Man is inherently condemned to be free. Skill to maintain freedom? How about rejection of all religious doctrines. Are atheists the only free individuals. I look at religion and see an escape from freedom. Are christians fearful? I think so. A free nation based on religion? Kind of an oxymoron.
I am not wealthy, but can I contribute in some small way, either financially or otherwise, to help ensure your freedoms?Submitted by Serafim Evgenie... on February 5, 2007 - 1:39pm.
I am a Theist, but must say, with profound conviction, that your courage and honesty moves me deeply, to the core of my being, and ask for your help as to how I can help protect you from having to live in fear. In my book, your honesty and courage in expressing your rationally reached conclusions are far more valuable to humanity than the conclusions of those who threaten you; they are the ones who are living in hell already. I agree with you - there is no hell - except for those who hate and threaten others who do not agree with them. They are the ones who have created hell for themselves, and who would create it for all of us if they had the power to do so...PLEASE report all threats to the authorities.
Quaran and probability. Allah has revealed Himself to you but most hate the Truth - Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct. At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.
Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct. At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.
Despite the user name, I'm not here with dogmatic intentions. The name is just a celebration of the challenge. Here are some ideas you may want to consider:
- Create a symbol. Make it positive. Display it everywhere. Movements need an shared idenity, so like-minded individuals can recognize each other.
- Establish a day of celebration. Religions use the species survival mechanism of shared communual activity to cement their beliefs into peoples' psyches. Take a leaf from their book. Make it joyful. Use music. Give your fellows something to look forward.
- Have a parade. I'll come.
Defeatist arguments are the primary defense mechanism of the weak-minded.
I have been told on many occasions, when I express opinions regarding laws that I plainly disagree with, that you cannot fight the government. It is a belief that any government wishes their native populace to believe, because a people who think that they cannot fight their government in any fashion is more easily controlled.
Think of this: the early American colonists endured the same form of propaganda. They were told in no uncertain terms that the King and his armies were too powerful. That there was no way to oppose them, and it was folly to even attempt to do so. The vast majority of the people living within the colonies simply endured whatever legislation the King laid down, and submitted themselves to whatever tyrannies might be imposed upon them.
In response to some's request to post sections of Church doctrine on various issues, I will begin my series with quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church as found at the website of the Holy See (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc/index.htm).
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
26 We begin our profession of faith by saying: "I believe" or "We believe". Before expounding the Church's faith, as confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy and lived in observance of God's commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what "to believe" means. Faith is man's response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life. Thus we shall consider first that search (Chapter One), then the divine Revelation by which God comes to meet man (Chapter Two), and finally the response of faith (Chapter Three).
I have a link to a video here that some might find interesting. It is not approved by the Catholic Church but is being currently investigated. While an Italian bishop was saying Mass for the French television station that broadcasts Mass for shut-ins, the Host miraculously leviated off the paten on national television. The story had been under investigation for some time, and recently the bishop who was celebrating Mass wrote a book describing the miracle. Thankfully, the video was preserved for all to see. Here is the link to the video itself:
FIDES ET RATIO
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ON THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN FAITH AND REASON
My Venerable Brother Bishops,
Health and the Apostolic Blessing!
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).
Faith (from the New Catholic Encyclopedia, found at newadvent.org; public domain)
I. THE MEANING OF THE WORD
(Pistis, fides). In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word means essentially steadfastness, cf. Exod., xvii, 12, where it is used to describe the strengthening of Moses' hands; hence it comes to mean faithfulness, whether of God towards man (Deuteronomy 32:4) or of man towards God (Ps. cxviii, 30). As signifying man's attitude towards God it means trustfulness or fiducia. It would, however, be illogical to conclude that the word cannot, and does not, mean belief or faith in the Old Testament for it is clear that we cannot put trust in a person's promises without previously assenting to or believing in that person's claim to such confidence. Hence even if it could be proved that the Hebrew word does not in itself contain the notion of belief, it must necessarily presuppose it. But that the word does itself contain the notion of belief is clear from the use of the radical, which in the causative conjugation, or Hiph'il, means "to believe", e.g. Gen., xv, 6, and Deut., i, 32, in which latter passage the two meanings -- viz. of believing and of trusting -- are combined. That the noun itself often means faith or belief, is clear from Hab., ii, 4, where the context demands it. The witness of the Septuagint is decisive; they render the verb by pisteuo, and the noun by pistis; and here again the two factors, faith and trust, are connoted by the same term. But that even in classical Greek pisteuo was used to signify believe, is clear from Euripides (Helene, 710), logois d'emoisi pisteuson tade, and that pistis could mean "belief" is shown by the same dramatist's theon d'ouketi pistis arage (Medea, 414; cf. Hipp., 1007). In the New Testament the meanings "to believe" and "belief", for pisteon and pistis, come to the fore; in Christ's speech, pistis frequently means "trust", but also "belief" (cf. Matthew 8:10). In Acts it is used objectively of the tenets of the Christians, but is often to be rendered "belief" (cf. xvii, 31; xx, 21; xxvi, . In Romans, xiv, 23, it has the meaning of "conscience" -- "all that is not of faith is sin" -- but the Apostle repeatedly uses it in the sense of "belief" (cf. Romans 4 and Galatians 3). How necessary it is to point this out will be evident to all who are familiar with modern theological literature; thus, when a writer in the "Hibbert Journal", Oct., 1907, says, "From one end of the Scripture to the other, faith is trust and only trust", it is hard to see how he would explain 1 Cor. xiii, 13, and Heb., xi, 1. The truth is that many theological writers of the present day are given to very loose thinking, and in nothing is this so evident as in their treatment of faith. In the article just referred to we read: "Trust in God is faith, faith is belief, belief may mean creed, but creed is not equivalent to trust in God." A similar vagueness was especially noticeable in the "Do we believe?" controversy- one correspondent says- "We unbelievers, if we have lost faith, cling more closely to hope and -- the greatest of these -- charity" ("Do we believe?", p. 180, ed. W. L. Courtney, 1905). Non-Catholic writers have repudiated all idea of faith as an intellectual assent, and consequently they fail to realize that faith must necessarily result in a body of dogmatic beliefs. "How and by what influence", asks Harnack, "was the living faith transformed into the creed to be believed, the surrender to Christ into a philosophical Christology?" (quoted in Hibbert Journal, loc. cit.).
in a nonreligius household and have been an atheist all my life. I just discovered this web site after seeing it on Nightline, and I just have to say that I find it quite refreshing. I have in the past attended the Ethical Society, which is great, but they lack fire. Free thinkers are under attack in this society, and we need to fight for our place, just as hard as the religious fundamentalists. Hopefully we have a lot more appealing message. Keep up the good work.