Do atheist believe in the mesages of the Bible?

rch10007
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Do atheist believe in the mesages of the Bible?

It seems that many dismiss the Bible completely.  Do you feel that there are any positive messages in the Bible?  I will be the first to admit there are many passages which seem like they do not fit in where they are, but I read the Bible for the symbolism and not the literal translation.

 

We will all gain insight into life the broader we expand our knowledge, so is the Bible a book that you can actually learn from or do you feel there is no reason too even bother?

 

For example, Luke 6:37 says "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"

 

Does the above passage have any validity to you?  Personally, I think it is words to live by.  What do you think? 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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There are writings that

There are writings that predate the bible by philosophers (Hindu, Greek, and Chinese) who said essentially the same 'good' things. The bible was not an original authority on most of these philisophical outlooks.

As far as I am concerned I feel it wholly appropriate to dismiss the bible completely. 


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BGH wrote: As far as I am

BGH wrote:
As far as I am concerned I feel it wholly appropriate to dismiss the bible completely.

I agree completely with this. However, I'd like to point out a bit of irony I've noticed.

The first commandment says to not worship other gods. Isn't it just a little bit ironic that atheists follow this commandment to the letter?

Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.


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The "golden rule" is

The "golden rule" is certainly a good moral guide (Matthew 7:12) but the problem is that it predates Jesus and is not exclusive to his teachings.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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I'm always amused when this

I'm always amused when this question is asked, because it demonstrates a remarkable lack of familiarity with the bible.  Do I dismiss everything in the bible?  No.  There are some historical places, people, etc, that undeniably existed.  There are, as BGH pointed out, some decent philosophical truisms.  Proverbs contains a few gems, and the teachings of Jesus have a few as well.

But, I can derive most of these truisms with a little bit of critical thinking, and if that fails me, I can look to either earlier philosophies, or, even better, to later philosophers who've had centuries to improve upon the kind of things people thought thousands of years ago.

What possible reason could I have for using such a barbaric book as a "source" for stuff that is readily available elsewhere, and earlier?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm always amused when this question is asked, because it demonstrates a remarkable lack of familiarity with the bible.

 

And here I've always thought it was a mouse in my pocket which I play polo with.  All along, it was you.  Do tell of my lack of familiarity...

 

I just wanted to know what the individuals on this forum thought since I try to not lump people into one group.  Perhaps I should consider all atheist ignorant based on the post of one?  Or should I get to know peoples ideas and thoughts before I issue out bias.  Maybe, there's no need for prejudice at all since our interpretations of reality are all different.

 

I can't wait to hear all about me...do tell! 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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1) There are positive

1) There are positive messages in the bible.

2) These are generally the same as the positive messages in many texts that predate or are congruent with the bible.

3) There are a lot of bad things in the bible.

4) Like really, really bad things.

5) Cherry picking the good stuff doesn't change that. 

6) It's atheists.  Plural. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Quote: I just wanted to

Quote:
I just wanted to know what the individuals on this forum thought since I try to not lump people into one group.  Perhaps I should consider all atheist ignorant based on the post of one?  Or should I get to know peoples ideas and thoughts before I issue out bias.  Maybe, there's no need for prejudice at all since our interpretations of reality are all different.

*sigh*

This atheist thinks that people who ask this question are usually not very familiar with the bible, or perhaps that they're intentionally ignoring all the nasty virtues in the bible.  Lump all you want.  You asked, and I answered.

So, are you familiar with these biblical virtues in action?

from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/atrocity.html

GE 3:1-7, 22-24 God allows Adam and Eve to be deceived by the Serpent (the craftiest of all of God's wild creatures). They eat of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," thereby incurring death for themselves and all of mankind for ever after. God prevents them from regaining eternal life, by placing a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life." (Note: God could have done the same for the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the first place and would thereby have prevented the Fall of man, the necessity for Salvation, the Crucifixion of Jesus, etc.)

GE 4:2-8 God's arbitrary preference of Abel's offering to that of Cain's provokes Cain to commit the first biblically recorded murder and kill his brother Abel.

GE 34:13-29 The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.

GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah's family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.

GE 19:26 God personally sees to it that Lot's wife is turned to a pillar of salt (for having looked behind her while fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah).

GE 38:9 "... whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked ..., so the Lord put him to death."

EX 2:12 Moses murders an Egyptian.

EX 7:1, 14, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 11:7 The purpose of the devastation that God brings to the Egyptians is as follows:
to show that he is Lord;
to show that there is none like him in all the earth;
to show his great power;
to cause his name to be declared throughout the earth;
to give the Israelites something to talk about with their children;
to show that he makes a distinction between Israel and Egypt.

EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.

EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.

EX 17:13 With the Lord's approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.

EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

EX 32:27 "Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.

LE 26:7-8 The Lord promises the Israelites that, if they are obedient, their enemies will "fall before your sword."

LE 26:22 "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children."

LE 26:29, DT 28:53, JE 19:9, EZ 5:8-10 As a punishment, the Lord will cause people to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and fathers and friends.

LE 27:29 Human sacrifice is condoned. (Note: An example is given in JG 11:30-39)

NU 11:33 The Lord smites the people with a great plague.

NU 12:1-10 God makes Miriam a leper for seven days because she and Aaron had spoken against Moses.

NU 15:32-36 A Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire) is stoned to death at the Lord's command.

NU 16:27-33 The Lord causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.

NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men.

NU 16:49 A plague from the Lord kills 14,700 people.

NU 21:3 The Israelites utterly destroy the Canaanites.

NU 21:6 Fiery serpents, sent by the Lord, kill many Israelites.

NU 21:35 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."

NU 25:4 (KJV) "And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ...."

NU 25:8 "He went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly."

NU 25:9 24,000 people die in a plague from the Lord.

NU 31:9 The Israelites capture Midianite women and children.

NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord's command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...." (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)

NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed?) as a tribute for the Lord.

DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.

DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.

DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to "utterly destroy" and shown "no mercy" to those whom he gives them for defeat.

DT 20:13-14 "When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."

DT 20:16 "In the cities of the nations the Lord is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes."

DT 21:10-13 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites are allowed to take "beautiful women" from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has "no delight" in his wife, he can simply let her go.

DT 28:53 "You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you."

JS 1:1-9, 18 Joshua receives the Lord's blessing for all the bloody endeavors to follow.

JS 6:21-27 With the Lord's approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho men, women, and children with the edge of the sword.

JS 7:19-26 Achan, his children and his cattle are stoned to death because Achan had taken a taboo thing.

JS 8:22-25 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly smites the people of Ai, killing 12,000 men and women, so that there were none who escaped.

JS 10:10-27 With the help of the Lord, Joshua utterly destroys the Gibeonites.

JS 10:28 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Makkedah.

JS 10:30 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Libnahites.

JS 10:32-33 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Lachish.

JS 10:34-35 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Eglonites.

JS 10:36-37 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Hebronites.

JS 10:38-39 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Debirites.

JS 10:40 (A summary statement.) "So Joshua defeated the whole land ...; he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded."

JS 11:6 The Lord orders horses to be hamstrung. (Exceedingly cruel.)

JS 11:8-15 "And the lord gave them into the hand of Israel, ...utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed ...."

JS 11:20 "For it was the Lord's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses."

JS 11:21-23 Joshua utterly destroys the Anakim.

