General Question

TabernakAttack's avatar

Should there be an Athiest "church"?

Asked by TabernakAttack (342 points ) June 30th, 2009

Recently in my city an advertisement went up inside a few busses reading ”There’s probably no God now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” I think it’s great. It’s simple, short, and not completely denying God or religion. They even used a capital “G” for God to be respectful. but of course the religious types are up in arms over it. I’m atheist and many of my friends are christians, so we have some pretty long arguments on the subject. It usually boils down to them explaining that the ad is attacking their religion and it’s offensive to them. Even though most religions, especially christianity focus on teaching their followers to denounce all other religions and that not believing in God results in severe punishment. New Testament – Mark 16:16 “He that believeth not, shall be damned”.

Instead of advertisements, religions force themselves upon us/children in churches and schools. Before you say that it’s our decision on whether or not we choose to go to church, the fact that they have full buildings of supporters demands recognition whereas an ad can simply be ignored.

Basically I’m asking if it you guys think people today are tolerant enough to let us atheists have a place to go and discuss world issues and how to deal with them or would that just end in protesting and probably violence?

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172 Answers

shilolo's avatar

There’s always the Church of Google.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t see why not though a congregation of people gathering to express their disdain of religion is an anti-religion gathering rather than a non-religious gathering.

RandomMrdan's avatar

wouldn’t that be an oxymoron?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No one is stopping the Atheist from attending religious church. No one is stopping the Atheist from “discussing world issues and how to deal with them” in those churches either.

Most church would love to have Atheists attend.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Meh, what would we discuss?

“Hey everyone, Welcome to the United Atheist’s Church, you know that God fellow? Pretty Much a bunch of who-hah… so uh, thanks for coming out, see you next week…”

TabernakAttack's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 Unless the church I went to when i was younger is different, they talk about today’s issues such as street violence, drug addictions, family problems and how to deal with them “the Christian way.” I’d like to hear about how people can deal with stuff like money issues other than praying (just an example).
@shilolo That’s pretty awesome, I’ve never heard of it before.

FZglass's avatar

That would be pointless.

YARNLADY's avatar

There already is a place, but of course not a church, which is a place of worship by definition.

dalepetrie's avatar

I think @YARNLADY beat me to it…there are plenty of social organizations atheists can get to discuss philosophy, but a church? What would you worship?

rooeytoo's avatar

I think the atheists should get together just for the fun of it even if there is nothing to worship, just their advertising and gathering will drive the christians nuts. Maybe the christians would get so caught up in protesting about the atheist gathering that the people they disagree with could go about their business without getting murdered.

You know, keep them busy because idle hands and minds are the devil’s workshop!!!

markce's avatar

Sure, atheists should form a church.
But what core values would an atheist church espouse and why?

LostInParadise's avatar

If you want to discuss world issues, I do not see what difference religious belief or disbelief makes. In the end religion is not really about anything. It offers no tools for solving problems. So if people want to seriously discuss anything, attitude toward religion just does not make any difference.

DarkScribe's avatar

Nah – first start with an idiotic questions religion. You can be Pope.

Get yourself a dictionary and look up Church, then try to grasp some basic grammar – look at “Proper Nouns” to start.

By all means start a coffee shop venue for those with the ability to think clearly, but there is no way that could be regarded as a Church.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

The world is your oyster my friend. No one is barging down your door and asking if you are an atheist at gunpoint. If you want to get together and talk about worldly things.. by all means.. more power to you… doesn’t the general public do that every single day anyway?

Fyrius's avatar

Dawkins (an explicit supporter of the atheist bus campaign) reacted to this outraged “oh noes religion is being attacked” mind-set by pointing out that this shows that even the friendliest, most cautious mention that atheism is an option is perceived as an aggressive attack on religion, while nobody looks twice at billboards telling you quite less subtly that you’ll go to hell unless you start believing in Jesus, pronto. Since the religious have no rational means to defend their views, they take on the victim role and call to sympathy whenever anyone confronts them with just how little water their beliefs hold.
In their excessive tolerance of religion, people have become very intolerant of atheism.

It would be good if atheists would organise themselves, just to put a stop to the detrimental influences of organised religion. Religion can get a lot of political power, now that nobody worries about atheists objecting to it.
The USA have just had a Christian president who believed the voices in his head were god talking to him, and who took pride in taking his gut feelings more seriously than concrete facts. One goal of an organised atheism would be to warn the people to keep such irrationalists away from the world’s largest supply of weapons of mass destruction.

To call such an organisation a “church” would be a bit in bad taste, though.

By the way, I went to an atheism conference based on this advertisement campaign (or the Dutch equivalent) a while ago. They did have something more to say about it than “so we all agree god isn’t real, see you next week.”
They addressed issues like religiosity statistics, how religion influences politics, how people of different religious views can talk about ethics without disagreeing about everything, how one can have universal ethical rules without backing them up with religion, and what’s wrong with paranormality and pseudoscience.

lisaj89's avatar

“Detrimental influences of organized religion,”? What is so bad about giving people hope in life? Even if the whole thing is made up, why not have something to believe in?
I believe that atheists have as much right to meet as Christians do. However, you would have to expect severe opposition, especially in the South. I couldn’t even imagine how many men would show up with shotguns if there were a publicized atheist meeting here in Alabama!

Fyrius's avatar

@lisaj89
Oh, please. As if giving people hope in life is the only thing organised religion ever does.
As a side note, giving people hope doesn’t even require religion to be organised. And for that matter, giving people hope doesn’t even require religion.

I already gave an example of detrimental influences of organised religion, namely getting a profoundly irrational man elected as the most powerful person on earth.

In fact, you just gave another examples yourself.
“However, you would have to expect severe opposition, especially in the South. I couldn’t even imagine how many men would show up with shotguns if there were a publicized atheist meeting here in Alabama!”
Organised religion has people willing to use violence against the adherents of an opposing idea. The same thing has been going on in Israel for a while.

Another one is the Creationist lobby trying to interfere with science and to pollute education with obsolete religious baloney.

Another one is the practice of oppressing and bashing homosexual people, to a point where people disrupt funerals to tell the relatives of the deceased that he’s burning in hell.

Another one is pro-life fundamentalists murdering abortion doctors.

Another one is the organisation of crusades and inquisitions.

Another one is generally spreading an irrational and anti-scientific mind-set saying science is “just one way to look at it” and it’s okay to believe anything you want, even if two minutes of reading up (or in some cases even two minutes of thinking about it, e.g. astrology) would suffice to show you it’s not true.

Another one is flying airplanes into buildings and blowing yourself up in crowded train stations.

Need any more examples?

no1atall12's avatar

Fyrius, u said that Christians had no rational way of defending and explaining their faith, what do u think apologists are for? Its their job to rationally defend their faith. I am a Catholic, and i think i can rationally defend my faith, so i challenge you to try me.

As a response to the above question, sure, go ahead, by all means, go and form a Church. But, just be careful not to bring up Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, cause your will quickly realize that Atheism cannot be correct. When you try to find a system that has the answer to everything, by defenition that system will always be incomplete. Once it claims to be complete, it contradicts itself by defenition. Also, although you may not realize it, its based on circular reasoning. It starts based on the assumption that there is no God and then ends up reasoning to the assumption that there is no God. So it basically says, “because we assume that there is no God, there is no God.” This would also come out strongly if you were to form a Church. So go ahead, by all means, form a church, but, it would also be your downfall. As soon as you would sit down to think logically through your arguments, you would realize that the system you believe is flawed, and by definition, cannot achieve its goal.

syz's avatar

Why on earth would you call a group of like-minded people discussing issues a church?

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think atheists should have a church. If there weren’t theists out there trying to talk about a religion all of the time, it would be a non-issue to us atheists and never come up. Growing up the only time God came up was if I asked a question because of something a friend said, otherwise nothing. Generally, I would assume, that most atheists are not “joiners” we don’t feel the need to be a part of a group, maybe even repelled by the idea of following a group.

I also don’t think atheists should put signs up saying there is no God and that believers are ridiculous…how is that any better than the evangelicals?

ubersiren's avatar

No. That’s retarded for several reasons that I can’t seem to get out of my brain and onto the screen right now. I think I have pregnancy brain already.

Clair's avatar

@RandomMrdan I know…It’s like anarchists conventions or something XD
@shilolo Awesome find! Lurve!
@ubersiren PREGNANT MUCH? Really?!
As far as this question goes…This is all very silly. What are they going to say? Would they reinforce, “There is no God,” after every sentence? Silly.

no1atall12's avatar

my point was that if they wish to form some organization and call it a “church”, be my guest. However, if they ever sit down, talk and think about their theory, they will realize that in its very essence it is flawed.

TabernakAttack's avatar

@Clair And repeating “Praise be to the Lord” after every sentance isn’t silly?

I expected hostility out of this thread, that’s why i made it at 2am. I was bored. I wasn’t expecting so much ignorance out of so many people. I’d sooner believe in a talking piece of poo than ‘god’. And for you devout religious types reading this, if you really believe in the “holy land” after death, why not just get yourself killed? You’d be doing us both a favour :)

Qingu's avatar

FYI: the word “church” originally just meant “assembly.” Obviously it has religious connotations nowadays, though.

@no1atall12, Godel’s incompleteness theorem says that any logical system cannot be both complete and consistent. In other words, in any system—mathematics, human language, logic—there are necessarily going to be statements that are true but cannot be proved within the system.

