Famous atheists

See also: Famous Atheists by Age | Dead Atheists Society

Please let me know if there is somebody you would like to see added to this list.

A

Douglas Adams (1954-2001)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Douglas Adams was an atheist British writer who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and several episodes of Doctor Who. He described himself as a ‘radical atheist’ in order to distinguish himself from agnostics. In 1999, Adams explained that:

‘I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously.’

In his final book, The Salmon of Doubt, published in 2002, Adams addresses people who believe that God must exist because the world so fits our needs. He compares them to an intelligent puddle of water that fills a hole in the ground. The puddle is certain that the hole must have been designed specifically for it because it fits so well. The puddle exists under the sun until it has entirely evaporated.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (born 1969)
AHA Foundation | Wikipedia Entry

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an atheist Somali-Dutch feminist, writer and politician. A prominent critic of Islam, she wrote the screenplay for Theo Van Gogh’s movie Submission, which led to Van Gogh being murdered and death threats against Ali. She has written The Son factory, The Caged Virgin and Infidel. In The Caged Virgin, she wrote of her atheism:

‘ September 11 was a turning point, but it was not until six months later, After I had read The Atheist Manifesto by Hermann Philipse, that I dared to admit to others that I no longer believed. I had been given book in 1998 by my boyfriend Michael but didn’t want to read it at the time. I thought: an atheist manifesto is a declaration of the devil. I could feel any resistance. But recently I felt ready. The time had come. I saw that God was an invention and that subjection to His will meant nothing more than subjecting yourself to the willpower of the strongest.’

Natalie Angier (born 1958)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Natalie Angier is an atheist American Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer with the New York Times, who has written four books including The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science. In 2001, Angier wrote:

‘So, I’ll out myself. I’m an Atheist. I don’t believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself, which seems quite high and powerful enough to me. I don’t believe in life after death, channeled chat rooms with the dead, reincarnation, telekinesis or any miracles but the miracle of life and consciousness, which again strike me as miracles in nearly obscene abundance. I believe that the universe abides by the laws of physics, some of which are known, others of which will surely be discovered, but even if they aren’t, that will simply be a result, as my colleague George Johnson put it, of our brains having evolved for life on this one little planet and thus being inevitably limited. I’m convinced that the world as we see it was shaped by the again genuinely miraculous, let’s even say transcendent, hand of evolution through natural selection.’

Carmen Argibay (born 1939)
Wikipedia Entry

Carmen Argibay is an atheist member of the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice. She was awarded the 2007 Gruber International Justice Prize for promoting gender equality and eliminating corruption. When Catholic activists opposed her nomination to the Supreme Court, Argibay responded:

‘I believe that saying up front who one is or what one thinks is an indication of honesty, which is the first step towards impartiality. My beliefs, or lack thereof, should not interfere in the judicial decisions I take.’

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
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Isaac Asimov was an atheist Russian-born American writer and professor of biochemistry, whose prolific output of over 130 books covered science fiction, mysteries, popular science, history and memoirs. In 1982, Asimov said:

‘I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.’

In 1994, Asimov speculated that:

‘If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.’

B

Bjork (born 1965)
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Bjork is an atheist Icelandic singer and actress whose first solo album, Debut, was named Album of the Year by NME. In 1994, she said:

‘I’ve got my own religion. Iceland sets a world-record. The UN asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves.’ I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.’

In 1995, Bjork said:

‘I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.’

Dave Barry (born 1947)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Dave Barry is an atheist American humorist who has written almost forty books and two films. He is also an internationally syndicated columnist. In 2001 he said:

‘I decided I was an atheist early on. My Dad was all right with that. We argued about it all the time, but it was good-natured. He was the most open-minded human being I’ve ever known.’

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
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Simone de Beauvoir was an atheist French existentialist philosopher and author of more than twenty books, including the major feminist work The Second Sex. In 1958, describing how she became an atheist while reading Balzac when aged fourteen, she wrote:

‘I no longer believe in God, I told myself, with no great surprise… That was proof: if I had believed in Him, I should not have allowed myself to offend Him so light-heartedly. I had always thought that the world was a small price to pay for eternity; but it was worth more than that, because I loved the world, and it was suddenly God whose price was small: from now on His name would have to be a cover for nothing more than a mirage… I was not denying Him in order to rid myself of a troublesome person: on the contrary, I realized that He was playing no further part in my life and so I concluded that he had ceased to exist for me.’

Richard Branson (born 1950)
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Richard Branson is an atheist British entrepreneur whose Virgin group includes more than 350 companies. He is also involved in humanitarian projects and holds world records in long-distance ballooning. Writing in his autobiography about one of these balloon trips, he said:

‘I do not believe in God, but as I sat there in the damaged capsule, hopelessly vulnerable to the slightest shift in weather or mechanical fault, I could not believe my eyes.’

Bill Bryson (born 1951)
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Bill Bryson is an atheist American writer of travel, language and science books, including Notes from a Small Island, The Mother Tongue and A Short History of Nearly Everything. In 2005, he said:

‘I’m not a spiritual person, and the things I’ve done haven’t made me one, but the one thing I did appreciate when I was writing A Short History was that conventional science and a belief in god are absolutely not incompatible. You can be a scientist and believe in god: the two can go hand in hand. What certainly struck me during my research was that the very fundamental creationist views – the literal biblical interpretation of how the world was created – is much, much less exciting than real science. If you believe in god, it’s much more fantastic to believe that he created this universe billions of years ago and set in motion this long train of activities that eventually resulted in us. I think that’s so much more satisfying, more thrilling, than the idea that it was all done in seven days.’

Gabriel Byrne (born in 1950)
Wikipedia Entry

Gabriel Byrne is an atheist Irish actor who has starred in almost forty films, including The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing, Stigmata and Into the West. In 2007, he said:

‘I spent five years in a seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation. I have realised subsequently that I didn’t have one at all. I don’t believe in God. But I did believe at the time in this notion that you were being called.’

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George Carlin (1937-2008)
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George Carlin was an atheist American comedian, actor and writer. In a 1997 routine, he said:

‘Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man – living in the sky – who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time! [Pause] But He loves you.’

Carlin said that he worships the sun, because he can see it, and now prays to Joe Pesci, because he seems like someone who can get things done, adding:

‘I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want. Half the time I don’t. Same as God: fifty-fifty.’

D

Richard Dawkins (born 1941)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Richard Dawkins is an atheist British evolutionary biologist and writer who holds the Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He has written nine books about evolution and atheism, including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow and The God Delusion. In 1986, he wrote:

‘An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: ‘I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.’ I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.’

In 1996, Dawkins said of belief in God: ‘By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.’ In 1999, he said: ‘I don’t think God is an explanation at all. It’s simply re-describing the problem.’

Daniel Dennett (born 1942)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Daniel Dennett is an atheist American philosopher who is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University in Boston. He has written fifteen books, including Consciousness Explained, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. In 1995, he wrote:

‘The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight – that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything [that] a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether.’

And Dennett wrote about faith:

‘I certainly grant the existence of the phenomenom of faith; what I want to see is a reasoned ground for taking faith as a way of getting to the truth, and not, say, just as a way people comfort themselves and each other (a worthy function that I do take seriously).’

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
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Marlene Dietrich was an atheist German-born American actress, singer and entertainer who starred in nearly sixty films. In her autobiography, she wrote of her tours to battlefronts as an entertainer for American troops:

‘Back in my early childhood I learnt that God doesn’t fight on any army’s side. So there was little point in praying. Nonetheless, before every battle, prayers were read, all kinds of incantations were incited, staged by all sorts of preachers. We attended these ceremonies and I saw how all the soldiers stood in place, as though they couldn’t believe their ears. I couldn’t believe it either, but I counted for nothing… Since then, I have given up belief in God, in a ‘light’ that leads us, or anything of that sort. Goethe said, if God created this world, he should review his plan.’

Amanda Donohoe (born 1962)
Wikipedia Entry

Amanda Donohue is an atheist American actress best known for playing CJ Lamb in the TV show LA Law. Her film roles include Ken Russel’s Lair of the White Worm, in which she played a pagan priestess who had to spit at a crucifix. In 199, she said of that scene:

‘I’m an atheist, so it was actually a joy. Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.’

Roddy Doyle (born 1958)
Wikipedia Entry

Roddy Doyle is an atheist Irish writer whose novels include A Star Called Henry, The Woman Who Walked into Doors and the Booker Prize-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His Barrytown Trilogy of novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, have been made into films. In a review of Ireland’s 1990 World Cup performance, he wrote:

‘Italy next, the quarter-final in Rome. The Republic squad met the Pope. I am an atheist and I think that the current pope is a bit of a bollix – I don’t like the man at all – but I couldn’t fight down the lump in my throat as the lads in their tracksuits lined up to meet him.’

In 2002, he said: ‘I feel very comfortable being an atheist. It used to be a problem. You had to justify yourself. It’s a long time since it felt abnormal not to be Catholic.’ In 2004, he welcomed the widening ‘rift between Church and state’ in Ireland, saying: ‘It has happened, it is happening, and for me that’s a great thing. As an atheist, I feel very comfortable in Ireland now.’

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Jodie Foster (born 1962)
Wikipedia Entry

Jodie Foster is an atheist American actress, director and producer who won Oscars for her roles in The Accused and Silence of the Lambs. In 1997, when she played radio astronomer Eleanor Arroway in the film Contact, Foster said:

‘I absolutely believe what Ellie believes; that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there’s absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that’s out there that we haven’t discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don’t know any better.’

In 2007, when asked if she was religious, Foster answered:

‘No, I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals, even though I don’t believe in God. We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, ‘Are we Jewish?’ or ‘Are we Catholic?’ I say, ‘Well, I’m not, but you can choose when you’re 18. But isn’t this fun that we do Seders and the Advent calendar?’

G

Bob Geldof (born 1951)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Bob Geldof is an atheist Irish singer, songwriter, actor, entrepreneur and activist. He founded the Boomtown Rats, starred in the Pink Floyd film The Wall, founded a television broadcasting company that made him a multimillionaire, and has raised money, consciousness and political action for humanitarian work in Africa through Band Aid, Live Aid and associated projects.

In 2006, when asked if he was a saint or a sinner, Geldof replied:

‘Being an atheist, I can’t be either.’

Ricky Gervais (born 1961)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Ricky Gervais is an atheist British comedy writer, director and actor. He played all of these three roles in the award-winning TV shows The Office and Extras. In 2005, he said:

‘Being an atheist makes someone a clearer-thinking, fairer person… Atheists are not doing things to be rewarded in heaven; they’re doing things because they’re right, because they live by a moral code.’

He added that, although he doesn’t believe in God, he thinks that God would like him.

Rachel Griffiths (born 1968)
Wikipedia Entry

Rachel Griffiths is an atheist Australian actress who starred in the films Muriel’s Wedding and the American TV shows Six Feet Under and Brothers and Sisters. In 2000, when asked about her religion, she said:

‘I was raised Christian. I’m an atheist, with a slight Buddhist leaning. I’ve got a very strong sense of morality. It’s just a different morality than the loud voices of the Christian morality…I can’t tell you how many films I’ve turned down because there was an absence of morality. And I don’t mean that from any sort of Judeo-Christian-Muslim point of view. I’m not saying they’re wrong and can’t be made. But, fundamentally, I’m such a humanist that I can’t bear to make films that make us feel humanity is more dark than it is light.’

H

Sam Harris (born 1967)
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Sam Harris is an atheist American writer who has written The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation. In 2005, he wrote:

‘Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious… It is worth noting that no one ever needs to identify himself as a non-astrologer or a non-alchemist. Consequently, we do not have words for people who deny the validity of these pseudo-disciplines. Likewise, atheism is a term that should not even exist. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.’

In 2006, Harris wrote:

‘The President of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.’

Nina Hartley (born 1959)
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Nina Hartley is an atheist American porn actress and director, who has also appeared in the Hollywood film Boogie Nights and defended the porn industry on the Oprah Winfrey show. When asked on her website if she believed in God, Hartley said:

‘No, I don’t believe in God. I was raised with no religion, but a lot of morals. I definitely think that sex is natural and healthy, and that people have the absolute right to pursue their sexual preferences with other consenting adults without government or church intervention. I can do what I do to share my enjoyment of sex with all my viewers out there. If I can help any person or persons have a great sex session, then I’ve done a good job! I believe that society changes and that we can take what is good from the world’s religions and leave behind what isn’t so good, and forge a new say. I’m one of the forgers, I like to think!’

Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
Wikipedia Entry

Katharine Hepburn was an atheist American actress who won Oscars for her roles in Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond. In 1985, Anne Edwards, in her biography of Hepburn, wrote: ‘God was a concept too vast for her mind to consider, but she believed in the lessons of Jesus Christ despite her feeling, shared with Marx, that religion was a sop for the masses’. However in 1991, Hepburn herself said:

‘I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.’

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
Website |
Wikipedia Entry

Christopher Hitchens is an atheist British American writer and public speaker. He is a columnist at Vanity Fair and has written or co-written over twenty books including God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In The Portable Atheist, he wrote that:

‘The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.’

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Neil Jordan (born 1950)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Neil Jordan is an atheist Irish filmmaker and novelist, who won an Oscar for The Crying Game and whose other films include The Company of Wolves, Michael Collins and Breakfast on Pluto. In 1999, talking about people who linked his work to Catholicism, Jordan said:

‘It’s not anything about Catholicism. I was brought up a Catholic and was quite religious at one stage in my life, when I was young. But it left me with no scars whatever; it just sort of vanished… We do have this need for mysticism. That is in my movies. And I always like to do stories about gods and monsters and imaginary beings of all kinds, because God is the greatest imaginary being of all time. Along with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, the invention of God is probably the greatest creation of human thought.’

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Wendy Kaminer (born 1950)
Wikipedia Entry

Wendy Kaminer is an atheist American lawyer and feminist writer whose books include A Fearful Freedom: Women’s Flight from Equality and Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today. In 1996 she wrote:

‘Like heterosexuality, faith in immaterial realities is popularly considered essential to individual morality,’ and: ‘When the inner child finds a guardian angel, publishers are in heaven.’

Kaminer has also said about her atheism:

‘I don’t spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don’t consider that a relevant question. It’s unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can’t worry about.’

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Tom Lehrer (born 1928)
Wikipedia Entry

Tom Lehrer is an atheist American mathematician and musical satirist, who wrote and performed in the 1950s and 1960s. His songs include the Elements song, the Vatican Rag, National Brotherhood Week, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park and We Will All Go Together When We Go. In 1996, when asked if he was a fan of organized religion or a spiritual person, Lehrer replied:

To say that I am not a fan of organized religion is putting it mildly. My feeling about even disorganized religion is summed up in James Taylor’s immortal line in “Sweet Baby James”: “Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep.” I have no desire to promote secular insomnia. As for being spiritual, not in the New Age sense, certainly. I find enough mystery in mathematics to satisfy my spiritual needs. I think, for example, that pi is mysterious enough (don’t get me started!) without having to worry about God. Or if pi isn’t enough, how about fractals? or quantum mechanics?…

In the same interview, when asked if he was an atheist, he said:

No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant.

However, by 2000, he had told Cosmik Debris magazine:

I used to think atheists were arrogant, but now I am one and I like it.

M

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Alexander McQueen was an atheist British fashion designer who had boutiques in London, Paris, New York, Milan, Tokyo, Beijing and fifteen other cities. In 1996, he was asked who he would like to dress more than anyone else in the world, and he answered:

‘Oh my God no, because I’m an atheist and an anti-royalist, so why would I put anyone on a pedestal?’

Butterfly McQueen (1911-1985)
Wikipedia Entry

Butterfly McQueen was an atheist American actress and dancer whose roles in a dozen films ranged from maid Prissy in Gone With The Wind to Ma Pennywick in The Mosquito Coast. In 1989, McQueen said of her atheism:

‘As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion… They say the streets are beautiful in Heaven. Well, I’m trying to make the streets beautiful here… When it’s clean and beautiful, I believe America is heaven. And some people are hell.’

John Malkovich (born 1953)
Wikipedia Entry

John Malkovich is an atheist American actor, producer and director whose films include Places in the Heart, Dangerous Liaisons and In the Line of Fire. In 2000, when directing a play about Sigmund Freud, Malkovich said of Freud that:

‘I also particularly like him because he was an atheist, and I grew tired of religion some time not long after birth. I believe in people, I believe in humans, I believe in a car, but I don’t believe something I can’t have absolutely no evidence of for millenniums. And it’s funny – people think analysis or psychiatry is mad, and they go to church.’

Tim Minchin (born 1975)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Tim Minchin is an atheist Australian comedian, actor, composer, songwriter and pianist whose songs include the politically incisive Peace Anthem for Palestine, the inanimate love song Inflatable You, the environmental mega-anthem Take Your Canvas Bags and the self-deprecatory career-crisis confession that is Rock N Roll Nerd.

Minchin is also responsible for probably the most comprehensive atheist-related song lyric in the history of song lyrics:

‘And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single spiritual person who has been able to show either empirically or logically the existence of a higher power with any consciousness or interest in the human race or ability to punish or reward humans for their moral choices or that there is any reason other than fear to believe in any version of an afterlife, I will give you my piano, one of my legs and my wife.’

Cillian Murphy (born 1976)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Cillian Murphy is an atheist Irish film and stage actor who won an IFTA best actor award for his role in the Neil Jordan film Breakfast on Pluto. In 2007, when playing a scientist in the film Sunshine, Murphy was advised by the film’s scientific consultant, Dr Brian Cox, a professor of physics who worked at CERN (the Centre for European Nuclear Research) in Geneva. Afterwards Murphy said:

‘Sunshine is a film that highlights the fragility of the planet and how briefly we are on it, but how much we contribute to its future. It got me thinking about life and religion, science versus religion, and all that. I was verging on being an agnostic and this film confirmed any of the atheistic beliefs I had.’

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Taslima Nasrin (born 1962)
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Taslima Nasrin is an atheist Bengali-Bangladeshi doctor, poet, writer and feminist who lives in exile in India after death threats by Islamic fundamentalists. She has written almost thirty books in various genres, and her work highlights the treatment of women in Islamic countries. In 1998, she said:

‘I don’t agree with those who think that the conflict is simply between two religions, namely Christianity and Islam…. To me, the key conflict is between irrational blind faith and rational, logical minds.’

Nasrin has also said about religion:

‘I believe that if the silent majority were to protest against those who believe in irrational blind faith – who want to go backwards instead of forward, who are for tradition not innovation, who oppose individualism and plurality of thought – then the world would become a truly civilized world in which to live.’

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)
Wikipedia Entry

Jawaharlal Nehru was an atheist politician who served as the first Prime Minister of Independent India from 1947 to 1964. In his autobiography, which he wrote while in prison in 1936, Nehru said that he did not believe in a god of any kind. He said of religion:

‘The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organized religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled us with horror, and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it.’

Nehru also said that:

‘I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth, and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, master of his fate and captain of his soul. To attain this I would put priests to work, also, and turn the temples into schools.’

Randy Newman (born 1943)
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Randy Newman is an atheist American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer best known for satirical pop songs such as Short people and Political Science, and film scores such as Toy Story, Parenthood and Pleasantville. His 1972 hit God’s Song includes the lyrics:

‘And the Lord said: I burn down your cities – how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind… You really need me… That’s why I love mankind.’

When Newman was a child, a local parent uninvited him from a dance, explaining: ‘I’m sorry, Randy, my daughter had no right to invite you because no Jews are allowed.’ Newman had to ask his dad what a Jew was. He then studied comparative religion and became a devout atheist ‘except when I’m sick’.

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Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1923-1995)
Wikipedia Entry

Madalyn Murray O’Hair was an atheist American activist who won a case in the US Supreme Court challenging the practice of prayers being said in schools. She went on to found American Atheists. In 1989, she was asked whether she supported religious freedom, and she answered:

‘Oh, absolutely! I feel that everyone has a right to be insane. And that they can do this any place at all. If they want religious schools, build them! My only problem with that is, do not ask for the land to be tax-free. Do not ask for a government grant to build them. Do not ask for money for teacher’s salaries, or more books, or anything else. Just go ahead and do your thing, and do it yourself. Just exactly the same as if you were a nudist. Somebody doesn’t get a tax break for being a Mason, or whatever they’re interested in.’

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Penn and Teller (born 1955 and 1948)
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Penn and Teller are atheist American entertainers who use comedy and illusion to debunk magic, pseudoscience and superstition. Their most recent such television series is Penn & Teller: Bullshit! In 2005, Penn said:

‘I believe that there is no God. Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I’m not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more… Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around… Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.’

Penn added, about the challenge of proving there is no God, that:

‘You can’t prove that there isn’t an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word ‘elephant’ includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?’

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James Randi (born 1928)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

James Randi is an atheist Canadian-American stage magician and writer, and debunker of pseudoscience and paranormal claims. He has written twelve books, and his James Randi Educational Foundation offers $1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties. In 2005, he said:

‘There are two sorts of atheists. One sort claims that there is no deity, the other claims that there is no evidence that proves the existence of a deity; I belong to the latter group, because if I were to claim that no god exists, I would have to produce evidence to establish that claim, and I cannot. Religious persons have by far the easier position; they say they believe in a deity because that’s their preference, and they’ve read it in a book. That’s their right.’

Salman Rushdie (born 1947)
Wikipedia Entry

Salman Rushdie is an atheist Indian-British novelist whose fifteen books include Midnight’s Children, which won the Booker Prize, and The Satanic Verses, which resulted in the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini called for Rushdie to be killed for blasphemy against Islam. In 1985, Rushdie wrote:

‘God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith… afterwards, to prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down… From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person.’

In 1990, Rushdie said: ‘The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – uncertainty, progress, change – into crimes.’ In 1996, he said: ‘If I were asked for a one-sentence sound-bite on religion, I would say I was against it.’

S

Captain Sensible (born 1954)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Captain Sensible is an atheist singer and musician with The Damned and Dead Men Walking, who also had a hit with Happy Talk. He has said of religion:

‘How many times have religions of the world been damaged by some discovery or other only to move the goalposts and carry on as before as though nothing had happened? They gave Gallileo a hard time for saying the world was round… somehow God seems to have forgotten to tell his ‘flock’ about our planet revolving round the sun and all that. Then there was the theory of evolution – the teaching about which in schools was fought against in a courtroom in the USA and is still disbelieved by a majority of Americans, incredibly. There’s also no mention of dinosaurs in the bible either. Perhaps it’s not inspired by an all-knowing being after all and is, after all, just a cracking good work of fiction? No – I’m afraid none of that faith thing holds any water for me.’

Julia Sweeney (born 1959)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Julia Sweeney is an atheist American comedian and actress who was a cast member of Saturday Night Live before creating three stage monologues, God Said Ha!, In the Family Way, and Letting Go of God. In 2005, she said of becoming an atheist:

‘It was a long process. I just became a stronger agnostic, and then I started to realize that everyone who was saying they were agnostic really hadn’t thought about it that much. Still, I went with agnosticism for a long, long time because I just hated to say I was an atheist – being an atheist seemed so rigid. But the more I became comfortable with the word, and the more I read, it started to stick.’

T

Linus Torvalds (born 1969)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Linus Torvalds is an atheist Finnish software engineer who developed the Linux operating system kernel. In 1999, when asked about his religion, he said:

‘I am an atheist. I find that people seem to think religion brings morals and appreciation of nature. I actually think it detracts from both. It gives people the excuse to say, ‘Oh, nature was just created’, and so the act of creation is seen to be something miraculous. I appreciate the fact that, ‘Wow, it’s incredible that something like this could have happened in the first place.’ I think we can have morals without getting religion into it, and a lot of bad things have come from organized religion in particular. I actually fear organized religion because it usually leads to misuses of power.’

Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Mark Twain was an atheist American writer whose sixty books included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In his last book, Letters from the Earth, Twain wrote:

‘You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year… One of his principle religions is called the Christian. A sketch of it will interest you. It sets forth in detail in a book containing two million words, called the Old and New Testaments. Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.’

Z

Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Frank Zappa was an atheist American musician who self-produced almost sixty albums with The Mothers of Invention or as a solo artist. In 1989, he said of religion:

‘If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.’

And in 1993 he said of Christianity:

‘The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, all the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.’

More…

Please let me know if there is somebody you would like to see added to this list.

See also: Famous Atheists by Age | Dead Atheists Society

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{ 479 comments… read them below or add one }

251 Christopher Lowe May 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Hello J9…. Interact long enough with Chris and I assure you we will become fast friends! I see your point. If you want to chart it , theism is a subset of deism,and religion is absolutely subourned under the theist flag. No problem. Question: who then are other denizens of the theist nation? I see if I want to be the “A” in theism I better understand theism well. Know that I am a rank amateur and brand new to this forum. On any blog site. Anywhere. I popped my cherry on Wednesday. Being 57 yrs old the stew from which I dip my ladle has much in it and its presentation is very much disorganized. I do wish to mould my argument with intellectual integrity. I’m not there yet obviously. “I’ve barely got my trousers off”, as C. Hitchens used to say. My bumbling musings hopefully will gain sinew and definition as time goes by. Enough with the allegories. It seems to me your contribution to this conversation is one of arbiter or referee. you also seem to think you are eminently qualified to be one. I am certainly willing to take advice on structure, but not content. I do have things to say. You seem to like my style, but not my substance. I’m an oaf , but not a stupid one. Remember this is Michael Nugent’s site set up to celebrate atheism,skepticism, freethinking, and happiness. oh and maybe add another celebritiy’s name to the list of atheists. as I read the comments section I saw it rapidly got off topic.I also noticed the bar had not been set too high. I’m happily open about my atheism, and this often gets challenged by those opposed. To this I’ve gladly had good but often unresolved talks. Okay …always unresolved talks. Inevitably a list of atheists gets trotted out to somehow prove that not only is the atheist stance wrong, but evil. I don’t accept this infantile premise for a moment but it seems this mantra has to be repeated as the default AHA that nails it for the God guys. This line of logical thinking belongs in the kindergarden sandbox. Now I saw this same crap being spouted here on this site. This gets annoying after awhile so I had to get it off my chest. You read what I wrote. I was surprised anyone would notice or care enough to respond. One thing led to another and here I am 72 hours later. If people like you want me to up my game, I’ll try , this is me now warts and all

252 Christopher Lowe May 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

@J9 for crying out loud, I just spent over an hour writing a response to your last post. It seems to have disappeared. I’ll try again later when I have the time.

253 Christopher Lowe May 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm

@ J9…Never mind it appears we had just run out of room. Figured out I had to flip the page.

254 NM May 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm

@chris, please stop pretending that “[you] have never said anyone killed in the name of Atheism.”

You wrote in comment #186 that “Atheism has been responsible for far more deaths than religion.” Note your choice of word: *atheism*, not *atheists*. You spent numerous posts afterwards trying to argue that statement out of existence instead of giving sources to back it up. While you worked your way around to finally admitting that it wasn’t true, you made the other claim that you are now repeating, i.e. “more people have been killed by Atheists.” In weeks of posting you haven’t been able to support this alternative form of your claim, either.