JG 1:4 With the Lord's support, Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek.

JG 1:6 With the Lord's approval, Judah pursues Adoni-bezek, catches him, and cuts off his thumbs and big toes.

JG 1:8 With the Lord's approval, Judah smites Jerusalem.

JG 1:17 With the Lord's approval, Judah and Simeon utterly destroy the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath.

JG 3:29 The Israelites kill about 10,000 Moabites.

JG 3:31 (A restatement.) Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.

JG 4:21 Jael takes a tent stake and hammers it through the head of Sisera, fastening it to the ground.

JG 7:19-25 The Gideons defeat the Midianites, slay their princes, cut off their heads, and bring the heads back to Gideon.

JG 8:15-21 The Gideons slaughter the men of Penuel.

JG 9:5 Abimalech murders his brothers.

JG 9:45 Abimalech and his men kill all the people in the city.

JG 9:53-54 "A woman dropped a stone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, 'Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say a woman killed me.' So his servant ran him through, and he died."

JG 11:29-39 Jepthah sacrifices his beloved daughter, his only child, according to a vow he has made with the Lord.

JG 14:19 The Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man and causes him to slay thirty men.

JG 15:15 Samson slays 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass.

JG 16:21 The Philistines gouge out Samson's eyes.

JG 16:27-30 Samson, with the help of the Lord, pulls down the pillars of the Philistine house and causes his own death and that of 3000 other men and women.

JG 18:27 The Danites slay the quiet and unsuspecting people of Laish.

JG 19:22-29 A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man's house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine (or wife): "Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing." The man's concubine is ravished and dies. The man then cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

JG 20:43-48 The Israelites smite 25,000+ "men of valor" from amongst the Benjamites, "men and beasts and all that they found," and set their towns on fire.

JG 21:10-12 "... Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones.... every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy." They do so and find four hundred young virgins whom they bring back for their own use.

1SA 4:10 The Philistines slay 30,000 Israelite foot soldiers.

1SA 5:6-9 The Lord afflicts the Philistines with tumors in their "secret parts," presumably for having stolen the Ark.

1SA 6:19 God kills seventy men (or so) for looking into the Ark (at him?). (Note: The early Israelites apparently thought the Ark to be God's abode.)

1SA 7:7-11 Samuel and his men smite the Philistines.

1SA 11:11 With the Lord's blessing, Saul and his men cut down the Ammonites.

1SA 14:31 Jonathan and his men strike down the Philistines.

1SA 14:48 Saul smites the Amalekites.

1SA 15:3, 7-8 "This is what the Lord says: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass ....' And Saul ... utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword."

1SA 15:33 "Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord ...."

1SA 18:7 The women sing as they make merry: "Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands."

1SA 18:27 David murders 200 Philistines, then cuts off their foreskins.

1SA 30:17 David smites the Amalekites.

2SA 2:23 Abner kills Asahel.

2SA 3:30 Joab and Abishai kill Abner.

2SA 4:7-8 Rechan and Baanah kill Ish-bosheth, behead him, and take his head to David.

2SA 4:12 David has Rechan and Baanah killed, their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hanged by the pool at Hebron.

2SA 5:25 "And David did as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines ...."

2SA 6:2-23 Because she rebuked him for having exposed himself, Michal (David's wife) was barren throughout her life.

2SA 8:1-18 (A listing of some of David's murderous conquests.)

2SA 8:4 David hamstrung all but a few of the horses.

2SA 8:5 David slew 22,000 Syrians.

2SA 8:6, 14 "The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went."

2SA 8:13 David slew 18,000 Edomites in the valley of salt and made the rest slaves.

2SA 10:18 David slew 47,000+ Syrians.

2SA 11:14-27 David has Uriah killed so that he can marry Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.

2SA 12:1, 19 The Lord strikes David's child dead for the sin that David has committed.

2SA 13:1-15 Amnon loves his sister Tamar, rapes her, then hates her.

2SA 13:28-29 Absalom has Amnon murdered.

2SA 18:6 -7 20,000 men are slaughtered at the battle in the forest of Ephraim.

2SA 18:15 Joab's men murder Absalom.

2SA 20:10-12 Joab's men murder Amasa and leave him "... wallowing in his own blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped."

2SA 24:15 The Lord sends a pestilence on Israel that kills 70,000 men.

1KI 2:24-25 Solomon has Adonijah murdered.

1KI 2:29-34 Solomon has Joab murdered.

1KI 2:46 Solomon has Shime-i murdered.

1KI 13:15-24 A man is killed by a lion for eating bread and drinking water in a place where the Lord had previously told him not to. This is in spite of the fact that the man had subsequently been lied to by a prophet who told the man that an angel of the Lord said that it would be alright to eat and drink there.

1KI 20:29-30 The Israelites smite 100,000 Syrian soldiers in one day. A wall falls on 27,000 remaining Syrians.

2KI 1:10-12 Fire from heaven comes down and consumes fifty men.

2KI 2:23-24 Forty-two children are mauled and killed, presumably according to the will of God, for having jeered at a man of God.

2KI 5:27 Elisha curses Gehazi and his descendants forever with leprosy.

2KI 6:18-19 The Lord answers Elisha's prayer and strikes the Syrians with blindness. Elisha tricks the blind Syrians and leads them to Samaria.

2KI 6:29 "So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son so we may eat him,' but she had hidden him."

2KI 9:24 Jehu tricks and murders Joram.

2KI 9:27 Jehu has Ahaziah killed.

2KI 9:30-37 Jehu has Jezebel killed. Her body is trampled by horses. Dogs eat her flesh so that only her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands remain.

2KI 10:7 Jehu has Ahab's seventy sons beheaded, then sends the heads to their father.

2KI 10:14 Jehu has forty-two of Ahab's kin killed.

2KI 10:17 "And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the Lord ...."

2KI 10:19-27 Jehu uses trickery to massacre the Baal worshippers.

2KI 11:1 Athaliah destroys all the royal family.

2KI 14:5, 7 Amaziah kills his servants and then 10,000 Edomites.

2KI 15:3-5 Even though he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, the Lord smites Azariah with leprosy for not having removed the "high places."

2KI 15:16 Menahem ripped open all the women who were pregnant.

2KI 19:35 An angel of the Lord kills 185,000 men.

1CH 20:3 (KJV) "And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes."

2CH 13:17 500,000 Israelites are slaughtered.

2CH 21:4 Jehoram slays all his brothers.

PS 137:9 Happy will be the man who dashes your little ones against the stones.

PS 144:1 God is praised as the one who trains hands for war and fingers for battle.

IS 13:15 "Everyone who is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their ... wives will be ravished."

IS 13:18 "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children."

IS 14:21-22 "Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers."

IS 49:26 The Lord will cause the oppressors of the Israelite's to eat their own flesh and to become drunk on their own blood as with wine.

JE 16:4 "They shall die grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth."

LA 4:9-10 "Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food. ... pitiful women have cooked their own children, who became their food ..."

EZ 6:12-13 The Lord says: "... they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. He that is far away will die of the plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them. And they will know I am the Lord, when the people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak ...."

EZ 9:4-6 The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women ...."

EZ 20:26 In order that he might horrify them, the Lord allowed the Israelites to defile themselves through, amongst other things, the sacrifice of their first-born children.

EZ 21:3-4 The Lord says that he will cut off both the righteous and the wicked that his sword shall go against all flesh.