Please explain how on earth you go from there to “therefore, the Mesopotamian sky god Yahweh exists and has a Jewish zombie son who is simultaneously himself who sacrificed himself, to himself, to change the laws he made that punish humans based on a magical evil force imputed onto us from our mythical ancestors because they ate a magic fruit at the behest of a talking snake.” Seriously. I want to see you explain this step by step.

It’s like you’re arguing that, because one can’t simultaneously know a particle’s position and velocity, fairies must exist.

markce's avatar

@quingu way to set up a feeble straw man and knock it down. Genius.

Qingu's avatar

@markce, which part of my description is not Christian doctrine?

TabernakAttack's avatar

Also, I added quotations around the word “church” in the title, and in the details i said “a place to go and discuss world issues.” I clearly meant a place like church but for people who don’t believe in god, and since none exist I couldn’t use a better word to explain my point. How about a church of Pastafarians? Is that acceptable to you guys?
Although, the fact that many of you religious types are getting very defensive over just calling it a church is just proving my point more strongly. There’s obviously not enough tolerance to have a place in public for Atheists to gather. Yes there are many places online, but that’s only because if we gathered somewhere publicly, we would no doubt be attacked.

Clair's avatar

@TabernakAttack The majority of answers in this thread is for shits and giggles or they aren’t outright telling you that it wouldn’t happen. I wasn’t giving a serious answer, I was pretty much entertaining myself.
And as a Flutherite, we don’t tell people whose beliefs differ from ours to ‘go get themselves killed.’ That is totally unacceptable. I’m not a fan of organized religion or any religion, really, but I know some people on here are and I don’t appreciate your comment at all.
Why did you start a debate on here in the first place if you just wanted to tell what you believe and put down everyone else?

TabernakAttack's avatar

@Clair the second part of my post wasn’t directed at you, but after reading over the thread many of the posts were insulting (“idiotic questions religion”, “That’s retarded”, etc). However I don’t appreciate you taking my words out of context. My point was that if they believed in such a great afterlife, why waste time living life? I was fishing for a good argument to that, yet I never seem to find one. They just get offended like what @Fyrius said, “they take on the victim role and call to sympathy whenever anyone confronts them.” (Lurve for that post) It’s very true.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Universal Unitarians accept atheists. Atheists can gather anywhere we like, why do we need a brick and mortar building to do so?

I am an Evelynist, which is a default atheist with a sense of humor. Evelyns followers gather wherever they like, on the Internet, at my annual October party, or even on her soft bosom for all eternity.

A church can be anything, not just a building with fancy windows. The church of Evelyn resides mostly in my mind, just to to the left of my sense of humor. Very cozy there.

JLeslie's avatar

One thing for sure…I would be very against donating money for this church. I think it is such a waste of money all of these churches everwhere. I know people who can barely live check to check who turnover 10% of their paycheck to their church every month—ugh. Money that goes towards charitable endeavors fine, but just to build another building, no.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@syz, lack of an imagination perhaps?

Clair's avatar

@TabernakAttack Your questions seem to have a dead end. If you wanted to ask, “If you believe in such a great afterlife, why waste time living life,” then you should have asked it in that context. (As guidelines state.) And it doesn’t matter what was directed at me, if it’s disrespectful, I won’t stand for it. As for some of the answered posted here being insulting, this may be so but are you going to stoop to that level. Come on.
I’m not going to get into the whole religious debate with anyone. I believe what I believe. End of story. I wouldn’t put down anyone else’s beliefs and I expect the same in return. I’m not jumping your case or anything, I just think we would all appreciate some mutual respect. (That is, after all, while you’re here and not on Yahoo!)

Ivan's avatar

I personally think it’s a dumb idea and I wouldn’t attend one, but people are free to do congregate in whichever way they please.

fireside's avatar

I suspect that the atheists who want to argue about religion would prefer to be in places where they can confront theists and getting together for the sake of reinforcing their own beliefs without anyone to argue with would be less enjoyable.

Ivan's avatar

@fireside

I personally feel that way, although I can’t speak for all atheists. I think a lot of atheists, myself included, reject the idea of getting together with people who agree with you in order to make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to believe.

mattbrowne's avatar

Forming communities of spirituality does not require the belief in a divine entity.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

You have arrived.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Qingu Godel’s incompleteness theorem is only what it says it is. A theorem. It is also nonsense.

Reason deals with everything that is. That which is not simply does not effect reality and therefore does not contradict reason. There is no incompleteness in an explanation of reality that does not explain unreality.

Unreality does not require explanation. It requires faith.

Qingu's avatar

@walterallenhaxton, Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem is not nonsense! (I also really hope you’re not attempting to make some “it’s just a theorem, not a fact!” argument.)

You said “reason deals with everything that is.” Does that include numbers? Language? The entire structure of mathematics? The methodology of science? All of that is covered by Godel’s theorem. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian God, but it’s rather foolish to dismiss its importance and value.

Fyrius's avatar

@no1atall12
Will do. In public personal messages.
I don’t think people would be very happy of it if we derail this thread into yet another generic pro-religion/anti-religion debate.

@TabernakAttack “because if we gathered somewhere publicly, we would no doubt be attacked.”
When I was at that atheist convention, I was half expecting some suicide bombers to attend…
But I guess Dutch religious people generally behave, at least more than American ones seem to. I did notice a website where some theist called to his fellow Christians to pray for god to perform a miracle during that convention, to convince us all he is real. I thought that was just cute.

@fireside, @Ivan
Yes.
This is known as “preaching to the choir”, and is indeed widely considered pointless.

Thammuz's avatar

@Fyrius: Dammit man, don’t hog all the fun! i’ve been waiting for this kind of converstion since i registered and now that one pops up you get there first and say everything i was gonna say. NO FAIR.

That said, and “atheist church” would be kinda ridiculous, we couldn’t do any of the things believers do in church, and aside commenting on some particular events after the first 3 or 4 meetings we’d run out of topics… Luckily there aren’t that many events that need commenting.

@no1atall12: if you don’t mind i’d like to take part too in the debate, even though i might only pop in for a comment from time to time, just say no if you don’t want me to, i will not be offended.

Thammuz's avatar

@Qingu On that note, atheism doesn’t fall in that cathegory since it’s not a complete system. We might say that it has a very basilar assumption: that matter exists and observation is reliable, although i wouldn’t call it assumption, rather a sound expectation based on eons of results and efficacy.

JLeslie's avatar

I think we atheists should go to the beach, instead of church. Spend our time and money on palm trees and warm sun, and let the people who don’t agree with us dress for Sunday, after having to get up and dress all week for work, while we are in our bathing suits. We can talk about life and science while being served a margarita. All in?

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Qingu It is nonsense. Yes reason deals with all of those things. It is the human method by which we acquire knowledge. That theorem is derivative of Kant’s statements that reason is limited and is just a way of restating the. If it is anything more that mere speculation then it only rises to the level of being a hypothesis.

The problem with it is as soon as you point out to an aria where is is supposed to apply human minds start applying reason to that aria and eliminating it as a place to point.

sap82's avatar

I know atheists want the world to recognize there belief in nothing. So look in the mirror and look around you. You just got what you want. Because only nothing can come from somehting. But not the other way around. Or is it the other way around. Atheists. Atheists. ha

augustlan's avatar

@JLeslie Where do I sign up?

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@sap82 I am an Atheist and I assure you that I do not believe in nothing. I believe in everything and I reject nothing except for fun.

Qingu's avatar

Ve are atheists! Ve belief inz nothingz!

Fyrius's avatar

@Thammuz
Oh shi- It’s Thammuz. Welcome aboard, pal.
Hehe, sorry for that. I think you’ll get plenty of other opportunities for atheist rants, though.
As for the debate with @no1atall12, I just started it via non-private personal messages. You’ll be able to follow it and contribute by going back and forth between our profiles.

@sap82, I think you’re confusing us with nihilists. All we say is that gods almost certainly do not exist.

Qingu's avatar

@walterallenhaxton, I don’t think you understand Godel’s theorem. At all. I think you’re responding more to some kind of inaccurate paraphrase version of the theorem, which is actually very difficult to understand (like relativity).

It doesn’t say anything about the usefulness of reasoning activities. It doesn’t directly apply to the methodology of science. It simply says that in any system of sufficient complexity, there will be statements that are both true and unprovable from within the system. It is not nonsense.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Qingu No Athiest would make that response. Only a religionist would. They believe in many different nothings depending on which flavor of nothing to believe in they inherited of what takes their fancy.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Qingu There is no outside to reality. It is all inclusive. You are talking about subsets of reality. Of course you are right there. If you are studying part of reality you will eventually run into it’s limits.

Or are you talking about axiomatic statements? They are not outside the system. They are fundamental to even thinking about that particular subject.
An example would be for economics. People take economic action. You can’t even think of economics without that as a starting point. It is what economics studies.

TabernakAttack's avatar

Philosophy and doctrine ask questions that may never be answered, religion gives answers that may never be questioned.

Garebo's avatar

And science answers everything? I thing its good thing, start the “30 day house of atheists”. What would this new religion then worship a new world government. Then this new religion could become another opiate for the masses.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several organizations that give atheists and other freethinkers a chance to enjoy each others company, and participate in projects that enrich their lives, as well as those around them. They also help raise funds to provide help to other atheists who have need of it, just as many non-religious affiliated groups, such as Red Cross and Bill Gates Foundation.

