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Aptrgangr
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 08:54 PM
Atheists Battle Against Religion

Atheists Are Finding Their Voice and Finding an Audience, but Some Call it Another Form of Extremism

March 4, 2007 This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case brought by a group of atheists who claim the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives violates the separation of church and state.
It's just one example of how atheists are becoming increasingly assertive arguing not only that religion is false, but also a threat to civilization.
Outside the court, atheists and people of faith squared off. Inside, the Freedom From Religion Foundation made its case against the president's pet program.
The foundation's co-president, Dan Barker, was a fundamentalist preacher for 19 years. Now, he's preaching from a different text specifically, "separation of church and state, and reason and kindness in place of superstition and ideologies."
But Barker and his wife, Annie Laurie Gaylor, who is also the foundation's co-president, said the problem is bigger than the Bush administration and its faith-based initiatives. They see a world being torn apart by religious fundamentalists of all stripes.
"[Religion is] the source of the greatest violence in the world," Gaylor said. "More people have been killed in the world for religion over any other reason."
That atheist argument seems to resonating. There's an atheist Internet recruiting campaign, atheist summer camps and several bestselling books including "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris.
Harris claims religion is nothing less than a global threat.
"We have a world that has been shattered, quite unnecessarily, by competing religious beliefs," Harris said. "We have Christians against Muslims against Jews. They're making incompatible claims on real estate in the Middle East as though God were some kind of omniscient real estate broker parsing out parcels of land to his chosen flock. People are literally dying over ancient literature."
Perhaps not surprisingly, people of faith don't agree with the argument that faith is wrong or dangerous.
"I understand that people who claim certain religious beliefs have done terrible things throughout history," said Randall Baumer, professor of American religious history at Columbia University. "I think the challenge is for people of faith to be true to the principles of the faith. I think the challenge is coming back and reclaiming the real principles of the faith, so that we act decently toward one another."

By DAN HARRIS and PAUL BEBAN

http://a.abcnews.com/images/site/story/byline_abcnews.gif


ABC News: Atheists Battle Against Religion (http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Politics/story?id=2923057&page=1)

Janus
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 09:04 PM
I'm really tired of atheists and all their pseudo arguments. Let's face it, atheism is completely useless and even contraproductive to people since it takes away their old morals, customs and communities and doesn't replace it with anything. Atheism has nothing to offer and much to take. There's also not more truth in atheism than in theism since the question for God or not is simply unanswerable for us and therefore indifference belief would be a scientific point of view. The belief in supernatural powers have also never lead to a war, power hungry political leaders and monarchs started wars convering their real reasons under the coat of religion...

SubGnostic
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 09:26 PM
I'm really tired of atheists and all their pseudo arguments. Let's face it, atheism is completely useless and even contraproductive to people since it takes away their old morals, customs and communities and doesn't replace it with anything. Atheism has nothing to offer and much to take. There's also not more truth in atheism than in theism since the question for God or not is simply unanswerable for us and therefore indifference belief would be a scientific point of view. The belief in supernatural powers have also never lead to a war, power hungry political leaders and monarchs started wars convering their real reasons under the coat of religion...True. I'm an atheist in that I don't believe in personified, omnipotent, supernatural entities as moral absolutes, as it seems too crude and too easy for man to comprehend. But this "battle against religion" is just childish. The fact that Richard Dawkins is one of this camp really lowered his credibility as a scientist in my eyes.

Pro-Alpine
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 09:37 PM
I'm really tired of atheists and all their pseudo arguments. Let's face it, atheism is completely useless and even contraproductive to people since it takes away their old morals, customs and communities and doesn't replace it with anything. Atheism has nothing to offer and much to take. There's also not more truth in atheism than in theism since the question for God or not is simply unanswerable for us and therefore indifference belief would be a scientific point of view. The belief in supernatural powers have also never lead to a war, power hungry political leaders and monarchs started wars convering their real reasons under the coat of religion...

About morals, atheists are less likely to commit crimes, so appearntly thier moral conscience is greater. but don't get me wrong, i'm against those arrogant atheists who strongly oppose religion and ridicule it in every opportunity they get.