EZ 23:25, 47 God is going to slay the sons and daughters of those who were whores.

EZ 23:34 "You shall ... pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts."

HO 13:16 "They shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

MI 3:2-3 "... who pluck off their skin ..., and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron."

MT 3:12, 8:12, 10:21, 13:30, 42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, LK 13:28, JN 5:24 Some will spend eternity burning in Hell. There will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

MT 10:21 "... the brother shall deliver up his brother to death, and the father his child, ... children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death."

MT 10:35-36 "For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies will be the members of his own family."

MT 11:21-24 Jesus curses [the inhabitants of] three cities who were not sufficiently impressed with his great works.

AC 13:11 Paul purposefully blinds a man (though not permanently).

 

Are you going to ignore all of this, and tell me that because I have an opinion of theists that you don't like, that my answer is not relevant to your question?

 Would you like me to post more, or are you already familiar with all of this?

If you're familiar with all of this, why would you ask the original question, since you know that the bible is full of grotesque morality?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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The bad things in the Bible

The bad things in the Bible also pre-date the bible. There were many brutal empires before the bible was written.


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Quote: The bad things in

Quote:
The bad things in the Bible also pre-date the bible. There were many brutal empires before the bible was written.

True.  Jehovah/Yahweh, whatever, was not the first monotheistic son-of-a-bitch god, either.  Tons of brutality in the name of other religions, and in the name of profit, greed, pleasure, whatever.

I don't see how this comment is relevant to the question, though.  If anything, it renders the bible even more mundane and useless.  Yes, there are a few good virtues in the bible, and lots and lots of bad ones, and it isn't much different than say, Zoroastrianism, and there are other nasties in other pantheons.

So, my original answer stands.  I see no reason to reference the bible, since it contains nothing original.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple wrote: The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
The bad things in the Bible also pre-date the bible. There were many brutal empires before the bible was written.
 

True, but I'm not cherry picking from them. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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I don't take the Bible

I don't take the Bible literally and I know of many fallacies within it. I don't claim that the Bible is the be all, end all. I haven't read the Bible cover to cover either. I have spent many years overseas and have taken in many of cultures and different religious beliefs. It's my conclusion that you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and what do you have - a reason for people to argue.

 

What I have found through travel and study is that almost all religions are skewed by groups with an agenda. I've also drawn the conclusion that many texts speak about three basic principles. Patience, tolerance, and peace.

 

The reason I asked was to hear what each individual thought because in my experieince regardless of affiliation, persoanl bias are all different.

 

The world isn't perfect, never has been nor ever will be.  There is barbarism in every histroy book.

 

In response to the cut and paste list - do you understand all those versus in context? 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Quote: In response to the

Quote:
In response to the cut and paste list - do you understand all those versus in context?

I suspect yes.

I have read the entire bible.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Are you also aware of other

Are you also aware of other cultures and their beliefs?  For example, Native Americans?

 

The implications of the 3 key principles of faith that I have discovered makes it difficult for me to deny them.

 

I think it's terrific to question institutional authority - I just wish more understood that freedom would get their head cut off elsewhere in this barbaric world.

 

Anywho - it's good to socialize and learn to understand people. 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Surely the point isnt

Surely the point isnt should you take the message of the bible its should you take the message of any single book.

 

Not only do I not consider the bible to be the truth

I don't consider 

Newtonian mechanics

Quantum Mechanics

Relativiy

Evolution

The unwritten British constitution

The American constitution 

Any single human being who has ever lived or is alive today.

 Sapient

 

All the above have made a contribution to  understanding how the world works and how to allow human beings to have better lives to some extent but I worship none of them

 

I worship noone and nothing, I take advice I expand my knowledge, I learn,


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  BGH wrote: There are

 

BGH wrote:

There are writings that predate the bible by philosophers (Hindu, Greek, and Chinese) who said essentially the same 'good' things. The bible was not an original authority on most of these philisophical outlooks.

As far as I am concerned I feel it wholly appropriate to dismiss the bible completely.

 

Yet, none of them are more widespread than the Bible. 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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cherry picking the bible

cherry picking the bible for positive life lessons is pointless, as the good lessons it contains can easily be found in other texts and sources minus the overwhelming surplus of bad lessons contained in the bible, and also minus the ridiculous mythology.

 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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djneibarger wrote: cherry

djneibarger wrote:

cherry picking the bible for positive life lessons is pointless, as the good lessons it contains can easily be found in other texts and sources minus the overwhelming surplus of bad lessons contained in the bible, and also minus the ridiculous mythology.

 

If it indeed has the positive life lessons you mentioned, why can it not be used as a tool?  Surely, anyone can see the reasons why you don't take it literally.  Yes, there are fanatics out there, but what doesn't have it's fanatics?  What makes it less reputable?  We can't forget, the people from back in the day weren't as smart as you are, so you can't expect them to know when writing it, you would demand scientific proof of the stories within.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Quote: Are you also aware

Quote:
Are you also aware of other cultures and their beliefs?  For example, Native Americans?

As a matter of fact, I'm well traveled and well read.  Do I know every culture?  Of course not.  But yes, I'm quite aware of the rest of the world, probably more so than most.

Quote:
The implications of the 3 key principles of faith that I have discovered makes it difficult for me to deny them.

For those of us who've read the bible, and don't recall the "3 key principles of faith" being mentioned, what are these?

 

Quote:
I think it's terrific to question institutional authority - I just wish more understood that freedom would get their head cut off elsewhere in this barbaric world.

I'm confused.  Are you suggesting that we aren't aware of the political and religious (and religio-political) oppression in the world?  What does this have to do with whether or not we dismiss the bible as having anything noteworthy to contribute?

 

Quote:
Anywho - it's good to socialize and learn to understand people.

Yep.  I hope we're not off to too bad a start.

 

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Quote: If it indeed has the

Quote:
If it indeed has the positive life lessons you mentioned, why can it not be used as a tool?

You can use it if you like, but it's kind of silly, if you ask me.

Quote:
Surely, anyone can see the reasons why you don't take it literally.

I wish this was true, but if you hang around a while, you'll see that lots of people do take it quite literally. LOTS of people.

Quote:
Yes, there are fanatics out there, but what doesn't have it's fanatics?

So, you're saying the bible isn't special? I agree.

Quote:
What makes it less reputable?

The fact that nothing it contributes is original, and you have to dig really deep to get anything good. Why promote it when it has so many bad things that people can take at face value? Why not just find a book that doesn't have all the killing? Oprah's book club surely has something if you need to read a book to feel good about having your own innate sense of morality.  If you want to actually learn about morality, there are tons of sociologists, psychologists, and neurologists who have written books that will get you a lot closer to the truth than the bible.

Quote:
We can't forget, the people from back in the day weren't as smart as you are, so you can't expect them to know when writing it, you would demand scientific proof of the stories within.

And they're dead, so I'm not particularly interested in judging them. But, I think it's pretty crazy to suggest that we ignore everything we've learned and model our lives after such an antiquated and morally reprehensible book.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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rch10007

rch10007 wrote:
djneibarger wrote:

cherry picking the bible for positive life lessons is pointless, as the good lessons it contains can easily be found in other texts and sources minus the overwhelming surplus of bad lessons contained in the bible, and also minus the ridiculous mythology.