Now we have your latest and most ridiculous attempt to rewrite not merely your own posting history here but human history as well: “Nor has anyone killed in the name of religion.” Puh-leez. Uncountable numbers of people have killed or been killed “in the name of religion”: the Romans’ persecution of Christians, Tamerlane’s slaughter of Hindus, Muslims’ many persecutions of other Muslims and of Baha’i, everyone’s persecution of Jews, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Bloody Mary, witch hunts, every instance of human sacrifice over tens of thousands of years … The way you’ve phrased it doesn’t even require that the killers (or victims) be true believers in anything. There’s no way you can make this one stick. Try thinking through what you’ve written before you click the Submit button.

255 chris May 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm

This is becoming a challenge of idiots. NM, we have beat this too death. Atheism nor religion kill, people kill. They kill for many reasons. No one kills in the “name of religion.” There are many reason’s people kill and religion is only a bi-product or a frame of mind. The same goes for Atheism. It is only a subset of reasons to kill.

Christopher, you seem fixated on murderous dictators. Yet, history is filled with mass murderers that do simple little things too wipe out millions of people. I have mentioned Rachel Carson several times. She made Hitler look like a boy scout. She got the ball rolling and a million useful idiots followed.

You have a bias because you want to believe that Atheism is a good thing. It is not. It is literally nothing, devoid of reason. Yet, Atheist like too say they are applying reason. Go figure.

256 Christopher Lowe May 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Hello NM…Thanks for mentioning the Bahai. Let’s not forget the Zoroastrians that the Persian Muslims find so intolerable. Well NM, I can’t seem to keep this guy on point as he seems singularly on a quest to paint atheists as the bad guys. He is just yanking our chains y’know. Stirring the pot. It is sport to him. He should maybe go to a Libertarian site, where he can sniff out the latest grand conspiracy and hurl his invective towards Obama he so despises.

257 NM May 18, 2013 at 3:23 am

One has only to read what you wrote yourself to see that you don’t believe what you just repeated about religion and atheism.

Yet again you implicate Rachel Carson as someone who deliberately and knowingly caused the deaths of millions, and yet again – like all your other assertions – you provide absolutely nothing to support your statements. Put up or shut up.

As for bias – you are a hypocrite of the first order.

258 J May 18, 2013 at 4:46 am

Shinola, Clowe!, I just bothered to give you one clear example of your faulty disinformation, upon which you had based a premise, then followed with the extrapolated assumptions and presumptions upon which you base, it seemed to me, your other false premises. I was trying to help. Allow you some foundational self-search. I thought I could move on. But yet you accuse me of finding fault with your structure, not your content–and worse, of “liking my style but not my substance.” I assure you that I don’t like your style. But don’t take it personally; style is a matter of taste. And I don’t have a taste for your “muscular” metaphors. (I suppose you preferred me to engage in the point-by-point stalemate prevalent to this blog.) But, if this was not re content, then you have none.

Now I can’t leave lie your comment on Deism v. Theism, because it is a wrong-headed one thrown around currently and popularized by one atheist notable and would-be notable after another, including Hitchens, to whom you refer, and about whom I’ve said before I like and enjoy– admire being too strong a word. I enjoy his wrong-headed rants, often merely clever and devoid of unperverted logic. As Dawkins is atheism’s small-minded attack dog, Hitchens was its expansive spitting-camel. I was careful to use the word Deist to refer to Paine, Jefferson and Franklin, because of this popular current distinction. But strictly speaking the terms are synonymous unless one wants to point out the difference in the cultural significance of religion between the Greeks and the Romans. Every competent Roman writer, adult or patrician child, would have translated the Greek term thusly. Theism is not, then, a subset of Deism.

You also appear to find fault with my attempt to, not mediate, but ‘referee’ as you call it, in a limited and delineated way, neglecting that I also tried to get the discussion on my end back on track to its original purpose of celebrating the quotes of the famous atheists mentioned and suggesting some others. What right-minded person would not, given the level of vitriol? The alternative is to ignore it as many commentors have done.

I’ve already begged the debate on belief-system roadkill competition at least twice now. However, I do more so have to agree with Chris in his/her estimation on two important points: that, despite their whining and mudslinging (respectively) to the contrary, atheists avoid reason and atheism is not a ‘good’ thing. If you do not want to admit that atheists, by and large, claim that atheism is a ‘good’ thing, ask yourself if you 1) believe that religion is a ‘bad’ thing (however you define it) and 2) believe in your heart of hearts that religion is atheism’s (or science’s if you prefer to argue that non sequitur) counter-corollary.
If you do not want to admit that atheism is at worst devoid of reason as Chris says, or at least avoids reason like a plague, and is therefore worthy of NM’s description, hypocrite, then play the tape backward and examine the mud you are slinging to see how it fits the hand that is slinging it.

@NihilMontage
all the world’s a hypocrite…but it is not the first order, far from it.

“Good night, Wesley, sleep well; the universe will most likely kill you on the morrow.”

259 Christopher Lowe May 18, 2013 at 7:43 am

Greetings from the great white north J9….I once read or heard from somewhere that atheism is a word that need not even exist. Why should it? Not believing in a proposition does not require a label or even an explanation. It certainly says nothing of what a person likes or what their affiliations may be. It matters not if one will dismiss someone outright if they perceive him to be a nonbeliever. If it would only be that simple. Our side would be thrilled. No one to try to impose their own beliefs on you. No one to dictate how you should think, or what propitiations you should make and to whom. But will that ever happen? Hopefully in Ireland someday with the help of the likes of Michael Nugent. This will piss off a lot of people who are used to having it all their own way. I noted that it was believed that the Church filled a void the government refused to fill. Whatever the case there’s no time like the present. The disagreement here would better be referred as one between the skeptic(s) and the religious dogmatist(s). The phrase counter-corollary is a redundancy. Leave out the hyphen and they cancel each other out. I should have written under my initials so I could be entertained by the way they could be played with `a la NM. Are you a dog owner? Just asking.

260 Emmanuel Sanchez May 18, 2013 at 7:52 am

@ chris

Well, first of all I will say that your arrogance is something that I have seen few times in a person. Actually your lack of humbleness is something contradictory to your alleged religious principles and now (again) you appear denying what yourself has said before, when you accused atheism of being the cause of evil and a reason to make mass murder.

Although I actually think this is a too complex for you to understand issue, I will give you my answer of why I reject Christianity as a source of morality.

When we analyze history of mankind and religion as well, it’s easy to notice that we have been actually naive during all centuries in our attempts to make people behave in decent and reasonable ways. If we want to be impartial (and in this issue I really think that real atheists are far more just than believers who use to ostracize us) we have to admit that religion as itself has not been the cause of so much wars and mass murder, but it does cause divisions, fear and rejection of those who don’t share it, all this as a consequence of its approaches. Religion as well as traditional morality is based basically on fear to authority and menaces as the main mechanisms to control human behavior. This is based on the prejudice that it will be impossible to teach morality some other way -and before you answer with bigotry, please re-read the so many verses of the Bible that mention the weeping and gnashing of teeth, the ever-lasting fire, the gnawing worm that never dies and also, the numerous verses of Old Testament that command people to stone others to the death for reasons as ridiculous as working on Saturday. In both parts of the Bible god is a judge whose favor we are supposed to seek in order to avoid an eternal punishment and who is able to condemn us for thought crimes, as non believers appear as automatically damned.

To believe that fear is the only way to guarantee human decency is actually a great insult, but it is an easy to exhaust mechanism. It creates by itself the wish of violating the law and deceiving and/or challenging the authority and this wrong notions have led to the worst corruption examples of all history, as we can see also in the history of catholic church and Christianity. The use of fear as an omnipresent tool to teach humans promotes double morality, power abuse and violence. The intolerance showed by the own Christ to the ones who didn’t want to listen him is a bad example of morality in my view. When civilization was created we started a long way towards a greater complexity without return and in the process we have forgotten many important issues. First, we forgot to analyze the origins or our morality seen in some primate species in which the conduct of all subjects is submitted to the interest of the herd. They remember us the necessary Community ideal that we need to understand solidarity and the pursuit of common good. But we also forgot to teach the people to think and unfortunately we have forsaken a lot the ethical tradition established in the ancient Greece through Epicurus and Aristotle that has continued until our days but mainly and almost only within the circles of philosophy (and I wouldn’t know actually nothing of this if it weren’t for my own curiosity and the university education I’ve received. The notion of unity and the aim to take care of each other was still alive in some ancient tribes, but later we substituted it with a heavy individualism and hypocrisy (and before you start signing the negligence towards the christian commands as the cause of this, let me remember you that when the catholic church was most powerful -the Middle Ages- they didn’t help to cure any of the social evils that existed, instead, they increased them). It has been until recent years with the new findings of psychology that we are starting to understand the variables that interact in the development of personality and character that we must take into consideration to built a better kind of human beings.

Ancient tribes had the problem that you had to share the beliefs of the tribe in order to be a part of it. The new challenge of mankind is to establish a new ideal of unity respecting the differences and to teach morals in a reasonable way, understanding that there is actually no separation between collective and personal good, one cannot be without the another. And remember the teaching of Bertrand Russell: “The most important of all is love and tolerance. And remember that you must try to support your beliefs on the facts about a question. If you don’t have enough information to be sure of something you must postpone your opinion.”

261 Emmanuel Sanchez May 18, 2013 at 8:04 am

@ chris

Let me remember you that the founding fathers of America weren’t fanatical christians as you are and would feel terrified of today’s american fundamentalism. Most of them were deists, this means, they rejected dogmas and revelations as the source of their beliefs and tried to use reason instead and believed in a god who doesn’t involve himself in the events that happen in the world. Here are some quotes:

Thomas Jefferson ‘The Christian God is a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.’

‘Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man’

‘Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.’

Benjamin Franklin’s

‘Lighthouses are more useful than churches’

John Adams’s
‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.’

See?

262 Emmanuel Sanchez May 18, 2013 at 8:23 am

@ J9
You cannot make such generalization of all atheist as dogmatic persons or whatever. You appear to insist that not believing in god is a kind of irrational position that is incompatible with science and objectiveness. Well, first of all, I think it is asserted to affirm that god isn’t actually a problem of science but let me tell you why. the god hypothesis is unfalsifiable. While science is a joint of methods that we use to know the reality of cosmos, theology is based upon speculation. I know this sounds hard, even offensive, but let me sign something. If believers were right, why are there so many religions in the world? Why doesn’t that god just take off his mask and stop all this misleading conflict? My explanation is that most probably he doesn’t exist, or as second option, he doesn’t care of us. Which one do you prefer? You really think that a merciful god would allow all these divisions even among the christians without making things clearer? When I formulate these questions it is obvious that they do not belong to scientific field because no experiment can be done to clear them and, if we don’t get any answer in everyday life we can only speculate and think what is most reasonable for us, in my case, atheism. Why? Because, although I don’t have any kind of strong evidence (in my opinion, chrstians have failed when they try to present one) to me is obvious that I had never believed in god if it weren’t because of religious teachings and I reject religious teachings. Without factual evidence, everything will be taken as false, until the contrary is proven. The load of proof is on the one that affirms the existence of something. Do you think this is irrational? I don’t see anything of that within this. Skepticism is the result of reason and I admit I cannot be totally sure, but at least I have decided to live without the fear of eternal condemnation.

263 Emmanuel Sanchez May 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

@ Christopher Lowe
Thank you a lot for your moral support and gratifications. Thank you again for what you have said about my country. Thank you, sincere thanks. Let me tell you that I appreciate your attitude and your effort to think by yourself. But don’t despise yourself by considering yourself too ignorant or whatever. Modesty is necessary as the first step to wisdom but never a reason to feel less than others. And never devaluate yourself in the presence of fanatical people. I know sometimes is difficult to keep up a discussion with persons that are very skillful in this but also very intolerant. I think it’s better sometimes to not waste time with such persons (like someone called William Craig, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him before, a kind of smart idiot, but unfortunately, very famous among debaters).

Einstein said: we are all very ignorant, the fact is that we do not ignore the same things.

264 chris May 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

@NM

I really cannot converse with a person that likes the idea of murdereing little black babies. It is good if we part ways.

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

I do not have religious principles. I am Agnostic. I do not claim to have the answers. I am only here to point out how polar opposites think so much alike.

This is the last time I am going to address this. Atheism/religion does not kill, people kill. Atheism/religion is only a part of a persons reasoning. Example: Scott Roeder killed George Tiller because he believed he was saving lives. Religion was not the reason he killed but was part of his mind set. He did not kill in the name of religion. Example (2): Rachel Carson’s motives for writing Silent Spring was a tool for population control. She did not do it because she was an Atheist. However, being an Atheist gave her a God complex. Atheism was part of her mind set.

There is nothing wrong with being an Atheist. It does not make you evil. My only point is that it is not virtuous. There are evil people that are Atheists. It is nice that this site wants too notice all the great Atheists but it is a public forum, so I am including the ones that are not so great.

You are to fixated on Christianity. It is not the only religion. Religion and faith are two different things. It did not start 2,000 years ago. As for, “I really think that real atheists are far more just than believers,” that is rediculous. Obviously, there are problems with religion. However, religion is far greater for society than none at all. I live in America, land od the free. Atheists create nothing, they help no one. I am sure many donate money and time to various causes but so what, where is the benefit to society? I am not going to argue on behalf of religion. It is just as silly to say you know the origins of life. Trust me, I have pissed off plenty of believers on religious sites as well.

Thank God (pun intended) we have evolved in our instincts. Using basic primates as an example is bad. All other primates kill each other. They are part of the food chain, not to mention they shun their elderly. You seem like a decent person, you do not believe in kill or be killed. We all hate rules and laws but it is necessary for us to get along. The reason we have wars and fear each other is not because of religion, it is human nature. It is how we were wired as basic primates. Laws have changed how we interact. I personally believe that love and unity are over rated. Stay out of my way and I will stay out of yours. We can learn to tolerate each other, otherwise fuck off. See, it is just words, no violence.

You make too many assumptions. The Founding Fathers were escaping religion. It does not mean they were not religious, most were. Only a hand full were Deists. Non are on record as being Atheists.

Atheism is not reason. Religion is not faith. Believers fill the voids with God. Atheist fill the void with theory. Neither can be proved. Both rely on faith. What is the difference?

@ Christopher Lowe

You live in a free society. No one is forcing anything on you. No one will harm you for not believing. The same goes for people in Ireland. If you want to live somewhere that religion is the minority, try North Korea.

265 NM May 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

@chris:

“I really cannot converse with a person that likes the idea of murdereing [sic] little black babies.” There you go putting completely irrational and unjustified words in my mouth again.

“Rachel Carson’s motives for writing Silent Spring was a tool for population control.” Yet again you haven’t even attempted to provide anything to back up your accusations against Rachel Carson – not so much as a link to a wacko Web site, let alone anything credible.

“[Scott Roeder] did not kill in the name of religion.” Of course there are many examples of murderers who did not kill in the name of religion; as you said yourself, people have many reasons for killing. That hardly proves that no-one has. I suspect the hundreds of millions of victims in the examples I gave to the contrary would disagree with you.

“[B]eing an Atheist … does not make you evil.” Again you are backpedaling from your own earlier statements.

“I personally believe that love and unity are over rated.” “Trust me, I have pissed off plenty of believers on religious sites as well.” Now these statements I have no trouble believing at all.

“It is good if we part ways.” So you won’t be posting here any more, then?

266 Christopher Lowe May 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

@chris…It was not that long ago in Ireland that a husband could be a wife beating rapist and a woman would not have recourse to divorce. No wife no matter what her religious affiliation. Tell her that theocratic imposition is non existent in her country. This has now been corrected, but only in the last twenty years. And in a more general vein, those under the yolk of Sharia obviously have dogma rule their lives. Religions aren’t a primary threat to freedom? Push back is somehow a dogma in it’s own right? I’d love to get whatever it is you’re smoking!

267 chris May 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm

@NM

Read Rachel Carson’s own words. She was very much in favor of population control. Scum like you and JFK are too happy to oblige.

Give one example of a murder commited solely in the name of religion.

@Christopher Lowe

It does not matter what Ireland was 20 years ago, it is free today. North Korea and China are a majority Atheist and are not free. What is your point?

268 Christopher Lowe May 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm

@chris…JFK? I know i’m not involved in this conversation. Just curious. This is a new one on me.

269 Christopher Lowe May 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

” I dream of a world where a chicken can cross the road without their motive being questioned.” Anomynous.

270 NM May 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

@Christopher Lowe: This is a pet peeve of chris’. JFK was the president whose science council agreed with Rachel Carson that DDT should be banned *for agricultural use*. Note that it has never been completely banned for malarial mosquito control, and in many places its overuse has resulted in resistance so that it’s no longer effective anyway. But that is apparently irrelevant.

@chris: “Read Rachel Carson’s own words.” Quote me her own words. Where did she say that banning pesticides like DDT would permit millions of black babies to die of malaria and that would help the goal of population control? Pretty sure it wasn’t in “Silent Spring”. I’ve asked for this proof multiple times. Either come back with something new, rather than just repeating your own unsubstantiated personal opinions, or admit you can’t do that and drop it.

“Give one example of a murder commited solely in the name of religion.” Ah, back to making an absolute claim and then trying to weasel out of it by changing the words. Now you’re saying “solely” in the name of religion. That isn’t what you said before. But it’s easy anyway because I already gave some examples; one of the clearest is Muslim persecution (including execution) of Baha’is. I could give many more, such as the time-honored tradition of human sacrifice to appease the gods, but you only asked for one.

“Atheists create nothing, they help no one. I am sure many donate money and time to various causes but so what, where is the benefit to society?” See? Here’s another one. Can you list every atheist in the world and demonstrate that none of them has ever created anything, helped anyone, or donated time and money to any cause that had any benefit to any society? Of course not – not simply because it’s not feasible but because it’s not true. If you want proof of my statement, Google the people on givingpledge.org. Many of them have stated they are atheist (e.g. Branson), and many others are at least agnostic (e.g. Buffett and Gates).

Tell us, chris, what have *you* done to benefit society lately? Hint: pissing people off in online discussions does not qualify.

271 Christopher Lowe May 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm

@NM Let us agree then that, as it were, a Holy Crusade be waged against malaria. And let it be carried out by people and agencies who know what they are doing. And let it be supported by agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, members of the cargo cults of the South Pacific, homophobes,nut bars, Monarchists, Animists, Catholics, atheists etc.. It worked for Smallpox. It almost worked for polio (before certain mullahs sabotaged that one-but that’s another story)

272 NM May 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm

The crusade against malaria is well underway, partly through the auspices of the Gates Foundation, and partly through government initiatives in some of the countries affected as well as those in wealthier nations. It will take years, of course, and due to its nature, malaria probably cannot be completely eradicated as smallpox was (and polio could now easily be).

273 chris May 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

Just trying to rattle chains. JFK was the willful idiot that helped ban DDT. It should be noted that he was a religious man.

274 Christopher Lowe May 19, 2013 at 2:21 am

Hinduism-Now that’s a religion with no missionaries, no protheslytizing(sp?), no cultural aggression, no conversions, forced or otherwise. Though they do have some strange-to-us concepts of reality, nobody among them has any interest on foisting these upon you. As one who champions freedom from religion, ya gotta like that. They do have some internal squabbles and a in dire need of cultural corrections, but it will all be sorted out among themselves.

275 Christopher Lowe May 19, 2013 at 2:26 am

typo correction: …and are in dire need…

276 chris May 19, 2013 at 6:13 am

It is not freedom from religion, it is freedom of religion.

277 Christopher Lowe May 19, 2013 at 7:23 am

@Chris … freedom from religion is precisely what I meant. Not of. I was not referring in any way to the first amendment of your constitution. This is a distinction we atheists use to let the religious know we want to be left the fuck alone in the institutional sense in that their beliefs not be imposed on us by way of law or any other means. So it is in this context that I said “championing freedom from religion”, and that Hindus allow that very well. It would be very nice if other religions were more like that. Coming from an officially secular state yourself you may not appreciate that distinction. Though a country that spawns the likes of Tony Perkins might give you a hint at what I’m getting at.

278 J May 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Chris, You are precisely correct on all of your important points, leaving only Carson and JFK aside because those two are icons for some people who cannot and will not consider counter evidence to their ‘sainthood’ (like the Mother Teresa in Hitchens’ report), and your tormentors hereon only skirt your points because they cannot refute them. Agnosticism is the only rational position available to argument. In fact, atheists tend to argue for agnosticism when they mean to support atheism. Your other important point is that human nature, based upon animal nature, is the true source of all of our societal ills. You are correct in pointing out that dogmas and belief-systems are only excuses the human animal gives himself for carrying out his animal nature. (The salient and potentially enlightening area of inquiry would be why he bothers.) I believe you are also correct in pointing out that Atheism is a dogma, nonsense regarding “atheism is a non-thing, so it’s not really there” notwithstanding, just as capable and historically culpable of being pressed into the service of the animal. Your detractors here equate religion with theism no matter what, and so refuse the comparisons you are trying to show them. They really do have a persecution complex. So thanks for pointing those things out and staying on point despite detractors. I can almost agree with you about Love and Unity being overrated, but the fact is that they are concepts which are misused for commercial and/or evil purposes. So how can we really know them? A belief that one could live comfortably from a live-and-let-live and “fuck off” philosophy alone in this day and age is perhaps naive or fanciful.

Emmy Sanchez, welcome back! Though you are mistaken, it’s great to hear from you. Your would-be rational and well-mannered voice is always appreciated by me.

Baldspot to the North Clowe (pronounced Chloe or Ceelo), what are you talking about? Open your mind a bit before you attempt to correct the incorrectable, else you’ll inherit the wind. My dogs are barkin’ today. Several types of pets are in fact my prerogative.
“Unbesmurfable… that’s what you are.” –Nat King Smurf, famous atheist

“Yes…I CAN fly.” –Buzz Lightyear, famous atheist

279 chris May 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

I like you so I will help you out. Freedom from religion would be the complete removal of religion. Places like China and North Korea practice that. I am sure you would not want to see your religious friends jailed for putting a Menorah in their front window. Regardless of what the US Constitution says, there is a big difference between “from” and “of.”

@ J

I live in Las Vegas. I have no family and very few friends, yet I am surrounded by thousands of people every day. I am very much left alone and it feels great.

280 J May 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Chris, I see…I was extrapolating to a societal level, so thinking that you are living in an urban, populated area, you rely on the systems put in place and run by scores of others. Las Vegas seems like a good place to pull off living by your particular philosophy day to day.
Admittedly without having spent much time considering it, I agree on principle with your estimation that atheism has not benefited mankind nor society. Religion, at least, has benefited man to the point that it encourages better behavior than our animal nature would require. Theism has benefited mankind similarly. Atheism, and possibly agnosticism as well, is neutral and of itself has no benefit. (The arguments ad nauseam that individual atheists do beneficial things and that Religion also does evil things, is all beside the point.)

281 NM May 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

It is the height of religious arrogance to assume that humans would still behave like animals were it not for religion.

“Freedom from religion” does not require that religion be forcibly banned, only that no-one need be exposed to religious concepts or coerced into using religious references (e.g. the “under God” in the pledge of allegiance) unless they seek those out of their own volition. China and Korea, as you say, have no freedom in this respect.

282 chris May 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

@ J
The problem with Atheists is, they want to be identified for “nothing.” They have no message, yet want to be heard. Individuals are either good or evil, regardless of whether they are religious or not. I good example is Penn Jillette. He is on Celebrity Apprentice playing for Opportunity Village. Opportunity Village was created by Wayne Newton based on his religious principles. Despite that Penn is still helping them. It shows he is first class and can put his beliefs aside.

@ NM

Freedom from religion means exactly that. That is the system in China. Freedom of religion means that no one can force their religion on you. I agree that the government should stay out of religion and vice versa. That goes for Atheism to.

283 Christopher Lowe May 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

@Chris… I, too, am by myself,but not liking it very much, as I stand widowed in an empty nest. I live on a 2 acre mountain side lot 5 miles from a town of 40,000 in British Columbia. My son is airborne as I write this heading for your Fair City in a stag posse. I told him to treat the Hangover movies as a warning, not a guide. Not to make too fine a point of it, the of/from point is this, as I meant it: Handle your snakes, pound your pulpits, bend your knees towards Mecca, spin your prayer wheels, light your incense, pretend you’re a Rastafarian like I do occasionally, but keep it to your various selves. Believe it or not I do not wish for any of this to disappear, except in the purview of politics. I am not an anarchist. Maintain and enforce just and moral laws . Keep the colour neutral. There are very few homogeneous societies left out there. Each confession may disagree and strongly so with the other. Do not tilt the government one side or the other in these exchanges. The government, at best, should only insure that these do not boil over. There ain’t a hell of a lot of this unbiasedness going on out there at this time. Divine warrant is no way rule over another. No human being has the right to claim divine warrant. Claiming to know the mind of god and act upon it is an impossibly justified feat and to reign on this proposition is just as immoral as the tyrant who usurps all your rights and freedoms. As an atheist I never would endorse any fascistic regime religious our atheistic. Chris, as an American agnostic would you not appreciate protection FROM Sharia law? @J… Solely to annoy you on your urban analogy, is there such a thing as Christian water works? Jewish traffic control? Wiccan bridge construction? Of course it all has to work by cooperation and structure. It is in the council chambers where one has to be wary of philosophical input being injected into what we should both agree ought to be a purely secular task. Don’t deny this happens big time everywhere you look. I know you never broached the subject or even cared to address it. I just wanted you to know what an annoying prick I can be

284 Christopher Lowe May 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Michael Nugent is the gracious host of this site. He is indeed an atheist with a cause and a set of convictions. Moreover, he walks the walk. This is evidenced in his writings and can be seen in his numerous You Tube appearances. You will notice he stands unequivocally on our side of the fence. I was “there” decades before I ever heard of him. This site is a natural home for the thinking and caring non-believer. Those of us, of the skeptical and freethinking ilk , tend to be allied in our common fending off of, and our contempt of, religious over- reaching. I can’t help but notice there is not a peep from those that are on the other side of this argument, or straddling the fence, directing their well considered propositions at and to what this man stands for. There is an abundance of playing field trash talk and metaphysical food fighting going on . But what about Mr. Nugent’s actual words? Anybody?

285 chris May 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

I am sorry to hear about your loss. Death is a hard thing. I have never been married. I am the youngest of 6 children and 4 of my siblings are dead, one is missing. My father died when I was 2 and my mother died when I was 25, one week after I graduated from law school. I have been alone ever since and I have adjusted well.

I love BC and have spent a lot of time in Kelowna and Vernon. I have a few clients in both cities and have been going there for about ten years now.

Your son will be fine. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless it is herpes.

I agree with most of what you are saying. That is the important difference between from/of.

Two thing I would disagree with is culture, I do not want a homogeneous society. I want to hold on to my Irish heritage. I also want others to express themselves freely. I believe diversity is a bad thing. Second, government sucks. It should be rare. Private sector is always better. Yes, there are Christian, muslim and Jewish infrastructure. Most third world countries rely on outside help. That help usually comes from religious groups. It is also the work of great people who are both believers and nonbelievers. That is the point, it does not matter what you believe. I am some what of a believer in Anarchist economics. We obviously need government but it should be rare.

