FAQ (under construction and not official)

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FAQ (under construction and not official)

Title: My idea for the title so people get what we mean when we say RRS all the time.
RRS FAQ - Rational Response Squad Frequently Asked Questions

Questions: I have a feeling a lot of this are just general questions for atheists so may not apply to RRS but I know we get the hypocrite and hate comments a lot. Feel free to add, comment, correct, or change things. This is just to get the ball rolling.
How can all of you hypocrites?

Why do you hate Christians so much?
We don’t many members have confused their love for them, I wouldn’t but I’m too mean to tell people I love them. Now the high volume of claims you see on Christianity here is due mainly to the fact it is one of the larger religions in the world and one which most of use encounter in some form most of the time. The people on the radio show are American and as such have to deal with the effects on an almost daily bases. If another religion was on top you would see more stuff on them. Also we do address other religions. Links (Threads about other religions here?)

What if your wrong?
Pascal’s Wager is shit. Link (Answer.com article?)

How can you be agnostic and atheist?
Link (I'm think Ask the Atheist would be good.)

How can you say there is no god when you can’t prove there is no god?
Bigfoot, fairies, celestial tea pots, Zeus, etc.

Doesn’t religion have a place for a purpose for life and morality?
If by purpose you mean it gives you a safety blank and by morality you mean a arbitrary set of rules made over a 1000 years ago, maybe. Also Link (Ask the Atheist)

Have you even read [insert holy book]?
Someone here probably has if it is a more mainstream religion, but even if we haven’t we would probably still classify it as irrational if it has a god belief in it.

Doesn’t [insert holy book] prove there is a god?
No, all it proves is that this one god idea exists, yes there are more then one kind of god.

Don’t communist prove we need religion?

How can you be so un-American?
1. Not all of us on this forum are American.
2. America was founded has a secular nation so we are no more or no less American then the religious. Link (Ask the Atheist)


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Good ideas so far. On the

Good ideas so far. On the communist one, I'd ask they prove that communism as Marx proposed is a bad thing, and would point out that Stalin, Mao etc that did bad things most definitely did not do so in the name of atheism.

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Sapient
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JUST SOME SCATTERED

JUST SOME SCATTERED QUESTIONS FOR AN FAQ I HAD BEEN SAVING:

Why did you delete my comment on your myspace profile?

I sent you a letter and you didn't respond. Why?

What is the best way to get a debate started with one of the members of RRS?

Aren't you being just as bad as the Christians are, by forcing your beliefs on others?

I want to deconvert my friend, what is the best argument you can give me to help do it?

Do people actually abandon their irrational beliefs because of your arguments?

How can I become part of your squad?

What can I do to help?

______________________________

THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ON OUR MYSPACE PROFILE IN AUDIO:

Q. What exactly are you guys? What do you do? What are you about?

Q. Do you people hate god?

Q. Why not just let people believe?

Q. Why do you care about proving there is no god? Why not just go out, get drunk, and have an orgasm?

Q. How did you guys get started?

Q. You guys are fascists for forcing your beliefs on others, aren't you?

LISTEN TO THE SHOW AT THIS PROFILE.

- Brian Sapient


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I really shouldn't answer

I really shouldn't answer most of those... I just want to say, "Because I hate you now go away, AH!" But I think that it just me being mean and lazy.


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Voiderest wrote:I really

Voiderest wrote:
I really shouldn't answer most of those... I just want to say, "Because I hate you now go away, AH!" But I think that it just me being mean and lazy.

I know it's for one of us to answer most of it, but it's nice of you to help compile the questions and even start to formulate some of the answers. I posted those so that they'd be in the mix of thoughts. Anyone who wants to take a stab at posing an FAQ and answering feel free to help, we can always edit it to put our own touch on it later when we finally create the list.

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient wrote: Q. Aren't you

Sapient wrote:

Q. Aren't you being just as bad as the Christians are, by forcing your beliefs on others?

We did not initiate contact with you; you contacted us. Why did you feel a need to attempt to force your beliefs on us?

Sapient wrote:

Q. Why not just let people believe?

Please read The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

Sapient wrote:

Q. Why do you care about proving there is no god? Why not just go out, get drunk, and have an orgasm?

Why not do all of the above?

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I took a crack at a few I

I took a crack at a few

I sent you a letter and you didn't respond. Why?
We get lots of mail, some of which asks are gives the same points. We really can't get to them all, however we do try to send some to our message board so others can address the question or get a dialogue going.

What is the best way to get a debate started with one of the members of RRS?
Well personal attacks probably won't help, but a interesting, if not new point or topic might be good.

I want to deconvert my friend, what is the best argument you can give me to help do it?
Depends mainly on their religion and philosophy. I would suggest just getting them to think about it as a starting point. I wouldn't suggest getting into scripture unless knowledge about it because that can easily get into an argument over interpretations, how literal something is, or even if "it counts." Personally I like to look at the lack of proof for such a belief, but remember there is no such thing as disproof.

Do people actually abandon their irrational beliefs because of your arguments?
Yes, we have 'deconverted' people. (isn't there a thread about this?)

How can I become part of your squad?
(I don't really know how to answer this, or what you mean by "become part of" the squad. I would assume as far as the radio show goes the answer would be pretty much you can't with a few exceptions. Although maybe you mean just an active member of the community or get to use the badge or whatever.)

What can I do to help?
There are many things really. We have a paypal account if you just want to offer finical support, but there is also a RRS store that we get a percentage of. There is also things like web or graphic design. Right now we have an essay contest where you could win prizes. If nothing else just learn about things and stay rational.


