Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
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12-11-2015, 08:22 PM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 08:19 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(12-11-2015 08:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  What doers he not understand? Consider

Not accepting those beliefs as true does not mean that they are not understood.
True, I agree that just because someone does not believe something does not mean they don't understand. However in this specific case he really does not understand vary basic christian beliefs. Some of the question he raises can be easily answers by a 4th grader in Sunday school. I am not saying he has to believe any of it but it would be beneficial for anyone to understand the basic beliefs of a religion that they choose to reject. Otherwise it just sounds like ignorant bigotry.

Which belief(s) in particular are you referring to?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-11-2015, 09:02 PM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 06:10 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(12-11-2015 05:51 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  The only evidence of most of those claims comes from the Gospels, and it is generally agreed by most Biblical scholars that those were written many years after Jesus' death, and probably by people who never met him or knew him -- i.e., they are hearsay. I have very little confidence that Jesus (if he even existed) claimed to be God or predicted his own death. And even if he did, so what? Lots of people have claimed to be God, including the Roman emperors of Jesus' own time.
So why did all the apostles including Paul (with the exception of John), allow themselves to be martyrs for something that did not happen? I mean... Apparently they are the only ones who knew Jesus personally so why would they die for him?

Ah yes, the die for a lie argument. Steve Shives did an excellent if rambling takedown of this in his 16-video-long review of Strobel's "The Case for Christ". It's addressing Strobel's presentation of the argument, of course, not yours, but bearing that in mind his answer to Strobel answers yours as well.

Strobel discusses the "circumstantial evidence" for Christ (being, specifically, the supernatural resurrected son-of-god messiah savior Christ and not just some historical preacher at the basis of legendary embellishment) with Biblical scholar J.P. Moreland, and Moreland says (and I'm not sure if this is an exact quote): "Five examples? Five things that are not in dispute by anybody? Exhibit One: The disciples died for their beliefs."

Steve responds (warning, this contains a swear, so shield your easily-offended Marine eyes...)

Quote:This is a really, really bad start considering that Moreland just said that he was going to give us five examples that aren't in dispute by anybody. As you shall see, the claim that the disciples died for their beliefs, which is the vaunted "die for a lie" argument, one of Lee Strobel's favorite arguments, is not only disputed, and easily disputable, it's also a really weak bullshit argument. So let's dive in, shall we?

Moreland describes how the followers of Jesus were very depressed and discouraged following his crucifixion, since anyone who was crucified was believed to have been cursed by God. It was not a very good thing. And Moreland says, quote, "Then, after a short period of time, we see them abandoning their occupations, regathering, and committing themselves to spreading a very specific message - that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of God who died on a cross, returned to life, and was seen by them."

What is the source for any of the facts that Moreland just asserted? Hang on a second, I'll show you the source. The source for what Moreland just asserted... anyone want to guess what it is? Come on... what's the source?

Here Steve holds up a Bible.

Quote:There it is. Right there. That is the source for the disciples abandoning their occupations, and regathering and committing themselves to preaching the gospel. It's in here. And if we have learned nothing else over the previous fourteen videos in this series, it is that this [the Bible] is not enough to assume the truth of the claims asserted therein. This is not a reliable source for historical information, given both its history of how it was written and compiled and the nature of the claims that it makes. You need more than this. But as you will see, they really ain't got more than this. So.

Moreland describes the hardships that were faced by the disciples: their lack of reliable food and shelter; the public ridicule they had to endure; beatings; imprisonments; and ultimately torture and execution. And Moreland says, quote, "For what? For good intentions? No, because they were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had seen Jesus Christ alive from the dead. What you can't explain is how this particular group of men came up with this particular belief without having had an experience of the resurrected Christ. There's no other adequate explanation."