286 J May 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm

NabokovMalfeasance
Religion certainly goes much higher. When you are done skirting the point, alight somewhere in the near vicinity, please.

Chris, you are correct again in that “freedom” ‘from’ is essentially a self-contradiction in terms. Freedom ‘of’ essentially means you are free to choose among, to take forever doing so, and to choose none is also implied; hence no one can lawfully force you. Clowe may have meant to say ‘free from.’ The American document framers were wisely specific in their choice.
I have no problem with atheists wanting to be heard, except as they force others to hear, but as I continue to point out, they are antagonistic, often pugnacious, and toward the wrong foil. I think that is the real rub, that they use their bogeyman of Religion, citing past religious persecution, as an excuse to antagonize others.

Clowe, Noted. Annoying pricks and irritating clits are a dime a dozen, but no one really wants to buy one. Did you ever figure out the term counter-corollary? It was a very specific reference. Don’t take out the hyphen, even if it were true what you said, which it isn’t.
In NY, no one is ever really alone. Besides friends, colleagues and paramours, I have my children for company, after divorce, of course, and they are thoroughly engaging. I believe that given ‘good’ genes, you should make your own people– in order to up your odds of finding ones with whom you would want to associate. This is a change from my early youth when my quote regarding children was ‘you can have as many as you have closets.’

287 Christopher Lowe May 20, 2013 at 1:11 am

Aw Chris I only wish your circumstances would have turned out much happier, your losses being multifold and so close to home. My heartfelt condolences go to you. Vernon is indeed the city I was referring to. I’m in the Silver Star foothills. I kind of intuited from your writings that you were conservative and libertarian on the political and economic front. I think every one down there there should put team colours away at least until you’re back on the tracks. Your country received a nasty head-shot (an ice hockey analogy). We up here managed to avoid the full brunt of this crisis (though alas I didn’t) and did so with only minimal gov’t intervention. We see neither polarized extreme in the US has the be all and end all answer to the problem. Neither side is even talking to the other. We are all shaking our heads up here. Here is where maybe you and I part on economics. Unfettered free capitalism has a case to be made for itself and in theory seems to me an engine that runs well in and of itself.Ayn Rand and Adam Smith were both atheists by the way, just throwing that in there. However these engines are running under the aegis of the nations and cultures they inhabit. It seems to me somewhat harsh that it ride divorced of human consideration. At the corporate level there does not seem to be much honesty or fair play built in the game.Survival of the fittest(another atheistic concept) leaves only the survivor stronger and in no way guarantees its good citizenship. Human solidarity(gasp! a term the socialists hijacked) is the glue that keeps a society together. Capitalism can actually be a great enabler to this goal, but only when not behaving badly. Your thoughts.

288 Christopher Lowe May 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

@Jiffy Lube the 9th People should never be allowed to proclaim regnancy on the basis of their metaphysics. An unimpeachable moral compass on the other hand should be a requirement. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

289 Christopher Lowe May 20, 2013 at 2:04 am

@Chris . Oh yeah, another thing we have in common. My Grand Daddy is from Mullingar in County Cork.

290 Christopher Lowe May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

@Emmanuel Sanchez Hola amigo. Pura vida. Yes I have heard of William Lane Craig, as well as many other apologists such as Schmuley Boteach, Dinesh D’Souza, Bill Donahue, David Wolpe, Tariq Ramidan, John Lennox etc. They come at you from all different directions. They all have they’re separate rows to hoe. None of them particularly care to be challenged, and strangely all come to the table unprepared. Dinesh D’Souza gets blown out of the water so often it’s embarrassing. Bill Donahue is a Catholic talking point blowhard who totally ignores his debate partners and is only interested in getting his own power points across. Tariq Ramidan is all smiley, smiley and tries to tell you that Islam is nothing but the most peace loving religion the world has ever known. In all of them I see a lot of talking in circles. I see them espouse patently disproven points as absolute truths and even base their premises on them. Some of them are extraordinarily smart and have a body of work behind them that gives them a gravitas well earned. But as Desi Arnaz used to say in I Love Lucy, The’ve got a lot of splaining to do.

291 Christopher Lowe May 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Nobody politicizing the Moore, Okla. disaster. Very refreshing. Donate generously!

292 Emmanuel Sanchez May 22, 2013 at 6:33 am

@ chris

Well, you consider yourself an agnostic, but what kind of agnostic are you? A hallelujah agnostic? You have attacked atheists many times with your comments blaming us for inducing evil and disrespect for human dignity, putting special attention to the case of evil atheists, lying shamelessly when you argue falsely that Hitler was atheist, slandering Rachel Carson of genocide and forced population control when she was only concerned about ecology and taking care of environment. Besides, you distort history when you try to convince people that the founding fathers of America were traditional christians, while in fact they tried to take the best of moral values of Christ without belonging to any religion or church and criticizing them fiercely. You defend constantly religion ignoring how much dangerous and pernicious it can be. You just lie, insult, slander and later on you pretend to be an agnostic? With people like you there is no need of fundamentalist governments, you could even substitute the Pope! You are worse than Mr. Bush saying that God spoke to him personally. I see real agnosticism in persons that do not affirm the certainty of anything without incontrovertible evidence, persons like Carl Sagan and Bertrand Russell, to which you will never be like, I’m starting to think that you are mentally lost.

And one last clarification: atheism by itself is just the rejection of any kind of dogmatic beliefs and worshiping of deities, so, somehow this rejection by itself doesn’t have a positive affirmation of something, but on the base of this intellectual freedom the possibilities are boundless. Atheists have done a lot for humanity but unfortunately persons like you pay more attention on the evil ones like Stalin and Mao (did I mention that Pinochet, Batista, Hitler, and some corrupted popes like Innocent VIII and Alexander III as well as the italian murderer Caesar Borgia were catholic?). It is not fair to pay attention only to bad examples. We can have motivational impulses on many causes, from freedom of speech and thought, to scientific investigation, ecology and environment, human rights, respect to LGBT community and many, many others.

If so, why do I affirm that abrahamic religions have caused more evil than good? Just take a look at history. So many persons were killed in the name of God during centuries in so many ways, from stoning to burning alive, including hanging and torture to death, so many crimes committed during the Crusades and by the Holy Inquisition, the massacres among catholics and protestants, today’s islamic terrorism, and remember that not even people as respectable as Galileo Galilei could escape from religious censorship, as one song says: “all the servants of the Cross will deny… will deny the starlight!”.

Atheists are so diverse that you cannot blame all of us for anything because it is like blaming the whole humanity, and I’m not exaggerating. We belong to all cultures, to all times, to all ideologies, the only we all have in common is the absence of a God and religion. And we feel nice without them.

293 Emmanuel Sanchez May 22, 2013 at 6:45 am

@ chris
Well, you consider yourself an agnostic, but what kind of agnostic are you? A hallelujah agnostic? You have attacked atheists many times with your comments blaming us for inducing evil and disrespect for human dignity, putting special attention to the case of evil atheists, lying shamelessly when you argue falsely that Hitler was atheist, slandering Rachel Carson of genocide and forced population control when she was only concerned about ecology and taking care of environment. Besides, you distort history when you try to convince people that the founding fathers of America were traditional christians, while in fact they tried to take the best of moral values of Christ without belonging to any religion or church and criticizing them fiercely. You defend constantly religion ignoring how much dangerous and pernicious it can be. You just lie, insult, slander and later on you pretend to be an agnostic? With people like you there is no need of fundamentalist governments, you could even substitute the Pope! You are worse than Mr. Bush saying that God spoke to him personally. I see real agnosticism in persons that do not affirm the certainty of anything without incontrovertible evidence, persons like Carl Sagan and Bertrand Russell, to which you will never be like, I’m starting to think that you are mentally lost.
And one last clarification: atheism by itself is just the rejection of any kind of dogmatic beliefs and worshiping of deities, so, somehow this rejection by itself doesn’t have a positive affirmation of something, but on the base of this intellectual freedom the possibilities are boundless. Atheists have done a lot for humanity but unfortunately persons like you pay more attention on the evil ones like Stalin and Mao (did I mention that Pinochet, Batista, Hitler, and some corrupted popes like Innocent VIII and Alexander III as well as the italian murderer Caesar Borgia were catholic?). It is not fair to pay attention only to bad examples. We can have motivational impulses on many causes, from freedom of speech and thought, to scientific investigation, ecology and environment, human rights, respect to LGBT community and many, many others.
If so, why do I affirm that abrahamic religions have caused more evil than good? Just take a look at history. So many persons were killed in the name of God during centuries in so many ways, from stoning to burning alive, including hanging and torture to death, so many crimes committed during the Crusades and by the Holy Inquisition, the massacres among catholics and protestants, today’s islamic terrorism, and remember that not even people as respectable as Galileo Galilei could escape from religious censorship, as one song says: “all the servants of the Cross will deny… will deny the starlight!”.
Atheists are so diverse that you cannot blame all of us for anything because it is like blaming the whole humanity, and I’m not exaggerating. We belong to all cultures, to all times, to all ideologies, the only we all have in common is the absence of a God and religion. And we feel nice without them.

294 Emmanuel Sanchez May 22, 2013 at 6:47 am

@ J

I Hope you have read my answer to chris. You both share many characteristics. I really think you don’t deserve to call yourself an agnostic. You express yourself as a christian apologist and appear to agree with the stupid notion that atheist have nothing, no cause, no morality, no sense, nothing to fight for. Maybe you need to read about some persons like Linus Pauling, Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Epicurus, Socrates, Thomas Alva Edison, Virginia Woolf, James Watson, David Hume, LaPlace, Woody Allen, Ayaan Hirshi Ali, Harold Kroto, Dimitri Pavlov, Democritus, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ayn Rand, Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking and many, many others. I suggest to read The Demon-Haunted World by Sagan for you to learn a couple of things. Although, I’m not sure if you will understand that.

295 Emmanuel Sanchez May 22, 2013 at 6:48 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Hi friend! It’s nice to read your comment! Stars and stripes forever! I’m impressed with how much you know about our enemies. Certainly you know more of them than me. I have to study about them more because it’s always good to know the enemy. You may also know about the skeptical thought of Thomas Jefferson, he is really worthy of being read. Also, I’ll confess that once I played to be socialist but later I changed my mind. Central planning economy doesn’t allow creativeness and genius to express freely and puts too much responsibilities on very few persons. The model to follow are to me the Scandinavian countries, like Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and also Switzerland. All those countries have solid democracies, a strong state, and good quality public services like transport, health and education, they are amazing!

By the way, I’m really sorry for what happened in Oklahoma, I hope it will not be the same as New Orleans.

296 chris May 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Sorry it took time to respond. I have been in Great Falls, Montana.

It was difficult losing my mother but I have adjusted well. I chose not to get into relationships. I have a few good friends. For the most part I stick to myself.

The economic problems in America are almost entirely caused by government. While both parties are to blame, it does not help having a president that wants to destroy our economy. The Democratc Party has become the largest terrorist group in the world. Adam Smith was a Deist, as were many in his time.

I own a consulting firm that specializes with medium size businesses. The vast majority of companies are very good to their employees. Some are dishonest but that is not the norm. The biggest problem is the unions. They have created unreasonable work conditions and have hurt their own workers. They are currently pushing for Amnesty for illegals that will hurt American workers. All the unions care about is dues, so it does not matter who pays them.

My father and four of my siblings were born in Fairhill, Cork City.

297 chris May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

I am the kind od Agnostic that does not claim to know the origins of our universe. I can neither confirm or deny that God exists. In other words, I use reason when it comes to not knowing.

Hitler was not religious when he died. It is very possible that he was Atheist. He certainly was not a practicing Catholic like you and others have claimed. Rachel Carlson has written over 100 articles about population control and was clearly an advocate. She was a firm believer that third world countries should be controlled and not allowed to over populate. She also knew that DDT was relatively harmless and she knew she was lying when she wrote Silent Spring.

I have never said the Founding Fathers were traditional Christains. Most were but many were Deists. Non were Atheist, as you would like to believe. I do not view Atheists or believers as “the enemy,” you do.

There have been many atrocities associated with religion, so what? Over all, religion is far better for society than not. The good, far out weighs the bad. Atheism offers nother for society, only Douchebags like you that think you have something to offer, you do not. It is you that is lost. Just like man cannot prove the existance of God, you cannot prove there is no God. The difference is a believer has faith, you have nothing.

We have already discussed Hitler and the fact remains the same, more people throught history have been murdered by Atheists than people who hold religious beliefs. Also, one more time, Hitler had distain for religion and was most likely an Atheist when he died. There is no proof of course but there is plenty of evidence that he was not religious.

The Catholic Church was very supportive of the scientific community but that does not fit your agenda. It is too bad you cannot be honest with yourself. You should release your hatred and set your mind free.

298 NM May 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm

In just the past few days you have written:

“[Rachel Carson] made Hitler look like a boy scout.”
“Scum like you and JFK”
“I believe diversity is a bad thing.”
“only Douchebags like you”
“You are an idiot if you think you have to be an Atheist to be a free thinker. You are not a fre thinker, you are a narrow minder believer of nothing. Basically you are just a liberal scumbag.”

And you call Emmanuel Sanchez a hater? That’s your hypocrisy speaking, again.

[The last quote has somehow been edited out of the version on this site, but it is in the copy I received through the email subscription.]

299 chris May 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I am just being honest. You should try it.

300 Michael Nugent May 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm

NM, I edited out the phrase about being an idiot and a liberal scum bag, and I contacted chris by email to let him know.

Everyone, please feel free to engage in robust reasoned debate, but please do not use this website as a platform for personal abuse.

301 Christopher Lowe May 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez. Buenos Dias. Actually, “stars and stripes” forever is a little off the mark. I’m a little bit north of there. The Maple Leaf Forever!

302 Emmanuel Sanchez May 23, 2013 at 1:56 am

@ chris
Well, well, well, anyone who reads what you have said before, the way you express and also the fact that you have already been censored realizes of that your critical thinking capabilities are really limited, you watch everything as a confrontation in which insulting and slandering are more important than arguing, you call yourself an agnostic while actually you are very biased in favor of religion and accuse atheists of offering nothing, having no reason to live and finally of causing more deaths than anyone. Before signaling some important issues about this, I will answer to your questionings:

I never claimed that I had the absolute certainty about the existence of God nor the origin of the universe. About the first issue, i have said many times that without evidence, everything will be taken as false until the contrary is proven. I am a skeptical atheist that refuses to believe in god because there is no solid evidence for me. I will believe the day that I see an incontrovertible evidence. What is most clear to me is that nobody would believe in god if it weren’t because of religion and I have plenty of reasons for not believing in religion that I’ve expressed before. You accuse me of hating christianity but you are wrong, I just reject it and criticize it to support my view. And I’ve put some emphasis on this because it is the main religious system in the western world and people in this region uses to think that if you don’t believe in it you are necessarily evil and shameless (and it appears that you follow that line). I didn’t affirm either that I knew the origin of the universe. Actually, once I said that it is possible that we will never know, but I was really concerned about letting clear that this kind of limitations in our knowledge do not involve the existence of a god. To me, a universe without a master mind thinking every single phenomena and planning everything makes more sense, as I really think that it is because of our subjective ways to perceiving reality that we like so much to think that everything requires a designer, but well, I could also be wrong about this, but I really hope that the Bible’s god is not real, because if he is, all this life would have to be just the choose between absolute submission or eternal condemnation, it’s horrible.

You say that you never affirmed that the founding fathers were traditional christians, but then what did you mean when you said “The Founding Fathers were escaping religion. It does not mean they were not religious, most were. Only a hand full were Deists.”? You criticize me for making too much assumptions but also you are contradicting yourself. I recognize that I don’t know too much of american history, but a spirit of free thought and secularism was very present in the founding fathers, which you want to disguise as religious. You might be offending your own nation.

You insist in talking about Hitler. He was never an enemy of catholic church. When he survived to the attempt against his life in 1943, the archbishop of Munich offered a Te Deum in thanksgiving for the salvation of the Führer. He said that killing jews he was making the work of god. In his master book Mein Kampf he mentions a creator of the universe. He blamed atheists as well as communists and jews for everything. Facts are more powerful than words.

You say that catholic church was very supportive of scientific investigation. Are you kidding? Something like that could be possible until recent times, when it has lost most of the power it once had. They not only censored Galileo. During the Middle Ages they banned the corpse dissection and the study of human anatomy. They didn’t allow any kind of free inquiry and taught only some selected texts of Plato and Aristotle that were saved from them ironically by muslims, who later re-introduced them in Europe to let them learn about the lost philosophy of ancient Greece. The Renaissance made an inflexion point in history because the political power started to separate from church, as well as intellectual work, study!

Recently, I’ve been studying about Carson’s book Silent Spring and I think she was prejudiced about some issues but that was because she was scared of the effects of pesticides on wildlife -and was one of the very first persons to warn us about this in a time when most of us were really ignorant about it. It’s difficult to establish a solid criteria about an issue in which there were so many interests in conflict, but even if she was wrong (and she wasn’t mostly) it doesn’t allow you to compare her with Hitler. She did not believe in genocides as something justifiable nor the superiority of a race. She defended planned population control and regulation of birth rate, not in slaughter.
In further defense of Carson, it is argued that DDT was never banned by the US government or international treaty for use against malaria (its ban for agricultural use in the United States in 1972 did not apply outside the US or to anti-malaria spraying; the international treaty that did ban most uses of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides — the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants — included an exemption for DDT for the use of malaria control until affordable substitutes could be found.)

John Quiggin and Tim Lambert have written that “the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted,” while Merrill Goozner laments publicity given to critics “who make statements that can be refuted by spending just fifteen minutes in online databases that contain scientific abstracts.” Mass outdoor spraying of DDT was abandoned in poor countries subject to malaria, such as Sri Lanka, in the 1970s and 1980s, not because of government prohibitions, but because the DDT had lost its ability to kill the mosquitoes. The Global Malaria Eradication Campaign, which employed large outdoor spraying of DDT was halted in 1969 — four years before the US DDT ban — for not “achieving its stated objective”, as mosquitoes were developing resistance. It is now known that agricultural spraying of pesticides produces resistance to the pesticide in seven to ten years.”

When you support DDT irrationally you make yourself look like a salesman of chemical industries. The real trouble with this are not short-term effects, it is the accumulation during decades in soil and water, the bioaccumulation through the food chain. That substance deposits in human grease and bones, has been implicated as a cause of neurological damage and is specially harmful for aquatic wild life and birds. It seems you do not care too much about it.

Lastly, I will clarify two things. First, I didn’t mention that all christians were my enemies, I have never said that. I identify my enemies in intolerant, dogmatic, closed-minded and stubborn people like William Craig, because their interest is not knowing the truth, it’s just the intransigent defense of their positions without admitting any other kind of reasoning. I have known very nice persons that believe in god who are not like them, nor you. Second, some comments ago, when I compared ourselves with primates, I did it to show how the inhibitions in behavior and altruistic conduct that we associate with morality are far more primitive than what we though. I didn’t say they were somehow “perfect”. I know we are far more complex. When you criticize me your hypocrisy flourishes. You said don’t get in my way and I will not get in yours. If so, why so much insults and slang? You make me feel pity (of you).

303 Emmanuel Sanchez May 23, 2013 at 2:22 am

@ chris

As Richard Dawkins said, a lot of false analogies can be made when you accuse some one(s) of a crime. I have pointed out some of the crimes made in the name of god and religion because they are very diferent to the crimes commited by religious persons. For example, I understand that the mass murder made by Hitler and Pinochet, among others was not motivated by religion. But the crimes made by the catholic church during the haunt and burning alive of “witches” and opposites, the Crusades and the Holy Inquisition as well as the ever-lasting (until recent times) persecution of gay people were actually inspired by religion, those crimes had religious ideological reasons.

When you accuse atheist of comminting mass murder you try to establish a false cause, as signaling atheism as the motivation of those crimes. Political ambitions, megalomania and hatred are not caused by atheism, this can be only a part of the thought of those horrible characters but not the cause of what they did. As a example, Hitler, Stalin and Hussein all had mustaches. But their mustaches didn’t make them evil, it’s stupid to affirm something like that. The same goes for atheism. It doesn’t make anyone evil. As much as there are decent men with mustaches, there are decent atheist men and women. Do you understand?

It is so false to say that all atheist are marxist that it’s tedious just to argue against that stupid lie. But if Marx were alive when some of the evil characters you have mentioned distorted his theory in favor of themselves, he wold have felt very frustrated, terrified and depressed. You must be very careful to accuse an ideology of inspiring something.

Lastly, let me shake off your accusation against me of being a liberal scumbag. I deffend the right of each person to live the way he/she wants without hurting the others. I do not support unregulated capitalism but I support the existence of private enterprise. I define myself as an anarchist in political terms because I agree with the fundamentals of that ideology. I do not believe in political parties, I think each social sector has to choose its own representators from their own. This is not liberalism. As I said before I admire a lot scandinavian countries and the europeans which are not liberal, at least not totally. I think the state has to be strong. But, anyway, I don’t even know if you have the necessary humbleness or inteligence to analyse all this.

304 Emmanuel Sanchez May 23, 2013 at 2:31 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Ha, ha, ha, excuse me for that mistake! I though you were american (because you didn’t specify I suppose now you are canadian). I’ve heard a lot of good things about your country. Canada has a strong sense of conservationism and has the reputation of one of the cleanest countries of the world. Also, you know to do things better than americans (no offensive purpose intended) as you have social medical insurance and a lot of public universities and heavier taxes that your government invests in improving life quality of the average citizen. I don’t have money nor time now to visit your homeland, but hopefully I will one day. Pura vida!

305 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 6:08 am

@ Emmanuel Sanchez…Buenas Noches. We Canadians are often confused as being like Americans. We for the most part share the same language. Our economies are inextricably connected. We have as many Wal-Marts per capita and we drive around in mostly American vehicles. But our politics, and our histories, and our social and foreign policies are very, very different. Because our population is only 10% of the Americans’, and our military is laughable by American standards, we have to be wary of our giants to the south. I note that Costa Rica has no military at all. Good on you. Our best known priminister of recent times, Pierre Trudeau, was the one who made the analogy of living beside the Americans is like sleeping with an elephant. If the elephant decides to roll over…. Because our histories are so very much different so are our outcomes and our outlooks. We are in no ways two peas in a pod. We have a parliamentary system of government (which we feel is more representative and democratic, by the way.) Although we are signed allies, we are no way in lock-step with American strategic foreign policy. On the contrary, Re: the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, we differ and differ quite strongly. Viet Nam: we officially opposed their policy and did not participate militarily. Iraq? Same thing in the second Iraq war. Cuba? Maybe at first we backed the US, but as time went by and the soviets dissolved we felt no need in participating in “punishing” the Cubans any more . We have had full diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba since the end of the missile crisis. In 1962 we feel the embargo was justified, but 51 years later we feel restrictions are overkill. Cuba is now no threat to the US. I feel communism may well die out with the Castro brothers if the Cubans are treated with respect and don’t have an intransigent US as an excuse to bash their American neighbours for political purposes and be more amenable to become a “normal” Carribean republic. These days we look to the south with bemused confusion. The political fighting and infighting seems quite bizarre to most peering in from the outside. But if you are any kind of student of American history (which I literally was as a 4th, 5th and 6th grader in the Fairfax, Virginia school system) it makes sense, taking into account the tides that have washed over them in the 19th and 20th centuries. It has come to what it has come to directly as a result of the great debates and wars of those eras. To their credit they’ve kept their friends and allies out of it. In return I’m sure they would appreciate us keeping our noses out of it. We in Canada sit in the bleachers cheerleading one side or the other (actually mostly one side) they have the right to tell us to mind our own business, as we have the right to have the favour returned. On the topic of religiosity though, no boundary should be recognized. These questions are bigger than any of us, nationally or individually. That resides in the Realm of Ideas. Let the debate rage on.

306 chris May 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

You are projecting. I never said, “Atheists have no reason to live.” I also realize that the vast majority of Atheists are good and decent people. That is not the point.

Insults are a fact of life. I will respect Micheal’s rules and stop the insulting. Although, I am amazed that an Atheist would want rules that confirm too religious beliefs. As far as slander, you obviously do not understand what the word means. I have not slandered anyone.

I am not a religious person. You have no idea what the differense between religion and faith is. It is obvious that you also are unaware of what Agnostic means.

“your critical thinking capabilities are really limited”

I would put my education and IQ up against you anyday.

First, faith came before religion. There is evidence that people worshiped a God over 100,000 years ago. Religion came around as best we can tell in China about 4,500 years ago. There is a difference between scepticism and knowing. The argument is not about what you believe personally. It is about what we as a society claim to be true. You referred to “the enemy” so I said you hate religion. I too believe that all religions are full of crap. I too see the hypocrisy in all of the different religions. The difference is this, I cannot prove or disprove the existance of God. I was a lawyer for 12 years and as a result, I realize that making a claim is enough. You as the sceptic, has to prove your case without a shadow of a doubt. Atheists cannot do that.

I do not know the stats of Atheism worldwide but in America it is something like this. 95% of Atheists are born into religion, 70% start out as Catholics, 80% are registered Democrats and 90% believe in Global Warming. There is definitely a pattern there. Atheism is not as diverse as some believe. It seems like more of a political statement.

The Founding Fathers were escaping the King and his taxes, not religion. The very first thing they did after the war, was build a church. They did not want something similar to the Church of England. The “Founding Father’s” refers to the men that created America’s government after the war. The vast majority were religious. A hand full of these men were Deists. Non of these men were Atheists, at least not publically. When I said, “they were escaping religion,” I was referring to the Church of England.

Hitler rejected Catholicism while he was in Art school. A few references to God is far different to being a believer. He murdered over 1,000,000 Catholics in Poland. He also killed over 2,000 priests. He wanted to decimate organized religion but was willing to structure a government organized religion. There is no evidence that he had any animosity towards Atheists. It is also not know if he believed in God when he died. I have never claimed he was an Atheist, only that it was possible.

Galileo was persecuted because he challenged the Churches Authority. Catholic scientists including Galileo, were responsible for many discoveries.

Rachel Carson studied the effects of DDT for ten years before she wrote it. She had full knowledge that it was basically harmless. She also knew the banning DDT would reverse the effects it had on ending malaria. Rachel Carson also wrote about the need for population control and believe man was responsible for controlling third world countries. She knew fully well that the lies in her book would kill millions of people. She may not have been racist but third world countries just happen to be littered with brown people. You can call that what you want, I call it “superiority of a race.” She was far worse than Hitler. The US was instrumental in the ban of DDT around the world. It was all orchestrated be Carson and her cohorts. Everything you wrote about DDT is bullshit. The fact is malaria was nearly wiped out and today millions are still dying.

There is a group of people that want to ban the use of petroleum. The want to ban all uses of fossil fuels. When you ask one of these idiots about the consequences and point out that millions of people will starve to death, they just shrug their shoulders. That is the reality of people like Rachel Carson.

