise god X/Y.” Not to say I am not happy the god of the old testament doesn’t exist! I am happy to yield on reason and logic.

            Other than you calling me ignorant on theology and how I shouldn’t be opining despite knowing nothing about me, I am never chaffed by these conversations! There’s always something to learn from people…good or bad! Maybe next time know something about people before ranting about how stupid and “ignorant on these matters” and no ” idea or learned knowledge or experience in this theology” they are.

          • Matt Begley

            I find that threatening people, especially children, with eternal torture by fire offensive, abusive and dishonest. I find stealing money from elderly folks by using false promises of eternal bliss to counter their fear of death to be offensive abusive and dishonest. Of course your exceedingly narrow mind believes atheism to be irrational, Christians have a knack for projecting their own faults upon others who do not accept their delusions. No atheism does not disprove creation, believing that is yet another Christian delusion. Atheism is one thing, we do not accept your claims of a creator god. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. What does disprove creationism is the mountain of evidence derived through observable and provable conclusions of the natural sciences. There are no Christians secure in their faith, thus their hatred and violence directed toward anyone who questions their beliefs. Christians are so scared of non believers that they work diligently to oppose anyone who calls their delusions to question. There are seven states with laws against atheists holding public office. If that isn’t evidence of fear what is? The detrimental aspect of such laws is that most atheists are by far the more qualified persons to lead this nation. Religion has retarded the advancement of mankind for thousands of years. Instead of wasting time praying, begging to go to an imaginary Heaven, and handing money to churches who in reality just keep most of it, we could be creating a heaven on Earth.
            The Bible is a collection of plagiarized pagan mythology and your god and Jesus are fictional characters. Grow up you ignorant Christian fools… or at least get out of the way.

          • bonehead41

            I disagree with every thing you said. I grew up in the catholic faith and as a child never felt threanted with eternal torture.
            I went to catholic schools from k to 12.

            Actually science proves the existence of God.
            I am not narrow-minded and have lived a long life and am college educated.

            Jesus is not a fictional character. Even if you don’t believe in his deity the overwhelming historical evidence proves his existence

            The bible is not a myth. It is rich in history, philosophy, and instruction on living a life dedicated to helping others..

            The money has gone to a number of worthwhile charities for the poor.

            Your thinking is totally distorted and bias regarding the truth and essence of this faith.

            The ignorance you blame on Christians lies not with the Christian but with those who do not know or understand and refuse to open their minds.

          • Matt Begley

            Of course you do. Jesus is indeed a fictional character. There is absolutely no credible evidence for his existence. Biblical texts do not qualify as history. The vast majority is rewritten plagiarized Pagan myths that the people of that time in that area were familiar with. It’s a habit of Christianity to usurp mythology and holidays. Have you ever seen images of the Vatican or been to a Catholic Cathedral? If so then you know damn well that they keep by far the majority of the funds they steal from the gullible. I don’t really care whether or not you believe what I’ve said, I don’t expect you to. If you’re comfortable with your intentional ignorance, that your business. It’s when you and your ilk claim special privilege and the high moral ground as well as condemning others to hell for not falling for the greatest scam ever created. You are the one with the closed mind, if you can prove any of your assertions please do so. If not then you may with to at least consider that you could be wrong. Just do the research. The myth of Jesus is just a retelling of the Egyptian myth of Horus. Study with the analytical thought processes you learned in college.

          • Guest

            I can’t believe this old section had two sorely wrong posts that I need to reply to. Again, Tim O’Neil describes things well. http://armariummagnus.blogspot.ca/2014/01/did-jesus-exist-jesus-myth-theory-again.html

          • Magicmaninthesky Nothanks

            Now I see why they call you “bonehead”

          • bonehead41

            The name bonehead was created intentually as a magnet to draw knuckleheads like you to the name, to be able to vent their frustration, for their inability to engage in a discussion be it for lack of knowledge or basic intelligence or both.
            It’s easier for the dumb and ignorant to insult than to engage.

          • Damien

            lord cthulhu is, and when your time comes, you will not see a bearded loving man on a cloud, you will see a tentacle monster with huge wings in the sea. save yourself before it’s to late

          • Craggy old conservative

            You need to stop eating before bedtime. Your nightmares are profound.

          • Damien

            you think that’s bad, there’s people out there that think if you try to be independent and not an obedient slave, you get sent to a fiery realm of liquid brimstone and pits of fire for all eternity when you die. isn’t that sick and twisted?

          • Craggy old conservative

            What is sick and twisted are atheists who believe in nothing.
            They try to convince everyone that the false theory’s of evolution is credible evidence for existance.
            Now that is really sick.

          • Damien

            i feel sorry for them. they haven’t been blessed by lord sheogorath or lord cthulhu yet. still, to boil everything down to “this painful world was made by a loving creator” and “this painful world just made itself to be painful” is a pretty bad thing. the truth is that there is at least one creator and they’re sick, twisted, completely insane, and bipolar, therefore either lord sheogorath or lord cthulhu. how else can you explain how humans were made to be in pain during childbirth and the many poisonous plants, diseases, destructive natural forces, and everything else?

          • Craggy old conservative

            I figured all that out.

          • Damien

            well then, there’s two of us and a sea of crazy people in denial lol

          • Chandler Klebs

            Any Atheist or Christian that is trying to prove or disprove something meaningless is already insecure.

          • Billy boy

            That that’s your opinion. I find my beliefs in God and creation very meaningful. I couldn’t feel more secure in my beliefs.

          • ppq

            Christians stand up and scream how offended they are ALL THE BLOODY TIME. That’s who’s feeding us this.

          • Jeremy

            Ironic how a person who believes in fairy tales, is calling atheism irrational. You cannot make this shit up.

          • paultitterington_7

            Winston Churchill once said, “it is always exhilarating to be shot at without result.”

            Atheists should take note

          • Strac5

            “In fact, we need more of them – as well as a whole range of non-religiou opinion.”
            Do you really mean that? Because every time the subject of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism comes up, New Atheists start snarling and suppress the subject.

          • http://twitter.com/DCTRFOX Christian McGowan

            I fail to see how the two are linked (assuming that was the implication). Objectivists (as demonstrated by many of the current GOP cohort) may just as easily be religious, however irrational it may well seem to anyone who knew anything about the haggard pop-phil harridan. She’s, of course, by no means the only one to examine philosophy with the presumption of a godless universe.

            Never the less, atheists (old/new/whatever) do have a better track record re: treatment of those who disagree with them comparatively speaking.

            I certainly don’t recall burning a Randian alive or blowing up a ‘christian science’ (hah) center, although I have been on the vino.

          • Strac5

            “…although I have been on the vino.”
            Given the mindlessness and the otherwise baseless viciousness of your first paragraph, that doesn’t surprise me.

          • hornedfrog4500

            really, the holocaust anyone? That was all secular atheist thoughts

          • S Mason

            Seriously, you can’t do better than that? These ridiculous arguments have been smashed out of the park so often and comprehensively and yet we come back to find them repeated, lie after lie, time after time.
            Even if it were true that the evils of the 20th C were caused by godlessness (and clearly it isn’t), it still wouldn’t magic any gods into being.
            You know that whole ‘saying don’t make it so’ thing…?

          • hornedfrog4500

            You can call these arguments ridiculous all you want, but Mao Se Tung, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin were all atheist secular humanists who were granted unrestricted power and look at what happened to the world.

            Now I understand that you can also make the same argument regarding thousands killed in the name of religion. And the only defense I have is that I don’t believe in all religions, just protestant Christianity. Which is different than Catholicism because it was under the Catholic church reign that you got things like the crusades and the inquisition. I don’t agree with those things and you don’t see the modern church doing things like those anymore. Yes there are crazy offshoots like Fred Phelps and the KKK, but I would argue those are cults and not members of the Christian church. Also I could make a very strong case using Math, Physics, and Cosmology for a creator for this universe. And if I throw History in there I can say that the creator is the God of the bible. In regards to your ‘saying don’t make it so’ thing comment.

          • Eddie

            Actually, silly, Hitler was a Catholic choirboy who was clearly influenced by the omnipotence, oppression, control and theatre of the Church (and he supported faith schools too); Stalin was taught by Russian Orthodoix monks how to be cruel. Those 2 learnt it all from Chritianity. And, moreover, they – nones of them – did what they did in the name of atheism. In the name of facsism, communism, dictatorship and intolerance, yes.
            Oh but of course, you are American. Please realise that in the culture you live under (which was exported by we Brits) you have freedom of belief, even if you believe in fairies. No evidence for the existence of God, but if it gets you to sleep at night…
            I know no atheist or humanist or rationalist who wants to ban religion or stop you worshipping fairies. So why do you religious freaks get so flipping angry about iit? Anyone who think you were, like, intolerant or somefink…

          • hornedfrog4500

            Just because people claim a religious affiliation to gain political standing doesn’t mean they are part of it. For example Barack Obama quotes from scripture and talks about the bible during addresses to the public. Yet he is not a Christian, or I would not deem him as one. Hitler often spoke at churches and grew up a Catholic. He would even say how God was on his side to justify his future actions. Yet he in no way had the actions of one who is a Christian. It is through actions, I say to you, that one can judge wether another is a Christian. Of course this is only in a worldly sense. Only God can truly know if one is a follower of Him or not. So whenever I say that someone is not a Christian, I mean they don’t appear to be one as the bible says that one should appear to be.

            BTW, we are talking about beliefs, not titles. So when you say that they were dictators and fascists, that’s not a belief. People don’t believe in dictators, they either are one or follow one. In belief they were secular humanists. And they did ban religion and killed people for worshipping anything other than the government. They are examples of what some secular humanists did do with unrestricted power. They acted the same way as the catholic church did, so if anything you can’t claim to be better then religion. Especially Mao Se Tung, he was a humanist and rationalist and was probably worse than the other two. He killed tens of millions in the name of rationalism and securing his own throne upon China.

            Also your history is a little screwy. ‘Please realise that in the culture you live under (which was exported by we Brits) you have freedom of belief’. Actually people left the brits because they didn’t grant freedom of belief. And that’s pretty common knowledge. They wanted religious freedom, and not the rule of the Church of England. I can’t even believe you said that, it’s plain bad history. And it’s very ignorant to say that America’s culture is just Britain’s. They are 2 very different countries with very different cultures and have been so for 200+ years. Now the basic fabric of American culture is very heavily british influenced, but America isn’t Britain part 2.

          • S Mason

            So we end up with the No True Scotsman fallacy! Lovely. If Barack says he’s a Christian, goes to Church, prays (constantly) to the Christian god, reads the Bible, it is pretty presumptive to say he is not a Christian. He clearly is – just not your preferred flavour. Get a grip.
            As I said a while back, these arguments really are very old and still as bad as ever. Not withstanding your Godwin (Hitler really was not an atheist – saying it, a billion times over, doesn’t make it so), it is no more reasonable to blame atheism for the evils done by psychopaths than it is to blame Christians for the crazies in the US – until you show the causal link.
            When a nut job goes on the rampage do we look to his religion for reasons? Mostly not – unless he’s David Koresh – when it is his clearly stated motivation. We look to his medical history. With Osama, it isn’t quite so clear, because there is a reading of his book which absolutely mandates his behaviour. Though many Muslims reject it.
            That Mao and Stalin were atheists is no more relevant when considering their killing sprees, than Stalin’s moustache or Mao’s hats. Did they kill people because they were atheists? No. Rejecting irrational beliefs in deities does not demand that we kill people. Psychopathy does. And sometimes god does (I’ve read your book).
            What your argument tells us though is a) you’ve been sucking up some tired old stuff without pausing to think; b) you’re desperate to smear atheism (what does that tell you about yourself? c) you really need to educate yourself a little. Honestly – this has been done to death: it is unbelievable that in 2013 there are still Christians (in their gazillions) convincing themselves that Hitler was an atheist and that he and the others in the always quoted line up committed atrocity because of their rejection of gods. FFS!

          • Edden

            Mr Mason…..Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot etc murdered many folk. In many cases they killed religious folk simple because they were religious and nothing else. Of course they killed folk for other reasons. However their atheist views motivated their persecution of believers. You really are just spurting out typical denials taken from the Secularist response manual. I’ve seen it many times. You lot are just like JW’s in the way you repeat this rubbish. You cannot even think for yourselves.
            ” Did they kill people because they were atheists” YES the jolly well did as I have specified. Stop covering up for wickedness. And I note you are still trying out your psychiatrist skills! Pathetic.

          • http://twitter.com/BudhagRizzo Budhag Rizzo

            Silliness! I really wish people would stop bringing up whether or not these insane dictators were Theists or Atheists. It doesn’t matter because it wasn’t the motivation behind their atrocities. It was for political power, nothing more. Whether or not they went home to pray after they spent the day killing people doesn’t matter.

            In all fairness, the reason why this whole “Hitler was an Atheist” issue keeps making its way back on the table is because THEISTS keep bringing it up, which leads Atheists having to bring up “Mein Kampf”, which then leads to Theists bringing up Stalin and Tung and Pot, and blah, blah, blah. People, this is a dead issue already!

            It’s painfully obvious that the only reason Theists bring up these evil men’s names is to place Atheism in a bad light. It’s a “guilt by association” kind of ploy, and it’s not even accurate. It’s a pretty week weapon in their arsenal.

          • Edden

            Budhag….I do not know if your criticism is directed at me. If it is then you obviously did not read the discussion because it was not me that brought up the issue about the dictators!

            I am experienced on these blogs and I can say that atheists bring this business up as much as their opponents. I also stand by my point above about atheist dictators.

          • S Mason

            Perhaps Budhag was responding to the thread whereby, yet again, a theist raised the issue and made the stupid slur that atheism causes totalitarianism. You think that it is atheists who continually suggest that 20th C dictators killed because they were atheists? Derangement and delusion in such proliferation are rarely met.
            Please can I get the name of your supplier, Edden? It’s clearly good stuff that.

          • Edden

            Mason. Suppier? Come on now. Your phraseolgy on here has already betrayed you. You simply copy many arguments from the secularist response manual. You use phrases and arguments very common to others of your ike. Its all copied. I see it so often

          • David Gillbanks

            ” It doesn’t matter because it wasn’t the motivation behind their atrocities”

            Rather than “Did they kill people because they were atheists”, surely a much more interesting question is “Would they have done what they did if they did not subscribe to atheistic belief?”.

          • hornedfrog4500

            So if we stop bringing up Mao, Stalin, and Pot, will you stop bringing up the crusades, inquisition, KKK, and Fred Phelps. Otherwise you are just a hypocrite. I’ve been saying forever, in posts above I mean, that if you generalize all Christians by historical issues with the Church then we get to generalize all secular humanists and atheists by the actions of Mao and Stalin.

          • S Mason

            Edden – you’re like a deranged poe on acid. But you keep coming back for more which would be sweet were it not really quite apparent, that deny it to yourself all you like, you are actually quite ill. You use words, construct sentences, take on all the appearance of engagement – without actually doing so in any meaningful way!

            So you think that your list of 20th C totalitarians killed people because no-god. (I note that you have removed Hitler from the list…so was he a theist or not?) You see I entirely fail to see the connection. I think that when people commit atrocity, they do it because they are psychopathic. But fair enough. Not believing in god is the causal link there then (funny how that link doesn’t seem to work for the vast majority of the rest of us, but hey ho).

            So please Edden, I’d like to see your list of Christians who murder because god. It’s every single person who ever believed in god and killed someone. All of those very religious people in prison (you know that religious people are more criminal than atheists, right – the studies have been done…and no – go and do your own googling, I’m not doing it for you). Shall I start the list?

            And therefore, what does that tell you about theism?

          • Edden

            Mason…Your first sentence is bluff and empty proving nothing. It is just defamatory matter without proof. In other words slander.

            “I note that you have removed Hitler.” Educate yourself about Godwin. I reireate what I said about the likes of Mao and Stalin. They killed for various reasons. Actually most folk commit atrocity because they are evil. You need to realise that we must take responsibilities for our actions. In some cases there might be mental illness involved. I suggest that you stay off that one as you are no expert!

            “So please Edden, I’d like to see your list of Christians who murder because god”. I never said I had a list. You have not displayed evidence yet. Just bland claims. Nevertheless I have experienced many times before those who are forever copying and pasting reams from the internet.

          • S Mason

            Terrific! Edden’s back for more! Accusation’s of slander from the Christ-like Edden? Bite me. Have you absolutely no sense of your self there? Like – none at all?
            So thanks for all the advice. I’ll be following it carefully. Take responsibility for my actions eh? Do you know what, that never occurred to me! What a staggering idea.
            Here’s a thought Edden: how about actually engaging meaningfully in a discussion rather than just reacting angrily to anyone who disagrees with you? It will be a challenge – but you could try perhaps? It would stop you looking quite so much like the dishonest little ranty weasel you really are. Doesn’t your god frown on that sort of behaviour as well?

          • Edden

            S Mason….I think you are really looking for your way out in reference to me. You have demonstrated that you cannot actually tackle issues, argue a case, or even attempt to deal with the actual items I address you on. All this is contradictory of atheists in general who always put themselves out as men and women of evidence and reason! As for being “back for more” you have ignored most of my points in posts as a whole.
            “how about actually engaging meaningfully in a discussion”….in other words you have no answer to what I have said. You don’t even try and you have given me nothing at all to challenge me.