Garebo's avatar

The prerequisite to be a free thinker is to be atheistic-please! Atheists have as many rigid belief systems as religious or non religious people.

TabernakAttack's avatar

@Garebo Care to back that up? In what way are any atheistic views nearly as rigid as the ten commandments?

Ivan's avatar

Atheism itself doesn’t include any belief systems, rigid or otherwise.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Garebo Atheists have as many rigid belief systems as religious or non religious people.

How does a refusal to believe in one thing segue into a belief in something else?

I don’t believe in Unicorns, do you feel that automatically makes me believe in Dragons?

no1atall12's avatar

ok, sorry for taking so long to respond here we go.
@walterallenhaxton You stated that Godel’s Incompleteness Theorim was nonsense. Prove it. That’s what you Atheists like isn’t it? Proof for everything. So Prove that it is nonsense instead of just making a far fetched statement. I can show you his logical proof for his Incompleteness theorem. You show me where there is a logical flaw in the proof.

@Thammuz. You are welcome to join the conversation. Id be happy to answer all and any questions anyone has concerning my Religion, or the existence of God.

@Qingu in your first post to me, you shamelessly degraded my religion. If this is to be a civil conversation, where you seriously wish to ask questions and know the answers, avoid the tactic of making it sound ridiculous. It is based on logic and faith, and is logical, so I will ask you to kindly refrain from ridicule.
However you did ask how I got from Godel’s incompleteness theorem to the existence of God? Well, that answer is I didn’t and if you would notice, I didn’t even hint at that. What I meant to show by citing the Incompleteness theorem was that a system which seeks to answer anything and everything, weather by faith or by reason, can by definition never be complete. If it claims to be complete, then it contains a contradiction.
My belief in a God stems primarily from the word of the Catholic Church and its teachings. However, if you won’t accept that as evidence, look up Augustin’s proof of God from reason, and stated in his autobiography, “The Confessions.” Or, look up the five proofs from reason of the existence of God by Thomas Aquinas. Or, if Catholic writers don’t provide sufficient evidence for you, look up Aristotle’s proof of God. At least, I believe it was him, let me cross reverence that for you. Then, from proving the existence of God, i can move on to the rest of it, step by step, just as you asked. However, lets establish this basis first.

Finally @TabernakAttack . You asked a question. “My point was that if they believed in such a great afterlife, why waste time living life?” I think its an intruiging question, which I have done research on in the past. However, to fully satisfy myself, and probably you as-well in my reply, I will need to go back and refresh my memory on the topic. I hope that I can get back to you in a day or two on that question, so, please be patient. I will get back to you as soon as I know how to state my case well.

Garebo's avatar

I am totally withdrawn from most if not all religion as it is, I have said and believe as Marx it is “an opiate for the masses” ans Atheism is no different. It collects people to a communion of belief that they prescribe as dogma and anyone that disagrees is of ignorance and disrespect,

Fyrius's avatar

@no1atall12
I’m going to copy-paste one paragraph from that PM I just sent you, because I think it’s relevant to where this thread is going.

At any rate, I can tell you in advance that they will not suffice to prove Catholicism. Even if you would succeed at proving the existence of a god, that would not prove the existence of your god; every other [existing or conceivable] religion would be reinforced by your finding just as much as yours.
Much less would proof of a god suffice to prove the myriad lesser tenets and beliefs that your religion consists of. You’d also need to prove that his name is Jehovah, that he impregnated Mary and made her give birth to Jesus, that Jesus could perform miracles, that he died for the sins of humanity, that all of humanity originated with one man and one woman, that a talking snake seduced them into eating an apple, and I could go on and on and on. You will need to prove each and every single one of these before your entire religion is rationally supported. Either that or you will need to discard all the beliefs you cannot verify, and only believe what is left.

@Garebo
I beg to differ. Atheism is the polar opposite of religious dogma if anything ever is the polar opposite of anything else.
I don’t know what atheists you’ve talked to, but every atheist I’ve met would debate their beliefs at the drop of a hat and give detailed argumentations for them. Dogma is defined as a belief held as unquestionable, not open to debate, not in need of any argumentation.

Garebo's avatar

Isn’t that what you are doing? Defending your belief at the drop of a hat, yes, dogma.

Fyrius's avatar

@Garebo
You might want to look up what “dogma” means. Dogma is not the kind of belief that is defended through rational arguments.
There’s a difference between being militant and being dogmatic. In fact, I don’t even think those things have much in common.

Garebo's avatar

Really the question I have is-define religion without looking at Google or Wiki.

augustlan's avatar

Atheism has no set of beliefs, so no dogma. It has one lack of belief. There is no common thread beyond not believing in a god.

Ivan's avatar

@Garebo

I’m not sure you quite understand what atheism is. There is no collection, there is no communion, there are no beliefs, and there certainly is no dogma.

Fyrius's avatar

@Garebo
How is that relevant to what we were talking about?

Fine, off the top of my head: a religion is a collection of beliefs relying on supernatural explanations to account for the real world, usually (but not always; see Buddhism) involving one or multiple supreme beings who are in charge of the universe (gods). They (almost) invariably offer answers to questions such as where the universe came from, why we exist or what happens to us after death.

If you’re going to ask me now how atheism is any different, I’m going to slap you.

Garebo's avatar

No pinch me, So, are ghosts supernatural?

Garebo's avatar

@Ivan: than what is there “when you are dead, you are dead for a long time?”

Ivan's avatar

@Garebo

That is a belief that many atheists happen to have. Many other atheists do not believe that. The point is, there is no central organization of atheism that decides what happens after you die. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god. Anything beyond that is not atheism.

Fyrius's avatar

I’m curious where you’re going with this, but I’ll play along.

Strictly speaking I’d be more inclined to say ghosts are not supernatural, or anything else for that matter, because they do not seem to exist in the first place. But the concept is a supernatural one, yes.
Unless one day we discover “ghosts” (i.e. anything that that word can be applied to) that have an existence that complies with the laws of physics. Those ghosts would not be supernatural.

no1atall12's avatar

@ Fyrius I too will copy and paste a paragraph from the pm I sent you, because I too think its relevant.

“One last thing, you say that I won’t be able to prove the case of my Church? maybe i can’t prove it, to one person or another, you are right. Proof is based upon acceptance. I can only put forth evidence. And as far as not being able to prove the rest of it, you can’t build a tower from the top, you have to start at the bottom. If I were to try to prove Christ to you, without first showing you that He was God, id be trying to do the same thing. Same with this. First I have to show you that the existence of God is a necessity for existence itself.”

Garebo's avatar

Your right, there must be evidence-empirical evidence. All I know I have had way too many supernatural experiences in my life that are unexplainable by science ,but real to me and others, so therefore I am a lunatic. It may all be just false perceptions. I do believe their is a higher field of energy that we can gravitate too, if we are inclined; and, really we could argue that until daybreak. Because you got me, I have no empirical proof.

Ivan's avatar

@Garebo

Science involves devaluing personal experience.

Garebo's avatar

I agree Ivan, however, they usually prefer finding value in capitalizing on our collective experiences.

Ivan's avatar

Sort of. Those personal experiences have to be filtered and verified through very strict procedures.

Garebo's avatar

Filtered and verified by a higher power I agree, LOL.

no1atall12's avatar

@Fyrius I wanted to make one last comment before I go. In the quotation of your paragraph, you stated 2 things “Even if you would succeed at proving the existence of a god, that would not prove the existence of your god; every other [existing or conceivable] religion would be reinforced by your finding just as much as yours./You’d also need to prove that his name is Jehovah, that he impregnated Mary and made her give birth to Jesus, that Jesus could perform miracles, that he died for the sins of humanity, that all of humanity originated with one man and one woman, that a talking snake seduced them into eating an apple, and I could go on and on and on. ” to the first point, so be it. Its a foundation, not just for my religion, but also for many. If it proves them right in this basic belief, then I will just have to show that they are wrong as I go. Remember its a foundation. To the second point, about Jesus, thats the easy part. thats the cherry on top of the cake, don’t rush there just yet.

no1atall12's avatar

@Ivan. Do u mean filtered like scientists thoroughly filtered evolution?

Garebo's avatar

I have a very, very hard time taking much from the bible or gospels too literally. It was written by people at the time that would be comparable to the Washington Post today-to influence people, or propagandize. However, I do believe there is a lot of truth hidden in symbolism, allegory, myth and dillute truth in the old and new testament.
Native Americans, for the most part were, and some still are on target, were they atheists?
.

Ivan's avatar

@no1atall12

What exactly do you mean by that?

Qingu's avatar

@no1atall12, if Godel’s incompleteness theorem has nothing to do with belief in God, why did you bring it up? Atheism is the lack of such a belief.

I’m sorry you took offense at my “ridicule” of your religion, but I invite you to explain how my statement was inaccurate. (Also, frankly, grow thicker skin. Don’t hide behind taking offense as an excuse not to engage with the argument. You believe in a book that says I am a fool who deserves to eat the flesh of my own children. You don’t hear me whining about your lack of respect.)

I’m quite familiar with Aquinas’ proof of God. Unmoved mover arguments are fallacious, as David Hume showed 300 years ago. (The premise is that everything needs a mover—but why not God? If you can simply define your way out of this problem by saying God doesn’t need a mover, then why can’t you do the same with the universe itself?)

Less familiar with Augustine’s. Is it simply “whatever supersedes human reason is God”? Okay, that’s semantic nonsense.