You should not pity me. I am doing well. I am simply saying that peace and love is a farse. It does not exist and never will. There are two things that will never change, greed and power. As long as the two exist, there will always be problems. So, if you leave me alone, I will leave you alone. That is in terms of society, not me and you personally.

307 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

a) Ernest Hemingway. b) Sir David Attenborough, who, taking advantage of a renter’s relief program, rents a luxury downtown apartment for, get this, $150/month!. c) Helen Keller. d) David Suzuki. e)Susan B. Anthony. f) If imbued with their creators’ philosophies: Mickey Mouse, Superman, Family Guy. g) The surviving members of Pink Floyd.

308 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Downtown Manhatten apt

309 chris May 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Everything you mentioned had many reasons for happening. There is not a single event you mentioned that was solely about religion, just as the millions of religious people in countries like China, North Korea and the old Solviet Union were not killed solely because of their religion.

I am not making the claim that they killed because they were Atheists and you are right, that is only part of their character.

You give yourself to much praise. You are a liberal. You believe that you can force your will on others in the interest of what is good for society. You seem to think that you are an intelligent but you have offered no evidence. Like I said, before you question me, take a look in the mirror.

310 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

@Chris… Would an unfettered capitalism lead to a form of anarchy, or an oligarchy? Something to chew on. Ayn Rand didn’t have a drop of human blood in her body. @ No One in Particular, more atheists: Howard Taft, William Shatner, Leslie Neilson, Sweden, Mel Gibson (not!!), Ted Williams, Kurt Vonnegut.Someday I will learn to paragraph using this medium. I promise. @Chris again, Early riser I see.

311 chris May 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

Capitalism is only a tool, much like all other isms. Private sector will always be better and more efficient than government.

I hardly sleep. I have insomnia and only sleep a couple of hours a day. Somedays I do not sleep at all.

312 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

@chris… I kind of agree, though sometimes I’d leave out the word “better”

313 chris May 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

How about superior?

314 Christopher Lowe May 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Agreed, for the most part.

315 Emmanuel Sanchez May 24, 2013 at 12:35 am

@ chris

You are the world champion of hypocrisy. Of accuse me of giving too much praise to myself while you challenge me to test my intelligence and academic level against yours? I’ve never claimed to be a genius, but let me tell you something fellow, no matter how much do you know, what you least have are wisdom and humbleness. You have called others idiots, scumbags and cockroaches just because they don’t agree with you. You said about yourself that you are a lawyer with twelve years of experience, let me tell you something, if so your situation is even more embarrassing. When I started my discussion against you, I thought I was debating with a teenager or maybe a young adult, someone in his 20’s. If what you said is true, you are too immature for your age. You have been working for the half of the years I am old. And I don’t pretend to say that my argumentation is better, it is certainly more serious and respectful than yours, and this doesn’t come from my ego, it is a question of dignity and self-respect.
You ask me to take a look at the mirror. You may do it first, but somehow, I’ve already done. I have been giving you examples of most of my claims, taken from reliable sources and you insist in that I don’t present any evidence. Although I admit I was misinformed in some issues, you are certainly worse than me, because when you are you don’t stop your insults and bigotry. You have actually taught a couple of things. One is that I will face some intolerant, closed-minded and stone-deaf people during my life, just like you. Second, that one must be well informed of something to support better oneself positions, however, as an opposite to many of today’s most widespread ideologies, I have tried to do so. And don’t come saying that I have failed. Even if you know more than me, your defects don’t allow that culture shine.

You say that if I cannot prove that god doesn’t exist then I have an undisclosed case and I cannot affirm anything. Well, I agree partially with that point, but being yourself a lawyer, it’s a shame that you come saying that. If you remember the principle of in dubio pro reo, you may know that if there is no clear evidence signaling someone of what he/she has supposedly done, the person cannot be blamed. The same goes for the assumption of innocence, until the contrary is proven. This is at least the third time I say this: applying that same kind of healthy skepticism, any asseveration will be taken as false until the contrary is proven. The same goes for god. I’m not a dogmatic atheist, I’m a skeptical atheist.

And I’m tired of reading your comments saying (and later denying, in the most annoying way) that we have no hope. Once you said “you have nothing, literally”. At least we have free thought (and let me tell you that I never said that you need to be an atheist to be a free thinker, but I do think that if you belong to a religion [you said this is not your case, however it looks like] you have to submit your mind to a series of dogmas, and, if you don’t like dogmas, you cannot have religion). To me is difficult to understand how religious persons can argue that they are free thinkers, but I won’t discuss that now. They can be very respectful, which is not your case.

By the way, it seems you need sleeping pills. Maybe your insomnia is killing your neurons :-P

316 J9 May 24, 2013 at 3:49 am

Wow a lot of crap under the bilge gate.

All forms of govt devolve to oligarchy, including representative or republican democracies such as the Roman Republic and the early U.S.; in fact, the most ancient monarchies like Egypt and Sumeria and China were probably morphing oligarchies. It can be argued that all forms of govt derive from oligarchy and return to it. When you sing the praises of Scandinavian or No. American neo-liberal governments, it shows very little comprehension of the global situation of today.

Emmielou Sanchez, you are quick with the nasty asides, but I can assure you I am more than your intellectual equal. If you would read carefully you would not be so mistaken in your attacks upon Chris nor upon me. For instance, I never claimed to be an agnostic, and could not have been clearer. I am far from a religious apologist as you mistakenly claim; I’ve been very careful and clear in my assertions regarding the illogicality of atheism and the distinction between religion and theism. Chris is correct when he says that you “project,” and your mistakes and misguided attacks could be minimized by your reading more carefully. At any rate, despite your long-listed name droppings, you have poorly supported the wrong point. Even as a pre-reformed atheist, I recognized Sagan as a feeble clown…at least leave him off your list of dignitaries. My background is in physics, before string theory set it back a few decades. And despite my distaste for the popularist, I even suggested Sagan for the list of famous atheists. So don’t drop that gall bladder’s bile and split my sides, I have kids to feed.

Chris, what may be pregnant in this discussion is the smugness of certain nationalities toward our circumstances here in the States. The fact is that ours is the only govt left which still gives lip service to the Liberal v. Conservative debate. But since that debate was and is only a slipcover for the real ballgame, it’s a counterproductive waste of time discussing.

Atheists, be free! Free to believe nothing. But stop proselytizing, badmouthing your bogeyman Religion, and pretending the chip on your shoulder isn’t there. I’ve never met a religion I could stand nor take seriously, so it doesn’t impress me when you take badly aimed potshots at the worst generalities you can find and poorly comprehend about particular religions. You are in danger of exhibiting the same character flaws as the religionists you clearly despise. You have a form of blind faith in nothing. Admit that it is a twin-sister to the faith that theists have. I’ll say it again, because it is true, agnosticism is the only logically defensible and rationally arguable position. The rest is a form of faith. I admit I have faith in Science, but I also admit that it is faith.

Also, Michael, I don’t doubt that an argument, even fight, against entrenched religion, and especially its worst excesses, is both necessary and worthwhile.

317 Christopher Lowe May 24, 2013 at 5:20 am

@J…..”I can assure you I am more than your intellectual equal” Yikes! Your arrogance is breathtaking. Just because you’ve “been very clear about your assertions regarding the illogicality of atheism and the distinction between religion and theism” doesn’t mean you’re right.The profuse churning out of negative adjectives is not a reasonable way to argue any side as a serious adult. Sitting there parsing us who actually have something to say contributes nothing to the conversation. Oh yeah do up your pants, your ethnocentricism is showing.

318 Emmanuel Sanchez May 24, 2013 at 8:26 am

@J9

There is a user that signs just as “J”. Are you the same man, just asking?

319 J May 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I can see now why Chris has lost patience with these few. CL, your breath is no doubt easily taken. You have no appreciation for the fact that I was responding to an insult, previously hurled at Chris, and responding carefully and measuredly and with specificity. I challenge you to supply the ‘negative adjectives’ you claim to have been ‘profusely churned.’ As for your conversation, no one has been ‘parsed’ and all attempts to cut through the nonsense have been rebuffed with insults and invectives, and most annoyingly by harping on tangents. Lastly, ethnocentrism should show, and be acknowledged because everyone has it, can hardly fail to have, though most are unaware; therefore it is coloring your ‘conversation’ unbeknownst. (And no, fawning over each other’s countries doesn’t exempt.) Though it is a mystery and conundrum that anyone could misconstrue my few words to Chris as self-congratulatory or even complementary to our country or culture much less to ethnicity, if one of these is what you are attempting to imply.

320 J May 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I see that you might be offended by the word ‘smugness.’ I apologize for that, as I could have chosen more carefully. It’s not necessarily a negative, but is usually taken that way.
Still, I am reminded of the joke with the punchline: If the Foo shits, wear it.

321 chris May 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

I am not a lawyer. I used to be a lawyer, then I got a real job. I am nearly twice your age and I have forgotten more than you seem to know. My insults are nothing more then a way of debating. If you do not like it then maybe you are ill prepared to debate.

Nothing I have said is bigoted or untrue. It is you that is close-minded.

The believer is the one on trial, at this website and you cannot prove your case. As far as saying, “Atheists literally have nothing,” I simply mean you lack faith. Rest assured though, you still have religion, which is basically what Atheism is.

322 NM May 25, 2013 at 12:27 am

@chris:

“Nothing I have said is bigoted or untrue.” I’m even older than you, and I find this statement to be a paradox.

323 Emmanuel Sanchez May 25, 2013 at 3:58 am

@J/J9

All right, let’s start from the beginning. Your constant attacks against atheists and qualifying them as dogmatic (you didn’t use that word but you compared us with religious persons, so the accusation goes by the same path) induced me to think that you were religious, just like the case of chris. And let me quoute you after you denied that you said you were agnostic, however, what did you expect me to think after you said this:

“Chris, You are precisely correct on all of your important points [...] and your tormentors hereon only skirt your points because they cannot refute them. Agnosticism is the only rational position available to argument. In fact, atheists tend to argue for agnosticism when they mean to support atheism.”

If you agreed so much with chris and his alleged agnosticism, therefore, I though you considered yourself an agnostic. But what bothers me the most are two things. First, you are giving your support to an intolerant man that has called idiots and scumbags the ones that do not agree with him (and I’ve never used such expressions against believers, not even against him), and if you consent this kind of intolerance, then you are accomplice of it or maybe (I’m not sure) you share that point of view, and if so, you just aren’t a rational person. Second, you generalize saying that atheists are irrational persons comparable to religious people. This may be the case of some of them but not all and maybe not even the most. Please take into account that many ones of us come very religious and intolerant families and are somehow escaping from that, but this is not the real reason of this. In my case, and many others, we define ourselves as atheists because after making an analysis of the Holy Bible and religion and ideas like an omniscient father and the afterlife, we find them so absurd that we cannot believe them. This is an exercise of reason, not hatred or anything else. As Hitchens said, what is affirmed without evidence, can be discarded without evidence. I don’t believe in any god because I haven’t seen any solid evidence in favor of one (but I do see every day is that very few ideas are more established in our society than the prejudice that all human kindness and generosity come from religion and god. If so (as it is obvious) why are there nice persons of all religions? Does god have multiple personality? Just kidding!

You said in another comment:

“However, I do more so have to agree with Chris in his/her estimation on two important points: that, despite their whining and mudslinging (respectively) to the contrary, atheists avoid reason and atheism is not a ‘good’ thing. If you do not want to admit that atheists, by and large, claim that atheism is a ‘good’ thing, ask yourself if you 1) believe that religion is a ‘bad’ thing (however you define it) and 2) believe in your heart of hearts that religion is atheism’s (or science’s if you prefer to argue that non sequitur) counter-corollary.”

After so much evil caused by religion, it’s easy to understand why so many of us see it as a menace. To me religion stretches and biases the thought of people, making them believe many absurd things (the list here could be eternal. Just as a example, catholic church still opposes to the use of contraceptives arguing that it induces lust and promiscuity [no population control considered, hey] the in vitro fertilization comparing it to abortion [wtf?] and that homosexuals are going to hell [this one is funny, it includes many priests, however also nice people]). To me, religion poses a moral dilemma. I understand that I have to distinguish between the doctrine itself and the people that believes it. Religious people can be nice persons but I do consider pernicious some of the bases of the doctrines in which they believe, but anyway, many of them are so ignorant about their own religion, that their morality doesn’t actually comes from it (but unfortunately, they think it is so).

It is impossible to hide the opposition between atheism and religion. In everyday’s life I do not waste time trying to convert anyone. I believe that religious believes are part of private issues, no one can force the whole society by the law to submit to a complex of religious beliefs. But I do not consider my case a “religious” one for the reasons I’ve expressed before. My position is not dogmatic. And there is something important to point out. When I have discussed with believers in everyday’s life, I’ve realized that they don’t only want you to believe in god, but to believe in THEIR god. There is a huge difference between believing that there is possibly something and that what is there is specifically what they want, but many of them fail to make this distinction.

“They really do have a persecution complex.” This affirmation is quite offensive. In countries like mine, it is not a persecution complex. It is a fact. They stigmatize and ostracize you for being a non-believer. If you have any kind of sense of justice, you have to be against this.

I find your opinion about the human animal being responsible for all the evil very interesting. However, I think it is only partially. Our brains are still primitive and biased by emotions. But our culture, civilization and weapons development aren’t actually natural and it’s difficult to analyze such things. When we use our intelligence for mutual destruction I see it as a tragic combination of our abstract reasoning with our primitive impulses. It is a synergy, not only one source. The first time I heard that our morality had natural origins I didn’t believe it. But after analyzing the behavior of animal species and the investigations that many ones have done on it I see that the primitive fundamentals of what we now call “morality” are far more ancient than what we though. Also, we can see some examples of selfish behavior in nature, but it obeys to instincts. War and genocide are far from that. They are usually motivated by political reasons and very often have been motivated by religious reasons. The primitive aggression and pleasure on others pain is also present but I don’t consider it as the main ingredient.

324 Emmanuel Sanchez May 25, 2013 at 4:03 am

@J

There is something I forgot to say. You dared to call Carl Sagan a clown. This is pure irreverence. You really need to learn to respect such intelligent and rational people. Also you said once “atheists be free to believe nothing”. Seriously? This is bigotry. There is a lot to fight for in political and ethical arenas. I have mentioned earlier that we can defend many diverse convictions. Be careful with what you say.

325 Emmanuel Sanchez May 25, 2013 at 4:51 am

@ chris
It’s hard to mention from where atheists come. If in America most of them come from catholic religion, you cannot generalize saying that we lack of diversity. I will try to make a brief list of some cases of atheists that got separated from religion:

Antiquity (deserters from paganism):
Epicurus
Socrates
Protagoras
Democritus
Diagoras
Theodorus
Hypathia (most probably agnostic, she refused to convert to christianity)
Siddartha Gautama (Budda): although he was the founder of a religion he didn’t believe in any god and in oposition to what many ones think, he didn’t declare himself a god.

Middel Ages
The only case I know are some Muslims that apparently became atheist: Ibn al-Rawandi, Abu Bakr al-Razi, Al-Maʿarri.

Renaissance and modernity:
David Hume (ex-protestant)
La Place (ex-catholic)
Kazimierz Łyszczyński (ex-orthodox)
Jean-François de la Barre (ex-catholic)
Baruch Spinoza (ex-jew)

Contemporary (oh, you have the whole website, here are some examples):
Karl Marx (ex-jew)
Engels (ex-protestant)
Schopenhauer (ex-protestant)
Nietzche (ex-protestant)
Bertrand Russell (ex-protestant)
Amarthya Kunar Sen (ex-hinduist)
Julia sweeney (ex-catholic)
Kathy Griffith (ex-catholic)
AND MANY, MANY, MANY OTHERS…

326 Emmanuel Sanchez May 25, 2013 at 5:15 am

@ chris

You have stated many times that Mao killed more people than anyone as a way to slander atheism. Take into consideration that during the Conquest of America up to 90% of aboriginal population could have died, and there were around 30 million only in Mexico. That historical process had religion behind as an excuse to justify the abuses in order to spread christianity. Take account of it.

327 Christopher Lowe May 25, 2013 at 6:17 am

@Emmanuel Sanchez. Buenas Noches my young Tico friend. Just a point, there really is no such thing as an ex Jew. They self identify more along ethnic and hereditary lines. Lewis Black (agnostic) and Woody Allen, Rob Reiner, and Sam Harris (atheists) call themselves “secular Jews”. Our friend J says that he is a physicist. He also claims to be agnostic. Is he, or is he really a deist. You know his opinion of Carl Sagan, try waving the name of Lawrence Krause under his nose and see what happens.

328 J9 May 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

“In such grim proceedings one should be grateful for unintended humor.”

“It’s a tautology, for God’s sake!”

“Because something is unintended does not make it an accident.”

EmSan, I will respond to you again; Though, Chris, I don’t know how you find the patience to respond to those who won’t listen. Clowe, I won’t respond to your lies about me as they were not addressed to me, so blessedly I have an excuse; except to say thus and so: incite and wave flatulence under your own nose; you imply I have nothing to say, but that is because you can’t or won’t hear what I have said. Flatly funny that you, Sancho, an avowed atheist, are concerned for REVERENCE for your god Sagan. Is He your Creator, sine quo non? I can’t help your prejudices which lead to an inability to read, grasp and move forward, since I’ve exhausted attempts at asking for you to do so. But I don’t like your putting words in my mouth, especially when quoting that which should make your mistake obvious, though it doesn’t rise to the level of libel. I don’t like your calling me bigoted, as you have done Chris. You are inaccurate in both cases, and fall to the level of ad hominem, to quote your own charge at Chris. I was speaking to Chris when defending agnosticism, not to you, so I am not responsible for your false inferences; doing so because it is true, does not make me an agnostic; I’ve been clear at every point of comment, that is the source of my frustration. (please be mindful of your presumptions.)

I have not said that atheism is a religion, as Chris has said. I don’t agree with that…but have said here that science can and often does act as a form of religion for some, probably many, atheists…ones I’ve known personally and others I’ve read…Dawkins, for instance. I was not referring to all atheists, which you’d see if you would, again, read carefully and with particularity, but to Chris’ “detractors hereon” when I referred to a persecution complex. And I was speaking to Chris, not to you. And I do not agree with Chris on this point, though I comprehend his position, unlike his detractors hereon, that atheism lacks faith. I’ve said I believe the opposite, in fact, that atheism is a form of faith…in nothing. There is a large difference. Time and again I’ve pointed out that atheism has a cause to fight religious intolerance and persecution, but that by ignoring the distinction between religion and theism, it becomes a crusade of intolerance itself. I say, ‘be free,’ and you call it bigotry. How can freedom be bigotry? I am beginning to see that Chris is right in telling you to define terms you are misusing. You seem to like name calling. I respect you because, by and large, you are polite. I admire that and aspire to be more so; but I admit I have no real taste for it. (please curb your assumptions.)

Religion has caused evil, I suppose it is mere semantics to say otherwise. But then the same holds true for atheism, as Chris has tried to point out. The animal brain, the amygdala and other basal ganglia, is responsible for most of our ills, but you are correct to point out that our pre-frontal lobes contribute their own issues though charged with the orchestration and control of our emotions. (please curb your assumptions.)

Vagina from China, ancestrally, btw. (please be mindful of your assumptions.)

329 Christopher Lowe May 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Iran is about to hold national “elections”. They kicked all reform candidates off the ballot. Kind of a reverse voter repression move.

330 Christopher Lowe May 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

suppresion

331 Christopher Lowe May 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

suppression , boy I need a cup of coffee!

332 Emmanuel Sanchez May 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

@J
Well, first of all, I will clarify something important. You falsely argue that I see Carl Sagan as a god. I have very clear that he was only a remarkable human being, one of the best astronomers and scientific popularizers of all time and a very smart and moral person. According to you I cannot admire him because it is the same as a divinization. This is the most ridiculous I’ve heard. You need to study more philosophy and history of religion to understand what divinization is and I understand he is not a god or anything so. Please get mature.

You have said that atheism is the twin sister of religion. This a huge lie and I don’t know when are you going to understand that this is a generalization you cannot make so easily. Not all atheists are dogmatic atheists. You accuse us of intolerance while in fact intolerance arises when hatred and confrontation come as consequences of disagreements, so is more a question of personal attitude. Not all atheists are intolerant and I think most of us actually laugh when we see people fighting for religious reasons. You say we don’t make difference between religion and theism. I understand there is a difference but is very weird to imagine a theism without religion. If you don’t have an idea of who is god, given by a religion, to whom are you going to pray? I don’t know anyone who says that he prays to an unknown god without shape, or message. All gods come from religions and if you pretend to be a non-religious theist (hypothetical case) , well, if it is possible, don’t waste your time thinking that there is always somebody listening to you. You say things that later you deny, like a child that throws the stone and hides the hand.

You said “they really have a persecution complex” in a sarcastic way, loaded with hate, as well as “be free to believe nothing”. These expression have a strong pejorative meaning, they are insults, and then you try to make an euphemism putting emphasis on freedom. You are childish. We can fight for many causes, but it is something you just don’t understand.

You complaint about using ad hominem argument. Let me sign something. When you are attacking an idea, the ad hominem argument is a fallacy. But when you are defending yourself from the accusations and the specific arguments of a person, it is not, because you need to criticize your adversary to show that you are right. You and chris are actually the ones that have taken this to ad hominem argumentation, making statements in a very personal way. I hope reasonable people will be able to see this.

333 Emmanuel Sanchez May 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

Hi friend! I have had few time to answer you. I’m a little bit worried about you. Don’t tell me that you are a computer addict or something like that (“boy I need a coffee”). ??? Dou you stay up late in front of a computer? Please tell me that’s not the case. I usually write at late night because I’m very busy during the day, I’m in university. This is not a chat room. You won’t necessarily receive responses immediately. Sorry for that :(

By the way, thanks for the clarification. I’ll be more careful the next time I write about jews, but, to be a jew atheist sounds very weird, but anyway, I feel respect to them.

334 julie May 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I see it! Even though I need a thesaurus to understand most of what y’all are saying. I do support my Canadian neighbors. People can give whatever percentages they want about how many atheists are where but I happen to know I’ve never been questioned by one of these polls leading me to believe these numbers are off. To say people weren’t atheist in a time when their guts would be removed and laid across their bodies for admitting it, that tells me some aren’t thinking very deeply. Doesn’t take big words or a masters to figure that out.

335 Christopher Lowe May 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

@Emmanual Sanchez…..No amigo, I’m not 24 hour computer obsessed, but this forum is a new toy to me and I’m playing with it often. The coffee reference was just a little humour directed at myself for a need of clarity of the mind to stop becoming mistake prone. @julie…..An exquisitely good point. One does have to wonder in an era (very long era) when to confess oneself as an atheist had very real consequences, many hid behind “milder” stated philosophies. Mostly deist. When religionists had it all their own way, heresy was a capital crime. Still is in modern Islam. Self preservation I suspect was a strong motive. Another point. Before the enlightenment and the rise of science to more provable and practical application, atheism was on more shaky grounds foundationally. I may be wrong (and others here will certainly point it out if I am) but Baron D’Holbach in mid 18th century Paris might have been the first in Europe to “get away” with open and unabridged atheism. Was could have been a spokesman for many others who for reasons of social standing might have kept mum on the subject? I suspect so.

336 Christopher Lowe May 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Was it that he could have been a spokesman

337 Christopher Lowe May 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

It should be noted that in the officially secular US where their own constitution has a requirement that they be religiously neutral, that religion is flourishing more than any other developed western nation. Nothing wrong with that. It’s funny though that this country with well over 100,000 churches, mosques, temples etc have so many that accuse atheists of trying to hog the stage. Oh the delicious irony!

338 julie May 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Also I want to state that some of the people listed in comments that are terrible murderous people, are sociopaths. Therefore it matters not their religion or what they claim to be their beliefs because a sociopath will always lie. They have no conscience and are gods in their own minds. Sometimes we should look at pathology before religion. Just my 2 cents.

339 chris May 27, 2013 at 2:57 am

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

Do you understand that the three major religions all pray to the same God?

@ Christopher Lowe

America is not a secular society and our Constitution says nothing about being neutral on religion.

@ Julie

You are correct, a person’s religion or lack thereof, have nothing to do with their murderous ways.

340 julie May 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

Chris…then why are u so compelled to keep listing them? How about lets start naming self proclaimed agnostics who troll just to get under others’ skin?

341 julie May 27, 2013 at 3:26 am

Or perhaps you Chris would fall under sociopath as well since you care not when you call people ignorant, c$#@, and idiots while simply having a goddamn conversation.

342 julie May 27, 2013 at 3:38 am

Shucks how could I forget praying that people die of aids? Are u naive to the goal of the manufacturing of aids? My immature reaction says maybe uncaring misinterpreting lawyers would have been a better target. But I do not wish that on you. I wish u to be a happy soul. However my knowledge reminds me that lawyer is the 2nd top profession of the psychopath. So itch Lear suddenly that your purpose is to feed off others energy. Its food to you.

343 Emmanuel Sanchez May 27, 2013 at 4:11 am

@ chris
I was just doubting about the asseveration that theism can be separated from religion. To me, this is almost impossible in epistemological terms. How can be a theism without a religious base? Actually, what you are saying supports my affirmation. The three main monotheistic religions have a common root and they represent the necessity of a religious base for believing in a god. The rest of people can pray to many gods like the hinduists or they can pray to divinized figures as Buddha (although this is a distort of his doctrine, he never claimed to be a god). The world is made a religious mosaic but I just wanted to sign that without religion theism cannot have support.

By the way, I’m amazed you seem to have forgotten what says the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

And you say “our Constitution says nothing about being neutral on religion.”

What kind of person are you? What kind of lawyer you were? What kind of american? When you deny that there was a spirit of religion neutrality in the origin of ypur country you talk like a theocrat or a zealot. You consider yourself an agnostic but you are far from that, you seem to wish the obligatory establishment of christianity. Even I’m not american, it almost makes me want to cry to see how the secularism and freedom spirit that was present at the born of your nation has now almost disappeared. It’s time to atheists to recover it.

344 Emmanuel Sanchez May 27, 2013 at 4:18 am

@ julie

I appreciate your attitude. When you talk about soul, you seem to be a believer, but that’s not a problem for me. You look like a tolerant person and that’s the important. I really hope that you won’t fall in the same intransigence and bigotry that J/J9 and chris have expressed. And I suggest you to nurture your mind with discourses from both sides to establish a more solid criteria. Reject always fanaticism, as Hitchens said (maybe a little bit extremist): religion poisons everything. Love and respect are far better.

345 julie May 27, 2013 at 4:43 am

Emmanuel…hi and I appreciate your address to me bc I’d definitely like to clear up how I’m perceived. Please go to the beginning of the comments to see my words. I am knowledgeable about psychology and psychopathy and this is why I used the word soul. Perhaps a better synonym would be conscience. I do not believe a sociology/psychopath can truly have a religion because they cannot truly love, therefore cannot love their god. I am a lifetime atheist and contrary to what Chris thinks…I’ve been this way my whole life….meaning I didn’t have to go to prison or be raised Catholic to get a realistic insight. I’m with u man.

