Sam Harris on the Politics of Ignorance.

There’s an excellent article by Sam Harris about President Bush’s recent comments in support of teaching Intelligent Design along with Evolution in science classrooms. A small sample:

It is time that scientists and other public intellectuals observed that the contest between faith and reason is zero-sum. There is no question but that nominally religious scientists like Francis Collins and Kenneth R. Miller are doing lasting harm to our discourse by the accommodations they have made to religious irrationality. Likewise, Stephen Jay Gould’s notion of “non-overlapping magisteria” served only the religious dogmatists who realize, quite rightly, that there is only one magisterium. Whether a person is religious or secular, there is nothing more sacred than the facts. Either Jesus was born of a virgin, or he wasn’t; either there is a God who despises homosexuals, or there isn’t. It is time that sane human beings agreed on the standards of evidence necessary to substantiate truth-claims of this sort. The issue is not, as ID advocates allege, whether science can “rule out” the existence of the biblical God. There are an infinite number of ludicrous ideas that science could not “rule out,” but which no sensible person would entertain. The issue is whether there is any good reason to believe the sorts of things that religious dogmatists believe—that God exists and takes an interest in the affairs of human beings; that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception (and, therefore, that blastocysts are the moral equivalents of persons); etc. There simply is no good reason to believe such things, and scientists should stop hiding their light under a bushel and make this emphatically obvious to everyone.

It’s a very worthy read and something that all atheists should take heed of. We can’t just ignore the True Believers™ anymore because they’ve managed to get their silly ideas taken seriously by too much of the general public. We need to engage them and reveal just how absurd some of their arguments really are.

Found via Atheist Exposed.

61 thoughts on “Sam Harris on the Politics of Ignorance.

  1. We need to engage them and reveal just how absurd some of their arguments really are.

    Absolutely!  Yet, when we do so, we’re painted as “unfair” and “intolerant” for our trouble (see Theocrat & Justice’s replies to my comparison of belief in God to belief in Santa Claus in religion_itself_is_the_fount_of_most_evil, for example).

    In The God Who Wasn’t There, I’m pretty sure it’s Sam Harris who says that someone’s saying they believe in God simply stops most rational conversations; and it’s true.  More often than not, atheists are forced to just agree to disagree and “leave it alone” or risk alienating friends, family and others by pointing out the ridiculousness of basing public policy on myth and fantasy.

    I agree with Sam – it’s long past time to stop respecting foolish notions and delusions.  Not only should “scientists and other public intellectuals” call these mythmongers on the carpet and expose them as deluded at best, liars at worst, but everyone who’s tired of being governed by laws based on those delusions should, too.

    Y’know, I really don’t give a rat’s ass anymore if I offend people and lose friends because they can’t handle hearing that their beliefs are utterly absurd and that I don’t think everyone should have to respect them to the point that we’re willing to lie to schoolchildren by giving the “theory” of Intelligent Design equal time.  No one seems to give a shit that I’M offended by the incessant references to God, Jesus and The Almighty by our President; or that I’m ashamed at how America’s increasing religiosity, as represented by our public officials, makes us look like idiots to the rest of the world.  Worse still, the supposed “national beliefs” of America are at the root of foreign policy that hinders, rather than helps, people we supply aid to (global gag rule, anyone?).

    Fuck ‘em.  The rational people have been silent long enough.  We must insist that reason and fact be more important than someone’s notion of “truth” when it comes to debate over laws that affect all people regardless of whether or not they’re down with Jesus.

  2. There simply is no good reason to believe such things, and scientists should stop hiding their light under a bushel and make this emphatically obvious to everyone.

    A—fucking—men.

    Cheers BunBun

  3. OB: ..everyone who’s tired of being governed by laws based on those delusions should, too.

    OB:We must insist that reason and fact be more important than someone’s notion of “truth

  4. Law against murder: good, whether or not you’re religious

    Why can’t we kill people and eat them….we do it to animals and plants.

    Law requiring church attendance: bad, whether or not you’re religious

    The way it’s going in the states I wouldn’t be surprised if some politician comes up with such a bill.

    Law against abortion: good, whether or not you’re religious

    What difference does it make… to you… if your neighbor is not ready to be a mother.

    No-fault divorce: bad, whether or not you’re religious

    I am not sure it would be any of my business to force a couple to stay together if it’s not working out.

  5. Darryl,
    Why are laws against abortion good?  That is a value judgemnt I’d like to see a justification for. Seems to me a woman should control her own body – particularly as a blastocycst has no ability to support itself and is in essence a parasite to the host.
    Same goes for no-fault divorce?  Are you talking the disintigration of the classical Ozzy and Harriet Nuclear family here?
    I’d also like to see some of your examples of public good over individual rights – this a typical feature of the ultra right e.g. fascism not liberalism.

    from dictionary.com:

    fas·cism   ( P )  Pronunciation Key (fshzm)
    n.
    often Fascism
    A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
    Oppressive, dictatorial control.
    fascism
    n : a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

    lib·er·al·ism   ( P )  Pronunciation Key (lbr—lzm, lbr-)
    n.
    The state or quality of being liberal.
    A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
    So perhaps you’d like to clarify your definitions here.

  6. serge,

    Why can’t we kill people and eat them….we do it to animals and plants.

    Lets not go overboard here.  If you could kill and eat another person it would most likely mean another could kill and eat you.  You’d have no security.  Not to mention be vulnerale to various diseases transmitted through activities like this (think mad-cow on steriods – used to happen all the time in highland new guinea).
    No security = no society.
    No society = no dense urban populations
    No dense urban populations = 5 billion dead human beings (probably a conservative estimate).

  7. Sorry about that one, I was trying to not make sense or maybe I was trying to be funny…my other responses were serious though.

  8. No security = no society.
    No society = no dense urban populations
    No dense urban populations = 5 billion dead human beings (probably a conservative estimate).

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  9. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Consider the odds.  Not real good for any of us.

  10. I give myself pretty good odds.  I certainly don’t have any qualms about spitting and roasting another animal, even a human one, if it means my survival.

    Society is good for security, yes, and security is good for society.  However, I don’t think a requirement for survival of the species lies in dense urban populations, nor would we be wiped out by the loss of 5 billion of us.  That’s still somewhere between and 2 billion left on the planet.

    If you were trying to present a logical argument, it was not sound.

  11. Fascism is making people stand up to salute America at a baseball game and ostracizing (I probably spelt that wrong; do excuse me) people who don’t.

    This really irks me. Now I remember why I don’t go to many baseball games anymore.

    Say Daryl, if you were a woman would you want to be forced to have a child? I used to believe abortion was evil as well, when I was brainwashed by The Catholic Church. But when you get outside your religious microcosm, you’ll find that woman deserve a right to choose.

  12. Skippy,
    We’re getting off the thread topic, but I can’t let this one pass.

    Society is good for security, yes, and security is good for society.  However, I don’t think a requirement for survival of the species lies in dense urban populations, nor would we be wiped out by the loss of 5 billion of us.  That’s still somewhere between and 2 billion left on the planet.

    Strictly speaking, you’re probably right – humanity would survive – but almost certainly not as a sophisticated technical creature.
    Without dense urban populations you have no manufactured goods, little education, and probably no centers of political power etc.  Once you loose the big cities our entire culture starts to come apart – unraveling like a cheap sweater.
    We’d be reduced to small bands of hunter-gatherers with nothing to hunt but one another.  Or, we could end up as small farming societies that live in constant fear of the neighbors stopping by for dinner.

