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Old 02-11-2011, 07:41 PM  
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You can't help but love it! If you ever get the chance, I recommend Bill Maher every Friday evening on HBO. The guy really is funny. Come on back to this thread and let me know what you think of the movie!
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:34 PM  
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That's for sure. Ever see Bill Mahers film call Religulous. It's a great film and for what it's worth, I believe that many points made in the documentary are certainly true, and you see evidence of it quite often.
There where good points, but it was all ruined by him attacking the truckers.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:44 PM  
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He does seem a bit hostile, and it was reflected in his show, but lately he's toned it down. I think someone told him to back up a bit.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:56 PM  
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That's good, I don't believe the faithed should be treated as stupid.

It makes them hate Atheism that much more.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:09 AM  
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Originally Posted by Funetical View Post
That's good, I don't believe the faithed should be treated as stupid.

It makes them hate Atheism that much more.
I am assuming that by "faithed" you're meaning "faithful". If so, I appreciate the vote for not being treated as stupid. Although I do appreciate where such a "belief" comes from, as in your statement, "I don't believe the faithed should be treated as stupid.". Your statement, in analysis, when compared to historically "stupid" belief statements, is akin to those that believed that the world was flat. Those that truly believed that the world was flat were ultimately proven wrong through elementary scientific approach and observation. Columbus believed the world to be round and, basically, bet his life on it. The ruling elite who denied it's roundness clung to their dis-belief (or unbelief) from the comfort of their stuffed chairs. Columbus worked through his belief to change the world. The elitist clung to their chairs and watched as the world changed around them. Some thought of Columbus as "stupid" to believe what he did, but ultimately, in one way or another, all wanted to benefit from Columbus' faithful efforts.

In closing, a true believer has no hate for atheists. Therefore it is, in application, not to mention, grammatically incorrect to assume that we will "hate much more". Theologically speaking, which I do not feel you were involved in, scripture specifically defines hate as "anything other than a complete forgiving love without expectations" [agape]. That is a big order (command) that all true believers are called to live by. Do we do it? Do we do it well? I think not! Our (a true believer) fallen state compels us to act as you described...to hate, but as believers we consciously reject that position and make a conscious attempt replace it with acceptance. An open and decidedly hateful person is not a true believer of Christ or His example. Do believers stumble and trip on the human condition of hate, yes, from time to time. Imagine being presupposed to love everyone completely and without expectations. This is the "hard work" of believers..the work of stepping out and proving that it can at least be attempted. Similar to Columbus stepping out in an attempt to prove the earth wasn't flat. Hating is easy....similar to the elitist sitting in their easy chairs, wallowing in their disbelief, waiting for Columbus to take the risks. Believers aren't better... they simply have different desires and are willing to step out for the sake of their belief...the belief in and of Christ.

So, thanks for the vote of not being treated as stupid and I apologize, right here and now, for anyone that has shown you hate...regardless of the reason or source of that hate. There are three ways that the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to an unbeliever, 1) orally or by hearing the preached word, 2) through the reading of scripture, and 3) by the witness of believers. Consider yourself "witnessed" to. While I obtusely attempt levity in my writing I do take it seriously. If I can better explain any of my ramblings please post a question. I understand where you are coming from...because I used to be there as well.

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Old 03-04-2011, 06:52 PM  
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The way I see it, we are free to follow any religion we wish, up to but not including the point where it affects others against their will. You want to walk up to me on the street and proclaim your religion as the greatest, fine - it's a public street, we have freedom of speech, I'm not compelled to be on the street, no problem. You want to do the same thing in a school? A courthouse? School board meeting? Screw you and the horse you road in on.

I'm an atheist. If I meet you in person, you will not know I'm an atheist until you express a religious preference. Your religion doesn't matter to me in the slightest until that point.

Engaging in a philosophical discussion, as we are now, all bets are off...
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:33 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
I'm an atheist. If I meet you in person, you will not know I'm an atheist until you express a religious preference.

It's funny how these things work out in our lives. It is my hope that anybody who meets me knows, without a doubt, that I am a Christian.

Engaging in a philosophical discussion, as we are now, all bets are off...

How does "all bets off" manifest itself...philosophically speaking?
Why do you feel you are an atheist? I have always been intrigued with the defense concepts of atheist beliefs. We agree on the "relgion" thing so we're not that far apart.

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:06 AM  
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Originally Posted by Hillman View Post
It's funny how these things work out in our lives. It is my hope that anybody who meets me knows, without a doubt, that I am a Christian.

How does "all bets off" manifest itself...philosophically speaking?
That depends. If one makes it clear that they wish to compare and contrast religious philosophies, it manifests as a generally polite discussion, where ideas are discussed and challenged (perhaps to the point of ridicule) but where the participants themselves are respected. Most of the time, this is the case.

If it devolves to the stereotypical debate between condescending atheists and condescending theists, I have been known to play my role, but I generally bow out of the discussion rather early.
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Why do you feel you are an atheist? I have always been intrigued with the defense concepts of atheist beliefs. We agree on the "relgion" thing so we're not that far apart.