Now Strobel, to his credit (although not really, because he's being disingenuous, as he admits in a minute), Strobel brings up followers of other religions who died for their beliefs. He brings up Muslims and Mormons and members of cults like Jonestown and the Branch Davidians who died for their beliefs. Moreland insists that there is a very important difference between those followers of other religions and the disciples of Jesus. And that difference is this: the disciples claimed that they had personally seen Jesus, witnessed his death, and seen him alive after his crucifixion and resurrection. If their claims weren't true, then they were dying for something that they knew wasn't true. In other words, Muslims who are suicide bombers are dying for things that may not be true but that they may sincerely believe, whereas if the disciples were dying for a lie, they were knowingly dying for a lie, and that is the key distinction according to Moreland and Strobel. And Moreland says, quote, "And when you've got eleven credible people with no ulterior motives, with nothing to gain and a lot to lose, who all agree they observed something with their own eyes - now you've got some difficulty explaining that away."

Source for the claim that the disciples were eleven credible people with no ulterior motives? Right there! There it [the Bible] is again, the only source! We have no idea what sort of people the disciples actually were, or what they saw or thought they saw or how they died or even if they actually lived at all. They never wrote a single word. The only source we have for them, for their names, for their association with Jesus, for everything that is known or thought about them, is this. The Bible. Which was not written by anyone in their group, and probably not even written by anyone who personally knew anyone in their group, and the only source other than this is the traditions of the church that founded itself on this, and most of those traditions did not originate until centuries later. The really early traditions can date back to maybe a few decades after the life of Jesus, but most of the church traditions that give us details about the lives and deaths of the disciples originated centuries later.

It should be noted that Steve's repeated comments about the questionable authorship and reliability of the Bible and the late development of church traditions are not his own bald assertions. They were brought up and acknowledged by Strobel in earlier chapters, even though Strobel tried to spin them in his favor.

Quote:Strobel says of the disciples, quote, "If they weren't absolutely certain, they wouldn't have allowed themselves to be tortured to death for proclaiming that the Resurrection had happened."

... the most powerful and obvious objection to this die for a lie argument is to point out that it's based on assumptions about the disciples that are not supported by reliable history. Before you can ask why the disciples would die for something they knew to be false, you first have to explain why I should believe that the disciples lived and died as the Bible and church traditions describe. You're getting ahead of yourself.

But let's get beyond that. Let's for the sake of argument, for the sake of this video, for the sake of examining the die for a lie claim, let's just grant that the New Testament and these various later church traditions that cropped up to describe the deaths of the disciples in later centuries are giving us an accurate account of their lives and their deaths. Is it really such an open and shut case? Is there really no other plausible reason why the disciples might have gone to their executions without renouncing their Christianity?

Well the website "Debunking Christianity" has a really excellent article on this subject... it brings up a very important question that Strobel and Moreland of course don't address here at all, and that is, what if the disciples were killed because of their Christianity, but they weren't given the opportunity to save themselves by recanting? This whole- this argument presupposes this choice that the disciples were given, that they were killed for their beliefs and that if they had only renounced Jesus they would have been allowed to live. There's no reason to make that assumption, even if we go far enough to assume that their martyrdoms actually took place as believed by Christians. There's no reason to assume that they could have saved themselves by recanting or renouncing their testimony. And the article specifically mentions the execution of Peter, which according to tradition took place in the aftermath of the burning of Rome in the year AD 64. Emperor Nero blamed the fires on Christians and made them the fall guys, the scapegoats if you will, for the fire, and set into motion a campaign of persecution against Christians, and it's during this persecution that it's traditionally believed that Peter was executed. But here's the key point. Peter was killed because he was a Christian, but he was killed because his Christian sect had been identified as a threat. Not because of his beliefs. Whether Peter recanted his belief in Jesus or not would have made no difference, which means that the die for a lie argument does not apply at all to the martyrdom of Peter, who was the most celebrated of the disciples and whose supposed death by that inverted crucifixion is by far the best known among Christians to this day.