          • S Mason

            No Edden – I’ve just stopped. You’ve conveniently forgotten that I did try previously. There isn’t any point any more. You don’t want to engage with any level of honesty and you just get angry and accusatory. Well.. fine! But you can’t expect others to debate with you if that’s your approach. And I genuinely think you should see a professional about your personality disorder…

          • Edden

            Mr Mason…Stopped? No you did not try. I continually ask you to prove what you say and you cannot. What’s more in most cases you do not even try to. You have “stopped” because you have no answers. As I said before, prove to me how I have been disonest? State your case man? Just because you do not like what someone says it does not mean that they are dishonest.
            “Isn’t any point?” The reality is that you are showing all the time that you are bankrupt of arguments. And so it goes on.
            I am not angry but I get “accusatory”?. Of course I do. I am accusing you of making claims you cannot prove. I am surprised at the fact that you continue your mental health bit at the end. You are just making a fool of yourself and being lame.

          • S Mason

            Edden – do us all a favour and read the thread again… I did – it’s very enlightening.

            Although maybe you prefer revelation to enlightenment?

            And I understand that you definitely are not angry. Oh no. Definitely. Not that.
            Thanks for clarifying.

          • Callie Poole

            You’ll sadly find out when you die. You are a piece of work. Seriously can you believe you came from an explosion that started suddenly out of nothing?! A real Joke!!!

          • hornedfrog4500

            You gotta think for yourself and not listen to what the media spits out. Barack says he’s Christian, because he has to. Most Americans are Christians, and probably wouldn’t vote for somebody who disavows Christianity. He goes to church because presidents have always gone to church, Washington started it and the tradition has kept on. It’s important to appear religious to the public. ‘prays (constantly) to the Christian god’, I’m not sure how you can claim that. He talks about the need for prayer when a tough situation comes up, and says he personally will pray, but all presidents do that. I also don’t know how you can claim he reads the Bible. He quotes the bible in speeches, but he doesn’t even write his own speeches. I know lots of people who can quote the bible who don’t read the bible.

            ‘it is no more reasonable to blame atheism for the evils done by psychopaths than it is to blame Christians for the crazies in the US’. Now that is a very fair and sensible statement. And I wouldn’t really try to make this claim either. I’m mainly posting in response to all the other people on here who want to lump all religious people together and generalize them all. Just because the Catholic church ruled civilizations, killed, and rampaged for money and glory doesn’t mean I or my church wants to. And we don’t because that is not what Christ teaches. I also understand that just because Mao killed millions and rejected other thoughts and forced his people to agree with him doesn’t mean that any other atheists wish to do so.

            I’m not blaming atheism, and I’m not saying they killed people because of atheism. I never claimed that anywhere. I’m pointing out those who were atheists who did atrocious things. And it’s not like I dislike atheism because of Hitler or something like that. And Hitler isn’t even the best example or the one I’m mainly talking about. I have reasons for believing the way I believe and they have nothing to do with Hitler, Mao, or Stalin. It is relevant that they were atheists (Mao and Stalin were, I won’t fight you much on Adolf, although I believe he was closer to being a atheist than being a Christian), and calling them psychopaths doesn’t negate that they were atheists. It might make you feel better, but you shouldn’t need to. Nobody really thinks that all atheists want to kill millions of people.

            Now the last part you just flew off the deep-end. In response to a)

            You shouldn’t judge people and their lives with no knowledge of them. I think you say this stuff about me, or maybe Christians in general, without really thinking about the validity of what you’re saying. I mean good grief, it’s not like churches are going around teaching Hitler was the anti-christ. I don’t even think I’ve ever heard Hitler mentioned in a sermon my entire life. Where do you think these ideas come from really? I learned of Hitler as a atheist, or secular humanist, in public grade school. BTW, I was a atheist until my junior year of high school, so I thought of Hitler as a atheist before I ever became a Christian. I think that idea is more well respected than you think.

            b) Wow, really????? I’m trying to smear atheism. Have you read the comments from your fellow atheists on this page and what they say about Christians? And i’m smearing atheism? BTW, all I did was point out some of the most famous atheists in history. More people know of them than who the pope was at the time of the crusades (I don’t even know who it was). If I sound frustrated I’m not, I’m using this language for emphasis as to the ridiculousness of what you claimed. I’m also not sure about what you meant by ‘what does that tell you about yourself’.

            c) Probably the most ignorant and judgmental of all the things you said. I just graduated from a university with my degree in mathematics and education. And it wasn’t a Christian university mind you, my beliefs were definitely in the minority in relation to my peers. I’ve roomed with many atheists over the years and always used those opportunities to witness to them, talk about religion and science, and hopefully share the gospel to them.

          • S Mason

            hornedfrog4500 of course there’s no irony on being lectured about needing to think for myself, by a theist member of a mainstream faith!

            Just so you know: I am not a Christian any longer – having been extremely devout for all my life to the age of 31 – because I thought for myself eventually. Try it. It’s very refreshing. Liberating even.

            Unless you are seriously suggesting that Obama is fully pretending every time he opens his mouth on the god subject (and I’d need some pretty big evidence for that), once again you are just making it up.

            He says he prays. We see him praying or appearing to pray on the podium regularly. He says he reads the bible. It is unreasonable to suggest that a man, who before becoming president, had a long history of church going is now suddenly not a Christian.

            This is the Not True Scotsman fallacy writ large. Really. He is a Christian. There’s just no escaping it. Just not your flavour of Christian. Just to check: are roman Catholics Christians in your world?

          • Edden

            S Mason: “I am not a Christian any longer”. You never were. Christ said He would keep His sheep. He is all powerful and would have been able to keep even the likes of you.

          • S Mason

            I was never a Christian, eh Edden? Like hornedfrog above you are happy to make such a public judgement with absolutely no relevant facts to base it on? Or in your world, no one can be a Christian who liberates themselves through deconversion? That fact of the escape proves they were originally – what – insincere or…?

            And by the way: just a thought… he isn’t all powerful – coz – guess what: he’s nearly as real as Lord Vishnu. Or Osiris. Or Poseidon. Or the Papua New Guinean mud god, Pikkiwoki (you’ll find her in google).

            And sheep…such an accurate image for you folks! Keep it up though Edden. I’ll be back for more tomorrow.

          • Edden

            Mr Mason: I have the very best facts to base my judgment on and it was the words of the very author of Christianity Himself.

            “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand”. (John 10 v 27-28). You cannot “de convert”. Unbelief is not liberating anyway. It is bondage.
            Stop waffling about mud gods and the like because you do not believe in such in spite of what you say.

          • S Mason

            The very author of Christianity himself eh? I’m impressed now. I take it all back. You’re right! I was never a Christian. I was just kidding myself.

            I have to say – I was pretty good at it though. A thoroughly impressive 30 year act. Well done me.

            Thanks for quoting your book at me. Somehow in my 30 years of devotion to your religion I missed that bit. Darn! If only Id found it, I’d have seen the light. Oh well. Too late for me now. I’m just going to have to burn for eternity, while your lovely god welcomes you to eternal joy and happiness away from the pesky likes of me.

            You know it’s funny. Having realised its just not true and given it all up, I find that living without bronze age mythology and ‘morality’ to guide me does indeed leave me feeling liberated! I wonder how you know what atheism feels like? Have you tried it? Specifically have you tried it post profound faith? If not, how can you be so certain? But then you are certain about all sorts of things Edden!

            Now that bondage thing. Maybe we’re making some progress with you at last. It’s 2013…as long as its consensual and no one gets hurt…

          • hornedfrog4500

            I wouldn’t get in theological discussions with those who don’t believe in God. It’s just useless, and plus there are bigger issues. Like the fact that they don’t believe in God.

          • hornedfrog4500

            Man, you really can’t see what you write can you. ‘unless you are seriously suggesting that Obama is fully pretending every time he opens his mouth on the god subject’. LOL…. LOLOLOL. HE’S A POLITICIAN. HE’S BASICALLY A POORLY-PAID ACTOR. YOU HONESTLY THINK THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. IS SPEAKING FROM HIS HEART. I don’t have proof, because he wants you to believe he’s a Christian, that way people vote for him. There isn’t empirical evidence for everything in life. Sometimes it just takes some common sense. You don’t need to be a psychologist to figure this crap out. And I wasn’t saying he stopped being a Christian, I’m saying he probably never was one. But again, I’m not God so i can’t really know a persons heart.

            Now the ‘are roman Catholics Christians in your world’ is a much tougher question to answer. First off, Catholics and protestants are in fact very different. Including the basis for salvation. For protestants it’s acceptance of Christ with ones mouth and true belief in ones heart. For catholics its salvation through doing good things and partaking in the rituals of the church. So just taking into account that one very significant difference, I would say that Catholics are separate from Protestants. Really I would say protestants are Christians (because they are saved by Christ), and Catholics are Catholics (saved by deeds and traditions). I do know a lot of Christians who would disagree with me on that point though since there are many areas where the two are similar. I also must point out that you can be a Christian and a member of the catholic church. For example, doing geed things is great, but you also need to accept christ and believe in him as savior. Catholics don’t disallow belief in Christ as savior, so if someone does believe that then they are a Christian. But if you leave a person to just the pure basic teachings of the Catholic church, it doesn’t lead them to salvation in Christ.

            You asked a theological question, so I gave you a theological answer. Lol, I enjoy responding to theological questions much more than apologetical questions. When I’m using apologetics in a setting like this I do understand that I’m not really gonna change anybodies mind. Someone who takes the time to learn enough about a belief to then put themselves out there for it are not people who are easily swayed. That goes for the religious and non-religious. And I hope people on here understand that a Christian probably isn’t going to read what argument you have and just recant everything. Everybody’s stuborn.

          • S Mason

            Well – always nice to have another Christian shouting at us.

            Interesting to see that you made a very strong judgement that Obama is not a Christian, then you shouted at us about it – then you thought about it and back tracked a little. So god knows his heart eh, not hornedfrog4500? Well what a shock!

            Your a bit like Edden here. Could I suggest you have read of that book of ours. There are some prohibitions in it you seem to have overlooked. Your affair – it’s an utterly wicked document to be honest.

            If you want be able to rule out of the term Christian anyone who doesn’t follow your exceptionally narrow and modern interpretation, what couldn’t you do?

            So yes: I think that Obama is entirely capable of speaking honestly, as are the vast majority of politicians. It is slightly disgusting to suggest otherwise actually. What are you going to say to your god when you (don’t) meet him if you’ve got that horrible public judgement wrong? And I seriously think you have.
            I think that it is pretty arrogant to make judgements about who is in and who is out of your club. What is pretty darned clear though: there is not a shred of evidence he is an agnostic or atheist…it all points somewhat convincingly the other way. Despite that I find him a fairly reasonable man. Stuck in a truly impossible situation with the US media as a backdrop, he has compassion and is trying hard. He’s making some serious mistakes – but then we all do: it’s just that his have more serious consequences.
            And hornedgod4500: I don’t come here to convert anyone. I leave all that to the theists. Folks can believe what they like! When they hurt people, I’ll point it out but man – what is it with all this conversion stuff! Work it out for yourself. Mostly I come here to indulge in the slightly disgusting, but truly mesmerising practice of watching the frothing Edden.

          • hornedfrog4500

            My intention wasn’t to come off as yelling, I was trying to use capitalized words for effect. I guess it came off wrong, sorry. And yes, God does know his heart, not hornedfrog4500. You are, I guess, agreeing with me there, albeit sarcastically I do believe. And yes, I am using my judgment as to whether I believe that Obama is a Christian. But again, it’s just my judgment. You refer to my view as narrow in regards to who are/aren’t Christians. My view is narrow, because the bible’s view is narrow as to who is a follower and who isn’t. All I do is try and follow what the bible says.

            See, we can agree on some stuff!!!! You call the bible wicked. However, I can assume that you are referring to the OT. Well, it has some rough stuff in it, no denying that. You choose to believe it as a knock against Christianity. Yet you don’t know the bible well enough to take it into consideration with the rest of scriptures. Like how Christ came to this Earth to fulfill the law, and thus abolish it setting up a new covenant. There’s a reason why Pastor Fred Phelps’ church only ever quotes the OT, and also is very different from the rest of Christian churches. The OT was necessary, because it sets up a truly fallen world. The beauty of the bible, is that there is a NT after the OT. Where the OT leaves us feeling hopeless about faith, the NT gives us Christ, and a way out of hopelessness. Christ brings love, and faith, and a message to the world. Then we have his disciples and Paul who tell us exactly how to be Christians and follow in the steps of Christ. So when you try and discredit the bible with pointing out atrocities committed in the OT, I’ll tell you to keep reading, it get’s better. That’s why I’m not ashamed of the bible and more specifically the OT. It seems like you just read the OT and give up. Which is exactly what the Israelites did. It’s nothing new, but it’s why Jesus Christ was beautiful.

            ‘It’s slightly disgusting to suggest otherwise’ American politics is slightly disgusting. You bring up a good point of me weeding out anyone who doesn’t agree with my view. That is what I am doing here. But it’s also necessary, and everyone does it. For instance, if I believed that everyone was a Christian, then I don’t understand the power of sin in this world. If I believe that nobody is a Christian (Fred Phelps) then a undervalue the power of God and his ability to work and move. So thus Christians are left somewhere in the middle. I believe in Matthew it says to judge others by their fruits, or actions. So that’s what I try and do. Also I try and throw some common sense in there as well.

            Now this is comical ‘what are you going to say to your god when you meet him if you’ve got that horrible public judgement wrong’. The most popular argument against atheism of all time is ‘what happens when you die and stand before God for judgement, it’ll be too late then.’ Just as it was a weak argument for Christians to use, it is also a weak argument used against them. First off, the premise is that God is real and so is heaven, hell, and judgement day. Now if you’re using the argument sarcastically, then good job.

            I like Obama as well, just think he’s making some mistakes. Like why did he cut jobs and funding during sequester when our economy is down, doesn’t make any sense. He bent too much there to the Republicans, and i’m a Republican lol.

          • Edden

            “Mostly I come here to indulge in the slightly disgusting, but truly mesmerising practice of watching the frothing Edden”…….This is not the reason you came here. You are annoyed by the fact that you are totally unable to answer any of the points I put to you. For example you accused me of being dishonest but not only did you fail to provide evidence for my dishonesty but you did not even specify where I had been dishonest! Imagine a man being prosecuted in the Crown Court but then the Prosecution telling the defendant that he was not going to
            specify the charges! You are a man or woman that appears to hate faith but you have no confidence in providing a rebuttal because you fear that you will be torn apart by reasoned arguments. Therefore you try to load up silly and bluff orientated remarks about your opponents frothing at the mouth or being amused etc to try and get back at them but it is obviously false and is only showing your bankruptcy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377173672 Bryan Richards

            You mention court and can’t understand the burden of proof. Truly amusing.

          • Edden

            You are not amused.

          • Pulseguy

            He didn’t shout. He used caps for emphasis. Almost jokingly. Like writing DUH!

          • Pulseguy

            I read somewhere George Bush was the first US president to not go to church regularly. Clinton did, for example. But, George didn’t. Despite this people claimed he was a Christian fanatic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.Karstens Kevin Karstens

            “Barack says he’s Christian, because he has to. Most Americans are Christians, and probably wouldn’t vote for somebody who disavows Christianity. He goes to church because presidents have always gone to church, Washington started it and the tradition has kept on. It’s important to appear religious to the public. ‘prays (constantly) to the Christian god’, I’m not sure how you can claim that”

            Really?
            Cuz I’m not sure how YOU can claim to ‘know’ what Obama is ‘really thinking’ unless he told you personally.

            Did he?

            Because otherwise, everything you just posted there is 100% conjecture, at best.

          • Pulseguy

            I saw an interesting interview with Jeremiah Wright. First, I expected him to be a raving, raging nutcase and he wasn’t. He was clear and intelligent and articulate. The interviewer asked if Barack Obama were a Christian, clearly expecting the answer from Rev Wright that he was. JW said, (and I’m paraphrasing), ‘No, he isn’t. I thought I had converted him, but I now know I hadn’t’. The interviewer was shocked and said, ‘But he goes to a Christian church’, etc. JW said, ‘he did that for two reasons, first for Michelle, and second because he knew darn well he couldn’t get elected if he went to a mosque, but he’s not a Christian.’

            If his spiritual mentor and adviser says he isn’t a Christian, he probably isn’t. The rhetoric is politics – God Bless America, and so on.

          • rich1299

            lets not forget the god worshiped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims commanded his followers (at that time just Jews worshiped that god) to commit genocide, in fact he severely punished his followers for leaving a few people alive. Not to mention all the other barbaric acts commanded to be carried out by this god. The fact that the vast majority ignores such commands from their god is a testament to the strength of human morality over religious morality.

            People forget as well that what we call myths today were once as firmly held religious beliefs as any current religion. Many of the ancient religions were believed to be the one true religion for thousands of years longer than most of today’s current batch of religions but today those religions are only considered myths. The same thing will happen to today’s current religions in time. Bronze/iron age stories from the bible/torah/koran have very little relevance in today’s society.

            Religions only came to exist to explain the world to people, today we have a far better way of doing that with science. A sense of community will always be important but that’s something hardly unique to religion, a sense of community and belonging can exist around pretty much anything. Religion has always been concerned with maintaining the social status quo and hierarchies so its little wonder the distress and attacks against atheism have been increasing since religious belief is shrinking in most developed countries as more declare themselves to be atheists, whether there are more atheists today or just more people less afraid of the consequences of declaring themselves to be atheist is also debatable.

            The US is supposed to have separation of church and state, which it more or less does, but it also has a far worse problem, the intertwining of religion and politics to the point where its impossible for some politicians to even get nominated if they aren’t seen as belonging to one of the acceptable Christian sects and religious beliefs are regularly codified into civil law forcing everyone to behave as if they believed in certain religious beliefs or face the sanctions of their criminal justice system. Other countries like Canada and Britain don’t have the same separation of church and state but they also don’t have the far worse problem of politics being infested by religion. In the US its impossible to be successful in politics without religion. That alone wouldn’t be so bad except that it leads to religious beliefs being turned into actual laws and the state being used to enforce religious beliefs which completely undermines the whole concept of separation of church and state.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001120721082 Bert Lee

            I believe in fairies, yes I do. Especially when they look like Mary Martin. Green tights. Woot.