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Why do you hate Christians

Why do you hate Christians so much?

Christians have a saying: "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Why, then, is it hard to believe that because of our love for humanity, we atheists are trying to eradicate a dangerous belief system? If we truly hated Christians, we would not try to make their lives better, would we?

How can you be agnostic and atheist?

Quote:
The upshot of all this is that that everyone under discussion, atheists and agnostics of any variety, also count as weak atheists. Thus, properly understood, “atheist” is the more all-encompassing term: Every unbeliever is an atheist in the sense of weak atheism, including strong atheists and all those who call themselves agnostics (weak or strong). This may seem like an odd conclusion to some, but it follows from carefully defining the terms as they are exemplified by their usage. Taking this sort of care also reveals something about some of the foolish conflicts mentioned above: Those who are very insistent that they are agnostics but not atheists must hold the mistaken belief that all atheists are strong atheists (otherwise they would realize that they are also atheists, at least in the weak sense of lacking belief in a god or gods).

-- by George Feliz. Link to the whole article: http://community.livejournal.com/athens_atheon/2959.html#cutid1

Don’t communist prove we need religion?

No. Communism illustrates the need for rational thought, as does religion. Both communism and religion are radical lines of thought based on nonexistent or spurious evidence.

How can you be so un-American?

For many on this board, it's "non-American." For those of us in the United States, we are quite familiar with the Constitution and the writings of the founding fathers. Based on this empirical evidence, we know that the U.S.A. was founded as a completely secular nation. We are, in fact, being very pro-American by exercising our right of free speech. We are doing our best to prevent the radical religious element in this country from taking over the government and making America into a less free place to live.

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
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One that's definitely

One that's definitely needed:

Aren't you better off believing? If you believe and are wrong you lose nothing, if you don't believe and are wrong you lose everything.

This is known as Pascal's Wager and has several problems. First, it's a flase dichotomy - there are more possibilities than Christianity and atheism. If the Moslems are right, you're going to the same hell as me. There are so many religions, it would be all but impossible to pick the correct one. Besides that, some sects of Christianity even teach that other versions are wrong and will send you to hell, too.

Second, it's not true that you lose nothing. Think of the time you waste praying, going to church, etc. What about following unnecessary restrictions due to your religion? And needlessly worrying that something you do or think will offend the creator of the universe.

Finally, wouldn't an omniscient god know whether you truly believed or were just "hedging your bets?"

How did the universe get here without God? Nothing can exist that wasn't created.

In that case, what created God? If God could have always been here then your statement is false. The universe could just have easily always been here. Richard Dawkins said the only thing capable of creating a being that can create is evolution!

There also should be one about the so-called "historical" evidence "proving" Christianity. I'd suggest Rook handle that one - he knows that stuff better than anyone I've ever seen.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Some just sent to my

Some just sent to my mail:

Why do you care if people believe in God?

Furthermore, how can you prove there is no God?

- Brian Sapient


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How can you prove there is

How can you prove there is no God?

We can't (though we can easily prove certain gods don't exiist [probably yours.]) Can you prove a flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist? What about the ooga-booga monster from Jupiter? Leprechauns? If I told you I invented a machine that provided free energy forever, would you just believe me until someone could prove otherwise or expect me to prove I really did? See what we mean? The burden of proof, for very good reason, is always on the person that claims something exists.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Why don't you just let

Why don't you just let believers believe what they want to believe instead of trying to convince them they are wrong?

Because religious people often try to force their beliefs on others : See the anti-choice movement, anti-women, anti-gay, etc, too- the religious war on science (anti-evolution, etc.)

Besisdes that, isn't it better to have true beliefs than to waste time believing a lie?

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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The following is an FAQ I

The following is an FAQ I just made to be an autoresponse to anyone who writes us from Nightline tonight and really for all theistic mail for a while:

 

Thanks for writing the Rational Response Squad.  Our email box now receives about 200-300 pieces of mail a day and we're unable to go through it all, so we've created this FAQ of some of the most recent questions.  Please understand that if you have written us to debate us or respond to this email with your thoughts on our FAQ WE WILL NOT RESPOND VIA EMAIL. I'm sorry we just don't have the time to engage everyone who writes us on a one on one basis.  However we have a thriving message board with a wide variety of people including many people who agree with what we have to say.  Those people are just as much "The Rational Response Squad" as the readers of this email box are.  So if you are interested in discussion about religion please post your thoughts in our atheist vs theist forum:
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/sapient/atheist_vs_theist

We will handle requests to appear on the show and customer service related questions through this mailbox, all others, please go to our forum.

 FAQ's:


Q: What if you're wrong?

A: This is likely one of the most often used arguments to entice someone to believe in a particular god and it is likely the worst argument imaginable.  It was originally conceived by a Christian named Blaise Pascal. He theorized that if you simply believe in the Christian god you have nothing to lose by being wrong, however his argument has so many basic fatal flaws it's amazing that anyone could think he was a man of high intelligence.  First, one must be sure they've picked the right god to believe in.  There are thousands of gods that have been worshipped in the course of humanity, and many if not all require that you believe in them above any other.  So if you hold Jesus above Mohammad, you are going to hell, and vice versa.  The easiest answer to the question "What if you're wrong" is "What if you're wrong."  Additionally any god that is all knowing would know that we've chosen to believe in a god simply as an insurance plan, this god would know our belief wasn't genuine as one can't force himself to believe something that he doesn't think is true.  Also, Pascals wager suffers another major blow, as he presumes that if he's wrong to be a Christian he has lost nothing, however the fact is he has lost everything.  He lived a life based on a lie, a myth, he never had a chance to live in reality, and likely gave up substantial portions of his income to the largest conspiracy the Earth has ever known.