346 chris May 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

@ Julie

You obviously are not very bright. The reason I listed murderous Atheists is because they exist. If you want to live in a fairytale land where everything and everyone Atheist is perfect, go ahead. I did not say all Atheists start out Catholic or in prison. In fact, I aknowledged that a few were born Atheists.

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

You know nothing about the American Constitution. Obviously, you also do not know that in the US, Atheism is an established religion.

The Constitution does not protect a person from religion, the way many people think. It simply protects your right to worship or not. Separation of church and state has mostly been interpreted by the court system and America is country with religios foundations and principles. No one in America escapes “God.” It is printed on our money.

Theism and Religion are two completely different thing. It is like the chicken and the egg, which came first? Theism is much older than religion. It goes back to the beginning of man.

347 J May 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Thanks, Chris, for stating what should be obvious to these, and trying to clear up their misconceptions. I think what is most evident is a lack of depth of imagination and intellect (the latter is sometimes willful), and an inability to take a joke. As for troll julie, there’s that ‘c’ word again. It’s not just foreigners, but also fellow Americans who mis-paraphrase with ‘separation of church and state.’ The original Constitution of the united States was not ratified because it was a “mere” framework for governance, and it was only ratified in 1797 after the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments were added. It then became a protection against government. It protected the People and their (“God-given” “Endowed by their Creator”) freedoms also called Rights, one of which is the freedom OF religion. The words ES quoted are carefully stated. They do not mean to “protect the People from Religion,” as he and CL wish and imply, but Religion from Government. Both governmental imposition and governmental control. (An important side note is that it is precisely this divine imposition which makes the rights and freedoms of Man unimpeachable. Without this divine origin, they can be argued away, which is what is happening today.) Possibly, people such as ES cannot imagine theism without religion because they lack the imagination, but it is a very common conceit with the atheists on this website and on its blog. So it might be with all people hurt by, or who rightly or wrongly feel hurt by, religion’s evils.

ES, it was a joke–it can’t hurt you unless you will it–a joke to illustrate an irony. Now, I know Say-Gone is not your deity literally; he represents for you all manufacturers of dairy products. So don’t put the ‘ass’ in ‘asseverate.’ Atheists would have to agree that the egg preceded the chicken. Only a theist could conceive of a precedent chicken. And only a religionist would declare it so.

348 chris May 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm

@ J

What most people do not understand is that there were originally 12 amendments but only 10 were ratified. That is just a side note. The goal of the “Founding Fathers” was to keep government and the church separated and independent of each other.

The problem with Emmanuel Sanchez is, he was baptised a Catholic and probably did not leave the church until he was 17.

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

Tell me I am wrong. The real problem is you are not an Atheist. You are an Agnostic like me. The difference is I hedged my bet and sided with “God.” You turned too the dark side. May the “Force” (of God) be with you.

349 J9 May 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I will pray for you agnostics. But will not impose my good wishes upon atheists, who are free by free will to be free of goodwill. This freedom will no doubt be declared bigotry by Sancho.

You are attempting to impose shoulds on an essentially shouldless disbelief system. There should be no shoulds in atheism.

I see now that the atheists are attempting to define themselves by contrast to what they reject about religion. That is probably from whence all the angst comes.

350 Christopher Lowe May 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm

@the Dynamic Duo, J&Chris……I agree, there it is in black and white. The 1st Amendment states it protects religion from government. And that there be no establishment of a state religion. As well it should be. But guard ye well those gates, because your legislators are attempting to sneak through customs in there briefcases encroachments to the spirit of this law, if not outright violation. The precursor of the Establishment clause, The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, seems more along the intent of protecting religions from each other, as was the Virginia Baptists’ concern in writing to Thomas Jefferson about discrimination by the Anglican Church. This resulted in the disestablishment of the Anglican Church as the state endorsed religion. Yay! The Virginia Statute guaranteed freedom only to Catholics, Jews, and Protestants. But this was not enfolded into the Establishment clause, as it was negated by the phrase “all religions”. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the readership and those that contribute are international. As for the divinity origins, I have a friend who literally came to blows with another fella at an airport bar over this. Wasn’t you, was it Chris? The Declaration of Independence definitely states that rights are “endowed by the Creator”( I think the implication here was more “rather than you, King guy”). The Constitution on the other hand makes no mention of God. I’ll accept “In God We Trust” on your money, especially when said money is offered to me, but I have to tell you that pyramid-topping eye staring at me gives me the creeps!….As for atheism being officially defined as a religion in the states I’ll have to defer to Chris on this point, as he has a legal background. That does not mean the law is just or right. If it is indeed on the books I somehow see this being challenged in the future. As Mr. Bumble states in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist: “the law is an ass”

351 Christopher Lowe May 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

@J…. Whether an atheist is free of good will, would have to be asked to each and every individual atheist, because being atheist in no way indicates a person’s background, hopes and fears, associations or even ideologies. We of this principle agree on one,and only one point. Distribute your goodwill as you see fit. As you no doubt will distribute your invective.

352 Chris May 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

You are a good sport, my friend. Atheism is to labeled a religion to protect you guys from the masses. The Constitution actually does mention God. It is a good way to make a couple of dollars on a bet.

It was not me your friend hit, I would have sued him.

353 marlyn May 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

from day 1 we are brain washed that god is great and god is good, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t make human’s perfect, then there wouldn’t be any more religious war’s or deaths. all I can say is (once upon a time and they lived happily ever after. TheEnd)

354 J May 28, 2013 at 12:00 am

@marly-n, that is nonsense. And do you really expect us to believe that your parents began your first day ex-utero with aphorisms regarding a creator and his character? Read Hitchens’ God is Not Great, cream, and relax yourself. Some people’s brains may need a good scrubbing.

Clowe, I was referring to goodwill bestowed upon them. Because to reject others of different beliefs as they do is to reject their goodwill and illwill alike. But I think many atheists are just being defensive, and probably with some good reason.
It’s a sloppy slope to conclude origins from preceding documents. I know this from ancient history. The Declaration is the clear precedent to the Constitution, and in some ways the latter tries to formulate governance from the former. The Declaration was only a divorcing document, but its genius (set aside its tediousness and stridency) was to stand upon and declare first principles pursuant to divorce. The Articles of Confederation were not a similar attempt and it has been argued rightly that they were formulated along the inspirational lines of the Iroquois Confederacy more so than any State documents. They didn’t work in this context, however, and what’s more the various States agreed upon how they did not work. The other important point is that the Constitution in final form is not precursed by the VA or MA documents. It is new in its way. Defined from and distinct from English Parliament, Roman Senate, and English Magna Carta, it is grounded in English Common Law principles and the English Common Weal. But the genius, if that’s not too strong a word, of its writers, however its other flaws, is that they knew that the only way to be eternally free of kings was to declare each man a sovereign. Each man on the land is a sovereign where he stands. This was new. The Declaration made each man (and woman inclusive) beholden to no one but his/her Creator. The Constitution made each his own Sovereign. For the first time in Western history that I know of, governance was derived from the governed rather than from heredity. Prior to that, kings and queens took power but ultimately claimed a hereditary right to do so. All this was probably an attempt to prevail self-governance even if the confederacy of States eventually failed, fell to inter-warfare and/or conflicting global alliances. All this protectionism and self-preservation was of course in the past and all for naught. All governance devolves to oligarchy, in this day and age, global oligarchy. If we keep fighting over religion, which is also what atheism v. theism has become for the most part, we are just keeping ourselves pawns.

Chris, I can’t find the mention of ‘God’ or ‘Creator’ anywhere in the Constitution.

355 J9 May 28, 2013 at 12:14 am

Religion is the opiate of the People, but not the only one.

356 Emmanuel Sanchez May 28, 2013 at 6:58 am

@ chris

I think that what you have is a serious misinterpretation. You are right at signaling that the first amendment had the function of separating church from state, but as C. Lowe pointed out, it had also the important function of protecting the individual of being forced by law to have a religion. This is what I meant with religion neutrality. You denied fiercely that american constitution established religion neutrality but to me this is religion neutrality. The founding fathers, as you once pointed out, were escaping from religion and that’s the main reason why they were worried about avoiding the establishment of commitments between religions and the state others than mutual respect and non-involving in each other’s issues. You argue that religion was very present from the beginning of your nation, but you intentionally ignore that the founding fathers were deists and didn’t belong to a established religion (as founding fathers I refer to the intellectuals that founded formally the republic of the USA, not to all the colonizers that came with them and I think that’s an important conceptual disagreement between two us).

In 1947, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Everson v. Board of Education incorporated the Establishment Clause (i.e., made it apply against the states). In the majority decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote:

The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another … in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State’ … That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

You use the omnipresent god’s mentions in your country as a way to intimidate atheists and non-christians in general. Let me tell you something fellow. The appearance of the phrase In God We Trust in US dollars didn’t happen until 1957, after the congress approved the addition of it to the bills in order to make it a symbol of the opposition to the godless communism (this was to me a combination of political and religious fanaticism, the two main ingredients of your ideology, too). It first appeared in coins in 1864, far later your nation was born. In my country people use the same prepotency and bigotry as you and I’m used to it. You are pathetic.

Atheism just cannot be an established religion and all the ones that see it that way are terribly wrong. I don’t even want to know from where you got those statistics or whatever. Religion is submission to a series of dogmas and beliefs in some divine power (except for some eastern religions) and atheism is precisely not that. Atheism is a religion as much as sexual abstinence is a sex position.

I understand that theism has many forms but it comes closely related to religion. In ancient tribes they had polytheistic religions or cults that were actually animist, so, if you want to tell me that a religion-less theism was present at the very beginning of mankind, take into consideration that even the most primitive had an idea of how god were and today’s notion of a faceless, shapeless god able to fit with a non-religious theism is actually very modern, it is actually having a personal god.

Finally, when you try to make laughter of me signaling my position as a consequence of being raised catholic, you are putting yourself in ridiculous. There are many deserters from islam, judaism and hinduism within atheism. You can deduce from the fact that I was raised in a catholic country that I was raised catholic but this is not the reason of my atheism (I would accept almost any other way to mock on catholic religion, but this one is wrong on both sides). At the beginning when I was actually 14, I started to doubt about the truth and accuracy of the supposed truths that had always been taught to me. It was presenting obvious that I didn’t have any evidence of god nor the afterlife. My first doubts didn’t come from anywhere, they came from myself. That year was very important in the definition of my beliefs. After I read some quotes of Marx, Feuerbach and Stirner I was more sure of becoming an atheist (this happened later). During years I didn’t have any interest in reading the Bible as the message of the church was so empty, authoritarian and monotonous to me until recently I realized that I couldn’t actually criticize something I don’t know. I read the Julia Sweeney’s monologue Letting Go of God and I could easily find the absurd parts of the Bible, then I made some web search, corroborated it with an actual Bible and then I supported more my rejection of christianity. Satisfied?

357 chris May 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

@ J

In the date on the Constitution it reads; “In The Day Of Our Lord.”

I would add that the Constitution was a way to protect the States from a centralized government.

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

First off, I do not know what shit-hole country you live in. I does not matter, you are not unique. There are other drones just like you. I knew you were Catholic because like most Atheists, you focus all your hatred and bigotry towards the Catholic Church.

The “Founding Fathers” were the men who helped establish the U. S. Government. That included the original 13 states. There were roughly 2,000 men involved. Besides the signer’s of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, there were the Federalist Papers and 13 state Constitutions. Of all those men, only a handful were Deists. The vast majority were Judeo-Christian. Hence the term, Judeo-Christian Society.

The first reason for the Constitution was to establish rights for the individual states. The “people” did not want another king. Second was to form a government that Changed every 2 years. Third was to seperate church and state. Not onlt so people were free to pray as they chose but to keep the state from controlling religion.

The reason the government was able to put “in God we trust” on our money is because religion is not established. A muslim is respected as much as a Christian. If the Atheists do not like it, they have the right to fuck off. Everybody’s happy. There are loads of other examples like our Lady of Liberty is praying.

I noticed you did not deny that you are not an Atheist but actually Agnostic. At least the other people on this site stand by their convictions. You on the other hand, are an apologist for youe views and that is just pathetic.

358 Christopher Lowe May 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm

@Emmanuel Sanchez…..Pura Vida, mi Tico Amigo. Where you are young and open-minded and evolving in your world view, Chris is older and more focused in his outlooks. He seems to have poured the cement to his to foundational beliefs. He stands on that foundation firmly. There is an intellectual honesty in that, however you and I might think it’s misplaced. I’m kind of like that too but maybe a bit more flexible and willing to listen. Definitely more polite than either one of you two. Keep in mind when you are both exchanging screeds, you are both wearing the tinted glasses of your cultures (shit-hole country. Really now?)…. My arrogance in stating this comes from my army brat background, where my dad was posted and i had lived in a couple of Canadian posts, Belgium, U.S. (Washington,D.C.), India and Japan. Being a kid I was able to form ties and bonds with local kids. A real hands-on cultural exchange. My point is my tinted glasses have multiple hues imbued in me because of my voracious curiosity and fascination of my surroundings back then. I was in the local english speaking schools where possible. A Jesuit school (unabused!) in Tokyo, Fairfax Elementary School near Washington DC. I was leading a kind of Forrest Gump existence; standing with my mom and dad at JFK’s funeral procession, being in the public school system in Virginia precisely when the system was being desegregated, landing at my new home in India just days after the conclusion of a fierce nasty war with Pakistan, at a Malayan vacation resort where US troops on R&R from Viet Nam were billeted. . All this while i was living in an entirely secular home . No religion. Nada. When I say I’m an atheist, I really, really mean it. There is clarity in my mind how atheism should be defined. J9 wisely said consider the source. So my angle is probably different than any other of you who are contributing to this source and probably more aligned to the spirit of this blogsite than any one of you. I should be considered in the military wing (rhetorically) of this camp. I will point out the religionists’ stultifying children’s minds in their schools, trying to teach them nonsense as fact in their science classes. Or the madrases where mullahs waste their children’s time and minds by having them restricted to reading and memorizing one book, by rote, often in a language they don’t speak. And that is to be the whole and sum of their education. Worse, there are large and far spread Wahabi and Sufi run madrases (similar to jesuit and dominican) that encourage xenophobia, bigotry, and violence on these young formative minds. That can’t turn out very well. These same mullahs are the ones who sabotaged the world wide , UN lead eradication of polio, forbidding the taking of the oral vaccine drops, of the people over whom they held sway , citing it was a conspiracy to render muslims sterile. Stupid is as stupid taught. Because of them, that boulder has to be rolled all the way back to the top of the hill again. Catholics who say AIDS in Africa is bad but condoms and other prophylactics are worse because of an incredibly stupid dogma that sperm and unfertilized eggs are the spark of life and are not to be inhibited in any way. However in allowing the spread of this disease they will administer the most compassionate care to the victims, This is evil incarnate. I see where the term Holy Shit might acquire the opprobrium of religious bullshit. Our brethren the Taliban, whose education, laws, and established societies need no further comment. The way the religious tolerate and defend the “quirks” of the other consolations. By this I mean Danish and other Scandinavian embassies burned. Over 50 killed,some by mobs in countries where public protest is forbidden, all over some silly cartoons that might affront the sensibilities of some certain group. So there is world wide condemnation by religious and government leaders of the arsonists, murderers, intimidators of small western democracy and large media outlets. NO! World wide damnation lies at the feet of the CARTOONIST! Where the theocratic head of a large important state can put a contract out on an individual novelist of another country for writing a novel of fiction, and governments (including the one that he is a citizen) condemn, not the Ayatollah and his fatwa, but the author. Birds of a feather, it seems, do indeed flock together. Though religious culture is rich and wonderful, and produces great works of art, literature, architecture, and music , and form the mosaic of almost all of our cultures. In vast stretches of society its egregious dogmas are strangling the breath out of the civilizations they inhabit. Some of Michael Nugent’s work targets the Catholic Churchs’ stranglehold on the laws of his land, but I know his ideals extend internationally and he speaks against religious over-reach and imposition and intolerance. Having said all that I realize there is a counter- corollary ( am I using it right J9?) where areligious governments like China and N. Korea are putting great effort in suppressing and even eradicating religion in their countries. That takes nothing at all from what i’ve been focusing on in my talks. So I just sit here and mouth off at the iniquities I and try to point them out. As for religionists, I feel in too many cases their aggressiveness is far out of proportion to their justifications and (Chris note) divine claims, which atheists like me state are abject nonsense.

359 Emmanuel Sanchez May 29, 2013 at 2:04 am

@ chris

As my friend C. Lowe has signed, you have to be extremely arrogant for insulting such a way a country without even knowing which one is. That is what one could call a blind target insult. I thought you had paid at least a little attention to me to know that I was raised in Costa Rica. I never wanted to put into this any kind of discussions about nationalities but you made it unavoidable. You are trying to justify the wave of fundamentalism and fanaticism that has been happening in your country saying that so much overload of religion is all right and also you have claimed to be against diversity and have showed clearly your intolerance towards the atheists, in the best theocrat-zealot way. While you are a fake agnostic and have evidenced your hypocrisy in many ways, I’m very clear in my position. I don’t want to waste time in discussions about the real meaning of the term atheism, like some people as William Craig use to do, trying to discredit us. You can consider me an agnostic or whatever, but to my concepts, I am a skeptical atheist. The term agnostic refers to the person that rejects any kind of dogmatic, magical or mystical explanations to the natural phenomena, so, you can call an agnostic a person that considers that there is a possibility of something like 50/50 that god exists, or you can consider an agnostic someone that watches as the most probable the non-existence of god, but without an absolute certainty, like my case. In everyday’s life, some persons that do not want to get into struggles related with religion call themselves agnostics to avoid being ostracized or persecuted. It is milder way to reject religious belief. I call myself an atheist because I don’t believe in the existence of any god, do not worship any one and do not take any kind of text as an absolute truth. I have said that without evidence, any affirmation will be taken as false. This is the way I define my atheism. I try my position to be like the one that Bertrand Russell and Carl Sagan had on the issue, not to be like them, only in that specific aspect.

You have said that I launch my hate and bigotry against catholic church. There is something important to point out. It’s difficult to keep the blood cold when an institution makes her followers think that they have the absolute reason and certainty, that the ones who don’t share their philosophy (specially atheists) are necessarily evil, that contraceptives must be forbidden because they induce lust and promiscuity, that if you are gay you are going to hell, that you can never divorce, that has committed so many crimes during history (to which your cynical answer was “so what?”) and then denies them or talks about it as it were something without importance (and take into consideration that John Paul II has been the only pope that has asked forgiveness publicly because of the abuses of catholic church). You are right that I haven’t pointed out the abuses that have been done in the name of other religions, but, in the context of the western culture they are less important. I know that the orthodox church of eastern europe had its own version of the Holy Inquisition with exquisite torture methods that were later used by Stalin and the communists. The crimes of the islamic extremists are so obvious that they need no mention. From what I know, a lot less brutality can be attributed to protestants, but when I read the thoughts of Martin Luther and Calvin, it is obvious that they were intolerant hateful persons, just like you, chris. I do not hate believers. Religion? Perhaps, but I can tolerate religion while it doesn’t get involved in law and politics, while it doesn’t censors free speech. To me, religion posts a moral dilemma. Everyone has the right to have one, but I will always disagree with a set of dogmatic beliefs that defy my common sense. And I think they mustn’t be taught to little children. This is an issue in which you have to decide by yourself when you are mature enough.

I have explained extensively what my beliefs are in my previous comments, so I don’t want to repeat the same speech once again. But let me tell you something fellow. I believe in originality of thoughts and ideas, and if my convictions, according to you, don’t fit within any scheme, that may not be a casualty. My convictions are possibly very sui generis, and if this doesn’t fit with you, it’s not my problem. I’m not pathetic, you are.

Warren G. Harding, then a Republican Senator from Ohio, coined the phrase “Founding Fathers” in his keynote address to the 1916 Republican National Convention. As a recent expression, it has many ways to be interpreted and people use it in different ways. I as referring to the main characters that participated in the definition of the intellectual spirit of the USA, which were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington, mostly deist. When you include the 40 signers of the Independence Act I recognize most of them were christians. If you include more people, the tendency is the same. But they were not fanatical. They were very conscious of the need to separate politics from religion. Religion was a private issue of each one’s own. Today’s american fundamentalism that opposes to the teaching of evolution theory in schools and promotes smart design, has made impossible the legalization of gay marriage in all states and has inspired violent acts as the murder of physicians that have practiced abortions is far from that secular spirit. And you seem to support all this madness. Your alleged agnosticism is fake, you are a theocrat zealot.

Well, you say that everybody’s happy. I don’t wanna talk too much about this, because it is not my intention to ostracize America. If I were american, I would be very concerned about some aspects of the reality of my nation. In the US the medical insurance is so expensive that there are nearly 50 million people that don’t have during a part or the whole year. That is inacceptable for a developed rich nation (if you are humble enough to read this carefully, I suggest you to see the movie Sicko of Michael Moore). The superior education is also extremely expensive in the US. The average debt of an university graduate student is of 25,000 bucks and many ones have a lot higher debts. The medicine career, for example, usually makes them ask 200,000 bucks in loans. This is crazy. Also in your nation many youngsters suffer very stressful lives and fall inside alcoholism and drugs. You are the first drug-consuming country of the world. Also there is an educational crisis. Sagan talked extensively about it in The Demon Haunted World. You need to improve your educative system. On other issues, your aggressive foreign policy doesn’t help too much to the world peace. The muslims will always be your enemies until both sides sit to negotiate, letting pride aside and you must pay an indemnification to the islamic world. This mad situation didn’t let Mr. Obama close Guantanamo nor stopping torturing. And in the short-term future you will have to take more care about the environment. Running out of resources and pollution are very important issues that you will have to face at the turn of the corner. Please read the book Collapse of Jared Diamond.

I appreciate that your country has been very creative. Also, you protected us from the soviets. But you need to learn to be more modest. Just a suggestion.

360 Christopher Lowe May 29, 2013 at 2:16 am

@ Emmanuel Sanchez…Uh OH! Get ready for a shit storm.

361 Emmanuel Sanchez May 29, 2013 at 2:19 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Hi friend! I think you are right in that my visions are changing and definitely I’m moe broad-minded than chris. I appreciate your comments, but let me point out that this person really puts you to test. It’s not only hard to keep calmed when reading his biased slang and slandering comments, it’s a challenge to discredit them. Honestly I lost my patience with that person and started to accuse him in ethical terms. It was, to me, necessary. I’m actually very different to him and more interested in supporting my beliefs with reliable sources.

You were fortunate that nobody taught you formally a religion. When you grow up in a religious family and start to doubt about their beliefs is a hard situation. We both seem to value the free thought and inquiry and that’s our main conviction.

362 chris May 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

You mention that the Catholic Church will not distribute condoms in Africa but fail to mention that the do not prevent their use. In otherwords, all of you peace loving Atheists can provide the condoms. Wait, I forgot, Atheists do nothing for society.

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

When you are done crying in a corner of your Dung Hut in the third world shit-hole you live in, try to grow up. You are the one that said, you do not know if a God exists. It is clear that you do not know what reliable sources are. Cutting and pasting from Wikipedia does not cut it, Sicko was 50% bullshit/50% bias and 100% crap. Instead of finding books to read that support your beliefs, try reading 3 or 4 that have different perspectives.

Let us start with the definition of Atheist. Atheist: one who believes that there is no deity. That is not you. You said, ” you do not know so if you do not see proof, you will not believe. Christopher Lowe, NM and Micheal Nugent all say, there is no God, period. They are as set in their beliefs as the Pope. There is no point for me to be rude to Christopher because he understands bounderies. NM is different because he likes the idea of murdering little black babies. You are not a sceptical Atheist because that is a contridiction in terms. You are closer to being Agnostic. Agnostic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god. That is where I stand and is the fence you are riding.

You like to mention that people kill in the name of religion and constantly bring up the lame Inquisition. The Inquisition was about power and control, nothing more. The Crusades were about land and economics. Even the modern day Muslim Terrorists are not killing in the name of religion. They want what everyone wants, power to control. You see, religion is a subset of their plans. The same can be said in North Korea were 25% of the population is in the Army, 4% of the population die every year from starvation and half the children receive little or no formal education. It is not because North Korea is an Atheist country. It is because the dictator wants to hold onto power.

You have tried to bring your homosexuality into the conversation several times but it does not matter. No one cares if your gay.

Lets discuss the U.S. vs Costa Rica. You mentioned our education system. You are right, it sucks. The reason it sucks is because it is led by unions that care more about teacher’s salaries then teaching children. I can only use myself as an example. I grew up in Chicago and was forced into the public school system. Granted it was much better in the 70’s than it is today. The high school I went to was 75% black and had a 80% graduation rate. Today that same school is graduating 45% of its students and is scheduled to close. The kids did not get dumber. It is the system that has failed. Getting back to me, I graduated 3rd in a class of 1,200 students and received a full scholarship to Notre Dame (Catholic University). I graduated with two majors, Summa Cum Laude and a job offer with one of the largest law firms in America. I went to Tulane Law School (private, secular) and it was paid for by the firm I worked for. I passed the bar in California on the first try, 8 months before I graduated top of my class (218 law students). Now you tell me, what are the chances of a kid growing up without a father in a slum of Costa Rica becoming a lawyer making 6 figures while he is still in law school? Come to think of it, where is that possible anywhere else in the world?

You mentioned our Healthcare system. I will keep this short and sweet. In most of europe including England, their system’s are crumbling. In Cuba where Micheal Moore took his camera’s, people die before they see a doctor. That does not happen in America. Our system is far from great but it is better then most in the world. You mentioned 50 million Americans that do not have health insurance. That number was used by the Terrorist Barak Obama. He lied, go figure! The number he tried to use came from the 2008 Census. The actual number was 46.3 million. When you break that down it tells a much different story. 9.5 million are not citizens. I say fuck them. Patch them up and send them home. That brings the number down to
36.8 million. 17.7 million (including myself) earn over $50,000 a year. Most, (including myself) chose not to purchase insurance. I say fuck them, they can afford it and pay for it themselves. That brings the number to a very manageable 19.1 million. That is less than 10% of the population and can easily be controlled. However, we have a political system that craves power and one way to do that is through healthcare. If a person needs emergancy heart surgery where are they most likely to receive it, if they are poor? a) America b) England c) Canada d) Costa Rica The correct answer is America, enough said.

You brought up gay marriage. That is funny coming from a person who falsely claims to be Atheist and not a Marxist. Marriage is the ultimate symble of religion. Why would you care? The fact is, in my great country marriage is not a right. However, the courts will fold to the extremist thugs in the gay movement. You are right, I am concerned about the fundamentalism in this country. The liberal extremists are out of control. Personally, I would like to see another civil war. It would be great to thin the herds. The fact is, gay people are free to do as they please. They can suck each other off all day if they please. How are they treated in your shit-hole country.

Alcohol and drugs are available and some people abuse it. So what, most of Europe has the same problems. It like most problems can be easily solved. Again, to solve it would take power away from the government.