          • Pulseguy

            As a disinterested observer it appears to me the ones who get flipping angry about it are not Christians, but atheists. It is atheists trying to belittle Christians, not the other way around. Your worshiping fairies comment is an example of veiled (somewhat) hostility.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.Karstens Kevin Karstens

            “…Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin were all atheist secular humanists ”

            WROOOONG.

            Hitler was an admitted CHRISTIAN, the Holocaust, was, in his own words, him ‘doing god’s work’.

            “…he wrote in Mein Kampf, “By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” Atheist writer Sam Harris writes that “the Holocaust marked the culmination of…two hundred years of Christian fulminating against the Jews” and therefore “knowingly or not, the Nazis were agents of religion.”

            http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0110.htm

          • kevingt

            hornedfrog4500, are you serious or just a troll? You seem serious but you say ridiculous things such as ” And the only defense I have is that I don’t believe in all religions,
            just protestant Christianity. Which is different than Catholicism
            because it was under the Catholic church reign that you got things like
            the crusades and the inquisition.”
            Do you even know history? The Crusades happened in the 10th-12th century and the Inquisitions started in the 12 century and last for centuries after that. The Protestant reformation didn’t happen until the 16th century by a Catholic priest named Martin Luther. So everything prior to that, the Catholic Church represented ALL of Christianity. The Catholic Church’s history prior to the 16th century is the de facto history of the Protestant Church and every other Christian religion.
            And yes, Adolph Hitler was a Catholic who referenced Christianity in his speeches to take over the world and kill Jews. Hitler in his speech to the Reichstag on 23 March 1933, said: ” The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity
            as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach
            the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring
            to develop them”
            Or how about this, when Hitler vowed to defeat paganism: “The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity.
            It will be its honest endeavour to protect both the great Christian Confessions
            in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines, and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies
            of the State of to-day”

            26 June 1934, Hitler speaking to Catholic bishops to assure them
            that he would take action against the new pagan propaganda. I could go on and on and on but you get the idea. Hitler was Christian and cited Christianity often in his speeches, even going back to the 1920s, before he was even in power.

          • tompaine99

            Ever read “Mein Kampf”? Hitler believed he was doing God’s work.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            agreed…

          • Kat0

            Not really, Hitler was a catholic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            That is such and old, worn out and refuted meme. He was a pagan (animisn) of the germanic type. (no offense to pagans BTW). Just because he was baptized catholic doesn’t make him catholic for life. By that logic, Darwin was an Anglican not an atheist when he died, and Dawkins is still a Anglican.

          • rich1299

            Paganism is a religion btw, pagan and atheist are two completely different things.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            Agreed, on all accounts. I didn’t mean to say that atheists are pagans. Sorry If I appeared to say that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            No he wasn’t. He was a catholic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            Why were Catholic churches burnt down by Nazi troops then?… Just because you say so it is not true.

          • v_3

            Nope

            Hitler considered himself a Christian

          • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.Karstens Kevin Karstens

            “really, the holocaust anyone? That was all secular atheist thoughts”

            WRONG, sorry.

            Hitler was an admitted CHRISTIAN, the Holocaust, was, in his own words, him ‘doing god’s work’.

            “…he wrote in Mein Kampf, “By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” Atheist writer Sam Harris writes that “the Holocaust marked the culmination of…two hundred years of Christian fulminating against the Jews” and therefore “knowingly or not, the Nazis were agents of religion.”

            http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0110.htm

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr
          • Pulseguy

            Other than Islam followers which Christians, in recent times, really do anything hateful. However, Mao? Stalin? Atheists, and they killed tens of millions.

          • S Mason

            I have never seen western atheists, new or otherwise, supress any subject. It would be anathema to do so.
            Are you lying? Do you just not like the robust challenge to your world view?

          • hornedfrog4500

            That’s because western atheists have always had limited power because they aren’t getting free reign of control over our country. They are quickly getting more and more power, but they don’t control this country yet. And BTW they suppress all sorts of subjects. Ever heard of I.D. Professors (not even religious professors) get fired at any university just for giving any validity to I.D. If thats not the suppression of a subject then I don’t know what is. BTW it was western atheists who overhauled our education system and now it’s one of the worst in the modern world.

            And I don’t have any problem with challenges to my worldview. I was raised to be agnostic by my atheistic father and agnostic mother. And became a christian in high school because my life was empty. I went to a secular liberal university and majored in math. I discovered that reason and logic can help prove God (before then I only believed out of faith). I have seen and heard it all and nothing has ever really made any real discredit to God or the bible. I’m not even annoyed with atheists much anymore, I find more annoyance with Mormons, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m posting on this article because there just seemed to be some very false ideas free flowing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/robert.hunter.1671897 Robert Hunter

            intelligent design has no scientific validity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            Agreed totally…

          • biomuse

            I’ve been in church every week for life, including this week, and I’ll be there next week and the week after that.

            1. Reason and logic cannot “prove God,” and any time spent trying to do that is wasted time.

            2. I.D. should stand for “intellectual dishonesty,” because it is a religious idea that pretends not to be one. That category-mixing half-stepping bullshit manages, miraculously, to disadvantage both science and religion at once.

            3. I’m a molecular biologist in addition to being religious. The chance that evolution is false is infinitesimally smaller than the chance that you and I will die in the same plane crash. This doesn’t affect my faith one bit. Shouldn’t bother yours either.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

            I can at least respect this stance. I’d bet that with a little further teasing apart you’d probably also deny many of the other core christian tenents as well.

          • biomuse

            These aren’t “core christian tenets” or anything resembling such; they’re incidental historical appendages.

            Vanishingly unlikely to part ways with the core tenets I’m afraid. With a little further investigation you’d probably come to at least respect that as well.

          • philip oneal: former christian

            What motivation to search out religion or god do you suggest for people who dont believe in a higher power and yet dont find their lives empty? Just curious.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ScubaStimpy Ian Stimson

            “Ever heard of I.D. Professors (not even religious professors) get fired at any university just for giving any validity to I.D. If thats not the suppression of a subject then I don’t know what is.”

            “intelligent” design is nothing more than a rebranding of creationism, it is inherently promoting religion over science and has NO place in biology lectures. if a biology lecturer brings it up and promotes it during his lectures, damn right he should be fired.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ScubaStimpy Ian Stimson

            “BTW it was western atheists who overhauled our education system and now it’s one of the worst in the modern world.”

            no this has happened because the texas state board of education is dominated by creationists who with their purchasing power are attempting to re-write history and biology

          • parthenogene

            A recent report by education firm Pearson places the U.S. at 17th best among world educational systems…

          • Strac5

            What an empty rationalization. You say you do, but politically left atheists are notorious for not knowing or evading ideas on the right, and when they do engage them, they are never intellectually honest about them. For example, when Sam Harris went about thinking he was going to single-handedly reinvent philosophy by coming up with an objective atheist moral system, where was his evaluation of Objectivist ideas? He just sneered at Objectivism without offering any proof, then took as his starting point the concept of “well-being” as the standard of value (a sloppy dime store version of Rand’s “man’s life qua man” as the standard of value). And what did he do with this notion? Like any mediocrity, he collectivized it. It’s not individuals that count, but mankind’s overall well-being. He is apparently too ignorant to realize he walked into an old philosophical minefield. Again, did he bother to come up with a rationale for why Rand was wrong to have an individual basis before he went off on his little self-superiority trip? No, of course not. There is no such explanation. He just pretends that her serious innovations and criticisms don’t exist. He is a philosophical mediocrity, his ideas are blatantly subjectivist, and that is why he has lost people. He is too arrogant to realize his place in the intellectual world.
            And his behavior is representative of the entire politically left atheist spectrum. You will engage all the ideas in the world, except for the ones that prove you wrong.

          • S Mason

            The irony of being accused of evasion and intellectual dishonesty by a theist! You couldn’t make it up. The things we may be notorious for in your little club are frankly irrelevant.

            You do know that Sam Harris is widely reviled by many left wing atheists because he is so right wing, and often libertarian, right?

            If you want to have a go at Sam Harris – fill your boots, That you want to fit all left wing atheists into the same box just makes your arguments laughable.

          • Strac5

            Spectacularly wrong on two accounts. First, I am not a theist. Second, Sam Harris is not “right wing, and often libertarian,” certainly not by American standards. He is thoroughly collectivist. He admits to having no reason why individuals can’t be sacrificed, no matter how horrendously, to the judgments of the collective in his philosophy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dan.ortiz.54 Dan Ortiz

            “If you want to have a go at Sam Harris – fill your boots, That you want to fit all left wing atheists into the same box just makes your arguments laughable.” Atheists should do the same (not put all religious people in one bag) because they do look laughable.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001120721082 Bert Lee

            The conservative and fundamentalist Xians suffer from a competitive piety and boisterous sanctimony. They need to be called on those points directly, that their claims to authority are just that: Claims. The broader Xian bloc has much more to their credit, including modern attempts to ameliorate the corruption of Jesus into a Pauliad (Jefferson Bible, etc).

            The problem of Paul’s Damascene fundamentalism is not intractable, nor is it trivial that we’ve come to have a Jesuit Pope after a notorious Benedictine reactionary retired from the seat.

            People are tired of the misogynist, homophobic & anti-child scripture of antiquity — Mosaic law basically relegates 65% of its population as second class citizens (or worse…). Obviously the Bible is burdened with plantation & warrior mentalities.

            So what’s the cure? Oppose the entire thing outright? That’s hardly a solution. And we find little appeal to a truncated nihilism of *some* (not most) antitheists who have sought to fill a different God-shaped hole with a naive materialism. The fallacy of this ostensible alternative is now being revealed in advanced cosmology (string theory & the like).

            Bollocks on the whole farrago of vainglory and sanctimony, religious or empirical. If the choice is naive materialism vs. spiritual materialism, none of the above thank you.

            The trend is pointing toward a non-dual awakening, and it’s evincing itself in MBSR, cognitive behavioral treatment, cosmology and particle physics, and quantum computing. Empiricism will still reign, but it won’t be your daddy’s empiricism, b/c the billiard balls have all been replaced with fuzzy dice.

            As human society comes to terms with this trend it’ll come to be reflected in its religions, more and more.

          • Mudz

            Gee you must be so insecure to assume that we consider Dawkins a rational apologetic, or that we are experiencing even mild anxiety over his arguments. We are far more concerned about Satan, and the decline of civilisation. Atheism is a self-destructive denial of the cure, that makes one sad and tired to contemplate, not frightened.

            Oh no, people are trying to teach you things. How threatening it must be to have something trying to ‘shove religion’ at you, with all its horrible threats of happiness and eternal life. How antagonistic.

            And you realise that’s our job? What do you bother about it? No-one’s making you engage with Christians on the internet you know, maybe you should take this opportunity to recover from this terrible cultural abuse you’re suffering.

          • kelper

            Satan?? Surely you don’t believe in that myth as well? Satan is the personification of evil – he is just a metaphor – he doesn’t exist. Don’t be so credulous. The Church has decreed that hell doesn’t actually exist so Lucifer is just a homeless bum.

          • Mudz

            I am neither Catholic, nor had I ever believed in hell, nor does Satan require a hell to live in, so I don’t know why it would bother me.

            Satan is not a metaphor. He’s not even a ‘personification of evil’. If he were a personification of something it would be rebellion. But he is not that either, he was simply the first to rebel, and the best at it. He was playing this game millenia before anybody had forgotten enough to think atheism or even misotheism was an amazing revolution in thought. And he does it, knowing God exists. You need to learn some perspective, you are essentially just another one of Satan’s ideo-slaves as far as I’m concerned, a victim presumably or else you’d be better armed; your impact as an intellectual is peripheral at best, so your trivial attempt to provoke is pretty mild stuff.

            You seriously just asked a Christian is he believes Satan exists, and pretend to expect him to take your word to the contrary?

            Is this really the kind of argument you want to have? Are you interested in discussing truth, or are you interested in a sort of partisan war? If it’s the latter, I will expend my efforts on someone else.

          • kelper

            I don’t know any Christians who believe in Satan. You must be an American. Your beliefs are just silly. Why don’t you believe in Hell? Is the bible wrong?

          • Mudz

            Hahaha, that’s hilarious. No, no I am not. I’m a New Zealander. But nice try with the Dumb America card. I used to play that one too.

            You don’t know any Christians who believe in Satan? What the hell kind of Christians are those? Where do you live? Do you have Christian friends?

            Well, no wonder, then. But I’m happy to inform you, you have now met one.

            Amazing how you can judge my beliefs are silly, without actually knowing what they are.

            I don’t believe in Eternal Suffering in Hell. There’s a lot of confusion over the way Catholics (not to rag on them but it’s the truth) have translated Hades and Gehenna both into ‘Hell’, and have developed the doctrine of immortal torment unto infinity.

            Even if Hell is actually a place where we go to suffer (the anecdote of Jesus, for example), it’s temporary at best, until judgment day.

            But Hades typically refers to the first death. And Gehenna refers to destruction, or the ‘second death’, which is to say, permanent death. Which is why Satan, and Hades itself are also ‘tossed into the lake of fire’ to be destroyed. Christ will conquer death itself.

            ‘Sides which. Even if it is true, all the more reason to avoid going there. You can’t say you weren’t given motivation to behave.

          • kelper

            I’m sorry I confused you with a American. But I think belief in gods is silly. Most of my friends and family are Christians but they don’t go to church and won’t discuss their beliefs – it seems to make them uncomfortable, I suspect because they never think about religion and don’t actually have a considered position on whether the bible is fiction or not. It just seems to have little effect on their lives (religion). I live in England.

          • Mudz

            It’s okay. I wasn’t insulted, but thank you.

            I get that, I do. I grew up in basically the same culture you did, and most of my friends are atheist. Believe it or not, many Christians do ‘get’ non-belief, we just don’t like it, because basically it’s like someone coming up to us and saying ‘the world sucks, I just want to commit suicide’.

            You feel like you have to do something, and at the same time, you get pissed off at having that responsibility thrown at you.

            And you’re right. Many don’t really think about it. They just don’t want that kind of trouble in their lives, when they have girlfriends and jobs and kids and bills to worry about. They just wanna get through life in one piece. We all get that though, right? It’s like that for everything.

            Besides, it’s not politics, like England vs France. It’s an emotional spectrum. So your friends could basically be half-atheists (if that made any sense), you get what I mean?

            You seem like a damn decent fellow, so while I don’t expect to perform any miracles here, I can recommend a few things.

            – Look up William Lane Craig, either on youtube, or his books, if you’re interested in cosmological and philosophical arguments for God such as the Kalam Cosmological Argument. He’s Catholic, but he knows his apologetics, and is probably the primary philosophical apologist engaging with the ‘New Atheists’ of the Dawkins variety today.

            – Trust me when I tell you, that most of the difficulty we all experience is typically cultural training. Like when I said I used to use the Dumb America card, well I don’t anymore, because I’ve changed my mind on something I used to be absolutely sure of. It’s weird, but a lot of us believe what we believe about other people, because it doesn’t always occur to us there’s a different perspective, we just think other people don’t get it.

            An example.

            The unicorn. Funny fairytale creature, right? Prancing in meadows with elves and witches and that sort of thing.

            But if you think about it, it’s just a horse with a horn. Lots of things have horns. Bulls have horns, deers have antlers, rhino has a horn.

            If we can get animals from beavers to t-rexes, what’s really that weird about a slightly different kinda horse?

            (That said, I’m not saying they exist. That would be CRAZEH. Just illustrating a point.)

            – Christians Are Smart People Too (As Often As Anyone Else, Anyway). Modern science owes a great debt to the great body of work and scientists that preceded the age of methodological naturalism, and they were pretty much all Christians.

            It’s hard to think of the best stuff to try and start a process. But perhaps just google around and try to find the best representatives of the Christian faith, before judging Jesus by the worst of his followers. They are all over the place, debating evolution, religion, philosophy, history, and you can be really surprised.

            For example ‘Armarium Magnum’ surprised the hell out of me, because it’s an atheist Irish bloke who knows more about Christian history than I do, and actually gets the point. That’s very rare.

            Sorry to throw so much at you in one post, but it’s difficult to figure out the best way to respond. I hope you didn’t take anything personally, it’s all sincere.

            Ah ha ha, England, you bastards still own my country. You have no idea how confused I got about that. Your Queen is still our Queen. I’ll admit I love England’s history (because Christian, of course), and I’m so gutted you guys don’t like your monarchy. Personally I think Kings and Queens are the way to go.

          • kelper

            this is fun! You are obviously smart and don’t take offence easily. I like the fact that I know nothing about you. I do not want to know your age, ethnicity, gender, education, life experience or anything as this would prejudice my opinions. Just as an aside, my mum was a Kiwi.

            But debating with you is interesting. Now William Lane Craig is a very clever debater and has ‘beaten’ Dawkins in a debate or two, but he does not follow the rules of debate and manipulates the system, especially when the moderator is weak.

            I will certainly look at your recommended reads. Have you read any of Richard Holloway’s books? He is ex Bishop of Edinburgh and ex-Primus of the Scottish Episcoplalian Church. He is an excellent writer and a post-Christian.

          • Mudz

            It’s great to have a pleasant discussion once in a while, right? Cheers, bud, right back atcha. 😀

            I have heard that accusation toward Craig myself, but personally I don’t see it. So it may be one of those cultural blindness things. Like when a fight breaks out between two sports teams, and they’re both convinced the other started it.