As a theist you don't believe in thousands of gods, like us at the Rational Response Squad you see no reason to believe in Mithras or Zeus, you are atheist towards all of those gods.  When you realize why you don't believe in all of those gods, you will realize why we don't believe in yours. 


Q: You're not actually blaspheming the Holy Spirit because....

A: Here is our response to all of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyttuw2wwLg


Q: Do you hate god?  Do you hate Christians? 

A: Of course not.  How can you hate something that doesn't exist?  You'd be hard pressed to find something we actually hate.  Here at the Squad we recognize that people are brainwashed and indoctrinated into religious belief at an early age and we aren't mad at them for it.  Obviouslly it's upsetting to see the obvious, and to realize that our 80% of the world doesn't, but we don't hate that.  We dislike severely the extreme negative effects that religion has had on the world, and speak up against religious belief because it is the biggest danger in the world.  We don't hate Christians either, in fact we love Christians just as we love all humans and other animal life on this planet.  If we didn't love Christians we would selfishly devote our lives to ourselves instead of helping you to overcome the  mind disorder known as theism.


Q: You guys are going about this wrong, you need to respect other peoples beliefs!

A: If you truly believed that then how about sucking up your hypocrisy and realize you just disrespected my beliefs.  I believe that when a friend or someone I care about believes in superstitious nonsense, I should speak up and help he/she overcome it.  I believe that if I don't do that, I in fact am being very disrespectful and selfish.  So next time you tell someone to respect other peoples beliefs take heed to note that you are likely disrespecting theirs.



Q: Why don't you guys focus on Islam?

A: Often Christians will threaten us and tell us to focus on Islam for several reasons.
1. They haven't read our site enough to realize we do in fact focus on Islam.
2. They want to take an opportunity to call us cowards, threaten us, demean us, and tell us we're picking an easy target.
3. They will do or say anything to wipe the problems with their god under the rug and divert our attention to something else.

Here's the truth, we focus on ALL beliefs that require one to accept a claim based on faith.  This includes ALL gods believed in on Earth today and a host of other claims.  For example the moronic claim that this is a nation founded on Christian principle, which has bounds and bounds of evidence against it and none for it, is a claim based on faith, and one we confront as often as possible.  We tend to focus on Christianity more often because it's mostly Christians who write us and ask to come on our show, we live in a society heavily plagued by Christian superstition, and we all grew up Christian so it's what we're most familiar with.


Q: Do you think Christians are stupid?

A: No. Some are, but some atheists are as well.  We choose our words very carefully, and believe that a better word to sum up religious belief is: irrational.  While to an outsider it might seem as if you must be stupid to believe the claims in the Quran and Bible without proof, we understand that brainwashing at an early age can cause even the brightest of individuals to believe some of the most nonsensical silliness the world has ever known.   


Q: Your Blasphemy challenge makes me think you actually believe in hell, do you?

A: NO, we're merely pandering.  Of course we don't actually believe in a hell, if we seriously believed in a hell we wouldn't commit ourselves to it.  We're exposing the flaws and the holes in religion and stripping the fear based terroristic system that is Christianity of it's power.  The power of hell is the most compelling reason Christians have to believe in a god, and you don't need to be afraid because THERE IS NO HELL. 

Q: If you deny the existance of God, wouldn't taking time out of your day to "secure" your reservation in hell just be a waste of time if none of it exists anyway? 

A: No.  Since we've started the Blasphemy Challenge we have had several people come out of the wordwork and state that they have decided to leave religion behind.  That alone was worth every moment we spent.  However we have also given atheists that generally didn't bother anyone about their lack of belief a platform to speak up and show the world how they have no fear of a Biblical hell.  We've also increased the level of discussion about faith, and brought a discussion to areas that don't often have it.  We feel that if we talk about faith more often and more publicly it will wither away when held up to public scrutiny.


Q: I noticed on your homepage that you point out that God killed well over 2 million people in the bible and Satan killed less than 10, doesn't this mean you believe in God?

A: Did you also notice on our homepage that we state we're "freeing humanity from the mind disorder known as theism" in big gigantic letters at the top of every page?  Now do you wonder why we call it a mind disorder?  Of course we don't believe that the God of the buy-bull exists.  However, if YOU believe he exists and worship him, then you worship a being that is said to be loving and hate a being (satan) that is said to be evil, while the loving being has committed some of the worst crimes in history and the evil being has done almost nothing wrong.  You believe that a god who knew he would need to murder millions to make him happy, went through with a plan in which he would have to murder millions even though he could've tweaked his plan a little in order to save humanity from his wrath.  And yes an all powerful god could've done all of this without affecting this supposed "free will," or he isn't all powerful.


Q: I'll be praying for you!

A: We'll be thinking for you!

 

- Brian Sapient


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If I may chime in,

If I may chime in, regarding a question I get alot myself:

Quote:
Have you even read [insert holy book]?

 

I usually answer this question with the question:

Which version?