 

If it indeed has the positive life lessons you mentioned, why can it not be used as a tool? Surely, anyone can see the reasons why you don't take it literally. Yes, there are fanatics out there, but what doesn't have it's fanatics? What makes it less reputable? We can't forget, the people from back in the day weren't as smart as you are, so you can't expect them to know when writing it, you would demand scientific proof of the stories within.

why wade through the mythology and heavy handed preaching to scrape up a few crumbs of decent morality when you can find equal and/or better life lessons elsewhere and without the misleading religious mumbo jumbo? it's like watching the weather channel for breaking news; you're going to find a little, but you could find a lot more and a lot better on cnn.

and why tolerate poor penmanship combined with a poor understanding of science and nature when there's so many great, well written books with fantastic amounts of information on new developments and new discoveries. it's called growing and learning, something that religion, with the bible as it's key reference, severely struggles to do. 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Quote: As a matter of fact,

Quote:
As a matter of fact, I'm well traveled and well read. Do I know every culture? Of course not. But yes, I'm quite aware of the rest of the world, probably more so than most.

Do you found it amazing that every culture has a belief in some "higher" power? 

Quote:
For those of us who've read the bible, and don't recall the "3 key principles of faith" being mentioned, what are these?

My interpretation is pateince, tolerance and peace.  These are the 3 things that I have found common with the different cultural religions I've observed. 

Quote:
I'm confused. Are you suggesting that we aren't aware of the political and religious (and religio-political) oppression in the world? What does this have to do with whether or not we dismiss the bible as having anything noteworthy to contribute?

Just merely stating the fact that freedom is nice... 

Quote:
Yep. I hope we're not off to too bad a start.

I don't have any hard feelings - no worries! 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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djneibarger wrote: why

djneibarger wrote:

why wade through the mythology and heavy handed preaching to scrape up a few crumbs of decent morality when you can find equal and/or better life lessons elsewhere and without the misleading religious mumbo jumbo? it's like watching the weather channel for breaking news; you're going to find a little, but you could find a lot more and a lot better on cnn.

and why tolerate poor penmanship combined with a poor understanding of science and nature when there's so many great, well written books with fantastic amounts of information on new developments and new discoveries. it's called growing and learning, something that religion, with the bible as it's key reference, severely struggles to do.

 

I think it's important to view all sides in their given context.  Yes, the lessons in the Bible can be found elsewhere but yet it's still a text that has wide spread influence all over the world and I don't feel you can discount it if you truly care to understand  why we are where we are as a civilization.  IMHO, as someone put it before, you can't "cherry pick" history and not include the influence of the Bible.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Quote: Do you found it

Quote:
Do you found it amazing that every culture has a belief in some "higher" power?

No.

Every culture tends to have religion, yes. But, the religions are quite varied, and it takes a stretch of definitions to try to make it all into the same thing.

Consider this:

Major Religions of the World
Ranked by Number of Adherents

(Sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number. This list is sociological/statistical in perspective.)
  1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
  2. Islam: 1.3 billion
  3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
  4. Hinduism: 900 million
  5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
  6. Buddhism: 376 million
  7. primal-indigenous: 300 million
  8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
  9. Sikhism: 23 million
  10. Juche: 19 million
  11. Spiritism: 15 million
  12. Judaism: 14 million
  13. Baha'i: 7 million
  14. Jainism: 4.2 million
  15. Shinto: 4 million
  16. Cao Dai: 4 million
  17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
  18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
  19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
  20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
  21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
  22. Scientology: 500 thousand

from http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

Notice number 3?

Furthermore, Buddhism, at #6, could well be described as an atheist religion, since there is no god in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Also, check this out:


Notice that from "other" all the way over to "nonreligious, et al" you're talking about either non-god religions, or gods that are not even close to the kind of god in the bible. Just compare size. Basically, about a third of the world's people DON'T have a comparable concept of the supernatural as the "Big Three Monos."

Quote:
My interpretation is pateince, tolerance and peace. These are the 3 things that I have found common with the different cultural religions I've observed.

Yes, it's your interpretation. But, isn't it fair to say that it's your interpretation based on what you've observed about the world? The parts of the bible that clicked with you just happened to agree with what you already thought, right?

In the same way, people who believe in "Might Makes Right" can happily find plenty to support them. (More than you can find for peace, tolerance, and patience.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: You can use it if

Quote:
You can use it if you like, but it's kind of silly, if you ask me.

 Opinions are like... Smiling

Quote:
I wish this was true, but if you hang around a while, you'll see that lots of people do take it quite literally. LOTS of people.

 Yes, many do - but that's no reason to discount it as a historical text.  IMHO.

Quote:
So, you're saying the bible isn't special? I agree.

 On the contrary, I feel it's important to understand it.  Not the literal translation...the meaning of it.  Why was it written, it's interpretations, etc... 

Quote:
The fact that nothing it contributes is original, and you have to dig really deep to get anything good. Why promote it when it has so many bad things that people can take at face value? Why not just find a book that doesn't have all the killing? Oprah's book club surely has something if you need to read a book to feel good about having your own innate sense of morality. If you want to actually learn about morality, there are tons of sociologists, psychologists, and neurologists who have written books that will get you a lot closer to the truth than the bible.

 Again, it has widespread influence and I don't feel it can be taken literally.  The universe used to revolve around us until someone thought about it a little differently.  Of course, the church held that man down, but it didn't say to do that in the Bible, so why did they?  Nevermind - I don't want to open that can...  Let's just leave it as "power corrupts."

Quote:
And they're dead, so I'm not particularly interested in judging them. But, I think it's pretty crazy to suggest that we ignore everything we've learned and model our lives after such an antiquated and morally reprehensible book.

My point was just that we are a different breed of people today.  I believe the influence of the Bible has had something to do with that. 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Quote: IMHO, as someone put

Quote:
IMHO, as someone put it before, you can't "cherry pick" history and not include the influence of the Bible.

Teach the history of the influence of the bible all you like, but when you start promoting it as a religion, we'll have disagreement.  The day they talk about Christianity and Islam in the same sentences with Zoroastrianism and Zeus worship, it will be a happy day, IMO.

I'm all for teaching the history of religion.  It's very illustrative of why we shouldn't have it anymore.

 

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Quote: Yes, it's your

Quote:
Yes, it's your interpretation. But, isn't it fair to say that it's your interpretation based on what you've observed about the world? The parts of the bible that clicked with you just happened to agree with what you already thought, right?

Of course!  And I'm aware that anyone could make a case for anything...

 

In the Bible it says God is a Spirit.  I find it a bit funny that most personify him.  But I attribute that to human nature.  Smiling  Anyways, from speaking to many of my Asian and Islamic brothers, there is "something" albeit a Spirit or not that they attribute good fortune in life.  It is my belief that the Spirit is God.  They believe that living peacefully is having patience and tolerance of others.  Hence the 3 principles I have found to be common cross-culturally.

 

Not all cultures preach hellfire and damnation.  In fact, Americans are the only I can think of right now...which doesn't surprise me!  

 

Do you feel as strongly about all religions or is it just more just Americanized religion?  In contrat, we have monks in China who find peace living harmonously with nature.  They have a Bible too although I can't recall it's name at the moment.  Would that be a text you would consider reputable? 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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Quote: Not all cultures

Quote:
Not all cultures preach hellfire and damnation.  In fact, Americans are the only I can think of right now...which doesn't surprise me!

Um... the Middle East comes to mind.  

