Who Gives A Flying Fuck?

Marquis
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Who Gives A Flying Fuck?

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Wonderist
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Marquis wrote:Some times, I

Marquis wrote:
Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful.

Considering that many (most?) people who've deconverted from Christianity have done so partially with the help of skeptical arguments/debates, it seems clear to me that the opposite is true. Not only is it worthwhile, it is also directly beneficial.

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As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God.

We take the person seriously, but we don't take their ideas seriously.

Quote:
  Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

Big difference. Schizophrenia is an organic disease of the brain. Faith-based religion is a contagious memetic disorder, a disease of the beliefs. The treatments are decidedly different.

Quote:
I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic.

And yet, people do believe it, whether literally or just devoutly. We don't take the Bible *literally* seriously. We take it seriously as a contagious memetic disease. Debunking the Bible with rational argumentation techniques is the first line of defense for the 'immune system' of rationality. Our arguments against it are like 'anti-bodies' against the various memes propagated via the Bible. The more people who hear good reasons *not* to believe, the more 'immunity' spreads through our society, and the fewer people who will be 'infected' in the first place.

Quote:
I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong.

We don't engage them on their own terms. We're atheists, not theologians! We engage them with reality.

Quote:
I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous.

You're failing to make the distinction between the ideas and the people. It is actually the ideas that are ridiculous. The people are 'infected' by the ideas. They are just people; billions are infected. These memes are tenacious and insidious, exploiting natural, innate weaknesses in human intuition and reasoning. So it makes no sense to blame the people for their flawed human nature. What needs to happen is to wake them up to the ridiculousness of the ideas. Help the person by hurting their faulty beliefs, not by hurting the person directly.

People deconvert. It's a fact. Some things help deconversions, some things hinder it. The contagious memetic diseases of religion have adaptations to prevent deconversion. One of these adaptations is the idea that faith is a virtue, with the consequence that there is a cultural taboo against criticizing faith and religion. That's a huge advantage to contagious delusion if that taboo is enforced. Breaking that taboo is a primary challenge for rational atheists. One very effective technique of breaking the taboo is to publicly, loudly, and directly confront it by breaking it unapologetically. That can, and often does, mean using ridicule. But the best target for the ridicule is usually the ideas or the resulting behaviours. Only indirectly, through the conventions of the taboo, does that ridicule rub off onto people themselves.

This distinction is important, because it plays a major role in how effective the tactic is for deconversion. If you ridicule a person directly, that's just being a jerk, and the taboo is untouched (or worse, reinforced). But if you ridicule an idea, and the believer gets all hot-and-bothered about it, it brings the taboo right out into the open so that it can be confronted and dismantled. If the taboo did not exist, the believer would not be offended by ridicule of an idea. But they are offended, because they believe in the taboo. They believe that criticizing religion/faith is inherently offensive, and that their beliefs are a core part of their personal identity, and thus they will try to enforce the taboo. Once they try to enforce the taboo, the cat is out of the bag, the taboo is exposed. And we can then ridicule the taboo, and argue rationally against it.

The effect of this is that the taboo is weakened and steadily eroded, and our 'anti-bodies' spread farther than they would if the taboo were untouched and unchallenged. Criticism of religion becomes more common-place and accepted. More deconversions are the result. Merely ridiculing people directly does not have this effect, and actually has the effect that you're railing against: It hardens their defenses.

For the ridicule to be effective, it also needs to be backed up by solid argument. This is where debunking specific religious beliefs and dogmas (like the Bible) comes into play. These debunking arguments are the anti-bodies that do the real work of disabling contagious memetic disease. The ridicule of the taboo just disables the primary defense of religion and allows the anti-bodies to do their work.

Read more deconversion stories. I've read hundreds by this point. It's a fascinating study of the psychology of rational atheism. How many have you read that culminated in, "... and then an atheist called me a moron and that's when I realized how stupid religion is." That's not how it works. How it works is, "... and as my doubts were growing, I couldn't find an answer to the problem of evil, and nobody I asked could answer it either, and so I finally gave up on god altogether." Deconversion is usually a long process of step-by-step dismantling of religious ideas. The primary tools are curiosity and doubt. The believer almost always has to do their own thinking to get out of it. What helps them, what boosts this process, is to have a wide range of anti-bodies (anti-religious ideas/arguments) available to them. Ridicule of people is not one of those anti-bodies. Ridicule of ideas can be. But that requires that such ridicule be available in the public sphere, and the only way that can work is if we break down the taboo against criticizing religion.

If you don't make the distinction between people and their ideas, your efforts against religion will be much less effective, and even counter-productive, since ridiculing people can reinforce the taboo rather than weaken it.

Quote:
No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

If you don't talk to them, they're just going to talk to their fellow-believers instead, reinforcing their beliefs with the assurances they receive. It's much more effective to discuss their beliefs with them directly.

Another thing you're not making a clear distinction with is *how* to debate religious beliefs. You seem to think it involves reading the Bible and making biblical arguments, like, "Well, Jesus said you should do X, or believe Y." Now *that's* ridiculous, if you think that's how we argue here.

There are lots of effective techniques for getting believers to think for themselves. Pointing out absurdities in their holy books/dogmas is one technique. Another technique that is particularly effective is the Socratic method. If you've ever heard The Infidel Guy, Reggie Finley is a master of this technique. Also, Todd Allen Gates has a book specifically on this technique, Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer, although I haven't read it, so I don't know how well written it is.

