Things Atheists/Christians Need to Stop Doing

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Yes, this is long as hell, but I put a lot of thought into it. Before you say TL;DR, close the page, go outside, and go to a library. Reading is awesome.
If you're thinking I'm biased, don't worry, I have some things to say about some Christians, too. Relax.
I don't care what you believe. I really don't. I'm not here to convert anyone, and I can tell you right now you won't change my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus gave everyone a free pass, and if you don't want to accept it, that's your choice. I just want you to respect my side a little. Here's how you can start:

THESE WILL NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE, BUT THEY ARE GOOD TO THINK ABOUT, AND ABOVE ALL, BE NICE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS.

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

5. Despite being one of the least important points on this list, it seems to be the most objectionable, and has been removed. Thanks for all the comments so far, keep it up!

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

3. Don't automatically damn nonbelievers to Hell. Damnation isn't eternal- read Revelations. Besides, that's for God and God alone to judge.

4. God does not hate gays, atheists, satanists, nazis, abortionists, crab people, or anyone else. Recall John 3:16. Nazis are still evil and I firmly believe that abortion is murder, (don't even get me started on crab people- ugh!) but God loves everyone. Even if you don't.

5. Someone made a good point here- if it comes down to loving God or loving your neighbor, you don't have to choose- just do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. Like a boss.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

Deathmageddon:
Yes, this is long as hell, but I put a lot of thought into it. Before you say TL;DR, close the page, go outside, and go to a library. Reading is awesome.
If you're thinking I'm biased, don't worry, I have some things to say about some Christians, too. Relax.
I don't care what you believe. I really don't. I'm not here to convert anyone, and I can tell you right now you won't change my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus gave everyone a free pass, and if you don't want to accept it, that's your choice. I just want you to respect my side a little. Here's how you can start:

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

5. The difference between superstition, fairy tales, and Christianity is that Christianity is backed up by history and 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ, most of whom died in the most horrible ways imaginable, but did not recant their beliefs. It's also the only truly unique religion. For more, watch or read Lee Strobel's The Case For Faith. Too much to explain here.

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

3. Don't automatically damn nonbelievers to Hell. Damnation isn't eternal- read Revelations. Besides, that's for God and God alone to judge.

4. God does not hate gays, atheists, satanists, nazis, abortionists, crab people, or anyone else. Recall John 3:16. Nazis are still evil and I firmly believe that abortion is murder, (don't even get me started on crab people- ugh!) but God loves everyone. Even if you don't.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

i find it ironic that you write rule number 1 for atheists and then do the exact same shit in your rules for Christians, hypocritical much.

Im sorry, but there is one thing I absolutely cannot agree with you on in this post, and I cant believe you would even think this.

Crab people are wonderful! They are so loveable and nice, You hug em and squeeze em and you put gloves on their pincers you don't (necessarily)have to lose any blood at all!

keiskay:

i find it ironic that you write rule number 1 for atheists and then do the exact same shit in your rules for Christians, hypocritical much.

Thank you for pointing that out, I will amend it.

Deathmageddon:

keiskay:

i find it ironic that you write rule number 1 for atheists and then do the exact same shit in your rules for Christians, hypocritical much.

Thank you for pointing that out, I will amend it.

i think you should add be friendly, kind and courteous to the person apart from you. because simply people ( i didnt) are not gonna read anything but the rules laid out.

keiskay:

Deathmageddon:

keiskay:

i find it ironic that you write rule number 1 for atheists and then do the exact same shit in your rules for Christians, hypocritical much.

Thank you for pointing that out, I will amend it.

i think you should add be friendly, kind and courteous to the person apart from you. because simply people ( i didnt) are not gonna read anything but the rules laid out.

Also good to know, but I think the list gives off an overall theme of mutual respect.

Deathmageddon:
The difference between superstition, fairy tales, and Christianity is that Christianity is backed up by history and 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ

Evidence, please.

You can't make a claim like that without references.

It's also the only truly unique religion.

Never heard of Mithras, then?

Deathmageddon:

Also good to know, but I think the list gives off an overall theme of mutual respect.

Really? I didn't get that at all. Passive-aggressive generalisations upon atheists and some kind of reminder for fundamentalist Christians.

Obligatory:

image

Deathmageddon:
We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."

Perhaps you should. For reference, that's from the Gospels. You know, the ones that you told us to read? Perhaps you should follow your own advice, ne?

Deathmageddon:
Christianity offers a formidable ethical code

No, Christianity uses a 'formidable' ethical code, commonly called the Golden Rule which predates Christianity by thousands of years.

Deathmageddon:
5. The difference between superstition, fairy tales, and Christianity is that Christianity is backed up by history

Not really. If you exclude the Bible, evidence for Jesus is hilariously scant and what little evidence is often contradictory, especially for someone who lead a life as supposedly revolutionary as Jesus is meant to have.

Deathmageddon:
and 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ

Really? Funny how few historical accounts we have for these 500. I'm also sure they'd never lie, or be mislead, or be deluded.

Deathmageddon:
most of whom died in the most horrible ways imaginable, but did not recant their beliefs.

The Heaven's Gate cultists died too for their beliefs. Willing to die for your belief is not a measure of veracity.

Deathmageddon:
It's also the only truly unique religion.

Also obligatory:

image

Totes unique!

Deathmageddon:
Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself"

He also said "Love God with all your heart". He said that first in fact. "Love your neighbour" came afterwards. Tell me, which would you choose if you had to choose between loving God and loving your neighbour?

Amnestic:
Obligatory:

image

Deathmageddon:
We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."

Perhaps you should. For reference, that's from the Gospels. You know, the ones that you told us to read? Perhaps you should follow your own advice, ne?

Deathmageddon:
Christianity offers a formidable ethical code

No, Christianity uses a 'formidable' ethical code, commonly called the Golden Rule which predates Christianity by thousands of years.