    If we are talking a sudden collapse the die back would be horrendous – and most of us would die.  With all of the sudden competition for limited resources as society collapses in an orgy of cannibalism (can you see the horror movie plot?  humanity suddenly afflicted by a craving for long-pig) you would have to be all of these things at all of the time to survive:
    1.  Well organized
    2.  Well armed
    3.  Ruthless as a Weasel (something I suspect comes naturally to most people when death is on the line).
    4.  Part of a large group with say at least 5+ adults, preferably men or
    5.  Completely on your own (anyone in a group of just 3 or four is probably in trouble- too big a footprint not enough military power)
    6.  Lucky all of the time.

    Nasty brutish and short.  Hobbes had it right.

    What kind of life would the 2 billion or so humans left have?  How long would it take until the population declined to a level that the land could carry and how large would that population be? 100 million?  50 Million?

    I have read about successful societies that have practiced cannibalism – the Aztecs are an example – but theirs was a ritualistic cannibalism.  Other humans were not a staple of the diet – only choice specimens were eaten and then as religious observances, usually adult warrior males captured in “flower wars

  13. I stand by Daryl for the murder thing.
    Cannibalism has been part of certain societies we know that. But My missed attempt at sarcasm had also a different goal. I am tired of all the fuss about God and what God wants. Care about yourself, about others around you INCLUDING animals and plants and you’ll be doing your God’s work….more than if you preach and defend something that is not yours.

    In the end it’s all about money.

    How come a shmuck like me can see that?

    It’s a big mob that’s on tv everyday, in the papers everyday like a reality show that we all think sucks.

    Remember “The blair witch project”…that was a movie, the actors were interviewed on tv as actors…yet weeks or months later there was news and even a documentary about the fact that the movie was real footage of the killings and a lot of people believed it. all of this because the media supported a rumor that it was the real thing.

    Well the religious organisations know how to do that as if they invented it.

    More preaching later !

    Les, I don’t seem to be a member anymore…The other day you were saying that some info was erased or something…I don’t quite remember. Do I have to setup an other account?

  14. I used to believe abortion was evil as well, when I was brainwashed by The Catholic Church.

    As an athiest/agnostic, I have to state as a general rule, I am against abortion.

    My reason: personal responsibility.  Sex is a reproductive act.  If one has sex, one should expect the possibility of pregnancy (its a natural outcome).  Thus, I say take some “non-abortion” precautions: condoms, birth control…even that “morning after pill” (I am not that ultra-conservative when it comes to early precautions).

    If you refuse to take precautions…well…I say prepare to live with the results (perhaps look into someone adopting the child if you don’t want it).

    Now rape and incest…well…abortion should be a choice in those cases.

  15. Uber Gaijin,
    I don’t think that many people would argue that abortion is a “good” thing.  But it is sometimes necesary.  The woman who sat my kid had three children while she was on the pill (sure she should have stopped at one and started using condoms with her husband) but the fact is that birth control does not perform at 100%.
    Shit happens. 
    If a woman has serial abortions then, you’re right, she is not experiencing personal responsibility.
    What about those that are young and dumb – we’ve all been there – and make mistakes. Sometimes grevious mistakes are made and people should be able to take leagal remedies to those mistakes.

    Another thought: once the state starts making laws to regulate abortion it takes it out of the realm of personal responsibility and turns it into legislative social control.  A woman then has no rights to make descisions about her body.  A group of lawmakers codifies the situations that abortion may or may not be legal without regard to specific circumstances.
    Two 14 year old kids have sex.  Hey its fun and its great – but say they haven’t had any effective sex education – or even any at all.  Shoud they then pay such a high price for their youthful misadventure?

  16. but the fact is that birth control does not perform at 100%.
    Shit happens. 

    Playing “Devil’s Advocate” here: if more people fully realized that “shit happens”, maybe they would find alternatives to casual engagement in the “horizontal mambo”  wink

    But, you are correct about state regulations and personal responsibilty.  I would rather see Roe v. Wade stand and more people be responsible for their actions than have Roe v. Wade repealed.  If that was to happen, people would not become more responsible, they would just become official criminals getting underground abortions.

    As for the “youthful misadventure” statement: this is another example how America is just fucked up.  Kids are allowed to see violence on/in TV, movies, and video games, but the mention of sex or sex ed causes people to go nuts.  We need more effective sex education…it needs to come out of the closet in a mature, responsible way.

  17. First a comment: ironicname becomes the latest in a long line of socialists on this board who can’t spell my name correctly.. TheBo$$ finally got it right once, making him about 1-for-5 lifetime.

    ironicname: Why are laws against abortion good?  That is a value judgemnt I’d like to see a justification for.  Seems to me a woman should control her own body – particularly as a blastocycst has no ability to support itself and is in essence a parasite to the host.

    Justification?  Ok.  Laws against abortion are good for the same reason that laws against infanticide are good.

    Why stop at birth?  I have a 5-week-old baby at the moment.  I’ve carefully observed her, and she also lacks the ability to support herself.  Maybe we should just leave her on the curb for the garbage truck to pick up, since she’s just a parasite.

    serge: I am tired of all the fuss about God and what God wants. Care about yourself, about others around you INCLUDING animals and plants and you’ll be doing your God’s work.

    Ah, ok.  Care about each other, plants, animals, and everything else except the unborn.  Heaven forfend that we should raise a finger to protect the unborn at the expense of plants.

    TheBo$$: But when you get outside your religious microcosm, you’ll find that woman deserve a right to choose.

    Ah, a willing example of what I call the “pretense of the left.”  People on the left would love to think that anyone who abandons their faith will immediately become hostile to traditional marriage, protecting the unborn, protecting property rights, and instead sign on to the socialist agenda.  As I’ve said, “God ain’t got nothing to do with it.”  Plenty of atheists think it should be illegal to chop an unborn baby into small sections and use a vacuum to “extract” it.

    ironicname: Same goes for no-fault divorce?
    serge: I am not sure it would be any of my business to force a couple to stay together if it’s not working out.

    Nothing can “force” a couple to stay married.  However, traditionally the partner who decided he or she didn’t want to be married anymore would bear the consequences: the faithful partener got the kids, the house, and most of the the marriage’s possessions.  That’s been upended in recent decades.  Now a woman can decide she likes her new boyfriend better and throw her husband out.  Instead of punishing her, the courts will happily hand over “her” kids, “her” house, and order the now-ex-husband to pay child support for children he gets to visit a few hours a week.

    Not surprisingly, many men are deciding not to get married or have kids, since it can be a one-way ticket to a lifetime of misery and even prison.

    So we should get rid of “no-fault” divorce laws which the left foisted on us over the past few decades.  If a man or woman decides they don’t want to be married anymore, call it what it is: spousal abandonment.

  18. Darrrryl,

    First a comment: ironicname becomes the latest in a long line of socialists on this board who can’t spell my name correctly

    We all occasionally hit an extraneous key, or channel the inner scotsman. 

    Justification?  Ok.  Laws against abortion are good for the same reason that laws against infanticide are good.

    This is no justification; this is a value statement, backed by no argument, paired with an odius example that was never put forth.
    Nice technique.

    Why stop at birth?  I have a 5-week-old baby at the moment.  I’ve carefully observed her, and she also lacks the ability to support herself.

    Congratulations!  Having a baby is one of the absolute wonders of life.  My boy is three.  I chose to have him, as I imagine you and your wife did.

    Nothing can “force

  19. It’s ridiculous to try to create laws regarding when abortion is legal and when it is not.  In the “only in cases of incest or rape” situation, do you think the legal system would be able to work fast enough to give the victim a go-ahead to have an abortion before the kid was, say about 5 years old?  All the perp has to do is say “I didn’t do it.”  Pass the coat hanger.

