Hi from the UK

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Hi from the UK

Hi there,

 

I have been a skeptic and atheist from an early age. I've always been fascinated that people can believe in supernatural phenomena, especially religions, without appropriate evidence and even when there's evidence to the contrary. I have been a birder since the age of ten and am interested in the environment, conservation and associated issues. I love debate but i'm no scientist so hope to pick up some info and advice from others on here who may be more qualified than I to answer certain questions

 

JS

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

Isaac Asimov


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 Hello and

 Hello and welcome... 

 I'm also from the UK; good to see a fellow brit on the boards! 

 


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Cool, and welcome.

Cool, and welcome.


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 THE RED COATS ARE COMING!

 THE RED COATS ARE COMING! THE RED COATS ARE COMING!

Welcome to the forums. Dive in, the water is warm and the sharks are always hungry. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Welcome Johnny

 

 

You'll find plenty of theists to play with here. 

 

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


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Welcome from Canada!

Welcome from Canada!

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Johnny Surrey
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Thanks

Many thanks for the warm welcome. I think it's already been said that the Brits are more laid back about religion than Americans but, that said, with the rise of Islam in Britain and a tendency by the authorities to pander to their beliefs, Christians seem to have become slightly more militant of late.

 

I found this site by chance whilst trying to figure out a bunch of gobbledegook offered in debate by a creationist guy I know. He's a decent chap but no different than most other theists when it comes to debating the reasons for their beliefs (evasive and likely to answer a question with more questions rather than answer the original question). Anyway, I have already picked up some helpful advice in one of the forums and have learnt much already. Glad to have joined.

 

JS

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

Isaac Asimov


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www.genesisexpo.co.uk The

www.genesisexpo.co.uk

 The creationists are heading this way too...  No-one is safe. 

 


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The beauty of those museums

The beauty of those museums lies in the future, when secularists purchase the properties and they become testament to the idiocy of religion. Children will wander around learning about how twisted and illogical the theist was.

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Vastet wrote:The beauty of

Vastet wrote:
The beauty of those museums lies in the future, when secularists purchase the properties and they become testament to the idiocy of religion. Children will wander around learning about how twisted and illogical the theist was.

It has always been a particularly fanatasy of mine to imagine what the world will look like in about 800 years. For some reason, the term 28th Century has always stuck out in my imagination ( maybe I picked it up in a book somewhere or something).

Provided that humanity is still around, I would think that life would be radically different.

But I don't think that it will take that many centuries for religion to in fact become something that belongs in a museum.

Like I stated in another thread, the more that we solve about the mysteries of the mind, the even LESS footing theists will have to stand on.

The recent posts about science being able to cure morphine and heroin are definite proof of that.

People have often called me very cynical for saying this : But a lot of missionaries, homeless shelters and drug rehab centers are nothing more than recruiting centers for theist institutions to take FULL advantage of the downtrodden.

It is one of the aspects of religion that I hate the most.

The Salvation Army being a wonderful case in point.

“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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harleysportster wrote:People

harleysportster wrote:

People have often called me very cynical for saying this : But a lot of missionaries, homeless shelters and drug rehab centers are nothing more than recruiting centers for theist institutions to take FULL advantage of the downtrodden.

It is one of the aspects of religion that I hate the most.

The Salvation Army being a wonderful case in point.

 

I agree completely, I have ran into many "charities" where their primary goal seems to be conversion and any offer to help is incidental. Though, to be fair, there are a few that take a very passive approach, they provide the assistance and only attempt to convert when asked about the subject or they might make an invitation to attend Sunday service, which I do not have such a problem with.

Then there are situations like my brother, who is a missionary in Mexico, they run an orphanage that currently has 42 kids. They are indoctrinating the kids with religion, but also caring for them, providing a basic education and applying for visas to get the out of Mexico. The children are much better off than they would be if left on the street where they either die or are used by the cartels. The problem is that there really isn't a secular option, I guess you have to be crazy to want to move from the US to Mexico so only crazy theists like my brother do so. 