Deathmageddon:
5. The difference between superstition, fairy tales, and Christianity is that Christianity is backed up by history

Not really. If you exclude the Bible, evidence for Jesus is hilariously scant and what little evidence is often contradictory, especially for someone who lead a life as supposedly revolutionary as Jesus is meant to have.

Deathmageddon:
and 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ

Really? Funny how few historical accounts we have for these 500. I'm also sure they'd never lie, or be mislead, or be deluded.

Deathmageddon:
most of whom died in the most horrible ways imaginable, but did not recant their beliefs.

The Heaven's Gate cultists died too for their beliefs. Willing to die for your belief is not a measure of veracity.

Deathmageddon:
It's also the only truly unique religion.

Also obligatory:

image

Totes unique!

Deathmageddon:
Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself"

He also said "Love God with all your heart". He said that first in fact. "Love your neighbour" came afterwards. Tell me, which would you choose if you had to choose between loving God and loving your neighbour?

i only have a problem with the image you posted which is ripped from the erroneus zeitgeist movie. none of those gods were born on dec 25th not even jesus. the only reason its said so now is that around 300AD the romans changed the holiday to the 25th to convert pagans more easily. so is it the only true religion? no probably not, is it unique? maybe there are tons of religions in the world.

Amnestic:
Obligatory:

image

That's funny, but I reject the premise that more moderate people are just as bad as extremists.

Deathmageddon:
-snip-

How come your atheist list can be summed up as "don't be a jerk" but your christian list can be summed up as "don't believe in this shit, it's stupid?"

Since I'm an atheist, I'll just respond to the points aimed at atheists. Hope that's alright.

Deathmageddon:
1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

Fair enough, though I feel the need to point out that, to them, you are the heretic. Your beliefs may be more mainstream, but they are no more valid than the beliefs of the extremists. They have scripture backing them up, too.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

War can happen without religion, but it can also happen because of religion. Just because religion isn't the cause of every war ever (as some of my fellow atheists seem to think) doesn't mean that it can't be the cause of a war. The crusades are a shining example.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

I take issue with this in two ways. One: As I said before, there is no "one true Christianity." Every single word of the Bible is interpreted differently by someone, and no interpretation (provided they aren't, say, informed by mistranslations) is less valid than another. That's why there are over 20,000 different sects. You presume too much by saying the NT trumps the OT, because that's simply your personal view. Two: You don't have to read the Bible in order to argue against it. Doing so gives a lot of great background, but in order to effectively argue against anything in the Bible, all one needs to do is ask for evidence of its validity. If the theist is unable to provide such evidence, it doesn't matter what the book says. This is, of course, different if you're having an argument about what the Bible actually endorses; I'm just talking about factual "is it true?" arguments.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

The whole "God is love" thing is actually a rather recent development in Christianity's history. I agree that calling religion "medieval" is uninformed, but it's because religion has changed. To call it "timeless" is inaccurate. And on a tangential note, atheists generally care more about what is true than what is comforting. The thought of an afterlife may make people feel all warm and fuzzy, but that's not really our concern when we're arguing against it.

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

I agree with this completely.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

I'm not sure what this means.

Deathmageddon:

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

Just to be a small prick, I have to say that science has eliminated the necessity for God to create much of anything. If God crafted the universe so carefully so if you really looked into it you wouldn't be able to tell it was him who made it, he probably doesn't want to know you. I mean, if someone went through the painstaking effort to make everything look like no one had been there, they probably don't want to be known.

I will give you the last part though it would be kind of unnecessary if it weren't impossible.

WouldYouKindly:

Just to be a small prick, I have to say that science has eliminated the necessity for God to create much of anything. If God crafted the universe so carefully so if you really looked into it you wouldn't be able to tell it was him who made it, he probably doesn't want to know you. I mean, if someone went through the painstaking effort to make everything look like no one had been there, they probably don't want to be known.

God the Ninja?

I have a problem with #1 for Christians. There is no such thing as a perfectly rational Christian/Jew/Muslim. By definition the belief in a particular religion is not rational, no matter how extremist it is.

It is an impossibility for someone with religious beliefs to be rational, the two contradict each other.

As for #3 it has been shown that Atheists actually have better knowledge of the Bible than Christians. As for Leviticus, I would say the whole hating homosexual things gives reason to attack Christians on that front. If a Christian is anti-homosexual then they are fair game for not following the rest of Leviticus.

A few nitpicks with your well-intentioned but DOOOOOMED Epistle to the Internetters:

Deathmageddon:

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

The problem there is that the Believers keep insisting that they can get moral direction from an allegedly omnipotent being who watches everyone's actions, yet pretty consistently fails to stop its self-declared fan-club from making It look bad.

Deathmageddon:

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

Marx didn't call it 'the opiate of the people' for nothing. Keep the proles hoping for pie in the sky when they die, and they won't riot for pie NOW.

Deathmageddon:

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

God explaining basic germ theory would have been a good idea with a lot of practical applications, though.

pyrate:

It is an impossibility for someone with religious beliefs to be rational, the two contradict each other.

I think you underestimate the power of Doublethink. Most people, irregardless of which Isms they subscribe to, are capable of being rational... MOST of the time. It's just when one of their specific Witless Principles are stepped on that they start acting like dogma-spewing propagandabots.

The thing I hate the most is the "Hot Potato Grouping Game". Hitler's a Christian! No, he's an Atheist! Catch! Nuh uh! He was a Christian! He's yours now, Atheists! See, this is why Atheists are all evil! He was in bed with the Church, that means he's a Catholic! Christianity produces genocidal dictators! Whenever a debate about religion turns into this, I usually leave.

pyrate:
I have a problem with #1 for Christians. There is no such thing as a perfectly rational Christian/Jew/Muslim. By definition the belief in a particular religion is not rational, no matter how extremist it is.

