27th October 2011

“The time has come to rise up against the unthinking, immoral acts that are brought about by religious views – to state the case for science, reason, and honest compassion.”

Victor Stenger

14 Responses to “27th October 2011”

  1. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    timely

  2. R J Says:

    if you guys are interested in some really

    first-rate religious puke, watch the Netflix

    documentary, “Selling God.”

    it’s a howler !

  3. s0l0mon Says:

    Am I still banned?

    Admin: You’re not banned Solomon – anything you write that isn’t just a baseless assertion or insulting (i.e. trolling) will always be published.

  4. archaeopteryx Says:

    Very true, but – alas – easier said than done.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Funny Solomon thinks he’s banned. Dude poking holes in your silliness is half the fun. Banned? You and any religious nut bag are very welcome. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to cover the many religio-path websites? Having you come here saves us all alot of time.

  6. Xhim Says:

    I continue to be mystified at why non-religious people constantly bring up religious atrocities. Have there been such? Of course. All earnestly held viewpoints have been exploited for evil somewhere sometime. But how about the innumerable positive effects of “religion” (although as a follower of Jesus, I would prefer to be more specific than that). My grandfather was a drunk whose family nearly starved because of his habit until he “met God” and quit drinking and began attending to his wife and 7 kids. My brother-in-law remembers distinctly when his dad quit beating his wife and kids in drunken rages, after he started attending church. In my line of work I am almost daily confronted with stories like these. Why are these effects of “religion” ignored?

  7. Xhim Says:

    Sorry forgot something: I have also been involved in international disaster work. By far the majority of people on the field are there out of religious motivation: Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Catholic Charities, Mennonite Social Services, etc. Even many in secular organizations like the Red Cross are religiously motivated. Does this count for nothing?

  8. Atheist MC Says:

    I dont believe anyone would deny that religious motivation has done much good in the world, but it has certainly been the cause of much evil. In a world without religion good people would still do good things, abusive alcoholics would still reform and much division based on unreconcilable superstition would be avoided.

  9. Xhim Says:

    Actually I have spent my life with alcoholics, and I have seldom if ever met one who reformed without some reference to God, even if it was only AA’s very low threshold “higher power.” There is a whole complicated philosophical discussion on good people still doing good things without religion, but that is beyond the scope of these short comments. But people with addiction issues? Reforming without God? I just haven’t seen it happen.

  10. Jeff Says:

    Xhim,

    When I have the right to earn a buck without having my beliefs being denied by the government who prints it, I’ll start thinking about forgetting how ignorant, intolerant believers in mythical constructs have done everything from imprisoning my fellows to burning them at the stake.

    When I can serve on a jury without telling a lie, when I can serve in the military without the same problem, when I can run for elected office without having to hide my core belief in REASON, I’ll start forgiving the past.

    Until then, don’t wave the crap you folks do in hope of gaining either new dupes to your beliefs or a mythical afterlife paradise as a reason to forget all the rest.

    Sorry if that seems harsh, but it’s a harsh world out there for those of us who can’t understand your brand of insanity.

  11. Atheist MC Says:

    There is a whole complicated philosophical discussion on good people still doing good things without religion, but that is beyond the scope of these short comments.

    it’s not really. Good people do good things without religion all the time. It’s a demonstrable fact. What is harder is to prove that those who claim faith as their motivation would be good without it.
    The AA is a case in point as their program introduces a “higher power” whether it is necessary or not, it’s the default assumption. Where is the controlled experiment to test the null hypothesis?
    BTW even if it were categorically proved that religion was an unmitigated good it would still say nothing about its claims to truth

  12. R j Says:

    Xhim……………….

    i dont think there is a person in contact with this site

    that would dispute your truth in this matter of religious

    people doing real good in this world, and helping others.

    i also think that no one here doubts the sincereity of

    their efforts. it’s the MOTIVATION behind those

    efforts that we question.

    you cant seriously think that starving children give a

    damn about your ” acceptance of jesus christ as your

    savior” OR my rejection of same. they care about

    the FOOD you’ve brought. so if we both perform the

    identical act, is your effort any “better” or more

    “blessed” than mine??? of course not. both

    acts “count for something.”

    Lots and lots of folks ( like your alcoholics ) have managed

    to turn their lives in more positive directions with

    ( what they BELIEVE ) is help from god, or jesus, or

    religion…………….and if that’s how they want to view

    things, well, that’s fine. all the atheists are saying is

    that is not OUR point of view, and dont try to sell us

    yours, and we have as much right to our views as

    you do to yours.

    one last thing……………….i dont believe religious

    folk have any great lock on ” atrocities.”

    lots of horrible acts HAVE been committed

    in the name of this or that religious idea……but then

    lots more have been committed for non- religious

    reasons. we’re talking about human beings here, and

    i have said on this site before that i consider humans

    the most dangerous and psychotic creatures on the planet….

    capable of amazingly horrific acts toward each other.

    anywhere you have prolonged human conflict, you’re

    going to find sickening atrocities committed……cause that’s

    what humans do. so, again, the religious dont have

    the absolute lead on atrocious behavior, but they’ve

    pulled off enough of it to take a little of the glow

    off of their halos.

  13. Xhim Says:

    Thanks, Rj, for your calm and reasoned response. I think we would get along pretty well. I agree with you on most points, especially your observation of human nature and the starving child’s response. And AMC, I am also thankful for the good that is done by non-religiously motivated people. When I have done disaster work and boxes arrive with the imprint “Donated by the people of Japan” I don’t turn them down because most Japanese are not Christians. Still, religion is a huge motivator for good. An article by the Hoover Institution of Stanford University (http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/6577) quotes and interprets an earlier study demonstrating that religious people are far more likely to give money and time to good causes (this does not include money and time given to one’s own church) than non-religious. This was my experience in the refugee camps during the Kosovo war. Most of the work, and the best work, was done by the religious groups. There were other groups out there. I was assigned to a camp run by Samaritan’s Purse, which was 1 mile away from a camp run by a Norwegian political party. Nearly all the refugees who were sent to the neighboring camp would show up at ours after a couple of days because the conditions were so much better.
    The atrocious behavior on the part of religious – no, let’s say Christian groups (I am a Christian and I don’t want to come across as saying all religious atrocities are done by Moslem terrorists, that would be a cheap shot) – is definitely there. It is there so much, that I usually don’t describe myself as a Christian, but rather as a follower of Jesus. I’m afraid many, even most “Christians” are obviously not followers of Jesus. Not just the extremists like that clown in Kansas who carries “God hates Fags” signs at military funerals, although he is one of the most obnoxious and irritating “Christians” around. But too many of the “saved” simply ignore everything that Jesus had to say about how we live. According to JC, his followers are to be defined by love. Too many of us are defined by materialism, egotism and politics. I think part of our dubious reputation in some circles is marketing, but a lot of it we have honestly earned.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect either, not by a long shot. But being a follower is a great improvement over being a mere “Christian”. But all I can offer at this point is an apology for those who have “taken the Lord’s name in vain” – and I don’t mean swearing!

  14. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    Xhim- you and others have bought into AA’s lies, they and other faith based ‘cures’ kill more people than they save and really they can’t take any credit for saving people who would have stopped drinking or using addictively as many stop or cut back simply by spontaneous remission. Anecdotal evidence doesn’t count, real studies require more and to give a more complete picture should include the larger societal impacts of religion that sets up and causes the very negative behaviors and conditions it claims to cure. http://www.orange-papers.org/menu1.html