And it's also a baseless assumption that they would have recanted in order to save themselves if they were given the opportunity. In the last video of this series I mentioned the eleven witnesses for the Book of Mormon. These were eleven men who signed their names swearing that they had seen, and in the case of eight of them actually handled, themselves, the golden plates that Joseph Smith claimed he had been shown by an angel from which he translated the Book of Mormon. These eleven men swore, putting their names on the dotted line, that they had seen and held these golden plates. That they actually existed, Joseph Smith was telling the truth. And they maintained their testimony for the rest of their lives, even after they fell out with Joseph Smith and were excommunicated from his church, as all of them were. Now, seeing as how Lee Strobel and J.P. Moreland are not Mormons, I assume that they agree with me that these eleven men were lying when they said that they had seen and held the golden plates. But why would they never recant these lies, even after splitting from Smith's church? What could they possibly have to gain by maintaining the lies to the end of their lives even after they split from the church? And in that same vein I might also ask, why did anyone still follow William Miller after the Great Disappointment in 1844, I believe it was. Most of the Millerites abandoned the movement after that, but a lot- a core group remained and eventually became the Seventh Day Adventists. Why do people to this day still donate millions and millions and millions of dollars a year to people like Benny Hinn or Robert Tilton or Peter Popoff, these televangelists who have been exposed repeatedly as frauds going back decades. It's well established that they're frauds and liars and yet they continue to pull in donations from people. Why did people, last year, 2011, believe Harold Camping when he told them that the world was going to end, even though he himself had been wrong in predicting the end of the world before, and so had every other person before who ever predicted the end of the world, ever, including the aforementioned William Miller? Why is it that some Catholics continue to insist that children were not sexually abused by priests? Why do people continue to support politicians who have been revealed as frauds and hypocrites or criminals? Why- why do people do any of these seemingly illogical and irrational things that are easy to say, oh, no, no one would ever do that? But people do it all the time. And why do people do it? Well, I think it is because we all have a very powerful capacity for self-delusion, and because the idea of serving a greater good is very, very attractive.

Next up, Steve (a film geek) brings up a scene from the film "The Last Temptation of Christ", which I'll summarize. In the film Jesus survived the crucifixion and settled into obscurity, working and starting a family like anyone else. Later in his life, he encounters Paul preaching the Gospel and telling of his road to Damascus moment, and confronts him, saying he never did any of those things. Paul tells him that this is not important, because the story of the resurrected Jesus has power to make people happy. It's a noble lie, and Paul is creating the truth: the resurrected Jesus. The real Jesus doesn't matter.

Quote:Now, this is just a scene in a film. It has no counterpart in the Bible or anywhere else in Christian tradition. ... It proves nothing. But I think it demonstrates that this sort of thinking exists. I mean, does anybody want to deny that people are capable of the kind of rationalization that Paul demonstrates in that scene? ... Most of us are not only capable of imagining other people behaving like Paul behaves in that scene, but to one extent or another we've been guilty of it ourselves.

Strobel, of whom as I said the die for a lie argument is a particular favorite, acts as if the only possible reason the disciples would have gone to their deaths without recanting their testimony about Jesus is if they knew it was the truth. But I can think of a few reasons why they might want to die for a lie.

If they believed as Paul believes in that scene I just described that their lie was serving a greater good, I think they might.

If they believed that the teachings of Jesus were valid and beneficial to people, if they believed others would be helped by believing in the promises of Jesus even though they, themselves, the disciples, knew that those promises were false, I think they might.

If they wanted to spare their families and their friends the embarrassment and disillusionment of learning that the leader to whom they'd devoted their lives was a false prophet, I think they might.

It's not difficult to imagine possible motives other than the actual resurrection of Jesus for the disciples to choose to die for their beliefs rather than expose them as false. Unless your motive is to establish that the resurrection was true, in which case you're going to want to discourage people as much as possible from imagining other plausible explanations.