Finally, Muslim terrorist. You are way out of your league. I said I will respect Micheal Nuggent’s rules so I will not cut you to pieces. Gitmo has not been closed because it serves a lawful and safe purpose. Torture is a good thing but sadly, my government does not torchure people. I wish they would. Torchure is when you decapite someone on film, like what happened to Nick Berg. I suggest you watch the film. It has a perdictable ending. Nick dies a very horific death with some coward holding his head up for the camera. The person on film turned out to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was killed in 2006 in a targeted killing. I wonder, do you see a problem with that?

The idea of sitting down and talking is ridiculous. They only way to acheive peace is through force. America and the Western world has to start murdering the families of terrorists with a vengance. Only then will these cowards think twice. In England, one of the two thugs that butchered the soldier was asked by Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, “why not go over and join the army. Then you can kill as many soldiers as you like.” His answer was, this is easier. That is the mind set of these idiots. Talking will not stop this type of stupidity. However, if England rounded up the families of the two murderers and butchered them, do you think that would sent a message?

It is you that needs to grow up. The world is not peaceful and diversity hurst relationships. People will obey boundries as long as nothing is forced on them. It goes back to human nature. Fight or flight is ingrained in every creature.

363 chris May 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

P.S.

You said, “It’s not only hard to keep calmed when reading his biased slang and slandering comments, it’s a challenge to discredit them.”

First, I have slander no one. Second, you cannot discredit me because everything I have said is true. I will say it again, you want to come to this site to pretend Atheism is virtuous. It is not and as long as this site is public, I will be a fly in the ointment.

364 J May 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Chris, True, good one, and Agreed with your addition. Often the trouble is that outsiders, and most insiders, believe the nonsense they receive from media, advertising and wikipedia without foundation, verification, nor skepticism. Ironic when it applies to the self-proclaimed skeptics.
The skepticism hereon is a misuse of the term; they are “skeptical” of what they reject and non-critical of what they already believe. It’s mostly just willful fuzzy-thinking and romantic nonsense.
In this sense, Sanchez is more “broad-minded” than you, you’ve gotta give ‘em that.

365 Christopher Lowe May 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm

@chris….Nobody is calling you uneducated, unqualified,or stupid. As the Bard once penned, Methinks you dost protest overmuch. But I do agree with MLK that a man should be judged by the quality of his character. I could debate any number of points in your harangue at ES, but I’ll keep myself to the one directed at me. You say the catholic church does not prevent the use of condoms. How can you possibly be serious, and say that? In Sub-Saharan Africa much of the charity work is done by that church. More than it’s charity has been its recruitment into its fold. The power of catholic dogma now holds sway over millions of uneducated and credulous people there. In many areas it is the one and only source of information Re condoms. Cardinal Alfonzo Lopez de Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council of the Family stooped so low as to aver that all condoms are secretly made with many microscopic holes so as to allow the AIDS virus to pass through.Making such a statement from Rome is bad enough.Translate this statement to the poor and stricken countries involved. See what I mean? Try and picture, if you can, having authority to inflict the greatest possible suffering in the least number of words. When you bow to the authority of the Catholic church in Africa their pronouncements have all the muscular, preventive seriousness intended. Prevented? I think so. OK, I lied. I will address one thing you said to ES even though I know it was a planted burr. Costa Rica has the highest standard of living of any nation in the Western Hemisphere south of the U.S. border aside from a couple of boutique Carribean islands. It is a Developed country. 1st world. It has often been compared to Switzerland. It’s true. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

366 chris May 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

@ Chrisptopher Lowe

I had so much hope for you. Please do not let me down. Tough tittie, said the kittie but the milk still tastes good. Let’s not cry over the Catholic Church not liking condoms. George Bush does not believe in condoms either and his administration has given more money to combat AIDS than any other function of society. There is not a single country in Africa that is controlled by the Catholic Church. If you went to visit a tribe that is supported by the church, not a single person would stop you from handing out condoms.

As far as Costa Rica is concerned, I have been there too. It is nice but I would not want the misfortune of having to live there. I live in the only state in America where prostitution is legal. It is highly regulated. Costa Rica is where pediphiles go to search out child prostitutes.

367 Christopher Lowe May 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm

@ chris…. I’d never shed a tear over the Papal empire Mr.Oily Fly. You know that. Just that you said they did nothing to prevent anybody using them, but actually in Africa they do in a manner.Just in the way I explained. Of course these pronouncements are widely ignored by the faithful over here because you’re dealing with a more sophisticated audience. Catholics keep coming up in the conversations because they have to be the most successful power maestros of the last two millennia. It’s hard to vote them off the island. I assume you are not talking about the run of the mill pedophiles hiding behind the cross and under the spired roofs. If you’re a sex tourist for little boys and girls the most likely place you’d get caught, next to the U.S. is…..TaDahh!….Costa Rica. Brothels don’t do a damn thing for me. Never been. Never will.

368 Christopher Lowe May 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm

@ chris…. “W” does deserve much credit for his work in fighting AIDS in Africa, but he had to be talked into it. But again,with Bush you were really dealing with whatever ventriloquist happen to have their puppeteers hand up his ass at any given time. Atheist Bob Geldof, and agnostic Bono arguably have had more impact to the AIDS cause anyway.

369 chris May 30, 2013 at 12:01 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Like I said, I do not know the stats worldwide but I would bet the majority of Atheists in Canada started as Catholics. That has to be true in most of Europe and Latin countries. Of course, that is a no brainer.

I agree, I have never had a need for a brothel. I live in a city where visitors are here to do things they would not do at home. I am sure when I go to Ruth’s Chris tonight I will meet such a lady.

America is not even close to being a destination for child molestation. Asian countries, Arab countries, Latin countries and half of Europe lead the list.

370 Emmanuel Sanchez May 30, 2013 at 4:18 am

@ chris

Ah, chris, you have said so much bullshit that I will unavoidably extend this answer a lot. Actually you have wasted the patience of some other users that stopped discussing with you, like NM, because they realized it was a waste of time. But I see it as a good exercise to prove to other persons that all you are saying is a mixture of lies, distortions, slander, bigotry and ego. Anyway, many users would wonder why, if the discussions in this side are supposed to be about atheism, we finished up talking about so many topics, but you have brought them up, as calling my country a shit hole, for example. But first, I will point something important in this discussion (and you are fortunate that C. Lowe doesn’t like to answer to what someone says directed to another person, however, you actually cannot argue to have privacy in a public forum).

First, when I was talking about you with my Canadian friend, I didn’t say that it was a challenge to discredit you because I was thinking that you were right. Actually, the very most of your “arguments” are loaded with pride and prejudice. I was referring to the fact that I like to search from some sources before answering you, which not only consumes time, it is also an exercise of character. You take the easy road trying to intimidate everyone with your insults, which is actually the meanest possible way to answer. You have tempted me to do it. It’s easy. You express your disagreement with hate and offense leaving no place to real arguing and discussing. And let me tell you something fellow. When you started signaling your achievements, you were not only trying to impress everyone feeding your stupid pride, you also tried to scare me. And you did! Because if it is true, this is the first time in my life that I meet someone that is at once so much cultured and so much stupid. When I analyze the discourse of William Craig I see that although he has an unbearable arrogance, at least he handles logic and philosophy in well constructed but hollow arguments. He is light-years far from you. You are a lot more rude, discourteous, slang, rustic, liar and immature. Did I mention that you have never used references or quotes of anyone in your opinions? You share all the defects of such a person, with the addition of a great lack of modals and a not-admitted ignorance. You may know too much about laws, but that may be the only thing. You don’t debate as an educated person, you do it as a teenager. And you want to read something else? This is the second time I meet a stubborn intransigent arrogant lawyer. I know I cannot make generalizations, but it is very suspicious that at least some of you learn to defend unsustainable positions using brute force and intimidation. It’s a shame that you don’t care about knowing the truth about something. It’s all about prepotency. People like you slow down the world’s progress. Fortunately, not everybody is the same as you.

In your critics directed against me, I see that you insist in signaling me as a non-admitted agnostic and not a real atheist. However I don’t care about the way you classify me, at least I know that top-level atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, the deceased Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and some of the past as Epicurus, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and David Hume had a position that is very similar to mine: you don’t have enough evidence to affirm unequivocally that there is not a god, but without any satisfactory proof on the other side, you can take that supposition as false, because the load of the proof rests on the one that affirms something. It is unnecessary to remark that the thoughts of all them were very different to yours. They were also more complex than me. If you say that an atheist is the one that believes that there is no god, in this moment I fit within that definition. Your concept of agnostic as someone who believes that any kind of divine personality is unknowable is actually something with which I disagree. If that divine personality decides to reveal itself, it would blow up all mysteries. But it has not happened. I don’t consider it impossible, but to me, very, very, very improbable to see something like that happen. That is my view about the issue of god. When you compare atheism with religion you are disrespecting us. Not all atheists are dogmatic, you insist in keeping inside a mistake. Atheism is a social phenomena defined only by the rejection of religion’s gods or any other kind of deities. There can be very diverse positions within this and that’s the reason why it is so complicated to make up demographic statistics about atheism. If you consider my position as agnostic, maybe most of the people who declare themselves atheist, including the icon Bill Maher, would have to be considered agnostics, but they will not care about it anyway.

You used the expression “the USA versus Costa Rica”. WTF? I didn’t mean to compare the two countries. I only wanted to give you hints about what are some of the biggest troubles of your nation. You dared to call my country a shit-hole and I’m far more careful when I talk about yours. Recognizing the own ignorance is the first step to wisdom, says the adage. In the same sense, recognizing the own defects is the first step to improving. I don’t want you to remind me that I live in a third world country. You cannot know about the problems of my own nation then me, because I live here (you could tell me the same but because of your arrogance you don’t want to admit them. I have the necessary humbleness to do so, but I won’t let you say so easily that it’s a disgrace to live here, which I will answer later). Before going abroad to fix the world, make three turns around your house, says the Chinese proverb. It’s funny to think about it when the USA has sent troops to so many countries and couldn’t even give the adequate attention to people in New Orleans disaster. By the way, it is time to support my claims, but before I do so with the problems of America, I will start with the Founding Fathers.

The following is an extract from The Economist:
“IN THE year of our Lord 1816 two grand old men of the American Revolution corresponded eagerly about the work they had recently done, in their rural retirement, on the Bible. Ex-President Thomas Jefferson thanked his old friend Charles Thomson, a co-sponsor of the Declaration of Independence, for sending a copy of his newly completed synopsis of the Gospels.

At a time when many modern Americans are arguing feverishly over the real significance of the nation’s religious and political beginnings, such letters can be dynamite. So let the contents of this exchange be noted carefully. Thomson, like most members of the first American Congress, which he had served as secretary, was a committed member of a church—in his case Presbyterian—but he still felt that there might be things in the Bible that organised Christianity hadn’t grasped. So he spent years re-translating the scriptures; the ex-president approved.

But Jefferson, like most of the top figures in the American Revolution, was far more of a sceptic in religious matters. He was fascinated by metaphysics but he had no time for the mystical. In contrast with today’s vituperative exchanges, these differences did not stop the two gentlemen maintaining a warm correspondence. But Jefferson’s approach to redacting the Bible involved something more radical than translation. He literally snipped out everything supernatural: miracles, the Virgin birth, the resurrection. The result was his own, non-mystical account of the life of Jesus. He told his old comrade: “I too have made a wee little book from the same materials which I call the ‘Philosophy of Jesus.’ It is a paradigma [sic] of his doctrines, made by cutting the pages out of the book and arranging them on the pages of a blank book…A more beautiful or precious morsel…I have never seen. It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists who call me infidel and themselves Christians.

Between now and the 2012 presidential election, many pronouncements by the founding fathers—especially but not only on the subject of Christianity—will be parsed and dissected with passion by both sides. Liberals, keen to protect the American variety of secularism from what they see as a resurgence of zealotry, will stress the rationalist leanings of most of the revolution’s protagonists; religious conservatives will point out that the revolution’s foot-soldiers were generally people of faith who would be shocked, for example, by the idea of banning prayer in schools.

Believers in the idea that America was established as a Christian state scored a hit last year when the Texas school board, a politicised body in which evangelicals control crucial votes, ordered up textbooks laying out this view. Given the size of the Texan market, school-book publishers across the country often follow its lead. The best-known advocate of the “Christian nation” theory is a Texan, an author and evangelist called David Barton, who has been writing on the subject since the 1980s.

Among his recent claims are that the founding fathers rejected Darwinism (although they pre-dated Charles Darwin), and that they broke away from Britain in order to abolish slavery. In fact the southern states only joined the Revolution on the understanding that slavery would not be questioned.”

This is what I found in Encyclopedia Britannica:
“Although the Declaration of Independence mentioned “Nature’s God” and the “Creator,” the Constitution made no reference to a divine being, Christian or otherwise, and the First Amendmentexplicitly forbid the establishment of any official church or creed. There is also a story, probably apocryphal, that Benjamin Franklin’s proposal to call in a chaplain to offer a prayer when a particularly controversial issue was being debated in theConstitutional Convention prompted Hamilton to observe that he saw no reason to call in foreign aid. If there is a clear legacy bequeathed by the founders, it is the insistence that religion was a private matter in which the state should not interfere.

In recent decades Christian advocacy groups, prompted by motives that have been questioned by some, have felt a powerful urge to enlist the Founding Fathers in their respective congregations. But recovering the spiritual convictions of the Founders, in all their messy integrity, is not an easy task. Once again, diversity is the dominant pattern. Franklin and Jefferson were deists, Washington harbored a pantheistic sense of providential destiny, John Adams began a Congregationalist and ended aUnitarian, Hamilton was a lukewarm Anglican for most of his life but embraced a more actively Christian posture after his son died in a duel.”

““Founding Fathers” refers to the most prominent statesmen of America’s revolutionary generation, responsible for the successful war for colonial independence from Great Britain, the liberal ideas celebrated in the Declaration of Independence, and the republican form of government defined in the United States Constitution. While there is no agreed upon criteria for inclusion, membership in this select group customarily requires conspicuous contributions at one or both of the American foundings: during the rebellion against Great Britain, when independence was won, or during the Constitutional Convention, when nationhood was achieved.

Although the list of members can expand and contract in response to political pressures and ideological prejudices of the moment, the following 10, presented alphabetically, represent the “gallery of greats” that has stood the test of time: John Adams, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton,Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Marshall, George Mason, and George Washington. There is a nearly unanimous consensus that George Washington was the Foundingest Father of them all.”

This is the fragment of the discourse of Warren G Harding in which the term “Founding Fathers” was first used:
“Standing in this presence, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, feeling the emotions which no one may know until he senses the great weight of responsibility for himself, I must utter my belief in the divine inspiration of the founding fathers. Surely there must have been God’s intent in the making of this new-world Republic. Ours is an organic law which had but one ambiguity, and we saw that effaced in a baptism of sacrifice and blood, with union maintained, the Nation supreme, and its concord inspiring. We have seen the world rivet its hopeful gaze on the great truths on which the founders wrought. We have seen civil, human, and religious liberty verified and glorified. In the beginning the Old World scoffed at our experiment; today our foundations of political and social belief stand unshaken, a precious inheritance to ourselves, an inspiring example of freedom and civilization to all mankind.” March 4, 1921.

The following statistics were taken from the CDC, the maximal health authority in the USA:
“In 2011, 46.3 million persons of all ages (15.1%) were uninsured at the time of interview, 58.7 million (19.2%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 34.2 million (11.2%) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.”

Talking about life expectancy, the USA are behind most of the European Union and also Costa Rica. You can check it out in the Statistics of the Global Burden of Disease made in 2010 by the WHO. Costa Rica is in place 31 in the world with 78.87 years. USA is ranked 40 at 77.97. I know these numbers can vary, but is very attention-calling that two countries so separated in terms of GDP and resources have similar life expectancies, not matter which one is above the another one, the difference is low, and we both are behind Japan, South Korea and most of the European Union, like it or not.

In my country all pregnant women must be attended in a hospital to give birth, no matter if they have insurance or not. It is a legal obligation of the social insurance. It is free, too. If you have a stroke and call the 911, you will be attended. If you don’t have insurance, they will charge you later, but your life will be saved.

In other issues, the average medical school debt today, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges is $156,456. According to The New York Times ” Students who graduated from college in 2010 with student loans owed an average of $25,250, up 5 percent from the previous year,”. The same quantity was reported by daily finance.

In Costa Rica, not even in private universities you will have to take such a debt. I admit that we have coverage problems and we don’t have the same prestigious and academic weight that many american universities have, but, if in relative terms, a similar percentage of total population will get a college degree, then, why presuming so much? I know that if you grow up poor, your chances are limited in this country. But, If your problem is that you don’t have a father and you lack money but your mother is concerned about your education and has let you a good cultural heritage, then exists a possibility that your family can achieve a scholarship given by the government. You can get paid your school and high school and even university if you qualify. If you were as bright as you said, you wouldn’t have had difficulties here either. The problem with the poorest people is that they are usually very ignorant and education is not their priority. I know it’s a complex situation and our government hasn’t done the best about it.

About the defense of gay rights, there is few that remains me to say. Your sarcasm is actually non-sense. I have said previously that I’m not gay, I just respect them and would like to disappear from the Earth all the religious institutions that sign them as immoral or whatever. I know what is to belong to a stigmatized minority, atheists, not matter straight or gay, are hated too. I don’t think that in the whole USA they can live as comfortable as you say, your culture is as homophobic as mine. In Costa Rica most people say they don’t care about what they do, but in fact, they are homophobic. It is a cultural issue, determined by religion. The same happens in the states that have not legalized gay marriage. In my country, at least, there are a lot of gay bars and other fun places like beaches that they can visit. And I dare to say that I feel proud that many gay tourists come to my country to visit those places, but it is not enough.

It is very revealing that you admit that you believe in brute force as a mechanism (the only one) to get to agreements. This actually talks very badly of you as a person and of us, as species. But I still dare to say that I dream of a free rational world even if I die without knowing it. I believe in reason, because it has been the key of progress. Your vision is actually limited for what you have seen inside your country. There are other ways to live. I really think we have to learn what we have forgotten from ancient tribes. Your thoughts only lead to bloodletting and self-destruction. And why haven’t you dared to destroy the whole islamic world with your nuclear power if you hate them so much? Respect? Wrong answer. Petrol. Saudi Arabia is one of the main trading partners of America because they have petrol. As much as they sell their religious convictions, you sell your political aims. Everything is about money. Business is business. There is something more powerful than fear and coercion to inspire respect. What about love and unity? They are very scarce in this world, I know. But I don’t know anything more capable of inspiring respect than when you appreciate someone. Conflicts will always arise, but they can be solved.

You say that the crimes committed in the name of religion actually had political reasons. That is partially true. Religious power has been usually the allied of political power. It’s sometimes the same one, as in islamic cultures. But religious beliefs were the way to justify the crimes I have mentioned. It appears you have a very biased view of history, but anyway, you aren’t a reasonable person.

371 Christopher Lowe May 30, 2013 at 4:35 am

Canada is traditionally English /French. So divided roughly Catholic/Anglican. Canada did not have a constitution of its own until 1981. The Queen of England was officially our Head of State until then. Every Act of Parliament had to be signed off by her. It was of course only a ceremonial rubber stamping since 1867, when the Dominion of Canada was formed. I’ve not read it myself, though I strongly suspect it is along the lines of the British tradition, as our Parliamential system is. I do believe that Canadians who claim no religious affiliation is around the mid forties percentage wise. The highest non- affiliation claims in any English speaking country would be Australia, where it is in the upper 60’s. This is not an indication of how many of these would claim to be atheists, so your guess is as good of mine. These are simply folks who checked “none of the above”. Americans check in at 15% by similar polls. I don’t suspect Americans would ever allow itself to become a molestation destination,but they do have domestic problem (as we all do). Laws can’t be harsh enough against these baby rapers and their enablers.

372 J May 31, 2013 at 3:13 am

I found Costa Rica to be rather lovely, and no more prone to slums than most other countries in the Americas.

373 Christopher Lowe May 31, 2013 at 6:10 am

a) Abby Hoffman, b) Dr. Benjamin Spock, c)Peter Fonda d)Gore Vidal e) Franz Kafka, f)Diego Rivera, g)Jean-Paul Sartre g)A.C. Grayling f)Charles M. Schultz. Well, time to trot out from my stable another one of my hobby-horses, and gallop into the fray. Before aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen, pain killers in Marx’s time were basically opiates in various forms and ether. It is to the ANALGESIC properties of the poppy he is referring to when being quoted. the most egregious out of context use of a quote ever perpetuated. It is a cynical, deliberate isolation of a phrase used by many of those opposed to his politics. I’m talking of course, “religion is the opium of the people”. He was addressing how much the dominance of false consolations and wish thinking was driving the politics of his time, ignoring the people to whom this was being applied. You may or may not agree in what he was offering as an alternative, but in no way was he advocating stupefying and rendering the population indifferent and impotent as his enemies imply. His opponents have plenty of other ammunition of his writings to turn to. He was rallying people to be MORE active, not zone out and let geopolitical tides wash over them. He was not denigrating religion as much as imploring religion to get out of the way, and let man among men decide (pre women’s rights) their own destiny. Disapprove of what he thought that destiny should be. Go nuts. But I believe in this aspect of what he has to say, and that it is a false target for his anti-socialist enemies. It would be like accusing him of being a religious maniac because he said “bless you” to someone who sneezed. Anyway here for context is the full quote wherein lies the opium/people phrase is contained: “The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is indeed the self consciousness and self esteem of man who has either not yet won to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man-state society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn compliment, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression the of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, and the soul of the soulless conditions. The opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call them to give up their illusions about a condition is to call them to give up a condition that requires illusion. The criticism of religion is therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but that he throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.” Yadah yadah yadah. Let it be known other than this very brief epiphany of his, I’m no fan of Karl Marx. He lead a very banal and provincial life frought with domestic problems and failed enterprises and was a rather unsuccessful member of the very bourgeoisie he was trying to vilify. His “success” came rather late in life when he hooked up with fellow traveller Friedrich Engels. Man, did they ever have wicked soup strainers hanging from under their noses and chins!

374 chris May 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

You truly are a sad little pathetic person. You have to grow up and put your big pants on. Do not come on here and cry because someone is being mean to you. It makes you look weak. Besides, you too are a very insulting person.

I do not have to lie to get my point across. You on the other hand, are only lying to yourself. Also, you are the person that plagiarizes, uses Wiki for resources and subscribes to bullshit like the movie Sicko. Anyone that is fair minded understands that you are a kid recently out of university that does not know fuck all about the real world.

I could care less if NM is interested in what I say. He/she wants to murder little black babies.

I use myself as an example because it pertained to the conversation and I have experience in what I speak. Youbbrought up the problems in America not me. I pointed out that America is a much better place than the shit-hole you live in. I have been to Costa Rica, have you been to America? Do yourself a favor and stop being so transparent. You are a typical liberal fool that only believes what you want to believe. Stop being so closed minded and bigoted.

No one needs a history lesson about the “Founding Fathers” from someone like you, thanks anyway.

“Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, the deceased Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and some of the past as Epicurus, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and David Hume,” all of these men believe that there is no God and no possibility of one existing. That is what makes them Atheists. You do not share their beliefs. You are a fraud.

I have met Bill Maher, I am not sure I would call him an icon. Retard would be more like it. Only a retard would deny the existance of God and then insist that Global Warming is settled science. Talk about a hypocrite. Penn Jillette would be a better choice to call an icon.

People in New Orleans are doing well. Anything you think you know about what happened there is bullshit. If you do not believe me go there and see for yourself. Wait! That’s right, you do not use applied knowledge. You get all your information from Wiki and bulshit liberal/marxist propaganda.

The only reason Costa Rica has a high rate of life expectancy is because they under report their infant mortality rate. If you douchebags in that shit-hole counted the way you are supposed to you life expectancy rate would be much lower. There is nothing in your shit-hole country that comes close to comparing it to America. It is just a fact that America is better in every way. It is not your fault you were born in such a shit-hole, third world, bacward ass, fuckwad country.

It is odd that you say, “you respect gay people.” Do respect adults that dress like babies and shit themselves? A main reason gays in your country are so disrespected is because of machismo, which has nothing to do with religion. Anyway, most gay people struggle with who they are. You are right, they should be respected but not because they are gay. They should be respected as human beings and left alone. It should not matter what a person’s sexual orientation is.

Sometimes brute force is the only way to get a message across. Go back in history and read about Neville Chamberlain. He was a naive person just like you. Let us get something straight. Your shit-hole country does not have a military and has to rely on America for protection. If we pulled the plug it would only be a matter of time before your shit-hole country would be overrun by Panama.

375 Christopher Lowe June 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

a) John Cleese b)Art Linkletter c) Marlin Brando

376 Christopher Lowe June 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

@Michael Nugent. My last comment is awaiting moderation? What did I do?

377 Christopher Lowe June 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm

a)John Stossel b)S.E.Cupp c)Cenk Uygur d)Andy Rooney e) Marjoe Gortner

378 ROBERTL QUETZALCOATL June 6, 2013 at 12:05 am

Faith is bondage to “IGNORANCE”.
Religion is a contamination
of the mind.

379 chris June 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

@ Christopher Lowe

John Stossel is Agnostic.

@ ROBERTL QUETZALCOATL

Atheism is bondage to IGNORANCE
Lack of religion a contamination
of the mind.

380 Christopher Lowe June 6, 2013 at 1:34 am

@chris…. Ok. I heard him once on TV say he had no religion. I assumed he had no god by that statement.

381 Emmanuel Sanchez June 6, 2013 at 1:43 am

@ chris

WTF? I though you were already dead. How can I call you now, a zombie? The theocrat zealot is still alive…

382 Christopher Lowe June 6, 2013 at 3:15 am

@Emmanuel Sanchez…..Buenas Noches. It had become so quiet around this site that I thought maybe everyone was scared off. Busy instead I suppose. Everybody’s got their day job. Yes I’m awaiting an explanation why my post #373 is being moderated It’s been a week now and no word from Michael. Guess he’s busy or he’s trying to ignore me so I’ll go away. That’s OK because I found a Website where the discussion is just as lively and the people are much easier to talk to, without the bickering and name calling. It looks like we have a “newbie” on board for chris to torment. Should be entertaining.

383 chris June 6, 2013 at 3:44 am

I too am waiting for something I posted to be moderating. No I am not dead. I actually just got back from Vernon, BC. I am on my way to the Palms and in the morning I probably will look like a zombie.

384 R0bertl Quetzalcoatl June 9, 2013 at 4:32 am

PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN
god ARE STUPID.

385 Emmanuel Sanchez June 9, 2013 at 5:08 am

@ chris

You aren’t conscious that the only one here who doesn’t realize of how much ridiculous you are is yourself. Any reasonable person that reads your previous comments can see that you actually do not support your arguments with nothing, it’s only about offense, prepotency and prejudice.