It is an impossibility for someone with religious beliefs to be rational, the two contradict each other.

Oh yes, because rationality (an entirely subjective concept made up by humans) only belongs to atheists. Hate to break it to you, but no one is rational. Every day, we make countless irrational decisions. Own a pet? Irrational. Eat a hamburger? Irrational. Comb your hair? Irrational. Having fights over who's the more rational is to me like warring over who's the most modest.

Deathmageddon:
4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

But the medieval period of Europe was very much DEFINED by its relationship to Christianity. Many important developments in Christian tradition emerged during that period, and it was not yet divided by the schisms and sectarianism that would later plague it. I'd say that calling the practice of Christianity medieval is pretty accurate. I don't see why people would have a problem with that, except that it reminds them that the application of accepted Christian doctrine lead to fantastic atrocities in times gone by. And while such people would quickly point out that those atrocities may have deviated from original Christian doctrine, current, more aesthetic and acceptable interpretations of it do so by a far greater degree.

As for Christianity's ethical code, I would beg to differ with you there. The bible implicitly sanctions slavery, for one (Exodus, Chapter 21), not to mention the subordination of women and the homosexuality point. There are many legal codes which have far greater claims to ethical superiority, many more philosophies besides, not to mention that any judgement on whether Christianity's ethical code is ethical has to be judged against a personal understanding of what is ethical, which in itself should be the ethical code you're going by (Plato's Euthyphro has some good quotes, even if I'm nuancing it slightly differently).

Or in other words, just because Christianity says a bunch of things are right and a bunch are wrong and you agree with 50% of them does not make it 'a formidable moral code'.

Deathmageddon:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

I'm only going to take issue with these two, because the rest are either common sense or just a bit silly.

To 1; The obvious first point is that, frankly, we don't consider that a rational follower of religion can exist, at least in their role as a follower of religion. They can certainly maintain a level of cognitive dissonance that allows them to be rational in areas of their lives that don't impact on their religious outlook, but religious faith -faith without tangible evidence of any sort- is irrational by its very nature.

Further, you argue that, for example, the views of the WBC are not widely held but, at least in America, that's simply untrue. Most American Christians would not dare speak ill of their Great Motherland, of course, but the core beliefs regarding homosexuality and that God is punishing America in some fashion for not condemning it much more widespread than you imply; fuck's sake, Rick Santorum, a man who's entire platform consists of "Guns, God, and Gay bashin'", is the current favourite to ascend to leadership of one of your two major political parties. Trying to cast valid remarks about beliefs which are widespread within many religious groups, to the point of demographic significance, with baseless bigotry predicated on racism is almost as disingenuous as the next part I'll respond to.

It's already been pointed out that Christianity's "formidable ethical code" consists of a handful of stolen philosophical ideals that had existed for thousands of years prior mixed in with the usual religion-specific partisan nonsense(fun one; top rule on God's "don't do dat" list is "worship only me" - "don't murder" is sixth :P), but your commends regarding African christianity are....surprising.

Missionaries to Africa, especially ones from America, frequently spend their time teaching the locals how to determine which of their children is a witch or warlock, and how best to kill them when they figure it out; or that gay people are the cause of AIDS and a blight upon the earth that has to be exterminated; or that condoms actually -increase- the rate of HIV transmission; or even that HIV is a myth and AIDS is in fact god's punishment for not having enough faith. That sounds pretty fucking medieval to me chief, and before you try and paint such things as minor, infrequent, unrepresentative; if that were the case, the western world wouldn't even know these problems existed - we've become rather adept at ignoring African problems until they become so massive and evident that it's impossible to continue doing so.

Black Arrow Officer:
Own a pet? Irrational. Eat a hamburger? Irrational. Comb your hair? Irrational. Having fights over who's the more rational is to me like warring over who's the most modest.

How is seeking company/happiness (pet), sustenance (food), or enhancing your sexual attractiveness to increase the chance of breeding (combing your hair) irrational, exactly? Those all seem fairly logical things to do from an evolutionary standpoint.

Bymidew:
I think you underestimate the power of Doublethink. Most people, irregardless of which Isms they subscribe to, are capable of being rational... MOST of the time. It's just when one of their specific Witless Principles are stepped on that they start acting like dogma-spewing propagandabots.

I'd second that. There's a number of people whose opinions I tend to respect and admite, but every so often I wish they'd stop talking.

Deathmageddon:
ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

Does the term "guilt by association" mean anything to you? Yes, in more extreme examples it absolutely does not apply, but I think it's entirely fair to claim that if you call yourself a christian but don't speak up when the "christian moral majority" dickweeds like Pat Robertson or Ol' Frothy start spouting their nonsense about Christ and how Satan is corrupting this country by letting people control their own lives and not forcing us into a theocracy, then you are part of the problem, because they are using you as a statistic, and using that statistic to claim that their platform has some sort of nation-wide resonance. In the case of the catholic church members who tithe, it's even worse, as they are directly funding an institution that is willing to and has in the past protected pedophiles. This is not something to ignore lightly. Even if some Christians don't apply to this, more do than will ever admit to it.

It's like when the extremist Muslim groups started getting all huffy about South Park - I feel that it's reasonable to place some blame on the "moderates" for, you know, not standing up and saying, "As a part of this group who ISN'T completely insane, we do not support the actions of these extremists".

^Very worth looking into.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any.

Yes, but there's no denying that religion has a very strong pro-war influence in many cases. An absolute belief in god can be an incredibly strong motivator for good men to do evil things - incredibly dehumanizing, at times.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

Funny thing about that...
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0928/In-US-atheists-know-religion-better-than-believers.-Is-that-bad
Yeah. Atheists actually know the bible better than christians do. And here's a partial explanation of why:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/09/28/dave-silverman-pew-survey-atheists-bible-preacher-god-islam-holy-american/
What Silverman misses is that Atheists also have a much higher propensity to get called out on their beliefs (call a Christian out, and you've got a social disaster; call an atheist out and it's par for the course) and as such generally need to know the bible, the Qur'an, and whatnot. But seriously? "Actually read the Bible before you criticize it"? Right back at you; actually read the bible before you put all your stock in it.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones.