Quote:
Do you feel as strongly about all religions or is it just more just Americanized religion?

Yes and no.  I am particularly opposed to the hardline mono-religions: Christianity and Islam, and Judaism to a lesser degree.  I just don't see anything positive that they contribute.  Good people would be good anyway, but these religions give good people reasons to be bad.

No, I'm not philosophically opposed to a lot of the teachings in Buddhism.  If you put a gun to my head and made me choose a religion, I'd pick that one.

I am opposed to all religion on philosophical grounds, though.  Religion is essentially the position that some things are true despite evidence to the contrary.

If you called Buddhism a philosophy, and took all the supernatural buggity-boo out of it, I'd think it was pretty spiffy, for the most part.

The bits about releasing the birds... kind of weird, and not exactly my cup of tea, though...

 

Quote:
In contrat, we have monks in China who find peace living harmonously with nature.  They have a Bible too although I can't recall it's name at the moment.  Would that be a text you would consider reputable?

If you live next door to me (metaphorically or literally) and leave me alone and practice your religion in peace (or, come over and have dinner and practice your religion at your own house) then we won't have any functional problems from day to day.  I just want everyone to be rational and peaceful when that's possible.

However, I think that all religion opens the door to acting irrationally and possibly violently.  Will ending religion solve all the worlds' problems?  Not hardly.  But it will solve a big one.  

 So, no, I guess I don't consider that book "reputable" so much as "less bad than the bible."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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rch10007 wrote:
djneibarger wrote:

why wade through the mythology and heavy handed preaching to scrape up a few crumbs of decent morality when you can find equal and/or better life lessons elsewhere and without the misleading religious mumbo jumbo? it's like watching the weather channel for breaking news; you're going to find a little, but you could find a lot more and a lot better on cnn.

and why tolerate poor penmanship combined with a poor understanding of science and nature when there's so many great, well written books with fantastic amounts of information on new developments and new discoveries. it's called growing and learning, something that religion, with the bible as it's key reference, severely struggles to do.

 

I think it's important to view all sides in their given context. Yes, the lessons in the Bible can be found elsewhere but yet it's still a text that has wide spread influence all over the world and I don't feel you can discount it if you truly care to understand why we are where we are as a civilization. IMHO, as someone put it before, you can't "cherry pick" history and not include the influence of the Bible.

there's a big difference between reading the bible to be familiar with it's content, concepts and place in history, as i and many other atheists have, and using it as a reference for moral inspiration. like i've said, regarding the latter, there are far, far better resources than the bible for life lessons and moral wisdom.

nobody here is denying the importance of being familiar with and understanding the meaning and nature of the bible, but your original post regards whether or not we see it as a valid source of positive life lessons. the answer is simply no. we can and have done better. the bible is as ill suited for teaching morals as it is for teaching science or history, because it distorts all of these things. 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the replies all!  Smiling 


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rch10007 wrote: Do you

rch10007 wrote:
Do you found it amazing that every culture has a belief in some "higher" power?

Actually, most of them believe in religions very different from yours, like religions that feature the worship of a multitude of deities. And why claim vindiction in religions that the Bible says are false? Every religion but yours, of course.

Quote:
My interpretation is pateince, tolerance and peace.

You have to be awfully selective, because there is much that the Bible treats as good that is contrary to that. Like calling other religions "idolatry", foaming at the mouth at the worship of all gods except the presumed One True God, Jesus Christ's temper tantrums directed against the Temple merchants and a certain fig tree, etc.

Quote:
I think it's important to view all sides in their given context. Yes, the lessons in the Bible can be found elsewhere but yet it's still a text that has wide spread influence all over the world and I don't feel you can discount it if you truly care to understand why we are where we are as a civilization. IMHO, as someone put it before, you can't "cherry pick" history and not include the influence of the Bible.

While we are playing this game, why can't we include all the other important stuff in history? Like our Greco-Roman heritage? Why do so many of our technical words have Latin and Greek orgins? And not a Hebrew origin.

So according to that cultural-heritage argument, we ought to be defending the Iliad and the Odyssey as the greatest books ever written, and making excuses like "allegory" and "context" and "mistranslation" for any parts of those books that we don't like.

Quote:
On the contrary, I feel it's important to understand it.  Not the literal translation...the meaning of it.  Why was it written, it's interpretations, etc...

Seems like you'd be better off learning "life lessons" from more contemporary sources. For starters, it'll be easier to tell fact from fiction, so you will waste less time sorting out the wheat of desired lessons from the chaff of extraneous and misleading and erroneous material.


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Quote:

Quote:
Actually, most of them believe in religions very different from yours, like religions that feature the worship of a multitude of deities. And why claim vindiction in religions that the Bible says are false? Every religion but yours, of course.

What is/are my religion(s) again?

Quote:
You have to be awfully selective, because there is much that the Bible treats as good that is contrary to that. Like calling other religions "idolatry", foaming at the mouth at the worship of all gods except the presumed One True God, Jesus Christ's temper tantrums directed against the Temple merchants and a certain fig tree, etc.

No more selective than you. You pick things out like "temper tantrums" and I choose what I select. We are all free to choose.

Quote:
While we are playing this game, why can't we include all the other important stuff in history? Like our Greco-Roman heritage? Why do so many of our technical words have Latin and Greek orgins? And not a Hebrew origin.

So according to that cultural-heritage argument, we ought to be defending the Iliad and the Odyssey as the greatest books ever written, and making excuses like "allegory" and "context" and "mistranslation" for any parts of those books that we don't like.

I wasn't aware we are playing a game? Those are some interesting questions - I hope you find the answers and post them up. I'd love to hear your perspective of the answers.

Quote:
Seems like you'd be better off learning "life lessons" from more contemporary sources. For starters, it'll be easier to tell fact from fiction, so you will waste less time sorting out the wheat of desired lessons from the chaff of extraneous and misleading and erroneous material.

We all know what's better for everyone else, huh? I choose to NOT dismiss anything in life except one's attempt to choose for me.

 

I've enjoyed the replies...and you guys have lots of questions. I hope you find peace in knowing you'll never find the answers. Of course, it's just my opinion that you never will. It would be great if you did, I'm always up for learning something new! Smiling

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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rch10007 wrote: I've also

rch10007 wrote:
I've also drawn the conclusion that many texts speak about three basic principles. Patience, tolerance, and peace.

You stated this as if there is some mystery here or some unifying force. Is that what you believe?

All it takes is one evil act in your life and a few sleepless nights back to back for these attributes (Patience, tolerance, and peace) to solidify in your mind. There is no mystery here this is just lifes necessities at work carving the foundation of our philosophies.

All men require sleep, it's those that can sleep at night with lesser degrees of patience, tolerance, and peace that we call evil. What do we do with these men? We judge them, so we don't feel guilty and we lock them up so we can sleep better at night.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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neptewn wrote: rch10007

neptewn wrote:

rch10007 wrote:
I've also drawn the conclusion that many texts speak about three basic principles. Patience, tolerance, and peace.

You stated this as if there is some mystery here or some unifying force. Is that what you believe?

 

I believe what I wrote.  You assume I find it mysterious.  As far as another person acts, beliefs, or conduct - it's not for me to be concerned with.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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rch10007 wrote:   If it

rch10007 wrote:
 

If it indeed has the positive life lessons you mentioned, why can it not be used as a tool?