Also, believing what the Catholic church tells you doesn’t count as “reason.” Neither does name-dropping philosophers. You need to actually defend their arguments.

mattbrowne's avatar

@walterallenhaxton – My dear friend Walter, please give me a break. First you free the world of all the governments and now you want to get rid of Goedel’s incompleteness theorem. The proof can be read on paper. It’s there black and white. When I was a computer science student 25 years ago I had to study it. It took me 2 months to understand about 70% of the proof and I invested quite a lot of time in it. We actually set up a study group to go through the proof, page by page, line by line, character by character. Let me tell you, it was like preparing for a marathon.

Saying the theorem is nonsense is like saying gravity is nonsense. Are you floating yet ;-)

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@mattbrowne I am talking about knowledge of everything. We do not know it all but there is no outside to the universe. So there is no incompleteness in the system. The incompleteness is in our understanding and how we have organized the data. That theorem can be perfectly true for subsets of knowledge but it is not for the whole thing. Knowledge expands to fill all available niches.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

What do Atheists have in common that makes getting together important? Recognizing that religion is not knowledge of the universe is certainly not a sufficient reason for congregation. It is only one ingredient.
One Atheist could believe in freedom and human life and the next one who call himself an Atheist would really be a worshiper of the state as god.

That sounds more like the ingredients for war and not for fellowship.

fireside's avatar

So, in light of that statement by Walterallenhaxon:

Is there any worldview to which Atheists can agree upon, other than “all these other people are wrong and I wish they would just shut up about their ‘God’ since it is not rational”?

If not, then what is so wrong with Religious people believing in something that binds them together in communities?

JLeslie's avatar

@walterallenhaxton I am not into this atheist church, but I understand why it is appealing to be with other atheists. The majority of my country is Christian (not sure where you live). I feel offended that their beliefs many times lead them to assume I am less moral or ethical, that no matter how good I am I cannot go to the same place they do when I die (even if I was a theist, believing in the same God, I can’t go if I don’t accept Jesus as his son) it’s not fun to be misperceived by people. I think if I lived in a country where the majority religion was that there are many paths to goodness, and your beliefs are as good as mine, it would be a non-issue. I guess maybe in some ways it is like any minority group who wants to be able to gather.

That Obama included atheists in his speech upset a lot of people I know, that Obama said that the US is not a Christian country upset a lot of people. I feel more included in my country with his statements then I ever have, and he is not excluding Christians, just including everybody…but Christians went crazy.

TabernakAttack's avatar

@fireside Because they do stupid crap like this

mattbrowne's avatar

The issue is about the incompleteness of what we know about a system. What is true and what is false. Whether something is consistent or not.

The issue is not about what is ‘outside’ of the universe or whether there is an ‘outside’ of the universe. That’s a whole new (metaphysical) discussion.

fireside's avatar

@TabernakAttack – That’s an individual act, not a religious community. There will always be individuals who act in appropriately and against the teachings of unity and compassion. That is no reason to assume that all religious people want to kill others.

TabernakAttack's avatar

@fireside Have you heard of the crusades?

LostInParadise's avatar

Why does every question regarding religion turn into a debate about religion versus atheism? We should post a grand debate on the issue and then anytime somebody wants to open the topic we would just refer them to the post.

fireside's avatar

@TabernakAttack – Can we discuss the present? If a group is acting in a way that is killing others because of their beliefs that should be addressed.

Oh, here comes Quingu with a post, let’s get into ancient Babylon again, rather than discussing the present. That will be more fun…

Qingu's avatar

@TabernakAttack and @fireside, I think both of you are too extreme.

I don’t think you can draw a direct, causal line between “religion,” generally defined, and any particular atrocity committed by religious people.

At the same time, I don’t think you can ignore the commandments to commit such atrocities that are codified in many religious texts, particularly the Bible. The fact that religoius people have become quite good at cherry-picking and interpreting away such passages doesn’t mean they’re not a systemic problem with the religion itself. Would the Crusades have happened if the Pope couldn’t easily point to passages in Deuteronomy explicitly justifying them? Would southern Americans support slavery if they couldn’t point to numerous Biblical passages explicitly allowing the passage? Maybe, maybe not, but even if the Bible didn’t explicitly inspire such atrocities, it clearly functioned as strong support for them.

Edit: look at that Fireside, I’ve managed to keep it within the past 8 centuries. Ancient Babylon your mom! :)

TabernakAttack's avatar

@fireside Discuss the present? sure. I’m not saying religion is the cause of all the wars in the world. Just most of them.

fireside's avatar

@TabernakAttack – from your link: “a group of fanatics who cloak themselves in religion to gain control of and power over people.”

I think assuming that just because wars have religious elements in them means that they are the cause is an oversimplification.

My question about people forming communities was a simple one. Are you saying that anytime someone forms a community, they will eventually want to kill people who are not in their community?

TabernakAttack's avatar

@fireside No, just the religious types. And that’s because they tend to be the most close-minded/ignorant. Ignorant leads to fear, fear to violence, and so forth. I’m not saying all religious types are ignorant and all atheists are open-minded, I’m just talking in terms of majority. My view on Christianity is very biased, and that’s because of how I was raised. In elementary school it’s forced on you, and I would get in trouble for questioning anything. No word of a lie, I was suspended for asking how Jesus was born if Mary was a virgin. Don’t explain it to me now, I know the fairy tale. My point is that I was punished for trying to question it, and religious communities feel they are above the rest and therefore they don’t see it as wars, but “cleansing” and such. It’s disgusting.

fireside's avatar

Fair enough if that is your opinion.
It’s hard to respond to vague generalizations about ignorance and close-mindedness.

Qingu's avatar

I really hope @no1atall12 isn’t writing some treatise in defense of Aristotle’s unmoved mover. For his sake. :)

Fyrius's avatar

I think the atrocities of the religious few are partly to blame on the religious many. Religion at large encourages people to surrender their intellectual independence and follow what others tell them, not because of what they say but because of who says it (1), and thus they spread and foster a mind-set where anything that some specific person (Jehovah, in your case) decides is always right by definition, so that you don’t need to think about it for yourself, and personal responsibility can be happily tossed out the window.

God is infinitely righteous and benevolent and always makes the right decisions, it’s virtuous and commendable always to do what he wants you to do, and what he wants you to do is written in your holy book. (But only in the nice parts, the nasty ones don’t count.)
If people get this message but choose to be more consistent and omit the parenthetical part, that would indeed lead them to murder people whom the bible says are evil.
You can justify anything if you can get yourself to believe that someone who can never be wrong says it’s the right thing to do.

(1) Example: The Pope tells the Catholics that Maria ascended to heaven instead of dying like a normal person, even though it’s not in the bible, nor supported by any other historical document or evidence. The Catholics believe it anyway, because the Pope said it.

Thammuz's avatar

@Fyrius not to mention people who claim they talk to god: Pat robertson who said “god told me to run for president” (And Sam Kinison noted: “oh, so GOD wanted you to look like an ass in front of everybody!”) George Bush saying “God wanted me to be president”.

The murderer of dr Tiller saying he was doing something right by killing him because he killed innocent babies.
This particular one perople tend to say “well the bible doesn’t allow you to kill people because you think they’re doing something wrong”.
Granted, BUT it does give you a whole list of conditions where killing isn’t just acceptable, it’s fucking MANDATORY.

Oddly killing innocent babies doesn’t seem to be in that list. Neither is rape. Eating shellfish used to be, and gay sex is still, since Jesus didn’t take that one back.

rooeytoo's avatar

I lived next door to a guy who told me god told him to buy a new tractor even though he was broke. He needed it to plow the church parking lot when it snowed.

These god talkers are an interesting group.

Fyrius's avatar

@rooeytoo
“Interesting” here having the meaning of “bizarre and profoundly disturbing.”

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo Schizophrenia. Seriously, I have decided that this is just how they talk. It’s like when I say, “God is punishing me.” when somthing bad happens. I don’t think God is punishing me, I don’t even believe in God, just an expression.

Thammuz's avatar

@rooeytoo are you onna wait until the guy slams your door open wiht a chainsaw yelling “god told me to kill you, you fucking heathen!” before you turn him over to the men in white suits?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Fyrius – “Religion at large encourages people to surrender their intellectual independence.” Where do you get this impression? From watching deluded teleevangelists? From listening to the magic of young-earth creationists? They are indeed very vocal.

My religion encourages free thinking and the use of my intellectual abilities. Why is there so much fuzz about vocal fanatics? Is this just an American problem?

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, with all due respect, your “religion” is deism/pantheism at best. At least from what you’ve told me about your views about God. You’re a hop, skip, and jump away from flat-out atheism. :)

TabernakAttack's avatar

@Qingu Well he’s too smart to be Christian, that’s a plus.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@mattbrowne Free thinking allows exceptions. I am certaint that your religion prescribes them so what your religion calls free thinking is nothing of the sort. Exceptions creates contradictions in the thought process leading to wrong conclusions.

no1atall12's avatar

I must apologize, I must temporarily withdraw from this conversation. I am very busy, and only have time right now to answer fyrius and Thammuz. I deeply apologize, and assure you that I will return as soon as i have a bit more time on my hands. I have a couple of things to say though before I go first.