Christianity's "formidable ethical code" essentially boils down to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", plus a whole bunch of religious rules which have no place whatsoever in a modern secular society. That first bit is ingrained into us as a species through evolution, upheld by virtually all cultures, and has even been more or less logically proven by Kant. That's neither unique nor all that formidable, especially when you throw in forgiveness through Christ, the idea that any sin can be forgiven if you truly believe in the sacrifice of Jesus.

The "timeless message of love" you speak of is also bollocks. Christianity preaches of love... but of love to god, and this love must preclude all others. You don't simply love your neighbor; you're supposed to love god, who then loves your neighbor on your behalf. Of course, this breaks down if god doesn't enter the picture...

Hope for the future and ways to cope with loss are nice and pleasant, but those are things that almost every religion offers, and I'll be honest - I don't care about what feels good, I care about what is right.

Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

Your correlation is showing. Furthermore, there are some pretty fucking nasty facets to the African missionaries. Even the most mainstream are extremely negative; the fucking Pope himself has been caught outright lying to these people (who trust him and don't know better) that condoms don't help prevent STDs. You know, in the middle of an AIDS pandemic. This would be like saying "The best way to stay healthy is to let one of the infected people spit in your mouth every day" in the middle of a Smallpox epidemic.

5. Despite being one of the least important points on this list, it seems to be the most objectionable, and has been removed. Thanks for all the comments so far, keep it up!

Damn right it is. The historicity of Christianity is extremely questionable on multiple levels. It's even disputable if the historical figure of Jesus (not the miracle-worker, just the normal human philosopher) even existed in the first place.

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

Yes, because clearly most of the Christians who joined the church did so after rational investigation of the evidence and not because they were coerced into it by their parents before they were capable of rational thought.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

You know, I really, really would love to call you out on just how amazingly you are cherry-picking from the bible. It's like you have a filter that ignores anything negative coming from it... Which would make sense, because according to the christian belief, the bible is the word of god, and god is all-knowing and omnibenevolent. But seriously, before you accuse us of not reading the bible, why don't you read it with your filters off.

Black Arrow Officer:
Oh yes, because rationality (an entirely subjective concept made up by humans) only belongs to atheists. Hate to break it to you, but no one is rational. Every day, we make countless irrational decisions. Own a pet? Irrational. Eat a hamburger? Irrational. Comb your hair? Irrational. Having fights over who's the more rational is to me like warring over who's the most modest.

Yay for missing the point! The point being that even if a christian is perfectly rational in every other aspect of their lives, they still hold an irrational, faith-based belief which is untenable.

Another atheist here, a few short comments.

Deathmageddon:
1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

I feel sorry for those who are Christian and are happy to keep their faith as just that, their own faith. Sadly by sitting by and not standing up to shut up the loud ignorant minority they are simply enabling the mess that has occured, and let idiots like Rick Sanatorum have even a shot at the presidency. By not standing up to the more extreme elements within your religion you are giving your own silent assent.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

War will continue to happen when one human has something another human wants, and wont try and acquire legitimately. Religion has caused wars, but it is not he only cause, and not the only result of religion.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

Having read three versions of the bible I find this one a little annoying. On average most atheists have read the bible a lot more than your average Christian. As for not paying attention to Leviticus, we will when your lot stop harping on about man lying with man, but not about wearing mixed fabrics. See, comes across really stupid at that point doesn't it?

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

Timeless? Love? If you are Christian the core of your belief is you are born in sin then commanded to be better. That's not love. It's an abusive relationship. And you know what would be better in Africa then bibles? Healthcare.

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

I cannot disagree with this in any way at all. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. Some of them can be factually proven incorrect, but they are still entitled to them.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

Say what? This I really don't get.

Anywho, onto the Christian part.

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

Moses himself is a myth based on Zeasudra and a large flood at the time. There is zero evidence to backup the whole exodus section of the bible also. That being said, of course Genesis is a myth. Want proof? Fossil record does a great job of it. If it was a divine being who created everything, even putting the slightest bit of actual science in there would help. It doesn't.

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

Science contradicts plenty of what the bible has said. See point one. Also it is not up to science to prove the existence of a deity. It is those who make the claim who need to provide the proof.

3. Don't automatically damn nonbelievers to Hell. Damnation isn't eternal- read Revelations. Besides, that's for God and God alone to judge.

Damn us all you want. It's like a hippy saying they are going to punch my aura.

4. God does not hate gays, atheists, satanists, nazis, abortionists, crab people, or anyone else. Recall John 3:16. Nazis are still evil and I firmly believe that abortion is murder, (don't even get me started on crab people- ugh!) but God loves everyone. Even if you don't.

Really? Reading the bible again he seems to dislike a lot of people and order their extermination. Doesn't seem like love to me.

5. Someone made a good point here- if it comes down to loving God or loving your neighbor, you don't have to choose- just do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. Like a boss.

If it came down to helping my neighbour, or worshipping a deity, I'll help my neighbour. Why? Because that is the right thing to do.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

I've always gone on the "treat others as you would like to be treated", and most of the time it works fine. Other times though not so much. I try to be nice now, to make the life I have nice. Not for any other reason. It's good to be good.

Regardless of your beliefs, or mine, we should try and treat each other with respect and not wish harm on each other. While I disagree with a lot of what you wrote, and I don't respect your beliefs at all, I respect your right to them.

So have a good day yourself, keep being the best person you can be.