Suppose you had an old Swiss Army knife and every tool in it was completely rusted shut except the corkscrew.  You could use the corkscrew to open a bottle of wine, but you also have one of those über-cool wine-bottle openers, a standalone tool that does the job better.  Wouldn't you be inclined to throw away the useless Swiss Army knife?

You don't need the bible to teach morality.  It can be done easily and better other ways without all that confusing "deathy" stuff.  Smiling

rch10007 wrote:
Surely, anyone can see the reasons why you don't take it literally.

Hmm, apparently the Christians in my family and town didn't get the memo.  As long as that evil book is touted as a source of morality, there will be people who believe it literally. 

rch10007 wrote:
Yes, there are fanatics out there, but what doesn't have it's fanatics?

Religious fanatics out-do most others.  Let's get rid of religion first, then concentrate on other harmful dogmas. 

 

rch10007 wrote:
  What makes it less reputable?

Its contents. 

rch10007 wrote:
  We can't forget, the people from back in the day weren't as smart as you are, so you can't expect them to know when writing it, you would demand scientific proof of the stories within.

Exactly.  The bible needs to be ditched.  It's obsolete.  Keeping it would be like trying to use an old 386 to access today's Internets™  and play today's polygon- and texture-rich games.

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Suppose you had an old Swiss Army knife and every tool in it was completely rusted shut except the corkscrew. You could use the corkscrew to open a bottle of wine, but you also have one of those über-cool wine-bottle openers, a standalone tool that does the job better. Wouldn't you be inclined to throw away the useless Swiss Army knife?

 

Since we are in fantasy land, I'd have my maid open the wine and my butler clean the knife.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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rch10007 wrote: Iruka

rch10007 wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Suppose you had an old Swiss Army knife and every tool in it was completely rusted shut except the corkscrew. You could use the corkscrew to open a bottle of wine, but you also have one of those über-cool wine-bottle openers, a standalone tool that does the job better. Wouldn't you be inclined to throw away the useless Swiss Army knife?

 

Since we are in fantasy land, I'd have my maid open the wine and my butler clean the knife.

That would be AnalogyLand®.  The rides in AnalogyLand® kick the shit out of the rides at FantasyLand.  Eye-wink 

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rch1007, I'm basically

rch1007,

I'm basically feeling pretty cool about this thread so far, but I want to make sure you understand something about this forum in general. We're very big on clarity of expression here, and many of our members have a pretty short temper with people who beat around the bush, or try to keep their opinions mysterious.

I'm not saying that to tell you what to do. I'm just warning you that you'll probably get some angry replies if you don't just come out with what you do believe as opposed to this mysterious, "I've travelled the world and have sacred knowledge" thing.

Personally, I'm not really all that interested in talking about something unless I know what I'm discussing, so I'll just ask you directly:

What do you believe in?

Do you believe in the supernatural?

Do you believe in the afterlife?

Eternal reward?

Eternal punishment?

Reincarnation (maybe as a form of eternal reward/punishment, maybe not)?

Is there anything else relevant to this forum that you believe, or disbelieve?

****

Again, I'm not trying to bust your balls on this, but I want you to understand that we're not really big on leaving answers as "I'm ok, you're ok, let's all just hang out and smoke some weed." Most of us believe in an objective reality that can be measured, quantified, and categorized, and we're deeply interested in making the world a better place by helping to rid the world of untruths.

Open, honest dialog, rch. That's what we're here for. Please try to keep your mystery answers to a minimum, and just say what you believe, ok?

 [edit: Also, I know it's fun to smoke weed while talking about what's true and false.  We probably don't need the ten posts just saying "I like to smoke weed."  We know.]

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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rch10007 wrote: I believe

rch10007 wrote:
I believe what I wrote. You assume I find it mysterious.


rch10007 wrote:
In the Bible it says God is a Spirit. I find it a bit funny that most personify him. But I attribute that to human nature. Smiling Anyways, from speaking to many of my Asian and Islamic brothers, there is "something" albeit a Spirit or not that they attribute good fortune in life. It is my belief that the Spirit is God. They believe that living peacefully is having patience and tolerance of others. Hence the 3 principles I have found to be common cross-culturally.


I'm sorry did I misinterpret "something" to not be a mysterious force behind a pseudo-cross-cultural phenomena you see? Do you have evidence beyond speculation of this "something" that isn't rooted in faith? Mystery it is unless evidence is provided.

Mystery: anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown

To my point, I was simply offering a resonable explanation for this pattern of beliefs you see. It exist in our basic instinct for survival, not in the mythological.

rch10007 wrote:
As far as another person acts, beliefs, or conduct - it's not for me to be concerned with


rch10007 wrote:
I just wanted to know what the individuals on this forum thought since I try to not lump people into one group.


Then why are you asking what people think about the bible and the "positive messages it contains" such as your 3 principles, if it doesn't concern you?

This is what you call avoidance of the fact that there is a reasonable explanation for humans wanting to live in peace. It is human nature as you pointed out, accept minus the "something" else.

You can dismiss an explanation if you want but that simply points out, your presence here is for spiritual masturbation and conversionary tactics, and your not looking for objective reasoning.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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I'm here to learn.  If

I'm here to learn.  If that is not an acceptable reason to be here, someone let me know.  I have noticed alot of hate and know it alls and perhaps I can learn more elsewhere as suggested by some of the repsonses here.  Since everyone feels the Bible holds no histroic value and nothing can be learned from it, perhaps the same holds true for the members here and this website.

 I'm not here to be converted anymore than if I step into a church or mosque.  I'm just here to learn.

Please let me know if my behavior has been unaccpetable to be welcome here. 

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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rch10007 wrote: I have

rch10007 wrote:

I have noticed alot of hate and know it alls and perhaps I can learn more elsewhere as suggested by some of the repsonses here. Since everyone feels the Bible holds no histroic value and nothing can be learned from it, perhaps the same holds true for the members here and this website.

Serious question: why do you equate the dismissal of a single book with "hatred"?  If I told you I disliked the Iliad because it advocated violence, would you consider that hate speech?  I chose that particular book for this installment of AnalogyLand® because it was considered a record of the doings of the gods at one point.  (I wish I could draw a more precise analogy, but I haven't read the Iliad in twenty years.  It could be worse...I could have gone with Harry Potter. Smiling )

I fail to see any hatred or "know-it-all" attitudes.  Could you please give me a concrete example?

We are all "know-it-somes" and anyone who is sharing his or her views with you is sharing what knowledge he or she currently possesses.  For example, Hambydammit shared his knowledge of the bible with you.  My impression--and correct me if I'm wrong--is that you didn't like what you learned.  Sometimes when one person brands another as a "know-it-all," it means that person doesn't like being shown his or her ignorance.  Hell, I don't like being proven wrong or ignorant, but it happens. 

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Quote:

Quote:
Serious question: why do you equate the dismissal of a single book with "hatred"?

I don't...I was referring to the rest of the site, not this thread. You have over 1000 posts and you've never noticed any anger here?

Quote:
If I told you I disliked the Iliad because it advocated violence, would you consider that hate speech?

No...I liked the book and the movie! Smiling

Quote:
...I could have gone with Harry Potter. Smiling

I liked those movies too!

Quote:
I fail to see any hatred or "know-it-all" attitudes. Could you please give me a concrete example?

I honestly hope that you don't need me to point out the hatred on this site!