Using the Socratic method, as you probably already know but I'll briefly explain for everyone else reading this, involves primarily asking probing questions. You don't have to take the Bible seriously at all to do this, because you're asking about what the believer *believes*, not what their favourite book has written in it. Another proponent of the Socratic method is Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Experience show, whose motto for discussion is, "What do you believe and why do you believe it?"

That's the basic starting point, and you just keep asking harder and harder questions, chipping away at the believer's rationalizations, introducing doubts all along the way, and teaching them how to think for themselves the whole time. It is very effective if you are persistent, don't give up when you hear a clever apologetics-type answer, and come up with creative questions targeting specific beliefs that the believer holds, rather than generic beliefs obtained from the holy book.

Another thing that you seem to be unclear on is that when we debate theists, we're not just talking to them, we're talking to everyone who's listening, including people who do not have exactly the same position as the believer in the debate. This allows ridicule of absurd ideas to have an especially powerful effect. "Hmm, I thought Joe was pretty smart, but how can he believe that silly idea? Come to think of it, lots of fellow believers believe silly ideas that I don't believe. Maybe our book isn't as great as I thought." or "... And Joe's more of a devout believer than I am. If that's where his denomination leads him, I don't want anything to do with it." or "... And I was always unsure of that idea. I asked the pastor about it and he didn't have a real answer. Now that I think about it, that idea really is absurd." Using the Socratic method is particularly effective here, since it becomes a game of, "Count how many absurd beliefs I can get the believer to admit they believe on faith." When the tally starts reaching 4 or 5, the audience starts to get the idea: Faith leads directly to absurd beliefs. One after another after another. Just asking questions, and allowing the answers to be heard publicly, can itself be a powerful anti-religion argument.

That's why I never carry on private email debates. I bring them into a public forum like this one and post my counter-arguments for everyone who'll read them, not just the person I'm addressing. Admittedly, I don't get many people asking for private debates, but *for those of you reading to this besides Marquis*, you might consider converting some of those annoying email debate offers into public posts. (Of course, respect privacy where appropriate, but you can always strip out the names/addresses.) Then you just send the person a link to your public post, and if they want to continue the debate they can. But now you have an audience of more than just 1.

Still, even so, one-on-one conversations with believers can also be very effective, especially for people in your life who know you already. The key is to know how to pick the fight. Some people are in proselytization-mode, and it will be time-consuming to confront them. If you're good at it, even proselytizers can be deconverted, or at least de-fanged so they don't keep trying to proselytize to you. But if you're not so good yet, it can be a waste of time and potentially damaging to a personal relationship. In that case, go online and sharpen your skills first, then come back to the proselytizer in your personal life later.

Usually a better opportunity is when the person is at least a little bit open-minded and knows you well enough to know you're a real person, not just an acquaintance. In these cases, it's worthwhile to offer deconversion support (remember, only the believer can deconvert themselves), because you already know this person and they likely have a concrete effect on your life. Whether it's a friend, relative, spouse/partner, if they're at least a bit open-minded, it's worth a shot. But if all you have up your sleeve are personal insults and personal ridicule, forget it; you'll damage the relationship with no good coming out of it. Try the Socratic method instead. Try the unapologetic approach if you want to also challenge the taboo against criticizing faith/religion.

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stuntgibbon
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One thing's for sure, that's

One thing's for sure, that's a big block of text I'm not going through.


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I say this to end the

I say this to end the debate. I tell them to first prove that any god is real, then prove it is the biblical god (bc I mostly get in arguments with xtians). Then I say prove that your version of god is the right one, the we can discuss his philosophy and morality. Most religious arguments dive straight into the attributes and characteristics of their god. I always find myself arguing about gods morality. "Why would god have his people commit genocide?" "why would god kill every baby on earth?" I always find myself getting into these debates, then I remember that I am validating them bc we are discussing god as if he really exist. So I then ask them to prove gods existence. Once we have done that we can move to the next argument, then the next, and so on. But of course it never goes beyond proof of any god. 

 

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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

The whole "chosen one" thing is disgusting enough. When one thinks about how many humans lived before the hebrews did, it becomes even more disgusting.

The christian God is a bigoted racist.


Marquis
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marshalltenbears wrote:then

marshalltenbears wrote:

then I remember that I am validating them bc we are discussing god as if he really exist 

 

That is my point exactly.

It seems to me that "faith" is a personal and emotional issue which needs quite a lot of feeding, through endless debating and discussing of the finer points of "theology". What I have a problem with is to become shanghaied into such feeding events by psychic vampires who want validation. (And such validation can be as simple as to feel righteous excitment after having - gloriously victoriously - confronted some 'godless atheist' or other for no better purpose than that of feeding your own vanity of piousness.)

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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ex-minister
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 natural wroteYou're

 natural wrote

You're failing to make the distinction between the ideas and the people. It is actually the ideas that are ridiculous. The people are 'infected' by the ideas. They are just people; billions are infected. 

...

That's the basic starting point, and you just keep asking harder and harder questions, chipping away at the believer's rationalizations, introducing doubts all along the way, and teaching them how to think for themselves the whole time.

 

 

Natural you do go on, but you make some excellent points. As you can see by my name I was a former minister. I was not freed immediately. In fact I say he took close to 3 decades for me to finally shed my religious superstitions. You talked about the chipping away. That is how it worked with me. And largely it was my own study that left me unsatisfied. I did try to defend what I believed in, but while you wouldn't know, I knew the doubts were growing inside of me. I would only study science and evolution in particular through Creationist debunking writings. Fear is a big element in fundamental Christianity. We are talking eternal heaven and eternal hell.