    And what about cases when the mother is carrying a baby with severe developmental problems and/or genetic mishaps?  Should the law decide how bad-off the expected child has to be?  Please.  Stay out of my personal decisions.  I’ll live with them.

  20. Darly:
    I think your problem with abortion is that you seem to think that you are killing an innocent human. This is not true. The thing that gets “killed” is not a conscious human. It is barley more than a few million bacteria. The only thing that separates it from those few million bacteria is that they are linked together and have the potential to be human. Having an abortion would be equivalent in terms of life loss to killing a tree.

    You may say that the difference is in the fact that this devolping mass of cells has the chance of being human. But if that is the case then every time an egg is lost from the women(ie her period) then you would be commiting the same act of murder. Thus a woman should be incessantly pregnant. That obviously is just stupid and neither does it make sense. Abortion is not immoral. Not to mention, are you a female? If you are not then you should have absolutely no say in whether abortion is legal/illegal; no matter what your beliefes.

    Cheers BunBun

  21. Why is it so important to the atheists that other people be made to see what idiots they are for holding differing beliefs?

    That is a rhetorical question. The answer is obvious. Political agenda. Both sides have one.

    Must everyone need to reject God and religion for the atheists to feel more secure in their beliefs? Are etheists that fragile. Or maybe just a simple majority will be sufficient so these annoying references to Mr. Make Believe can be banished from society.

    What authority figure would be used in place of God, an image of Big Brother?

    The choice to believe there is no God is still a belief. A belief that is obviously just as fervant with many atheists as the belief in God is with the holy rollers.

    How do the atheists teach morality to their children who have not been aborted? And, please, don’t tell me that it is the parents job to teach that. Most of us, including myself, do not have the moral authority necessary to do a proper job. Do as I say, not as I do has not proven to be a very successful model for teaching children right from wrong. All the proven science inthe world can not change that.

    I know, most atheists are also moral relativists, so there really is no such thing as right and wrong. And if there were, who is to say what it is?

    Religion is not the fount of evil. Men with agendas are.

    You people can believe whatever you want. I dont care. But it sure is silly when ya’ll proselytize against religion just as fervantly as do those who proselytize for it.

    Arrogance and condescension does not make one right. We can not all be as enlightened as you atheists.

  22. You may say that the difference is in the fact that this devolping mass of cells has the chance of being human. But if that is the case then every time an egg is lost from the women (ie her period) then you would be commiting the same act of murder. Thus a woman should be incessantly pregnant.

    I heard a guy on the radio many years ago saying something similar:  that men shouldn’t masturbate to climax because it was killing billions of potential lives.  He actually made some rather persuasive arguments and sounded like he had given it some thought (I didn’t say I agreed with him, but he wasn’t just some ranting nutjob—excuse the expression).  When asked about nocturnal emissions, he said that is a natural function over which men have no control, just as menstruation is for women.  When asked if he thought masturbation was immoral, he said no, just wasting sperm was, and that he had learned Tantric techniques so he could still have sexual pleasure without ejaculation.  He said he had contacted anti-abortion organizations in hopes of gaining their support, but they thought he was crazy (no surprise—male anti-abortionists are happy to tell women what to do with their bodies, but don’t like it when the same is done to them).

    And yes, he said he got plenty of “Every sperm is sacred.” cracks.  grin

    Not criticizing what you said BunBun, it just reminded me of the radio guy.  I am pro-choice.

  23. sorry about this but I had to redo it.

    Why is it so important to the atheists that other people be made to see what idiots they are for holding differing beliefs?

    I like the way you say “idiots” as if atheists were the ones believing a fairy tale.

    Must everyone need to reject God and religion for the atheists to feel more secure in their beliefs? Are etheists that fragile.

    I’m sure for the atheists that it’s very much ok if you believe in God.

    What authority figure would be used in place of God, an image of Big Brother?

    Not everyone needs an authority figure in order to be a good person. If Christianity disapears tomorrow…..I’ll still be here after tomorrow and I’ll still teach my son the important things in life.

    The choice to believe there is no God is still a belief. A belief that is obviously just as fervant with many atheists as the belief in God is with the holy rollers.

    Show me God right now

    How do the atheists teach morality to their children …

    If you really think that …I would not want to be your child.

    I know, most atheists are also moral relativists, so there really is no such thing as right and wrong. And if there were, who is to say what it is?

    Please re-read some history about some rights and wrongs.

    Religion is not the fount of evil. Men with agendas are.

    And they ask for your support,your money and your vote….and you blindly give it to them.

    Arrogance and condescension does not make one right. We can not all be as enlightened as you atheists.

    There’s a big black cloud called “organised religion” and it’s over my head, and I don’t like it.

    You have a God?….Good I’m all for that.
    Your God teaches you moral values? and you want me to follow them….Prove your claims first.

    I don’t see any atheists pretending anything extraordinary, Christians are…

    When I say “you”  I don’t mean you. Don.

  24. Don,
    Atheists are seldom joiners, but we should speak out to resist crap like this from:
    http://www.abbaswatchman.com/PAGE 25 MASS MIND CONTROL AND WHY THE PEDOPHILE SECRETE SOCIETY.htm

    TOTAL MIND CONTROL
    ISAIAH 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.

    My name is Marquart (Mark) Ewing Phillips, born May 17, 1943 in Nashville, Tennessee…..

    I am recognized internationally by mental health and law enforcement professionals as an authority on the secret science concerning external control of the mind…. I embarked on a study of the most secret technology known to man: Trauma-based mind control…. This super secret technology is an evolved system of remote human physical and psychological manipulation that has only recently been officially recognized by accredited mental health physicians for what it is, absolute mind control….

    The grim reality we must all embrace is that there is, in human terms, no justice, and no revenge adequate to equal what these two, and many other victims of this U. S. Government secret weapon experienced.

    Mind control, which is done simply by sending signals over the countries they want to control, is taking place everywhere in the World today ! Cuba has jammed the U.S. signals into Iran with the worlds best frequency Jammers supplied by Russia .  *NOTE* That Iran’s population has returned to normal. What I mean by this is that their country has returned to normal from their trying to over throw their government. Bush said that “if you need us we will come ” ( we = the U.S.) . Sending a call out to all nations who want democracy. You will see this happen to more nations soon ! This is real and is happening just as the Lord has said it would before he returns . Satan is blinding their minds through mind control which is sent through ultra low frequency F.M signals or micro wave signals which can target the human mind and can completely control some peoples actions and thoughts.

    we are seeing on a daily basis people who are throwing their 4 year old daughters over a bridge and then jumping themselves to their deaths when every person interviewed said that this man was a model father who would never do this and again we are seeing men who caught squirrels in their yards, then drove them out of town to release them, killing 6 people in his church which every one who knew him has said he would or could never do this .  These are mind control tests which are being conducted by the gang unit police through the war on drugs in all countries that it exists in.


    I found this “webshit” in about 5 minutes of searching.  It is listed here: http://www.baptisttop1000.com/
    A website that lists the top 1000 “best baptist” sites.  This site was # 52 on the (unalphabetized) list.  The “baptist stop 1000” site was #8 on my google search for the word “baptist”.
    These people take this wingnuttery seriously.  They have a persecution complex a mile wide and they live in a persistant state of reality denial.  Look at where I found these sites and where they posted in a google ranking.  This is not “fringe”, from its posistion this appears to be acceptable if not mainstream belief in this community. 
    We (atheists) absolutely have to speak out to keep people who believe this toff out of power as a matter of self preservation.  I personally could give a shit what you believe as long as you’re crasy beliefs don’t affect me and mine.  Go believe in the spaghetti monster or as it was amusingly stated by our host here:
    “Dimminutive Underwater Trolls” 
    I could care less – just keep it out of public policy – its got no place in it.