The usual ejaculative response to that question is that different versions are just different translations, and then it's incumbent upon you to point out that entire books are either missing or added among Orthodox, Roman, and Protestant Bibles, and much of what's "translated" is also added interpretation. You may then point out that the worst of these is the NIV--then point out that the NIV claims that the Mediterranean Sea gets northeaster storms. That's a type of storm peculiar to the shorelines in the area of the Atlantic Ocean.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


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The answer to the following

The answer to the following question would go toward answering the question about how one can be an atheist and an agnostic:

Quote:
How can you say there is no god when you can’t prove there is no god?

That depends on which God is under discussion here; a general Creator God is an entity no human is in a position to ascertain. Abraham's God, on the other hand, proves himself to not exist in the text of the book that you call his Word. That God himself proves that he doesn't exist. 

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


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Quote:

---withdrawn---

Wish to withdraw the others as well. 


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On Communism

I signed up for membership yesterday, so bear with me please if I post where I should not. More, as I was reading the FAQ and reached the communism matter. First, are there people who actually believe that the history and the experiences of communist nations proves that there is a God?

 Because, Communism, in my view comes with the provision of the same dogmatic crap that religion is. It tries to take away aggression through the elimination of private property with the belief that the only source of aggression is greed; therefore, had there been no landlord and capitalism, there would be no aggression and all would live in peace.

However, where this runs paralell to the notion of religion is that it is relatively easy to hold a considerable number of people to ostensively love each other for as long as there are those to be the recepients of their aggression. On the other hand, being free of dogmas and at the same time choosing to live with and respect other people is far more difficult.

The few enlightened are always outnumbered, guys. But, we'll get there.

Happy to finally be a member.  -Max 


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Welcome Maxim

Welcome Maxim


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Welcome Maxim!  We're glad

Welcome Maxim!  We're glad you're here.

We'd love for you to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself in the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor thread. 

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Seculer nation???/ I thought

Seculer nation???/ I thought Amarica was founded by Christians


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of course not none of the religions are completely correct

This comment has been moved here.  I meant 'none', certainly not one of them, got it right about truths.

my regards, asufi


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your pic

If that is you in the pic, and you don't have a hormonal imbalance, perhaps you are to young to really add you thoughts.

my regards, asufi


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I did not seek you out

This comment has been moved here.


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free speach

I agree wholeheartedly, even though I am somewht of a theist.  By the way, why is there so many errors as I navigate through this site.  My screen keeps jumping to the top of the page.  Thanks from Laura

my regards, asufi


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hillarious, thanks

'buy bull'  too funny.  I never heard of that before.  Also, 'we'll be thinking of you' as apposed to praying for you-too funny. 

my regards, asufi


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curious

How does god prove he does not exist in the bible?


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on private property

I agree with you on that part about private property.  But, is that enough to end suffering?  That is my goal.

my regards, asufi


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Asufi(Laura), You need to

Asufi(Laura),

You need to consolidate your comments into a few posts instead of posting a new comment for each thought. This is considered spamming and is against board rules.


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sory

I thought spamming was about sending adds univitedly.  So sory.  i am having problems navigating through this site.  If you do not want so many comments, why put 'respond' at the end of them all.  why did you move my comments?  They don't make sense out of the conntext of the forums I was responding to.  Why does my page keep jumping to the top of your page.  No one is helping me to learn about RRS.  How are you to convert people if you covet your information sharing.  If my patience is used up, and I am extremely tollerent, how then are you to convert the masses of Christians out there?  It seems to me that you are preaching to the converted.  In fact, your responses are not friendly unless the commentors agree with you.  I'm going to leave your site alone.  It holds not promise for me.  I really tried to understand, but that is not what RRS seems to want.  By the way, you (RRS) are prostelitizing.  I looked up miracles and there you were.  I just wanted to understand your points of view.  Laura

my regards, asufi


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asufi wrote: I thought

asufi wrote:
I thought spamming was about sending adds univitedly. So sory. i am having problems navigating through this site. If you do not want so many comments, why put 'respond' at the end of them all. why did you move my comments? They don't make sense out of the conntext of the forums I was responding to. Why does my page keep jumping to the top of your page. No one is helping me to learn about RRS. How are you to convert people if you covet your information sharing. If my patience is used up, and I am extremely tollerent, how then are you to convert the masses of Christians out there? It seems to me that you are preaching to the converted. In fact, your responses are not friendly unless the commentors agree with you. I'm going to leave your site alone. It holds not promise for me. I really tried to understand, but that is not what RRS seems to want. By the way, you (RRS) are prostelitizing. I looked up miracles and there you were. I just wanted to understand your points of view. Laura

Spamming consists of thread jamming(posting many posts without consolidating thoughts), advertising websites, or other action to clog the forums.

I did not move your comments, it was another mod, and they were moved because they did not pertain to this thread.

I don't know why your browser keeps jumping to the top of the page, it could have something to do with your browser settings.

Many people are very willing to help you learn the forums, you just need to ask specific questions.

 We are very open to dissagreement here, just be honest when you post and do not dodge other posters questions and stay on topic.

WE want you to understand out point of view. Just ask particular questions.

Thank you. 

 


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Dave_G wrote: Seculer

Dave_G wrote:
Seculer nation???/ I thought Amarica was founded by Christians

You could show where it says we are a christian nation in a legal document?


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There have been a lot of

There have been a lot of questions as to how to use the Quote Function.

I have written a tutorial that can be found here.   

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AL500
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America was founded has a

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Ahhhh, what the hell...

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We've had a couple of

We've had a couple of questions about using smilies.

I have put together a short tutorial here.  

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Here is a link to "Compose

Here is a link to "Compose Tips" on this website, it describe how to use many of the sites functions.