You suggest that believing in God limits your thinking, and stops independent thinking. Do you need a list of Catholics who contributed to the science and math fields? The list is quite extensive, and ill post one if you wish. Just to name a few:

Copernicus,
Kepler,
Galileo
Newton
Le Verier
Father Peter Angelo Secchi
Gassendi
Paizzi
Jean Picard
De Vico
Domenico Cassini
Boscovich
Maraldi
Castelli
Bianshini
Cosmas Indecopleustes of Alexandria
Carpino
Rubruquius
Ascelin
Marco Polo
Vasco da Gama
Magellan
Vespucci
Albertus Magnus
Paul Toscanelli
La Cosa
Martin Behiam
Gerard Mercator
Christopher Columbus
Luca Borgo
Ludovico Ferrari
Francois Viete of Fontenay-le-Comte
Descates
Gaspard Monge
Michel Chasles
Liebnitz ( who had Catholic sentiments, may have believed in God, in not sure)
Cauchy
Pascal
Biot
Nollet
Reisch
Cavalieri
Chasles
Mersenne
Laloubere
Maure
Inniger
Adrianus
Puisieux
Lesueur
Moigno
Ricati.
LOUIS PASTEUR
Do I need to continue or does that suffice to show that belief in God does not limit ones intelect or method of thinking?
Again, this is naming just a few, the list that can be made can fill and entire book, so please don’t make me write a book to show you that you are wrong.

Qingu's avatar

Appeal to authority.

To expound a bit on why this is silly: Isaac Newton is widely regarded as the most brilliant person of all time. He believed in alchemy, and spent much of his adult life practicing it. (He was also a heretic.) Therefore, alchemy is true? Abraham Lincoln believed blacks were an inferior race—therefore racism is true?

Rational people judge philosophical positions based on their own merits. Not based on who believes in them.

Qingu's avatar

Also, it’s interesting that you brought up Galileo and Copernicus in an attempt to show that religion doesn’t strangle intellectualism. Copernicus was so afraid of persecution from your church that he refused to publish his work until he died. Galileo was placed under house arrest and forced to recant his ideas; your church has only recently (i.e. within the past 15 years) gotten around to forgiving him.

Ivan's avatar

@no1atall12

Just to add to Qingu’s response, something like 85% of all scientists are atheists and something like 95% of all National Academy of Science members are atheists.

@mattbrowne

The notion of, “I don’t understand it, so let’s call it God” is not derived from free thought.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m going to defend the Catholics for a moment. I think in modern day the Catholics have done a better job than most of Christianity at accepting science. If a miracle is to be declared it goes through rigorous analyzation from what I understand cunsulting with medical doctors and scientists. The Catholic church for years has accepted evolution. The Catholic church is against in-vitro fertilization, which I can kind of respect, because it is consistant with their ideas on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Many Christian faiths are just fine with IVF, but if you really know what goes into IVF, you can’t be fine with it and be against the other things, it is not a logical thought process. Sure there is still some crazy stuff like planning your family is fine and avoiding sex on the day of ovulation is fine, but using a barrier method is not fine is ridiculous—I mean what is the difference you are avoiding pregnancy either way?

Not to mention that The Vatican has priests from everywhere interact with each other. They speak probably 100 languages between them, they understand that the bible is not to be taken as the literal word of God, because if you know anything about languages…especially translating languages…things get lost in translation. I would trust a catholic priest to be more understanding of the world and its many cultures and religions than some preacher in the middle of Mississippi (sorry MS).

Have you seen Bill Maher’s movie Religulous? The Catholics come off as the sanest ones in the whole show.

no1atall12's avatar

@JLeslie
This is no1’s sibling and he asked me to watch this post while he was gone, and if you don’t ind I would really rather not get into a very long discussion. I appreciate that JLestie has some accurate knowledge of the Catholic church, but would like to comment on two things.
First, traditional Catholics do not accept any kind of form of evolution theistic or atheistic,because it is the denial or doubt of God’s omni-potence and omniscience. The idea that God would not be powerful of wise enough to create the earth and all its creatures the way we see them today. This is actually an error that came because a pope in the early 20th century ( Unfortunately no sure who) wrote an encyclical that in one section allowed for possible minute changes in the form of the earth and its creatures. However, since he was not speaking form the hight of his authority nor declared that this must be believed by all the faithful, it is not necessary to believe to earn Heaven and therefore, evolution has not been officially accepted by the Catholic church. Unfortunately, darwinist’s jumped on this sentence and spread the error that the Church had accepted it. Anyway thank-you for listening to my rant.
Second, one of the reasons the Church has priests is because they know that the meaning of some doctrines from the Bible can be lost, and therefore, rather than letting their flock become confused or leave them with an inacurrate teaching, they go to the people themselves and teach through word of mouth so that there can be no such misunderstandings. Thank-You

TabernakAttack's avatar

So, what you’re saying @no1atall12 is that Priests have the power to pick and choose what parts of the bible they want to follow, and what not? The bible can teach things, but so can a cooking book. At least with a cooking book you don’t need to filter out crazyness like being put to death for working on a Sunday. Basically, I’m just saying the bible is less useful than a cooking book and that makes it hard for me to understand why people follow it.

no1atall12's avatar

Another thing, traditional Catholics do not see anything wrong with bringing a child into the world, “strong“as long as it is within the bounds of sound and correct morals“strong” . That means, it does not allow people who are not married to bring forth a child. Also it promotes having large families. The place where I go to school has at leas 5 families with about 6–8 children in them, and it is only a small school with about 150 students in it from 1st grade to 12th grade. so no the Catholic Church does not limit the amount of children a family can have nor does it belittle small families. it allows them to have as many children as God chooses to send the lawful parents

JLeslie's avatar

@no1atall12 here is the wikiedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church regarding popes and evolution, go to the bottom to see what each pope said, especially Pope John Paul II, which was what I had in my mind when I wrote my original “answer.” My interpretation is that the church now accepts that evolution is more than just a theory, but sticks to the idea of the soul being from God. I personally never understood why evolution and God has to be mutually exclusive. Why can’t it be that God creted the universe and all of the things necessary for life to exist on earth, and then nature takes over? In my opinion it behooves the church to come up with some sort of seemingly logical answer.

Not sure why you wrote your second point? Was that targeted towards me? I did not see how that responded to anything I said?

no1atall12's avatar

@tabernakattak
No priests do not have the power to pick out and choose which parts of the Bible they must follow, unless you mean when they decide which passage of the gospels the will give their sermon on on Sunday, but I don’t think you are speaking about that. No, priests do not decide haw to interpret the Gospels, Epistles, or the Old Testament. That job belong to the Pope and the College of Cardinal and the Bishops. and this they do only if the Pope calls together a councel to define, clarify a dogma ( that is a doctrine) or to refute and disprove an error. Only once they have reached a consensus, usually after having argued for many long hours ( sometimes days) prayed, and seeking the logical and correct truth, they declare that this is what must be believed by the faithful and taught by the priests as true. If yuo do not trust the Pope nor the counsel, you should read some of the documents that came out of the counsels and see how seriously they took their office. anyone who refused to believe, even if they were a Cardinal or Bishop, was immediately excommunicated as a heretic. If still you do not trust, there is no way I will be able to make you believe.
The reason the Church goes through such pains to clarify doctrines is because that they know that the Bible will not explain itself. sure Christ explains some of His parables to his disciples, and St. Paul’s episles explain many Catholic beliefs, but for the large part it does not explain itself. That is why priests have only the authority to teach and expound on the previous teachings, but cannot preach whatever they want from a possible fallible interpretation of the Bible.
PS. I AM NOT no1atall12. I am his SIBLING.

JLeslie's avatar

@no1atall12 why don’t you create your own fluther account? We want you in the collective :).

no1atall12's avatar

2JLeslie from no1atall ‘s SIBLING
Oh that is just because the pro-life issue is a touchy subject to me, don’t worry too much about it.
About your wikipedia source, it is a relatively reliable source of information when you want to know something about science, but I have found it very unsatisfying and inaccurate source for dealing with religious matters and some history subjects.
I do not know the sentiments of all the catholics out there , but I do see evolution as more than a theory. I see it as a fanatical, illogical and unsupported hypothesis.
Why i believe God and evolution are mutually exclusive is this. god is the Supreme Being, there fore He must be perfect. If He were not perfect, He would not be the Supreme Being. As the Perfect Being, He must be all powerful, all knowing, all good and all wise. When He created the earth, since He has all these qualities, what prevents Him from giving His creatures all they need to survive? What keeps Him from taking care of creatures He create? What bars His way from making them perfectly, and keeping them in existence? If He is perfect and all-knowing and all- powerful beyond our imaginations, what stops Him from doing the job perfectly, from the tiniest atom to the millions of galaxies in the universe? Even to the point where He does it in just 6 24hour days. His power is unimaginable to us humans who have very finite minds.
This may all have seeming very trivial and even a little foolish to you, but it is what I truly believe and wonder at every time I think of it. Saying that nature takes over after the Creation is nonsense. By saying this you imply that Nature is more perfect, more powerful, more knowledgable, wiser than the one who created it from out of nothing, the One who cares for it, the One who set its planets in motion, the One who has a specific and perfect plan for all His creatures.

the reason I haven’t created my own account is because i am very clumsy with computers and couldn’t figure out how to create a new account and was afraid i might loose the thread of this topic when I do. maybe you could help me out? (embarassed look)

Anyway i hope i was clear in my explanation. i will be willing to answer any othr questions

JLeslie's avatar

@no1atall12 since you are the sibling of the Borg unit that is not currently present, I feel that you should know that I am an atheist Jew.

no1atall12's avatar

Oh thats sort of a strange contradiction you just stated there, especially considering that it was the Jewish nation that so well preserved the belief in one God and is the religion off of which the Catholic church is based. So I really don’t understand how you can be both Jewish and an atheist

JLeslie's avatar

@no1atall12 Um, it is estimated that over 50% of Jews are atheists.