Janus
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 10:03 PM
About morals, atheists are less likely to commit crimes, so appearntly thier moral conscience is greater.
That's a naive fellacy. You have to take a look at who those confessing atheists are. Since our general society is still secular religious most people hold some kind of lose belief and confessing atheists are mostly found among the people with higher education and those are generally less likely to commit crimes.
Besides that, atheists can't have morals, maybe ethics but no morals ;)

Nekron
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 01:51 PM
I'm really tired of atheists and all their pseudo arguments. Let's face it, atheism is completely useless and even contraproductive to people since it takes away their old morals, customs and communities and doesn't replace it with anything. Atheism has nothing to offer and much to take. There's also not more truth in atheism than in theism since the question for God or not is simply unanswerable for us and therefore indifference belief would be a scientific point of view. The belief in supernatural powers have also never lead to a war, power hungry political leaders and monarchs started wars convering their real reasons under the coat of religion...

hm I don't think so...

OK atheism is useless, but religions too...
they destroyed (and are still destroying) as much as they build or even more

Don't you think a world without religions would be a bit more peaceful?
Ok it's not their God who says "FIGHT!" , in fact God says nothing at all, but do we need a God that does nothing ?

Janus
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 03:45 PM
hm I don't think so...

OK atheism is useless, but religions too...
they destroyed (and are still destroying) as much as they build or even more

Don't you think a world without religions would be a bit more peaceful?
Ok it's not their God who says "FIGHT!" , in fact God says nothing at all, but do we need a God that does nothing ?

Religions aren't useless because they create community and give people hope and morality, something atheism can't. Atheism is entirely negative, it destroys so much but doesn't provide you with anything.

No, a world without religion would not be more peaceful. Just think about the atheist pseudo communist attempts in many countries like Russia, China or Cambodia in the last century.

God, whether it exists or not, is needed because it, in opposit to our corrupted and imperfect society, is the eventual, just and perfect authority people want to rely on and it can only fulfill this role if it actually doesn't talk and stays totally neutral for us so there's no way for us to contradict its opinion ;)

Nekron
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 09:26 PM
but religions cause also wars and violence

There are so many wars in cause of different religions, how can you say religions make the world more peaceful?

and why should I obey a God that doest't exist and who has no power?

Janus
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 10:17 PM
but religions cause also wars and violence

There are so many wars in cause of different religions, how can you say religions make the world more peaceful?

and why should I obey a God that doest't exist and who has no power?

Has there been any significiant war which happened because of the religion itself and not because of a leader using religion to cover up his true agenda?

How can you obey God while God has never said anything? Who says that God doesn't exist or has no power?

Aupmanyav
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Illuminatus: Atheists do not give pseudo arguments. Atheism does not mean abandoning of old morals, customs and communities. You are right when you say that the question for God is unanswerable at the present time, so there should be no reason for people to be theists. Science does show strong possibility of there being nothing like God. I also find it difficult to agree with you that belief in supernatural has never lead to a war (or cruelties). I suppose Europe suffered a lot because of them. The blame for the Germanic people longing for their lost culture can be put on people who had some particular supernatural belief.

In your second post, you mention that religions give hope. Hope does not come true for all people. It is a false hope, and the reaction of those for whom it does not come true is more devastating. That is how Jesus felt on the cross, 'O Father, why have you forsaken me?' I do not know why you are associating atheism with negativity, I can only say that you do not understand atheism. Atheism provides hope on sounder principles of chance and probability. The European society has been with present God for the last two thousand years. If it is still corrupted and imperfect, is not it time to look for something else?

SubGnostic: Some atheists are happy to keep their beliefs to themselves. Some, when confronted by superstition of the religions, speak against that. The fault also lies with the religious people who would like to force their beliefs down our throats.

Janus
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 12:24 AM
Illuminatus: Atheists do not give pseudo arguments.
Of course, they, like the advocates of all believes, do.


Atheism does not mean abandoning of old morals, customs and communities.
Indirectly, it does since atheism pulls away the base on which morals, customs and the community is build so instead of a foundation there just remains sand and why shouldn't people dig through the sand to achieve what they want eventually causing the buildings to collapse.


You are right when you say that the question for God is unanswerable at the present time, so there should be no reason for people to be theists.
What were you saying in your first sentence again? It doesn't make sense to say there's no reason to be a theist but to be an atheist.


Science does show strong possibility of there being nothing like God.
Wrong, the possibility is exactly 50/50 since there will never be any serious evidences for or against God but for very temporal reasons I'm favouring the belief in God(s) in a society although a society enlightened enough to accept the answer that we cannot know it would be the best in my opinion yet it's totally utopic.


I also find it difficult to agree with you that belief in supernatural has never lead to a war (or cruelties).
I never said it didn't lead to cruelties. Of course, it, like everything else in the mind of humans, has lead to it. Love has also lead to it but yet nobody has seriously demanded abandoning it.