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Can't Defeat Iron Chariots

Hey guys,

I just wanted to make some of you aware of www.IronChariots.org. It's an awesome counter-apologetics wiki that you might point some of the questions toward, such as Pascal's Wager and other standard arguments.

The site was created by some of the folks at atheist-experience.org, and if you haven't checked out their TV show or the Non-Prophets podcast (nonprophetsradio.com), I highly recommend it.

Quote:
Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.

Small Town Atheist


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My beginning attempts at

My beginning attempts at summarizing all the questions: 

 

The Squad

Who are you guys?

Brian Sapient and Rook Hawkins have been responding to irrational claims and emergencies globally since 1999. Brian Sapient specializes in debating Religion from all angles, while Rook can pick apart the bible better than those who actually believe in it. Longtime allies of the Infidel Guy and Jake from the Atheist Network, Sapient and Rook have conceived a squad that will help respond rationally to irrational claims around the globe. One of their first moves was acquiring the help of noted Scientist from the Infidel Guy message boards, Yellow_Number_Five (Mike). Mike is a specialist in all things scientific. He's a chemical engineer, microbiologist, and evolutionary geek. Kelly O’Connor is the Neuropsych nerd with expertise in Philosophy. Their main man Razorcade always seems to ask just the right questions of the guests and is their rational inquisitor.  Hambydammit is a philosopher and all-powerful moderator.

You guys are going about this wrong, you need to respect other people’s beliefs!

If you truly believed that then how about sucking up your hypocrisy and realize you just disrespected my beliefs.  I believe that when a friend or someone I care about believes in superstitious nonsense, I should speak up and help he/she overcome it.  I believe that if I don't do that, I in fact am being very disrespectful and selfish.  So next time you tell someone to respect other peoples beliefs take heed to note that you are likely disrespecting theirs.

What can I do to help?

Use the forums and stay rational.  Participate in projects like the blasphemy challenge and our essay contest here http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rational_response_squad_alerts/rational_response_squad_alerts/2747 .

If you would like to make a financial contribution you can do so through paypal, here

http://www.rationalresponders.com/donate

or make recurrent monthly donations as a bronze, silver, or gold subscriber by clicking on “my account.”  If you purchase any items on Amazon through our links we will receive a small commission.

You can also help us grow online.  Check out this thread for details:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/things_you_can_do_to_help_us_grow_and_what_im_doing_long

Blasphemy Challenge

You did not actually blaspheme the Holy Spirit because....

Here is our response to all of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyttuw2wwLg

If you deny the existence of God, wouldn't taking time out of your day to "secure" your reservation in hell just be a waste of time if none of it exists anyway? 

No.  Since we've started the Blasphemy Challenge we have had several people come out of the woodwork and state that they have decided to leave religion behind.  That alone was worth every moment we spent.  However we have also given atheists that generally didn't bother anyone about their lack of belief a platform to speak up and show the world how they have no fear of a Biblical hell.  We've also increased the level of discussion about faith, and brought a discussion to areas that don't often have it.  We feel that if we talk about faith more often and more publicly it will wither away when held up to public scrutiny.

Your Blasphemy challenge makes me think you actually believe in hell, do you?

NO, we're merely pandering.  Of course we don't actually believe in a hell, if we seriously believed in a hell we wouldn't commit ourselves to it.  We're exposing the flaws and the holes in religion and stripping the fear based terroristic system that is Christianity of it's power.  The power of hell is the most compelling reason Christians have to believe in a god, and you don't need to be afraid because THERE IS NO HELL. 

Forum and Site Navigation

Why did you delete my comment on your MySpace profile?

Comments with images more than 420 pixels wide will be deleted.

I want to defend my religion.  Where can I debate?

Try to find out a little more about us, and our experiences before you try to preach to us.  We have a thriving message board with a wide variety of people including many people who agree with what we have to say.  Those people are just as much "The Rational Response Squad" as the readers of this email box are.  So if you are interested in discussion about religion please post your thoughts in our atheist vs theist forum:
http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/sapient/atheist_vs_theist

I’m having trouble composing my post.

There is a tutorial on using the quote function available here. http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/general_conversation_introductions_and_humor/7011

There is a tutorial on using smilies/emoticons here.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/general_conversation_introductions_and_humor/9545

Why was my post deleted?

Starting more than one thread on the same subject matter is prohibited.  In those instances, the moderator team will graft the threads together.  The moderator team will move the thread to an appropriate place in the forum when necessary.  You might want to check here

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/miscellanous_forums/trollville

Contact

I sent you an e-mail.  Why didn’t you respond?

The RRS receives several hundred messages a day and therefore are unable to respond to each personally.  While we appreciate your interest, there simply is not enough time to engage everyone in debate.  If your question is on this FAQ do not expect a personal response.  Some messages are posted in our Rational Response Mailbag (here).

I have an idea for your show.

Let us know in this forum

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/show_guests_and_musicians_0

Religion

Do you hate god?  Do you hate Christians? 

Of course not.  How can you hate something that doesn't exist?  You'd be hard pressed to find something we actually hate.  Here at the Squad we recognize that people are brainwashed and indoctrinated into religious belief at an early age and we aren't mad at them for it.  Obviously it's upsetting to see the obvious, and to realize that our 80% of the world doesn't, but we don't hate that.  We dislike severely the extreme negative effects that religion has had on the world, and speak up against religious belief because it is the biggest danger in the world.  We don't hate Christians either, in fact we love Christians just as we love all humans and other animal life on this planet.  If we didn't love Christians we would selfishly devote our lives to ourselves instead of helping you to overcome the mind disorder known as theism.