As it happens, my brother became a theist after his experience in a homeless shelter.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Beyond Saving wrote:As it

Beyond Saving wrote:

As it happens, my brother became a theist after his experience in a homeless shelter.

An easy trap to fall into.

"The people of this religion did good for me, therefore they could be on to something." Of course, many situations like this, the religious people hold the full extent of their help hostage until you seem to be receptive. It is disgusting when handled in that way.

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Genesis Expo

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

www.genesisexpo.co.uk

 The creationists are heading this way too...  No-one is safe. 

 

 

This is interesting as I have been down that way, many times over the past few years and not even noticed this place. People are obviously much more interested in HMS Victory and the historical Portsmouth docks than this shabby fraud. I found this:

http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/CreationScienceMovement

 

JS

 

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

Isaac Asimov


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ThunderJones wrote:An easy

ThunderJones wrote:

An easy trap to fall into.

"The people of this religion did good for me, therefore they could be on to something." Of course, many situations like this, the religious people hold the full extent of their help hostage until you seem to be receptive. It is disgusting when handled in that way.

Agreed.

Not so different than the Manson Family.

Charles Manson took a bunch of alienated people that needed to fit in, made them feel important and special, and look what happened.

The parallels between Manson and religion are pretty obvious.

“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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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

An easy trap to fall into.

"The people of this religion did good for me, therefore they could be on to something." Of course, many situations like this, the religious people hold the full extent of their help hostage until you seem to be receptive. It is disgusting when handled in that way.

Agreed.

Not so different than the Manson Family.

Charles Manson took a bunch of alienated people that needed to fit in, made them feel important and special, and look what happened.

The parallels between Manson and religion are pretty obvious.

The only significant differences between religions and cults are probably the lengths the latter will go to to keep you isolated and reliant on them, and the damage and difficulty leaving them can bring upon you.

I'd say the fundamentalist sects of various religions are very cultish. Especially back in the day in Europe and elsewhere, and in parts of the middle-east now, where you die if you openly disagree with them, and you don't know a single person who isn't part of the 'religion'. You are trapped in a dangerous, insane cult, whether you know it or not.

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ThunderJones

ThunderJones wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

An easy trap to fall into.

"The people of this religion did good for me, therefore they could be on to something." Of course, many situations like this, the religious people hold the full extent of their help hostage until you seem to be receptive. It is disgusting when handled in that way.

Agreed.

Not so different than the Manson Family.

Charles Manson took a bunch of alienated people that needed to fit in, made them feel important and special, and look what happened.

The parallels between Manson and religion are pretty obvious.

The only significant differences between religions and cults are probably the lengths the latter will go to to keep you isolated and reliant on them, and the damage and difficulty leaving them can bring upon you.

I'd say the fundamentalist sects of various religions are very cultish. Especially back in the day in Europe and elsewhere, and in parts of the middle-east now, where you die if you openly disagree with them, and you don't know a single person who isn't part of the 'religion'. You are trapped in a dangerous, insane cult, whether you know it or not.

 

All religions start as cults, a religion is simply a cult that grows large enough to continue for generations after the death of its founder(s).

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

An easy trap to fall into.

"The people of this religion did good for me, therefore they could be on to something." Of course, many situations like this, the religious people hold the full extent of their help hostage until you seem to be receptive. It is disgusting when handled in that way.

Agreed.

Not so different than the Manson Family.

Charles Manson took a bunch of alienated people that needed to fit in, made them feel important and special, and look what happened.

The parallels between Manson and religion are pretty obvious.

The only significant differences between religions and cults are probably the lengths the latter will go to to keep you isolated and reliant on them, and the damage and difficulty leaving them can bring upon you.