Quote:
Sometimes when one person brands another as a "know-it-all," it means that person doesn't like being shown his or her ignorance.

I was once labeled as a know-it-all. My best freind once told me, "Everytime we talk, you have to throw in your opinion as if you know what's best. If you know so much, why are you so upset all the time?"

If I have been shown my ignorance, Thank You! I love to learn so that I may better myself and hopefully be able to give back and teach others.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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The best moral teachings in

The best moral teachings in the Bible, like the golden rule, are plagiarized from from earlier sources.The "good" moral teachings, like "love thy neighbor" and Commandments six and eight, are common sense.
The supposedly good teachings, like "love thy enemy" and "abandon your family and come frolic through the desert with me", are despicable.
So, no. Effectively, I take nothing from its teachings.


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rch10007

rch10007 wrote:

Quote:
Serious question: why do you equate the dismissal of a single book with "hatred"?

I don't...I was referring to the rest of the site, not this thread. You have over 1000 posts and you've never noticed any anger here?

Anger and hatred are not the same thing.  I'm going to operate on the assumption that you know this and that you are referring to both anger and hatred.

1) Anger. Anger is a normal emotion.  Obviously it should be handled with care.  I still work on doing this, but I don't always succeed.  The same can be said of theists and atheists alike.

2) Hatred. I suspect some of what you're viewing as "hatred" is in fact intolerance, but let's go ahead and treat them as one and the same for now.  It's okay to hate some things.  In fact, it would be immoral if we didn't hate certain things.  Child abuse, totalitarianism, torture and human suffering come to mind.  What also comes to mind is that religion is a key factor in causing all of the above.

In some respects, religion is like a virus of the mind.  I want to help others overcome their illness.  Yes, I sometimes I get angry with them, but hate them?  I don't think so.  I couldn't function at all in my day-to-day life if that were so.  I am surrounded by the religious.  My mother is religiously insane.  Dealing with her is like walking a tightrope.  If I hated her, it would be impossible.  Sadly, I believe she is beyond help.  A lot of tact is required on my part.  I'm still learning.  I'll probably be learning for the rest of my life.

In order to convince me this is a "hate" site, you will have to convince me religion is not dangerous and that hating religion is equivalent to hating the religious, themselves.

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rch, I want you to be

rch, I want you to be careful not to make the same mistakes you're accusing us of.

You asked me direct questions about my knowledge, and I answered them honestly. Maybe not modestly, but honestly. I'm a smart dude. Worked hard to become so. (If you know the movie that last sentence is from, you get props in my book, by the way.)

Many of us are quite angry with theists. Look at my next post for an essay I wrote on the subject of anger and atheism. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not half as angry at theists as I am at religion. Theists are misguided, and often think they're doing good. They're just people, like me, and I'm here trying to help them see that their religion is a lie, because they're doing bad things that they wouldn't ordinarily do.

If something I do hurts people, I want to know about it. If you think I'm hurting people, and i think I'm helping, i want to know, so we can each present our side, and maybe if I'm wrong, i'll see that and change my ways.

Hatred is entirely different than anger. I can honestly say that there are people in the government that I hate. It's because they have no regard for other humans, and they're amoral at best. I hate that. There are a few theists I hate because they fall into the same category. In general, though, I don't hate 99.9% of the people I encounter in life. I get very angry with some of them, and sometimes my anger moves me to action.

As far as your posts go, rch, I want you to understand that you've come off as a little "wiser than thou" and a little condescending. I'm not saying that some of us don't do the same, nor am I making excuses for anyone here. I'm just telling you how you appeared, and you can do with that knowledge what you like.

Like I said in a previous post, we like for people to say what they think. This isn't a dinner party. It's a debate forum. You've been mysterious about your beliefs, and then gotten onto anyone who's speculated about them. Well, rch, we're here to discuss beliefs. If you don't care to reveal yours, that's fine, but don't get upset when people try to figure them out. That's just being manipulative, and it will get people mad at you.

Please, rch, try to understand that most of us are here because we're angry at how theism has hurt us and intruded on our private lives and caused pain and suffering to those we love. We see theism as a bad thing, and we're trying to help people leave it. We don't try to cover over our anger, but we do try to be rational in spite of it. If you think that something we believe is irrational, please present your argument. But don't chide us for being angry. We have every right.

Check my next post for a copy of my esssay.

For what it's worth, rch, I don't want you to leave. The only way to avoid learning anything is to avoid communication.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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"Why are all atheists so

"Why are all atheists so angry?"

I hear this question all the time. In fact, my Rambo-Kitty avatar is partially inspired by the question. Anyway, today I was reading an article about the debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren, and was struck by Warren's statement, "I've never met an atheist who wasn't angry."

My first reaction was denial. Many atheists, myself included, are happy most of the time. My atheist friends are great fun to hang out with. We laugh and joke and drink beer, and hardly ever mention religion.

My second reaction, I confess, was anger. How dishonest of him to try to discount atheism by labeling us all as angry malcontents! This is exactly why people like him make me angry!

That's when it hit me, square in the forehead. He's not being dishonest. I don't doubt that every atheist he's met has been angry. If I met him, he'd almost certainly make me angry, too. That's just it! HE makes atheists angry, so they're all angry around him. So, I forgive him for thinking that all atheists are angry. I understand how he made the mistake.

Anyway, I'd like to reflect on "Atheist Anger" for a few minutes, and ask a couple of questions.

First, why is it a bad thing to be angry? The suffragists were quite angry, and for good reason. New Zealand had granted women equal voting rights in 1893, and America, supposedly the land of equality, was violently opposed to the idea twenty years later. There are still plenty of women who are angry because women make less money doing the same jobs as men in many industries, and women are often not even considered for promotions when they're equally (or better) qualified for the position. Are they wrong for being angry? Should they just sit quietly and wait for men to realize the error of their ways? Some people think so. I've noticed that the majority of them are men.

Am I making a valid comparison? Is it reasonable to compare life as an atheist in America in 2007 to life as a woman in the early 20th century? Clearly there are significant differences. Atheists can vote. They can, in theory, hold public office. They can get married, sign contracts, work wherever they're qualified. So, do we atheists have a right to be angry in the same way suffragists had?

To answer that question, I'll recall some more history. In Mosaic law, as we all know, women were slightly better than slaves. They had no property rights. In Roman law, women were completely dependent on male relations for all legal matters, and when they were married, it was a matter of purchase between two families.

Here, we can ask a pointed question. Do women have the right to be angry that they're not making as much as men in the workplace? After all, they can vote, own property, divorce their husband, sue him for child support and alimony, and live quite happily on their own. This country is one of the best places in the world to be a woman! What right do women have to be angry?

If your skin prickled a little bit when you read the previous paragraph, good for you. You're halfway to understanding why atheists have a right to be mad. The reason women still have a right to be mad is that things are still not equal. They have no obligation to remain silent simply because they have it better than someone who lived a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The reason women have it better now is that people were angry all through history, and made small gains here and there over many generations. Without the fuel of anger, women would still be property, and wouldn't even have the opportunity to be mad about making less money in the workplace.

So, what about us atheists? Do we have a right to be mad? Actually, yes. Did you know we've had atheist presidents? We have. I'll let you do your own homework on this, but it might surprise you to learn that many of the leaders of the U.S. throughout history have been openly atheist. Is this possible today? One congressman in California recently admitted to being atheist, and it caused a nationwide stir! It remains to be seen whether he'll be reelected. To be sure, he'll be attacked for being godless and amoral when election time comes around.