Blessings
I don't "feel" I am an atheist. I can say with absolute certainty that I am an atheist. Atheism is a lack of theistic belief; I possess no such belief, therefore I am an atheist. Theism is an explicit trait. A theist MUST possess belief in god. Atheism is an implicit trait. Anyone or anything that does not possess theistic belief is atheistic.

I reject the theistic aspects of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and all other religions that have been presented to me for a variety of reasons. All of what has been presented to me as support for theistic religion has been self-contradictory, tautological, inconsistent with observation, non-falsifiable, amoral, or some combination of the above.


Do you possess a belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn? If not, you are an a-unicornist. Great, so am I. So is everyone around us. The term "a-unicornist" is irrelevant until someone claims to be a unicornist. It is the default position.

What happens of someone walks around town discussing their belief in Invisible Pink Unicorns? Passing out books about the purported nature of the IPU, asking people to believe in unicorns, promising that the IPU will give a paradise in exchange for behavior and/or belief in the book... Does anyone really care? Are we going to go out of our way from stopping someone else's pursuit of happiness?

Suppose this Unicornist fled a land where he was threatened for his beliefs. He goes to a land that espouses tolerance of religion among its core tenets. He is welcomed with more or less open arms. He's not jailed or beaten for his beliefs. What happens when that Unicornist wins converts? What happens when he establishes a church? What happens when Unicornist beliefs become prevalent throughout this new land? What happens when elected officials claim to be inspired by the Invisible Pink Unicorn? What happens when they publicly declare this to be a Unicornist State? Touching on the limits of freedom-of-religion, what happens when public laws are created and codified, based on Unicornist principles?

What happens when the president claims that a-unicornists are not patriots, are not even citizens?

Quote:
Robert I. Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

George H.W. Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman: Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
That depends. If one makes it clear that they wish to compare and contrast religious philosophies, it manifests as a generally polite discussion, where ideas are discussed and challenged (perhaps to the point of ridicule) but where the participants themselves are respected. Most of the time, this is the case.

If it devolves to the stereotypical debate between condescending atheists and condescending theists, I have been known to play my role, but I generally bow out of the discussion rather early.

I find it interesting that we agree on the rational approach to discussing differing philosophies then you volunteer that you have a "role to play" if a retort is condescending? Is that a role you choose or one dictated by atheism. Am I misunderstanding your point here or is it your way of defending what you believe?

I don't "feel" I am an atheist. I can say with absolute certainty that I am an atheist. Atheism is a lack of theistic belief; I possess no such belief, therefore I am an atheist. Theism is an explicit trait. Simple yet complicated statement. Please explain how you define "explicit trait". I ask because I know many theist and the most prevalent complaint against them, by atheist, is that they are NOT, by definition "explicit" enough.A theist MUST possess belief in god Actually, I think it's in "a" god or gods.. Atheism is an implicit trait. Again, I'm not following the adverb "implicit". State another way, please.Anyone or anything ("anything"???...we disconnect here.)that does not possess theistic belief is atheistic.

I reject the theistic aspects of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and all other religions that have been presented to me for a variety of reasons. All of what has been presented to me as support for theistic religion has been self-contradictory, tautological, inconsistent with observation, non-falsifiable, amoral, or some combination of the above.

Did your choice to "reject" belief in theism come before you learned the aspects of (at least 4) other religions or after you learned the aspects of all of them? Or did you believe at the beginning and chose to not believe somewhere in the learning process? Or was it that after your learned the aspects of all of these regions you chose not to believe? Your decisive choice to reject intrigues me because of its alignment with scripture. I hope my question makes sense.


Do you possess a belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn? If not, you are an a-unicornist. Great, so am I. So is everyone around us. The term "a-unicornist" is irrelevant until someone claims to be a unicornist. It is the default position.

What happens of someone walks around town discussing their belief in Invisible Pink Unicorns? Passing out books about the purported nature of the IPU, asking people to believe in unicorns, promising that the IPU will give a paradise in exchange for behavior and/or belief in the book...

Does anyone really care? The simple answer is YES. "Anyone" = someone and someone always cares...maybe not for the right thing or in the right way, but someone always cares.Are we going to go out of our way from stopping someone else's pursuit of happiness? YES again. The birth of "religion" (theistic and atheistic) is manifest in differing levels of one's (or groups) desire to interpret another's happiness in what they believe. Example being, look how you just described what you perceive as theistic belief aspects. I'm not saying you are wrong.....because you are not, but clearly you are not happy with your perception of what theist believe based on your description.

Suppose this Unicornist fled a land where he was threatened for his beliefs. He goes to a land that espouses tolerance of religion among its core tenets. He is welcomed with more or less open arms. He's not jailed or beaten for his beliefs. What happens when that Unicornist wins converts? Those converts would be the "someone's" I mentioned earlier.What happens when he establishes a church? What happens when Unicornist beliefs become prevalent throughout this new land? What happens when elected officials claim to be inspired by the Invisible Pink Unicorn? What happens when they publicly declare this to be a Unicornist State? Touching on the limits of freedom-of-religion, what happens when public laws are created and codified, based on Unicornist principles?