First of all, I will tell you a fact that really makes me think about how contradictory can the people be driven by ignorance. In your previous comments it seems that at least you are a fervent patriot (but on the wrong side). Then you will want the preservation and survival of the bald eagle, your national bird. You wanna know something? Besides other factors, it was almost taken to extinction because of DDT, as well as the cormorant and the osprey. I’ve taken this facts from the book Biology: Life on Earth, written by Teresa Audesirk, Gerald Audesirk and Bruce E. Byers, ninth edition, 2010. This happens because predacious organisms like those birds, suffer severely because of bioaccumulation. In some cormorants, concentration of DDT was one million times higher in their tissues than in water. Do you imagine how much embarrassing would have been for your nation to admit the extinction of your national bird? You almost did it. DDT was banned in America in 1972 so those species could recover. It was never banned in most of underdeveloped countries. And it is a fact too, that it was firstly used for agricultural purposes in America, it was later used in developing nations for controlling mosquitoes populations. The combat against malaria doesn’t depend only on this, it also relays on treatment access by administrating drugs like cloroquine and primaquine and also promoting community health by elimination of hatcheries. In low income countries this is very difficult. And consider that the WHO allows still use of DDT in case of emergency of epidemic malaria. When Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring probably she was assuming many things but later investigations proved that her concerns were justified. Comparing her with Hitler is a historical atrocity. You may be more comparable.

Second, the comment you have made about the atheists I have mentioned shows nothing more than your ignorance. Epicurus once said, that perhaps there are gods, but what he knew, and this was a teaching of experience, is that they do not worry nor occupy for us. Maybe the most famous of his quotes is the one that doubts about the generosity or omnipotence of god. If you knew more of history, you would understand that this is a skeptical position. He didn’t claim to have an absolute certainty. The same can be said about Carl Sagan, as one of his most famous questionings against theism was “if god created the universe then I think it has sense to ask who created god”. In the historical debate against father Copplestone, Bertrand Russell affirmed that could not demonstrate that god didn’t exist, but he was a skeptical. He was an atheist because he discredited all the Christian dogmas using skepticism and logic. Richard Dawkins claims that god “ALMOST certainly doesn’t exist”. He said that he is as skeptical for god as he is for fairies. But what would happen if you see a fairy? You will have to admit it. He doesn’t affirm that he has the absolute certainty either. Bill Maher once said that if Jesus appeared in the mid-time superbowl show we would say “goddamn, there he is”. C. Hitchens wrote in his book God Is Not Great that if he meets god after death, he would say: “imponderable sir: I suppose you appreciate more a sincere disbelief that an interested belief”. Sam Harris is also a skeptical who beliefs in scientific method and empirical evidence as ways to know the truth. Here is a recent quote from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has just become mother: ” And so you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to bring him up with the idea that there is no God?” And my approach is – and my husband agrees with me – no, I’m not going to tell my son there is no God. Why? Because when I was growing up I was told there is a God. I’m just going to tell my son, in regards to morality, once he’s old enough to understand, that there are people who think there is a God, and there are different gods, and there are people who think there is no God, and there are different forms of atheism.”

None of these persons are or were dogmatics who refuse to accept any evidence in favor of the existence of god. They believe in evidence. When you implicitly affirm that they have faith that there is no god, you are just lying. Faith, understood as the blind belief in something, just doesn’t fit within those minds. And you may know something new now. I’ve read too about global warming skepticism, and arguments in favor that most of carbon dioxide actually comes from plankton and volcanoes. This, in my opinion, could be true, but the effects of pollution on human health are definitely real and it’s not necessary to be a scientist to see it. If Bill Maher is wrong about this, it doesn’t make him a retarded.

Now, let’s return to the issue of our nations. I feel more dignified than you when talking about this. You insist in calling my country a shit-hole and actually the first time you did you didn’t even know which my country was. I’m not launching such insults against America. One knows a lot about the problems of your country because of what yourselves have said about it. When Obama denounced the problematic of lack of insurance you called him a terrorist (such a patriot!) when CDC warns about the seriousness of the trouble, you ignore it. A lot of columnists in your country have spoken about this, Michael Moore is only one more. Here are some quotes from Paul Krugman, published on New York Times:

” A House committee estimated that Assurant made $150 million in profits between 2003 and 2007 by canceling coverage of people who thought they had insurance, a sum that dwarfs the fine the court imposed in this particular case. It’s not demonizing insurers to describe what they actually do.
Beyond that, this is a story that could happen only in America. In every other advanced nation, insurance coverage is available to everyone regardless of medical history. Our system is unique in its cruelty.

The United States is the only advanced nation without universal health care, and it also has by far the world’s highest health care costs.
Can you imagine a better reform? Sure. If Harry Truman had managed to add health care to Social Security back in 1947, we’d have a better, cheaper system than the one whose fate now hangs in the balance. But an ideal plan isn’t on the table. And what is on the table, ready to go, is legislation that is fiscally responsible, takes major steps toward dealing with rising health care costs, and would make us a better, fairer, more decent nation.”

Possibly, you will now say that Krugman is a liar. It’s predictable. You call me a liberal and a marxist (don’t you realize this is a contradiction of concepts?) and say that all my sources are crap. What are yours?

Here is a data taken from the CIA world factbook (an american source) about life expectancy, that you can check out at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html

The USA are ranked in place 51 in the world with a lifespan of 78.62 years. Costa Rica is in place 58 with 78.06 years. You dared to say that my country hides infant mortality. How can you know, if you aren’t from here? In my country, actually both birth rate and infant mortality are among the lowest in Latin America. Possibly you don’t know that in my country there is a hospital specialized in attending children. Do you remember what I said? I didn’t want to compare the two countries. I accept the main problems of my nation, why don’t you accept yours? As I said, actually our countries have very similar life expectancies (if you insist that this is biased, ask yourself why an american source would lie about this). You have the military power. It doesn’t make invulnerable. All the world-leading civilizations and empires that existed before have collapsed or lost its protagonist role. This happened even they were once invincible. You make laughter on us. Abolishing the army was a gesture of civilization, in a perfect world it wouldn’t exist. We are the only country in Latin America in which democratic elections were uninterrupted during the whole second half of twentieth century. This was possible because without an army there cannot be putsches. You say that without your protection we would be overrun by Panama. How could that happen between two friends? War is stupid when unnecessary. Maybe some countries like Colombia and Venezuela would be more aggressive but unfortunately, the history of this region shows how much self-destructive we can be (but Costa Rica never participated in a single war).

In the Cold War times, Soviet Union was the second military power of the world. Did it involve that they were right? Obviously not. They imploded. Brute force doesn’t involve reason. Take account of it.

Finally, we must recognize that cultural issues are complex. When you argue that sexism or machismo is the main reason for gay discrimination you are simplifying reality. That may be partially true for men, but what about lesbians? Religion is actually very important, I know it because the Bible is the main source quoted by homophobic people in this country. In yours the same damn thing happens.

386 J June 9, 2013 at 6:29 am

@Escherichia Colicoati
peoPle who SLOganizE are vein drained ZombiES. In your canopic containers you will find, hopefully, your grey matter, testicles, liver and spleen. Under the rock of your petrified amygdala, you will find your first clue.

387 J June 11, 2013 at 4:54 am

@Quetzalcaturine
Atheism is faith in ignorance. Cogitate on this for a time before you blurt out some emotional nonsense; for instance, it’s not prima facie insult.

@EmmoSancho
Liked your last response very much; showed self control, some scholarship, and good intent. And it got through the moderators. Thanks for the information. Since it’s not to me, I’ll refrain from responding by point. It’s counterproductive at this juncture anyway. Especially liked your defense of your country while showing perspective. Favorite quote: “In yours the same damn thing happens.” Side question though, can atheists in good conscience use the term ‘damn?’

388 chris June 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm

@ Emmanuel Sanchez

You truly are the master of misinformation.

There is no correlation between birds and DDT. Between the time America started using DDT and the time Carson wrote her book, 1941 to 1960 the Bald eagle population grew. The bird was in trouble not because of DDT but because of hunters. In fact the dumb twat used the robin as her example. The fact is, the robin population grew 12 fold in that period. I also did not equate her to Hitler. I said she was worse than Hitler.

Next, Atheists Blah, Blah, Blah. All of those people are being ironic.

Global Warming is no more provable than God. Bill Maher is a retard because he is ignorant on so many issues, not just because he believes in something that does not exist.

I did not call Obama a terrorist because he is a liar. I called him a terrorist because he is responsible for the deaths of many Americans and he like most of the Democrat Party have given material support to terrorsts organizations. In fact, I am on record as stating that the Democrat Party is the largest terrorist group in the world. Speaking the truth about your country is patriotism.

Paul Krugman is not a journalist. He is a commentator. Liberalism and Marxism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, most -isms are interchangeable. The idea that you chose the most extreme liberals like Paul Krugman and Micheal Moore explains why you are so biased. Try using more independant sourses. You use the CIA as a sourse, like I am supposed to accept it as fact. I thought you kept up with what is going on. My government is currently caught up in 4 scandals. My government lies all the time. However, I accept the study you used. The problem with the numbers is they do not include the infant mortality rate.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

Costa Rica is number 152. The U.S. is 174. How does that compute? Belize is a peaceful country and have not been involved in any wars for over 100 years. Panama is your friend because they too rely heavily on support from the U.S.

America has many problems. Healthcare is very low on the list. The fact is heath insurance does not equate to heath coverage. You can have all the health insurance you want but it will not heal you without access to a doctor. That is the reason people from other countries come to America for coverage. Including people from countries with univeral healthcare. The reality is if you do not have insurance in America you can go to an emergancy room in any hospital anfd they cannot turn you away. If you do not want to wait in an emergancy room you can go to any county hospital and you will be seen regardless if you have insurance or not. Your country has a children’s hospital. America has 87 children’s hospitals that are specific to one expertise. In other words, if you have heart problems you go to Boston Children’s Hospital and if you have cancer you go to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Do you understand the difference? That is why our system is more than anywhere else.

The number one cause for any bias is ingnorance. That is how someone as biased as you can feel so superior. You are not. You are just ignorant.

389 J June 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm

How does spam get through immediately but not legitimate comments?

Chris. Sweet. Tour de force.
Problem with sources is they are all biased, in fact publish disinformation, UN CIA WHO and then every other would-be source refers to those. Usually based on some false premise which skews the supposed results. Usually an unaccounted for field which renders the extrapolations meaningless. How does a clandestine “intelligence” gathering agency publish reports?
Ignorance is more comforting than false information.

390 chris June 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

@ J

Great point. People that offer sources are usually only doing what they learned in college. The problem is, like you said, most sourses are biased. Emmanuel Sanchez wants sourses but if I only used Fox News or Newsmax, he would say those are biased. He would be right. However, when he refers to Micheal Moore, Paul Krugman or Wikipedia he does not seem to realize that he is using propaganda.

391 Christopher Lowe June 12, 2013 at 6:24 am

Re comment: It takes Faith to be an atheist….I have to tell you that as far as real atheists are concerned, Faith is completely off the table. Faith, as referred to by religionists, bears no weight or credence as an argument for anything as far as we are concerned. Faith is the religious giving each other permission to suspend reason and proof. Faith is not a virtue. It is not tied to morals. It is not tied to reality. It is fabricated nonsense. To those that say atheists believe in nothing, they couldn’t utter a more fatuous, imbecilic statement if they tried. Seeing is believing. The nose on your face is plainly visible. 2+2=4. We all form concepts with what we see, we commit, we indulge, we form passions. Within that sense we believe strongly in what we do and what we say. We DO believe in nothing that smacks of Divine origin or control, if that’s what you mean. If you want to peg all atheists with a set of beliefs, all you would be doing is trying to herd cats. To anticipate an argument, no I do not hold science as a religion. It isn’t one anyway, it’s just a fact finding method that can and does get revised and corrected with better information. (Name one religion that does that). I realize that religion was originally an attempt to explain the reality our species found ourselves in. It was also an original attempt at governance, and an original attempt to control that which could not be controlled. The vast majority of the religions that have arisen have been discarded. The dominant ones today have had their assertions on cosmology, math, history, geology, anthropology, archeology, as well as moral advancement ripped to shreds by better information. There is no evidence of any divinity, good or bad, to exist, let alone play a hand in the affairs of life on earth, or the machinations of the cosmos. But there it is. An overwhelming majority have Faith, and use it as a basis of decision and a claim (utterly undeserved) of righteous rectitude. Atheists too have convictions and act upon them. Make a list of history’s worst assholes and benevolent philanthropists. You’ll find atheists on both. Find someone who stares at an indisputable fact and still denies it and you’ll be looking at somebody with a pathological mental disorder or a person of Faith. It takes a person of Faith to perform the breathtakingly lazy stance of filling in the gaps of knowledge with ‘god’. Since this is a site dedicated to the subject of atheism, free thought and skepticism, I thought I’d throw in a comment that’s on message.

392 Christopher Lowe June 12, 2013 at 7:01 am

@chris… “Belize is a peaceful country and have not been involved in any wars for over 100 years”. Something about that did not sound right to me, so I looked it up. Firstly, Belize has only been around for 32 years. I kinda knew that. Previous to that it was the British colony of British Honduras, since 1862. Guatemala also laid claim to this territory as the province of “Belice.” War was threatened and troops amassed in 1963, 1975, and 1977. Soldiers from British Honduras/Belize fought in WWI. As far as I know it was the only Latin American territory other than Puerto Rico to send troops to either World War. You could probably care less, but just saying.

393 chris June 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

You are right, Belize has only been a independent country a short time. However, they are the same people as they were when they where colonized. In fact, the English never set up a formal government. As a colony they have not been involved in a war in over 100 years. Many men went off to fight with England in both wars so they could send money back to their families, so what? My father came to America and faught in the Korean War so he could become a citizen.

Since I like you I will help you with your nonsensical babbling. Atheists do believe in what we can not see. Take air for instance. You cannot see it but you know it exists. You also realize that the universe is infinite. We all know there is not a brick wall out in the middle of space. Let’s take your rants one at a time.

“Faith is the religious giving each other permission to suspend reason and proof.”

It is just the opposite. Faith is the same as saying you believe in the “Big Bang” theory or that we all evolved from bacteria.

“Faith is not a virtue.”

Faith is a virtue. It is what holds communities together more than anything else. It does not mean that Atheists are not good people but Atheism offers nothing that helps bind us.

“It is not tied to morals.”

Of course faith is tied to morals. The whole basis of modern criminal law is based on the 10 commandments.

“To those that say atheists believe in nothing”

What do you believe in?

“We DO believe in nothing that smacks of Divine origin”

You do believe in something that requires as much faith as the religious. The more you believe you are different, the more you are the same.

“It takes a person of Faith to perform the breathtakingly lazy stance of filling in the gaps of knowledge with ‘god”

It takes a person without Faith to perform the breathtakingly lazy stance of filling in the gaps of knowledge with science. The reality your version of events are no more provable. I thought you began by saying you only believe what you can see?

394 J June 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Chris, Source confabulation is a sincere problem, and I am not just talking out of my pinhole, but rather worked half a dozen years at a public policy institute “think tank” (talk about a misnomer). They had an axe to grind like every other would-be source, debunking global warming, pushing self-governance (another surreal term) and global sustainable agriculture and global sustainable economic growth at 2.3% annually for developed countries (with a U.S. goal-able target of 4% annually, which would be the highest sustained rate in U.S. history –compare to the Coolidge years). But the biggest problem was always credible sources. All these days are infotainment or disinformation. Unless you are talking purely scientific information in the form of peer reviewed scientific journals, as opposed to popular scientific magazines and scientific news “outlets,” which do not extrapolate, interpret nor grandstand but report study results in detailed graphic form, there are no credible sources of information. Regurgitation of misinformation and disinformation is the order of the day at least since the mid eighties. I’ll give Wiki one point, that it sometimes gets some things right due to the Poll The Audience effect…but even that is difficult to prove, and not authenticated.

Clowe, sheer asininity; that is the perfect word for your words. Me thoughts you had gone off to your kinder, gentler atheist intellectual circle jerk you found more tasteful. Perhaps they didn’t have a taste for your skeletal endocrinological and colonic weak metaphorestations either. You don’t know shit about the term ‘faith,’ to use your metaphorical range. Since you willfully only know ‘religious’ faith, and that in a limited way, I’ll apprise you. All human intelligence involves faith. All sentience acts on faith. Even single-celled organisms act on faith in Newtonian physics, or basic mechanics. Start there, Jerk-on. Stop confusing faith with belief, faith with religion and religion with theism. To be unaware of your faith or refuse to recognize it does not make it go away. All your drivel aside, atheists, assuming they are sentient, must have faith in nothing, or what they might call randomness. Despite the circumstantial evidence of energy/matter and organization/entropy, they believe or have faith in their stance to wit there is nothing behind this evidence, nothing promulgatory. That is foundation to the assertion: atheists have a form of faith, in nothing. You have a reliance upon nature, for instance, or perhaps you even call it natural law, even though you have no comprehension of what it is, and willfully misplace the growing inventory of scientific data and anecdotal experience regarding how it works. This is faith. Refuse to believe it or not.
Many scientists were swayed toward theism or agnosticism by the postulate of The Big Bang singularity. Despite its breach of the law of angular momentum, I have a modicum of faith in that theory or something like it, due to the circumstantial evidence of cosmic radiation.
Science is at best a methodology…not a “fact finding method.”
Seeing is not Believing; you show you are not a scientist. “Get revised and corrected with better information” shows you are not a scientist and have no comprehension of science. “(Name one religion that does that.)” Catholicism. Yes, even the most monolithic religion of the day fits your criteria.

The only message you are “on” is the usual anti-religious irrational rant. Atheists acting like you are a scourge.

395 Christopher Lowe June 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm

@J…..I was very clear. Quote; ” Faith as referred to by religionists…”. “Faith is the religious permission to suspend reason and proof.”. How can you not see I was targeting the religious requirement of faith? It is in that narrow definition that I was referring. But there you go again parsing my words. Give me credit for knowing the difference between faith and belief. Their meanings have a small overlap, but that is contextual. I never said I was trained in science, or even debate, nor would I ever boast so. ‘science is a methodology…..Duh! The real question is do you trust the results? I knew you would say the Catholic Church when I said name a religion does that.(scientific method). Thank you anyway for limiting somewhat your scatological remarks and your tedious and unfunny wordplay. If I’m so “wrong” beyond the pale do yourself the pleasure of ignoring me.

396 J9 June 13, 2013 at 12:02 am

Dingaderry, You were clear without meaning to be. Don’t avoid the truth of your target. Of course “religious faith” is “off the table” for atheists. Your statements spoke for themselves in terms of scope and intent. Chris addressed them by point already. You show you don’t know the difference and it colors your wild assertions, that’s the point. “Re comment: It takes Faith to be an atheist….I have to tell you that as far as real atheists are concerned, Faith is completely off the table.” This was your reference, not religious faith; no matter you go on to deny it. What would be the point of your discussion then? That’s rhetorical for ‘nunc.’ You called science a ‘fact finding method.’ So “duh” should have been your statement instead? That’s rhetorical for ‘apparently so.’ And the question is not faith in or “trust [in] the results,” that’s the point and crux of the discussion, faith in the methodology. Chris likes you so I responded to your response to a point on ‘faith’ to which I’ve added or supported previously. “I knew you would say the Catholic Church when I said name a religion does that.(scientific method).” You’re prescient now too? That’s ironical for why are you making statements you don’t mean. You said “revised and corrected,” (another misunderstanding) specifically, not scientific method; if you already knew that just about any modern day religion fits the criteria, why did you posit? Now you are supporting religious faith. Science self-corrects on fundamental positions no more nor less than religions generally. When you attack religious faith without comprehension of faith, you merit and invite criticism. I know I’m a bitch, specifically to those who attack without rationality or self-knowledge or definition of terms. You’ll survive. Get a p{censored in moderation}s. Practice using it. Imagine if Chris didn’t like you.

397 Emmanuel Sanchez June 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm

@J

Your point is a kind of interesting but mistaken. You are a very paradoxical person. Your aggressive response against C. Lowe almost made me feel shocked. You cannot call someone a scourge because he is wrong about something, but actually he wasn’t. Trying to be pacifist, I think the bottom of this is a semantic disagreement. When you use the word “faith” you are missing the notion of that it has different meanings. It is a kind of term that involves different concepts. Religious faith (maybe the most common use of the word) as C. Lowe pointed out, is something that doesn’t have anything to deal with atheism. It is the blind, sure, dogmatic belief in a set of truths promoted by a religion. But when you use faith as a synonym of hope, the stage changes. We all have hope in something, at least, we have a slight hope that we will be alive tomorrow. Hope is not the same as certainty. When you have a high hope, you could act as you actually believed in something without having factual certainty (this is vet similar to religious faith, but not necessarily the case of all ideological postures), but you can have hope in something admitting that you can also be wrong. In this sense, we all have hope in our beliefs because nobody believes in something that appears to himself as being wrong. I have no religious faith, so I won’t admit a pretended accusation of signaling me as a dogmatic irrational person. I could be wrong but I don’t expect to see that (but it can happen, and therefore, I could, maybe, meet a god after death, but it sounds so illogical to me that unless I see it I won’t believe it). You call me an agnostic, but I honestly think that nobody can claim an absolute righteousness or clearance about this concepts. Besides the fact that persons use the terms carelessly, they somehow overlap. For example, Richard Dawkins is an atheist that affirms that God almost certainly doesn’t exist. He has said that if he meets god after death, his first question would be “who are you?”. Russell didn’t believe in god because he discredited all the dogmas in favor of such a belief. Julia Sweeney considers most probable that men created god than the other way about. We all have hope. It’s not the same as religious faith. Both terms can fall within the word “faith”. You can call me an agnostic. I call myself an atheist because to me the non-existence of god makes more sense. I don’t have a certain belief without evidence. It is what I call faith. If you call faith any other hope then I have faith. If you are an agnostic that (simplifying it) thinks that perhaps there is a god, then somehow you don’t have faith in any position about this, but you have the faith that there is not a tyrannical god that will send you to hell for not having faith (I have faith you see my words game in this tricky use of homonyms).

398 J June 15, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Emiliano, Aggression should not shock you. I don’t suffer fools well, especially those who attempt to mock or insult me such as yer playpal who attacks what he misunderstands and then hides behind what’s called in the pop psych vernacular passive-aggressive-verbal. But you are well-mannered in your response to me, and I appreciate that above else. A little side data: there is no percentage in believing that I am mistaken. You have that on good authority. I addressed behavior when I called him and ilk a scourge. It was well chosen and I stand by it. Much less to do with his being wrong. Faith is not synonymous with hope, and people using the terms interchangeably are confusing themselves. It is obvious to me that Theists have more evidence of their stance than Atheists have of theirs, and Religionists have more or less depending upon their religion. It’s all circumstantial. Since you are off my point, I will simply say thanks for responding; it showed confused loyalty to your confused friend.

399 AE July 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

Amanda Donohoe is English.

400 Christopher Lowe July 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Well it looks like the ultra-right wing American nut-bags finally managed to scare off and shout down discourse in this blog site. These self important people only serve as babble and white noise in an international inquiry into skepticism and positive atheism.
Let’s hear your ideas. Where can we stem the tide of superstition dominating so much of our civilization, and allow positive, fact based, results oriented policies that work for all consolations and demographic subsets? How do we face down the people who play upon these superstitions to further their own ends to the detriment of the people they’re trying to influence?
Keep in mind the hysterical attack dogs from the devout and the ultra-right wing are going to gadfly your ideas, but don’t be discouraged. They are not interested in providing any solutions.

Do you have any atheist-specific organizations in your community?

401 Christopher Lowe July 8, 2013 at 1:51 am

Rodney Dangerfield, Barbara Forrest

402 chris July 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

Your hatred and intolerance of conservatives does not suprise me. It is always the people that claim to be tolorant and reasonable that are the most hypocritical and full of shit.

403 Christopher Lowe July 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm

See what I mean?

404 J July 9, 2013 at 1:36 am

There again with his thumbs lodged in his ear canals in lieu of cortical nuclei, having just retrieved them from a light-deprived unsanitary platz.

405 Christopher Lowe July 9, 2013 at 2:37 am

Again, see what i mean? (If you can figure out what HE means)

406 chris July 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

@ Christopher Lowe

You have created a strw man argument by saying, “ultra-right wing American nut-bags.” As opposed to what, ultra-left wing Canadian nut-bags? Try to stand on your arguments. I realize it is hard for your to frame your points because they are so weak but you should try it anyway.

407 Christopher Lowe July 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I am willing to pay the toll for this debate, but unwilling to pay the troll. Too polluted for my tastes. Happy sailing everybody!

408 make money from home for free online jobs August 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

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409 Chathryn August 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

This is pretty sad all these people dead pretty sad all these people dead or dying and going to hell

410 J9 August 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Catheter, The extent of your ignorance of the universe is repulsive. Not surprising you can’t spell your own name. Hell is where the heart is.

411 J9 August 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

@Catheter, The extent of your ignorance of the universe is repulsive. Not surprising you can’t spell your own name. Hell is where the heart is.

412 Robert Palmer August 22, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hi I have urgent need of people of influence to help me with a plan that I have formulated to help the poor, it does not require one of your dollars. I went to all the Christian churches in my nation and not one of them would assist me. I want to inquire of you, do you have the compassion that they are lacking. If you do please read my plans at http://www.futureandahope.net/poorhelp.php there are 4 or 5 ideas I am trying to present to politicians, and I need scores of people to sign my online petition at the above address. I will share with you one of the plans that I got as I was in prayer:

I propose that government Legislate that a small percentage of prime time TV be assigned to charities. Two advertisements per night, 50% for world aid and 50% for local charities like cancer research. The benefits of this is that no tax money is spent, awareness of poverty is increased and 100 of thousands of dollars will be raised each year, possibly millions.

I love God, but the church is no benefit too me, are you as an atheist more compassionate than the church. If you are prove it to me by promoting my petition and ideas to every body you can.

God Bless You
Robert Palmer

413 ROBERTL QUETZALCOATL September 14, 2013 at 2:57 am

RELIGION IS A CONTAMINATION
OF THE MIND.

414 J September 14, 2013 at 4:36 am

RQ, Reflexive Quandry,
NOT to WORRY, your mind is a desolate tundra of neuronal misfirings in WANT of contamination. YOU are the QuarK at the end of the Universe.
“You RUN to the Dummy, but the Dummy turns out to be a BOMB, and YOU are the dummy.”—Bullwinkle

415 chris September 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Atheism is contamination of society.

416 J9 September 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Michael, Bravo on your development of an elementary school course on atheism. This is a very positive direction and undertaking. Wish we had the like here in the States. I hope you are including the discussion of Agnosticism therein. And congratulations on your inclusion on Pribble’s blog.

417 Mick October 7, 2013 at 7:56 am

Not really too sure what a long list of atheists does… I’m not on that list… now sure why not?!??! My family think I’m pretty famous… well to them anyway… or is there a level at which when X number of folks think they know you, your famous… in Which case your not on it yourself Michael…which is odd.

Anyway… I think by 2050 a shorter list will be the remaining religious. Because lets be honest… education is not going to play nice with religion this century… it got rather snappy in the 19th century… then got really aggressive and rowdy in the 20th… the last time I seen Mr. Education it was knocking around to Religions house with a baseball bat behind its back, rapping on the door shouting…. “get out here you coward… come out where I can see you!”

I think I seen the curtains close ….