Why do you only pick on Christians?

We don’t.  The high volume of claims regarding Christianity is due mainly to the fact it is one of the larger religions in the world and one which most of use encounter in some form most of the time. Often Christians will threaten us and tell us to focus on Islam for several reasons.


1. They haven't read our site enough to realize we do in fact focus on Islam.
2. They want to take an opportunity to call us cowards, threaten us, demean us, and tell us we're picking an easy target.
3. They will do or say anything to wipe the problems with their god under the rug and divert our attention to something else.

Here's the truth, we focus on ALL beliefs that require one to accept a claim based on faith.  This includes ALL gods believed in on Earth today and a host of other claims.  For example the moronic claim that this is a nation founded on Christian principle, which has bounds and bounds of evidence against it and none for it, is a claim based on faith, and one we confront as often as possible.  We tend to focus on Christianity more often because it's mostly Christians who write us and ask to come on our show, we live in a society heavily plagued by Christian superstition, and we all grew up Christian so it's what we're most familiar with.

Do you think Christians are stupid?

No. Some are, but some atheists are as well.  We choose our words very carefully, and believe that a better word to sum up religious belief is: irrational.  While to an outsider it might seem as if you must be stupid to believe the claims in the Quran and Bible without proof, we understand that brainwashing at an early age can cause even the brightest of individuals to believe some of the most nonsensical silliness the world has ever known.   

Religious Questions/General

What if you’re wrong? Aren't you better off believing? If you believe and are wrong you lose nothing, if you don't believe and are wrong you lose everything.

This is likely one of the most often used arguments to entice someone to believe in a particular god and it is likely the worst argument imaginable.  It was originally conceived by a Christian named Blaise Pascal. He theorized that if you simply believe in the Christian god you have nothing to lose by being wrong, however his argument has so many basic fatal flaws it's amazing that anyone could think he was a man of high intelligence.  First, one must be sure they've picked the right god to believe in.  There are thousands of gods that have been worshipped in the course of humanity, and many if not all require that you believe in them above any other.  So if you hold Jesus above Mohammad, you are going to hell, and vice versa.  The easiest answer to the question "What if you're wrong" is "What if you're wrong."  Additionally any god that is all knowing would know that we've chosen to believe in a god simply as an insurance plan, this god would know our belief wasn't genuine as one can't force himself to believe something that he doesn't think is true.  Also, Pascal’s wager suffers another major blow, as he presumes that if he's wrong to be a Christian he has lost nothing, however the fact is he has lost everything.  He lived a life based on a lie, a myth, therefore he never had a chance to live in reality, and likely gave up substantial portions of his income to the largest conspiracy the Earth has ever known.

As a theist you don't believe in thousands of gods, like us at the Rational Response Squad you see no reason to believe in Mithras or Zeus, you are atheist towards all of those gods.  When you realize why you don't believe in all of those gods, you will realize why we don't believe in yours. 

Am I agnostic or atheist?
http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

How can you say there is no god when you can’t prove there is no god?

Can you prove a flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist? What about the ooga-booga monster from Jupiter? Leprechauns? If I told you I invented a machine that provided free energy forever, would you just believe me until someone could prove otherwise or expect me to prove I really did? See what we mean? The burden of proof, for very good reason, is always on the person that claims something exists.

You can be an atheist and be an agnostic, and you can be a theist and be an agnostic.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/agnosticism_and_its_many_misconceptions

Doesn’t religion have a place for a purpose for life and morality?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwICPD8e2rg

Don’t communist prove we need religion?

No. Communism illustrates the need for rational thought, as does religion. Both communism and religion are radical lines of thought based on nonexistent or spurious evidence.

How can you be so un-American?

For many on this board, it's "non-American." For those of us in the United States, we are quite familiar with the Constitution and the writings of the founding fathers. Based on this empirical evidence, we know that the U.S.A. was founded as a completely secular nation. We are, in fact, being very pro-American by exercising our right of free speech. We are doing our best to prevent the radical religious element in this country from taking over the government and making America into a less free place to live.

Irrational Emergencies

I want to de-convert my friend, what is the best argument you can give me to help do it?

There is no one best argument.  If you need more information on a specific area look at the articles on this page, existing discussions, or start a thread if it isn’t discussed. 

I’m getting slammed in a debate online.  Can you come to this forum and help me?

Tell them to come here.

What is your stance on x issue?

            The only thing that all atheists have in common is the lack of belief in God.

How did the universe get here without God? Nothing can exist that wasn't created.

In that case, what created God? If God could have always been here then your statement is false. The universe could just have easily always been here. Richard Dawkins said the only thing capable of creating a being that can create is evolution!

I noticed on your homepage that you point out that God killed well over 2 million people in the bible and Satan killed less than 10, doesn't this mean you believe in God?

Did you also notice on our homepage that we state we're "freeing humanity from the mind disorder known as theism" in big gigantic letters at the top of every page?  Now do you wonder why we call it a mind disorder?  Of course we don't believe that the God of the buy-bull exists.  However, if YOU believe he exists and worship him, then you are worship a being that is said to be loving and hate a being (satan) that is said to be evil, while the loving being has committed some of the worst crimes in history and the evil being has done almost nothing wrong.  You believe that a god who knew he would need to murder millions to make him happy, went through with a plan in which he would have to murder millions even though he could've tweaked his plan a little in order to save humanity from his wrath.  And yes an all powerful god could've done all of this without affecting this supposed "free will," or he isn't all powerful.