            But I’m glad you’re familiar with him, because whether you’re convinced by his arguments or not, at least you know them, and you’ve taken the trouble to get informed, which is awesome.

            I haven’t read Holloway’s I don’t think, I’m reading Bart Ehrman, who’s similiar in that respect. But I’ll make a note of it. I did download a huge atheist compilation a while back that I’m working through, so maybe he’s in there.

            Hey, if you give me basically a list of say, your basic objections or questions about either belief in God, or Christianity, I’ll do my best to answer them to your satisfaction, and/or recommend reads for you to mull over in your own time. As a Christian, I want to bring you to Christ, but we all exercise our own intelligence and free will, so I just hope to provide the information that you need.

            Fire away at your leisure. Honestly hope that something really good and productive results from this, even if it’s only that we both gain a new perspective. And remember that we’re all still human, Christian or atheist, decent folk all around. :)

          • kelper

            If you had been born in Indonesia isn’t it likely that you would be a Muslim?

            I have not read William Lane Craig, I’ll try but I doubt if I have the stomach.

            Will Methodists, Jews, Mormons, Baptists go to heaven? Will Buddhists? Or they all doomed? This is what I don’t get. How can you believe in the Bible when there so many exciting alternatives!

            I think god is made in man’s image. That’s why religions treat women as inferior. But I know as certainly as I know the sun will rise tomorrow, that there are no gods. Now, philosophically, we can not know that there is no god but it is a pretty good working assumption and I will live an die on that premise.

          • Mudz

            Wouldn’t you be Muslim too?

            They will all go to heaven if:
            A) They’re Christians 😛
            B) If God accepts them.

            Other than that, I’m not privy to his council.

            Religions treat women as the weaker sex because they are weaker, and in need of male protection, and they have a biological tendency to attach themselves to a man, support him, and need only a strong man in order to do so. Christianity recognises a natural design between man and woman.

            I know as certainly as the sun rises that God is true. It is obviously not enough to persuade one of truth.

            Philosophically we can. It’s why Aristotle believed in God even though he wasn’t religious. We also have historical evidence for, direct testimony, we have support from the Big Bang, complexity of life, biological design, fine-tuning, Cambrian explosion, and the historical God is the only real explanation for life as we know it. If you ask a materialist, he can only give you an answer that:

            A) Doesn’t go outside this universe,
            B) Appeals to extreme chance or multiverse,
            C) “We’re working on that.”

            How do you believe that life came about? How did we get here?

          • kelper

            Are you saying Buddhist won’t go to heaven? For they are certainly not Christians and I don’t think Jews are Christians, what happens to them?
            Complexity and design are no proof of god!
            “religions treat women as weaker…..” NO, they do it because they are patriarchal in their very nature.
            being religious may give you more answers but they are the wrong answers! They are to the wrong questions.

            You were very brief on my question about Muslims – if you were born a Muslim you would believe that the Bible was not the true word of god,yes or no?

            Life came about spontaneously billions of years ago, it needs no first cause. Have you read much of Dawkins?

          • kelper

            So Muslims and Jews won’t go to heaven? Is that what you are saying? Only Christians?

          • Motoflou

            Holy shit. You are so full of yourself.

          • kelper

            Motoflou – Try and contribute to this debate, but I see all your posts are short and nasty.

          • Motoflou

            This “Mudz” character is an asshole, who was harassing me on a different article. I posted that a certain political website should just stop reporting on Ann Coulter, and we’d all be better off.

            He responded (to my 6 month-old comment) in a dickish, trolling way that questioned my intelligence.

            Don’t be fooled just because he can write run-on sentences…

          • Mudz

            It’s very sweet how you follow me around, but I’ll just end up breaking your heart.

          • Wayne

            with lots of funds and lots of campaigners against rationalism

            I completely reject your claim that Creationists campaign against rationalism. But for the sake of the argument, why in your worldview is it wrong to be irrational?

          • max

            So you would like to do the some thing as your precieved Idears tthat religions do.and what do you do when evolutionary idears are disproved

          • Ramon Zapata Jr.

            Fucking troll idiot. DAWKINS is just as bad as the religious who judge and condemn, if not worst. The Church has not ideal to swarm you with propaganda . Why not read the Science Set Free book by Dr. Sheldrake? The materialists push evidence of consciousness and God away form the public bc atheism serves this use up and discard economic cancer that we live under. Most of that shit was in the old centuries that religion did – science is the NEW CHURCH – with MONOTHEISM bc we learn the same outdated and propagandized science. True scientists LOSE THEIR FUNDING when breaking new ground, especially concerning materialism.

          • SE7EN_STAR

            lol and the point of the article —lost. like an alter-boy’s innocence

          • Jonathan Skeet

            Forcefulness doesn’t come from sheer volume, but from good arguments. Dawkin’s arguments are amateurish to say the least, which is why he is now waning in influence.

          • roger

            Religion,what it is is not really explored. Worshipping the Sun does have more sense than worshipping the son (sorry), All life depends on solar energy and always has. A belief system needs to encompass a billion billion stars and also human consciousness .

          • Foritn

            Bearing in mind the aggressive, offensive, abusive, dishonest and fabricated crap that comes from this new movement of atheism, I think people would like to see an end to this movement.

            Rather than religious people forcing their views down my throat, I find that it’s you atheists preaching your disgusting, obtuse and evidence lacking hypothesizes who are the ones forcing beliefs down my throat. You dehumanize anyone who doesn’t believe the same as you do and yet cry foul when attacked.

            There’s nothing rational about believing that The Big Bang came from nothingness. The Big Bang is more of an argument for the Prime Mover concept than it is for atheism and not all Christians deny evolution (in fact the majority accept it) so your crusade is worthless since it’s for a minority of extremists.

            You atheist extremists on the other-hand seem to be big in numbers with your irrational hatred and obsession with Christianity. You might want to visit a physicist otherwise you might end up in a mental asylum like the “great” atheist philosopher Nietzsche (in fact his anti-theism pretty much drove him insane too).

        • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.keyes Charlie Keyes

          You don’t actually ‘need’ Dawkins, Darwin, Westwood, Dylan, De Barres, Van Vliet…..you see what I’m saying? You don’t ‘need’ a computer or a car, or a life, you don’t ‘need’ any of them. However you have them and you have a chance to play nicely with them……call it ‘heritage’ or ‘poetry’ or ‘getting out of doing the washing up.’

        • Pax Humana

          Sadly, for the atheist, that will never happen, jamesmbmclaren.

        • barbra

          How about JESUS?

        • LiamT

          just remove all say that religion has over government and policies. stop the religious telling us how to behave and we wouldnt need to fight back would we?

      • http://www.facebook.com/roberto.gonzalezplaza Roberto Gonzalez-Plaza

        tsk tsk tsk..kill all inmigrants…..and irish now that you are at it??

      • roger

        Dawkins doesn’t actually address what humanity might believe in the search for meaning in life, he just seems to attack christianity, it is like hitting a straw man, obvious and lacking in depth.

      • Ben

        Surely Anglicans are just a reaction to Roman Catholics? Surely Methodists are just a reaction to Anglicans? Surely Christianity is just a reaction to Judaism? By this argument, only the very earliest forms of religion are the correct ones. It’s up to you to look them up.

      • ScottCA

        Or maybe as a scientist Dawkins just feels obliged to present the evidence honestly and follow it to its logical conclusion.
        Those ancient mythologies about invisible men in the clouds are nothing but fiction.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

      Yes thank God (so to speak) that Dawkins himself has never had to resort to the ad hominem attack (calling someone a “God botherer” for example). Has he had the guts to consent to a debate with William Lane Craig yet? I could do with a laugh. Although your post was a start.

      • S Mason

        That’s William Lane Craig of “we need to feel sorry for the soldiers committing massacres in the old testament” notoriety? The master of the gish gallop, the straw man, the red herring, the bait-and-switch, evasion and distraction? One of the most dishonest debaters alive? That William Lane Craig?
        When you can explain what Dawkins would get out of such a meeting, perhaps he’ll consider it. But probably not. WLC is a profoundly dishonest but very eloquent man. Avoiding him seems like a great policy.

        • Edden

          More excuses Mr Mason! Dawkins chickened out of the debate with WLC simply to avoid humiliation that’s all so he cherry picked an excuse which caused egg on his face even in the secular press. You have not proved WLC a dishonest man. You have just loaded up a defamatory remark without giving evidence or even trying to prove your case. Its not the first time you have done this.

          • S Mason

            I love this thread Edden. Each morning I get to picture you sitting there banging your keyboard, froth pouring out of your mouth, red face and stupendously angry as you produce rant after apoplectic rant.
            It’s excellent as a spectator sport, though I feel a little guilty in reality. Sort of like watching car crash TV… Or a reality show about disabled people.

          • Edden

            S Mason. No you do not love it really. Your picture of me is pure bluff. Your post has said nothing and you have proved nothing. You have not even specified any argument at all.

            “Or a reality show about disabled people.” What I have found about
            the average on line atheist is this: Some start as trolls but when challenged start to try and look intelligent. Some start looking intelligent but when challenged the troll soon appears! I think you lean towards the second category. All you have loaded here is tending toward insult. No actual facts supplied.

          • S Mason

            No – honestly Edden. I do find it really funny! I’d not bother otherwise. Slightly twinged with guilt though. All those ex-Christian tendencies still hang on into my baby-eating maturer years…
            You see here’s something…I’ve stopped trying to engage with you because you’re just too dishonest! And all those mad, lazy accusations you spill out! And of course, the stuff you accuse others of, is really presumably the stuff you hate about yourself – well nothing new there of course… We’re all capable of a little of that, but it’s mad to find someone who is quite as self-unaware as you are.
            I was just thinking – shall I go back and pull it all out and show you? But actually I can’t be bothered! And it would be utterly pointless. Evidence to you is just a method that you use to twist absolutely anything you come across to support your pretty dogmatic (and frankly disgusting) world view. Hey ho…

          • Edden

            Mr Mason…You do not find it funny. I am too dishonest? If that is true then prove it? Come on, prove how I am dishonest? State your case. Even just try. You continously make claims you don’t even specify. You have stopped trying to engage with me because you have no answers, that is it. And I’ve exposed that and your emptiness. If you had an answer you would have used it by now.
            Your evidence bit at the bottom of your post is just tongue in cheek. If you thought you could prove me wrong you certainly would have tried.

          • S Mason

            Edden – just for a moment now, I’m going to be entirely straight with you – but please don’t stop posting because of it. I think it’s only fair though: here’s the thing…when chatting away to a theist like yourself, there is no chance of you noticing any of the things you don’t want to notice. The debate will be entirely one sided. You just ignore the inconvenient bits, rant and accuse, angrily posting stuff in a kind of stream of (un)consciousness. It is genuinely funny. But please assert it isn’t again. We can carry on!

            You’re demand for proof is the key here: as I pointed out – there is nothing I could say which would convince you. The game just isn’t on. You are absolutely convinced of your position, so anything I post just gets twisted in response. So I’ve stopped that now. Pointless really. But, in a slightly perverse way, I am really enjoying getting hit by the froth.

            I’m just waiting for your flounce and bounce. I’m pretty sure it’s coming…

            And yes. I find you profoundly dishonest. Just my view of course. Actually, reading through the threads you post to – it seems others have a pretty similar reaction! Funny that.

          • Edden

            “there is no chance of you noticing any of the things you don’t want to notice.”…You have not posted anything worth noticing. Please provide evidence of you case and maybe I will be able to answer.

            “The debate will be entirely one sided.”…..It is simply because you have not provided a case. I suspect you don’t have one.

            “You just ignore the inconvenient bits”….OK, come on then. Let’s hear your convenient bits?

            “rant and accuse”….I have not ranted but I have indeed accused. Look at what I have just said above. Now justify yourself and answer?

            “there is nothing I could say which would convince you.”…So why did you bother with me in the first place? In any case you have not provided anything convincing. You don’t even try!

            “So I’ve stopped that now.”….You never really started in terms of trying to present a case. I am still waiting.

            “I am really enjoying getting hit by the froth”….a bluff remark from someone who is running out of ideas.

            “I find you profoundly dishonest. Just my view of ourse.”…..Certainly your view but I asked you to explain actually how I was being dishonest. You haven’t done that.

            It seems all I have encountered is opinion from a person who hates what he thinks I believe but has no confidence in producing a rebuttal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001120721082 Bert Lee

      ..

    • rrbb333

      I actually welcome your thoughts. Dawkins and his like have strengthened Christians in their faith and I hope they continue their arguments. This is from the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Christian’s (like Dr. William Lane Craig) muscular arguments lend them the confidence to delve into areas of inquiry that might have previously seemed closed, from historical criticism of the Bible to theistic interpretations of evolution.” and “one can hear certain stripes of evangelicals whispering to one another lately that “God is working something” in the discipline (University level philosophy). And through the discipline, they see a way of working something in society as a whole.” The “New Atheists” have given rise to a new dimension in Christianity that is able to debate at the same level as any one, often with winning results.

    • Pax Humana

      I say that this is a GOOD thing and that it is proving that, once again, YAHWEH EL ELOHIM rules in the affairs of human beings and all Lucifer originated concepts are inferior and already obsolete out of the gate.

  • kelper

    Everything good associated with religion, compassion, kindness, charity, care of the weak, community, music, architecture ……..would be even better said or done without religion.

    “In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in allegiance to the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own”

    Thomas Jefferson

    • ow lafaye

      Oh yes, simply stop believing and all those nasty conundrums just disappear.

      • Hominid

        Better to deal with those conundrums through delusional thinking – right, ow?

    • Meg Underdown

      Jefferson didn’t meet many true Christian pastors then. I’ve know a few bullies but not many hostile to true liberty!

      • Fergus Pickering

        Whatever true liberty may be, I mean as opposed to false liberty.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      You been reading the Beano again?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Johnson/587242193 Paul Johnson

      I’d associate that first part of your comment to Roger Waters of Pink Floyd who said; “I believe we should be good to each other on pragmatic grounds, rather than because God tells us to be”.

      • Gareth

        I would put it the other way: God entreats us to do those things which he knows work best.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647432535 Steven Schloeder

          Agreed, Gareth.

        • Alina

          And he knows what’s best how

          • http://twitter.com/redmusic1 chad washington

            Really? Think about that question a second.

          • Alina

            Thanks for your awesome rebuttal chad. It seems you are afraid of answering that question also. SO does god knows whats best for us because he’s so powerful or because he’s really intelligent? Or is goodness in his nature like the apologists like to repeat endlessly?

        • S Mason

          Is it in no way problematic to you that god(s) can’t and don’t communicate with us clearly and without huge ambiguity?

          • Gareth

            My experience is that that isn’t the case. And the God of the Bible (I can’t comment on the others) is repeatedly described as speaking:

            “The Lord said/says” (488 times)
            “The word of the Lord” (227 times)
            “God said” (54 times)
            “The Lord spoke” (38 times)

            Beyond this, bear in mind that the Bible’s clearest and most complete method of communicating is through the person of Jesus Christ, which is why the incarnation is such a significant question for anyone weighing the evidence for and against Christianity.

            Let me ask: what have you done to weigh this evidence?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pj-Denyer/1347498203 P.j. Denyer

          Like killing people for gathering sticks on the sabbath? Pity that instead of the ‘no gods before me’, ‘keep my sabbath’ and ‘taking my name in vain’ rules he couldn’t have put in some rules about boiling water, washing hands and using clean cloth and natural disinfectants to dress wounds. THAT would have worked better.

          • Gareth

            I don’t know about you, but I do find that life works better when I make sure to take decent time out to rest and do things with family rather than just working all the time. And I’d rather evaluate the Bible on what it does say than the million and one other things we might wish it might have. Some guidance on better battery technology for smartphones wouldn’t go amiss, for example…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647432535 Steven Schloeder

        Seems like another way of saying that we should be good to each other for selfish reasons. If I don’t harm you, and I get a lot of people to support me with not harming you, you won’t or can’t harm me. If I’m a nice person and everyone is a nice person, then we’ll all have a nice society in which to pursue our personal endeavors without being harmed.

        There is no problem with that, of course, except for the fact that people really don’t seem to work that way. If the radical atheist is correct, that we are all happenstance radically autonomous biomachines without meaning (other than self or culturally ascribed) or purpose, then the only real reason to be nice or to appear nice is to serve the self. There is no appeal to human nature, human dignity, or human rights to make anything a moral imperative such as “do good” or “thou shall not harm another” apart from the strictly pragmatic grounds that other radically autonomous biomachines will either reward or punish us for doing so.

        Not a bad way to live, but seems bereft of joy and all the higher calling that spirituality (=”God”) open us up toward.

        And to bring it full circle, from the Catholic perspective, God does not tell us to be “good” for any other reason than it is in being good (being nice, loving others, getting rid of the ego, serving, etc) that we find happiness and fulfillment as persons in accordance with the divine plan. Apart from that, I don’t see how any real moral sense or ethical sense can be truly coherent. It’s all just chemicals and physics and bioenergy — chemistry has no moral sense, it just is.

        • Alina

          Oh it’s all JUST chemicals and physics and bioenergy, how crude. I made a human brain just the other day, it was just a simple matter of chemicals and physics and bioenergy.

          • Hominid

            It must be so much more comfortable in your make-believe world.

          • Alina

            Unfortunately you don’t understand what I’m saying. Reread and you will notice I’m arguing against Steven schloeders deflationary arguments against secular morality. Sad to see such a dumb fellow atheist

          • Hominid

            I’ll apologize (and ignore your needless insult) if you’ll admit your comment was way out of left field.