418 Mick October 7, 2013 at 8:04 am

BTW Michael… See Robert Palmer above… creating back-links for his website… otherwise he’d have noticed her was pasting his little script into an atheist blog… but he could only spare you the ten seconds it took his bot to click submit there.

God Bless he says… lol…[nuclear level facepalm]

I wonder how long it supposedly took him to talk to every priest, rabbi, imam and pastor in Australia… 30 years maybe?

We could ask him… his phone number is 0061 738 932 480

419 Mick October 7, 2013 at 8:07 am

@chris… yeah clearly society shouldn’t be contaminated with reason, science, education and logic when clearly there are magic pixies and unicorns to be getting on with!

420 ROBERTL QUETZALCOATL October 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN god ARE STUPID.

421 J9 October 8, 2013 at 3:56 am

Now now, morons, mind your spittle. You are in danger of being crushed by the tiny little stones you are attempting to throw. Michael is attempting to promote civility of atheists, while you are enshrining your lack of intelligence in a dark, unsanitary place of your own making. What you lack in ignorance, you more than make up for in stupidity.

Yes, @ you two buffoons.

422 sue denham October 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Whoa! Lay off the capital letters, dude

423 avgra bhadreswara November 13, 2013 at 4:02 am

One of my fav singer is on the list and two of my fav actors are also on the list. I knew that there’s a reason why i like them so much, now i know why.
From what i’ve read i kinda found the similarity why they choose to be atheist or simply didn’t believe in the existing of god. Without any contact whatsoever with any people who share the same belief as i am, i also think what they all think. The humanity, being kind to people not because have too but because that is the right thing to do, equality not only toward human being but for all living things and even non-living things (ex:earth). I don’t know if i was about to say was relevant or not but the realization when someone decided to refuse the concept of god is often based on the refusal to give in in something that is just wrong and just not right in many different level, filling the void by voice of reason and the what ifs with what should have. In the end we all want to do or to be treated as kind and as right when circumtances are against us. Ex: i want to help that person because it’s the right thing to do even though i’m christian and he’s a jew. I want to walk in the street without being bullied because i’m gay. Will my family still loves me even though i’m not their biological child. It all based on the want and willingness in ourselve that we want to do the right thing and not because we have to, not know but understands why even with all the different situations and circumtances we still want the outcome to be as fair and just

424 Garry Lee November 13, 2013 at 8:16 am

Firstlly, I’m an atheist. Secondly I see above in some posts, the usual pre-conceptions about history that are gross biases. Some poster above says that Protestants did much less harm than Catholics, historically. The usual Inquisition appears. “The Horrors of the Spanish Inquisition” etc.
People should learn the facts. In 300 years the Spanish Inquisition executed 3000 people. In his reign, Henry VIII executed 50,000 to 70,000. When Cromwell was in Ireland, the population fell by a quarter. Thousands of witches, maybe 100,000 were burnt in Europe by Protestants. Irish doesn’t have a word for witch as we didn’t believe they existed. We had the Penal Laws in Ireland etc.
If you’re an atheist you should not be a predominantly anti-Catholic one because you should read your history. Then you’ll learn that all religions are oppressive.

425 Denis December 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

So, you’ve made this tine list and are proud of several people, some of whom are a debatable value, take Dawkins just for a single example, and you brag about so loud. Heh, is that it? Did you notice that we, Christians, do not bother so much over this list? I mean, serious, churched believers, not pop-Hollywood-diva-style of pseudo-believers. Why so? Simply because we do not care so much about worldly fame. God is more famous and more important than all those puffed-up buffoons and self-important beaus.

426 Denis December 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

So, you’ve made this tine list and are proud of several people, some of whom are a debatable value, take Dawkins just for a single example, and you brag about so loud. Heh, is that it? Did you notice that we, Christians, do not bother so much over this list? I mean, serious, churched believers, not pop-Hollywood-diva-style of pseudo-believers. Why so? Simply because we do not care so much about worldly fame. God is more famous and more important than all those puffed-up buffoons and self-important beaus.

427 ROBERTL QUETZALCOATL December 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

ALL BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE
CONTRADICT RELIGION. THE EVOLUTION
OF KNOWLEDGE IS REJECTED BY THE
IGNORANT MASSES. WE ARE LIVING IN THE
21th CENTURY. PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN god
ARE STUPID.

428 Daniel Jones December 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I think the quote you assigned to Hitchens is from Aayan Hirsi Ali. Hitchens was quoting her in The Portable Atheist.

429 Christopher Lowe December 5, 2013 at 4:18 am

Robertl Q. your postings are neither enlightening or helpful. Nobody is going to listen to someone who is just going to mimic a Waterboro First Baptist poster with babyish rantings. You are giving atheists a bad name. The only way your views are going to be respected by anyone, let alone those who disagree, is with a thoughtful and calm laying out your case.

430 chris December 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

The only way you will be respected is if you admit you do not know and drop the idea of certainty. So in a way, ROBERTL is on to something.

431 Christopher Lowe December 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

Touche chris. So why assume certainty is the default position of those who wish to dislodge religious certainty. I’m sorry but I’d like to see something better from you than your habit of turning others’ opinions around on themselves. That must be the lawyer in you and it is only a courtroom trick. Merry Christmas, by the way.

432 chris December 26, 2013 at 7:09 am

I do not really celebrate Christmas but thank you anyway. The problem with your argument is religion and faith are not the same things. Faith is not a certainty, it is a belief system. A, believes in God, B, does not. Both have faith in their positions but may or may not be religious. A, is Catholic and believes with certainty that God exists. B, is an Atheist and believes with certainty that God does not exist. Both are religious and most likely cannot be reasoned with. It works with things like global warming as well.
I am just curious, do Atheists celebrate the holiday’s or is it just another day.

433 Christopher Lowe December 26, 2013 at 8:13 pm

@chris
I agree that a stance of certainty is a conversation stopper. Assuming an atheist or a Catholic or a Mormon cannot have an open mind or be not swayed by evidence might not be always accurate though. It seems to me that groupthink vs groupthink might be the more intransigeant situation.
Christmas has enough pagan aspects to it to satisfy the staunchest of atheists. At any rate as a working guy any paid statutory holiday is good enough for me regardless of origins!

434 Mick December 28, 2013 at 1:28 am

Personally I never met anyone that prayed to lord odin. I certainly don’t .. But I still put up a christmas tree. Clearly that makes me a bad atheist and almost every christian eithher blasphmous, ignorant or both.

435 Emmanuel Sánchez December 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

@chris

Although it seemed pointleess to me to return to this side after so much arguing and confrontation and a huge lack of interest of other people to participate, I can’t avoid the temptation of signaling your inconsistence once more.

If it weren’t because of the large amount of prejudices associated with religion I wouldn’t care so much in deffending atheism and my view point. I have said I don’t claim to have absolute certainty and in that makes me an agnostic to you, call me so, go ahead. But when you sign blind certainty as faith I have to point out that your intransigence as well as your fanatical nationalism make you qualify very well as a faithful person from your definition and the way you understand the concept. I think nobody can claim absolute certainty about the issue of god but the way you argue (if someone wonders what I am referring to, read previous comments) makes you be very far from the humble position of an agnostic or skeptical. Not all the ones who call themselves atheists are as closed-minded as you think. Some may be but not all.

436 chris December 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

@Emmanuel

It is good to see you are starting to understand. You can call yourself what ever you like and you are right, faith is not only based on religion. I will grant you that fanatical Theists are the most annoying and easiest to mess with, they are the strongest willed. You cannot shake their religious foundation. The same is true with most Atheists.

You do not have a clear understanding of what faith is. Faith is simply believing in something that cannot be seen, where there is no tangible proof it exists or not. Examples: God, global warming, ghosts, you get the point. A reasonably intellegent person can believe in all types of things. You can choose to believe or not. it does not make their belief any less reasonable.

As far as my “fanatical nationalism,” that is just silly. I am on record as saying Obama is the most dangerous terrorist in the world and the Democrat Party is the largest terrorist group in the world. However it is hard to argue that America is not the greatest country in the world, even without all of its current problems.

You may personally dislike religion but Atheist, non-believers and all other non-religious people are equally capable of “large amount of prejudices.”

437 Christopher Lowe December 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Funny (but not surprising) you should lump global warming as an intangible along with god and ghosts. Global warming can be both measured and analyzed. So you have issues with general consensus findings of those whom have expertise on this subject. Why does this hobby horse of yours get lumped into the realm of illusion or, more importantly, delusion?
You know these are basically the same people who found and red-flagged the degradation of our ozone layer and got the world to drastically cut back on the release of fluorocarbons into the atmosphere with the very tangible result of repairing it.
The same people you trust when they say global warming and ice ages are natural cyclical events are all of a sudden agenda-driven idiots when they factor in human activity as contributing to its intensity. Smells like shooting the messenger to me.
Idiots with their agendas do exist and would use this information to their goals no doubt, but to attack the information itself? C’mon now, chris!

438 chris December 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Global warming is nothing more than a fable, like God and ghosts. It cannot be measured and a consensus is not scientific. Furthermore, there is far from consensus of the “experts.” There are over 200,000 climate scientists in the world, not all agree with you.

“Why does this hobby horse of yours get lumped into the realm of illusion or, more importantly, delusion?”

It is delusional to believe man controls the climate.

There are many contributing factors to climate change. The reality is the climate has been cooling in recent years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10294082/Global-warming-No-actually-were-cooling-claim-scientists.html

The “idiots” as you call them are paid by many different sourses to come up with perdictions. Some are guessing, some believe what they say and some are liars. It does not change the fact that global warming is a fraud.

439 olumber January 9, 2014 at 2:43 am

join the spiritual word and have all your heart desire email;olumberspiritual@outlook.com or contact +2348128066162. for urgent respond.

440 Emmanuel Sánchez January 10, 2014 at 12:25 am

I have had enough of “spirituality”. That brings nothing else than empty rituals, hypocrisy and prejudice to my mind. I know there are good people among believers but most of them aren’t so much (and what I reject is the philosophy, not the people). Remember this is an atheist side, stop making religious propaganda.

441 chris January 10, 2014 at 1:26 am

@Emmanuel Sánchez

I am sorry you feel so torchered. I will pray that God heals your heart.

442 Christopher Lowe January 10, 2014 at 1:37 am

Author: Christopher Lowe
Comment: @ chris
“tortured”

443 Christopher Lowe January 10, 2014 at 2:25 am

Hello Emmanuel como estas? Or is it esta?

444 Christopher Lowe January 10, 2014 at 2:43 am

The big shiny object that has caught my attention these days is neuroplasticity. There could lie therein some insight as to the tone of the responses we see on BOTH sides of the existence/nonexistence of god argument.

445 J9 January 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm

@Emmanuel

Amen to that.

446 Emmanuel Sánchez January 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

@Christopher Lowe

It depends on the way you speak. If you use the second grammar person “tú”, then you must say ¿Cómo estás? But this way to speak is considered provocative unless you talk to a very close person. Most often used is the third grammar person “usted”, then you must say ¿Cómo está? It is considered more formal. By the way, I’m fine. I started to work last year. Thank yoy.

@chris

Partially I agree with your notions about global warming, but unfortunatelly ignorant people think that it is the only reason why we must worry, letting aside deforestation, pollution and depletion of water and oil. Anyway, it seems you have not evolved too much since our last discussion. You continue with your arrogance and sarcasm. Just a little stone in your shoe: what about the recent “obamacare” crisis? That’s the way the greatest nation of the world get to agreements about giving medical insurance to its citizens? I’d prefer rather to live in Iceland or Germany :-P

447 Dave Hershey January 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm

there are no true atheist; if God was not for real we wouldn’t be here to discuss if one exist or not; atheist nor science can explain the snow flake, that being true why should I believe anything else they come up with.. I take my hat off to the atheist they have more faith then I do as a Christian..

448 Emmanuel Sánchez January 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

@Dave:

You are brainless if you think that the affirmation of the existence of something involves the existence of something. As an example, there is a novel in which a girl tells her mother that if there is tge word “dragon” there must have existed dragons some time ago. Human imagination is very creative and has constructed many myths (ask the greeks about their mythology). As much as your god can be real, Zeus, Allah, Brahma, Krishna, Thor (the escandinavian version), Mithras, Ganesh and any other one could be real according to that logic.

449 Christopher Lowe January 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

At least you’re not beseeching god for help. That’s a start.

450 J9 February 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm

@ES
Only to say that atheism is also not free of empty rituals and hypocrisy, nor of prejudice & bias. “We all gotta duck, when the shite hits the fan.”

451 Jan February 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

[...]

In 1994, Asimov speculated that:

Can somebody explain to me how he was able to speculate in 1994 when he died 1992 ?!?!?!

452 Christopher Lowe February 26, 2014 at 6:42 am

Barney Franks

453 Emmanuel Sánchez February 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

@J9

Well, I do not consider myself an atheist-idolatric, as I recognize that some atheist can be very stupid too. At least, if you become an atheist you will not be forced to participate in any kind of rituals or whatever to be one. If some of them are hypocrites, what can I say, I only complaint that when religious people criticize us saying we don’t have morality they are claiming to be morally superior, and however this can be very subjective, most of them do not conduct their lives so much “morally”.

454 J9 March 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm

@ES
That’s good to know, but it’s a subtle vice and a blind step down to idolizing and idealizing, and between rational and rationalization. Theists are not necessarily religious. Atheists are not necessarily blind rationalists. But most seem to be, in both camps. When you muddy the water in either direction, inquiry becomes debate and debate quickly becomes warfare. I believe in a Creator though I reject all religions to which I’ve been exposed, through study and discussion. My belief is not blind faith, as atheists seem to assume, although I recognize that it is based upon personal experiences and rational considerations which are circumstantial evidence, as is all experience, and so not credible to anyone else.

455 IVAN PETER JAMES WAVELL April 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

Only the BRAINWASHED and the SIMPLEMINDED could STILL believe such GUFF. The RULERS OF OLD who were the PSYCHOPATHS that wished retain power, and wealth, invented the ‘GOD’, and the GULLIBLE THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS are still being taken in, despite that these DEITIES are the SOURCE for ABUNDANT EVIL that is committed in the name of the myriads of RELIGIONS, that DISTORT the LIVES of those that want not part of it, by DOMINION OVER MOST LEGAL SYSTEMS, and deciding the values that should be OBEYED by many UNWILLING non believers, as in the example of whose life is it, and when do we wish to terminate it.

456 J9 April 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

cool. but don’t get mad. don’t get even. just get well.

457 Judy Hall April 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I think all this name calling is a waste of time. I tried to believe is God but science got in the way. I read about evolution and it made way more sense to me. We see things every day that are evolving in order to live in our ever changing environment. I remember when I was out trying to help the homeless I asked a Christian organization if they could help me get some food for the homeless and they asked me if I was Christian. I told them no and they said they could not help me because I was not Christian and I could be a Satanist. I left and thought to myself how wrong that was. I believe that everyone has the right to believe in whatever they need to, to get through their life and long as you do not try to force your belief on others and do not hate others who do not believe as you do. I believe in me when it all comes down to it.

458 chris April 5, 2014 at 12:35 am

Judy, you can be religious and still believe in evolution. Also, Two British men were hiking in North Korea last year when soldiers approached them. They were asked if the were Christians and when they replied yes, they were executed on the spot. You see, North Korea is an Atheist country. So what is the point of the story you shared?

459 J9 April 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Likewise, you can be an atheist and still not believe in evolution (specio-genesis as opposed to adaptation, for instance). If Science with a capital S is “getting in the way,” Judy, then you are not comprehending science.

460 Emmanuel Sanchez June 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

@ James

That is so f*cking hilarious! If what you say is true (and I’m not fully convinced) you have just sold your soul to the devil (in the figurative sense of the expresion) as you have (according to you) made a deal with one of the most corrupted secret societies of the world. Let’s be clear here, I have never believed that Illuminati really exist, therefore either you are a liar or a poor beggar who has just pawned his life to those evil despicable powerful (supposed) bastards.

461 Adept June 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm
462 Mick July 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

The main problem with theists is that to arrive at their conclusions they have worked really hard to avoid any information to the contrary, and openly state things which they personally know nothing about as if things are really unknown or even if they are unknown somehow this means their opinion id a fact.

I’ll give a quick example using a post above…

“there are no true atheist; if God was not for real we wouldn’t be here to discuss if one exist or not; atheist nor science can explain the snow flake, that being true why should I believe anything else they come up with.. I take my hat off to the atheist they have more faith then I do as a Christian..”

“there are no true atheist;”
No sorry I really do not accept any Gods… in fact the idea is classified by me the same way I classify one ended sticks.. NOT POSSIBLE. Let alone probable even slightly.

“if God was not for real we wouldn’t be here to discuss if one exist or not; ”
Demonstrate how one leads to the other, there are two premises here… ‘We are Here’ and ‘God is real’ how does one necessitate the other? After all we might be in the matrix, or the entire universe might be a figment of my imagination… I might be the God… these are all ‘mights’… and again there is now way to join the dots between we are here … to any of those either.

“atheist nor science can explain the snow flake, ”

See complex adaptivity as explained using Conways game of life or Murray Gel Manns quark and the Jaguar…. it explains this thing you think has not been explained.., and even demonstrates it… however not knowing something has been explained does not mean it hasn’t, just that the statement is both inaccurate and based on ignorance (again, what a surprise)

“I take my hat off to the atheist they have more faith then I do as a Christian..”

So the christains argument here is that because they are ignorant of the formation of snowflakes that science is basing its explanation of that process on faith alone? In other words a huge gap in knowledge by a single individual is license to make things up and act on that…

Then you would wonder why folks repeatedly tell the religious how outright stupid and uneducated they are… not because they are ignorant of things… but because they use that ignorance as if EVERYONE doesn’t know the same things they don’t know.

The moral of this story?

Well, We don’t yet know… nobody does… if there is a mountain of cheese sandwiches on Uranus or not… however banking on a free meal on the way out of the solar system by assuming there is such a mountain will lead to a very hungry journey!

463 Chris July 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Mick, you are a typical Atheist. Your ignorance keeps you from accepting the fact that you do not know either.
The idea that you are using reason is idiotic. Your faith is as strong as the religious.

464 J9 July 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Mick, You have unsuccessfully flogged a straw dog. You seem to be arrogantly proud of yourself for feigning logic. Ur anus is obviously surrounded by a green methane gas, it’s your mind which is full of cheese sandwiches. First you pretend to discuss Theists, but it’s really just a screen to insult the Religious. I think you protest too much because you are blind and lame and no religion can heal you. Like too many atheists, you’re just mad at somebody, don’t really want to know why you are mad, and are not polite enough to refrain from exhibiting your ignorance. Michael has tried to promote a kinder atheism which moves on from mere reaction. You might try to follow his lead if you are not too lame.

465 Christopher Lowe July 11, 2014 at 7:05 am

Ur anus? Are we getting into cosmology now?

466 Christopher Lowe July 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

@J9

You say you believe in a Creator. So do you mean that a Sentient Being lit the spark that set in motion all the physics that brought us to this blog site? I think people of all ilks can ponder this imponderable. But does this go any further for you? Would this Being be even aware of our existence? Or even the cause us to exist in particular as life on this planet? Or? You infer you’re at least in the process of coming to some conclusions. I am genuinely curious. I know you don’t respect me very much but this isn’t mutual. I really would like to know, and not for any fodder for debate or argument.

467 Mick July 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm

J9,

I done nothing of the sort, I addressed every single sentence in that one post… every single thing I pointed out there is factual…

We really do know how snowflakes form… and this is THE most common reason people give for their belief in Gods and what not… that THEY PERSONALLY do not understand how X or Y works… therefore ignorance is not replaced with the actual knowledge, (which these days is available at the click of a butto)n… but rather by ‘THEREFORE GODDIDIT’

The original poster of that comment could have typed. ‘how do snowflakes form?’ into Google and got an actual answer… instead they decided they would rather NOT KNOW, and also somehow decided that because they don’t know, neither does anyone else…

In their voluntary and deliberate willful ignorance they then proclaim that because they don’t know…therefore they do know…

This is the single most common reason for folks accepting childish and peuile stories of magical beings in the sky… magic being in the sky is a hell of a lot easier to get to grips with than complex adaptability theory.

So I’ll say it again… with that common practice by the religious its certainly not a wonder they are accused of doing just that…accepting a stupid and puerile explanation thats actually impossible over an explanation they can demonstrate to themselves but is more complex.

468 Mick July 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm

@chris…

Ohh boy did you get that wrong… I am very well aware that I don’t know MOST things… but I don’t plaster up the cracks by pretending all the things I personally don’t know are GodDidIt…

I simply say ‘I Don’t Know’ and I’m happy with that. Because its the truth…

What you think is the truth however… what you openly would proclaim is the ‘truth’ is actually things you not only don’t know but cannot!

That is the exact opposite of knowledge. And it is incredibly arrogant to proclaim knowledge where you have none while pointing out to someone that says ‘I don’t know’ that they are arrogant…

469 J9 July 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Mick, You are predictably missing the point. So without the patience nor interest to persevere, I repeat follow on the lead if not lame.

Lowe, There would be little point discussing it with you, especially hereon and without a common frame of reference. I can see no use for it. It’s true that I hold you in lowe regard as you’ve proven to be rude, uninformed and recalcitrant in willful ignorance, choosing to misread and misunderstand. But it’s simply an impression from this context by a stranger whom you’ll never have to meet. I will say this to you though, a Creator is in the physics. And I’ll go further and say that the physics is in one of the commonly known “sacred” books. So that by inference and circumstantial evidence it is possible to foundation a faith in a Creator. And based upon my personal experience, this Creator gives more than a passing rat’s ass about the Creation from the infinitesimal to the cosmic and all it’s life forms. But that’s a personal belief. I don’t expect nor require anyone else to share it. I very much enjoyed forty formative years of atheism. And I repeat that the only logical, and perhaps the only rational, certainly defensible stance is agnosticism, in my opinion.

470 J9 September 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Perhaps I should add that I believe that all the ‘requirements’ we see associated with a Creator are derived from men & women, usually of some religious flavor. I see no evidence for any of that nonsense. Quite the opposite if anything. Wear a hair-shirt if you wish, but please don’t turn it into a sine qua non fetish.

471 Emmanuel Sanchez September 5, 2014 at 4:49 am

It seems some people are still missing the point (or perhaps willingfully ignoring the fact) that actually atheism is more a continuum of different postures than a well defined ideology like catholicism, for example. As Richard Dawkins pointed out -and I don’t pretend to sound any narcissistic- when a big amount of scientist was asked about their opinion on the existence of God, ranging from absolute certainty that there is one to absolute certainty of that there’s no, including doubting and “almost certain” most of them answered that they were more or less certain or almost sure (you could say suspicious and very suspicious) that there is no one. My personal position is similar. Actually, to define atheism could let us to endless and pointless discussions. I understan atheism as the non-worshipping of gods, therefore, many people that don’t think dogmatically can be called atheists, not just the stubborn kind of atheist troll or whatever. Some people that I would classify as atheists wouldn’t admit to be called so, like Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson so I think we can call them agnostics as a sign of respect.

I just wanna point something else now. You must consider atheists are humans too. If somebody looses his temper (I’m not justifying this) because he lives in a religiously saturated social media and is always pressed to become a believer it is something easy to understand and we mustn’t pay to much attention to it. In my country you can notice a terrible double standard. If you make religious proselitism nobody will censor you but if you are a “fool atheist” who “doesn’t accept the truth” you are supposed to shut up as a gesture of respect. Just facts.

472 Chris September 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

@Emmanuel

a·the·ist /ˈāTHēˌist/ noun
noun: atheist; plural noun: atheists: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

ag·nos·tic /agˈnästik/ noun
noun: agnostic; plural noun: agnostics: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth again. If you are Atheist you are absolutely sure there is no God, the same as a person of religion is absolultely sure there is a God. It is not ambiguous. A person that claims there is no God, has no proof of the lack of existence. Therfore, an Atheist is as dogmatic in their beliefs.
A person who is agnostic neither confirms nor denies the existence of God.
Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson are a couple of clowns like you, that want to have it both ways.
Religious countries will not kill you if you do not believe. The same can not be said for countries with no faith.

473 j9 September 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Thanks Chris for that summary response, better said and succinct than i could have put it. Some hereon don’t seem to want to accept your point that hypocrisy is rampant on both sides of this aisle. i don’t like the term God because it holds a hidden definition beyond Creator, whether or not dictionaries acknowledge it. The distinction between Theist and Atheist is the better starting point. i believe there is circumstantial evidence for a Creator inferable from the physics of the early universe upon which all physics is arguably now based. There is no evidence of any kind, however, that i can see for atheism. Hence my support for agnosticism (from Greek not-know) without the added ‘cannot be known’. I’m not convinced that it cannot be known or is unknowable.
There certainly are religious countries though which kill nonbelievers. And many others in which nonbelievers and those of any other religion are likely to be killed without sanction of the state (i could name five which are obvious). And there are atheist countries as well as religious countries (some muslim and hindu, for instance) which have little or no regard for human life –i mean the lives of their own members– tantamount to murder large in scope. But your point that there are and have been atheist countries like No. Korea which kill or have killed the religious (as well as their own remorselessly in an effort to erradicate and from a lack of regard for human life) is certainly true.

474 Christopher Lowe September 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm

It is not hypocrisy to call oneself an atheist or theist and still ponder and try to solve the “unknowable”. They are merely rejecting the plausibility of the others’ explanations. A harder argument would be anti deism. If you are an a-deist you would have a hard time reconciling your skepticism with that of your agnostic friends. As far as the unknown is concerned is that you can only add to the known or point to circumstantial evidence. Why should that be hypocrisy if an atheist does this?

475 Christopher Lowe September 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

@ Chris:

“Religious countries will not kill you if you do not believe”.

Really?

476 Chris September 6, 2014 at 1:37 am

@Chris Lowe

Yes, really. There is not a single religious country in the world that will kill you if you are an Atheist. There are some that will kill you for blasphemy but that is a different argument. You may also get killed if you are the member of a different religion, like what is happening in Iran but again, that is a different argument.

477 j9 September 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

That’s not the hypocrisy to which i referred. But since you beg the point, though it doesn’t rise to the level of hypocrisy, there is no circumstantial nor other evidence for atheism to point toward.

478 Christopher Lowe September 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm

@Chris

There are places you well know that kill people who blaspheme or who are apostate. Only a very well hidden atheist escapes mortal peril in such States. And yes, before you reply, I know these imaginary crimes are more often inter religious.A place like North Korea doesn’t need any excuse whatsoever to off you other than it doesn’t like you. It does require it’s own people to be a part of a personality cult in that you must worship and attest to the divinity of the Kim-IL Dynasty. No consideration (regardless of ilk) is given to anyone else. Foreigners have a modicum of protection against this but are still severely restricted in what they can see or do. Only bad P.R. prevents them from not putting up with even this. And they can’t seem to help themselves anyway despite this injunction. I think Chris you’d be hard pressed to find an atheist who would find solidarity with Kim Il-Un. What religion is Dennis Rodman?

Bad atheists? No doubt about it. Trotting them out as representative of atheists as a whole is disingenuous and not just a little bigoted as well.

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