  25. TheBo$$ finally got it right once, making him about 1-for-5 lifetime.

    Surely you can understand my confusion in having both of your names ending in an /L/ sound and one having only one L and other 2?

    And Daryl, God is just a waffle on the ceiling. Someday you’ll realise that.

  26. And Daryl, God is just a waffle on the ceiling.

    Damn, I wish!  If that was true, I would become a True Believer!

    Mmmmm….waffles….hooohhhh…

  27. Don said:

    Why is it so important to the atheists that other people be made to see what idiots they are for holding differing beliefs?

    Let me ask you a question. Imagine for a minute that someone came up to you and said that they believe in the Easter Bunny. Imagine that they were entirely serious and no joke was involved.

    Now, that person has the right to believe whatever he wants to believe, but would you be comfortable if he was the surgeon about to operate on you? Or a police officer carrying a gun? How about a politician about to make a decision that would affect your life everyday?

    Christians are spread throughout society in positions that directly affect all of our lives on a daily basis. How can we trust their judgment when they profess belief in an invisible man in the sky?

  28. About the most coherant response made to my comments were by KPatrickGlover. Thank you for not being condescending.

    For the rest of you clever rhetoricians, who obviously didn’t get the gist of my comment, let me clarify:

    I do not tolerate organized religion. Organized religion falls under the rubric “Men with Agendas”

    Show me electricity right now. Or better yet, show me an ozone hole.

    I have never given a dime to a politcal group or politician. I vote for whomever I think will be the best at protecting the continued freedom and liberty (what little is left of it) of me and mine. I am selfish that way.

    I just as easily dissmiss ignorant crapolla from religious people as I do atheists, or those who choose to believe in the Easter Bunny. Likewise I am very receptive of logical arguements from wherever they come, regardless what people believe

    Bottom line is that I think religious people are harmless and for the most part good. The leaders of “The Church”, whatever church, are about money and control just like any other politician.

    Environmentalists, animal rights activists, pro choice, etc., etc., are just as whacky as the holy rollers and I classify them all pretty much the same.

    What is the basis for such ideas as Justice and Revenge?

    Finally, serge, your fisking abilities leave a little something to be desired, like talent.

  29. Show me electricity right now.

      So you have never seen a lightening strike?  Never walked across a carpet in a darkened room and touched something metal?  You have never seen a Jacob’s Ladder?  Even if you haven’t seen one in person, many of the old sc-fi thrillers and horror movies used them all the time.  I guess that you have never seen a Van der Graaf generator in action either.  In addition, there are plenty of inferences of electricity- the glowing of the gas in a flourescent tube, the glowing metal of a tungsten filament, the glowing phosphors of a TV screen.
     

    Or better yet, show me an ozone hole.

      Which one?  The Artic, Antartic, Australian, or Northern European hole?  “Hole” is a misnomer as it is actually just an extreme thinning of the layer as opposed to a rent in the layer.  Yes, of course, one cannot directly observe the ozone layer, but with the right instruments it can be as plain as any other observation.  Also, there are reasons for inference, increased cancer rates, increased rate of climate change, etc…  More appropriate analogies would have been “show me a quark (muon or whatever)” and “show me a black hole”.
      As for agendas, everyone has an agenda- whether it is just procuring sustenance for your family or something much more esoteric.  Some of these agendas require enforcing their beliefs on others.  As your “whackos”, you lumped environmentalists, animal right activists and pro-choice all together.  While every group has its share of radicals, some have more of a direct impact on others.  Environmentalists- yes, it is surely “whacko” to talk about sustainability, quality of life, and aesthetics.  Who cares that many ecosystems are reaching the point where they are unable to process the toxins we spew forth daily?  Who cares that crop yields are declining?  Does it matter that we have entered an era of climactic change at a rate that is at least tens (if not hundreds) of times faster than any before?
      Animal rights activists- well, okay, this area is mostly filled with whacko activists.
    Pro choice- yes, they are going around blowing up buildings and using snipers to kill doctors… oh wait- that’s the pro-“lifers”.  What is the agenda of the pro choice group?  Probably to ensure that every woman can make the decision for herself on whether or not to have an abortion without having to resort to a back alley “doctor”.  If the pro-choicers have their way and impose their agenda will it affect others?  Only those who wish to avail themselves of the option.  Will a pro-lifer be forced to have an abortion?  No.
    Atheists-  My agenda is to live my life as free of religious based legislation as possible.  I don’t care if you want to worship whomever as long as you don’t try to drag me along.  You can tithe 100% of your earnings for all I care.  As long as I am not infringing on anyone’s negative rights (Hobbes’s “natural rights”), leave me alone to live as I see fit.  I am certainly not going to tell a person that he can’t pray to whatever deity he sees fit, but don’t expect me to join in.

  30. Don, you are probably right about my lack of talent in discussing the things posted here. And I won’t blame this on the language barrier…I’ll be a big boy.
    I was never really good at making shit smell like expensive perfume and I mostly read peoples opinions because I find them interesting. Next time, I’ll be more straight to the point like this.

    How do the atheists teach morality to their children who have not been aborted?…

    How stupid can someone be to come up with such a question/comment like that.

    And also…

    Arrogance and condescension does not make one right. We can not all be as enlightened as you atheists.

    I thought that was condescending.

  31. Daryl:

    Law against murder: good, whether or not you’re religious

    True enough, though I believe that those who commit such should suffer the same. I do not like supporting these bastards for the rest of their lives for no good reason.

    Law requiring church attendance: bad, whether or not you’re religious

    True again.

    Law against abortion: good, whether or not you’re religious

    False. This is an opinion. If you are female and believe this, then don’t have an abortion. If you are male and believe this, then do not get someone pregnant that does not want a child.

    Abortion has it’s place, though I would prefer that people were (a) informated enough and (b) responsible enough so that the question would not even matter. Unfortunately, since sex is a subject of taboo in this society, it may be a long time until we can get to that point.

    There are already millions of starving and shelterless people out there, why require there to be more?

    Think about what you are saying. Is your statement based on cold hard truth? Or inferences, conjecture, and belief? If it is the latter, perhaps you should rethink your view.

    No-fault divorce: bad, whether or not you’re religious.

    Wrong again. This is opinion. My opinion is that our society places too much insistance on marriage and does not educate couples well enough about it. Christianity does not help this at all with the ‘no sex before marriage’ garbage. We are all entitled to our opinions, but holding an opinion does not make one right. There are many bad things from both sides of this fence.

    Originalist interpretation of Constitution and laws: good, whether or not you’re religious

    No comment. I am not educated enough on this subject at the moment to comment. Will look up ‘originalist interpretation’ at some point though…

    Putting the public good ahead of indiviual rights (a.k.a. “liberalism”): bad, whether or not you’re religious

    Opinion. In my eyes, it depends on the ‘rights’ being discussed and whether or not an ‘individual’ is a corporation or not. (I cannot believe that corporations have rights…but that is a different beast)

    Many things could be seen as bad/good from either side…depending on which aspect is being looked at.

    If however, you are referring to removing rights from individuals to make the group as a whole safer, then I am likely in agreement. However, it seems that too many in this country are not educated enough to be able to see what losing some rights for the ‘greater good’ will cost them tomorrow.

    And by rights, I am referring to actual rights (arms, speech, privacy, etc) and not the various garbage that is sometimes incorrectly listed under rights.

    —Don—

    Why is it so important to the atheists that other people be made to see what idiots they are for holding differing beliefs?

    Perhaps so that they can see reality and make logical coherant decisions without a bent forced upon them by some organization bent on achieving their own ends?