When I finally step over and read science books it was staggering to me the new evidence that has come to light in only the past few decades. I wouldn't say I am 100% cured but I am really getting comfortable with reality and not wishful thinking anymore. It is just great to be one of 7 billion humans and being honest about what I feel and understand. I don't have a secret knowledge that you must first believe before you can understand.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Marquis

Marquis wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

then I remember that I am validating them bc we are discussing god as if he really exist 

 

That is my point exactly.

So don't do that. Focus on what the believer *believes* and why he believes it. Like I said, we're atheists, not theologians.

The point is that you show the absurdity of what they *believe*. It's not, "Well if God is X, then he should do Y, and that's absurd." Instead it's, "You believe God is X? Why? That's absurd. So, you also believe God should do Y? That's even more absurd. Why do you believe all these absurd things? Don't you care about what you believe?" Etc. Just hammer away on the believer's beliefs, not the specific dogmas of their religion. You're not ridiculing the dogmas, you're ridiculing the belief.

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ex-minister wrote:Natural

ex-minister wrote:


Natural you do go on, but you make some excellent points.

Thanks, I do hope it is helpful. Honest question: Do you think Stunt Gibbon is right, that it was a 'wall of text' and difficult to read? I'm not looking for validation, but an honest opinion. Sometimes I wonder if my writing style interferes with my message. It's hard to get accurate feedback, probably because people are afraid to hurt someone else's pride or whatever. Any suggestions to improve my writing style would be appreciated (by anyone, including Stunt Gibbon if he wants).

Quote:
As you can see by my name I was a former minister. I was not freed immediately. In fact I say he took close to 3 decades for me to finally shed my religious superstitions. You talked about the chipping away. That is how it worked with me. And largely it was my own study that left me unsatisfied. I did try to defend what I believed in, but while you wouldn't know, I knew the doubts were growing inside of me. I would only study science and evolution in particular through Creationist debunking writings. Fear is a big element in fundamental Christianity. We are talking eternal heaven and eternal hell.

When I finally step over and read science books it was staggering to me the new evidence that has come to light in only the past few decades. I wouldn't say I am 100% cured but I am really getting comfortable with reality and not wishful thinking anymore. It is just great to be one of 7 billion humans and being honest about what I feel and understand. I don't have a secret knowledge that you must first believe before you can understand.

Congratulations on your escape to freedom of thought! I'd be very interested to hear your deconversion story, what you believed, when you started to have doubts and the path you took to non-belief, that kind of thing. Maybe you could make a post in the Introductions forum? It's always interesting to hear how ex-ministers are able to work their way out of religion.

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ex-minister
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natural wrote:ex-minister

natural wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

 

Natural you do go on, but you make some excellent points.

Thanks, I do hope it is helpful. Honest question: Do you think Stunt Gibbon is right, that it was a 'wall of text' and difficult to read? I'm not looking for validation, but an honest opinion. Sometimes I wonder if my writing style interferes with my message. It's hard to get accurate feedback, probably because people are afraid to hurt someone else's pride or whatever. Any suggestions to improve my writing style would be appreciated (by anyone, including Stunt Gibbon if he wants).

Quote:
As you can see by my name I was a former minister. I was not freed immediately. In fact I say he took close to 3 decades for me to finally shed my religious superstitions. You talked about the chipping away. That is how it worked with me. And largely it was my own study that left me unsatisfied. I did try to defend what I believed in, but while you wouldn't know, I knew the doubts were growing inside of me. I would only study science and evolution in particular through Creationist debunking writings. Fear is a big element in fundamental Christianity. We are talking eternal heaven and eternal hell.

When I finally step over and read science books it was staggering to me the new evidence that has come to light in only the past few decades. I wouldn't say I am 100% cured but I am really getting comfortable with reality and not wishful thinking anymore. It is just great to be one of 7 billion humans and being honest about what I feel and understand. I don't have a secret knowledge that you must first believe before you can understand.

Congratulations on your escape to freedom of thought! I'd be very interested to hear your deconversion story, what you believed, when you started to have doubts and the path you took to non-belief, that kind of thing. Maybe you could make a post in the Introductions forum? It's always interesting to hear how ex-ministers are able to work their way out of religion.

Blog readers want bullet point and quick conversation. So your style only in this forum hampers your message. But you got me interested right away. I actually started to read it, then skimmed it. Felt it was important enough to digest and  came back to it to read it again two more times. Now I am not much better at brevity either, after all I was a minister. My blogs can get lengthy, but I find ways to break up the text so stands out more.

I offer this as an example

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/19565?page=1

number 70.

I too have been told to cut down what I write. It was on PZ Meyers website. Someone kindly pointed out that blogging implies brevity.

My deconversion is a long story and frankly one that I don't entirely understand. I started commenting on an evolution blog back in December. The owner has strong opinions, but he was helping me understand evolution. He was intrigued that I was an ex-minister who was interested in science. He ultimately invited me as a co-owner. So I post my own article some of which deal with my struggle away from belief.  I am using it as a dumping ground of my religious experience. It is becoming a great vehicle to bringing to light things/doubts that festered inside of me. This is quite valuable to me. Someday I may be able to give an executive summary of my deconversion, but for now this blog will have to do.