And then, having said all that about the die for a lie argument ... given that all we know about these disciples and their martyrdoms is from church tradition, it's entirely possible that they actually did recant their faith in Christ. But since the only source we actually have about them is Christianity, and its scripture and its church tradition, how would we possibly know about it? The church has venerated these mean and their deaths for two thousand years. What reason would the church have to tell us about them recanting their testimony if indeed it happened two thousand years ago? So even if it happened there is no way we would know about it.

I think I might go so far as to believe that some WOULD choose to die for a lie, but I'd have trouble of believing that all would. So tell me, since I'm wondering about what your historical research told you. Were all of the disciples -- not the later followers, not Christians in general, not the indirect ones who got converted but didn't witness the resurrection firsthand, but the specific disciples who would have known it to be a lie -- confirmed by any independent historical account to have been killed for their beliefs, and that they could have saved themselves by recanting, or even that those particular individuals actually existed? Is there any verification of this at all independent of the Bible and church tradition?
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12-11-2015, 09:20 PM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 08:01 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  5) It is, then, a false dichotomy to ask us to pick between "was the embodiment of God who died for your sins" and "claimed to be the embodiment of God who died for his claim". The Romans would not have crucified Jesus for claiming to be God; they would have done it for challenging the power structure of the Romans who had just conquered Judea, in a time when civil war was looming, by claiming to be King of the Jews (as the Messiah would have been). All this stuff about being God Incarnate did not emerge until Paul, and is not mentioned outside of Paul's epistles, except for the verses in John which were written more than 60 years after Jesus' death and 50 years after Paul's letters by 3rd- or 4th-Generation Christians.


Hence my mentioning Pliny's letter. My post was ignored of course. I'm just a guy who studied ancient literature and the Bible. What would I know?

The Roman's had no interest in killing their tax paying citizens and Crucifixion was reserved for a specific crime. Certainly nothing Jesus did.

You can pretty much guarantee Tiberius never heard mention of the name Jesus or Jeshua or whoever the hell he was.

All religious worship was free in Rome. In Pliny's letter he expresses he gave each martyr three chances to bow to the Emperor's statue. Obviously only the fanatics did not. These days those xians would be strapping bombs to their bodies up and blowing up markets.

Under Diocletian xians were fair game. This is centuries later. But under Tiberius???? No way. No how.

The Roans did not really care what the Jews thought until Caligula put his own statue in their temple. Then things got a bit, er, uncomfortable? Wink

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12-11-2015, 09:21 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2015 09:34 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 07:43 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  There are plenty of atheist here who are very knowledgeable about the role of Jesus and how his death was significant according to the bible.
Sure. Plenty of people who were once Christians and possibly thought they bible made sense and then somehow managed to rise above the brainwashing, open their eyes and use a critical approach to assess the bible, then came to the conclusion it was non sense. Ditched it for the nonsense that it is.

There are others that are surrounded by Christians, their lives heavily impacted by Christians trying to force stuff on them. I think that is why atheist forums have a heavy slant towards USA people, especially those from the bible belt. Some of these people put great effort into debunking the bible.

(12-11-2015 07:43 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  But seriously, you are so ignorant on what is taught in the bible that if you really want me to answer those questions for you please
It is my experience that many Christians have a different take on things. You need to discuss with each one what their interpretation is.

(12-11-2015 07:43 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  PM me. All those questions are simple.
This is an open forum, if the answers are simple then why not post them?
But please remember, your question around assessing Jesus sacrifice as lie was from the context of an atheist.

What can sin mean to an atheist? There is no god, so how can we sin? For me I am a moral nihilist so for me there are no morals so how can I do anything that is "wrong"?

Regarding the blood sacrifice of Jesus, I doubt you can offer any explanation that would make any sense to an atheist.
"Oh my son lied to me so I accept the death of that guy that my government put to death for mass murder last week as a sacrifice to atone for my son's sin"
It's a non sequitur because there is no link. You can't accept the unrelated killing of person A to atone for a crime or offense committed by person B.