JLeslie's avatar

@no1atall12 I think originally I was trying to help support you (or your brother) with the whole Catholic thing, wasn’t I? Interesting that what I said were things that you don’t agree with, and that bother you. Can I ask? Why does it bother you so much to think that evolution is possible?

JLeslie's avatar

That should be 40%, I read once that it is around 40% of Jews are atheists. Sorry for the typo. Jews can have a Jewish identity and not believe in God. We still care about the history and traditions surrounding our religion. I figure it comes from the fact that throughout history no one would let us forget we were Jews. I’m sure if I told a Nazi soldier, “oh, I am not Jewish anymore,” he would still throw me into the oven.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t like it when people claim that someone is a “Jewish atheist.” Judaism is a religion. If you don’t believe in Yahweh, the Jewish god, then you’re not a Jew. Ipso facto.

I understand that some people believe that Judaism is not simply a religion, but also a race. Horse-shit! Judaism, like most religions, began as a tribal religion. And for a long time Jews were segregated from the rest of society, and so maintained a kind of insular ethnicity. Nevertheless, I think it’s incredibly stupid to conflate someone’s genetic identity (i.e. their tribe) with their cultural beliefs. As Admiral Adama said to the United Nations, RACE IS NOT A CULTURAL DETERMINANT.

Also, to pre-empt the idea that “Judaism is passed down matrilinearly,” that is one of many examples of religious beliefs that are false. There is no “Jewish gene” in Ashkanazi mitochondrial DNA. It’s simply magical thinking, it’s provably wrong, and the fact that Jews stupidly believe this is how reality works doesn’t mean it’s objectively true—anymore than the fact that Muslims believe everyone is born Muslim and Alexander the Great converted to Islam makes either of those things true. /rant

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Qingu Rational people judge philosophical positions based on their own merits. Not based on who believes in them.

I just had to say that again. So true.

Qingu's avatar

@no1atall12‘s sibling, if your reason for doubting evolution is because you think God did a perfect job making organisms able to survive… how on earth do you explain the fact that almost every species that has ever existed is now extinct? (I could also go for natural 20/20 vision and a body without vestigial organs, diabetes, or the propensity to develop cancer).

Also, God is “all powerful, all knowing, all good and all wise”? You are talking about Yahweh, the deity from the Bible, yes? The one who commanded his followers to enslave people—when he wasn’t commanding them to commit genocide? (Dt. 20:10) You have some twisted ideas about what the words good and wise mean.

augustlan's avatar

@Qingu Most of the Jews I know (and I was married to one) are not religious in any way. They also don’t think of Judaism as a race, but a culture. Religious or not, they still consider themselves Jews. Also, that passed down by the mother thing… I’ve never once heard anyone say it had anything to do with DNA, but rather a very old (outdated) rule.

Petrus's avatar

Good point, Walter.

Then what happened with the original subject?

Atheists definitely should get a church. If there is a spiritually uplifting nulotheistic idea, that is a belief in exactly zero gods, it should be treated no differently than other religions. It would be beautiful if there were a Cathedral to No God somewhere nearby and atheists flocked to it to worship to Holy Nullity, hear seremons on Real Absence and on no feast of Sacred Vacuum lead processions Nowhere while singing songs to Holy Nobody.

I volunteer for the usher.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

a bunch of people just sitting around talking about how sure they are that there isn’t a god? i think it sounds like it would just end up being a place to be a douchebag. i’m not against atheism by any means, but it’s kind of inevitable that every ‘service’ would turn back to criticizing and making fun of people who believe in god.

Qingu's avatar

@augustlan, I don’t like the “culturally Jewish” thing either. Are atheists ever called Catholic simply because they have the superficial trappings of the culture once associated with Catholicism?

Also, I’m one of those people who some refer to as “culturally Jewish.” I like matzo ball soup. I remember some of the songs I had to sing at my bar mitzvah. However, I identify with a lot of cultures, many of them much more strongly than “Jewish” culture—as if there is a homogenous Jewish culture in the first place. It’s annoying to have this one particular, comparatively insignificant element of my “acculturation” serve as a full-blown identity for who I am.

augustlan's avatar

@Qingu Understood. Of course, those whom I’m talking about are self-identified as ‘cultural Jews’. If one didn’t want to be labeled as such, I certainly would not do so.

Petrus's avatar

Tiffyandthewall, don’t mean wishy-washy cafeteria style Atheism. The church I have im mind is Fundamentalist Scientifically Dogmatic Atheism.

The basic creed would start:
Rule #1. There is no God.
Rule #2. If there were one by accident, Rule #1 applies.
Rule #3. Every evidence of God shall be rejected to remain consistent with rule #1
Rule #4. Every testimony to existence of God shall be doubted to uphold rule #3.

… something like that ...

Petrus's avatar

Augustian, I know what you mean.

I am probably an Atheist Catholic myself.
What is funny is that the Catholics early on were Jews and were not sure if one has to become first Jew before he becomes Catholic. In a sense, Catholics tried to be more true to their Jewish religion than non-Catholic Jews. As one example, Pope Gregory ordered preservation of the original psalms and if you would like hear how were Psalms originally sung, visit a chuch were the Gregorian chant is sung. If perhaps not exactly same, it is the closest to original melodies that you can hear. Many Jews notice, that they can discover number of lost Judaic roots in Catholic liturgy, especially of the ancient Latin rite.

So could I be perhaps Atheist Catholic Jew?

Fyrius's avatar

This thread kind of got away from me, and I’m not going to catch up with the lot of it any more. I’m just going to post my remarks to two posts somewhere halfway the page and then leave the thread.
If it’s been said already, or if it’s not relevant any more, do disregard this post.

@no1atall12: “You suggest that believing in God limits your thinking, and stops independent thinking. Do you need a list of Catholics who contributed to the science and math fields? (...) Do I need to continue or does that suffice to show that belief in God does not limit ones intelect or method of thinking?”
Many people on that list lived in a time when Catholicism was widely considered the only option, and literally everyone was a Catholic in name. It thus becomes a much more interesting question whether these people actually took the tenets of their religion very seriously.
Furthermore, since we don’t have a control group, this list tells us nothing. How can you know these people wouldn’t have achieved so much more if they weren’t weighed down by having an anti-intellectual life philosophy? You can’t draw comparative conclusions from anything without a point of reference to compare it to.

@JLeslie: “Have you seen Bill Maher’s movie Religulous? The Catholics come off as the sanest ones in the whole show.”
The Catholics denied him entry into the Vatican and generally refused to cooperate with his movie. The only Catholic he managed to get a hold of was one old Italian priest. (Who, I must add, was indeed a pretty awesome guy.)

JLeslie's avatar

I will sort of contradict myself here…I too only thought of Judaism as a religion not a race when I was younger. As I got older my Jewish identity became stronger. My perception is that society at large looks at a Jew, religious or not, and sees a Jew. Also, there are enough people who hate us that if you are Jewish I think you might as well understand about that hate. I think I developed pride in being Jewish, just as I have great pride in being American. But these titles I realize are really just titles. It is the characteristics I associate with these titles that really gives me pride, so reasonably I see that being part of these groups is not really important in the end, it is your own actions and thoughts that matter, not the label. A Christian can walk around saying, “I’m a Christian” until he is blue in the face…if he also is a serial killer who cares how he identifies himself.

About defining Judaism as a culture, I think culture is a much better word than race, because Jews come from many “races” my husbands genetic pool is much different than mine with his ancestory from a completely different part of the world. I am Ashkenazi with very fair skin, brown hair, and blue eyes, he is Sephardic (although this is the more modern definition of Sephardic which includes people who decended from the middle east and parts of africa) with olive skin, black wavy hair, and amber brown eyes (he looks kind of Greek to me—very handsome :) but I digress).

Sometimes non-Jews will ask me what I am, or, where I or family is from. My response is, “Latvia and Russia,” but I know they are trying to get at that I am Jewish. It’s like a game to me. I think they should ask, “are you Jewish?” Or, “what religion are you?” If that is the answer they are looking for.

I agree that the indiviual gets to choose how they identify themselves. If a non-religious, atheist, hates organized religion, “born and raised” Jewish person says they are not Jewish that is fine with me, they aren’t Jewish, but don’t be ignorant to the world most people still see that person as Jewish, especially the ones that hate you.

I actually think that many Catholics are similar to Jews, having a Catholic identity, but not agreeing with the church on many many things. The Jews actually put labels on it like Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox. There are Orthodox Jews who do not acknowledge Reformed Jews as Jews.

To sum up I think both views are correct, You can look at Judaism as a religion only, or you can look at it as a culture, I don’t feel the need to correct anyone or win an argument, I am just explaining how I look at it, I don’t think there is “right” answer.

JLeslie's avatar

@Fyrius they also showed Bill Maher talking to a scientist, wasn’t he associated with the Catholic church? My favorite line was when Maher remembers asking as a young child, “why doesn’t mommy come to church with us on Sunday?” And the answer is, “because mommy’s Jewish.” And then the reply from Bill, “Mommy is JEWISH??!” Gotta love that.

I guess when I think of Catholics I think of my friends, not ones like Mel Gibson.