Deathmageddon:
Nazis are still evil

Oddly enough, this is what I take most umbrage with in your post. Pretty much everything else I'm ok with, but the assertion that evil exists is a uniquely religious thing. Being an atheist, if you think about what the lack of any divine nature to the universe means, you inevitably come to the conclusion that nothing is definitively 'good' or 'evil', there are only actions and their consequences.

Anywho I really don't like religious people asserting that something is 'evil', even if that something is Nazis.

Deathmageddon:
Yes, this is long as hell, but I put a lot of thought into it. Before you say TL;DR, close the page, go outside, and go to a library. Reading is awesome.
If you're thinking I'm biased, don't worry, I have some things to say about some Christians, too. Relax.
I don't care what you believe. I really don't. I'm not here to convert anyone, and I can tell you right now you won't change my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus gave everyone a free pass, and if you don't want to accept it, that's your choice. I just want you to respect my side a little. Here's how you can start:

THESE WILL NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE, BUT THEY ARE GOOD TO THINK ABOUT, AND ABOVE ALL, BE NICE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS.

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

so heres the thing, beliefs being commonly held does not make them wrong. those who you call extremists get their beliefs from the same place as those you call rational and both sides believe they are right and both sides have just as much validity. to me there is no difference between an extremist and a moderate muslim, both have beliefs that are irrational and equally idiotic, the only difference between them is the consequences from the actions of those we call extremists is seen as immoral or wrong.

when your beliefs come from the exact same book as someone who bombs an abortion clinic you get put into the same group. as the common quote goes " it takes religion for a good person to do evil things" (or something like that). you can draw a line from religion to the actions of those people. their beliefs can be defended by their interpretations of whatever holy book they choose and those beliefs have just as much evidence to support them as yours, the validity of them is exactly the same.

also there is no such thing as a rational religious person.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

i dont think anyone in their right mind argues that was is the only result of religion. a lot of people claim a lot of wars are started because of religion, a claim that does have evidence.

btw if you did your research you would know that for all the money christian churches have a very small percentage actually goes to charity. also the most charitable people in the world are aussies and kiwis, not exactly the most religious nations.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

why, most christians have not even read the bible. as penn says, if you want someone to be an atheist just get them to read the bible. the bible is the biggest joke book in the world and when actually read teaches some down right evil shit.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

it is a medieval practice though, that is where it originates. as dawkins often says, just because something is comforting does not make it true. ignoring that christianity does not give an ethical code anyone should actually follow nor does it give a timeless message of love. it does give people hope for the future and a way to cope with their loved ones, by making shit up that sounds insane but hey it helps so it cant be bad.

as for the idea that africans are happier because of god, apart from having no way to prove that i have a better idea, courtesy the comedian jim jeffries.

the suicide rates in africa are lower then the 1st world. they are living in grass huts, surrounded by death, walking 5 miles for water and yet they are happier then you. the reason we are not happy is because we were brought up with dreams, dreams we cannot accomplish so we become unhappy. in africa they have dreams.... dont die today, something they accomplish every day they live.

Bymidew:

Deathmageddon:

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

God explaining basic germ theory would have been a good idea with a lot of practical applications, though.

I had a specific nitpick with this too, because it seems like a cop out. "Well, everything said was wrong, but that's OK because Moses was too big a moron to get it anyways!". Then why lie. Why fucking lie.

If you want to, truly want to, spread the truth around, and you know somebody won't 'get it', parse it down a bit if you have to, but don't outright fucking lie.

If presuming that God is real and he knew 'all along' what a germ was, he could had told people accurately how to keep themselves healthy, even if they were 'too stupid' to get germ theory[1]. He didn't have to make up horseshit about demons and how prayer will 'cure' disease. Because he fucking knew it wouldn't.

Worst case scenario he knows that Moses won't get germ theory and he keeps his fucking mouth shut, and lets humans figure it the fuck out on his own later.

But he didn't do that, now did he? No. He made up some bullshit, filled bronze age man's head full of horseshit, and stunted their understanding of germ theory for an indeterminate amount of time while they wrestled with his lies.

Best case scenario for Christians here is that, God's real and he's a giant prick.

So, no. The whole "Moses wouldn't had got it" excuse is total crap.

Amnestic:

Black Arrow Officer:
Own a pet? Irrational. Eat a hamburger? Irrational. Comb your hair? Irrational. Having fights over who's the more rational is to me like warring over who's the most modest.

How is seeking company/happiness (pet), sustenance (food), or enhancing your sexual attractiveness to increase the chance of breeding (combing your hair) irrational, exactly? Those all seem fairly logical things to do from an evolutionary standpoint.

And even if those examples weren't rational there's very large gaps between different levels of irrational behavior.

Black Arrow, proving that somebody else isn't perfect is a piss poor way to prove you're right. You can prove everything I do is terrible, and not once will that make your side more rational.

Bymidew:

pyrate:

It is an impossibility for someone with religious beliefs to be rational, the two contradict each other.

I think you underestimate the power of Doublethink. Most people, irregardless of which Isms they subscribe to, are capable of being rational... MOST of the time. It's just when one of their specific Witless Principles are stepped on that they start acting like dogma-spewing propagandabots.

That's his point though, is that they're not rational, they only believe they are through mental gymnastics.

Deathmageddon:
Yes, this is long as hell, but I put a lot of thought into it. Before you say TL;DR, close the page, go outside, and go to a library. Reading is awesome.
If you're thinking I'm biased, don't worry, I have some things to say about some Christians, too. Relax.
I don't care what you believe. I really don't. I'm not here to convert anyone, and I can tell you right now you won't change my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus gave everyone a free pass, and if you don't want to accept it, that's your choice. I just want you to respect my side a little. Here's how you can start:

THESE WILL NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE, BUT THEY ARE GOOD TO THINK ABOUT, AND ABOVE ALL, BE NICE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS.

I'll say this once. How the world works isn't your 'opinion'. It either works one way or it don't, and it don't give a shit about how you feel about it. Opinion is "I like red". "God created the world in 7 days" is either a fact, or it's fiction.