Plus, in any transaction there must be some kind of benefit. e.g. I broke my neighbor's window so I gave him money as recompense. He can now afford to replace his window. See, in this case the neighbor receives money. The neighbor sees value in the money because he can use it to get a replacement window.
With the silly story of "Jesus" who benefited from his death? How was that seen as repayment for something?
Religions throughout history are rife with martyrdom and blood sacrifice. It's not something unique to Christianity. Blood sacrifice and Martyrdom make no sense what so ever.
Christianity is particularly weird because they think Jesus is god, so they think god killed himself as a sacrifice to himself so that he will forgive humans for the sins they commit. It's of course nonsensical. Death isn't payment, death has no commodity value. The god could easily choose to forgive people rather than to hold a grudge. Any leader demanding death via human sacrifice would have to be nuts. Martyrdom and blood sacrifice are nonsensical. According to the bible the Romans killed "Jesus" they didn't do it as a sacrifice to any gods, and certainly not to the Jewish god and of course there was no such thing as the Christian god at the time.

I know you think Jesus' death was special, you believe Jesus lived a sinless life and died as an innocent (Martyr). I mean, if the guy was real, he was human, all humans die. It was unremarkable that he died. It wasn't a sacrifice and it wasn't payment for sins of humankind. It's a nonsensical, twisted and macabre story.
the idea of a sinless person being sacrificed is no more special than the idea of sacrificing virgins. It makes absolutely no sense.
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12-11-2015, 11:25 PM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
[/quote]
Now for the record, the intent of the conversation between you and I is not to debate atheism vs Christianity. This is only a discussion to explain why I personally chose to accept Christianity and I am no way trying to persuade anyone to follow my beliefs.
[/quote]

Sorry it's been so long for me to reply. I was busy being full time mommy and full time daddy to get the kids ready for bed. I am really glad that everyone got it out of their systems. I understand some of you have a lot of built up frustration towards theist because they tend to judge you because of your positions and constantly try for force their beliefs on you. But may I remind everyone how this whole discussion got the way it did. I was asked to simply state one or two reasons why I believe the bible. I provided at least two however there are plenty more reasons I did not mention because I see no reason to. The list of ancient historians that I provided and the martyrdom of the apostles. I emphasized that I in no way wanted to use those reasons to somehow claim your positions are wrong and I am right. Yes, a lot of counter evidence was provided and I have seen them before. They are not new to me yet I still chose to believe that Jesus is everything he and the apostles claimed him to be. I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.
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13-11-2015, 12:24 AM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 11:25 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.

Rolleyes Brother, if I thought you could discredit my beliefs I'd welcome it.

I know it turned into a full on debate of Christianity vs atheism, but you yourself were an active participant in turning the thread in this direction. You're also confusing pissed off with defensive. If you can figure out why people got annoyed in this thread, you might actually find something useful to you as a chaplain to atheists. Although tbh there's not a lot of chance that I'd ever consider chatting to a chaplain if I had problems, and if I did have problems and considered the chaplain to be the guy I wanted to chat to it'd be because I liked and trusted him/her, not because (s)he was the chaplain.

Incidentally are female chaplains a thing?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-11-2015, 03:47 AM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
I understand some of you have a lot of built up frustration towards theist because they tend to judge you because of your positions and constantly try for force their beliefs on you.... I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.
[/quote]

Okay, I think I've been polite long enough.

Fuck you. I mean it. Go fuck yourself with an atomic chainsaw. You think I care about being judged? I don't care what the rest of my local community thinks. Their opinions mean little to nothing for me. I've gotten death threats. Worse, I've had threats of trumping up charges for the purpose of having my child taken away. All this for refusing to engage in anthropomorphic nonsense. You have no idea what it's like to live in a place where there is a de facto theocracy.

So, just to reiterate, go fuck yourself.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

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13-11-2015, 05:33 AM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(13-11-2015 12:24 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(12-11-2015 11:25 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.

Rolleyes Brother, if I thought you could discredit my beliefs I'd welcome it.