Petrus's avatar

Dear Fyriae,

Claim that we do not have control group actually supports no1atall, since that makes you unable to argue that he is wrong. It gets worse, because it leaves only two possibilities:
1. There is no control group and ant then no1atall might be quite right.
2. There was a control grop but never got ahead in science enough to be remembered.
Sorry, just trying to place logic above the argument and clean out the prejudices…

Fyrius's avatar

@Petrus “Claim that we do not have control group actually supports no1atall, since that makes you unable to argue that he is wrong.”
Not quite. @no1atall12 was presenting counterexamples, explicitly presenting them “to show that belief in God does not limit ones intelect or method of thinking”. And I gave a reason why they don’t show that at all. The lack of a control group does argue against his point that these people prove anything at all about the influence of religion in intellectuality.

The lack of a control group argues against the validity of lists of people. He’s the only one who posted a list of people.

Had I posted a list of really stupid historical figures who were religious and claimed there was a correlation, the same point would also argue against me, but I didn’t post anything of the sort. I based my point on completely different arguments, which are unaffected by this consideration. I thus remain quite able to argue that he is wrong.

By the way, you don’t seem to really understand how control groups work. A control group for this list that never got ahead in science might be interesting if the claim was that religion makes you smarter, but the claim was that it does not make people dumb.
A control group for this list would therefore need to consist of brilliant people who were not religious, to be compared to these brilliant people who were religious. If @no1atall12 is right and religion is not a negative influence, we would expect no difference between the groups.
Of course, having a control group for a collection of anecdotal evidence is logically impossible, at least without either time travel or archaeological cloning, neither of which is invented yet. It would need to consists of the exact same people, but minus the religious influences. Otherwise there would be all sorts of extraneous factors that would mess up the results. As they can be relied upon to have already done for the data we do have.

Petrus's avatar

Dear Fyriae,

As you are pointing out, this discussion got out of hand long ago. To disprove universal statement such as “belief in God limita one’s intelect or method of thinking” it is sufficient to find ONE (1) counterexample. Why whole list? That is an insult to the method !

Petrus's avatar

@walterallenhaxton “I am talking about knowledge of everything. We do not know it all but there is no outside to the universe. So there is no incompleteness in the system. The incompleteness is in our understanding and how we have organized the data. That theorem can be perfectly true for subsets of knowledge but it is not for the whole thing. Knowledge expands to fill all available niches.”

So how do you prove there is no outside to universe from within your described system limited to universe?
I think that you still have a bit of problem.

Perhaps complete incompletness misconception.
Oops, I did it again… ;-)

Fyrius's avatar

@Petrus
1. Not one (1) adequate counterexample has been provided. Lacking an identical irreligious clone to compare him or her to, any single intelligent religious person cannot tell us whether their religion limited their intellect. It’s anecdotal evidence.

2. I’m not the one advocating the use of lists. Au contraire.

3. If we temper the universal statement with “on average” or “tends to”, which most people including yours truly would indeed prefer, then one (1) counterexample does not suffice. Instead we would need a statistical analysis of the intelligence and intellect one religious and one irreligious sample, preferably of equal average IQ at birth.
There have been studies into religion and intelligence, with quite interesting results, but the correlations they found could as well be taken to mean more intelligent and educated people are more likely to reconsider and reject religion. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that higher intelligence and intellect leads to atheism, rather than that religion leads to lower intelligence and intellect.

P.S. I am not a group of women. -us really is the right suffix.

Petrus's avatar

Geachte Fyrie,

How does that study pass your criterion of double blind identical twins control group? If you give any merit to studies that are by your standard an anecdotal evidence, I would suggest that your thinking is rather inconsistent.

Met Vriendelijke Groeten

Petrus's avatar

Fyrius, -ie:

Re. P.S.:
I was not assuming that you are a group of women. I gues that -ie is the correct vocative suffix. I did not thik that it would be mistaken for feminine plural dativ. I would be properly addressed in vocative as “Petre”.

Fyrius's avatar

Well, then, my dear Petre: I must say you make a rather confused impression.

I did not give merit to any kind of anecdotal evidence. I quite expressly argued against the merit of such. Anecdotal evidence is widely regarded as unreliable and useless, and my usage of the term was intended to convey the same criticism for @no1atall12‘s list.

If you ask me why the many studies on the page I linked to are to be considered reliable, my answer is because those are statistical analyses, taking samples and measuring religious stance, education and IQ and the like, and then looking for correlative trends.
These studies are more reliable than that list because these didn’t systematically pick out only the people who became well-known, but took random samples from presently alive populations. Thus we can rely on the data points not being biased.
They also did make use of control groups, in the form of the people in the populations that are versus are not religious. And since the samples have been taken randomly, the controls don’t need to be identical clones in order for us to know no extraneous factors are involved. Because with a large enough random sample, a proportion of the people is bound not to be influenced by them. The influence of extraneous factors evens out as a random sample becomes larger. That’s how statistics work.

This evidence is not anecdotal, but acquired under rigorously controlled circumstances. That is what makes it reliable.

mattbrowne's avatar

The conclusion that smart people can’t be Christians is polemic rhetoric, and to me a discussion on this level is more or less useless, so I’ll leave it at that. Maybe the remark was meant as a joke and I missed the humor. In this case, sorry, my mistake.

I’m also puzzled why some atheists insist that only a magic personal God is the ‘real’ Christian God and anything more abstract relating to the intelligent origin of the universe is pantheism and nothing more and only a ‘jump away from flat-out atheism’ (wonderful expression by the way ;-)

Once again, I believe that a divine entity created our orderly biophilic universe (or multiverse) and also sustains it. The creation was done on purpose and it was done in a way that intelligent life would eventually become possible. Abiogenesis and evolution is God’s way of creating life on Earth and God’s way of allowing species to evolve. But I believe it happened without intervention and magic. Many modern Christians feel the same way. I also believe abiogenesis and evolution led or will lead to other intelligent life somewhere else in our universe. The so-called Rare Earth hypothesis makes a lot of sense to me and I think complex life develops in about 1 out of 10000 galaxies and intelligent life perhaps in 1 out of a million galaxies. Probably all at a different time excluding the early universe with metal-poor stars and no terrestrial planets.

I also think God wants us to understand his intelligent creation of an orderly biophilic universe and that all intelligent life forms should create their own ‘orderly’ society. Jesus Christ offers one way. So if someone is a Christian he should be our role model. His views should help us and offer social guidance. Jesus being the son of God has a symbolic and not a biological meaning and to me it’s okay if others see him as a prophet or just as an unusual human being. Belief is not something that should be ‘enforced’. It’s an voluntary act. Choice is essential.

I had many discussions with open-minded non-dogmatic Lutheran ministers in Germany and they acknowledge that different people have different views on the Christian faith depending on their intellect and background. There is not one true faith. If other Christians feel more comfortable with dogmatic approaches, fine, as long as they don’t expect everyone to be dogmatic.

Fyrius's avatar

@mattbrowne
Incoming wall of text. It seems I can only ever seem to reply to you with this sort of verbal cascade. We apologise for the inconvenience.

On the topic of smart people never being Christians: I wouldn’t support such a strong conclusion, and I doubt many other would. What I do believe to be at least very arguable, if not actually a statistical fact, is that intelligent people tend not to be religious. I refer again to the collection of studies I linked to earlier.

The reason why atheists try to tell you that your “abstract” concept of a god is less like religion proper and more like borderline atheism is because as your concept of god becomes more abstract, it becomes more meaningless, and as it approaches complete conceptual emptiness, your belief in it approaches de facto atheism.
A man in the clouds with a long white beard is at least a tangible concept that can be understood, but the more abstract kind of god that modern Christians like to believe in seems to be paraphrasable only as “something”. Though I’m sure it serves you well to avoid atheist criticism, if a concept lacks a clear definition, your belief in it is just as empty.

By the way, I for one think any belief as to an “intelligent origin of the universe” is questionable, be it the traditional Christian version, one of the science-adapted Christian versions, the Native American creation myth or the Pastafarian story for that matter.

Your particular version of the story holds that all the natural processes that have led to the world being as we know it have still initially been set in motion by an intelligent being. Though this is certainly a huge improvement on what the bible actually says, I continue to consider this far-fetched.
If all the details could have been filled in by inanimate mechanisms, why still postulate an ill-defined but definitely intentional force that set the lot off? Isn’t this a god of the gaps?
With each peculiarity that can be explained naturally, the need for a creator should diminish. As science can be relied upon to continue finding natural ways to explain why things are the way they are, we will have steadily decreasingly less of a reason to even bother with the notion of a creator in the first place. And already there isn’t much reason to consider the idea, save that people have held the belief for milennia.
So once again, the question is: why? Why support such a methodologically expensive assumption when there doesn’t seem to be any need for it?

Furthermore, intelligence is indeed rare, and does not suddenly start existing out of nothing. How could an intelligent being exist, at the beginning of everything? Where did it come from? Is there another, older universe that brought forth this creator of ours?
Who is this god person, anyway?
In those ways, your answer raises more questions than it answers.

I’m sorry. You probably didn’t intend to put your particular view up for evaluation, but just mentioned it to illustrate that not all Christians believe the same things. Let my criticism of it then serve to illustrate that not all atheists oppose only the traditional Christian views.