I'll respect people's opinions, and I'll even respect the believes others have, but that doesn't make them equally valid interpretations of the world that can't be debated, and my respect ends the minute that your 'opinion' influences how you vote to deal with me and my own.

Deathmageddon:
ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

Cool. And it would be much easier to do so if more than a few of you would show up to back me up occasionally when those WBC motherfuckers show up. Here's the thing. It might be true that 'most' American Christians are totally cool with things or whatever. But if that was true, then elections wouldn't be swayed majorly in the favor of crazy fuckers.

If you want to prove that you're not like the WBC, stop voting in favor of the WBC. That would, statistically show me that most of you aren't like that.

And if the WBC was truly such a crazy minority among you, for every one WBC that sprang up there should be 10 counter Christian organizations against it.

But there ain't. So it becomes, honestly, very hard for somebody hurt and jaded to take your 'word' that you're there.

Because from this side of the ring, it often seems like the majority of you agree totally with extremists and just let the crazy guys do your dirty work for you while you sift off into the background silently, and frankly, I can't find it in me to be mad at atheists who feel hurt and alone that lump you all together, because it's becoming a daily struggle for me to not to the same.

Deathmageddon:
2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any.

Religion is a better excuse. It's not 'just as good'. Yes, excuses come and go, but religion is gasoline compared to dry twigs. Both can start fires, but one does so a lot better and faster.

Deathmageddon:
The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6.

Yes, then it goes on to explain who to murder and exactly how. The bible says a lot of shit.

Deathmageddon:
If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations.

A matter of population though. Saying that 'the religious have built things' is meaningless because there were few other hands to do it.

If you're 60-80% of the population it's gonna be expected that, if all things are fairly considered, you'd be 60-80% responsible for construction of works too.

Deathmageddon:
3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

Then fucking quit letting Leviticus dictate your voting habits. Argh, you know what's frustrating, with American Christians, honestly?

It's this idea that any part of the bible I don't like don't really count, until I like it.

Leviticus is in this quantum state of 'doesn't count' when it comes to you guys eating crab meat (so, totally stop bitching about it already, atheists!), but also in a state of 'totally does count' when it comes to dealing with homosexuals or whatever.

If you don't want us to pay attention to the bible, stop paying attention to it first.

Deathmageddon:
4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code,

So does Satanism, Wicca, and about a thousand other religions you won't tolerate. And so does about a thousand other secular schools of thought.

Funny that, almost like an ethical code is some sort of human construct and not unique to any one specific religion.

But no, lol, apparently we need Christianity in specific because nobody else has ever made up laws before Christianity (not like the Jews existed?), or after.

Deathmageddon:
a timeless message of love, hope for the future,

As does Twilight, if you're a fan of it.

Deathmageddon:
and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones.

Yeah, so does every other philosophy and mindset in existence, religious or not.

Deathmageddon:
Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

More happy than their 'miserable living conditions would suggest' has jack all to do with religion. People are strong and can find comfort with or without one specific religion, and always have. That's how people cope with life period, and it's not unique to you.

It's actually kind of insulting, not just because that you're trying to claim that Christianity is the only religion or philosophy that can create happiness, but because you're insisting that people perfectly happy without it 'can't' be.

Why would I want to take that away from them? Because maybe instead of finding a way to cope with shitty living conditions brought on them by other humans who are telling them that it's ok because it's God's plan, we or they could make their living conditions better and not assume that it's OK.

Maybe they wouldn't have to 'deal' with miserable living conditions, conditions that western powers mostly inflicted on them in the first place.

Deathmageddon:
5. Despite being one of the least important points on this list, it seems to be the most objectionable, and has been removed. Thanks for all the comments so far, keep it up!

Despite this being gone, I'm gonna comment on it anyways, because it's insulting. It's not enough that you claim your plagiarist religion is 'unique' and above other religions in some half-assed horseshit attempt at bridging gaps (which frankly does the opposite), it's more so insulting the idea that the other 6 billion people on Earth finding ways to be happy or cope with their problems 'don't count' because they didn't do it through you.

It's insulting because not because you're saying "This is the only way to deal with normal human issues", but that you're insisting that other people aren't even human enough to deal with their own condition without you coming down and 'solving' shit for them, and further insulting when your 'solution' is often 'take a shit on the problem and call it solved!' just like your example with the missionaries above, who are helping ensure that there's at least another few generations of misery in Africa, all in the name of 'solving' the problems there.

Deathmageddon:
6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

Maybe not incapable of independent thought, no, but in many cases much less likely to exercise that power.

Deathmageddon:
CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

I already addressed this before, but it's still insulting and comical that you think that we're so 'advanced' now in some magical unexplained way than people from 'back then' who were apparently too retarded to figure out things as grown adults that we can figure out as school children.

But it also speaks very little to the foresight of a supposedly omniscient being that he couldn't write it down in a book and be like "Ok, well, your kids will figure this shit out, see you later", and speaks little of his omnipotence that he couldn't just magic up an education for Moses.

If he wrote the book out to a Steven Hawking and it was perfectly accurate even 10,000 years ago, I'd be very much inclined to believe it as prophetic.

Instead it's about as prophetic as the shitty vector maps in Star Trek depicting the technology of 300 years from now.

Deathmageddon:
2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

Good because it's not our job to 'disprove' anything. And the fact you put this here reinforces you don't understand why not. Google up Onus of Proof because I'm too tired to explain THIS kettle of fish again.

Deathmageddon:
4. God does not hate gays, atheists, satanists, nazis, abortionists, crab people, or anyone else. Recall John 3:16. Nazis are still evil and I firmly believe that abortion is murder, (don't even get me started on crab people- ugh!) but God loves everyone. Even if you don't.

Except people that don't believe in him which go to hell.