I know it turned into a full on debate of Christianity vs atheism, but you yourself were an active participant in turning the thread in this direction. You're also confusing pissed off with defensive. If you can figure out why people got annoyed in this thread, you might actually find something useful to you as a chaplain to atheists. Although tbh there's not a lot of chance that I'd ever consider chatting to a chaplain if I had problems, and if I did have problems and considered the chaplain to be the guy I wanted to chat to it'd be because I liked and trusted him/her, not because (s)he was the chaplain.

Incidentally are female chaplains a thing?
Yes. Plenty of female chaplains.
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13-11-2015, 05:34 AM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(13-11-2015 03:47 AM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:  
(12-11-2015 11:25 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
I understand some of you have a lot of built up frustration towards theist because they tend to judge you because of your positions and constantly try for force their beliefs on you.... I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.

Okay, I think I've been polite long enough.

Fuck you. I mean it. Go fuck yourself with an atomic chainsaw. You think I care about being judged? I don't care what the rest of my local community thinks. Their opinions mean little to nothing for me. I've gotten death threats. Worse, I've had threats of trumping up charges for the purpose of having my child taken away. All this for refusing to engage in anthropomorphic nonsense. You have no idea what it's like to live in a place where there is a de facto theocracy.

So, just to reiterate, go fuck yourself.
[/quote]
So...why exactly are you upset?
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13-11-2015, 06:06 AM
RE: Why is it that creationist are trying to disprove evolution
(12-11-2015 11:25 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I am really glad that everyone got it out of their systems. I understand some of you have a lot of built up frustration towards theist because they tend to judge you because of your positions and constantly try for force their beliefs on you. But may I remind everyone how this whole discussion got the way it did. I was asked to simply state one or two reasons why I believe the bible. I provided at least two however there are plenty more reasons I did not mention because I see no reason to. The list of ancient historians that I provided and the martyrdom of the apostles. I emphasized that I in no way wanted to use those reasons to somehow claim your positions are wrong and I am right. Yes, a lot of counter evidence was provided and I have seen them before. They are not new to me yet I still chose to believe that Jesus is everything he and the apostles claimed him to be. I know it must be very frustrating but please don't be so defensive. I am not attacking or trying to discredit your beliefs. Thank you. I am going to bed.

Sorry Jason, nut that response is so full of arrogance and condescension it is no wonder that people get their hackles up a bit. I realize that you probably don't see that but it isn't the first time you've told us that you understand how we feel and how we think and you simply do not. If you are honestly trying to understand then that's great but when you repeatedly dodge any attempt to investigate the beliefs it shows that you aren't willing to actually consider anything from the perspective of an atheist.

If your goal is to study us like some kind of lab specimen you are never going to really learn anything about us. You may tell yourself that you do and go off happy about that, and you may be more open-minded than many of your peers, but you will be fooling yourself. That's one of the reasons many of us object so strongly to religious indoctrination -- it trains your mind to accept what you've been told and what "feels right" rather than really digging into it and finding out what is true. It's insidious and ultimately harmful to the individual and to society.

For one thing, get it out of your head that we are worried you want to change our beliefs. If you were just preaching that would be an issue but we aren't worried at all about you presenting arguments why you believe or even why you think we should. Unfortunately you've run to the other end of the spectrum and refuse to engage at all on the topic. As soon as any difficult questions are asked you say the answers are simple for xians and you choose to believe despite the arguments and that's incredibly frustrating. We know that. We want to know why you do that despite the evidence of lack thereof. The WHY and HOW are much more important than the WHAT.

If you want a superficial understanding of atheists then you have that: we don't accept the claims of any god existing and we consider appeals to anything supernatural to be of no value and often counter-productive. If you want to really understand then you have to get into the details of why we dismiss the claims. You have to pull back the curtains and examine the scaffolding that is supporting the beliefs to see whether it is mad of iron, bamboo, or cardboard.

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