The blame for the Germanic people longing for their lost culture can be put on people who had some particular supernatural belief.
It's again to blame on the rulers. The (Catholic) Church has always been rather a political entity seeking for more power. Christianization mostly occurred after battles when the lost one were (often forcefully) baptized and through similar ways.



In your second post, you mention that religions give hope. Hope does not come true for all people. It is a false hope, and the reaction of those for whom it does not come true is more devastating. That is how Jesus felt on the cross, 'O Father, why have you forsaken me?'
False hope, how so? In the Christian mythology, Jesus was resurrected so there was no false but real hope and so it is the real life aswell. Actions can always go in the direction you want them to be and even as long as they do not go into that direction there is always hope for other things like a more just afterlife for instance. Eventually it's hope for the hope's sake and as we say in Germany, the hope always dies last of all.



I do not know why you are associating atheism with negativity, I can only say that you do not understand atheism
How do I not understand Atheism? I think I understand it quite well and I associate it with negativity because of the simple reason that it is a purely negative belief. Theism tells you that the world is in a certain way and provide people with a reason while atheism just tells people how the world is not and therefore provides nothing.


Atheism provides hope on sounder principles of chance and probability.
How can somebody hope on such abstract, impersonal and theoretical principles? One can also argue whether chance and probability do exist at all which is a quite common opinion among atheists so that isn't really an argument.


The European society has been with present God for the last two thousand years. If it is still corrupted and imperfect, is not it time to look for something else?
It has been there for much longer, for the whole course of mankind since the pagans were also (poly)theists. How can you actually propose to use one of the factors which degenerated our societies in the last century as a key factor for a different world. The belief in a supernatural power is simply irrelevant for perfection/corruption of the world.

Nekron
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 08:19 AM
Has there been any significiant war which happened because of the religion itself and not because of a leader using religion to cover up his true agenda?

but these wars wouldn't be possible without religions
nobody would die for such an agenda...



How can you obey God while God has never said anything? Who says that God doesn't exist or has no power?

I say ;)
why didn' he say anything?
what did he (or she) do for you/me/us?
if he had power, why isn't this world a better place ?

Chlodovech
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 01:25 PM
but these wars wouldn't be possible without religions
nobody would die for such an agenda...

Still, the Holy Land is divided on religious grounds - not unlike Northern Ireland - only making the conflict more tribal than religious. Religion merely creates the factions - but neither Jews nor Palestinians, or NI catholics and NI protestants, were/are at each other's throat for some article of faith, or a certain confession.

Gundahar
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Atheists battle against religion? This must be a joke. Atheism is just another religion. They believe that there exist no Gods, higher powers and spirits, but they can't prove it. The atheistic fundamentalists are just as annoying and disturbing as the christian or muslim ones.

Aupmanyav
Saturday, March 10th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Illuminatus, I will speak for myself. I know the deficiencies in the various scientific theories (for example how RNA changed into DNA? What was there before the big bang? Will universe die a cold death? My present beliefs are theories based on what we know today. They are liable to change with the progress of science. I hope during the present century will understand much more than what we know today. I do advocate accepting theories without any proof at all.

Atheism does not pull any base. We are a part of various societies and for our own good and for that of our societies, we need to care for morals and customs. That is what is termed as 'Dharma' in Hinduism (Duty and righteous action), and that is inalienable.

The most serious evidence against God is nature, how it kills humans and animals with storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, avalanches, floods, fires, wars, diseases; not caring about men, women, and even children. Is your God demented? Is this all that he can do?

And who puts the cruelty in the mind of humans? I suppose your God is known as omnipotent?

Jesus was resurrected. A nice fable. The meek will inherit the world, though in this life they will fry. Like the muslim God, always testing?

You have not described the negativity of atheism well. Atheism understands that there is no God to help. Our fate will depend on our actions, so we should be doubly careful in what we do. It puts the responsibility where it should belong.

Hope, the world is what it is. It depends on chance and probability. One should not loose hope, try to increase the possibility of something happening, like studying harder to succeed in an examination. Neither probability nor God can save you from falling ill. There are things which you can do, and their are things on which no one has any control. If we understand a problem well, we are able to take better action against it, rather than looking for help from the sky.

It would perhaps have been a much better world if everybody would have been an atheist understanding one's responsibilities. Imperfection and corruption can only be erased by united action against that. Religion has failed us, perhaps it is time to apply some other method.