If you are interested click on over and feel free to comment.

http://darwin-killed-god.blogspot.com/

If you click on label ex-minister you will see all my articles. The label block is on the right side of page down a few pages.

I recently saw Julie Sweeney's Letting Go of God video.  While not the same story I identified with her awakening.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:Blog

ex-minister wrote:

Blog readers want bullet point and quick conversation. So your style only in this forum hampers your message. But you got me interested right away. I actually started to read it, then skimmed it. Felt it was important enough to digest and  came back to it to read it again two more times. Now I am not much better at brevity either, after all I was a minister. My blogs can get lengthy, but I find ways to break up the text so stands out more.

The thing is, I *did* break up the text, and that was the result.

It's funny, because I used to comment a lot on YouTube videos, which have a limit of only 500 characters. I was (still am) able to fit a lot of arguments/counter-arguments in only 500 characters. It's a different style. Instead of adding in detail, you just make more generic statements, removing extra words, etc.

But I grew a bit disappointed with that style because when you're too generic, you might have good points, but the people reading it don't grasp the underlying concepts. As a result, people who already agree with you say, "Right on!" but people who don't just say, "Whatever, I still disagree". YouTube comments suck for any kind of debate/discussion.

So, on forum post/blog comments I started working on hammering out the concepts underneath the arguments. Even if I have to be a bit redundant and say the same thing two different ways, I sorta get the feeling that it communicates the ideas better. The unfortunate side-effect is longer posts. It's tough to balance wham-bam-but-vague vs. clear-but-pedantic-boring-tldr.

Maybe I should start putting in section headers?! At least that way it's easier for a reader to skim to what interests them.

Quote:
I offer this as an example

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/19565?page=1

number 70.

No fair  , you got to throw in Bible quotes, I had to use ideas and stuff. Smiling Maybe I should do some more blog-type articles and link to them instead.

Quote:
I too have been told to cut down what I write. It was on PZ Meyers website. Someone kindly pointed out that blogging implies brevity.

This website has somewhat of a history of some incredibly long, detailed, but informative debates. One guy, deluded_god, has a special badge that reads "kills houseflies with a bazooka". I tend to come from that tradition, though maybe only a shotgun for me.

(Pump action, in case you were wondering.)

Quote:

My deconversion is a long story and frankly one that I don't entirely understand. I started commenting on an evolution blog back in December. The owner has strong opinions, but he was helping me understand evolution. He was intrigued that I was an ex-minister who was interested in science. He ultimately invited me as a co-owner. So I post my own article some of which deal with my struggle away from belief.  I am using it as a dumping ground of my religious experience. It is becoming a great vehicle to bringing to light things/doubts that festered inside of me. This is quite valuable to me. Someday I may be able to give an executive summary of my deconversion, but for now this blog will have to do.

Cool. Screw the summary, write a book! Didn't realize you had a blog.

Quote:
If you are interested click on over and feel free to comment.

http://darwin-killed-god.blogspot.com/

If you click on label ex-minister you will see all my articles. The label block is on the right side of page down a few pages.

I'll check it out.

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Atheistextremist
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Hi Natural

 

natural wrote:

Honest question: Do you think Stunt Gibbon is right, that it was a 'wall of text' and difficult to read? I'm not looking for validation, but an honest opinion. Sometimes I wonder if my writing style interferes with my message. It's hard to get accurate feedback, probably because people are afraid to hurt someone else's pride or whatever. Any suggestions to improve my writing style would be appreciated (by anyone, including Stunt Gibbon if he wants).

Don't worry - you were answering the question seriously as usual. It was a big answer but it made sense. You can make points in a single sentence or a page, obviously, but it depends on the issues you consider as you go. It's possible to pare things back to their barest form but an online conversation where keystrokes are working in three dimensions is not a haiku contest. The format of web sites like this, unbroken by graphics or 'breathing' layouts has a way of creating a textual colditz once you get past about 350 words...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Marquis
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natural wrote:Do you think

natural wrote:
Do you think Stunt Gibbon is right, that it was a 'wall of text' and difficult to read?

 

I think it was a good reply. I have been known to read entire books, so that block of text, although quite large, was by no way intimidating. It should also be said that you raised some interesting ideas that I shall have to properly think about and probably implement in some form which will not be appropriately encompassed in a short and smart assed answer.

However, I am still, on a whole, skeptical to letting Christian ideas and concepts enter into the meme bank of linguistics; there to form idiosyncratic patterns that beckon automated responses. (Although I am aware of the fact that this critique in fact is representative of such a meme.)

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful.

Who enjoys banging their head against a brick wall, anyways?


 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I think one of the reasons I

I think one of the reasons I give a flying fuck is that, in the absence of vocal atheists, theists tend to assume everyone believes exactly what they believe.  I don't like living in a world where everyone assumes I believe in magic.  I want to force theists to recognize that there belief is a belief, an opinion, not "Truth".

 

Jesus and Mo said it best...religion should be like Horse porn.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I'll have to say that I

I'll have to say that I really do agree with this. I've had this experience with christians that I've engaged. They seem to get some kind of kick out of having someone take their nonsense seriously. In a way, I think it empowers them.


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Yeah

 

Maybe we should just give them a little tract gently explaining (in a suitable cartoon format) that lord voldemort and dumbledore are not really fighting with light sabres in the sky for the future of all mankind. 