I'll be praying for you!

We'll be thinking for you!


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Pasal's Wager

I don't agree with much of Pascal, but I think his below comment is interesting.

I really can understand the doubt and unbelief represented on your website, -or at least I can understand it as a starting point or a waylay. You look around and can't see God, and so you draw a conclusion that there is no God.

However, some of us did the same (look around for God), and even stopped off at the "there is no God" pit, but then said "well, I have nothing to loose then by at least persisting and knocking on a few doors, and seeing if God answers".

This world is so mysterious. I cannot understand how anyone would stop seeking to know the truth. Could the PERSON named Jesus be the Creator God come to earth? Could Jesus/God be earnestly desiring us to know Him? What if I sought Him, and He DID answer me, as many others claim that He has answered them?!

PASCAL: "Before entering into the proofs of the Christian religion, I find it necessary to point out the sinfulness of those men who live in indifference to the search for truth in a matter which is so important to them, and which touches them so nearly."

I think religion is stinks. But I have met a God who is very personable.

Jesus said "When you seek Me with all your heart you will surely find Me". And He also Said "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in"


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Site FAQ

Hi there,

I miss a site FAQ. a "How-to". I would love to put a picture on my profile, and even leave some words about what I am, but I can´t find it.


shelley
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Espresso Kid wrote: Hi

Espresso Kid wrote:
Hi there,

I miss a site FAQ. a "How-to". I would love to put a picture on my profile, and even leave some words about what I am, but I can´t find it.

When you're logged in, click on "My Account" - top of the page, below the banner. 


Sapient
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Shelly, I just noticed for

Shelly, I just noticed for the first time... the work you posted on Decemeber 10th.  It all looked great.  We'll end up compiling a searchable and easy to use FAQ on the new site and your work will be utilized when we do.  Thanks.

 

Whenever an FAQ happens to come up members can post the Q and A here and we'll keep gathering them.  Mods: feel free to remove the bullshit off topic unproductive shit from akifi or whatever the hell his name was by editing and deleting the posts.  Also future off topic post should be nuked so this thread is actually helpful.  

If any mod would like to compile all of the FAQ's into a first post feel free. Please communicate you'll be working on it in the mod forum to prevent double duty.

 

- Brian Sapient


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This may be off subject a

This may be off subject a bit.  But why do theist and holy spook followers constantly use Pascals Wager?  It is almost as if they have have no concrete evidence to offer me.  When they do use Pascals Wager, I tend to just tell them the burden of proof is on them as to why they believe not for me to prove why I don't.  I just don't understand why they do that.  It is a way to just shut me up?  What do you think?

Bruce

 


iwbiek
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my thoughts on the "communism" question

"Don’t communist prove we need religion?"

 

hey everyone.  despite my newness to this site, i'm definitely no newcomer to communism.  i'm an american who's been living in a former eastern bloc country (slovakia, formerly the eastern third of czechoslovakia) for going on 4 years.  as a consequence of trying to understand my surroundings, i've done a lot of reading on this subject, and i'd like to offer my two eurocents.

 

the biggest point is that "communism" is not an actual system of government.  it's an ideology, that all "class" should be eliminated, and that this can only happen through a (not necessarily violent) revolution of the working class (proletariat), in which they take away the power of the capitalist class (bourgeoisie) to make money off their labor.  this the VERY VERY BAAAAASIC idea of communism (read: this is not exhaustive by a long shot; if you want exhaustive, read "das kapital," or try robert c. tucker's "the marx-engels reader&quotEye-wink.  the reason why COMMUNISM is not a system of government is because in the communist ideal, the state has already "withered away" (lenin's phrasing) and left a classless population in direct control of their own production and thus intrinsically equal with no possibility of conflict.  the reason there can be no conflict is that marx's critique of warfare, both civil and foreign, is that it originates in class conflict.

 

this communist ideal we can more or less call MARXISM.  there are a few things marx DID NOT do:

1. he did not condemn belief in god or even religion per se, but only as it had been used by the bourgeoisie to keep the proletariat pacified (in a nutshell, if the workers are looking to a pie in the sky, they will never become conscious of themselves an oppressed class).

2. he did not leave detailed instructions on how his ideals could be implemented on a state level, maybe because the idea of a communist STATE never occurred to him.  it was his view that the natural progression of capitalism was toward communism, which is why no violent revolution would be necessary, and so by the time the proletariat took control of their production the classes would have already faded away and thus no state would be necessary at all.  it's also very important to bear in mind that marx saw the progression toward communism as an INTERNATIONAL event, which would happem across the world more or less at the same time.

 

this brings us about 50 years later to LENIN.  what most people call communism is actually MARXISM-LENINISM or MARXISM-LENINISM-STALINISM.  in his most important work, "the state and revolution," lenin more or less echoes marx's ideals of a progression from developed capitalism to communism and its international character.  there were two problems for lenin, however: first, russia had never BEEN a developed capitalist nation and second, contrary to his hopes the revolution of the proletariat did NOT happen internationally.  so lenin was faced with the creation of a single and (at the time) isolated socialist state.  since he didn't have the PATIENCE to wait for russia to go through the phase of developed capitalism that, according to marx, would naturally lead to communism, he tried to accelerate things, after the 1918 revolution and the victory of the bolsheviks in the civil war, by instituting the New Economic Policy or NEP.  the NEP was essentially a mixture of communist and capitalist elements.  it worked fairly well.  this was the birth of the soviet union and modern socialism and it is SOCIALISM which is the system of government, not communism.  socialism was meant to be the stepping-stone to the communist ideal.  the NEP worked fairly well, and while much of church property was socialized under it, there was no massive persecution of religion just for the sake of it.