        • Hominid

          Consider your opening proposition – does religion overcome the problem of people not working that way? If you’re intellectually honest, the answer is clearly NO. So, your argument is illogical.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What are the pragmatic grounds for being good to each other. I so often see pragmatic grounds for being nasty to the fools and knaves I see every day.

        • Hominid

          There’s pragmatic grounds for both. That’s why pragmatism makes sense and works, whereas delusion doesn’t.

    • Brandy Miller

      Thomas Jefferson was a deist and a religious doubter. That he said it I don’t doubt, but it would be more accurate to say this instead “Everything good associated with religion, compassion, kindness, charity, care of the weak, community, music, architecture….would NOT GET DONE without religion or, if it did get done, not done as well.” There is not a thing that mankind does that a connection with the very source of Creativity cannot make better. Most of what you take for granted in today’s world that is beautiful and good is the fruits of the labor of someone who was a believer.

      • Hominid

        You’re factually wrong AND illogical.

      • S Mason

        Brandy Miller – this is just not true – and it’s deeply insulting to those who are godless. Perhaps you don’t mind that – I can’t know.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I always go to slave-owning Jefferson for my morals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001619526649 Meg Shenitch

    I’m co-admin for a large atheist page on Facebook, and while there have been atheists for as long as there have been religions, the mass exodus is only just getting started.

    As more people come forward and openly say we’ve discarded religion, others feel encouraged to allow themselves to question their beliefs, or to come forward and live openly and honestly as nonbelievers after not truly believing for years, but remaining quiet out of fear they would be ostracized.

    Those vocally opposed to religions trampling human rights are not only growing in numbers, but in strength and confidence, as well.

    The Internet allows young, more open-minded people to access information they would have relied on clergy to provide in the past — clergy who in turn relied on them staying in the faith and tithing to ensure clergy members didn’t have to get real jobs. So now people get the facts instead.

    Natural life processes will eventually lead to the stubbornly faithful dying off in old age and leaving no new generation of indoctrinated youths to take their place. In many countries, the majority of those attending church are already elderly.

    Those factors, among others such as advances in science, will be the end of religion in developed lands.

    Until then, Dawkins and others like him have the full support of countless atheists, including people like myself, in working to rid society of the toxic influences of religion.

    So enjoy your delusions while it’s still deemed socially acceptable for a grown adult to profess their love of their imaginary friends. Religious superstitions are going the way of the dinosaurs, and humanity will be better off for it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chrisy.scullion Chrisy Scullion

      couldn’t agree more with all you have said above meg.. good stuff

    • Meg Underdown

      I disagree with much of you say. Yes, people are now more able to say that they don’t believe but strident atheism is as bad a strident religion. Christians do not indoctrinate. We want people to make intelligent decisions about faith based on rational discussion and loving care. One of my children no longer practices his faith and the other does! Christian faith in love and care is not toxic. Christians are 3 times more likely to volunteer to help in community support than non-Christians – maybe Atheists need to up their volunteering quotient to show how caring they are too!

      Tithing went out with Queen Anne but some minor churches still insist on it. If people in Churches did tithe we would better support our employees and keep our heritage intact! I hope religious superstitions have gone they do not help but a life based on love and care is still very necessary.

    • monty61

      Ridiculously, hilariously self-important twaddle. What makes this kind of rant different to the ravingsof the jihadist, or the noodlings of the bible thumping evangelical? It’s just this kind of overdone, petulant, sixth-form atheism that the article is bemoaning (and thankfully says is passing for a more intelligent, nuanced one for grown-ups).

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pj-Denyer/1347498203 P.j. Denyer

        The fact that she isn’t threatening anyone with death or Hell? Assessed dispassionately her words are a lot more mild than your response would imply.

  • Spirokeat

    I couldn’t get past the intro paragraph without laughing out loud.

  • GordonHide

    Oh dear, No attempt to counteract the arguments of new atheists, (probably better characterised as anti-theists), that religion is on balance a bad thing. Just the erection of a straw man simplistic new atheist who disregards some good features of religion.

    • ow lafaye

      Yes, religion on balance is a VERY bad thing…The vaccuous biddies selling their bake sale items are kinda cute however. Just right for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

  • allymax bruce

    “the atheist …can be just as moral as believers. … What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers. Rejecting religion is no sure path to virtue; it is more likely to lead to complacent self-regard, or ideological arrogance.”
    Quite! Just look at Tony Bliar’s Postmodern illegal Iraq war; and his Labour Party maxim’ ‘We don’t do God’ !
    For those who are atheist/agnostic; the three most profound people of the last centry, Freud, Einstein, and marx, were all german Jews, with a deep-seated love of God.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810714650 Joe Cogan

      Umm, what? Is this a joke? Freud and Marx were openly atheistic, and while Einstein rejected the label, he also made it clear that “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it”.

      • allymax bruce

        Joe, both Freud, and Marx, ‘harboured’ a deep-seated repressed anxiety of their theories not being ‘worth’ anything, because they (their theories), went against the ‘orthodoxy’ of the day; ‘denial’ as Melanie Klein would later call it. And as you would ‘recognise’ it as!
        Like I say, all three prominent Jews of the last Century, Freud, Einstein, and Marx, were all ‘indoctrinated’ to believe in God; Tanakh-style. The fact they fought so hard against God being the sole arbiter of their success didn’t lay so well with them; it never does with Genius.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Fay/1127268875 Simon Fay

          Sigmund Fraud’s theories certainly were worth nothing beyond their utility in gaining power through status as a secular rabbi preaching to the venal and/or gullible.

          As for Herr Marx…

    • ow lafaye

      Typical Christian LIE…Christianity cannot survive in a cascade of TRUTH…they need the LIE to live on.

  • NoBody

    You don’t need religion to be bad, people will always be people, religion or not. Now as atheism grows we’re most likely to see concentration camps for christians or mass scale prejudice against religious people around the world. Ideals work just the same way as religion, but motivation is somewhat different.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

      Hey, blood libel, good work.

    • allymax bruce

      Is Secularism the new ‘religion’?
      Aye, guid luck wi’ that ane! Tony Bliar will tell God he’s sorry, as God sends him ‘down’!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Canning/100000880337944 Robert Canning

    It’s not that the pantomime Dawkins is a joke figure. The pantomime Dawkins never existed, except in the imagination of the anti-Dawkinsians. Hobson should try observing the real Dawkins – the one who gets exasperated not at gods, but at the stupidities and cruelties that derive from belief in gods, and yet manages to stay polite, calm and reasonable. He’s not going away any time soon, especially when people like Hobson help to keep his name in headlines.

    • Heather Dalgleish

      Please forward this open letter onto Dawkins at his email address: richard.dawkins1@me.com (referenced in the letter) – and feel free to let me know how politely, calmly and reasonably he addresses the substantive points raised.

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/12WNaq29-iEAATE6RhhD91MRo6qFZIofxPxb6ulbYiJg/edit?pli=1

      The document was published in late 2012, and not a peep has been heard out of the purportedly stellar rationalist, yet.

      • Heather Dalgleish

        And the down-votes are a fair marker of those pro-Dawkins knees jerking. It’s a fair indicator that irrational tribalism does indeed exist in the rationalist community.

        Can you not actually ARGUE? Can you not actually READ the words and evaluate them? Can you not utilise the skills that Dawkins so vocally advocates?

        Must you simply pout and point your thumbs down?

        • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.wren Joseph C Wren

          It’s cute how you guys think your all powerful god needs you defenses.

          • ow lafaye

            Thats one for a whole new article JC Wren…they gather their weapons and attack an entire country/culture/tribe conveniently overlooking that their belief, in fact, is their god’s ability to wipe out whatever with a sweep of the hand. ( Never thinking that just maybe their god is impotent?) Hmmmmmmm, highly suspicious

          • Heather Dalgleish

            Please go Google “Heather Dalgleish Why I Am An Atheist”.

            It’s cute that you probably thought you were a rationalist before you tried that awful ad hominem.

        • http://veesblog.wordpress.com/ VeroniqueD

          What? 3 down votes. You are a sensitive little bunny aren’t you!

          • Heather Dalgleish

            Well, not sensitive if the observation is still accurate…

        • S Mason

          Thanks for shouting at us. It makes your arguments much stronger…

      • S Mason

        There’s nothing “purportedly” about his stellar rationalism Heather. He has really no obligation to answer you… You are quite grandiose there, eh? And sensitive!

    • Meg Underdown

      I really must watch Dawkins and Rowan Williams. I have read some of each but it always seemed to me that Dawkins never really understood what he was arguing against and used to set up Aunt Sallies of the fundamentalist sort to have an easy target. He usually avoided arguing with those of true intellectualism!

      • S Mason

        Meg Underdown – I’m an ex-Catholic (nearly became a priest): he understands Catholicism very clearly. And the who do you argue with line is not a great one: public debates are not really a great way of establishing reality… He has deliberately and I think, totally understandably, refused to debate a number of serially dishonest ‘true intellectuals’. Well – fine. Why would he?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.hill.180072 Joseph Hill

    “Atheism is still with us. But the movement that threatened to form has petered out. ”

    Unfortunately, this probably has more to do with the fact that Dawkins decided it was a better idea to use his Foundation to do favours for his protégés, and give his mistresses executive positions – than, you know, actually strive towards the stated and promised objectives…

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/12WNaq29-iEAATE6RhhD91MRo6qFZIofxPxb6ulbYiJg/edit

    Oh, and he’s also achingly naive – and loves employing narcissists, and falling hook, line and sinker for their obvious codswallop. He’s been involved in ongoing litigation, and lost his YouTube channel for copyright infringement, due to the behaviour of one such narcissist.

    http://aintnogod.com/ipb/topic/8278-richard-dawkins%E2%80%99-youtube-channel-terminated/page-2

    And lying his little face off. He’s quite partial to lying his little face off, when it suits his self-interest, and maintenance of his public image.

    http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=30538&p=1351426#p1351426

    There is PLENTY to criticise Dawkins for, substantively. Believe me. And it’s more than this article could hope to cover.

    • http://www.facebook.com/redceltnet Red Celt

      “There is PLENTY to criticise Dawkins for, substantively. Believe me.”
      Uhm… believe you? If you rely on belief, you’re a strange kind of atheist. Oh… unless you aren’t an atheist and have grounds to attack Dawkins because of that? Citing Heather Dalgliesh’s personal (unrequited love) vendetta, with it, too? Ha. Hahaha.

      • John Smith

        Maybe unlike you, we believe in looking at substantive EVIDENCE, and not dismissing sources based on who they are, or what anyone believes their motives to be.

        Are the contentions outlined in this letter factually false?

        https://docs.google.com/document/d/12WNaq29-iEAATE6RhhD91MRo6qFZIofxPxb6ulbYiJg/edit

        Are the contentious laid out in this post factually false?

        http://aintnogod.com/ipb/topic/8278-richard-dawkins%E2%80%99-youtube-channel-terminated/page-2

        Is it false that Dawkins has a mistress whom he’s bought apartments, and about which he’s lied?

        Are these contentions false? And if not, do they make Dawkins worthy of criticism?

        • ow lafaye

          Best of all, What business is it of anyone to reveal Dawkins personal life or question it in order to discredit his works? we all have hundreds of sexual pecadillos, evidence of our humanity, not credibility.

          • Heather Dalgleish

            So far as I’m concerned, It’s not his personal life if it involves his charitable Foundation – if there’s conflict of interest in the running of said Foundation.

            Have you read anything else in the posts above?

    • ow lafaye

      The difference between you, the author and Dawkins is that Dawkins was well aware of his humanity.

      • Heather Dalgleish

        I’d love to see evidence of this purported self-awareness. You got any? It’s all too easy to grandstand and mime the lyrics of rationalism and humility – could you show me an incidence that demonstrates that he still knows the song, and is still singing it?

        As it happens, I criticised him directly for bullshitting, once – and coming straight back from that, he bullshitted about me behind my back, and called me a liar, when he knew I was telling the gospel truth. And then when I called him out on that – he then thought it would be a good idea to then try to bullshit ME – and right after I’d reminded him about the first rule of holes…

        http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=30538&p=1351426#p1351426

        And no, he hasn’t made any concessions or expressed any regrets even for the dishonest attempt to smear me.

        That’s not “merely human” – that’s a bit on the contemptible side.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guyfox1605 Guy Fox

    As a Catholic apologist I would like to thank the atheists, both old and new school, for attracting so much attention to the God question. We are winning converts in droves thanks to you. Our more intellectual seminaries like the Dominicans are brimming with brilliant young men, and we have you nice atheists to thank for this success. We Catholics are not only winning converts from your ranks, but from our Protestant cousins as well, who have come to appreciate our rich intellectual tradition through their study of Aquinas, Augustine, et al, which in many cases was triggered by such secret weapons like Christopher Hitchens. Oh, I miss Hitch! He was such a rockstar! I think the man may have converted more souls to the Ancient Faith than John Paul II

    • Chris Wilson

      Yes, they certainly inspired debate and made people think. I suppose it’s inevitable that a small percentage will arrive at the wrong conclusion off the back of that. If you look at actual, measurable figures, I think you’ll find that the tide is turning the other way. Here’s some to get you started; http://redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf

      • http://www.facebook.com/guyfox1605 Guy Fox

        This press release from a pro-atheist group is hardly sound sociology. It is true that the proles are loosing their religion, which is probably why the Roman Church elected Francis to stem the tide. I suspect that this has little to do with the triumphs of atheist arguments, but rather a complex web of factors. Some of these include: the Protestant religion running out of gas; the Catholics completely screwing-the-pooch in the wake of Vatican II; and an unrelenting stream of evil brought into the home via television, and from a greater hedonistic and selfish culture.

        • ow lafaye

          Right….the Catholic Church won’t admit fault….Francis will see to that….he passed the test didn’t he? He demonstrated at the conclave that he could move backwards faster than anyone else.
          Remember: In 300 years the Roman Catholic Church will refer to these times as one in which the church was falsely and malignantly attacked by atheists, non-believers, evildoers, government and Satanic enemies of Christianity.

          They will say:

          “Against a massive effort to discredit the piety and chasteness of the clergy with accusations of heinous crimes, the church and her followers fought a protracted battle against this evil… eventually triumphing in the name of Jesus and to the greater glory of the mother church.”

          I assure you that this will come to pass…this has always been the strategy of the criminal enterprise called Catholicism.

          • http://www.facebook.com/guyfox1605 Guy Fox

            Many proponents of the Catholic Church understand that since 1960s men with same-sex attraction were ordained as priests. Many of these men were attracted to teenage boys, and were in almost all cases responsible for the sex abuse crisis. The Catholic Church is not alone in this. Anywhere there are teenage boys you will find predatory homosexual men who are lying in wait.

          • JCF

            Request Moderation for Hate Speech.

          • allymax bruce

            “I assure you that this will come to pass”
            Ha !
            You’re funny; did you get that from our Prophetic Christian bible?

    • http://www.facebook.com/edella.smith Edella Smith

      Hitchens a *secret* weapon?

    • ow lafaye

      A GuyFox…dream on son…

    • allymax bruce

      My Granny Bruce was raised a Catholic, and she always told me she was the most clever in the family; we were all raised Protestant. I’m beginning to wonder if the denomination-dichotomy is well past its divide-by date! As far as I can see, we’re all Christians; the fact we’re accepting homosexuals have Rights like us, now in the 21st century, means we’ve actually moved way beyond the confounding differences that used to exist 400 years ago. I think it’s time to come together under one Christian ethos; as Christians.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Dream on.

  • DKeane123

    ” is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure” – Who?
    I love it when theologians comment on atheism. They use the same mushy “can’t be pinned down on an actual fact” reasoning that is used to “prove” the existence of god. No one has stated that question of religion being a force for good or bad as “simple” – so your very first assertion is off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rusty.yates.7 Rusty Yates

    Something has happened to this poor man’s brain – I think it’s Christianity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.murray.5055 Adam Murray

    “Institutional religion might be dubious, but plenty of its servants buck that trend with a flair that puts secular culture to shame.”

    This was the line which made my eyes widen the most.

    Might be dubious? That’s a stunning way of downplaying a world-wide child abuse scandal, over 2000 years of conflicts small and large between faiths… at personal and international levels, mutilation of babies genitals to appease God, the history of corrupt land ownership of the churches and their accommodation support of dictators and despots, the amassed wealth of the churches in the face of poverty and starvation… I mean the list just goes on and on and on when it comes to ‘dubious’ behaviour from institutional religion. How on earth can you try and sweep all of that aside in such a way and expect people not to call you on it?

    And then to go on and say that the religious ‘buck’ the trend… trend of what, dubiousness? I assume you mean buck the trend of corruption and abuse… with a flair? What does that even mean?

    That your very next paragraph cites someone criticising Dawkins for the ‘crudity’ of his approach is the kind of joke that leaves you wondering if you were being purposefully ironic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.kutchinsky Josh Kutchinsky

    The problem is, that I now seriously doubt whether the truly religious can be moral. I fear they can’t for they are inherently dishonest. Richard Dawkins, by contrast, is actually a mild, modest and honest man.

  • http://twitter.com/brettjonesdev Brett Jones

    “In previous generations, the atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted.”

    Maybe in the UK or among intellectual circles, but among ordinary people in the US, that is very much NOT the case. My own religious family is not alone in peppering their speech with references to “godless men”, and studies show that Atheists are the most discriminated against, beating out Muslims and homosexuals as the object of salt-of-the-earth types’ mistrust. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/155285/atheists-muslims-bias-presidential-candidates.aspx)

    I think that this frustration at being castigated as some sort of moral reprobate is the source of some of the ire the “New Atheists” exhibit. It doesn’t take many times being condemned or prayed for by a group known for its homophobia and regressive ideas before you lose restraint and start firing back with pointed observations on the utter lack of evidence for their beliefs or their institutional history of holding back progress.