See, that's another thing, I have issue with. Unconditional love means you love somebody and don't hurt them even if they disagree with you and run their mouth against you. Not set them on fire.

Setting somebody on fire because they don't love you back doesn't sound like a healthy thing, now does it? It sounds like something an emotionally needy mentally disturbed person would do.

Imagine if it was some guy that professed his love to some woman or man or whatever, then got rejected and set them on fire. For eternity. Or hell, even if just 'for a while'.

How would that court case go? Which scenario sounds more reasonable:

"Well, she deserved what she got because clearly she should had put out because that guy wanted it a lot"

vs.

"That guy's crazy and needs to understand and cope with rejection"

Does it suddenly 'matter' if that guy gave her, without her permission or asking, a crap load of money? Is there some amount of unrequested resource assistance that man could provide where we should be like "Yeah, she should had just fucked him and get it over with, he's totally in the right to set her on fire"?

Deathmageddon:
5. Someone made a good point here- if it comes down to loving God or loving your neighbor, you don't have to choose- just do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. Like a boss.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

If I said "Thou shall not eat cyanide because it'll kill you, also the Cthulhu is real, and you owe me 50 bucks", yeah, not eating cyanide is good advice, but it doesn't suddenly mean you owe me 50 bucks.

And yet that seems to be enough for many people to pat themselves on the back.

"I am occasionally not terrible." doesn't mean "I'm right about everything".

[1] Which is total bullshit because Man of 6,000BCE and Man of 2,000CE aren't any 'more' or 'less' smart than each other. They just have different backgrounds in education. If I can figure out Germ theory, Moses motherfucking can too.

Seems like atheists have a lot more to do than Christians. I'd disagree with (3) and (5), which I think you've retracted, just because if I don't like a religion, then I'm not going to extensively study it just so I can create good counter-arguments to members of it.

It looks as if it's time for the almost weekly 'omg, teh atheists are so evil and annoying' hit&run topic.

The OP for instance didn't even know many aspects of Christ are copied from other gods, yet he generalises that atheists would all know too little about what they are talking. Well, it seems pretty consistent I know more about both the bible and Christian history than most people who try to defend or be apologists for religions.

Best example of this was some guy claiming the trinity was unique and inherent to Christianity, while it was added centuries later, not all denominations accepted it (Arianism refused to rewrite their bibles and doctrines for instance) and there's plenty other gods out there that have multiple aspects. Hinduism for instance has the trimurti, the trinity of their main god consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Devo Maheshvara.

The reality is more like Christianity was stuck with contradictions after declaring Jesus more than a human, so they probably thought having a trinity like some others would make a nice explanation, and adopted it.

Not to mention the age-old excuse that wars would start anyway. Yes, perhaps, but fewer wars, and wars far less brutal. Religious wars consistently show more atrocities for their scale than other wars.

Blablahb:
It looks as if it's time for the almost weekly 'omg, teh atheists are so evil and annoying' hit&run topic.

Only to oppose the almost daily "omg religious people are so stupid and evil" topics ;-)

I think the only thing I can really add is something my mother said the other day.

The discussion went like this.

Me: "I don't know about some christians, can you believe that some people still think God created the earth in 6 days 6000 years ago."

Mum: "Well <name omitted>, remember that there are some good things in there, and most of it is metaphor anyway, especially Genesis."

Me: "That is exactly my point, I wish they would see it that way."

And in fact even some super hard core evangelicals will admit that the bible should be taken as a basic guide rather than fully literally (such as Ray Comfort, who, while being quite silly is actually quite nice, and will let you have a say. I've seen a live debate with him at my University, and while he was very wrong he isn't so much fire and brimstone as much as he is god loves everyone, which I like.)

i only have a problem with the image you posted which is ripped from the erroneus zeitgeist movie. none of those gods were born on dec 25th not even jesus. the only reason its said so now is that around 300AD the romans changed the holiday to the 25th to convert pagans more easily. so is it the only true religion? no probably not, is it unique? maybe there are tons of religions in the world.

But the point is, is that they were celebrated on the 25th, also isn't it funny that God in the Sistine Chapel looks exactly like Zeus?

Deathmageddon:
Yes, this is long as hell, but I put a lot of thought into it. Before you say TL;DR, close the page, go outside, and go to a library. Reading is awesome.
If you're thinking I'm biased, don't worry, I have some things to say about some Christians, too. Relax.
I don't care what you believe. I really don't. I'm not here to convert anyone, and I can tell you right now you won't change my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus gave everyone a free pass, and if you don't want to accept it, that's your choice. I just want you to respect my side a little. Here's how you can start:

THESE WILL NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE, BUT THEY ARE GOOD TO THINK ABOUT, AND ABOVE ALL, BE NICE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS.

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

5. Despite being one of the least important points on this list, it seems to be the most objectionable, and has been removed. Thanks for all the comments so far, keep it up!

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

3. Don't automatically damn nonbelievers to Hell. Damnation isn't eternal- read Revelations. Besides, that's for God and God alone to judge.

4. God does not hate gays, atheists, satanists, nazis, abortionists, crab people, or anyone else. Recall John 3:16. Nazis are still evil and I firmly believe that abortion is murder, (don't even get me started on crab people- ugh!) but God loves everyone. Even if you don't.

5. Someone made a good point here- if it comes down to loving God or loving your neighbor, you don't have to choose- just do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. Like a boss.

Above all, be nice. Jesus said: "love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 27:39. Whether or not you believe in Christ's divinity, it's good advice. If you read this whole thing, you're awesome. Go give yourself a pat on the back and a bag of gummy bears or something. God bless and keep you all.

Here here, only a few comments or corrections on the Christian side, Ill leave atheists to correct any mistakes you may have made on their side.

1. Genesis is traditionally held to be written by Moses but almost certainly was not. Also yes I think most of it was never meant to be historical though the stories of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were likely at least based on historical figures. Thats more for the Jews to defend though.