I'd say the fundamentalist sects of various religions are very cultish. Especially back in the day in Europe and elsewhere, and in parts of the middle-east now, where you die if you openly disagree with them, and you don't know a single person who isn't part of the 'religion'. You are trapped in a dangerous, insane cult, whether you know it or not.

 

All religions start as cults, a religion is simply a cult that grows large enough to continue for generations after the death of its founder(s).

I'd agree, except there is a important distinction in that religions I do not consider cults would be those that do not have a policy of murdering anyone who disagrees. Also that religions tend to mellow out or die as time goes on, something a cult does not generally do.

I'd say most cults are religions, but not all religions are cults.

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I don't see any difference.

I don't see any difference. Read about what happens to a christian or mormon or scientologist or moslem etc. when renouncing his faith, and you find there is no significant difference.

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Vastet wrote:I don't see any

Vastet wrote:
I don't see any difference. Read about what happens to a christian or mormon or scientologist or moslem etc. when renouncing his faith, and you find there is no significant difference.

Some parts of religions are still cults in this regard, but not all religions in a broad sense. A part of islam I would consider a cult, as the stone to death non-believers. Liberal or moderate christians/muslims you can hardly call a cult, since they neither murder non-believers nor kill those that renounce the faith.

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ThunderJones wrote:Vastet

ThunderJones wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I don't see any difference. Read about what happens to a christian or mormon or scientologist or moslem etc. when renouncing his faith, and you find there is no significant difference.

Some parts of religions are still cults in this regard, but not all religions in a broad sense. A part of islam I would consider a cult, as the stone to death non-believers. Liberal or moderate christians/muslims you can hardly call a cult, since they neither murder non-believers nor kill those that renounce the faith.

I would like to point out, that while the Catholic Church could not order me murdered when I left it. It took me YEARS to shake those deep seated feelings of guilt that had been instilled in me most of my life.

I literally felt that I would probably still be damned into hell for having sexual relations with a girl outside of the sanctity of marriage.

Embarassing as it may sound, when I was in my early twenties, I still had a hard time with all of it and was lucky that I had people around me that helped me overcome it.

When I first started riding motorcycles and living the biker lifestyle, even though I was enjoying it, it took a long time for me to get past those qualms that I would probably be judged by god.

I felt very sinful when I first said that I was an Atheist and hated myself for feeling guilty over it.

Another reason I hate religion, it can fuck up your head for quite some time, even after you know it is false. Especially when one has spent their whole childhood surrounded by it and constantly told their god loved them (but lived in a state of mortal terror of it all the same).

I see where Thunderjones is coming from, but the brain-screwing that religion can give you is pretty powerful, I can say I honestly think I understand some of Manson's former followers when they talk about how safe and secure they felt in his presence. Where my sympathy ends is with the fact that they could have carried out those Tate-Labianca killings with seemingly no remorse.

It was the moral dilemma of the hate-filled religion that I grew up in that forced me to question it's truth.

“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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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I don't see any difference. Read about what happens to a christian or mormon or scientologist or moslem etc. when renouncing his faith, and you find there is no significant difference.

Some parts of religions are still cults in this regard, but not all religions in a broad sense. A part of islam I would consider a cult, as the stone to death non-believers. Liberal or moderate christians/muslims you can hardly call a cult, since they neither murder non-believers nor kill those that renounce the faith.

I would like to point out, that while the Catholic Church could not order me murdered when I left it. It took me YEARS to shake those deep seated feelings of guilt that had been instilled in me most of my life.

I literally felt that I would probably still be damned into hell for having sexual relations with a girl outside of the sanctity of marriage.

Embarassing as it may sound, when I was in my early twenties, I still had a hard time with all of it and was lucky that I had people around me that helped me overcome it.

When I first started riding motorcycles and living the biker lifestyle, even though I was enjoying it, it took a long time for me to get past those qualms that I would probably be judged by god.

I felt very sinful when I first said that I was an Atheist and hated myself for feeling guilty over it.