  • David Lawson

    “Atheism is still with us” Could it possibly not be? Let me rephrase that tripe “The rejection of the claim that a god exists is still with us” Does that make more or less sense?

  • ow lafaye

    Yes wishful thinking. Atheism is surging to the front of people’s awareness and the media is covering it. To say that Richard Dawkins is a joke places the joke on the author.
    We have just begun.

  • http://twitter.com/HPluckrose Helen Pluckrose

    This is very odd. Atheism – the disbelief in gods. Throughout history atheists have disbelieved in gods. We still disbelieve in gods. All this waffle about religion being complicated is not the issue. The issue is ‘Do gods exist or not?’ This is very simple and is a scientific question. Religion being complicated or simple has absolutely no bearing on whether the gods actually exist or not. At present there is no reason to think gods do exist and many of us get annoyed when people try to use the rules related to these gods to deny women or gays equal rights. We say so.

  • rationalobservations?

    The greatest compliment to the ever growing majority of rational atheists (who form a rapidly growing majority within free, democratic and increasingly secular populations within the developed world) is that the ever dwindling and aging rump of those who are still in thrall to the ridiculous fables of religion no longer make any attempt to justify their indoctrinated childish delusions, but resort to irrational and logic/evidence devoid attacks on humanistic, humanitarian atheism.

  • lifegiver36

    I really hope its not true what this article is trying to say. We need more Dawkins and HItchens in atheism, not less. These so called “new” atheist sounds like the equivalent of christian apologists. I don’t want some soft, pansy, atheist who is afraid to offend someone being the new thing now. That is what we have had for the past hundred plus years with a few exceptions here and there. The reason they may not like the way Dawkins handles things is because he is blunt and to the point, and these new atheist lack any type of moxy to do the same. For hundreds of years we have had to deal with ridiculous explanations when it comes to things that deal with god/religion and its about time we have people who are willing to call bullshit, bullshit. These new atheist will be the death of the movement that Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennet have started and they will not be ushering in anything better, just a watered down, pansy, apologetic version of what they started.

  • J.C.

    Theo, my child: Why dost thou protesth so vainly? Hast thou a rod betwixt thy bumcheeks?

  • gcomeau

    How does something this nonsensical even get past an editor?

  • Urbane_Gorilla

    After the New Atheism? Oooh! Oooh! I know! It’s always the same…”Old Skool, New Wave and then Retro! It’s Retro-Atheism!

  • Chaotopia

    Anyone reading the article would need a heart of stone not to laugh out loud.

    Richard Dawkins and the new atheists “lost” even when the Census and other polls clearly show that there are now far more non-believers and atheists than there ever has been before?

    If that is failure then what on Earth does success look like? Presumably Theo would still be shrieking that the New-Atheists have “lost” even if (or when) every other person in the world became atheists.

    Once again Theo has spun exactly the same self-regarding arse-gravy and wishful fantasing (a particular specialty of the religious) that made his articles such a widespread laughing stock on the Guardian’s C-i-F.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.rawlinson.98 Jack Rawlinson

    As soon as I saw who the author was, I understood. Theo, Theo, Theo. You’ve been quiet, mate. I’ve missed your wild, biased, totally-detached-from-observable-reality rants against New Atheism. It seemed like your shtick was too much even for the hand-wringing religious apologists over at The Guardian, which is quite an achievement. I’ll give you that. Hopefully the Spectator will get wise to you in shorter order.

    This article is just… well, massively biased and riddled with selective observation and mad distortions. You shouldn’t be so dishonest, Theo. It isn’t Christian. I mean, it isn’t supposed to be Christian.

  • http://twitter.com/Hitchslap_82 Andy M

    This is a very biased article and the agenda of it is so obvious it’s almost tangible. Rather sad that believers have to resort to this kind of thing in order to try and gain some ‘leverage’ in a debate. I do agree that to a degree Dawkins has (and still is) alientating himself from some atheists, however not to the degree that is inferred here and also not to all atheists. There is a section of the atheist community which is, like Dawkins, particularly smug and arrogant about their self-deigned ‘superiority’, but there is a much larger section which, like all those with common sense, can separate the useful parts of Dawkins and his work from the useless parts.

    I am actually one of those who find it extremely irritating and unhelpful to have this arrogant and smug approach and I have relayed this message quite clearly to the individual who runs the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Facebook page, which I am now no longer a member of. Some of the self-indulgent, egocentric posts made on there were truly awful. However, to be fair they were not actually made by Dawkins, but rather by the individual who runs the Foundation, Sean Faircloth. That said, his views and the views of those who commented on posts made by the organisation are proof that this smug and arrogant element does exist in the atheist community.

    However, take a look at Dawkins’ Twitter feed. Although he does sometimes come across as arrogant and smug, he makes comments supporting more rights for women in Islam, holding the church accoutable for crimes, etc. His efforts are often noble, even though his demeanour may rub some up the wrong way.

    In addition to this, it has to be said that perhaps the religious community would not need to have articles like this written slating Dawkins, if he was not doing such damage to how they are perceived by others and also perhaps if they were not secretly angered that deep down, they too know he is smug because he knows he is correct. Smugness and arrogance does offend me, not because it is misplaced, but purely because I see it as a sign of being ungracious in what is a clear victory.

    Not to mention this idea put forward in this article that Douglas Murray “has the sense to turn down the role of the new Christopher Hitchens” is ludicrous. For years he has been lauded precisely as the ‘heir to Hitchens’. He is noted for regularly dissecting Islam and arguing in favour of defending civilised Western society, just as Hitchens did.

    Dawkins doesn’t get everything right and there are indeed areas that are up for debate, however the basic premise that logic and science trumps superstition and faith is one that has to be accepted unless you wish to live in a world of double-standards, grudgingly and discreetly using science when it benefits you in day-to-day life, but then wholly rejecting it when it challenges your beliefs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Carr/100001542808342 Steven Carr

    So, as 100,000 Muslims march to demand the deaths of some atheist bloggers, we get another article about how religion isn’t all bad.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Is that the relationship you want to have with the religion of peace?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Fay/1127268875 Simon Fay

    To judge by the tone of the comments here, the militant Atheists would appear to be shallow, vindictive, boorish and puerile, traits that I assume would be deemed virtuous in the brave new regime they are working to inaugurate.

  • mrwag

    76% of world are religious.You won’t get rid of religion so stop wasting your precious time (which is very precious as your don’t believe in nowt). Unless of course North Korea nukes the world and takes over…then you can have your non-religious world. Or you could just lighten up and join us good old religious folk…ha ha ha

    • rationalobservations?

      The TOTAL active membership across all “faith groups” combined accounts for only 3% of the UK population. Those ticking the “no religion/not religious box in the most recent UK census topped 54% and the number of those who actively reported themselves to be atheists doubled from around 7 million in 2001 to c14 million in 2011.

      Churches empty and are sold for redevelopment or better use as aging and dwindling congregations die and cease to exist with too few among the next generation to make any difference to that accelerating trend.

      Among the under 30s; the number who have no interest in and/or dismiss all religion is near 80% and increases with each decade and in each new generation.

      The predominantly and increasingly “non-religious” world now accounts for all free and increasingly secular democracies within the “developed world” and the many centuries of tyranny, domination, repression, torture, mass murder, crusades and inquisitions that made countless millions of innocents victims of “the church” is thankfully now only a bad historical memory.

      Regardless of the wishful thinking and dishonest propaganda of the last dregs of superstition, magic and “the gods”, the last home for such things is to be found among the poor and the ignorant peoples within the developing world and while “the church” preys upon them, secular charities and the growing atheist community do all we can to feed and educate those fellow members of our very recently evolved species of ape.

      Education dispels superstition and freedom, prosperity and democracy continues to defeat the evil totalitarianism of religion in all its many self serving and anti-humanitarian forms.

      If you truly wish to live within a “religious world”, maybe you should consider moving to a land still dominated and terrorised by Islam in an identical way that the west was once dominated and terrorised by christianity?

      • mrwag

        Get your facts right – it’s not hard http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20675307 And just because people claim they have no religious beliefs, it doesn’t make them atheists. They might be agnostic or lapsed, and many come back to their faith.You would be naive to think that a world without God / religion would be better. You can’t blame all the world’s ills (wars etc) on religion. The godless are a very dangerous bunch as well. The old establishsed church (Catholic and Cof E) might be in decline but other denominations are actually growing in the UK http://www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/Stories/National?storyaction=view&storyid=58 People will always long for something more. It’s called the God shaped hole! And don’t forget – you atheists owe your very existence to us God people. You’re welcome!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Thought for a moment I was back on the Catholic Daily Telegraph.

  • Glenn Colley

    This article is so wrong it is like a joke article.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    One argument for strengthening Christianity is as a bulwark against fast encroaching Islamization. Something of a weak argument; all you have to do is deport the *agheads.

  • inmydreams

    Prof. Dawkins started his campaign as reaction to the creationists in America, where they have created an anti-science environment, and to try to stop it spreading here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.schuldt Ben Schuldt

    This ignores the fact that getting an atheist message out there helps people swamped in religion that need a way out and have never even heard of anyone being against it. Are you comfortable in your unbelief? Great, that’s not everyone. That other people turn up their noses at the lack of sophistication of Dawkins is irrelevant and silly. Do the sophisticated defenses of religion *really* warrant attention? The article mentions lots of other names of people no one’s ever heard of as though they are doing it better. We could reference lots of sophisticated rebuttals to sophisticated religion that all the same people have equally never heard of. Good job. Richard Dawkins has probably had a stronger, broader impact in people’s lives than they did by shear numbers alone and I’m saying this as not his biggest fan. I guess it would have been nice if he’d dealt a populist crippling blow to the collective religious ego, but is anyone really capable of that? Non-belief is growing in the US and atheists are in fact in the midst of continuing to get their act collectivistically together. For better or worse, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett pioneered the way. And they deserve credit for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bulcotecowboy Stephen Barker

    I’m an atheist. I’ve always thought Dawkins was an inappropriate and embarrassing flag-bearer for atheism; what he has to say and how he goes about saying it; never read his book. What’s it going to tell me that I don’t already know? Anyhow, atheism does not need flag bearers as religions need flag-bearers. It is the default human setting until some external force (parent normally, school often, divine intervention .. er .. no) suggests otherwise. And until religious people work out that their having a faith (whatever it is) could unite rather than divide them, non-believers, already united without having to unite, will remain the largest single population group and religionists will not rule the world, even if they rule in a few countries. It surprises me that The Spectator gives (Judeo-Christian) religion and its institutions such credit and awards them so much space. I assume this reflects the god-delusion of Editors past and present, men arrogant enough to assume that the folk-story with currency where they happen to have been born, to the parents they happen to have been born to, is more likely to describe the truth of human creation and existence. Why care how we came to be here? Is there any chance that any of the world’s religions would turn out to have guessed right? And what value would it be to know? Was it Matthew Parris who said that ‘everyone is atheist in 999 religions, I just go the extra one’? Me too. Why not you?

  • alan_campbell

    What nonsense. The number of atheists is growing as religion withers. Reason is triumphant.

  • http://twitter.com/WatermelonBloke steven durrant

    Atheists are great! They know all about the universe and human psychology. They are not fundementalist or preachy in the least.

  • http://twitter.com/Anti_Intellect Anti_Intellect

    I am not a fan of Richard Dawkins. I think he represents the arrogant White supremacist patriarchal atheist who believes, ignorantly, that not believing in god is the same as moral perfection. There are racist atheists. There are homophobic atheists. There are sexist atheists. The atheist community, like all communities, has to grapple with the ways in which we perpetuate oppression outside of the concept of god. What is on the horizon is a new group of atheists who want to take an intersectional approach to our activism. We want to call out the fact that the “age of enlightenment” coincided with the “age of scientific racism”. We are under no delusions. The absence of belief in god does not necessarily make for a more humane or just world. Certainly, religion has often been behind some of the most horrific tragedies in human history, but if we believe that the world will become peaceful once we remove religions we are deluded. We still have to grapple with patriarchy, we still have to grapple with classism, we still have to grapple with white supremacy. I am proud to be a social justice atheist, and I can’t wait for men like Richard Dawnkins to get with the program or get out of the way.

    • towhichofthewitches

      Of course scientists in the past made mistakes and believed things that were wrong. The great virtue of science is that when these things were proven to be wrong, the scientific community accepted this and moved on.

      Do you have any actual evidence for believing that Dawkins is a white supremacist? His ire appears to be directed as much if not more towards the religion that has most white followers as he does towards any of the others. As for patriarchy. he’s clearly not perfect (he’s a man) but The God Delusion indicates sympathy towards the feminist movement.

      Single issue campaigning isn’t inherently bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.munday Jonathan Munday

    If God does not exist then everything must have occurred by Darwinian selection from the primeval soup as Dawkins postulates. Given that every species is at least 100 genes different from every other species, where are the inter-species? (Those chimps with 50% human gene changes). In the formation of humanity they must have been much more numerous than humans until humanity established itself. Where are they? Even if “the fossil record is incomplete” why did they all die out leaving only humans and separately chimps. Only a few of those 100 genes carried a competitive advantage or a breeding advantage.
    Where are the compromises?
    It’s not just humans its every single species differentiation, what happened to the much more numerous inter-species, if it was all random chance?
    Of course Darwinism happens but is it sufficient to replace God?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=603475743 Max Blinkhorn

    The key is in the word “belief” – you can only believe something for which there is no proof or evidence. If you are riding on a bus, then there are such things as buses!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Tiffany/100001926356049 David Tiffany

    I think most of those who would call themselves atheist or are questioning the purpose of life understand that the atheist movement is nothing more than rebellion against God. I think also that most of them are driven to this point because religion is confusing. There are many religions out there that claim they are the way. So what do you choose? I think for those who are confused, the best way to look for answers is to go to the Scriptures yourself and stop relying on others to to show you the way. There are religions out there that are false. For example: the Roman Catholic church tells us that it is by our works that we can be saved, when the Scriptures tell us plainly that we are saved by grace by believing what Jesus did for us at the cross and that we are not saved by works (Ephesians 2:8,9). He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. The Scriptures tell us that anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved. http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

    • Mario Strada

      Religion is not complicated at all. I got its number at the tender age of 10 and haven’t looked back. Thankfully, there have been people like you telling me that I was “rebelling” against an entity utterly improbable.

      But hey, if it makes you feel better to rage against strawmen, who am I to stop you? As long as you don’t legislate your beliefs you are welcome to your opinions. Just not mine, so don’t tell me why I am an atheist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=776968828 Roger Rabbitleg

      To rebel against god, it would be necessary for a person believe he actually exists first…So no, it is not a rebellion against god…actually it’s ignorance I’m rebelling against!

    • Ross Evans

      No, it’s a rebellion against a cult predicated upon easy answers; answers for which it has scant evidence.

    • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

      Well done, David, entirely agree

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pj-Denyer/1347498203 P.j. Denyer

      Right, and not smoking is a rebellion against Joe Camel and his son the Marlboro Man….

  • http://www.facebook.com/ExcitedaboutChristJesus Mark Henninger

    Acts 2:32, NLT: “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.

  • Pattrsn

    ” it is also a mark of the intelligent humanist’s desire to avoid simplistic ideologising and attempt some honesty about the human condition.”

    Now if we can only get religion to do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jez.davis.1 Jez Davis

    An article born of a long tradition of trying to ennoble oneself by denigrating greater minds. Dawkins and his comments may not be to everyone’s tastes but to pretend his arguments are a ‘phase’ is faux-argument at its most vapid and nothing more than a homage to New Labour’s ‘let’s have a mature debate’ approach to ad hominem. Not a good article and one for which the new atheists mentioned within will, I doubt, be grateful.

  • Ryan Brant

    I don’t worry and I very much enjoy live! Because of the peace I enjoy in Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior!

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.carling Craig Carling

    To be honest, I think this article is extremely disrespectful to one of the bravest smartest men alive. You state that Mr Dawkins has become some kind of laughing stock, when I have NEVER heard that from anyone but you. I am active in atheist circles and Mr Dawkins garners nothing but respect and praise for the good work he does. Only snobs like yourself think otherwise. Just because you do this for a living doesn’t give you the right to express your opinion as one of a majority as that is simply not the case.

  • Miyamoto Musashi

    Tabloid stuff, a joke of an article, but I suppose well done Theo you got your traffic

  • http://twitter.com/DelphineMarti15 Delphine Martinez

    Atheism is less a threat than is an attitude that faith in God means little.

  • Nosuperstition

    An omnipotent God created fallible, garden-dwelling humans, threw temptation in their path and acted surprised when they took the bait.

    Then the world went to shit, and God (whose omniscience, strangely, didn’t see this coming) drowned men, women, toddlers, fetuses, the mentally ill, the elderly, the infirmed…plus every animal that didn’t get a ticket to the floating zoo.

    Unfortunately, the world remained screwed up, eventually requiring a blood atonement.

    No, the omnipotent God didn’t merely blink forgiveness into the lives of his children, but instead impregnated a teenager (essentially fathering himself) so that he could grow up to be horribly tortured and executed in order to rescue humankind from the very Hell that He himself created.

    God made sure to carry out this plan in a primitive part of the Middle East, well before the invention of the printing press or the video camera.

    Then God decided the best way of revealing himself for the next 2,000 years would be to make rainbows and find lost car keys (rescuing tsunami victims and curing cancer? Nah).