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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

It would appear to me that religions can have important influences in successful personality development because they are the primary way that cultures promote the virtues associated with each stage of life according to Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development. So we should assume that your position that theists are mentally sick is just lacking basic psycological knowledge. I think this could be insulting to people with genuine psycological disorders.

 

Good day.


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damasius wrote:successful

damasius wrote:

successful personality development

 

I would question on what standards we would judge a personality as successful...


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I have never mentioned

I have never mentioned ''successfully personality'' but rather the successfully development of ones personality. 

 

 


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Damasius wrote:I have never

Damasius wrote:

I have never mentioned ''successfully personality'' but rather the successfully development of ones personality. 

 

 

 

Which implies there can be successful and unsuccessful personalities...


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Anything that relies on

Anything that relies on persuading people of the existence of something without justification/evidence, thus encouraging irrationality, is not beneficial to social progress or the ability to address complex problems.

The evidence from surveys of various countries, and regions within nations, shows that overall psychological health has a reverse correlation with religiosity. Any positive correlation between personal religiosity and happiness within a society should not be allowed to obscure the broader perspective.

The 'virtues' promoted by religion do not match all that well to what is part of a properly based ethics or moral code. They perpetuate many ancient and primitive taboos and superstitions.

The ability of a practice or belief to allow people to cope with difficult social circumstances reduces the motivation to address the factors in society which contribute to that personal distress, thereby ultimately contributing to the problem.

There is good reason to accept that mental well-being does require some beliefs and/or practices in addition to adequate reasoning skills, to address those aspects of our psychology which religion addresses.

However those ideas associated with many traditional beliefs, especially of the Abrahamic variety, are becoming increasingly inadequate or even dysfunctional, as actual knowledge of both physical reality and the mind is gained by scientific study. The cognitive dissonance involved in trying to reconcile traditional creation stories with the conclusions of careful study, as typified by the evolution 'debate' in the US, is an example of the negatives of clinging to such belief systems.

The practices of various Eastern religions in such things as meditation seem far more successful here. As Sam Harris urges, we should study them, not so much the less-well founded beliefs associated with them, but what is it  that contributes to the enhanced ability to find 'peace'. I only caution that we don't really want a universal Prozac to take away any drive to improve society and address real problems. As always, balance is required.

There is evidence that this enhanced ability to not attend to bad things occurring in the outside world can allow real evil to arise, such as the Pol Pot regime in the highly Buddhist nation of Cambodia, or the atrocities committed on both sides of the long-running conflict in Sri-Lanka.

We definitely need something to address this fundamental aspect of life, but something more consistent with current knowledge of the nature and origins of the Universe and Life itself, better able to address a very different and more complex world than that of a few millennia past.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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 Anything that relies on

 

Anything that relies on persuading people of the existence of something without justification/evidence, thus encouraging irrationality, is not beneficial to social progress or the ability to address complex problems.Being a student at the university in psychology this should be interesting.I agree that forcing beliefs ‘’ down ones throat’’ is never beneficial, the same would apply to forcing the idea that God does not exist as supported by militant antheism, I think we ought to have free choice in whatever we believe. The evidence from surveys of various countries, and regions within nations, shows that overall psychological health has a reverse correlation with religiosity. Any positive correlation between personal religiosity and happiness within a society should not be allowed to obscure the broader perspective. Cite or retract, also when you do so, please try not to cite a militant atheist website, I could go get a militant Christian book or website and do the same thing. The 'virtues' promoted by religion do not match all that well to what is part of a properly based ethics or moral code. They perpetuate many ancient and primitive taboos and superstitions. Most ethical codes have been inspired by Christian values, the values of the society you live in are good examples, if you want me to elaborate on this just ask. The ability of a practice or belief to allow people to cope with difficult social circumstances reduces the motivation to address the factors in society which contribute to that personal distress, thereby ultimately contributing to the problem. More baseless unsupported assertions cite or retract. There is good reason to accept that mental well-being does require some beliefs and/or practices in addition to adequate reasoning skills, to address those aspects of our psychology which religion addresses. We are still worlds away from proving that religion is damaging. However those ideas associated with many traditional beliefs, especially of the Abrahamic variety, are becoming increasingly inadequate or even dysfunctional, as actual knowledge of both physical reality and the mind is gained by scientific study. The cognitive dissonance involved in trying to reconcile traditional creation stories with the conclusions of careful study, as typified by the evolution 'debate' in the US, is an example of the negatives of clinging to such belief systems. I agree that some practises can be damaging, I could cite a few examples in Judaism, there is no dissonance in a non-literal interpretation of creationist tales.  The practices of various Eastern religions in such things as meditation seem far more successful here. As Sam Harris urges, we should study them, not so much the less-well founded beliefs associated with them, but what is it  that contributes to the enhanced ability to find 'peace'. I only caution that we don't really want a universal Prozac to take away any drive to improve society and address real problems. As always, balance is required. I agree!There is evidence that this enhanced ability to not attend to bad things occurring in the outside world can allow real evil to arise, such as the Pol Pot regime in the highly Buddhist nation of Cambodia, or the atrocities committed on both sides of the long-running conflict in Sri-Lanka.Again. Cite or retract, on the same basis I could assert that atheism can allow evil to arise using examples such as Stalin and his mass murder/starvation of millions.

 


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That reply is very hard to

That reply is very hard to read - it shows up on my browser as a solid block of text, with little or no distinction between other posts and your response.

We have not proved that religion is unambiguously damaging, but there are results that point that way.