    That is a rhetorical question. The answer is obvious. Political agenda. Both sides have one.

    Yes. I obviously do not want to be burdened by laws pushed through by people that feel the laws are in accordinace with some make believe persons supposed viewpoint. I would much rather they vote as rational, moral people.

    Thats right. If you believe fairy tales, mythical all powerful beings, or any other makebelieve thing that has an agenda of its own, I do not want you furthering that agenda. Ignorance is only cured by truth. These people need more truth and less sunday school.

    Must everyone need to reject God and religion for the atheists to feel more secure in their beliefs? Are etheists that fragile. Or maybe just a simple majority will be sufficient so these annoying references to Mr. Make Believe can be banished from society.

    It is not a matter of security in belief. You are entitled to your beliefs…until they begin to intrude on my reality. Letting their masters perpetuate their lies in order to pass laws that are against my rights is not something I care to do.

    Again, they need to be ‘edumacated’ so that not only do we have a future free from tyranny and intolerance, but our children do to.

    What authority figure would be used in place of God, an image of Big Brother?

    Who needs an authority figure? Any grown adult with a need for an authority figure is not truly a grown adult.

    The choice to believe there is no God is still a belief. A belief that is obviously just as fervant with many atheists as the belief in God is with the holy rollers.

    Actually, this is a fallacy. I believe nothing but what I can give evidence to. My feverance is not from a ‘belief there is no god’, but rather from the percieved reality that these people are breaking down our society and helping to give up our rights. After all, who wouldn’t want the ‘annointed of god’ leading this fine country.

    How do the atheists teach morality to their children who have not been aborted?

    The same way any other responsible parent does, by being a good example and educating them both on what is wrong and why it is wrong.

    And, please, don’t tell me that it is the parents job to teach that.

    Why? Because it is the truth? It is. Deal with it.

    Most of us, including myself, do not have the moral authority necessary to do a proper job.

    If you are referring to ‘us’ as Christians, then you are correct. This is likely due to lack of education and responsibility.

    When your whole learning system is based on an ancient text and memorizing what someone else tells you to think, it is obviously going to be hard to think for oneself. In addition, growing up with a belief system where all of your actions are caused by one of two forces tends to leave one with a lack of responsibility.

    Both of these faults can be overcome though in time…and once you learn to think for yourself and be your own moral compass, then you will be able to raise moral, happy children who can in turn teach their children properly.

    Do as I say, not as I do has not proven to be a very successful model for teaching children right from wrong. All the proven science inthe world can not change that.

    That is why you teach “Do as I do. Here is why. Here is what the consequences are if you do not.”

    Not only must one teach right from wrong, one must teach the reasoning behind why something is right and the consequences of the other actions that could be taken instead.

    I know, most atheists are also moral relativists, so there really is no such thing as right and wrong. And if there were, who is to say what it is?

    You obviously do not know much about athiests at all. Perhaps you have simply been told as much over and over by your religious institution?

    Right and wrong is not very hard. If it effects others negatively, it is likely wrong. If not, then it likely is not. Once one learns to see the effects of their actions on those around them and put themselves into others positions, right and wrong becomes very simple in the vast majority of cases. Again, education helps a lot here.

    Religion is not the fount of evil. Men with agendas are.

    Religion (capital R) IS a fount of evil as it is backed by men with agendas.

    You people can believe whatever you want. I dont care. But it sure is silly when ya’ll proselytize against religion just as fervantly as do those who proselytize for it.

    Again, you miss the point. One is for things based on falsehoods. The other wants those pushing for things based on lies to stop factoring lies into the equation.

    It is quite simple…but painfully hard for people whos whole basis for reality is built upon the lies.

    Arrogance and condescension does not make one right. We can not all be as enlightened as you atheists.

    You have proven this quite well. Not only are you arrogant and condescending, you are wrong.

  32. Show me electricity right now.

    Take the cover off of your computer’s power supply, plug the supply into a wall outlet, and then lick everything inside the power supply while it is turned on.

    As a physics teacher, I am 99.999999% certain that this exercise will show you electricity.  Please have medical staff standing by, though.

  33. Take the cover off of your computer’s power supply, plug the supply into a wall outlet, and then lick everything inside the power supply while it is turned on.

      Haha!  At the end of the inference part of my post, I almost wrote that if he still doubted the existence of electricity, he could always get a long pole and bash it against some high voltage lines!

  34. The choice to believe there is no God is still a belief. A belief that is obviously just as fervant with many atheists as the belief in God is with the holy rollers.
    Actually, this is a fallacy. I believe nothing but what I can give evidence to.

    To be a true atheist is in itself a life of faith and trust. Faith and trust that there is no God. The statement “There is no God” is a Absolute statement. To claim that this statement is true then you would have to have Absolute knowledge of everything and every place in all the vast expanse of the universe.

    It is like saying that there is no gold in China. For that to be a fact you would have to know the entire content of China.

    I could be a stupid person and choose to try and convince everyone that there is gold in China (although the surface does not reveal any)but I do not have the evidence in hand to prove it.

    Einstien said that in all the vast expanse of the cosmos humans at the very best can only know less than 1/3rd of 1% of it all.

    Whose to say that in the other 99.6?? there is no evedence of God?

    We can be as bad and ignorant as they are. I gues that we will all be proven the intellectually better when we die or the fool.

  35. Einstien said that in all the vast expanse of the cosmos humans at the very best can only know less than 1/3rd of 1% of it all.

    This is an Absolute statement.  To claim that this statement were true, not only would Einstein have had to have a knowledge of the entirety of the universe to quantify the .333% claim, but also he would have to have a total knowledge of all humans on earth, now or to come, to know whether we/they are capable of this supposed degree of knowledge.

    BTW, capitalizing certain Words in the middle of a Sentence that are not proper Nouns does not make them more Important.

    I’ll be gentle here.  People of a religious bent want atheists to be classed as a religion.  By classing atheism as a religion, it seems more reasonable to those who want to push a religious agenda to say, “I have a right to have separation of religion and government, therefore since atheism is a religion, I have the right to not be subjected to atheism.”

    This is a valid point, as far as your choice of religious beliefs go.  However, atheism, in and of itself has nothing to do with science, which is where the deeply religious have the real issue.  Science, as we learn more and more, flys in the face of some doctrine, depending on the religion and its interpretation.  Rather than shift perception and roll with it, the strict fundies want science to change, by lumping it in with atheism.  This is silly. 

    All that’s required is a simple leap of faith on the part of those who are true believers: if God has allowed this knowledge to be revealed, it must be part of his plan.  Perhaps ultimately it will help with the understanding of the nature of God.  Texts, in whatever language, must have been written by man.  If there’s a problem with the language and interpretation, it is the fault of man, not of God, right?

    I get pretty sick, however, of hearing that it takes faith to be an atheist, or that atheism is just another faith.  Atheism is not another faith, just as darkness is not a form of light.  Darkness is the absence of light, as atheism is the absence of belief in gods.

    There is a difference between faith and belief; don’t confuse the two.

  36. Woohoo!  Finally!  A religiously protected reason for me to adopt full pirate regalia!

    (cue maniacal laughter).  Oh yeah, baby.  I can’t wait until the schoolboard tries to fire me, and I can claim religious discrimination.

    Hmmm.  I wonder if I get to carry the cutlass too?

  37. It is like saying that there is no gold in China. For that to be a fact you would have to know the entire content of China.