    Ultimately, he’ll come again and (for some reason) give his arch enemy control of the planet for seven years before finally damning billions to writhe in agony forever. Fortunately, God apparently plans to wipe the memory of the heaven-bound so their 24/7 songs of praise to God won’t be hindered by the knowledge that their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and cherished friends are being cooked forever in a fire.

    Meanwhile, up in Heaven, in the midst of this non-stop, eternal pep rally for Yahweh, it’s assumed that many of the redeemed will become confused and wonder if they’d accidentally been sent to Hell.

    _____

    Yep. That’s pretty much it. -Seth

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    Ridiculous article, from The Spectator, no less? I’m disappointed a poorly researched opinion piece somehow managed to pass muster. It’s not even wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/rgsamways Robin Samways

    This was a terrible article. In no way, shape, or form should we soften the blow we’ve been dealing to pious idiots running around this planet. Keep on them, hit them hard, and make them pay for their nonsense views on life and death. They are fading away.

  • http://twitter.com/yourtaxdaddynow Regular Guy

    If atheism’s vigor is in decline, it is only to the extent that it is being supplanted by the establishment of a demonic one world false religion preparing itself for the arrival of the anti-christ. Every human worships something or someone….choose now or choose later…no choosing is also a choice…

  • José Alejandro Amoros

    Richard Dawkins clearly demonstrated his problem. He has an extremely materialist understanding of what is to be human. With this statement neo-atheists like him lost the battle.

    “With respect to those meanings of “human” that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Blair/100001984010666 Jack Blair

    The term “humanism” has been perverted. It is automatically associated with atheism today, which is a shame. Recall the high middle ages, when the popes and heads of state would would hold court and entertain “in high humanist style” (Greenblatt).

    As for morality and goodness, of course it is possible for an “atheist” to live decently. But a believer would explain that we are all made in God’s image; we are all designed to do good and be good to one another. Whether one believes in this God or not makes no difference. If God created us, then we have His imprint on our being.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frazer.glencross Frazer Glencross

    I rather like Dawkins, his confrontational style is very entertaining although, sadly, highly unlikely to influence people into changing their minds. I have to say though that i find belief in God, and the non thinking that seems to be compulsory in going with it, very sad. I can’t help but think its brainwashed people who despite growing up are still afraid of the dark

  • SimonNorwich

    Meanwhile…women in Afghanistan are still being jailed for the crime of not marrying their rapists, and thousands of girls across the world will have had their clitoris hacked off today. I hope you can find some “large injections of nuance” in that.

  • Mario Strada

    An article clearly ahead of its time. Meaning that except apparently in the writer’s neighborhood it assumes the fight has been won:”atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted.”
    No it’s not. At least not here in the US and not by a long shot. As far as these “new, new” atheists, they are actually pushing nothing terribly new. Atheists for decades have been advised to disbelieve in god if they wish, but keep giving religion all the respect they feel they deserve and in fact, envy that religion. When the religious hear atheists say “I wish I had your faith” what they really hear is: “I am wrong and you are right and maybe one day I’ll join you”.

    If “New New Atheism” means go back to pandering to religion, thank you, but no thanks. And tell Mr. DeBuffon to stop speaking for me.

  • Ross Evans

    One the subject of interesting conversations, where is yours? Surely Theo the theologian has more to offer than this trite drivel, or is this cocktail of misplaced triumphalism and pseudophilosophy your contribution to Christian apologetics?

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.j.duncan.52 Brandon John Duncan

    I think the whole point of this article is to bring us toward an engendered spirit of acceptance, with no exceptions :-) Not to pigeon-hole each other into monolithic categories that are in actuality idiosyncratic. The point of the new atheist is to divorce what one may consider foolish from the cultural and traditional spaces that the religious find sacred, and not to assume faith is always a dictum for the “believers” but rather can represent a SUPPORT and COMMUNITY for the works of good, based upon a shared experience. Not all religious people do good for the sake of “god’s favor” some do good because it is good, period. Through this understanding they have faith only that there is a god who also does good and will help out every now and again, whether that be existentially, unconsciously, or by moving a butterfly so that help of another human may cross their path. It’s a big giant world out there and nobody has the market on truth, nobody.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002943798951 Amelia Ingrao

    Why are they trying to apply a philosophy to atheists? Isn’t atheism supposed to be free of dogma? Atheists do not believe in deities, and there shouldn’t be anything else to it. The groups that organized were at first out of necessity because of low numbers and oppression. The conferences of atheists are, if anything, social gatherings where no one has to pretend or tip-toe around theists. This “new new” atheism or the cult-like “Atheism+” is destroying the previously content community that just wanted a free space to be left alone by theists. When the trolls were incessant, then atheists just wanted to express their philosophy as openly as others. There are no more blasphemous memes than there are religious e-mail forwards, 1 like=1 prayer reposts, or religious quotes. Yes, some more vocal atheists were harsh of tongue, but it was merely a response to having their morality questioned, being barred from public office, or operating under a motto that specifically excludes them. Or, outside of the U.S., actual threats of violence.

    • Daniel Maris

      Atheists believe in physicalism.

    • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

      The absence of belief is a faith position every bit as the presence of belief is a faith position.

      • FA Miniter

        Nonsense.

  • rblevy

    Atheists on your side of the pond haven’t been as persecuted or discriminated against for centuries the way they still are here in the U.S. Sorry, in my book Dawkins still rules.

  • johns

    why do people have so much time?

    • kelper

      please expand, so much time for what?

  • http://twitter.com/chaser27 Stephen Sponsler

    Don’t confuse religion with what actually is religion. Religion is life and life is religion. How one chooses to live their life is their religion. If one chooses to live a godless life it’s a conscious choice. The religion then, or way in which one chooses to live their life as one without god. What they fail to realize is that in many cases people were chosen to Awaken, while others seemingly are not that have their hearts set on not wanting to wake up. Thus, they live in the dark.not seeing the forest for the trees. All the knowledge in the world will never get one out of the forest, just very informed about the forest. There seems to be this presumptuous opinionated assumption that some how over the course of human history man had to make something up to give everything a reason that couldn’t be explained. But that is all that is. What it really is , is a high degree of ignorance veneered by layers of intellectual pride and imaginings in the mind that provides one the self-justification to assert ones presumptuous view of reality through tunnel vision presupposing that that is all there is to reality. If it wasn’t so sad it would be almost funny, but alas, the reason God doesn’t exist is because God is too unbelievable to be believable and that simply is not acceptable, yeah, thy ego be smashed…

  • mikehorn

    Dawkins remains an effective voice for both science (how he started) and for atheism (and yes, the two are different). Dawkins has been joined by many other effective voices, which means he is a success. Atheism has no priests, no dogma, so people are free to pick and choose what they agree with, and then express why they disagree with the rest. This means atheism is healthy, that many voices not only feel free to express, but also to disagree with one of the great early voices. Another example is Sam Harris, who makes some great points but also generates some serious disagreements. That is fine, too.

    Dawkins remains in my mind one of the greats, and I would happily listen to or read him in the future, and to recommend him to others. But I also have other choices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emmsflavell Emma Flavell

    As an Atheist myself, I never understand why Dawkins has allowed himself to become so Dogmatic! He used to be sublime, amusing, and now, well frankly he is irritating.

    The freedom he has as an Atheist he chooses to ignore, and instead, shackles himself to his own doctrine. He is, as bad, as the very Preachers he so vehemently detests, why any idiot would attempt to challenge peoples religious beliefs and hope to reach a conclusion that favors Atheism is beyond me!!! Come on Dawkins, stop showing off, your Dogma is showing!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emmsflavell Emma Flavell

    THERE IS NO GOD DAWKINS

    NOW WHY DON’T YOU STOP WORRYING AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!

  • FA Miniter

    “Religious roots of humanism”? Apparently, Mr. Hobson has not familiarized himself with the ancient Greek philosophers or with the ancient Chinese philosophers for that matter. A sad lapse in education. His emphasis – that religion has survived yet another onslaught from the freethinkers – takes its basis in an us-vs-them attitude. This attitude has ever more stridently over the last two hundred years (from the first geological map [1815] to the finding of dinosaur remains [1822?] to Darwin’s Origin of Species [1859] and the simultaneous display of gorilla remains in Europe to Hubbell’s discovery in the 1920s that the Milky Way is just a small galaxy and one of billions) strived to cling to the supposed literal truth of religious myths. While science has factually backed religion into a corner, some of its advocates try, as Mr. Hobson does here, to polish up the supposed ethical benefits of religion, which, according to them, have been the basis for civilized behavior. A casual glance at the last 1500 years of history should be enough to make on choke on that idea. Civilized behavior arises from the recognition that food, shelter and safety are more easily achieved by group action than by individual action.

    • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

      Atheism and theism both require faith since neither can objectively prove their case. Most believers tend to accept this, most athiests struggle to accept it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Damian-DeWitt/100000143081032 Damian DeWitt

        Absolutely correct. Silvan S. Tomkins – “Ideologies are tightly-woven sets of ideas about things about which which can have the least certainly. Therefore all ideologies require faith.”

        • FA Miniter

          Neither of you seems to take into account the simplest position of all:agnosticism. It is not necessary to believe anything at all. If it cannot be known, then it is either subject to probability theory or simply not important enough about which to form an opinion. Ideas about divinity fall into the last category, as there is no evidence that any god is involved with events in the universe.

          • mikehorn

            I would go further here, and say that agnostic is a modifier to theist/atheist. In the modern sense of these words, it is possible to be either gnostic or agnostic whether or not you believe in a god or not. Many atheists are comfortable with the stance “I don’t know” regarding many questions because what this means is that there are further questions to ask, and the basic forward-looking mindset that we will know more 10 years from now than we currently do, much less 100 or 1000. To be a gnostic anything is to close off possible lines of inquiry and consider a question so completely solved that no possible modification to our knowledge will happen. For this reason, gnostic theists are backwards-looking and inherently thwart the progress of knowledge.

            There are gnostic atheists, and perhaps Dawkins is one, but they tend to have the stance that the proposed Christian/Jewish/Muslim god is so preposterous, so ridiculous, so buffoonish, that it couldn’t exist as proposed. They take a similar stance on Santa Claus and underwear gnomes. Some even acknowledge that something might exist that we might label a god, but that thing would bear little resemblance to the god of Abraham.

          • FA Miniter

            Well said.

      • mikehorn

        Absolutely wrong. Theism makes a claim and attempts to provide evidence. Atheism is simply the stance that theists have not proved their claim. Atheism regarding the Abrahamic god takes as much faith as atheism regarding Zues, or atheism regarding leprachauns, or garden fairies, or underwear gnomes. If theists understand how they feel about the existence of underwear gnomes, they will understand Western atheists. Atheists keep batting at this one, because the idea that atheism requires faith is absurd.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dadblaster69 Will Hart

    This is a horrible article. I’ve never met an atheist who didn’t respect Richard Dawkins.

  • rationalobservations?

    Atheism is older than religion since the evolution of the species of ape we call “humans” pre-dates the invention of “the gods”.

    Old atheism? New atheism? New, new atheism?

    All meaningless labels applied by the dwindling number of those in thrall to the moribund and corrupt entirely human originated politico-corporate (obscenely wealthy and exclusively self serving) institutions of one ridiculous lie factory of “religion” or another.

    “Old” atheism?

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” – Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

    “All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.” – Lucretius (94 BC – 49 BC)

    “New atheism”?

    “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

    “The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is
    atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the
    siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with
    all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more
    intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel
    loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing
    more.”

    “By trying to adjust to the findings that it once tried so viciously to
    ban and repress, religion has only succeeded in restating the same
    questions that undermined it in earlier epochs. What kind of designer or
    creator is so wasteful and capricious and approximate? What kind of
    designer or creator is so cruel and indifferent? And—most of all—what
    kind of designer or creator only chooses to “reveal” himself to
    semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions?”

    – Christopher Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011)

    “New, new” atheism?

    Maybe better to ask any among the 54% who ticked the “no religion” box in the latest census. Or better still; the c80% among the under 30 year olds who dismiss all religions and shun all imaginary gods dreamed up by delusional and/or power hungry men?

    “Religion poisons everything” as a “new” atheist once wrote. That poison has an antidote called education and the antidote is making the free, democratic and secular developed world a better and healthier place with each passing generation and with each new generation of an ever increasing majority who are atheists.

  • LeopoldPlume

    Choosing not to believe in the divine is not ignorant. Choosing to believe in the divine is not ignorant. What is ignorant is thinking that you have an absolute answer and that the truth that you subscribe to is the only valid one. All of the wisest people in history have been exactingly aware of their own limitations. Gnothi seauton; don’t even try to answer the universe’s questions when you haven’t even discovered the nature of your own.

  • trytoseeitmyway

    Before y’all break your arms for patting yourselves on the back for so many years, be sure to read Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (2012).

    • mikehorn

      Hahahahah.

      OK, after I stopped laughing at Nagel, I might point out that he doesn’t understand what science is saying. He critiques cosmology and abiogenesis (not Evolution) because they are incomplete. That is moronic. Of course they are incomplete – that is how science works. We have working models for both of those that are much less sound than Evolution, but they are also more difficult subjects. Science starts with the “I don’t know” state and works from there to try and find out. Both Cosmology and Abiogenesis have quite a bit of “I don’t know” left in them. It makes them fertile fields of research, for any students out there.

      It is also important to point out that atheism is separate from accepting modern science. Nagel is an example. While science and atheism are correlated, they don’t necessarily go together all the time. Similarly, science and religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

      • trytoseeitmyway

        Very good. Yes, science and religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A sentence that means the same thing, by the way, as a sentence without the word, “necessarily.” Another good read is W.V.O. Quine, Two Dogmas of Empiricism.

        The trouble with aggressive atheists is that they think their decisions about burdens of proof and admissible evidence are written in stone somewhere. Handed down by God, perhaps. They’re not.

        • mikehorn

          About “necessarily”, any religion that emphasizes faith to the detriment or exclusion of reason and objective evidence is antithetical to science. There are faiths out there like that. Any faith that insists on the literal inerrancy of scripture or anything else is antithetical to science by definition. In science, nothing is beyond question, nothing is settled, nothing is “proved”. Even solid Theories like Gravity and Evolution have things we don’t understand, and the potential to be disproved. In fact, a Theory would not stand if it didn’t retain the aspect of falsification.

          About your second paragraph, we can only argue productively about what we can present objectively. How do you argue with personal revelation or non-correlated miracles? There is no basis for argument unless objective evidence is presented. I prefer to believe in as many true things as possible, and as few false things as I can manage. This means logic, burden of proof are the only viable starting points. A bit of personal revelation could be a bad bit of sausage pizza and an uncomfortable bed. Non-correlated miracles are so much hearsay and lack any sort of convincing power for a thoughtful person. That is why religions fall back on faith. Atheists just don’t buy the faith thing, because down that road lie charlatans and snake-oil salesmen, and astonishing amounts of gullibility. Reason and evidence cured polio and runs my computer. Faith does not. Give me reason and evidence any day.

          • trytoseeitmyway

            You nicely illustrate my point. Thank you. You want to insist on a definition of evidence that excludes counter example or disproof. You insist on a concept of reason that illogically assumes your conclusion. I have the same concepts of evidence and reason that you do; I just don’t limit myself to them.

          • mikehorn

            ? I explicitly said that counter example and falsification were important. I also said that faith does not include these. Can you clarify what you are actually saying?

            If someone on TV makes a claim they have seen bigfoot, and give a set of innuendo, fuzzy video, uncorroborated witness testimony, and some plaster casts claiming to be of footprints, are you going to believe them, or recognize the shoddy evidence and say that they need to present a good argument first? Atheists see much the same from the Abrahamic religions. Like your Apostle Thomas, we need to see, hear, feel, and examine real concrete evidence. I need the blood on my hand from the wound on the side, as it were. There is a nice story about this in a widely hyped book, but nothing close to verifiable.

          • trytoseeitmyway

            Yes, I understood what you said. You’re not listening to what I said. Yours is the ear- plugging “la la la la” of the true believer. Read my original comment. If you can’t follow it, then, believe me, I understand. So far, all you’ve done is confirm the accuracy of my observation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

            Of course I read and understood your first comment. You are also wrong. The only things we can argue coherently about exist in the real world. Things like coherent arguments, burden of proof, and evidence that stands on its own keep you from entering into circular arguments that waste everyone’s time. If you can’t agree to argue about real things in the real world, what point is there? Religion makes claims about what is and isn’t in this material world all the time, and science asks and answers coherent questions about many things that used to be the domain of religion. Today we are even starting to get good research into the whys, hows, and whats of human morality and arguing that outside of the “god said it” sort of silly arguments.

          • trytoseeitmyway

            So the only kinds of knowledge are those things that can be argued about coherently. Interesting. So that somehow “coherent arguability” is the touchstone to knowledge. Well, then, that’s your epistemology – and yet you’re evidently incapable of understanding how your unprovable assertions demonstrate the validity of my argument. You set the rules and then complain when others don’t follow them. You think that your rules are enshrined somewhere, but they’re just rules you made up. (“You” here doesn’t refer just to you individually but to those of like mind.) That you think the rules you’ve invented serve a purpose is helpful, but that just raises questions about efficacy and the possibility of other purposes. You’re not interested in these things because for all of your self-imagined sophistication, you’re as parochial as the next fellow.

          • mikehorn

            What other ways to argue are there? Arguing about the existence of a god is an odd proposition, because it involves special pleading on some level, that a god exists outside of what we can observe. There isn’t any way to argue that other than by assertion. Is this how you would wish to frame the conversation, by special pleading, personal revelation, and ancient revealed wisdom?