Another reason I hate religion, it can fuck up your head for quite some time, even after you know it is false. Especially when one has spent their whole childhood surrounded by it and constantly told their god loved them (but lived in a state of mortal terror of it all the same).

I see where Thunderjones is coming from, but the brain-screwing that religion can give you is pretty powerful, I can say I honestly think I understand some of Manson's former followers when they talk about how safe and secure they felt in his presence. Where my sympathy ends is with the fact that they could have carried out those Tate-Labianca killings with seemingly no remorse.

It was the moral dilemma of the hate-filled religion that I grew up in that forced me to question it's truth.

Don't get me wrong, religion's hold is very powerful for most people, and insidious in it's mind-warping capability. Religious trauma is very real. You need not be embarrassed in the slightest. Religions can , and do, have extreme affects on those formerly members, or even those that are members. I am glad that you had moral support to help you through tough times.

All I am saying is that there are relevant differences between mainstream religions and cults. That is not to belittle in any way the damage religions have caused and will continue to cause to people all over the world until they disappear.

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Not all cults are as crazy

Not all cults are as crazy as suggested though. It's just that those get all the attention. Much like how not all Americans are idiots, but the loudest tend to be and the loudest get all the attention.

Dictionary.com defines cult as:
1.
a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2.
an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3.
the object of such devotion.
4.
a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.
Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

Wikipedia has this to say:
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.[1] The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a

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divinity and derived from

divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, 'care, cultivation.

I have yet to see a definition that clearly draws a line between religion and cult. I consider the terms to be interchangable. Cult tends to have a more negative implication than religion, but religion has never earned the positive meaning it enjoys over cult, so I prefer the word cult over religion.

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Vastet wrote:divinity and

Vastet wrote:
divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, 'care, cultivation. I have yet to see a definition that clearly draws a line between religion and cult. I consider the terms to be interchangable. Cult tends to have a more negative implication than religion, but religion has never earned the positive meaning it enjoys over cult, so I prefer the word cult over religion.

I also don't think that a lot of people forget that most cults start out with some tiny little grain of truth-sounding to them for the naieve or those lacking in self-esteem.

The snake oil has to have some sort of element of attraction or no one will fall for it.

For instance, Hitler did not ascend to power by openly stating " Hey, I want to start up a horrifying regime that is going to be indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people, created a twisted system of eugenics, and have a thousand year empire."

Like any good snake-oil salesman with his wagon of charms, he had lots of promises that people could willingly buy into.

Relgion itself has only one main snake-oil that I can see. That snake-oil is fear. I know a lot of people from my old church that have issues with the "faith" but they fear eternal repurcussions for leaving it.

No one has ever explained to them the fallacy of Pascal's Wager.

Absurd as it sounds, Pascal's Wager is still probably the most prominent argument that I get from theists. (Most of them don't know the term : Pascal's Wager, because when you bring it up, you get a clueless look). But I get that the most. " What if you die and find out there is a god ?"

Pascal's wager is an easy one to overturn in a couple of sentences, but it never ceases to amaze me how many of the common populace still clings to it.

I know that one of these assholes in my city has a newspaper column called : Faith Matters. His signature is " I'd rather live like there was a god, die and find out there isn't one, than to live like there is no god and die and find out there is one." GROAN. Such stupidity.

“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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The evidence to me appears

The evidence to me appears to be that the vast majority of 'theists' don't live as if the god they worship really exists. As I see it, for Catholics at least, you can sin as much as you like but as long as you believe in god and repent, you're ok whereas if you're and atheist or agnostic or simply anything other than a Catholic you'll burn eternally in hell, even if you live an exemplary life.

 

On the subject of cults, Christianity started as a Jewish cult and now there are hundreds of Christian cults at least. Of course, all religions will have cults which is ample demonstration that they are invented and guided by man not gods

 

JS

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

Isaac Asimov