    Actually, it’s not really like this, as gold is something that we can prove actually exists elsewhere in the world, and thus there is always a possibility that it exists in China.
      It’s more like saying there are no three-headed gerflarffels in China. We can be reasonably sure this is true, since I just made them up.
      I have no problem with the argument that since the vast majority of the universe is as of yet unknown to us, we cannot say with any certainty what may be out there. The problem is that religious people don’t agree with this argument, although they trot it out on a regular basis. True believers, in fact, feel just the opposite, as they believe we CAN say with certainty that God is out there. And down here. And everywhere.

  38. It is clear that everyone that has posted comments on this site has a certain degree of intelligence. Whether you are religious or not, we all have agendas. My agenda is to further the knowledge and belief of The Lord because I know He is The Living God and one day all will bow before him. That said, He is a God of love and justice. It is just and fair for all of us to rot in Hell for eternity. All fall short of the glory that we were created for. I have only been a following Christian religion for 3 years now and must say that before that time, I was adamantly anti-Christian for the very reason many of you are. We can’t see God, touch him, or smell him. The beauty of God is that he did not leave any solid evidence of his existence. If he had, everyone would believe. It is a matter of faith. For a christian to spend time and effort to prove God’s existence is futile. We will never find Him because He doesn’t want to be found in this way. He wants us to find Him in that which is unseen, not as in the case of electricity but lets say dreams. We can’t see, hear, touch, or smell them but to deny the existence of dreams would be stupid. No, God wants us to believe, hope for something better. An eternal afterlife. Those reading this who have not formed a rock hard opinion about what comes after death let me ask you this, where do you plan to go after this life? Are you a fatalist in thinking there is nothing but death? If not, where are you going? Who is the master of the house in which you seek to gain acceptance? Why should He accept you into His house? If you have no inclination to find out the answers to these questions in this life, when do you think you will have the chance to. I want to encourage everyone… christian, atheist, whatever background you come from and whatever social group you currently belong to… READ, LEARN, SEEK OUT THE TRUTH. We cannot be intellectual human beings unless we examine both (no ALL) sides of the argument. I am studying the Bible now at this point in my life. I am also studying evolution and the theories of Darwin. I intend to one day study the Koran and various other beliefs. That said, I agree with Einstein in saying that no matter how much I study and continue to learn, I will not even scratch the surface of all of the wonders of life. One thing I can say that I do know is 100% true however is in regards to BUNBUN’s comment, “Having an abortion would be equivalent in terms of life loss to killing a tree. You may say that the difference is in the fact that this devolping mass of cells has the chance of being human.”
    No tree has even the remotest chance of becoming a human being. As a christian man who has lived through the horrors of an abortion, I can say that my heart greives for my child every single day. I made the decision, with my girlfriend, to have the abortion because it would have destroyed her. Church society would have black-listed her as an adulteress and she would not have been treated the same if we had confessed our sin and repented of our actions. This is a problem with the church we attend and is a matter of forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven me and His sacrifice on the cross washed away our sins in the eyes of God. Thus is the true LOVE of God. Not in the sinful human nature of the congregation but in the saving grace of He who is unseen. Science needs to find alternative methods to helping young girls escape the horrors of life. I am no scientist but why can’t people start thinking of ways to transfer unborn babies to another woman’s womb? I know that my girlfriend’s mother would have gladdly taken on that burden so that she would have had the opportunity to hold and caress her grandchild. The choices of abortion should not be solely that of the mother. Although atheists will not accept them as humans, it does not make them a part of the mother that should be discarded at the earliest convenience. And as for the idea that they are parasites… Yes! All human beings are parasites destroying the earth that we were given to protect. Nine months in the life of a 14 year old girl is a large percent but what about the 9 months you spent in your mother’s womb inconveniencing her? Do you think after some 18 years of childhood the burden your mother mother bore in raising you was so much greater than that of your father? I encourage everyone again to THINK! Think of the results of your actionsIt is clear that everyone that has posted comments on this site have a certain degree of intelligence. Whether you are religious or not, we all have agendas. My agenda is to further the knowledge and belief of The Lord because I know He is The Living God and one day all will bow before him. That said, He is a God of love and justice. It is just and fair for all of us to rot in Hell for eternity. All fall short of the glory that we were created for. I have only been a following christian religion for 3 years now and must say that before that time, I was adamantly anti-christian for the very reason many of you are. We can’t see God, touch him, or smell him. The beauty of God is that he did not leave any solid evidence of his existence. If he had, everyone would believe. It is a matter of faith. For a christian to spend time and effort to prove God’s existence is futile. We will never find Him because He doesn’t want to be found in this way. He wants us to find Him in that which is unseen, not as in the case of electricity but lets say dreams. We can’t see, hear, touch, or smell them but to deny the existance of dreams would be stupid. No, God wants us to believe, hope for something better. An eternal afterlife. Those reading this who have not formed a rock hard opinion about what comes after death let me ask you this, where do you plan to go after this life? Are you a fatalist in thinking there is nothing but death? If not, where are you going? Who is the master of the house in which you seek to gain acceptance? Why should He accept you into His house? If you have no inclination to find out the answers to these questions in this life, when do you think you will have the chance to. I want to encourage everyone… christian, atheist, whatever background you come from and whatever social group you currently belong to… READ, LEARN, SEEK OUT THE TRUTH. We cannot be intellectual human beings unless we examine both (no ALL) sides of the argument. I am studying the Bible now at this point in my life. I am also studying evolution and the theories of Darwin. I intend to one day study the Koran and various other beliefs. That said, I agree with Einstein in saying that no matter how much I study and continue to learn, I will not even scratch the surface of all of the wonders of life. One thing I can say that I do know is 100% true however is in regards to BUNBUN’s comment, “Having an abortion would be equivalent in terms of life loss to killing a tree. You may say that the difference is in the fact that this developing mass of cells has the chance of being human.”
    No tree has even the remotest chance of becoming a human being. As a Christian man who has lived through the horrors of an abortion, I can say that my heart grieves for my child every single day. I made the decision, with my girlfriend, to have the abortion because it would have destroyed her. Church society would have black-listed her as an adulteress and she would not have been treated the same if we had confessed our sin and repented of our actions. This is a problem with the church we attend and is a matter of forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven me and His sacrifice on the cross washed away our sins in the eyes of God. Thus is the true LOVE of God. Not in the sinful human nature of the congregation but in the saving grace of He who is unseen. Science needs to find alternative methods to helping young girls escape the horrors of life. I am no scientist but why can’t people start thinking of ways to transfer unborn babies to another woman’s womb? I know that my girlfriend’s mother would have gladly taken on that burden so that she would have had the opportunity to hold and caress her grandchild. The choices of abortion should not be solely that of the mother. Although atheists will not accept them as humans, it does not make them a part of the mother that should be discarded at the earliest convenience. And as for the idea that they are parasites… Yes! All human beings are parasites destroying the earth that we were given to protect. Nine months in the life of a 14 year old girl is a large percent but what about the 9 months you spent in your mother’s womb inconveniencing her? Do you think after some 18 years of childhood the burden your mother bore in raising you was so much greater than that of your father? I encourage everyone again to THINK! Think of the results of your actions. What would have happened if say Abe Lincoln’s Mom wasn’t ready to be a parent. Perhaps we could still have slaves. Okay, what if Hitler’s Mom would have had an abortion? 6 million more Jewish people would have been having children who could have had children by now! If not Abe, someone else would have done what needed to be done. If not Hitler, than someone else would have done the unspeakable. We are all moving towards something that will come faster than many people with there eyes closed can image. Wake up! Abortionist have stamped out 44,000,000 possible human beings since 1973. Those people could have done many great or horrible things in their lives. Surely, as all of us, they would have done a little bit of both. The point I’m trying to make is that this is an entire nation that is being snuffed out without question or thought of the consequence. I am nothing but a parasite, a tiny speck of life in the great sea of life. I can make a difference. So can you! We have the right, as rats in this cage, to choose not to procreate. We also have technology to help us fix the mistakes that we make in life. I do not preach unforgiveness, but I as a human being, cannot understand killing another person. We have to focus on new technologies that work FOR us not AGAINST us. And if anyone says to me, what business is it of mine if another person chooses to have an abortion, I respond in this way: How do you know that person’s child won’t end up marrying on of my children. They would then be responsible for carrying on my family line wouldn’t they. Or what if a future great leader of this nation was about undergo an execution. Do you not think it would be my responsibility as a citizen of the free nation of North America to step in and take a bullet for the King. All things happen for a reason, and whether Christians such as myself like to admit it or not, the same God that provides life has also provided relief to the women who suffer from rape or discrimination. But that does not mean I think God condones terminating what will be human life at the whim of someone who made a little mistake and had a few too many drinks with their boy/girlfriend. Think… please I beg you all… think of alternatives!!! Help us evolve not pine away in self destruction. Scientists are so smart in knowing the name and properties of the very first cell that starts life on earth yet they can’t find a better way to redistribute this blessing to a wanting home. And again I should note that the human soul, like God, cannot be seen or noted in one or any of our cells. It is spiritual not physical, seen not with eyes but through the good and bad things that people do in their lives. Educated yourself and become. It is up to you. Hitler or Lincoln. It is up to us to correct the mistakes of the past before The One who is in charge is outraged enough and returns. What a blessed day it will be for those who walk uprightly and do not incite the wrath of He who gives life to all. Good luck my friends.