          • mikehorn

            I was just going to quit this thread as equivalent to arguing with a brick wall, but I am honestly curious as to how you would choose to frame the debate, what evidence you are willing to accept as compelling, what assertions you are or are not willing to start with.

    • rationalobservations?

      You recommend a book that is written by a professor of philosophy in which he challenges the most evidence based science (evolution) from a position of pure speculation and profound ignorance.

      The book may be summed up as nonsense since the evidence he claims is “missing” is available in abundance and the concepts he claims are not understood are merely not understood by Prof Nagel and the wider non-scientific community., but are very well examined, observed, tested and confirmed by all within actual the many actual scientific fields and disciplines of which he is ignorant.

      Nothing has overturned the science of evolution by means of natural selection and every year more and more evidence is added to the existing mountain of evidence that confirms and expands the understanding of the 4,000,000,000 years of the evolution of life on Earth right back to the first Chemical RNA “proto-life” and the first subsequent mutant primitive living cell from which all subsequent life on Earth evolved.

      The function of the brain of animals (and particularly the mutated large brain function of one species of ape we call “human”) is also well understood.

      There is no magic, supernatural or paranormal activity observable, required or needed at any time in the process and mechanism of evolution as we have trace it back nearly four billion years and observe it in action today.

  • http://raszl.com/ iraszl

    I have a beef with saying Dawkins has lost. There was no race or war to lose. It is unnecessary and misleading to frase the situation like this and it’s clearly done just to create controversy. I understand you need to attract clicks, so it’s excused. But just to be clear Dawkins did humanity a favor, he didn’t lose anything, and he continues to be an inspiration for new humanists of Today. Otherwise I agree that a new wave of atheists realized that they have to soften the tone to reach religious folks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/musu.foo Musu Foo

    Written by Theo Hobson…hmm…couldn’t be biased in the slightest, lol!

  • Matt

    Perhaps the religious have one by repeating their tired mantras and stale arguments which haven’t improved since Aquinas and Dawkins is incredibly bored of their stupidity. You have to marvel at his long term commitment to ending this stupidity, when really nobody would have to be an atheist if you could all just stop making shit up and pretending if affords you special privileges over another group of people making shit up.

    I’m only 21 and I’m bored of the religious!

  • Boggerman

    They can pray to their imaginary friend that I till pay 1 £ to read more of an article staring with empty insults.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markjamesadams Mark Adams

    The author’s attempts to sound twee, arrogant and oh-so-above-it-all comes across as nothing less than a vapid shill for the rapidly shrinking and waning Christian tradition. I know it must be threatening to see rapid and sound social change when one’s whole life has been based on a flaccid premise. Articles such as the above serve no part of the debate and merely marginalise the theist into a group of fellow Hyacinth Bouquets.

  • PaulCarlton

    “You’ve reached your limit of free Spectator articles for this month
    Subscribe from just £1 a week”

    My limit is apparently zero as I’ve never visited this website before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edandalelric Corey D’Anna

    This isn’t new atheism. It’s Agnosticism. As an Atheist I don’t say ‘there probably isn’t a god.’ I say there is NO god. Get over it. Fuck being PC. Stop trying to get the hate mongering, hypocritical Christians and Muslims to like you. They never will.

    • Red Mann

      While proving there is no god is technically impossible, the evidence for a god coupled with the evidence against said god makes the possiblity of its existance vanishingly small.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbwhittaker Whittaker David

    The only thing that has been ‘lost’ is a couple of minutes of my life reading this article. Being an atheist is not like being a believer. An atheist is someone who does not believe in a supernatural entity, that’s it.
    New, old, new new, old old atheism tags simply don’t make any sense to an atheist.
    All that matters is that slowly but surely atheism is becoming more and more mainsteam.
    C’mon Spectator you can do better than this.

    • Mary Squire

      Quite right.

  • Maineman

    “Atheism’s younger advocates are reluctant to compete for the role of Dawkins’s disciple. They are more likely to bemoan the new atheist approach and call for large injections of nuance.”

    Nuance? It is precisely the “nuance” in religious language that allows it to manipulate while being immune to rebuttal. The authors use of the word “nuance” in the above passage is a perfect example. Saying that young Atheists want more nuance means what? What does nuance mean in this context? It communicates nothing, and i’d wager that the author couldn’t articulate that either. Yet people read and perpetuate the “ideas” presented by this obfuscating language. This is just one small example of why this article is Bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/layflatmetal Mark Slone

    Religion isn’t complicated at all. How to get through to religious adherents, that is the only complicated part. Their circular logic and refusal to use common sense is baffling.

  • Xwendekar

    Millions of Evangelical Christians in America have had a hand (each in their own small way) of ensuring continued war and strife in Israel in hopes of fulfilling their cataclysmic End Times prophecy. Amongst them, there’s many an otherwise harmless old bitty that’s turned her hand to a church bake-sale or two in her career, and perhaps shoveled out a meal for a homeless person. Do these admirable deeds cancel out the much greater evil for which Evangelical Christianity is responsible? I think not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      You are an ignoramus on the subject of Israel.

      • Xwendekar

        And you, sir, are very apparently an ignoramus on the subject of Evangelical Christians, their involvement with Israel and their influence on its settlement building efforts, as well as both domestic and foreign policy over the past 30 years. Not that they’re singlehandedly responsible for Israel’s various catastrophies of course, but they’ve definitely done their bit.

  • Dane Curbow

    This entire article is rubbish. It reads like religious propaganda in its attempt to trivialize the atheist movement and call it beat. Especially in claiming that Dawkin’s is done. He has done so much for this movement and it isn’t ending. My state is up to a 25% non-religious population. That is meaningful and shows a clear trend in the direction things are heading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yavvy Alan Yaverbaum

    Meh.. Its been said by other commentators below, wishful thinking, nonsense etc etc.

  • http://twitter.com/RosemaryRue Beatrix S.L

    The only joke here is this article and the author who wrote it.

  • http://twitter.com/RosemaryRue Beatrix S.L

    Well this is the clown who wrote this lousy article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_Hobson
    He apparently does Christian art as a hobby. Bias, much?
    http://theohobson.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.pugglesworth Christopher Pugglesworth

    Richard Dawkins represents more than Atheism, he represents critical thinking. Most of what he does is in reference to religion, but like most cynics, he talks equally well about ghosts, psychics, unicorns and other fantasy topics. While, rational thinking goes in and out of favour with the majority, there will always be a core scientist who use it for progress. People have more faith in scientists than priests than they admit. How many people take the sick and injured to church compared to hospitals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rocco.d.giacomo Rocco De Giacomo

    Dear Theo,

    Atheists don’t have popes that need replacing once they have expired. We are simply people who need facts rather than faith to believe that something is true. If a prominent atheist dies he/she doesn’t take the facts with him/her, weakening the resolve for the rest of us. Facts are facts, and if Dawkins is having a little tiff with other atheists, it doesn’t make the facts any less true. After all these years, religious types are still trying to fit us into to their faith-based paradigm.

    • mikehorn

      And the nature of his tiff with other atheists doesn’t discount the other things he has done or said, because those thoughts and arguments stand on their own merits, without regard to the person or anything else he has said or done.

  • Zeromus

    “What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers.”

    I’m sorry, but I don’t find non-believers stoning the innocent, or stoning women, or making legislation against gays, banning stem cell research because gawd, bombing buildings because they have abortions in them, strapping explosives to their children and sending them to die, flying planes into skyscrapers, etc… to do that you need religion.

    • Peter Bensley

      Or some kind of ideology, like nationalism, fascism or Stalinism.

      What you’ve done there is you’ve confused immorality with specifically religious styles of immorality. Of course the nonreligious don’t do evil ‘because gawd’; they are nonreligious. That does not mean that they are incapable of evil.

      Weinberg’s quote that “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion” betrays a frankly insane belief in the inability of one’s own sort of people to be misguided – exactly the same kind of lunatic arrogance displayed by people who believe they cannot be misguided because they are guided by God.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1377173672 Bryan Richards

        No one said atheists cannot be bad people. That quote does not mention evil people that do not believe. the purpose of the quote is to show that religion can cause good people to be immoral, whereas without god/religion you have to be bad to do bad things.

        You aren’t motivated by what you do not believe in. Unless manticores or unicorns somehow influence you to suicide bomb because you don’t believe in rainbows coming out of a pop tart cat’s ass.

        • Peter Bensley

          I understand all of this. However, people often have false beliefs which owe nothing to religion, beliefs which lead them to do evil things in the misapprehension that some greater good will come of it.

          It is insane to pretend that these ideologies do not exist, and it is intellectually dishonest to define followers of misguided nonreligious ideologies as ‘evil’ and followers of misguided religious ideologies as ‘good but acting evil’ for the purpose of focusing blame on your least favourite type of ideology.

      • Zeromus

        No one said that evil people cannot be atheists. The quote merely says that religious belief in something is what causes good people to do terrible things, like the milgram experiments showed.

        You do not find non-believers commiting religiously specific evil deeds because you do not have the tools to convince them as you would with a christian or muslim for example.

        • Peter Bensley

          The Milgram experiments had nothing to do with religious belief; in fact, they showed that people would go along with authority – secular or religious – in doing things that their individual conscience would not otherwise permit.

          Again, ideology is what makes good people do evil things. It does not matter if that ideology is religious or secular, it is insane to argue that one or the other type of ideology is exempt in the face of the vast historical evidence to the contrary.

          • Zeromus

            Exactly… authority, what religions and state ideologies are all about. I never said good people outside of religion were exempt from evil deeds… I can only reiterate that so many ways before I’m going to give up on trying to get it through.

          • Peter Bensley

            Actually, you did say that. You attacked the statement that “What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers” and defended Weinberg’s claim that “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion”.

            If you don’t believe that non-religious good people are capable of doing evil things due to being misguided, just as religious good people are, then you agree with the statement you were complaining about in the article, and you disagree with Weinberg.

            You can’t have it both ways: Either religion is unique in the world as the sole source of misguided evil, or it isn’t.

          • Zeromus

            I doubt Weinberg was presenting the claim that religion is the only thing that misguides good people. It would be chief among them though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kazer64 Jesse Herban

    god is fake!!!!! grow the fuck up people

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Edwards/1465421136 Kyle Edwards

    What a crap piece of writing..

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.joyce.56 George Joyce

    What is so unacceptable to people (religious AND non-religious alike) that some people just dont believe the same bullshit you do? I started looking into atheism because of Douglas Adams, who I later found out was a very good friend of Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is a scientist, Adams was an author. It doesnt take much to figure out that people can and will come up with their own version of things and it doesnt need a veritable list of psychologists or published philosophers (absolutely no actual verification in that statement at all). All i have found from atheism is that it is just another set of rules to follow when thinking about things. I am not religious in any way whatsoever, and I do believe that there is no god of any kind. However. This only makes me an atheist by pure deconstruction of the word and what that means. I am not an Atheist for the sake of making Atheism acceptable and that people should respect my view; people should respect my view regardless of what it is. I didnt even know Atheism was any kind of trend until someone told me there is a legitimate Church of Atheism…isnt that kind of going in the wrong direction? As humans we only have ourselves to blame for our imperfections, So what’s wrong with just accepting that fact and not getting so down about it?

    • Red Mann

      Rules of atheism, church of atheism? WTF? No such thing exists. What counts are the rules of having evidence to support your beliefs. Religion has no evidence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681231220 Kishan South

    The virtues of religion are ever exaggerated by the religious, and this sounds a bit like a last-ditch effort to make an argument for them.

    Above the small community level, where has religion gotten us at all? I’ll tell you: The Inquisition, Palestine, 9/11, Mormonism… Need I go on?

    Religion brings out the worst in people because it is, by definition, divisive. You’re either with our god(s), or you’re against us.

    Pfft, PLEASE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000134791115 Tom McLachlin

    The reports of New Atheism’s death are greatly exaggerated. The very success of atheist arguments put forward by Professor Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris has put them on the bull’s-eye of every theist dart board. Absent any compelling evidence for a god, those gentlemen are subjected to the kind of character assassination and libel we just observed in Theo Hobsen’s cut up.

    Theists may take offense at how the new atheists deliver their messages, but inconvenient truths remain true regardless of how they are stated.

    The issue between atheists and devout of all faiths is: Do one or more supernatural beings exit who are responsible for the creation of our universe? This is a YES or NO question. 100% conclusive results are a rare occurrence in most fields of science. Today results could be summarized as “Nothing so far, but we still have lots to learn.” Or “We haven’t found anything which can only be explained by ‘God did it’”. There is an answer to this question and humanity continues to look for evidence.

    Questions about what such a god might be called and, whether such a god has communicated rules to humanity and, what are the rules, are all secondary questions. They are meaningless to the atheists until there is an answer to the primary question about the existence, or not, of supernatural beings.

    Do religious organizations ever contribute to the welfare of anyone? Of course they do, but a lively debate can be had about whether secular organizations could accomplish the same thing. Yes they can and do.

    Do religious organization ever contribute to the harm of anyone? Oh yes they do, all the while claiming moral high ground. Is it important to speak out against these entrenched and repugnant practices? Yes again. It seems atheists must lead this charge because everyone else is willing to sweep such evil under their prayer mats or alters.

  • TheJabbaWocky

    the three Abrahamic religions promote promote a believer to discard personal senses and obvious realities in favor of blind faith …. literally placing ones faculties and decision making processes in gods hands ,,,,, in this process in varying degrees they part them selves in some ways of responsibility for their actions ….. “its gods will”
    THIS IS BAD !!!

    religion has no boundaries … is not falsifiable … thus anything can be made a religion … this has been made clear with the church of the flying spaghetti monster … in context no more crazy then talking snakes, talking burning bushes and a pegasus

    and we accept this …
    if you place patently insane belief in a religious context … its magically made viable

    this mentality is dangerous it allows one to believe the manifestations of their imagination to be real/divine and dictate how they interact with others ….

    the same rights allow a man to thank god for his meal also support the guy who believes his blowing himself up will get him 72 virgins …

    this is the gamble you play when allowing religion to exist

    • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.a.gander Charlie Aurum Gander

      and stalin’s gulags are what you get if you make to great an effort to prevent it from existing, and frankly what is really dangerous is when people assume to tell others not how to act, but how to think. i’m smoking a joint as i type so i can’t really criticize someone saying grace before they dine, but hopefully, one day, they will both be equally exceptable (because they harm an equal number of people, zero) and no one will have to blow themselves, or go to prison for that matter, for either of them.

      • rationalobservations?

        A few decades of mass murder, persecution,, terror and torture together with Stalin’s gulags; are what you get when an absolute dictator invents a new ideology and persecutes and murders all who disagree with him and his ideology.

        Some 16 centuries of mass murder, persecution, terror, torture, crusades and inquisitions are what you get when and absolute dictator (Roman Emperor Constantine) cobbled together a then new religion called “christianity” in the 4th century.

        The common factor within fascism, communism and religion; is dictatorship and totalitarianism. The antidote to dictatorships and totalitarianism is education and democracy. The ever more rapidly growing result of education and democracy.., is atheism.

      • Red Mann

        The gulags were not the result of no religion, they were the result of the madness of clinging to power at all costs. Besides a good argument can be made for Communism being a religion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derek.sivrais Derek Sivrais

    Whoever wrote this is so fucking stupid, I don’t even know what to say about them. Dawkins is far from irrelevant, and still widely respected in the atheist community. Good for him to break the taboo of not questioning religion. This author is just a pussy whos afraid to actually criticize religion.

  • Simona

    This is such a non starter as a piece of writing. It is uninformative and uniformed.
    The author is so out of touch with reality that its a wonder the piece got past the editor.
    Onward athiest soldiers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/argebus David Meadows

    “In previous generations, the atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted.”

    Really?!!! Wow. That’s rich.

  • suetamani

    hahaha seems like even the Spectator is still riding on Richard Dawkin’s coattails to get readers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.andiamo Tony Santos

    Such self-delusional gloating. If this article had been any longer, distaste would have turned to sheer nausea. Atheism isn’t going anywhere, but up, Richard Dawkins is far from a marginalized joke, the best part? The writer knows it. This is the gloating self-congraulatory grasp of desperation. In the end, it’s clear that even the writer knows that religion as we know it is doomed. And not a moment too soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=717616571 K. Signal Eingang

    It seems to me that the most salient criticisms of Dawkins aren’t coming from the mushy middle and their calls for “civility” (meaning, it’s fine to be atheist but please don’t bring it up in public), but rather from people like the so-called “A+” wing (PZ Myers, Greta Christina, et al) who agree with Dawkin’s general view of religion, but want to see atheism engage positively with social issues like poverty and women’s rights rather than remain a movement that sometimes seems to have no higher purpose than to antagonize the faithful…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Denis-Gotlib/100000865255136 Denis Gotlib

    How has he lost? that’s quite an assertion there…

    I am not a huge fan of Dawkins, but the greatest tribute I can pay the man is to commend his battle against Islam. Islam is NOT a religion of peace, it is a religion of war. This isn’t “islamophobia”, it’s islamo-fact. I don’t care if the multiculturalists are often atheists, their lack of belief in a deity is where my similarity to them ends. I despise them as much as any “believer” because they believe in the religion of nihilism. They don’t have the cojones to admit that some cultures are actually evil, in their cowardice they insist that all ideologies are equally benevolent. Cowards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580158817 George Harris

    I’m sorry Theo – you misrepresent the young atheist. We will not shirk the responsibility of holding religion’s persistent record on the brutal repression of culture and science and free expression so easily. This article doesn’t even attempt to engage with any of the ideas represented in any of the “New Atheist” literature and instead relies on lazy caricature. But hey, what’s new – another example of the left trying to intimidate and silence legi