This is a major relevant study: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html, which has many references to other studies.

It does not prove the case against religion, but does disprove the idea that religion is inherently and strongly beneficial.

Cambodia and Sri-Lanka are examples where the population was strongly observant of a belief system which would seem to be inconsistent with such acts.

In Stalinist Russia, the population itself was predominantly of Eastern Orthodox faith, suppressed during the Communist regimes, but re-emerging extremely rapidly once those constraints were removed, indicating that the basic beliefs were in that direction rather than in that of the rulers.

The model of absolute obedience to authority is clearly in line with the religion, rather than with Atheism.  And in any case, more people died in Hitler's camps than in Stalin's, and Hitler was not an Atheist.

Stalin was opposed and eventually brought down by other communists, so he really isn't a good example for you, that and the fact that he trained as a seminarian.

In all cases, a highly observant society was readily subverted to either allow or assist in horrific acts. Neither Stalin nor Pol Pot personally killed all those people.

Once again, I am not proving that religion is harmful, just providing very strong evidence that is not inherently beneficial to society at large, even when and if it provides personal benefits to the individual believer.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

I get what you are saying, after debating a friend (who thinks they "discovered" the bible like it fell from the sky or something lol) he has "jesus forever" as a default ending when he texts me. I'll have to think of something good to put on mine. He is so completely closed minded on the subject, as are most people I know. What did he expect when he came over to my house and said "I have reconfirmed my faith in god and he is going to help me straighten my life out". I want to scream at him, that HE is the one who has to do that, a magical imaginary bastard in the sky is not going to help him.

But our "debate" if you want to call it that seems to have just strengthened his resolve, even though he had no rebuttals for most of what I had to say on the subject except for faith faith and more faith. If you could bottle faith you would really have something.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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natural wrote:Marquis

natural wrote:

Marquis wrote:
Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful.

Considering that many (most?) people who've deconverted from Christianity have done so partially with the help of skeptical arguments/debates, it seems clear to me that the opposite is true. Not only is it worthwhile, it is also directly beneficial.

I don't think i know anyone who deconverted because of rational arguements (at least outside the internet). I deconverted because i just didnt by it anymore, just didnt see how there could be a god certainly was no debate or arguements about it, just realised i didn't believe it anymore. My friend deconverted because christianity clashed with his worldview. Hell i didnt even know any arguements for or against god at the time.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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Tapey wrote:natural

Tapey wrote:

natural wrote:

Marquis wrote:
Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful.

Considering that many (most?) people who've deconverted from Christianity have done so partially with the help of skeptical arguments/debates, it seems clear to me that the opposite is true. Not only is it worthwhile, it is also directly beneficial.

I don't think i know anyone who deconverted because of rational arguements (at least outside the internet). I deconverted because i just didnt by it anymore, just didnt see how there could be a god certainly was no debate or arguements about it, just realised i didn't believe it anymore. My friend deconverted because christianity clashed with his worldview. Hell i didnt even know any arguements for or against god at the time.

First, you'll note that I made various qualifications, such as 'many' and 'partially'.

Second, when I refer to 'skeptical arguments' I'm talking about arguments in the sense of progressions of reasoning, e.g. logical arguments. I'm not referring to 'arguments' in the colloquial sense of "Joe and Bob are arguing about religion again" verbal disagreements. That's why I put 'arguments' with 'debates', so that it would include either reasoned arguments or actual read/overheard debates between people. For example, Euthyphro's Dilemma is a good example of an argument that's not necessarily a debate.

Third, I would wager that you probably had at least a little bit of help from skeptical arguments floating around in the culture as you contemplated your thoughts. For example, why couldn't you "buy it" anymore? There must have been something that didn't seem to make logical sense, right? Maybe it was noticing the logical incompatibility of a loving god and a world filled with suffering? That would be an argument from the Problem of Evil, for example. That's a skeptical argument.

The very act of applying logical reasoning to religious belief is an inherently skeptical thing to do. At the base of it, you're at least considering, "If it doesn't hold up logically, that would be a reason to doubt that it's true." There was a time, for thousands of years, when logical reasoning simply hadn't been discovered yet, and people could only rely on purely intuitive reasoning. And with the invention of 'faith', there was a long period of time when people simply kept their religion separate from their logic. If you had lived in that culture, you would probably still be a theist. So would I, probably. But because we live in a culture where skeptical ideas are available, like applying logic to religious beliefs, we were able to use those ideas to help us reject theism. The more we can promote such skeptical ideas, the more frequently will other people be able to escape theism as well. That was my main point.

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natural wrote:Tapey

natural wrote:

Tapey wrote:

natural wrote:

Marquis wrote:
Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful.

Considering that many (most?) people who've deconverted from Christianity have done so partially with the help of skeptical arguments/debates, it seems clear to me that the opposite is true. Not only is it worthwhile, it is also directly beneficial.

I don't think i know anyone who deconverted because of rational arguements (at least outside the internet). I deconverted because i just didnt by it anymore, just didnt see how there could be a god certainly was no debate or arguements about it, just realised i didn't believe it anymore. My friend deconverted because christianity clashed with his worldview. Hell i didnt even know any arguements for or against god at the time.

First, you'll note that I made various qualifications, such as 'many' and 'partially'.