2. Yes Science and Religion should not be at odds with each other anymore than say literature and math should.

3. Amen, its a waste of time to decide if other people are going to hell or not. Share the word of God with those who will hear it but salvation is between God and an individual.

4. I do not believe God hates anyone, He hates what people do but the Bible makes it clear that even if you stop loving God He will never stop loving you. God's love is unconditional.

5. If you love God you will also love your neighbor because that is what God has said is good.

A very very good list, well done.

Atheists: stop shoving your beliefs down other peoples throats.

Christians: see above.

Muslims: see above.

Buddhists: see above.

Every other religion or non religion: see above.

Deathmageddon:

ATHEISTS:

1. Stop grouping perfectly rational Christians/Jews/Muslims, etc. with terrorists, extremists, and God forbid, Westboro Baptist Church. These people are extremists and heretics, and their beliefs are not commonly held. It's like saying that every person of African descent will rob a convenience store at some point. It's ignorant and simply not true.

Why should I? They adhere to the same book, but interpret it differently. I'll use it to make the point that a religious text is not that inherently reliable if it produces such vastly differing points of view, or if I want to point out that not everything about religion is good if an adherent is only promoting the good things its religion has done. I know they're extremists, that doesn't mean the moderates are the same, but there's a commonality there that can't be just blithely dismissed.

2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion. War has always existed and will always exist. For the irrational people who desire war, religion is just as good as an excuse as any. The Bible, however, does say: "You will not murder." Exodus 20:6. If you actually do some research, you will find that Christian churches are some of the biggest patrons of charitable organizations. In fact, after hurricane Katrina, Christian churches sent relief to New Orleans before the Louisiana State Government did.

That's exactly the point - irrational people need an IRRATIONAL basis to go to war, which is why religion is much easier to manipulate into support of a position, it frequently isn't rational. No, I agree it's not the only cause, but it sure does help grease the wheels - removing any and all irrational causes of war can only be a good thing - that includes things like jingoism as well as religion.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it. You have more misconceptions about Christian beliefs than you can imagine, even if you were raised Christian. Even I did. Also keep in mind that the New Testament (especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) takes priority over the Old Testament. We also don't pay nearly as much attention to Leviticus as you invariably will.

That's part of the problem - you're only focusing on the bits that you want to focus on. Taking the Bible as a whole, while trying to reconcile the claims and accounts it makes with an allegedly loving god - that's what doesn't work for us. You can't say "well, it takes priority" when it's the same god (which the Bible repeatedly states is unchanging) the whole way through.

And no, I reject the notion that we somehow have more misconceptions about the Bible - half the time Christians aren't even aware of the existence of the Bible passages we object to, and have to have them pointed out!

4. Stop calling the practice of religion "medieval," etc. Aside from the whole salvation thing, Christianity offers a formidable ethical code, a timeless message of love, hope for the future, and a way to cope with the loss of your loved ones. Missionaries to Africa frequently find that the people there are happier than their miserable living conditions would suggest, because they find comfort knowing that God loves them. Why would you want to take that from the world?

Because it's not true. I'd argue that for people in a jam, false hope is better than none, but then chances are I'd be yelled at for being paternalistic or some shit like that.

6. NEVER EVER EVER accuse someone of being incapable of independent thought because they disagree with you. EVER. I would rather take a knife to the chest than hear those words come out of your mouth.

I rarely do. It all hinges on HOW they come about to their conclusions, religious or not.

7. If you're going to get all hot and bothered over the word "reason," use it. Like I'm doing now.

We frequently do. Might want to tack this onto the other side's points.

CHRISTIANS:

1. Most of Genesis is probably myth. It was written by Moses, and even if God told him exactly what to write, I doubt it would have been a good idea to try and explain particle physics and evolution to a bunch of Jews who started worshiping a golden lamb when they started to get hungry.

2. Science isn't evil, and does not contradict Christian beliefs. It's how we can understand how God works. Don't worry, no matter how hard they try, they can never disprove God's existence.

Well, that depends on whether or not your beliefs make claims that have an empirical effect. Do that, and - yes, actually, we can disprove those claims if the evidence is against them. Of course, if you're not going to claim that God has an empirical basis, then he can't really be said to interact with us in any real, physical sense at least.

Incidentally, what makes your interpretation of the Bible correct, and those who disagree with yours incorrect? Seems to me like you're doing the exact same thing you're objecting to here.

Captcha: ofthJan Levitical

So tl;dr version: Regardless of if you are Christian or an atheist, kindly don't be a dick?

I can get behind that.

Deathmageddon:
2. Stop saying that war is the only result of religion.

To be fair, this isn't really something that can be said to be true of atheists in general. Only a tiny minority of grossly naive, militantly anti-theistic chest-thumpers actually think this.

3. Actually read the Bible before you criticize it.

This is a good start, especially given the position of ignorance many atheists (especially here) criticize religious books from (not just the Bible). But that said, it's not enough to just read holy books, and that goes for believers and non-believers alike.

With the exception of a few modern religions, most religious books were not originally written in English. They were written in languages or modes of languages that are dead, or at the very least obscure. They were written in times that were radically different from our own. If you just read a translation of a holy book in the way you might read a novel at the beach, all you'll end up doing is coming away with a false impression of what is actually being said, very likely filling in the gaps of your understanding with what you want to be true, rather than what is actually written. Christians have been doing this for centuries, like when the early church just decided Sodom was destroyed because it was full of gay people.

Basically, if you aren't a historical expert able to read a holy book in it's native language and understand it in the historical context it comes from, then you need supplement your reading with commentaries written by people who can. And while most good commentaries are written academically, there is always potential for bias of interpretation based on the beliefs of the writer. So you really need to read several. Why should understanding a holy book that might be 1000s of years old require no research?

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