  39. Holy crap, Darryl B, get off the meth! You’re gonna wake up tomorrow night, read this mess of yours and be very embarrassed.

    I don’t think I’ve read this much garble in a single entry on any website before. Congratulations, the record is yours.

    Now spit out the gum and flush the crank. This is your brain… and that mess above is your brain on drugs.

  40. Daryl B needs to take his preaching someplace where they give a shit. Still I do have a question or two seeing as he seems to think he has all the answers…

    All fall short of the glory that we were created for.

    And what glory would that be, Daryl?

    I have only been a following Christian religion for 3 years now and must say that before that time, I was adamantly anti-Christian for the very reason many of you are.

    And what are those reasons, Daryl? Are you so certain that we all hold the same reasons?

    I want to encourage everyone… christian, atheist, whatever background you come from and whatever social group you currently belong to… READ, LEARN, SEEK OUT THE TRUTH.

    Did that. It’s what took me from being a believing Christian to an atheist. Sure you want to encourage folks to seek out the truth? You may not be happy with what they find.

    I am no scientist but why can’t people start thinking of ways to transfer unborn babies to another woman’s womb?

    This is a simplistic solution that doesn’t actually help much. Transferring a fetus from one womb to another doesn’t change anything other than its location. Your girlfriend would still be the mother of the child and you would still be the father with all the legal ramifications those two facts carry. Under current U.S. law the girl’s mother wouldn’t be granted parental rights simply for pushing the kid of her womb out after a few months.

    People who have abortions purely to avoid the social stigma that comes from being an unmarried parent—and I honestly think that’s the worst reason to have an abortion—are engaging in a form of deception to try and maintain their status within their social group. You would still have to engage in a similar kind of deception with the solution you came up with to avoid being stigmatized anyway and chances are you wouldn’t be able to maintain the lie in the long term.

    In addition to all of that there are a number of technical issues involved in such a procedure that are not only difficult—if not impossible—to overcome, but which would put the fetus at great risk of aborting spontaneously or being highly injured if it somehow managed to survive the process. I won’t go into them here for brevity’s sake, but anyone with a basic high school sex education (a growing rarity these days I realize) should be able to figure out these obstacles with very little effort.

    Although atheists will not accept them as humans, it does not make them a part of the mother that should be discarded at the earliest convenience. And as for the idea that they are parasites… Yes! All human beings are parasites destroying the earth that we were given to protect.

    Please do not presume to speak for all atheists. There are plenty, as has been noted in other threads, who are as anti-abortion as any good Christian might be.

    I encourage everyone again to THINK! Think of the results of your actions

    I encourage much the same thing, particularly to religious people who have bought into fairy tales and pipe dreams. It’s just a shame you haven’t thought too hard on your solution to the abortion problem.

    It’s also a shame that you didn’t think about what your were posting as a comment and ended up repeating yourself with your cut and paste job. I debated fixing it, but then I figured I should let it stand as an example of how one should follow his own advice before handing it out to others.

    What would have happened if say Abe Lincoln’s Mom wasn’t ready to be a parent. Perhaps we could still have slaves. Okay, what if Hitler’s Mom would have had an abortion? 6 million more Jewish people would have been having children who could have had children by now! If not Abe, someone else would have done what needed to be done. If not Hitler, than someone else would have done the unspeakable.

    How is that an argument against abortion? First you provide us with a wonderful counter-argument to your Abe Lincoln example and then you pretty much say that even if both men had been aborted that someone else would’ve gone on to do what they did anyway so the net effect of either man being aborted would’ve changed nothing in history. If nothing would’ve turned out differently if those men had never been born then where’s the danger in allowing abortions?

    What was that you were saying about THINKING?

    Abortionist have stamped out 44,000,000 possible human beings since 1973. Those people could have done many great or horrible things in their lives. Surely, as all of us, they would have done a little bit of both. The point I’m trying to make is that this is an entire nation that is being snuffed out without question or thought of the consequence.

    It’s very presumptuous of you to assume to know how much thought on the consequences any one person has put towards the issue of abortion or of having one done themselves. Perhaps you and your girlfriend were cavalier about the issue when you had to make the decision, but I know more than a few people who have had to make that choice in the past and I am aware of just how much thought and agonizing went into the decision. I don’t know anyone whom I’d say thinks the decision is a trivial one and thusly would use abortion as a means of birth control in lieu of other more cost-effective solutions.

    I am nothing but a parasite, a tiny speck of life in the great sea of life. I can make a difference. So can you! We have the right, as rats in this cage, to choose not to procreate.

    That whole bit just cracks me up. “I’m a parasite, but a parasite that can make a difference! WOOT!”

    I feel so empowered now.

    We also have technology to help us fix the mistakes that we make in life. I do not preach unforgiveness, but I as a human being, cannot understand killing another person. We have to focus on new technologies that work FOR us not AGAINST us.

    OK, you get all the technology designed to kill humans (bombs, guns, etc.) eliminated and then we’ll happily get rid of abortion. If we should only have technology that promotes human life then we shouldn’t limit it to just one particular type of technology that kills.

    And if anyone says to me, what business is it of mine if another person chooses to have an abortion, I respond in this way: How do you know that person’s child won’t end up marrying on of my children. They would then be responsible for carrying on my family line wouldn’t they.

    This has to be the most idiotic reasoning I’ve heard on why abortion is bad in a long, long time.  Say, what if the person’s child that marries your kid ends up being another Hitler? Would you be so happy about having your bloodline continued by such a person?

    For all the cajoling you do of others to THINK, it’s not at all clear you’ve done much of that yourself.

    Or what if a future great leader of this nation was about undergo an execution. Do you not think it would be my responsibility as a citizen of the free nation of North America to step in and take a bullet for the King.

    Uh… there is no King of North America. Even if there were, I don’t necessarily think it would be your responsibility as a citizen, of whatever mythical kingdom you have in mind, to lay down your life for a great leader. Certainly you’re free to do so if you truly think he’s a great leader worth preserving at the cost of your own life, but I don’t agree that it would be a responsibility of anyone outside of the King’s security staff who are getting paid for that sort of thing.