Until the McCarthy Era, the pledge of allegiance didn't have the word "God." Money didn't have "In God We Trust." Until the 70s, Christians were not actively involved in politics for the purpose of legislating religious values. Clearly, America is more theist than it used to be, at least politically. So, are things getting better for atheists? I dare say they're not. Unlike women, our situation is not improving. We are not being afforded more respect. Rather, we are being legislatively pushed farther into the margins where we have been quietly lurking for sixty years since the Red Scare.

To bring things back around, recall my comment about my atheist friends and I sitting around having beers and laughs. This is a good picture for you to hold in your mind's eye when you think of me, or any other atheist. This is what we want. We don't like being angry any more than women who'd like to be paid more. I'm sure all the angry feminists would rather things were better for women so they wouldn't have to be angry anymore. It's the same with atheists. If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: "Why

Hambydammit wrote:

"Why are all atheists so angry?"

I hear this question all the time. In fact, my Rambo-Kitty avatar is partially inspired by the question. Anyway, today I was reading an article about the debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren, and was struck by Warren's statement, "I've never met an atheist who wasn't angry."

My first reaction was denial. Many atheists, myself included, are happy most of the time. My atheist friends are great fun to hang out with. We laugh and joke and drink beer, and hardly ever mention religion.

My second reaction, I confess, was anger. How dishonest of him to try to discount atheism by labeling us all as angry malcontents! This is exactly why people like him make me angry!

That's when it hit me, square in the forehead. He's not being dishonest. I don't doubt that every atheist he's met has been angry. If I met him, he'd almost certainly make me angry, too. That's just it! HE makes atheists angry, so they're all angry around him. So, I forgive him for thinking that all atheists are angry. I understand how he made the mistake.

Anyway, I'd like to reflect on "Atheist Anger" for a few minutes, and ask a couple of questions.

First, why is it a bad thing to be angry? The suffragists were quite angry, and for good reason. New Zealand had granted women equal voting rights in 1893, and America, supposedly the land of equality, was violently opposed to the idea twenty years later. There are still plenty of women who are angry because women make less money doing the same jobs as men in many industries, and women are often not even considered for promotions when they're equally (or better) qualified for the position. Are they wrong for being angry? Should they just sit quietly and wait for men to realize the error of their ways? Some people think so. I've noticed that the majority of them are men.

Am I making a valid comparison? Is it reasonable to compare life as an atheist in America in 2007 to life as a woman in the early 20th century? Clearly there are significant differences. Atheists can vote. They can, in theory, hold public office. They can get married, sign contracts, work wherever they're qualified. So, do we atheists have a right to be angry in the same way suffragists had?

To answer that question, I'll recall some more history. In Mosaic law, as we all know, women were slightly better than slaves. They had no property rights. In Roman law, women were completely dependent on male relations for all legal matters, and when they were married, it was a matter of purchase between two families.

Here, we can ask a pointed question. Do women have the right to be angry that they're not making as much as men in the workplace? After all, they can vote, own property, divorce their husband, sue him for child support and alimony, and live quite happily on their own. This country is one of the best places in the world to be a woman! What right do women have to be angry?

If your skin prickled a little bit when you read the previous paragraph, good for you. You're halfway to understanding why atheists have a right to be mad. The reason women still have a right to be mad is that things are still not equal. They have no obligation to remain silent simply because they have it better than someone who lived a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The reason women have it better now is that people were angry all through history, and made small gains here and there over many generations. Without the fuel of anger, women would still be property, and wouldn't even have the opportunity to be mad about making less money in the workplace.

So, what about us atheists? Do we have a right to be mad? Actually, yes. Did you know we've had atheist presidents? We have. I'll let you do your own homework on this, but it might surprise you to learn that many of the leaders of the U.S. throughout history have been openly atheist. Is this possible today? One congressman in California recently admitted to being atheist, and it caused a nationwide stir! It remains to be seen whether he'll be reelected. To be sure, he'll be attacked for being godless and amoral when election time comes around.

Until the McCarthy Era, the pledge of allegiance didn't have the word "God." Money didn't have "In God We Trust." Until the 70s, Christians were not actively involved in politics for the purpose of legislating religious values. Clearly, America is more theist than it used to be, at least politically. So, are things getting better for atheists? I dare say they're not. Unlike women, our situation is not improving. We are not being afforded more respect. Rather, we are being legislatively pushed farther into the margins where we have been quietly lurking for sixty years since the Red Scare.

To bring things back around, recall my comment about my atheist friends and I sitting around having beers and laughs. This is a good picture for you to hold in your mind's eye when you think of me, or any other atheist. This is what we want. We don't like being angry any more than women who'd like to be paid more. I'm sure all the angry feminists would rather things were better for women so they wouldn't have to be angry anymore. It's the same with atheists. If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.

Oh wow! This is great!

This states it so well. I don't feel I am an angry person generally, I am actually a quite happy person, but there are things that make me angry. Like Hamby said, being marginalized is one of them.  


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LOL!  I've reposted this

LOL!  I've reposted this maybe four or five times since I wrote it.  It's in my blog if you ever want to use it.  I'm surprised you haven't seen it before!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Iruka Naminori wrote: In

Iruka Naminori wrote:

In order to convince me this is a "hate" site, you will have to convince me religion is not dangerous and that hating religion is equivalent to hating the religious, themselves.

An addendum: Saying "religion is dangerous" is a positive claim. I can back it up if you need me to do so.  I would, however, point you first to the current crop of books by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and the many other scholarly reports on religion and its ills.

I've been convinced many, many times that religion does indeed cause more harm than good, so much so that it is self-evident to me.  I often forget this is not so for theists and / or the religious.  I used to be a Christian, but that way of thinking is pretty foreign to me at this point. 

What you may be perceiving as "hatred" is in most cases righteous anger.  It would be wrong for us to tolerate something that causes so much human misery.

If you can prove otherwise, I likewise invite you to. 

Cheers.  

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BGH wrote: Oh wow! This is

BGH wrote:

Oh wow! This is great!

This states it so well. I don't feel I am an angry person generally, I am actually a quite happy person, but there are things that make me angry. Like Hamby said, being marginalized is one of them.

I agree...read it when Hamby first wrote it and agree with it just as strongly now as I did then.

Of course you're going to come across the sentiment: "No one can make you angry."  In my humble opinion, that's hogwash.  You can modify your behavior and reaction to some extent, but becoming angry (or sad or post-traumatic) as my psychologist friend explained it to me, is a gift from the hypothalamus and once it has released certain hormones into your body, good luck fighting it.  

I'm trying to find the time to learn mindfulness meditation because I've heard it is good at helping a person to arrest the process of slipping into various emotional states.

My 2 cents.   

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Hambydammit wrote: LOL!

Hambydammit wrote:

LOL! I've reposted this maybe four or five times since I wrote it. It's in my blog if you ever want to use it. I'm surprised you haven't seen it before!

 

 

 

Iruka Naminori wrote:

I agree...read it when Hamby first wrote it and agree with it just as strongly now as I did then.

 

LOL. I guess I was in the dark on this one. BAD ME!!Yell

 

I am not sure why I haven't seen it before, I have visited your blog, I must have just overlooked it somehow. 

Thanks for the offer to use it, I will, because we encounter the 'angry' comment quite often.