Second, when I refer to 'skeptical arguments' I'm talking about arguments in the sense of progressions of reasoning, e.g. logical arguments. I'm not referring to 'arguments' in the colloquial sense of "Joe and Bob are arguing about religion again" verbal disagreements. That's why I put 'arguments' with 'debates', so that it would include either reasoned arguments or actual read/overheard debates between people. For example, Euthyphro's Dilemma is a good example of an argument that's not necessarily a debate.

Third, I would wager that you probably had at least a little bit of help from skeptical arguments floating around in the culture as you contemplated your thoughts. For example, why couldn't you "buy it" anymore? There must have been something that didn't seem to make logical sense, right? Maybe it was noticing the logical incompatibility of a loving god and a world filled with suffering? That would be an argument from the Problem of Evil, for example. That's a skeptical argument.

The very act of applying logical reasoning to religious belief is an inherently skeptical thing to do. At the base of it, you're at least considering, "If it doesn't hold up logically, that would be a reason to doubt that it's true." There was a time, for thousands of years, when logical reasoning simply hadn't been discovered yet, and people could only rely on purely intuitive reasoning. And with the invention of 'faith', there was a long period of time when people simply kept their religion separate from their logic. If you had lived in that culture, you would probably still be a theist. So would I, probably. But because we live in a culture where skeptical ideas are available, like applying logic to religious beliefs, we were able to use those ideas to help us reject theism. The more we can promote such skeptical ideas, the more frequently will other people be able to escape theism as well. That was my main point.

im not saying debating is bad thing and im aware you didnt say all. just thought id mention it. look maybe i did maybe i didn't i duno hard to tell when things arent a conscious decsion. the question that made me realise i was an atheist was why should there be a god? was probably an atheist before then just hadnt thought about it. but its not even a very logical question for determining weather there is a god. but it was enough, im not sure i had even thought of the idea that god might not exist until then

 

Im not disagreeing with your point, but i will  say sometimes debate will help reenforce believe... infact most of the time. But later maybe they will revisit those questions and it will help. But has anyone ever said yup now im an atheist after a debate.. probably not. Thats my thoughts on it.

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Tapey wrote:im not saying

Tapey wrote:

im not saying debating is bad thing and im aware you didnt say all. just thought id mention it. look maybe i did maybe i didn't i duno hard to tell when things arent a conscious decsion.

I'm not denying that you deconverted without the help of skeptical arguments. If you did, it wouldn't really surprise me. I was just clarifying my position and saying which way I would bet if we were betting. Specifically, I wanted to clear up my ambiguous use of the word 'argument'.

Quote:
But has anyone ever said yup now im an atheist after a debate.. probably not. Thats my thoughts on it.

I think I made it pretty clear that I don't believe that either. In that same first comment, I said: "How it works is, "... and as my doubts were growing, I couldn't find an answer to the problem of evil, and nobody I asked could answer it either, and so I finally gave up on god altogether." Deconversion is usually a long process of step-by-step dismantling of religious ideas."

I'm basing my examples on the many deconversion stories I've heard and read, and the common threads between them.

Primarily, my point in saying "many (most?) people who've deconverted from Christianity have done so partially with the help of skeptical arguments/debates" was to counter the OP's feeling that "debating a Christian ... is not only futile but also directly harmful". My point is that these many deconversion stories directly contradict the idea that debates (and the associated arguments) against Christianity are futile.

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A miracle

natural wrote:

Q: "Isn't it a miracle that the universe/life/consciousness/myself exists?"
A: "No."

 

Q: What is it then?


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You are here because

You are here because billions of years ago meterorites hit the Earth carrying amino acids. Small organisms eventually evolved then into larger organisms over many millions of years. Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a while. A great cataclismic even occured that wiped out much of the life on Earth. This allowed mamals to live without Dinosaurs. Eventually over many years of evolution, the modern human evolved. This eventually lead to your birth.
That, my fellow human, is why you are here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You cannot disprove the existance of God, but you also cannot disprove the existance of an all powerfull, incomprehesible, pink elephant that lives in the boot of my car.


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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

If a Christian is going to find validation for his/her beliefs in your actions, it honestly doesn't really matter what you do.  Here's a few scenarios for you:

Scenario A (your scenario)

You: The Bible cannot possibly be true because of A, B, C, and D

Christian: Ahh but you're paying attention to me, therefore deep down you realize that the Bible is an important book! My faith is now validated because of you!

 

Scenario B (my scenario)

You: Dude, that is so crazy I'm not even going to respond

Christian: You're just afraid because you KNOW you can't refute it! My faith is now validated because of you!

 

In either case, the Christian is going to walk away feeling that they've won. That's what they're programmed to do.  If they've entered into a dialog with a predetermined conclusion, you've already lost. It doesn't matter what you say.

 

Quote:
The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

Mentally sick people are in hospitals. They are there because they have posited delusions that have not been accepted by society as whole. But what happens when people start LISTENING to them?  Scientology, Raelianism, Kim Il-Sungism, Heaven's Gate, People's Temple. THAT to me is what's harmful about religion. It's not the beliefs, it is the mental conditioning the religious go through as children in order to become receptive to harmful and demonstrably false beliefs.  Acknowledging the Bible is important because over 2 BILLION people on this earth believe it in some form or another to be the literal truth. These people are RUNNING things.


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Who gives a flying fuck?

 To the OP: Who the fuck cares?

To the replies:  Did you not read the fucking question?  Who gives a flying fuck?

Not me, fuck that, fuck cares, fuck off:

 

Reason upon reason of fuckng reason about who gives a flying fuck? I don't give a flying fuck about ^^.  Sue me! Bite me!  Kiss my flying fuckless caring arse.