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, the reason I think that the Christian God ought to be understood as a “magic, personal god” (your words, but I agree with the jist) is because that is the God described in the Bible. He doesn’t just “sustain” creation in an abstract sense, he intimately interacts with it, and has a long list of morals he expects us to follow. He had a kid, who is apparently himself, and who died and was resurrected in some kind of salvific act.

If you don’t believe these things are true about your God, then what is the point of calling yourself Christian? You’ve defined your God in such a vague and meaningless way that He could just as easily be Brahman, or even Shiva or Zeus. You can take any religion, any deity—even polytheistic ones—and strip them of all of their character traits and moral codes, as you have done with the Biblical god Yahweh, and arrive at the same vague “God” you believe in.

Can you explain why you feel the God you believe in is actually described best by Christianity and the Bible, as opposed to any other religion (dead or alive)?

Petrus's avatar

Dear Fyrie,

I’ll have to unconfuse the the confusing bit of irony in my post. I opposed posting a long list where one sample might be efficient. However, what list of counterexamples does well is making the debating oponent unable to dismiss evidence as anecdotal.

When you presented your test of adequacy as having a control group of identical irreligious clones, you gained my respect, since I like hard science approach. It makes proving thing lot harder, next to impossible, but as long as it applies to both sides, that is fair.

Likewise, your suggested studies did not restrict research to identical religious/irreligious clones (identical twins would do fine, I presume), yet you are not equaly critical of it.

Please explain. Do you have some conflict of interest that makes you favor atheism one side above existence of God and does not allow judge both sides of argument fairly and independently of your prior opinions?

mattbrowne's avatar

A worldwide statistics of atheist scientists versus theist scientists is closer to 60% versus 40% while in America it seems more like 80% versus 20%, a phenomenon some explain by the high number of truly obnoxious ‘Christian’ fundamentalists. In Europe everything seems a bit more relaxed. I am by no means a fan of the Pope, but even the Vatican supports the big bang theory. There also seems to be more mutual respect between theists and atheists where I live.

I have no problem being part of a minority (40% theists) in the overall group of scientists. I don’t think it’s necessary to stress the ‘need’ for a divine entity. To me it’s just a belief and it isn’t in contradiction to science whatsoever. As we all know science has limitations and there is hard evidence for this.

What the bible ‘actually’ says depends on its interpretation. Some atheists deliberately choose interpretations which are very close to that of young-earth creationists. If we take a sentence from Genesis 1 like “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” instead of a metaphor, God (or his spirit) is associated with a seagull-like creature.

A gap is created when the orderly biophilic universe requires magic which would in fact contradict the natural laws that already exist.

I don’t think Christianity, its understanding of God and its approach of social guidance is best for everyone. I think its best for me. It is my way. You have to find your way.

Any good philosophical discussion creates more questions than it answers. It’s part of the infinite quest for wisdom and enlightenment. Scientists once made the mistake to think physics had already found all the answers and there was nothing left to explore. This was around the year 1900. The same holds true for religions, metaphysics and philosophy.

Fyrius's avatar

@Petrus
“However, what list of counterexamples does well is making the debating oponent unable to dismiss evidence as anecdotal.”
I beg to differ. It most certainly does not.
The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”. It’s “anecdotes”. Whether you have one unreliable, biased data point or a million unreliable, biased data points, the evidence remains invalid.

I already intricately explained why the studies I linked to would not need identical clones, and why @no1atall12‘s list does. The difference lies in random versus biased samples.

For that matter, it should suffice to say that the studies are actual statistical investigations, made with all the precautions needed to make them reliable, whereas the list is just a sloppy collection of individuals that happened to be smart and Christian and managed to be remembered. The list was composed years after most of its members kicked the bucket, there were no precise IQ tests, there is no possibility to compare their intelligence to the population at large. Because of these things, it is impossible to draw any conclusion from this list.

I don’t even know why I’m pointing this out. It makes me feel dull to state the obvious like this.

@mattbrowne
I won’t further pursue the issue of your personal beliefs now. I’ll just address some separate remarks of yours.

As for the extent to which the bible says whatever you interpret it to say: if this is how you see it, you might want to ask yourself whether there’s any meaning left to the book at all. If you can read into a document whatever you wish to find there, why even bother with it? Why keep up appearances? Just throw it into the thrash can and openly make your own decisions, if that’s what you intend to do anyway.

“A gap is created when the orderly biophilic universe requires magic which would in fact contradict the natural laws that already exist.”
Not really. A gap is created where our understanding of the universe leaves something to be desired. A god of the gaps is a placeholder belief that makes us feel we understand those things we actually don’t.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Fyrius – I think you completely misunderstand what the word ‘interpretation’ means. It’s not at all about whatever you wish to find in the bible. Even very precise language being used to write laws today requires judges and lawyers. What does a law mean exactly? Semantics and context is a very complex linguistic subject. Why do machine translation systems like Babelfish have limitations?

Issue of gaps: I am talking about the meta-phenomenon itself, not about our understanding of the universe.

I detect a lot of anger reflected when choosing certain words, or maybe is has to do with trying to provoke. Just throw it into the trash can? I’m sure you support the idea of recycling. Your bible probably ended up in recycling container and was used to print ‘The God Delusion’ or maybe ‘The Dawkins Delusion’. Well, my bible remains on one of my shelves and I will continue to treasure it.

Fyrius's avatar

Are you taking the position that the reason why the mainstream Christian interpretation of the bible keeps adjusting itself to secular cultural developments is because Christian scholars keep finding independent reasons to believe that’s what the book actually meant all along, reasons unrelated to the social changes they conveniently happen to adapt the interpretation to? That that’s why the parts about slavery came to be ignored after the practice was abolished? That that’s why the parts saying women should submit to men as they would to god were no longer to be taken seriously after the latter started to be seen as equal to the guys? That that’s why Genesis became metaphorical after science showed it not to be true?
I doubt that the Christians honestly believe their every new interpretation was always the right one, but if they do, they are even better at doublethink than I ever gave them credit for.

You can make the point that any document can be interpreted in multiple ways, and maybe you’re right. But if the interpretation you follow overemphasises one part, considers another part obsolete, another one metaphorical, and does all of that in such a way that it matches with widespread contemporary ideas unrelated to religion, do you think that’s an honest interpretation of what the document was actually supposed to mean when it was writ two thousand years ago? And if not, do you still think there’s any point in pretending to follow a compendium of beliefs of which you’re only going to cherry-pick those that suit you anyway?
I think how mainstream Christianity handles the bible is more like a bureaucratic formality – something that’s officially supposed to dictate the rules, but in actuality people just do as they see fit and then look for ways to keep up the appearance they still follow the rules. I would urge them to do away with it altogether and truly free their minds of what has become nothing but a burden.

“I detect a lot of anger reflected when choosing certain words, or maybe is has to do with trying to provoke.”
Not anger. Contempt. Not for you, but for the book.
In my perception the bible is a savage and despicable document. Bizarre primitive beliefs from humanity’s infancy, before mankind learned to tell sound sense from speculative superstition. Frightening moral standards from an age when mysogyny, slavery, genocide and a death penalty for nonsensical trifles were business as usual, and when people needed to be kept in line with grand promises and horrible threats instead of with a concept of personal responsibility.
In my perception the bible belongs in a museum, not on a night stand.

I fully support that you would make your own decisions and not base them on the bible. I just wonder why you would bother to still consider yourself to follow the book, if you don’t.
By the way, my own bible too still stands intact on my bookshelf, as a reference work. The metaphorical intellectual thrashcan received its pages long ago, however.

As for the gap issue: If the meta-phenomenon of existence remains unexplained, that too is a gap in our knowledge of the universe. A gap that your god occupies.

Peinrikudo's avatar

There’s a church for almost anything these days, so I don’t see why Atheists couldn’t have their own sanctuary, too.

JLeslie's avatar

Would it be tax exempt?

Clair's avatar

I was really hoping this thread was rotting in it’s grave by now.

TabernakAttack's avatar

@Clair Nope. Somehow still going. I’ve even stopped paying attention to it. At least it’s distracted you all long enough for me to steal all your pies Mwahahah.

Plus, this thread kinda stole it’s thunder..

Peinrikudo's avatar

You could always join my church: The church of Pein Rikudo (the six paths of pain). =D

borderline_blonde's avatar

Only if there are cookies in the lobby afterwards. Otherwise, I’m going to not-worship someplace else.

Aster's avatar

If Atheists wish to gather at a building and discuss their lack of belief it’s their business. But to be honest with you, I think it would be risky. SOME Christians would definitely have the potential to burn the place down. Or worse. So I hope they can be satisfied with being a member of the Atheist organizations and receive their literature in the mail ; they’ll be safer, I think.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster That is some answer. I hear a lot of Christians saying that since we have to worry about radical Muslims being offended, that proves Muslims are more violent and serious problem, this cam up during the discussions about the “Mosque” near ground zero, they jumped all over the Imam for pointing out we do have to worry about the radical Islamists, but you are pointing out how the Christians are the same. I am pretty sure I am not for building an athiest church, but with what you wrote, there may have never been black churches in America, or Synagogues, or Mosques. There are always a few loons around wanting to blow up those houses of worship.

Taciturnu's avatar

Many Unitarian Universalists are also atheists, but are humanists first. There is no dogma or creed one needs to follow, but there are 7 Principles. Most UU’s agree and abide by the principles, but there are a handful who disagree with the wording on one or some of them.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

The members would not be true non believers if they had anything to teach or discuss.

Just attend a science class instead.

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