What happens when the president claims that a-unicornists are not patriots, are not even citizens? I get your point and do not necessarily disagree but bringing selective and subjective public policy into a discussion on theism, or the lack of, just burdens the process. I can't speak to why public officials do and say what they do. I have some real personal tension in the whole church and state thing anyway.

Note: I just re-read my questions and sometimes the printed word does not carry the same delivery as intended. Please understand...my questions are not meant to be argumentative or agitating in any way. I am genuinely interested in your viewpoint.

Thought provoking and interesting. I look forward to your follow-up!
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:26 AM  
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Originally Posted by Hillman View Post

I find it interesting that we agree on the rational approach to discussing differing philosophies then you volunteer that you have a "role to play" if a retort is condescending? Is that a role you choose or one dictated by atheism. Am I misunderstanding your point here or is it your way of defending what you believe?
My point is only that the "classic" theist/atheist arguments seem to devolve quickly into uncouth behavior on both sides. I try to avoid this type of argument. I'm not always successful.
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Simple yet complicated statement. Please explain how you define "explicit trait". I ask because I know many theist and the most prevalent complaint against them, by atheist, is that they are NOT, by definition "explicit" enough.

Again, I'm not following the adverb "implicit". State another way, please
I'm saying that a child is not born with knowledge of Jesus or Allah or Buddha or Zeus or Aphrodite or Joseph Smith or any god concept or religious figurehead. I'm saying that even when presented with these concepts, a person need not accept them as valid. I'm saying that a person need not make a choice to be an atheist, but that he must make a choice to be a theist.
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Actually, I think it's in "a" god or gods.
True enough. I will admit that my vocabulary is heavily skewed toward monotheistic terms.
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("anything"???...we disconnect here.)
As something must possess a belief to be considered a theist, something that cannot possess beliefs could be described as an atheist. As a society, we don't generally utilize this terminology, but I found it a useful tool for understanding and describing the concept of implicit atheism. A rock is an implicit atheist. A baby is an implicit atheist. A dog is an implicit atheist.

Quote:

Did your choice to "reject" belief in theism come before you learned the aspects of (at least 4) other religions or after you learned the aspects of all of them?

Or did you believe at the beginning and chose to not believe somewhere in the learning process? Or was it that after your learned the aspects of all of these regions you chose not to believe? Your decisive choice to reject intrigues me because of its alignment with scripture. I hope my question makes sense.
My rejection was of the validity of the evidence presented to me, and I came to reject that evidence upon discovering and understanding the concept of logic. There was no one day that I woke up and said "You know, this bible stuff is junk". I remember hearing the tale of Noah's Ark at a very young age, and some time later wondering how the wide variety of animals from all around the world would have traveled to the ark. I remember discovering how there is no land-bridge connecting Australia or the Americas, and wondering how land animals would have reached their borders.

I encountered similar processes with various aspects of every concept presented to me. I can't say I was never a theist, but I can't say that I ever possessed a firm, informed belief in any particular god or gods either. Oh sure, after hearing about Noah and God making it rain for 40 days and 40 nights, flooding the entire earth, I believed what I was told to believe. I also believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and even the Easter Bunny for awhile, and with about as much devotion as I did God or Jesus. How does a bunny lay an egg? What does a fairy need with teeth? How does santa reach every kid in the world in just one night? Why does an omnipotent god need Noah to build an Ark?
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The simple answer is YES. "Anyone" = someone and someone always cares...maybe not for the right thing or in the right way, but someone always cares.
YES again. The birth of "religion" (theistic and atheistic) is manifest in differing levels of one's (or groups) desire to interpret another's happiness in what they believe. Example being, look how you just described what you perceive as theistic belief aspects. I'm not saying you are wrong.....because you are not, but clearly you are not happy with your perception of what theist believe based on your description.
Both of those were meant as rhetorical questions.

My unhappiness with another's beliefs is hardly "stopping someone else's pursuit of happiness", at least not in the sense I was implying. Are we going to lock someone up in a psych ward because they maintain an unusual belief? Probably not. Are we going to go over to his house, call him a blasphemer, and try to save his soul through our own brand of beliefs? I sincerely hope not!
Quote:

Those converts would be the "someone's" I mentioned earlier.

I get your point and do not necessarily disagree but bringing selective and subjective public policy into a discussion on theism, or the lack of, just burdens the process. I can't speak to why public officials do and say what they do. I have some real personal tension in the whole church and state thing anyway.
Then let me ask you: Why do you want everyone who meets you knows "without a doubt" that you are a Christian? Are the religious preferences of others similarly important to you? Why?

I have quite a bit of tension on the issue of church/state if you'd care to discuss that area.
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Note: I just re-read my questions and sometimes the printed word does not carry the same delivery as intended. Please understand...my questions are not meant to be argumentative or agitating in any way. I am genuinely interested in your viewpoint.
The subtlety of language definitely suffers from a textual delivery. Don't pull any punches on my behalf - I enjoy a good argument/discussion.
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