 

Could I fucking care less? No, fuck that!  Arguments can fuck right off, Why?  Cause I couldn't give a flying fuck about your fuckin stupid bitchings.

 

Now fuck off!!! Laughing out loud

P.S. Merry fucking christmas..


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Marquis wrote:Is this a

Marquis wrote:

Is this a paranoid idea?

Some times, I get the feeling that debating a Christian (or other person of the religious persuation) is not only futile but also directly harmful. What I mean is that they get some kind of twisted "validation" out of this. As in, they are taken more seriously than they deserve. Their ideas get indulged and fortified through what to them must seem like a conspiracy against their special relation with God. Compare this to how other paranoid delusions are being treated in the psychiatric field of medicine. Do you indulge and validate for instance schizophreniacs who are conviced that they are having and holding the full attention of both the CIA, the NSA, an army of undercover space aliens, and god-only-knows what else?

The core of the problem is the delusion of being a "chosen one". In the case of Christians, "saved".

I don't think that the Bible deserves to be taken seriously at such a level as to be debated and/or debunked. It's just a fucking book filled with some fucking stories about an imaginary desert tribe and their relation to an imaginary Space Monster. As fiction goes, it's quite interesting. But to actually believe in the literal "truth" of the Bible is psychotic. I am sorry, but there really is no way for me to be "nice" about this. I believe that to engage these mentally sick people on their own terms is morally wrong. I believe it must be made crystal clear at all and every crossroad that they are just ridiculous. No more (actually much less) than some 5 year old making up shit do they deserve to be invited into an adult conversation about things that are important.

No it is not futile and so what if they get some twisted validation out of it.

Why do we have to take them seriously? Not just Christians, but Muslims and even the dogmatism of a state like North Korea. The powers in all of these have a global influence. It may seem indirect on a local scale, but people make up governments, and governments have power and weapons.

It is not futile because if we never challenged social norms our species would still believe the earth to be flat, and women would not be able to vote and blacks would still be slaves.

Whatever validation a believer may get short term is being out paced by scientific discovery and the age of technology is making them take on increasingly a more secular watered down version of their belief. If we did nothing and never spoke up against blind worship of a god or a state, those forms of fascism would over run us.

If no one had questioned me when I believed, I never would have taken the journey to the atheist position I hold today. It took me years after that specific question to end up an atheist, it did not happen over night. Most de conversions take months or even years. Rarely does someone have an overnight epiphany.

It is a slow process and multi generational. You cannot think that because you don't change most people's minds that there are not others whom you do question, may crack in the future and give up on their beliefs.

The rate of non religious, including merely non-church goers to agnostic/atheist IS on the rise. Trinity College survey that the (no religious affiliation) percentage of Americans almost doubled from 8% in 1990 to 15% today.

http://www.trincoll.edu/AboutTrinity/News_Events/trinity_news/030909_Religion.htm

It is because we live under one government, and because our species lives on one planet, that we cannot ignore these claims. People who believe these things can have power over us, be it our boss at work, or our local city council, or our hired teachers, or our state school boards who decide school textbooks. Or our Senators all the way up to our president.

But to say it never works is absurd. I am an atheist today because someone in my past questioned me when I told them I believed in Jesus. And since believers can be our law enforcement, and our lawyers and judges and law makers, I find it extremely important.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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BobSpence
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Who gives a flying

Who gives a flying fuck?

Answer, a lot of people, about a lot of things.

So fuck off, I don't give a flying fuck about whether you give a FF about whether I or anyone else gives a FF about anything...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Atheistextremist
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Ahhh fuck.

 

What I give most of a fuck about is why Australia's top order is unable to score fifty fucking runs without losing all their fucking wickets. This is a bigger and more complex fucken question than whether or flying fucken not there's a fucken god, flying around the fuck.

Maybe god's doing it given Australia is so fucken secular and beer soaked. He's fucked up, the fuck.

Also, why the fuck did my mother give me a fucking bible for christmas? Probably the same reason I gave her The Evolution of Morality. We got a laugh out of it, anyway.

Get fucked toidi and stop whinging about our fucken whinging.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


harleysportster
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Many people

Many people often ask me if I do not believe in god, why do I waste so much time on the subject ?

They seem to think that they have cleverly spoken some question that will trap me at this point.

To which I  give them the oft repeated answer : god is not real, but no one can deny that religion is VERY real and all of the poison that it spreads.

Local politicians in my area are forever touting : I am for more faith based initiatives. I am for traditional marriage. I am for old fashioned justice and family values. I believe in keeping the Ten Commandments on the U. S. Buildings and in god we trust on the dollar  bills. I want prayer in the schools. I want Intelligent Design taught to our children, etc. etc. etc.

As long as people are electing politicians like that into positions of power to make influential decisions upon our lives, I will be a very outspoken anti-religious Atheist, that will waste as much time as necessary to prove that god does not exist.

Who gives a flying fuck ? Well, I do for starters.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Anonymous H wrote:natural

Anonymous H wrote:

natural wrote:

Q: "Isn't it a miracle that the universe/life/consciousness/myself exists?"
A: "No."

 

Q: What is it then?

A: An unsurprising logical pre-requisite of your asking such a question.

You obviously missed the following part of my signature:

natural wrote:

For any person P, question Q, and concept X
If the asking of Q depends on the existence of X, and P asks Q
Then X exists, and P should not be surprised of that

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