 

after lenin's death, stalin brought the NEP to a halt and instituted heavy centralization of pretty much everything.  this is when the break between stalin and trotsky happened, as stalin and his cronies saw the NEP as making concessions to capitalism, while trotsky saw stalin's centralization as backpedalling away from lenin's ideal of the state "withering away" which he put forth in "the state and revolution" (though lenin himself often reneged on that ideal as well).  as a result, trotsky went into exile and was eventually murdered in mexico by one of stalin's agents.  while in exile, he wrote "the revolution betrayed," in which he predicted (quite accurately) the future problems of the soviet union because of stalin's reversal of the NEP.

 

while stalin claimed to be the heir to lenin's ideals, and thus we have MARXISM-LENINISM-STALINISM, his ideas were in direct contrast to much of marx.  let me stress here once again that marx was german and spent a lot of time in france and england.  he wrote based on what he saw in the highly developed capitalism of western europe.  for the revolution of the proletariat to truly sweep the world, it would have to begin in the very heart of the capitalist world.  instead, it began in russia, which on the eve of the 20th century was still more or less feudal.  so stalin continued, in his own brutal way, to make the soviet union into a self-contained socialist nation, and after 1945, spread the isolation from and polarization to the capitalist west with the addition of the EASTERN BLOC: poland, czechoslovakia, hungary, romania, yugoslavia (until tito's break with stalin a few years later), etc.

 

the communist revolution in china was essentially a stalinist revolution, and thus MAOISM is an even more exaggerated and xenophobic form of stalinism, and of course mao was behind kim il-sung's revolution in north korea (probably more chinese troops fought the allied forces than korean troops in that conflict) and pol pot's in cambodia.  as for castro and ho chi minh, their thought was far more divorced from stalin and mao, and i find it very suspicious that, unlike stalinist russia, china, and north korea, we see very little in the american media about how day-to-life is after 50+ years of revolution in cuba and north vietnam.  we hear bad things from the US gov't of course, but usually very vague, with no in-depth analysis.

 

in conclusion, it is a fallacy for anyone to call the soviet, chinese, or cambodian socialist regimes "communist" and certainly not "marxist."  marxism is not a system of extremes built on fear or abstract ideals.  marx made every effort to use the scientific method (for his day) in both his historic and economic critiques, and in all fairness, his prescription remains yet to be implented.  marxism-leninism and the ideologies that followed it were improvized adaptations of communist principles, in an attempt to use them in places where marx never envisioned them being used.  as for religion, in communism it is a moot point, as in marx's view conflicts are not caused by religion, but by class struggles.

 

i hope this is informative to all you RRS folks.  i guess the first thing i would say to this question from an emailer would be, "first tell me exactly what you think communism is."

 

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Secular/Christian American Stuff

>"Seculer nation???/ I thought Amarica was founded by Christians"<

A common and reasonably accurate observation that misses the mark.

For example, the 'Christian' founders belonged to a variety of mutually antagonistic varieties of Christianity.

Another version of the 'founded by Christians' claim (red herring) is that 'America was founded on Christian Values and the Bible.'

For this I must simply ask, What values expressed by the Declaration or the Constitution can be sourced to Christianity/Bible?

tq

 


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Communism

For the communist part, you can say that the atrocities committed by the USSR (Stalin, et al) were not done in the name of atheism but in the name of Marxism-Leninism (or just Leninism, see below). Marxism differs from and is opposed somewhat to M-L because M-L supports a "vanguard party" substituting the working class for control of society (and they would take over by coup if necessary). Thus this party became the new elite and acted like most elites do. Marx, in his time, criticized "secret revolutionary societies" which is what a vanguard party is. The Paris Commune was what Marx considered to be a "socialist state" and even stated such things that the "But the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes" probably implying as a conclusion to those events that the working class should wipe out the state (a position similar to that of his anarchist contemporaries, although they still had differences. Marx had contempt of the peasantry). The Paris Commune is a far from the USSR that Lenin created.


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Reply to iwbiek

I just wanted to say that this is a very important point, and the explaination is very needed.

 

Communism has been the victim of serious propoganda, mostly from the western world during the last 60 odd years. Especially in the US where being a damn commie was thrown around to undermine any idea that people may not like.

 

The examples people bring up, the USSR and China are not examples of communism, more like dictatorship, which I think most people will agree is not a good things.

 

Newbie to this site, and new to living with out theism, thanks for being there.

 

 


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 Just because it isn't in

 Just because it isn't in any legal document does not mean that they weren't religious people, they weren't Christians, they were Puritans, there is no legal document stating that, but no historian will disagree that the people who founded America had strong Christian roots, morals, and motives. The Taylor guitar company was founded by Christians, there is no legal document stating that, but if you research the founders of that company you will see that they are Christians.


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Puzzled...

Why do athiests neglect that there is a god?


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How can you prove that there is no god?

Doesn't the burden of proof fall on the one making the outrageous claims?


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gingerpunk

gingerpunk wrote:

Doesn't the burden of proof fall on the one making the outrageous claims?

 

 

 

 

             It certainly does  and this has been pointed out meny times on this site. Basicly we do not have to prove zero, if the true believers want to convert us they have to prove something exists.

 

          Now write a new post and introduce yourself, welcome to the forums.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?