    As long as we’re arguing hypotheticals, though, what if you were to give your life to save someone you truly believed to be a great King only to have him later turn out to be another Hitler? You wouldn’t be around to see the consequences of your actions and yet you would have ensured the survival of a man destined to kill millions.

    That’s the problem with arguments based on hypothetical “what if” situations. It’s not hard to come up with a counter-argument.

    All things happen for a reason, and whether Christians such as myself like to admit it or not, the same God that provides life has also provided relief to the women who suffer from rape or discrimination. But that does not mean I think God condones terminating what will be human life at the whim of someone who made a little mistake and had a few too many drinks with their boy/girlfriend.

    If all things happen for a reason then wouldn’t that include any abortions that take place? Who’s to say that you and your girlfriend getting drunk off your asses and having premarital sex and getting her pregnant so she could have an abortion wasn’t God’s will made manifest all along? Do you not see the idiocy apparent in your own argument?

    Think… please I beg you all… think of alternatives!!!

    Why should we take your advice when it’s clear you’ve not devoted adequate thought to your own argument before trying to make it? Yet another Christian with a message of “Do As I Say And Not As I Do.” Hypocrisy is unbecoming.

    Help us evolve not pine away in self destruction. Scientists are so smart in knowing the name and properties of the very first cell that starts life on earth yet they can’t find a better way to redistribute this blessing to a wanting home.

    Arrogance and ignorance seem to be your forte.

    And again I should note that the human soul, like God, cannot be seen or noted in one or any of our cells. It is spiritual not physical, seen not with eyes but through the good and bad things that people do in their lives. Educated yourself and become. It is up to you. Hitler or Lincoln.

    Wow, that passage actually made me laugh. Yes folks, please “Educated” yourself “and become” for your own sake before it’s too late!

    It is up to us to correct the mistakes of the past before The One who is in charge is outraged enough and returns. What a blessed day it will be for those who walk uprightly and do not incite the wrath of He who gives life to all. Good luck my friends.

    The sad part is you started off sounding somewhat intelligent and slowly your comment degenerated over time to almost complete and utter nonsense. Somehow that’s not at all surprising.

  41. Church society would have black-listed her as an adulteress and she would not have been treated the same if we had confessed our sin and repented of our actions.

    It seems to me that a simple marriage ceremony would fix things up pretty well in the eyes of such churchy prigs.  No charge of adultery, no bastard child, no need for an abortion.  Unless of course one or both of you was already married and therefore committing adultery in the legal sense (as opposed to the ridiculous religious notion that all unmarried sex is adultery).

    I know that my girlfriend’s mother would have gladly taken on that burden so that she would have had the opportunity to hold and caress her grandchild.

    If grandma would go THAT far (which is just freakin’ creepy beyond words to me), why wouldn’t she do the more NORMAL thing and invite daughter, new hubby (you) and eventual grandchild to live under her roof until the new family gets on its feet?  No abortion necessary, no stigma of unwed motherhood, no reason for the congregation to ostracize anyone.  Something seems fishy here…

  42. He wants us to find Him in that which is unseen, not as in the case of electricity but lets say dreams. We can’t see, hear, touch, or smell them but to deny the existence of dreams would be stupid. No, God wants us to believe, hope for something better. An eternal afterlife.

    Sir, that’s just crazy talk. Have you ever been knocked out? I prefer to think that’s what dying is like. Except you don’t wake up and remember the little stars you saw just before unconsciousness took hold. You probably won’t even get a chance to regret wasting half your waking life thinking and babbling religious nonsense. Why not make it easier on yourself and consider the more likely (and simpler) after-death reality – that there is simply nothing. No humbling chat with an angel. No pearly gates. No consciousness. Just the end. Nothing. Cold comfort, I know, and it also doesn’t make you feel very ‘special’…but it seems infinitely more likely, considering what we are able to observe about death.

    I made the decision, with my girlfriend, to have the abortion because it would have destroyed her. Church society would have black-listed her as an adulteress and she would not have been treated the same if we had confessed our sin and repented of our actions. This is a problem with the church we attend and is a matter of forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven me and His sacrifice on the cross washed away our sins in the eyes of God. Thus is the true LOVE of God. Not in the sinful human nature of the congregation but in the saving grace of He who is unseen. Science needs to find alternative methods to helping young girls escape the horrors of life.

    As much as your story saddens me – and it truly does – I have to point out that this is also an excellent example for why I a) do not attend church OR b) respect fundamentalist viewpoints on matters of “moral” policy/law. Guilt, punishment from the community directed by church leaders, ostracization…not something I wish to be affiliated with or subjected to. It’s bad mojo and a pox on all churchgoers who condone and enable such actions. You are many and you are fools. Daryl would you stand up in church and denounce your congregation if they treated other people the same way your girlfriend was treated?

    If the only forgiveness you got out of that situation was from Jesus, then perhaps you need to look for some new friends. Please tell me which Church you go to so that I can stay as far away as possible.

    It is up to you. Hitler or Lincoln. It is up to us to correct the mistakes of the past before The One who is in charge is outraged enough and returns. What a blessed day it will be for those who walk uprightly and do not incite the wrath of He who gives life to all. Good luck my friends.

    I can’t help but feel threatened by this statement. Was that your intention? Also, what do you think humanity could do now that they haven’t already done that would be bad enough to summon The One to a day of reckoning for us all?

    PS: It involves homosexuals, doesn’t it?

    Whether you are religious or not, we all have agendas. My agenda is to further the knowledge and belief of The Lord because I know He is The Living God and one day all will bow before him.

    Thank you for making this clear. Now I will explain my agenda for everyone:

    To help people realize that beliefs such as the ones you have just outlined are not only unnecessary, but damaging to reasoning functions in the brain as well as hazardous to mental health in general. You seem anxious, stressed and conflicted Darryl. Perhaps this is because you suspect the decision to embrace the teachings of your church was a mistake. The answer is not overcompensation via proselytizing here in a failed attempt to infect others with your babble. The answer is wholesale rejection of this nonsense.

    Really, don’t you think it’s suspicious that after two millenia, God has not “returned” to Earth? This despite the proclaimations of so many in history like yourself that the One’s arrival is/was prophesied and imminent…

    NOT TO MENTION the numerous other “superior being” beliefs held by other religions whose predictions and prayers have not only been fruitless, but whose numbers are greater than all Christians combined! They all believed, Darryl.

    Good luck my friend. You are travelling a hard road. Perhaps this is your preference.

  43. Darryl, as regards the return of God, there are groups of people, all arguing from ignorance, that the time is nigh. And then, no doubt, if they’re wrong, well they weren’t supposed to be scientific, right? My issue with God’s “forgiveness” is that a) it’s very selective who gets forgiven and who gets punished, enough so that it changes from perspective to perspective and b) we can allow ourselves to act with a moral high ground, while disregarding the supposed wrongs that we do. There are lots of killers and rapists and whatever else that either can’t or won’t deal with externalities of their actions, and insist that “Jesus has forgiven [him or her]”.
    I could go through my “how I became a non-believer” story here, but this is faster. Speaking as someone who’s had to rebuild himself a few times in order to have the capacity to deal with the world in greater and greater extremes, conflicts like the one you endured with your girlfriend take a lot of pain, thought, and growth to get through, regardless of what you choose to do with them. What you do with it is yours, and to be fair, it won’t make much of a difference whether you stay with the church or not. In my mind, what always gets the most coverage is how this reveals who we all are as human beings. I try hard to isolate what’s common between me and my tresspassers, and that usually helps things make a lot of sense. In fact, if you can explain it strictly in terms of what’s human, why bother with anything else?

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