Into the fire we go, and verily through it! For out the other side comes wisdom.
I just posted this to The Other RRS, over here: http://www.righteousresponders.com/index.php/topic,1350.15.htmlI'm crossposting it here in case they scream and pee their pants. Quote from: Hamandcheese on July 18, 2007, 04:17:20 PM "These words, and hell fire, are incontestably bad for our children and bad for our world. "
Quote from: Donna on July 18, 2007, 06:46:49 PM "Well no, it isn't. Its bad for YOUR world because you do not want to be held accountable for your actions. You (in general to all atheists, not just you in particular) want to be able to do as you please without consequences."
Personally, I'm offended by your assumption that we hold a belief that we secretly think that there is some ultimate accountability. What you wrote is equivalent to me saying that you do not believe in HP Lovecraft's yog-sothoth because you do not wish to be held accountable for your existance, which is an affront to its rule over the galaxy. Of course, we consider both things to be fiction.
We do as we please within accordance to the moral values handed down from the great philosophers of old, most of whom predate any spiritual figure held in the limelight by christianity. Since these values came before and are so similar to the ones used in the bible, we can likely say that those values came from the old philosophers. Even so soon as 500 bc, we find the ethic of reciprocity (the Golden Rule) imagined by Confucius who said "What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others."
So I ask you, which is more likely? Could it be that the morality of the bible is derived from predicative scholars? Or, instead, did some evil place those values in time beforehand to lead men astray?
If you choose the latter, beware; if you believe in a creator of all things, and all things include evil, then your creator wishes some of you to fall. Easily navigated, as I'm sure you've noticed, because if a creator has the ability to create all things he have assuredly created some of us as mere decoys - decoys who lead the life of evil and return to nothingness once their faith-testing purpose is served. Perhaps I am such a decoy.
No, you shouldn't think that way. Not attempting to convert people to your slice of faith would miss the deeds part of the covenant. I'm speaking of the part about the good fruit of the tree, know thy godliness by thine works. Does that not apply? If it doesn't, why was it written? Is it "do good things, but don't worry about it too much because the work is already done?"
That's just it, though. It's only one slice of the much larger pie. Here's a statistic from the CIA intel site (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html):
Roman Catholics 17.33%, Protestants 5.8%, Orthodox 3.42%, Anglicans 1.23%, Muslims 20.12%, Hindus 13.34%, Buddhists 5.89%, Sikhs 0.39%, Jews 0.23%, other religions 12.61%, non-religious 12.03%, atheists 2.36% (2004 est.)
Count 'em up. Roughly 46.62% of the world believes specifically different god. This jumps to 88.95% if you count the ones who I think you would say are not true christians. So I say to you, if believing in a different or false god is a sin (which it is in nearly every world religion), aren't you taking an insurmountable risk by following this particular religion? Especially when most people in the world believe in the faith of Allah?
Again, I will strike down my own argument. This is Pascal's Wager, and fails in that not only do all religions make this wager, but few religions state that not choosing any god is a sin. Some would say we agnostic atheists are a valuble commodity among the faith based community.
You've also said that this is a Christian nation. Perhaps you should check into the religious beliefs of our founding fathers and the origin of the seperation of church and state, and those things. I think you'll be mildly suprised.
We don't hate god. We simply have no viable evidence for its existance. We don't believe there is a satan (the idea that a benevolent god would create such a thing is absurd). Please stop asserting that we have these beliefs. It gets old very quickly, and doesn't make us want to aquire them any time soon.